A special preview of “Sedona Wolf Week” April 17-21, 2018

We are so excited to announce the schedule for this year’s event which you can view by day or by specific speaker and program. Just like last year, all speaker presentations during the day are FREE. For Apex Protection Project and Plan B to Save Wolves, education is our top priority and we offer these presentations for free so everyone can attend and learn.

Welcome to Sedona Wolf Week 2018!

However, please know, donations are greatly appreciated. When you donate, you help cover expenses associated with our guest speakers which allows more funds to be used to help with the following: education, advocacy, rescue, transport, medical, enrichment and food for wolf dogs and wolves all over the country.

We are also offering the following ticketed events:

• An evening with Nate Blakeslee, author of American Wolf. Admission includes presentation, copy of the book and VIP reception / book signing. Register here.

• Children’s workshop where kids can learn more about wolves and how they are like families, storytelling and interaction with the Apex Ambassador Pack. Register here.

• Predator Friendly®Fundraising Dinner with Carter Niemeyer. Carter was integral to the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone. Carter will entertain you with how he went from a wolf trapper and hunter to becoming one of their most vocal advocates while you enjoy a meal using ingredients from Predator Friendly® farms and ranchers. Register here.

• Wolf Socials with the Apex Ambassador Pack are a once in a lifetime experience and the money raised helps fund the pack’s daily care. Register here.

• Philip Folsom workshop – Wolf Tribe Transformation Program. Register here.

• Films at the Mary D. Fisher are sold separately by the theatre and can be purchased at the door or online at www.SedonaFilmFest.org.

Please note schedule subject to change. The new dates for 2018 are April 17-21st as the event previously scheduled on the 22nd has been postponed

The Speakers

Carter Niemeyer

Carter Niemeyer, Formerly of the Dept. of U.S. Fish & Wildlife where he served as the wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho. As an expert government trapper, he was a key member of the federal wolf reintroduction team in Canada in the mid-1990s. Carter is an Iowa native but adopted the West as his home in the early 1970s. He has two degrees from Iowa State University and is a Wildlife Society certified biologist. In 2010 he wrote his first memoir, Wolfer. His second collection of stories, Wolf Land, published in March 2016.

Niemeyer has been a trapper, hunter, and wildlife proponent his entire life. Wolves, he believes, add to the outdoor experience, and people who see or hear them should consider the experience thrilling. Wolves do not, as many believe, kill everything in sight, destroy their own food supply, or lick their chops at kids waiting at bus stops. They are simply predators like lions and bears, and anyone who believes otherwise is, well, wrong.

Rachel Tilseth

Founder Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. Rachel holds a Batchelor of Science Degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin Stout. Tilseth is an educator living in northwestern Wisconsin. Tilseth’s interests in nature, specifically wolves, led her to advocate for wolves and wildlife.

Rachel was born in Madison Wisconsin.  Rachel’s fifth and six grade teacher taught her to love and respect wild animals.  Rachel started getting involved in saving the environment at the tender age of twelve. In the late 1960s Rachel wrote a letter to Senator Gaylord Nelson supporting his legislation to stop the flooding of the Grand Canyon. Then she went about saving Wisconsin’s Prairie Chickens, and the American Bald Eagle. As a high school student she continued her work by participating in the very first Earth Day.

In the late 1980s she was involved in the sulfate mining protests in Wisconsin. In 1990 Rachel met the activists’ John Trudell and Floyd Crow Westerman at a Protect the Earth rally in Hayward Wisconsin. Trudell taught her to be more vocal about wolves and the environment. Then in 1998 Rachel began supporting the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program. In the year 2000 Rachel began working as a volunteer winter wolf tracker for the wolf recovery program.  Rachel spent every spare weekend learning about the wolves and their movements in Douglas county Wisconsin.  It was through that experience she learned to admire and respect the wolf for their strong family values.

In 2011 as wolves in the Great Lakes Region we’re being delisted, and Wisconsin Legislation Act 169 enacted a trophy hunt on wolves Rachel hit the ground running.  She founded the blog and social media network Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin to bring education and awareness to Wisconsin’s wild wolf. She began speaking out against wolf trophy hunts, and is active in working to ban Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the only state the allows the barbaric use of dogs to track and trail wolves in a trophy hunt.  Rachel worked with Senator Fred Risser on Legislation to remove dogs from the wolf hunt. Unfortunately, the bill never left Committee.  Rachel garnered the support of the press and kept up the pressure to hold WI DNR accountable for allowing the barbaric practice of wolf-hounding on an endangered species. Tilseth is working to get Legislation up and going to ban the use of dogs to hunt wolves in Wisconsin.

