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Defending Wildlife

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Victory for Wolves in Wyoming
Victory: Federal judge reinstates federal protections statewide 

There were once up to 2 million gray wolves living in North America, but the animals were driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states by the early 1900s.

September 23, 2014

Washington, D.C. — Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species. The ruling from the U.S. District Court halts the management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.
“The court has ruled and Wyoming’s kill-on-sight approach to wolf management throughout much of the state must stop,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. “Today’s ruling restores much-needed federal protection to wolves throughout Wyoming, which allowed killing along the borders of Yellowstone National Park and throughout national forest lands south of Jackson Hole where wolves were treated as vermin under state management. If Wyoming wants to resume management of wolves, it must develop a legitimate conservation plan that ensures a vibrant wolf population in the Northern Rockies.”

Earthjustice represented Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming. The conservation groups challenged the 2012 decision on grounds that Wyoming law authorized unlimited wolf killing in a “predator” zone that extended throughout most of the state, and provided inadequate protection for wolves even where killing was regulated.

“Today the court affirmed that delisting gray wolves in Wyoming by the Obama administration was premature and a violation of federal law,” said Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark. “Any state that has a wolf management plan that allows for unlimited wolf killing throughout most of the state should not be allowed to manage wolves. Wolves need to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until the species is fully recovered. State laws and policies that treat wolves like vermin are as outdated and discredited today as they were a century ago.”

“The decision makes clear that ‘shoot-on-sight’ is not an acceptable management plan for wolves across the majority of the state,” said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, senior scientist and wildlife conservation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s time for Wyoming to step back and develop a more science-based approach to managing wolves.”

“The court has rightly recognized the deep flaws in Wyoming's wolf management plan.  Wolves in Wyoming must have federal protection until the state gets it right. That means developing a science-based management plan that recognizes the many benefits wolves bring to the region instead of vermin that can be shot on sight in the majority of the state,” said Bonnie Rice of the Sierra Club's Greater Yellowstone Our Wild America Campaign.

“We’re thrilled that protections for Wyoming’s fragile population of wolves have been restored,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “With Wyoming allowing wolves to be shot on sight  >:( across more than 80 percent of the state, there is no way protections for wolves should have ever been removed.”

The 2012 delisting of wolves in Wyoming turned wolf management over to the state, which opened up over 80 percent of its land to unlimited wolf killing and provided weak protections for wolves in the remainder. Since the delisting, 219 wolves have been killed under Wyoming’s management  >:(. Prior to the 2012 reversal of its position, the Fish and Wildlife Service denied Wyoming the authority to manage wolves in the state due to its extremely hostile anti-wolf laws and policies.


There were once up to 2 million gray wolves living in North America, but the animals were driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states by the early 1900s. After passage of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973 and protection of the wolf as endangered, federal recovery programs resulted in the rebound of wolf populations in limited parts of the country. Roughly 5,500 wolves currently live in the continental United States—a fraction of the species’ historic numbers.  :(

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for most gray wolves across the United States  >:(, a proposal that the groups strongly oppose; a final decision could be made later this year.


--- Quote ---"If the new flameless fire is used properly (i.e. investing the profit into nature in order to achieve and sustain a Viable Biosphere instead of using the technofix greedily and stupidly to expand the economy and the population), we can make it do our work without it working our undoing." Amory Lovins
--- End quote ---

Natural Capitalism is the only type of capitalism that won't destroy our biosphere. The Industrial Capitalism we have had since the industrial revolution is stupid.

Amory Lovins is a scientist that thinks, correctly, that making money and providing a viable biosphere are not mutually exclusive. It's time to deep six GREED BASED Social Darwinist 😈 Capitalism and adopt 🎍 NATURAL Capitalism.

NATURAL Capitalism Video here:
Amory Lovins: Part 4 - Natural Capitalism and BiomimicryCambridge University             

Do We Really Need to Keep Killing One Species to Save Another? 

by Alicia Graef
November 11, 2014


The bigger problem is that even if the proposed experiment appears to help northern spotted owls, there’s no end for it in sight. Cornwall writes:

Even if we manage to negotiate the moral thicket of killing one owl to save another―and emerge at the other end with gun at the ready―we run headlong into a practical question: What’s the exit strategy? Can we kill 10,000 barred owls every year forever?

He notes that’s the number some experts believe it will take to help spotted owls. Some believe as the forests continue to recover, the killing may eventually stop, but others worry that recovery will bring more barred owls and end up “creating a never-ending killing operation.”

