Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reposted from Canislupus101. Please follow @canislupus101


SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014

Wolves roamed the Northeast into the last century, until they were eliminated by persistent anti-wolf campaigns and the decimation of timberlands. Successful forest regeneration in the past 100 years has created suitable wolf habitat again in the region, and scientists continue to study the possibility of the natural recolonization and restoration of wolves to the ecosystem. According to the 1999 Edition of the USFWS' Wolf Tracks:

"The Recovery Plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf identifies several areas in the Northeastern United States as potential sites for the restoration of the gray wolf. These areas include a portion of eastern Maine, northwestern Maine and an area of adjacent New Hampshire, and the Adirondack Forest Preserve Area of northern New York. All of these areas are within the Northern Forest Ecosystem, a 26 million-acre forested area that extends from the Adirondack Mountains of New York east through most of Maine. The area contains suitable gray wolf habitat and lies within the historic range of the gray wolf."

If the gray wolf loses federal protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act, 
its future depends on its status at the state level.  

New York State: 
Presently the gray wolf is listed on New York State's Endangered Species List.
The state has no plan to address the wolf's potential return and no plan to promote its recovery. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service require states to revise their wildlife action plans at least every 10 years. New York's Dept. of Environmental Conservation and conservation partners are working to update New York's Wildlife Action Plan by 2015.

New Hampshire: 
Presently the gray wolf is listed on New Hampshire's Endangered Species List.
Although the gray wolf is mentioned in the state's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, the state has no management plan to address the wolf's potential return nor a plan to promote its recovery. In 1999, the New Hampshire legislature passed a law (HB 240) that bans the reintroduction of wolves into the state. The law does not restrict a natural recolonization by wolves.

Presently the gray wolf is not listed on Vermont's Endangered Species List.
The species is presumed extinct/extirpated: not located despite intensive searches with little likelihood of rediscovery. Presently, the state has no protections in place for wolves, it has no plan to address the wolf's potential return, and it has no plan to promote its recovery.  

The list of Vermont's rare and uncommon animals is produced by the Vermont Natural Heritage Inventory, a unit of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The Vermont Natural Heritage Inventory is the state’s official repository for records of rare, threatened, and endangered species.
According to this document, the wolf is listed as a "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" as identified in the Vermont Wildlife Action Plan. However, this designation does not denote legal protection.

Presently the gray wolf is not listed on Massachusetts List of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species. Presently, the state has no protections in place for wolves, it has no plan to address the wolf's potential return, and it has no plan to promote its recovery. The wolf is not listed as a "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" as identified in the Massachusetts Wildlife Action Plan.

The gray wolf is not listed Maine's Endangered Species List. Presently, the state has no protections in place for wolves, it has no plan to address the wolf's potential return, and it has no plan to promote its recovery. The wolf is  listed as a "Species of Special Concern" but is not listed on Maine's Wildlife Action Plan.  A species of special concern is any species of fish or wildlife that does not meet the criteria of an endangered or threatened species but is particularly vulnerable, and could easily become, an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species due to restricted distribution, low or declining numbers, specialized habitat needs or limits, or other factors. Special concern species are established by policy, not by regulation, and are used for planning and informational purposes; they do not have the legal weight of endangered and threatened species. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reviews the list of special concern species at the beginning of each calendar year. According to the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, "uncertainty about which subspecies of wolf occurred in Maine in the past, and whether wolf genes occur in Maine's coyote population are questions that must be considered before developing plans for wolf recovery."

Presently the gray wolf is listed as a "Species of Special Concern" on Connecticut's Endangered, Threatened, and Species of Concern Species List, 2010. This designation, however, does not denote legal protection for the gray wolf in the state once the wolf loses its federal protection.   Presently, the state has no protections in place for wolves, it has no plan to address the wolf's potential return, and it has no plan to promote its recovery.  

All information courtesy of the Northeast Wolf Coalition; please visit them by clicking this link.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Social media 
(Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus), Online relationships, and Online Animal Rights Activism versus Real World Activism.

Ok. Time for a reality check.

Online accounts are cloaked in anonymity.

