As this column is published, I am in the 12th day of a hunger strike in solidarity with our bears and millions of other woodland creatures terrified by packs of dogs and traps, suffering and dying in this tragedy.
The Wisconsin my mother loved has turned into hell on Earth for me and my beloved innocent wild friends.
“These people think Little Red Riding Hood was a documentary.” — Alice Miller
The Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board have a new target on wolves of 275, up from 201 last year. DNR’s objective: To “begin” to reduce the population. Licenses to be sold: 10 times the quota or 2,750. With 117 wolves killed in the trophy hunt, 76 killed for depredation, 24 reported killed on the roads, 22 detected illegal kills, and five other miscellaneous mortalities, the DNR reports 244 wolves were killed last year. With a 70 percent pup mortality rate, miraculously DNR reports that the wolf population is almost the same as it was before the first “successful season.” Of course, these new wolf hunter volunteer trackers serve their own agenda.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay gives a conservative estimate of the “shoot, shovel and shut up” illegal kill of wolves as 100 annually. There likely were 350 wolves killed last year.
Science does not support this crime but only you can save the imperiled wolf. A Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by the Humane Society established that 81 percent of Wisconsinites do not want wolves hunted, and 87 percent opposed using traps, bait, and packs of dogs to kill wolves.
Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, told me that if 10 people contact a legislator on an issue, that is a red flag. The DNR disclosed that 1,439 Wisconsin citizens wrote in to protest against the slaughter of our wolves. Zero wrote in to support the wolf hunt.
William Bruins, a Walker-appointee dairy farmer, announced at the recent Natural Resources Board meeting in Wausau, “God created homo sapiens to be in charge.”
Alice Miller, who drove several hundred miles to attend the meeting, said, “This is supposed to be about science, not some board member’s religion.” A board member told Miller that she had to vote for the quota “or Scott Walker would shut down the board.”
Cory Gierhart, Eau Claire, a self-described avid hunter, contributed: “I hear from lots of individuals who are pro-wolf hunting that hunting and killing wolves is necessary to keep the deer population up. According to the DNR website wolves consume about 16,000 deer annually, while cars alone hit 27,000, and humans shoot 340,000 deer annually. By decreasing the number of wolves, the number of sick and diseased deer increase, weakening the herd.” (CWD is on the rise alarmingly fast.) Working from federal carrying capacity models, he reckoned the realistic carrying capacity for the wolf in Wisconsin as 1,236. “Rather than allow the killing of such an important and beautiful animal, I believe it would be more beneficial to allow the wolf population to grow on its own, and let it level off naturally. … Give farmers better aid for fencing rather than aid for dead livestock.”
Sue McKean, Madison: “I am willing to pay the DNR up to $3,000 a year to stop the hunt and wonder how many others would as well?”
At least four organizations opposed the hunt and high quota, including Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic and the Wisconsin Wolf Front. The latter has conducted a poll canvassing six counties and 6,000 citizens, with 94 percent against using dogs on wolves.
The Sierra Club deplored the complete bias of the Wolf Advisory Committee, stacked with hunters, trappers and bear hounders. The Sierra Club was denied participation in the committee despite its stakeholder status since inception.
James T. Wronka, Shawano, a conservative Republican, wrote: “I have great difficulty in pulling the levers in support of my party, who certainly do not represent conservation.” He added: “Unfortunately we still have a very small percentage of people who still get entertainment out of killing our children’s wildlife. Our whole lake community’s peaceful tranquility gets ruined every autumn by 2-4 hunters (it’s hard to call these people hunters with their modern equipment) …from sunrise to sunset their entertainment ruins a beautiful morning … with their replication of being in the war zones of the Middle East. All for a pound of feathers. … Yet this small minority get the backing of a small minority of people most of us would think would be on the side of wildlife, our DNR. We’ve tried talking with DNR and state government elected officials to see if the majority could overrule the rights of this minority population, but to no avail.”
The first hunt has not been fully evaluated and many unanswered questions remain. We don’t know the ages of the wolves killed or how the hunting/trapping season affected pack dynamics. Did depredations increase because of pack disruption? There were 1,439 citizens against, zero for a hunt, yet the DNR is pushing forward with a more aggressive second hunt.
There is a clamor for Natural Resources Board members to have the integrity to resign.
Luann O’Dell: “These meetings for the public to come and speak are just a cover-up. They don’t mean anything. … I can’t believe that we have to stand up there and try to protect our wildlife from the DNR.”
Kurt Schlapper, Brooklyn: “Please let the wolves raise their pups and families in peace as we should have the right to do also. No life is above another, we are all equal in the eyes of God.”
But we are not all equal in the eyes of the Natural Resources Board, Legislature and DNR playing God.
