Norway plans to cull 47 of its remaining 68 wolves

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     yesterday in Environment
Norwegian wildlife department is planning to issue hunting permits to shoot up to 47 of an estimated 68 remaining wolves living in wilderness citing harm done to livestock by the carnivores.

 freewallpapersdotcom golden-wolf
Norway, which has more than 200,000 registered hunters, has one of Europe’s smallest wolf populations. Around a quarter of the country’s wolves were killed in culls during the previous years. The animals, most of which are in a designated habitat in the southeast of the country , were nearly wiped out in the last century, and restored in the 1970’s after they gained protected status. The government strictly controls their breeding to protect the livestock.

Many conservation groups have expressed outrage over the decision to cull more than two-thirds of the remaining wolves. The number of wolves to be culled is the highest in a year since 1911. Nina Jensen, the head of the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said:

This is mass slaughter. We have not seen anything like this in a hundred years, back when the policy was that all large carnivores were to be eradicated. Shooting 70 percent of the wolf population is not worthy of a nation claiming to be championing environmental causes. People all over the country, and outside its borders, are now reacting.

Farmers have welcomed the hunting of wolves as they are considered a threat to their sheep. Erling Aas-Eng, a regional official for a farming association said:

We find the reason (for the killing) justified and intelligent, especially the potential damage that these wolf packs represent to farming.

Norway’s annual wolf hunting begins on October 1 and ends on March 31. Last year, a whopping 11,571 people signed up for licenses to kill 16 wolves.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/norway-plans-to-cull-47-of-its-remaining-68-wolves/article/475081#ixzz4KdiIiXeb

Urge Hillary Clinton to remove Salazar from her transition team

Voters for Environmental Protection and Wildlife Conservation
 see: Change.org

Salazar is a bad choice for wildlife and the environment
Hillary Clinton has picked former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to head her transition team preparing for her Presidency if she wins. The transition team is a small group of advisors responsible for setting the groundwork for important decisions, which includes selecting executive branch appointments. As the former head of the Interior Department, Salazar is sure to have a great deal of influence on the selection of the next Secretary of the Interior and other positions with wildlife and environmental responsibilities. Therefore, the people making these decisions would be very likely to have positions, opinions, and loyalties similar to those of Salazar himself.

This is very bad news for wildlife and the environment. Salazar’s actions and statements reveal a strong bias against wildlife and protection of natural resources and in favor of such groups as ranchers and oil executives. For example, during his tenure at Interior, and since then, he:

– delisted vulnerable wolves from the endangered species list early in his tenure

– later delisted wolves in Wyoming where wolves are treated as vermin

– refused endangered species protection to polar bears whose habitat is threatened

– consistently sided with the interests of ranchers vs wildlife on public land issues

– accelerated rates of cruel roundups of horses and sale to known slaughterers

– rejected reasonable humane solutions to wildlife problems in favor of cruel and lethal methods

– developed vast areas of public wildlife habitats for energy production, including gas and oil

– defended the safety of fracking for oil and gas and joined industry in opposing the anti-fracking initiatives in Colorado

– promoted the XL pipeline

TAKE ACTION NOW

FIRST: Sign the petition and circulate it to as many people as you can.

THEN:  strengthen the message:

1. Call Hillary’s campaign office at 646-854-1432, and urge her to remove Salazar from her transition team. Phone calls have major impact.

2. Go to Hillary’s Contact Us form https://www.hillaryclinton.com/forms/contact-us/ and copy our petition letter at the link below and paste it into the Message section, or just write a brief message urging Hillary to remove Salazar from her transition team, and send her a direct message.

THANK YOU!

Voters for Environmental Protection and Wildlife Conservation

Claim that rancher turned out cattle on wolf den untrue, WSU says

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/claim-that-rancher-turned-out-wolves-on-den-untrue-wsu-says/

Claim that rancher turned out cattle on wolf den untrue, WSU says
Originally published August 31, 2016 at 8:06 pm Updated August 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm
A researcher’s statements about wolves interacting with livestock that stirred up controversy were inappropriate and inaccurate, Washington State University says.

