Tell the BLM to halt helicopter roundups pending investigations into the Wild Horse & Burro Program!
While Americans were celebrating the freedom of our nation, contractors hired by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to roundup our wild horses were caught mistreating the very animal that represents our independent ideals:
An AWHC observer witnessed atrocities committed against wild horses during the Buffalo Hills wild horse roundup when she caught on camera BLM contractors violently slamming a young foal to the ground. The contractors then hogtied the baby and reportedly threw the young foal to the ground once more before putting him into the back of a vehicle. He’s not the only one to suffer — during the hot summer months, vulnerable young foals are often chased by helicopters.
Foaling season should not be helicopter season.
Sadly, examples of this shocking neglect continue into BLM holding facilities, where the deadliest disease outbreak in history claimed the lives of 146 wild horses in Colorado and where internal assessments show that the facilities are woefully noncompliant with the agency’s own Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program. It continues with the Adoption Incentive Program, where AWHC has documented hundreds of wild horses and burros entering the slaughter pipeline as a result of this program.
It’s time for immediate reform to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, and we need your help to make it happen.
Please take a moment to urge the BLM to heed the calls from Congress and reform the Wild Horse and Burro Program. BLM should immediately pause the helicopter roundups pending investigations into the program, stop conducting helicopter roundups in the summer, and remove the contractors involved in the mistreatment of the foal.
A royal marine veteran named Paul Farthing founded the animal sanctuary and charity Nowzad in Kabul, Afghanistan fifteen years ago, rescuing stray dogs and cats, companion animals, working equines, abused donkeys, and many other animals in need of care and attention. Paul, his staff, and all their animals are now at risk of being captured and punished by the Taliban Regime that has taken power in the capital city.
Act now and urge the UK government to assist in the removal and transport of these people and animals back to the United Kingdom and to safety!
This ex-serviceman and his staff have given so much to this country, its people, and animals, only to have their freedoms ripped away as the Taliban invade. The mission of this charity was to help, but now the UK Government is turning its back and not assisting this amazing man and his charity to get to safety. The staff at the Nowzad sanctuary don’t fall under the two existing schemes for interpreters and British Government workers, which may mean that they could be abandonded in Kabul, with the female vets being taken hostage, made to marry and live out the rest of their days living at home, never being allowed to leave and having children with someone they hate.
There were many British soldiers who faught and died in Afghanistan for the freedom of the people including Paul Farthing and now the world is seeing the freedom, dreams, aspirations, and hopes of the people living here being once again ripped away. The British Government needs to take action and help Paul, his staff and his animals find safety in the United Kingdom.
Sign now and tell the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to take immediately action and help this ex-serviceman, his staff, and his animals seek refuge in the United Kingdom!
A bison grazes among blooming arrowleaf balsamroot on the Bison Range nature preserve on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
Over three days the Salish and Kootenai celebrated the restoration of the Bison Range to tribal ownership allowing them to manage the resources and wildlife for the first time in 112 yearsBy Micah DrewMay 25, 2022
Red Sleep Mountain rises 2,000 feet above the floor of the Mission Valley, one of the best vantage points to take in the dramatic expanse of the Mission Mountains that form the valley’s eastern border. The top of the mountain is only accessible via a one-way dirt road that winds through 18,524 fenced-off acres in the heart of the Flathead Indian Reservation.
That swath of land is home to deer, elk, bears and approximately 455 bison, a herd of animals whose history is intricately bound to the Salish and Kootenai people.
However, for more than a century that parcel of land was federally owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as a National Wildlife Refuge known as the National Bison Range (NBR). Tribal members were cut off not only from their ancestral land and the herd of bison they helped bring back from the brink of extinction, but from their ability to leverage generations of resource conservation knowledge to protect the landscape and habitat within the fence line.
For decades, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) actively sought to restore ownership of the NBR to allow the Salish and Kootenai to resume full management responsibilities of the range.
The Bison Range nature preserve on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
Rich Janssen, head of the CSKT’s Natural Resource Department (NRD), said in a 2015 interview with Montana Public Radio that he believed the range would be returned in his lifetime.
“I just had that feeling back when I was 45, I felt in my heart that I thought it was going to happen,” Janssen said last week. “You know we just weren’t going away until it was done, and when I turned 50 it happened.”
Legislation to restore the Bison Range was included in the 2020 annual omnibus spending bill, known as Public Law 116-260, which was signed on Dec. 27, 2020, transferring the land to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be held in a trust for the tribes, effectively restoring the land forcefully taken more than a century ago.
“The range was always a postage stamp of pink, which is the federal land color, on our land status map for so long,” said Whisper Camel-Means, division manager of fish, wildlife, recreation, and conservation for the tribal NRD. “Now it’s green, the tribal ownership color, and we don’t want this hard border anymore. Yes, we have a fence to keep the bison in. But as much as we can I want to see that line blurred, making the bison range holistic with the rest of our management and the rest of our reservation.”
Dancers march to the dance floor during the powwow portion of the Bison Range Restoration Celebration on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
While the legislation restoring the Bison Range was signed in late 2020, it wasn’t until January of this year that the transfer was completed. As a culmination of decades of work, as well as to commemorate the opening of the range under full tribal management for the first time, the CSKT held a three-day celebration last week that began with prayers, dances, and a powwow on Friday, May 20 and ended with half-price admission to the Bison Range on Sunday, May 22.
The ceremonies reached a peak on Saturday afternoon inside the gym of the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. A multigenerational crowd packed the venue and, after songs by Flathead Nation singers and opening prayers by tribal elders, the first Native American Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland took the stage, tearing up as she started speaking.
“I cannot help but imagine what this area looked like before European contact with vast herds of bison roaming the plains, when our Indigenous ancestors lived on this land alongside the plethora of animals and each respected their place in the balance of nature,” Haaland began. “With the loss of tribal homelands and the depletion of the buffalo herds, Plains tribes lost traditional connections with this beautiful animal; but in spite of that tragedy and loss, we are still here. You are still here, and that’s something to celebrate.”
Former Interior secretaries expressly opposed the restoration of land ownership, making Haaland’s presence an important affirmation of the reunification. As the first Native American in the presidential Cabinet, Haaland’s position also prompted emotional reactions from many attendees who congregated around her for handshakes and photos.
“When our wildlife management and conservation efforts are guided by Indigenous knowledge developed over millennia, we all succeed,” Haaland said. “The return of the bison range to these Tribes is a triumph and a testament to what can happen when we collaboratively work together to restore balance and ecosystems that were injured by greed and disrespect.”
Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, speaks at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo May 21, 2022. Micah Drew | Flathead Beacon
Throughout the celebrations, tribal elders relayed the history of the Tribes’ relationship with the buffalo, both in person and through screenings of the short documentary film, “In the Spirit of Atatice: The Untold Story of the National Bison Range,” which was commissioned by CSKT to explain how members of the Tribes were responsible for initially bringing buffalo to the Flathead Indian Reservation from across the Continental Divide when the animals were at the brink of extinction, a narrative that was fractured by the creation of the Bison Range.
The idea to restore bison to the Flathead Reservation dates to the 1860s when a tribal member named Atatice, or Peregrine Falcon Robe, was on a buffalo hunt across the Continental Divide and asked the tribal chiefs if they could bring some bison back with them, but the chiefs were at an impasse.
