Founder's Blog

WOLF PROTECTION TO IMPROVE PUBLIC & DEER HEALTH

November 25, 2018 - Dr Michael W Fox

WOLF PROTECTION TO IMPROVE PUBLIC & DEER HEALTH

By Dr. Michael W. Fox*

On November 16th,2018 House members of  Congress, including Minnesota’s soon-to-be Governor Tim Walz, passed the bill, HR 6784, the "Manage Our Wolves Act" which, if passed in the Senate, will allow states to return to wolf trophy hunting and trapping and removes any opportunity for judicial review, which is a dangerous precedent. Ceding Federal protection under the Endangered Species Protection Act to State wildlife management has been opposed by scientists and conservationists and a large public constituency of wildlife protection. The livestock sector that supports wolf eradication is now recognized as one of the world’s major contributors to climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Wolves need to be protected and their numbers increased so the whitetail deer over-population and related health-problems can be rectified. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in whitetail deer and other ungulates is spreading across the U.S., now reported in 22 states. While deer ranches can be one source of infection, seeking to manage a large deer population for recreational hunting---essentially wildlife farming---and winter feeding, coupled with predator control, especially of wolves, creates the perfect storm for the spread of CWD. 

Outdoors reporter Dennis Anderson’s appeal (StarTribune March 9/18) to the legislature to limit the scourge of CWD in the state’s deer herd by ideally getting rid of deer and elk farms and at least making them secure with double fencing and regular inspections should not fall on deaf ears. A variant of the prions that cause chronic wasting disease in deer, moose and elk across many states caused mad cow disease in the U.K., decimating the beef industry and resulting in brain disease in humans and some companion animals. According to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions which are single proteins that cannot be destroyed by typical “kill strategies” such as extreme heat or ultraviolet light. They discovered that even highly diluted amounts of the material can bind to the roots and leaves. From there, they fed the wheat grass to hamsters, which became infected with the disease. The team also found the infectious prion proteins in plants that had been exposed to urine and feces from prion-infected hamsters and deer.

The Bureau of Microbial Hazards (BMH), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada posted on April 26, 2017 a Risk Advisory Opinion: Potential Human Health Risks from Chronic Wasting Disease because CWD has been transmitted to cynomolgus macaques (the non-human primate species most closely related to humans that may be used in research), through both the intracranial and oral routes of exposure. Both infected brain and muscle tissues were found to transmit disease. 

The probability of transmission to cattle, sheep and goats and to humans consuming infected meats and crops from corn to cabbages contaminated by infected deer feces and urine is considerable and concerted action is called for at this time to prevent such a potentially catastrophic eventuality.

Against these research findings, what are the best strategies to control CWD for Minnesota and other State departments of natural resources, wildlife management and animal and public health?  Clearly in Minnesota, high concentrations of deer encouraged by private land owners, deer farms and even the DNR for deer hunters in many zones across the state need to be ecologically managed. “Eco-health” is maximized by protecting optimal numbers of carnivore species, wolves in particular and cougars in other States that may have some immunity to prion infection, who cull weak and sickly deer and prevent high densities that can mean over-brazing and destruction of habitat.

Leading wildlife biologists cited by Tod Wilkinson in his December 11, 2017 Mountain Journal article “The Undeniable Value of Wolves, Bears, Lions and Coyotes In Battling Disease: Will The Fairy Tale Mentality Of Western States Against Predators Hamper Their Ability To Slow Chronic Wasting Disease”? are unanimous in recognizing the role of predators in controlling CWD. Their systematic extermination over the past two centuries especially by the livestock industry has facilitated the spread of this disease across the U.S. and Canada. In this article Kevin Van Tighem, a hunter and former superintendent of Banff National Park in Alberta’s Canadian Rockies opines, “I don’t know of a single credible biologist who would argue that wolves, along with other predators and scavengers, aren’t important tools in devising sound strategies for dealing with CWD.” Van Tighem says it can be rationally argued that wolves provide the best line of defense since they are confronting infected animals. So those States blessed with viable wolf populations need to recognize the role of these predators in ecosystem management and protect such large carnivores from human predation and maintain maximal wolf numbers to optimize deer and elk herd health rather than de-listing the wolf from Federal protection as an endangered species to allow trophy hunting, trapping and snaring.

Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in deer, transmissible to cattle, follows a similar pattern of high deer numbers. As Michigan State university veterinary epidemiology professor Paul Bartlett opines, “My conclusion a long time ago was
that if you raise deer like feedlot cattle they’re going to get a feedlot cattle disease.” 

In addition to bTB white tail deer can also transmit other diseases to cattle and humans including Q Fever, Brucellosis and may infect cattle with EHD, epizootic hemorrhagic fever. Also, Leptospirosis, which causes reproductive failure, anemia, liver and kidney disease in ruminants and is typically shed in the urine of infected animals. People acquire the infection by oral ingestion and contact with contaminated urine, placenta, and fetal tissues. The organism can infect hosts through abraded skin. Salmonellosis, campylobacterosis, listeriosis, yersiniosis, cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are acquired from deer by contact and accidental oral ingestion of fecal material from infected animals.

Surely it is time for all State and Federal wildlife agencies to implement ecologically sound wildlife management practices that improve deer health and not continue to put livestock and humans at risk from several diseases by maximizing natural biodiversity. This must include protection of wolves and other predators and not rely on human predation for a few weeks of hunting every year during the breeding season to limit deer population densities. Allowing the hunting and trapping of wolves will only make matters worse. 

*The author lives in Golden Valley MN and is a veterinarian and author of The Soul of the Wolf. Website www.drfxvet.net 

Vote for the Wolf

October 25, 2018 - HFW Action Fund
 
 

Use Your Voice. Vote for the Wolf.

In 11 days, it is time to head to the polls. If you live in one of the 34 states that allow early voting, you can vote as early as today.
 
This is the most important action you will take to protect wildlife this year.
 

The US mid-term elections on November 6th will be a watershed event for the survival of wildlife, the environment and the future of the Earth’s ecosystem. Control of Congress must change to slow the continuing destruction of wildlife and natural habitat, the selfish philosophy of “greed over all” and the current administration’s attacks on the Endangered Species Act and America’s wild wolves. Democrats are far from perfect, but changing control in Washington is crucial. The wolf and all of America’s wildlife need Congressional leaders - like Betty McCollum - who value the natural environment and the species that depend upon it.  Congresswoman McCollum is the current ranking minority member of the natural resources committee and was instrumental in saving the wolf from extinction in 2015 and 2016: she may again be in a position to protect them if leadership shifts in D.C. If the US House is majority Democrat, then the wolf, other wildlife and endangered species will have a friend in Congress with power to actually protect them. No matter who, please vote blue. We need someone like Congresswoman Betty McCollum to be in charge of that committee. Please vote to change control in your local Congressional election this November.

 
1: Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date and accurate. Some states allow voter registration and/or changes to registration up to Election Day or at the polls.
 
2: Find out if your state allows early voting. If it does, go vote!
 
3: If you are not voting early, find your polling place and make a plan. This is vital. Things come up and plans change. For this one day, Tuesday, November 6th, make voting a top priority. Leave yourself a sticky note, set up a calendar reminder, tell a loved one, do whatever it takes to get out the door and VOTE!
 
You can find your polling place, find early voting locations, and even look up candidates on the ballot at the Endangered Species Voter Action Center at the link below.
 
If you need a ride to vote, please visit drive.vote to find a free ride to your polling place. In many places, Uber is offering free transportation to polling locations.
 
We have said it before, and we'll say it a few more times before Election Day: the stakes are very high, and deeply consequential.
 
The outcome of the 35 Senate and 435 House of Representative races could determine whether wolves, grizzly bears, sage grouse, and other plants, fish, and animals lose protections.
 
The future of the Endangered Species Act itself is in question.Whether you believe in the power of your individual vote or not, choosing not to vote is to be culpable for the consequences that are likely occur if things continue as is and those who would stand up for wildlife are not elected. 
 
On Tuesday, November 6th (or earlier if your state allows early voting), you can help to decide the future.
 
Please, wolf advocates, make your plan to vote and carry out a civic duty of the utmost importance in these trying times which have seen endless, relentless, attacks on wildlife and the environment.
 
Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.
 
 
This has been a message from the Howling For Wolves Action Fund, a registered C4 non-profit.
 
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Preparing for Wolf Day

April 2, 2018 - Leslie Rosedahl
Organizing all the pieces for a large event like Wolf Day starts about six months ahead of time – because the team at Howling For Wolves values each wolf supporter’s time and advocacy efforts. We know the more planning and thoughtfulness we can do, the more effective Wolf Day at the Capitol will be, and that makes a difference for the wolf! 
 
