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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, May 31, 2011

Short sighted and ignoring the Science that shows that Florida Cougars must be given more room to roam so as to persist into the long term future, USFW seems to be strongly swayed by joint Georgia/Florida Industry interests in denying an Experimental population of our Big Cats introduction into the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge abutting the Georgia/Florida State Line(great Cougar habitat,it is).............Center for Biological Diversity is anything but a quitter and they vow to be back in Court persuing appeals and all avenues to expand "Painter" habitat in the Southeast

Petition denied to reintroduce panthers along Florida-Georgia line

The U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service has denied a petition by environmental groups to reintroduce endangered Florida panthers along the Florida-Georgia line.The petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, Cougar Rewilding Foundation, One More Generation and the Florida Panther Society asks for an "experimental population" of the wildcats in the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
An estimated maximum population of 160 panthers is running out of room in Southwest Florida, their last holdout, and a federal plan to save the panther calls for establishing two new populations of at least 240 panthers each.
The decision, outlined in a May 18 letter, will delay the panther's recovery and put it at greater risk of extinction but "will not be the last word," the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement Friday.

Indian Tribes in the Great Lakes region will have management responsibility over Wolves that occupy tribal lands lands should USFW delist the Wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin..............If the Tribes employ forward thinking Wildlife Biologists, the howl of the Wolf will likely remain vibrant in the Land of the Lakes for years to come

Red Lake Band receives $200,000 grant to track timber wolves

By: Brad Dokken
    The Red Lake Band of Chippewa has received a $200,000 federal grant to launch a satellite tracking study of timber wolves on tribal lands. Jay Huseby, wildlife director for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, the grant will allow the tribe to purchase 10 GPS collars to track timber wolves on tribal lands and learn more about the types of habitat they prefer.The collars cost about $2,000 each, Huseby said.
    Huseby said the timing is "perfect," with the recent Fish and Wildlife Service announcement that it plans to remove wolves from federal protection in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. That will return wolf management to the states, and the Red Lake Band will have sole authority of managing wolves on tribal lands, which cover more than 840,000 acres near Upper and Lower Red Lake and parts of the Northwest Angle.
    If all goes according to plan, Huseby said the band will trap and collar the wolves this fall. The goal, he said, is to collar five wolves within the core of the Red Lake Indian Reservation and five on tribal lands at the Northwest Angle. He said the band hopes to tap into the expertise of biologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other agencies to capture the wolves. Most likely, he said, the capture will involve padded leg-hold traps and large snares.
    The two-year tracking study marks the second phase of a research project that began in 2008. Huseby said the first phase involved getting information on wolf abundance and distribution to help the tribe develop its wolf management plan.The initial research included trail cameras, Huseby said, but with the management plan now in place, being able to track wolves with satellite technology will be "huge," in terms of the information it provides."It will help us get more detail," he said.
    Studies have shown Red Lake tribal lands have a potential population of 60 to 72 wolves, and the Northwest Angle has two permanent packs with 10 to 12 wolves each. But those numbers can change, based on movement to and from Canada, because the Northwest Angle is surrounded by Manitoba and Ontario on three sides.The upcoming study will help shed light on the extent of that migration.
    "The jurisdictional issue will be really complex up there with Manitoba, Ontario and state land," Huseby said. "So any wolf issues could get really complex."Huseby said wolves are doing well on tribal lands, but some of the animals in the Northwest Angle have shown signs of mange, a contagious skin disease caused by parasites.He said the band is working with the University of Minnesota's veterinary diagnostics lab to deliver for testing the carcasses of any wolves that might be found.
    "We put cameras out there for deer and saw wolves showing moderate signs of mange," Huseby said. "What happens to a wild wolf when it gets mange? Does it make it or does it peel off from the rest of the pack and die?"The upcoming study hopefully will help answer that question — and others.

    Can you believe this??? Bounties(in the form of Gasoline purchases) are being paid to "yahoos" by Maines' Dept of Wildlife to provide optimum incentive in limiting Coyote Populations.............The Professionals in the Maine Fish and Wildlife Services know that killing coyotes only leads to there being more coyotes as larger litters almost always spring up where human persecution of Songdogs occurs.........Even the so-called hunters below acknowledge that Coyotes are not the primary limiting agent of the bloated deer herds of Northern Maine............Harsh Winter weather and maturing post Clear Cut Woodlands are also again reducing viable habitat for deer.................Deer that historically were not present in Northern Maine 1500 to 1880 when Wolves and Cougars were pursuing Moose and Caribou Upstate...................And GPS and dogs entering the hunt hardly(in my mind) qualify under "Fair Chase" criteria or a "mutual participation Sporting Event" as Dina Giacomo describes in his article that follows "CHASING WILY COYOTES

    Chasing wily coyotes

    Hunters are trying to thin the ranks of the coyote population in the hope it benefits Maine's deer.

    By Deirdre Fleming
    THORNDIKE - Five dogs, nine hunters, 12 hours: and only a half-dozen empty tanks of gas to show for it.

    click image to enlarge
    Mike Corson listens to baying bloodhounds in the woods of Thorndike on May 21 as he hunts coyotes with the Knox Ridge Coyote Hunters, a loose-knit club.
    Photos by Gregory Rec

    click image to enlarge
    A bloodhound sniffs from its dog box in the back of a truck during the hunt. Some dogs are held in reserve in case other dogs get tired.
    This is coyote hunting in Maine, a growing activity that is considered one answer to the shrinking deer herd.
    Officials at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are so concerned with decreasing deer numbers, and so sure some targeted coyote hunting helps, they're compensating coyote hunters in some areas with gas money.
    The hunters in the loosely formed Knox Ridge Coyote Hunters club in Thorndike don't see those gas checks. They hunt coyotes anyway.They focus a concentrated effort on one of the biggest deer wintering yards in the midcoast.That means most every Saturday is spent chasing hounds with GPS collars, driving dirt roads from dawn to dusk, and often coming up empty."It's such a challenge to kill one," said Jason Spencer, who started the group effort seven years ago.
    The desire and drive to outwit and shoot dozens of coyotes is not new. But the work of hunting coyotes hasn't gotten any easier, despite advances in GPS technology.Former Kennebec Journal outdoor reporter Gene Letourneau in 1990 wrote about the "first generation" coyote hunters in Thorndike. Several years ago, a younger group took over."He's the master," said Registered Maine Guide Nelson Cole, a coyote hunter for three decades, with a nod toward Spencer."I first started hunting them in '73 to '74," Cole explained. "I saw tracks and didn't know what they were. Since the deer has diminished, we want to hunt them again. Coyote is not 100 percent the reason (for the loss of deer). But it's what we can do."
    The coyote is one of just four species in Maine that has no closed season. That means hunters can take a coyote any time, any place, while following standard hunting laws.But how effective coyote hunting is in helping deer survive winter remains a question.The state estimates there are only 12,000 coyotes in Maine. But coyotes can have a litter of six to eight pups, travel huge distances, and are highly adaptable.
    Spencer said in Knox Ridge hunters and trappers took 150 coyotes in the past year. At a one-square-mile farm in the area, he said 200 deer were counted this winter, which was an increase from last winter.But does this effort help the deer herd over time?
    Wally Jakubas, the state's coyote study leader, isn't sure."The department has always maintained that focused controlled efforts especially around deer wintering areas, if successful, helped deer in a focused effort," Jakubas said. "If you took 150 in a year, and did that repeatedly, I would think that would be enough to keep the population down. It's not an easy thing.Jakubas said the challenge is that eastern coyotes are resilient, resourceful, and efficient. While hound dogs track them at a run following a scent that will spread across a wide swath, the coyote moves in a straight line, trotting to conserve energy.
    The work of coyote hunting, even with trained hounds, as the Knox Ridge team proved on May 21, is exhausting.Four hours into the hunt, as two dogs grew weary and slow, Spencer sent his "Mixer dog" into the field.Spencer got the dog from one of Cole's hunting dogs seven years ago. He trained the dog to focus on coyotes."I spent every day with him for a two years," Spencer said.A huge crate in the back of a pickup truck is opened and the big dog goes wild, wound up as it is for the chase. Mixer runs directly at Spencer who yells, "road, road, road," to the dog, telling it to find the coyote scent on the trail.The dog turns and flies off down the dirt road, followed by two trucks.Four other hunters in trucks help surround a huge wooded, wet area in which the dogs are running, waiting for the hounds to chase the coyote out of the bog. But the GPS handheld devices only show the coyote doing loops. "We look at the (GPS) and see the line it's run before, and we try to head it off. We try to outsmart it. But they're pretty amazing creatures," Spencer says. As he watches Mixer loop back on a previous coyote track, a line marked on the GPS device, Spencer encouraged Mixer from miles away. "Come on, dogs. I know you're doing all you can," he whispers. But four hours later, the coyote has eluded them all. They've been there before. The term wily coyote is more than just a cartoon nickname.
    "I think coyotes are really clever," Jakubas said. "There is a thought that all the pressure on the coyote out West was responsible for breeding a super coyote, by natural selection. Some believe in some respects, you're almost making matters worse."