His son Latati, or Little Falcon Robe, was able to realize his father’s vision while on a buffalo hunt by bringing some orphaned calves across the Divide. A small herd began to flourish on the Reservation, but in 1884, Latati’s stepfather sold the herd to tribal members Michel Pablo and Charles Allard without Latati’s consent.
The Allard-Pablo herd continued to grow and, in 1901, a portion of the herd was sold to Charles E. Conrad in Kalispell. Three years later, the Flathead Allotment Act opened land to non-Indian homesteaders, effectively ending free range on much of the Reservation and allowing the federal government to force Pablo to sell the remaining head of his herd.
When the American Bison Society began scouting land to establish a bison range to preserve the species, the organization contracted with the ecologist Morton J. Elrod, a professor at the University of Montana who recommended the Flathead Indian Reservation as a fitting landscape, where the species could return to its native land. In 1908, the federal government seized 18,524 acres of land to establish the National Bison Range.
Flags fly over the Bison Range Visitor Center on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
In a wrenching twist of irony, the 36 animals that made up the initial herd for the range were purchased from the Conrad family — the same animals (or their direct descendants) that formed the Allard-Pablo herd prior to the federal government’s forceful removal.
The establishment of the Bison Range continued the fragmentation of the reservation, which was reflected in the Salish translation for the range: “fenced-in place.”
“It was common knowledge that the fence was as much to keep the Indians out as it was to keep the buffalo in,” former CSKT councilman Leonard Gray said over the weekend. “I remember growing up driving down [U.S. Highway] 93 heading toward Ravalli and knowing this was the Bison Range but that it was federal land and I just didn’t feel welcome.”
For decades, tribal members were prohibited from working for the Bison Range; as recently as the early 2000s, only one tribal member, Darren Thomas, was employed there.
“There’s so many things you can learn from a buffalo — from how they act, how they behave, their strength, their kindness, their wiseness, how they run in a herd,” Thomas said. “So as a Flathead Nation, now we are truly a buffalo nation.”
Salish elder Johnny Arlee folds his hands over his hat and cane during a prayer at the Bison Range Restoration Celebration on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
Rich Janssen has worked for the NRD for more than a decade, helping to steer conservation and restoration work across the 1.25 million-acre reservation, protecting habitat for everything from grizzly bears and bighorn sheep to trumpeter swans and bull trout.
That meant managing thousands of acres abutting the imaginary ecological boundary of the Bison Range, including shared wetlands, watersheds and wildlife habitat, without being able to complete the same work on the other side of the fence.
Now conservation work can continue unfettered by jurisdictional divides, an efficient, but subtle difference. Day-to-day management of the range and bison hasn’t changed much since the transition from federal to tribal management, though Janssen said one difference is how the annual bison roundup is conducted. The roundup allows biologists to monitor the health of the herd, as well as cull some animals to send to other herds or auction off to raise funds for the range. Starting last fall, staff implemented a low-stress handling procedure, doing away with the use of whips and horses and cattle-like treatment.
“The roundup took a little longer than normal,” Janssen said. “It was an extra day to gently move them through the corrals and handle them with the respect they deserve and we’re already seeing the changes in the bison. They’re really taking to our way of caring for them.”
The most visible change to the Bison Range is at the visitor’s center in Moiese, where a newly renovated wing of exhibits details the history of the Tribes’ relationship to the bison and the land. There are also plans for a cultural center and a second entrance to the range at the top of Ravalli Hill, located directly off U.S. Highway 93, which will make access easier for travelers.
“We’re getting a lot of traffic and it’s only getting larger,” Janssen said. “We’re inviting the public to come out and enjoy the Bison Range, especially if they can’t get into Glacier and can’t get into Yellowstone.”
Rich Janssen, Department Head of Natural Resources for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
Preparing for a greater number of visitors means addressing a backlog of deferred maintenance on the Bison Range that has piled up through the years. Janssen said the Tribes are working on improving the roads, making the visitor’s center ADA accessible and upgrading technology to make both staff and visitor experiences smoother.
“Some people have been worried about the transition, but we’ve already got our feet on the ground, and I don’t worry about this place failing,” said Camel-Means, the NRD’s division manager of fish, wildlife, recreation, and conservation. “We can manage wildlife and we can manage places and now we get to manage this land in the same way. Failure isn’t a term that’s part of my vocabulary anymore because we don’t have to worry about other people ruining things for us for a political agenda.”
If there was one entity that didn’t seem to understand the magnitude of the weekend’s celebration, it was the dozens of buffalo lounging hillside across the Bison Range, unfazed by the procession of cars driving past, visitors snapping photos through open windows.
Just over the summit of Red Sleep Mountain, a few bison were grazing among the blooming yellow arrowleaf balsamroot. Standing out in stark contrast to the adult’s dark brown shapes were a few diminutive reddish baby buffalo, a few of the 20 calves born this spring, which Secretary Haaland fittingly referenced in her closing remarks.
“Today represents a return to something pure and sacred,” she said. “I am confident that the future is as bright for the little calves just learning to walk in the spring as for the generations of CSKT members who will be reconnected with their ancestral traditions over the decades.”A cow bison rests with her calf on the Bison Range nature preserve on the Flathead Indian Reservation on May 20, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon
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Author, illustrator and Flathead resident Jonathan Fetter-Vorm reflects on the 10-year anniversary of his debut book, a graphic history of the first atomic bomb
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SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO—Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a proposed rule to list a rare subspecies of silverspot butterfly (Speyeria nokomis nokomis) as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). WildEarth Guardians petitioned to list the butterfly in 2013 due to threats from habitat loss, insecticides, and climate change.
Silverspots live in scattered populations in the desert Southwest and rely on the bog violet (Viola nephrophylla), a flower that provides the exclusive food source for silverspot larvae. The habitats for both the butterfly and the flower—seeps, springs, wet meadows, and other riparian oases—have been decimated by water diversions, housing developments, mining, livestock grazing, drought, and climate change.
“Listing offers silverspots a much-needed lifeline,” said Joe Bushyhead, endangered species attorney with WildEarth Guardians. “We’re hopeful the ESA can provide a path to both recover the butterfly and safeguard its vanishing habitat.”
Recent research has shown the range of silverspots to be more limited than previously thought. Genetic analysis now indicates that the butterfly, previously known as the Great Basin silverspot, lives only in east-central Utah, western and south-central Colorado, and north-central New Mexico–well east of the Great Basin region.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting comments on its proposed rule from tomorrow until July 5, after which the agency will finalize its listing decision.
A new nationwide poll commissioned by Oceana has revealed that 81% of American voters support national, state, and local policies aiming to reduce single-use plastic. With the United States responsible for generating more plastic waste than any other country, now is the time for the federal government to act.
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (S. 984 and H.R. 2238) would continue the momentum initiated by cities, counties, and states across America by phasing out unnecessary single-use plastic products; putting a moratorium on new and expanded plastic production facilities, and holding companies accountable for their plastic waste.
Tell your members of Congress to support the Break Free From Plastic Act and protect our oceans from harmful plastic pollution. Please feel free to edit the petition text below, then fill out your info on the right to submit your letter.
This action emails your direct federal representatives and can only be completed by U.S. citizens with an address recognized by the database provided by Congress.
A new film, called “Fresh” will debut on Hulu, a video streaming platform owned by Disney, on March 4. The film is a horror-romance that features a man luring women into his house, and then butchering and selling their flesh. According to reports:
“You will want to become a vegetarian after watching ‘Fresh.’ …This is a horror movie … that Disney — yes, Disney — will release this year.
