Veto #HJResolution69

As you know, Congress passed a measure, under the CRA, authored by Representative Don Young, which would undo the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. The resolution will now be sent to the White House for the Presidential signature. If the measure of disapproval is enacted and signed by the President, not only does it strike down the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, but will also prevent USFWS from ever promulgating “substantially the same rule” without explicit authorization from Congress. 

Our only hope in stopping this abhorrent piece of legislation is a veto by the President. Note: Congress can override a veto with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate (If this occurs, though more than likely would not, the measure becomes law over the President’s objection).

Following is a small set of tweets to send to President Trump, as well as a simple copy and paste email. This, my friends, is the grand finale, our final hope in stopping animal cruelty from resuming on our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.

Before I let you get on with it, there is one important matter that needs to be clarified:

Joint resolutions are like bills, in that they require the approval of both Chambers, in identical form, and the President’s signature, to become law (unless used for proposing amendments to the Constitution).

H.J.Resolution 69 passed the House on February 16, 2017. The measure was then sent to the Senate for consideration and passed on March 21, 2017. The Senate was not considering S.J.Resolution 18. The resolution does not change in any form, including it’s title. H.J. Resolution 69 now goes to the President for signing. Please tap above links to see the progress of both resolutions (you will see that S.J.Resolution 18 is still in committee). Sending tweets with a hashtag referring to S.J.Res.18 are incorrect. 
Several organizations believed that the Senate version would be brought to the floor for a vote, and alerted their members to call/email their Senators asking them to oppose the Senate resolution. This has created a huge mixup, as the version voted on was from the House. Other organizations, on the other hand, have asked you to address the correct resolution, which is H.J.Res.69. So I ask you, please do not tweet “SJRes18”, it is no longer part of the equation. 

But, who am I, and why should you believe me. Fair enough:

Let me give you an example. Another measure introduced under the CRA was the Disapproval of the Stream Protection Rule,  H.J.Resolution 38. This measure was introduced in the House January 30, 2017 and passed two days later. This disgraceful resolution was then rushed over to the Senate, and passed the very next day. H.J.Resolution 38 was then presented to the President who signed it into law 2 weeks later (10 days after receiving it). Meanwhile, the Senate version, S.J.Resolution 10, like S.J.Resolution 18, with the same language as its counterpart in the House, remained in Committee and was never brought to the floor. Again, tap above links and see for yourself. That being said, I hope that you please stick to the hashtag: HJResolution69.  


Please copy and paste the following letter and send to President Trump here. 

Dear President Trump,

In 2003 the Alaska Board of Game began to aggressively apply controversial “intensive predator management” practices over a large portion of the state. These abhorrent practices continued in every game management unit with efforts to lengthen hunting/trapping seasons for wolves (as well as increasing bag limits) to opening seasons when pups were young and helpless; bears were snared and trapped-body parts sold. Private pilots, over a hundred, were licensed to shoot wolves from the air. The program eliminated the need for hunters to obtain or purchase hunting tags or permits for predators, thereby permitting the “incidental” taking of these animals; same day airborne hunting and trapping which allow taking the same day one flies in an aircraft; allowing easier and greater use of motor vehicles while hunting to increase the hunter’s advantage; expanding the allowable means and methods of hunting for predators, like baiting or feeding, thereby creating additional opportunities for taking; allowing the sale of raw hides and skulls thereby creating economic incentives for taking; and many others.

Clearly, existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological integrity and environmental health on refuges in Alaska were disregarded, prompting USFWS to issue the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, which formally established a goal of biodiversity as the guiding principle of  federal management of wildlife refuges. The rule made it quite clear it would have no impact on subsistence hunters.  

The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule follows the law and manages the refuges as Congress intended. Signing H.J.Resolution 69 into law would unleash cruel, egregious, aggressive, sustained slaughter purportedly aimed at increasing ungulate herds, whilst defying the need for a balanced ecosystem and the predator-prey relationship. H.J. Resolution 69 would undue a rule that, in all actuality, helps maintain a balanced ecosystem necessary for the future of subsistence hunting. “The Service fully recognizes and considers that rural residents are dependent on refuge resources and manages for this use consistent with the conservation of species and habitats in their natural diversity.”  

