In the late 1970s wolf Recovery in Wisconsin began. The Gray wolf made a comeback after being eradicated through hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. It wasn’t long before hunting special interests groups began their bid to get Wisconsin’s Gray wolf delisted. Sadly after 40 years of recovery these special interests (Fringe hunters) hunting groups got their way. In the state of Wisconsin the Gray wolf is hunted (2012-2014) for a fireplace rug & mounted as trophy when he’s not listed on the Endangered Species List. He was delisted in 2012 and his domestic relative, the dog, was used to track and trail him until a federal judged ordered the Gray wolf back on the ESL in December 2014. Today Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is facing multiple delisting threats in congress backed by special interests; wanting the Gray Wolf’s habitat for oil & gas, lumbering, and the Gray wolf himself for trophy hunting.
We must make it right…get it right…before we lose everything…the wolf is a social animal just like we are…they depend on family for survival…so do we as human-beings…
The idea that only man is equipped for conserving our planet’s natural resources is a dying concept; dying right along with the untold numbers of wild sentient beings killed in the name of conservation. Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of conserving wildlife.
It’s going to take a major shift in thinking that will require opening up lines of communication between the general public; specifically with interests in conserving our natural resources for future generations to come. It’s not about numbers. It’s about sentient beings sharing our planet, and how we can coexist for the benefit of all living upon Mother Earth.
Changing the paradigm from killing to compassionate conservation is a major shift in thinking…
Through my mind’s eye memories flow through the years spent within the Gray Wolf’s range in Wisconsin’s northern forests in Douglas county starting in the year 2000. There you’ll find vast wilderness of forests and barrens where the Gray wolf resides.
Do you think there’s room for the Gray wolf? The following video was shot 2 summers ago in 2015. This landscape is found on a 15 mile long remote gravel road in northern Wisconsin. Do you think there’s room for the wolf?
Last summer, 2018, I visited this same area (in the video) with friend Elke Duerr and who’s filming in the photograph.
When I began helping to monitor Wisconsin’s Gray wolf in the year 2000 there were only 66 Gray wolf packs in the state. Today’s wolf over winter wolf population counts is around 945 individuals.
In northern Wisconsin beauty can be found where the Gray wolf resides. I’ve walked these trails for over two decades in search of Wisconsin’s wild & elusive gray wolf.
The Gray wolf in Wisconsin trots freely down the wild and remote gravel roads in Douglas county.
Rains of summer create a lush paradise in wolf range.
The Gray wolf in northern Wisconsin. Photograph screen shot from Red Cliff reservation trail cam.
In summer of July 2018 I met a Raven on a remote gravel road in Douglas county. Douglas county is home for Wisconsin’s wild Gray wolf.
The Gray wolf in Wisconsin deserves our protection…
While many of us celebrate Endangered Species Day on May 18, others attack the Endangered Species Act. PLEASE listen to Rick Lamplugh as he discusses whether states should have more or less say in protecting endangered and threatened wildlife by clicking the sound track below.
I wanted to repost this from Erika. She was the best of the community. I could go on and on about her…but her words are so much more profound.
I have added a recording with Erika from the NLA rendezvous. Again… her words are more profound than any I could write.
Erika Burns Andres – My words:
Experience is who we are. It is what makes us, forever teaching and molding us and ruling our view points, and emotions, and our knowledge, and communication skills.
Experience, when learned from, and applied; helps us to become better people in this world if we apply the lessons from the experience, and comprehend the experience.
In my personal journey with wolfdogs and wolfdog community, I have learned that it is a journey of continued learning. This journey occurs online and offline.
I have found it best to stay humble, and try to keep in mind that we are all students. I was a breeder before Facebook times. This made online a peak of the desired education of the things I wanted to learn further.
I figured out quick it was going to be an experience to learn from, but I would have to learn by tuning out the distractions that come with it.
The first Facebook wolfdog I ever saw was (Loki), that belonged to Cindy Matthews. I recall going wow that is one of the best wolfdogs I have ever seen.
He looked so much like the very first one I saw in my childhood at age 6. The one I saw at age 6 was my first inspiration. However Loki was my first online inspiration.
Later I recall seeing pictures of (Shango) that belongs to Sharon Green it was love at first site again. My goal was to always breed down in content, then back up.
However, the very first two wolfdogs I saw on Facebook became inspirations for me to try and mold and mimic far as looks. It never happen, but lead me to the very looks so many see today from us.
