If Star Wars was made by environmentalists..

Derrick Jensen, a controversial environmental activist most known for advocating the end of civilization, tells the story of the original Star Wars, as made by environmentalists:

Wuerthner: Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard

Anti-Wolfer’s Success In An End-Run Delisting of Wolves MUST Ultimately Backfire

George Wuerthner wrote this now apt essay over a year ago, published in New West last September, suggesting that should anti-wolf interests succeed in delisting wolves and fail to exercise restraint in killing wolves that it would ultimately backfire.

Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard – George Wuerthner – NewWest.net

Demographically the country is changing to a more diverse racial, religious and age structure.  The majority of Americans who do not hunt only accept hunting if they believe the hunter is killing an animal to eat it. Public support for hunting declines rapidly if hunters kill animals for trophy mounts. When it comes to shooting an animal just to kill it as would be the case for hunters shooting wolves—and/or worse as a matter of vindication as in predator control, public support turns to public opposition.

Similarly, without the ESA ‘hook’ extending legal protection for wolves, some of the last, best remaining legal angles to protect wolves will be in preventing conflict with livestock on public lands that is ultimately responsible for government trapping and slaughter of entire packs of wolves.

Increased public scrutiny over public lands ranching at the land-use level – demanding that ranchers implement preventative measures as a condition of permit to use public lands to graze cattle and sheep is one tangible avenue wolf-advocates might pursue to accomplish wolf protections.

One thing is for sure – if wolves are to persist on the landscape in the ecologically relevant numbers that advocates have been promoting for years, outrage over the wanton slaughter of wolves must be felt by those responsible.

Wolves at a Crossroads: 2011

The Endangered Species Act in Peril

Yesterday I received an envelope containing a report which was hand-delivered to every member of the U.S. Congress. The report was prepared by the group Living with Wolves which was founded by filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher.

Their mission statement reads:

Living with Wolves is dedicated to raising awareness about the social nature of wolves, their importance to healthy ecosystems, threats to their survival and the essential actions people can take to help save wolves.

I think the report is very worthy reading and does a good job of explaining why legislative delisting of wolves should be opposed.

Wolves at a Crossroads: 2011
The Endangered Species Act in Peril.

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism

Here are a couple of articles about the Buffalo Field Campaign and how they, and other groups are funded.  Contrary to popular belief BFC’s top paid people don’t make much money (trust me, I know this because I am on their Board of Directors).  BFC is also very efficient with its money and has very resourceful people working to maintain and improve its cars and property.  Most of its funds are spent on keeping people out in the field to document what happens to the buffalo and educating visitors to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park during the summer months.

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

The Donor Dance: How green groups stay funded.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

Trial rescheduled in felony elk poaching case against anti-wolf activist

The saga continues of the case against anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer, who is accused of poaching a huge elk-

Judge doesn’t dismiss poaching charge. Trial rescheduled in felony case against anti-wolf activist. By Terry Smith. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

The issue seems not to be whether he poached an elk, but whether it actually met the legal definition of “trophy” elk.

We have done quite a few articles this case, which many are saying shows the blatant hypocrisy of anti-wolf, “elk loving,” activists.

Why is Obama prosecuting Tim DeChristopher, the gas-lease pranker?

A good question, given all the unprosecuted, indeed celebrated, criminals at high levels-

Tim DeChristopher was convicted at his trial after not being allowed to explain the motives for his prank. Do Motives Matter? The DeChristopher Verdict. The New York Times. By Kirk Johnson.

Inside traders, coal and oil company disaster creators, military contractors break the law with no fear. Two Justices of the Supreme Court plot openly with the Koch Brothers, but who gets convicted? As climate crime continues, who are we sending to jail? Tim DeChristopher? By Bill McKibben. Grist Magazine.

Some people are outraged. Read below (written shortly before his trial).

Why is Obama prosecuting Tim DeChristopher, the gas-lease pranker? Jeremy Bloom. Red, Green, and Blue.

Tim DeChristopher Goes on Trial for Disrupting Oil Lease Auction

DeChristopher may get 10 years for unconventional method of protecting Utah’s beautiful canyonlands from oi companies-

We have had many stories on this, but not for quite a while. Tim DeChristopher could be punished far more than the Wall Street investment bankers who stole billions. He bid against oil speculators at a Department of Interior (BLM) oil and gas lease auction in 2008. He had no money, however.

