Category Archives: Habitat loss

Tweet 4 Prince of Wales Wolves

The hunting, trapping and illegal take of wolves from the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska must come to a full stop or extirpation is not only imminent, but in the not too distant future. 

The federal subsistence wolf hunting season on POW begins tomorrow September 1st, with a quota set at 5 animals. As you already know it is nearly impossible to enforce such a small quota as we have seen in prior years: the quota for 2016 was set at 11 wolves yet the reported “harvest” was 28 animals; the year before the quota was set at 9 animals and 29 wolves were killed. This, of course, does not include unreported kills, which may be substantial.

As of this morning (August 31) we have not received a response from the Federal Subsistence Board, nor from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, regarding our request (representing the 11,000 members of In the shadow of the wolf community) and petition for the suspension of wolf hunting on Prince of Wales Island

Because of the failure on the part of ADF&G and the FSB to engage in any sort of dialogue, with regard to our concerns for the diminished wolf population on the island, we need to be more assertive with phone calls, emails and again, another last minute tweetstorm, this time for the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales Island. 

Please take a little time out of your day to speak up for this devastated wolf population, their lives must be filled with misery. Help where you can; if you are not on twitter then please make a phone call, send an email or alert the media.  Please, just help out. 

Feel free to use any of the graphics from below or from our Facebook page @intheshadowofthewolf. As this is a last minute effort my time was extremely limited and would not allow for adding images. My apologies. As usual, all tweets can be automatically sent by tapping “Tweet4Wolves” at the end of each tweet. For ease of tweeting, open this link on your browser and close your twitter window. Should you still have trouble sending tweets then open this blog post on Twitter and send your tweets from there.

1. #Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves #StandForWolves PLS sign & share: Suspend Wolf Hunting on Prince of Wales Island:  bit.ly/AA_Wolves Tweet4Wolves

2. #PrinceOfWalesWolves population declined 60% from 221 #wolves in 2013 to 89 in 2014 yet hunting continues! @interior @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves 

3. #PrinceOfWalesWolves population declined 60% from 221 #wolves in 2013 to 89 in 2014 yet hunting continues! @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

4. 29 more #PrinceOfWalesWolves were killed during the 2014-15 season while the quota was set at 9 #wolves. @interior @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves 

5. 29 more #PrinceOfWalesWolves were killed during the 2014-15 season while the quota was set at 9 #wolves. @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves  

6. At the end of 2015 season just 60 #PrinceOfWalesWolves remained yet hunting is still allowed. Shame #Alaska @interior @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

7. At the end of 2015 season just 60 #PrinceOfWalesWolves remained yet hunting is still allowed. Shame on #Alaska @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves 

8. During the 2016-17 season the quota was set at 11 #PrinceOfWalesWolves and 28 were killed! Cancel the hunt #Alaska @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

9. .@nytimes @latimes During the 2016-17 season the quota was set at 11 #PrinceOfWalesWolves and 28 were killed! Cancel the hunt #Alaska Tweet4Wolves

10a. This season’s #ADFG #FSB quota of FIVE #PrinceOfWalesWolves is IMPOSSIBLE 2 enforce @SecretaryZinke @AP @NPR  @nytimes @latimes @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

10. Total amount of #PrinceOfWalesWolves “harvested” does not include unreported kills which may be substantial @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves 

11. These R dire times for 1 of world’s rarest wolf subspecies. #PrinceOfWalesWolves Suspend wolf hunting on POW @USFWS @interior  @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

12. #PrinceOfWalesWolves a unique subspecies of North American #wolves, from which they have been isolated for millennia are highly endangered Tweet4Wolves

13. The long-term impacts of logging & roads push #PrinceOfWalesWolves population toward #extinction @interior @latimes @nytimes @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

14. The long-term impacts of logging & roads have pushed #PrinceOfWalesWolves population toward #extinction @USFWS @SecretaryZinke @adndotcom  Tweet4Wolves   

15. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R a symbol of wilderness and ecological integrity and have declined 75% in 20yrs @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

16. The hunting/trapping/poaching of #PrinceOfWalesWolves needs to come to a full stop or extirpation is imminent @interior @USFWS @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

 17. The hunting/trapping/poaching of #PrinceOfWalesWolves needs to come to a full stop or extirpation is imminent @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

18. Steve Brockmann a @USFWS employee indicated that the continuing decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves has to do with over-harvesting! @interior Tweet4Wolves