This upcoming Wolf Day (on April 11) will be the fifth Wolf Day I’ve assisted Howling For Wolves President and Founder Maureen Hackett. My primary role, year round with HFW, is media and communications – making sure we’re heard in the media to influence the public and decision-makers. Dr. Hackett and I work closely together on press releases, opinion pieces, social media posts, and more. Garnering media attention is a big part of Wolf Day too. We gather in the Capitol Rotunda to rally and represent the wolf - and that’s a terrific and attractive visual for television reporters/cameras to use in their stories, and we set aside time for Dr. Hackett to personally visit with reporters at the event, as well as pitch a press release that day to statewide media outlets. (We are usually pretty successful – having 4-5 media outlets cover Wolf Day!)
 
Another part of my role for Wolf Day is finding the right words to help wolf supporters tell the Howling For Wolves story during Wolf Day. Every year Dr. Hackett and I update all materials we put in the folders: the HFW “backgrounder,” “legislative priorities,” “wolf facts,” “exit survey,” “daily agenda,” etc. All handouts need new formatting with the new logos, new updated information, etc. 
 
Also, a large amount of time (hours!) is spent thinking through the right words for the emails we send to likely attendees hoping to motivate and recruit to join us at the Capitol. I usually take the first draft of the emails– and Dr. Hackett always has edits. Lots of edits! And they are working – we already have over 125 advocates RSVP’d for the Wolf Day 2018!
 
I work with Sophie, who uses the addresses that people submit for registration and checks to see what senator and representative represent them. Then she makes an individual meeting request to that legislator’s legislative assistant (their staff person). On any given day, there are MANY Days at the Capitol in St. Paul (probably 10-15?) so sometimes we compete for meeting times with other organizations and have to make our case. More often than not we’re competing for the legislators’ time against existing committee meetings, House and Senate floor sessions that are called at the last minute, etc., where legislators are required to vote. We try our best to make sure that there is enough time between the House member meeting and the Senate member meeting, but it can get pretty tight if only one time is available. Many legislators don’t know their final schedule for the day until the last minute, or their scheduled changed because of last-minute committee meetings or floor session votes, so right up to the night before we’re changing and re-arranging schedules. The morning of Wolf Day, even after we need to print the schedule, there will always be 5-10 meetings changed. It works best to schedule meetings for people on their behalf – as opposed to having attendees do it – because first, we know it can be complicated to make the request. Secondly, there are normally several people in that House or Senate member’s district, and it’s confusing to have several requests into a legislator’s office for the same meeting. Lastly, it’s easiest for one person to be the point of contact for all scheduling issues.
 
Ila, the fantastic Howling For Wolves volunteer coordinator who also helps with various administrative items, also helps with Wolf Day by making all the folders – printing handouts, stuffing the folders, stickering the front. She also helps organize the nametags, and the HFW T-shirts as everyone has a specific size they’ve required. (That’s a big job!) Ila also works with several other volunteers to organize buses. (That’s also a big job!) This year, we have buses coming from Duluth and St. Cloud. Ila also takes your questions via phone and email, orders the food, and organizes the volunteer duties too!
 
Many of our wolf advocates live in the same legislative district and will be together for their meetings with representatives. For example, we are excited to send nine advocates to meet with Senator Pappas  This is our largest group in one district so far this year. 
 
Howling For Wolves works with professional lobbyists to make sure our legislative priorities and agenda are always top of mind for legislators in committee meetings, etc. They work with bill authors and legislators on bill hearings, draft amendments, and work with the Governor’s office and other political leaders in support of the priorities of Howling For Wolves. Priorities include:
  • Removing the automatic and reckless wolf trophy hunt in current Minnesota law
  • Eliminating snaring of all wildlife
  • Requiring permission to trap on private land
  • Continuing to support farmers with preventative nonlethal strategies to avoid wolf conflict
 
New to the Howling For Wolves Legislative Priorities this year is a bill to lift the ban on treating injured wolves. Right now, the Minnesota DNR prohibits Minnesota’s wildlife rehabilitation professionals from providing treatment to a wolf, regardless of the circumstances. It should not be a crime to rescue a threatened species from human-caused trauma! 
 
