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The hunting season has begun for killing wolves. Given the fact that the state agency involved in allowing this, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, continues to use flawed IPom data for counting wolves in the wild, it is but one of the reasons this hunt should be stopped. It is tiring, in this day and time, that hunters continue to complain that there are no elk and deer anymore when, again and again, the data shows record numbers and endless shoulder seasons that make clear the reality that wolves are not impacting deer and elk numbers. But they have an important role in keeping chronic wasting disease in check by killing the sick and weak animals. Trappers and groups like the Foundation for Wildlife Management continue to push the idea that we are above numbers with wolves while profiting with every kill. These groups need to understand that wolves are valuable to the health of the forest waterways and are not to be used as bad vs. good animals. All wildlife is part of the matrix that makes life possible for all animals and people. The idea that suddenly they are killing on behalf of livestock producers is yet another myth that such groups use to their advantage.


Grazing cattle on public lands is a privilege, not a right. Like any business, there are risks. More cattle die from falling than killed by wolves. More die from disease than wolves. More die from storms than wolves. Less than half of one percent die from wolves, yet these groups act as though they are ranchers’ saviors; they are not. They are exploiters looking to rationalize their actions, which result in the torture, suffering, and destruction of packs that work in a cohesive manner. Hunters that buy into this are allowing themselves to be used and are killing not for food or sport but to destroy a vital part of what makes our lands healthy and our herds thrive. Our Governor and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission bear the brunt of the blame. They continue to ignore the will of the people in this state who do not want wolves killed. They continue to manage wildlife to the brink of extinction while telling the federal government they can now manage grizzlies. This is while they systematically destroy wolves in the wild.


Governor Gianforte continues with an 1880s mentality when it comes to predators, and in the end, such policies deny the citizens of our state a basic right- the ability to see animals in the wild. We cannot allow this non-science-based logic to continue, and several important lawsuits may stop these actions, and they should.

So here we are in 2023, and we are going back in time as the guns of autumn point their weapons at this beautiful and wild animal, with the full support of those who are in theory, changed with managing wildlife. Wolves and other predator species are self-regulating; the reality remains it’s people that need the management.

What hunters should do is boycott the killing of wolves and their voice should lead all of us who are asking for an end to this bloody and senseless slaughter be stopped. That is what Aldo Leopold taught us about the ethics of such a sport.


Only then can we begin to cleanse away the disgrace associated with the senseless killing of wolves in Montana.





Wolf Hunting has begun in Montana and Idaho; here are some of the lies being spread by the group responsible for the pain and suffering of so many wolves. The Foundation for Wildlife Management must be shut down. Here is how they are thriving:

"F4WM funded 76% of the total wolves removed from Idaho in the 2021-2022 Season, as well as 39% of those harvested in Montana.

Are you ready to be part of the solution? The more Chapters (Foundation for Wildlife Management) we build, the stronger we become. We now have Fundraising Chapters in Sandpoint, Coeur d' Alene, Lewiston, Salmon, and Caldwell, Idaho, as well as Trout Creek and Kalispell, Montana. We are building a chapter in Hamilton, Montana, and we hope to start chapters in the Helena and Bozeman areas. Please email F4WM Executive Director Justin Webb for more info on how to join or start a new chapter in your area at justin@f4wm.org."

This group represents the very worst of what people are capable of to harm wildlife. They have long been accused of taking the majority of money from wolf harvesting as the ED and board members are rabid trappers and wolf hunters.

With a new hunting season, this group will continue to spread unscientific reports and continue to push for more killing, so Justin Webb and his followers continue to profit off wolves' blood and try to make hunters part of their proxy mob mentality against wolves.

We must stop the spread of this organization and make clear to people in your community that we do not support anything to do with this organization. They want to destroy wolves in the wild, and their next target is grizzlies.


Bold Visions Conservation: Moving Forward


Bold Visions Conservation has been operating for less than three months. People need to understand what our organization has accomplished in this short timeframe. First, there is a litany of paperwork, design work, website creation, and, most importantly, finding the people needed to make your organization move toward success in the future. During this time, we have brought several critical people on board: Mike Bader has one of the best conservation minds of any in Montana. He started and led the Alliance for Wild Rockies for many years and is well known for his conservation successes. Mike has been vital in helping me with our National Monument proposal, writing our biological report, and connecting with key people in Idaho and Montana. The other is Dave Stallings. Dave, a brilliant writer and well-known conservationist, is working on a critical project for us, which will involve creating another website and lots of work. We have expanded our board with a new member, the famous conservationist Howie Wolke, who lives in Tom Miner Basin.


We have begun to build our Advisory Board by adding the highly respected wolf guru, Norm Bishop, who has years of experience with wolves in Yellowstone. Well-known and respected conservationist George Wuerthner is writing a historical report for our Monument proposal, so we are stocked up with people who bring experience and tangible results for public lands and wildlife. Our goal remains the same: work to protect wolves, grizzlies, and other predators while protecting the lands that allow them to thrive. We have begun working in Idaho, meeting with key conservationists and planning for a television ad campaign that makes clear trappers have no place in society. This was a central message I worked on during my time with Footloose Montana, and we will continue to expand on it. In addition, we are looking at areas in Idaho that could be placed off-limits to wolf trapping. Idaho is a tough country home to the Foundation for Wildlife Management, an organization whose violence against predators and its bounty program allows trappers to profit from the slaughter of wolves.