The states do not have a right to dictate what happens on our National Wildlife Refuges, and I ask that you veto H.J. Resolution 69. 

Thank you for your time and consideration of this extremely urgent matter.

Your name

 The Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131) states that wilderness “is hereby recognized as an area which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition…freedom of a landscape from the human intent to permanently intervene, alter, control, or manipulate natural conditions or processes.”

TWEETS (All tweets are automated, just tap ” Tweet4Wolves” at the end of each message, be sure to close your twitter window prior to tweeting) :   

1. The aerial hunting of wolves is a tragedy beyond description @POTUS Veto #HJResolution69   Tweet4Wolves  

2. Veto #HJResolution69 Please tweet this link:   Tweet4Wolves

3. Call @POTUS Tell him to Veto #HJResolution69  202-456-1111      Tweet4Wolves 

4. Activities in wildlife preserves remain subject to Federal Law, including mandates under ANLICA. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

5. Since 1994 #Alaska has prioritized human consumptive use of ungulates compromising biological integrity! Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

 6. BOG designates ungulate populations as highest priority use, setting objectives 4 abundance for consumptive use Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

7. To that end, BOG must “adopt regulations to provide for I.M.programs disrupting natural diversity! Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

8. Alaska’s targeted reduction of wolves/bears impact wildlife resources, natural systems & ecological processes Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

9. The Intensive Predator Management also impacts conservation and management of species on adjacent Refuges Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves  

10. #Alaska regulations increase take of predators to a degree that disrupts natural processes. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

11. BOG allows”harvest”of brown bears at registered black bear bait stations, in direct conflict w/refuge mandates Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

12. #Alaska allows taking wolves & coyotes, including pups, during denning season! Veto #HJResolution69 which sanctions #AnimalCruelty @POTUS    Tweet4Wolves

13. #Alaska expanded predator season lengths inconsistent with maintaining predator/prey balance. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

14. #Alaska game board increased bag limits of predators inconsistent with maintaining predator/prey balance. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

15. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS #Alaska classified black bears as both furbearers and big game species…1.  Tweet4Wolves

16. 2. which could allow 4 trapping/snaring & sale of hides & skulls creating economic incentives Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

 17. Veto #HJResolution69 which would allow same-day airborne take of bears at registered bait stations (5 AAC 85) 2 resume @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves

 18. Alaska’s mgmt of wildlife is in direct opposition to legal framework applicable 2 mgmt of the NWR. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

19. Aerial shooting of wolves and bears by State agency personal would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto #AnimalCruelty @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

20. Trapping of wolves by paid contractors would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto this cruelty @POTUS    Tweet4Wolves

21. Same-day airborne hunting of #wolves & #bears by the public would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto it! @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves

22. #HJResolution69 allows for the take of any black/brown bears through snaring & baiting by public! Veto the measure @POTUS Tweet4Wolves 

23. 13 of the 16 Refuges in #Alaska contain land within game GMUs designated for “intensive predator management” Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves  

24. BOGs liberalized regulations 4 hunting/trapping wolves, bears, coyotes reverse long standing prohibitions. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

25. #HJResolution69 would negate a rule which did not change subsistence regulations @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

26. #HJResolution69 would negate a rule which did not restrict subsistence take @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

27. The rule did not affect State hunting/regulations consistent with Federal law and refuge policies. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS Tweet4Wolves  

28. Veto #HJResolution69 which sanctions #AnimalCruelty on wildlife refuges in #Alaska @POTUS    Tweet4Wolves 

29. #HJResolution69 would allow nonresident “take” of bears cubs or sows with cubs at dens sites! Veto this abhorrent measure @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

30. #HJResolution69 would undo a rule necessary for the future of subsistence hunting:   Tweet4Wolves

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    Press Release: Wolf Livestock Depredation in WA and Profanity Peak Pack

    Dr. Robert Wielgus Director, Large Carnivore Conservation Lab 3/27/17

    This Press release was written by Dr. Wielgus as a private citizen and does not express the positions of Washington State University.                                                                                    

    Four years ago the Washington State Legislature tasked and funded me to determine 1.) the extent of wolf livestock depredations in WA, 2.)  possible contributing factors, and 3.) possible mitigating factors – to reduce livestock depredations in WA.

