Wolf, © Michael S. Quinton / National Geographic Stock

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

Money wasted on anti-wolfers – While contracting with anti-wolf organizations, Utah wildlife officials failed on numerous accounts to protect taxpayer dollars, according to the latest report from the Salt Lake Tribune. Utah based lobbying group Big Game Forever (BGF) has received $800,000 over the last four years to lobby for stripping federal protection for most gray wolves in the lower 48 states. Even though there are no known wolves in Utah, the group is adamantly opposed to the return of wolves and other predators. Most recently, BGF was awarded $300,000 in grants by the Division of Wildlife Resources in 2013 but has failed so far to fully account for how the money was spent. This kind of anti-wolf politics continues to foment distrust and controversy instead of focusing on practical solutions for restoring wolves to the landscape while addressing potential conflicts with hunters and ranchers. Too bad groups like BGF seem to be more interested in getting their next contracts (and lining their pockets) than working to achieve a healthier balance between predator and prey.

Wood River wolves, © Defenders of WIldlife

Judith returns to the Wood River Valley with her pup.

Wolf hunt aftermath – Unfortunately, wolf hunting is already taking its toll on populations nationwide. We lost an old friend of ours along with her pup. An old female wolf known as Judith was discovered years ago in the Wood River Project area when she was only a year old and has been an iconic figure in Central Idaho – a favorite of many local wolf watchers. She was rediscovered this summer by our wildlife cameras roaming within our project area in the Sawtooth Mountains along with her pup. Sadly, this could be the end of what was once the Phantom Hill Pack.

Denver denizens denounce delisting – Despite the federal shutdown and the canceling of the federal hearing in Denver, around 60 people attended and nearly 40 folks testified in front of the panelists (Fred Cheever – DU Law Professor, Environmental and Natural Resource Law; Dave Jones – wolf/mountain loin advocate and wildlife photographer; and Annecoos Wiersema — DU Law Professor, International Environmental Law) at the Colorado Citizens’ Wolf Hearing. Ssponsors of the hearing included WildEarth Guardians, Defenders, Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter, University of Denver Strum College of Law, and Friends of Animals.

Citizen's hearing, © Defenders of Wildlife

Wolf advocates testify at the Colorado citizen’s hearing.

At the hearing there were common themes of protecting wolves for ecological and economic reasons, but everyone that spoke had a unique story, experience, or viewpoint to share. As expected, all the testimony was in support of wolves, but there certainly were diverse voices, including law students, a self-proclaimed ethical hunter, teachers/educators, a nurse, and a rancher. Defenders activist, Alex Marks, offered the following testimony:

“Please do not allow this proposal to bring down one of Earth’s most beautiful and symbolic creatures. We owe it to the wolves to keep these guardians thriving and flourishing in the natural world, and let them educate us how to survive in our world of today and beyond. We owe it to them…to keep that very same promise.”

We’re hopeful that FWS will reschedule its official public hearing for Denver as well as those planned for Albuquerque and Sacramento. As soon as we have the details, we’ll be sure to share them.

10 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up”

  1. Mary Morris

    I don’t approve of killing any wild animals just for sport.Kill for food only. What is wrong with us ?

  2. Kerry Michel

    Wolves hold a special place in the environment and need to be relisted under the Endangered Species Act. They belong to us all, not to the hunters and ranchers that are intent on eradicating them all. Save them!!

  3. Tim Cammers

    I would love to have my letter read to the FWS. I just wish my wolf brothers and sisters to be free from harm from man. There was a time when wolf and man were friends now it seems they are mortal enemy’s. It’s time to fix this. The truth of the matter is that our dogs today would not be here if it was not for the wolf. Every time they kill a wolf they should think there are killing someones dog. Time to make them think a little.

  4. wherecanigetsomeobjectivity

    Big Game Forever is all smoke and mirrors, they need Federal Protections on wolves because as the article so clearly states they can then leverage their influence with the Utah DNR. They’ve learned like many other “activist” groups that there is money to be made, and so far they’ve done a great job.