“…Mimi Cave’s ‘Fresh’ is a movie about cannibalism. … It’s a straight up horror film about a charming doctor…who seduces women, kidnaps them, and carves out pieces of them for sale to high paying customers…
“…Disney will release it not on DisneyPlus but on Hulu, and try and distance their brand name. But it’s Disney, folks, nonetheless. (Source: ShowBiz411.com)
The story follows Noa, a woman who is seduced by Steve. Steve imprisons Noa with other women in a country house. After drugging and imprisoning his victims, he eventually butchers parts of them while they are alive, and sells their flesh to rich customers. Steve even shares some meat with Noa, and they chat about who and where the flesh came from.
One advertisement for the film features two cuts of meat in the shape of a heart, and another shows a woman’s hand plastic-wrapped in a styrofoam tray…like meat in a grocery store. This is so disgusting that one movie review rightly said:
“…This picture [‘Fresh’] is a perfect example of how ideas in society are artificially changed and start influencing politics. … Fresh will be one of few other things to make cannibalism socially acceptable, very nicely camouflaged to drop the first seed of this very thought. This is more than a horror movie. It is the destruction of civilization.”
This comment is spot-on. Using cannibalism and cannibals as entertainment will erode the horror society has for this vice, and thus destroy civilization. Please sign our petition to Disney, urging it to cancel this disgusting film.
Sign your petition now!
Old Goal: 20,000 , 30,000New Signature Goal: 50,000
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a new pro-Florida, pro-DeSantis anthem out. Written by Johnny and Donnie Van Zant, “Sweet Florida” puts Biden, Fauci, and all anti-freedom fighters on blast. DeSantis shared the song on Twitter:
“Thanks to Johnny & Donnie Van Zant. I have a feeling this might be the song of the summer…”
Watch the video above and check out the lyrics below:
The press don’t like him but he sure does get my business He stands up for what he believes So don’t come down here trying to change things We’re doing alright in the Sunshine State Stay out of our business – leave our Gov alone
Down in Sweet Florida Our Governor is Red White and Blue Down in Sweet Florida He’s shootin’ us straight – tellin’ us the truth
Yeah that’s right!
You can take it to the bank he don’t care what Brandon thinks at the White House Yeah he’s fighting for the right to keep our state free Well he’s taking on the swamp and he’s calling out Dr. Fauci He’s the only one fightin’ for you and me
Yeah we’re free!
Down in Sweet Florida Our Governor is Red White and Blue Down in Sweet Florida He’s shootin’ us straight – tellin’ us the truth
Well we ain’t been locked down – we still have our freedom We can still see our friends and family Our kids are in school and we can go to church on Sunday And it’s all because DeSantis knows how to lead
Yeah we’re free!
Down in Sweet Florida Our Governor – He’s Red White and Blue Down in Sweet Florida He’s shootin’ us straight – tellin’ us the truth
Down in Sweet Sweet Sweet Florida Our Governor – He’s Red White and Blue Down in Sweet Florida He’s shootin’ us straight – tellin’ us the truth
Down in Sweet Florida Well he’s kicking it up – standing up down in Florida He’s a military man with the courage to withstand them all Yeah we’re free in Florida Yeah we’re free in Florida Our Governor – He’s Red White and Blue
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📣ARIZONIA RESIDENTS: Raise your voice TODAY for Lobos by opposing HB2181 which liberalizes the killing of Lobos in Arizona. The bill is moving very quickly and is now before the Senate. Please act now to oppose this unnecessary and dangerous bill.https://t.co/b37PHt25Sm
WildEarth Guardians and our allies scored a major legal victory for gray wolves on February 10, 2022 when a federal court restored Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the gray wolf across the lower 48 states after they were eliminated by Trump in 2020.
Unfortunately, the ruling does not apply to wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains because a 2011 Congressional rider stripped this wolf population of ESA protections and even stipulated the rider “shall not be subject to judicial review.”
Guardians and wolf advocates have filed an emergency petition to relist Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves under the ESA, but the Biden administration has refused to take action. Please write the Biden administration today, then share this action alert with your friends, family, and networks to have the biggest impact for wolves.
Photo Credit: Gray wolf photo by Jacob W. Frank/NPS; graphic element added by Gus O’Keefe
Lack of action puts the Sonoran desert tortoise on a collision course with extinction
TUCSON, ARIZONA—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the iconic Sonoran desert tortoise does not warrant the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Conservation groups remain concerned that the habitat of Sonoran desert tortoise is degraded by invasive species, livestock grazing, increase fire risk, housing developments, off-road vehicles, habitat fragmentation, and increased predation facilitated by human activities. Residential development has created artificial barriers to the tortoise’s movement and its natural genetic mixing. Continuous overgrazing in the desert has depleted the vegetation on which the species depends. Cattle are also known to trample and crush tortoises in their burrows.
“A decision to forego ESA listing must be based on the best available science, and we will make sure the Service complied with that duty here,” said Joe Bushyhead, Endangered Species Policy Advocate for WildEarth Guardians.
“It’s hopeful news that the Service thinks the future is rosy for the Sonoran desert tortoise based on the agency’s modeling scenarios, and we certainly hope they are right,” said Cyndi Tuell, the Arizona and New Mexico director for Western Watersheds Project. Tuell expressed her concerns about the 12-month finding that the tortoise is not warranted for protection. “For those of us who have visited Arizona’s public lands, we can clearly see that the species’ habitat is still gravely threatened by livestock grazing, off-road vehicles, abandoned mines, invasive species, and fires.”
The Service’s announcement asserts that 29 percent of the species’ range in Arizona is on publicly-owned lands managed specifically “for the benefit of wildlife.” This includes the Sonoran Desert National Monument where the Bureau resisted conducting a thorough or adequate analysis of the impacts of livestock grazing on natural values, including the tortoise, and simply forged ahead to authorize expanded livestock use in 2020. The Service failed to acknowledge the many uses of most public lands that will continue to affect the species habitat. The Service also relied on predictive modeling and other information not yet available to the public.
More than 8,500 square miles (over 5 million acres) of tortoise habitat is managed by the Bureau of Land Management for livestock grazing and over 77 percent of those grazing allotments have 10 year permits that have been renewed at least once without any analysis of the impacts to species like the tortoise. “We worry that the Service has put the tortoise on a collision course with extinction by minimizing the threats from livestock grazing throughout the tortoise’s habitat,” said Tuell.
Timeline of Sonoran desert tortoise protection efforts:
2008 Western Watersheds Project (WWP) and WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) file a petition to list the species under the Endangered Species Act
2009 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a 90-day finding that the tortoise should be considered as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS)
2010 Service determines that listing is warranted as a DPS, but precluded by higher priority species
2011 Service reaffirms this finding
2012 Service reaffirms this finding and determines the Sonoran desert tortoise is a separate species, which moves it up the priority list for the Service
2013 Service reaffirms this finding
2014 Service reaffirms this finding and starts preparing the proposed listing rule (formal process for listing the species under the Endangered Species Act)
2015 Service enters into a voluntary “candidate conservation agreement” with state and federal agencies to theoretically protect the tortoise and reaffirms in this agreement that the tortoise warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act
2015 Service uses a “very coarse model” based on elevation, vegetation type, and slope to assess the status of the tortoise.
