Category Archives: Logging

Clearcutting the Tongass National Forest is Dead Wrong

In Paris last December, the world turned a major corner on climate change. Some 195 nations agreed on the urgency of the threat. They also agreed to take steps to combat it, including promoting forest protection and reforestation — steps that are necessary, though not in themselves sufficient, if we are to avoid consequences as extreme for our economies and health as they are for the environment.

President Obama deserves much of the credit for this progress. On his watch, the United States has cut greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country. He has become a powerful voice at home and abroad for doing everything possible to cut emissions. And he is showing global leadership in policy areas that go beyond the Paris agreement; for instance, he has ordered an overhaul of the federal coalleasing program, which produces a tenth of all carbon dioxide emitted by U.S. sources.

In the Tongass rainforest, the Forest Service has clung to the old-school logging of some of the most biologically rich, scenically stunning and carbon-dense forests on Earth. 

So it was a surprise to see the U.S. Forest Service — as if in a time warp — recently working counter to that approach in the vast Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska. There, the agency plans to continue liquidating carbon-laden old growth for at least another decade and a half.

Forest conservation is only one corner in the race to stem climate disruption that the Paris agreement, though broadly encouraging, did not get us far enough around. But it’s a vital one. As Secretary of State John Kerry said recently, deforestation generates nearly a quarter of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The science is clear: If we want to keep global warming from threatening the existence of coastal areas and low-lying island nations, the world must preserve its remaining old forests and the massive carbon reserves they’ve accumulated over the centuries. The new wood we use has to come instead from sustainably managed plantations and young stands that quickly regrow and recapture the carbon they lose to logging.

Mostly, our federally managed national forests have made that change over the past 25 years. But in the wilds of Alaska, it’s a different story. In the Tongass rainforest, the Forest Service has clung to the old-school logging of some of the most biologically rich, scenically stunning and carbon-dense forests on Earth.

The 17-million-acre Tongass absorbs about 8 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere every year. It also teems with extraordinary wildlife, including bears, eagles, wolves and salmon.

Six years ago, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack decided that enough was enough. He announced a transition away from further logging of Tongass old growth, with the Forest Service “rapidly” implementing this change. This was met with high praise from the public and from scientists like me, but at the agency level, his initiative stalled. The Forest Service went years with no visible progress on the transition, while approving continued clear-cutting of America’s last great rainforest.

This fall, the agency released its final “transition” proposal: 16 more years of old-growth clear-cutting, and maybe more. According to one analysis, the logging proposed under the agency’s plan would release carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to about 4 million additional vehicles annually.

The agency says that neither it, nor the timber industry, can move any faster. In the Pacific Northwest, however, both transitioned to logging young forests almost overnight when courts halted access to old growth. The agency asserts that young Tongass trees growing on old clear-cuts are not yet big enough to log. In fact, though, they are older and larger than the ones that local Native corporation loggers cut and sell abroad, and small local mills say they would be happy to process these trees locally, if they could get them from the agency. 

Keeping global warming below catastrophic levels is not something that can wait until we finally get around to it. We need to be doing everything we can right now. We can’t afford to spend another 16 years or more liquidating Tongass old growth and losing the carbon reserves it stores. And we certainly shouldn’t signal other countries that the vital business of saving their carbon-rich rainforests can wait for decades. 

The Forest Service can and must move much faster and not undermine U.S. progress and leadership on climate change by protecting these biologically rich and most scenically stunning and carbon dense forests on Earth. It is long past the time to take the country’s biggest carbon asset off the chopping block. 

Thomas E. Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy is a professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and previously a senior environmental advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations Foundation.

Originally published in The High Country News. 


Take action to save the Tongass National Forest. 

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is nothing short of magical: it contains centuries-old trees and one-of-a-kind wilderness, home to animals like Alexander Archipelago wolves and bald eagles. Your voice is needed to pressure Congress to defund this clearcutting plan and save the Tongass for our children and grandchildren. 

Please sign and share this petition from the Sierra Club. Help protect the Tongass National Forest: Stop the Clearcutting. Thank you.

Feature Image: Alaskan Wolf by Doug Brown. Insert: Tongass National Forest photo by David Beebe 

Related content: Trump, Congress and Southeast timber, what are the possibilities?

This is where Obama’s hugely ambitious climate policies were headed — before Trump came along

Obama Fossil Fuel Auction Adds 29 Million Tons of Climate Pollution,
Threatens Imperiled Species in Wyoming
 

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.

Anti-Environmental Poison Pill Riders

Two Political Trainwrecks in the Making.

And they’re off! Last week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees finished work on their respective versions of the federal spending bill that funds the Department of the Interior, the EPA and the U.S. Forest Service. Both bills are loaded with ideological riders that would block or eliminate protections for our air, water, climate, public health, endangered species, forests and other public lands.

A rider is a provision that either makes a change in law directly or, more commonly, prohibits an agency from using its funds to carry out specific duties under a law or rule. One example would be a rider that prevents the EPA from setting or enforcing limits on air pollution from power plants. Another rider might stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting certain creatures as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The House Appropriations Committee imbedded nearly 40 anti-environmental riders into its spending bill before it was voted out of the committee on June 15. It now includes riders that would remove Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in Wyoming and the upper Midwest and deny farmworkers the right to grant a family member, physician or labor representative access to information on pesticides they have been exposed to. Riders in the bill would also block new national monument designations, the president’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and the Clean Water Rule that protects the drinking water of one in three Americans. In addition, riders in the bill seek to stop the implementation of a 2015 rule to reduce smog nationwide, as well as an effort by the Department of the Interior to control air pollution from offshore oil development.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its spending bill on June 16. It too contains more than a dozen anti-environmental riders. It has riders that seek to undermine public involvement and environmental impact analysis of logging projects in national forests. Its riders would also prevent the Obama administration from reducing old-growth logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Also included are riders to stop the Department of the Interior’s work on a rule to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining and to keep mining companies from having to foot the bill for the future hazardous waste contamination that they cause. The bill, with its riders, would also prevent the government from carrying out endangered species protections for the lesser prairie chicken, and it contains the wolf delisting and Clean Water Rule riders as well.

As they left for their July 4th recess House leadership said they intended to bring this spending bill to the House floor early next month, where even more bad riders are likely to be added. It is doubtful the Senate can bring its bill to the floor before the fiscal year ends on September 30. However, all of these poison pill riders will be poised to be part of the year-end, back-room mudwrestling that will occur after the November elections when Congress tries pass a single measure to fund the government.