    From The Big Lie (1996) by Dino DiGiacomo

    "People who enjoy killing animals have long tried to disguise their barbarity in a cloak of respectability they call “sporthunting.” The fact is, sporthunting does not exist. It never has.

    All sports share certain conditions to ensure a sense of fair play and create equal opportunity for all participants. What the animal killers call sport hunting meets none of the conditions of real sports.

    "Let’s take a look at some of the criteria that define sport

    and why so-called sporthunting fails every one of them.

    Willingness to Participate

    In any sport, all participants choose to be there. Both boxers want to be in the ring that night, the players on both football teams want to be on the field that day, and both tennis players agree to meet on the court at that time. Sporthunting fails on this point because the animal is never a willing participant.

    Knowing When the Contest Will Start

    All basketball players are aware of the starting time of the game, giving them time to prepare. Golfers know what time they will tee off. Wrestlers know what time the match will start. They don’t expect their opponent to break into their home and hurt or kill them while they are sleeping or having breakfast with their family, which is what happens to animals because this sporting condition is not met.

    Even Chance

    All participants are given the same equipment with which to play the game. Both boxers have equally weighted gloves and protective gear, as do football and hockey players. Bowlers are only allowed to throw one ball at a time while all rowers use the same numbers of oars. Sporthunting fails here also because the hunters have airplanes,

    automatic weapons, high-powered scopes, steel traps, etc., while the animal has only the equipment it was given at birth.

    Equal Prize

    The criterion here insures the same prize is awarded to whichever team or player wins the contest. The prize itself may be a trophy, belt or an award, but the commercial and athletic value of that prize is the same for each potential winner. Sporthunting fails miserably on this point because the prize is life itself, but it is not an equal prize. The hunter can only win or draw while the animal can only draw or lose. The hunter wins by killing the animal or draws if the animal manages to escape. Conversely, the animal draws by getting away or loses by being killed. The animal cannot win. Some hunters say that once in a while the animal wins by killing the hunter but that only happens on rare occasions with all the odds stacked against the animal, who is never a willing participant anyway.

    I have heard some hunters say that hunting is not about the animals at all. It is, they insist, an awareness of self. Once and for all, let’s not buy into their facade.

    Sporthunting is not a sport. It is simply an excuse for unhappy men and women to go out and kill. How do I arrive at the fact they are an unhappy lot? Look around you! Happy people do not take time away from their happiness to go out and kill something.

    The real shame is that sporthunters pass this travesty onto their children who will come to believe that killing is a sport."


    Monday, May 30, 2011

    While heavy and persistant snowfall is critical to the survival of Lynx in Maine(see following two Postings for this story), our Western Grizzly Bear population that denned in mid Montane habitat are having trouble moving into more Mountainous habitat due to the heavier than normal Winter snowfall and cooler Springtime temps............Global Warming is uneven in its impact...........Dryer and hotter across many parts of the South and West.............hotter and more precipitation of all kinds in the Northeast...............cooler with more Snow in the Rocky Mtns...............deadlier and more fre quent storms and weather events of all kinds in the Midwest......................Erratic and changing climate is sure to bring challenges to Carnivores and Omnivores of all kinds including humans

    Rash of human-grizzly encounters attributed to growing population and deep snowpack
    By Matt Volz
    HELENA, Mont. — There have been a half-dozen encounters between grizzly bears and humans reported in Montana this month alone, a number experts attribute to a growing bear population stuck in the low country because of the deep snowpack.Most of those encounters didn't turn out well for the bears. Four times, the grizzlies were shot and killed.
    Grizzly bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but their numbers have been growing in recent years, increasing the chance for encounters with humans, said Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recovery co-ordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    In addition, heavy snowfall this winter has taken longer to melt in cool spring weather. "You have more bears, and then you have these high snow levels so the bears can't be in the mountains where they want to be," Servheen said.
    Authorities were investigating the death of a grizzly sow shot near East Glacier sometime between May 7 and 12, after a nearby landowner complained that an adult bear and two cubs had killed a calf. Federal officials received a warrant to search the landowner's home for the .22-calibre weapon that may have killed the bear, though no charges have been filed.
    Soon after that carcass was discovered, a Ronan-area landowner shot and killed a female grizzly bear on May 14 that had been killing chickens. Wildlife officials with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes said the shooting was justifiable and that no charges would be filed.
    That same weekend, an antler hunter shot and killed a sow grizzly in the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. State officials determined that also was justifiable self-defence.
    And on May 10, a Fairfield-area rancher shot and killed a grizzly bear that was killing sheep in a pen near his Sun River home.
    In the two nonfatal encounters, two hikers were mauled by a bear in the Gallatin National Forest when they came across a young grizzly bear and a sow chasing an elk. The 36-year-old woman tried to climb a tree when the sow bit her in the leg. The man was bitten in the forearm when he tried to fight off the bear.
    Neither injury was life threatening.
    On May 20, Salish and Kootenai tribal officials trapped and relocated a grizzly bear that had killed a chicken earlier east of Ronan.
    Tribal officials said four grizzlies have been killed and six relocated from the Flathead Indian Reservation due to unprotected chicken coops or livestock.--bad husbandry practices--blogger Rick
    Servheen said he didn't consider the number of encounters to be unusual, but said it served as a good reminder for people to be bear-aware and make noise and carry pepper spray while hiking.