Trial of eco-activist who punk’d BLM begins. Greenspace in the New York Times.

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Note. He was quickly convicted. Webmaster.

With Whaling Ships Under Attack, Japan Will Recall Fleet

Victory !!

“Japan will cut short this year’s annual whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean after obstruction by an environmental group largely prevented its ships from killing whales, the government said Friday.” Read about in in the New York Times. By Martin Fackler.

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Earlier in this blog. 11/30/10.  Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered? By Ken Cole.

Local megaload opposition relents on first 4 megaloads

Opponents of the megaloads drop fight on the first four-

Having lost before the Idaho Department of Transportation, opponents of the oil megaloads will no longer try to stop the first four of them.  These are bound for the existing oil refinery in Billings, Montana. The next 200 megaloads (not approved for now) are for what many see as the tar sand pits from hell in Alberta, Canada.

Movement of the first four should reveal much about who is right about them?  Will the loads have great difficulty getting up the highway and over Lolo Pass?  Will there be an accident?  Will they be safely parked during the day, or will they end up blocking traffic? Will the megaloads harm the highway surface or warp the bridges?  Will the megaloads generate any local employment beyond a few people holding signs and public revenues going to pay for highway patrol escorts?

Idaho megaload opponents: Let big rigs roll to Billings. By Kim Briggeman of Missoulian. missoulian.com

– – – – –

Feb. 1, 2011 update. As Megaloads Roll, What Two of Three Plaintiffs Learned About Opposition. New West (feature article). By Steve Bunk.  New West has done an outstanding job covering the megaloads issue. This is their latest feature article.

I was particularly impressed with this quote in the article, “Referring to state troopers who accompany megaloads through Idaho, Laughy remarked, ‘I find it particularly interesting that our state could be contracting out our police to the South Korean government.’ ”  I say it’s a good example what happens when we (the United States) are well on our way to being a colony of the corporations of other parts of the world (thanks to the work of people like provincial governor Butch Otter).

Oil company megaloads to stay at port in Lewiston for Christmas

Idaho activists successfully delay megaloads into 2011-

Hearing officer does not issue a decision on the international oil company megaloads sitting at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho. Decision will be coming out at an undefined future date.

No ruling before Christmas on megaloads. Lewiston (ID) Tribune on-line

Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S.

Center for Biological Diversity seeks to return wolves to West Coast, New England, Southern Rockies and Great Plains

The Center for Biological Diversity has filed litigation in response to the lack of response to their petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand protections for wolves across a significant portion of their historical range.

Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S..
Laura Zuckerman – Reuters

Lawsuit Launched to Recover Wolves Across Country
Center for Biological Diversity Press Release.

Swiss philanthropist buys $35M in Plum Creek Timber land in western Montana

This is not the first land protection buy-up in the Rockies by the Swiss billionaire-

This purchase seems to be a very good thing for conservation of the Montana landscape, but I’d bet this post will stir up a lot of debate about billionaires buying land (or maybe just about billionaires and why there are so many of them all of a sudden).

Swiss philanthropist buys $35M in Plum Creek Timber land in western Montana.  By Matthew Brown. Associated Press

Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered?

Activism at work.

Humpback Whale © Ken Cole

Humpback Whale © Ken Cole

I’ve never written about this here but I have been following this campaign for many years and I have been acquainted with a number of people who have volunteered for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society over those years. Of all of the anti-whaling groups out there they are the most effective but also the most controversial. They operate in international waters against a fleet of Japanese whalers who are illegally hunting in a whale sanctuary near Antarctica. Their actions have been chronicled in the popular Whale Wars series on Animal Planet.

I recently met several dedicated employees and Captain Chuck Swift of the Bob Barker, a ship named after the game show host who donated the funds to buy it, while traveling with my friend Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign and his stories were amazing. These people really put their lives at risk to save wildlife from unsustainable harvest. Chuck gave me a hoody sweatshirt that I wear with pride.

While this may be a short lived victory it is sweet nonetheless. I commend them for their dedication.

Ken Cole.

Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered?.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Update December 2, 2010: Japanese whaling ship heads to sea

Movement of giant oil equipment through Montana sparks Missoula protest

Oversized, outsized equipment protest. . . the first of years of citizen anger against environmental disruption and traffic delays?

