Your Next Hamburger May Come With a Side of Endangered Wolf

http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/05/29/food-production-impacts-wildlife-extinction-labels?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2016-05-30

A group argues for adding wildlife conservation facts to nutrition labels.


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The remnants of uneaten hamburgers at a 2014 burger-eating contest in Washington. (Photo: Gary Cameron/Reuters)

May 29, 2016
Emily J. Gertz is an associate editor for environment and wildlife

When it comes to valuable real estate, the square inches that comprise the official food nutrition label may be a hotter commodity than the most impressive street address in Manhattan. How consumers react to the label’s black-and-white facts about calories, fats, sugars, and vitamins is worth billions of dollars to the food industry.

An environmental group would like to factor in one more thing: how food production affects wildlife. Piggybacking on the government’s overhauled nutrition label—which, despite industry opposition, now distinguishes added from naturally occurring sugars—the Center for Biological Diversity has released “extinction labels” that suggest how much impact a hamburger, a chicken breast, or a serving of bacon has on water supplies, forests, the climate, and the survival of endangered species.

“People probably don’t think that when they’re eating a hamburger they’re harming a wolf, but there’s a direct correlation,” said Jennifer Molidor, senior food campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “A wolf, for example, will be targeted by predator control programs in their natural environment, at the behest of the livestock industry, to protect the cattle.”


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The “extinction facts” label. (Image: Center for Biological Diversity)

The Center for Biological Diversity and other animal welfare groups have charged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program, which kills millions of wild coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, bears, and other animals annually, lacks transparency as well as scientific justification for its practices. States also run such programs.

RELATED:  This State’s Population of Wolves Is Recovering, So Now Ranchers Can Shoot Them

There are other impacts as well. Increasing amounts of livestock manure are the leading driver of growing methane emissions from agriculture. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and can also degrade air quality. Raising alfalfa for cow feed uses up 2.7 trillion gallons of water a year in California alone.

The Center for Biological Diversity would like the government to advise the public on how to make eating choices that have less impact on wildlife and natural resources. “We’re in the sixth major extinction crisis, the first human-caused extinction crisis, and it’s highly related to our diet,” said Molidor. “Americans eat about three times the global average of meat consumption. If the rest of the world ate like Americans ate in terms of meat and dairy, we would need four more Earths.”

Author and futurist Jamais Cascio has experience using the nutrition label format to make an environmental point. His “cheeseburger footprint” graphic, which was based on his research into the carbon emissions created by a quarter-pound cheeseburger, went viral in the mid-2000s, landing him an appearance in a National Geographic documentary about climate change.

(Full disclosure: Casio and I were colleagues on a blog-and-book project called Worldchanging during the mid-2000s.)

Ten years later, Cascio said, he continues to get requests to use the image, and he features it in his consulting on sustainability and future planning.



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The “cheeseburger footprint” label. (Image: Courtesy of Jamais Cascio)

“I can say from my experience that adding that carbon facts image dramatically increased the amount of conversation around carbon footprints,” he said. “I started to see, in some places, the cheeseburger as the symbol of unintended climate consequences.”

Cascio called the extinction label “a good first draft,” but noted that “it doesn’t pretend to be objective.”

“This looks like they’re combining the nutrition label with a cigarette warning,” he said. “If you want to blame the elimination of sage grouse and wolves on beef production, I can understand that. I’m not sure how it factors into polar bears.”

But images can evoke interest and reactions in ways that pages full of text can’t match, he added.

“Greenhouse gases, water, manure, all have links to beef production,” Cascio said. “If they can draw a more direct link to the consequences, I could see this being applied across a wide array of products—or even a political candidate.”

Sportsmen’s Act, or Poachers’ Act?

Sportsmen’s Act, or Poachers’ Act?

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By on May 20, 2015 with 33 Comments

If you thought the Senate version of the Sportsmen’s Act – which was the subject of a recent hearing – was awful, the House version that was examined in committee today is even worse.

