In all my years as a wildlife advocate and politics watcher it has been obvious that lying and politics go hand in hand. Some lies are minor and are easily forgotten and some led us into bankrupting wars that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. This week one political lie was not only total BS but it was downright offensive to anyone that supports wildlife and American democracy in general. Tea Party extremist Representative John Kline (R-Tea Party) introduced a bill into the House to strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming that were recently relisted following federal court ruling that rightly pointed out flaws in the USFWS delisting order and the destructive state “management” plans that still imperil the species. Following this ruling the usual suspects came out of the woodwork and claimed that wolves were responsible for everything from killing all livestock, deer, and snatching pets right from the foot of your bed. In fact there were even rumors of an imminent indictment of the wolf that savagely ate Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother and the wolf responsible for huffing and puffing and blowing down the abode of the Three Little Pigs. The 2008 economic crash has also been determined to have been caused by the uncontrolled spread of wolves huffing and puffing and blowing down houses all over the country thus leading to the housing market collapse. Okay that may be a slight exaggeration but what follows is not.
Almost immediately following the court ordered relisting of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region big ag groups began the fear mongering and dubious propaganda. They apparently wanted to make people believe that wolves somehow “knew” that they suddenly had federal protections again and went on a killing rampage to spite these poor poor ranchers. Here is an example of the propaganda and an incident that very likely never occurred:
“The stories we’ve been hearing over and over from our farmers and ranchers are tragic,” said Amber Hanson, associate director of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. A member this week reported a fatal attack on a calf two hours after it was born, Hanson said, adding, “When your only option is to scream at a wolf, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good.”
I would sure love to see official corroboration of this story but I have a feeling that like Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs this is just another fear mongering fairy tale used to further an agenda with the ultimate goal culminating in a second eradication of gray wolf populations in the lower 48. Think that is bad? These are actual the words of an elected congressman and are written into introduced legislation in our Congress.
A summary of Kline’s bill says that “the overpopulation of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region contributes to the decline of livestock, pets and other animals in the wild.”
“Wolf attacks are a concern for farmers and livestock producers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where the overpopulation of gray wolves is directly linked to the decline of livestock and other animals,’’ Kline said in a statement Thursday. “This bipartisan legislation will remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list and return management to the states, providing greater flexibility and giving states exclusive jurisdiction over the wolves within their own borders.”
Overpopulation? “Decline” of livestock and PETS? Directly linked? Where are ANY of these things documented anywhere other than in the anti-wolf world of the internet? They are not. Wolves kill a a tiny number of livestock each year along with a number of HUNTING DOGS that are left to rampage through wolf territory. Are these the “pets” that this guy is referring to? Where is this “decline” in pets? Millions of pets are killed needlessly in animal shelters each year. Where is Kline’s outrage in that? Dogs owned by hounders are weapons and that is it to those people. Those people care nothing about their “shiteaters” and “culls” and only hope to get those nice fat $2500 checks from the Wisconsin DNR when a wolf allegedly kills one of their “family members.” Kline’s idea of “exclusive jurisdiction” means nothing less than eradication and we all know it.
Yes this guy really wrote the above propaganda and lies into proposed federal law. Outraged yet? These are the Teahadists and fake Democrats that have signed on to this bill thus far. The usual suspects appear here along with people that should be banished from the Democratic Party for eternity.
Then we have the slightly less odorous bill from fellow Teahadist (G)Reed Ribble of Wisconsin that also seeks to delist wolves from ESA protections and allow states to continue with their reckless slaughter, and in the case of Wisconsin, continue their legalized 24/7/365 dog fighting. These bills also forbid Americans from exercising their right to challenge the delistings in court. An anti-democracy move if I have ever seen one. Every American should be horrified at this prospect but they are not. If it were a talentless attention whore rapper crashing an award show stage or deflated footballs some may actually care, but unfortunately it is not. It is only our entire democracy and future of endangered species at risk. No big deal. The Dems have proven to be pandering cowards that usually just go along with the GOPer anti-wildlife provisions while our supposedly “progressive” president signs right on because he is apparently too busy making stupid social media videos. His administration toots the horn of climate change and the environment while pandering and selling out wildlife at every turn. I don’t think there has ever been a more tone deaf president in our country’s history. He spits in the face of his supposed “base” since day one yet so-called progressives keep defending him at all turns. It’s time to tell our president that if he is truly a progressive then he needs to veto each and every anti-wildlife measure that ends up on his desk or he and his party will lose the environmentalists if he hasn’t already with his reckless actions.
Then we have fake “Democrats” like this Colin Peterson of Minnesota that “co-sponsored” both anti-wolf bills in the house and even supports weakening protections for elephants in Africa so that big money trophy killers can import the spoils of their bloodlust and greed. This guy is a perfect example of how corrupted and infiltrated the Democratic Party has become with right wing zealots that work to undermine environmental protections, wildlife protections, a woman’s right to choose, and healthcare access for all Americans. One look at the bills this guy introduced or sponsored shows what his true agenda is and that he damn sure isn’t a “Democrat.” Along with the wolf eradication bill he is also cosponsoring a bill that is a giveaway to trophy killers that want to kill African elephants and import the ivory from those kills into the United States. This bill was written along with notorious anti-wildlife Congressman Don Young of Alaska one of the most onerous and coldhearted people in that body. The ONLY other “sponsor?” The so-called “Democrat” Peterson.
The Future and Thinking Outside of the Box
This is going to be a long fight and right now we are losing. The people in charge do not care what we think even though survey after survey and the ballot box shows that the majority of this country overwhelmingly support protections for wolves. Those in charge only care what the big money trophy killers, rural fear mongers, and their big ag puppet masters want or “believe.” We expect politicians to lie and manipulate things to suit their agenda. Both sides do it. But for a sitting United States Congressman and his “cosponsors” from both parties to sign on to a bill that is full of blatant lies and misinformation shows the true agenda of these people. It is not about “protecting” livestock, grandchildren, or any of the other nonsense they claim. It is about poking a finger into the eyes of the “liberals” and those of us that don’t buy into the big business of “killing is conservation” nonsense that they killing cartels and big ag have been shoveling down our throats for over a century.
We probably will not win his battle with the anti-wildlife factions in Congress and the White House, but all hope is not lost. It is up to us to start protecting what wolves we can on our own. Tribes in Minnesota recently made clear that wolves have sanctuary on their lands and trophy killer will not be allowed to partake in their bloodlust on these lands. We as wildlife advocates must also stop depending on state and federal government agencies to do the right thing. They won’t and only see $$$$$$. We need to think outside the box. We start that by beginning privately funded programs to buy wild lands and open spaces in wolf country and turn them into sanctuaries for all wildlife including wolves. This is thinking big but it may be the only hope our wolves have to avert eradication.
We need big ideas and this is just one of them. The government will not help or protect wildlife for anything other than for providing “hunter opportunity.” We need to get past the hopes of expecting them to actually help wildlife in any way. It is up to us to eventually provide these safe areas if it is not too late.
Outside of the box thinkers we need you to share your ideas with us. We need to put our money where our mouths are and provide our own safe areas for wildlife as our government will not. This is a big dream but it is a reachable dream if all wildlife advocates stop expecting the government and large groups to protect what we hold sacred. WE have to do this. WE have power in numbers and WE need to make these protected landscapes a reality.
Please share your ideas here in the comments section. In the meantime keep up the pressure on Congress and the White House to maintain ESA protections for our wolves and to oppose H.R. 843 and H.R. 884.