Share story
By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times environment reporter
Statements by a Washington State University researcher that a rancher turned out his cattle on top of a wolf den were inappropriate and inaccurate and “contributed substantially to the growing anger and confusion about this significant wildlife management issue,” the university said in a statement Wednesday.

As state officials work to exterminate a wolf pack, the university apologized and said it disavows the statement made by the researcher, Robert Wielgus, associate professor and director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at WSU, to The Seattle Times. Wielgus “subsequently acknowledged that he had no basis in fact for making such a statement. In actuality, the livestock were released at low elevation on the east side of the Kettle Crest more than four miles from the den site and dispersed throughout the allotment,” the statement asserted.
In an interview with The Seattle Times last week, Wielgus had said, “This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site; we have pictures of cows swamping it, I just want people to know.”

Another statement by Wielgus that none of the participants in his study, in which both wolves and cattle are radio-collared, experienced loss of livestock also was not true, the university stated. At least one rancher in the study had lost livestock to wolves, according to the study.

Featured Video

Strong bonds grow with bellies at class for Somali mothers (1:21)
Most Read Stories
Live updates from Donald Trump’s Everett rally
FBI’s massive porn sting puts internet privacy in crossfire
Baby sea otter Rialto’s heart-melting story of survival WATCH
Help! Marriott charged $250 for smoking in my room — but I don’t smoke
Seahawks defensive coodinator Kris Richard makes a tough phone call to Brandon Browner
Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.
Asked to comment Tuesday on challenges to his statements by a conservation group, Wielgus told The Seattle Times that he would have no further public comment on the subject.

The rancher he criticized, Len McIrvin of the Diamond M ranch on the Canadian Border north of Kettle Falls, did not return calls for comment.

In an Aug. 19 email to The Seattle Times, Wielgus stated: “No ranchers in wa that cooperated w us or wdfw had any losses over the last 3 years,” and, “None of the cooperators with me or wdfw has experienced any losses in 2 years. Len Mc (Irvin) has refused to cooperate with us to reduce depredations and has had 2 wolf packs killed so far. He hates wolves … and welcomes conflict … because the wolves die in his allotments.”

McIrvin and another rancher actually had been taking steps to avoid conflict with wolves on their allotments on public land in the Colville National Forest, including deploying range riders, putting out calves at higher weight, and picking up carcasses to avoid attracting predators, according to Donny Martorello, wolf-policy lead for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

But Wielgus gave a very different impression.

“After careful thought…..go ahead and quote me ‘where mcI (rvin) grazes … dead wolves follow’. He will be proud of it!,” Wielgus wrote to The Seattle Times in an email.
The controversy erupted as the WDFW was killing the Profanity Peak pack to protect McIrvin’s cattle, after he and another producer lost stock to wolf kills. It is the second time the department has killed a pack to protect McIrvin’s cattle; the first time was the Wedge Pack, in 2012

Killing of wolf pack leads to death threats

Newspaper: Killing of wolf pack leads to death threats

SEATTLE — The killing of a pack of wolves in northeastern Washington to protect cattle is producing death threats for people on both sides of the emotional issue, The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/2ceSsb9) reported Wednesday.

Researcher Rob Wielgus of Washington State University this week declined further comment on the pending elimination of the Profanity Peak pack by hunters for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, citing the death threats.

“My friends in WDFW have received death threats . It’s gone tooooo far,” Wielgus wrote in an email to the newspaper.

Last week, state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, told the newspaper that cattle producers also were receiving death threats in the wake of the controversy.

Wielgus said last week the conflict with wolves was inevitable because one of the ranchers involved had turned out his cattle on top of a known wolf den. Wielgus was challenged on that claim Monday afternoon by Conservation Northwest, a nonprofit environmental group, which said it heard the cattle were turned out five miles away from the den and that the den was not in use.