The House version is called the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” (SHARE Act), H.R. 2406. Yet it includes language to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adopting a rule to restrict the illegal ivory trade in the United States. What does that have to do with sportsmen who hunt deer, ducks, and other traditional prey? The answer: it has zero to do with sportsmen, and everything to do with AK-47-wielding poachers slaughtering elephants and sawing off their faces, destroying the economies of Africa in the process, and financing terrorists who are a threat to African and western nations.

That’s a good starting point for a bill that’s careened off course and has almost nothing to do with its title.  H.R. 2406 helps no rank-and-file hunters. It’s a grab bag of items largely unrelated to, and disconnected from, hunting.

In addition to the elephant poaching provision, the bill provides an opportunity for a handful of ultra-wealthy trophy hunters to import sport-hunted polar bears killed in northern Canada. This is a special-interest provision, which carves out an exemption in the Marine Mammal Protection Act, that has no bearing on regular hunters who fill their freezers with venison. None of these millionaire trophy hunters, who paid as much as $50,000 to shoot a polar bear, ate the meat. They just went on a head-hunting exercise, and paid a fortune to do so.

The bill is also a boon to the small fraction of the U.S. population that engages in trapping live animals. The SHARE Act adds “trapping” to the definition of hunting. This provision would open up millions of acres of land to trapping: an inherently cruel and inhumane means of ensnaring animals like beavers, bobcats, and foxes. Each year, millions of animals, including pets, are killed in painful traps, and they try desperately to free themselves for hours or days before they succumb to dehydration, predators, or the trapper’s bludgeon. Recreational trapping with the worst body-gripping traps is banned or severely restricted in nine U.S. states and over 80 countries, and Congress should be working to end this cruel practice, rather than expanding it.

The House bill also goes a step further than its Senate companion bill on the issue of toxic lead ammunition. It takes away the regulatory authority of the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect wildlife – and the public – from toxic lead ammunition. These agencies have already taken positive steps in requiring the use of non-lead alternatives for hunting certain species. In 1991, they put in place a nationwide measure requiring non-toxic shot for migratory waterfowl, after biologists estimated that millions of ducks were dying from lead poisoning. That federal rule has saved millions of birds annually from death by exposure to toxic lead, and it’s not put a dent in duck hunting. Now members of Congress want to take away the opportunity to build on this success  – handcuffing federal agencies that have a duty to address ammunition that poisons millions of wild animals.

The SHARE Act, just like its Senate companion , will not benefit rank-and-file hunters, and will destroy years of work done by animal protection advocates, environmentalists, and conservationists to protect endangered species and other wildlife. It is a special interest bill masquerading as a measure for sportsmen. Rank-and-file sportsmen, and the lawmakers who care about them, should not be deceived. Please call your members of Congress to ask them not to support these cruel bills.

men injured in helicopter crash – shooting coyotes

http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160113/helicopter-crash-reported-in-grant-county

Blue Mountain Eagle

UPDATE: Monument, Pilot Rock men injured in Ritter helicopter crash

Published:January 13, 2016 10:19AM
Last changed:January 13, 2016 6:49PM

Photo courtesy of Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer
The wreckage of a 1988 Enstrom helicopter was found near Ritter Butte Lookout in northern Grant County. The crash was reported at 10:06 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Photo courtesy of Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer

Photo courtesy of Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer
The wreckage of a 1988 Enstrom helicopter was found near Ritter Butte Lookout in northern Grant County.

Photos courtesy of Sheriff Glenn Palmer
The wreckage of a 1988 Enstrom helicopter was found near Ritter Butte Lookout in northern Grant County.
The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

RITTER — A helicopter pilot and his passenger were injured in a crash near Ritter Butte Wednesday morning.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said a helicopter being used to hunt coyotes ran out of fuel and crashed into several juniper trees on a rock outcropping on property owned by Paul Walton, Ritter, about a half-mile southwest of the Ritter Butte Lookout and one-and-a-half miles west of Highway 395 in northern Grant County.

