By Paula Cas
Join us Sunday night at 9 pm EDT as KDCL Media along with And Then Some Again Productions Presents Oro Expeditions After Dark.
By Paula Cas
Join us Sunday night at 9 pm EDT as KDCL Media along with And Then Some Again Productions Presents Oro Expeditions After Dark.
Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest
Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.
More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.
But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were…
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First of all, let’s set the record straight:
photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Wild horses are an American native species, according to Ross MacPhee, Ph.D., Curator of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Given this man’s impeccable credentials and experience, his findings are beyond reproach or debate.
Here is an article by Dr. MacPhee that is crystal-clear: Wild horses are native to America.
This finding is also shared by many other highly credible scientists, including Dr. Jay F. Kirkpatrick.
Any person or any agency who says that wild horses are not native to North America is just uneducated, misinformed or intentionally lying for some reason, usually motivated by…
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Story by Casper Star Tribuneas published on the
A coalition of environmental groups formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday asking for a ban of M-44s, a cyanide trap used to kill coyotes across the state.
The ban request is in response to recent incidents in Wyoming and Idaho in which dogs were killed by the traps.
Many of the groups, which include Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a similar petition in Idaho in March. Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, decided to remove all M-44s from private, state and federal land in Idaho.
“We’re not at war with native wildlife, and it is irresponsible to allow poison landmines…
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OLYMPIA, Wash.— Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials late Thursday released a new protocol that would allow wolves to be killed too soon after incidents with livestock and without enough oversight.
The new “wolf-livestock interaction protocol” guides when the agency will move to kill wolves in response to livestock depredations. Conservation groups are concerned that the protocol allows wolves to be killed under dubious circumstances and lacks sufficient requirements for ranchers to exhaust nonlethal measures.
“This protocol fails to protect the state’s small wolf population or prioritize scientifically proven nonlethal measures to safeguard livestock,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wildlife officials should have left much more room for nonlethal measures and allowed…
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Wyoming assumed management once again of wolves within its borders on Tuesday, and those apex predators wandering outside the northwest corner of the state can be shot on sight.
The Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., entered its final order in favor of Wyoming in a lawsuit that landed wolves back on the endangered species list in 2014. The court announced in early March that it had upheld the state’s plan but had not issued its final order.
Tuesday’s decision is what Wyoming wolf managers hope is the last legal battle in a roller-coaster legal process.
No changes were made to Wyoming’s wolf management plan from when the state oversaw the carnivores between 2012 and 2014, Nesvik said.
Wolves in 85 percent of the state are considered a predator and can be shot on sight, similar to coyotes. They are classified as a trophy animal in the northwest corner of the state and subject to fall hunting seasons. Those seasons have not yet been set, Nesvik said, adding that wolves in those areas cannot be hunted right now. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will set those seasons after a public comment period…(CONTINUED)
News Bulletin from Western Watersheds Project
When Canyon Mansfield and his dog were sprayed with cyanide by a Wildlife Services M-44 “coyote getter” near Pocatello three weeks ago, Western Watersheds Project convened a group of conservationists and animal welfare groups to to draw up a strategy. As part of our strategy, WWP filed an Administrative Procedures Act petition on behalf of ourselves and 19 other groups demanding that the agency to cease the use of M-44s statewide in Idaho, and remove those that were already deployed. Much to our surprise, yesterday we received a letter from Wildlife Services committing to exactly these requests.
Our delight with the statewide ban on M-44s across Idaho is tempered by several factors. The new ban doesn’t bring Canyon Mansfield’s dog back to life, nor can it take away the trauma this 14-year-old boy has experienced as a result of this wildlife-killing device. And it isn’t necessarily a permanent ban – Wildlife Services committed to informing WWP at least 30 days in advance if they ever deploy M-44s in Idaho again, but we don’t know if the reprieve for wildlife and public safety will last a month, a year, or a decade.
In writing the petition and generating the media around it, WWP was able to draw upon a wealth of knowledge assembled over decades by Predator Defense, the organization that leads efforts to ban these devices at the nationwide level. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen and Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad spoke out strongly against M-44s in the media. The Idaho State Journal issued a blistering editorial condemning M-44s, and journalists across Idaho and throughout the country elevated the tragedy and the need to get rid of M-44s to a nationwide issue. And the Mansfield family themselves had the strength an endurance to bring their personal tragedy into the national spotlight in hopes that what happened to their son would never happen to anyone else’s children ever again.
This is an important, if temporary, victory. But there is a long road ahead. We hope to make the Idaho ban on M-44s permanent, and to see the manufacturing facility and storage depot in Pocatello permanently closed. We are advocating to eliminate the use of the deadly toxin Compound 1080 and its poison baits that likewise kill family pets on an all-too-frequent basis. We are pursuing legal challenges to shut down killing programs of all kinds pursued by Wildlife Services, from aerial gunning to traps and snares, that target our native wildlife for eradication. And we are pressing for federal legislation to end these taxpayer-funded killing programs.
We want to be sure we recognize each one of our conservation partners who joined us in the petition that brought this victory: Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife, and the Mountain Lion Foundation.
But we also want to thank, you, our members and supporters. Without your generous contributions, there would be no Western Watersheds Project to fight these battles. So give yourself a pat on the back, because today you have made a wonderful difference in the world we share with our native wildlife.
“Here at SFTH and at WHFF it is obvious that our attention is upon the future well being of equines, both wild and domestic, but by no means do we cast a blind eye to other wild American species under attack. Be it Bison, coyote, cougar or in this case the majestic wolf; we are 100% committed to the belief that Mother Nature is much better suited to manage wildlife than the bumbling, brutal and misguided efforts of man.”~ R.T.