2015 Service reverses its previous findings and issued a “not warranted” determination on the petition to list the tortoise and concludes the tortoise does not qualify for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
2019 WWP and WildEarth Guardians file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the “not warranted” determination as arbitrary and capricious and for failing to use the best available science in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
2020 Service agrees to revisit the 2015 “not warranted” determination.
2022 Service issues a “not warranted” determination for Sonoran desert tortoise.
Despite a recent interpretation of Montana state law that aerial hunting of wolves is not prohibited, doing so runs afoul of federal law.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks argued in state District Court recently that state law does not prohibit aerial hunting of wolves. FWP’s arguments came as legal justification for the agency removing language from the state’s wolf regulations that had stated hunting wolves from aircraft was barred. The agency says that inclusion of that language in the regulations for a decade was an error.
In response to media reporting on the case, a number of readers pointed to federal law addressing aerial hunting. The Airborne Hunting Act of 1972 “prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot or harassing any bird, fish or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons, including protection of wildlife, livestock and human life as authorized by a federal or state-issued license or permit.”
“It is accurate to say that, under the federal Airborne Hunting Act, hunting wolves or other animals from the air is prohibited in most circumstances,” Jessica Sutt, a spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in an email. “The law allows for permitted federal or state agents to shoot from aircraft for defined management purposes. The average person with a hunting license can’t shoot from an aircraft under AHA.”
In response to a question about the federal law, FWP spokesperson Greg Lemon wrote in an email, “The federal law that prohibits aerial hunting has an exception for state-permitted activities. We believe FWP (is) exempted from that law.”
In an effort to clarify the state’s position, the Montana State News Bureau asked the agency whether “permitted activities” meant licensed hunters could use aircraft. FWP spent more than a week in part doing legal analysis on the question, Lemon said, and replied on Wednesday: “Aerial recreational hunting of wolves is currently prohibited by federal law.”
Outside of state or federal agents shooting from the air, the federal law does come with exceptions that have led states to allow the public to shoot from the air under certain circumstances. Language in Montana and other state programs describes the activities as management for livestock or wildlife depredation.
The Montana Department of Livestock offers aerial hunting permits specifically for coyotes and foxes. Licensed pilots may purchase a permit via an application that includes a request from a livestock producer. The application specifies the permit does not allow shooting coyotes or foxes for recreational purposes.
Alaska developed “intensive management” programs for certain areas where it has determined moose or caribou populations are below desired levels. The public may apply for permits that allow a pilot and gunner to shoot wolves, or bears in some cases, from the air in an effort to bolster ungulate numbers. In several places, however, Alaska states that aerial hunting is prohibited outside of the intensive management areas and without the permit.
“These permits allow for aerial shooting by a backseat gunner,” one management plan states, as well as spotting wolves from the air, landing and immediately hunting.
Idaho uses language stating that recent efforts to expand methods of take for wolves do not include aerial hunting, citing the federal law.
“These expanded methods do not currently include aerial shooting of wolves, which is subject to the Federal Airborne Hunting Act and not allowed in Idaho,” according to Idaho Fish and Game. “If Idaho should allow aerial hunting of wolves, it would be specific to designated control actions and by permit from the Idaho Department of Agriculture, which is authorized through the Federal Airborne Hunting Act.”
The issue with Montana’s wolf hunting laws and regulations arose as FWP and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission are facing a lawsuit from two wildlife advocacy groups. The groups say they were denied the right to participate when FWP removed language that had previously appeared in wolf hunting and trapping regulations stating that aerial hunting was prohibited by a rule made by the commission. The groups argue in part that regulation changes should have gone through the open commission process rather than be done unilaterally by FWP.
According to testimony from a former FWP attorney, an agency review found the commission had not passed such a rule and likely lacked the authority to do so. The review concluded that the state Legislature, rather than the commission, would need to make a change in order to prohibit aerial hunting of wolves under state law, according to testimony.
The Montana Legislature has enacted state bans on aerial hunting for “big game” animals, such as elk and mountain lions, as well as “furbearers” like as bobcats and beavers. But wolves are legally defined by the state as a “species in need of management,” and the Legislature has not enacted a similar prohibition for wolves, state wildlife officials said in testimony and court documents.
The current wolf regulations do not mention the federal prohibition on aerial hunting. FWP does not have authority to enforce federal law but in some cases has passed rules and regulations through the commission shaped by federal law, such as regulations for hunting migratory birds, or a game warden having authority to write a ticket for driving off road on federal land.
National Reconnaissance Office Directoir Christopher Scolese speaks Feb. 23, 2022, at the National Security Space Association’s Defense and Intelligence Space Conference. Credit: NSSA
Scolese said both government and commercial satellites systems are potential targets
CHANTILLY, Va. — As the Ukraine crisis escalates, U.S. National Reconnaissance Office Director Christopher Scolese warned that Russia’s military could target satellites to disrupt communications and GPS services.
“I think we’re seeing pretty clearly that Russia is committed to doing what they want to do in Ukraine, and they want to win,” Scolese said Feb. 23 at the National Security Space Association’s Defense and Intelligence Space Conference.
“So I think it’s fair to assume that, to the extent that they can, and to the extent that they feel it won’t extend the conflict out of their control, that they will extend it into space,” Scolese said.
The NRO operates U.S. government-owned spy satellites, but increasingly a lot of imagery and intelligence is collected and distributed by commercial satellite operators like Maxar, Planet, BlackSky, and others, so any attempt to disrupt the United States’ ability to gather intelligence could impact private and public assets.
Scolese did not comment specifically on what actions the Russians might take, but he said it’s easy to imagine based on past behavior. “They are already doing GPS jamming, as an example.”
Scolese said both government and commercial satellites systems are potential targets. “I would tell everybody that the important thing is to go off and ensure that your systems are secure and that you’re watching them very closely because we know that the Russians are effective cyber actors.”
“And, again, it’s hard to say how far their reach is going to go in order to achieve their objectives. But it’s better to be prepared than surprised,” he added.
For years, the U.S. military has worried that Russia and China will try to jam U.S. GPS and communications satellites during a conflict.
In addition to denying GPS through electronic jamming attacks, Russia could also target U.S. military GPS users with falsified PNT data, a technique known as spoofing. A GPS outage could wreak havoc across all military activities involving aircraft, ships, munitions, land vehicles and ground troops. “In an active military conflict, even brief denials and spoofing of PNT might make a difference if well-timed with other operations,” said a RAND Corp. report.
Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies still face brutal slaughter
OAKLAND, CA—Today, a federal court restored Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf after they were eliminated by the Trump administration in 2020. The ruling orders the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resume recovery efforts for the imperiled species. Today’s decision redesignates the gray wolf as a species threatened with extinction in the lower 48 states with the exception of the Northern Rockies population (map), for which wolf protections were removed by Congress in 2011.
The most recent data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its state partners show only an estimated 132 wolves in Washington state, 173 in Oregon (with only 19 outside of northeastern Oregon), and fewer than about 20 in California. Nevada, Utah, and Colorado have had a few wolf sightings over the past three years, but wolves remain functionally absent from their historical habitat in these states. In 2020, Colorado voters directed the state to reintroduce wolves by 2023.
