25 Mar 2008, 6:32pm
Wolves
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What federal wolf delisting means for Oregon’s livestock producers

Here is an example your government at work. What follows is a press release from the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, with some commentary from Wildlife and People thrown in:

ODFW Press Release, March 21, 2008 [here]

LA GRANDE, Ore.—A radio-collared gray wolf was confirmed in Oregon in January. Credible public reports of wolf sightings continue, and biologists are finding tracks and other wolf sign in northeast Oregon. The de-listing of wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in a portion of eastern Oregon is scheduled to take effect on March 28, 2008.

The gray wolf is not endangered. There are thousands of them roaming the West. Despite the best efforts of eco-nazis, the US Government was forced to delist them.

As wolf activity in Oregon increases, the state is ready to take the management reins. Oregon adopted a wolf management plan in 2005 and has been implementing it since.

But not to worry. ODFW HAS listed gray wolves under Oregon State T&E laws, and so will be protecting them from all harm despite the Federal delisting

“Oregonians are in a fortunate position to already have a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in place, so we’re ready to conserve and manage wolves,” says Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “But there seems to be confusion about how the plan deals with depredation by wolves. We want to set the record straight so livestock producers are clear on what tools are available to them.”

How fortunate are we! But just in case the victims of unrestrained, multiplying, ravenous wolves don’t understand, Russ Morgan of ODFW will be setting them straight.

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24 Mar 2008, 4:31pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf-Proof Bus Stop Shelters Go Up In New Mexico Community

by Admin at Wolf Crossing [here]

Finally, a few of the kids from the Reserve School District in New Mexico, will be sheltered from both the weather and from local wildlife while they wait for the bus.

Wolf-Proof Bus Stop Shelter (built from donated funds raised by Louis Oliver and Mimbres Farm Bureau)

In May of 2007 two Catron county Reserve School district school children were followed home from the bus stop by what appeared to be a Mexican wolf although later two sets of wolf tracks were found in the immediate area of the incident.

In a separate incident a 14 year old camper was surrounded by three Mexican wolves while on a hunting trip with his father and family friends. Locations determined the wolves were likely members of the Luna pack. The incident lasted 5-10 minutes and the young man although armed and afraid for his life, chose to wait patiently while the wolves investigated him. Thankfully the incident ended with the wolves moving away, possibly due to the smell and presence of a rifle the young man was carrying. However, these incidents have underscored the need to protect rural children from escalating encounters with Mexican wolves.

This incident among others prompted the Catron County Commission to pass an emergency ordinance directed at protecting children and defenseless persons from mismanagement that is prevalent in the program and growing worse as power struggles become common within the adaptive management oversight committee overseeing the project and the ongoing development of the environmental impact statement that will eventually lead to program expansion.

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20 Mar 2008, 2:11am
Homo sapiens
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Wilderness, a sportsman’s view

By Byron Delk and Ralph Ramos, for the Las Cruces Sun-News [here]

Man has become part of the landscape as much as the absence of man was in historical times. The mere presence of wilderness will not change the dynamics of wildlife populations. There are other factors, which include the state’s authority and management of wildlife and predators, the presence or absence of yearly precipitation, and the enhancement or absence of habitat management, that will alter such dynamics. Wilderness will affect access. Access is only one issue that will alter populations, but, if wilderness and access are indistinguishable, there are now historical details worthy of investigation.

Arizona’s Department of Game and Fish has compiled a document entitled “Comprehensive Historical Perspective of the Department’s Activities that have been Restricted Resulting from Special Land Designations and Anticipated Future Restrictions.” Every sportsman should seek a copy and read it. A summary of the contents is described in a quote that appears in the historical section that says, “The Arizona Game and Fish Department has experienced restrictions resulting from Special Land Designations (wilderness) including project delays, increased costs, (and) increased man hours. This ultimately leads to decreased efficiency in protecting and managing Arizona’s wildlife resources.” The document describes 16 pages of project derailments dealing with federal land agencies in wilderness areas.

