Tracking Wolf Releases

It's Not Just Birds . . . Tracking the Canadian Wolf Release
On Wings December 1995 Volume 1: No. 8

On March 8th, three armed agents of the US. FWS threatened and harassed local Idaho rancher Eugene Hussy, a 74 year old man, in an attempt to gather evidence on the recent shooting of a wolf on his property. Mr. Hussy's request that the local Sheriff be present when USFWS personnel searched his property for "evidence" was treated with contempt. When Sheriff Bret Braslou arrived on the scene, the wildlife officers' treatment of both he and the rancher ''border very close to the use of excessive force," according to the 23 year law enforcement officer. Suggestions by Department of Justice (DOJ) officials that both Mr. Hussy and the Sheriff were "obstructing justice" have been met by state and local officials as beneath contempt.

The evidence that the USFWS was trying to obtain was the shell casing from the shot fired that killed a wolf on Mr. Hussy's property. Under the rules governing the wolf reintroduction in central Idaho, the predators can be killed by ranchers if they are attacking their stock. Earlier reports indicated the wolf shot on Jan. 29 was attacking the new born calf.

However, a statement released by the USFWS in the Portland, Oregon office said the autopsies on the wolf found shot to death on Hussy's ranch and the calf found dead at its side "indicate that the dead wolf did not kill the calf," and that the calf "is believed to have been stillborn or to have died from natural causes shortly after birth."

Dr. Robert Cope, who performed the initial autopsy on-site, reported that the calf could not have been stillborn as its lungs were inflated. It appeared to have died from multiple lacerations inflicted by the wolf. By March 9th, the situation had deteriorated further. The DOJ began to claim that local people were organizing a protest of 'thousands' to refuse to pay grazing fees on Monday the 13th. The only such "meeting" in Lemhi County is the regularly scheduled County Commissioners session, which intends to discuss ways of softening the blow of increased grazing fees and which 40 local ranchers intend to attend. DOJ and FBl officials seem to feel that local residents are attempting to steal federal lands and harass land managers' while doing so.

Lemhi County has been entered by the DOJ on a list of counties in the USA who supposedly were attempting to seize public lands and who have passed laws to criminalize the action of the Forest Service and BLM, prior to them having contacted either the county or local land management agencies. The County Commissioners have requested that the DOJ remove Lemhi County from their list and issue an apology to County residents, since this is categorically not true.

Senator Craig was quoted in the Idaho radio broadcast system as saying ''I am mad as Hell that this agency, or any agency, could treat people in this manner."

The head of the USFWS, admitted on Friday, March 10, that her agents made mistakes in serving the search warrant as part of their investigation into the wolf killing. She "did not deny claims by Lemhi County commissioners and Sheriff Bret Braslou that the rancher, Mr. Hussy, may have been intimidated and that Braslou was not consulted." Beattie said that her people should have been more cooperative with local law enforcement agents.

However, the USFWS regional office issued a less apologetic statement. They claimed that the three officers conducted them-selves in a professional manner, and when it became evident that they would be unable to gain cooperation at the site, "the officers prudently withdrew from the area and returned to their office." This is not just an attack on Idaho, not is it a continuation of the "War on the West". It is just a footprint in the environmental extremists' march across America, and they are headed in your direction. It doesn't make any difference where you live; these issues affect. you too.

Editor's note: This wolf update was brought to you through Alliance for America, an incredibly dedicated Grassroots movement.  This article was originally printed  in Idaho Timberland, and is reprinted-here with the kind permission of Alliance for America.)

Latest word on the project is that the USFWS is coordinating with British Columbia to obtain fifteen more wolves for the Idaho project, to be released, perhaps, as early as this January. Releases of wolves in Idaho and at Yellowstone' National Park have cost the taxpayer in excess of six million dollars thus far. Most of the Idaho wolves have remained near their release site. Three wolf pairs were together as of mid-November of this year. Game authorities hope to manage a minimum of ten packs of wolves, each consisting of ten wolves each by the year 2003.

Officials estimate that a fully recovered wolf population in the area might consume as many as 1600 head of elk and deer per year. The Farm Bureau Federation challenged the introduction of the wolves last year. The case is .still pending in court. Mr. Hussey remains unenthusiastic about the project and foresees problems arising in the coming winter season.

On Wings February 1997
Volume 3: No. 2

The U. S Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a plan to establish an experimental population of the endangered Mexican gray wolf Canis lupus baileyi into parts of its historic range in Arizona and New Mexico.

The Mexican gray wolf is the most southerly and the most genetically distinct. of all the North , American gray wolf subspecies, according to the Service. The Mexican wolf, or 'lobo', weighs' from fifty to ninety pounds, stands 26 - 32 inches at the shoulder, and, measures four and one half to five - and one half feet.

In an environmental impact statement issued in December, the Service published its recommendation to reintroduce the wolves onto public lands. After a thirty day period of public review, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will announce final plans.

The Mexican wolf, and endangered subspecies of gray wolf, was listed as endangered in 1976. Its territory ranged over much of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Northern .Mexico. Due to its reputation as a livestock killer, the once healthy population was virtually extirpated from its range due to intensive eradication efforts by farmers and game managers. The wolves were also adversely. impacted by commercial hunting and trapping.

No wild wolf has been confirmed in its U.S. range since 1970. Its status in Mexico is uncertain. A captive breeding program was established for the gray wolf in the late .1970's. A Recovery Plan was developed for the species in 1982 by the Service, in conjunction with the Mexican Direccion General de la Fauna Silvestre. As of March 1996, 149 were held in captivity in twenty-three facilities in the U.S., and at five in Mexico.