    Let us concentrate these next two Memorial Day Postings on the persistance of Lynx in Maine..............John Organ who is chief of WILDLIFE AND SPORT FISH RESTORATION for Maine's FWS cites persistant snow cover as a critical variable in predicting both the sustainability of Lynx and its primary foodstuff, Snowshoe hare in Maines Northwoods

    Maine: Rising Temperatures and Declining Snowfall Spell Trouble for Canada Lynx

    By : Jennifer Strickland
    A Canada lynx prowling in snow
    If snow cover decreases in Maine, the lynx may lose its competitive advantage over other predators. Photo: USFWS.
    Photo iconPhotos: See photos from the Canada lynx den study
    Video iconVideo: Biologists studying lynx dens in Maine

    Canada lynx are uniquely suited for the rigors of life in snowy northern Maine. The furry feline's thick coat, long, lean legs and massive paws allow it to hunt atop snowpack like a cat on snowshoes. But with temperatures predicted to rise in the coming years, the deep snow cover that the lynx depends on may be significantly reduced, eliminating its competitive advantage over other predators.
    While the historic range of Canada lynx used to extend throughout much of the northern United States and the Rockies, today the cat is confined to handful of northern states. Northern Maine currently supports the only viable lynx population in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially listed Canada lynx as a threatened species in 13 states in 2000. As a federally threatened species whose range has already been greatly diminished, this rare wildcat faces a grave threat in climate change."It is hypothesized that as the climate warms, the lynx range will recede and move north," said John Organ, chief of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration for the Service in the Northeast Region. "Without significant snow cover, Maine's lynx population could be in jeopardy."
    A USFWS employee weighs a baby lynx
    Dr. John Organ weighs a lynx kitten during a den survey. Photo: USFWS.
    "Lynx are uniquely sensitive to climate change based on their physical attributes," said Chris Hoving, Endangered Species Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. "Their preferred habitat requires at least 2.7 meters of average annual snowfall. If snowfall decreases, there may be almost no suitable habitat in Maine, where the only verifiable lynx population on the East Coast exists."
    Just as the success of the Canada lynx is tied to snow depth, it is also tied to the animal's primary food source - snowshoe hare. The Canada lynx is so effective at hunting the widely available snowshoe hare that it has little need to hunt anything else. But as temperatures rise and snowfall drops, bobcats, fishers and other predators may adapt better to the climate changes and availability of other prey, out-competing the Canada lynx in northern Maine.
    State and federal conservation agencies are developing strategies to maintain Maine's lynx population. Part of that includes providing ample habitat for the snowshoe hare.
    A tagged baby lynx
    Lynx kitten with ear tag for future identification. Photo: USFWS.
    A lynx chasing a white hare
    Lynx are so well suited to hunt the snowshoe hare they have little need to feed on anything else. Photo: Tom Brakefield.
    "As the hare goes, so goes the lynx," said Organ. "Providing guidance to land managers – within the context of larger biodiversity concerns – is critical to the success of lynx and all species."
    Chris Hoving says a forest of diverse habitats -- those in different stages of succession and in blocks large enough for area-sensitive species -- will provide the greatest benefit to all forms of wildlife. While many conservationists focus on protecting large blocks of mature forest, a number of species, including Canada lynx, need large blocks of young forest as well. "Managed forests respond less severely to climate change than unmanaged," said Hoving. "Through management, we can reduce the forest's rate of change and soften the blow of climate change to a variety of species."

    Authors: Bill Butcher,, and Frank Wolff

    A large mosaic of mature( for both males and denning females), intermediate/sapling and regenerating brushy Conifer forest types(optimal snowshoe hare habitat) in combination with 2.7 meters of average annual snowfall and limited interstate highways will provide optimum habitat for Maine's Lynx..............Global warming that might or might not impact future snowfall levels(note this past winter and the heavy snowfall in the New England despite overall annual average temps that were above normal), changing forestry paradigms that minimize the use of Clearcuts(snowshoe hare favor 15 year-out disturbed Forest sites) and increased 2nd home development(road densities that increase lynx mortality) are all potential threats to long term Lynx persistance in their historic Northeast range............

    Canada Lynx
    (Lynx canadensis)

    Canada lynx photo by USFWS


    The loup cervier, lucivee, and Indian devil are all names used by old-time Maine woodsmen for the elusive Canada lynx.
    This is a secretive, forest-dwelling cat of northern latitudes and high mountains. It is medium-sized, similar in size to the bobcat, but appears larger because of its long legs. It has unique, long (over one inch), black tufts of fur on the ears and a short, black-tipped tail. (Bobcats have small tufts on the ears, and 3-4 black bars on the tail. The tip of the tail is black on top and white underneath.) The winter coat is light gray and faintly spotted, and the summer coat is much shorter and has a reddish-brown cast. Lynx have unusually large, densely haired feet to help travel over snow. Adult males average about 33½ inches long and weigh 26 pounds. Females are about 32 inches long and average 19 pounds. Map and known locations of Canada lynx

    Range and Habitat

    Lynx are common throughout the boreal forest of Alaska and Canada. The southern portion of their range once extended into the U.S. in the Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes states, and the Northeast.
     Today, they are known to exist in the lower 48 states only in Montana, Washington, Maine, and possibly Minnesota. Confirmed tracks and sightings in Maine in the last 15 years have been concentrated in northern Aroostook, Piscataquis, Somerset, and Franklin Counties. Historic data suggest they also occasionally occur in eastern Maine. A recent habitat assessment completed by the University of Maine documented the likelihood of suitable lynx habitat in several areas in northern Maine. Good habitat consists of large areas of young, dense stands of balsam fir and northern hardwoods approximately 10-20 years after a major forest disturbance (cutting, fire, etc.). These stands provide the highest densities of snowshoe hares, the primary food for lynx, and suitable areas for denning.

    Life History and Ecology

    Mating occurs during March, and 1-7 young are born 60-65 days later in May. Maine litters produce 1-4 kittens. Lynx dens in Maine consist of a bed under thick regenerating fir or elevated downed logs. The female raises the kittens. Young leave the den area in late June or early July and stay with the female for a full year before leaving their mother in late winter.
    Lynx are highly specialized to hunt snowshoe hare, which comprise over 75 percent of their diet. When hares are abundant, lynx may consume one or two a day. In the summer, the diet is more varied and may include grouse, small mammals, and squirrels. In winter, carrion (dead animals) may supplement the diet.
    Lynx are primarily nocturnal, but Maine lynx have been very active during the day. Family groups (mother and kittens) hunt together to increase efficiency. Males are solitary for most of the year except the breeding season. Size of the home range varies with snowshoe hare density, habitat, and season. In Maine, home ranges are about 18 square miles, or the equivalent of half a township. Home ranges overlap, especially where neighboring lynx are of different ages and sexes.
    In northern Canada and Alaska, snowshoe hare populations undergo a 10-year cycle. Lynx numbers vary with the snowshoe hare populations. Snowshoe hare fluctuations in Maine are poorly understood, and may be more influenced by habitat availability and forest practices than by a multi-year cycle. During periods of low prey availability, lynx will travel hundreds of miles. Forty percent of the lynx population can starve and litter size declines following a crash in snowshoe hare populations.


    Lynx are rare at the southern edge of their range as in Maine. Populations likely fluctuate with populations of snowshoe hares and are affected by lynx populations in neighboring Canada. Decreased snowfall in recent decades gives a competitive advantage to bobcats, whose range periodically expands northward. Bobcats are more aggressive and displace lynx from their home ranges. In recent years, a few lynx have been incidentally trapped or snared. Fishers killed several radio-collared lynx in Maine. Clearcutting is beneficial to lynx by providing large patches of young forest stands preferred by snowshoe hare. Recent trends in forest practices from large clearcuts to selective cutting may limit future lynx habitat. Woods roads are not a barrier to movement, but do increase human access and associated disturbances and introduce a small chance of road mortality. High-speed, interstate highways may be a more significant source of mortality and barrier to movements.

