This is a very important message from my dear friend Brett.Please spread the word.
Please circle your calendars for June 28-29, as people from all walks of life will converge at Arch Park in Gardiner, Montana for Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014. This national event is an opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and take an important step towards restoring our national heritage.
This 2-day family-friendly event will feature prominent speakers, live music, education booths, children’s activities, food/drink vendors, wildlife photography and wildlife documentary screenings and panel discussions. Over 3,000 grey wolves have been needlessly killed across the United States in the short time that the species has been delisted from the Endangered Species list. The status quo in wildlife management, at the federal and state level, is broken and it is time for it to addressed.
Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 promotes the following 5 Keys to Reforming Wildlife Management in America:
1. Restructuring the way state Fish & Game Departments operate Western governors currently appoint agency commissioners, which essentially, tell the state Fish & Game Departments what to do. This is cronyism at its worst. State Fish & Game Departments are mostly funded by the sale of hunting/trapping/fishing licenses. These agencies are bound into serving the interest of “sportsmen” because it’s the hand that feeds them. Modern funding mechanisms, application of the best-available science and genuine public involvement in decision making are sorely lacking in these institutions and it must be addressed. Another option would be to empower the federal government to manage all wildlife on federal public lands.
2. Removing grazing from all federal public lands
The “control” of native wildlife to benefit the livestock industry is ground zero for the badly-broken wildlife management status quo. For more than a century, the livestock industry has single-handedly transformed the once-wild west into a tamed pasture of cows and sheep, resulting in the reduction of native wildlife populations that compete with habitat and forage. It is also well documented the damage that grazing causes when livestock infests federal public wildlands. Livestock are non-native and largely responsible for soil compaction, a decrease in water retention and aquifer recharge, erosion, destruction of wetlands and riparian areas, flooding and a net-loss of biodiversity. Grazing enables invasive plant species to proliferate, which greatly affects the West’s historic fire regime.
3. Abolishing Wildlife Services
Hidden within the US Department of Agriculture, is a rogue agency that is essentially, the wildlife killing-arm of the federal government. This federal tax-payer-supported agency works with the livestock industry to kill native wildlife like wolves, coyotes, black bears, cougars and many other non-predator species. Over the past century, Wildlife Services is responsible for the death of tens-of millions of native wildlife. Methods of killing include trapping, poisoning and aerial gunning. At the very least, the predator-control segment of Wildlife Services must be terminated.
4. Banning trapping/snaring on all federal public lands
We must evolve as a society and move away from this barbaric, unethical, cruel and torturous method(s) of killing native wildlife. Leg-hold traps, conibear traps and other devices are indiscriminate killers. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of dogs caught/killed by traps on public lands in states like Idaho. It’s only a matter of time before a child or adult steps into one of these bone-crushing devices. Some states currently require individuals to check their traps once every 72-hours, while other states do not require trappers to check them, at all.
5. No killing of predators, except for extreme circumstances
The best available science suggests that predators, including wolves, are a self-regulating species. In other words, predators don’t overpopulate, nor do they kill for “fun”. Instead, their populations naturally fluctuate, as do prey or ungulate populations. We need to better understand and embrace the trophic cascade effect predators have within ecosystems. Non-lethal measures should be implemented in rare instances where there are actual human/predator conflicts. For example, an aggressive and/or habituated bear may need to be killed after non-lethal measures have failed.
Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 is educational, inspirational and non-confrontational. It’s about celebrating the important role that predators play across the landscape and their critical niche in a functioning wildland ecosystem. The event is free and open to the public.
To learn more, go to the event website: http://www.speakforwolves.org. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/speakforwolvesyellowstone2014 and follow us on Twitter: @speakforwolves.org.
Hope to see you June 28-29, 2014! Let’s stand together and work for positive change!