It seems to me that this will not be a one time event because the passage of this huge equipment through north central Idaho and then Montana will be ongoing for many years.

Missoula demonstrators protest big rigs, fossil fuels at Exxon station. By Gwen Florio.  Missoulian

The Guy Idaho Ranchers Love to Hate

“If we weren’t getting to them, they’d brush us off like a fly. After all, we’re just a little organization with 14 or 15 people, but they act like what we do is the end of the world.”

Jon Marvel sees two ways to get cows and sheep to stop grazing on public lands: Politics and litigation. He chooses the latter.

Dennis Higman does a profile on Jon for NewWest.

Fortunate for all of us who care about western public lands and wildlife, the degree to which ranchers and their politician lap-dogs whine about WWP is in direct proportion to the degree at which the organization is bringing much needed change and restoration to the western public landscape.

The Guy Idaho Ranchers Love to HateNewWest.net

There are two topics you don’t want to bring up with most Idaho ranchers: wolves and Jon Marvel, the white-haired, 63-year-old founder and executive director of the Western Watersheds Project.

Who’s not willing to compromise on wolves?

Is compromising with the lawless in the best interest of wolves, wildlife, or the ESA?

By Ken Cole, Ralph Maughan, and Brian Ertz.

Ever since wolves were relisted as an Endangered Species by Judge Molloy of Montana there has been a persistent drone of editorial opinion, political grandstanding, and accusations made about and against wolf/Endangered Species Act (ESA) advocates.

Backlash.

Just recently, a piece was written that claimed wolf advocates “blew it” by fighting too long and too hard to protect the integrity of the ESA via fighting to keep protections for wolves. It went on to say that wolf advocates should have made an offer to settle rather than fight for the integrity of the ESA and now they are responsible for giving their opponents ammunition to threaten the integrity of the ESA.

The fact of the matter is that wolf advocate plaintiffs have been in settlement discussions with defendants, sadly enough, even after the court victory re-instating protections for wolves. It’s been wolf-opponents such as representatives of the state of Idaho that have declined to participate, refusing to even send anyone to these discussions. So who’s being too strident and why?

Furthermore, any settlement agreement must be reviewed by the public which means that it is an action that could be litigated by any number of groups for various reasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Congressman Denny Rehberg holding “Wolf Impact Hearings” in Montana

Don’t expect facts, just politics and ranting.

Do you want to speak your mind and tell Denny Rehberg what you think about wolves? Here’s your chance. Of course these “hearings” are just grandstanding and are being held only in areas where anti-wolf sentiment is strong but you can attend and let your voice be heard.

Issues like this are just a distraction from other real problems in Montana. Jobs, education, and other concerns are subservient to those of ranchers and the noble landed elite.

Don’t expect much factual information at these hearings. Oh, and while you are there you can meet Toby Bridger…. or is that Toby Bridges of LoboWatch fame.

Congressman Denny Rehberg : YOU`RE INVITED: Wolf Impact Hearings in Dillon, Hamilton, Kalispell.

‘Just Say Now’: Left-Right Coalition Launches Campaign To Legalize Pot

What has this got to do with wildlife?  Plenty!

Growing of marijuana in the woods on both public and private land keeps expanding and using more and more nasty chemicals and violence — a menace to wildlife, hikers, campers, and hunters. This election year might be the year to put an end to the enormously costly, politically corrupting, polluting, and ineffective “war” against this not very harmful drug.

‘Just Say Now’: Left-Right Coalition Launches Campaign To Legalize Pot. Huffington Post. By Ryan Grim.

I should add that for the huge number of people who are concerned about U.S./Mexico border problems, ending the war on drugs will do as much as any fence to stop the violence.

The West needs more, not fewer, wolves

George Wuerthner responds to anti-wolf claims and asks wildlife managers to consider the ecosystem, the whole community of life, in assessing wolves’ influence in the west:

The West needs more, not fewer, wolvesMissoulian, Guest Column – June 7, 2010 :

Despite the dire predictions from hunter advocacy groups that wolves are “destroying” elk herds, the real problem for Montana and other western states is not that wolves eat too many elk; rather the problem is that they do not eat enough.

Greens call for Salazar’s resignation

Dozens of Environmental Groups and Scientists sign letter asking Obama for Ken Salazar’s Resignation.

Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

WildEarth Guardians initiated the drive to find signatories to the letter in which a number of conservation groups and scientists have called for the resignation of Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. Many of the signatories had asked Obama to not appoint him in the first place.