Tilseth has expanded her interest into filmmaking. She’s currently in the process of creating a documentary film about the heart of wolf advocacy. Rachel believes that story telling through the medium of film, a visual art form, is the next step to advocating for the wolf.

KC York

KC York – Founder/Executive Director

Trap Free Montana, Inc.            

KC has been involved with animals, domestic and wild, since early childhood rescuing, medically assisting, re-homing, relocating, and promoting an understanding and appreciation for them. KC incorporates her formal education in Wildlife Biology and Psychology into her passion. Her advocacy for animals began in her birth place of Florida and continued in Colorado for almost 20 years.

Since moving to Montana in 1998, KC has spent the last 8 years actively involved in exposing and opposing trapping. Growing up with parents that during the harshness of the depression, ranched, hunted, and trapped, as well as those that saved animals, has provided her different perspectives. All, however, were in agreement, trapping is cruel and is unnecessary. At the end of 2013, KC formed a ballot initiative committee, Trap Free Montana Public Lands.

Although shortage of time was the detrimental factor to gathering enough signatures for the 2014 ballot, the overwhelming enthusiasm from the general public was inspiring. This has led to the formation of Trap Free Montana, Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to promote the advancement of education, modern day science, and non-lethal alternatives to trapping that foster responsible stewardship and respectful coexistence with wildlife.

Apex Protection Project

In 2009, Paula Ficara and Steve Wastell discovered a place that would change the course of their lives forever; a young wolfdog rescue just getting its start in Los Angeles County. With a lifelong love of wildlife, particularly wolves, they found themselves volunteering as much time as possible to the growth and development of the small rescue, eventually leaving their former careers behind to become full-time staff members. In 2014, with their true passion being realized and a strong desire to fulfill their mission, Paula and Steve created Apex Protection Project. Over the past eight years, they’ve helped rescue and rehabilitate over 75 wolves and wolfdogs, developed educational events and programs, and have been active advocates for captive-bred wolves and wolfdogs, as well as wolves in the wild. The goal of Apex Protection Project is to continue the quest of protecting wolves and wolfdogs through educational experiences, rescue, and advocacy with the dream of living in a world where the wolf and all species are highly valued, protected and respected for the balance they bring to the ecosystem and for the gifts they offer to humanity.

An Evening with Nate Blakeslee, Author, American Wolf

April 19, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

At Poco Diablo Resort

Presentation:  6:00 – 7:00pm

VIP Cocktail Event: 7:00 – 9:00pm

General Admission: $40 includes book & presentation. Books can be purchased online before the event and will be available for pick up at Wolf Week.

VIP Admission: $65 includes the book, presentation, VIP cocktail event and book signing.

Before men ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West. Award-winning author Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six, in his poignant book AMERICAN WOLF: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. Days after Crown acquired the book, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions picked up the rights, with Scott Cooper (Black Mass) set to direct.

More than four million people visit Yellowstone each year, and wolves are one of the main attractions. Wolf advocates would like to see them remain on the endangered species list; opponents, especially professional hunting guides (whose clients compete with wolves for the elk they both prize) and cattle ranchers (who have lost livestock to wolves), would like to see a wolf-hunting season so that their numbers can be reduced. AMERICAN WOLF is about these opposing forces, told through the lens of the life of one wolf, O-Six, whose own story became entangled in the political strife around her.

O-Six can arguably be called one of the most famous wild animals in our country. She was one of the most visible wolves in Yellowstone at a time when wolf-watching became a common pastime in the park. Beloved by wolf-watchers, particularly Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre and former schoolteacher Laurie Lyman, both featured in the book, O-Six becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters and their professional guides; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who challenge her dominance of the stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley in the park’s mountainous Northern Range.

Nate Blakeslee became fascinated with wolves in the winter of 2008, after taking a wolf-watching class in Yellowstone. This is where he saw wolves in the wild for the first time. Drawing on interviews with McIntyre, and Lyman’s extensive wolf-watching diary (over 800,000 words), Blakeslee has re-created the true life story of a wild animal in unprecedented detail.

About the Author: Nate Blakeslee is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. His first book, Tulia, was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Texas Institute of Letters nonfiction award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005. The Washington Post called it one of the most important books about wrongful convictions ever written. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

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“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy – The Yellowstone Story”

A Documentary film project that tells the stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. A wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film. Co Produced by Rachel Tilseth And Maaike Middleton and Directed by Rachel Tilseth. Donate Here to support this film project There’s no better place to start the story of Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy than with the Yellowstone story of wolf advocate Ilona Popper.

