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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, April 30, 2013

Following up on Dr. John Vucetich's appeal to Michigan lawmakers to not institute a Wolf hunting and trapping season, George Wuerthner provided Dr. Vucetich's 2013 MIDWEST WOLF STEWARDS CONFERENCE talks on the NORTH AMERICAN MODEL OF CONSERVATION which states very clearly that 1) Wildlife is held in the public trust,,,,,,,,2)Elimination of markets for game,,,,,,,,,3)Principles of democracy,,,,,,,,,,4) Hunting opportunity for all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,5)Non frivolous use,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,6)International resources,,,,,,,,,,,,,7)Best Available Science.............................Principles 1, 3, 5 and 7 are being ignored again, again and again at the State Game Commission level .................This "NORTH AMERICAN MODEL: must be the "10 commandments", "Constitution" and "Bill of Rights" that we utilize to fight back against what seems to be a losing war that we are currently waging against the anti-carnivore folks and groups................

From: John Isbell
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:31:12 -0700 (PDT)
To: Rick Meril
Subject: Re: Coyotes,Wolves,Cougars..forever Post on Michigan voting to allow a 2013 Wolf Hunting and trapping season

I am a hunter,but when I was raised you didn't shoot anything you didn't intend to eat.I still believe that is the right way to hunt.We shouldn't have a season on wolves period.If the random wolf gets into a farmers livestock, indeed shoot him.Same thing with a skunk, but we shouldn't have seasons on them.I'm 68 years old and the wilderness has taught me to take what I need and leave the rest.If you need target practice go to the range.If you see a beautiful animal admire it don't shoot it. It will do you more good. life is precious to all animals and shouldn't be regarded as trivial.Hunting is good for us because it brings us together with nature.All things in nature hunt.But we must learn to hunt only what we need so that there will always be food to eat.Never killing to excess or killing things we will not eat.That would be a waste

From: George Wuerthner []
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 08:09 PM
To: Norman A. Bishop <>
Subject: Dr. John Vucetich on hunting wolves--good points
John Vucetich's Presentation "Hunting Wolves"
John Vucetich's Presentation hn Vucetich on Hunting Wolves
John Vucetich, Michigan Tech associate professor of wildlife ecology and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, conducted two rather compelling presentations at this year's 2013 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference held this year in Silver City, Michigan. Dr. Vucetich has authored more than 75 scholarly publications on a range of topics — including wolf-prey ecology, extinction risk, and the human dimensions of natural resource management.
Dr. Vucetich's presentation can be seen in its entirety at - 
Some of his major points:
  1. The best-available scholarship provides a clear explanation that good wildlife management is a judicious balance between best-available science and democratic principles. State level legislation about wolves is written by politicians or politically appointed Commission members who are not especially well-versed in the science of wildlife management; thus, the resulting decisions are considerably more insulated from the will of citizens as well as from the tenets of good scientific principles.
  2. Wildlife and other natural resources are a public trust, which means that every citizen has an interest and voice in the management of natural resources. By contrast, state level wildlife agencies have a strong tendency to represent hunters' interests at the expense of representing the interests of the majority of citizens, who are not hunters at the present time.a. Hunting is an honorable tradition, and the voice of hunters is valuable. However, expanding the authority of state level agencies with the ability to (1) name which species of animals can be hunted and (2) regulate the numbers of these animals in the wilderness is a betrayal of the public trust doctrine.
  3. The North American Model of Wildlife Management is essentially a set of seven principles held in high esteem by many hunting organizations as well as wildlife professionals including many members of state wildlife agencies and Commissions.
    1. North American Model of Wildlife management
      1. Wildlife is held in the public trust
      2. Elimination of markets for game
      3. Principles of democracy
      4. Hunting opportunity for all
      5. Non frivolous use
      6. International resources
      7. Best available science
    2. Many wolf management proposals work against three of seven principles: Principle 1, whereby wildlife is to be held in the public trust; Principle 3, whereby management is to be determined through basic democratic principles; and Principle 7, whereby management is to be faithful to the best-available science.
  4. Many advocates for wolf hunting believe that opposition is just one element of a much larger social force to abolish all forms of hunting. On the other side of the issue, some opponents of wolf hunting believe that wolf hunting represents a path to allowing many cruel and thoughtless forms of hunting that violate the intent of the North American Model.

5. As a society, we have lost the ability to understand the true value of hunting. Principle #5 of the North American Model states that wildlife should not be killed for "frivolous use." Stated more straightforwardly, we should not kill a living creature without an adequate reason.

a. Judging what does and does not count as an adequate reason is a responsibility that ethical hunters take quite seriously. There is legitimate concern that advocates of wolf hunting have failed to offer adequate reasons for hunting wolves. Sociological research indicates that non-hunting citizens tend to support hunting when the purpose of a hunt is adequately justified, i.e. consumptive use.

1. Good wildlife management demands good answers to these three questions: What is the goal of any proposed wildlife management action? How will that goal be accomplished? Why is the goal appropriate? There is valid concern that advocates for wolf hunting have not provided adequate answers to those questions.

2. One reason given for the proposed wolf harvest is to protect human and/or livestock safety. These threats, when they occur, must be dealt with swiftly, precisely, thoroughly and immediately. Protecting human and/or livestock cannot wait until the upcoming hunting season, with a hope that some hunter has the good fortune to kill the offending wolf. If genuine concerns are dealt with appropriately then offending and potentially offending wolves would either be dead or living with plenty of fear of humans by the time the next hunting season rolls around. Thus, a wolf hunt is not an appropriate way to promote human and/or livestock safety in any appreciable manner.

