November 14, 2019

So-Called “Wolf Scientists” Support Delisting of Wolves in Great Lakes

*Editor’s Note* – One cannot help but be skeptical of the what is really going on with the list of those supposedly showing support for the delisting of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. Historically, there is little reason to believe there are not sinister motives at play here. All should proceed with caution when attempting to play ball with any of these so-called wolf scientists.

Perhaps what we are witnessing is the result of Environmentalists recognizing that they have overstepped common sense and actions of the past have angered enough people that they have taken action, some of it a bit extreme, to counter the efforts of wolf pimps.

It wasn’t that many years ago that it took an act of Congress, i.e. a rider to a budget bill to get wolves removed from the throes of Federal protection. In that bill, not only did it immediately remove the gray wolf from Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, it also exempted Environmentalists from filing lawsuits to stop the delistings, then and into the future. Similar bill proposals for the Western Great Lakes are pending, including the prohibition of lawsuits.

Is this an effort to promote the delisting through regular government channels in hopes that any proposed bills to exempt lawsuits will not happen? Could be. The reality is that there is no reason to trust these people and those looking to get some kind of relief from wolves, needn’t bother trying to work with this group. Some may find my skepticism and warnings uncalled for but the reality is the Environmentalist have taken far more than they have given and will not settle for proper and scientific management of wolves – a management that places the rights of men of that of animals.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2015

CONTACT:

Adrian Wydeven, Timber Wolf Alliance, awydeven@northland.edu (715) 794-2548

or (715) 682-1489

David Mech, University of Minnesota, mechx002@umn.edu (651) 649-5231

Wolf Scientists Support Delisting Wolves in Great Lakes

Wolf populations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have successfully recovered and should be taken off the Endangered Species list, according to a letter sent today to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe from 26 U.S. and Canadian wolf and wildlife experts.

[I]t is in the best interests of gray wolf conservation and for the integrity of the [Endangered Species Act] for wolves to be delisted in the western Great Lakes states where biological recovery has occurred and where adequate regulatory mechanisms are in place to manage the species,” wrote the scientists.

We believe that failure to delist wolves in these states is counterproductive to wolf conservation there and elsewhere where suitable habitat may exist. The integrity and effectiveness of the ESA is undercut if delisting does not happen once science-based recovery has been achieved.”

Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region of the United States have been federally listed as endangered since 1967 and federally protected since 1974. Since 1999 the wolf population in the Great Lakes region—Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan—met federal goals for delisting.

Wolves were absent for generations from Great Lakes states except for Minnesota and Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. Protections afforded under the Endangered Species Act allowed wolves to re-colonize the upper Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to David Mech, a leading wolf researcher at the University of Minnesota.

Now there are more than 3,700 wolves in those states. “Wolf recovery is a tremendous success story,” Mech said. 

The species has been taken off the endangered species list and put back on the list several times due to litigation. The scientists are urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist again based on the overwhelming view of professional biologists and wildlife managers that wolves have biologically recovered.

Now it’s time to recognize that success and take the next logical step: removing them from the list of endangered species so that state wildlife professionals can manager wolves locally,” added Adrian Wydeven, coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Wydeven, a former Wisconsin DNR wolf biologist, oversaw Wisconsin’s wolf recovery program from 1990 to 2013.

Once a species has recovered, management responsibilities should return to the states and federal funding should be applied to species that truly are endangered,” Wydeven said. “State wildlife managers were instrumental in bringing back wolves to the upper Great Lakes states, and now it’s important that they use their professional expertise to make sure that wolves are a part of our landscape for now and generations to come.”

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Final Rule ESA Protections Enacted for Great Lakes Wolves and Wyoming

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this final rule to comply with court orders that reinstate the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as
amended (ESA), for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes. Pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court order dated September 23, 2014, this rule reinstates the April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123), final rule regulating the gray wolf in the State of Wyoming as a nonessential experimental population. Gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and north-central Utah retain their delisted status and are not impacted by this final rule. In addition, pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court order dated December 19, 2014, this rule reinstates the March 9, 1978 (43 FR 9607), final rule as it relates to gray wolves in the western Great Lakes including endangered status for gray wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, and the northwestern portion of Ohio; threatened status for gray wolves in Minnesota; critical habitat for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan; and the rule promulgated under section 4(d) of the ESA for gray wolves in Minnesota.<<>>

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H.R. 884 Disqualifies “Judicial Review” in Reinstating Final Rule on Wolves

Here is the text of the bill H.R. 884, sponsored by Rep. Reid Ribble. It is simple and to the point. It calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue the Final Rule that delisted gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming (separately) and that in both cases, “Such reissuance shall not be subject to judicial review.”

This bill has been sent to the House Committee on Natural Resources and was introduced on the House Floor.

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USSA Files Great Lakes Wolf Appeal

From the United States Sportsman’s Alliance:

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has filed an appeal of the ruling handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell on Dec. 20 concerning management of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes area.

The Feb. 13 notice of appeal seeks to overturn the ruling that forced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return a population of wolves found in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act – with ramifications that affect the entire scope of managing the apex predator. The decision stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Humane Society of the United States; Born Free, USA; Help Our Wolves Live; and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to continue to fight this legal battle,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s vice president of government affairs. “There is no doubt that wolves in the region have recovered, but to hold their management in those states hostage until wolves are reestablished in Central Park in New York City is ludicrous and we will continue to fight it.”

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and our partners, collectively known as the “Hunter Conservation Coalition,” will fight for sportsmen’s rights, as well as for a state’s right to scientifically manage wildlife found within their borders.

The Hunter Conservation Coalition consists of the following organizations: U.S. Sportsmen Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International, National Rifle Association of America, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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Legal Options for U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance and WGL Wolves

Columbus, OH –(Ammoland.com)-On Dec. 20, a federal district court judge in Washington D.C. struck down the delisting of wolves in the western Great Lakes region, and returned them to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This move was not based upon the population of wolves—which have clearly recovered in the area—but instead, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled that until wolves are re-established in their historical range (which would apparently include New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle, etc.) they cannot be considered recovered in Michigan, Minnesota or Wisconsin, no matter how large the wolf populations in those three states.<<<Read More>>>

WolfEatingFace

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The Great Lakes Wolf Decision

BerylHowell(Judge Beryl A. Howell. Howell was nominated to the position in 2010 by President Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She is married to Michael Rosenfeld, who served as an executive producer at National Geographic for decades.)

Cat Urbigkit has a fairly in depth article published on Pinedale Online about the ins and outs of the court ruling that placed wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (WGLDPS) back under federal control and the strong arm of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the scrutiny of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

In reading over the court ruling and Urbigkit’s summary of events, seemingly absent from both is the court ordered explanation from the USFWS as to why they have authority, under the Endangered Species Act, to create Distinct Population Segments.

On September 29, 2008, Judge Paul Friedman, in Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorn, vacated a portion in his rule demanding that the USFWS return to his court with an explanation as to why the USFWS had authority of create Distinct Population Segments (DPS). The bulk of Judge Friedman’s ruling is based on his belief that that the USFWS cannot carve out population segments of any species for the purpose of removing that segment from federal protection under the ESA.

It also appears to me that Judge Beryl Howell traveled down the same path as Friedman did in 2008.

On December 12, 2008, just over two months after Judge Friedman vacated his ruling, the Department of Interior, Solicitor’s Office sent to Friedman’s court a 19-page explanation as to why the USFWS has authority, under the ESA, to create DPSs. This 19-page explanation must have satisfied the Courts because a subsequent attempt by the USFWS to “delist” gray wolves in the WGLDPS was successful. However, now, another hand-picked activist judge, evidently refusing to use the same explanation as Judge Friedman, has declared that the USFWS cannot delist wolves, or any other species I’m assuming, unless said species is removed from ESA protection throughout the entirety of the United States, i.e. the USFWS cannot create a DPS.

Odd isn’t it that two courts have ruled in this manner, that it’s all or nothing and that the USFWS cannot create DPSs for the purpose of removing federal protection but evidently the same USFWS is authorized to create as many DPSs in order place a species on the ESA list. Is there no sanity?

If we go back in history to the establishment of the Endangered Species Act, and to that time when the USFWS declared that gray wolves were an endangered species in all Lower 48 states, with the exception of Minnesota (which was listed as “threatened”), according to Friedman and now Howell, the USFWS did not have authority to do that. Evidently this left the USFWS with the only option of declaring the entire planet gray wolf habitat. But then again, why stop with Earth? Perhaps a Papal Bull would do the trick?

