Aug. 16, 2017
Update on the Harl Butte wolf packToday,
ODFW confirmed another depredation by the Harl Butte wolf pack. ODFW intends to remove an additional two uncollared wolves (not pups) from this pack to limit further livestock losses.Note the Harl Butte wolf pack is larger than originally estimated. ODFW has found evidence of at least eight wolves remaining in this pack, not including three pups. Two weeks have passed since ODFW first announced plans to lethally remove wolves from the Harl Butte wolf pack due to chronic depredation. ODFW removed two non-breeding members of the Harl Butte wolf pack last week. (One 33-pound wolf pup of the year was unintentionally captured and released.) During the past two weeks, the radio-collared wolf in the pack, the breeding male, has been monitored closely to determine if he and other members of the pack altered their behavior and location. Removal of the two wolves, increased human presence in this area and continued use of non-lethal deterrents by livestock producers did not result in a significant change in the pack’s behavior. ODFW will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this next removal and livestock producers will continue non-lethal deterrents including daily human presence, removal of any potential attractants, and hazing.
Source: ODFW moves to lethal take for Harl Butte wolves to limit further livestock losses
What’s at stake? The psychology of dissent
Concerning the conflicts centering on the killing of the Washington wolves, first, there are organizations that claim they’re against the killing, or what is called the “authorized removal” of wolves, yet they have not made a clear public statement saying “no more killing.” Next, there are conflicts among some individuals who are against the slaughter of these wolves but who also work for organizations that are sending out a mixed message — the groups say they don’t support the killing but are mum on saying it publicly, or their public statements are then modified by using the word “but” to provide reasons for allowing it to happen at this point, but hopefully to in the future. Of course, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again, and clearly, allowing wolves to be killed in 2016 did not stop killing them in 2017. It’s easy to see why questions are raised about where allegiances fall — should individuals simply assume the position of the group for which they work or support, or speak out as individuals assuming no fear of reprisals? It’s a tricky situation, but, as I’ve said, during the past few weeks I’ve had some interesting exchanges with people who are experiencing some deep conflict about these matters, namely, they like the organization they support or for which they work but disagree with their views on the killing of the wolves and other matters.
Source: Wolves and Cows: Individual and Organizational Conflicts | HuffPost
WDFW plans to take lethal action to change wolf pack’s behaviorOLYMPIA – State wildlife managers plan to remove members of a wolf pack that has repeatedly preyed on livestock in Stevens County since 2015.Jim Unsworth, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized his staff to take lethal action against the Smackout wolf pack, based on four occasions where wolves preyed on livestock since last September.Unsworth said that action, set to begin this week, is consistent with Washington’s Wolf Management Plan of 2011, which authorizes WDFW to take lethal measures to address repeated attacks on livestock.It is also consistent with the department’s policy that allows removing wolves if they prey on livestock three times in a 30-day period or four times in a 10-month period, said Donny Martorello, WDFW’s lead wolf manager.That policy was developed last year by WDFW and its 18-member Wolf Advisory Group, which represents the concerns of environmentalists, hunters, and livestock ranchers.”The purpose of this action is to change the pack’s behavior, while also meeting the state’s wolf-conservation goals,” Martorello said. “That means incrementally removing wolves and assessing the results before taking any further action.”The Smackout pack is one of 20 wolf packs documented in Washington state by WDFW in 2016. At that time, the pack was estimated to consist of eight wolves, but it has since produced an unknown number of pups.Martorello noted that the state’s wolf population is growing at a rate of about 30 percent each year.The pack’s latest depredation on livestock was discovered July 18 by an employee of the livestock owner who found an injured calf with bite marks consistent with a wolf attack in a leased federal grazing area.During the previous month, the rancher reported to WDFW that his employee had caught two wolves in the act of attacking livestock and killed one of them. The department has since determined that those actions were consistent with state law, which allows livestock owners and their employees to take lethal action to protect their livestock in areas of the state where wolves are no longer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.Over the past two months, radio signals from GPS collars attached to two of the pack’s members have indicated that those wolves were frequently within a mile of that site, Martorello said.
Source: WDFW plans to take lethal action to change wolf pack’s behavior | WDFW News Release
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Ore. – Four wolves will be removed from a pack in northeastern Oregon following chronic attacks on livestock in the area.The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said on July 28, they were asked by livestock producers to remove the entire Harl Butte pack after two confirmed depredations within a five-day period.The attacks brought the total to seven depredations by the pack in the past 13 months.
Source: Wildlife officials taking lethal measures against Oregon wolf pack – KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2
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.
Source: Complaint: Wisconsin Bear Hunters ‘Criminally Harassing’ Wolves | Wisconsin Public Radio
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.
Source: Protect gray wolves so our children can see them – Chicago Tribune
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.
Source: Outspoken WSU wolf researcher says university, lawmakers silenced and punished him