In mid-life, Ilona Popper relocated to the edge of Yellowstone National Park to observe wildlife, especially wolves. She wanted to understand the animals through her own observations and experiences, first. Equally important to her is to live in wolf country among wolves, cougars, bears and all the animals Lewis and Clark encountered before European-American settlement. Ilona has followed wolf and cougar tracks near her home; once in awhile, she and her husband listen to wolf howls and cougar calls from their cabin.

Ilona was living in the Greater Yellowstone Area when wolf hunts were first allowed there in 2009. She saw firsthand how human hunting disrupted the social relationships between wolves, disbanded packs, and interfered with 20 years of prime wolf research. She entered wolf advocacy naively, believing that if people knew the nature of wolves and what science discovered about balances between predator and prey, they would not wish to hunt the animals.

Since then, Ilona has worked intensively on preserving wolves in the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) area and in Montana. She helped establish and served as chair for the Bear Creek Council Wolf Committee and was invited to sit on Finding Common Ground, a council called by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to bring together wildlife advocates and environmentalists with sportspeople and livestock producers. The participants were often at odds, especially about wolves, but she saw that “each person shared a love of wildlife and nature.”

In the following video clip wolf advocate Ilona Popper relates a story of a wolf she witnessed fall through ice. “Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy – The Yellowstone Story Film Project.” Filmed with iPhone 8. Producers Maaike Middleton and Rachel Tilseth. A Wolves of Douglas County Film Project

https://vimeo.com/257697060

Ilona didn’t start out in wildlife advocacy or even biology, though she spent much of her childhood in the woods. Her passions are writing and nature. She is the author of the poetry book, Break, of poems in numerous journals, and articles about the wildlife she observes. Education B.A. English, Georgetown University 1979. M.A. English Language and Literature, University of Virginia 1981.She has an M.A. in English and has worked for 40 years as an editor, writing coach, and teacher. She continues this work but has added volunteering and working as a biology field tech for studies of wolves, bears, plants, birds, and, most recently, a study of wolf howling and communication through Montana State University. She gives talks and lectures about wildlife and she works as a wildlife guide in YNP.
Ilona is writing a nonfiction book about wolves and people and a poetry manuscript about wildlife. Her website is ilonapopper.wordpress.org.

The following is an excerpt from Ilona’s blog…

A Bone to Pick: One Pack’s Drama Over Feeding an Old Wolf (excerpt)

We saw the wolves about a mile below us. They had killed an elk at the base of a long drainage and were eating at the carcass: the black breeding female; the gray breeding male, 685M; and several of their pups, only a month away from their first birthday. Soon, their mother would whelp a new litter.

It was a snowy March morning in 2009, and I had joined two crew members of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, Hilary and Josh, who were following the Everts wolf pack for the Wolf Project’s winter study. We had hiked into the Gallatin National Forest and set up our scopes high along a steep ravine that cut sharply down to the Yellowstone River. Across the river was Yellowstone National Park, where flats and hills rose up to Mount Everts.

The wolves tugged and chewed, side by side at the carcass.

“Wow,” Hilary exclaimed. “Can you believe that!?”

“Is he taking that to her?” asked Josh.

“Yes!”

Lifting my head, I shifted my scope in the direction the two were looking, higher up on Everts. I saw two wolves; one was the graying-black Old Everts Female (OEF), lying sphinxlike on an overlook above the carcass. I caught sight of her just after 685M, the breeding male, dropped an elk leg onto her forepaws. 685M had pulled the leg from the carcass, climbed the hill to where the old female lay, and brought her the meat.

“What a mensch!” Josh said.

“I knew he was a prince,” said Hilary.

685M stood looking down at the old wolf. The OEF was about 9 years old. When she was about 4 years old, her shoulder joint had been so badly injured that, for most of her life, she held that leg straight in front of her when she traveled.

Now the old wolf remained still, perhaps to make sure 685M had truly released the food. Then she grabbed the leg in her jaws, stood and began hopping up the mountain.

But the breeding male raced ahead of her and angled his body to block her way. She paused, faced his flank and stepped past him. Again, 685M ran ahead of her and turned to stand obliquely. What was he up to? He didn’t take back the leg, but he kept halting her.