The crash was reported at about 10:06 a.m. Jan. 13, and the sheriff’s office, along with ambulances from Long Creek and John Day, were dispatched to the scene.

Palmer said, when he arrived on the scene, members of the Long Creek Fire Department were packing the helicopter pilot, Cliff A. Hoeft, 60, Pilot Rock, several hundred yards to an awaiting ambulance.

The single passenger, Cody J. Cole, 34, Monument, walked away from the crash, Palmer said, but both men were transported to Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day. Hoeft was later transferred by aircraft to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

Palmer, who conducted the initial investigation, said the men were “lucky to be alive.” He said the 1988 Enstrom helicopter, registered to BRD Equipment in Adams, was heavily damaged and is considered a total loss.

Palmer said the helicopter and pilot were hired by a number of people who were hunting coyotes on adjoining properties in the area. He said different passengers were taking turns shooting from the helicopter, and the crash occurred within about 1,000 yards of where the aircraft had been landing near the group of hunters.

End Nevada Killing Contests

from Project Coyote.org

Last year, Project Coyote led a successful effort to close the loopholes that permitted wildlife killing contests in California targeting “furbearing” and “nongame mammals” (coyotes, bobcats, foxes among other species frequently targeted in such contests). On December 4, 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to end this barbaric practice.

Now we are working to repeat this success in other states and we need your help. This coming Friday our Nevada Representative, Leah Sturgis and other Project Coyote volunteers and supporters will testify before the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commission in support of a petition to end wildlife killing contests statewide.  We are mobilizing a grassroots effort to support this petition (you can read more about that effort here). We also have ongoing litigation in Idaho challenging killing contests on public lands.

Control Cruel Special Interest Groups, Not the Wild Animals.

Letter from Rosemary Lowe to the Albuquerque Journal:
NM Game Dept. Killing Machine
“Mexican Wolves belong on New Mexico lands, but there are special interests within the hunting & livestock industries which have a long history of prejudice about this (& other) wonderful native species. It is time to bring back the Lobo, and give it the priority & protection it needs. These cruel special interest groups need controlling, not the wild291789_400428663360054_2105335387_n animals.
The livestock industry grazes on public lands, at taxpayer expense, denuding & damaging water resources, native grasses, while demanding that the government slaughter native wild animals including wolves, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, & other innocent wildlife: a mindless hatred of so-called “predators.” Many of these species are in decline, despite the “pseudo-science” misinformation from the Game Dept.& other anti-wildlife interests.
Native wild animals are facing further declines as Climate Change worsens, affecting the health of remaining ecosystems, but the Game Dept. continues its antiquated “management” schemes to appease their special interest buddies.
Based upon the anti-wildlife mentality of the Game Dept. it does not belong in the 21st century. It must be abolished, if wildlife is to survive at all.

Two Bald Eagles Killed by Poisoned Meat Apparently Meant for Coyotes

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/05/28/two-bald-eagles-killed-by-poisoned-meat-apparently-meant-for-coyotes/?utm_source

May. 28, 2015 8:41pm           

Image source:

The two bald eagles — along with four coyotes, one opossum and three black vultures — were found dead in a field in Plaquemine, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A pile of baited meat and bones with black granule spread across the top was also found in the field near the dead animals on April 9. Officials believe the poison was meant for coyotes, a press release about the incident said.

“Poison is an indiscriminate killer,” Sidney Charbonnet, Special Agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. “It is extremely poor practice for nuisance animal reduction, as it doesn’t just kill the target species, it can take out whole segments of the food chain with secondary poisonings, as well as potentially killing pet dogs or cats who may consume the bait or the poisoned wildlife.”

While the bald eagle is no longer considered an endangered species, it’s still federally protected.

Lessons From the Brief, Lonesome Life of Echo the Wolf

by Shelby Kinney-Lang

February 18, 2015 at 8:40
Photo from the Arrizona Game and Fish Department shows the wolf spotted on the Kaibab Plateau

Even true stories about wolves sound like fables.

