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The Voice of Hate

By Stephen Capra, Bold Visions Conservation



Suppose you have wondered why I have been relatively quiet the last few weeks. In that case, it is because what occurred with Cody Roberts left even my hardened self feeling broken in my years of conservation work. Like many of you, my love of wolves has been unquestioned; it has also been a key component of my career in conservation.

 

The image of that yearling wolf still haunts me; looking into the face of that monster leaves me filled with rage. That wolf paid an unimaginable price, the torture, the fear, the level to which this subhuman took it; I felt her pain and suffering to my core. How, as a society, have we sunk to a level that allows people the right to torture wildlife? Why is rural western America so enraged with wolves? Perhaps some of the answers can be seen in a conversation I had over 40 years ago. I was speaking about the Arctic Refuge in the eighties in Arkansas, and the Sierra Club member I stayed with said to me, "Steve, try not to let your New York accent show; people here hate Yankees. I said the Civil War ended many years ago, he responded, not here".

 

So it goes in the rural West, where people seem to never let go of the fact that an animal that many of their grandparents eliminated is once again free to roam. The hate is far greater than I think many of us want to believe. The efforts to work with many of the ranchers across the West have largely failed. Cody Roberts, in a span of 24 hours, inflicted on this wolf the rage that these people feel when something does not stay the same in their sad lives. Never mind, what an animal so beautiful and free could teach them about family, laughter, and working together for a common cause. Yet, in these outposts of the wild, such thinking goes against their desire to exploit not just wildlife but also the wildlands that are critical to the survival of so many species. Hunting relieves the boredom.

 

It is here that we find so many off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. We see people hunt after filling many freezers, and poaching is just part of a lifestyle. It is tiring that people who seem to want to exploit the land have so much power with wildlife agencies, Forest Service lands, and BLM.



It is clear that what happened several weeks ago can never happen again. Cody Roberts, it turns out, has ties to the Wyoming Game and Fish; he trucks under their contract, which they must sever. The bar that allowed the torture made clear we will do whatever we want, meaning wildlife is free to be tortured. Yesterday, Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, jumped into the fray by writing in her new book how she hated a 14-month-old hunting dog she had; rather than working with a trainer, she shot and killed it, along with a goat she thought was disgusting. Not only did she do it, but she bragged about it, I guess, to show she is tough. Let's be clear: she is very sick.

 

We are witnessing a time where people feel emboldened to destroy that which is wild, to post images online to film their torture of wildlife. Several things are clear from this; sportsmen and many of the groups they support are encouraging slob hunting and allowing the idea of ethics to be dissolved. Wildlife agencies in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming are being controlled by Commissioners who live to kill wildlife that hate wolves and most predators. Many are members of the Safari Club and other trophy-hunting groups or ranchers. We need a Governor with courage enough to dissolve this approach and rebuild the agency with wildlife and conservation of all species in mind, not wanton destruction and trapping. Not catering to trophy hunters and trappers.

 

Colleges, for their part, continue to teach students to collaborate with those in industry, wildlife agencies, and ranchers. However, the cost of education, limited job opportunities, and the cost of living are causing a new generation to lose the desire to fight.

 

This beautiful animal cannot die in vain to a monster with a drinking problem. Cody Roberts must be jailed for as long as possible, and the Wyoming Game and Fish must stop trying to protect him. We are promoting a boycott of the state and working to be part of a new lawsuit against Wyoming Game and Fish. Most importantly, we are working to protect a 1.6 million slice of wildlands north and West of Yellowstone that would work to protect wolves and grizzlies and stop the horror of trapping. It will be a Monument for wildlife.



So, while my heart remains broken for that dear yearling, it is clear we must change hearts and minds in rural America. It may not just be with talk or education; it will require actual law enforcement, harsh penalties, and jail time for those who see wildlife as a thrill to harm and begin to get them to realize that killing a wolf costs five bucks, but having a business to view wildlife can give them a sustainable job and the critical ability to live with yourself as a caring person to the very wildlife that needs our voice to survive.

 

We need wolves across the West, and we need them to thrive! Wyoming will look to delay and obfuscate; we will never stop being a voice for that precious wolf. We do not deserve broken hearts; we demand justice!

 

It begins with Cody Roberts in jail for a long time and the loss of life of being able to hunt, trap, or fish in the United States. That is the message that will make others think twice and make clear you will lose. The message must also come from Washington, following the election, that wolves will never be managed by these three states of hate again.

 

They must be relisted the day after the election.



In Memorial

 

Bold Visions Conservation is heartbroken at the news of Lynne Stone's passing. Lynne was, in the words of so many, "the real deal" when it came to fighting for wolves in Idaho. She would go alone with a pack and a shotgun to protect the wolves she loved. She was assaulted by wolf haters and led the fight to protect the Boulder-White Clouds. I spoke with Lynne two years ago and asked her to help me with wolf work in Idaho; she said, "Steve, my health has been affected by my fight for wolves and the broken heart I have felt at times dealing with ignorance." I understood. Lynne was rare; she was a warrior and so loved the wolves that she risked her own life. Rest in Peace, Lynne, you were magnificent! 

 

We will take the fight from here.

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3 Kommentare


I've been banned from Facebook for my comments against Cody Roberts and that entire sick town of Daniel, Wyoming. I have sent emails to President Biden and the Interior Secretary to relist wolves. I boycott Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Thank God I live in Washington where we protect our wolves as does Oregon. Our progressive governor Jay Inslee has signed a bill to reintroduce Grizzly Bears back into the North Cascades.

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There is change coming to these western states. The people will not stand for such blatant murdering of our innocent wildlife. Poaching and torturing of any animal will not be tolerated. Wildlife isn’t there for your sick pleasures anymore. A sick and boring life would be renewed by profiting off guides to show off your states rich wildlife and habit. Enriching yourself and the environment. Tourism brings millions of dollars to your state. Embrace it and make it better. Join in the rebirth of your state and community. You live here, you are responsible for making it better. So, demand wildlife legislation be for the enriching of wildlife, not the demise. Do the right thing, good people always do!

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I still can’t understand these people. You cannot take your anger, for all the different things that bother you in this life, away by destroying wildlife, and other animals and people. There has to be an END to this evil anger these people carry inside themselves.

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