Once a plan is approved, Mexican wolves would be released into the proposed Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, in the Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona. From there, it would be expected to disperse into the Gila National Forest of New Mexico. The White Sands Wolf Recovery Area, located on the  White Sands Missile Range on New Mexico, would provide a second area for release if necessary.

Following what the Service calls the "soft release approach", the wolves selected to be released would be held for up to several months in holding pens in an effort to acclimatize them to their new surroundings. Up to fourteen family groups are expected to be released in the Blue Range over a period of five years, working toward a sustainable population of up to one hundred wolves.

Up to five family groups would be released into White Sands, with the goal of a population of twenty wolves in the next three years. Wolves will be fitted with radio collars prior to their release into the wild, and will be permanently marked for identification.

The designation of the released wolves as an experimental population allows the Service great flexibility in its management activities. The Service cannot designate the wolf habitat as critical under this program, and private citizens will be allowed to take measures to prevent harm to themselves or to livestock under the program.  There are expected to be few, if any, restrictions on human activities imposed, with the possible exception of restrictions around active dens during certain times of the year. Limited road closures could be imposed if illegal wolf killings occur.

Besides the Hussey and (Chad) McKittrick incidents, the most recent casualty in the wolf wars was announced in January. Wolf R-28 was found frozen in the Madison River in Gallatin County, Colorado. Biologists found the wolf after it had been missing for five weeks, with its collar intact and functional. R-28 was a large, 150 pound gray male, who was the alpha male of the Nez Perce pack. It appeared the wolf had been shot several times, and then dumped at the river location. The Service is requesting anyone with information regarding this animal.

In the meantime, Defenders of Wildlife has begun a campaign to lobby the state of New York to call on their governor George Patacki to support a proposition to release a pack of fifteen to fifty gray wolves into the Adirondack National Park. Patacki refuses to support such measures without the backing of the local communities that would be impacted by such an action.

On Wings June 1998
Volume 4 No. 6

Wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park and in central Idaho, and the natural migration of gray wolves into Montana from Canada, is a subject sure to engender argument. Rarely has a wildlife issue so polarized public opinion.

Since early in America's history, the howl of the wolf has struck fear in the hearts of isolated ranchers. Fearful for their stock, ranchers and farmers asked for the help of government in protecting their valuable charges from wolf predation. Thus, as early as 1914, Yellowstone began an eradication program, funded by Congress, to ensure the destruction of "wolves, prairie dogs and other animals injurious to agriculture and animal husbandry." Federal policy actually called for their elimination, and that program was successful.

Generally, across the country, wolf populations came under control, so much control, in fact, that they became essentially wiped out in this country. But not entirely, it is essential to remember. In 1973, the Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act, which mandates recovery plans for all endangered and threatened species, regardless of cost. And the gray wolf, while still hated and despised by the ranching interests, came under its protection.

By 1980, a recovery plan for the species had been drafted, and the public relations campaign initiated. By 1987, calls for reintroduction into the Yellowstone ecosystem and other areas in the West had begun. School children were enlisted by the great green groups to send letters to Washington urging the wolf's return to the West, and the money coffers were filled with donations from those who would willingly go back to nature.

By 1995, the wolf had come to symbolize the return of the old West, and the noble wolf became the charismatic megafauna of choice, attracting funds on a level comparable to the ever lucrative dolphin or baby seal. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and an animal rights group, Defenders of Wildlife, began planning to trap over one hundred gray wolves from Canada, and release them in United States, in Wyoming and Idaho.

The releases were allowed, according to Babbitt, et al, under Section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act, which allowed species to be imported into areas they formerly occupied, so long as there is no potential for the species to repopulate the area on its own. The goal of the Service was to manage a minimum of ten packs of ten wolves each, to be achieved by the year 2003. By 1995 and 1996, the Service had imported and released sixty-six Canadian gray wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho, against the wishes of local farmers and ranchers. However, the Service was able to give lip service to the ranchers' concerns by designating the animals as a non-essential experimental population, thus theoretically removing them from the restrictions of the Endangered Species Act.

On January 12, 1995, the first wolves from Alberta, Canada, arrived at their holding pens in Yellowstone. Just days thereafter, fifteen more wolves were released in Idaho. On March 21, amid much fanfare, the doors to the holding pens in Yellowstone were thrown open, and the wolves released. These releases were made at a cost to the taxpayers of over six million dollars.

Officials had estimated that a fully recovered wolf population might consume as many as 1600 dead of elk and deer annually. But even before the Yellowstone wolves had been released, ranchers' worst fears were realized. Despite assurances that wolves would not damage livestock, by January 19, 1995, Canadian Wolf B-13 made the first kill.

The first person to have suffered financial loss directly attributable to the reintroduction of gray wolves to Idaho was rural Lemhi county rancher Eugene Hussey. Wolf B-13 was shot by 'person or persons unknown' as it munched on a calf owned by Mr. Hussey. Dr. Robert Cope, a local veterinarian, performed a necropsy on the unfortunate animal, and concluded that the calf had been healthy, had nursed, and had then been eaten alive by the wolf.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, however, in their zeal to protect the rights of the murderous wolf, sent three armed agents to the 74-year-old Hussey's ranch on March 8, in an attempt to gather evidence of a crime. Apparently, the agents were attempting to locate a shell casing from the shot that killed B-13. Hussey requested that the local sheriff, Bret Braslou, be called, to be present while the USFWS agents performed a search of the property, but that request was scorned. When Braslou arrived anyway, Braslou described the agents' treatment of him and Hussey as "bordering very close to the use of excessive force."