Conflicts include the Paria Canyon Wilderness desert sheep herd that was exposed to predator threat when forced to travel long distances to water because the BLM reneged on an agreement to place water in that area. In the Aravaipa Wilderness, AGFD was denied helicopter access when they needed to determine what was causing a die-off of desert bighorns. Water projects in the Harcuvar, Maricopa Complex, Juniper Mesa, Paiute, and other areas have been denied after initial agreements prior to wilderness designation. Winter grid surveys of deer in the Kanab Creek area of the Kaibab have been discontinued because AGFD was disallowed placement of visual references in that wilderness, and bat populations in a major cave in the Superstition Wilderness are continuing to decline because the department is not allowed to place a simple gate to control human access. Perhaps what is more appalling is the legal action taken by Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society and other groups (all related to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance) to deny the maintenance of 16 water sources in the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

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16 Mar 2008, 2:57pm
Deer, Elk, Bison
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Brucellosis Infests Yellowstone Ungulates

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease carried by livestock and capable of infecting people. Tainted milk or meat causes undulant fever and inflammation of the joints, spinal column, and heart. Brucellosis was a serious problem prior to World War I, but antibiotics (Strain-19 vaccine) had largely eliminated the disease in U.S. livestock by 1997.

There is one spot where Brucellosis lingers: Yellowstone National Park. Bison and elk in YNP still carry the disease, and those migrating animals are still spreading it to ranches in Montana.

The YNP Brucellosis story has been artfully reported by journalist Dave Skinner in the Spring 2008 issue of Range Magazine. And Range editor C.J. Hadley has generously put the story, Buffaloed in Paradise, online for the free reading pleasure and education of the public [here].

Range Magazine consistently prints the stories most important to the rural West, written by the top journalists in the West, and is always ahead of the pack. Buffaloed in Paradise is no exception.

Skinner weaves a tale that includes the tragic but necessary destruction of entire cattle herds, the severe economic losses, and the suffering of ranch families unfortunate enough to be caught in the epidemic YNP has spread. He correctly identifies the scientifically absurd “natural regulation” policy that has led to much destruction of wildlife and vegetation in Yellowstone.

Haughty NPS managers have for decades ignored science in favor of superstition and pre-Darwinian bogosities in their mismanagement of America’s flagship National Park. The results of their Disney-esque foppery include the million-acre 1988 Yellowstone Fire, destruction of the prairies and forests of Yellowstone, and the infection of cattle ranches 100 miles or more from the Park.

YNP has also been the staging center for “reintroduction” of wolves that have wandered across four or five states and caused massive livestock and wildlife losses. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho state governments are up in arms over the problems caused and emanating from the most mismanaged Park in America today (that’s saying a lot because parks like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite are in terrible shape).

From Buffaloed in Paradise:

Yet something rings especially false about NPS’s obstinacy: its natural regulation policy implies that native species and their interactions reign supreme. Brucella abortus, however, is neither native nor natural. It’s a virulent infectious organism, native to the Levantine regions of the eastern Mediterranean, where its debilitating effects on both livestock and humans likely had a major role in establishing Hebrew kosher and Islamic halal rules concerning meat and milk.

One would expect the Park Service to spare no effort in banishing an exotic disease from its natural realm, but instead the park deliberately and nonsensically quit managing the disease-40 years ago.

For the entire article and more from Range Magazine, see [here].

16 Mar 2008, 11:43am
Cougars
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Cougar Control, or Who Is Merrill Lynching?

Last Thursday the Olympian Online reported [here] that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill expanding the use of dogs in cougar hunts. The Senate passed the bill by a 31-18 vote earlier this month. The measure adds three years to a program that allows people to hunt cougars with dogs. The existing program has been operating since 2004, and it includes five counties in northeast Washington. The new bill allows all counties to participate.

The Democrat-controlled Senate and Democrat Governor passed and signed the bill despite Initiative 655 of 1996 whereby the practice was banned.

The Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife reports that there are 2,500 cougars in Washington and the population is growing in leaps and bounds (the actual number may be as much as 4,000 according to some sources). From the WDFW website [here].