    Conservation and Management

    Lynx have always been present in Maine, but populations fluctuated. Several hundred animals may occupy the state during periods of high snowshoe hare populations and optimal habitat conditions. Trapping and hunting seasons for lynx have been closed in Maine since 1967. In 1997, the lynx was considered for state listing, but there was insufficient information to assess its status. Its current status is a Species of Special Concern. In response to petitions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service named the lynx as threatened in 2000. A recovery plan has yet to be developed.
    Habitat conditions were close to ideal in Maine in the late 1990s as the widespread clearcuts of the 1980s attained prime conditions for snowshoe hares. As stands mature and snowshoe hare numbers decline, lynx populations will likely decline. Lynx habitat used today will not be prime habitat 10 or 15 years later. Careful planning may be needed to ensure that sufficient young stands are always present on the landscape to preserve populations of lynx and snowshoe hares.
    The role of lynx immigration from neighboring populations in New Brunswick and Quebec in supporting Maine's lynx population is unknown.
    Much of our knowledge of lynx in Maine came from a study conducted near Clayton Lake from 1999-2003. To determine whether a self-sustaining population of lynx can be supported in Maine through periods of low snowshoe hare density-two lynx were radio-tagged, and 17 dens and 37 kittens were discovered. This study documented movements, sources of mortality, and home ranges, and assessed survey techniques. In 2002, a 3-year winter snow track survey was initiated to assess the relative abundance and distribution of lynx throughout their range in Maine.


    • Report all lynx sightings to MDIFW as soon as possible. Sightings can be verified from good photographs, tracks, scat, or hair samples.
    • Manage northern forests in landscapes (at the township level) with areas having a high proportion of regenerating balsam fir/northern hardwood stands (less than 30 years old) that support high densities of snowshoe hares.
    • Ensure that large blocks of suitable regenerating habitat are distributed widely over the landscape of northern and western Maine.
    • Avoid incidental take of lynx from trapping and snaring.
    • Conserve large blocks of unfragmented forestland. Avoid the construction of new high-volume/high-speed highways in currently undeveloped areas of northern and western Maine.
    For more information contact Maine's Endangered Species Program at (207) 941-4466.

    Suitable snowfall cover for Lynx persistance,,,,,,,,,1970's, 1980's and projected into the mid 21st Century
    Probability of Canada lynx occurrence based on average annual snowfall
    Probability of Canada lynx occurrence based on average snowfall in 1980Probability of Canada lynx occurrence based on average snowfall in 1970

     Diurnal Habitat Relationships of Canada Lynx in an Intensively Managed Private Forest Landscape in Northern Maine

    Jennifer H. Vashon1a, Amy L. Meehanb, John F. Organc, Walter J. Jakubasd, Craig R. McLaughline, Adam D. Vashonf, and Shannon M. Crowleyg
    Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 650 State Street, Bangor, ME 04401, USA
    United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035, USA
    Utah Division of Wildlife, 1594 W North Temple, Suite 2110, Salt Lake City, UT 84114, USA
    United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, 79 Leighton Road, Suite 12, Augusta, ME 04330, USA
    University of Northern British Columbia, International Center, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC V2N 429, Canada



    In March 2000, Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) were listed as a federally threatened species in 14 states at the southern periphery of their range, where lynx habitat is disjunct and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) densities are low. Forest conditions vary across lynx range; thus, region-specific data on the habitat requirements of lynx are needed.

     We studied lynx in northern Maine, USA, from 1999 to 2004 to assess quality and potential for forests in Maine to sustain lynx populations. We trapped and radiocollared 43 lynx (21 M, 22 F) during this period and evaluated diurnal habitat selection by 16 resident adult lynx (9 M, 7 F) monitored in 2002. We evaluated lynx selection of 8 habitats at multiple spatial scales, and related lynx habitat selection to snowshoe hare abundance.

     Lynx preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands, which supported the highest hare densities on our study site (x̄ = 2.4 hares/ha), over all other habitats. The habitats where lynx placed their home ranges did not differ by sex. However, within their home ranges, males not only preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands, but also preferred mature conifer, whereas females singularly preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands.

    Approximately one-third of Maine's spruce–fir forest and nearly 50% of our study area was regenerating conifer or mixed-sapling forest, resulting from a disease event and intensive forest management (e.g., large clear-cuts). Our findings suggest that current habitat conditions in Maine are better than western montane regions and approach conditions in boreal forests during periods of hare abundance.

    We recommend that forest landowners maintain a mosaic of different-aged conifer stands to ensure a component of regenerating conifer-dominated forest

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Boston Residents are not unlike their Northern Rockies conterparts in their desire to see Wolf and Coyote populations severely reduced---Wrong of Eastern dwellers to condemn Westerners for intolerance and "cruelty" to Wolves, Cougars, Grizzly and Black Bears when Urban East Coasters are unable to deal with the smaller "SONGDOG".........The only difference between Western and Eastern attitudes is that in the more homogenous West(Ranching rules as a major employer and there are not many different ethinic groups comprising local rural Communitites), it seems that 95% of the folks hate all Carnivores and want them off the land...............In the more heterogenous East( multiple ethnic Groups living in the same town and as a rule, there is not just one major employer dictating your livelihood), there is a larger gourp of folks who do want to employ the proven LIVING SUCCESSFULLY WITH COYOTES techniques that groups like PROJECT COYOTE have shown to be effective in enabling Human Animals and Carnivores to coeexist........We need more of that coexistance with Eastern Coyotes so that we can push harder as a Nation for coexistance with Bears, Cougars and Wolves

    Neighbors Respond to Coyotes in Brookline, Massachusetts 

    Brookline residents are concerned about the presence of feral canines in urban areas.
    By Grahame Turner patch


     Coyotes are not new to Brookline. But according to one resident, their increasing fearlessness of people is a fresh twist that is causing some to fear for the safety of pets and small children.

    Allegra Loux, a mother who lives on Westbourne Terrace, says she has seen a notable shift in coyote activity in recent months. "It used to be, even when pulling in with the car, you'd see them and they'd just trot away immediately," says Loux, "but they don't do that anymore. They'll just like, stay, now. You'll be clapping and yelling and stuff, and they just kind of hang there like, 'what's up?'...hey're very accustomed to be there. They're turning into, like pigeons."Loux's home and backyard are currently under construction, and she has taken photos of coyote pawprints left in the mud after a rain.

    "It's very frightening because I have little kids, says Loux. "People say [coyotes are] afraid of people; they're not afraid of people. Come check out the coyotes and then tell me they're afraid of [people]. It's easy for people to say that they read stuff, but when you're actually here, and the coyote is in front of you, and it's walking toward you, tell me the coyote is afraid of you."

    Loux also recounts the story of her son coming home from a movie, and seeing a coyote in the yard. She says he is now afraid to enter the yard, and has her check the area before he will go out. It sounds a little like looking for a monster under the bed, "except this one's real," she says.