The OEF held the leg tightly and wouldn’t lay it down to take a bite. I wondered why she was so bent on traveling up the mountain. After a couple rounds of this mute conversation, the male finally gave up and trotted back to the carcass below.

Wild wolves carry food and regurgitate to pups, but they don’t usually carry food to other adult wolves, with these exceptions: all pack members bring food to the nursing mother, who mostly stays in the den for the first week or so of the pups’ lives, warming and suckling them. (Usually this is the breeding female, but if there is good hunting, packs may support additional litters.) Rising hormones like oxytocin prime all the members of the pack to focus on raising pups, and this accounts for the other exception: before “denning up,” pregnant female wolves may solicit and receive food from their mates, as if to jump-start those nurturing hormones.

So, why was 685M bringing food to the OEF? The pups were grown, they weren’t even hers, and she wasn’t pregnant. And why didn’t she eat alongside the rest of the pack? The carcass was in plain view. What exactly was the OEF’s role in this pack? Read more at Ilona Popper’s Word Press Blog

To learn more go to “Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story”

To support the film project go to Plan B Foundation ” Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy” and donate

Featured image is of Ilona Popper

Snare Traps are Indiscriminate Killers, Land Mines Concealed in the Wilderness

www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com by Rachel Tilseth

…Snare Trap is a device concealed underground and baited with tantalizing attractive scents capable of causing great suffering for its victims. A male Timber wolf in northern Minnesota became the latest victim of a snare trap. He became caught in a snare trap meant to catch and ensnare small game. The snare meant for small game, became wrapped tightly around the muzzle of the male wolf. Can we even begin to imagine the pain and suffering that occurred as a result of this man-made killing device. How could the male wolf have known the tantalizing scents concealed a land mine known as a snare trap and set in his home range. The more an unsuspecting woodland creature tries to pull out of the device, the more the noose tightens around the body part caught in the trap. Certain death from starvation became the fate of the male wolf as the noose became tightly wrapped around his mouth. Several people saw the male wolf north of Duluth Minnesota, and tried to help.

I spoke with a volunteer at Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation out of Duluth, Minnesota. They said, “several people saw the wolf and tried to help him.” The Wildwood’s volunteer told me Kelly Looby was able to get within a few feet of the wolf, a photographer, even making eye contact with him. She kept following the wolf, but he seemed very wary of humans, and disappeared and reappeared several times.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Looby

Wildwoods reported the wire snare was wrapped tight around the wolf’s nose, and embedded into the nose. He clearly could not open his mouth at all. The male wolf was very thin, as was told to them by volunteer and eyewitness Kelly Looby.

“He might have been able to lick up some snow and sniff roadkill, but he had not been able to eat,” a volunteer from Wildwoods said. “He had been starving, and was a skeleton of fur and bones.”

Photo courtesy of Kelly Looby

No one knows how long the male wolf suffered. He was first sighted near Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior’s North Shore earlier in the week, then north of the city in Duluth Saturday February 10th. Wildwoods reported they just didn’t have the equipment needed to catch him. Many people tried to catch him but he was too fast.

In the end the Duluth police made the heart wrenching decision to put him down at 2 pm Saturday afternoon. Wildwoods was able to examine the wolf. They reported that underneath his thick winter coat he was skin and bones.

“Humans caused the initial pain and suffering of this beautiful wolf by creating the snare, and in the end taking his life to end his suffering.” said Kelly Looby.

Photo courtesy of Wildwoods

Wildwoods told me they were able to gain the equipment, a net gun, through donations after this tragedy. With this net gun they will be able to capture and treat victims of snare traps in the future.

“Snares are cruel trapping devices, causing pain, injury and death. Animals caught in snares can suffer from grotesque swelling and hemorrhaging of the head, can be hanged to death by jumping over a nearby fence or branch in a desperate attempt to escape, and can suffer from exposure, dehydration, and starvation. Snares are grossly indiscriminate, capturing any animal of the right height or size unlucky enough to pass through the snare – including pets, imperiled wildlife species, deer and raptors.” ~Melissa Tedrowe HSUS Wisconsin State Representative

Minnesota DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook states the following: Snares may be used by licensed trappers for taking all species of protected wild mammals that may be taken by the use of traps. In the forest zone, snares are allowed on public land and on private land with permission of the landowner.

Take action to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again…

Howling For Wolves supports current state legislation that would eliminate recreational snaring of all wildlife: House File 2160, authored by Representatives Fischer, Loon, Kunesh-Podein, Rosenthal, Ward, Slocum, Allen, Dehn, R., and Hornstein and its companion bill, Senate File 1447, authored by Senators Hoffman, Wiger, and Dibble.