I recalled learning why wolf hybrids were now called wolfdogs. We always called them hybrids in the 90’s, the online wdc educated and explained why wolves and dogs do not produce hybrids.
This took some adjusting to far as using the correct terms. But eventually I settled to be politically correct. I recall thinking to myself , I need to mold my animals like this one or that one. But found I kept getting distracted in education with arguments and unwanted drama being new to Facebook.
So my next focus was, (who do I want to be like and get more of a productive experience) ? And this is not to offend anyone. But I wanted to be like Sharon Green. She educated , but was never biased, never really took part in drama, or attacks on people. And would ask questions in further learning. This gave me a guide as to what personality is the best way to learn, and still be able to coexist with as many in the wolf dog community as possible.
Aside from the obvious education, a few things I learned were as follows.
Never assume just because people say something is fact.
Get to know people on a more personal level.
In most cases, never give up hope that people can change.
Approach is essential to education.
Remain humble, and never be afraid to ask questions.
Educational experience goes better when we educate with genuine concern.
I try to keep in mind that we don’t truly know others back ground, genetic influences, or life circumstances that influence their thinking or learning process.
I learned to be greatful for any progress fellow owners may venture to make, as humans have free will. They don’ have to do anything or any change. So when we see that change acknowledge it.
I have met so many that have influenced me in my journey of betterment.
I have met some that are models as to what I do not want to be. And others that I have seen a love, a passion, a logic that serves as all id like to embody.
I have seen so many change for the better, and while I don’t know what changed their heart, aside from gaining a true love for wolfdogs and fellow owners. I can say that I feel education and the experience of the wolfdog community is indeed getting better for new comers to remain unbiased, focused on education, and in turn better in education than those before.
We now have even more to learn. Genetic testing such as Embark, is a new look into wolfdogs that gives insight far deeper than pheno ever could. So once again it is something to have to comprehend and learn more about and expound in education from there. For me it has been a learning experience from the time the wolfdog community began to embrace it. So now I have a mental check list to aide in my experience of the wolfdog community.
1. Analyse for positive logic and learning.
2. Practice good human relation skills.
3. Find someone who conducts themselves in a way you coincide with to be a positive asset to the wolfdog community, and by example encourages you.
4. Never feel content. As it slows learning and evolving for betterment.
5. Ask questions, and fact check the answers.
6. Have genuine concern.
7. Recognize your gifts and stick to those as we all have various gifts. When we try to go beyond our gifts it can mess up education for others.
8. Learn about wolves and wolfdogs and all the core basic essentials.
9. Learn from the mistakes of others as well as my own past.
10. Learn about Embark and what it means for wolfdogs, and what it means for previous education and future education. And what it means for a breeder and their breeding program. And learn how it can be a rescues dream come true. For even more informed placement.
11. Try to keep in mind just as much as we love our animals , try to offer the same genuine love for your fellow humans. Lack of compassion for our own kind is not natural, but should never be limited. I’ve figured out many humans have that issue. But I can’t judge because I really had a pretty good upbringing that taught me to do these things. I do fall short at times for logical reasons.
12. Just because some articulate better than others, it is best to consider the message than the format. Example; If a person says, (wow the stratus clouds look divine). That is wonderful and educated indeed. However; if another member says, ( The thinner clouds are very pretty). It is the same concept just written in two different formats that say the same thing. Education is not governed by articulation alone, but knowledge. Always consider the facts behind the knowledge, regardless of format.
13. Get to know members on a personal level,it will save a lot of heart break, and you might just make a great friend or two in the process.
I have tried to make all these things into a checklist to be a better member, better educator, better breeder. And a better friend.
In the process of going by this guide, I have met rescues that were so nice and logical. That care so much about the animals. I have made some really awesome friends along the way as well. I have met many, but I swear I knew Samantha Tambor in a past life. It’s like I went to school with her or something. It’s honestly hard to explain. If anyone can get through to me and make since of things that don’t add up to me, it’s her.
There are others that have a place in my heart as well. And have helped so much with my education and experience in the wolfdog community. Kim Miles, Jerry Mills, Kat Woldancer, Janice Mcguire, the late Donald Lewis, My customers/friends, Juan Cypress Creek. Bobby B and I use to talk years ago, I actually like him. Though his experience has made him become very reserved.
Certain people’s drive has also inspired me. Back when there were forums Cindy was like an investigator I learned much from her research. Christa Ward was the first to try and understand my program with breeding lows. And actually made me feel she really was asking for the right reasons. She was the first ever I shared my goals with.