“The true measure of how free a society is how its dissidents are treated, not those who refrain from meaningful anti-government activism and dissent.” — Glenn Greenwald, “With Liberty and Justice for Some”
Pay attention to a vitally important election that is hiding in plain sight.
Monday, April 8, 2013, at 7 p.m., all citizens are invited to attend the Wisconsin Conservation Congress election.
In every county, you can vote against running dogs on wolves altogether. You can vote against expanding the newly initiated hunting and trapping in state parks from two months to seven. You can vote against killing coyotes through the nine-day deer kill. Most importantly, you can elect two delegates of five for each county to represent you in governing our 7.5 million acres of public lands and our wildlife.
This election helps determine the quality of life for all citizens — it affects air, water, soil, mining, energy use, climate change and destruction of species. This election and vote is our only official citizen representation to the Legislature, Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Board. It is paraded out before the Legislature, annually, as the public’s will.
I contacted the Government Accountability Office to find out why such an important election is not more transparent than it is. The Conservation Congress is “only advisory,” so it is not subject to Wisconsin election laws. It operates in a gray area, with great power and little oversight. No wonder candidates are announced on the floor of the event that night and never debate issues publicly. On average some 5,000 avid hunters, trappers and hounders attend statewide every year — and they elect themselves back into power. The election shoots under most progressives’ noses, stinking of death, unrecognized.
Hidden in plain sight.
When I walked into the Conservation Congress election for the first time in 1997 and realized that nature herself is under the control of a minority whose goal is primarily to maximize killing wildlife, it was a rude awakening. At that time, the few nonhunters attending this public election and voting were seriously intimidated by men who kill wildlife regularly. Men made their arms into long guns and targeted us with pretend trigger-pulls. Dozens of people attended Natural Resource Board meetings to demand that something be done about this intimidation, and the response was, “Our boys were just having fun.”
Wednesday night, I returned home from staffing a table for Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic at the “True Wolf” movie to open a letter from Tim Lawhern, DNR Division of Law Enforcement. The letter addressed my “disruptive and threatening behavior” at the Natural Resources Board meeting Feb. 26. There I had displayed a barbed wire-wrapped pole commonly used by hunters who run down wildlife with packs of dogs. Since the multiple packs of dogs can be replaced with fresh dogs, foxes, coyotes, wolves, or any animals who cannot make it to a tree are run to exhaustion. If they hide in a culvert or den, this barbed pole is thrust into their flesh and twisted to extract them and throw them to the dogs.
No doubt it is an embarrassment to the Natural Resources Board to have this exposed with an example of the barbed pole displayed. The pole and the idea of using it on flesh is indeed disturbing. But it was the wielding of a metaphor that upset the board. As an English major, I understand metaphor, defined as “the application of a phrase it does not literally denote … suggesting comparison to that concept.” I, too, was “having a little fun,” ending my testimony with: “Maybe I should try this on you (indicating the board) to get you out of that deep hole you have dug for yourselves.” Were the board members literally in a hole? Of course not. It was a comparison — not a literal intention. If board members felt mere imagery so keenly, should they be promoting dog-fighting and barbed wire poles on real flesh?
The DNR letter contends that I may continue to attend NRB meetings, and provide written testimony, “but may not orally testify at these meetings … or distribute information, not carry in props, signs or display items.”
In other words, they intend to muzzle me. And, interestingly, since I was not arrested as a threat, on this trumped up first “offense,” there are no laws cited as broken. Even more telling, there is no timeframe given for this arbitrary “sentence.” Lifetime?
In “With Liberty and Justice for Some,” Glenn Greenwald aptly depicts my situation in relation to the DNR and Natural Resources Board: “In essence, the bargain offered by the state is as follows: If you meaningfully challenge what we’re doing, then we will subject you to harsh recriminations.” He continues: “Rights exist to protect dissidents and those who challenge orthodoxies, not those who acquiesce to those orthodoxies or support state power.”
My First Amendment rights are denied arbitrarily.
Greenwald says, “The genius is that those who accept (passive compliance), are easily convinced that repression does not exist.”
Election posters and flyers for download are available at www.wiwildlifeethic.org.
Read the article here: Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Come January, state parks no longer safe.
It is time to end trapping. Now. No more turning a blind eye. This is the time of the great awakening. It is the responsibility and privilege of every one of us to create a new and loving world.
The Department of Natural Resources has forfeited the pretense of science or humane stewardship of nature in Wisconsin by encouraging trapping. It has zero fealty to its mission statement: “To protect and enhance our natural resources, our air, land and water; our wildlife, fish and forests and the ecosystems that sustain all life…” The DNR has long been a farce; it is just a maximum wild slaughter facilitator. It must be dismantled and restructured.
Read entire article here: