In the Sacred Circle…

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

“The Circle has healing power. In the Circle, we are all equal. When in the Circle, no one is in front of you. No one is behind you. No one is above you. No one is below you. The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity. The Hoop of Life is also a circle. On this hoop there is a place for every species, every race, every tree and every plant. It is this completeness of Life that must be respected in order to bring about health on this planet.” ~Dave Chief, Oglala Lakota~

The Remarkable Canis Lupus (Gray Wolf)…

…Designed by Mother Nature herself. From Wolves of Douglas county Wisconsin-Rachel Tilseth

A wolf walks over to a vacated white-tailed deer bed and gently blows on it. This causes all the particles to flow up into his/hers highly tuned olfactory system (the nose). “Ah ha, says the wolf,” the deer tick’s blood is full of pus from a tooth infection. The deer tick had feasted on the white-tailed deer’s blood the night before. The deer tick’s blood now reveals a sick (unhealthy) animal. This shows how the gray wolf keeps the white-tailed deer herds healthy. This is nature’s design, original, and most certainly not man made. There’s-no-big-bad-wolf-here…only politicians with agendas…

Politicians are working to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan listen to WXRP by Ken Krall and Rachel Tilseth on the House Bill.

Photo of wolf belongs to owner. Graphic design by WODCW

Let’s save the Gray wolf because he/she saves us (human-kind) in the end. In the past, less than a hundred years ago, vast herds roamed throughout the planet. The vast herds were wiped out by trophy hunting & human encroachment, and now live in small pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. In these small pockets animals are forced to share habitats, and just think about the consequences of different kinds of ticks eating & spreading disease all on the same animals; Animals that are isolated in pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements.

Federal epidemiologists also have identified 11 other tick-borne diseases that you and your family can catch:

Anaplasmosis, caused by bacteria, can be fatal in about 1% of cases, even in previously healthy people.

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and is treatable. The tick that transmits it is about the size of a poppy seed.

Colorado tick fever is a viral infection transmitted from the bite of an infected Rocky Mountain wood tick, which lives in the western United States and Canada in areas 4,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This disease has no treatment.

Ehrlichiosis, caused by bacteria, appears with flu-like symptoms. It is treatable has been fatal in about 2% of cases.

Powassan disease, which comes from a virus, has no specific treatment for the virus. Although only 75 cases have been reported in the past decade, it can develop into encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Q fever comes from a bacteria that naturally infects some animals such as goats, sheep and cattle, so ticks that feed on an infected animal can transmit the disease. Only about half the people who get Q fever will have symptoms, but those people can develop pneumonia or hepatitis.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by bacteria, can be transmitted via at least two types of dog ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks. The disease can be severe or even fatal if not treated within the first few days of symptoms that include headache, fever and often but not always a pink, non-itchy rash that starts on wrists, arms and ankles.

Southern tick-associated rash illness has an unknown cause, but researchers know that lone star ticks transmit this disease that can act like Lyme disease but isn’t caused by Lyme’s bacteria. An antibiotic can treat the symptoms.

Tick-borne relapsing fever, a bacterial infection, also can be transmitted via lice. The rare infection is usually linked to sleeping in rustic rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas, but if not treated victims can face several cycles of three days of 103-degree fevers, headaches and muscle aches and a week without.

Tick paralysis, thought to be caused by a toxin in tick saliva, is rare but can paralyze a victim and is often confused with Guillain-Barre syndrome or botulism. Luckily, within 24 hours of removing the tick, the paralysis typically subsides.

Tularemia first infects rabbits and rodents, and the ticks that bite them infect humans. One telltale sign of infection is often, but not always, an ulcer on the skin where the bacteria entered the body; lymph nodes also become infected. USA Today 2017

The planet needs Canis lupus (Gray wolf) and other large carnivores. Large carnivores can detect diseased and weak animals.

U.S. House Passes Bill To De-List Wolves From Endangered Species

Click here to listen to full story from WXRP by Ken Krall and Rachel Tilseth

The U.S. House earlier this month passed an appropriations bill that has language in it changing the status of the gray wolf from federally protected to delisted in the lower 48 states.

This movement has been asked for by people who want to control the wolf population in the Great Lakes states, but has alarmed an advocate who wants to keep federal protection of wolves.

Rachel Tilseth has the blog Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. She has an update on the bill that passed the U.S. House… http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

“…so this bill contains language to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. So what they are going to do is delist them and make sure they stay delisted in Wyoming and Montana and a couple other states out there. They also want no review of those decisions through a federal judge. They want to make sure that doesn’t happen. That would also take care of delisting the great lakes as well….”

