Baby Steps Won’t Get Us There In Time

Exposing the Big Game

[In the end, the author of this lengthy article proposes what she earlier disparaged as “baby steps.”]

What if Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian?

Vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas.
Treating yourself to vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas isn’t just a delicious indulgence; it could help save the planet.

Photo by Elena Veselova/Thinkstock

The meat industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly producing about 14.5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and global meat consumption is on the rise. People generally like eating meat—when poor people start making more money, they almost invariably start buying more meat. As the population grows and eats more animal products, the consequences for climate change, pollution, and land use could be catastrophic.

Attempts to reduce meat consumption usually focus on baby steps—Meatless Monday and “vegan…

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Could Going Vegan Save Millions Of Lives? Who would have thought?

Unprecedented Climate Extremes: One Year After Record Drought, Lake Oroville is Spilling Over

robertscribbler

We know that climate change pushes the weather toward extremes, but this is getting ridiculous. In California, in less than a span of 24 months, water levels at a key reservoir have shifted from record drought to a flood that’s now endangering the state’s water supply system. Unfortunately, it’s these kinds of extreme shifts that we’ve come to expect from human-forced climate change.

Record California Drought

During 2015, California experienced its hottest winter on record. The same winter was also California’s driest in 65 years. It was an extremely dry season that occurred during one of the most intense droughts ever to strike California (2011 through 2016). A period that included the worst dry spell ever to affect the state (2011 through 2014).

driest-period-on-record-for-california

(2011 to 2016 included the driest period on record for California producing extreme water stress for the state. Image source: The US Drought…

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Bill Introduced by State Lawmaker to Remove NE WA Gray Wolves From Endangered List

Mia Carlson / Monday, February 13, 2017

OLYMPIA, WA – A Washington State lawmaker has introduced legislation that would remove gray wolves from the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s endangered species list in four eastern Washington counties. House Bill 1872 would prohibit the agency from designating or maintaining a designation of the gray wolf as an endangered, threatened, or sensitive species in those counties along the Canadian border – areas of the state hit the hardest by predatory actions.

The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Joel Kretz, raises horses and cattle on a ranch in the mountains of Okanogan County near Wauconda.  He says he has seen firsthand the devastation of predatory gray wolves.

“We’ve got one rancher with upwards of 70 head losses this year. You can’t sustain that very long. I’m really concerned that we’ve got grazing season this spring and I’m afraid that we’ll have a lot of ranchers will be out of business this year if it goes like it has,” Kretz says.

Kretz says the federal government has already delisted gray wolves. Some 19 packs have recovered with growing populations, and 16 of those packs are in northcentral and northeast Washington counties. The 7th District lawmaker says his bill could allow the state to get a preview in the four counties of proper wolf management before the animal is finally de-listed statewide.

The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Kill Them or Move Them? Wolf Control Options Weigh on Wildlife Panel

http://www.chronline.com/news/kill-them-or-move-them-wolf-control-options-weigh-on/article_824b6554-f3ab-11e6-8060-8b4d17214337.html

Legislature: Wildlife Experts, Members of the Public Say They Prefer Relocation

  • By Matt Spaw / For The Chronicle
  • Feb 15, 2017

OLYMPIA — In a surprising turn, a state panel discussing studies of lethal means to control wolves preying on farm animals and invading humans’ territory found that non-lethal control is a more effective option.

Wildlife experts and members of the public came together at a Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Friday to discuss wolf removal.

According to the panel, most of the state’s wolf packs are in northeastern Washington, with some in the North Cascades region. The panel was made up of Department of Wildlife experts specializing in wolves, wildlife conflict and carnivores.

Wolves present a challenge for livestock owners. Wolves are reestablishing themselves after being nearly eradicated in the early 1900s, but ranchers and others face the problem of protecting their livestock from wolf predation.

“We need to hone in on our objective. Is it tolerance? Is it to stop depredations forever?” said Donny Martorello, wolf policy lead for the state agency.

The panel went over studies about the culling of wolf populations. The studies were all peer-reviewed, but taken together were not conclusive. The primary focus of Friday’s meeting was on using lethal methods to cull wolf populations, although non-lethal means also were discussed and debated.