“To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul – hope you like what you see.” ~Aldo Leopold

 

Photos used in this story courtesy of Kelly Looby and photo of dead wolf credited to Wildwoods.

UNCATEGORIZED “Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story” become a valued donor…

Help us launch this documentary film Donate here Documentary Film “Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story” (Working Title)

Stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park.

Co Produced by Rachel Tilseth And Maaike Middleton and Directed by Rachel Tilseth

Rippling Waters Production (c) -A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film- http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

The vision of the film is to tell the stories of the people who work to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone. Telling their story will be the inspiration that helps the viewer to gain insight into the heart of wolf advocacy. Donate here

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story is the story of the people that advocate to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone. In the film; Nathan Varley owner of Yellowstone Wolf Tracker http://www.wolftracker.com/ and president of Bear Creek Council https://www.northernplains.org/our-local-groups/bear-creek-council/. Ilona Popper writer, wolf watcher and member of Bear Creek Council. Rick Lamplugh author and member of Bear Creek Council. Marc Cooke founder of the nonprofit Wolves of the Rockies https://www.wolvesoftherockies.org/. The four wolf advocates have a story to tell. Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story presents the viewer with a complete picture of what it means to advocate for an imperiled species protected within Yellowstone National Park contrasted against an uncertain future because of Trophy wolf hunts taking place beyond the parks borders. Donate here

Rick Lamplugh is one of the film’s featured wolf advocates. Rick Lamplugh lives in Gardiner, Montana, at Yellowstone’s north gate. He is the author of two Amazon best sellers, In the Temple of Wolves and Deep into Yellowstone. His writing has appeared in Yellowstone Reports, and the literary journals Composite Arts Magazine, Gold Man Review, Phoebe, Soundings Review, and Feathered Flounder. He won the Jim Stone Grand Prize for Non-Fiction.

In this promotional teaser Rick Lamplugh talks about his path to wolf advocacy.

https://vimeo.com/246543543

Nathan Varley, Ph.D Currently Varley is the owner of The Wild Side, LLC, a wildlife touring business specializing in outfitting groups of all ages to view wolves and other wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, including interpretation related to the park’s natural and cultural history and sciences. He and his wife, Linda Thurston, lead tours that champion a land ethic that places the highest value on wildlife and habitat within the Yellowstone ecosystem, focusing on forever preserving and enjoying the places that have provided Nathan’s inspiration.
As a contributor to the historic Gray Wolf Recovery Project in Yellowstone Park, Nathan served under Supervisor Doug Smith from 1995 to 2005, working on studies that included tracking, from radio telemetry and ground observation, observing gray wolf interactions with ungulate species, field necropsy, data collection, capture and handling.

Ilona Popper a writer and wolf advocate living in Jardine, Montana just at the north entrance of YNP. Ilona has worked intensively on preserving wolves in the YNP area and in Montana. She helped establish and served as chair for the Bear Creek Council Wolf Committee and was invited to sit on Finding Common Ground, a council called by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to bring together wildlife advocates and environmentalists with sportspeople and livestock producers. The participants were often at odds, especially about wolves, but she saw that “each person shared a love of wildlife and nature.”

Marc Cooke founded Wolves of the Rockies headquartered out of Stevensville, Montana. Wolves of the Rockies is the most active local and national wolf defender and protector in Montana. Wolves of the Rockies has developed long-term relationships with other hunting and pro-wolf state and national conservation organizations. Along with decision makers such as Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commissioners and state and federal elected officials. Under Wolves of the Rockies leadership, we have achieved many pro-wolf accomplishments. The creation of two subunits 313 & 316 that border Yellowstone National Park.

The film will interview staff from the Yellowstone Wolf Project Doug Smith, Rick McIntyre and Kira Cassidy.

Filming can can be an expensive endeavor in a National Park.  We need your help for start up funds.

What you get for your generous donation

$25 your name in film’s special thank you credits

$50 your name in credits and DVD upon release

$75 your name in credits, autographed DVD upon release

$100 prescreening and autographed DVD upon release

$500 & up name in credits, autographed DVD upon release, prescreening with producers and directors.

Thank  you for your support!