19. #PrinceOfWalesWolves play an important role in the ecotourism that contributes more than $1 billion 2 Southeast #Alaska economy @interior Tweet4Wolves

20. 6 decades of @forestservice aggressive old-growth clearcut #logging on POW has endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

21. 6 decades of @forestservice aggressive old-growth clearcut #logging program on POW has endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

22. #PrinceOfWalesWolves rely almost exclusively on a single prey species, also in decline, the Sitka black-tailed deer @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

23. #PrinceOfWalesWolves and the deer have suffered over the past few decades as #logging has eroded their island habitats. @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

24. Roads built 2 support logging effort provide easy access points 4 poachers 2 enter forest & kill #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

25. The POW Complex has over 4,200 miles of roads contributing to a marked increase in poaching of the #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

26. Over 1/2 of the old-growth forests that #PrinceOfWalesWolves rely on for hunting, denning & raising pups R now gone! @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

27. .@usfs approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, home to #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

28. .@forestservice approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, home 2 #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

29. Shame on @usfs 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging & 80 more miles of logging road thru #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat @interior Tweet4Wolves

30. Shame on @forestservice 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging in #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat for 15 more yrs @interior Tweet4Wolves

31. Shame on @forestservice 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging in #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat for 15 more yrs @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

32. Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass & will cause extinction of #PrinceOfWalesWolves @usfs @interior goo.gl/LPCrVM Tweet4Wolves

33. Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in Tongass & will cause extinction~ #PrinceOfWalesWolves @forestservice @USFWS goo.gl/LPCrVM Tweet4Wolves

34. Scientific evidence shows that #PrinceOfWalesWolves cannot survive in areas with high road density @interior @USFWS @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

35. .@forestservice is more interested in kowtowing 2 timber industry than in preserving our forests 4 future generations #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

36. The ongoing scale of old-growth logging imperils #PrinceOfWalesWolves by further reducing & fragmenting remaining forest stands @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

37. #PrinceOfWalesWolves risk of inbreeding is⬆putting them at great risk of extinction due 2 loss of genetic diversity @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

38. Genetic diversity is always a crucial factor with isolated species! Cancel #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting #ADFG @interior @SecretaryZinke Tweet4Wolves

39. In SE #Alaska #PrinceOfWalesWolves bring significant economic benefits 2 communities ~ Essential4Ecotourism @interior @USFWS @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

40. Evidence suggests ecological heterogeneity across space can influence genetic structure of populations #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior Tweet4Wolves

41. Evidence suggests ecological heterogeneity across space can influence genetic structure of populations #PrinceOfWalesWolves @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

42. Research found the presence of a genetic cline between mainland & island wolves. Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves #ESA bit.ly/1GHqCyw  Tweet4Wolves

43. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R an ecologically important & genetically distinct predator that symbolizes the wilderness of the Tongass @interior Tweet4Wolves

44. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R an ecologically important & genetically distinct predator that symbolizes the wilderness of the Tongass @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

45. Both #ADFG & FSB attempt to enforce a season’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves quota by counting skins that R brought in 4 sealing @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

46. Both #ADFG & FSB attempt to enforce a season’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves quota by counting skins that R brought in 4 sealing @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

47. FSB regulation: #PrinceOfWalesWolves skins taken by hunting &trapping must B sealed within 14 days, overquota inevitable @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

48. #ADFG #PrinceOfWalesWolves taken by hunting require “skin” sealing within 30 days, a guaranteed overquota! @interior @nytimes @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

49. Regardless of which “skin sealing” time limit applies, it is nearly impossible 2 enforce such a small quota! @interior #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

50. Regardless of which “skin sealing” time limit applies, it is nearly impossible2 enforce such a small quota! @AP @NPR   #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

51. The smaller the quota of #PrinceOfWalesWolves the greater the chances R of the quota being exceeded! @interior @nytimes @latimes @USFWS Tweet4Wolves

52. Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, & location of, trappers/hunters #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior Tweet4Wolves

53. Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, & location of, trappers/hunters #PrinceOfWalesWolves @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

54. Neither the State nor the FSB have regulations that limit number of trappers/hunters who may take #PrinceOfWalesWolves in GMU -2 @interior Tweet4Wolves

55. Neither the State nor the FSB have regulations that limit number of trappers/hunters who may take #PrinceOfWalesWolves in GMU -2 @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