    Loux isn't the only one concerned. "This thing comes under the heading of, 'are you kidding me?,'" comments Mark Castel of 322 Mason Terrace. "Coyotes have no place in an urban area, they are varmints that are hunted for sport in most locations. Coyotes can be dangerous to small pets and children and should be 'dispatched'."Castel has two chocolate labs who go into his yard through a dog door to chase coyotes away from his property.

    But not everyone agrees that coyotes who live nearby should be 'dispatched.' A spirited discussion with views from both sides has been underway in the comment section of a Brookline Patch story published in January.

    Coyotes are intelligent canines which are sometimes mistaken for German Shepherds or other large-breed dogs. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) says that they are 'opportunistic feeders,' and will eat whatever is available: berries, garbage, rodents, and sometimes small pets.State Representative Frank Smizik of Brookline stressed that the coyote is a protected animal. In some parts of the state, there is a season in which coyotes can be hunted, but Brookline is not one of them.In fact, MassWildlife's website notes, "Coyotes are a legally protected furbearer and game animal. Therefore, there are statutory laws andregulations dictating how and when a coyote can be removed. A coyote may not be removed simply because of its presence in an area, there must be damage or a threat to human safety by a specific animal."

    Brookline Town Meeting Member Evelyn Roll first became concerned about the presence of local coyotes after watching a "Nightline" report on coyote activity. The report aired on Feb 15; two days later she emailed her neighborhood."Although I have heard from the police and others that these animals will not harm humans, recent sightings of coyotes in our backyards, with a possible killing of a pet cat, have led me to look into the possibility of changing the present laws that state we cannot disturb the coyote, trap or kill them unless they are acting strangely," Roll's email said. Even further back, in an informal poll last year, Brookline Town Meeting Member John Bassett asked 150 members of the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance for reports of coyotes. In one week, he says there were 38 reports of sightings, 20 sightings in the three months preceding the poll, and seven reports of pets, six cats and a chicken, killed. He did not verify the reports, but all of the reporting neighbors were sure it was coyotes.

    So coyotes are nothing new; they've become part of the urban landscape in Chicago and other major cities. Prior to living in Brookline, Bernadine Tsung-Megason lived in an urban part of Los Angeles where neighbors ran into coyotes from time to time."You would see posters these of missing cats, and right above it, coyote sightings in the neighborhood. So, what would happen is that when people started putting up signs, and people would bring their animals in[side]. The coyotes, I think they really do go to where their food source is, so they'd go to the next neighborhood," explained Tsung-Megason.

    She did lose a pet cat to the coyotes. While living in LA, she participated in a foster cat program, taking in otherwise homeless cats temporarily. One of the cats she was caring for at the time broke a window screen, letting her own cat escape. Tsung-Megason, a mother and pet owner, now keeps foster dogs at her home on York Terrace.

    Representative Smizik added, "If I had a child who wanted to go out in the backyard and play, I would be uncomfortable. It's a hard problem, and there is no easy solution."

    The MassWildlife Web page on coyotes lists three different ways to handle coyote presence in your neighborhood:
    • Tolerance
    • Animal husbandry and fencing
    • Removal
    The first two refer to methods of removing incentives or preventing coyotes from entering your yard. Physically moving the coyotes, on the other hand, is described as "illegal and ineffective."

    The Web page does note that, "If you cannot tolerate a coyote living in your area, the only solution is to have it lethally removed."----that really is so subjective and basically states that anyone who wants a Coyote killed can have that accomplished--Blogger Rick

    That is a solution which some neighbors are endorsing. Several of the concerned neighbors who spoke to Patch share a similar sentiment: something should be done before a coyote attack happens. Neighbors have expressed concern about coyote attacks, despite assertions from police that attacks are very rare.

    According to a article about coyotes in cities, in the U.S. there have been only about 160 recorded attacks by coyotes on humans in the past 30 years. Compare that to 36 shark attacks in 2010 alone, according to the International Shark Attack File, or an estimated 4.5 million dog bites per year, nationwide according to an article on dog bite prevention from the Centers for Disease ControlMass Audabon Society also notes that there has only been a single human attacked on the East Coast, in 1998. 

    That said, neighbors are still worried about the presence of these canines in their back yards.
    "I would support removal before something bad happens to someone's pets or kids," commented Daniel Glazer of Mason Terrace."It's hard to explain until you've actually lived it." Loux agreed, "I want the coyotes gone. I want them to take them out. I want the coyotes removed, I don't care how they do it, but I would like them gone. I'd like let my to kids out, and not have to be checking for coyotes every second."

    There are neighbors who oppose the lethal removal of coyotes. They say the lethal option should be a last resort, instead of a preventative measure."If you brought in all of your cats and dogs, and your children, and it didn't go away and it started getting aggressive, then of course you have to protect the neighborhood." Tsung-Megason explained, "I just think it's not productive to say 'I want to leave all of my animals outside, and I expect the coyote not to come into my yard.' You can't reason with it."

    However, with the coyotes' protected status, there is a legal roadblock to any action being taken. 
    Brookline Town Meeting Member Evelyn Roll also said, to Patch, "I would love to do something about it, but our hands are tied until they change the regulations."Regulations that could prove a challenging to change. State Rep. Smizik pointed out that over 6000 bills are written each year, but only a few hundred pass. He said it's also likely that there would be opposition to the bill.Said Smizik, "What can I do? I can write a law, [but] it would have to get passed. It doesn't solve the problem in the short-term."

    He added that people should stay on the police, and Mass Department of Fish and Wildlife. Brookline has an Animal Control Officer, Pierre Verrier, whose can be reached at (617) 730-2730Track the movement of coyotes and contact Police as soon as someone spots aggressive behavior.

    There are also a number of ways that you can try to co-exist with coyotes."It takes us doing what we can to fix our problems. It's easy enough, I think, to keep an eye on your children, keep an eye on the cats or small dogs. That's a simpler solution than trying to change the federal law or the state law–which might impact things that you don't want impacting," Tsung-Megason added.

    Colorado is now instituting a 5 year Research Program designed to see how Black Bears and People interact where both exist in high densities. Last year Aspen and environs were the focus of this type Study.............Colorado is in the forefront of Black Bear Research and this particular evaluation of its Bears will take place in and around Durango where a high density of urban Black Bears exist.

