Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: DNR creates culture of violence, slaughtering innocents

“With the wolf hunt season winding down, I think Ted Nugent said it best: ‘It’s a free-for-all, baby’… all I gotta say is wack n stack.” — from the Wisconsin Wolf Hunting facebook page

It was just a few days before the school massacre at Newtown, Conn. At the Natural Resources Board meeting on Dec. 11, 66 people had assembled from all over Wisconsin, most to speak against Act 168, imposing hunting and trapping on state and county parks.

Christine Thomas, the board member who earned her seat by starting the organization Become an Outdoor Woman (BOW), showed up in a full length fur coat, knowing most people had come to protest trapping in our parks. The first order of business was a celebration of the “successful” deer kill. Thomas raised her arms in a victorious hoot to the revelation that 33 percent of 29,000 first-time deer hunters were women. Another holler celebrated the 10 percent increase in 10- and 11-year-olds buying the new $5 cheapie “kill your first deer” license.

Visitors complained afterward that the board, in its special-interest delirium, is obviously out of touch with the general public.

Several state representatives spoke. Rep. Jeffrey Mursau, author of the amendment to take over state and county parks for trapping and hunting, put the audience in its place: “Hunting, trapping and fishing are constitutional rights. Peace and quiet are not constitutional rights.” Rep. Brett Hulsey, who voted for the bill, said that he had been hearing from his constituents. “It is too broad. We may have gone too far, and may have to fix it.”

Friends of State Parks have raised millions of dollars and volunteered thousands of hours for our parks. Alienated, they may disband.

Board member Jane Wiley revealed that 7.5 million acres of public land, over 99 percent of the total, are open to the 10 percent who hunt. About 60,000 acres, less than 1 percent, were previously set aside as for the 90 percent of the public enjoying safe quiet sports and wildlife viewing.

As one speaker said, “That is a lot of sharing.”

After four hours of testimony, board member William Bruins proposed that the board tell the Legislature that having already reviewed the parks for hunting and safety issues, and given public sentiment, they would vote to keep the parks at the previous level of hunting, without trapping. The Legislature had been hearing from an awakening irate general public. Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp intervened, saying that this would violate the intention of the Legislature. (So much for the people.)

Chairman David Clausen, a farm veterinarian and an avid hunter, cast the deciding vote against leaving the parks at 2012 hunting levels. He also nixed an amendment to flag traps so that the public could avoid them, saying that the 8,000 trappers “would be upset and might have traps or dead animals stolen.” No mention of wildlife and safety stolen from millions of park supporters. So it was proposed, and unanimously passed, that all parks be newly opened to trapping and hunting Nov. 15-Dec. 15 and for all of April.

Who do they kill in April, when wildlife have babies? Turkeys are killed April 10-May 21. Otters and beavers can be trapped for six months Nov. 3-April 30. Coyotes, possums, skunks, weasels, and snowshoe hares can be killed year-round, with no reporting and no limit, leaving babies to die.

Michael Moore, filmmaker of “Bowling for Columbine,” speaking the morning of the Newtown school killing, said that even if we banned assault weapons, required background checks for all gun sales, and provided free mental health care, “We would still be the sick and twisted, violent people we have been for hundreds of years.” I would add we teach kids of any age to trap, and 10-year-olds to handle guns and kill innocent animals for sport. How can adults live in denial that teaching senseless state-sponsored violence to children can have any good result?

National Rifle Association members should be shunned like dealers in tobacco, alcohol, domestic abuse and child trafficking. They peddle death. Gun violence kills 9,000 people a year in this country. Nine children are killed every day. Compare that to 150 gun deaths a year in Canada or Germany.

In 1996, 35 people were killed in an Australian massacre. That country of macho gun lovers banned semi-automatic weapons and it bought back 650,000 guns. They have not had a mass shooting since. If there is no buyback and millions of semi-automatics are left in circulation, we can expect more massacres. But we have massacres daily in Wisconsin – loving, innocent animals just like our pets bludgeoned, tortured and killed en masse.

This is a death culture. As President Obama said, “We don’t have to tolerate this. …We have to change.”

Please sign the petition to keep Wisconsin parks safe.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. madravenspeak@gmail.com or www.wiwildlifeethic.org

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: DNR creates culture of violence, slaughtering innocents.