Asked to respond Monday, Wielgus wrote: “I can’t understand this . of course the den was in use and I have many photos of cattle on den. What gives?”

In a later email, he wrote that Donny Martorello, the state’s wolf-policy lead, told him the cattle were turned out five miles away and moved to the den site later.

Officials for Washington State University on Wednesday issued a statement disavowing Wielgus’ original comments regarding the wolf den.

“Some of Dr. Wielgus’ statements in regard to this controversial issue have been both inaccurate and inappropriate,” Washington State University said in the press release.

“As such, they have contributed substantially to the growing anger and confusion about this significant wildlife management issue,” the Pullman-based school said. “The statements do not in any way represent the views or position of Washington State University or the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences. These statements are disavowed by our institutions.”

Wielgus is an associate professor and director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at WSU.

Martorello did not return phone calls, and neither did the rancher, who grazes cattle on public land in the Colville National Forest.

That rancher and another producer with cattle near the Profanity Peak pack had been taking steps recommended by the department to avoid conflict with wolves, Martorello has said, from deploying range riders to picking up carcasses to avoid attracting wolves, and turning out calves when they were bigger and more mature. He praised the ranchers’ cooperation.

Jack Field, vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, said Tuesday he sees steady progress in acceptance among ranchers in working with the department and using nonlethal methods to avoid conflict with wolves.

Many producers, he noted, are successfully operating in what is once again wolf country, after the carnivores’ more than century-long absence.

Wolves were exterminated in Washington in the early 1900s — in part by ranchers to keep them away from sheep and cattle. Wolves began recolonizing the state in 2008, when the first packs were confirmed in Washington, from populations in Idaho and British Columbia.

There were about 90 wolves in the state as of early 2016, most of them documented in packs in northeastern Washington.

Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves from the Profanity Peak pack have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others. The state’s policy authorizes “lethal removal” after confirming that wolves have preyed on livestock at least four times in one calendar year, or six times in two consecutive years.

Department staff had killed six of the 11 members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack as of last Friday. Remaining were two radio-collared adults, used by the department to track the wolves, and several pups.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

Wolf Supporters to Rally in Olympia to Protest Killing of Profanity Peak Pack

 

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-08-30-2016.html

Media Advisory, August 31, 2016

 

 

OLYMPIA, Wash.— Wildlife supporters, including several conservation groups, will rally Thursday at noon in Olympia to mourn the loss of Washington’s Profanity Peak pack and to call on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop killing the public’s wolves on public lands to benefit the private ranching industry.

The agency has already killed at least six of the pack’s 11 members and aims to eradicate the entire pack, including five 4-month-old pups. The wolves are being targeted for conflicts with livestock on federal public lands after a rancher moved his cattle into an area known to be a den and rendezvous site for the pack.

What: Members of the public, including members of multiple conservation organizations representing thousands of Washington residents, will rally at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters to mourn the loss of the Profanity Peak wolf family and to send a clear message that state residents want the agency to protect Washington’s endangered wolves, not kill them on public lands to benefit irresponsible ranchers.

When: Noon to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1.

Where: The sidewalk and parking lot in front of the main entrance to the headquarters building of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, at 1111 Washington Street, SE, Olympia, WA 98501.

Visuals: Attendees will hoist posters and banners with messages in support of protecting wolves from irresponsible ranchers; images of killed wolves will be displayed on the ground. Speakers will include Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity; Brooks Fahy, executive director for Predator Defense; Paul Ruprecht, staff attorney for Western Watersheds Project; and several citizen-activists.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization working to protect native predators and end America’s war on wildlife. Our efforts take us into the field, onto America’s public lands, to Congress, and into courtrooms.