“The nation has witnessed the brutality that happens when ‘management’ of wolves is returned to anti-wolf states like Montana and Idaho, which have implemented an aggressive eradication agenda, including surrounding Yellowstone National Park,” said Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program director at WildEarth Guardians. “Restoring federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves is essential to their recovery throughout their historic range, so while we are thankful for this ruling we also call on Secretary Deb Haaland to issue emergency relisting protections for the Northern Rockies wolf population to halt the senseless slaughter taking place.”
“The science is clear that gray wolves have not yet recovered in the western U.S. By design, the Endangered Species Act does not provide the federal government the discretion to forsake western wolf recovery in some regions due to progress in other parts of the country,” said Kelly Nokes, Western Environmental Law Center attorney. “Today’s decision will bolster recovery of western wolves – a keystone species wherever they exist – and improve ecosystem health more broadly.”
From the decision: “…the Service did not adequately consider threats to wolves outside of these core populations. Instead, the Service avoids analyzing these wolves by concluding, with little explanation or analysis, that wolves outside of the core populations are not necessary to the recovery of the species… In so concluding, the Service avoided assessing the impact of delisting on these wolves.” Opinion at 11.
In delisting wolves, the Service ignored the science showing they are not recovered in the West. The Service concluded that because in its belief there are sufficient wolves in the Great Lakes states, it did not matter that wolves in the western U.S. are not yet recovered. The Endangered Species Act demands more, including restoring the species in the ample suitable habitats afforded by the wild public lands throughout the western U.S. Wolves are listed as endangered under state laws in Washington and California, and only occupy a small portion of available, suitable habitat in Oregon.
“This ruling is a huge win for wolves in states like California, Oregon, and Utah where they have yet to achieve stable, robust populations,” said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and executive director with Western Watersheds Project. “We are relieved to have staved off premature delisting with this case, but there is still a huge amount of work ahead to protect wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming where they face some of their biggest threats.”
The conservation groups have long been active on wolf recovery issues in the western U.S., including working with western states to develop science-based wolf management plans, mounting cases to rein in rogue federal government wolf-killing programs, promoting recovery efforts in the Southwest for critically imperiled Mexican gray wolves, and working with local governments and landowners to deploy non-lethal tools that prevent wolf-livestock conflicts.
“Over the past two winters, we lost icons of wolf recovery when OR-7 and his mate OR-94 passed away in southern Oregon’s Cascades. These two wolves represent the first generation of wolves in western Oregon in nearly a century,” said Michael Dotson with the conservation group Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center based in southwest Oregon. “Delisting is premature and obviously politically driven.”
“Wolves are an integral part in the health and resilience of western ecosystems,” said Adam Gebauer, Public Lands Program director at The Lands Council. “Local land managers, state wildlife offices and the federal government must work together and rely on science and not politics to ensure their recovery. Wolves are our allies in the conservation of wildlands.”
“Today’s victory injects hope and resources into ongoing efforts to restore wolves across their historic range,” said Bethany Cotton, conservation director for Cascadia Wildlands. “We look forward to engaging with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure wolf management is guided by sound science, not prejudice.”
“The politically driven delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies by Congress incorrectly included all of eastern Washington, east of US Highway 97. It was an arbitrary decision then and it still is today,” said Timothy Coleman, director of Kettle Range Conservation Group and former member of the Washington state Wolf Advisory Group. “Eighty-five percent of wolves killed in Washington were from the Kettle River Range, where unfortunately the gray wolf is still at risk despite the court’s excellent decision. And though Washington has kept state endangered species protections for wolves, that clearly provides little protection. Had wolves retained federal Endangered Species Act protection, entire wolf families would not have been slaughtered and could have dispersed into unoccupied areas of the state with excellent habitat such as southwest Washington, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park.”
“California’s wolves are just starting to return home,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “Today’s decision means these animals will have the help of federal wildlife managers to establish a true foothold in their historic habitat in the state.”
“We must learn to coexist with gray wolves. These highly intelligent and social animals play a key role in balancing entire ecosystems,” said Kimberly Baker of the Klamath Forest Alliance. “Federal protection is paramount to safeguarding this nation’s rightful heritage.”
Unfortunately, today’s decision will do nothing to stop the ongoing slaughter of wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—including surrounding Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. These states removed wolves’ endangered species protections via federal legislation. The current war on wolves in the northern Rockies shows the stark reality of what happens when “management” is turned over to states hostile to wolves.
In just the past few months, at least 23 Yellowstone wolves—more than 20% of the park’s entire wolf population—have been killed outside the park, causing widespread outrage and condemnation from Yellowstone National Park’s supervisor, wolf researchers, and wildlife professionals. Hunters in Montana and Idaho can lure wolves out of Yellowstone with bait, strangle them with snares, and shoot them at night on private land.
Both states have established wolf bounties and in Idaho it’s legal to run down a wolf with ATVs and snowmobiles. While celebrating today’s positive ruling for wolves, the groups also call on the Biden administration to immediately issue emergency relisting protections for the Northern Rockies population of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
The coalition of western wildlife advocates involved in this legal challenge includes WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), The Lands Council, Wildlands Network, Klamath Forest Alliance, and Kettle Range Conservation Group, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center.
Target: Mehmet Falakali, former head of the tourism ministry’s Selcuk office
Goal: Stop the festival of camel wrestling occurring in Turkey.
The 40th year of the Camel Wrestling Festival has taken place in Turkey last week. This event takes place annually and thousands of people attend. This year, 152 camels wore saddles and cloths on their humps. The camels wear muzzles to prevent them from using their teeth on each other but nonetheless they fight in sandy areas for everyone to watch. There are referees present as well. The audience sets up tables to barbecue and celebrate the event on the sidelines. This event draws criticism nearly every year from animal rights groups since the camels endure abuse and many injuries during the event. The festival is even being called a criminal act.
The camels are also paraded through the streets for a “pageant” before the festival. They are not only being abused by wrestling but also exploited for the entertainment of humans. Allegedly, the camels are separated if things get too intense. It is said the camels cannot actually injure each other but, why in the world are camels wrestling? It should not happen at all. The festival organizers excuse the acts by saying it is a tradition and because the event has successfully gone on for years, it should not be stopped. This is not an excuse to put the camels through such abuse for the 40th year in a row.
Dear Mehmet Falakali,
Your support of this inhumane camel wrestling festival is unacceptable. An animal rights activist group has clearly expressed their concerns and yet, no one has spoken to them about the festival. It is wrong and the camels are in extreme danger due to the actions of the people participating in this event. You have the responsibility to listen to the opposition and ultimately keep your animals safe, and we demand you try to understand the perspective of those who oppose the event. Although it is a tradition, that does not mean it is right. Camels are being exploited and used for entertainment and that is unfair, unsafe, and inhumane. You must listen to the people who disagree and see the wrongdoings of the event. Think about the camels and how they do not deserve this abuse year after year.
recipient: Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister of the Ecological Transition
In December of 2021, nine wolves tried to escape their small enclosures at Trois Vallées zoo. They didn’t pose any immediate threat to humans nearby, but simply destroyed safety hatches and climbed a fence. In fact, they never even left the zoo. But four were almost immediately shot dead for “dangerous behavior” by park workers. This is what happens when you run a zoo without animal welfare or safety concerns in mind — innocent animals end up dead.
Sign now to demand Barbara Pompili permanently shut down the Trois Vallées zoo!