Between now and then it’s vital that our elected officials understand the American public does not support these back-door assaults on our air, water, climate, workers, wildlife and public lands. The job of Congress is to fund the government, not craft sweetheart riders for polluters.

Written by Martin Hayden, Earthjustice  Vice President, Policy & Legislation

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Take a moment of your time to oppose H.R. 5538 (Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act) here via popvox.

Also stand opposed to S. 3068 (the Senate version of this appropriations bill) here, via popvox.

You may also contact your elected officials easily through democracy.io here.

Tell your elected officials that you are opposed to riders that would remove protections from wolves, block or eliminate protections for our air, water, climate, public health, endangered species, forests and other public lands.

Please be sure that you have signed these petitions:

Stop 30 plus deadly riders from unraveling environmental protections, from Earthjustice: Sign this.

Help shut down Congress’ sneak attack on wolves via NRDC: Sign this

Protect Wolves from Congressional Attacks via Endangered Species Coalition:  Sign this and this.

Protect the ESA From Political Attacks via Earthjustice:  Sign this

Stop this anti-wildlife assault on Capitol Hill, new petition from Defenders: Sign this

Photos with permission by Chris Montano Jr.

Stop Old-Growth Logging on Prince of Wales | Save Alaska’s Island Wolf Habitat

TIME SENSITIVE ACTION ALERT 

Please take action by February 22. Easily submit your comments here: bit.ly/1PPsKTs or below, at bottom of this post, on the Forest Services’ website or via email.
Please also sign this petition: Stop old-growth clearcutting in the Tongass National Forest from #Earthjustice  encouraging a stop to the Big Thorne timber project in Southeast #Alaska on Prince of Wales:

bit.ly/StopTheBigThorneTimberSale  and this one while it is still open: Protect America’s Rainforest from old-growth logging. Also this new petition from  Defenders (petition can be signed by anyone from anywhere, if outside of U.S. select other)
Thankyou.The area is home to what is left of the islands population of Alexander  #ArchipelagoWolves (approximately only 50 individuals). Since Secretary Jewell did not protect this imperiled species under the #ESA, this will be our only hope in saving the wolves habitat. Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service aimed at the destructive practice of old growth logging on POW and certainly could use your support.

Please share this alert, this is our last hope for this diminished population of wolves.

#BeMyVoice

Thankyou.

Background information:
The U.S. Forest Service issued a Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS) to amend the Land Management Plan for the Tongass National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service amendment to the Tongass Plan aims to continue old-growth clearcutting.
The DEIS’s preferred alternative aims to end most old-growth logging within 16 years. While some important watersheds would become off limits to old-growth logging, the plan still calls for high levels of old-growth clearcuts — 490 million board feet of old growth to be logged over the next 15 years. The plan will further endanger the Alexander Archipelago wolf, and their home, the temperate rainforests that are so important to the planet, as well as allow more disastrous timber sales like the Big Thorne. The Forest Service is obviously refusing to consider ending old-growth clearcutting in five years, as many conservation groups have called for.
The amendment was originally intended to direct a transition away from decades of controversial and damaging old-growth logging, but the “preferred alternative” would allow continued clearcutting of remaining old-growth forest for many years.
*Be a voice for the imperiled Alexander Archipelago Wolves. Since Secretary Jewell did not protect the wolves under the ESA, the logging projects will move forward sealing the fate of the wolves.

*Written or electronic comments will be accepted for 90 days, ending February 22 – 2016, and should be submitted to: Forest Supervisor, Tongass National Forest, Attn: Forest Plan Amendment, 648 Mission Street Ketchikan, AK 99901.
Comments may also be sent via email to: comments-alaska-tongass@fs.fed.us or via facsimile to (907) 228-6292.
For additional information, please contact Susan Howle, Project Manager, at 907-228-6340, orshowle@fs.fed.us.
Follow these links for additional information:

1.usa.gov/1SQ7Wxf

1.usa.gov/1SQ8bbF

bit.ly/1X50dlo

Please comment against this disastrous plan, already the average distance to roads within GMU2 is 2.1 miles & only 1.7 miles on POW island itself. With such high road density already in place there is little secure habitat.

Sample comment, please personalize:

Dear Supervisor Earl Stewart,

I am opposed to old growth logging for 15 more years in the Tongass National Forest. Furthermore, allowing the harvest of 148.9 million board feet from approximately 6,186 acres of old-growth and 2,299 acres of young-growth near Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island within the Thorne Bay Ranger District is unacceptable. It is essential that the U.S. Forest Service halt the Big Thorne timber project, which threatens to destroy large swaths of essential Prince of Wales habitat for Alexander Archipelago wolves and their primary prey, Sitka black-tailed deer  (Already the average distance to roads within GMU2 is 2.1 miles & only 1.7 miles on POW island itself. With such high road density already in place there is little secure habitat.The Big Thorne project will also create additional new logging roads, increasing human access and the associated hunting and trapping pressure on the imperiled island wolf populations).

Without any federal protection the only long-term solution to the Alexander Archipelago wolves’ peril is to stop old-growth logging in the Tongass National Forest and to preserve the last remaining big trees that wolves and so many other animals need. Without an end to old-growth logging, no amount of hunting regulations, alone, can save the wolves. Please transition away from old growth logging promptly, and please halt the timber sale on POW.
Thankyou for your time and consideration of this extremely important matter,

Your name

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More information/talking points can be found here.

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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.

Just 89 of these Alaskan wolves remain…now hold on a minute

Just 89 of these Alaskan wolves remain, really? Could there possibly be just 89 wolves left on Prince of Wales and accompanying islands?

No, there are not just 89 Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales and satellite islands, there are possibly only 50 which the Interior Department did not grant protection under the Endangered Species Act . Fish and Game reported an estimated population of 89 wolves on and around Prince of Wales in the fall of 2014.

This estimate did not account for the 29 wolves reported taken in the 2014/2015 winter hunting and trapping season (1/3rd of the entire population), nor did it account for any wolves illegally killed during that time or since, which studies indicate are substantial. The estimate also, obviously, does not include further unreported take nor does it include the 5 wolves reported to date (out of a quota of nine) taken this winter. Bear in mind it is nearly impossible to enforce such a small quota. This is evident from the quota for 2014/2015 being exceeded by 16% despite an emergency order closing the season. The smaller the quota, the greater the chances are of the quota being exceeded. This extremely low population estimate (50 to, at best and prior to this year’s season, 60 wolves is confirmed in this U.S. Forest Service briefing paper, which also notes the drastic decline in breeding female wolves, and I quote “The sex ratio of wolves in the survey area has become significantly skewed. In 2013 the proportion of females in the sampled population was close to 0.50. The proportion of females observed in the sample population for 2014 was 0.25.”