[M]ore cougar attacks have been reported in the western United States and Canada over the past 20 years than in the previous 80. In Washington, one fatal cougar attack was recorded in 1924. Since then 12 non-fatal attacks have been recorded, 11 of them since 1992. …

Washington populations have more than doubled since the early 1980’s. Our increasing cougar and human populations and decreasing habitat creates new management challenges. The WDFW is responding to over 500 complaints a year regarding urban sightings, attacks on livestock and pets, and cougar/human confrontations.

The problem is serious enough to warrant action, at least in the judgment of the Washington State government.
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14 Mar 2008, 9:44am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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The Orogrande Slaughter

The pictures in the linked report were taken during 4 separate trips within just an 11-day period from 2-28-2008 through 3-9-2008. The location of the elk predation by wolves was along a small section of road at Orogrande Creek, which empties into the North Fork of the Clearwater River in North Central Idaho. This small section of this huge country is indicative of how severe the predation has been this winter as elk have been trapped by deep snow and are easily killed by wolves.

Warning: the pictures are graphic and gruesome.

The Orogrande Slaughter is [here].

9 Mar 2008, 12:31pm
Bunnies
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Montana biologist withdraws claim of rabbit’s disappearance

Egg on His Face

By MATTHEW BROWN - The Idaho Statesman, 03/06/08 [here]

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana biologist has withdrawn his claim in a recent study that a rabbit species has disappeared from the Yellowstone area.

Joel Berger, a senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said Thursday that he has been contacted by at least six biologists and naturalists refuting his conclusions about the white-tailed jack rabbit. He said they provided photos and anecdotal evidence the rabbit still lives in the area.

“Yes, there were some left,” Berger said. “I’ve got egg on the face, absolutely.”

Berger’s study, published in January in the science journal Oryx, claimed the once-common rabbit had disappeared from the Yellowstone region sometime last century, for unknown reasons. His findings were written about by news organizations including The Associated Press.

On Thursday, Berger said he now believes the rabbits survive in small numbers within Yellowstone National Park and nearby Gardiner. He provided a copy of a letter he said will correct the record in Oryx’s April issue.

The conclusion that the rabbits had vanished was based on Berger’s own work in the Yellowstone region, historical records and interviews with park biologists and naturalists. In the letter, Berger acknowledges interviewing more people for the study “would have improved abilities to detect whether the hares still persist.”

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5 Mar 2008, 9:13pm
Bunnies
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Are the bunnies really missing?

Jackrabbit Junk Journalism

By Dave Skinner, Flathead Beacon, 03-05-08 [here]

If you were expecting a riff from me on the Whitefish doughnut war, sorry, but something else is jammed in my craw: Crummy science and even crummier science journalism.

Around Valentines Day, the Associated Press reported on Wildlife Conservation Society scientist and University of Montana professor Joel Berger’s “discovery” that jackrabbits have disappeared from Yellowstone Park.

This is news? Yep, at least to the 73 news outlets that ran the story on their Web sites. But, as the AP’s Matthew Brown duly reported, jackrabbits are “listed as a species of ‘least concern’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.”

Berger nonetheless suggested reintroducing jacks – apparently to go along with reintroduced wolves, and then of course, study the results.

My initial response to this latest ecological crisis? Turn the page. But a few days later, Park “ornithologist emeritus” and Gardiner resident Terry McEneaney wrote in the Billings Gazette he’d seen at least two Park jackrabbits in the past two days and that perhaps Berger’s bunny issue is “moot” and the species “doesn’t need the help.”

McEneaney’s critique spurred a huffy Gazette open letter from Berger suggesting “Terry read the [journal] paper first” (not the newspaper) and then comment “on the full intent of the paper rather than basing his response only on the media account. That is not responsible.”