56. If the decline in numbers is not arrested & recovery not immediately commenced, #PrinceOfWalesWolves fate will B sealed. @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

57. Decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is a management problem that desperately needs fixing http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  @USFWS @interior  @AP @NPR  Tweet4Wolves

58. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, please report @nytimes @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

59. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, please report @latimes @AP @Alaska @NPR Tweet4Wolves

60. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, pls report @WSJ @newsminer @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

61. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, pls report @LATenvironment @alaskapublic Tweet4Wolves

62. Roads constructed 4 old-growth logging facilitate substantial illegal poaching @interior @usfs @nytimes @adndotcom #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

63. Obviously hunting, trapping, & poaching #PrinceOfWalesWolves is near roads because access is easier @interior @forestservice @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

64. The farther from a road #PrinceOfWalesWolves or deer are the more likely they will survive @interior @nytimes However… Tweet4Wolves

65. The farther from a road #PrinceOfWalesWolves or deer are the more likely they will survive @AP @NPR However… Tweet4Wolves

66. …with such an extensive network of existing roads poaching is rife! @interior @nytimes @forestservice @AP @NPR #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

67. Average distance 2 roads within GMU2 is 2.1 miles & only 1.7 miles on POW Island itself @interior @nytimes @usfs #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

68. Such high road density leaves little secure habitat for #PrinceOfWalesWolves or Sitka black tailed deer @interior @nytimes @usfs Tweet4Wolves

69. 40% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves home is logged/roaded (GMU2) creating a very high risk mortality which exceeds reproduction @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

70. When just 25% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves home is logged, the ratio of reproduction to mortality is very close to 1 @interior @nytimes @usfs Tweet4Wolves

71. .@usfs wants public 2believe ADF&G’s mgmt of trapping/hunting can mitigate effects of overlogging/habitat destruction! #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

72. #Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves #StandForWolves PLS sign and share: Suspend Wolf Hunting on Prince of Wales Island:  bit.ly/AA_Wolves Tweet4Wolves

73. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Bruce Dale 907-861-2101 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

74. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Ryan Scott 907-465-4359 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

75. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Anthony Christianson 907-786-3888 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

76. The hunting & trapping of #PrinceOfWalesWolves has reached unsustainable levels. Cancel the hunt! @AkGovBillWalker #EndangeredSpecies  Tweet4Wolves

77. This yrs season of trapping and hunting will push the incredibly imperiled #PrinceOfWalesWolves closer to #extinction @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

78. 2 maintain a viable population of #PrinceOfWalesWolves , #Alaska must cancel the season! @interior @USFWS @AKGovBillWalker @SecretaryZinke  Tweet4Wolves

79. Alaska wildlife officials contend: “no radical changes are necessary” 4 managing nearly extinct #PrinceOfWalesWolves population Outrageous! Tweet4Wolves

80. Endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves & associated islands R geographically isolated & genetically distinct from other #wolves. @WSJ @AP @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

81. Endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves & associated islands R geographically isolated & genetically distinct from other #wolves. @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

82. Scientific evidence shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @AP : goo.gl/a3wA7U  Tweet4Wolves

83. Scientific data shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @interior goo.gl/a3wA7U Tweet4Wolves

84. Evidence shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @interior goo.gl/a3wA7U Tweet4Wolves 

85. 87% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves mortality is from unsustainable hunting/trapping Cancel the hunt @AKGovBillWalker protect under ESA @USFWS @AP Tweet4Wolves

85b. 87% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves mortality is from unsustainable hunting/trapping Cancel the hunt @SecretaryZinke @AP @NPR @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

86. Old growth logging has compromised the environmental & economic viability of the Tongass & forsaken the #PrinceOfWalesWolves @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

87. The rapid decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves underscores the threat continued cutting of old-growth trees poses in the Tongass @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

88. The rapid decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves underscores the threat continued cutting of old-growth trees poses in the Tongass @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

89. 24 yrs ago authorities recognized #PrinceOfWalesWolves viability was in danger as direct result of timber harvest in Tongass @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

90. 24yrs ago authorities recognized #PrinceOfWalesWolves viability was in danger as direct result of timber harvest in Tongass @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

91. 24yrs ago FWS said “Without significant changes 2existing Tongass LMP, long-term viability of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is seriously imperiled.” Tweet4Wolves

92. Logging roads clearly increased risk of death 4 #PrinceOfWalesWolves from hunting/trapping & contributed 2unsustainable rates of “harvest” Tweet4Wolves