Earlier this year, Friends of Animals and Predator Defense, refiled a lawsuit in Oregon to save the barred owls, arguing the plan violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

While that plays out, other species still continue to be targeted and killed as a result of our shoot-first mentality. Fortunately, going forward, the emerging field of “compassionate conservation” is continuing to gain traction. Marc Bekoff, a University of Colorado professor emeritus and animal behavior expert, explains the guiding principle of this field is ‘First do no harm’ and that every individual animal matters.

As more and more species become imperiled, conservationists and wildlife advocates fear the problem is just going to get worse. While there aren’t any easy answers, hopefully we can take a more reasonable approach than simply looking at numbers and continuing to murder our way out of problems that are mostly a result of our own actions.

Separately, Bekoff says:

What animals feel matters to them and it must matter to us. The lives of individual animals must be taken very seriously and researchers must make this a priority (see also). We are responsible for who lives and who dies. We can do anything we want but this power does not give us the license to ruin a spectacularly beautiful planet, its wondrous webs of nature, and its magnificent nonhuman residents.

Compassionate conservation is a wonderful “meeting place” — a much-needed paradigm shift and social movement — for everyone concerned with protecting all animals. When we ignore nature we not only harm other animals but we do so at our own peril.


Feds Cancel Idaho’s Disgraceful Wildlife Killing Contest   

by Alicia Graef
November 28, 2014

In a victory for wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has withdrawn the permit it issued that would have allowed a multi-year wildlife killing contest to take place on more than three million acres of public lands in Idaho.

The controversy started last year when a hunters’ rights group ignited outrage after it decided to hold the first predator killing contest targeting coyotes and wolves in decades   >:(. Despite the trouble it caused, the group, Idaho for Wildlife, came back this year seeking a Special Recreation Permit from the BLM that would allow it to hold more of these contests on public lands annually for the next five years, with the first one scheduled for the beginning of this January.

The “hunt” would have allowed up to 500 participants, including children, to compete in a three-day event with the goal of killing the most wolves, coyotes and a number of other species for cash and prizes.

Wildlife advocates raised concerns about how killing in the name of fun and recreation harms wildlife, threatens public safety, conflicts with public land uses and supports the same mentality that led to the eradication of species like wolves in the first place, in addition to pointing out the vital role predators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Despite an outpouring of public opposition – including over 28,000 petition signatures from the Care2 community and comments from organizations including Project Coyote, the Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians, among others — the BLM granted the permit. It also simultaneously denied a permit request for a “wildlife viewing” contest submitted by conservation organizations.

Now the BLM is backing down after several wildlife advocacy organizations headed to court earlier this month to stop this event from taking place.

Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote sued the BLM and Idaho District Manager Joseph Kraayenbrink seeking an injunction, arguing that the permit flies in the face of everything that has been done to help restore wolves to the landscape and that the agency failed to fully assess how it would impact the environment and public safety.

“It’s repugnant and shocking that wildlife-killing contests are still being allowed in the 21st century,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, who represents the Center, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote. “In approving this contest, the BLM is out of step with an American public that no longer supports the slaughter of wildlife for sport. Indeed, more than 90,000 people submitted comments opposing the contest, yet the permit was still issued.”

WildEarth Guardians, Cascadia Wildlands and the Boulder-White Clouds Council simultaneously filed a nearly identical lawsuit that also faulted the U.S. Forest Service for failing to require a permit or analyzing the contest’s impacts.

While Idaho for Wildlife reportedly remains intent on continuing to hold derbies, Bryan Hurlbutt, an attorney with Advocates for the West, countered that the BLM withdrawing its permit “thwarts the derby organizers’ attempt to expand the small derby held in Idaho last year into a major event, and gives us momentum to ensure these backwards events are never permitted on our public lands.”

“We’re so glad that the deadly derby has been canceled this year,” said Atwood. “These sort of ruthless kill-fests have no place in this century. We intend to pursue every available remedy to stop these horrible contests.”

As they celebrate the news, wildlife advocates are also still working to stop these wildlife killing contests from taking place elsewhere. In California, the Fish and Game Commission is preparing to vote next week on whether or not to ban this type of barbaric event throughout the state.

Those supporting the proposed ban are hopeful the commission will vote on the side of wildlife and that a win there will help set a precedent for other states to follow.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/success-feds-cancel-idahos-disgraceful-wildlife-killing-contest.html#ixzz3KUi2esMu

Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?