This isn’t the first time Trois Vallées zoo has come under public scrutiny. In fact, just over a year ago, the zoo was ordered to close over animal, staff, and visitor safety concerns due to “security breaches,” but a court order allowed it to reopen. There is little evidence the zoo has taken any steps to improve the safety or wellbeing of the animals living at the zoo. Four dead wolves is the final straw.
Following the incident, the zoo is temporarily closed, but supposed to reopen in less than a month, according to its social media page. Now is the time for the Minister of the Ecological Transition to step up and shut down this dangerous zoo — which repeatedly shows a lack of concern for animal life and wellbeing – for good.
The blood of four dead wolves is on the hands of the zoo, and ultimately, Barbara Pompili if she does not act to stop this murderous institution from reopening. Sign now if you agree!
On October 25, 2021, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction in favor of the wolf and halted the state’s wolf hunts scheduled to commence only 2 weeks later.
Idaho passed legislation in the spring of 2021 that incentivizes and sanctions the slaughter of 90% of Idaho’s wolf population using a variety of cruel tactics like chasing wolves with dogs and automobiles until they tire out.
In Montana, the state government has sanctioned the killing of up to 85% of its wolf population starting in fall 2021.
The new laws allow for the use of choke-hold snares and extend trapping and hunting further into breeding season. Montana Governor Gianforte personally slaughtered a Yellowstone wolf in violation of state law and was given a warning by state agencies. So far over 25 wolves have been confirmed to have been killed in Montana, including at least 3 Yellowstone wolves around the boundary of the park.
Nevertheless, Wyoming is allowing a virtually unregulated hunt in 2021. In 85% of the state– including regions that border Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park– hunters can slaughter wolves using “whatever means necessary,” including snares, explosives, and ATVS to capture and kill the animals.
Myths vs. Fact
The federal government consulted all relevant stakeholders when deciding to delist wolves
President Trump did not consult Indigenous representatives when he chose to delist wolves, even though wolves are sacred creatures in many Native American cultures. By delisting wolves without the consultation or consent of Tribal nations, the federal government ignored its treaty and trust obligations.
Non-lethal methods provide another option for addressing livestock depredations. Implementation of nonlethal tools, like range riders and fladry, which involves creating a perimeter of colorful flags around livestock, combined with other techniques like strobe lights and loud noises have effectively reduced interaction between livestock and wolves. However wolves can become habituated to nonlethal tools over time, therefore, proactive methods to prevent wolves from being attracted to a livestock operation – such as removing bone piles – can further minimize livestock loss to wolves.
Wolves threaten the livestock industry.
Wolves are killing all of the elk in the Northern Rockies, making it more difficult to hunt large game.
Wolves and elk can live in ecological balance, as predator-prey relationships stabilize the populations of both species. Elk naturally defend themselves from the risks of predation by adopting more cautious behaviors when faced with predators. These behavioral adaptations help sustain the elk population.
The wolf population has already bounced back to a stable size. As such, the species does not need the protections of the Endangered Species List.
While the wolf population has reached the recovery thresholds that were determined in 1978, these metrics are woefully outdated. As the field of conservation biology has evolved and climate change has posed new threats to endangered species, it is critical to update recovery thresholds according to modern science.
Dan Ashe, the former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director who oversaw the delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies, has argued that the wolf population is in jeopardy because state hunts “are erasing progress made to conserve this species.” Ashe has publicly called for the federal government to reinstate protections for American wolves.
Data-driven science helps determine state wolf-hunt quotas in order to prevent massive population declines
Across the country, state legislatures have established wolf hunting quotas that ignore the recommendations of biologists and land managers.
In October 2020, the Trump Administration officially removed the Gray Wolf from the endangered species list as part of its broader goal of undermining and weakening the Endangered Species Act. Since then, states like Idaho and Montana have passed legislation that both allows and encourages the mass slaughter (up to 90%) of wolf populations.
Every year, 17 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment. Despite efforts to promote recycling, less than nine percent of plastics in the U.S. are actually recycled.
Birds are particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution. Many seabirds, like Laysan Albatross, are seriously injured or killed when they ingest or become entangled with plastic trash.
To address the plastic pollution crisis, Congress has introduced the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (S.984/H.R.2238). This bill would put the onus on manufacturers to take care of the plastic waste that they produce, ultimately reducing the amount of plastic that gets into our oceans and the toll it takes on birds.
Take action today: Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and ask them to pass the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act. Read More
This article is an updated version of the action we asked you to begin last February; push for a real hearing into The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program to address the underlying corruption that continues to derail any attempt at actual management.
We have gotten word that it is very likely we will see some type of Congressional hearing into the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.
A “hearing” is only as effective as what Congress “hears” and from whom. We must delve into the corruption the program sits on, the same corrupt hands will drive the program.
We continue to INVITE you to read the following action item and, if you agree with what we are asking for, send it to your representatives. We are asking that a real hearing, not one stacked with those that participated in “Ten Years to AML,” give testimony. (Always read the actual action item you are signing. Many “sign-on letters” use lead in lines that mislead you on what you are actually sending. A lead in might talk about abuse at roundups, low population levels, livestock damage. However, the action item might just say “increase immunocontraception” without including any of the items in the lead-in. Read all action items before you sign.)
Pigeon fever in holding, 2021. Sick young colt in the stud pen trying to hold his own and survive disease.
Until we begin to address the flagrant and intentional minimization of the wild horse/burro as a public resource to suit industry, nothing will change. Industry will accept any form of population growth suppression from removal, fertility control, slaughter. They wont even accept actual terminology for management of a living creature like ” preserving critical habitat.”
We have seen the year that includes the largest number of wild horses/burros captured since the 1971 Act was passed. This was done following the 2020 plan to maintain AML and increase fertility control. Places like Surprise, that have not been captured in a decade, were also on the list to “maintain AML and increase immunocontraception;” 21 died at Surprise.
Electric shock used to speed up loading. Wild horses do not like the cattle chute with overhead bars used by this contractor (not an equine chute). Instead of BLM requiring this contractor use equipment designed for equines, wild horses face the “hot shot.”
While fertility control may be a valid tool of management, only after it is actually justified by range data evaluated in as Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP), it is not management. Skipping a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) and jumping right to a “gather plan” is gutting the public out of any conversation surrounding management and making a mockery of the pretense of actually managing wild horses as part of a system of interlocking management plans. Wild horses are simply removed to an AML created, employed, purported, based on the management plans for everyone BLM actually serves.
The following is from the article we published at the beginning of this legislative session to explain why we are asking you to ask for a hearing. This information can also aide you as you address your legislators. PLEASE remember asking for “more immunocontraception” first (or only) might be an easy thing to do, but it solidifies the notion in the minds of your reps that “overpopulation” is the problem. Doing that? buys you another year like just 2021. We will also see an acceleration of everything you have seen in 2021, in 2022. Congress is set to throw additional funding into the “2020 plan” to increase, essentially, what you have just seen at Owyhee, for the 2022 budget. The 2023 budget debate begins in about 45 days.
The following article explains why we are asking you to take the action asking for a hearing and the type of hearing we want you to ask for. Info taken from an article published with the original alert.
Wild horses are a multifaceted public lands resource, creating the necessity for a multifaceted approach to advocating for them.
When dealing with legislators (when you call or write a letter) and asking for them to vote on a bill, like it or not, you have entered the ring of politics. Just like commenting on an EA for a proposed roundup, you need to know the terrain and be specific in the words you choose.