Although ranchers and others are permitted under the exempted, experimental population regulations to shoot animals preying on domestic livestock, the Service released a statement saying that the 'autopsies' on the wolf and the calf found at Hussey's ranch "indicate that the dead wolf did not kill the calf," and the calf "is believed to have died from natural causes shortly after death."

This, of course, is directly contradictory to the local vet's evaluation. His findings indicated that the calf could not have been stillborn, as its lungs were inflated, and appeared to have died from multiple lacerations inflicted by the wolf. By this time, the town was festering. Lemhi county came under the intense scrutiny of the Department of Justice and the FBI, who seemed to believe the citizens were organizing in protest of increased grazing fees and were about to attempt to seize federal properties and harass land managers. Senator Larry Craig told Idaho radio listeners that "I am mad as hell that this agency, or any agency, could treat people in this manner."

Mollie Beattie, then head of USFWS, admitted shortly thereafter that her agents had made mistakes in the execution of the search warrant, admitting that her people should have been more cooperative with local law enforcement agencies. The local Service office persisted in their stance however, stating that their agents had comported themselves in a professional manner, and that when it was evident that they would not gain the subject's cooperation, "the officers prudently withdrew from the area and returned to the office." After investigation, the USFWS concluded that neither Hussey or his employee shot Canadian Wolf B-13, or knew who did so.

Mr. Hussey has since filed a lawsuit against the federal government and is seeking compensation for the loss of the calf. Other wolves that were part of the reintroduction project also fell victim to man. Charles McKittrick was sentenced to six months in prison for killing a wolf that had strayed out of Yellowstone. He had been convicted in October 1995 of possessing, killing and transporting the wolf, in April that year.

But in another sense, all the wolves in the reintroduction plan were victims of man. Even as green groups such as the Defenders of Wildlife make poster-mammals of these creatures, they are fully aware that native populations of wolves had never disappeared from the United States. The Service, too, was fully aware that at least five breeding pairs of wolves existed in Idaho, and had a map recording wolf sightings there dating back to the early seventies. The wolf population in Montana was healthy, due principally to the fact that wolves are no respecters of borders, and they had been migrating here from Canada for some years.

But there are no photo-ops in these clandestine crossings. Better a picture of Bruce Babbitt loosing the beasts into the wild to loosen the wallets of an unsuspecting public. Reintroduced populations have increased well in the States, and both the Yellowstone and the Idaho populations should exceed one hundred individuals this year, in some cases as a result of matings with native wolves. The Montana population of border-crossers also tops one hundred.

With the realization that wolves were repopulating themselves well without the intervention of man, the invocation of 10(j) becomes faulty. By removing the full protections of the ESA from the reintroduced population, it was also effectively removed from the wolves in the (unrecognized) native population.

In response to a lawsuit from the Wyoming Farm Bureau and other interested groups, Casper, Wyoming federal judge William Downe ruled that the reintroduced wolves and their offspring should be removed, since the Endangered Species Act would not "allow reduction of protections to existing natural populations in whole or in part." However, he stayed the order pending appeal.

Babbitt has vowed the keep the wolves in this country. The Justice Department has appealed the removal of the wolves on behalf of the Department of the Interior, and Secretary Babbitt has stated that he will do everything he can to keep the animals in the U.S. Losing the appeal might be problematic for Babbitt, and he has already stated that the government has no place to put the wolves if they are ordered removed.

Canada does not want the wolves returned: they are shot from helicopters there, as vermin. Zoos do not have room for them, Babbitt says, and the American public, ranchers excluded perhaps, would not allow the wolves to be killed. And what of the offspring of matings between the native stock and reintroduced stock? Some days it just doesn't pay to fool with old Mother Nature.

Living With the Consequences

With the Fish and Wildlife Service happily planning to repopulate the United States with the likes of the grizzly bear, the cougar, the gray wolf, and other predators, it stands to reason that people are going to be forced to find new ways to deal with them. Conflict will be inevitable, as people and animals vie for the same habitat, and in some cases, the same food supply.

Coyotes have particularly proliferated in the last few decades, and have adapted well even to city life, where they take an occasional cat or pampered pooch. Populations in some areas of the country are increasing at such a rate as to have outstripped the growth of their normal prey, and have taken to attacking livestock. Those problem beasts are often promptly dispatched lethally by the USDA's predator control people, to the dismay of the animal rights people, who would prefer that the errant beasts be relocated to some other area.

In Ontario Canada alone, the agriculture ministry spends between $500,000 and $750,000 annually compensating farmers for losses due to coyote predation. But Canadian ranchers soon may be experiencing better living through chemistry, now that the government there has approved the experimental import of a product long used in Wales to keep animals from crop acreages.

The product, called fox oil, is a tarry substance produced by distilling animal bones that have been turned into charcoal by heating them from 700 to 1,000 degrees. centigrade for about eight hours. Trade-named Renardine, the foul smelling substance is supposed to repel predators.

When the stuff is applied around a field, coyotes and other vermin are repelled by the pungent odors, which lat about ten to fourteen days. Initial trials have been favorable, and it is expected that Renardine will be available in Canada within the next several years.