    DOW to study bears, humans

    Researchers pick Durango for prime habitat, urban areas

    The Colorado Division of Wildlife has started a five-year study in Southwest Colorado to learn about black bear behavior and the ursine's relationship with humans.The DOW is calling it "the first study of its kind in Southwest Colorado" and "one of the most comprehensive studies to date on bear-human conflicts."The goals are to learn how bears function in populated areas, how to reduce run-ins with bears and how to better determine bear numbers, agency spokesman Joe Lewandowski said Tuesday.
    Researchers chose the Durango area for the current study because it is prime bear habitat adjacent to urban areas. "We're taking two approaches to gather information," Lewandowski said. "The methods complement each other." Bears caught in cage traps will be fitted with Global Positioning System collars to track their movement, Lewandowski said.Signals will be received four times a day for each bear. Researchers hope to catch 50 female bears to tag. Male bears will be marked for future identification but won't be fitted with collars.
    In the other method, hair-snare traps – three-sided wire enclosures – will snag hair when bears rub against the wires. Both types of traps lure bears with bait such as doughnuts, fish or meat, Lewandowski said. The hair samples and genetic markers taken from trapped bears will identify individual animals, he said.
    The cage traps and hair snares are being placed on public and private property, including within Durango city limits, Lewandowski said. The network extends east of Bayfield and into the Animas Valley."They're being placed away from trails or places that people walk," Lewandowski said. "But if someone should stumble onto a hair snare or cage trap, they're advised to leave at once."
    The telemetry collars will locate bears and allow researchers to go into dens in the winter to count cubs, Lewandowski said.In the next year or so, researchers will distribute bear-proof garbage cans to see what effect it has on bear movement."We want to determine bear population, their movements and their use of the city," Lewandowski said. Six to eight researchers will be involved, depending on the time of year, Lewandowski said. In recent years, emboldened bears are increasingly raiding garbage cans and even entering houses in search of easily available victuals."We work hard to reduce bear-human conflicts," Patt Dorsey, the Division of Wildlife's area wildlife manager in Durango, said Tuesday. "We use educated guesses and trial and error.
    "Durango is a great place to study bears because of their numbers," Dorsey said. "We can learn more faster."Although the study will take place in Southwest Colorado, the information gathered can be applied statewide, Dorsey said. The study follows a recent one the Division of Wildlife did on urban bears and their habits around Aspen and Glenwood Springs.
    Lewandowski said if residents have problems with bears they should contact his agency or city code-enforcement officers.Bears, collared or not, that cause problems will be relocated or put down, Lewandowski said.
    Bear sightings can be reported to Bear Smart Durango at 749-4262, the Colorado Division of Wildlife at 247-0855 or The Durango Herald Bear Tracker at 375-4566. If a bear is showing aggressive behavior or is a threat to property, immediately call the Division of Wildlife. After hours, call the Colorado State Patrol at 249-4392.

    Was the Wolf Delisting in the Northern Rockies achieved through unconstitutional maneuvering by Congress and our President?...................FRIENDS OF ANIMALS has now joined the ALLIANCE FOR THE WILD ROCKIES, FRIENDS OF THE CLEARWATER, WILD EARTH GUARDIANS AND CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY in seeking to overturn this "Rider" to the recently passed budget bill. As we have discussed before, the Delisting Rider had nothing to do with keeping the Federal Government up and operating.....Both Parties promised this year to stop attaching "earmarks" to bills....Truly a heinous, cowardly way to get pet projects passed into law without the Congress concentrating on the pros and cons of EARMARK................Plus the fact that the Endangered Species Act was set up so that only the findings of qualified Scientists would determine listing and delisting of our wild animals and plant species, not some unknowing body of Congressmen.

    Friends of Animals Challenges Unconstitutional Wolf Delisting Rider

    Contact: Dustin Rhodes
    Phone: (202) 906-0210

    Friends of Animals filed a Motion to Intervene in the case Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 1713 of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, P.L. 112-10 (also called the "budget rider" or the "wolf rider"). The budget rider directed the USFWS to reinstate the 2007 wolf delisting rule, which removed gray wolves in all areas of the Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The original complaint was filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians on May 5, 2011 and the case was recently consolidated with another case, Center for Biological Diversity v. Salzar. The complaints challenge constitutionality of this legislative enactment.

    Friends of Animals' president Priscilla Feral says

    We must do everything in our power to undo the deadly disservice that was done to gray wolves; taking them off of the Endangered Species List was not only unethical and unjust—it was unconstitutional.
    The wolf delisting rider, which was included in the 2011 federal budget, was sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and was passed with a bipartisan vote of 81-19 on April 14, 2011

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Even when Elk herds reflect above-land-carrying-capacity abundance, Montana Fish and Wildlife Biologists like Craig Jourdonnais seek to minimize these facts and instead play the "fear card" that Wolves(the "evil boogeyman of the Forest) could change things any minute for the worse and cause the "sacred" Elk to shrink in numbers...............Geez, does it ever cross Mr. Jourdannais's Wildlife Biology trained mind that reduced Elk herds might be good for the land????.............That by his own admission, William Ripple and John Laundre's LANDSCAPE OF FEAR hypothesis is already in play and successfully keeping Elk from "nubbing the landscape" down to a moonscape?,,,,,,,,,,,,Does Aldo Leopold's "Thinking Like A Mountain" credo(the Mountain needs both Wolves and Elk in order for the Mountain to be healthy) that he studied in College ever cross his mind in his Wildlife Management recommendations to his Fish & Wildlife" Bosses????...........Has he ever read any of George Wuerthner's essays on Carnivore Management that talk about the great need not to manage Carnivores based on a minimum population size but instead on Ecosytem Services criteria????.............. And in the case of wolves and Coyotes, to base management of these sentient and intelligent animals on an intact Pack Integrity basis????????????? Disappointing that he and the majority of his colleagues across the USA seem to have blinders on (as well as feeling job security threats from powerful Ranching lobbyists) as it relates to every ecological consideration.............and it is the hunting and Ranching $$$$$$$ that create our Conservation Policies.............Are you reading this President Obama...............REAL CHANGE NEVER IS ACCOMPLISHED WITH RHETORIC...............REAL CHANGE IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH GUTS AND ACTION...................PLEASE START SETTING THE PROPER TONE ON ENDANGERED SPECIES, WILDERNESS AND ENERGY and perhaps Mr. Jourdonnais et al will be forced to modify their behavior and actions!!!!!!!!!!

    Bitterroot Valley elk numbers increase in annual count


    Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Craig Jourdonnais spotted around 400 more elk in the Bitterroot Valley this spring than during the annual monitoring flight last year. But he's not ready to tell anyone to start celebrating."It's good that we saw more elk, but this year's conditions for counting were exceptional," Jourdonnais said. "The elk were more concentrated and easier to count."This year's count may just be a reflection of that happenstance. "We hit green-up just right, and the elk were out in places where we could see them," Jourdonnais said. "There were only a few days where we had to hunt and dig them out of the timber. That didn't happen much."
    In total, Jourdonnais counted 6,605 elk in the Bitterroot Valley. Last year, he spotted about 6,200.
    With calf survival rates relatively low over the past few years, Jourdonnais said it is doubtful that elk numbers will increase dramatically in most areas of the Bitterroot. The one exception may be the west side of the valley, where calf numbers appear to be on the increase."Hunting District 240 is the one area that seems to be having a legitimate upswing," Jourdonnais said. "I counted more than 30 calves per 100 cows. That's the highest recruitment rate that I've seen since I've been here."
    There is a caveat, however. The best calf/cow numbers are found in the herds hugging the river bottoms. Jourdonnais counted upward of 51 calves per 100 cows on those private lands on the valley bottoms, which helped to drive the average higher.That's a trend Jourdonnais is noticing throughout the Bitterroot. Elk wintering in wildland areas tend to have lower calf recruitment rates than those that spend most of their lives closer to developed areas, like the river bottoms. Jourdonnais has seen elk change their behavior over the past few years. In the past, the animals would leave the valley bottom in the spring and summer in the mountainous areas on public lands. "Some have just quit doing that," Jourdonnais said. "I think they are making that decision for two reasons: nutrition and predation."
    In the East Fork of the Bitterroot River, Jourdonnais said, low calf recruitment for several years appears to be impacting total bull numbers in the area, especially south of Rye Creek. For the last two years, Jourdonnais counted less than 10 bulls per 100 cows in that area.Under the statewide elk plan, that ratio triggers consideration of changes in hunting-season packages, which could include the requirement for some type of permit system. No changes will be made until after the public has a chance to offer input, Jourdonnais said.
    The decline in mature bull numbers follows a year when good hunting conditions led to a relatively large harvest last fall. There were 269 bulls killed in HD 270."I'm happy the hunters had the success they did last fall, however I knew that when they really got into those mature bulls during the last 10 days of season, we would pay for it," Jourdonnais said. "You can't have that kind of success when there is low calf recruitment happening at the same time."
    Calf numbers varied between the south and north portions of the hunting district. North of Rye Creek in HD 270, Jourdonnais counted 20 calves per 100 cows. On the south end, he found 13 calves per 100 cows. "That surprised me a bit," Jourdonnais said. "It does seem like there is a more persistent presence of wolves south of Rye Creek."
    Elk numbers in the West Fork appear to have stabilized.Jourdonnais counted 785 this past year, which was up from 764 last year and 744 in 2009. "Those variations are easily discounted by the variability in the survey," Jourdonnais said. "It does appear that eliminating any antlerless harvest there has stabilized that population for now."