    Hopefully, this is a critical blow to the group, they along with Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife have duped far too many in Utah and people need to wake up to their ways.

  5. Yasmin

    Breaks my heart … The injustice to wolves. I am so ashamed by the gross lobbying destruction of morality amoung our citazens. I hope one day they will have a change of heart and abide by the rule of nature… Stop ruining us!!!!

  6. Bayardo Mendieta-Baltodano

    Let the wolves alone, let them grow, live and multiply and let the die for themselves. Mother Nature is going to take care, to put them down. Do not repeat what happened in the great state of Alaska under Governor Palin, that officer of the DNR or else hunted down the wolves almost to the the limit to make them disappear of the landscape.

    Hear in the great state of Minnesota our Timber Wolf is growing and growing.


  7. Arden Allen

    America is not as divided as we are urged to believe by sensation journalism. We are progressing slowly but surely toward a more sane world – if we can get there in time. Like the stupid hunters they represent the extreme rightists in Congress are shooting their feet full of holes. But to make better progress we need to grab the headlines away from them and steer the (mis)information ship in a better direction. We need a mutiny on Noah’s Ark!

  8. Jeffrey Albert Geist

    I was at the Washington DC rally/hearings for FWS back on 9/30/2013. I was the second speaker. In the 2 minutes I had to “testify” (thought I’d have at least 4) I tried to make a connection between what can really only be called the WOLF EXTERMINATION MOVEMENT in the US and the percerived confvlicting interests of frackers, drillers, miners (including sand tars oilers and pipeliners), lumberers (now clear-cutting for FUEL) that I really do not see or hear anywhere either on the internet, via any of the environmental/wildlife organizations, etc. I tried to make this point to a few people before the hearings; one guy said to me: “You think you’re the only one whoever thought of that?” I toid this fool that “no, ‘didn’t think I was the only one to make this connection and then tried to tell him, “but I do think if we don’t start making it and making it real clear to the public soon it’s gonna be “game over yesterday.” He walked away, full of himself. Truth is, the public is totally asleep to what’s going on both in America and Canada. What we need to do is wake it up (the public). When people think at all about wolf-killing (most of them are so into “virtual reality” as being “true reality” that they don’t think about it all) they think of conflicts with ranchers, shepherds, and maybe some farmers. The ranchers do not own most of the public lands their cattle graze on; we the taxpayers do, they are paid quite handsomely for depredataions by the government for an animal that’s going to be turned into hamburger anyway, and a lot of ranchers are learning new ways to deal with wolves as well as with sheep (some are more stubborn than others about making changes in their “ways.” I tried to bring up the subject of elk poaching, which is routine in the American northwest and how these poachers want wolves dead due to competitioni. But the REAL DEAL is that this government, the Obama Administration, not FSW, is ordering effective nationwide lupicide/EXTERMINATION of wolves because it is essentially being told by the above-named corporate tar sands oil, frackers, miners, drillers, corporate farmers, lumberers mentioned above to do so. The public needs to know that this is happening – IT CANNOT BE DENIIED – because these corporate energy Czars are terrified that if wolves are protected then inevitably protection of their habitat will also have to be – at least to some degree – protected as well….habitat that these PIGS (no other word for them except worse ones) want to frack, drill, mine, lumber, grow their Monsanto-tained veggies on, etc., etc. They would frack in cemeteries if they could. Our President, who has broken virutally every wildlife, environmental, and nature promise he made while initially campaigning (he was going to “keep offshore drilling where it is”; now he wants to drill in parts of the Arctic where the Aleutians meet Siberia where there have been 7.7 Richter Scale earthquakes, he wants to be energy independent via fracking and, especially tar sands, and then he’s trying to sell the tar sands to Europeans….who don’t want them. There is no deal he won’t make. He is a puppet to the SUPERPACS and his campaign contributors who include all the oil folks of all kinds, etc., etc. Get the picture. The public is AWARE of fracking and sand tars oil and their dangers. We don’t have to teach them anything about this. They are not aware that wolves are being exterminated nationwide so that there can be frackers anytime, anyplace, anywhere the CORPORATE ENERGY PIGS want to, as they do not care one bit that they are totally RAPING the so-called AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL. Were you environmental organizationi folks able to put that together for them, let them know that Obama and the people pulling his puppet strings are responsible for this, it just might wake up the public before it’s too late for our TRUE FRIEND, the wolf. It would take courage. This government is totally underhanded, they are used to being paid off to do the bidding of the DRILLING AND MINING PIGS. Our laws mean NOTHING – witness how many times ANWR has been protected only to become unprotected once again. This is TRULY SCANDALOUS. The public responds to bigtime SCANDAL. We need the public “up in arms,” about this hideous LUPICIDE; that’s a fact. At the DC Fish & Wildlife hearings, out of maybe 80 speakers, I was THE ONE AND ONLY person who even tried to bring this up. Talking about the reasons why people have hated wolves, the fairy tales that have made them infamous will do nothing for them. I was totally APPALLED THAT NO ONE took the ball from me and ran with it on this subject. Maybe some of you – Wilderness Society, Sierra, Biological Diversity, NWF, WWF, Defenders, Environmental Protection, anybody will take this ball and run with it. Again, it will take courage. We are living in a wolrd that in a lot of ways has got more of a big brother than the Soviet Union ever did. Please somebody do something about this and do it soon. I have been trying to contact various orgs, but they go “yeah, yeah, yeah,” don’t even in some cases seem to know anything about what’s going on, and then when I call them back 2 weeks later to see if they’ve talked to their directors or wolf specialists or whatever, they’ve just been too busy to get around to it. They all continue to ask us for money. Money for what? Again, it’s not so much about people hating wolves. Most people love wolves; it’s about the Plutocracy that used to be America (maybe always was a Plutocracy), but the interests of the Power and Energy Czars who control the President and the Congress who are ORDERING THIS GENOCIDAL-LIKE killing. Do they not understand that their money has done nothing, that things have only gotten worse for the wolf. If this connection that I speak of here is not made public in a way that tells the truth – because the truth here is totally SCANDALOUS – then forget clean drinking water, forget your toxic skies, etc. It has been the wolf that has been protecting you from the PIGS who have been lying and lying and lying to you forever and will continue to do so about their “no danger BS” in sand tars oil, fracking, mining, etc. The same folks who used to tell you that Camel cigarettes were approved by doctors, the same folks who had soldiers sitting in front of hydrogen bomb testing watching the blasts in Utah and Nevada. Get serious Wildlife ORGS. We’re pretty much out of time now. Do something that reflects that you understand this. Rise up!!!!