Most of the studies examined Friday found non-lethal methods to be more effective than lethal methods at preventing livestock death. Four of the five non-lethal tests had preventive effects, while only two of the seven lethal tests had preventive effects. Two of the lethal tests increased predation.

Non-lethal methods include fladry, which involves hanging flags that flap in the breeze and scare wolves, as well as using guard dogs for livestock.

In some areas the desired effect of culling wolf populations occurred. “Less livestock were killed. In some areas it did not work,” Martorello said. “It drives home the message that there is no perfect solution.”

The department suspended the controversial killing of Profanity Peak wolves in October. That program, aimed at killing a pack of 11 wolves, resulted in the deaths of seven and cost $135,000 before being suspended. The wolves had attacked or killed about 15 cattle.

“Wolves are one of the most studied animals on the planet,” said Scott Becker, state wolf specialist. The large number of recent studies used by the panel supported that statement.

Panel members said their own anecdotal evidence and personal experience also provide important information about wolf populations and control.

The panelists also examined public opinion of wolves and what studies say about perception.

“If one has a positive valuation of wolves, they generally like to focus on the benefits,” Becker said. “If one has a negative value of wolves, they generally focus on those costs.”

Only 61 of 358 Northern Rocky Mountain region wolf packs in the United States — or about 17 percent — were involved in at least one confirmed livestock killing, according to Becker. People are willing to accept some level of conflict with wolves, but 50 to 70 percent of that conflict occurs on private property, which could affect public perceptions.

At the meeting, public comments centered on opposition to lethal methods of wolf removal.

“We spend too much time talking about lethal removal. Could we have a panel on non-lethal control?” asked Melinda Hirsch of Conservation Northwest. “The studies are showing that those are the ones that are effective.”

The meeting will be used by the department’s Wolf Advisory Group to inform future recommendations. The group of landowners, conservationists, hunters and other interests work together to recommend strategies for reducing conflict with wolves.

•••

Protect Park Rangers from Trump

Ranger cutout iStockphoto 300px

Take Action

Protecting our national parks requires the dedicated efforts of tens of thousands of Park Service employees, from rangers who protect wildlife to maintenance workers who repair buildings to interpretive staff who greet and educate visitors. But parks are understaffed, and a new order from President Trump could only make a bad situation worse.

Our parks need your help.

The president has ordered a hiring freeze on federal workers, including staff at the National Park Service. Federal managers have less than 90 days to figure out how to reduce the size of their workforce. National parks are already operating with limited staff due to past budget reductions.

If parks are forced to further reduce their ranks, it would mean even fewer people to repair trails and visitor centers, study and protect park wildlife, and teach visitors about America’s history and culture.

Don’t let rangers become an endangered species!

National parks have welcomed record-setting numbers of visitors over the last several years. Our parks need more staff, not less, to handle this increased demand. The administration recently made an exception to the hiring freeze allowing for seasonal staff like park rangers. That helps, but it’s not enough — there needs to be a waiver for ALL park employees.

And parks don’t thrive without protections for the air, water and wildlife that are central to their well-being. The hiring freeze could also affect staff at other agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency that play a role in protecting park resources. We need these staff to remain on the job as well!

Take Action: Tell the Trump administration to exempt the Park Service and related agencies from the freeze so parks have the staff and resources they need to protect America’s favorite places.

Thanks for all you do to protect our national parks!

Groups want summary judgment in wolf lawsuit

Environmentalists trying to stop federal agency from killing wolves in Idaho

wp-1468782690732.jpg

By ERIC BARKER of the Tribune 6 hrs ago 0

Environmental groups have filed a motion for summary judgment in their case that seeks to stop the federal Wildlife Services agency from killing wolves in Idaho.

According to the lawsuit, the small agency has killed dozens of wolves in the state’s Lolo zone in each of last six years at the behest of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and its efforts to aid elk herds there. The agency also has acted in concert with the state to kill wolves that prey on livestock.

The Boise-based Advocates for the West argued that the federal agency – even when acting at the request of the state – must follow the National Environmental Policy Act. The 1970 law requires the federal government to study and publish the environmental consequences of its proposed actions and to consider viable alternatives

Advocates of the West Executive Director Laird Lucas said the agency has based its wolf control actions on a 2011 environmental assessment that he argues is outdated and falls short of essential details, such how many wolves would be killed, when and where the control might take place and what the ecological effects would be.