Remember this is data from 2014! Certainly it is safe to assume that the reason USFWS, during their field visit to over a dozen den sites this past spring, found only one active den with just one pup, is because there are barely any female wolves left! 

Indeed, Data in the Alaska Department of Fish and Games’ report shows that, as of fall 2014, only 7 to 32 female Archipelago wolves remain. That is 7 to 32 female wolves in an approximate 2,600 square mile area, if all the female wolves were on Prince of Wales itself and not the accompanying islands. This would be possibly 1 breeding wolf per 371.4 square miles.

Then there’s the poaching. 

On September 15, 2015 The Alaska Federal Subsistence Management Board released a  statement regarding the hunt for these imperiled wolves in GMU 2. The ISC (Interagency Staff Committee) found significant illegal wolf harvest is occurring in Unit 2, and requested that the Subsistence Board direct the USFS and the USFWS to begin coordinated law enforcement efforts to ensure illegal take of wolves in Unit 2 is stopped, and that the local USFS manager had also requested additional law enforcement officer support in Unit 2 during the wolf hunting and trapping seasons. However with 3,000 miles of logging roads in the area, 580 alone in the Big Thorne timber project area, as well as habitat destruction from decades of logging, wolf poaching is rife and nearly impossible to curb.

But, don’t worry folks, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service believes there are plenty of Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Planet Earth, a whopping 850 to 2,700!! Note: This extremely wide range population estimate (with approximately 62 percent living in British Columbia where they can be hunted and 38 percent occupying southeastern Alaska) is evidence of their lack of knowledge about the species’ actual status.

The true culprit behind the lack of ESA protection for this imperiled species ~ logging. The Big Thorne timber sale.

Not just logging but more importantly, existing regulations (which have not been adhered to) with the failing taxpayer supported logging  projects on Prince of Wales which have not provided adequate enough protection to ensure persistence of population numbers of this unique species. As noted in the U.S. Forest Service briefing paper, twice, the timber sales were of utmost importance and obviously outrank the persistence and survival of this species:

“A sixty percent decline in the wolf population in a single year potentially increases the probability of ESA listing and will almost certainly become a factor in ongoing litigation against timber sales critical to the Tongass Young-growth Transition Strategy (e.g., Big Thorne).” And: “It is expected that Plaintiffs in litigation against the Big Thorne timber sale will use these numbers to argue for judgement against the Forest Service based on potential additional harm to the wolf. Effects to wolves are one of the primary issues in litigation against the Big Thorne project. The Big Thorne EIS discloses that short-term adverse impacts on local wolf populations will result from project implementation.

Say Goodbye to the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales and accompanying islands, and, for that matter….eventually on Planet Earth.

Copyright © 2015 [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.

 

 

No ESA Protection For Alexander Archipelago Wolves

Breaking, horrible news.
The FWS, after considering the petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as an endangered species, has announced today it does not warrant such protections, even though its population has seriously declined on the Prince of Wales Island (The USFWS noted in a recent Species Status Assessment that the Alexander Archipelago wolf population occupying Prince of Wales Island declined by 75 percent between 1994 and 2014, from 356 to 89 individuals).

The USFWS said in a Tuesday press release that the island wolves do not qualify for ESA protection because “the population does not persist in an unusual or unique ecological setting; loss of the population would not result in a significant gap in the range; and the population does not differ markedly from other populations based on its genetic characteristics.”

“We think the US Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t get it right and that they’ve overlooked some important things,” Larry Edwards (a Forest Campaigner with Greenpeace) told Alaska Public Media. “It’s very odd to us that the Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledges a 75 percent decline in the Prince of Wales wolf population and then basically writes that population off.”

The U.S.Fish and Wildlife Services’ extremely wide range population estimates (between 850 to 2,700 individuals, with approximately 62 percent living in British Columbia and 38 percent occupying southeastern Alaska) is evidence of their lack of knowledge about the species’ actual status. Another USFWS ‘prediction’ is that the current population of Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales Island will continue to decrease by another eight to 14 percent over the next 30 years.

Bottom line, if the USFWS had found the Alexander Archipelago wolf worthy of endangered species status, the listing process would have limited or entirely prevented the ongoing timber sales on Prince of Wales islands (The US Forest Service plans to continue with old growth logging for another 15 years through the wolves’ habitat). One agency, yet again, washing the hands of another.

“After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf is not warranted at this time throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” the agency wrote.

The decision goes into effect immediately.
Detailed report from The Department of Interior: bit.ly/1O8OKrE

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I am thoroughly disgusted with Interior Departments decision not to protect the Alexander Archipelago  ‪#‎PrinceOfWalesWolves‬ under the Endangered Species Act.
Ignoring uncertainty – in dimensions such as true population size – is like playing Russian roulette. As the history of wildlife management has shown repeatedly, the consequences of not accounting for the unknowns are grave.
The Interiors assessments were made upon information provided by their own (fws) biologists! How impartial as well as disgraceful.

Copyright © 2015 [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.

Stand For Archipelago Wolves on POW

Conservationists and environmental groups have long sought Endangered Species Act protections for the wolves of the Alexander Archipelago. The fight over Tongass wolves goes back at least two decades. Secretary Sally Jewell, of the Department of Interior, is expected to make a decision regarding the endangered status of the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales islands by the end of this year. Encourage ESA protection for this imperiled species with another email, and/or a phone call. At the bottom of this post you will find the contact information you need.

Feel free to cut and paste my email, send as is, or personalize to your liking, and, as always, thankyou for your efforts on behalf of the little dark wolves on Prince of Wales.

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Dear Secretary Jewell,

Please list the Alexander Archipelago Wolf (Canis Lupus Ligoni) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Sadly, despite a confirmed 60 percent population decline on Prince of Wales and accompanying islands, ADF&G and the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) opened the wolf hunting and trapping season with a 9 wolf quota. The season closed when 5 wolves were reported “harvested” (slaughtered). The very fact that the season opened with such a very small quota is evidence that officials are well aware of the fact that this is an imperiled species. The closure was an attempt to ensure the slaughter does not exceed the combined  Federal/State  kill quota set at 9 wolves.
Meanwhile, as the Alexander Archipelago Wolves slip towards extinction, ADF&G and the USFS continue to “refine population estimation techniques used to establish  Guideline Harvest Levels for Unit 2 wolves”. With the Federal Subsistence Management Board setting a “skin sealing” requirement of 14 days and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game setting a skin sealing requirement of 30 Days, the total legal “take” of the wolves will not be established until the 3rd week of January and does not include the number of wolves poached, which could be substantial.