More work preparing for Wolf Day includes updating the PowerPoint presentations (at the briefing and rally), thank you cards to legislators, and most importantly for some of us, breakfast foods!
All of these pieces come together on Wolf Day to make sure that our advocates can have the best day at the Capitol possible – we know it’s not easy to take time off work and come to a sometimes intimidating and ceremonial place, and we want to be the strongest advocates for the wolf because she needs us. 
 
Almost 200 wolves were killed last year in 2017 by government agents alone, even while on the Endangered Species List. And those are just the ones we know about and are reported. There is more work to do!
 
For the wolf to be around for future generations, we need to do the best job we can advocating for her at the State Capitol – because that’s where momentous decisions are made. 
I hope you can join us this year.
 

HFW's Response to the news of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services budget extension request

October 21, 2017 - Maureen Hackett, MD

 

On October 18, Minnesota Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and US Representatives Peterson, Walz, Nolan, and Emmer signed a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund an 11-week extension of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services to bait and kill wolves in areas where livestock have been killed by predation. The killing is done by baiting and trapping in the area in response to a livestock loss by a wolf, as confirmed by the agency. Minnesota’s lawmakers cited an increased need for more wolf killing as due to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wolf estimate that alleges a 25% increase in the states’ wolf population.

The Wildlife Services branch of the USDA-APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Services) in Grand Rapids, MN has run out of operational funds 11 weeks before the end of the year, citing an increased number of wolves killed, up from 179 per year on average to 197 wolves this year. Note that it is the wolves that are being killed in increasing numbers. In fact, we now know that the actual complaints are down by 27% over last year. This agency has been known to spend its annual budget by the late fall because the peak season for problems with livestock and wolves is between May and September. The connection between a "surging" wolf population and Wildlife Services running out of money is completely misleading. Complaints are actually down, and wolf estimates are still lower than they were 10 years ago.

USDA-APHIS kills wolves in response to confirmed livestock losses by baiting all the wolves in an area. There is no information obtained as to whether the baited wolves are “offending” wolves. Wildlife Services now kills 2-3 wolves per confirmed predation on livestock instead of 1-2 wolves killed per complaint 10 years ago. The fact that the Grand Rapids based Wildlife Services has used their budget because they are killing more wolves can be due to many factors including the fact that they are killing more wolves in response to each individual confirmed predation on livestock. In essence—they are a lethal first model instead of a lethal last model. Killing wolves leads can lead to more livestock killing. A program that seeks to reduce conflicts with livestock solely by killing wolves is counter-productive and risks repeating the mistakes of the 1800’s. Research has demonstrated that lethal responses to wolf predation on livestock is associated with more livestock lost the following year. This occurs up until so many wolves are killed (about 25% of the population) that ethey are no longer able to reproduce enough to show this effect. This is thought due to the destabilization of packs to such a point that they cannot hunt effectively or never have the opportunity to learn, resulting in a reliance on livestock as a food source. In essence, killing wolves kills livestock. Minnesota's own data back to 1988, as reported by the USDA's Wildlife Services supports this finding. Most years showing increased predation on livestock follows years where higher numbers of wolves were killed in Minnesota.

Ironically, this request for increased funds for lethal methods comes just days after the announcement from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture of a Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grant which provides reimbursement for farmers and livestock producers who implement nonlethal methods to reduce and prevent wolf-livestock encounters. In Minnesota, farmers who are willing to attempt to avoid problems with wolves and by extension stabilize the wolf population now have funding for nonlethal prevention methods. Ultimately this has been shown to be less expensive and to reduce conflicts and thus unnecessary wolf killing. Lethal methods must be the last resort because baiting wolves to the area where the conflicts occurred, is the exact opposite of what nonlethal deterrence does. Nonlethal methods are meant to keep the wolf away by setting up a boundary using various scare methods and even guard animals. It is the goal of nonlethal to stop or at least slow the wolf and livestock killing cycle by letting the packs stabilize and learn to avoid these areas.

The lawmakers’ request for more funding to bait and trap wolves refers to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) headline that the wolf population has increased by 25%. It is ludicrous to claim that an increased population of the gray wolf has led to an apocalypse scenario for Minnesota's livestock. The DNR’s estimate of wolf numbers is not a “count.”  It is a statistical method that has never been confirmed to actually reflect the real numbers of wolves in MN.