Congressman Sean Duffy and both Wisconsin U.S. Senators, Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, have called for delisting. Last summer, a federal appeals court retained federal protection for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, ruling the government made crucial errors when it dropped them from the endangered species list five years ago.

Tilseth says if the de-listing happens, then a wolf hunt will likely happen again in Wisconsin which concerns her…

“…In the last three hunts, from 2012-2014. So they will start that whole process over again and start hunting, that is, unless we can go in and get greater transparency with the public, then perhaps we can change things….”

Some hunters and farmers have called for the delisting to control the wolf population and to remove wolves taking livestock. Wolf de-listing advocates say the population has grown too large and should be controlled.

Recent reports find the number of wolves in Wisconsin leveling off. This year’s wolf count shows there are between 905 and 944 wolves in the state. That’s about a 2 percent drop from last year.

Featured photograph By John E Marriott

Urgent Action Needed to Protect the Gray Wolf from Latest Delisting Threat…

Anti-wolf Politicians in Congress are working to delist wolves in the 48 contiguous States of the United States even going as far as preventing any judicial review of this process. These politicians are undermining the Endangered Species Act itself!

Read Rachel’s blog at http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

On June 6, 2018 The U. S. House of Representatives passed a Bill: Making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

The bill contains language for delisting of Gray wolves in the lower 48 states:

…the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife…

The Bill calls for delisting Gray Wolves throughput the 48 contiguous States…

Reissuence of final Rules

SEC. 116. (a) The final rule published on September 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 55530) that was reinstated on March 3, 2017, by the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 14-5300) and fur-

(b) Such issuance (including this section)—

(1) shall not be subject to judicial review; and 63 ther republished on May 1, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 20284) that reinstates the removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and this subsection, shall not be subject to judicial review. (b) Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on December 9 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this sub-section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Gray Wolves Range–Wide

SEC. 117. (a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. 2) shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

Here’s what you can do to keep Gray wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act

Contact your members of Congress and make it known that you want Gray wolves in the United States to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Members of the U.S. Congress

U.S. Senators—Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Representatives—Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Take action today to save Gray wolves!

Featured image: Offspring of Mollie’s pack in Yellowstone Park show respect to their mother and father. DAN STAHLER/Yellowstone National Park

Featured image of wolf by Ian Mcallister

Sedona Wolf Week 2018 is less than a week away…

Sedona Wolf Week  April 17th through the 21st at the beautiful Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona, Arizona Registration details www.planb.foundation

Please join Apex Protection Project and Plan B for a week of the most current and in-depth look at wolves in the United States from Grassroots to National organization.

Speakers include  Carter Niemeyer,  Author Nate Blakeslee, KC Your, Rachel Tilseth, Michael Robinson and Marc Cooke

Special 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. Rachel will be speaking about Wisconsin’s wild wolf, past, present and future.

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.

Marc Cooke

Founder / Executive Director of Wolves of the Rockies 

Presentation: Attitude of the Rocky Mountain Region towards Wolves

Marc Cooke has served our country in many ways including tours in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Currently he serves with a nonprofit organization he created—Wolves of the Rockies. Marc had been involved with wolf issues and wolf organizations for over ten years before creating Wolves of the Rockies, which is dedicated to

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.

Kevin McFee

Arizona Department of Agriculture is a past participant of Sedona Wolf Week’s Co-existence Panel and as a rancher lent significant and positive insight into the challenges of owning a ranch and co-existing with predators. Kevin will focus on discussion on habitat and conservation work he has done as well as the process and the struggles of putting a working landscape together from humble beginnings. Kevin owns his ranch and land, located in Arizona, in proximity to the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program area.

Joe Engleheart

Rancher, The Working Circle Collaborative. Joe grew up on a small family-run cattle ranch in the interior of British Columbia where he learned at a young age that cattle and predators do and have to live together. After graduating from high school, he worked at many ranches where the owners did not have the same views. This resulted in having to shoot numerous predators. Joe always knew there had to be a better way, but it wasn’t until about 17 years ago he was given the latitude to try some methods that have been successful, such as: upping human presence around the cattle; learning where the wolves are in conjunction with where you are putting cattle; knowing where den sites are; and rendezvous sites are. Every year there are wolves shot, trapped, or snared. This can result in pack dynamics changing, and not always for the better. Through all of this Joe has learned that we are better off letting the wolves be wolves while taking cattle off their opportunity list.