93. ADF&G should consider effects of roads, & expect substantial illegal harvest where #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat is accessible 2 humans! @AP Tweet4Wolves

94. ADF&G, knowing poaching levels R as high as legal “take” should act2 PROTECT remaining #PrinceOfWalesWolves NOT encourage hunting! @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

95. The opportunity 2C unique #PrinceOfWalesWolves in old growth home draws people frm all over the world Essential4Ecotourism @AKGovBillWalker Tweet4Wolves

96. A sharp decline in #PrinceOfWalesWolves equals a sharp decline in ecotourism.”Killing wolves is bad for business” @AKGovBillWalker @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

97. Allowing decimation/imminent extinction of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is poor stewardship @interior @AKGovBillWalker @USFWS @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

Share your thoughts with those who allow the removal of wolves from our public lands in the Tongass, on Prince of Wales Island, via email or phone:

 ADF&G Director Bruce Dale:  bruce.dale@alaska.gov  Phone: 907-861-2101

ADF&G Regional Supervisor, Ryan Scott:  ryan.scott@alaska.gov  Phone: 907-465-4359

Anthony Christianson, Chair Federal Subsistence Board: subsistence@fws.gov    Phone: 907-786-3888

 

As always, thank you for being a voice for the wolves.

Twenty-eight | The imminent extirpation of Alexander Archipelago Wolves from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska:


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Not One Wolf.

Wolves should not be killed to protect livestock grazing on public lands, and certainly not in National Forests. 

Not one single wolf.

“The Bridger Teton National Forest missed a chance to promote the public interest over private businesses when it decided in its draft management plan for the Upper Green Allotment to continue to allow ranchers to run livestock without any significant changes to protect the public’s wildlife and other values.

The Upper Green is perhaps the most important non-protected wildlife habitat in the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Yet the BTNF treats it as if the best use of this land is as a feedlot for private cattle.

Worse for our native wildlife is the fact that the Upper Green is a crucial wildlife corridor. It is regularly used by grizzlies, wolves and as a migration route for pronghorn, elk, and mule deer. The mere presence of domestic livestock creates massive conflicts, and the Forest Service has done nothing to reduce these conflicts.” – George Wuerthner

Again, I ask you to please take the time to voice your opposition to livestock grazing, on your public lands, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Your comment must be received by November 21st. Should you wish to compose your own letter, please see this blog post for talking points.
If you prefer, feel free to personalize and copy the following letter which you may either mail to: comments-intermtn-bridger-teton-pinedale@fs.fed.us

or, you may submit your comment here.

To Whom This May Concern,

Thank you for taking the time for my comment regarding livestock grazing in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. I believe livestock should no longer be permitted to graze in the allotments on the Upper Green River project area, and select “Alternative One –  No Livestock Grazing”.

It is impossible to produce livestock in the west without a multitude of negative impacts including soil erosion and compaction, water pollution, the spread of invasive weeds, spread of disease from domestic animals to wildlife, changes in plant community structure, interruption of natural nutrient cycles, disruption of natural fire regimes, and degradation of riparian zones.

I disagree with the compromising and domestication of our public lands with fencing, water tanks, pipelines, and other infrastructure designed to make our public lands better “stock yards”. The Upper Green is a crucial wildlife corridor. It is regularly used by grizzlies, wolves and as a migration route for pronghorn, elk, and mule deer. Not only does livestock grazing reduce the ability of the land to support native herbivores, but the mere presence of domestic livestock creates conflicts with predators such as wolves and grizzlies, which are, more often than not, “removed”.

Wildlife is one of the five purposes of the national forests under the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act, and the Forest Service is obligated to manage for healthy, viable populations of wildlife under the National Forest Management Act and the agency’s own regulations. With such extensive grazing allotments, this obligation is ignored.

To reiterate, I select Alternative One – No Livestock Grazing, as I understand it:
Under alternative one, livestock would no longer be permitted to graze in the six allotments on the Upper Green River project area. Livestock grazing would be eliminated and current term grazing permits would be cancelled. Livestock grazing would cease two years after notice of cancellation.