I believe that Ken Salazar has been a disaster for the environment. He has not tackled the corruption in the Minerals Management Service, has done virtually nothing to reform public lands ranching, and has the worst record for protecting endangered species. This all comes on top of the BP Gulf Oil Spill which will forever change the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal areas.

I have not seen who all has signed the letter but I have seen the letter floating around for about a week. I do know, however, that Western Watersheds Project (which I am an employee of) and Buffalo Field Campaign (which I am a member of the board) have signed it.

Greens call for Salazar’s resignation.
Juliet Eilperin -Washington Post

Colorado Group Urges Ken Salazar to Stay in Colorado
WildEarth Guardians – Press Release

Notes on Jim Beer’s many hour long speech at Bozeman, May 16

Bozeman naturalist’s notes on the event-

There has been a lot of discussion on the blog of the speech Jim Beer’s gave Sunday May 16th, 2010 at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman, from 1 PM to 5 PM. The speech was sponsored by Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, which has been complaining about wolves since it was organized in 1999.

The approximate text of the speech was posted here

Norm Bishop of Bozeman attended. Bishop worked for the National park Service for 36 years. His last 17 years were at Yellowstone, 1980-1997. He is an expert on the Northern Range elk herd, wolves, and many other aspects of the area’s wildlife. He was a contributor to the 1994 environmental impact statement, “The Reintroduction of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho.” This is important because Beers was speaking to a crowd 15 years after the event and no doubt many who attended were children when the wolves were reintroduced and so they were open to anyone’s version of the history of the event. This version is a very strange one based on my experience which goes back to the event and the years leading up to ti.

The news media didn’t cover the event, which is probably one reason Lee Enterprises was condemned at the event, although judging from the political nature of event and a 3 hours plus speech, little coverage by major media is what you usually expect.
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Notes on the speech by Norm Bishop

Wolf Introduction is a criminal enterprise based on scientific fraud was the title of a talk I attended Sunday May 16th, 2010 at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman, from 1 PM to 5 PM. Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd (Friends) sponsored the presentation by (James M.) Jim Beers, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Biologist turned whistle blower and Congressional investigator. The talk was intended to prove that the U.S. FWS and state fish and game agencies broke the law in the implementation and administration of forced wolf introduction. Purpose: to unify those that have been harmed and to fund a lawsuit. The announcement of the talk appeared in April (Vol. 1 No. 7 of The All American Patriot, a paper whose editor is listed as Robert T. Fanning Jr. (founder and chairman of Friends). Its address is P.O. Box 16129, Big Sky, MT 59716.

Fanning said the paper has a distribution of 5,000. [I have seen it mainly in the entrances of convenience or grocery stores. Based on the attendees, I presume much of the circulation of the Patriot is to small towns in southwest Montana.]

[Content that is not attributed by quotation marks, but follows the words of the speaker, should be understood as coming from the speaker, as nearly as I could record it. Some lines are paraphrased as I recall them. If I make a comment, I will enclose it in brackets. Notes in parentheses are inserted for continuity and clarity. No doubt I missed, or mis-heard some things. I accept the blame for that. NB]

Bob Fanning opened the meeting at 1:20 PM with a prayer by Barry Coe about freedom from the ruling class, and ending with, “bless this assembly of patriots.” He said he founded Friends in August 1999 with Bill Hoppe (A fifth generation rancher and co-owner of North Yellowstone Outfitters). (Fanning cites former membership in the Chicago Board of Trade 1981-1994, and the New York Stock Exchange). He said he’d hired Park County Attorney Karl Knuchel to represent them. He said he and Bill Hoppe recruited 3,742 members for Friends.

Read the rest of this entry »

Update 5/6/10: Two Bulls Shot, Hazing Begins in Earnest

2 bulls shot after being agitated by drugs used in “study”

Below is today’s Buffalo Field Campaign weekly update. Of note is the shooting deaths of two bull bison that were involved in the recent APHIS tests which involved using a vibrating anal probe so that they can test their ejaculate for brucellosis. The bulls had been drugged to immobilize them then once the samples had been taken they were given a drug to wake them up again. The drug caused them to be very agitated and they started moving north of the Park towards Yankee Jim Canyon along the Yellowstone River. Because the Park Service was unable to haze them back towards the Park agents from the Montana Department of Livestock shot them.