The “bipartisan” support for continued and increased funds for lethal methods was announced by citing the need to protect people and pets due to the "increased" wolf numbers. This appears to be these politicians' supporting our farmers. We agree that farmers in Minnesota should be supported in their tolerance for the wolf. We especially appreciate the nonlethal funding that was passed into law this past spring by our state lawmakers. Now we hope that the lethal methods will be reduced and used as a last resort while we attempt to engage more interest in using nonlethal prevention methods. This all comes at a time when the federal endangered species protection of the wolf is in jeopardy. The Minnesota federal lawmakers who are co-sponsoring bills to remove the federal protection of the wolf are those who are also advocating for the increased funding for lethal methods. We hope to engage these particular lawmakers into further understanding that wolf killing can make matters worse for farmers which is why we are supporting a "nonlethal first" policy.

#LiveAndLetHowl

 

 

Amazing new studies about wolves social behavior

October 17, 2017 - Peter Peterson Senior

Over the centuries people knew about wolves cooperation while hunting in packs. One of the best reflections of this knowledge is Rudyard Kipling's The Law of the Jungle (read the whole poem here):

"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack."

While Kipling's poem shows his deep intuitive understanding of wolf behavior, many people and many zoo logists considered wolves not much more than vicious killing automatons running in packs. Recently there was a string of studies exploring and learning much more about cognitive and social abilities of wolves. And in the process, challenging some of our judgements, assumptions and prejudices. I list links to 4 representative studies accompanied by short quotations, and leave it to the reader to enjoy exploring the study reviews. Go to the links below:

Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves, January 2015
The author's "hypothesis states that since wolves already are tolerant, attentive and cooperative, the relationship of wolves to their pack mates could have provided the basis for today's human-dog relationship."

Sensitivity to inequity is in wolves' and dogs' blood, June 2017
"Not only dogs but also wolves react to inequity - similar to humans or primates. This has been confirmed in a new study by comparative psychologists of the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Wolves and dogs refused to cooperate in an experiment when only the partner got a treat or they themselves received a lower quality reward."

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs, September 2017
"Domestic dogs may have lost some of their innate animal skill when they came in from the wild, according to new research conducted at the Wolf Science Center in Austria."

Wolves found to be more cooperative with their own kind than dogs with theirs, October 2017
"Wolves outperformed dogs, despite comparable levels of interest in the task."

 

 

Democracy and the Gray wolf Depend on the Courts

August 6, 2017 - Maureen Hackett, MD

We are elated with the decision of the US Court of Appeals  (for the District of Columbia Circuit) to keep the Western Great Lakes wolf listed as federally protected and on the endangered species list.  We remain humble, but elated nonetheless. The Court of Appeals' decision was narrow in their affirmation of the lower district courts opinion to keep the Western Great Lakes wolf federally protected. Their opinion addressed the core principle and tactic used to delist the Western Great Lakes wolf population by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service). According to the Court of Appeals, the Service did not even attempt to protect the remaining “remnant” wolf population outside the Great Lakes' area in the lower 48 states. The Court of Appeals agreed that while it is within the Service's purview to delist a distinct population segment, the Service was not doing so in a manner that protected the wolf species as a whole.  It was nearly inconsequential how well the Western Great Lakes wolves were faring, if they could not address the fate of the wolf population throughout the lower 48 states. The Service never addressed how the remnant population would fare once the Western Great Lakes wolves were not protected. The Service had delineated the Western Great Lakes wolf population as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS).  This segment status, which the courts found appropriate, was then delisted by the Service without determining how the rest of the gray wolf population would do if the DPS was not protected. That is, the Service did not consider the effects of delisting the DPS (Western Great Lakes) on the rest of the wolf population.  

The court of appeals cited the Services’ own notice to delist wolves throughout the lower 48 in June 2013, to demonstrate that the Service had not addressed the rest of the wolf population outside of the Western Great Lakes. The Service was not even attempting to consider the “remnant” populations throughout their historic range.  The Court of Appeals stated on page 30 of their opinion, “Worse still, the Service has announced that, with the Western Great Lakes segment carved out, the remnant is no longer a protectable “species” and has proposed its delisting for that reason alone. See Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Maintaining Protections for the Mexican Wolf (Canis Lupus Baileyi) by listing it as Endagered, 78 Fed Reg. 35,664, 35,668 (June 13, 2013) (‘We conclude that the current entity C. Lupus [gray wolf] entity is not a valid species from the List[.]’)

