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by Stephen Capra, Executive Director, Bold Visions Conservation

We are in the heady days as the beginning of summer unofficially begins with this long and fun weekend. Wildlife gets a small break with summer unless you are a wolf in Idaho. Green begins to fill the forest, and the snows of a mild winter fill our streams for now to give life and recreation.

 

It is the respite before the upcoming fall of political consequence, one that will impact our wildlife and public lands, perhaps for generations to come. While the grill may be getting hot, let’s keep our focus on wildlife. We all know that Deb Haaland and Martha Williams must come to their senses on wolves, but that timeline is not close. But many believe they will.

 

One suggestion for them is the following. Be Bold! It is not enough to relist wolves; you should consider an emergency move to take control of all wildlife in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. The current Commissioners in each state should be removed for their lack of moral clarity and their need to appease trappers, trophy hunters, and slobs that run over predators. They must go. Step two: All Pittman-Robertson funding should be blocked until they are given a plan directly from Haaland and Martha Williams agency- US Fish and Wildlife Service that forces change and makes clear the reality that these are lands and wildlife that must be managed by their owner, the US Government, because the vast majority of Americans, the true owners, want it that way; we do not want minority-radical control of these lands. These states can begin rehabilitation by understanding that based on their actions, they will no longer be allowed to control, nor will they be able to manage, wolves, grizzlies, or predator species, period. 


From the Department of Agriculture: They should send this message: Ranchers who graze on public lands can no longer kill predator species, or they lose their permits. Their subsidies cover any loss of cows or sheep. It will not happen tomorrow, but if we never start, we cannot finish the job.

 

We need to push forward with a plan to protect more public lands from the killing of these vital species. Thus, Bold Visions Conservation’s push for protecting perhaps some of the most important 1.6 million acres in the lower 48 for wildlife, northwest of Yellowstone, the Madison-Gallatin Range, and west into the Caribou-Targhee National Forests. The Forest Service continues to manage these lands for off-road vehicles, trappers, and loggers. Not allowing trapping or killing of these species is the progress we need and must demand. It is a Monument FOR Wildlife!

 

Now, the trails will begin to fill, and the parks will be overrun, but still, on certain days and times, you have the chance to see wildlife, to thrill in their presence, not to run and take a picture beside them, but to respect their space and not show off the secret place you found them, for a world in which influencers demand attention 24 hours a day.


Summer is the time to let your soul feel free, connect to the land, howl from a mountain, and put your bare feet in the cool waters, which play and flow with a symphony of life. Sleep under the stars and get interrupted by the occasional howl. Watch the night skies and your expanse of dreams while drinking in the lands and skies that define our western wildness and the morning sky, which will wake you with love and spirit.

 

It is the Summer of Love; we have earned it! After a long winter consumed by the loss of so much innocence on our public lands. 

 

So please keep in mind our Monument proposal; it is not a statute but rather 1.6 million acres for wolves, bears, and all wildlife to thrive. It is a way to expand Yellowstone and stop the return of the Western plunder of wildlife, which is expanding far too easily.

We can make a difference and create a critical protected zone for wildlife, but first, take some time to let yourself feel the life that warmth and sun can do to the soul. 

 

Perhaps we will meet along the trail.



by Stephen Capra, Executive Director, Bold Visions Conservation

The environment is not tailored to man; it is itself, for itself. All its creatures fit in. They know how, from ages past. Man fits in or fights it. Fitting in, living in it, carries challenge, exhilaration, and peace.  —Margret Murie

Dear members,

as I said in a recent video that was placed on Facebook, we have all suffered from the torture of the Wyoming wolf by a madman. While we all want to see justice, Wyoming continues to slow walk such efforts. In Colorado, trophy hunters we have discovered (we were led to believe it was ranchers) have accused me of illegal lobbying; their efforts are designed to suck energy and time from our organization; why? Because they want wolves destroyed in Colorado and groups like Bold Visions Conservation silent. Their charges are ridiculous and time-consuming. In Idaho, the Game and Fish Department is looking to allow Outfitters to trap wolves and hold them in traps until a client can come and shoot them. All of this means we must act!

 

So rather than complain, Bold Visions continues to try to be proactive in protecting wolves and all wildlife. In Bozeman now, Michael Stroeger, our Bozeman coordinator, is leading the charge to ban trapping on Sourdough Trail, a trail popular for families and pets that is currently open to trapping year-round. We may have a vote soon to end it.

 

But our biggest goal, which now has the support of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, is a plan to add 1.6 million acres to Yellowstone by creating a National Monument.  While the Monument would allow the hunting of deer and elk, our goal is to not allow the killing of wolves, grizzly bears, and other predator species and to ban trapping. That is part of making it an expansion of Yellowstone. So, we can all feel sad and outraged, but we can also funnel our energy into a project that can keep the species we love alive and protect perhaps one of the most important wildlife corridors in the lower 48.

I have said this many times: any Monument is difficult to create. One designed for wildlife has never been tried outside of ocean Monuments. No one, to my knowledge, has banned trapping. There will be fury by many, and some op-eds have already begun. Imagine, though, finally making a stand for wolves and grizzlies, giving lands for protection that are free of the mindset of torture and misguided manhood. Something that will be there for generations to come.

 

Wolves and the many endangered species of this vital stretch of wild land, not only deserve this, they need it badly. While it may seem like a moon shot, sometimes the best things we strive for come from a simple vision, passion and a solid strategic plan, which we have along with some great people working together for this goal. One point six million acres in Montana and Idaho sends a message that magnifies how people are tired of how wildlife is being managed in these states.  Instead, we want to be able to see wildlife when we hike, fish or recreate, not just read about animals lost to the mine field of traps, and the persuasive efforts by ranchers and trophy hunting groups to destroy the wolves and other predators that so many have celebrated. It is also a chance to educate the public by seeing and experiencing these animals in the wild and pushing back on ignorance and misinformation.

 

Let’s not forget that many of the states actively killing predators get a large share of the federal dole. They are not centers of commerce, and livestock production is about 13th in Montana in terms of revenue. Ranchers want to control federal lands; for them, there is no room for wolves. Wolves not only help the land but are an economic engine.

It is important to write letters of support to the President, the Secretary of the Interior, and local newspapers and let your friends on the East Coast or Central time zone know that this is a monument for wildlife and a vital piece to expanding much of what we love about Yellowstone!

 

We do not want wildlife to suffer, but the game agencies in these states refuse to use science and continue to be controlled by the legislature, trophy hunters, and trappers. They want wolves and grizzlies to be killed so outfitters can profit. Our job is to begin the process of protecting large landscapes so wildlife can thrive! It’s time that the violence against wildlife is stopped and that sanity returns to the public lands that are owned by all Americans.

 

Please be a part of making a difference for wildlife! Please give what you can today to a very expensive endeavor and feel free to call or email me if you have any more questions.

 

Let’s get busy making a Monument for Wildlife! Let’s do something positive for wolves and grizzlies today.


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