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5 Mar 2008, 2:29pm
Bears Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Important Facts about Alaskan Wildlife and Predator Control

Originally posted at Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management [here] and Wolf Crossing [here]

* Wild game is an important food source for many Alaskans and the goal of predator control is to reduce wolf and bear populations in order to increase the number moose and caribou available to be used as food by people

* In much of Alaska, predators keep moose and caribou populations below what their habitats could support

* There are up to 11,000 wolves, 30,000 grizzly and over 100,000 black bears in Alaska

* Wolves and bears may kill up to 80% of the moose or caribou that die each year

* The goal of predator control is to sustain healthy caribou and moose populations AND healthy wolf and bear populations

* In control areas, predator numbers may be reduced, but are never completely eliminated

* There is no indication that predator control permanently damages wolf or bear populations

* There are only five current wolf control programs in place, covering only 9% of Alaska

* Predator control is not hunting; it is a wildlife management tool only used to reduce excessive predator populations. As a result, the rules of fair chase do not apply

* When properly conducted, predator control programs have successfully increased moose and caribou populations

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4 Mar 2008, 11:46am
Deer, Elk, Bison
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Lochsa River Elk Report

by Steve Alder, Chairman of the Clearwater Chapter of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife Idaho

I just returned from looking for elk in the Lochsa River (unit 12, Lolo zone) and in my opinion there aren’t enough elk to support 10 wolves, let alone the proposed 500+ wolves the enviros want in this area, due to the severe winter this year and let alone the predation.

I filmed this trip and the snow is still 5-7 feet deep in the upper 40 miles of the Lochsa. We will lose almost all of our elk in this region even without the help of the wolves, just as we did in the winter of 96-97.

We saw elk below Fish Creek in the lower section of the Lochsa, but the numbers are in single digits compared to the thousands of elk that were there prior to the Fall of 1996. Saw a few whitetail deer standing next to the river dying and a moose that was in the river that I didn’t quite capture on film.

We checked the Lower Selway River and it didn’t have such deep snow. The few elk left are looking good. I question whether we have enough elk from Challis north to I-90 in our Idaho DPS to sustain Nadeau’s 500-700 wolves that he’s hoping to retain, cuddle, and manage in the proposed Idaho Wolf Plan.

I’ve decided to take a full day each week to personally get in the air or on the ground and monitor, document, and film what is really going on. I will be joining my 75 year old father who has been hiking this country a full day each week for the past 25 years. There is not a ridgetop along the Lochsa he hasn’t explored. Even if we don’t accomplish anything, I will get in shape and will feel like I’ve contributed something to the cause!

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3 Mar 2008, 9:11pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Pronghorns and Wolves

The Far Left leaning Missoulian published a cheesy science report on pronghorn antelope in Yellowstone [here].

BILLINGS - More gray wolves mean more pronghorn antelope in the Yellowstone area, according to researchers who say the region’s rebounding wolf population is killing and scaring off coyotes that otherwise prey on pronghorn.

The researchers said that during a three-year study, pronghorn fawns were three times more likely to survive in areas dominated by wolves versus those ruled by coyotes. That’s because wolves favor larger prey, such as elk or cattle, and generally leave pronghorn alone.

The findings appear in the latest issue of the journal Ecology.

The “science” reported by the Missoulian here is a little twisted. Yes, wolves generally prefer larger prey, when they can get it. And no, coyotes generally do not predate elk. But the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem is so messed up that strange things happen there.

A super-abundance of wolves has been decimating what used to be a super-abundance of elk. Historically both species were rare in Yellowstone due to anthropogenic predation over thousands of years. Lewis and Clark encountered few of either when they traversed the Yellowstone in the early 1800’s (actually just Clark and a few of the Corps of Discovery-Lewis and the rest went another way).

In the absence of human predation the elk populations rebounded, or as biologists say, irrupted. Then wolves were reintroduced in the 1990’s and their population irrupted. Carnage has ensued.

Today the Yellowstone elk are in serious decline due to wolf predation. The Northern Yellowstone elk herd is at record low population numbers and may be extirpated in the next year or two by a burgeoning number of wolves at record high counts.

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2 Mar 2008, 8:41pm
Wolves
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Hunters: The State of Idaho needs your HELP!

by Bobby Cupp, Dec 12, 2004

[Note: this dated letter was sent to us recently. We post it out of a spirit of inclusion, but generally we prefer new work. The same could be said for the previous post as well.]