A significant question addressed was whether the delisting negatively affected the Western Great Lakes wolf in Minnesota. The data introduced at the original trial was from 2007-2008, prior to Minnesota’s three consecutive wolf hunts in 2012, 2013, and 2014.  This older data was interpreted to be from a time when the wolf population was delisted (briefly from 2007-2008). There was no recognition that this was a time with no wolf hunting and trapping seasons. The original court filings were done in early 2013 too soon for the wolf population estimates published in the summer of 2013. Minnesota’s more recent data does show a negative affect on the wolf population from the 2012 delisting. In that period ( 2012-2014) over 1700 wolves (known) were killed and the estimated wolf counts dropped 25% the first year of delisting in 2012 and they have stayed down since then.

The Court of Appeals did not agree with the trial court that the state of Minnesota had an “unregulated wolf hunting season” in two-thirds of the state.  Today, we have evidence (using the Court of Appeals’ own standards) that the most recent delisting did harm the wolf in Minnesota.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported in 2014 to the Service that the population dropped by 24% the first year following delisting.  While the Court of Appeals did not agree with the trial judge about the harm to the wolf population, we at HFW know if this were ever re-litigated, evidence for this harm now exists.

For now, we are elated that the wolf hunts in Minnesota were stopped by the District Court and now by the Court of Appeals.  Our work at HFW continues. We have much to do toward educating the public about the wild wolf and in particular about using nonlethal methods as a first response to potential conflicts. For political action, we will persuade our federal politicians to see that the current Senate bill (S.1514) is extremely reckless. It contains a provision that sets unbelievably dangerous precedents. First, that congress is engaging in the nitty-gritty of the science of a species listings and worse and more dangerous, cutting out the courts and allowing congress to cherry pick their favorite laws from which to block the courts.  Sounds unconstitutional? It does to many people. See our earlier blog for the specific wording of S.1514 and tell your US Senator that you do not want S.1514 to pass with this horrific precedent and wolf reissue rule.

We have a democracy that depends on the courts, and so does the wolf.

Court of Appeals: https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/9EDB5CE0814D2B948525816F00511636/$file/15-5041.pdf

#LiveAndLet Howl

Maureen

 

 

HELP for Wildlife Act and delisting the wolves. Again, and again, and again.

July 28, 2017 - Peter Peterson Senior

The enemies of environment are at it again. In the best Orwellian trend, reminiscent of GW Bush presidency, senators Barrasso, Cardin, Boozman, Klobuchar, Capito, and Baldwin hatched another amendment to a bill S.1514 named "Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation for Wildlife Act" or the "HELP for Wildlife Act".

Among many anti-environmental clauses, two are yet another attempt to delist the Great Lakes wolves, and the US wolves in general, quote:

"SEC. 7. Reissuance of final rule regarding gray wolves in Western Great Lakes.
Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on December 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance shall not be subject to judicial review."

"SEC. 8. Reissuance of final rule regarding gray wolves in Wyoming.
The final rule published on September 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 55530) that was reinstated on March 3, 2017, by the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 14–5300) and further republished on May 1, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 20284–85) that reinstates the removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, shall not be subject to judicial review."

Note the often repeated refrain, very likely contrary to the US Constitution, at the end of each section: "shall not be subject to judicial review". They clearly indicate that the authors are duly afraid that their ammendment may be overturned by a court, and attempt to introduce a statement that they hope would prevent this.

You can see the amendment at this link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1514

 

 

THE WOLF IN AMERICAN POLITICS

January 29, 2017 - Dr. Michael W. Fox, author of The Soul of the Wolf

The wolf in America has become a political symbol of a nation divided: Divided between the takers and exploiters and protectors and conservators of wolves and the last of the wild. Wolves are in the crosshairs again of legislators bent on passing legislation (without judicial review) in Senate Bill 164 to take away the specie’s federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Such legislation ignores the vital role of wolves in maintaining healthy forests, deer, elk and biodiversity. It replaces that role with the arrogant assumption that we can do better without wolves as wildlife and wild lands managers and “harvest” them on a sustainable basis for recreational trophy sports hunters and trappers.

Abnormally high deer populations fostered by State departments of natural resources and by recreational deer feeding stations of private land owners have helped decimate habitat quality and diversity, helped spread chronic wasting and other deer diseases, some communicable to humans such as Lyme disease that has become a significant, nation-wide public health issue.