I was always totally terrified of rescue views. Rescues that changed my mind that rescuers can be logical and have a heart based on logic love and compassion for the animals and people were as follows.
Natasha Handcock Nancy Brown Justine T Sonia S Connie Howard John Deboard Malinda S Melissa Greene Stephanie A Deborah S John Smith
There are others as well, but those names come to mind first.
Passion for education is as follows
Greg Largent Deanna M Samantha Tambor Natasha Handcock Kim Miles Jody Haynes Rose P Kat Wolfdancer Richard Vickers George S Laura Loft Stephanie Alcorn
There are so many I can’t name them all. As I continue this journey the above guidelines of learned experience is what has made my journey of experience positive, educational, and perception changers. I hope to continue to learn more, and see us all change for the betterment of each other, the betterment of wolfdogs and the future of wolfdogs. I hope that my place in the community online and offline can be a positive one and others may learn from it. If I could say any meaningful advice, it would be to love equally. The rest will work itself out if that one key factor is truly followed. Forgive equally. The biggest challenge of the wolfdog community is the wolfdog community. I look forward to the day all can truly see that.
Isle Royale sits like a gem in a cold ring of Lake Superior water some 15 miles off the shore of Grand Portage, Minnesota. Its isolation has been the island’s preservation. Today, as a national park, the 210-square mile island is not much different than when Norwegian fisherman built the first fish camps on its shores in the mid-1800’s.
A balance between life and death, predator and prey, has kept this island in check since the 1940’s. Ice bridges during the cold winter months enabled the first grey wolves to find the island 75 years ago. Those wolves stayed and, for the most part, flourished, living off the abundant moose population.
Over the decades, the predator and prey populations ebbed and flowed in a forest ecosystem that worked. Scientists studied it, but for the most part, they stayed out of it.
Then, the ice bridges stopped forming and the wolves – after their population peaked at 50 – started dying. Canine parvovirus took many; wolves killing other wolves took some. At times, the wolves were dying at an alarming rate, while the moose, with fewer canines to bring them down, grew in relatively unchecked numbers.
Today, upwards of 2,000 moose roam Isle Royale. With only two non-breeding wolves left to hunt them, the National Park service decided humans will step in and alter the course of nature before it’s too late.
The predator-prey balance on Isle Royale has already clearly changed. For Rolf Peterson, who has spent 50 years of his life out here studying that dynamic, and with the moose population trending up rapidly, doing nothing in this national park would be disastrous for its ecosystem.
Peterson was 22 years old, just a graduate student, when he first stepped foot on Isle Royale. There is not a trail, nor a bit of shoreline he does not know, Now, he is known around the world for his wolf and moose research conducted on the island annually.
No one knows more about the connection between a healthy wolf population, a healthy moose population and a healthy island than Peterson does.
“The main issue here is there’s a moose population that’s like a runaway freight train right now,” Peterson said. “And if we let it run away, it will be to the detriment of the entire national park.”
Had the park service chosen a hands-off approach to the island, Peterson and other biologists believe that runaway moose population would devastate the park’s dominate balsam fir forests. It is the favorite food of moose. Over-grazing means the forests would eventually be replaced with a barren spruce and grass environment, but adding more wolves back into the mix means fewer moose and balance on the island once again.
The decision to drop wolves back on the island did not come easy. It means interrupting the relative “do not touch” scientific philosophy of this particular national park.
Among those with concerns is Dr. David Mech, a premier expert on wolf behavior. Mech pioneered the wolf-moose study on Isle Royale 60 years ago.
“To be done right, it’s going to take quite a bit of thought and consideration,” Mech said.
Mech said he would like to see a committee of wolf and moose biologists thoughtfully and carefully plan the re-introduction.
“Is the primary objective going to be to bring the wolf population to the point where it real quickly stops the moose population from increasing?” Mech said. “Or, is it going to be just establish a basic wolf population out there? Or is it going to be an experiment? I’d like to see it be an experiment.”
Ironically, it was Peterson that Mech helped guide into the prey-predator study and onto Isle Royale in the early 1970’s. Now, almost 50 years later, Peterson has no doubts about reintroduction.
“[Isle Royale] has a future, basically, a future as a dynamic wolf-moose forest system, whereas without wolves here, it had no future,” Peterson said. “It would be just a runaway moose population that would basically trash the place as only a huge herbivore can do.”
With the debate now over, wolves, likely from Minnesota, will once again dominate the food chain on Isle Royale.