We don’t really know to whom we are speaking with, do we?
How many of us use any search tools to investigate the Twitter follower, Facebook “friend”, or GooglePlus “circler”?
Thought so.

We don’t give it a second thought, until something ominous happens. And even then, do you think that any of the folks behind the curtains of these online platforms will take you seriously when you file a report?

They certainly did not for me when I filed a complaint on both FB and Twitter after being threatened with death by someone claiming to be an ex con in a federal penitentiary . Oh, yeh, he also traffics prostitution with Asian women. I found this loser because he was threatening my friend, who asked for my help, as she was not on FB. Scary thing was that after all of that discovery, she still refused to block him on Twitter.

So, if you are an online animal rights activist, and you go off your nut by saying “Kill the hunter”?

You might think you are entitled to express your outrage on behalf of the Buddy who just suffered and died, be they a rhino with no horn, a canned hunt lion victim, an elephant ivory trophy, or a dog or cat in Romania or China, either buried or boiled alive.

Ok, I’m not heartless, but I have to ask you.

HOW do you know for a fact that any of these photos making the rounds on social media are true? Where are the links to the news that cannot be refuted?
Time after time I have had well meaning activists ask me to please RT a tweet with a photo, and a hashtag exclaiming some kind of outrage towards Buddy cruelty.
I used to. Until I was called out about sharing a bogus alarm.
“Embarrassed” does not begin to describe what I felt when I realized I had been unwittingly sucked into sharing a scam.

Then we have global activists who are not familiar with all of the details involved in a crisis outside a country they reside in. That’s why I stay far away now from Taiji, Japan, or the badger cull in the U.K. Because I do not live there. I can barely comprehend the complexities of the politics in my own country.

The reason for my whining here?

I’m sick of asking activists to be careful when they rant.
I have asked a few to please leave my name off of their emotionally charged “kill the hunter” posts, as I do not want to have my name on the NSA list as a person of interest under a category of radical animal rights activism.

So, if I unfollowed you?

That is why.

Be careful.

Activism carries a responsibility far beyond your ReTweet button, or share and like on Facebook, folks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


You couldn't make this stuff up.

Reposted from:

Tracy: Balukoff Wrong on Wolf ‘Introduction,’ Depredation

As the Information Director for the Idaho Farm Bureau from 1988 to 1996, I had a front row seat to the so-called “reintroduction” of the wolves in 1995. I say so-called because the species of wolf that had lived in Idaho no longer existed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Defenders of Wildlife (DW) along with the other wolf supporters, like A.J. Balukoff, knew when they introduced the Canadian wolves into Idaho they would be placing a non-native species into the ecosystem. They did it anyway.
Why is this a problem? Environmental groups and wildlife biologists always claim we need to protect species in an ecosystem—like steelhead and salmon. Not always. The bull trout is now listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). USFWS and most sportsmen called bull trout a “char” before environmentalists decided it needed protection. Char feed on salmon and steelhead fingerlings like candy. Bull trout are not only a competitor to steelhead and salmon they are also a predator on these endangered species. Even former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus and his Fish and Game Department said bull trout had been referred to as “trash fish.“ So when faced with the dilemma of what to do when the native Idaho wolves no longer existed the USFWS ignored the science, the biology and their own arguments and dumped an alien predator smack in the middle of Idaho.
Balukoff is wrong on the difference between “introduction” and “reintroduction.” During my time with the Idaho Farm Bureau (along with the Montana, Wyoming and American Farm Bureaus) we fought for years in the federal courts to keep these non-native wolves from being introduced into our states. We pointed out the devastation of wolf introduction in Minnesota on livestock and wildlife. DW promised Idaho that they would take care of any possible depredation payments to ranchers should they lose livestock to the wolves
It didn’t take long for the wolves to strike. They were introduced in 1995. Within months a calf in the Stanley/Challis area was taken by a wolf. The rancher shot the wolf and a local veterinarian did an autopsy immediately on the non-native predator. He found plenty of calf parts in the wolf. We at the Farm Bureau had a video of the autopsy. In fact, the USFWS contacted me personally and threatened us with legal action if we didn’t provide the video.
Balukoff is wrong on how bad depredation has become for ranchers and sportsmen in Idaho. Predator wolves have decimated elk herds that have been one of the biggest tourism draws for out-of-state and out-of-country sportsmen wanting a big game experience. As if that were not bad enough, DW have not kept their promises they made 20 years ago about providing depredation payments to ranchers in Idaho.
Balukoff is wrong on the Wolf Board as well. If ranchers had been listened to in the first place, the wolf board and the tens of millions of dollars spent to bring in an alien predator; millions more would have never been needed to control this predator. Balukoff and his friends in the DW are the ones that have politicized this and haven’t listened from the start. Idaho was just fine until the Canadian wolves were introduced into Balukoff’s “ecosystem.“
Perhaps Balukoff wouldn’t be so wrong on wolves and endangered species when he supported their “introduction” in 1995 if he had done his research. Maybe it’s because he is a wealthy, liberal democrat from Boise without an inkling of what the average Idahoan thinks or feels about these issues. Balukoff in the Statehouse would be like inviting Obama, Clinton, the USFWS, and Defenders of Wildlife to Idaho to make these species decisions for us because Balukoff, like his friends, politicize ecosystem balance. They lack a true understanding of the needs of Idahoans.