De-listing wolves will open their domain to mining, logging and other destructive human incursions and they will suffer and die under the renewed assault of the publicly subsidized beef industry and legions of hunters and trappers.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Democracy Index, the U.S. government has been downgraded and is no longer classed as a “full democracy.” It never will be so long as its native flora and fauna, its indigenous peoples and species, communities and domains continue to be marginalized. The informed majority of America can stop this destructive juggernaut of vested interests by urging their Senators to oppose Senate Bill 164 because in the protection of the wolf lies the preservation and restoration of  democratic process, eco-justice and a sane and humane society.

 

 

Dr. Maureen Hackett interview with WCCO AM830 at John Hines Show

September 1, 2016 - Howling For Wolves

Howling For Wolves President Dr. Maureen Hackett featured in WCCO AM830 radio program - John Hines Show from MN State Fair on August 31, 2016. Dr. Hackett covered many issues related to survival of wolves, environment and latest developments from legislative perspective. Click on the image below to hear the interview.

 

 

Congressional Threats to the Wolf

June 23, 2016 - Howling For Wolves

The following bills contain language that would delist the gray wolf.  The language is in a variety of bills; from appropriations bills (which fund the federal government) as legislative riders (language attached to spending bills that contain policy language rather than just spending levels) to stand-alone bills.

Below is a list of bills pending in Congress as of June 23, 2016:

  • FY 2017 House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill

The House Appropriations Committee passed out the FY 17 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on June 15, on a party-line vote of 31-18 (all 31 Republicans on the Committee voted to pass the bill while all 18 Democrats on the Committee voted against it).  Like Interior Appropriations bills before it, the legislation was loaded with more than 30 legislative riders, including the wolf delisting rider.  The language in the bill reads:

Reissuance of Final Rules
“Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act,     the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on December 28, 2011  (76 Fed. Reg. 81666 et seq.) and the final rule published on September 10, 2012  (77 Fed. Reg. 55530 et seq.), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rules.  Such reissuances (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.”

During markup of the bill before the full Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) offered an amendment to strip all legislative riders (also referred to as poison pills) from the bill.  This amendment was defeated on a party-line vote – meaning all Republicans voted against the McCollum amendment and all Democrats voted in favor of it.

  • FY 2017 Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations bill

An Appropriations bill needs to pass both the House and Senate.  Since Republicans control both the House and Senate, the outcome of these bills is often the same. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed out the FY 17 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on Thursday, June 16, on a party-line vote.  Like in the House Committee the day before, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment stripping the bill of all legislative riders.  And, like in the House, one of the riders in the Senate version was the wolf delisting rider, identical to the House’s version.  Senator Udall’s amendment failed on a party-line vote of 16-14 (all 16 Republicans on the Committee voted against the amendment and all 14 Democrats on the Committee voted in favor of the amendment) and the bill was voted out of Committee on a party line vote.

  • S. 2012 – House Energy Policy Package

S. 2012 passed at the end of May with almost 40 separate pieces of legislation attached to it.  One bill that was attached to it was HR 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage & Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act).  The SHARE Act was passed earlier in the House with a wolf delisting amendment attached.  HR 8, the Houses energy bill, now has wolf delisting language in it.  The bill passed 241-178 with all but 8 Democrats voting for it and all but 6 Republicans voting against.

  • S. 659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act

S. 659 is one of two Sportsmen Act bills in the Senate.  This version, introduced by Senator Sullivan (R-AK), was marked up in February by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  During markup Senator Barrasso (R-WY) offered a wolf delisting amendment that was passed and made a part of the bill.  This bill has not been scheduled for debate on the floor.

  • HR 843, Western Great Lakes Wolf Management Act

HR 843 was sponsored by Representative Kline (R-MN) and would delist the gray wolf.  This bill was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee in February where it sits today.  

  • S. 2876 and HR 2910, the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act and the Mexican Gray Wolf Transparency & Accountability Act

These bills were introduced by Senator Flake (R-AZ) and Representative Gosar (R-AZ), both of Arizona, earlier this year and sit in their respective committees.  Both bills would delist the Mexican gray wolf.

  • HR 1985, the Pacific Northwest Gray Wolf Management Act

This bill was introduced by Representative Newhouse R-WA) in April and hasn’t moved from Committee.  Like the other bills on the list, it would delist the gray wolf in the Pacific Northwest.

As of now, that’s all of the anti-wolf bills pending before Congress.  Language to delist can be added to any legislation that is deemed germane and there is every indication to believe the anti-wolf forces in the House and Senate will continue their assault on the wolf until they succeed. 

 

 

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