About the producers

Maaike Middleton Co Producer

M.A Documentary by Practice, University of London – Royal Holloway

Graduated with Merit  B.A Media & Theatre Arts, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Graduated Cum Laude

Raised in the Paradise Valley, schooled in London, traveled to 25+ countries, rooted in the Montana wilds. Growing up in Paradise Valley all I wanted to do was travel and see the world. After getting my BA in Filmmaking from Montana State University I did just that. I traveled to some amazing places, from the wild Gobi dessert in Mongolia to the temples of Angor Wat in Cambodia to the hustle and bustle of London where I received a Masters in Documentary filmmaking from the University of London. Returning to Paradise Valley to document the beauty that surrounds me daily. My passport ever ready for the next international adventure and hiking boots ready to explore the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Rachel Tilseth Co Producer and Director

Rachel holds a Batchelor of Science Degree in Art Education and is a retired art teacher. Tilseth’s interests in nature, specifically wolves, led her to advocate for wolves and wildlife. In the year 2000 she became involved in WI DNR Wolf Recovery Program working as a volunteer winter wolf tracker to present. She founded the blog and social media network Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin to bring education and awareness to Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Tilseth has spent several years speaking out against wolf trophy hunts. Tilseth is active in working to ban Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin. She has a strong background in the visual arts. She’s a sculptor and oil painter. Tilseth has expanded her interest into filmmaking. She’s currently in the process of creating a documentary film about the heart of wolf advocacy.