Tracy was the Idaho Farm Bureau Information Director from 1988-96, served as Communication Director to U.S. Senator Larry Craig from 1996-2006, and now is a consultant in Boise.
Copyright 2014 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. 

Tracy: Balukoff Wrong on Wolf
‘Introduction,’ Depredation
(4) Comments

R Harold Smoot - 4 hours ago
I always find it rather hypocritical to hear someone from the agriculture side of the wolf debate speak of native vs. non-native only when referring to wolves. Not only are cattle 'non-native' and 'introduced' to landscape in which Tracy is referring to, they are also part of a heavily tax payer subsidized and wholly invasive species.
The argument about native vs. non-native when referring to wolves in that region is just ludicrous. What the author of this article, as well as many others, seem to believe is that wildlife understand, recognize and respect state and national borders. Wolves roam far and wide and seeing as how Idaho borders Canada it doesn't take much of an imagination to realize that wolves would and always have crossed the border into the US and vice-versa. Seeing as how a lone wolf (Wolf 253 aka 'Limpy') wandered all the way from Yellowstone down to just 20 miles of Salt Lake City in 2002 doing so with a leg injury.
The anti-wolf groups would have us believe that since passports and Visa's are not issued to wildlife - other than to deer and elk - that they somehow became static once our nation's borders were established.
Wolves are simply the latest and most convenient scapegoat used to draw attention away from a myriad of other issues within the cattle industry and a way for ranchers to abuse an already out of control system of taxpayer funded fraud and waste. Sorry, but wolves belong in the wild - not non-native cattle.

R Harold Smoot - 4 hours ago
My apologies for the multiple postings. I've contacted the webmaster to get the duplicates

Suzanne Stone - 5 hours ago
Here is more info about Idaho's elk and deer harvest. and 
There are wolves in almost every one of these top elk hunting areas of the state. Wolves and elk co- evolved as part of nature's balance.

Suzanne Stone - 6 hours ago
Mr. Tracy - you should check your facts before spreading more misinformation like this. First, these wolves are native to our region. The claim otherwise is based on ill-conceived
conventional wisdom, not science. Here's a citation from Idaho Dept of Fish and Game: 
Secondly, the calf that was supposedly killed near Challis was reportedly stillborn and there was evidence of that at the time. Yes, the wolf fed off it but killing the wolf was poaching and the ensuing fight was over-reactionary at best. Third, Defenders did pay compensation to ranchers in the region for the entire period that we promised to cover - while wolves were federally listed. In fact we
paid more than 1.4 million dollars to area ranchers from 1987 to 2010. 
And we helped develop federal funding for compensation once we transitioned to coexistence strategies to help ranchers avoid or minimize losses to wolves after the compensation program ended. Regional elk hunting is reaching all time high harvest levels because wolves are not a significant threat to elk but important to the long term health of elk, deer and other prey
species and their habitat. Let's discuss facts and not misleading fiction, as Mr. Balakoff has suggested. That's the best way to resolve conflicts and use our resources more wisely.