In 2018 Congress rejected what BLM had presentedand requested a new report. The 2020 report did not get as much “push back” as the 2018 report as those urging Congress to obligate the taxpayer to buy a single substance (PZP) were very effective at getting the public to push simply for that substance. In 2020 Congress gave BLM a bit over 15 million in additional funds to implement “non-lethal” population growth suppression tools in 2021. In 2021 they have added another $11 million.
The 2020 report (plan) still stands as the agency baseline for the budget debate today. The debate has essentially ended for 2022. The 2023 debate begins January 2022. (please remember the federal government works on a fiscal year that begins in Oct; fiscal 2022 begins Oct 2021).
Page 1-8 of the “BLM 2020 plan” is essentially a press release that repeats the copy/paste of their interpretation of their authority, a copy/paste of the beginning of almost every roundup that repeats assertions of range data and incorporates the “Ten Years to AML” backdoor dealwith large corporate interests that was run, without public input or scrutiny, since 2015.
Not until we get to page 9, does BLM begin to present any assertion of a report based on how they prioritize and fund the program:
Removals (2.5 pages)
Population Growth Suppression, including sterilization (3 pages)
Private Care Placement, the new name for adoption/sale (2 pages)
Euthanasia (1 sentence)
Sale Without Limits, slaughter (1 sentence)
Off-Range Corrals, or Long-Term Holding (4 pages)
Resource Monitoring (1/2 page)
Population Survey (1/2 page)
Herd Management Area Plan Development (1/2 page)
Research (1/2 page)
Rangeland Restoration and Rehabilitation (1/2 page)
Oversight (2 sentences)
Then, on page 24, we are presented with a couple of paragraphs in a “Conclusory” statement that continues to present photos without context. If you had the context of every single picture BLM uses in this report you would see the failures run deep in field offices that have used “blame the horse and remove” for 50 years.
When you get “push back” talking to you representatives aides? we suggest you bring up the report. 16 pages. 16 pages is what BLM presented to Congress on the entire workings program wide. 16 pages is what this administration is continuing to base “management” practices on. 16 pages written by multi-million dollar corporate lobbyists in an “agreement.”
However, without even reading any of the content you can see why the program has failed. Roundups, and population growth suppression, are the last phase of on-range management, yet, BLM always prioritizes remove and stockpile. Oversight and management planning for our herds should come first and provide the most in-depth information to base every other item on this list. Management planning creates the baseline for all other actions and oversight of planning and executed actions makes sure that the agency operates with transparency and inclusivity.
Simply changing the order of current priorities, making Oversight and HMAPs the fist step, the program could begin to move out of the mistakes of the past that have led to an absurd program that is fiscally irresponsible to the taxpayer and morally bankrupt to the public interest and resource (wild horses are a public resource under law, not a permitted use for private profit).
As a result of this report, and those “in the deal,” for 2021 spending Congress simply awarded BLM an additional $15 million to utilize “non-lethal” population growth suppression.
There was no hearing on the merits of the report, nothing. We did not have a hearing because the big corporate groups had the public bombarding Congress as they simply asked for more funding for fertility control. All of he funding was based on the assertions in the 2020 report and those assertions solidified as the focus became “population suppression tools.”
The debate for spending in 2022 has already kicked off. That debate leaves off where the last one stood; all of it begins with accepting the assertions and lack of actual data in the 2020 report.
When the Department of Interior handed Congress a report on two National Monuments in New Mexico, Senator Martin Heinrich grilled BLM on that report.
Why didn’t anyone in Congress grill BLM over their report on wild horses? The factual errors are just as egregious as those in the report on the 2 National Monuments. The public deserves more from Congress than simply bending to the will of well-funded corporate lobbyists that all benefit from the subsidized programs created by the agency.
We INVITE you to read the following action item and, if you agree with what we are asking for, send it to your representatives. We are asking that a real hearing, not one stacked with those that participated in “Ten Years to AML,” give testimony.
After sending your letter, we urge you to call your Congressional representative HERE.
We need real change. We can not get real change if we base it in fiction or simply create change to suit what industry will accept. This is not management, it is politics. Politics that are destroying the range and your wild horse and burro herds.
Help keep us in the field, in the courts and in the fight. Our teams need your support.
All images and written content on this website are the express property of the authors. For permission to use or republish, please contact WHE.
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Wild Horse Education (WHE) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America’s wild horses from abuse and slaughter, and to preserve our herds and the land they stand on for future generations.
Laura Leigh, Founder and President, is honored for her achievements in portrait.
By Omar MoslehEdmonton BureauSat., Nov. 13, 2021timer3 min. readupdateArticle was updated 1 hr ago 5 – 6 minutes
The emergence of two sublineages of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Western Canada holds important lessons for the rest of the country on the consequences of allowing a virus to spread unchecked, infectious disease experts say.
But it’s yet to be known if the sublineages, called AY.25 and AY.27, are more effective at replicating or a greater threat to Canadians.
Dr. Jessica Minion, a medical microbiologist with the Saskatchewan Health authority, highlighted her concerns with the Delta variant sublineages in a town hall last Thursday.
The Delta variant is the dominant variant in Saskatchewan, making up nearly 100 per cent of cases. Minion said the AY lineage cases are “exploding” in number, from only 12 on Oct. 9 to nearly 125 as of Nov. 5.
“It is very difficult from an epidemiologic perspective to sort out whether those expansions of the AY lineages are due to advantageous mutations that are making them more transmissible … (or) maybe this particular lineage got into a population that was largely unvaccinated, got into a super-spreader event and is expanding exponentially due to pure chance,” she said.
Alberta and Saskatchewan have grappled with the highest rates of infection and the lowest rates of vaccination among the provinces in the fourth wave. Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious diseases expert and assistant professor at the University of Alberta, said the more opportunities a virus has to replicate the more likely genetic mutations will occur.
“It’s unsurprising in a climate where the virus has basically been given free reign over the summer and fall months specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan,” Schwartz said.
“The question is to what extent these random mutations are going to confer a fitness or survival advantage that is going to allow the one particular mutant or variant to be able to out-compete other random mutants or variants?”
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That still remains to be seen. The earliest detection of the AY.25 and AY.27 sublineages were in Western Canada, specifically Alberta and B.C., but that doesn’t mean they originated here, said Dr. Jeffrey Joy, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine and an expert in genomic epidemiology.
“I was able to see that there’s actually an identical sequence detected in India at around the same time. So I think the jury is still out a little bit on whether it actually evolved here or whether it came here,” Joy said, noting there is a lot of interchange between Canada and India.
“We were doing a lot more surveillance here than they were doing in India at that time,” he added.
What it does show is that the virus will continue to mutate and evolve, something that is expected, but especially in areas where there are large populations of people unvaccinated.
“It highlights for everybody that evolution is happening right here in Canada, potentially, and every new infection is an opportunity for the virus to evolve,” Joy said.
Caroline Colijn, an epidemiologist, mathematician and professor at Simon Fraser University, said AY.25 was circulating in other parts of the world whereas AY.27 is an almost exclusively a Western Canadian phenomenon.
“That doesn’t mean it’s only here, because of course people in the world are not sequencing all of the cases,” she said.
What does it mean for Canadians? The sublineages are already on the move and could become the dominant strain in Canada. Thus far, there is some indication the new sublineages are slightly more effective at spreading.