“Nature’s way” will start all over again on the island—a delicate balance under the watchful eye of humans, with a new precedent of stepping in when the balance tips one way or the other.
Help Protect Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears
by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate
Wyoming is planning a grizzly bear hunt. Up to 24 grizzlies–including two females–outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks could be killed this fall. The Endangered Species Coalition—an organization I respect—is clear about this hunt: “Wyoming’s proposed hunting season and quota is neither cautious nor conservative. Instead, it is reckless and aggressive, and is designed to drive down the population of grizzly bears in Wyoming and prevent them from expanding their range…Wyoming is rushing into an unsustainable grizzly bear hunting season.”
I think that Wyoming should follow Montana’s lead and not hunt grizzlies this year. Montana’s decision makes sense for several reasons. After more than forty years protected by the Endangered Species Act, Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed less than a year ago. The population is completely isolated from any other grizzly bear population and too small to ensure long-term genetic health. Rather than killing these bears, we should help them recover further. Finally, conservation organizations and tribal groups have challenged the delisting. If they prevail in court, grizzlies will again be protected but that won’t bring back to life any grizzlies killed in Wyoming’s reckless hunt.
Wyoming Game & Fish Department is accepting public comments—from anywhere in the U.S.—until Monday, April 30.
Please join me and The Endangered Species Coalition in urging Wyoming to drop this irresponsible hunting proposal.
One of the first wild wolf cubs to be born in Rome in 100 years was run over and killed last week in an incident that a wildlife charity suspects could have been deliberate.
The cub was found lifeless in the Castel di Guido wildlife sanctuary on April 10th, according to the charity that runs it, Lipu, and a post-mortem confirmed that it was killed by blunt force trauma, likely caused by a vehicle.
“Great sorrow for the animal’s death was followed by anger for the evidently non-natural causes of its demise,” Lipu wrote in a statement on Facebook.
The cub, born around a year ago, had a condition that meant it could not use its hind legs. The park’s concealed wildlife cameras filmed it lagging behind the rest of the pack, which never abandoned it despite its disability, Lipu said.
The charity, which has informed the authorities, suspects that a driver may have hit the wolf deliberately.
“It’s hard to believe this was an unintended accident,” its statement said. “It doesn’t seem credible that on a dirt road, where the uneven surface forces you to reduce your speed and yet straight enough that you can see a long way ahead, it wouldn’t be possible to avoid an animal that, due to its physical disability, was moving very slowly.”
Staff didn’t find any skid marks in the mud that would indicate the driver had attempted to swerve, Lipu said.
While the 180-hectare reserve is supposed to be off-limits to all except authorized vehicles, Lipu says that it frequently finds – and reports to the authorities – gates and barriers left open, often when poachers are found to have intruded.
“We cannot exclude the possibility that this time one of these criminals used their car as a hunting weapon instead of a gun, taking out among other things the weakest member of the pack that couldn’t even use escape as its defence.
“It leaves us with great bitterness to see that an incredible effort by the pack, that above all expectations successfully took care of a disabled member of its family, met with on one hand the terrible cruelty of some members of the human species, and on the other the indifference of those responsible for managing such a precious place entrusted to their custody.”
The Castel di Guido had its first wild wolf births in more than a century last year, keeping the litter a secret for months until they were sure of the cubs’ survival.
Wolves are thought to have made their way to the reserve, located to the west of the ring road that surrounds Rome, from the area around Lake Bracciano to the north, which has long had a wolf population.
While the animals are rare in the capital, in recent years they have thrived in more rural parts of Italy, notably the mountainous regions of the Apennines and the Alps.
Their growing numbers have brought them into conflict with farmers, who complain that attacks on livestock have risen sharply. Calls for a cull have so far been met with fierce opposition from environmentalists, who last year blocked a proposal to reduce Italy’s wolf population by five percent.
The European Union will hold a summit on the issue on May 15th, where representatives from South Tyrol and other northern Italian regions will push for greater freedom to manage local wolf populations.
A film that 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 wolf hunting taking place just beyond the park’s borders.
“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy- The Yellowstone Story” tells the stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film. Produced by Rachel Tilseth And Maaike Middleton and Directed by Rachel Tilseth. www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com for more information. To support the film through a tax free contribution go to www.planb.foundation
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.
Song credit: Words & Music by Joe De Benedetti & Noah Hill
Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story Documentary Film has a 501 3c fiscal sponsor Plan B Foundation for tax exempt contributions. You can make a donation to support the work of this vital documentary film. Make your donation with Plan B today