Reposted from :


By Matt McGrath
Environment correspondent, BBC News

Cattle need 28 times more land than other livestock, according to a new study

A new study suggests that the production of beef is around 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock.

Scientists measured the environment inputs required to produce the main US sources of protein. Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy.

The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While it has long been known that beef has a greater environmental impact than other meats, the authors of this paper say theirs is is the first to quantify the scale in a comparative way.

The researchers developed a uniform methodology that they were able to apply to all five livestock categories and to four measures of environmental performance.

"We have a sharp view of the comparative impact that beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs have in terms of land and water use, reactive nitrogen discharge, and greenhouse gas emissions," lead author Prof Gidon Eshel, from Bard College in New York, told BBC News.

"The uniformity and expansive scope is novel, unique, and important," he said.

The scientists used data from from 2000-2010 from the US department of agriculture to calculate the amount of resources required for all the feed consumed by edible livestock.

They then worked out the amount of hay, silage and concentrates such as soybeans required by the different species to put on a kilo of weight.

They also include greenhouse gas emissions not just from the production of feed for animals but from their digestion and manure.

As ruminants, cattle can survive on a wide variety of plants but they have a very low energy conversion efficiency from what they eat.

As a result, beef comes out clearly as the food animal with the biggest environmental impact.

The scientists have developed a methodology to compare the relative impacts of different protein sources.
As well as the effects on land and water, cattle release five times more greenhouse gas and consume six times more nitrogen than eggs or poultry. Cutting down on beef can have a big environmental impact they say. But the same is not true for all livestock.

"One can reasonably be an environmentally mindful eater, designing one's diet with its environmental impact in mind, while not resorting to exclusive reliance on plant food sources," said Prof Eshel.

"In fact, eliminating beef, and replacing it with relatively efficiency animal-based alternatives such as eggs, can achieve an environmental improvement comparable to switching to plant food source."

Other researchers say the conclusions of the new study are applicable in Europe, even though the work is based on US data.

"The overall environmental footprint of beef is particularly large because it combines a low production efficiency with very high volume," said Prof Mark Sutton, from the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

"The result is that the researchers estimate that over 60% of the environmental burden of livestock in the US results from beef. Although the exact numbers will be different for Europe (expecting a larger role of dairy), the overall message will be similar: Cattle dominate the livestock footprint of both Europe and US."

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattmcgrathbbc.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Heyya #Wolves !
Let's please take a few minutes to speak for our Gray Wolves in Montana. We need to do this before July 25. 2014.

The Wolves at : Wolves o the Rockies @WolvesotRockies 
have asked us to contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks ( MT FWP ) on behalf of Montana's wolves.


It is imperative that MT FWP receives a huge amount of comments in favor of the wolf stamp proposal.
Please take a moment to send yours.

Follow the link below and find talking points which should be stressed when submitting your comments to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 

That the term “Management” be replaced with the term “Conservation”, as this is more in line with our beliefs. 

The term “Non-Lethal” must be included in the wolf stamp proposal. 

To see how to contact, please go here:

Thank you Wolves!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Go here:
Scroll down to the bottom, and hit the link that says tweet this:

@USFWSHQ Too few wolverines and too many threats. Wolverines need ESA protection – list them now!

July 17. 2014

Wolverines Need Federal Protection Now!
Posted by: Jay Tutchton 

If you’ve been keeping up with one of the world’s toughest animals, the wolverine,
you may know that a big decision is coming their way. In early August, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether or not imperiled wolverines in the lower-48 will be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as “threatened.”

The Service previously found that the wolverine warranted ESA protection in 2010 and proposed to list this species as threatened in February of 2013. However, according to a memo that was leaked to the press last week,
the Service’s Regional Director based in Denver has now overruled and rejected the Service’s own Field Office’s recommendation to list wolverines as threatened. The Regional Director’s memo suggests that the continental U.S.’s remaining 250-300 wolverines are not ripe for listing due to uncertainty about the effects of climate change on the animals. Even though a final decision on the wolverine’s fate is not due until August 4th, we can’t help but speak out now.