Livestock grazing should *never* compromise our wildlife’s ability to thrive, and, certainly not on our public lands.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Your name

Please tweet this to your following: #Wolves should not be killed to protect livestock grazing on #publiclands #StandForWolves Take Action by Nov 21: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-11O  Tweet4Wolves

 

“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Copyright © 2016

[COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Wyoming Grazing Allotments in Prime Wolf and Grizzly Habitat

Livestock grazing is promoted, protected and subsidized by federal agencies on approximately 270 million acres of public land in the 11 western states. By destroying vegetation, damaging wildlife habitats and disrupting natural processes, livestock grazing wreaks ecological havoc on riparian areas, rivers, deserts, grasslands and forests alike — causing significant harm to species and the ecosystems on which they  depend.

 “Conservation can be defined as the wise use of our natural environment: it is, in the final analysis, the highest form of  national thrift—the prevention of waste and despoilment while preserving, improving and renewing the quality and usefulness of all our resources.”

President John F. Kennedy 
Conservation Message to Congress (1962)

Presently, Bridger-Teton National Forest permits allow more than 7,000 sheep and 15,000 cattle to graze public land in the Upper Green. The environmental planning document from the Forest Service, which would allow grazing in the area to continue for years to come, proposes to renew livestock grazing permits on 266 square miles of public forestland near the Upper Green River has been released to the public. 
The USDA Forest Service’s preferred plan calls for retaining grazing rights on all the acreage that is grazed today and slightly reducing the number of livestock allowed to 8,772 cow-calf pairs and yearling cattle. The Bridger-Teton’s proposal (alternative 3) which would reduce the authorized grazing season on four of six allotments, and add 7 miles of fence line is still a nightmare for wolves, grizzlies, the ecosystem and other wildlife.

Hardly an environmentally friendly plan.

Take a moment to comment against plans for the future of the massive grazing allotment complex, which is also prime wolf and grizzly habitat. The complex spans the entire* Bridger-Teton National Forest from north to south, spills into the Gros Ventre River drainage, and is an environmental disaster.

The Forest Service makes the outrageous claim that their proposal is a “livestock grazing strategy designed to maintain existing rangeland and riparian conditions where they meet desired conditions and improve rangeland and riparian conditions in areas of concern.”

The Upper Green rangeland is the most concentrated area for grizzly bear conflict in the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A year ago, 80 livestock were confirmed killed by the large carnivores, and five chronically depredating grizzlies were captured and killed in return. Numerous wolves have also been removed for the crime of consumption of the “wrong ungulate”.

Beyond the Fish and Wildlife-directed guidelines, the Bridger-Teton’s plan introduces no new required nonlethal techniques to stem grizzly-cattle conflict. Forest planners hope to finalize the document before the next grazing season, by which time grizzly bears may be managed by Wyoming.

Three other alternatives are included in the Bridger-Teton’s lengthy planning document.

One option would take “no action” and allow no livestock on the rangeland, and another would continue the grazing regime as it occurs today. A fourth alternative focuses on reducing damage to riparian areas from cattle grazing.

Comments on the BridgerTetons draft plans for the Upper Green rangeland are due by November 21st. More information can be found here.

Comment on The Upper Green River Area Rangeland #3049 project here

Read the alternative options here.

*The 323-square-mile public lands rangeland complex in the Upper Green is the largest grazing allotment in the U.S. Forest Service system. The draft plan includes grazing permits on 266 square miles of this area. 
*The allotments are the site of about 40 bear-livestock conflicts a year, according to Forest Service documents.

Before September 23rd 2014, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) delisting of wolves in Wyoming, life for a wolf was miserable, designated and “managed” as Trophy Game Animals in the Northwest
(just $18 for Wyoming residents to ‘bag their trophy”). In the rest of Wyoming, designated as Predatory Animals subject to an on-sight shooting policy, killed by any means, at any time, without a license. Should wolves lose their protected status in Wyoming, the species will be subject to this sort of mismanagement within the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

National Forests and Other Public Lands 
should not be managed for the profit margin of private businesses. Period.

The Forest Service allows people to enter into a publicly owned national forest to kill wolves, often without restrictions. Wildlife is one of the five purposes of the national forests under the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act, and the Forest Service is obligated to manage for healthy, viable populations of wildlife under the National Forest Management Act and the agency’s own regulations.


Please take a few moments of your time to comment against livestock grazing in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Eliminating livestock grazing on this enormous allotment might possibly do more for grizzly bears and wolves than any other area in Wyoming.

Please select Alternative One ~ No Livestock Grazing
Under alternative one, livestock would no longer be permitted to graze in the six allotments on the Upper Green River project area. Livestock grazing would be eliminated and current term grazing permits would be cancelled. Livestock grazing would cease two years after notice of cancellation.