The eminent evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson has an audacious vision for saving Earth from a cataclysmic extinction event

By  Tony Hiss 

 Smithsonian Magazine  September 2014


--- Quote ---
New England would seem to be a Half Earth slam dunk, a landscape on the upswing of a yo-yoing transformation. The region was 90 percent forested when the Pilgrims arrived, but almost 200 years later farmers chopped down all but 20 percent of the trees during a “sheep fever” that can in part be blamed on Napoleon and the first stirrings of globalization.

When Napoleon overran Portugal in 1810, a Vermonter carried off a herd of merino sheep, prized for their soft, premium-priced wool, which until then had been a monopoly of the Portuguese aristocracy. The 30-year wool craze that followed has been called “a mania as powerful as any religious fanaticism.” ;D  New England’s famous stone walls, rocks piled up by hand, like the Egyptian pyramids, and with more stones than the pyramids, are a remnant of that period. 8)  Then this vast series of sheep pens was abruptly abandoned as farmers and herders moved west.

Pinus strobus, commonly known as the eastern white pine, white pine, northern white pine, Weymouth pine, and soft pine

The forests returned, though no one in the 21st century will see anything like those first forests’ practically sequoia-size Eastern white pines, trees that awed early settlers. Timbering is common in the newer woods, and even if left strictly alone, white pines need 400 years to tower over everything in sight. The “reforests,” if you can call them that, instill their own wonder, though. Self-seeded, they’ve spread again to cover 79 percent of New England, and a recent report refers to the entire six-state region as a “continental-scale habitat corridor.” If the pace of land conservation can be doubled, says this same clarion-call report, “Wildlands and Woodlands,” then 50 years from now New England can stay 70 percent forested forever. The area, it says, is something rare in the biosphere: a “second-chance landscape.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-world-really-set-aside-half-planet-wildlife-180952379/#BU7Xgom239truQFK.99
--- End quote ---

Victory! California Becomes the First State to Ban Wildlife Killing Contests   

by Alicia Graef
December 5, 2014
5:30 pm

In a historic victory for wildlife, this week California became the first state in the nation to officially ban barbaric wildlife killing contests for good in a move that wildlife advocates are hopeful will set a precedent for other states to follow.

According to Project Coyote, more contests than we care to know about continue to take place under the radar because state wildlife agencies don’t monitor them, but they’ve been making headlines recently and a growing number of people have been speaking out against them. Thankfully wildlife officials and land managers are listening to the calls from wildlife advocates and are taking the problems with these unjustified events seriously.

Project Coyote petitioned the Commission earlier this year after news that a three-day Coyote Drive was taking place in Modoc County sparked outrage. Not only would the contest result in the cruel and senseless deaths of coyotes, but concerns also were raised that it threatened gray wolves who were protected earlier this year under the state’s endangered species act. California doesn’t have an established population, but the area was part of where OR-7, the first wolf to venture into California in 87 years, was known to visit.

In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, the California Fish and Game Commission approved a proposal that closes loopholes that allow so-called hunters, including children, to participate in contests, tournaments or derbies that offer prizes or other rewards for killing the most, or biggest, predators.

“Awarding prizes for wildlife killing contests is both unethical and inconsistent with our current understanding of natural systems,” said Michael Sutton, President of the California Fish and Game Commission. “Such contests are an anachronism and have no place in modern wildlife management.”

While these competitions are held under the guise of wildlife management, or predator control, wildlife advocates and scientists argue that they’re not only cruel but counter to the goal of reducing conflicts with “nuisance” animals and that the indiscriminate killing of predators also ignores the valuable role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Sadly many of the wild animals who are targeted in these events are left without legal protection and can be killed year round in unlimited numbers. Now, thanks in part to the public’s reaction and those who spoke up on behalf of species targeted in these disgraceful events, things are starting to change.

“Wildlife prevailed at this historic meeting and the public made it clear through thousands of letters and thoughtful testimonies that they want to see predators protected in California,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director Project Coyote. “We hope that this is a first step in reforming the state’s predator management regulations, policies, and codes.”

“We commend the commission for this enlightened decision and for setting a precedent for the nation,” she added. “We should not be killing wildlife for fun and prizes in the 21st century.”

The move also comes just a week after the Bureau of Land Management pulled a permit that would have allowed a hunters’ rights group to hold a predator derby targeting wolves, coyotes and other wild animals annually for the next five years on more than three million acres of public land in Idaho.



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