3. What counts as a good reason?

  •   Wildlife management should be based on best available science and principles ofdemocracy – a judicious balance between science and people.
  •   Does science give us a reason to kill wolves? Science says we can hunt wolveswithout compromising population viability or ecosystem health? But, it is right?That is left up to the democratic principles.
  •   Wildlife is held in public trust – all citizens have a stake; democracy is aboutproviding reasons
  •   The burden to provide valid reasons for a wolf hunt rests with hunters becausethey have set the standard for hunting themselves via the North American Modelfor Wildlife Conservation
  •   Trapping for pelts? Not a good reason and violates Standard 5 of NAM; typicalhunting seasons are not good for wolf pelts and constitute a frivolous use. One of the basic principles of NAM is "prohibition on commerce of dead wildlife;" commercial hunting and the sale of wildlife is prohibited to ensure the sustainability of wildlife populations.
  •   Behavior of elk, deer and other prey has been changed by the presence of wolves; however, the wolf's effects on hunting opportunities are not yet known scientifically.
  •   Ethical hunters do not hunt for hatred; honorable hunters support wolves for the role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
  •   Argument – Non-hunting citizens respect ethical hunting; non-hunting citizens also acknowledge that the overall decline in hunting activity nationwide may be attributed to the fact that hunters dishonor and disrespect their own model (NAM) by advocating for hunting without a valid reason; they discredit their own ethical standards; hate is not a valid reason for hunting.
  •   Does science give us a reason to kill wolves? Science says we can hunt wolves without compromising population viability or ecosystem health. But, it is right? That is left up to the democratic principles. If we do not address these issues, democracy, hunting and humanity is at stake.

We humans are not the only creatures that tap trees in later Winter for Sap...............Squirrels take advantage of warming streaks during this time of year to bite through the bark into what is known as the xylem(soft inner tissue) of the tree and proceed to lick the running sap that the wound creates...........23 different species of trees and shrubs including maple, oak, hickory and aspen provide this "lick-a-maid" source of energy during a lean eating transitional winter to spring part of the year

Tracking Tips: Squirrel Sap Taps

The transition from late winter to early spring is my favorite time for wildlife photography. The warming snow pack is pock-marked with tracks everywhere; some creatures are seeking mates, some are preparing for new offspring, and others are enjoying new sources of nourishment.
I often get busted at this time, too. A busy-body red squirrel invariably discovers me, hidden quietly in my blind, and scolds me with much foot stomping, tail flagging, and churring. There’s little merit in getting up and relocating, however. Usually, the territorial sciurid eventually quits and goes about other business. On one occasion many years ago, I was fascinated to watch a red squirrel travel along the smooth trunk and limbs of a nearby young red maple, periodically stopping to cock its head and bite through the bark into the xylem. Hours later, after the sap had leaked through the wounds and then freeze-dried in the chilling evening air, the same squirrel returned and licked at the site of the wound’s now-concentrated nutrients.

Maple sap is also being harvested by us at this time, so I naturally deduced that the scores upon scores of squirrel-made “sap taps,” as I have named them, might actually serve the same purpose. Sure enough, Bernd Heinrich, respected biologist and well-known author, made a similar observation and systematically sought to prove it. Heinrich concluded that the large temperature fluctuations that occur in late fall, during warm spells in winter, and especially in early spring, create an opportunity for squirrels to tap trees for their sugar – especially sugar maple. He observed many squirrels returning to their sap holes to lick the “candied sugar streaks” after the sap’s watery contents had evaporated. Heinrich meticulously proved that the dried wounds’ exudate had a sugar content considerably higher than that of the original sap.
While sugar maple is the tree of choice, I’ve discovered red and gray squirrel taps on 23 species of trees and shrubs, including all maple species, bitternut hickory, red oak, apple, aspen, basswood, witch hazel, and rhododendron, to name just a few of the curious varieties involved. A stem or branch simply has to be smooth and thin-barked, and thus easily wounded. Sugars, as Heinrich proposes, are a sought after nutrient, but I suspect minerals may also be key attractants.
Careful inspection of the sap taps shows the dot-dash pattern I’ve described for black bear scent-marking bites. The dot is a smaller wound created by the squirrel’s upper incisors, which were inserted into the bark and anchored there, while the longer dash is caused by the movement of the lower jaw’s incisors scraping across the bark. Squirrel tap marks measure roughly two millimeters wide for two incisors side by side. It’s fun to examine fresh sap taps in early spring, for you can readily see the minute grooves that were created by the squirrel’s teeth.
Some small maples become covered with hundreds of the tiny calloused scars resulting from the accumulation of sap tap wounds over years of time. Occasionally, sugar maples in particular may become black with the opportunistic growth of a sooty mold organism, an Ascomycete fungus that is able to subsist on sweet nutrients released from the tree’s wounds.
Susan C. Morse is founder and program director of Keeping Track in Huntington, Vermont.

Monday, April 29, 2013

An ode to Federal lawmakers to take a time out and diligently reconsider their decision to federally delisting of the Wolf----Where is President Obama's voice on this issue?....Bill Clinton went and brokered a Forestry/Spotted Owl Agreement in the Northwest when the debate got heated .............I would like to see Obama step up here and state that Wolves should continue to be restored to the Appalachians in the North and Southeast,,,,,,,,,,,,that protections stay in place in Oregon and Washington.........How bout it Mr. President?