(EnviroNews Montana) — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), which has funded wolf-killing derbies in Idaho to the tune of $150,000 since 2013, is now seeking to expand its $1,000-per-kill bounty program to the neighboring state of Montana.
RMEF provides funds to the Foundation for Wildlife Management (F4WM), which says its mission “is to promote ungulate population recovery in areas negatively impacted by wolves.” While F4WM is based in Idaho, RMEF is stationed in Montana. F4WM held a meeting on April 5 in Sandpoint, Idaho, in an attempt to drum up support for the expanded bounty program. On April 6, Justin Webb, Mission Advancement Director for F4WM, wrote on the group’s Facebook page, “We had several folks from Montana expressing interest in F4WM expanding into Montana, and all were willing to help create Montana funding!”
Webb cautioned however, that it might take some time to determine if F4WM will go ahead with the effort. “[We] should be able to announce yay or nay on an F4WM expansion into Montana within a couple weeks. We have some business operational hurdles to work through, and fine tuning the legistics [sic] of the expansion.”
“These wolf lottery efforts are dismantling a century-long conservation heritage that is shared not just with environmental groups but with a lot of sportsmen groups as well,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director for the Western Watersheds Project, in an exclusive interview with EnviroNews.
F4WM’s sole sponsor is RMEF. The group published an open letter to President Donald Trump on its website, calling the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and Idaho “illegal” and telling the President that this “was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.”
In 2012, Montana elk hunter Dave Stalling wrote in an op-ed for High Country News about what he described as the RMEF’s “all-out war against wolves.” Stalling worked previously for RMEF and saw changes that he linked to the hiring of David Allen as its director. Today, Allen is President and Chief Executive Officer at RMEF. Allen has supported the delisting of wolves as an endangered species in both Wyoming and Oregon.
“This is an organization that has always been at the fringes of the conservation movement,” said Molvar. “Basically, they are really anti-conservationists in disguise.”
In Idaho, the Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), which regulates hunting in the state, is beset with a funding scandal. An op-ed authored by local hunter Dave Cappell in the January 14, 2017 Idaho State Journal, alleges that two IDFG commissioners were told their terms would not be renewed so that new commissioners, who would approve a system of auction tags for game hunters, could be appointed…(CONTINUED)
On March 28, 2017, a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services (WS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to immediately ban M-44 devices in Idaho. M-44s are cyanide bombs used by WS to kill local predators such as coyotes, as part of a larger taxpayer-funded wildlife eradication campaign wherein WS, on behalf of the federal government, slaughters millions of wild animals every single year.
The recent hospitalization of a youth and killing of a family dog in Idaho who encountered one of these ground weapons near their home was one motivator for the creation of this petition. The document lists many other incidents of indiscriminate pet injuries and killings by M-44s in Appendix A.
The petition specifically calls on the agencies to:
1. Cease all use of M-44 explosive cyanide devices on all land ownerships in the State of Idaho, and
2. Immediately remove any and all M-44s currently deployed on all land ownerships in Idaho.
In November 2016, WS committed to cease the use of M-44s on Idaho’s public lands. Also, in 2016, a workplan between WS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Falls District forbade the placement of these devices within a quarter mile of residences.
“Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that must be banned,” Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “Any animal that might pull on the baited trigger is at risk, including endangered wildlife like Canada lynx and grizzlies, as well as people and pets. And in just the past few weeks these cruel devices have injured a child and killed an endangered wolf and several family dogs. Enough is enough.”
The petition explains:
Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.
The petition also discusses how the cyanide bombs and other non-selective killing methods are actually unproductive because they disrupt ecosystem balances, can actually increase livestock losses and have not been shown to be economically effective.
Bethany Cotton, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians, previously asserted to EnviroNews that “many ranchers peacefully coexist with coyotes and report no conflicts,” and that nonlethal predator response options include solar powered electric fencing and livestock dogs, amongst others.
“Ranchers can use less vulnerable types of livestock, hang flagging called ‘fladry,’ or actually put cowboys out there with their animals to discourage predator losses without resorting to demands for poisons and poisonous land mines that kill pets and non-target wildlife,” Erik Molvar, Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Project, told EnviroNews. He signed the petition on behalf of the coalition of environmental groups. “It is senseless and irresponsible for federal agencies to use taxpayer dollars to sow land mines and poisons in open country to kill native wildlife to prop up failing ranching operations,” he stated.
Federal law requires the petitioned agencies to provide a final decision in writing to the petitioners: Western Watersheds Project, Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife and the Mountain Lion Foundation…(CONTINUED)
With multiple efforts to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation, officials are considering a hunt.
The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife asked hunters and sportsmen for their support for a hunt as a potential means to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation at the 2017 Navajo Nation Sportsman’s Expo on March 25. NNDFW staff confirmed after the conference that a proposal has not yet been completely drafted, so the department hadn’t yet anticipated details of how the possible hunt would work such as weapons to be used, number of tags to take horses, and hunt unit maps.
Department manager Gloria Tom said the department hoped to address the problem and would propose a solution to Navajo Nation governance once drafted, but also called on the hunters present to add their voices to the conversation around the feral herds and what to do about them.
“Our leaders, they really need to hear from people like you,” Tom said. “People who live out there, people who hunt.”
She said government officials sometimes take information from NNDFW as something that employees are paid to say as part of their jobs and concerns from experts who work for the government might have less impact on elected officials than the voices of their constituents and voters.
“To me, you have a greater chance of success,” she said.
She said previous attempts to trap, round up, or allow horses to be adopted had not made a large enough impact. NNDFW officials said the department is drafting a proposal to get support from Navajo Nation leaders.
“I compare this problem to our cat and dog problem,” she said.