Northwest Animal Rights Network is a Pacific Northwest based animal rights organization which advocates for the rights inherent to all sentient beings to live a full life, to be free, and to not be used and exploited.

The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.

WildLands Defense: Working to inspire and empower the preservation of wildlands and wildlife in the West.

Trigger pulled on Profanity Peak pack

copyrighted wolf in water

After multiple livestock were killed in northeastern Washington’s Stevens County, state agency says it will eliminate the pack

  • By Josh Babcock, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Daily News
  • 8-30-2016

There were about 90 endangered gray wolves in Washington state earlier this summer, but that number is set to decline by 11 after cattle belonging to a rancher in northeastern Washington were recently killed near the den of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in the Colville National Forest.

To resolve the issue the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is taking to the air to kill the pack of 11. As of last week at least six wolves in the pack had been shot and killed from a helicopter, according to advisories from the WDFW.

 

The incident is the second involving the Stevens County rancher, Len McIrvin, who several years ago also suffered livestock losses from the Wedge wolf pack, which was eventually killed by the state as well. “The facts are this is the second wolf pack he is having eradicated,” said Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University. Wielgus said the livestock losses and the killing of one of the state’s 19 recognized wolf packs could have been avoided. He said while many ranchers opt to sign a cooperative damage prevention agreement to work with state wolf researchers, McIrvin chose not to, despite being approached by Wielgus to do so on multiple occasions. Wielgus said those agreements help provide ranchers with information on the location on wolves and their dens so they can better protect their cattle from predation. He said ranchers who have decided to work with him haven’t lost livestock to wolves. Wielgus said when cattle began to graze near the den the wolves’ native prey of deer were pushed away, and the wolves began to prey on the most populous food source around – McIrvin’s cattle.

 

Some say the rancher relocated his cattle near the den on purpose, as a way to have the endangered species wiped out from his family’s longtime grazing ranges. As per state law, ranchers who lose livestock to wolves also receive financial reimbursement. “It’s literally a war on wildlife and it’s a situation that could have been easily avoided,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director for the national wildlife advocacy organization Predator Defense. “The rancher was looking for a showdown – he got what he wanted. These animals were dumped knowingly right on top of the core of (wolf) territory. It’d be like someone coming into your home and dropping a bunch of aliens off in your home.”

 

Others disagree. “There could be a wolf den in the pasture, but the idea the producer willingly drove their cattle on it, I don’t know anyone that would drive their cattle into harms way,” said Jack Field, Washington Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president. “It’s very frustrating to think that that is getting a lot of play.” Field said it’s important to realize the pastures are very large and feature steep terrain, both of which can make it difficult to identify a wolf den. “It’s almost a crime,” he said. “It takes all the context out. I can tell you it’s tough country, steep terrain, a lot of brush. My only concern is we’re not giving a fair shake to what that landscape really looks like.”

 

While Field noted the family has been having the animals graze in the same ranges on national forest land for many decades, Fahy said it’s the wolves that are in their natural habitat. “Nonnative cows are displacing elk, deer, ruining streams – they are wreaking havoc. They are large non-native exotic herbivores,” Fahy said. “He doesn’t own this land – the American public owns this land.”

Fahy said he doesn’t know what the rancher pays to graze in the national forest, but he estimated it’s far lower than the roughly $80,000 it cost taxpayers to kill the Wedge wolf pack a few years back.

 

Donny Martorello, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf-policy lead, could not be reached Monday despite multiple phone calls from the Daily News. McIrvin also could not be reached.

Horse Killed For Wolf Bait in Denali

Old news, but still “legal”:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201205/horse-killed-and-legally-used-bait-and-kill-wolves

Following up on the good news about the release of two dolphins into the wild, I learned this morning about a most heinous and perverse situation in Alaska. Healy, Alaska trapper Coke Wallace “apparently walked a horse out to an area off the Stampede Trail near the boundary of Denali National Park – an area made famous by the 1996 book Into the Wild – shot the horse, and set snares all around the area hoping to catch wolves attracted to the carcass. Wolves from Denali National Park were drawn to the dead horse, resulting in the killing of a primary reproductive female wolf from the Grant Creek (also called Toklat West) pack from the park, along with at least one other wolf. It is unknown how long the two wolves were alive in the snares before being killed and collected by the trapper. The Grant Creek wolf pack has been one of the three packs most often viewed in Denali National Park.”