Feds should abandon

 planned delisting(WOLVES)

 in Lower 48

The recovery of the gray wolf is a success
 story that illustrates
 the effectiveness of the federal Endangered
 Species Act. But 
the Obama administration fails to see that it's
 a story whose final
 chapters have yet to be penned.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday
 that federal authorities
 intend to remove endangered species
 protection for nearly 
all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states.
 A draft rule, expected
 to be announced shortly and finalized
 within a year, would 
hand over the management of wolf
 populations to state wildlife agencies.
Federal officials insist that the approximately
 5,000 wolves in the
 Northern Rockies and Great Lakes region
 are enough to prevent extinction.
 But that conclusion ignores warnings from
 scientists and conservationists 
that the wolves' numbers have not reached
 sustainable levels and that the 
agency's analysis of wolf subspecies and
habitat is flawed.
Those same critics challenged the federal
 government's decision two years
 ago to withdraw Endangered Species
Act protection in the Northern Rockies,
 Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington
 and give the job of wolf management
 to the states. Since that delisting, more
than a thousand wolves have been killed
 in sanctioned hunts, including 422 wolves
 last year in Idaho alone.
Now, the Fish and Wildlife Service is
considering removing protections in 
the protected areas that remain. Yet
the wolves are just beginning to get 
a foothold in Western Oregon,
Washington, Utah and Colorado, and
 it's too
 early to end federal protection in those
The Fish and Wildlife Service is under
 intense pressure from ranchers, 
hunters and some federal and state
officials to remove the remaining protections. 
As Jamie Rappaport Clark, the former
 director of the Fish and Wildlife Service
 and now the president of Defenders of
 Wildlife, notes, the agency's latest delisting
 decision "reeks of politics."
Wolves were once abundant in the West
 before white settlers arrived. But they 
were hunted nearly to extinction —
 and were wiped out entirely in Oregon 
— before a small number were reintroduced
in Yellowstone National Park 
and in central Idaho in the mid-1990s. Under
 federal protection, the animals 
thrived. At least 1,600 wolves now populate
 the northern Rockies, although last
 year the population fell by an alarming 7
 percent, primarily because of the 2011
 delistings and the recreational hunting that
Sally Jewell, the new secretary of the Interior,
 should take a hard look at the
 Fish and Wildlife Agency's decision, and
 pull the plug on the proposed delisting. 
Gray wolves need more time to find their
balance and build strong, genetically
 healthy populations that can endure
for many years to come.

The lastest information on Michigan's House of Representatives voting YES to allow a Wolf hunt in Michigan this year............Nancy Warren of and our friend Rachel Tilseth reporting on this sad turn of events

From: Rachel Tilseth []
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 06:58 PM
To: Meril, Rick
Subject: Fwd: [NATU] REVISED AGENDA: House Natural Resources Standing CommitteeMeeting

Just in from my friend/wolf advocate and reginal advisor Great
 lakes, Nancy Warren.
Her and I have been working on Wisconsin wolf recovery for
 over 2 decades. We were volunteer WDNR Winter Wolf
Trackers involved in monitoring the packs. We resigned
 when the wolf was delisted last year and made a game
animal. This is clearly a set back for all of us involved
in the wolf recovery program only as no science is
considered in these hunts.


Michigan votes YES to allow hunting and trapping of Wolves

About 3 pm this afternoon I called the office of Representative
 Andrea LaFontaine, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee.
  I asked if SB 288 would be heard by the committee tomorrow,
since it was not yet posted to the online agenda & I had not
 yet received any notification.  I was told the notice would be
issued by 6 pm - they are only required to give 18 hrs notice.

At 4:12, notification was received that SB 288 would be taken
 up by the committee tomorrow at noon.  I was told it will go to
 the full house on Thursday.  Despite our best efforts, Little Red
 Riding Hood is alive and well in the hearts of our Michigan
Legislators and their fear of appearing "anti-hunting" will likely
win out over democracy.

I expect SB 288 will be signed into law before the DNR
 NRC meets on 5/9

At this point, I am not certain of our next steps.

There will also be a meeting of the NRC Policy Committee
 on Wildlife and Fisheries on 5/8

Both meetings will be at Ralph A. MacMullan (RAM)
 Conference Center
104 Conservation Drive, Roscommon, MI 48653
(Au Sable Room)

5/8/2013 Meeting agenda NRC Policy Committee
12:00 p.m.
1. Wolf Presentation by William VanderZouwen,
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

2. Wolf Presentation by Dan Stark, Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources

3. Written testimony from outside experts.

Public Appearances

Here is the agenda for the Meeting on 5/9:

NRC Meeting

If you're unable to attend the meeting but wish to
submit written comments on Agenda items, please
write to: Natural

Resources Commission, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing,
MI 48909 or e-mail: .
 If you would like further

information or would like to address the Commission,
 please contact Debbie Whipple at 517-373-2352 or e-mail: . Persons registering on or
 before the Friday preceding the meeting will be allowed up to five (5)

minutes for their presentation. Persons registering after the Friday
 preceding the meeting or at the meeting will be allowed

up to three (3) minutes. Persons with disabilities needing
accommodations should contact Debbie Whipple

Our friend Jon Way has been spending nearly as much time in Yellowstone as he has in his native Massachusetts,,,,,,,,,,,in both locales, being a positive force for carnivore conservation.............Jon now has published his 2nd book,,,,,This one entitled: MY YELLOWSTONE EXPERIENCE focuses on what the typical vacationer can take in as it relates to wildlife viewing, natural scenery and the other unique and amazing natural forms that the "granddaddy" of American National Parks has to offer............Jon, wonderfully worded and pictorialized!

