Monday, January 16, 2017

Keep Howling


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Oppose Alaska's Unethical and Biologically Unsound Wolf Killing Plan




Earlier this month, the Alaska Board of Game passed "Proposal 155" reauthorizing its controversial plan to kill all the wolves who live in a portion of the Kenai Peninsula (Unit 15C, southwest of Kenai National Refuge) to artificially boost numbers of moose for hunters. The board unanimously passed the proposal despite opposition from the public and the regional Fish and Game Advisory Committee (the Homer Fish and Game Advisory Committee) who objected to the proposal unanimously. This decision also flies in the face of statistics presented by biologist and former member of the Board of Game, Vic Van Ballenberghe, demonstrating that Alaska’s “Intensive Management” of wolves and bears fails to yield more moose, caribou and deer for human hunters.

The proposal gives the Board of Game the authority to allow the public to hunt and trap wolves, both from the ground and from the air via aerial gunning.

In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game passed its original Intensive Management proposal. The heavy-handed plan, however, was never implemented due to opposition from the scientific community and public outcry. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADFG) division of Wildlife Conservation determined that the peninsula’s moose population decline was generally due to "overharvest" and habitat limitations, not increased predation by wolves. The agency thus tabled the plan to collect additional data to support a final management decision.

The Alaska Board of Game has repeatedly opted for intensive lethal predator control as their management tool of choice. It is time that science, not special interest groups, guide responsible wildlife management policy, especially with so much at stake in one of Alaska's most iconic wild places.

Please urge the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to reject Proposal 155.

Take action.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

President Obama: Close the Wolf-Killer Loophole

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President Obama has one more thing to do before he clears his desk in the Oval Office. He needs to eliminate the McKittrick Policy - a loophole that allows endangered wolves to be killed by hunters without any prosecution from the Department of Justice. This policy is named after a rifleman who shot one of the most important alpha wolves reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995. More from the East Oregonian.

The U.S. Justice Department's McKittrick policy prohibits prosecuting individuals who kill endangered wildlife unless it can be PROVED that they knew they were targeting a protected animal.


The policy provides a loophole that has prevented criminal prosecution of dozens of individuals who killed grizzly bears, highly endangered California condors as well as DOZENS of critically endangered Mexican wolves.


TAKE ACTION: Urge president to please close the "wolf-killer" loophole by eliminating the McKittrick Policy before he leaves office!

Post your comment here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Friday, January 13, 2017

Keep Calm and Howl On


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Broader Implications of Delisting Wyoming Wolves - Nationwide Delisting

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Congresswoman Liz Cheney (WY) introduced HR 424 yesterday, a bill that would permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within the regions. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge. More...

If passed into law, wolves far beyond the state border are due to suffer the consequences. A decision to return wolf management to Wyoming paves the way for USFWS to issue their national wolf delisting rule -- meaning all wolves in the lower 48 (except Mexican wolves and red wolves) can lose protection at a time when they have claimed less than 10% of their historic range.

Moreover, Wyoming’s wolf management policies can influence expectations about wildlife management in other states.

"USFWS caved to Wyoming’s insistence on keeping the predator zone," said Wolf Conservation Center's Maggie Howell. "With the service on the cusp of delisting wolves across the United States, any concessions that are allowed in Wyoming by the federal government could set a precedent for other states to bargain with." It's both wrong and dangerous to allow a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies to set an example for other states to follow. This is why U.S. District Judge Jackson's 2014 ruling to reinstate federal protections for Wyoming's wolves was also good news for wolves beyond the state's borders.

There are 14 cosponsors of HR 424 so far. Stay tuned for updates.

New Bill Aims to Permanently Delist Wolves in 4 States

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Congressman Liz Cheney (WY) introduced HR 424 yesterday, a bill that would permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within the regions. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.


In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) stripped federal protections for Wyoming's wolves and handed management over to the state, a controversial decision, and contradiction of the agency's stance in the past. Although USFWS had previously criticized Wyoming's state wolf plan on the grounds that unregulated shooting in most of the state would reduce the state’s wolf population below federally required levels, the agency took a significantly altered position, announcing that these wolves no longer warrant protection under the ESA. The following day, management was handed over to the state and Wyoming's inaugural wolf hunt commenced.

Wyoming’s wolf management plan calls for the state to:
Deem wolves predators in 90% of the state (all but the northwest corner of Wyoming), where they could be killed by any means, at any time, without a license.
In Wyoming's northwest corner, right outside Yellowstone National Park, classify wolves as trophy game animals meaning they could only be hunted with a license.
Maintain only 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Par

In September of 2014, federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated after a federal judge invalidated the USFWS's delisting decision. In December of 2014, federal protections were also reinstated for wolves in the western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin after another federal judge invalidated USFWS’s 2012 decision to delist wolves in that region. In both cases, the federal courts held that the state management plans for wolves at issue did not sufficiently protect wolves. The court decisions restored federal protection for wolves in all four of the states.

If passed, wolf delisting bill HR 424 will nullify both of these federal court decisions and allow trophy hunting of wolves to resume under state management. There are 14 cosponsors of this bill so far.

More.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Inspirational 10-Year-Old Raises Awareness and Funds the Wolf Conservation Center

Ten-year-old Bria of Faces Of The Endangered is doing her part to help endangered species (and the Wolf Conservation Center) one painting at a time!

An avid animal lover from Sioux Falls, SD, Bria raised $2,240 for the WCC by selling her beautiful original paintings and prints.

"Each painting focuses on a critically endangered animal that relies on human support for continued survival and we're so honored that Bria chose to support our center with her wolf paintings," said Youth Education Coordinator Regan Downey. "She exhibits a passion for the environment that is so rarely seen, and especially not in someone so young."

Bria's greatest goal is to get people to see that wolves aren't scary and without them the earth would lose the glow of the moon. Her other big goal, added her mom, is to come to New York and meet Atka and all the other wolves in person.

Bria, thank you for opening minds, touching our hearts, and exemplifying the amazing potential of your generation to make this world a better place! Atka send his howls of gratitude too!

More from the Lewisboro Daily Voice.

Please consider following Bria on Facebook and supporting her projects at pigtailsart.com.

Atka's Thank You Howl!