The animal and plant populations of the west evolved in an ecosystem that relied on a certain amount of grazing by native animal populations, but the level of grazing that accompanied the introduction of cattle in the last 300 years disrupts the symbiotic relationships of native plants and animals.

Send a tweet to your following:
Help save #Wyoming #wolves #grizzlies #wildlife Comment against largest @forestservice grazing allotments by 11/21 
http://wp.me/p6o9qd-11g Tweet this 

Talking points:

• Numerous studies have documented that the mere presence of domestic animals displaces native species.
  
• It is impossible to produce livestock in the west without a multitude of negative impacts including soil erosion and compaction, water pollution, the spread of invasive weeds, spread of disease from domestic animals to wildlife, changes in plant community structure, interruption of natural nutrient cycles, disruption of natural fire regimes, degradation of riparian zones (the majority of riparian areas on public lands are not what hydrologist’s term “proper functioning condition”).

• With livestock comes the removal of predators like wolves and grizzlies.

• With livestock comes the removal of “pests” such as prairie dogs, a competitor of livestock, which were reduced in population to less than 1 percent of their estimated pre-19th century numbers. Because prairie dogs share dependencies with approximately 200 other wildlife species of the prairie ecosystem, their decimation led to drastic declines in the populations of these other animals. Among them, none had been more adversely affected than the black-footed ferret. Once numbering in the tens of millions, by 1986 the species had dwindled to only 18 free-living individuals.

• The degradation and domestication of our public lands with fencing, water tanks, pipelines, and other infrastructure designed to make our public lands better “stock yards” for the benefit of the few ~ public lands ranchers. Livestock grazing infrastructure, commonly bought and paid for by the American tax-payer, has quite literally tamed the once wild West.  Hundreds of thousands of miles of fencing on public lands have obstructed natural wildlife movement the migration of native ungulates, which can lead to death during times of environmental stress, such as droughts and blizzards.
Water developments built to facilitate livestock use of public lands have dewatered springs, seeps, and streams which serve as critical habitats for a variety of wildlife across the West.

• There are very few places in the West where native ungulates like bighorn sheep, deer, and elk are at their true biological carrying capacity because the bulk of forage is allotted to domestic livestock. Overgrazing by cattle can literally extirpate native vegetation. In one study, scientists found that domestic livestock grazing consumed 88.8 percent of the available forage. Fewer elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn, and even bison, means that is that much less prey is available to sustain wolves, and other top predators.

•  In the United States, livestock grazing has contributed to the listing of 22 percent of federal threatened and endangered species—almost equal to logging (12 percent) and mining (11 percent) combined. Nationwide, livestock grazing is the 4th major cause of species endangerment and the 2nd major cause of endangerment of plant species. No other human activity in the West is as responsible for the decline or loss of species as is livestock production.

References and Related content:

Veterinarians in Wildlife and Ecosystem Health Excerpt

Public Lands Ranching

The  Case against Public Lands Livestock Production

No Such Thing As PredatorFriendly Beef 

16 wolves get death penalty for eating into Wyoming cattle rancher profits

3 wolves in problematic pack targeted after livestock loss

Why Wipe Wolves from Most of Wyoming

Wyoming Court Seeking Control of Wolves

Wolves, livestock clash all around Wyoming

Public Lands Grazing 

BTNF cuddles ranchers on Upper Green

Upper Green Grazing Analysis Out

Sierra Club’s Grazing Campaign 

Feature image by Christi Sabin.  All other photography by Chris Montano Jr.

Copyright © 2016 

[COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

Ancient Forests, Wolves, Wildlife and The Wrangell Timber Sale 

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a proposed timber sale  on Wrangell Island, which is in the Alexander Archipelago in the Alaska Panhandle of southeastern Alaska. The island is just 30 miles long and 5 to 14 miles wide, contains an abundance of wildlife and is separated from the mainland by the Blake Channel.

The Forest Service released five alternatives in their draft environmental impact statement for the Wrangell Island Project on June 2nd. Its preferred alternative would allow two thirds of the acreage to be selectively harvested and a third clear cut, producing about 65 million board feet, and could build up to 17 miles of new national forest roads, some of which will stay open to the public and about 15 miles of temporary roads. The earliest timber sale would be mid to late summer 2017, and targets the largest, highest-value tree stands, which are generally the areas that are also most ecologically important to the forest and wildlife that live there. It seems that, once again, the Forest Service has disregarded the evidence of the probable impacts of its timber program on wolves, other wildlife populations, salmon, and critical habitat necessary for their survival.
The five alternatives range from about 43 million board feet to 65 million or no timber sale at all.