Carol Bogezi

Carol Bogezi is a PhD candidate in the Wildlife Science program in the School of Environment and Forest Sciences (SEFS) at the University of Washington, Seattle. An international student from Uganda, Bogezi was awarded the prestigious Beinecke Africa Wildlife Conservation scholarship by the Wildlife Conservation Society to pursue her graduate studies in the USA, and additional support from SEFS and Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) for her studies. In 2016 Ms. Bogezi was awarded the 10th annual Environmental Leadership Award by the Bullitt Foundation, and was named one of the ‘Top 40 Women Under 40’ by the Sunday Monitor in Uganda.

Born and raised on a farm in Uganda, Ms. Bogezi is intimately aware of the needs of humans and wildlife competing for natural resources. Her research focuses on understanding interactions between humans and carnivores in Washington State. She aims to contribute to improved carnivore coexistence through (1) analyzing how carnivore movement behaviors influence human-wildlife interactions, and (2) assessing social dimensions of human-carnivore coexistence strategies especially in urbanizing landscapes.  Prior to her studies on human-carnivore interactions, Bogezi studied the distribution and status of a rare crocodile species in Kidepo Valley National Park, northeastern Uganda.

Bogezi believes that the experience and skills that she is acquiring during her study in the USA will enable her to increase the effectiveness of wildlife conservation in Uganda and globally through understanding both wildlife movement behaviors and human behaviors.

Karin Vardaman

Karin Vardaman is part of The Working Circle Collaborative. Founded by the California Wolf Center, the Working Circle Proactive Stewardship program is a unifying, community-based program comprised of local livestock producers and experts in wolf/livestock conflict. The common goal of everyone involved is to prevent and reduce wolf-livestock conflict by merging ranchers’ knowledge of their land, livestock and grazing experience with large carnivore biology and behavior. This comprehensive approach also brings additional benefits to ranching operations, wildlife and the land through responsible and ethical stockmanship, progressive grazing strategies and awareness of the environment.

Craig Miller

Craig is Defenders’ Senior Southwest Representative and has led Defenders’ regional wolf and jaguar conservation programs since 1993. He has served on the federal recovery teams for the cactus-ferruginous pygmy-owl and the gray wolf/southwest distinct population segment. He currently oversees a coexistence program in Arizona and New Mexico which employs range-riders and conflict reduction tools and techniques to assist with wolf recovery efforts. He serves on the Mexican Wolf-Livestock Council by appointment from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Craig has been active in Southwest conservation issues since 1987. Areas of Expertise: Southwest conservation issues, species recovery, landowner relations and incentives, predator

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.

• 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 following is Sedona Wolf Week 2018 schedule