But they don’t seem to pose a much greater threat than the baseline Delta variant.
“It looks like they are expanding and have a slight transmission advantage. (But) it’s not to Delta the way Delta was to Alpha or the way Alpha was to the original COVID,” Colijn said.
While experts are cautious to ring alarm bells over the discovery, Schwartz said they offer a cautionary tale to the rest of the country.
“It doesn’t really change what we do clinically, but it does sort of reinforce what scientists have been saying for many months, which is it’s bad idea to allow unhindered replication of this,” he said.
“This is something we’re paying for now in terms of increased cases, but then we may ultimately see consequences down the road in terms of giving this virus the opportunity to generate new variants that may potentially create some difficulty for us.”
Beaches are also popular with people, and their impacts have caused serious declines in Piping Plover populations. Shoreline development and stabilization projects, free-roaming cats and other predators, poorly sited wind turbines, gas/oil industry operations, and global warming are some of the biggest threats to this species.
Piping Plovers resemble wind-up toys as they dart along the beach in search of food, taking a wide variety of insects, marine worms, and crustaceans. They nest in small depressions in the sand called scrapes and often nest in the same area with Least Terns.
Like many other plover species, adult Piping Plovers employ a “broken wing display” when threatened to draw attention to themselves and away from their chicks and nest.
Piping Plover chick by Venu Challa
Saving the Piping Plover
The Piping Plover is federally listed as Endangered in the Great Lakes region and Threatened in the remainder of its U.S. breeding range; it’s also listed as Endangered in Canada. The Great Lakes population is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.
Critical Piping Plover nesting habitats are now protected to help the species during its breeding season. Populations have seen significant increases since the protection programs began, but the species remains in danger. For example, at popular Jones Beach near New York City, nesting Piping Plovers are threatened by a colony of feral cats. ABC is urging authorities to remove the cats for the safety of this federally protected species.
ABC is also leading a Gulf Coast conservation effort that is working to identify and implement protective measures for vulnerable beach-nesting birds and other birds, such as the Piping Plover, that winter there. Strategies include preservation of plover habitats; public education; limiting off-road vehicle (ORV) traffic; and limiting predation of free-roaming cats and dogs.
Kangaroos are one of the world’s most iconic, loved and unique animals. Yet here in Australia, their home, they are either maligned and demonised as pests or viewed as a resource to be exploited.
Most Australians are unaware that our kangaroos are victims of the largest commercial slaughter of land based wildlife in the world. They have virtually no protections under the law, with tens of thousands of joeys being violently beaten or decapitated after watching their parents die a slow and painful death.
Recent changes to the NSW licensing regulations have led to a doubling in the number of kangaroos killed by the non-commercial industry, despite questions around the number of kangaroos remaining in the wild.
These threats coupled with the drought and mega fires killing and wounding thousands of kangaroos as their habitat is destroyed, are pushing Kangaroos to the brink.
“The mouth of a kangaroo can be blown off and the kangaroo can escape to die of shock and starvation. Forearms can be blown off, as can ears, eyes and noses. Stomachs can be hit expelling the contents with the kangaroo still alive.” – David Nicholls, former kangaroo shooter
This is a national disgrace and finally the rest of the world is watching. Europe, the world’s biggest importer of kangaroo products is considering a ban based on both welfare and health concerns, after Russia did so in 2014. We are confident that other states in the USA will follow California’s lead in enacting a full legislative ban on the cruel trade in kangaroo products.
It is time we forced our government to act and protect these gentle and unique animals who have every right to live their lives free from fear, cruelty and suffering.
Sign the petition calling on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to hold a Parliamentary Inquiry into the horrific slaughter of one of the world’s most iconic animals: the Kangaroo.
To: Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier From: [Your Name]
We the undersigned petitioners request that the Premier urgently hold an inquiry into the impact of farming practices and commercial and non-commercial hunting and slaughter on kangaroo welfare and sustainable populations.
This petition of citizens of New South Wales draws to the attention of the Premier that: • Kangaroos are facing species extinction in NSW due to a combination of hunting, slaughter and habitat loss through land clearing; • The current NSW Kangaroo Management Plan (KMP) 2017-2021 is based on an inaccurate formula which over-estimates kangaroo numbers; • Under the KMP, the commercial industry is allocated a ‘harvest’ quota. In recent years, hunters have only been able to slaughter less than twenty per cent of their quota; • The inherent cruelty – kangaroos are rarely killed with one shot to the head, as dictated by the code of practice. It is estimated 855,000 dependent young kangaroos are either clubbed to death or are left to starve after their mothers have been slaughtered. • Decapitation or bludgeoning to death of joeys is enshrined in the code of practice as being the most ‘humane’ way to deal with the joeys orphaned by this brutal industry; and • In 2018 the NSW Liberal National Government relaxed the licensing requirements which made it easier for farmers and others to shoot kangaroos on private property.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – November is two weeks away, and with the new month comes the start of Wisconsin’s wolf hunt. But this hunt comes as a concern to conservationists and indigenous people after hunters exceeded the established wolf hunting quota last year.
In February, Wisconsin hosted its first legal wolf hunt in decades after gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list. But in the first several hours of the hunt, hunters killed nearly 100 more wolves than they were allotted. Now, the Ojibwe and conservations are suing the state to stop this year’s hunt all together.
Both groups allege the state Department of Natural Resources does not know the exact population of gray wolves, making it impossible to set a kill quota.
“There’s too much uncertainty in the wolf population count to be able to proceed,” said Michelle Lute, a National Carnivore Conservation Manager for Project Coyote — one of the conservation groups involved in the lawsuit.
The Natural Resources Board originally approved a quota of 300 wolves for the November hunt, but the DNR has the final say. On Oct. 5, the DNR approved a quota of 130 wolves for the hunt. But given last year’s runaway killings, the tribes and conservationists want to stop thsi year’s hunt all together.
“We have filed a motion for preliminary injunction,” explained Gussie Lord, a managing attorney for Earthjustice — who is representing the six Ojibwe tribes in Wisconsin. “We are asking the federal court to stop the federal wolf hunt.”
Not only is the hunt a violation of the tribes’ off-reservation treaty rights, Lord says the Ojibwe also have a cultural and spiritual interest in protecting the state’s wolf population.
“The Ojibwe believe that what happens to the gray wolf happens to the Ojibwe,” Lord said. “What happens to the wolf happens to humanity. And so it’s important for the wolf to be healthy and regain its place in the landscape in Wisconsin.”
NBC15 reached out the DNR twice for an interview, but they declined to comment on the lawsuits.
According to the Associated Press, the DNR policy board voted not to hire outside attorneys during a closed session meeting.
After the Taliban surrendered control over Afghanistan last month, many Afghan Christians have gone into hiding in order to avoid persecution and death from the Islamic regime.
Release International, an international organization which monitors and reports on Christians across the world, notes that there are less than 10,000 Christians in the country as many have fled into more remote areas to stay out of sight from the Taliban.
“We’re hearing that Christians are trapped in Afghanistan, we don’t know how many, it was a small church to begin with,” Andrew Boyd of Release International toldPremier Christian News. “Quite a few have left while they could. But there are others who are trapped, they can’t get out.”
While the Taliban have control over the airfields and the country’s borders, Boyd says that some Christians have dispersed from Afghanistan into nearby countries…
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