I’ll say it again, this study is useless and has put people at risk. They are just trying to rationalize hazing and killing bull buffalo which will not transmit brucellosis to cattle.

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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
May 6, 2010

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* Perseverance Despite Overwhelming Odds ~ Roman Sanchez
* Update from the Field: Two Bulls Shot, Hazing Begins
NEW VIDEO & TAKE ACTION:  APHIS Torture Testing Bull Bison
* BFC Looking for Summer Education Volunteers
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Useful Links
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Read the rest of this entry »

Oral Arguments on Wilderness/Wolf litigation heard today

“Wilderness Wolf Watchers” Coalition seeks an Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order preventing the landing of helicopters

Chief District Judge B. Lynn Winmill is set to hear oral arguments on the Frank Church Wilderness/Helicopter Landing litigation this afternoon.  The “Wilderness Wolf Watchers” Coalition seeks an Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order preventing the landing of helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness before they take place, while the merits of the case are considered.

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game and the US Forest Service each filed briefs against the Wilderness Wolf Watcher coalition’s request :

IDFG Brief
USFS Brief

Among their arguments, the government belittles several advocates’ declarations describing their trips to the Frank this winter and their potential for their wilderness experience to be harmed by the helicopter incursion.

Laurie Rule, Wilderness/Wolf advocates’ esteemed attorney, replied to the governments’ argument with this excellent brief :

Plaintiff’s Reply Brief

Read the rest of this entry »

More Groups Join & Motions Filed in Frank Church Wilderness/Helicopter Landing Litigation

“Wilderness Wolf Watchers” Act to Protect Wolves & Wilderness

On Patrol Ridge. Frank Church Wilderness. Salmon River Mtns © Ralph Maughan

The Wolf Recovery Foundation and Western Watersheds Project recently filed suit to end the Idaho Department of Fish & Game’s (IDF&G) attempt to use helicopters to chase, capture, and collar wolves in the Frank Church-River-Of-No-Return Wilderness.  The suit also seeks to shut down Wildlife Service’s wolf killing operations in the state of Idaho, and halt grazing in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area as it conflicts with wildlife, particularly predators including wolves.

More groups sue over wilderness helicopter useAP

Now, a number of additional conservation groups are jumping on to challenge the Frank Church/wolf/helicopter-landing part of the lawsuit including:

Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Winter Wildlands Alliance
Wilderness Watch
Idaho Conservation League
The Wilderness Society

I hope you’ll take a look at the motion and brief filed yesterday :

Read the Opening Injuction Brief
Read the Injunction Motion

Should the IDF&G be allowed to harass, land, and collar wolves with helicopters, many prominent conservationists’ wilderness/wildlife-watching experiences will be harmed as they plan to recreate and take solitude within the lower 48-state’s largest Wilderness area this coming season.

I hope you’ll take the time to read the declarations of former wolf & Wilderness managers, Wolf Recovery Foundation & WWP board, staff, and members whose powerful experiences with wolves and the Frank Church wilderness is an inspiration: Read the rest of this entry »

New Sierra Club chief brings confrontational style to the job

Michael Brune is a big foe of industrial polluters-

He has a hard job ahead after yesterday’s Supreme Court decision giving corporations more political power than they have had in a hundred years.

New Sierra Club chief brings confrontational style to the job. “The new leader of the US’s largest environmental group will come to the job with a record of ‘environmental agitation’ against big industrial polluters. From Grist, part of the [U.K.] Guardian Environment Network”  

WWP & Wolf Recovery Foundation Litigates Big to Protect Wolves in Central Idaho

~ by Jon Marvel

Jon Marvel
Friends,
On December 31, 2009 Western Watersheds Project and the Wolf Recovery Foundation welcomed the New Year by filing litigation in federal court challenging the federal government’s mismanagement of public lands and wolves in Central Idaho.

Read the Associated Press article :

Groups Sue to End Idaho wilderness copter landings – John Miller, AP 1/06/10

Sawtooth Mountains, photo: Lynne Stone

Sawtooth Mountains - Sawtooth National Recreation Area © Lynne Stone

This important litigation aims to protect Idaho wolves by asking a federal court to halt mismanagement in three key ways :

Read the rest of this entry »

Greedy ranchers; livestock pushing out fish and wildlife. How about a year end donation?

Do you want to really put your $20 to $2-million to work?

At this time of year every charity and conservation organization sends out pleas for a year end donation. Given the condition of the economy, most of them really need it. On the other hand, you want to make a cost/effective donation.

Only a few conservation groups expend much going after public land grazing. Maybe it doesn’t sound sexy. Foundations are risk-aversive to giving in a way that would offend our precious landed nobility in the West. Many conservation groups rely very heavily on the good will of these foundations. They are encouraged one way or another to play smileyface with these posers of the “Tradition of the West.”

A few groups do not. As a result they need more income from private donations to make up for the relative lack of foundation giving. If you are irritated enough to give some money, I’d suggest the Western Watersheds Project, Advocates for the West and the Buffalo Field Campaign.

This doesn’t mean there are not other groups, especially smaller ones, that merit a donation. I like the low overhead, high output, uncompromised efforts by these groups.

Posted in activism, conservation, Grazing and livestock, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: . Comments Off on Greedy ranchers; livestock pushing out fish and wildlife. How about a year end donation?

Western Watersheds spreads bighorn campaign to Arizona

Rocky Barker notes this morning the Western Watersheds now is busy trying to prevent the transmission of disease from domestic to wild sheep in Arizona.

. . . some important additional information. WWP now has an office in Arizona. . . also an office in Montana (Missoula), and Wyoming, Utah and California. They have several offices in Idaho.

My view is if you want more wildlife of all kinds in your Western state, donate to the them. An office could come to your area too.

Idaho residents announce public demonstration against proposed Idaho wolf hunt

Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA) announces two demonstrations for northern Idaho-

What a surprise! Here is their news release.

____________

NORTHERN IDAHO WOLF ALLIANCE

http://www.niwa.us

August 12, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information:

Stephen Augustine
208-263-9798
niwa@lalgudi.net

Ken Fischman, Ph.D.
208-265-8580
bigfish@gotsky.com

Wolf Advocates Announce Public Demonstration Against Idaho Wolf Hunt

The Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA) confirmed today that they will hold public demonstrations against the upcoming Idaho wolf hunting season.  The public is invited to join these demonstrations on Friday, August 28th in Coeur d’Alene and on Monday, August 31st in Sandpoint.  The events are aimed to bring attention to the wolf hunting season which begins on September 1.

“Why are we hunting wolves when they just came off the Endangered Species list less than six months ago?”, NIWA spokesperson Stephen Augustine asked.  He added, “We fear that under the guise of wolf management, what’s about to happen is a wolf massacre.”

Some hunters claim that wolves are devastating elk in Idaho. Yet the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has shown that the Idaho elk population increased in each of the last three years to where there are now 115,000 elk.  There are only 846 wolves.

Idaho Fish & Game (IDF&G) has not yet revealed how many of Idaho’s 846 wolves they will allow hunters to kill. “This is ominous.” Dr. Ken Fischman of Ancient Pathways, stated. “We believe that they are trying to hide the true numbers until the last minute because the public will be shocked to know that over half the wolves could be killed.

This is the first time that an animal has ever been hunted immediately after being taken off the Endangered Species list. Minnesota and Michigan will not even consider allowing wolf hunts for at least five years after wolves have been delisted in their states.

Fischman addressed another common myth, “Idaho ranchers say that wolves are decimating livestock, yet they are responsible for less than 1% of livestock depredation. In 2008, feral dogs killed more than four times as many sheep in Idaho than wolves did.”

Augustine concluded, “Wolves are being demonized. Virtually overnight they are going from most protected to most persecuted. This hunt is a reflection of ignorance and animosity toward a predator whose presence has restored needed balance to our wild areas.”

The public demonstration in Coeur d’Alene will take place 11AM – 1 PM, on Friday, August 28th, at the IDF&G building, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave.

The Sandpoint public demonstration will take place from 11 AM – 1 PM, on Monday, August 31st at the County Courthouse on So. First Ave. & Lake St.  At the same time, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance will also sponsor a wolf education program for families and children at the Sandpoint Community Hall across from the Courthouse.  It will feature informational material, videos and activities for children.

Background:

The Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance seeks to raise public awareness and encourages discussion about the essential ecological role of wolves in the balance of healthy forest ecosystems, to educate the public and government officials using fact-based information and current scientific knowledge, and to defend wolves against persecution and prejudice.

