Gardiner- A weekend long event titled, Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 is scheduled to take place in Gardiner, Montana from June 27-29, 2014. Organizers are describing it as an opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and take steps toward restoring our national heritage. The festivities include prominent speakers, live music, food/drink, children’s activities, a trapping/snaring demonstration, the viewing of wildlife documentaries and panel discussions. Cinema photographer Bob Landis will kick things off on Friday June 27 with the screening of his newest documentary about the life and death of the world-famous ’06 Alpha Female from Yellowstone’s Lamar Creek Pack.

Over 3,000 gray wolves have been slaughtered across the United States in the few years the species has been delisted from the Endangered Species Act. Hunting seasons are currently taking place in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

“The verdict is in and state fish and game agencies have proven that they are not capable of managing wolves or any other predator according to the best available science and the interests of the American people,” said Brett Haverstick, main organizer for the event. “It’s time to overhaul these crony state agencies or begin having a conversation about permanently transferring the management of predators to the federal government.”

Dubbed as a celebration of predators and the ecological niche they play across the landscape, the event’s platform revolves around five main principles to reform wildlife management in America. The removal of livestock from all federal public lands is one of them.

“It’s time to close the chapter on welfare ranching across federal public lands in the West,” said Haverstick. “The American people want wild landscapes, with native wildlife roaming freely as part of their national heritage, not cow pies, cheat-grass and trampled landscapes.

Recently, a report surfaced claiming that the USDA’s Wildlife Services killed approximately four million animals across the United States in 2013. Organizers support current efforts to investigate the agency and are calling for the predator control portion of the agency to be abolished.

“At the behest of the Idaho Fish & Game Department, Wildlife Services recently gunned down 23 gray wolves with taxpayer dollars from a helicopter in rugged north-central Idaho,” said Haverstick. “Congress needs to scrutinize this rogue agency and it begins with questioning the slaughter of wolves and other native wildlife in order to appease hunters, outfitters, and the livestock industry.”

In addition to speakers and authors from the conservation community addressing the broken wildlife management model in America, there will be a demonstration to educate the public about the brutality of trapping and snaring.

“The trapping and snaring practices of a small minority of Americans is currently responsible for the killing of hundreds of gray wolves in states like Idaho and Montana,” said Haverstick. “We want to see legislation introduced that would ban the use of all traps and snares on federal public land. The barbaric and indiscriminate killing of wolves and other native wildlife must stop.”

While organizers support the move to relist gray wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act, their goal is to see wildlife management in America completely overhauled.

“The gray wolf is a prime example of how wildlife management in America does not currently address the best available science and the changing demographics and values of Americans,” said Haverstick. “The ridiculous cycle of the federal government recovering a species, only to see state agencies practically eviscerate them from the landscape epitomizes the need for reform. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Einstein said that.”

Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 is educational, inspirational and non-confrontational. To learn more about the event program, please visit http://www.speakforwolves.org/program/

Schedule Poster (click to enlarge)

Schedule Poster (click to enlarge)

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About The Author

Brett Haverstick

Brett Haverstick is the Education & Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater, a public lands advocacy group in Moscow, Idaho. He has a Masters of Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. In his personal time, he manages the project Speak for Wolves. The views expressed here are his own.

26 Responses to National Event Aimed at Reforming Wildlife Management Planned for June 27-29, 2014 in Gardiner, Montana

  1. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Unfortunately, due to a family crisis, I won’t be able to speak at this event. I have really been looking forward to being there and I’d like to publicly thank Brett for asking me to speak along with such distinguished guests. I am humbled.

  2. avatar patrick says:

    I am embarrassed at the Idaho handling of wolves. At the request of the governor, a committee has been set up (member majority selected by the governor and He can dismiss any member at any time)with the sole purpose of killing wolves. I attended both the Idaho Senate and House Committee meetings that established the wolf killing committee. No one on either committee had any knowledge of wolves or how to manage them.

  3. avatar Lyn McCormick says:

    I hope there is some mention of reviving REVA (HR 2201)

    • avatar Kristi says:

      The best way to revive the REVA Act is to push our US reps/senators to pick it up. I have been asking mine every so often but it would take a concerted effort by the public to get it going.

      • avatar timz says:

        First we need new reps and senators. Even some of the most liberal of senators are anti-wolf. (ie; MN’s Al Franken)

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          “First we need new reps and senators. Even some of the most liberal of senators are anti-wolf. (ie; MN’s Al Franken)”

          Not necessarily true.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            maybe they are not overtly anti wolf but they hear from the wildlife agencies and others that support the status quo in predator management and its hard to overcome that. Its hard to find a progressive mind to look at the issues outside the status quo.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        There is a team leaving on Sunday to lobby for Rural Economic Vitalization Act and other things in Washington DC. Buyout legislation is a tough sell right now though. The cattlemen are afraid that all allotments will be bought out like happened in Clark County, Nevada. Feinstein is also opposed to buyouts because her rancher buddy in California is opposed to it.