 Biologist Jon Way's beautiful new book,,,,,,,,,,,MY YELLOWSTONE EXPERIENCE

My Yellowstone Experience, with over 300 beautiful pictures in its 152 pages, highlights the amazing hydrothermal features, scenery, and wildlife that can be seen in Yellowstone National Park in a typical week long vacation. The park is unique in that you can experience so much of the natural world in such of a short period of time, and this book will inform you on all of the most pertinent things to see, regardless of how long or short your journey may be. Yellowstone's hands-off preservationist approach to nature makes it unique, and the success of this management strategy is visibly evident with the wild herds of bison, elk, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep, and the presence of predators like coyotes, cougars, wolves, and bears that follow them.--Jon Way



My Yellowstone Experience [Paperback]
Jonathan Way

Price: $19.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25. Details
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In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Book Description

March 1, 2013

My Yellowstone Experience, with over 300 beautiful pictures in its 152 pages, highlights the amazing hydrothermal features, scenery, and wildlife that can be seen in Yellowstone National Park in a typical week long vacation. The park is unique in that you can experience so much of the natural world in such of a short period of time, and this book will inform you on all of the most pertinent things to see, regardless of how long or short your journey may be. Yellowstone's hands-off preservationist approach to nature makes it unique, and the success of this management strategy is visibly evident with the wild herds of bison, elk, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep, and the presence of predators like coyotes, cougars, wolves, and bears that follow them.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Eastern Coyote Research (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983562695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983562696
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Please visit my websites: (1) Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research ( where you can purchase my books Suburban Howls and My Yellowstone Experience, read peer-reviewed Publications, and support creating a wildlife watching refuge in the town of Barnstable; and (2) My Yellowstone Experience which details my experiences viewing the spectacular hydrothermal features, scenery, and wildlife within Yellowstone National Park.

buy this book on Jon's website(the optimum version is on the website(quality and visual look)--see above information

Sunday, April 28, 2013

WILDLAND GUARDIANS head Adam Robarge is fighting the good fight to keep Michigan's Wolves from getting in the cross hairs of a first time 2013 hunt..................He has the endorsement of Dr. John Vucetich, Co-Director of the long running Isle Royale Wolf/Moose study...........On April 23, Dr. Vucetich said this about the Michigan House recent vote to allow the hunt---"The recent DNR population survey does not actually suggest that the wolf population in the Upper Peninsula is declining"............... "The correct interpretation is that the population is leveling off, naturally"............... "So the DNR suggests that the proposed hunt is to protect human safety, rather than population control" ..............."There exists no good reason to randomly hunt members of the gray wolf population".......... "It may be as simple as this".......... "Hunting without reason is killing" ......................And once again, we are witnessing State Representatives who choose to ignore fact based science and opt to satisfy what they believe to be key political allies--Agriculturalists and Hunters.............As I stated in a Post yesterday, we are fighting mindless zealots,,,,,,,,,,,,the equivalent of fighting sci fi Terminators, mindless robots!

Guest Editorial: There and Back, Again

By Adam Robarge;

MARQUETTE -- For the second time in less than a month,
 I found myself this
 past Tuesday (April 23) making my way around the Capitol
 Square in Lansing.
 I had spoken at a press conference on March 27th to announce
 the submitting
 of over a quarter million signatures that hoped to protect
Michigan's gray wolf
 from being hunted. I had declared that as Michigan citizens,
 "we endeavored to
 become a model in wildlife conservation --  and a point of
organization to
 forward thinking individuals across our entire nation."
Two weeks later with
 the introduction of Senate Bill 288 and its House chamber
 companion, House
 Bill 4552, my words and the thoughts they invoke found
 themselves at risk of
 being silenced. So I returned to Lansing on Tuesday with
 every intent of
defending them.

Adam Robarge, author of this article, is now the director of Wild
 Land Guardians, a Marquette-based
 grass-roots group advocating for wildlife and wildlife habitat. In
 January, February and March, he
 worked with Keep Michigan Wolves Protected on the petition
 drive for a referendum on Michigan's
 PA 520, legislation designating the wolf as a game animal. Here
 he is speaking about the petition
 during a presentation at the Portage Lake District Library on 
Feb. 9, 2013. Keep Michigan Wolves
 Protected collected more than a quarter of a million signatures
 for the petition, far more than the
 necessary minimum of 161,000 signatures. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

As I sat in the offices of our Senators and Representatives,
 I soon discovered that
 it wasn't only my voice that was being silenced or ignored.
It was truth.

The day began with a rally on the Capitol steps in opposition
 to SB 288 and HB 4552.
 As the winds picked up, a collection of activists and concerned
 citizens huddled in
 close before the podium. It was a sea of determination
 speckled with red, as we all
 wore hats silhouetted by a gray wolf, with the question
"Will of the people,
endangered too?" I had given nearly everything to this
 campaign over the course
of a cold and snowy UP winter.

At times I questioned my actions, my beliefs. I always
returned to the endorsement
 of Dr. John Vucetich. Here was a wolf biologist, co-director
 of the Isle Royale
Wolf-Moose Study and a lead researcher of the annual Isle
 Royale Winter Study.
Who could argue with that? I stood there that morning as
 did many others,
needing no further validation for what we had accomplished.