  9. Kitty Whitehouse

    I am more concerned than ever that wolves need to be included in the ecosystem, but not overrun it or attack livestock. As a family who raised wolves for 15 years, we learned how to live with them: their intelligence, their feelings, their body language, how they think, where instinct takes precedence over training, etc.
    I know you have tried fladdery to keep them separated from livestock, but have you tried METAL, like fork and spoon wind chimes, or other pieces of clanking pieces of scrap metal hanging from perimeter fences??? Our wolves didn’t mind cloth, but hated man made metal things, and would have nothing to do with them – even riding in cars (that all dogs love to do) was totally shunned by our wolves. I haven’t read anything about noisy metal deterrence, but would like to know if you have tried it and if it worked at all. Thank you!

  10. Maggie Keefe

    I don’t understand why people are so afraid of these beautifully majestic animals. And that is the basis of their dislike for them, they fear them. It does not now nor will it ever make sense to me why people see the wolf as such a threat that they want to wipe them from the face of the earth. I recommend they read of Wolves and Men. Maybe they would understand better the animal and it’s importance in our world. How important it is to the natural balance of things. It isn’t Rocket Science. There are plenty of Elk and Moose and Caribou to go around for man and natural predator. Ah but their fear along with their poor sportsmanship and misconceptions of the wolf keep the hate and desire to see them all wiped off the earth alive. We won this battle once hopefully we can win it again with sound science and proof that they are needed.

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