We are faced with a problem in our country that most Hunters, Ranchers and Politicians don’t know how to approach or solve.

For example Hound Hunters have the right to hunt and run their hounds on public or private land, but some are scared to release their hounds because of the threat that wolves may kill them. Therefore this takes away their right to hunt. There have been sightings of wolves in our area, but authorities seem to cover it up for some reason or another.

This affects our rights to pursue Bear, Mtn. Lions, etc. Hunting those predators is legal in our state.

This problem also affects other hunters as a whole. The wolf population is increasing yearly with no attempt to control them. Wolves are affecting our Deer, Elk, Sheep and Moose populations.

No matter what other groups or activists say or print, the public is being misled in so many ways. The activists provide only false and inaccurate numbers that lead people to believe there are fewer wolves so they stay on the endangered species lists.

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2 Mar 2008, 2:58am
Wolves
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Wolves and Hunting

By T. R. Mader, Research Director, Abundant Wildlife Society of North America [here]

I’m convinced, based on several years of wolf research, hunters will bear the brunt of wolf recovery/protection regardless of location.

There is no language written in any wolf recovery plan to protect the hunter’s privilege to hunt. Wolves are well known to cause wild game population declines which are so drastic hunting is either eliminated or severely curtailed. And there is no provision for recovery of wild game populations for the purposes of hunting. It simply will not be allowed.

Example: A few years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agreed the state should take over the responsibility of wolf management. The DNR felt wolves were impacting their deer populations and wanted to open a short trapping season on the wolf.

The environmentalists sued and won. The USFWS could not give wolf management back to Minnesota in spite of a desire to do so.

The problem with wolf recovery is that most people, especially hunters, have not looked “beyond press releases and into the heart of the wolf issue.”

It must be stated clearly that the wolf is the best tool for shutting down hunting. The anti-hunters know this. Most hunters don’t. Thus, wolf recovery is not opposed by the people who will be impacted most.

In order to understand the impacts wolves have on hunting, let’s look at some biological factors of the wolf and compare some hunting facts.

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26 Feb 2008, 1:59pm
Wolves
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Wolf Kill Coverup

Guest post by Shane McAfee

I have been an outfitter in Salmon, ID for over 30 years and I have seen the changes!

In 1996 our Unit 28 opening week saw ten hunters harvest nine bull elk (1-7×7, 6-6×6’s and 2- 5×5’s). All mature bulls, all happy hunters! Eleven years later, after the wolves multiplied here, this season (2007) we harvested only one spike bull and four deer out of twenty total hunters. On my first three hunts last year I went 15 days horseback guiding and never saw an elk! Almost all of the hunters never wanted to see Idaho again; and yes, they were very upset!

I wonder what this is doing to the economy of our small towns in Idaho. I hear the same worries from my friends, locals, and pretty much everyone I talk to. I have yet to run into anyone on the trails, dirt roads, paved roads, or on Main street in Salmon that came into our county to see a wolf!

I guess most of the wolf lovers are in New York City watching them on TV, as I have yet to meet one here, much less seen them spend one dollar in our community. I know for a fact that there are hundreds, or possibly thousands, of elk hunters that will not return.

Wow, wolves really do impact the economy of small Idaho towns!

I have talked and pleaded with our Fish & Game Dept. in Salmon, Region 7, to no avail. They say basically nothing can be done. A few wolves have been taken out by the Feds only because of beef kills. Not one wolf that I know of has been taken out because of elk kills.

About 5 years ago, while lion hunting in my area in winter on snowmobile, I found nine dead elk (8 cow elk and 1-6×6 bull) on Silver Creek Road (a 14-mile stretch) all killed within the previous week. All were killed by a pack of about eight wolves, basing my judgment on the tracks around the kills, the way the elk were killed, and the fact I seen plenty of sign that the pack was in the area. Wolf tracks were everywhere, some of the elk were eaten, some not, and most had intestines pulled out. All typical wolf kills that I have seen plenty of.