12 Animal Activism Stories That Made Headlines in 2012 « Striking at the Roots

Rescues, bans, and protests—any way you look at it, 2012 was an eventful year for animal activism. As I began reflecting on the last 12 months, I was heartened by just how vocal people were, and how their speaking out for animals helped to create positive changes. Our voices didn’t always result in an all-out victory, but even when they didn’t, we can still claim some success. Rather than rank these stories, I’ve put them in chronological order. Here are 12 for ’12:

12 Animal Activism Stories That Made Headlines in 2012 « Striking at the Roots.

NRA Insults Everyone Who Cares About the Safety of Our State Parks « Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife

The National Redneck Rifle Association is at it again with their insulting and extremist kill everything agenda. Today they put out a release whining that the Natural Resources Board, who for once listened to the citizens of Wisconsin, and sharply limited the plan to turn all state parks into massive killing grounds. While the plan still allows the trapping sadists to still practice their torture in the parks, they only get one month rather than the seven that the extremists in the DNR proposed. But of course the DNR and NRA are appalled that non-hunting users won’t have to dodge bullets and traps from October to May.

“I don’t feel it will meet the expectations of the Legislature,” said DNR secretary Cathy Stepp.

Well guess what? The Legislature works FOR the citizens, but apparently the Walker regime seems to forget that. Back to the release from the National Redneck Rifle Association. Did you know that anyone who cares about their safety in a state park is a “radical activist?” And they promise that this fight is not over. From their release:

As a result of this egregious action taken by the NRB, hunter access to additional state parks in the fall will be limited to one month (from November 15 – December 15) and from April through the third week of the spring turkey season.  This is a fraction of the increased opportunity intended by the state legislature. The NRB used the baseless claim of protecting public safety to restrict hunter and sportsmen access and opportunity on taxpayer-owned land. The NRA and its members throughout Wisconsin are extremely disappointed in the actions taken by the Natural Resources Board.

This fight is far from over! 

Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated about developments related to this issue and upcoming plans to rectify this injustice affecting Wisconsin’s hunting community.

Injustice? Really? Baseless claims? So the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens who do not hunt or trap are expected to dodge bullets and traps for SEVEN months to appease the NRA? So they are all “radical activists?” What is the real injustice here? Keep it up NRA. And they wonder why you get blamed every time there is a mass shooting with extremist attitudes like this?  – Read the full article here.

NRA Insults Everyone Who Cares About the Safety of Our State Parks « Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife.

Fifth wolf hunting zone closing in Wisconsin leaving just 1 open | StarTribune.com

wolf

MADISON, Wis. – A fifth wolf-hunting zone is closing in Wisconsin, leaving just one open.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that hunting and trapping of wolves in Zone 6 covering most of the southern two-thirds of the state will be closing at 5 p.m. Friday.

That leaves just Zone 3 in central Wisconsin open to wolf hunting. The quota in that zone was 18 wolves and seven have been harvested.

The quota in Zone 6 was 18 wolves. The 18th wolf was harvested on Wednesday, which triggered the closing process.

The goal was to harvest 116 wolves during the state’s inaugural hunt this year which began Oct. 15 and will close Feb. 28 or when harvest goals are reached.

Fifth wolf hunting zone closing in Wisconsin leaving just 1 open | StarTribune.com.

Board approves reduced plan for state park hunting and trapping – JSOnline

With these “taking public input” meetings such as this, at which boards hear over four hours of testimony against such issues, and are ultimately ignored, one wonders just what the purpose of these  public hearings are.

Responding to significant public opposition to Act 168, the Natural Resources Board on Tuesday approved a drastically reduced plan for hunting and trapping in Wisconsin state parks and trails.

The board voted to allow hunting and trapping on most state park and trail properties from:

– Nov. 15 to Dec. 15.

– For the first three turkey hunting periods in April (three weeks).

– Archery hunting for deer would be allowed from Nov. 15 through the end of the late archery season (the first Sunday in January).

In addition, the board approved measures to allow only dog-proof traps and to prohibit shooting across trails.

Act 168, also known as the Sporting Heritage Act, opened all state park and trail properties to hunting and trapping. The legislation was approved in April by large margins in the Senate and Assembly. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

The law allowed the Natural Resources Board to close state park and trail properties to hunting and trapping to protect public safety or unique animals and plants.