In front of the Capitol building in Lansing, Dr. John Vucetich, Michigan
 Tech professor of wildlife
 ecology and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, speaks
 during the April 23, 2013, 
rally opposing SB 288 and HB 4552 -- both of which would allow the
 Natural Resources Commission
 to decide on a public harvest of wolves. (Photo © and courtesy Adam Robarge)

Instead, we listened intently for words to rally around, words
 to keep us moving
 forward. Listening so intently, people often forgot to cheer
 at opportune moments,
 rather remaining focused upon what would be said next.

Dr. Vucetich spoke of science, and in truths. The recent DNR
 population survey does
 not actually suggest that the wolf population in the Upper
 Peninsula is declining.
The correct interpretation is that the population is leveling off,
 naturally. So the
DNR suggests that the proposed hunt is to protect human safety,
 rather than
 population control.

Dr. John Vucetich addresses the crowd at the April 23, 2013, Rally
 against wolf hunt legislation,
 saying, "Hunting is not a tool for dealing with human safety (issues).
 If there is a threat in April, 
you can't wait until the next hunting season six months from now, 
with the hope that some hunter
 will have the good fortune of taking the offending wolf. It just doesn't
 work that way." **

However, Dr. Vucetich appealed, "Threats to human safety,
 when they occur,
 had better be dealt with swiftly, precisely, thoroughly and

immediately. Protecting
human safety cannot wait until the upcoming hunting season."

Discussing the decline in hunting and the increase in negative
attitudes toward its
 practitioners, he told us, "Studies show that the public will
 overwhelmingly support
 hunting methods when given good reason to do so."

Dr. Vucetich added that hunting the wolf will result in a further
 mistrust of this act
 steeped in our cultural heritage. There exists no good reason to
 randomly hunt
 members of the gray wolf population. It may be as simple as
 this. Hunting without
reason is killing.

We then sat by his side in the offices of legislators while he
attempted to educate
 them. For we are told that these bills -- now named the
 "Scientific Wildlife
 Management Package" -- are meant to encourage just that
 -- science. But they
 weren't listening. This was an expert, a scientist from our
 own state of Michigan
 sitting in front of them. Our legislators remained fixed on
 the idea of outside
interests and their information. They remained fixed on
representing a portion
 of inside residents, and their phobias. Certainly, nuisance
 behavior is found to exist
within the gray wolf population -- within any population,
 for that matter. And losing
 livestock or a pet, or feeling threatened by wolves, is
 not something to ignore.
 But a random hunt is not the answer. Data exists that
suggests this may actually
 increase unwanted behaviors. And that is an outcome
 none of us are looking for.

A sign at the April 23 rally expresses the view that SB 288 and 
HB 4552 are not based on scientific data. 
(Photo © and courtesy Adam Robarge)

It's hard to know how or where to keep fighting when
our legislators won't see
 science or listen to truths. Senate Bill 288 passed the
 floor with a vote along
party lines on Thursday, April 25. It now moves to the
 House Committee on
Natural Resources. We must implore our Representatives
-- Dianda, Kivela,
 McBroom, and Foster. Implore them to hear their other
 constituents, to provide
 us answers based on science and truth. Implore them to
 hear you. We are running
 out of time. I returned home believing the only option
for us is to keep fighting,
 despite the defeats. The truth will shine through, for
it is all that truly exists.

It is my feeling now to demand that they at least
represent us as equally as possible,
 no matter what their final vote says. I want to see
that science has truly been brought
 to the table, whether it is merely to be debated or
actually seen as an amendment to
 the bill. If the gray wolf is to be hunted, I want it
 transparent to everyone that all
 measures were rightfully considered and that a
framework to be followed when
making such designations be put in place. Only then
 should this bill be voted upon.

Editor's Notes:
* See our Feb. 15, 2013, article, "Video report:
 Presentation on wolves offers
 facts, petition signing opportunity" on this
 presentation at Portage Lake District
Library in Houghton.
See also this March 10, 2013, article by
 Greg Peterson, "Petition signing to protect 
wolves continues in Marquette."

** See "Letter from John Vucetich, wildlife
 ecologist: Reasons to oppose SB288,"
 posted on Keweenaw Now April 16, 2013

Click here for the present version of SB 288 as
 passed by the Michigan Senate on
April 25, 2013.

Click here for the present version of HB 4552,
 which has been referred to the
 House Committee on Natural Resources.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I somethimes think that those who favor biodiversity and an eco-functioning Carnivore suite in every one of our 50 states are literally fighting "aliens" of mass destruction....................Almost like fighting "Terminators" who will twist every law, find every angle and rationalize every decision that is in favor of killing Wolves, Pumas, Griz, Coyoyes, Lynx, Bobcats, etc, etc. etc..............Now the Oregon House of Representatives has passed a bill that allows each county to decide if hunters can use dogs to hunt Pumas,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this despite the voters in Oregon who decisively passed a law over two decades ago banning this barbaric practice............


Where's the cougar crisis?

House defies voters to pass hunting bill

People are spooked by cougars, and when people are spooked they can do irrational things — as occurred Tuesday in the Oregon House of Representatives, which voted 40-19 in favor of House Bill 2624. The bill would let counties opt out of a law passed by the voters in 1994 and reaffirmed two years later that bans the use of dogs to hunt cougars for sport. HB 2624 responds to a non-existent problem and breaks faith with voters. The Senate should kill the bill.

The bill arises from a fear that Oregon is in the midst of some kind of cougar crisis. It's not, and even if it were, the 1994 law provides the state with all the tools it would need to kill any cougars that were causing problems.

