Wolves in the northern Rockies: It ain’t over ’til it’s over

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Until the next legal dust-up, the northern Rocky Mountain states have new wolf hunting rules. Bidding farewell to Endangered Species Act protection means the fur will fly and wolves will die. And get this–Montana, the state that attempted to legalize big game spear hunting this past legislative session–is by far showing […]

Wolves have their day in court…again

First, anyone who aspires to be a judge should take a gander at this. Here’s the latest on the complex legal maneuvers surrounding the wolf issue in the northern Rockies. A small cadre of “anti-wolf protesters” showed up outside the courthouse in Missoula, MT yesterday–to view the rest of their signs, click here.

Wolves, Laws and Parochialism

David Cassuto I would like to say a few more words about the so-called “State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act and its stated intent to strip wolves of all Endangered Species Act protections.  While I have no reason to assume this bill will pass (are you listening, Congress?), the fact that officials elected to national office […]

Bill Would Strip Wolves of ESA Protection — Forever

Apparently still traumatized by their experiences reading Little Red Riding Hood as children, 8 members of Congress  have introduced a bill called the State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act.  The sole purpose of HR 6485 is to render any listing of wolves as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act legally irrelevant. You can’t  make […]

Throwing the Wolves Out With the Bathwater

David Cassuto Odd editorial in today’s NYT.  On the one hand, it lays bare the hypocrisy and bloodlust behind the wolf hunt in the Northern Rockies.  For example, after several wolves were killed just outside of Yellowstone (outside the park boundary, you can kill them), Montana’s wolf program director said, ““We didn’t think wolves would be that […]

Keystone Species: The Key to a Healthy Environment

Madison Roberts             What is an ecosystem? According to National Geographic, “An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms…. work together to form a bubble of life.” While every part of the ecosystem is important, certain species are more integral than others. Without these integral species the ecosystem they reside in […]

Canadian beavers in Patagonia’s forests: environmental ethics and invasive species management

Andrea Galassi According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, beavers, the largest rodents in North America, are “one of the few species that significantly modify their environment.” By erecting of watertight dams of sticks woven with reeds, branches and saplings, which are caulked with mud, they diminish the stream erosion and form slow-moving […]

Will new tiger protections go far enough?

Delcianna J. Winders, Academic Fellow, Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School [This piece originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle.] With more tigers in American backyards, basements and bathrooms than the wild, it’s worth pausing on Endangered Species Day to consider whether new federal protections for tigers are enough. On May 6, just days […]

Scarface: In the end, the end was a bullet

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations A bullet stopped Scarface. The famously recognizable grizzly bear with a fan base in Yellowstone was a 25-year-old elder in declining health. Given that fewer than five percent of male bears born in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem survive to age 25, he’d already beaten monumental odds. That is, until he met up with a hunter’s bullet last […]

Channel your inner wolverine!

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations Happy Wolverine Birthday! According to the Wolverine Foundation, February 14th is the day designated to symbolically mark the birth of wolverine kits. They come into the world under five inches long, weighing 3.5-5.11 ounces, and covered in white fur. They sometimes hang with one or the other parent for up to […]

Cecil and Obie: Owning animals, dead or alive

Kathleen Stachowski     Other Nations Cecil the lion is dead, long live Cecil. Obie the tiger lives–and dies–in successive purgatories for 45 years running. Cecil, a unique individual and beloved personality, was slain by a small and hollow man for no reason other than ego. This one “special” lion’s death triggered a tipping point […]

Coexisting: When a Mountain Lion Lives Under the House

Jennifer Molidor When we take away wild places for wild animals, those animals find ways of showing up in our backyard. When that animal is a predator all hell breaks loose, suburban-wild style. This was exemplified by last week’s hysterical reaction to a California mountain lion known as “P-22” found in the crawl space under […]

Coexistence with Coyotes

Jennifer Molidor Coyotes roam the Northern California landscape as naturally as the curving arms of oak trees and shimmering light of golden grasses. Animals are the environment, the land is our home, and no matter where I rest my head, I dream of this homeland. Its skin, scattered with abandoned Quonset huts, fading into fields […]