With a population as low as possibly 50 individuals, this year’s season may have pushed this iconic species to the brink of extinction.

Data in the Alaska Department of Fish and Games’ report shows that, as of fall 2014, only 7 to 32 female Archipelago wolves remain. That is/was 7 to 32 female wolves in an approximate 2,600 square mile area. This would be possibly 1 breeding wolf per 371.4 square miles (prior to this year’s season). Even if they are able to reproduce at these reduced numbers, the risk of inbreeding is high, putting them at further risk of extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity, which can negatively affect the species in many ways; weakened immune systems unable to fight off disease, skeletal deformities, and/or smaller litters with higher mortality, to name a few. Genetic diversity is always a crucial factor with isolated species.

This drastic decline in numbers must be arrested and a recovery plan should be immediately established. Without ESA protection the Alexander Archipelago wolves fate will be sealed. Extirpation will be imminent.

**Further evidence of a dire situation was proven when Alaska Department of Fish and Game, during their field season this spring,  visited about a dozen known den sites and found only one active den, with only one pup, indicating either entire wolf packs have been wiped out or have been decimated to a point leading to their fragmentation.**

Threats to this unique subspecies are amplified because the wolf represents a distinct and isolated gene pool and now very few individuals remain. The Alexander Archipelago wolves are isolated and genetically distinct from other North American wolves because of tidewater barriers and coastal mountains that limit migration to the rest of the continent. The GMU-2 population is further isolated and may be genetically distinct from other Alexander Archipelago wolves. Scientific evidence determines that coastal wolves endemic to temperate rainforests are diverged from neighbouring, interior continental wolves; a finding that demands new strategies must be taken managing this species if they are to survive.

A 75% decline in population is most immediately caused by the direct take of wolves from significant poaching and the unsustainable legal take. However, the underlying cause is extensive logging and roads (The POW Complex has over 4,200 miles of roads, and the average distance to roads within GMU2 is 2.1 miles and, disgracefully only 1.7 miles on POW Island itself.) contributing to a marked increase in poaching of the
that initiate many harmful effects, including the overharvest of wolves. Certainly this situation underscores the importance of endangered or threatened status for the wolves on Prince of Wales islands. Without immediate policy changes on the part of the state and federal governments, the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales and satellite islands future is grim, as they do, indeed, appear to be on their way to extinction.

It is obvious that the situation for wolves in Game Management Unit 2 is alarming, and that immediate, decisive action is necessary to rescue this population from extirpation. The time has come for the Forest Service to manage the Tongass for a host of public values that support the Southeast Alaska tourism. The time has come for this diminished, and unique, population of wolves to finally get the protection they so desperately need if they are to survive.
Alexander Archipelago wolves are a symbol of wilderness and ecological integrity. They are important in their own right and as a key part of a functioning predator- prey system. In Southeast Alaska, wolves bring significant economic benefits to communities as part of the package that lures more than one million visitors to the Tongass National Forest every year and that contributes more than $1 billion to the Southeast Alaska economy.
Please provide protection for the POW wolves under the ESA.
Thankyou for your time and consideration of this extremely urgent matter,

Your name

Here are a few ways you can contact the U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Jewell:

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
or directly to Mrs Jewell’s office: 202-208-7351

E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Or directly to Mrs. Jewell: Secretary_jewell@ios.doi.gov

Or through the DOI Feedback form

Thankyou for your support!

Copyright © 2015 [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.

Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales~ Online Storm #3

Feature image: Monty Sloan

A petition asking for emergency Endangered Species Act listing for Prince of Wales Island wolves was essentially denied by the U.S.Department of the Interior office in Anchorage.

USFWS Assistant Regional Director stated that an emergency listing is not something that can be petitioned by outside groups, and is a process “left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior.” Secretary Jewell is expected to make a decision regarding protecting these wolves under the ESA by the end of the year. Raise your voice for these imperiled wolves. Please partake in the actions within this blog aimed at encouraging Secretary Sally Jewell  to protect the little dark wolves on Prince of Wales islands.

As always, a warm welcome, and thankyou in advance for being a voice for this imperiled species. On this blog post you will find several courses of action. If you are not on twitter, please scroll to the bottom (past the list of tweets) for other actions. The storm begins at 2:00 p.m. EST on November 9th. Feel free to send off these tweets as often as you like thereafter.

#Wolves #StandForWolves Tweetstorm now! Please be a voice for the #PrinceOfWalesWolves Please tweet this link: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5W  Tweet4Wolves

Please provide #ESA protection to preserve the few #wolves that remain. #PrinceOfWalesWolves @POTUS @Interior @USFWS #StandForWolves  Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves nearly wiped out in 1 yr, plummeting 2 as low as 50 individuals, protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe Tweet4Wolves

These R dire times for 1 of world’s rarest wolf subspecies. #PrinceOfWalesWolves Pls protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @interior @USFWS Tweet4Wolves

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

The long-term impacts of logging & roads have pushed #PrinceOfWalesWolves population
toward #extinction @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heavily reliant on old-growth forests, #PrinceOfWalesWolves den in the root systems of very large trees @SecretaryJewell @usfs @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

.@usfs seems more interested in kowtowing to the timber industry than in preserving our forests 4 future generations #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

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

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

Threats to this unique subspecies R amplified because #PrinceOfWalesWolves represent a distinct & isolated gene pool. Protect #ESA @USFWS Tweet4Wolves

Only 7 to 32 female #PrinceOfWalesWolves in an approximate 2,600 square mile area! Protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @USFWS @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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Possibly only 1 breeding female wolf per 371.4 square miles. Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @USFWS @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

Genetic diversity is always a crucial factor with isolated species! Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves under ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

A declaration of threatened or endangered status for #PrinceOfWalesWolves is a logical step toward recovery @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

#Wolves #ArchipelagoWolves Tweetstorm now! B a voice for the #PrinceOfWalesWolves Please tweet this link: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5W   Tweet4Wolves