Consider Rep. Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio, who during debate on HB 2624 said she gets frequent calls from constituents who have encountered cougars — including a mom in Mill City who spotted one under her minivan. But the bill would not provide that mom with any protection that's not available under current law.

Or Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay, who told her colleagues that she had been stalked by a cougar when she was a child. McKeown was a child in the 1950s, long before Oregonians voted to ban hounding cougars for sport. If anything, the stalking experience offers a warning against returning to the cougar management practices that prevailed before 1994.

An irrational fear prevents people from examining the facts about cougars and the 1994 law. The total number of cougar complaints in Oregon was 276 in 1993. In 2012, after the ban on sport-hunting with dogs had been in effect for nearly two decades, the number of complaints was 287. The level of complaints is about the same, despite the feeling, evident in Tuesday's House vote, that cougars are lurking everywhere.

One reason the 1994 law has not led to an abundance of complaints is that Oregonians did not ban hunting cougars. They banned only one specific type of hunting — and created broad exceptions to that ban. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issued cougar tags to more than 50,000 hunters last year, and they killed 242 of the cats. That's 50 percent more cougars than hunters killed in 1993, when hunting cougars with packs of dogs was still allowed.
The most effective way to hunt cougars is to use dogs. Wearing collars with radio transmitters, the dogs will tree a cougar and keep it at bay until the hunter arrives. This method is still allowed whenever a cougar causes problems for livestock, other property or humans, or even threatens to cause problems. A cougar can be defined a threat merely by being seen during daylight hours.

A consistent argument for proposals like HB 2624 is that in 1994 urban voters imposed the dog-hunting ban on rural areas, where people, pets and livestock are more likely to encounter cougars. The argument would be more compelling if rural residents weren't permitted to protect themselves and their property against cougars whenever any sort of problem arises. The 1994 law took rural concerns into full account, and the results show that the approach has worked.

After approving HB 2624, perhaps the House will invite counties to opt out of other voter-approved statewide initiatives — say, property tax limitations or tax increases. That would be the precedent established by HB 2624. The Senate should prove itself less easily spooked by a non-existent cougar crisis, and allow HB 2624 to sink into oblivion.

We have reported on this previously but felt necessary to reiterate again that Nebraska Wildlife Officials have literally thrown away science(and I believe ethics) in their likely institution of a Puma hunting season this year..........How can you in good conscious allow hunting of the hypothesized 22 "Cats" that exist in this slowly recovering population?................How do you allow even 1 female Puma to be taken out of the population??????????????

Game and Parks to decide soon on hunting of mountain lions in Nebraska

LINCOLN (AP) — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will soon decide whether to let people hunt mountain lions in the state.
The proposal to be considered at the commission's May 24 meeting would allow a total of three big cats to be killed over two short periods of one season in parts of the Nebraska Panhandle.
A lottery would issue 100 permits to Nebraska residents, and one permit would be auctioned off to a resident or nonresident. Auction proceeds would go to mountain lion management and research.
Officials say mountain lions had all but vanished from Nebraska by 1890. But in recent years, the big cats have been making a comeback in the northwestern corner of the state, and they have traveled as far east as Omaha.
The commission estimates that the Pine Ridge area has a population of 22 mountain lions.
State law already allows people to kill mountain lions if they stalk, attack or show unprovoked aggression toward humans.
Sam Wilson, mountain lion expert for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said 36 mountain lions have been shot or run over since 1991.
The proposed regulations would allow permit holders to hunt mountain lions with firearms and archery equipment in parts of Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and Sioux Counties that are north of the Niobrara River and west of Nebraska Highway 27.
The open season would run Jan. 1 through Feb. 9 and Feb. 15 through March 31. Hunters would need to check daily to see whether the season was still open.
Wilson said three mountain lions would be allowed to be killed by hunters during the season. Only one could be a female. The season would end early if a female were killed before the total of three cougars was reached.
The Nebraska Wildlife Federation has not yet taken a position on the proposed regulations, but an official said the group has some concerns.

Friday, April 26, 2013

We have followed the continuing debate about whether Grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone should be federally delisted and managed by Wyoming Fish & Wildlife..................The debate comes down to whether the bears can adapt to the shrinking whitebark pine tree and cutthroat trout populations and find enough alternative food sources to sustain their population..................So, the so-called FOOD SYNTHESIS STUDY .being conducted by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team(which favors delisting) is arguing that the bruins are known to consume some other 75 food sources and that as adaptive omnivorous creatures, the demise of whitebark pine and cutthroat trout will not jeopardize their long term sustainability..................It seems likely the study is going to come out in favor of delisting despite the Agencies promise of a "fair and balanced" evaluation of the so-called facts................Stay tuned!

Griz diet key to end of federal protection
Study due in fall should answer questions that kept a court from letting bear safeguards end.

By Mike Koshmrl,

A study on the nuances of Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly
bear diets due this October will determine whether managers will recommend ending federal protections for the species, officials said last week. The study, called a food synthesis, will take a "holistic approach" to analyzing grizzly bear diets, said Frank van Manen, the team leader for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Van Manen spoke from the Wort Hotel
 on April 17, where carnivore managers were convening for the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee's annual Jackson meeting.

"We felt like we couldn't just look at whitebark pine, because everything is interrelated," van Manen said. "We're basically looking at changing food dynamics — the changing availability of different food types. We're dealing with a very complex landscape. Whitebark pine, cutthroat trout ... there's a lot of ongoing changes."