    Hanging on by a slim thread, the 50 Mexican Wolves in New Mexico and Arizona are under the dual assault of area Ranchers and D.C. Lawmakers..........They are now looking to capitalize on the recent Congressional charade that overode the Endangered species Act as it relates to Northern Rocky Wolves getting delisted..............Now Republican lawmakers want to set a cap of 100 Mexican Wolves as the target point for Federal De-listing and Management takeover by the States..............Again, no Science or Ecosystem Services considerations prompting this...........just another "end-around" to pacify Ranchers and enable them to not engage in optimum co-existing husbandry practices--Disturbing is the trend in the USA to say "screw all other life forms but us humans"!!!!!!!!!!

    Will politics prevail over science?

    SUMMIT COUNTY — Even as federal conservation biologists work to develop recovery goals for Mexican wolves, once plentiful in the Southwest, a group of Republican lawmakers from the West and Midwest is conspiring to prematurely remove Endangered Species Act protections for the rare species.
    The introduction of H.R. 1819 follows last month's budget rider that arbitrarily removed wolves from the endangered species list in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah, the first-ever congressional removal of Endangered Species Act protections for a species.
    "The feds are declaring victory, but gray wolves still only survive in 5 percent of their former range, and even in those places they continue to face a real threat of persecution. Taking protection away from them now is premature and will impede the long-term recovery of wolves in the United States," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. The Endangered Species Act, in stark contrast to congressional whimsy, requires meeting scientific benchmarks to delist a species. H.R. 1819 would circumvent the act's clear mandate to recover spices by allowing wolves to remain listed, but turning management over to states on an indefinite basis once the population reaches 100 animals.
    The measure drew immediate criticism from conservation advocates. "This bill continues a disturbing trend of mostly Republican congresspersons trying to legislate what should be scientific decisions in order to do away with environmental protections," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. "One hundred wolves is nowhere near a viable population and would leave Mexican wolves in constant danger of extinction." The legislation would undermine an ongoing effort to develop a scientifically based recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf to replace an outdated 1982 recovery plan. The 1982 plan did not include recovery targets because the Mexican wolf was considered too imperiled for such a goal to be envisioned at the time.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently developing Mexican wolf recovery goals for the very first time," said Robinson. "There is absolutely no call for Congress to override this scientific process."
    There are about 50 wolves spread between Arizona and New Mexico. Reaching 100 wolves was an interim benchmark of the recovery program, but the Fish and Wildlife Service has said on repeated occasions that it does not consider this to be a recovered population. Even the modest goal of 100 wolves, however, has not been met, largely because of heavy-handed management advocated by the states that calls for removal of wolves if they leave an arbitrary recovery area or are involved in depredation of livestock, which has led to many wolves being removed from the wild, injured or even killed. "This vicious bill is akin to ripping away life-support systems from an emergency-room patient just as soon as vital signs begin to stabilize," said Robinson. "The last thing that beautiful, wild, but very vulnerable Mexican wolves need is a resumption of persecution from the callous and misled Arizona Game and Fish Department, which is exactly what would happen if H.R. 1819 were to pass."

    While Senator Jon Testor of Montana is not someone that I regularly line up with as it relates to carnivore and wildlands restoration issues, I will join MONTANA WILDERNESS in supporting the Montana Lands Act that for the first time will preserve some of the YAAK,,,,,,,located in Northern Montana, some of the most intact ecosytems remaining in the USA where the entire suite of Pre-Columbian Carnivores still clings to life making a living..............Let us get this bill passed ASAP!

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Montana Wilderness Association <>
    Date: Fri, May 27, 2011 at 4:01 PM
    Subject: A rancher, a logger and a farmer all say YES to Wilderness


    Senator Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act received rave reviews in Washington D.C. on Wednesday 


    Senate hearing video - (6 minute) highlights  


    "It's a heck of a deal.. it provides infrastructure not only for timber harvests, but also recreation, local economies and outfitters ......I think overall, you couldn't have done a better job,"  

    Wally Congdon, Montana Cattlemen's Association 


    "By performing needed restoration work, preserving our high mountain backcountries, guaranteeing recreational opportunities, protecting our clean water, hunting, fishing, grazing for livestock, protecting our communities from catastrophic wildfires, while preserving the wood products infrastructure that still remains. We see this as a win-win for all Americans who believe in the wise use of our national forests." 

    Sherm Anderson Sun Mountain Lumber Co. President



    "The bill will bring important jobs to Montana. It will allow significant mechanical and restoration work to be done. And it will bring new land into our national wilderness systems."

    Harris Sherman, Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Agriculture


    Add your comments today! 


    Please submit your testimony to the official hearing record by June 8th

    Talk about places that are important to you and your family and why you want them to be protected forever!


    E-mail your testimony to: 






    For more information on the bill, click here 



    Keeping the great in Montana's Great Divide  

    Passage of the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act will forever protect wilderness along 500 miles of the Continental Divide:


     Centennial Mountains Wilderness

     Lima Peaks Wilderness

    Italian Peaks Wilderness

    West Big Hole Wilderness and Recreation Area

    Expansion of Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

    Humbug Spires Wilderness

      Highlands Wilderness and Special Management Area

    Electric Peak Wilderness and Thunderbolt Creek Recreation Area


    Protect Montana's Shining Mountains

    Passage will forever protect great snow-capped ranges of Southwest Montana:

     Snowcrest Wilderness

    East Pioneers Wilderness

    West Pioneers Wilderness and Recreation Area

    Tobacco Roots Recreation Area

    Dolus Lakes (Flints) Wilderness

    Stony Mountain and Quigg Peak Wilderness

    Ruby Mountains Wilderness

    Sapphires Wilderness


    Grow Montana's  Legends  

    Passage will expand five legendary Montana wilderness areas

    Lee Metcalf Wilderness

    Mission Mountains Wilderness

    Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Scapegoat Wilderness

    Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness


    The Wild Yaak

    Passage  will protect wild lands and wilderness-for the first time-in northwest Montana's lush Yaak River Valley with the Roderick Wilderness and Three Rivers Special Management Area 


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    Montana Wilderness Association | 30 South Ewing Street | Helena | MT | 59601-5704

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    British Columbia Lawmaker Michael Sather has introduced the FAIR CHASE ACT in the BC. Legislature..........If passed, this bill would clarify that" hunters must allow wildlife a fair opportunity to escape as part of the chase"..........Baiting of wolves would be outlawed.....Wolf hunting would be prohibited after Feb 28(when birthing season begins)....................lower quotas so as to allow Wolves to better fulfill their ecologiical functions.....................Sadie Parr of Canadian Wolf Coalition,,,,,,,,,,,,,we thank you as always for alerting us to this positive bill...............Now, we have to get it passed and implemented!