Yellowstone wildlife sent to slaughter; calling all buffalo warriors

Kathleen Stachowski    Other Nations Dear Americans: You’re busy, I know. You’re busy working and playing and doing a million crazy, diverse things that Americans do in our big, crazy, diverse country. That’s just who we are, and that’s what makes us awesome. But right now, I’m going to cherry-pick a few things we share. […]

Wilderness is an animal rights issue

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations “I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness…I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization… what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.” ~Henry […]

Stop a depraved ‘predator derby’ on your public land

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations The Environmental Assessment has been issued; comment deadline is Oct. 16, 2014. Details at end of post. Q: What do coyotes, skunks, weasels, jackrabbits, raccoons, starlings, and grey wolves in Idaho have in common? A: An arsenal of bullets heading their way. Why? All are designated as predators by Idaho Fish and […]

A tar sands skirmish for human & animal rights

Kathleen Stachowski    Other Nations Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell But I won’t back down. ~Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Nothing says gates of hell like Alberta, Canada’s tar sands, often referred to as the most environmentally-destructive industrial project on […]

My own private Idaho: Pursuing ag-gag secrecy

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations “My Own Private Idaho.” You might know it as a ’90s era movie, but its new identity is being forged in the Idaho legislature right now. “My Own Private Idaho” could soon be how factory farm owners refer to their holdings–places where anything goes and no one knows–if ag-gag legislation is signed […]

King-size coyote fur comforter: Price vs. cost

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations From Killing Coyotes 101: “Don’t be squeamish about killing juvenile coyotes,” advises the text beneath a photo of a grown man grinning over a dead pup. “They will be practicing their hunting skills on your turkey poults, deer fawns, pigglets [sic] and livestock if you let them. so [sic] kill them when you […]

Let slip the dogs of war: Wolf slaughter is afoot

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations (NOTE: See my updates scattered throughout the text & comment section) Cry “Havoc!” There will be blood…and it will be wolf blood. Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) has hired a killer to slaughter two wolf packs within the federally-protected Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. This is congressionally-designated, captital-W wilderness, certainly the one place nature […]

Hunter kills companion dog: “I thought it was a wolf”

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations It wasn’t hard to see this tragedy coming. Really, it was just a matter of time–not if it would happen, but when. A Missoula, Montana man went skiing on Sunday, Nov. 17th with his three canine companions– malamutes all–and returned home with only two living dogs. The third, a 2-year-old named Little Dave, was […]

Hey Chicago–animal suffering lies behind that scenic splendor

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Dear Chicago: We need to talk. You can trust me–I’m practically a native daughter. Heck, from my hometown in Indiana, we can look across Lake Michigan and see your skyline (well, on a clear day). I’m a Cubs fan… ’nuff said! But I’ve lived in Montana for going on 14 years now, and if […]

The wolverine: one gnarly dude…who needs our help

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the stinkiest, snarliest, gnarliest, wildest of them all? Why, Gulo gulo–the amazing wolverine–of course! And the gnarly little being needs our help within the next few days (5/6/13 deadline). Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll probably never see a wolverine in your lifetime, at least not outside of a […]

Departures, arrivals, & taxidermy: Welcome to our neck of the woods

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations In these troubled times, we’ve come to expect the steely-eyed gaze of TSA screeners and security personnel following us in every airport, everywhere. But what you might find shocking is the glassy-eyed gaze you’ll get from wild animals when you visit Missoula, Montana’s international airport. Rest assured, they won’t charge, butt, or trample if you […]

All things are connected: Finding truth in a fake speech

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations “What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts are gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.” Never did a phony speech ring so true. By now we all know (don’t we?) that these words–and […]

How do you value an alpha female wolf?

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations When you live in what feels like a war zone–the Northern Rockies states are waging war on their own native wildlife–it’s easy to forget that the act of killing doesn’t rule the roost everywhere. Occasionally something comes along that makes you believe there might be hope (even if it’s not your hope); that at […]

Which animals would St. Francis bless today?

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations You don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate the Blessing of the Animals offered by churches during October, usually near the Oct. 4th Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. In fact, non-Catholic denominations frequently conduct their own animal blessing services, and why not–what’s not to love?!? […]

Is a pet-free world possible?

