Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fish and Game Commission:Decision on Whether Or Not To List Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) As A Threatened or Endangered Species

Beth Katte
Decision: We are going to wait another 90 days. And when we reconvene in Fortuna California (closer to the cow folk) and take some more public input (because over 60 largely pro-wolf talks was not enough) then we will have a decision.

How does one animal (OR-7) not constitute an endangered population? Any first graders out there that can help us with the math? One minus one is how much? How many meetings do we need to look and see that the number one- the indivisible one -one is the loneliest number that you'll ever be.....

Three Dog Night- One (Is the loneliest number)

So in honor of the intrepid ray of hope OR-7 the song you all know but you probably never remembered the band name of- the appropriately named Three Dog Night!!!

Wolf Rally Speech by Amaroq Weiss of Center For Biological Diversity

All kidding aside the rally and commission meeting was bittersweet. Encouraging to see the dominating presence of wolf advocates, including ranchers, and their excellent speeches. And disappointing because the commission and the CDFW "scientists" who provided the recommendation not to list h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶h̶e̶a̶d̶s̶ ̶u̶p̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶a̶s̶s̶e̶s̶ insist on ending up on the wrong side of history. I am left shaking my head at their decision making process. They seem that they want to respect the process of a "stakeholder's group" and that protected status will somehow limit options available to them... or we can't protect something that does not have a reproductively viable population currently. A lot of hooey to me. We did that for wolverines, Guadalupe fur seals, and condors- all of which, like wolves, are highly mobile animals that can traverse thousands of miles. Give wolves protected status even if they do not have reproduction going on here. Provide financial recompense towards livestock losses. Provide impetus for ranchers to engage in non-lethal deterrents. 

Chuck Bonham and Eric Loft were the two CDFW people that somehow came up with this untenable position. They asserted that wolves in California will not face significant dangers from people. What?? There are loads of people, yes even in California, that would love to shoot wolves. The only reason wolves recolonized the areas in our country that they did was because of protected status. They also asserted several times in their premeditated defense that although wolf habitat was available in the state- mainly in the north part of the state and the sierra- wolves were heavily dependent on ungulate prey, especially elk. And because tule elk are still recovering in the state prey availability is an issue. As I pointed out, in my brilliant speech, there are well documented populations of wolves in southeast Alaska and British Columbia that subsist primarily on marine resources. Wolves are opportunistic predators that will subsist on jack-rabbits, salmon, seals- whatever is available. In California we have huge and growing populations of feral pigs, especially in the central part of the state, wolves could be an effective culling agent for these invasives and this would greatly expand potential wolf habitat. Wolves in Eurasia regularly kill huge Russian wild boar so they should handle our pigs. Additionally, and this may offend some horse lovers, there are feral populations of horses in California and Nevada that the U.S. is looking for ways to control their population...hmmmmm Wolves are not the most effective predators of horses, but they would be the most logical predator save we bring back North American lions...

At the conclusion of the meeting one of the commissioners did volunteer that wolves would eventually be listed in California, just not today. Sigh....

Here is my speech, it totally rocks:

In several states where wolves have been restored a significant anti-wolf rhetoric and propaganda machine has taken root.

In many people's minds wolves have been conflated into symbols of government over-reach.

In their want-on destruction of wolves and other predators these states have betrayed an implicit trust that the American people have granted them to restore these animals. Living with wolves should not be seen as a burden but a privilege.  

If other states lack the political will-power, creativity, and gumption to co-habitate with wolves then please allow California the opportunity to do so.

Commission I beseech you grant endangered species status to wolves in California. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you Duane for attending and speaking up so eloquently. I attended the one in Sacramento, and again our side was by far the biggest and most vocal. Politics is an ugly, ugly business. Someday we'll prevail.