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

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

Population decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves –
39 wolves per 1000 km2 in the fall of 1994. population: GMU2 – 352
@SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

Population decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves –
38 wolves per 1000 km2 in the fall of 2003. Population GMU2- 343 @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

Population decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves –
24.5 wolves per 1000 km2 in the fall of 2013 Population GMU2 – 221 @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

Decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves
9.9 wolves per 1000 km2 fall/2014. Population GMU2 – 89 prior to 2014/2015 hunt @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

The estimates were made prior 2 the 2014/2015 hunting/trapping season, wherein 29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves known 2 be killed #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

These numbers don’t include #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed by poachers. With 580 miles logging roads wolf poaching is rife! #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

The “harvest” quota of 9 #PrinceOfWalesWolves 4 the 2015-2016 seasons is impossible to enforce @SecretaryJewell @nytimes #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

An unenforceable “harvest” of 9 #PrinceOfWalesWolves with a population as low as 50 individuals is disgraceful @interior @USFWS @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

With a population as low as 50 #PrinceOfWalesWolves this year’s season will push this iconic species 2 the brink of #extinction @interior Tweet4Wolves

Both ADF&G & FSB attempt to enforce a season’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves quota by counting skins that R brought in 4 sealing @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

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

ADF&G #PrinceOfWalesWolves taken by hunting require “skin” sealing within 30 days, a guaranteed overquota! @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

The quota for 2014/2015 was exceeded by 16% despite an emergency order closing the season! #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

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

To save #PrinceOfWalesWolves the @usfs needs to aggressively close timber roads in the Prince of Wales Complex @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

.@SecretaryJewell The decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is a management problem that desperately needs fixing: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s   Tweet4Wolves

.@usfs Pls do not disregarded the evidence and the impacts of your timber program on #PrinceOfWalesWolves http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  Tweet4Wolves

.@usfs Large-scale #logging of old-growth timber in the #Tongass puts forest management there 20 to 40 years behind the rest of the nation Tweet4Wolves

.@DirectorDanAshe The True Culprit behind Drastic Wolf Declines in the Tongass http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

Obviously hunting, trapping, & #poaching usually take place near roads because access is easier @SecretaryJewell @usfs #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

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

…with such an extensive network of existing roads poaching is rife! @interior @nytimes @usfs #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

#Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves #StandForWolves PLS sign and share: Defend rare Alaskan wolf habitat: http://t.co/VRqHodBlo1       Tweet4Wolves

#StandForWolves Save the Tongass National Forest home of the #PrinceOfWalesWolves  Please sign and share: https://t.co/GFFt7HPVch    Tweet4Wolves

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

The @usfs approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, the #PrinceOfWalesWolves home… @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

The @usfs approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, the #PrinceOfWalesWolves home @WSJ @AP @nytimes  Tweet4Wolves

.@usfs approved an ill-conceived logging operation within Tongass National Forest, the #PrinceOfWalesWolves home @latimes @washingtonpost  Tweet4Wolves

Lack of old-growth forests 4 protection, #PrinceOfWalesWolves primary prey, Sitka black-tailed deer, R also in decline @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass and #PrinceOfWalesWolves pay with their lives, #Extinction @WSJ @AP @NPR goo.gl/LPCrVM  Tweet4Wolves

Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass & #PrinceOfWalesWolves pay with their lives, #Extinction @nytimes  goo.gl/LPCrVM  Tweet4Wolves

Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass & #PrinceOfWalesWolves pay with their lives,  @washingtonpost goo.gl/LPCrVM  Tweet4Wolves

Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass & #PrinceOfWalesWolves pay with their lives!  @interior goo.gl/LPCrVM Tweet4Wolves

2014-2015 harvest of #PrinceOfWalesWolves was unsustainable. These rare wolves need protection under #ESA now.  @nytimes  @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

2014-2015 harvest of #PrinceOfWalesWolves was unsustainable. These rare wolves need protection under #ESA now @latimes @AP @NPR @Alaska Tweet4Wolves

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2014-2015 harvest of #PrinceOfWalesWolves was unsustainable. These rare wolves need protection under #ESA now @WSJ @newsminer @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed in 2014-2015 trapping/hunting season represents a loss of 1/3 of entire population! @nytimes @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed in 2014-2015 trapping/hunting season represents loss of 1/3 of entire population! @AP @latimes @NPR @Alaska Tweet4Wolves

29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed in 2014-2015 trapping/hunting season represents loss of 1/3 of entire population @SecretaryJewell @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

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

The hunting & trapping of #PrinceOfWalesWolves has reached unsustainable levels! Protect under ESA @SecretaryJewell #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

ADF&G estimated only 89 #PrinceOfWalesWolves fall 2014, down from 221 the prior yr possibly as low as 50. Cancel the hunt @AKGovBillWalker Tweet4Wolves

ADF&G estimated only 89 #PrinceOfWalesWolves fall 2014, down from 221 the prior yr, now possibly as low as 50! @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

Data in ADF&G report shows that, as of fall 2014, only 7 to 32 female #PrinceOfWalesWolves were left. Protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

.@USFWS is years overdue in deciding whether to initiate an #ESA status review for Alaska’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves @SecretaryJewel @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

.@USFWS is years overdue in deciding whether to initiate an #ESA status review for Alaska’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves @WSJ @nytimes @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

After yrs delaying @USFWS  is finally working toward a year-end determination on whether 2 protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves under ESA! @WSJ @AP Tweet4Wolves

This yrs season will jeopardize the ongoing viability of #PrinceOfWalesWolves #ESA protection now! @WSJ @nytimes @AP @NPR @latimes Tweet4Wolves

This yrs season will jeopardize the ongoing viability of #PrinceOfWalesWolves @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe #Extinction is forever! Tweet4Wolves

Scientific data confirms a 60 % decline in the #PrinceOfWalesWolves population in just 1 yr. Protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

With population as low as 50 there is certainly no time 4 debate. Please protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

2 maintain a viable population of #PrinceOfWalesWolves , #Alaska must cancel the season! @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe @AKGovBillWalker  Tweet4Wolves

This will no longer be a genetically viable population @AKGovBillWalker with as few as 7 to 32 female #PrinceOfWalesWolves Cancel the hunt! Tweet4Wolves