The lawsuit also argues the 2011 assessment is out of date because it relied on a population objective in a state wolf management plan that was changed even before the assessment was complete, and that a more lengthy and detailed environmental impact statement is needed to fully consider the effects of the agency’s wolf killing program.

The lawsuit asks federal district court judge Edward J. Lodge to require the agency to set aside the environmental assessment and require the agency either expand its study or to update it.

“We have this secretive agency trying to operate outside of the public eye,” Lucas said. “Many people in the public really care about wolves, and that is the point of (the National Environmental Policy Act) – to publicly disclose what you are doing.”

The lawsuit was filed in June by the Friends of the Clearwater, Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Predator Defense.

The federal government has not yet responded to the request for summary judgement that was filed Friday. If the environmental groups were to prevail, it would make it much more difficult for the state to manage the size of wolf packs in remote areas like the Lolo Zone.

Last year, Wildlife Services employees in helicopters shot 20 wolves in the Lolo Zone. A similar number of wolves was killed there in the three previous years. Idaho’s predator management plan for the Lolo Zone, north of the Lochsa River, calls for a 70 to 80 percent reduction of wolf numbers. In 1989, the department estimated the area had about 16,000 elk. A 2010 survey estimated the herd had dropped to 2,100 animals. The state agency is counting wolves in the Lolo Zone again this winter.
http://lmtribune.com/northwest/groups-want-summary-judgment-in-wolf-lawsuit/article_3ed65c8a-912f-5205-9d96-7534522e0aeb.html

Stop Montana Senate Bill 236

For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

Your immediate action is needed to stop Montana Senate Bill 236 that will make trapping permanently protected in our Montana Constitution

  • A public Committee hearing on Senate Bill SB236 will be held this Thursday, 2/16.
  • Our hope is to kill SB236 in Committee by urging Committee members to vote against the bill.   
  • If the Committee passes SB236, the bill will go to the full Senate for a vote, after which it will need approval from 2/3 of the legislature to send it to the Montana voters in 2018 to change the MT Constitution.
  • Trappers have unlimited out-of-state funds to sway voters during a campaign.  We can’t let that happen.

How to Help:

  • Testify in person against SB236 in the Senate Fish & Game Committee.
    • We need as many anti-trapping people in the Committee chamber as possible.
    • Please let us know if you can be at the hearing (Th, 3PM, Capitol Bldg. Rm. 422).
    • We will provide pointers on how to testify effectively.
    • We may be able to arrange carpooling.
  • Email Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Use links and reasons to VOTE NO provided below.
    • Please let us know whom you have emailed so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
    • If possible, please forward copies of your emails to us.
  • Call Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Please let us know whom you have called so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
  • Call the Capitol receptionist (406-444-4800) and ask that they tell each member of the Senate Fish & Game Committee to VOTE NO on SB236.
  • Share this information with others who want to prevent enshrining trapping in the MT Constitution.

Senate Fish & Game Committee
Meets:  Tu & Thurs, 3PM, Helena, Capitol Bldg., Rm 422
JILL COHENOUR (D)
, E. Helena, 406-227-1144; sen.jill.cohenour@mt.gov
TOM FACEY (D)
, Missoula, 406-240-4242; tfacey@mt.gov
*JENNIFER FIELDER (R), Thompson Falls, sen.jennifer.fielder@mt.gov
STEVE HINEBAUCH (R)
, Wibaux, 406-365-7967; sen.steve.hinebauch@mt.gov
JEDEDIAH HINKLE (R)
, Belgrade, 406-585-0722; sen.jedediah.hinkle@mt.gov
DAVID HOWARD (R)
, Park City, 406-633-2762; sendavidhoward@gmail.com
EDIE MCCLAFFERTY (D)
, Butte, 406-490-5873; edie.mcclafferty@gmail.com
MIKE PHILLIPS (D)
, Bozeman, 406-599-5857; mikephillips@montana.com
CARY L SMITH (R)
, Billings, 406-698-9307; sen.cary.smith@mt.gov
CHAS V VINCENT (R)
, Libby, 406-293-1575; cvvincent@hotmail.com
JEFFREY WELBORN (R)
, Dillon, 406-949-6070; jeffwelborn@hotmail.com
*Bill Sponsor

TALKING POINTS to help your testimony and messages.  Select one or two points and personalize your message to be most effective.