We plan to meet with the Mayor of Boise to discuss areas that should be free of wolf trapping. To date, the Mayor of Bozeman continues to say no to meeting with us and community leaders. The reasons make no sense, but we will continue our efforts and encourage locals to write to the mayor and make it clear this Monument is for wildlife. It will be a vital legacy piece that Bozeman can be proud of in the years ahead. Our goal with the Monument is to make it free of trapping and any predator killing. The goal is to make it the first Monument with a clear wildlife focus. Getting things off the ground with a new organization is always challenging. We are working to be creative and focused and to ensure Bold Visions Conservation is the wildlife and land protection organization you trust and invest in moving forward. Like anything, we have had some glitches; people who tried to donate to us had problems, so we have changed platforms to rectify the situation. Bold Visions is not about one person; it is a collective of great minds and hearts working hard to make a positive difference for our lands and wildlife. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks, and thank you for your support of Bold Visions Conservation; we will continue to work hard to do what is best for wildlife and to end the nightmare of trapping or any killing of wolves or grizzlies, the time has come for change! Visit our website to learn more about BVC's MONUMENT CAMPAIGN


I dream about bears.

I am not sure when bears entered my subconscious in such a strange and vivid way, but they did, and I think they may be here to stay. I dream about ferocious grizzlies and playful, fat black bears. I dream about big white bears with paws the size of dinner plates and hollow hair that gleams creamy-yellow in the northern sun. In my dreams, I see cubs climbing trees and sliding over the ice. I sometimes think I can smell them in my sleep; I’ve been told they smell of pine sap and animal musk. Sweet, sticky, fresh, brutal. —Barry Lopez


 

Stephen Capra, Bold Visions Conservation Bears are a wonderous species. Full of fun and gamesmanship, and yes, they pose a threat to humans. But that threat is only amplified by human stupidity and the actions of the very agencies that are, by design, the ones who should protect them. In Montana and Idaho, a rash of grizzly killings is found at the hands of sportsmen who refuse to use bear spray but instead go out with a pistol or rifle even when hunting is not in season. We are left with their word against that of a dead bear. Why not use bear spray? If you are that afraid, don't venture into the woods. Bear spray should be mandatory, and if they choose to shoot first, they should pay a price for their ignorance. The killings are now in Tom Miner Basin, near Whitefish, and last Saturday, a ten-year-old female with a cub near West Yellowstone. But in these states, people are rewarded for killing. The agencies and legislature continue their mad rush to delist bears. Still, in reality, they are already well underway in the delisting by killing as many bears as possible. We also do not know the nod and wink that goes on with sportsmen, as they insist on carrying guns when bear spray will suffice. Groups such as the NRA, Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, and the Foundation for Wildlife Management are printing money to get the billboards up that say, "Delist Grizzlies," a conservation success story; they are covering Idaho and Montana. They are drooling to kill this wild and beautiful creature.


Again, I have spent considerable time in bear country. When I hiked from Mexico to Canada, the length of the Continental Divide, I did so with no gun and no bear spray. But our camp was immaculate, and we had our food hung between trees. In Alaska, the same, and I had grizzlies sit on the side of my tent in the middle of the night, the one time we brought cough drops into the tent. I do not recommend such actions, but it was close to thirty years ago. Bear spray was unavailable then; I carry it on all hikes and backpacks today. The Game Commission, for their part, led by Pat Tabor's fury at predators, kills bears almost every chance they get. The reasons change, but it is clear Governor Gianforte has waged a war to kill and delist this bear of soul and might. If the feds won't delist, then the Republican Governors of Idaho and Montana will kill by proxy. It is yet another way that Republicans thumb their nose at federal regulations. Yet, its crickets come from Martha Williams, who runs US Fish and Wildlife, because she never wants to get cross-wise with sportsmen.


Grizzly bears are the symbol of wildness; they have come back from the brink, but it seems much like wolves, many in rural communities have branded them a real threat to their way of life. It is clear that anything that threatens cattle or sheep moves to the endangered list from being killed or is quickly delisted so they can commence the slaughter. Bears do not want to deal with people; they are, by nature, solitary creatures. Mothers, on the other hand, must raise their cubs. This is perhaps the most dangerous time for an encounter, but even then, the times are rare. Gianforte has made clear that he wants trapping to occur in Grizzly country despite the conflict with cubs and bears being caught in snares or wolf traps. How will we know if the public is in danger? The reality is if you come across a grizzly caught in a trap, it is a very dangerous situation. But in Idaho and Montana, our leaders do not care. The question boils down to why. Why do they ever want to allow a hunting season on this beautiful creature? The answer must be never, and we must fight like hell to make clear there is not the time to allow grizzlies to be killed for sport, period. More than that, we need more transparency. Why did the hunters and fishermen not have bear spray? It must be mandatory. Again, it seems like a manhood thing for some, but it needs to be made clear if you shoot before spraying, you will do time. The feds should decide the fate of any bear, not the state, and they need to stop yielding to the political pressure that national sportsmen's groups are putting on agencies and elected officials.


We need more grizzlies in more states, not less. Predators are essential for healthy lands and wildlife. We cannot accept the slaughter the states will put on grizzlies if they are delisted because it won't just be the number of bears people are allowed to kill; it will be the killing on public lands that livestock grazers utilize and the constant sportsman that feels a need to shoot first.

I have often thought of those who lived during the slaughter of bison and wildlife on the Great Plains; they were witness to ignorance on steroids, and I am sure many cried and felt the pain of the Manifest Destiny era. Today, we know far more about the feeling of wildlife. We may never live long enough to have the type of co-existence I dream of. Still, if we do not fight and fight like hell, we cannot break the lava of ignorance that flows across the West and threatens to destroy all that is wild and beautiful. It is our responsibility as humans to give back for the sins of our past.

We need to be clear in our voice: no hunting season ever for grizzlies, and take back the wildlife we love and respect to create a new era in wildlife co-existence.


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