BFC/WWP Workshop

A couple of young bulls close by ©Buffalo Field Campaign

A couple of young bulls close by ©Buffalo Field Campaign

Ken Cole and I (Brian Ertz) are going to be tromping around southwest Montana this Tuesday & Wednesday.

You’re invited.

WHEN: August 11 & 12, 10am

WHERE: BFC Headquarters, 14365 Hebgen Lake Road, West Yellowstone, Montana

WHAT: Bring your own food

We will meet at 10:00 am for an introduction and overview then head to a nearby grazing allotment. If you are interested in attending this workshop please contact Ken Cole at ken@westernwatersheds.org. Spread the word!

Read the rest of this entry »

Battle Brewing Over Giant Desert Solar Farm

Strong Environmental Laws Used to Promote Fair Paying Jobs, Social Justice

Another proposed energy development on the Mojave Desert prompts criticism from environmentalists concerned about its impact to imperiled wildlife and the landscape. But what’s particularly interesting about this story is that labor groups have finally caught on to the significant leverage that environmental laws can contribute to the cause of fair paying jobs. One labor group in particular has been pushing for huge energy developers to hire with fair contracts. Not suprisingly, energy companies, even those marketing themselves as green, like to keep the costs down whether that means exploiting public landscapes and wildlife – or even labor. Some labor groups are responding by reaching into environmentalists’ toolbox and hitting back.

Battle Brewing Over Giant Desert Solar Farm ~ Green Inc. – New York Times

The labor group, called California Unions for Reliable Energy, sent an attorney and biologist to testify at the hearing. The group has come under fire for inundating developers who decline to sign labor agreements with demands that they conduct scores of costly environmental studies on their solar projects.

Posted in activism, energy, public lands, Solar, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Battle Brewing Over Giant Desert Solar Farm

Obama and Environmentalists

Bill Moyers considers whether Obama has sold out environmentalists.

Obama and Environmentalists ~ Bill Moyers Journal – July 17, 2009

Bill Moyers’ blog goes on to ask : How Should America Respond to Global Warming?
Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Hudak’s Podcast: Politics Trumps Science in Rangeland Management

How they do it.

In this 15-minute audio presentation, Mike Hudak explains how ranchers use politicians to intimidate land managers from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management into providing rancher-friendly livestock management that is often detrimental to wildlife. Hudak cites passages from his book Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching that illuminate the topic.

Mike Hudak’s Podcast: Politics Trumps Science in Rangeland Management

Cow flop, beer cans, and cheatgrass.  © Ken Cole

Cow flop, beer cans, and cheatgrass. © Ken Cole (click for larger view)

Animal kills by Wildlife Services more than double in ’08

Animal kills by federal agency more than double

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of animals poisoned, shot or snared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than doubled last year, and environmentalists who are critical of the killings renewed their effort Tuesday to limit the agency’s funding for such activities.

Deep Thoughts: The World at Gunpoint

I read this article a couple of weeks ago.  Someone had slipped it beneath the office door and upon returning from lunch, I sat down and took the time to read it.

The World at Gunpoint – Derrick Jensen, Orion Magazine

Finally we get to the point. Those who come after, who inherit whatever’s left of the world once this culture has been stopped—whether through peak oil, economic collapse, ecological collapse, or the efforts of brave women and men fighting in alliance with the natural world—are not going to care how you or I lived our lives. They’re not going to care how hard we tried. They’re not going to care whether we were nice people. They’re not going to care whether we were nonviolent or violent. They’re not going to care whether we grieved the murder of the planet. […]

They’re going to care whether they can breathe the air and drink the water. They’re going to care whether the land is healthy enough to support them.

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Helicopters continue harassing all kinds of wildlife inside Yellowstone National Park

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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field

May 28, 2009

In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Help BFC Help the Buffalo
* Ground the DOL’s Helicopter: Contact the FAA
* Traditional Prayer Ceremony on Horse Butte May 31
* Support the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
* BFC Needs Summer Volunteers in Yellowstone
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

NOTE: This will be the last weekly Update from the Field of this season. Updates will come every other week or as often as necessary to convey urgent news. Thanks for being with us for the buffalo!
~ Buffalo Field Campaign

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* Update from the Field

These buffalo calves, hazed yesterday inside Yellowstone, are struggling to make it across the Madison Rivers strong spring currents.  Some barely made it.  Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.