But others of the canine persuasion have had less luck. On April 28, a male wolf was shot and killed by an Arizona camper when the beast allegedly attacked the man's dog. The mate of the slain animal has been captured and relocated to New Mexico. The camper may face charges in the incident.

One of the three wolves brought to Arizona by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt killed a prized cattle dog the last week of May of this year, in the first such incident since the wolves were released March 29. The Queensland heeler was owned by Sam Luce, a rancher who runs about twenty-five head of cattle on private land along the Blue River. Luce was devastated by the loss of his 'little friend.'

The rancher will be compensated monetarily for his loss by the Defenders of Wildlife, an organization which has promised to compensate ranchers for losses caused by wolf predation. They also will pay for veterinary expenses stemming from bite wounds to the neck suffered by the rancher's miniature horse.

The offending wolf was recaptured and taken to Albuquerque, where it will remain until a release date is set for it and up to fourteen other wolves, sometime late this year or early next year.

Bears, too, are increasingly tangling with humanity. Douglas County, Colorado has recently had a few run-ins with opportunistic bears, who have invaded the local subdivisions in search of a few easy meals.

There, local bears are challenging their avian friends at bird-feeders. Local officials are now warning residents to keep dog food and barbeque grills inside, and to remove bird feeders when bears are about. Those bears which persist in unwanted backyard feeding forays have been relocated, but officials are concerned that there are fewer and fewer places to place the animals, as civilization rapidly encroaches their territory.

Grizzly bears have become a serious problem in some areas, and with their reintroduction by the USFWS, more and more conflicts are likely. Attracted by campers, the bears have developed a taste for the foods the campers bring in.

The big bruins have invaded tents, shredding backpacks, foodstuffs, and even campers themselves. Bears that become too conditioned to foraging human camps for food often have to be destroyed Even those that are relocated experience a twenty percent mortality rate.  Now a wildlife biologist, Carrie Hunt, has come up with a solution other than relocation or lethal methods. She has begun using fearless, sixty-pound Karelian bear dogs to teach the grizzlies to stay away from campsites. By repeatedly using the dogs to harass errant bears, the biologist has 'trained' some fifty bears to avoid camps and campers.

Karelian bear dogs originated in Russia and Finland, a fearless breed bred to pursue and track bears. Their quickness and intelligence allows them to deftly avoid being injured by the bears.  Hunt started with one dog in 1990; in 1992, with the acquisition of a mate for her first dog, she began a breeding program which has produced eighteen pups, fourteen of which are now used in bear control.

Hunt's program has seen some success in Glacier National Park; she has been hired by the US Forest Service, and the state of Montana. Yosemite does not use her services, primarily because they feel their bears are too far gone for aversive conditioning.  But one family of bears in Glacier National park was too late for Hunt's efforts. The remains of camper Craig Dahl, 26, of Winter Park Colorado, were found by park rangers on May 20.  Dahl had just recently taken a job driving a tourist coach around the park. Rangers believe he had stumbled across a family of grizzly bears -- a mother and two cubs -- while on a solo hike through the park, ran from them, and was ultimately killed and consumed.

Human DNA was found in bear scat found near the location of Dahl's body. The thirteen year old mother bear was shot by rangers. A two year old female cub was euthanized after she was trapped by park employees. Her brother is still free after attempts to lure him into the trap failed. He, too, will be killed when he is located, as officials believe a food conditioned bear is too dangerous to be considered for relocation or placement in a zoo.

Unwanted animal encounters will likely increase in coming years, as humans move into animal territories, and predators are reintroduced in federal programs originating through the Department of the Interior. In bringing back the big predators, often to the consternation, and against the wishes of farmers and ranchers who must deal intimately with them, the DOI is, in the minds of some, playing God. By deliberately placing large predators in the way of people, it is only a matter of time before some people become prey themselves. Despite our best wishes and intentions, we cannot go back to Eden.

Wolves and Coyotes


On Wings, August 1990 Volume 5: No. 8

Coyotes are a member of the dog family (canids), which includes wolves, dogs and foxes. They have been around for quite some time; their name comes the Aztec word "coyotl."

Adults average around 20 to 35 pounds though some weigh over 50 pounds. Adult coyotes are four to five feet long and have round, bushy, black-tipped tails. Their ears are broad, pointed and erect and they have piercing yellow eyes. The color and texture their fur varies from region to region and season to season. Winter coats are prized by hunters for their thick silky fur.

These predators possess exceptional senses of smell, vision and hearing. Coyotes are most active at dusk and dawn, but during breeding and pup rearing season they may be observed during daylight hours. Coyotes reproduce once a year - breeding during the part of the first part of the year and giving birth in the springtime. The litter size depends on the mother's age and amount of available prey. Average litters can range from four to nine pups, but can be as high as 17.

Coyotes tend to vocalize at night, emitting either a high quavering cry or a series of short, high-pitched yips. This opportunistic carnivore is highly adaptable and throughout its years on the North American continent has managed to extend its range from Alaska throughout most of central Canada to all of the United States, Mexico and most of Central America.

Coyotes aren't picky eaters and their varied diet includes rabbits, fawns, fish, assorted birds, various small mammals, insects, reptiles berries, fruits, wild plants and even garbage. Coyotes have been known to raid cornfields and gardens. Their winter diet tends to include larger prey such as deer, livestock, rabbits and hares. Coyotes often learn that sheep, lambs, calves, piglets and poultry are easy prey. They are versatile and can hunt in packs or alone. The coyote does not hibernate. It hunts both day and night throughout its range. It runs swiftly and easily overtakes its prey. This alert and wary survivor is highly intelligent and learns how to elude hunters and evade predator control techniques in its habitat.