None of this makes much sense and to those whose aim is the protection of wolves at all costs, don’t really care about making sense or implementing previous court rulings in formulating their cases; at least when it doesn’t fit the narrative.

What is probably most unfortunate is that eventually there will be enough people sick and tired of this utter nonsense and they will do as was done in Montana and Idaho and craft Congressional legislation that will remove wolves in the Western Great Lakes from federal protection and block any further lawsuits. This is liable to create a domino effect for many other ESA listed species, i.e. Delta Smelt, Canada lynx, grizzly bears, polar bears, etc. And, eventually this action will come back and bite all of us on the ass.

The utter nonsense of it all.

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WGL Delisting of Wolves Complex and Left Open For Failure

What some consider the world’s most difficult puzzles to solve, are those where large written documents are essentially shredded and the participants must put all the shredded pieces back together again. The Department of Interior’s third stab at removing gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes (WGL) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), while not capable of standing up to the world’s most complicated puzzles, appears to be much more complicated than it needs to be, leaving me wondering if this is the intent in order to leave room for costly and time consuming lawsuits. Sigh!

During the last attempt to delist wolves, a lawsuit, Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorne, was awarded to the plaintiffs that failed at removing gray wolves from federal protection. Judge Paul Friedman ruled that he was going to place protection of the wolves back under the ESA until such time as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), i.e. Department of Interior, could show how they had the legal authority to create a Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves, or any other species, for the purpose of delisting that same species.

Shortly after that ruling, I wrote that Friedman’s decision was not at all based on scientific evidence and that the Judge had no legitimate reason to return wolves to protection other than the fact that as a judge, he could.

For what it’s worth, the Solicitor for the Department of Interior, on December 12, 2008, issued an official opinion as to how the USFWS has authority under the ESA to create a DPS in order to delist a species.

In the most recent proposal to delist wolves, the USFWS briefly explains their authority:

Our authority to make these determinations and to revise the list accordingly is a reasonable interpretation of the language of the Act, and our ability to do so is an important component of the Service’s program for the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Our authority to revise the existing listing of a species (the gray wolf in Minnesota and the gray wolf in the lower 48 States and Mexico, excluding Minnesota) to identify a Western Great Lakes DPS and determine that it is healthy enough that it no longer needs the Act’s protections is found in the precise language of the Act. Moreover, even if that authority were not clear, our interpretation of this authority to make determinations under section 4(a)(1) and to revise the endangered and threatened species list to reflect those determinations under section 4(c)(1) is reasonable and fully consistent with the Act’s text, structure, legislative history, relevant judicial interpretations, and policy objectives.

The information presented to support the USFWS’ authority to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting a species within that DPS is not new information. The same information existed in 2008 and yet somehow the USFWS in Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorne, couldn’t sufficiently explain to Judge Paul Friedman where it got it’s authority; another example of ineptitude or corruption in representing the people in the court of law.

This is but one issue that could possibly derail an attempt to delist gray wolves. If lawsuits, which are as sure to happen as the sun rising in the morning, are intended to stop the delisting, will the explanations given in this proposal satisfy Judge Friedman’s query as to where USFWS gets its authority?

Unfortunately, this proposal to delist is further complicated by adding to it a determination by the USFWS not to recognize another species of wolf cohabiting in the same DPS. Why was it necessary to do this? Why couldn’t the USFWS made a separate announcement or proposal that it did not feel that sufficient scientific evidence existed to determine the existence of another species of wolf(eastern wolf)?

As complex as proposals to delist a species can get, why would the USFWS choose to clutter up this delisting with information pertaining to separate petitions? Efforts like this leave people like me wondering if the real intention of the USFWS is to derail the delisting for personal agendas, etc.

While I and others place our attention of things like whether the USFWS has sufficiently satisfied the courts to explain their authority to create DPS’s for delisting, and whether or not a proposal cluttered with explanations aimed at nefarious petitions and claims of the existence of a brand new species of wolf, in the end all that will matter is what one judge thinks.

Sportsmen in the WGL region shouldn’t spend too much time just yet honing their wolf hunting and trapping skills.