That grizzlies are omnivores with very broad-based diets complicates matters.
A "very exhaustive literature review," van Manen said, identified 234 species of plants, animals and presumably fungi that the bears in the ecosystem have been known to consume. Some 75 of the species were found to be consumed "pretty frequently," he said.

Focus on whitebark pines
Central to the food synthesis is grizzlies' reliance on whitebark pines.
Grizzly bears have been listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act for the past four years. Originally listed in the 1970s, they  were delisted by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2007, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a court-ordered reversal of the status change in 2009.

Chris Servheen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's grizzly bear recovery coordinator, said the court was ready to agree that grizzly populations are healthy if the question about declining whitebark pine is answered.
"The food synthesis is going to allow us to make an informed decision on that," he said. "At the end of the food synthesis process this fall -— if we decide that we can make a good case for the courts — then we will proceed on a new [delisting] rule in 2014."

Determining declines in whitebark pines, van Manen said, will use 12 years of NASA satellite data to measure the greenness of "thousands, probably millions" of 15-acre  parcels. Whitebark pines have been in decline from years, largely due to infestations from the fungus blister rust and mountain pine beetles.

Do bears change as trees do?
During his presentation, van Manen walked the crowd through the analysis. He displayed an illustration of a 15-acre whitebark stand that was "moderately to heavily impacted" between 2007
 and 2009.
"With this measure from the satellites of this vegetation index, we can pick up when that [decline] really occurred," he said. "This is just one small area. ... Imagine being able to do this for the entire ecosystem and you get a pretty good idea of where the biggest changes really occurred."

The other portion of the whitebark pine study investigates use by grizzly bears, which typically forage on seeds of the high-elevation conifer between Aug. 15 and Sept. 30.Are there changes in the selection of  whitebark pine habitat over time?" van Manen asked. "In other words, do you see changes in a poor versus a good whitebark pine year?

"We're also looking at duration of time grizzly bears spend in whitebark pine stands," he said.
Monitoring of other important foods — such as ungulate carcasses and cutworm moths — has been bolstered and will be reviewed in a separate studies.

Landscape-level conclusions cannot be drawn at this point, van Manen said.
"We're still testing this," the study team leader said. "We have not applied it yet to the entire ecosystem. We're aching to do that."

This summer, van Manen said, the grizzly bear study team will begin writing the report. Each portion will be submitted as an academic article to a peer-reviewed journal.

No decision will be made on writing a delisting rule until the food synthesis is complete, Servheen said.
"That decision has not been made yet," he said, " and it will not be made until this fall."

According to Environment Canada, woodland caribou need at least 65 per cent undisturbed habitat to have a 60 per cent chance of being self-sustaining...............In January 2012, Global Forest Watch Canada reported that the eight Alberta(Canada) caribou herds in the oil sands development areas already had 64 per cent industrial disturbance............. AWA says over 95 per cent of the caribou's habitat is disturbed by industry in the Little Smoky range......Killing Wolves is not the long term answer to Caribou sustainability.................If Alberta is sincere about responsible energy development, the provincial government should defer new leasing and disturbance until enough caribou habitat can be restored to recover the populations

Environmentalists want province to stop selling oil leases on caribou range
oil leases on caribou range
The Alberta Wilderness Association is calling on the province to stop oil leases on caribou ranges. Photo: M. Bradley.

The Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is calling on the province to stop selling oil and gas leases on the habitat of a dwindling caribou herd. The AWA says oils sands development is threatening caribou populations in Alberta.

Woodland caribou are listed as "threatened" under Alberta's Wildlife Act, which is defined as "a species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed."

AWA says the province is auctioning a total of 14,000 hectares of leases today in five threatened Alberta caribou herds' ranges.
The association says 1300 hectares will be auctioned in the Little Smoky range in west central Alberta, where less than 100 caribou remain.

"Alberta Energy promotes caribou habitat disturbance by selling leases that drive new well sites, ignoring technology options to reduce existing [industry] footprint," says Carolyn Campbell, AWA conservation specialist.

According to Environment Canada, woodland caribou need at least 65 per cent undisturbed habitat to have a 60 per cent chance of being self-sustaining. In January 2012, Global Forest Watch Canada reported that the eight Alberta caribou herds in the oil sands development areas already had 64 per cent industrial disturbance.
AWA says over 95 per cent of the caribou's habitat is disturbed by industry in the Little Smoky range.

Although the Little Smoky caribou have seen a stable population for the last six years, AWA says that's because of a "war on wolves." The Alberta government kills wolves, who prey on caribou, using helicopter shooting and poisoning to keep the herd from dying out.About 650 wolves have been killed since 2005.

Alberta Wilderness Association sent open letter to Energy Minister
On February 6, the group sent an open letter to Energy Minister Ken Hughes requesting deferral of new leases in the Little Smoky caribou range. "The fate of this caribou herd rests with your decision to defer new leasing and disturbance until enough habitat can be restored to recover these populations," says the letter.
"Please take the first step by postponing these auctions of new dispositions in the Little Smoky caribou range."
The association said they haven't received a reply from Hughes.

Federal government released caribou strategy in 2012

In October 2012 the federal government published its final boreal woodland caribou strategy that requires each province to develop an action plan to achieve at least 65 per cent undisturbed habitat for each caribou range.
The plan emphasized habitat restoration, but gave the government another three to five years to develop a plan for each range, then more time to develop an action plan after that.
"If Alberta is sincere about responsible energy development, the provincial government should defer new leasing and disturbance until enough caribou habitat can be restored to recover the populations," said Campbell.

