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The Summer of Love

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.

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