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Greetings!
 
Thank you so much for your participation in our mission. This week, we share two important updates. We hope that you can help us educate, advocate and participate on behalf of wolves that face some special challenges. 
 
In This Issue
Comments Needed in Montana
Rancher, Wolf Battle Escalates
Are you a Wolfwatcher, too?
About Us
Action Alert: Comments Needed in Montana
By: Diane Bentivegna
Wolfwatcher's Director of Education and Resources 
Photo by Florian Shultz

 

After much pressure to return wolves to state management in the Northern Rockies, a new proposal in Montana seeks to transfer some   of   its newly gained state wolf-control authority to the federal level via the USDA's Wildlife Services.

 

On Aug. 21st, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced its "Draft Montana Protocol to Address Wolf-Livestock Conflicts, Aug. 9, 2012"  According to the draft, the agency proposes to change the process of investigating and responding to incidents of wolf-livestock conflict.  Previously, when a rancher reported livestock loss possibly caused by a predator, USDA's Wildlife Services (a federal agency) was called in by the state to investigate the kill;  if the agents believed wolves were the cause, they reported their findings to MtFWP to seek the state's permission to kill one or more wolves.

 

Under the new proposal, Wildlife Services will be allowed to investigate a livestock kill and immediately take action if they deem the wolves as the cause.  Although the agents are required to inform MtFWP of these wolf kills, they no longer need the state's permission to carry out the action.

We believe Wildlife Services is already is too aggressive in its approach, and the numbers certainly do not support liberalizing the process of investigating and responding to incidents of wolf-livestock conflict.  We demand that Montana FWP join the 21st century in its approach to wildlife management. Now that the majority of wolves are no longer federally protected, it is even more important to demonstrate practical ways for wolves and livestock to coexist. We expect the state to implement new projects that raise the profile of innovative nonlethal management deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict and build social acceptance for wolves.


will be accepting comments through Sept. 21st.
.
We request your help in the form of an email to the agency.
Visit our website for more information, talking points and the agency's email contact:
  
Fox Mountain Pack Controversy
Wolfwatcher's Southwest Regional Director
Photo by: Jean Ossorio and courtesy of Mexicanwolves.org
The Fish and Wildlife Service had confirmed four wolf depredations on cattle since March and attributed those depredations to the Fox Mountain pack. FWS issued a kill order for the Fox Mountain alpha female in a move reminiscent of the days of SOP 13, which allowed lethal removal of wolves regardless of how genetically valuable the individual.

  

While the kill order has been rescinded due to rightful public outcry, we must thoughtfully examine the circumstances in which FWS justifies such action considering the Fox Mountain pack is one of the few in the wild that has successfully produced pups.

  

Given the comments of the Gila Livestock Growers Association, one could infer that any regional decline in stock growers can be directly attributed to Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts. Wolf depredation numbers, as a percentage of livestock losses, have always been low. Regardless, there is little to no tolerance for wolves in some recovery areas regardless of depredation numbers. Allegations of trap tampering and other comments by the president of the association, such as equating dealing with FWS to dealing with the mafia, along with claims of larger loss numbers, shows nothing more than simple intolerance for native wildlife.

  

There are very troubling points to be made when discussing the issue of the Fox Mountain pack. Foremost in my mind is the fact that lethal action could be justified due to low genetic value. With so few wild wolves, and no releases of wolves in almost four years, it is quite clear why the wolves are struggling to maintain genetic diversity. There simply aren't enough in the wild.

  

The Fox Mountain issue shows unequivocally how the recovery effort has been hamstrung by state and special interest pressure. At a time when we most need more releases to prevent 'low genetic value', the effort is languishing under a three decade old recovery plan, an Arizona Game and Fish Commission that has obstructed the efforts for years, and possible direct political interference.

  

Thus, we call on all Wolfwatchers to these actions to help end the stalemate.  
Tell USFWS and the states that the status quo is no longer acceptable:
  1. Support the Rural Economic Vitalization Act  
  2. Visit Lobos of the Southwest for tips on writing letters to the editor in response to the above article. 
  3. Contact the Arizona Game and Fish Commission members and remind them to keep their promise to allow additional releases
Call, email, or write USFWS and provide the following points.  
Be polite and concise:
  • Bolster the population with more releases to prevent genetic isolation.
  • Make finishing the recovery plan a priority.
  • Allow releases anywhere within the recovery area and allow wolves to disperse as necessary.
  • End unnecessary lethal actions on wolves.
  • Do more to prevent depredation by packs with breeding pairs, and especially pups.


Reference (original article):  Rancher, wolf battle escalates
 
Are You A "Wolfwatcher," too?
Courtesy of Janet Hoben

We recently asked supporters to send us their thoughts about why wolves and their conservation are so important... 



From Janet Hoben in California:

"I am a wolfwatcher because wolves are the most awesome and magnificent apex predators on the planet!"


                                      

Many thanks to Janet and so many others who shared their thoughts we us!  We hope to hear from more wolfwatchers, too!  Why do you want to "educate, advocate and participate" for wild wolves?   Send Wolfwatcher your one or two sentence response along with a recent photo and you may be featured in our next e-newsletter! We look forward to hearing from you! 

 

Educate, Advocate, Participate
 

National Wolfwatcher Coalition is a 501(c)(3)  

nonprofit, all volunteer organization  

on behalf of  

wolf education, conservation and advocacy.

 

 

 

 We seek to preserve the legacy of the wolf by educating the public, advocating for science-based decision making at every level of government and participating in activities that promote the wolf conservation.

 

All donations help us to educate, advocate and participate via:

  • educational programs, materials and events
  • participation in conferences, seminars, and consultation with other professionals in the field of wolf biology, research, conservation and environmental law.
  • Wolfwatcher Legal Fund to address costs related to our potential engagement in litigation that challenges local, state and/or federal policies that affect wolf conservation.

Your generous donation, no matter the amount, and/or your purchase of merchandise from our Wolfwatcher Store will enable these and other programs to flourish at a time when wolves need our voice and our advocacy.  

  • To donate online, please click on the Donate button at the top.
  • To donate by check or money order,  please send your donation to:                     National Wolfwatcher Coalition, PO Box 84, East Greenwich, RI 02818