The Wiley Hunter
The sharp teeth of coyotes vary in size and spacing. The average spacing between the upper teeth is 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inches with 1 to 1 1/4 inches between the lower teeth. Coyotes typically bite the throat of their prey just behind the jaw and below the ear. Death usually results from suffocation, shock and blood loss. Coyotes may carry away young lambs, kids and pigs and disappear with hardly a trace. Coyotes are also known to attack the flanks and hindquarters of larger wild mammals as well as of domestic livestock. They are more likely to kill sheep in this manner during winter months when the fleece is heavier.

Coyotes often attack cows giving birth, and severe injuries to the cow's genital organs and hindquarters are not uncommon. The coyotes tend to attack heifers, or young cows during their first delivery. Calves are often bobtailed by coyote attacks. Animals that are not killed immediately will suffer after a coyote attack. Lacerations usually become infected and death is very slow and painful. Often coyotes will feed extensively upon a living calf's hindquarters before it dies. On dead and dying animals, coyotes usually feed first on the flank or just behind the ribs. However, others prefer the viscera (liver, heart, lungs, mesenteric fat, etc.) A milk-filled stomach is a coyote delicacy.

Frenzied coyotes often participate in killing sprees. They make frequent and multiple kills but do not feed upon them. At the kill sites where they do feed, the hide and most of the skeleton may be left unless food is scarce. Then nothing is wasted. Coyote feeding leaves ragged edges on muscle tissue and tendons as well as splintered and chewed ribs and other bones. Scattered wool and fur, bits of skin and other body parts are characteristic where coyotes feed extensively on larger carcasses. If not disturbed at a feeding site, coyotes often rub and roll after feeding, possibly to clean themselves. They may also urinate and defecate at the kill site soon after feeding.

Governmental Predator Control
In 1931 Congress established the Animal Damage Control (ADC) program. The program was originally under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior,USFWS, but Congress, as a result of pressure from the western states, transferred the ADC to the Department of Agriculture in 1985. It is now called Wildlife Services and is a branch of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). From 1988 through 1991 approximately 350,000 coyotes were eradicated. Leg hold traps, wire neck snares, shooting from aircraft, M-44 (a sodium cyanide powder that explodes in an animal's mouth, denning, shooting, hunting with dogs and 1080 (sodium f1uoroacetate) livestock protection collars have all been used in the war against the coyote.

Major complaints involved coyotes that killed sheep, goats, cattle, foals, poultry, swine and domestic pets, those that raided watermelon and pumpkin patches and still others that were just plain destructive to private property. In 1990 alone, damage to sheep cost $13,555,500 and to cattle $24,320,000. Statistics indicate that the largest number of complaints were from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming though coyotes are found nationwide. (The ADC also handles destruction and predation problems caused by wolves, mountain lions, bears, foxes, bobcats, badgers, minks, raccoons, opossums, skunks and other nuisance animals.)

The Predator Protectionists
The animal rights alarmists are appalled, of course, at the killing of these "defenseless" coyotes. After all, it isn't their livestock that is threatened or endangered, is it? Due to their campaigns, many states have outlawed the use of effective traps, poisons and snares. Despite the green movement's good intentions, however, live trapping is not as humane as it may seem, because trapped coyotes desperately bite and tear at the wire, causing damage to their mouth and teeth. Lethal methods are the quickest way to stop coyotes from killing livestock. In fact, in most situations, lethal methods may be the only cost-effective solution.

The evasive coyote is not easy to catch or restrain. They easily learn how to avoid humane box traps. They soon realize that scare cannons or propane exploders are not harmful. Coyotes will even go between active propane exploders to kill livestock. The USDA electronic guard device, complete with strobe lights and sirens that come on every 15 minutes throughout the night, is also ignored by the animals. Coyotes are not afraid of people and so scarecrows wearing human scented clothing are no deterrent. There have been experiments in applying coyote repellents to sheep but they have proven ineffective.

Animal rights advocates have suggested using all the above methods to keep coyotes away from ranches and farms but they just don't work. Other ideas are to switch lambing times from spring to fall, to pen the animals at night in electrical or drift fences and to put bells on the sheep. One group suggested that talk radio programs be used to keep the coyotes away. I suppose that might work. Guard dogs that bond with the livestock and thus defend them may be one of the best ways to keep the coyotes in check. However, good guard dogs result from not only proper training when they are pups, but also an inborn disposition for this work. Not all Komondors, Maremmas, Slovensky Cuvacs, Polish Tatra Sheepdogs, Anatolian Shepherds, Kuvaszs, Shar Planinetzs or Great Pyrenees will be good at this job.

Donkeys are sometimes used by livestock producers to guard sheep, goats and hogs that are allowed to forage in the woods. Most donkeys have a natural dislike for coyotes and dogs and will bond well with livestock. Aggressive llamas and horses can also fend off coyotes.

The Urban Coyote
Once the bane of farmers and ranchers, coyotes (sometimes called "the little wolf) are now posing threats to urban areas. Many residents worry that ravenous coyotes, known to eat almost anything anyway, will attack pets and children as easily as livestock. More than one person has caught a coyote stalking their beloved dog and many family pets have been bitten, attacked and killed by coyotes. One woman's dog was carried off by a pack of coyotes and she is certain that one skinned her 13-year old cat, leaving behind chunks of fur. Let's hope we never have to read or hear about someone's child meeting a similar fate.

