A complaint has been filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging Wisconsin bear hunters are “criminally harassing gray wolves” and that the state Department of Natural Resources is subsidizing the crimes.Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility (PEER) — based in Washington, D.C. — is urging criminal investigations into 22 Wisconsin bear hunters who received payments from the DNR for dogs killed by wolves last year. The group claims the payments, known in Wisconsin as wolf depredation payments, are evidence hunters harassed wolves.”Wisconsin encourages hunting practices that seem calculated to cause fatal conflicts with wolves,” said PEER staff attorney Adam Carlesco. “Endangered species are legally protected from human activity which adversely affects the animals, not just physical injury but harm to habitat or breeding. Loosing packs of dogs on them absolutely constitutes an adverse impact.”Depredation payments have been made since 1985 whenever wolves have killed livestock, pets and hunting dogs in Wisconsin. In 2016, a record 41 hunting dogs were killed and $99,400 in payments went to hunters.
I write to thank the Tribune’s editors for striking a persuasive note of respecting the federal judiciary while also presenting evidence as a basis for policy in its editorial “A reprieve — perhaps temporary — for Great Lakes wolves.”I’ve studied the challenges of wolf preservation for almost 20 years and wish to add an additional note to the editors’ wise words: Over 175 years of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and almost every state constitution have upheld wildlife as a public trust asset. That means the government’s duty is to preserve nature for future generations and account transparently for its use by current adults. Efforts to delist the wolf are driven by the opposite tendencies: to deplete nature for a small minority of hunters and intolerant livestock producers, and to account with poor science and opaque record-keeping so no one will notice the poaching and mismanagement. But we notice.
In Washington, it turns out, wolves and livestock are getting along better than the people who manage and study them.Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national nonprofit specializing in government scientist whistleblower protection, in April filed a 12-page complaint against WSU officials, alleging the university punished and silenced Wielgus to placate ranchers and state legislators who objected to his research. WSU officials declined to comment for this story, citing possible litigation.
ENTERPRISE — Two Harl Butte Pack wolves were killed this week following a request by a group of Wallowa County ranchers.According to Michelle Dennehy, wildlife communications coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, two uncollared adult wolves were killed by department staff — one Sunday and one Tuesday, on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest east of Joseph.Seven head of cattle had been killed or wounded by the Harl Butte Pack between July 2016 and 2017. The last two incidents — a wounded calf and a dead calf — were confirmed in a five-day period. One half dozen upper Imnaha River ranchers collaboratively wrote a letter to the state in late July asking that the entire pack be killed. The state announced last week it would attempt to kill two members of the pack to quell the livestock loss.
An off-reservation wolf hunt has been approved by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.The tribes approved the hunting season in special session Thursday, in the so-called north half — a sweeping reach of country north of the tribe’s reservation boundary to the Canadian border, between the Okanogan and Columbia rivers.Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife Director, Randy Friedlander noted the tribes opened a wolf hunting season on the south half in 2012, and last year saw the first wolf killed by a hunter -— who was actually out for deer, rattling antlers together to attract them.
Oregon wildlife officials will kill two adult wolves in Wallowa County this month at the request of ranchers who say the animals or their packmates have preyed on cattle on public and private lands for more than a year.The state announced plans for the killings Thursday afternoon. Department of Fish & Wildlife managers said the state will not target specific animals. Instead, officials will remove two adult uncollared animals in the Harl Butte pack sometimes in the next two weeks.
Ottawa’s Paul Sokoloff was doing a peaceful survey of plants in the High Arctic when a wolf stuck its head into his tent.So Sokoloff did the only thing that made sense. He grabbed his camera.Sokoloff is a plant biologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature and has just returned from a three-week expedition charting the plants of several Arctic sites. He was at Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island when he woke up in the bright Arctic night and saw an Arctic wolf poking its head through his tent door.“Just its face (came in), thank God,” he said.“I took a picture because that’s the first thing you think of when a wolf comes into your tent. I started yelling at it. It’s 1:30 in the morning, so I’m waking up the rest of the camp.“Troy (another biologist) hears this and he starts yelling at the wolf. And the wolf, instead of getting spooked, says, ‘Oh there are people over here too,’ and went over to Troy’s tent and proceeded to be curious.