Last October, an animal appearing to be a gray wolf showed up on the Kaibab Plateau in Arizona, just north of the Grand Canyon National Park. At first, no one was sure what, exactly, the “wolflike animal” was, but if, as suspected, it was a gray wolf that had migrated from the northern Rockies, it would have been the first time since the 1940s one had set foot in the Grand Canyon. Although there were once an estimated 2 million gray wolves across the continent, humans hunted and poisoned them to the point of oblivion. But thanks to federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), since the 1970s, gray wolf populations have slightly rebounded. After reintroducing 60 Canadian wolves in Yellowstone in 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) estimate their population is now up to about 1,500 animals across Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

People reported sightings of the Grand Canyon creature through November and December and heard her howls across the forest. Scientists analyzed her poop and confirmed it: she was a gray wolf from the northern Rockies, 450 miles north, first collared near Cody, WY in January 2014. The itinerant, lonesome wolf seized the imagination of the nation and then the world. In a contest for school children, she was given the nickname “Echo.”

In late December, a hunter shot and killed a wolf near Beaver, Utah, thinking it was a coyote. (The state of Utah permits bounty hunting for coyotes, $50 a head.) Federal agencies refused to say whether the dead wolf was the same one from the Grand Canyon.

That is, until last week. Genetic testing by the FWS confirms Echo was shot dead.

More: http://magazine.good.is/articles/death-of-echo-the-grand-canyon-wolf

Charges OK’d against hunters accused of videotaping dogs mauling a coyote, hitting another with a truck

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/01/charges_approved_against_hunte.html

   Hunter orders hounds to attack wounded coyoteWARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Hunter in Gogebic County records video of hound dogs attacking a wounded coyote. The original six minute video that was posted on YouTube has since been taken down.This video was edited for time consideration.

By John Barnes | jbarnes1@mlive.com MLive.com
on January 15, 2015 at 6:31 AM, updated January 15, 2015 at 9:05 AM

Criminal charges have been authorized against two Upper Peninsula hunters accused of urging hunting dogs to attack a wounded coyote and videotaping the squealing animal, court records show.

The hunters also were investigated after both allegedly videotaped a wounded coyote deliberately hit by one of the hunters’ truck, an MLive.com Freedom of Information Act request found.

Both incidents were witnessed by one of the men’s 12-year-old son, according to records.

The two men, both from Ironwood, face felony and misdemeanor charges.

coyote attack.jpgTwo men face felony charges for allegedly ordering hunting dogs to attack a wounded coyote. Video of the attack was uploaded to YouTube.

One hunter, 45, faces one count of killing/torturing animals, a four-year felony. The hunter also faces four misdemeanor counts: general violation of wildlife conservation, two counts of abandonment/cruelty to an animal, and taking game from a vehicle. Penalties range from 90 to 93 days in jail.

The second hunter, 34, also faces one felony count of killing/torturing animals and one misdemeanor count of abandonment/cruelty to an animal.

The hunters have been under investigation for videotaping three hunting dogs mauling a coyote one had shot. They also were being investigated for running down a coyote with a truck, then videotaping the injured animal before killing it.

The allegations are detailed in court records MLive.com obtained in August. The documents detail videotapes that had been uploaded to YouTube by one of the men. They have since been taken down, though copies exist.

In one video uploaded Feb. 20 and titled “Hounds Fight Wounded Yote,” hunting dogs Doc, Duke, and Cooter bound through snow toward the mature coyote. Already shot and wounded, according to the video narrator, the coyote lies nearly motionless in the thigh-high drifts. Its eyes blink.

“This is going to be some live action,” the man says as he aims the video camera. “There he his. There he is. Get him, Doc. Get him. … We’re going to get Cooter in here. He’s a machine.”

High-pitched wails punctuate the wooded silence. The coyote is near death at the end.
The second YouTube video was allegedly taped by one of the hunters after his truck was used to strike the animal in the road, authorities said.