Because of the danger to people, pets and other wildlife, it is illegal to use toxicants and poisons to control coyotes. When coyotes are causing damage, most city folk just want the problem corrected but don't always want the coyote killed. "Can't you just catch the coyotes and move them someplace else?" is a common question. Despite the yammering from the animal rights crowd, after all is said and done, the best way to control the coyote population and the problems they cause is simply to exterminate them.

Hunting the Varmint
Most states have open season for coyotes and other nuisance animals, though coyote hunting at night is often prohibited. They are much more difficult to hunt during the day. Shooting problem coyotes is always an option in rural areas and sometimes within city limits if ordinances allow it. Using dogs is an effective way to hunt coyotes, but it can be difficult to target a specific coyote that is causing damage. Sport hunters kill coyotes because they kill hundreds of thousands of deer and other game animals each year. From 1941-89, 540,000 coyotes were harvested by fur trappers and hunters. Harvest totals from 1980-89 indicated an average annual harvest of 20,900 coyotes and their pelts were valued at $521,000.

Tracking coyotes requires patience. A hunter must learn the coyote's pattern. Some may stalk their prey at a certain time of the day. Coyotes can return to the kill site several times until a carcass is reduced to bones and hide. Sunrise and sunset are usually the best times to stake out a coyote kill. Shooters must remain downwind of this ever alert predator. Hunting dogs work best during the winter because they have difficulty scenting and trailing coyotes in dry summer conditions. Electronic or hand-held calls can imitate the sound of a wounded rabbit and draw coyotes within range, but this method can only be used during the daytime unless special authorization is granted from the Conservation Department.

HSUS Campaigns to Cut ADC Funds
HSUS is our nation's largest animal protection organization and boasts a membership base of six million. HSUS campaigned and Congress listened. Rep. Charles Bass, R-NH, a member of the House Budget Committee, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, a member of the House Resources Committee, offered an amendment to cut $ 10 million from the $28.8 million operations budget for Wildlife Services via H.R. 4101, The Agriculture Appropriations Act. Other conservation organizations, including the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and the Green Scissors Coalition endorsed this bill. Their reasoning? Cut funding and make the predator control program more ineffective so that coyotes and other harmful animals would be protected from cruel deaths.

After heated debates and a political roller coaster ride, the Predator Project and its coalition of environmental and taxpayer groups suffered a narrow defeat. The bill was overthrown only due to intense lobbying by the Farm Bureau and its allies within and outside of Congress. Each year, predators cause a great deal of damage to livestock and private property. These animals have killed beloved pets and attacked men, women and children as well. If the animal rights/environmentalists fight this hard to protect the common coyote, can you imagine what they do to defend a supposedly endangered or threatened species?

Unlike the persistent and adaptable coyote that just keeps increasing its population, apparently wolves need protection from the federal government and so were listed under the ESA. Saving the "poor misunderstood" and "noble" wolf has become a pet project of animal rights and environmental devotees throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The farming and ranching communities of yesteryear offered bounties for these marauding killers, but now these ravenous beasts are protected by federal law. Wolves are being reintroduced throughout the country, much to the disdain and detriment of farmers, ranchers and property owners everywhere. Captive release breeding programs are being funded in order to increase the wild populations of these predators.

As early as 1982, the FWS and Mexico jointly approved the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan calling for expanded breeding efforts and the establishment of a wild population of at least 100 wolves. Not long thereafter, the Defenders of Wildlife became active and generated public support and funding for El Lobo's reintroduction. The pro-wolf groups have worked very hard to see that wolves were released into the wild. They have fought the FWS, the Farm Bureau and legislators. They have initiated lawsuits and letter writing campaigns. The "save the wolf" project has become one of their most important and popular campaigns.

In January of 1998, three Mexican wolves were released into the Ponderosa pine mountains of eastern Arizona's Apache National Forest. Bruce Babbitt, who released the first wolf proclaimed, "As we bring these wolves back to the wild, we strengthen the human spirit."

I suppose he is right. We will have to be more diligent and stronger than ever to stave off the danger brought on by these federally protected predators. Similar recovery and re-introduction schemes have taken place for the gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park, the timber wolf in Minnesota and the red wolf in North Carolina and Tennessee.

However, you should know that the red wolf is actually a hybrid coyote that was never found in North Carolina in the first place. Even though it was their mistake, the FWS will spend mil-lions of our tax dollars to protect this unwanted mongrel. How many more ESA listing mistakes will be made in addition to those On Wings and other publications have already reported?

Nevertheless, the Defenders hope to release these so-called red wolves into Mississippi. Why does Mississippi need them? Why are our tax dollars wasted for such foolishness? The Defenders also want to reintroduce the eastern timber wolf into New York's Adirondack Park and the gray wolf to Washington State's Olympic National Park. For those of you who enjoy camping and hiking in these beautiful parks, now is the time to voice your concerns. Natural populations of gray wolves that migrate from Canada into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho already pose a threat to livestock, pets and people. Citizens want this wolf delisted, but the pro-wolf faction is fighting it. Something is very wrong when people cannot defend themselves, their families and their animals without being fined and jailed for doing so.

The government cares more about these predatory animals than it does its citizens. Babbitt has proclaimed that he wants to "hear wolves howling throughout Montana and other western states." I bet there will be howling, but not from wolves! Gray wolves have been returned to public lands in Yellowstone and central Idaho with the hopes they will repopulate and one day be removed from the ESA list. In the meantime, however, a U.S. District Court judge said the reintroduction effort harmed the native population of endangered native wolves and that the introduced wolves would have to be recaptured and removed.