Not one killed elk was covered by snow or brush as lions tend to do. Almost all had their nose’s pulled off, as usual for wolf kills I have seen. A lion had never pulled a nose off an elk that I had ever found. Lions had never killed over 2 to 3 deer ( hardly ever an elk ) on that 14-mile stretch of Silver Creek Road ever in a course of a winter the 20+ years I have been there! Also, no lion tracks were found by me and my lion hunters over a 2 week period in the area when the elk were found. It was obviously a case of binge killing by the wolf pack that was in there. I would swear to this on a stack of Bibles; the elk were killed by the wolf pack in the area!

On my way out on snowmachines with my hunter/client that day, I ran into Jason H., now the Idaho Fish & Game Wolf biologist in the Salmon office but then a guy doing a “wolf study” under Gary P. (now Idaho Fish & Game Commissioner, Salmon area). I told Jason about the nine dead elk on Silver Creek Road and that in my opinion, they were all killed by the pack of eight wolves in the area. He said he would check the kills, as he was doing the study on the impact of wolves on big game in the area.

A few days later I ran into him on snowmachines again. I asked him if he had seen the elk kills on Silver Creek? He said that he had. I asked him what he had written down in his study reports. He said that he had determined that all nine elk were killed by lions! And that he wrote it down as such in his reports on the wolf study he was doing. I was floored, to say the least, and asked him if he was for the wolves or against them. He told me he was for the introduction of wolves and wanted them in Idaho.

The important thing to note is that if the nine wolf killed elk on Silver Creek Road that week were reported as lion kills, what about the rest of the study in the whole Salmon area that winter?

Today both these guys are pulling good wages and have been working for the Idaho Fish and Game Dept. for years. I hope that they are proud of their study. I just wanted them to know I didn’t forget about that special moment. Believe me I never will.

Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story. Feel free to send it to anyone you please.

24 Feb 2008, 11:20pm
Wolves
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Julie Smithson Reviews Undue Burden

No Popcorn Needed

by Julie Kay Smithson [here]

Undue Burden: The Real Cost of Living With Wolves is one documentary that will likely never garner a Cannes Film Festival award, but that is not its intent.

Its makers seek to save lives, restore peace of mind and reintroduce sanity to places like Reserve, New Mexico, the Upper Peninsula (”U.P.”) of Michigan and the vast sterilized landscape of Yellowstone National Park, and its surrounding rangelands, ranches and towns.

The argument that people are “encroaching” on wolf habitat doesn’t fly. Wolves are being captive bred, habituated to people and then loosed upon areas where it’s arguable their ancestors ever lived in the first place.

The evidence of what is happening in parts of rural America targeted for wolf “reintroduction” and “recovery” is etched in the pinched, drawn and stressed faces of those good folks who consented to be interviewed by filmmaker Bruce Hemming. Hemming simply could not stand idly by while rural children faced the fangs and inexorable, relentless threat from wolves — wolves that the juggernaut of federal agents and their partners are literally delivering almost to people’s doorsteps. Documenting such events has been a grueling and exhausting process, but one that must get and keep your attention.

Your children or those of your friends could be the next ones facing this “future.”

Schoolchildren are being watched and followed to their bus stops. They are being watched while they play on rural playgrounds. Shelters are being built for them to be safe from wolves. They and their parents and teachers are suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as they watch their livestock, horses and pets, plus ungulate wildlife, disemboweled and left to suffer horrible death from wolves sport killing. Is this what you think rural living should be?

Order your copy today: You can’t afford to miss this chance to save lives by learning the truth about the wolf “reintroduction” and “recovery” agenda.

Order copies for all your rural friends and family members, because this nightmare will soon be at their doors, if it isn’t already.

Order copies for your local feed store, farm supply, libraries, county commissioners, emergency medical technicians, and veterinarians.

Invite a group to your home to view this one-hour riveting time of truth. Tell them it isn’t pretty, but it is true. Prepare to be riveted to your seat, unable to deny the truth you watch. They, like you, need to know the truth about wolves and those siccing them and other large predators upon rural America.

This is the best twenty-five dollars (postage paid) you will spend this year. Don’t delay; order several copies today! CLICK HERE

Caution: Contains graphic photos that may not be suitable for young children.

 
  
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