Buck Lindekugel, an attorney for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), said “Instead of cutting the rest of the old growth that supports a whole variety of uses on Wrangell Island, the Forest Service ought to look at ways of integrating stewardship, restoration activities and supplying timber off the existing road system to the small mills in the area.”

17 miles of new national forest roads!
Already wolf hunting is rife on Wrangell Island with “bag limits” of 5 wolves and portions of the island are subject to Alaska’s infamous “intensive predator management program” encouraging even further reduction of the wolf population. As we have seen on Prince of Wales, logging and roads initiate many harmful effects, including the “overharvest”, ie. poaching, of wolves.

The time has come for Southeast Alaska to no longer rely on the timber industry as an economic driver. The Forest Service should manage the National Forests in Southeast Alaska for a host of public values that support the tourism and fishing economy of today; the driving economic forces are, and continue to be, tourism and recreation.

In your own words, please comment against the proposed Wrangell Timber Sale. Tell the Forest Service that you support “Alternative 1 – which is the “no-action” alternative because in this alternative, none of the proposed activities would occur. Only approved forest management activities not related to the proposed project can and would continue, and road management would be based on the already existing access and travel management plan for Wrangell Island.

Comments can be made via email to comments-alaska-tongass-wrangell@fs.fed.us  with “Wrangell Island Project” in the subject line.

*COMMENTS SHOULD BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN JULY 18, 2016. Comments, including anonymous comments, will be accepted at any time. However, comments posted after the close of the designated comment period (July 18th) may not be able to be given full consideration.

Please also sign this petition:

No logging in places critical for Tongass wildlife and wild salmon, from Alaska Wilderness League.

The Tongass offers the country’s largest remaining swath of ancient forest, as well as an estimated one third of the world’s remaining temperate rainforest. It is far past time for an end to old-growth logging and destruction of habitat essential for endemic species found only in this biologically rich region.

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For additional, in depth, information  please see Wrangell Island Project Draft | Environmental Impact Statement

Related content:

The economic reality of Alaska’s timber industry

Senator should heed council on Tongass, accept compromise

The future of the Tongass Forest lies beyond logging

Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Will we soon see another wave of bird extinctions in the Americas?

  

In the shady recesses of unassuming forest patches in eastern Brazil, bird species are taking their final bows on the global evolutionary stage, and winking out.

These are obscure birds with quaint names: Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner, Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl, Cryptic Treehunter. But their disappearance portends a turning point in a global biodiversity crisis.

Bird extinctions are nothing new. Human activity has already wiped out over a thousand species. But the vast majority of these occurred on oceanic islands. Today, although island species remain disproportionately threatened, we are witnessing a historic shift towards the endangerment of continental species of birds. The Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner, last seen in 2011, looks increasingly like the tip of an iceberg.

This new wave of threats, driven primarily by habitat loss, is deeply troubling because South American forests are home to such a concentration of bird diversity, yet our conservation strategies are still a work in progress.

The trouble with the tropics

To appreciate the significance of today’s looming extinctions in the tropics, we must travel north to the great deciduous forests of the eastern United States, which are haunted by the ghosts of extinctions past. Here, the opportunity to experience the double raps of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, sun-obscuring clouds of Passenger Pigeons, raucous flocks of Carolina Parakeets, and the monotone song of the Bachman’s Warbler is seemingly forever lost.

The blame for these four infamous extinctions has been laid firmly at the door of historic deforestation.

In the early 20th century, the last remaining old-growth fell to the sawmills, almost without exception. Given the ubiquity of the logging, perhaps the most noteworthy feature of this extinction episode is that it did not involve more species.

The European experience was even more striking. The wholesale clearing of Europe’s primeval forest apparently did not cause a single bird extinction. The logical conclusion is that it is very difficult to drive continental birds extinct.

Why then are forest birds beginning to go extinct on mainland South America, home of the largest and most intact tropical forests on Earth?

We must face two equally unsettling conclusions. The first is that forest destruction, particularly in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest, has reached continental-scale proportions, with almost no nook or cranny spared. And the second is that it may not be nearly as difficult to drive extinct in the tropics as in the temperate zone.