Babbitt vowed to fight the court order saying that "no wolves will be removed from Yellowstone on my watch." This wildlife war continues. Just like other ESA listings, wolves are listed by populations rather than actual subspecies. To add to the confusion, where the wolf populations overlap, hybrids occur. There are also hybrids which result from matings of coyotes and wolves and domestic dogs and wolves. Many of these hybrids are even more aggressive and predatory than their parents.

Alaska has the largest wolf population but it not listed under the ESA. Hunters and trappers kill the wolves that kill caribou and moose. The Defenders of Wildlife objected and rallied to conduct a successful ballot initiative to end same-day-airborne and land-and-shoot wolf killing. Now Alaska will have even more wolves and even fewer game animals. What is it with these people?

Wolves, wolves, everywhere wolves
Soon they will be as plentiful as the coyote and because they are federally protected, they will be even more impossible to control. Spirit of the Predator:

New Age Politics
Many earth and nature worshippers have adopted the wolf as their totem animal. The wolf and coyote can be found in contemporary art including wearable talismans such as jewelry and clothing. Homage is paid to these animals in books, movies and music. The pantheistic hodge podge that is new age religion includes the worship of animal spirits. Devotees invoke these spirits and can be literally possessed by them. Is it any wonder then, that these people are unable to separate reality from myth; science from fiction, or common sense from deception?

A White House press release written by Al Gore, praised the gray wolf recovery effort as follows, "There is perhaps no greater symbol of the American wilds than the howl of a wolf roaming free. The return of the gray wolf is a testament to nature's resilience -- and to the remarkable success of the Endangered Species Act." So much for a well-balanced earth.

Actually, the wolf and coyote are appropriate symbols for Eco/ARFs. Their numbers continue to grow and thrive. They are everywhere and are out of control. They run in packs and their cries can be heard echoing throughout our land They are mobile and territorial. They seek out new turf and more land. They can be illusive and evasive or blend into their surroundings. They are opportunistic and clever. They gang up on others. They are immune to the sound wisdom. They have no fear of people's resistance. In fact, they disregard other people's needs and struggles, private property and safety, and ideas and beliefs in the same manner that predators mark their territory and their kill sites. While preaching tolerance; they are intolerant. While defending the rights of animals; they taking away the rights of man. One day the wolves will be as numerous and far ranging as coyotes, and the animal and earth worshippers will outnumber everyone. Are you ready for the new millennium?

The Trouble With Wolves
On Wings February 2000
Volume 6: No. 2

Wolves can't be blamed for their inherent nature. They are wild animals, after all. However, man has free will and the ability to make decisions based on reason and common sense as well as the ability to rationalize and justify actions that run counter to that concept. Man has the ability to recognize and accept the inherent nature of wolves and act accordingly. Nevertheless, the green elite and animal rights crowd have convinced themselves and will attempt to convince you that man has no more rights than animals. In fact, if anything, he has fewer rights. Human life is not sacred to them. They believe in human population control for everyone but themselves, but that is a topic for another article.

Here is a true story about a wolf at the door. An 81 year old great-grandmother who lives in the small town of Alma, New Mexico, located near the Gila wilderness, was confronted by the consequences of the wolf reintroduction program first hand. She was washing dishes one afternoon when she heard the alarmed barking of her daughter's dog. Looking out the window, she watched helpless as a Mexican Grey wolf sauntered away with Fuzzy, her favorite cat, in his Jaws. She called to her husband, who was able to identify the animal right away. He had been been a  rancher in New Mexico for most of his life and he knew the difference between a coyote and a wolf.

He wanted to shoot the cat-stealing critter, but he also knew the animal was federally protected and that he could be charged as a felon for doing so.  The wolf killed Fuzzy in their yard in broad daylight and they could only thank God that their five-year old great-grand-daughter had not been playing outside that day - something she usually did. Mrs. Klumker called the U.S. FWS to report the incident. Agents didn't show up till late the next day to conduct an investigation. They left without comment and she and her husband haven't heard anything from those agents since.

A woman with the FWS Wolf Introduction Program in Albuquerque wasn't concerned about Fuzzy's violent death. She told the couple that it was probably a coyote that killed the cat. She further claimed that the investigation revealed no sign of a wolf on their property. The couple voiced their concern for the safety of children in the area. The wolf introduction program employee told them that "The Fish and Wildlife Service does not believe that wolves will attack children." Nor would they care overly much if they did, I bet.

This was not the first wolf sighting in the Alma area. Children at the school bus stop also reported seeing the wolf and other neighbors had seen it too. Some have seen its collar, which proves that it was part of the Galvan pack that was reintroduced in Arizona, but which drifted into New Mexico. Those wolves have been responsible for several documented domestic animal slayings. Down the road in Glenwood, NM, the elementary 31 school teachers are a afraid to let children play in the schoolyard because the Galvan pack recently killed a 1600 pound bull about two miles from the school. If the wolves could take down a 1600 pound bull, wouldn't children be easy prey?