We all better be doing more than just walking if we hope to prevent federal delisting of Wolves across the USA............So flys in the face of the intent of the Endangered Species Act for the USFW Service to make the "science-less" statement that because there are wolves on the ground in some of the Rocky Mtn and Great Lakes States there is now no need to establish Wolf populations in the suitable habitat regions of the Appalachians up and down the eastern seaboard...................So very disappointing this Obama Administration has been as it relates to open space and biodiversity..................Arguably worse than the Bush and Reagan years

Rewilding Institute News

Link to The Rewilding Institute

Posted: 25 Apr 2013 06:47 PM PDT
gray wolf
gray wolf (Photo: USFWS – Midwest Region)
Walk for Wolves has been organized to raise awareness about the threats
 affecting the
 wolf population throughout the United States. In addition to losing their
 habitat, the most
 detrimental threats come from government bills allowing hunting and
 trapping an 
indiscriminate number of wolves by methods such as shooting, trapping
 and snaring where
 the latter two are considered inhumane. Illegal hunting and trapping has
 also caused a high 
mortality in wolves and hatred driven wolf groups have been known to use
 brutal killing methods
 such as shooting wolves in the abdomen (gut-shot) and poisoning to name
 a few.
The masses need to know, our government needs to listen so we can 
proactively change current
 legislations and offer protection to these species. Coexisting through 
adaption is the key to success in this matter. Join us as an organizer or 
as a participant and howl with us Saturday, April 27th in a 3-mile walk
 near your city.
Below is a list of days and locations for Walks for Wolves that
 are taking place around 
the country this weekend:
Walk Location
Walk Date
City Hall to Downtown
Saturday April 27
Long Beach
Saturday April 27
Capitol State Building
Saturday April 27
San Francisco
Golden Gate Park
Saturday April 27
West steps of the CO
Saturday April 27
Friday April 26
Colorado Springs
Chapel Hills Mall
Saturday April 27
US Capitol Building
Saturday April 27
Dade Battlefield Park
Saturday April 27
Boise Capitol Building
Saturday April 27
Coeur D'Alene
Kootenai Courthouse to
Saturday April 27
White River State Park
Saturday April 27
Jefferson Square Park to
 Downtown Louisville
Friday April 26
Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State
University to Ah-Nab-Awen Park
Saturday April 27
Capitol State Building
Friday April 26
Great Falls
Elks Riverside Park
Saturday April 27
New Mexico
Tower Pond Park
Saturday April 27
New York
Hoopes Park Track
Saturday April 27
New York
New York
Union Square to City Hall
Saturday April 27
North Carolina
Konehete Park to Downtown
Saturday April 27
Public Square Quadrants
Saturday April 27
Downtown – Penn Square &
; Central Market
Saturday April 27
Texas Capitol Building
Saturday April 27
City Hall to Downtown
Saturday April 27
Salt Lake City
Capitol State Building
Saturday April 27
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
 to Olympic Sculpture Park
Saturday April 27
Manito Park to Downtown
Saturday April 27
Please contact Carmen C. Long with your questions:
Facebook: Protecting Yellowstone Wolves

Draft Rule Ends Protections for

 Gray Wolves


Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections
 for gray wolves
 the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long
 recovery effort
 that has 
restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range.

The draft U.S. Department of Interior rule obtained by The 
Associated Press 
 that roughly 5,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies
 and Great Lakes
 enough to prevent the species' extinction. The agency says
 having gray wolves 
elsewhere — such as the West Coast, parts of New England 
and the Southern
 — is unnecessary for their long-term survival.
A small population of Mexican wolves in the Southwest would
 continue to receive
l protections, as a distinct subspecies of the gray wolf.
The document was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday the rule was under
 internal review
would be subject to public comment before a final decision is made.

If the rule is enacted, it would transfer control of wolves to
 state wildlife agencies
removing them from the federal list of endangered species.
Wildlife advocates warn that could effectively halt the species
' expansion, which
stirred a backlash from agricultural groups and some hunters
 upset by wolf attacks
 livestock and big game herds such as elk.
Some biologists have argued wolves will continue spreading 
regardless of their legal 
status. The animals are prolific breeders, known to journey 
hundreds of miles in
of new territory. They were wiped out across most of the U.S.
 early last century
 a government sponsored poisoning and trapping campaign.
In an emailed statement, the agency pointed to "robust" populations
 of the animals in
 the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes as evidence that gray wolf
 recovery "is one of
 world's great conservation successes."
Wolves in those two areas lost protections under the Endangered 
Species Act over the 
last two years.
In some states where wolves have recovered, regulated hunting 
and trapping already
 has been used to drive down their populations, largely in response 
to wolf attacks on 
livestock and big game herds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
recently reported that
 wolf numbers dropped significantly last year in Wyoming, Idaho
and Montana for the
 first time since they were reintroduced in the mid-1990s.
Federal officials have said they are monitoring the states' actions, 
but see no immediate
 threat to their survival.

In Oregon and Washington, which have small but rapidly growing
 wolf populations, the 
animals have remained protected under state laws even after
 federal protections were 
lifted in portions of the two states.
Between 1991 and 2011, the federal government spent $102
 million on gray wolf 
recovery programs and state agencies chipped in $15.6 million.
 Federal spending likely
 would drop if the proposal to lift protections goes through,
 while state spending would