Make a donation here

~~~

Photograph is artwork donated to the fim project by artist Lindsay Carron and cannot be reproduced subjected to copyright of artist

Round Two in Public Hearings as SB 602 Fails the Fact-Check-Test…

A public hearing took place Tuesday January 16, 2018 on bill SB 602 . The companion bill in the assembly, Ill conceived Assembly Bill 712 Takes a Nose-Dive in Public Hearing was held last Wednesday January 10, 2018. This bill would make it illegal for WI DNR wardens or any WI state law enforcement to enforce state or federal law relating to management of wolves in Wisconsin. In other words, if a WI DNR warden came across any suspected illegal killings of wolves they would not be allowed to investigate it. Or even report suspected illegal killings of wolves to the federal authorities.

The goal of this ill conceived bill is to dump all responsibility of wolf management onto the feds. The architects’ of this proposed legislation want to wash their hands of the state’s wolf management. One program on chopping block, if the legislation passes, would be the volunteer wolf tracking program started in 1995. I’ve been a part of this program as a citizen volunteer wolf tracker since the year 2000. This means that WI DNR staff can no longer monitor wolves or the citizen volunteers.

This legislation is being put forth by a minority of politicians claiming this bill is necessary as wolves are taking over northern Wisconsin. Rep. Adam Jarchow claims wolves are decimating the White-tailed deer herd and reeking havoc on farmer’s livestock in northern Wisconsin. Senator Tiffany and Representative Jarchow’s way of wolf management is holding a trophy hunt. Wisconsin is also the only state that sanctions wolf-Hounding. Either way it’s obvious that this legislation is not guided by or based on good sense.

“This is a far-reaching bill, this is a ploy to get their way, this is a way to drum up more publicity for their cause and they’re not telling the truth,” Tilseth said. “They’re not giving real facts.” Wisconsin Public Radio Interview November 12, 2017

Let’s fact check the claims being made by Senator Tom Tiffany and representative Adam Jarchow (the main architects behind this legislation). According to Senator Tiffany and Representative Jarchow wolves are out of control killing livestock. But the facts from Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources regarding wolf depredations on livestock just don’t match up with their claims. The following is from WI DNR Wolf Monitoring Reports 2016-2017 Winter:

The number of incidents decreased 29% from 2015-16 when 52 incidents of depredation to livestock were confirmed.” WI DNR Wolf Monitoring Reports 2016-2017 Winter

Let’s now fact check the two politicians claims that wolves are decimating the White-tailed deer in northern Wisconsin. The following graphic explains how wolves are impacting northern Wisconsin’s White-tailed deer herd.

Nine-day 2016 Wisconsin deer hunt totals for Northern Forest Zone 23,445 (30% increase) antlered (buck). The Northern Forest Zone is in wolf range.

It would appear Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is building a healthier White-tailed deer herd and wolf depredations on livestock are down. Thus, when fact checking the scientific data-contrasted to the political rhetoric; it’s obvious that this legislation is not guided by or based on good sense. Or even based on any factual or scientific data for that matter.

The number of wolf depredations decreased 29% from 2015-16 when 52 incidents of depredation to livestock were confirmed.

Another side of this misguided legislation is that Wisconsin could lose millions in dollars in federal funding as Attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin pointed out in last weeks public hearing on the companion AB 712. Read on:

“It’s not a clear issue and it’s difficult to resolve as it makes sense,” said Jodi Habush Sinykin, environmental attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates. “There are millions of dollars of federal funds at stake as well if Wisconsin were to pursue this task.” Ill conceived Assembly Bill 712 Takes a Nose-Dive in Public Hearing WODCW’s Blog

I invite you to watch the following video from HSUS Wisconsin State Representative Melissa Tedrowe’s testimony regarding SB 602. I used my iPhone to tape the public hearing while viewing it on my iPad. It was alarming that a Senator would draw a line in the center of the state in an effort to rationalize his proposed legislation. Tiffany’s line of questioning of HSUS state representative Tedrowe was a pun. Tiffany implied wolves should be moved to Monona Wisconsin because it was once part of their historic range. Tedrowe’s response was composed and dignified.

“Senator Tiffany you shared anecdotes of people living in the north. I also could trot out those anecdotes of our members and supporters who are not in fear, who walk their pets, and whose children feel safe, and love wolves, and are so proud. And another thing, this is statistically proven the DNR did a study that people in rural areas don’t want wolves hunted and trapped.”

Another committee member, Senator Terry Moulton asked the following question of Tedrowe. “Do you believe the life of a wolf is just as valuable as the life of a human-being? Senator Terry Moulton.”

The following is Tedrowe’s response:

“We don’t value animals more than people. We are trying to eliminate the most egregious cruel forms of inhumane treatments for animals where ever it’s found. I think that is a mainstream value. Most everyone in this room would not want to see animals treated cruelly. Including you (senator Tiffany).”

https://vimeo.com/251477705

The following is part of Tedrowe’s testimony:

” On behalf of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and our supporters in Wisconsin, I thank you for this opportunity to testify in opposition to SB 602. This measure sanctions wolf poaching and prevents state officials from monitoring wolves until federal delisting occurs—actions that will have dire and long-lasting consequences for the species. Equally concerning, SB 602 violates Wisconsinites’ deeply held conservation values and sets a dangerous precedent for lawmakers to cherry-pick which laws get enforced.

Wolves in the Great Lakes region had just begun to recover from being wiped out completely when they lost their federal protections in 2011. In the period between 2012 and 2014, trophy hunters, trappers and houndsmen killed more than 1,500 wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan under hostile state management programs. At least 520 wolves were killed in Wisconsin alone. In just one season, Wisconsin’s wolf population plummeted 20%, with 17 packs disappearing entirely. Wolves were killed with exceptionally cruel and unsporting methods—nearly 70% were caught in barbaric steel-jawed leghold traps or neck snares, while other methods included baiting, electronic calls, and packs of hounds.

