Forget North Korea, since this past Friday following the federal court ruling that reinstated Endangered Species Act protections to wolves in the Great Lakes, the wolf haters and extreme right wing have been on an internet rampage. The wolf haters are openly promising to defy the ruling of the “radical liberal judge” and “emotional city folk” and threatening to kill every wolf that they see. Their arrogance and brazen threats know no bounds and they do not limit these threats to their hate sites. Several anti-wolf zealots have been posting comments on various mainstream news websites threatening “S.S.S” (shoot, shovel, and shut up) and open defiance of the “city folk” and “liberal government.”
One thing that wolf/wildlife advocates need to remember is that while we have achieved a “victory” with this ruling the root of the problem is still firmly entrenched and the vitriol is still growing. We must remember not to engage the wolf haters and trolls online. Let them stew in their hate and toxic anger. They are digging themselves into a deeper hole with their threats and disgusting comments. By responding to the vitriol on internet forums wildlife advocates are legitimizing the trolls and their nonsensical arguments. This battle will not be “won” in an internet comment section. It will be won in the court of public opinion. We need to call out their hypocrisy in “letters to the editor” and in blogs like this, not in internet comment sections. By even responding to their poisonous bomb throwing we are allowing them to control the message. DO NOT fall into that trap. If anything their vile comments show exactly why the gray wolf needs PERMANENT federal protections and that they will always have the threat of eradication hanging over their head if those protections are weakened or removed.
Anti-wolf zealots are also trying to rewrite history and the mainstream media appears to be playing along. Articles that appeared in news outlets since Friday are publishing quotes from known anti-wolf zealots and not even bothering to point out the affiliations of these people to anti-wolf groups. One example of this was published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “outdoors writer” Paul Smith.
Ralph Fritsch of Townsend in Oconto County, a hunter and longtime member of many state conservation organizations, said he feared the ruling would increase illegal killing of wolves.
“I think the state was doing a good job,” Fritsch said. “Now, a judge from out-of-state has made a decision that could make things worse for wolves. People in northern Wisconsin with low tolerance for wolves might handle it themselves, outside the law.”
What Smith fails to mention is that Fritsch is a former president of the anti-wolf Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, board member of that group, anti-wolf Wisconsin Conservation Congress delegate, and represents the WWF on the hunting group stacked DNR “Wolf Advisory Committee.” This was from the June 2014 “Wolf Advisory Committee” meeting:
The harvest level of 156 will not have a “significant effect in lowering the population of wolves towards the 350 wolf management goal,” said Ralph Fritsch, representing the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.
The federation wanted a harvest quota of 250 wolves.
So Ralphie Boy is just a “simple hunter” and “group member” according to Smith? Funny he seems to forget comments like these from Fristch and how he literally begged the lobbyist stacked Natural Resources Board to remove the prohibition against killing coyotes during the 9 day state gun deer killing season.
Ralph Fritsch, who sits on the advisory committee, and represents the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, which is comprised of hunting, fishing, trapping and forestry-related groups, supported the new quota for making progress toward the target population of 350. He said the wolf hunt in 2012 was ineffective in reducing the wolf population, which the DNR estimates at just over 800, at minimum.
“The Wisconsin DNR has the ultimate responsibility to properly manage the wolf population in the state, which is currently at least 2.5 times the management goal of 350,” Fritsch said. “The goal was based on the social carrying capacity of wolves in the state and was made as a commitment to farmers, hunters and citizens of Wisconsin.”
Fritsch has been persistent, beginning with a petition to the Board in Dec., 2011 to reopen the coyote season during the nine-day gun deer season. This eventually led to a question on the 2012 spring hearings where voters approved opening the coyote season by a vote of 2,501 in favor and 1,048 against. A total of 71 counties supported opening coyote hunting, and only 1 was against.
There is much more out there about this “simple hunter” and “member” of state “conservation” organizations but I would say this is enough to show how the media tries to paint anti-wolf lobbyists as just “simple” folk fighting for their “heritage.”
Then we have this article where a “great white hunter” and taxidermist, whose “expertise” comes from the fact that he kills wildlife all over the world, pretends that the wolf kill bill was written with “biology” in mind:
Randy Mayes, owner of Mayes Taxidermy Studio in Stevens Point, has hunted for most of his life and has traveled to places like Africa, Alaska and Canada to hunt for a variety of animals over the years. Mayes said he had a tag to hunt wolves last year in Wisconsin, but was unsuccessful in killing one.
Mayes said he felt the judge’s decision overrules the research of many state officials who studied the issues of a wolf hunt and ultimately decided to move forward with one in Wisconsin.
“The judge is not an expert, and her decision had nothing to do with sound biology. We had experts who came up with an educated response to control these wolves, and it was working,” said Mayes, 51.
