Although Leonardo DiCaprio is better associated with the “Wolf of Wall Street” than with actual wolves, he is an activist for global conservation, donating over $15 million to environmental organizations.His newest development, “American Wolf,” hints that his role as a wildlife activist may be expanding to that of wolf conservationist. The book behind “American Wolf,” which is being written by Nate Blakeslee, tells the story of a female wolf of Yellowstone Park, fondly called ’06 by her human admirers.
Just over a month into its new session, the 115th Congress has already taken a sledgehammer to environmental safeguards that protect people, wildlife and wild lands from pollution and other harms. Besides moving to roll back protections for clean air and pristine mountain streams, as well as attacking government agencies’ ability to do their jobs and enforce the law, Congress is resurfacing its old grudge against gray wolves, while also clandestinely erecting a barrier to Americans’ ability to take their government to court.
MINNEAPOLIS — Pressure is building in Congress to take grey wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten livestock.Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season during which most cows and sheep will give birth begins in earnest. That followed testimony before a Senate committee a week earlier from the president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.Meanwhile, both sides in the debate are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in the four states back on the list or to let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service return management of the species to the states, which it has wanted to do for years.
Last week’s vote on H.J. Res. 69 was one of the most disturbing actions by Congress I’ve witnessed during more than a quarter century of political advocacy for animals. By a 225 to 195 vote, a narrow majority of the U.S. House voted to rescind a rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to forbid the worst wildlife management practices introduced to the field in the last century – shooting hibernating bears with their cubs and denning of wolves and their pups; using airplanes to scout, land, and shoot grizzly bears; and baiting and trapping black and grizzly bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and neck wire snares.
Following reports of death threats to state workers dealing with wolf attacks on livestock or pets, Washington’s state legislature has advanced a bill that would exempt from public disclosure information on people who report wolf attacks and public employees who respond.The bill has cleared a committee for a vote by the lower house of the state legislature..The legislation would withhold identifying information on people who report wolf attacks on pets or livestock; owners whose pets or livestock are attacked by wolves; and any state employee or contractor who responds to such reports or who “assists in the lethal removal of a wolf.”
An N.C. Senate bill filed this week to end a ban on nighttime coyote hunts in five counties will face opposition from environmental groups.Sen. Bill Cook, a Beaufort County Republican, wants to allow coyote hunting at night in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties in northeastern North Carolina – the only counties where that activity isn’t allowed.“Coyotes are nonnative and invasive – they’re very destructive to the native wildlife,” Cook said in an email. “I am simply proposing for five coastal counties to be coequal with the other 95 counties in our state in regards to the rules of hunting coyotes.”
The darting and capture of AM1249 was part of the annual census of the wild Mexican gray wolf populations in Arizona and New Mexico. Members of the Interagency Mexican Wolf Field Team representing five agencies — the U.S. Forest Service, USFWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, Arizona Game and Fish and the White Mountain Apache Tribe — come together along with an attending veterinarian and flight crews to get an accurate estimate of how many wolves have survived the past year in the approximately 20 packs that live in the two states.