Wolverine, © Anna Yu/iStock

Defenders strongly disagrees with the regional recommendation to withdraw the wolverine’s listing proposal. It is premature to be so dismissive of the effects of climate change on wolverines, but with or without the threat of climate change, the wolverine is in dire need of protection under the ESA.
And this is something we have believed for over a decade. We and other conservation allies filed the original petition to list the species back in July of 2000.
At the time, climate change was not yet understood to present a serious threat to the wolverine, so it was not even listed as one of the major threats that we identified as the basis for listing the species.

Threats that continue to jeopardize the wolverine’s fate into the future include the species’ small population size, low genetic diversity, and direct or indirect impacts from trapping, winter recreation, and habitat alteration.
These threats are even more important due to shrinking habitat from the loss of persistent snowpack across much of the West. The Service’s suggestion that the wolverine is not ripe for listing due to uncertainty about the effects of climate change on the species ignores how serious other threats to the wolverine are, as well as the fact that wolverines depend on deep, persistent snowpack for den sites and that snow levels in the West are expected to decline over time.

Sadly, biologists estimate there are only a few dozen breeding female wolverines in the lower 48 states in any given year. Wolverines also have one of the lowest successful reproductive rates known to mammals. These facts help explain why scientists estimate the effective population size – the portion of the population that contributes to the next generation – to be just 28- 52.

Wolverine, © Ken Curtis

Populations of wolverines this small are highly vulnerable, regardless of potential impacts of climate change on the species. In fact, under International Union for Conservation of Nature standards, widely accepted scientific benchmark, a species with fewer than 250 mature individuals is considered endangered rather than merely threatened.

Getting wolverines under federal protections should end the directed wolverine trapping season in Montana and could help wolverines recolonize habitat they once occupied prior to their near-elimination the 1900s – like high elevation mountain ranges in Colorado and California that currently have great wolverine habitat but no wolverines. And protections would help mitigate some of the other threats as well.

The fate of wolverines remains highly uncertain, but the case for action is clear. With so many threats to the 250-300 wolverines in the lower 48 states, we must protect them under the ESA.

Jay Tuchton is a Staff Attorney for Defenders of Wildlife

Speak up for wolverines! Tweet to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
@USFWSHQ Too few wolverines and too many threats. Wolverines need ESA protection – list them now!

Categories: Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, Wolverine

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reposted from @Canislupus101 :


By Bob Ferris
Saturday, July 12, 2014

“At issue is how wildlife is managed in this country. Our belief is based on more than 100 years of the most successful wildlife management model in the world that our state agencies are to manage wildlife within their respective borders. That includes management of gray wolves along with other predators.” David Allen letter to Congressman Peter DeFazio dated July 10, 2014


An Open Letter to David Allen of the  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

July 11, 2014

Mr. David Allen
President and CEO
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
5705 Grant Creek
Missoula, MT 59808

Dear Mr. Allen,

As much as I enjoy reading your declarative statements about complicated issues you clearly know very little about, I find that I must interrupt that pleasure and interject a few comments.  Again, as I have before (1,2,3,4,5).

There is a lot to criticize in your letter starting with the disrespectful and unprofessional omission of the “Dear” in the salutation to a sitting Congressman (here are some helpful tips on writing to elected officials), but I want to set all of that aside and focus on this gem of a paragraph at the top of this page and also your general invoking of science.    

Ignoring the question about whether or not wildlife in your first sentence should be treated as a plural in this context (i.e., multiple species and in multiple settings) and setting aside the fact that the following sentence is poorly written, this whole paragraph demonstrates that you are laboring under a tall tower of misconceptions as jumbled as your second sentence.  And while it might seem advantageous for you to pull a state’s rights page out of the Cliven Bundy handbook at this point, you should take some time and actually look at conservation history in this country before acting the expert as you have.  

While completing that exercise you would come to understand that market hunting—what caused your elk to decline precipitously in the first place—was largely allowed or inaffectively opposed by the states. But it wasn’t until the federal government stepped in with the Lacey Act in 1901 and other similar federal legislation as well as international treaties (Heaven forbid, Edna, he’s talking Agenda 21) that market hunting finally took a powder.