#StandForWolves  #SaveWolves Take Emergency Measures to Save Nearly-Extinct #PrinceOfWalesWolves Please sign: goo.gl/nBxK0a Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves genetically & geographically distinct from other gray wolves, urgently need protection under #ESA @nytimes @Interior Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves genetically & geographically distinct from other gray wolves, urgently need protection under #ESA @washingtonpost @AP Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves genetically & geographically distinct from other gray wolves, urgently need protection under #ESA @WSJ @NPR @latimes Tweet4Wolves

ADF&G reports there could B as few as 7 female #PrinceOfWalesWolves left on 2,600-square-mile isl. Cancel 2015/16 hunt! @AKGovBillWalker Tweet4Wolves

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

ADF&G found that one wolf pack “seems” to have completely disappeared. Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

The % of #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed last season was between 33 & 58 % of ENTIRE population. Protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

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

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

The 89 #PrinceOfWalesWolves pop. estimate is outdated, @usfs briefing paper indicates, protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

The estimates were made prior 2 the 2014/2015 hunting/trapping season, wherein 29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves known 2 be killed #EndangeredSpecies  Tweet4Wolves

The estimates were made prior 2 the 2014/2015 hunting/trapping season, wherein 29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves known 2 be killed @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

The estimates were made prior 2 the 2014/2015 hunting/trapping season, wherein 29 #PrinceOfWalesWolves known 2 be killed @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

These numbers don’t include #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed by poachers. With 580 miles logging roads wolf poaching is rife! #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

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These numbers don’t include #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed by poachers. With 580 miles logging roads wolf poaching is rife! @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

These numbers don’t include #PrinceOfWalesWolves killed by poachers. With 580 miles logging roads wolf poaching is rife! @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

#Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves
Please sign: Stop the Hunt & Kill of the Rare #ArchipelagoWolves: bit.ly/1kzbUiD  Tweet4Wolves

#Wolves #StandForWolves
From @alaskawild: Don’t let #PrinceOfWalesWolves Disappear Please sign bit.ly/1Pt0kkW  Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves Please sign this petition with 143,000 signatures, Save The Alexander #ArchipelagoWolves: chn.ge/20AB6q7  Tweet4Wolves

Scientific data clearly shows that the SE Alaska #PrinceOfWalesWolves R distinctive from other wolf populations in N.A. #EndangeredSpecies Tweet4Wolves

ADF&G doesn’t believe #PrinceOfWalesWolves warrant #ESA listing, a designation that would restrict costly2taxpayer logging industry! Shame! Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves need prompt #ESA protection because of their geographic isolation and proven genetic distinctiveness @USFWS @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

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

Recent genetic research shows a large portion of genetic diversity in gray wolf species is found in #PrinceOfWalesWolves @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

The unique genetic diversity found in #PrinceOfWalesWolves makes them especially important from a conservation perspective @SecretaryJewell Tweet4Wolves

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

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

During the highest harvest year, in 1996-1997, almost 50% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves population was trapped @nytimes @WSJ @AP @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

1 of the fiercest critics of @usfs Big Thorne timber sale, in #PrinceOfWalesWolves home, is former ADF&G biologist Dave Person @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

Person:“The timber sale, the final straw that will break the back of sustainable wolf-deer predator-prey ecology” @AP #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

Person:“The timber sale, the final straw that will break the back of sustainable wolf-deer predator-prey ecology” @WSJ #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

Dave Person:“The Big Thorne project puts viability of #PrinceOfWalesWolves in doubt.”  goo.gl/bqU0Dv  Tweet4Wolves

Dr. Person audio report regarding @usfs  Big Thorne timber sale & impact on wildlife & #PrinceOfWalesWolves @AP https://vimeo.com/92984376  Tweet4Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.@SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe pls take decisive action 2 save rapidly dwindling population of #PrinceOfWalesWolves #ESA protection pls Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves R an essential piece of what makes our little corner of Alaska so special,” said H. McIntosh of @AlaskaSmallShip @AP Tweet4Wolves

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

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

Allowing decimation/imminent extinction of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is poor stewardship @SecretaryJewell @AKGovBillWalker @DirectorDanAshe @AP Tweet4Wolves

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#StandForWolves #SaveWolves #ProtectWolves Save the #PrinceOfWalesWolves Protect under #ESA @interior @DirectorDanAshe Tweet4Wolves

Thankyou for tweeting on behalf of the Alexander Archipelago Wolves. Please consider contacting Secretary Jewell with a phone call, an email and a letter. Below you will find a sample letter, feel free to use it as is, or personalize to your liking.

Here are a few ways you can contact the U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Jewell:

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
or directly to Mrs Jewell’s office: 202-208-7351

E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Or directly to Mrs. Jewell: Secretary_jewell@ios.doi.gov

Or through the DOI Feedback form

Dear Secretary Jewell,

Please protect the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales islands under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists and conservationists assert that the Archipelago wolf population has plummeted to a dangerously low population, and that distributions are no longer sufficient to maintain genetic viability. More importantly, existing regulations (which have not been adhered to) with the failing taxpayer supported logging  projects on Prince of Wales are not adequate enough protection to ensure persistence of population numbers of this unique species.

This alarming population decline is most immediately caused by the direct take of wolves from significant poaching and the unsustainable legal take, but the underlying cause is extensive logging and roads that initiate many harmful effects, including the overharvest of wolves. Without immediate policy changes on the part of the state and federal governments, the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales and satellite islands future is grim, as they appear to be on their way to extinction.

Wolves are a symbol of wilderness and ecological integrity. They are important in their own right and as a key part of a functioning predator- prey system. In Southeast Alaska, wolves bring significant economic benefits to communities as part of the package that lures more than one million visitors to the Tongass National Forest every year and that contributes more than $1 billion to the Southeast Alaska economy.

The time has come for the Forest Service to manage the Tongass for a host of public values that support the Southeast Alaska tourism. The time has come for this diminished, and unique, population of wolves to finally get the protection they so desperately need if they are to survive.

Please provide protection for the POW wolves under the ESA. Thankyou for your time and consideration of this extremely urgent matter,

Your name

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If you are on Facebook please post to U.S. Department of the Interior (or tag them in a post). Please use the hashtag #PrinceOfWalesWolves on your post. Use any one of the images throughout this blog, just tap on image, open image, then select save. If you are on Instagram, please tag the interior in the same way. Be sure to use the hashtag #PrinceOfWalesWolves.

Images are also posted on our event page, feel free to use any in your tags.

Thankyou, everyone, for your dedication and ongoing efforts on behalf of Alaska’s little dark wolves.

sear

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.

THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF LOGGING AND ROADS PUSH A TONGASS WOLF POPULATION TOWARD EXTINCTION

A 75% DECLINE IN 20 YEARS

Wolves are a symbol of wilderness and ecological integrity. They are important in their own right and as a key part of a functioning predator- prey system. In Southeast Alaska, wolves bring significant economic benefits to communities as part of the package that lures more than one million visitors to the Tongass National Forest every year and that contributes more than $1 billion to the Southeast Alaska economy.

From Audubon Alaska:

Old-Growth Logging: The True Culprit behind Drastic Wolf Declines in the Tongass

In response to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game report in May that revealed a drastic decline in the wolf population on Prince of Wales and surrounding islands, Audubon Alaska’s science and policy team developed a report, Prince of Wales Wolves, examining the underlying reason for the decline: large-scale, old-growth, clearcut logging.

“The alarming population decline is most immediately caused by the direct take of wolves from significant poaching and the unsustainable legal take authorized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but the underlying cause is extensive logging and roads that initiate many harmful effects, including overharvest of wolves,” said Melanie Smith, Audubon Alaska’s Director of Conservation Science.

The Audubon Alaska report points out three ways old-growth logging has and will continue to drastically impact the wolf population on Prince of Wales:

  • 4,200 miles of logging roads on Prince of Wales and surrounding islands allow poachers easy access into wolf habitat.
  • Clearcutting old-growth trees removes crucial winter habitat for wolves’ main prey, Sitka black-tailed deer, ultimately resulting in a lower deer population.
  • The reduced deer numbers, in turn, make some people perceive wolves as competition for hunting, “leading to increased poaching and public pressure to authorize unsustainable legal limits on wolf take to drive down the wolf population.”

Large-scale, clearcut logging is one of the root causes of the wolf population crash on Prince of Wales. Logging roads built to support timber harvest provide relatively easy access to the wolf population for poachers and legal hunters and trappers. Over a longer time frame, the impacts on foraging habitat for deer will result in further reduction of the deer population which in turn impacts the wolf population. Without immediate policy changes on the part of the state and federal governments, the Prince of Wales Complex population appears to be on its way to extinction.

At this point, the Forest Service has disregarded the evidence of the probable impacts of its timber program on wolves and other wildlife populations on Prince of Wales (such as Queen Charlotte goshawks). Its focus on large-scale logging of old-growth timber in the Tongass puts forest management there 20 to 40 years behind the rest of the nation. The time has come for the Forest Service to manage the Tongass for a host of public values that support the Southeast Alaska tourism and fishing economy of today. To do that, the Forest Service needs to aggressively close timber roads in the Prince of Wales Complex, halt logging and road-building for the Big Thorne timber sale, and end large-scale old-growth timber sales in the Prince of Wales Island region and, more generally, across the Tongass.

The USFWS should list the Prince of Wales Complex wolf population under the ESA. The GMU2 population historically made up one third of the total Alexander Archipelago wolf population in Southeast Alaska, and research has shown that this population is genetically isolated from mainland Alexander Archipelago wolves. A declaration of threatened or endangered status for the population is a logical step toward recovery of this ecologically important and genetically distinct predator that symbolizes the wilderness of the Tongass.

Please send off these tweets on behalf of the Alexander Archipelago Wolves:

.@SecretaryJewell The decline of #ArchipelagoWolves is a management problem that desperately needs fixing: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@usfs Pls do not disregarded the evidence and the impacts of your timber program on #ArchipelagoWolves http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@usfs Large-scale #logging of old-growth timber in the #Tongass puts forest management there 20 to 40 years behind the rest of the nation  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@DirectorDanAshe The True Culprit behind Drastic Wolf Declines in the Tongass http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s Protect #ArchipelagoWolves  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@interior Protect #ArchipelagoWolves an ecologically important & genetically distinct predator symbolic of the wilderness of the Tongass  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@SecretaryJewell THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF LOGGING & ROADS PUSH #ARCHIPELAGOWOLVES TOWARD EXTINCTION: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s      Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

.@usfs THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF LOGGING & ROADS PUSH #ARCHIPELAGOWOLVES TOWARD EXTINCTION: http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  Tweet4ArchipelagoWolves

PLEASE STAY IN TOUCH AND WATCH FOR OUR NEXT TWEETSTORM IN NOVEMBER 2015

Update and Continued Efforts on Behalf of the Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales

Emergency Endangered Species Act Petition Filed.

In an attempt to protect drastically declining wolf population in Southeast Alaska, six conservation organizations (Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community, Greenpeace and The Boat Company)  petitioned for an emergency listing of Alexander Archipelago wolves under the Endangered Species Act. The petition  follows a decision by the Federal Subsistence Board that denied the groups’ July request to close federal wolf-hunting and trapping seasons on Prince of Wales and nearby islands. More information can be found in this press release from The Center for Biological Diversity.

On September 15, 2015 The Alaska Federal Subsistence Management Board released a statement  regarding the hunt for these imperiled wolves in GMU 2. The ISC (Interagency Staff Committee) found that the closure to subsistence and non-subsistence uses was not necessary for the conservation of healthy wolf populations or to continue subsistence uses of wolves in Unit 2. Rather than heeding the warning of scientists, professionals, and knowledgeable conservationists, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service  consulted with “the four local Federally-recognized Alaska Native Tribes, as well as several Federally and non-Federally qualified subsistence users with local knowledge of Unit 2 wolf populations”. In other words the local “knowledge” of hunters and trappers was held in authority over scientific evidence, facts and research. The “harvest” quota remains at 9 wolves for the  2015-2016 seasons. The Alaska Board of Game originally established a guideline which would have allowed a quota up to 18 wolves. If the board felt this compromise would be found to be satisfactory, and  conciliate both hunters and conservationists alike, they were highly mistaken.

At this point in time I believe it is imperative that we support the aforementioned organizations with an email to Sally Jewell (Secretary of the Interior), Daniel Ashe (Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Geoffrey Haskett (Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Please be a voice for this imperiled species, cut and paste the following email (feel free to personalize or add your polite thoughts) and send to:  feedback@ios.doi.gov,dan_ashe@fws.gov,geoff_haskett@fws.gov

I have also added several tweets at the bottom of this post which will be helpful to our cause though not nearly as crucial as an email. Thankyou in advance for your anticipated support. Please share this action alert via twitter.