The video, called “Yota kills a Yote,” was found during a search of the videographer’s home on May 12, and was taped in Ironwood Township, records state.

“The coyote was struck with a motor vehicle on purpose and left to lay alive in the road after it was videoed for minutes before killing it,” Conservation Officer Grant Emery wrote in the sworn affidavit.

Later, in a separate document, Emery wrote, “The coyote in the video that had been run over by (the hunter’s) vehicle was lying in the road, still alive, and it takes several minutes of talking and videoing before the animal is killed,” according to court documents.

Eventually, the videographer handed the camera to his friend, who began taping. The first man took the revolver “and dispatched the coyote,” Emery wrote.

The cases were investigated by the law enforcement division of the Department of Natural Resources.

Arraignment of the men could happen as soon as Monday in Gogebic County District Court.

— Email statewide projects coordinator John Barnes at jbarnes1@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter.

Coyote hunter kills a wolf by mistake near Beaver

Courtesy | Arizona Game and Fish Department This wolf was photographed Oct. 27 near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife confirmed through DNA analysis of its feces that it is a female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies that must have migrated 450 miles through Colorado and/or Utah to reach Arizona.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/1999741-155/utah-hunter-kills-wolf-near-beaver

A hunter mistook a gray wolf for a coyote Sunday near Beaver, shooting and killing the protected 70-pound animal, Utah wildlife officials confirmed Monday.

The 3-year-old female wolf had been collared in Cody, Wyo., in January 2014. Wildlife officials and advocacy groups wonder if the dead animal is the same wolf that had been hanging around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in recent months.

The hunter shot the wolf about five miles east of Beaver on the south end of southwestern Utah’s Tushar Mountains and called Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) law-enforcement officials upon noticing the collar. State conservation officers then contacted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“We are still investigating,” DWR director Greg Sheehan said, “but it seems initially that it was a case of mistaken identity.”

Sheehan said the hunter could face citations for killing the animal, federally protected in that part of Utah under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish & Wildlife Service will conduct the probe.

The weekend shooting is the first documented killing of a gray wolf in Utah by a hunter since officials reintroduced the animals into Yellowstone National Park and Idaho in the mid-1990s.

A 3-year-old male wolf was found dead in a leg-hold trap in Box Elder County in 2006. Another collared male wolf was found alive in a trap near Morgan in 2002 and taken back to Yellowstone.

“This is a very sad day for wolf conservation and for Utah,” said Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Salt Lake City-based Western Wildlife Conservancy. “All competent wildlife biologists already know that coyote hunting, including our state bounty program, is ineffective, and therefore a waste of money — and now we see that it is also a threat to other wildlife and to wolf recovery.”

Utah offers a $50 bounty for coyotes under the Mule Deer Preservation Act. In the second year of the program, which concluded June 30, more than 7,000 coyotes were turned in for the monetary reward.

Earlier this month, someone took a picture of what appears to be a wolf crossing Highway 14 east of Cedar City. It is possible, Sheehan said, that the wolf killed Sunday was the same animal spotted in Cedar Canyon and the Grand Canyon.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity says the proximity of Beaver to the North Rim makes it likely that the dead wolf, named Echo in an online naming contest, came from the Grand Canyon area.

“It’s heartbreaking that another far-wandering wolf has been cut down with a fatal gunshot,” the center’s Michael Robinson said in a release. “This female wolf could have helped wolves naturally recover in remote regions of Utah and neighboring states. Federal authorities need to conduct a full investigation into this latest killing, which is part of a disturbing pattern.”

Biologists say the collars on the animal killed Sunday and the Grand Canyon wolf appear to be different.

In August, wildlife officials confirmed a wolf sighting in northeastern Utah’s Uinta Mountains. That animal, believed to be a large male that had been collared near Canada’s border with Idaho, has not been spotted since September. His radio collar was failing at the time and there have been no new sightings of that wolf.

brettp@sltrib.com

Twitter: @BrettPrettyman

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