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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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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.

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