    Here are the verifiable facts concerning wolf livestock depredations obtained from my WSU radio-telemetry data of wolves and livestock, date and time stamped video records of wolves and livestock, and public records from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife*.

    1.  Using intensive radio-telemetry of livestock overlapping wolf home ranges: among 11 different cooperating herds studied over 2 years – zero of 764 radio-tagged livestock were killed by wolves. Among this sample of cooperating ranchers, fewer than 1% of estimated livestock losses were due to wolf depredations. 
    2.  Using extensive radio-monitoring of 5 wolf packs monitored over 3 years (15 wolf pack years) and examination of 444 wolf kill sites: 9 of 15 packs had zero wolf livestock kills at 444 kill sites and 3 of 15 packs had < 5% livestock kills. For the remaining 3 packs with more than 5% kills, one had 16% and another had 23% – and sheep comprised most of these kills. The Profanity Peak pack had 67% livestock kills. Among this sample of wolf packs, including the Profanity Peak outlier, fewer than 7% of wolf kills were livestock.
    3.  Re: the numerous livestock depredations by the profanity Peak Pack. Using radio-telemetry and date and time stamped video surveillance, livestock were documented to be concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the Profanity pack den and rendezvous site. Salt blocks were also observed within 200 meters of the den. Several days after livestock arrived at the den-site, wolves began depredating the livestock, and numerous livestock were eventually killed by wolves.  After failure of subsequent non-lethal interventions to deter livestock depredations the wolf pack was lethally controlled. 
    4. Re; Preventative measures taken in the Profanity Peak Pack. The rancher involved did not sign and abide by the terms of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreement* prior to lethal control of wolves.  (See Profanity Peak Post Action report, Appendix 1, Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention/Reduction Activities and Associated Expectations, “Avoiding Den and Rendezvous Sites”  See paragraph 4, page 14 here. Using radio-telemetry and date and time stamped  video surveillance, cattle remained in high use wolf core areas (den and rendezvous site) during the depredations and salt blocks remained in these areas until after lethal control of wolves began.  Cattle remained in high use wolf core areas before, during and after wolf lethal control actions.  

    In summary, wolf livestock depredations were not widespread and chronic in wolf-occupied areas of Washington. Instead, wolf livestock depredations appear to be rare and acute, with multiple depredations occurring in particular situations, such as described for Profanity Peak.    

    These results were reviewed by WSU graduate committees, independent outside members of the committees, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Director of the School of Environment at WSU. Raw data and observations were shared with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. These results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals in summer 2017. 

    I recommend to WDFW, the WAG, and ranchers in WA to sign, and/or abide by the terms of the WDFW Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreements to reduce wolf livestock depredations. Failing that, I recommend that WDFW consider that future lethal control of wolves on public lands, for livestock depredations on public lands, be conducted only on behalf of ranchers that sign and/or abide by the terms of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreement – in order to provide further incentives for non-lethal preventative measures.  These recommendations could prevent similar events as happened in fall 2016 and in previous years. 

    I wish to thank all the cooperating and non-cooperating ranchers in Washington, the Washington State Legislature, and my research partners at WDFW, USFS, USFWS, and Colville Confederated Tribes that made this research possible.

    *Signatories to Damage Prevention agreements have access to den site location and are expected to avoid such areas if possible. 
    Agreements are tailored to individual producer situations, including availability of alternative grazing sites to avoid core wolf activity centers (pup-rearing den and rendezvous sites) and WDFW-radio-collared wolf monitoring information. 

    Landowners agree to share information regarding wolf activity, livestock behavior, and preventive actions taken, and to allow WDFW staff access to lands owned or controlled for livestock production. 

    Livestock producers interested in Damage Prevention Cooperative Agreements can contact their local WDFW Wildlife Conflict Specialist, Regional Office, or the wildlife conflict program manager Stephanie Simek or at: 360-902-2476

    Producers will meet with WDFW wildlife conflict specialists currently deployed to cover their area.  

    Contact Info:

    Fewer than 1% of estimated livestock losses were due to wolf depredations.