Tuesday, April 17

Mary D Fisher Theatre

4:00 PM

Children’s Film: Alpha & Omega + Q&A with Apex Ambassador Pack

7:00 PM

Film: The Right To Be Wild + Q&A with Apex Ambassador Pack

Wednesday, April 18

Poco Diablo Resort

9:00-9:30AM

Registration

9:30-10:30AM

Opening Ceremony

10:30-10:45AM

Break

10:45-11:30AM

Speaker: Plan B to Save Wolves

11:30AM-12:20PM

Speaker: Carter Neimeyer – The Truth Behind Wildlife Services

12:30-1:15PM

Lunch

1:15-2:15PM

Speaker: Craig Miller – Defenders of Wildlife

2:15-3:15PM

I AM WOLF NATION – official launch

3:15-3:30PM

Break

3:30-5:30PM

Meet The Pack

Mary D Fisher Theatre

4:00PM

Film: The War In-Between + Q&A with Apex Ambassador Pack

7:00PM

Film: The War In-Between + Q&A with Apex Ambassador Pack

Thursday, April 19

Poco Diablo Resort

9:00-9:30AM

Registration

9:30-10:30AM

Speaker: Rachel Tilseth – Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

10:30-11:30AM

Speaker: KC York – Trap Free Montana

11:30AM-12:30PM

Speaker: Marc Cooke – Wolves of the Rockies

12:30-1:30PM

LUNCH

1:30-2:30 PM

Speaker: Apex Protection Project

2:45-5:00PM

Meet The Pack with Special Appearance by Nate Blakeslee

5:00-5:30PM

Break

5:30-6:00PM

Registration – An Evening with Nate Blakeslee, Author of American Wolf

6:00-7:00PM

An Evening with Nate Blakeslee, Author of American Wolf

7:00-9:00PM

VIP Cocktail Reception & Book Signing with Nate Blakeslee

Friday, April 20 – Co-Existence Day – Speakers + Workshop

Poco Diablo Resort

8:30-9:15AM

Registration

9:15-9:30AM

Opening Remarks/Goals for Day

9:30-10:00AM

Kevin McFee, Rancher, Arizona Department of Agriculture

10:00-10:30AM

Joe Englehart, Rancher, The Working Circle Collaborative

10:30-11:00AM

Carol Bogezi, Wildlife Science Researcher

11:00-11:15AM

Break

11:15-11:45AM

Karin Vardaman member of The Working Circle Collaborative

11:45AM-12:15PM

Mark Coats, Rancher, Rancher Predator Awareness

12:15-12:45PM

Carter Niemeyer, Formerly of the Dept. of U.S. Fish & Wildlife

12:45-1:15PM

Shane Stevenson, Co-Existence Contractor, Rancher

1:15-2:00PM

Lunch

2:00-2:30PM

Craig Miller, Defenders of Wildlife

2:30-5:30PM

Co-Existence Speakers, Panel & Workshop

5:30-7:30PM

Happy Hour with Panelists

Saturday, April 21

Poco Diablo Resort

9:30-10:00AM

Registration

10:00AM-1:00PM

Wolf Tribe Corporate Team Building

10:00AM-12:00PM

Children’s Wolf Program

6:00-9:00PM

Predator Friendly Fundraiser

“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

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

Where did Norwegian wolves originate — and are they hybrids?

http://sciencenordic.com/where-did-norwegian-wolves-originate-%E2%80%94-and-are-they-hybrids.  (Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix)

Those who oppose allowing wolf populations to expand in Norway claim that the country’s wolves have hybridized with dogs, and that the original wolves were smuggled into the country rather than coming here on their own. They argue this means there is no reason to protect the animals, which are listed on the 2015 Norwegian Red List for Species as critically endangered.

In 1978, twelve years after the Scandinavian wolf population was declared functionally extinct, a handful of wolves was reported to have come west from Finland/Russia to take up residence on the Norwegian-Swedish border. In the decades since, that population has grown and expanded — along with opposition to the animals, especially in Norway.

Kjetill Jakobsen, a professor at the University of Oslo, has recently investigated the genetics of both wolves and dogs on behalf of Norskog, a membership organization for Norwegian forestland owners.

The reason Norskog commissioned the research was because of claims that the appearance and behaviour of today’s wolves is different from what might be expected of a wild population, the group said in a press release.

Among the factors cited for this contention is the Scandinavian wolf’s similarity to dogs in its yellowish colour, round eyes, pointed ear shape, white claws and tail tip.

Another reason for the research was to settle the question of where the wolves actually came from, because some wolf opponents have claimed the animals were smuggled into Norway and did not arrive on their own.

A hint of dog

Jakobsen believes that his preliminary research does not allow him to establish where the Scandinavian wolf comes from. The genes of the Scandinavian wolf are quite similar to wolves from the rest of Europe, he said.

On the other hand, his research does suggest that there has been no recent inbreeding between wolves and dogs — at least not in the material he and his
colleagues have examined.

“We did find some dog variants, and that’s natural. The wolf is the origin of our domestic dog breeds,” he said. “But there is no more interbreeding with dogs in the Scandinavian wolf population than is found in other populations.”

Both new and old wolves

Jakobsen and his colleagues at the University of Oslo looked at 10 wolves that had been culled in recent years and four wolves that were born in the 1960s. These were compared to wolves from Sweden, two from the east, in Russia and two from Slovakia. In addition, the researchers studied dogs from Norway and wolf dogs from the Czech Republic.

“Of course, we wanted a bigger sample size, but the material we studied wasn’t that small either,” Jakobsen said.

Nevertheless, he still believes that he doesn’t have enough data to say with certainty where the Scandinavian wolf population came from.

To protect or not

The question of the origins of the Scandinavian wolf population has been a hot debate in Norway for many years.

The reason the issue of origins is so controversial has to do that the Bern Convention, which protects wild populations of European plants and animals. Under the Bern Convention, Norway has an obligation to protect its wolf population, as long as it migrated here naturally.

The research on this issue to date has established that the wolf travelled to Norway on its own from the north of Finland and Russia.

However, this research has been attacked by wolf opponents, who claim that the wolf was smuggled to Norway.

Two researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Øyvind Øverli and Torstein Steine, ​​have also questioned the wolf’s genetic origins. However, one Norwegian weekly, Morgenbladet, has reported that the two scientists, who have not studied wolves, have been used by organizations and parliamentarians who are opposed to having wolves in Norway.

New research supports previous findings

On behalf of the Storting, the Norwegian Environment Agency recently submitted a report that addressed the questions of hybridization and origins of the Scandinavian wolf population.

Three independent American researchers combed through existing research on these questions. Their conclusion, cited by the Environment Agency, was that “the current literature is adequate to conclude that the existing Norwegian/Scandinavian population derives from immigration from Finland and Western Siberia. In addition, the existing population does not show evidence of hybridization with dogs.”