1.  Hunting and fishing are already protected in the Constitution.  This repetitive amendment clutters the Constitution with detailed activities.  We can’t add and don’t need amendments to protect each and every type of sport or employment.

2.  Trapping is managed as recreation.  Why not just resolve to protect recreation in MT rather than mess with the Constitution?  This was suggested in South Dakota when legislators killed a similar bill.

3.  Trapping does not provide “life’s basic necessities.”  Trappers made a profit of $56,000 last season and reported harvesting more than 50,000 animals.  That makes trapping a net loss with the associated costs of gas and equipment.  A handful of people in Montana pursue trapping for their livelihood.  In fact, trappers resist a mandatory trap-check time because they have jobs.

4.  Enshrining trapping in the Constitution can severely harm the state’s economy.  Lynx, wolverine, fishers and pine martens are severely depleted species, largely due to trapping.  Lynx are already on the endangered list, soon to be followed by wolverine and fishers.  This type of listing shuts down industry on our public lands.  Timber projects have been halted in the Gallatin, Kootenai and Custer National Forests to protect the endangered lynx.   

PLEASE TAKE ACTION ON THIS BILL.  WE CANNOT LET TRAPPING BECOME A PERMANENT FEATURE OF MONTANA, HARMING OUR WILDLIFE, OUR SAFETY, ECONOMY AND REPUTATION.   THANK YOU!

Montanans for Trapping Reform & Safe Public Lands (MTR)
a legislative action group of Footloose Montana
montanans.trapping.reform@gmail.com
406-549-4647

Quadriplegic woman seeks hunting licence

Quadriplegic woman who seeks hunting licence among those being helped by Sask. group

Kaitlyn Hoar is fulfilling her dreams thanks to the Being Astonished! program in Regina

By Rachel Zelniker, CBC News <http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> Posted: Feb 14, 2017 5:00 AM CT Last Updated: Feb 14, 2017 9:23 AM CT

Kaitlyn Hoar, a Saskatchewan woman with physical disabilities, has dreams like anyone else — and one of them includes hunting.

She wants get a restricted hunting licence, which might seem ambitious, considering she has cerebral palsy and is a quadriplegic.

However, thanks to a Regina charitable organization called Being Astonished!, she’s well on her way to achieving that goal.

“[Her family] got her into doing that,” said Hoar’s mother, Wendy, who’s one of the program’s founders.

“They’ll put the headphones on her, bring her the shotgun, she’ll look towards them when she wants the skeet pulled, and then they will help her pull the trigger.”

It demonstrates there’s no reason Kaitlyn can’t follow her dreams, Wendy said.

“She’s non-verbal, but she … functions mentally very, very well,” said Wendy.

‘This was my dream’

There are currently four other people enrolled in the program, including Kennen Dorgen, whose current goal is one of her most ambitious yet.

“Kennen was born 10 weeks premature with cerebral palsy. She’s technically classified as a quad… and pretty well all her muscles are affected,” said Kennen’s mother Heather Dorgen

She is non-verbal, but “very smart, and very persistent,” Heather added.

Kennen and Heather Dorgan

‘Kennen (centre) was born 10 weeks premature, with cerebral palsy… but is very smart and very persistent,” said Kennen’s mother, Heather (right). (Rachel Zelniker/CBC)

More: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/astonished-complex-physical-disabilities-regina-1.3981031

A child born today may live to see humanity’s end

Exposing the Big Game

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/06/18/a-child-born-today-may-live-to-see-humanitys-end-unless/

Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, said the late Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders in the effort to eradicate smallpox during the 1970s. He blamed overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

Fenner’s prediction, made in 2010, is not a sure bet, but he is correct that there is no way emissions reductions will be enough to save us from our trend toward doom. And there doesn’t seem to be any big global rush to reduce emissions, anyway. When the G7 called on Monday for all countries to reduce carbon emissions to zero in the next 85 years, the scientific reaction was unanimous: That’s far too late.

And no possible treaty that emerges from the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, in preparation for November’s United Nations climate conference in Paris, will be sufficient…

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