All of this happened in a former buffer area where wolves were protected from 2002-2010 when the Alaska Board of Game eliminated the protected area. The loss of these wolves puts the fate of this long-lived and long-studied pack in jeopardy. Observations began on this pack back in the 1930s. Of course, the loss of any wolves due to killing another animal to use as bait is reprehensible, legal or not.

This kind of hearltess slaughter must not be tolerated and it’s important to call attention to it and to protest it loudly and clearly. While “the incident does not violate state law, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is looking at potential violations of state water quality regulations, which prohibit discarding carcasses in surface waters of the state.”

 

copyrighted-wolf-argument-settled

Hunters protesting protections for Denali wolves

http://www.bendbulletin.com/outdoors/4583092-151/hunters-protesting-protections-for-denali-wolves

By Sam Friedman / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner /

Published Aug 17, 2016 at 12:02AM

Tired of having their concerns not addressed by Alaska’s Board of Game, opponents of wolf hunting near Denali National Park sought the attention of Gov. Bill Walker recently with a protest in downtown Fairbanks.

About two dozen people assembled at noon outside the 7th Avenue state offices building. They held signs and periodically howled likes wolves, drawing puzzled looks from people headed into the building.

Their signs addressed Walker directly with words like “Gov. step up” and “Bill, it’s time to act.” One used Walker’s Tlingit name of Gooch Waak, which means “wolf eyes.”

The protesters want Walker to order an emergency closure for the wolf hunting season near Denali National Park. The season opened last week.

A Walker spokeswoman said that she hadn’t had a chance to ask the governor for a response to the protest, but that Walker planned to meet with one of the protesters during his visit to Fairbanks and the Tanana Valley State Fair.

Gray wolves roam abundantly through much of Alaska but in recent years have become much less common inside Denali National Park — one of the main places visitors come to Alaska to see them.

The protesters argue that to protect Denali’s natural ecosystem and reputation as a place to spot wolves, wolf hunting should be stopped along the Stampede Trail corridor, a peninsula of state-managed land that juts into the park northwest of Healy.

The state instituted a buffer zone in 2000 to prevent wolf hunting close to the park boundary, but the Alaska Board of Game repealed it in 2010.

Fairbanks-based organization Alaskans For Wildlife organized last week’s demonstration. The group has about 40 members around Alaska, according to its president, Jim Kowalsky, who has a long history in environmental advocacy as a founder of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

The group held the protest because the seven-member Board of Game has repeatedly voted down their requests for an emergency reintroduction of the wolf buffer zone. Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten has also rejected their demands for emergency wolf-hunting closures, with the exception of the spring 2015 season, which Cotten closed two weeks early.

Despite limited movement so far from the Walker administration, Kowalsky was somewhat optimistic that the demonstration would change policy.

The killing of wolves in a particularly famous wolf pack has given the buffer zone campaign fresh attention.

The East Fork Pack, also known as the Toklat Pack, has been the subject of National Park Service studies since the 1930s. The pack dropped from 14 wolves in March 2015 to perhaps zero in July 2016, according to the Park Service’s official narrative of the pack history. The agency attributes the loss of wolves to factors such as trapping, hunting, an animal attack — possibly from a golden eagle — and wolf dispersal to other areas. The Park Service study observed that the loss of the long-researched pack is “unfortunate” but that it doesn’t mean the loss of the pack’s lineage, which lives on in the descendants of East Fork pack that formed or joined other packs.

copyrighted wolf in water