Certainly there were actions from both levels of government, but it is a complicated relationship.  And my sense is that you seem to have problems with these complex relationships like, for instance, why wolves and elk are seemingly at odds but really need each other to prosper in the long run.  All this led me to believe that perhaps no one has taken the time to explain these relationships in terms that you can understand—you do, after all, lack grounding in ecology and any direct experience in conservation or natural resources policy.  I have taught ecology, worked as a biologist and participated in policy for more than 30 years, so let me take a stab at that. 

You come from NASCAR so let’s start there.  NASCAR is a sport born out of bootlegging and running from federal revenuers.  The best initial drivers were the ones that ran more ‘shine faster and kept it on the road.  So we have a good example of natural selection here as those who did not were removed from the population by running into trees, rocks or handcuffs.  

In essence this sport involves running a car at high speeds around a banked track (my wife’s family once owned a tire company and stock cars so she is coaching me).  The car, driver and engine provide the speed and excitement while the banked track—for the most part—keeps cars and drivers from spinning out of control with potentially fatal repercussions.  If you think of the cars and drivers as the "states" and the banked track as the "federal government," this analogy works for the North American model of wildlife management and why it has functioned as it has over the years.  As much as you want to invoke the 10th Amendment you cannot have a successful model without both parties playing and it is folly to think so (see also this analysis on the North American Model).

But there is more.  In the western states a lot of the wild habitat is owned by the federal government so they become even more important in this relationship, not less, as your paragraph has characterized.  In addition when you look at Montana, Wyoming and Idaho where the flow of federal money is positive (i.e., more federal monies flow into the states than flow out in federal taxes) the folks who are paying to maintain and keep those habitats are from all over the country and therefore federal in nature.  And since what we are talking about in this proposal by Congressman DeFazio is mostly federal forest lands perhaps a more open and welcoming attitude in this should be exercised by you.  (Just a suggestion.)  

The funny thing is that the relationship between elk and wolves is very similar and the NASCAR model works here too.  Wolves prevent elk populations from spinning out of control by overshooting the carrying capacity of their habitat; being too numerous or concentrated thus more subject to disease; and accumulating too many of the wrong kind of alleles (variants of genes) that normally would be selected against just like the bad bootleggers referenced above by the process of natural selection.  These seem to be foreign concepts to you as you continually mischaracterize what is happening in Yellowstone though your organization has paid for and been briefed on the science by folks like Dr. Arthur Middleton. 

Moving on to the topic of science, your condemnation of Congressman DeFazio’s lack of scientific justification is ironic coming from someone who has called for a reduction of all predator populations in the absence of any scientific justification for that collection of actions.  This is made even more ironic given your organization’s tight relationships with the cattle and timber industries both of which through grazing and herbicide use displace elk and degrade elk habitat.  And the science on the increased likelihood of disease transference when wildlife populations are concentrated at supplemental feeding stations that are supported by you and RMEF further calls into question your dedication to science, scientific principles or even prudent wildlife management.

Perhaps you and others in your organization have trouble with complex analyses or dealing with data in general.  That was certainly apparent when you rolled out your page on wolves and elk using truncated graphs that were purposely misleading.
Your constant arguing that wolf populations are too high because they are well above minimum recovery goals may sound like science to you and many of your adherents, but it is not.  These were simply numbers indicating when the shift from federal recovery management to state recovery could happen.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Are wolf numbers too high in the Northern Rockies states as you have repeatedly claimed and inferred? Probably not. Right now the wolf densities in these states are about one fifth of what we see in British Columbia with about the same land area. Certainly there are habitat and human density differences between BC and the Northern Rockies states but there is unlikely a five-fold carrying capacity differential and there are many in BC who think that their wolf density is too low.

And while you are madly trying to claim this scientific high ground, there is nothing in your rhetoric that shows any acknowledgement of the ecological value of wolves, their impact on other predators such as cougars and coyotes , and any appearance of a mental governor on your talking points as evidence emerges of the importance of maintaining social structure in packs and the need for large numbers of wolves across a broad landscape in order to realize the promised benefits of trophic cascades and meso-predator release.  

Circling back to the original premise for your letter, I will not tell you that Yellowstone wolves killed outside the Park will cause population calamity as that would be just as disingenuous and unfounded as  your claims that science dictates that predators—particularly wolves—need to be controlled and that their current levels are too high.  That said, these near-park boundary mortalities do impact the population.  