Nevertheless, Arne Rørå, Norskog’s Managing Director, stated in the organization’s press release that this research review shows the opposite of what was established by the University of Oslo’s research.

“Norskog’s report points out that genetic signatures from the majority of the male animals that founded the Scandinavian wolf population cannot be found in the genetic material currently available from Finland and Russia,” Rørå says in the press release.

An additional study

The Environment Agency is now preparing to fund a new survey to look at an expanded sample of genetic material. The call for proposals to do the study will be announced nationally and internationally.

“The work will probably require what is called a whole-genomic method, or an approach based on very extensive DNA mapping. There will probably be a need to collect new samples, and old samples must be re-analysed. This work may take several years,” Ellen Hambro, Director General of the agency, said in September.

Øystein Flagstad, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, was involved in a large study in the early 2000s that showed the Scandinavian wolf population had its origins in a handful of individuals that came from Russia and Finland in the 1980s and 1990s.

“This was a solid study that is well-known and is often referenced,” he said. Nevertheless, he welcomes the new study.

“I know that new surveys using new high resolution methodology can provide an even more nuanced picture of the origins of the Scandinavian wolf population,” he said.

Nine Days

By Beth Phillips 

Featured photograph by Beth Phillips 

Nine days – in the grand scheme of things it is the blink of an eye, barely even a blip in time on the history of this Earth. It is how many days I was able to see 949M, the alpha male of Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon wolf pack, during his lifetime. But those nine days of being able to watch 949M and the rest of the Lamar Canyon pack, even if it was for just a short time, will remain forever etched in my memory.
My annual 2-week foray into Yellowstone finds me aching to view wolves, especially the storied Lamar Canyon pack and their alpha female, 926F (my favorite). 949M’s reign as alpha male of this pack began in 2016 and was a short one, but I truly believe, an extremely important one.
When I saw the Lamar Canyon pack in March of 2016, 992M (aka Twin) was still the alpha male, and the pack was ravaged with mange. They seemed almost gaunt and clinging to life, and there was no spring in their step. If there were any pups that year, none survived. Shortly after denning season, alpha male 992M, beta male “Mottled”, 993M “Dark Black”, and 965M all died from various causes.
In stepped 949M, a large and handsome wolf, and 2 other males from the Beartooth pack, who seemed to be able to provide 926F and her daughter (Little T) with the nourishment they needed to overcome mange and to thrive.
BP1_3651cr.jpg
My March 2017 Yellowstone visit encompassed my nine-days-worth of watching 949M. When I first saw alpha female 926F, she looked like a different wolf from the previous year – glossy coat, filled-out frame – I immediately knew that 949M was a good provider.
Those nine days showed me the cohesiveness and tenderness of this pack. I will never forget the day I was there when they crossed the road. 949M and the beta male, Small Dot, were quite afraid of the road (and rightly so). I saw them both running on one side of the road. Apparently, (although I didn’t get to see it) 926F and Little T had already crossed. When the two males didn’t follow, both females crossed back and helped the boys cross the road.
In late April, I, along with thousands of others, eagerly anticipated the spring pups from this royal lineage, along with an added bonus of pups from 926F’s daughter, Little T, who also looked quite pregnant.
Sadly, when most wolf packs were bringing their pups out of their den areas into view of the public, there were no pups from either female of the Lamar Canyon pack. What fate these wolf pups met, may never be known.
The Lamar Canyon pack stayed out of sight for much of the summer, pushed east of their home territory by the larger Junction Butte pack.
When 949M came back into view a couple of weeks ago, even though he had recovered from his own bout with mange, it was quite obvious he was in physical distress. His fortitude and fight kept him alive for several days, but he eventually succumbed to his injuries or illness. I hope the Yellowstone wolf biologists will be able to determine the cause of his death.
949M’s reign as alpha has come to an end. He was able to live his life free and on his own terms. Although he has no surviving offspring with 926F, he came to her rescue when she was down and out with mange, allowing her to recover and carry on the legacy and bloodlines of her parents, 832F (aka ’06) and 755M.
May your spirit run free, 949M, and your legacy in the Yellowstone wolf world live on to eternity. I feel blessed that our lives shared the same path for nine wonderful days.

Beth is a writer with Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s blog & Facebook. About Beth Phillips: I am a contributing author to Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. I live and work in the Milwaukee, area along with my best friend, Abbey. I am an annual visitor to Yellowstone National Park and amateur photographer of the park’s wild wolves and other wildlife. I believe in the “do no harm” ethic of Compassionate Conservation and want wolves & all wildlife, including their habitat, protected for the benefit of our planet.