The DNR was charged with developing an implementation plan for the legislation. It proposed a hunting and trapping season from Oct. 15 to late May on 64% of the acreage in the state park and trail system.

But public comments on the plan were overwhelmingly negative. Four hours of testimony at Tuesday’s meeting were dominated by opponents to the plan.

“The people have spoken,” said board member William Bruins.

Bruins offered a motion that would have resulted in no new hunting and trapping on state parks and trails. Bruins argued that, given public opposition to hunting and trapping in state parks, perhaps the department should focus its attention on increasing opportunity on other state lands.

It was defeated by a 4 to 3 vote.

Board member Terry Hilgenberg then made the motion to accept the basic DNR plan but curtail the length of the open season.

The board supported the reduced framework by a 7-0 vote.

We’ll have more details of the meeting as well as reaction to the vote in the Wednesday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Board approves reduced plan for state park hunting and trapping – JSOnline.

Elephants are dying out in America’s zoos – The Seattle Times

Zoos’ efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally. The infant-mortality rate for elephants in zoos is almost triple the rate in the wild.

As the 1960s dawned, few Americans had ever seen a baby elephant. It had been more than 40 years since an elephant had been born in North America, and then only at a circus — never in a zoo.

But in a ramshackle exhibit yard at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, in the summer of 1960, the extraordinary occurred: A 15,000-pound male, Thonglaw, mated with a much smaller female, Belle, and Belle became pregnant. Zookeepers didn’t know that elephant gestation takes 22 months, though, and they missed the pregnancy altogether. Unaware, they transferred the pachyderm pair to a zoo in Portland, under a sharing agreement.

In April 1962, at the Portland zoo, Belle gave birth to a male named Packy, and an international sensation was ignited. Life magazine devoted an 11-page spread to the birth. The country got caught up in a Packy craze, with toys, clothes and books bearing the cute baby’s image flying off the shelves.

The public seemed to feel a unique connection to elephants, gentle giants who exhibit many humanlike qualities. Elephants live in families, exhibit memory and possess surprising self-awareness, such as recognizing themselves in a mirror. They experience grief and love, pain and fear.

Little Packy was everybody’s baby, and attendance at the Oregon Zoo soared as visitors from all over the world waited in half-mile-long lines to see him. Cash receipts skyrocketed, and so did donations.

It was clear that elephants, the world’s largest land mammals, were indeed “glamour beasts,” box-office stars that would help America’s zoos through the 20th century and into the 21st. Across the country, the race to produce baby elephants was on.

The effort would be good not only for zoos, officials insisted, it would be good for the Asian and African species that were under enormous pressure in their natural habitats. Zoos would help preserve and propagate elephants, they explained.

Fifty years later, The Seattle Times set out to examine how that effort has turned out. Despite the zoo industry’s insistence otherwise, by almost any measure, it has failed.

A gamble goes bad

It took decades, but Seattle finally got its own baby elephant. In 2000, an Asian female named Hansa was born at Woodland Park Zoo, instantly bewitching the public. But 6 ½ years later, when she was found dead on the elephant-barn floor early one morning, zoo officials knew their gamble had failed.

They suspected an elephant herpes virus known as EEHV that had begun ravaging young elephants at a handful of U.S. zoos. The virus, believed to spread by contact, could lie dormant for years, then move so swiftly it could destroy internal organs in hours.

They knew that the virus had infected elephants inside the Springfield, Mo., zoo where they sent Hansa’s mother to be bred. They feared it might find its way back to Seattle but the pluses “outweighed the negatives,” they said, and they took a risk.

Besides, the zoo industry’s governing body, the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), had privately approved Seattle’s plan. The AZA was desperate to produce elephants, hoping to reverse or at least slow an alarming decline in the number of the animals in American zoos.

Publicly, the zoo industry was claiming — and continues to claim today — that “elephants are thriving inside zoos.” It’s a message that AZA officials have delivered repeatedly to lawmakers and regulators, trumpeted in news releases, and highlighted in a recent national marketing campaign.

But they know it’s not true. And it never has been. Continue reading:

Elephants are dying out in America’s zoos | Nation & World | The Seattle Times.