    From: sadie parr <>
    To: sadie parr <>
    Sent: Fri May 27 14:11:25 2011
    Subject: BC Fair Chase Act introduced in private members bill May 26, 2011

    The Wicked River Outfits' horrendous wolf hunt last year showed everyone how brutal hunting regulations are for wolves in BC.  This needs to change.  Read below to learn what MLA Michael Sather is doing to see the Wildlife Act updated.


    New Democrat MLA Michael Sather introduced the Fair Chase Act today, a bill which would clarify rules around using motor vehicles while hunting."This bill would clarify the rules for ethical hunting and ensure that those who are less familiar with the concept of fair chase are given clear guidelines to follow while hunting," said Sather

    The Wildlife Act prohibits harassment of wildlife by use of a motorized vehicle. However, the definition of harass is such that it is unclear whether or not such behavior is illegal in the process of hunting that is otherwise legal. The Fair Chase Act will serve to eliminate that ambiguity."This legislation would ensure that new hunters, and hunters who are unfamiliar with the way hunting is done in British Columbia, understand that they must allow wildlife a fair opportunity to escape as part of the chase," said Sather.

    The act would also extend the prohibition against baiting wildlife to include wolves."Baiting of wildlife has long been considered reprehensible behaviour," said Sather. "This act will ensure that wolves get the same protections as bears in this regard." 

    Adrian Dix and the New Democrats have a plan to protect and preserve our natural environment for British Columbians today and for generations to come.
    This is a step.  Current BC hunting regulations are extremely lax; for example, allowing for the use of baiting wolves, non-mandatory reporting, long hunting seasons, and no bag limits in some areas.  Most provincial parks allow hunting of wolves, and most National Parks are too small to adequately protect a healthy population. Furthermore, wolves are considered vermin by authorities, allowing private landowners to shoot a wolf on site if a perceived threat exists. 

    Conservation of wolves must consider more than just population numbers.  Intact family units are natural for wolves, so preserving the natural social structure of packs is a crucial element to recognizing true wolf conservation.

    Various environmental groups across the province do not support the trophy hunting of wolves or other wildlife. These groups feel that the majority of the public shares similar values regarding killing for fun, and also believe that most British Columbian's, including those that participate in food hunting, are concerned about trophy hunting of large carnivores and habitat protection for predator and prey. 

     It is time to recognize that large scale whole-habitat protection is essential to all species regardless of what government scientists can tell us they can do to manipulate wildlife populations. However, if British Columbians continue to sanction wolf hunting, then it should be based on science and fair chase and follow these recommendations:

    ñ  Establish large, no-hunting sanctuaries.
    ñ  Implement "fair chase" hunting methods into Wildlife Act and Hunting & Trapping Regulations through no hunting of wolves from aircraft, watercraft or terrestrial vehicles.
    ñ  No use of bait to hunt wolves.
    ñ  Shorten the wolf hunting season to February 28th in all regions. This eliminates hunting during the birth and raising of wolf pups.
    ñ  Set low regional quotas for each WMU that limit the number of wolves that can be harvested each year through hunting or trapping.
    ñ  A specific game seal for hunting wolves should be required for both residents and non-residents.
    ñ  Ban the use of neck snares in trapping, as they have been banned elsewhere for their cruelty.
    ñ  Mandatory reporting of wolves hunted and trapped in all regions of BC and accurate inventory of wolves and harvest data in each Wildlife Management Unit
    Contact your MLA and MP to voice your support, as well as the following:
    Environment Minister Honourable Terry Lake: or Telephone: 250 387-1187
    Ministry of Forests, Lands, and natural Resource Opperations feedback form: or phone Honourable Steve Thomson: 250 387-6240
    As the BC provincial government is currently drafting a new wolf management plan, it is critical to ensure that the conservation and preservation of wolves in their most natural form within functioning ecosystems is prioritized.  Use YOUR voice.    

    County Supervisors, Ranchers, Farmers and Game Advisory Boards want to find a way to reinstate hunting of Cougars in California................These constituencies are calling for a recount of the Cougar Population so as to substantiate their claims that COUGARS ARE ON A RAMPAGE.................Once again, the fact that for almost 40 years, the ban on hunting Cougars has allowed this charismatic and trophic Carnivore to fulfill its ecological functions without major incidents with people is being ignored by folks who seek to continue employing substandard husbandry practices or those that want bloated elk and deer herds for "peanut gallery" easy hunting............These Groups are seeking to emotionally bully their wishes into practice.............Let us not be steamrolled by people who want to ignore the success of NO COUGAR HUNTING IN CALIFORNIA!!!

    County officials again push for statewide cougar count

    In February 2008, city officials confirmed this paw print was that of a mountain lion. It was spotted on Park Hill near downtown Hollister. View the story on the Park Hill paw print here.
    At the request of the San Benito County Fish and Game Advisory Committee, the board of supervisors agreed to support the panel's wish of persuading the Regional Council of Rural Counties to ask for a state-funded count of the mountain lion population throughout California. It is the second time in the past three years, county supervisors Tuesday approved approved a resolution supporting a statewide count of the cougar. The county board agreed to support the count after hearing complaints from Paicines resident Charles McCullough, also involved in 2009, who said the state was "lied to" by special interest groups in the 1980s.

    McCullough's argument stems from the passage of Proposition 117 in 1990. It helped protect the mountain lions from poachers. The protection act prohibited sport hunting of mountain lions and forced the state to spend at least $30 million per year on wildlife habitat protection. Since that time, McCullough believes, as well as the Fish and Game Advisory Committee, that the lion's population has outgrown the state's capacity. The state still uses its population count from 1988 of 4,000 to 6,000 lions, McCullough proclaimed to the board. McCullough indicated to the board that the cougars' population was growing an estimated 500 each year. "They are killing cattle now," he said. "This is going to get worse."
    Richard Place, former supervisor and current Fish and Game committee member, brought the issue to the board. The growing lion population is also destroying the dwindling deer numbers, said Place, a Free Lance Editorial Board member. The Fish and Game committee hoped to get support from the board, RCRC and eventually members of the state's Assembly.
    RCRC is a coalition of 28 small counties from California. The committee wanted to get support from government entities that were "better capable of dealing with these issues," Place said. The board agreed with the request for a new count of the lion, and agreed to write a letter to RCRC and state representatives.

    Supervisor Anthony Botelho, who represents the county at the RCRC meetings, said he would present the idea to the committee. The committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday, after Pinnacle press time. "It is a problem that is growing and growing every year," Botelho said. Supervisor Robert Rivas agreed the "difficult issue" was important to examine. "For a bill to get traction, it will be necessary to get awareness to the state Assembly," said Rivas, who recommended that the board get in contact with Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville. The board will write and review a letter to RCRC and other state representatives in an upcoming board meeting. In 2009, county ranchers and agriculture officials gained the support of the board after they complained of a "growing threat" to people in the area. Paul Matulich, agricultural commissioner at the time, said there was an increase of incidence where the cougar attacked livestock in the area.