Experts? Who are these “experts? The “official” author was disgraced former state Representative Scott Suder (R-ALEC). Is he an “expert?” How about the go to lobbyist for extreme right wing groups and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Bob Welch? Is he an expert? How about Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation board member, and anti-wolf zealot, Laurie Groskopf? Is she one of these “experts” that Mayes is talking about?
Who are these people trying to kid? This bill, like every other bill passed in Wisconsin since 2011, was written by special interest lobbyists as a revenge/sport hunt. There is nothing even remotely pointing to “biology” or “management” in Wisconsin’s plan. If there were factors such as 24/7/365 hounding, and reckless killing quotas would never have been allowed. Remember this?
The bill’s co-authors, Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford), said the bill was necessary for public health and safety. Suder claimed that, “This is a wolf management bill. It allows our citizens to protect their land, property, and livelihood,” while Moulton said, “The wolf population is out of control! The population has increased 300% in 12 years”
Four representatives from the Bear Hunters Association testified in favor of the bill. A few times they came close to admitting that they wrote it. Bob Welch, lobbyist for the Bear Hunters and other extreme blood sport organizations said, “We believe the stars are aligned at this time and the process was done right this time to get the bill passed. We hired the best lawyer in D.C., the former head of US Fish & Wildlife, to defend delisting. We support the hunting techniques in the bill because hunting wolves is difficult. Without those tools you aren’t going to be able to harvest wolves.”
Scott Meyer, a member of the Bear Hunters Association and lobbyist for United Sportsman, went even further. He said, “”Seven attorneys were involved with drafting this bill to make sure it didn’t put delisting in jeopardy. The bill is not liberal enough, but unfortunately, these are the cards we’ve been dealt. The idea that we’re going to extirpate the wolves is ludicrous.”
Funny I don’t see one thing about “biology” in any of those statements. Do you? Now the anti-wolf zealots are trying to rewrite these facts by pretending that the DNR and state are acting with “science” in mind and other nonsense that has nothing to do with the facts on the ground. I didn’t know that being a rabid partisan or worldwide animal killer made one an “expert.”
The anti-wolf Federal Government
From the beginning of the Obama Administration wolves have been used as a political scapegoat marked for persecution and used for scoring political points for fake Democrats. The fact that the judge who made this ruling is an Obama appointee should make his administration realize how much damage they are doing to our wildlife and environment by pandering to the right wing extremists. Of course the hidden anti-environment provisions in the recently passed spending bill don’t give me much optimism. What does Obama hope to gain by continuing to pander to those that would never vote for him or his party to begin with? With this ruling Judge Beryl Howell thoroughly eviscerates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their methodology for the delisting of the gray wolf in the Great Lakes. The Obama Administration has shown from the beginning that they care nothing for wolves and other wildlife and view them as nothing but an inconvenience. Frankly all environmentalists and progressives should be incensed at Obama and his administration for essentially spitting in our faces. Obama pandered to his supposed opposition time and time again while scoffing at his supposed “base.” With this ruling I think that all environmentalists and progressives need to realize that we were duped by voting for this man.
The Near Future
So where do we go from here? The anti-wolf zealots are on a rampage with their threats of poaching and intimidation tactics. We cannot let them succeed. We also need to keep our eyes on Congress and the Obama Administration. Obama has shown that he has no respect for the Endangered Species Act and will sell wolves out again in a heartbeat if he thinks that it will give him some political gain. We cannot let that happen. It’s time for the pro-environment factions in the Senate to stand up to the GOPers in charge and President Obama if they try to further weaken the ESA. The GOP blocked and filibustered legislation non-stop since 2009 and it’s time for Democrats to do the same thing.
In the meantime wildlife advocates should not engage the rabid anti-wolf factions in internet forums. Let them spread their vitriol and threats. That becomes more “ammunition” for us and will lead to court decisions like we saw last week. This battle is as much about fighting back against right wing extremism in our state and country as it is about our wolves. They will not let up and neither should we. We just have to make sure that we are smarter and not get sucked into their vile “conversations.” This is where many on our side fail. They get sucked into online arguments with these poisonous cretins and play their game. We cannot do that. Those opposed to us also like to paint all “liberals” and wildlife advocates with a broad brush. We are all “emotional,” “city folk” and, “liberals” that are “uninformed” about those grandchildren eating wolves. If I were to play their game I would present “evidence” showing that white males in rural Northern Wisconsin were deviants that liked to do things like this:
Oh boy! Or should I say whoooooa boy?
See how easy that is? But let’s not play that game, as funny as it may be. The tide is turning and the court rulings about Wyoming and the Great Lakes wolves show that, but we must remain vigilant. The anti-wolf factions will pull out all the stops to get this decision overturned. The fear mongering and lies will intensify and we need to counter that through facts and science. Not by responding to trolls on the internet but by writing to our local media and by contacting our political representatives. Besides without wolves those grandchildren sure aren’t going to eat themselves. How else can us “city folk” impose our liberal tyranny on those oppressed rural folk without the big bad wolf being around?