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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Ojibwe Indians control 1/3 of northern Wisconsin where most of the States Wolves roam..........THEY ARE 1000% opposed to the Wolf Management plan that that is to be voted on today......."In the Anishinaabe creation story we are taught that Ma’iingan (wolf) is a brother to Original man"... “The health and survival of the Anishinaabe people is tied to that of Ma’iingan"--James Zorn, Exec Administrator Great Lakes Indian Fish & Game Commission............"Wolf, or Ma’iingan, is a sacred creature, and so even keeping the population of wolves to minimum levels runs counter to traditional beliefs"----Joe Rose Sr. Northern Ashland College professor emeritus of Native American Studies......Adrian Treves, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that the carrying capacity of the state is probably about 1,000,,,,,,with about 800 animals currently calling Wisconsin home.....Let us hope that the current plan is significantly modified to protect Wolves during Jan-Sept birthing and pup season and that night hunting with hounds is outlawed

Before Wolves May Be Hunted, Science, Faith and Politics ClashBy JAMES GORMAN

The Wisconsin Legislature has authorized a hunting season on wolves. The State Senate has approved it, and the Assembly is set to consider the bill today Hunters approve of the season, and Republicans are all for it, as are some Democrats. Wildlife biologists have a number of criticisms and suggestions about the bill involving how, when and how many wolves should be killed.

But the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Game Commission, which represents 11 tribes of the Ojibwe (also known as the Chippewa, or Anishinaabe) in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, opposes the hunt on the basis of religious principle and tradition.

In written testimony presented to both legislative houses, James Zorn, the executive administrator of the commission, said, “In the Anishinaabe creation story we are taught that Ma’iingan (wolf) is a brother to Original man.” He continued, “The health and survival of the Anishinaabe people is tied to that of Ma’iingan.” For that reason the tribes are opposed to a public hunt.

Joe Rose Sr., a professor emeritus of Native American studies at Northland College in Ashland, Wis., and an elder of the Bad River Band, said in an interview that he saw a collision of world views. “We don’t have stories like Little Red Riding Hood, or the Three Little Pigs, or the werewolves of Transylvania,” he said. Wolf, or Ma’iingan, is a sacred creature, and so even keeping the population of wolves to minimum levels runs counter to traditional beliefs.

The opposition of the Ojibwe to the hunt may not swing a vote, but it is not a small matter. The Ojibwe have significant rights in lands that were once theirs, lands that, in Wisconsin, amount to about the northern third of the state. That, of course, is where most of Wisconsin’s wolves live.

Peter David, a conservation biologist with the Indian Fish and Game Commission, said that court settlements on treaty rights mean that the tribes must be consulted about decisions like the wolf hunt, and they were not. Also, he said, “the tribes can legally lay claim to half of the biological harvest.” What that could mean for a wolf hunt that the tribes oppose is not clear.

the wolf holds a sacred place in most Indian oral tradition

What is clear is that the opposition of the Ojibwe is more like objections to funding for abortions or birth control than it is the calculations of scientists, not in political tone, but in its essence.

All the other arguments center on numbers, practicality and consequences. How much damage do wolves do to livestock? How effective is this kind of hunt in reducing those depredations? How many wolves should be killed?

The original goal, set once it was clear that wolves were coming back in the state, on their own, was 350 wolves. With protection, the wolf population has grown to about 800. Adrian Treves, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that the carrying capacity of the state is probably about 1,000.

Dr. Treves has also testified about the bill. He would like to see fixes — for instance, ruling out hunting with dogs. But he sees the issue as one of wildlife management.  Mr. Zorn said in his testimony that for the Ojibwe, “wolf recovery does not hinge primarily upon some minimum number of animals comprising the current wolf population.” Rather, he said, the goal is “the healthiest and most abundant future for our brother and ourselves.”  Mr. Rose put it this way: “We see the wolf as a predictor of our future. And what happens to wolf happens to Anishinaabe.” And, he said, “whether other people see it or not, the same will happen to them.”
It's not surprising that the Indian saw the wolf as a significant animal. Both were hunters of which the survival of their families depended. The Indian was very aware of the many ways in which his own life resembled those of the wolf. The wolf hunted for himself and for his family. The wolf defended his pack against enemy attack, as the Indian defended his tribe. He had to be strong as an individual and for the good of the pack. It was a sufficient system of survival; and in the eyes of the Indian, no animal did this as well as the wolf. The Indian worked to be as well intigrated in his environment, as he could see the wolf was in the universe.

The hunter did not see the wolf as an enemy or competitor, or as something less than himself. His perception of the wolf was a realistic assessment of the wolf's ability to survive and thrive, to be in balance with the world they shared. He respected the wolf's patience and perseverance, which were his most effective hunting weapons. To say he hunted like a wolf was the highest compliment, just as to say a warrior fought like the wolf was high praise.

The wolf moved silently without effort, but with purpose. He was alert to the smallest changes in is world. He could see far and his hearing was sharp. When an Indian went into enemy territory, he wished to move exactly like this, to sense things like the wolf.

By Jon Van Zyle
The wolf fulfilled two roles for the Indian: he was a powerful and mysterious animal, and so perceived by most tribes, and he was a medicine animal, identified with a particular individual, tribe or clan.

At a tribal level, the attraction to the wolf was strong, because the wolf lived in a way that made the tribe strong. He provided food for all, including the old and sick members of the pack. He saw to the education of his children. He defended his territory against other wolves.

At a personal level, those for whom the wolf was a medicine animal or personal totem understood the qualities that made the wolf stand out as an individual. For example, his stamina, ability to track well and go without food for long periods.

The definition and defense of home range was as important to the Indian as it was to the wolf. The boundries of most Indian territories, like those of wolves, changed with the movement of game herds, the size of the tribe and the time of year.

The tribe, like the pack broke up at certain times of the year, and joined together later to hunt more efficiently. Both the wolf and the Indian hunted the same type of game and moved their families to follow specific game herds. Deer sought security from Indian hunters by moving into the border area between warring tribes, where hunters were least likely to show up, just as they did between wolf territories, where wolves spent the least time hunting.

The Indian believed that dying was not a tragic event. It was important to the Indian that he die well, with dignity, to consciously choose to die even if it is inevitable. This kind of self control in the face of death earns a warrior the greatest glory. This way of thinking is similar to the moment of eye contact when a wolf meets it's prey. This "conversation of death" determines whether the prey lives or dies. The prey must be willing to die. There is a nobility in this mutual agreement.

Among the Cherokee, was a belief that to kill a wolf was to invite retribution from other wolves. This way of thinking parallels the laws of the tribe, where to kill an Indian meant to expect revenge from his family members.
Wolves ate grass, as Indians ate wild plants, both for medicinal reasons. Both were family oriented and highly social in structure. Both the Indian and the wolf used a sign language.

Wolves and Cree Indians in Alberta maneuvered buffalo out onto lake ice, where the big animals lost their footing and were more easily killed. Pueblo Indians and wolves in Arizona ran deer to exhaustion, though it might have taken the Pueblos to do it. Wolf and Shoshoni Indian lay flat on the prairie grass of Wyoming and slowly waved, the one its tail, the other a strip of hide, to attract curious but elusive antelope close enough to kill.

by: Debra McCann

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