Dear Mrs. Jewell, Mr. Ashe, and Mr. Haskett,

Please list, on an emergency basis, the Alexander Archipelago Wolf (Canis Lupus Ligoni) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Despite a confirmed 60 percent population decline on Prince of Wales and accompanying islands, ADF&G and the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) have opened the wolf hunting and trapping season with a 9 wolf quota.  Fish and Game’s report estimated that the wolf population on and around Prince of Wales in fall 2014 was between 50 and 159, and more than likely approximately 89 wolves. This estimate does not account for the 29 wolves reported taken in the 2014/2015 winter hunting and trapping season (1/3rd of entire population), nor does it account for any illegal takes during that time or since, which studies indicate are substantial.

With a population as low as possibly 50 individuals, this year’s season will push this iconic species to the brink of extinction.

Data in the Alaska Department of Fish and Games’ report shows that, as of fall 2014, only 7 to 32 female Archipelago wolves remain. That is 7 to 32 female wolves in an approximate 2,600 square mile area. This would be possibly 1 breeding wolf per 371.4 square miles. Even if they are able to reproduce at these reduced numbers, the risk of inbreeding is high, putting them at further risk of extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity, which can negatively affect the species in many ways, such as weakened immune systems unable to fight off disease, skeletal deformities, and smaller litters with higher mortality. Genetic diversity is always a crucial factor with isolated species. If the decline in numbers is not arrested and recovery not immediately commenced, the Alexander Archipelago wolves fate will be sealed. Extirpation will be imminent.

Further evidence of a dire situation was proven when Alaska Department of Fish and Game, during their field season this spring,  visited about a dozen known den sites and found only one active den, with only one pup, indicating either entire wolf packs have been wiped out or have been decimated to a point leading to their fragmentation.

On September 15, 2015 The Alaska Federal Subsistence Management Board released a  statement regarding the hunt for these imperiled wolves in GMU 2. The ISC (Interagency Staff Committee) found that the closure to subsistence and non-subsistence uses was not necessary for the conservation of healthy wolf populations or to continue subsistence uses of wolves in Unit 2. Rather than heeding the warning of scientists, professionals, and knowledgeable conservationists, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service  consulted with “the four local Federally-recognized Alaska Native Tribes, as well as several Federally and non-Federally qualified subsistence users with local knowledge of Unit 2 wolf populations”. In other words the local “knowledge” of hunters and trappers was held in authority over scientific evidence, facts and research. The “harvest” quota remains unchanged at 9 wolves for the  2015-2016 seasons. The Alaska Board of Game originally established a guideline which would have allowed a quota up to 18 wolves. I imagine the board felt this compromise would be found to be satisfactory, and conciliate both hunters and conservationists alike.

It is my understanding that since significant illegal wolf harvest is occurring in Unit 2, it has been requested that the Subsistence Board direct the USFS and the USFWS to begin coordinated law enforcement efforts to ensure illegal take of wolves in Unit 2 is stopped, and that the local USFS manager has also requested additional law enforcement officer support in Unit 2 during the wolf hunting and trapping seasons. However with 3,000 miles of logging roads in the area, 580 alone in the Big Thorne timber project area, as well as habitat destruction from decades of logging, wolf poaching is rife and nearly impossible to curb, as is enforcing such a low quota:

Both ADF&G and the FSB attempt to enforce a season’s wolf quota by counting wolf skins that are brought in for sealing. Both State of Alaska and FSB regulations have GMU- 2 specific requirements for the sealing of wolf skins taken by trapping. The FSB regulation also applies to skins taken by hunting. In these cases a skin must be sealed within 14 days. However, ADF&G’s GMU-2 specific regulation applies only to skins taken by trapping. Skins taken by hunting fall under a general statewide regulation that requires sealing within 30 days. Regardless of which time limit applies (14 or 30 days) it is nearly impossible to enforce such a small quota. This is evident from the quota for 2014/2015 being exceeded by 16% despite an emergency order (which did not take  effect for four more days) closing the season. The smaller the quota, the greater the chances are of the quota being exceeded.

Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, and location of, trappers and hunters. Neither the State of Alaska nor the Subsistence Board have regulations that limit the number of trappers and hunters who may take wolves in GMU-2, nor is there any limit on the number of traps.

Threats to this unique subspecies are amplified because the wolf represents a distinct and isolated gene pool and now very few individuals remain. The Alexander Archipelago wolves are isolated and genetically distinct from other North American wolves because of tidewater barriers and coastal mountains that limit migration to the rest of the continent. The GMU-2 population is further isolated and may be genetically distinct from other Alexander Archipelago wolves. Scientific evidence determines that coastal wolves endemic to temperate rainforests are diverged from neighbouring, interior continental wolves; a finding that demands new strategies must be taken managing this species if they are to survive.

It is obvious that the situation for wolves in Game Management Unit 2 is alarming, and that immediate, decisive action is necessary to rescue this population from extirpation. I understand that several organizations have petitioned for emergency endangered species protection for the wolves on Prince of Wales and ask that you implement this protection immediately.

Thankyou for your time and consideration of this extremely urgent matter,

Your name

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#PrinceOfWalesWolves nearly wiped out in 1 yr, plummeting 2 as low as 60 individuals, protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe

Tweet4Wolves

These R dire times for 1 of world’s rarest wolf subspecies. #PrinceOfWalesWolves Pls protect under ESA  @SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe

Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves are facing a threat of extinction due to lack of food, hunting/poaching and logging, pls protect under #ESA @USFWS

Tweet4Wolves

2014-2015 “harvest” of #PrinceOfWalesWolves was unsustainable, please protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell  @DirectorDanAshe

Tweet4Wolves

We are calling for emergency measures to save the lives of the few remaining #PrinceOfWalesWolves Pls protect under #ESA @DirectorDanAshe

Tweet4Wolves

We are calling for emergency measures to save the lives of the few remaining #PrinceOfWalesWolves Pls protect under #ESA @SecretaryJewell

Tweet4Wolves

.@SecretaryJewell @DirectorDanAshe pls take decisive action 2 save rapidly dwindling population of #PrinceOfWalesWolves #ESA protection pls

Tweet4Wolves

#StandForWolves #SaveWolves #ProtectWolves Save the #PrinceOfWalesWolves Protect under #ESA @interior @DirectorDanAshe

Tweet4Wolves

#PrinceOfWalesWolves nearly wiped out in 1 yr, plummeting 2 as low as 60 individuals, protect under #ESA @USFWSAlaska

Tweet4Wolves

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 Featured image: Alaskan wolf Doug Brown

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