        • avatar Kristi says:

          Ken, this is good to know regardless. Beef prices are up due to fewer cows being raised (according to daily farm report in my area) because corn is expensive and the widespread drought. Maybe some ranchers would be amenable to having their leases bought out to make their lives a little easier (wishful thinking)

  4. avatar timz says:

    First we need new reps and senators. Even some of the most liberal of senators are anti-wolf. (ie; MN’s Al Franken)

  5. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    I appreciate Brett’s efforts in putting this agenda together, but I think using words such as “welfare ranching” and “crony state agencies” is counterproductive in making changes in regards to wildlife management.

    The majority of ranchers that graze livestock on public lands are hard working individuals who care about the land and the term “welfare ranching” is a derogatory insinuation for a industry that typically works very hard to make ends meet. Are ranchers subsidized with a low AUM, yes, but so are many other industries (ie. dairy, farmers in general). The blame of unmanaged grazing practices should be laid at the BLM and FS and the price ranchers pay to graze are set by Congress. Managed grazing is beneficial to the land and the proposal to close the chapter to welfare ranching on all public lands is extreme and takes away from the benefits that properly managed grazing provides. Grazing allotments need to be addressed on a case by case basis and if they are not being properly managed then they need to be corrected (not one size fits all).

    State wildlife agencies are funded by hunters and fishers and thus have different objectives than conservation organizations. This does not make them “crony agencies”.

    All of us predator advocates would like to see science used more but it will take time and a moderate voice to get there. Extreme measures will only incite those with different views and will not persuade those in the middle.

    If we are speaking for wolves we need to win “small consistent battles” to win the war.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      It’s excruciating! I realize not all hunters and ranchers are the bad guys.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Gary its hard to say where 100% of the blame lies and while I agree with you that some of the blame should be on Congress and wildlife agencies, why does Congress do what it does? Lobbying and funding play into policy in a big way. The lobbies that promote these favorable subsidy and unfavorable, destructive wildlife policies are largely ranching and livestock with some trophy hunting mixed in…..so who is to blame? Is the little guy a part of that lobbying process? Think of the lobbies like unions, the unions are fighting for their members the lobbies fight for their members but in Congress. And then there are lots of Cliven Bundy’s out there too. It’s certainly not black and white but there is a reason why the term welfare ranching has been coined.

    • avatar Marc Bedner says:

      I’ve never liked the term “welfare ranching” as it perpetuates the misuse of the word “welfare.” But I am opposed to turning over the bulk of public lands to grazing, at whatever price. Contrary to the crackpot theories of Alan Savory, cows have no place in the arid West. I don’t care how well-meaning an individual rancher might be, the institution of livestock grazing is a threat to western wildlife, and needs to be completely removed from western public lands.
      Obviously, this will not happen any time soon under our completely corrupt political system. But we can start by not supporting public land ranching. I am glad to see that Gardiner event no longer plans to offer public land beef for sale.

    • avatar HoofHugs says:

      I agree. I do not live in the West, so I tend to see a lot of this through a more detached lens. It appears to me that the powers that be created teams and strategies that pitted all stakeholders against each other based on scientific claims that are actually harmful to land and the species that depend on that land for habitat. In fact, their idea was to convince each group that their survival depended on the destruction of the others rather than do any real research. That is the reason the word consensus is used so often. I hope somewhere that you will hold our wild horses as one of the species that has been here as Equus caballus for at least one to two million years. The ancient ancestors of the horse were here from the pre-thermal maximum prior to the Eocene. The horse is a “seeking” animal which means that he is curious. This innate seeking behavior would have taken him to eventually explore and try to understand what a human is. If you have ever been examined by a while horse from head to toe, you may know what I mean. They are wildlife, native wildlife, and the notion that they are not is part of the same native-non-native false human construct that also includes the grizzly as a non-native species. We must all join the fight against science being abused to meet the arbitrary decisions of the governing power structure.

      • avatar rork says:

        Those horses are descended from domesticated animals from Eurasia. We have millions in North America, millions more than we need.

  6. Animals are the natural extension of the human race. Many need protection, before they are wiped out due to ignorance. In the United States, the Grey Wolf is one such species that is on the “run” again for its survival. Please go onto MoveOn and read, and if inclined, please sign my petition. Search by the words: States are Reckless – Please put Grey Wolves Back on Federal Protection List

  7. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    … except this is being held in Gardiner, MT. Not exactly the Mecca of the wildlife protection faithful.

    • avatar skyrim says:

      Amen. I thought about going but couldn’t figure a way to slip in and out of town without spending any money. Montana has seen the last of my money…….

  8. avatar Louise Kane says:

    How is this event going? any news

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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