Seth Victor Gary Francione rejecting the premise that animals can be property is not new; the good professor has been expressing his view for decades that the key to animal equality must be, in part, approached through our definitions of ownership. He recently posted  that pet ownership is unnatural, even if it were possible to create […]

Speciesism in three uneasy pieces

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations I don’t read the morning paper anymore so much as I confront it. What will it be today–a romantic, river-runs-through-it feature on catch-and-release fly fishing? Gloating trophy shots of dudes in hunter orange and the ungulates they conquered with high-powered rifles? Another guest opinion column defending trapping as a management tool for a renewable resource? […]

The animal rights movement: “A beast to be slain”

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley in Ravalli County is known for its stunning mountain scenery and its oft-stunning conservatism. Deep-canyoned east-west drainages rising toward the Idaho divide serve as a gateway to the 1,340,587-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. The valley’s politics often serve as a gateway to extremism. Guns? Lordy. Militia? In the works. A hunters’ group, […]

When the Wild Things Aren’t

Seth Victor Here’s the situation. You have several domestic cats in a neighborhood from different houses. For one reason or another, a couple of these cats leave their homes and wander the neighborhood and breed, becoming more or less feral. This goes on for several generations. Does there come a point when these cats are […]

Death threat follows posting of trapped wolf picture

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Imagine a wild animal lured to a baited foothold trap. The trap springs, catching the unsuspecting creature by the paw. Imagine–it isn’t difficult–the fear and pain; the thrashing attempts to free the firmly-clamped foot. Now imagine people gathering to watch the terrified animal attempting to free himself. Guns–constant companions in this […]

Now is the winter of our (predator) discontent

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations Ah, the Northern Rockies. Soaring mountains. Rushing streams. Beargrass and aspens. Mountain bluebirds. Deep forests, wide open prairies, abundant native wildlife. What’s not to love? Well, it depends on whom you ask. “I want them to open their (expletive) eyes,” said Toby Bridges, founder of Lobo Watch (Sportsmen against wolves–united we stand!). Bridges […]

Thoughts on the ethics of pet ownership

Eric Chiamulera On October 18, 2011, Terry Thompson released 56 exotic pets from a private zoo he owned and maintained on his 73 acre farm in Zanesville, Ohio. This group of released animals contained such species as lions, tigers, wolves, bears, and mountain lions. Because of the perceived threat to the public, authorities slaughtered over […]

The Elephant in the Living Room: An Inside Look at Exotic Pet Ownership in the United States

Kelly Kruszewski In November of 2007, 911 dispatchers in Pike County, Ohio, received a call from an alarmed driver—there was a lion attacking cars on Route 23.  Apparently, the lion escaped from his enclosure and ran toward the local highway.  Terry Brumfield owned the lion whose name was Lambert.  In an article published in the […]

“Smart collars”: Taking the wild out of wildlife–and putting it on Facebook?

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations Spend enough time in Yellowstone and you’ll see an ever-increasing number of radio or GPS-collared animals. Elk, bison, wolves, and the occasional coyote are species easy to spot sporting the bulky neck gear. Research must be big business. I once watched as wolves skirmished at Blacktail Pond. One in the group […]

The wilderness vegan: Hold the cheese ‘n’ skeeters, please!

Kathleen Stachowski    Other Nations Let’s say a couple–fairly new at describing themselves as vegan–is backpacking with friends in the Beartooth Mountains along the Montana/Wyoming border. Let’s say the mosquitoes are so thick–zillions of them, dense clouds of them–that they risk inhaling them (check), swallowing them (check), and swat them by the tens in their tent […]

The language of oppression and animal exploitation–time for a new and just vocabulary

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations Words matter. Language matters. You know this, I know this. Go ahead, google words create culture or language creates reality and see what you get–and you’ll get plenty. “While names, words, and language can be, and are, used to inspire us, to motivate us to humane acts, to liberate us, they can also be […]

Wolf Delisting Op-ed

David Cassuto Between Kathleen and me, we’ve taken up a lot of blawgwidth on the wolf issue and yet there’s so much more to be said.  Here’s my bid to bring it into the mainstream media.

U.S. Senate passes wolf delisting rider

Wolf advocates accuse Sen. Tester (D-MT) of politically intervening in a scientific decision From this morning’s local paper: “Our provision does not undermine the Endangered Species Act,” said Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who led the effort to delist the wolf in Congress. “It recognizes the ESA as a success.”… “Wolves in Washington, Oregon and Utah […]