These buffalo calves, hazed yesterday inside Yellowstone, are struggling to make it across the Madison River's strong spring currents. Some barely made it. Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.

Since our last update, agents have been harassing bison every day. As I write, bison are once again being chased off of cattle-free Horse Butte, forced off of private lands where they are welcome, and off of public lands habitat where there will never be any cattle. Today, DOL agents again violated the private property rights of the Galanis family, using their helicopter, flying extremely low, to haze bison off the 800-acre buffalo safe zone. Buffalo have even been repeatedly shoved off of grassy meadows within Yellowstone National Park, deeper into the park’s interior to “make room” for the bison being hazed off of surrounding Gallatin National Forest lands.

Using U.S. tax dollars, Montana livestock inspectors bask in their assumed taxpayer-funded power while all the involved agencies cooperate, betraying the public trust and the wildlife and wild lands in their care, as they terrorize this unique facet of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Neither buffalo-friendly private lands, Gallatin National Forest, nor Yellowstone National Park are safe places for buffalo – livestock interests, including Yellowstone National Park, are seeing to it that buffalo have no sanctuary.

BFC documents Yellowstone National Park rangers hazing wild bison within the park.  Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.

BFC documents Yellowstone National Park rangers hazing wild bison within the park. Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.

Yellowstone National Park willingly plays into the DOL’s hands, ignoring their mission “to protect park resources unimpaired,” and allowing these atrocities to occur within park boundaries. Yellowstone allows agents on horseback and the DOL’s helicopter to force wild bison off the ground they choose to be on, right in front of the eyes of park visitors. They create hours-long traffic jams, and when questioned by park visitors they misrepresent the issue and act as if they are doing the buffalo a favor, claiming that if hazing didn’t occur, the DOL would kill the buffalo. But Yellowstone participates in slaughter as well as hazing, and last year, of the 1,600 killed, they were responsible for the death of 1,400 wild bison. Hazing can also kill, and it certainly causes intense stress and injury to the buffalo. Injuries have been numerous, and the overall condition of the buffalo we have seen has been deteriorating since hazing activities began.

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Hazing Continues, More Calves Injured.

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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
May 21, 2009

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Complain to FAA About the DOL’s Helicopter Use
* Traditional Prayer Ceremony on Horse Butte May 31
* Join BFC on the Front Lines
* Thank You! BFC’s Media Crew Receives Laptops
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

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* Update from the Field

DOL helicopter hazing bison. Photo courtsey of Lance Koudele

DOL helicopter hazing bison. Photo courtsey of Lance Koudele

The Montana Department of Livestock and Yellowstone National Park continue to aggressively haze any wild bison in Montana. The sounds of the rotating blades of the Department of Livestock’s helicopter can be heard outside the media cabin this morning as I write. Just a few miles from here, on cattle-free Horse Butte and other areas of Gallatin National Forest, the buffalo are currently under attack by livestock interests. BFC patrols are with the buffalo, documenting all actions made against them. The scenes we’ve been witnessing are the stuff of nightmares.

Newborn bison calf. Photo courtesy of Lyle and Sue Wood

Newborn bison calf. Photo courtesy of Lyle and Sue Wood

Within a single week, at least four newborn buffalo have suffered broken legs or debilitating leg injuries as a result of government hazing activities. All injuries have been documented by Buffalo Field Campaign. You can view footage of last week’s injured calf. Be advised that these images are difficult to watch, but take inspiration from the mother bison defending her calf. We don’t know the fate of this calf, though the calf that was separated from it’s mother during last week’s hazing operations was reunited with her the following day. Unfortunately, during today’s hazing operation, another mother and calf were separated, and patrols are currently monitoring the mother as she searches for her lost baby.

On Friday the DOL chased all of the bull bison that had been grazing in the Duck Creek area, deep into Yellowstone National Park. By Monday, eleven bulls had returned to their chosen ground, and the DOL resumed their harassment operations forcing them into Yellowstone, through the Park’s grizzly bear closure area. Patrols documented bulls being shot with paint balls by the agents. This is a way the DOL marks the
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5/14/09 Montana Department of Livestock chasing baby buffalo with broken leg

Last Thursday, Montana Department of Livestock chased/hazed/harassed/played ‘cowboy’ with a mother buffalo and her calf, despite the broken leg the calf sustained – all on behalf of Livestock’s stranglehold over our public land and wildlife management..