My concern, which is science-based, has to do with the value of these animals as part of a well-studied population free from interference.  Now you might—having never conducted scientific research yourself—not consider these animals and the data their continued existence contributes to our overall understanding of complex predator-prey relationships valuable but many of us do.  And quite frankly I long for a day when the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is once again led by someone who might similarly value research and understand that successful conservation is more about appreciating the complexity of these natural systems and all their parts and less about marketing fear and innuendo like a pair of jeans or stock car race.  

Now granted some of the above is certainly facetious in nature and somewhat patronizing.  And I would be annoyed and offended if something similar was done to me.  But at some point, Mr. Allen, you have to ask yourself which is the greater sin, the facetiousness and patronizing tone I employ or your misstatements and missteps that make this sort of response not only appropriate but necessary?  


Bob Ferris

Executive Director

Donate To Wolf Fund


Photo credit:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reposted from The Sit News:


July 01, 2014

(SitNews) Washington, D.C. - The State of Alaska is using federal wildlife restoration grants to illegally support killing wolves and bears to increase moose and caribou hunting, according to a complaint filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) with the U.S. Department of Interior Office of Inspector General. The complaint details how state predator control programs funded by federal grants violate regulations and must be repaid in order for the state to qualify for renewed funding.

Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska
Alaskan & Proud

Documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Federal-Aid funding under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act provides critical support for Alaska’s predator management projects. According to the documents, PEER said in Fiscal Year 2014 alone, Alaska received more than a million dollars in federal grants for 11 studies supporting what the state calls its “Intensive Management” (IM) program, which PEER said is a euphemism for predator control. Almost all of these IM research projects used the maximum proportion of federal funding. They constitute the overwhelming majority of the total state predator control annual costs of $1.4 million said PEER.

“It is clear from the released documents that the State of Alaska has for years surreptitiously, and illegally, supported its predator control operations with federal funds,” said Rick Steiner, a PEER Board member and retired University of Alaska professor who obtained the documents supporting the complaint, noting that the IM program involves state biologists and contracted pilot-gunner teams shooting wolves, brown bears and black bears from aircraft, which has sparked both scientific and political controversy. “At very least, states must be barred from using any federal funds to support this practice, including any funds for salaries of staff engaged in predator control, or tracking of wolves and bears prior to control efforts.”

The PEER complaint points out that these grants violate federal regulations requiring that the activities benefit “a diverse array of wildlife and associated habitats, including species that are not hunted or fished.” Clearly, killing predators does not benefit the predators and none of the state research concerned non-game animals. In addition, the federal grants for predator management lack environmental reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Alaska contends that the funded research has purposes independent of “Intensive Management” (IM) but the documents show that this research is an integral part of IM and even declares that its principal purpose is game management through reducing predation. Indeed, no other use of the research is identified according to PEER.

“The fig leaf that these studies have some use beyond predator control does not withstand scrutiny – this is a diversion of federal wildlife funds, pure and simple,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, who filed the complaint, noting that unless U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service halts these grants that federal agency is vulnerable to civil suits for failure to ensure NEPA compliance. “Alaska is entitled to manage wildlife but it is not entitled to money from taxpayers in the other 49 states to do so.”

PEER is requesting the Interior Office of Inspector General audit use of Federal-Aid dollars by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in order to determine the exact amount of ineligible expenditures over the past several years and obtain reimbursement (with interest) of all non-complaint funds. Unless and until that reimbursement is paid, Alaska would be debarred from receiving future grants. In addition, the state must enact legislative safeguards to prevent future diversions of federal grants from eligible uses. Altogether, Alaska received $32.5 million in federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds this fiscal year.

On the Web:

Read the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Compliant

Alaska statewide “Intensive Management” (IM) cost summary

Alaska Department of Fish & Game's explanation of IM studies

Fish and Wildlife Service Manual,523 FW 1 Summary 
Series: State Grant Programs
Part 523: Federal Aid Compliance Requirements

Source of News: 

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)


Photo credit:
Alaskan Wolves in their Environment. Two wolves (Canis lupus) in winter landscape