Biologists Stuart Pimm and Robert Askins have argued that the eastern USA witnessed few avian extinctions simply because most of its birds have very large geographic ranges. In South America, the situation is dramatically different.

South America is both the evolutionary cradle and current champion of global bird biodiversity; the authoritative regional list totals 3,368 species – around one third of all the word’s birds. Many of these species have small ranges, restricted to particular countries or even to particular mountains or forest types.

Unique features of the life history of tropical birds led to an overly rosy assessment of their future. Author and academic Bjorn Lomborg, for example, claimed that the lack of extinctions following the destruction of Brazil’s Atlantic forest showed that the biodiversity crisis is overblown.

But extinctions may lag far behind forest loss, a phenomenon known as the “extinction debt” which may be paid over hundreds of years.

Tropical birds typically live for longer than their temperate counterparts. Thus, the last pairs of rare species may make their last stand in their fragmented forest redoubts for decades. Indeed, several species have paid this price, and more may already be committed to extinction.

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The last known Alagoas Foliage-gleaner photographed in Pernambuco, Brazil in November 2010 Ciro Albano/NE Brazil Birding

Need to develop strategies

The situation in northeast Brazil is particularly dire.

A few dozen Alagoas Antwrens cling to survival in less than six tiny forest patches. The Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, presented to science along with the Antwren for the first time in the 1980s, was known from only two patches. The last known individual was photographed for the final time in November 2011. We can only guess how many more species will be lost from this region where new species are discovered and others are disappearing on a near-annual basis.

But what of Amazonia, the last great tropical forest wilderness and bastion of tropical biodiversity?

Although deforestation rates have fallen since 2004, there are still grounds for concern. Pressure on existing protected areas from dam-building and mining interests is increasing, and the existing reserve network poorly protects the hardest hit regions.

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Arable fields in eastern Amazonia, former forest haunts of the endemic Belem Curassow, illustrated in the inset to the right of the similar Bare-faced Curassow. This former species was last documented in the wild decades ago. both images Alexander Charles Lees, curassow specimens ©Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Furthermore, Amazonia is divided into different biogeographic regions known as ‘areas of endemism’ that each contain species found nowhere else. Even today, taxonomists continue to recognize new divisions in Amazonian birds, often elevating former subspecies to species status. The Belem Curassow was recently recognized as a species and occurs only in the most deforested part of the Amazon. The last documented record in the wild was over 35 years ago.

Unless a population is discovered in the embattled Gurupi reserve, this species may be the first recorded Amazonian bird extinction. Hot on its heels is the Iquitos Gnatcatcher, known only from a tiny and heavily deforested area of unique stunted forest in Peru. Only six pairs are known, and the bird has proven harder to find every year.

Some of these species need immediate and drastic conservation interventions, but their plight seems to be largely ignored by governments and international environmental groups. Restoring forest around these last fragments is crucial for long-term population viability.

However, for some species captive breeding with an eye to future reintroduction may be the only way forward. Such measures have already saved the Spix’s Macaw and Alagoas Curassow from global extinction – populations of these species exist only in captivity. However, while we have centuries of experience breeding parrots and gamebirds, we know far less about breeding small songbirds.

In fact, most of what we know about managing songbird populations comes from islands, and it is unclear how well this knowledge will translate to the mainland. Island species are adapted to maintain small populations and may be better able to recover from genetic bottlenecks. And, quick fixes such as controlling invasive predators have helped to restore populations. But mainland birds face a different suite of threats, dominated by habitat loss.

Clearly, we must not assume that tropical forest birds will prove as resilient to human activity as their temperate brethren. But though the situation is critical, we also see grounds for optimism.

In Peru, for instance, new endangered species legislation has convened a working group to develop a conservation strategy for the Iquitos Gnatcatcher. In the meantime, a small reserve has been created that protects the few remaining territories. Across the border in Brazil exciting plans are being drawn up to reintroduce the Alagoas Curassow back into the wild.

There is an immediate need to support and expand such actions. The next five to ten years will be critical for many species of South American birds teetering on the brink of extinction.

Feature Image: The Iquitos Gnatcatcher hangs by a thread in small patches of stunted forest near Iquitos, Peru. Only six pairs are known. José Álvarez Alonso, used with permission.

Source

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Species lost from the eastern forests of the U.S. – from left to right: Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and Bachman’s Warbler. Alexander C. Lees ©Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, Author provided