The vast majority of Wisconsinites know that wolves matter enormously, recognizing their vital role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and balanced, and taking pride in the fact that our state is one of the few places these wolves call home. The Wisconsin DNR’s own 2014 survey of nearly 9,000 residents, which was heavily weighted to rural areas, found that most people do not want wolves hunted or trapped. They want wolves conserved for future generations.

In closing, SB 602 is a bad bill – one that endangers scientific research and obstructs law enforcement, puts our ecosystems in jeopardy, and ignores the will of the majority of state citizens. I urge the committee to vote no on this proposal and ensure that protections for gray wolves are not irrationally and prematurely taken away on behalf of a tiny, vocal minority. “

End of Wisconsin State Representative of the Humane Society of the US Melissa Tedrowe’s Testimony.

There’s more to come on this misguided legislation as AB 712 was scheduled for a committee vote today.

Updated as of 1:07 PM January 17, 2018

The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage passed AB 712 9-5 along party lines.

“Before the vote, Chairman Joel Kleefisch noted that many people consider wolves sacred but hard-working farmers are sacred too.  He noted that AB 712 isn’t changing the law; it’s simply placing the burden of enforcement where it belongs, with the federal government.  He further noted that there have been many other instances where states have refused to enforce federal legislation, AB 712 isn’t at all unusual (my paraphrase).

This bill deserves a larger hearing and we’re now going to send it to the Assembly, Rep. Kleefisch said (again, my paraphrase).” Stated In an email by Melissa Tedrowe Wisconsin Humane Society of the US State Representative

This is how Wisconsin hunts wolves just off the ESL.

http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

Please take action to protect Wisconsin’s wild wolf from legislation not guided by or based on good sense…

…A new bill that ties the hands of local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities in any investigation into the illegal killing of Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Wolves are a federally protected endangered species.

According to Wisconsin Gray Wolf Monitoring Report (April 2016 through April 2017) vehicle collisions (39%) and illegal kills (20%) were the leading causes of death for detected mortalities.

Just when you think wolf education & awareness should take precedent, here comes more political rhetoric.

This time it’s in the form of a bill, 2017 Assembly Bill 712, and companion bill SB 602 which would make it illegal for law enforcement to enforce state or federal law relating to management of wolves in Wisconsin. Fringe politicians claim this bill is necessary as wolves are taking over northern Wisconsin. Rep. Adam Jarchow claims wolves are decimating deer and livestock and must be managed (Jarchow’s way of wolf management is a trophy hunt). Wisconsin is also the only state that sanctions wolf-Hounding. Either way it’s obvious that this legislation not guided by or based on good sense.

This is how Wisconsin manages an endangered species just off the ESL.

This is how Wisconsin manages an endangered species just off the endangered species list.

Let’s remember that when a politician wants something they’re not above using smoke and mirrors tactics to spin the facts in their favor. In this case, they claim wolves are eating all the deer and killing livestock at an unprecedented rate. Here’s the truth; wolves in a given year have taken 6% of the White-tailed deer population.

“The leading causes of deer mortality in the state, as Wisconsin wildlife managers have long said, are human hunters and severe winters. A 2009 DNR document ranked the deer kill in Wisconsin’s northern and central forest regions this way: 122,000 deer killed by hunters (bow and gun), about 50,000 due to winter stress (the range could vary widely), 33,000 to black bears, 16,000 to coyotes, 13,000 to motor vehicles, 13,000 to wolves and 6,000 to bobcats.” (Source)

This new bill is a rather lame attempt by a few politicians, that think the public is easily led astray by smoke and mirrors political tricks. Let’s check the facts on wolf depredations from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website:

“Thirty-seven incidents of wolf depredation to livestock and 11 incidents of wolf threat to livestock were confirmed on 31 different farms during the monitoring period (Table 6). This included 8 of 34 farms classified as chronic wolf depredation farms (24%). Livestock depredations included 33 cattle killed and 6 injured, 27 sheep killed, and 2 miniature donkeys killed and 1 injured. The number of farms affected decreased slightly from 2015-16 when 34 farms were affected (Figure 7). The number of incidents decreased 29% from 2015-16 when 52 incidents of depredation to livestock were confirmed.” WI DNR Wolf Monitoring Reports 2016-2017 Winter

“This is a far-reaching bill, this is a ploy to get their way, this is a way to drum up more publicity for their cause and they’re not telling the truth,” Tilseth said. “They’re not giving real facts.” Wisconsin Public Radio Interview November 12, 2017

If anything remember how much time, tax dollars and efforts have been put into forty years of wolf recovery in Wisconsin. We should appreciate the role wolves play on balancing Wisconsin’s ecosystems.

Politicians are not qualified to dictate wolf management policy.

Another aspect of this misguided legislation targets wolf monitoring programs. One program developed by retired wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven will be on the chopping block if this legislation is passed.

“The volunteer tracker program has been in place since 1995 and coordinates up to 150 trackers each year.” Source

“The WDNR has trained, guided, and used data from volunteer carnivore trackers. Interruption of this program would reduce citizen science opportunities in Wisconsin, and eliminate a source of wolf population data for the WDNR. Though the program was started in 1995, it took several years after establishment for trackers to gain the expertise to assure and maximize data quality. Disruption of this program may require several years for re-establishment and reduce support from volunteers.” From: Wisconsin’s Greenfire, Wolf Management Restrictions

I joined the Wisconsin’s DNR volunteer winter wolf monitoring program in the year 2000. I’ve contributed my time and money as a citizen helping to gather wolf population data for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. If this bill passes winter track surveys or work with citizen scientists on data collection could no longer be coordinated with DNR staff.

Please take action to protect Wisconsin’s wild wolf from legislation not guided by or based on good sense.

Contact the following politicians:

Rep. Mary Felzkowski: Rep.Felzkowski@legis.wisconsin.gov, 608-266-7694

Rep. Romaine Quinn: Rep.Quinn@legis.wisconsin.gov, 608-282-3675

Rep. Adam Jarchow: Rep.Jarchow@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-267-2365

Sen. Tom Tiffany: Sen.Tiffany@legis.wi.gov, 608-266-2509

Contact your Wisconsin state representatives CLICK HERE