Tom Remington

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Annoucement Made to Remove Gray Wolves in Great Lakes From Protection

There is much agog within sportsman’s groups having heard when Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Federal Government will remove Endangered Species Act listings for Western Great Lakes gray wolves. The action will take effect in 30 days from Federal Register publication and individual states will take over management of the species.

This of course depends upon what affect lawsuits from environmental and animal rights groups will have. There are sure to be lawsuits filed and at best the results of those lawsuits will be confusing. The last time the Feds attempted to delist those wolves, a lawsuit put a stop to it. The court ruling from Judge Paul Friedman, remanded the case back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and told them to return to his court when they could provide proof that the USFWS has the authority through the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to create Distinct Population Segments. This ruling simply created tons more confusion into an ESA equation so riddled with confusion it’s any wonder any ESA action works at all.

I’ve yet to study the proposal, but I am told that it contains wording that rejects any claims that there are two species of wolves inhabiting the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves. In my mind, that’s a bigger victory than the delisting of wolves. How this will play out across the remainder of the Eastern United States is anyone’s guess at this point.

What I decided to do, for those interested, is publish the press releases below that I received about the delisting so that readers can see the different comments and perspectives. One is from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and one from the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance.

RMEF Cheers Announcements on Great Lakes Wolves

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation today cheered federal delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes states, as well as the State of Wisconsin’s rapid movement toward implementing its own science-based wolf management plan.

Both actions help pave the way toward predator populations that are in better balance with elk, deer and other species commonly preyed upon by wolves.

“Barring any legal holdups from animal rights activists, we should see science-based wolf management and control measures go into effect by February, and that’s great news for conservation overall in the Great Lakes region,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

On Dec. 21, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that gray wolf populations in the Great Lakes region have recovered and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register removing wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in portions of adjoining states, from the list of threatened and endangered species.

Upon the announcement, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ordered the Department of Natural Resources to begin implementing the state’s wolf management plan. The agency will issue permits to landowners experiencing wolf-caused losses beginning Feb. 1.

There are more than 4,000 wolves in the three core recovery states in the western Great Lakes area, a total that far exceeds recovery goals. Minnesota’s population is estimated at 2,921 wolves, while an estimated 687 wolves live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and another 782 in Wisconsin.

Each state has developed a science-based plan to manage wolves after federal protection is removed.

Wolf Delisting Decision a Big Win for Sportsmen

(Columbus, Ohio) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that gray wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes region have exceeded recovery goals and should no longer be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Once official, this move will return wolves to state management in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and some portions of adjoining states.

In an even bigger victory for sportsmen, the Service also announced that it has reversed its previous view that two wolf species exist in the Western Great Lakes region. This previous stance by the Service, that two separate wolf species were present in the region, could have easily derailed any delisting of the wolves. The announcement recognized that the scientific evidence submitted during the comment period was crucial in reversing its position. In July and September, the USSAF submitted extensive comments supported by wolf and genetics expert Dr. Lisette Waits refuting the two wolf theory.

A two wolf position, which was not based on leading research, could have led to additional lawsuits from animal rights organizations aimed at preventing wolves from being returned to state management.

“This announcement is a major victory for sportsmen, conservation, and wildlife management,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation senior vice president. “We applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their decision to recognize the scientific facts regarding wolves in the Great Lakes region. This is how the Endangered Species Act is supposed to be implemented. When animal populations recover, those species should be removed from the list and returned to state management. This has been a long, hard fought battle and is not likely over as we expect the animal rights lobby to turn to the courts to stop the delisting. We will be ready.”

Wolf populations have far exceeded recovery goals and have become an increasing threat to other wildlife, livestock, and hunting and other dogs.

The delisting rule will become effective 30 days after it has been published in the Federal Register. Official publication in the Federal Register is expected to take place next week.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has been on the front lines working to ensure that wolves in the Western Great Lakes region were removed from the ESA and rightfully returned to state management.

In May of 2010, the USSAF and its partners petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. After the Service failed to respond to the request as required by law, USSAF notified the Service that if it did not act on the wolf petition USSAF and our partners would file a lawsuit. Subsequently, the Service started the delisting process which led to today’s announcement of its intent to delist gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. Joining the USSAF in these efforts are the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Dairyland Committee of Safari Club International Chapters of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition, Whitetails of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Rangers, Clubs, and Educators, Inc.

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