Facts refute the FWS "harmless wolf" theory. John James Audubon, in an 1830 book, reported an attack by a pack of wolves on two men travelling through Kentucky one winter. One was killed and the other escaped up a tree. The Saint Paul Daily Globe, March 8, 1888, reported a pack of wolves surrounded a farmer and his son and ate them alive. An Ontario, Canada newspaper reported in 1995 that a group of wolves killed and mangled a wildlife reserve employee. Officers at the scene had to kill three wolves to get to her body. The Pittsburg Post Gazette, August 28, 1996, ran a story about a boy that was attacked by a wolf while on a camping trip with his family. While the boy slept, a wolf attacked and dragged him through his tent. The menacing animal clamped its jaws so tightly on the boy's face that they penetrated his cheekbone and broke his nose in five places. Zach sustained gashes that bisected his cheeks under both eyes and he suffered severe blood loss before reaching an emergency room. A week after that attack, two other campers were forced from their campsite by ravaging wolves. The New York Times recorded that wolves killed 33 children and seriously mauled 20 others in India from April to September in 1996.

In the late 1800's, 624 human killings by wolves in one area of India were reported. Human killings reached 100 in one year of the 1980's. There have been reports of wolves killing humans for over a thousand years and that includes numerous cases of wolves running off with small children. One diligent anti-wolf activist recently discovered that a wolf reintroduction plan for the Mexican border was being planned even though the US FWS out and out denied it.

The citizens of New Mexico are taking a stand and have organized a large rally to protest the introduction of the Mexican Gray Wolf into the Gila Mountains. The rally is scheduled for Saturday, February 26th and will feature several well-known speakers. Art Porter, a former Arizona game Commissioner will relate how the US FWS made it appear he favored the wolf release program when he was really against it. NM State Senator Bill Davis will express his concern about the release of wolves in this area. Concerned mothers will speak about being afraid to let their children outside to play. Judy Collins, environmentalist turned rancher, will tell about being sold out by the Defenders of Wildlife. Hunters will explain how wolves destroy game populations. The speaker list continues to grow and J. Zane Walley will be the moderator.
60 Minutes is interviewing citizens for their national show and several publications will carry the story. It's about time.

Next door in Arizona, the Humphrey family and their two dogs experienced a close encounter of the worst kind with Mexican wolves. The Humphreys live in suburban Tucson, but every free moment is spent in the desert and mountains camping. Hunting, hiking and camping is what they love doing most in the world. The family is well traveled and the couple home-schools their children - often while camped out in the wilderness.

Their story begins at one of their favorite camping spots, a campsite they had used for 20 years. In fact, Richard and his daughters were in the tent studying when the wolf attack began. Helen cried as she helped her husband tell the story of how Buck, one of their dogs, saved their two daughters from a very likely wolf attack. It was Buck who first discovered the recently released Mexican wolves lurking close to the tent behind a thicket of undergrowth. He found two wolves exactly where the younger daughter was getting ready to build a playhouse later that day. The brave dog confronted the wolves tooth and nail and fought the good fight to defend his family. Helen Humphrey heard the commotion and the cries of pain from their beloved dog. She ran out of the tent to see what was happening and began to scream.

She yelled for Richard to get the rifle. He tried to frighten the wolves off as Buck fought for his life but one of the wolves left the dog fight and came at him in a run. Richard remembered being surprised at just how fast that angry wolf charged at him. He had no choice but to shoot and kill the vicious animal before it attacked him or one of his family. Richard was very frightened during this ordeal and was unsure how many more wolves may have been in the area at time. After he shot, the wolf ran at him and the other wolf ran Buck staggered out of the undergrowth on three legs, severely mauled and with a shattered leg.

The Humphreys bandaged his wounds with towels and raced to find him a veterinarian. They stopped at a highway maintenance yard to report the killing, but there was no phone there. Richard wanted to comply with the mandatory 24-hour reporting period for killing an endangered species. He was eventually able to notify Arizona and Fish of the incident via a construction worker's mobile phone.

A vet in the nearby town of Clifton-Morenci was only a available two days a week and the day of the attack was not one of them. The family had no choice but to call a vet in Safford to let them know they were on the way, and then began the nerve wracking 100 mile trek. The Safford vet later told Richard that Buck's injuries were the worst he had ever attended.

They left Buck in the vet's care and drove back to their campsite. On the way, they stopped at Clifton-Morenci to return a borrowed pencil and that is where they met an undercover U.S. FWS agent filling a large cooler with ice - presumably for the wolf carcass They all went back to the campsite. This is where the real tragedy began.

The traumatized family was interrogated and received no sympathy from the bureaucrats for what they had been through that terrible day. An agent from Arizona and Game was also present. Though he seemed hesitant and took no notes, he offered the family no comfort either.

Six drawn-out weeks of questions and interrogations followed. One agent and his supervisor brought the investigation into the Humphrey home and by then, Richard was prepared. An attorney and a video camera to record the meeting awaited FWS. You better believe the agents didn't like that and they tried every way they knew how to trip Richard up. In the course of the ordeal, Richard discovered that the agents hadn't even checked the wolf carcass for dog bites. F

WS was focused on analyzing the way the bullet entered the wolf. They even had the gall to tell Richard they doubted that Buck had been attacked at all! The green media sunk their teeth into this story and came up with the campaign slogan "Real Men Don't Kill Wolves." I wish that every one of those idiots who jumped into this kangaroo court against Richard Humphrey could have experienced the same thing he, his family and their brave dog, Buck, experienced. Instead, they took the side of the ravenous wolf and set out to make an example of Richard Humphrey.

They accused him of lying; said he had no excuse to kill the wolf and emphasized that the act was illegal. The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity pressed for an indictment and then came down on the FWS for failing to prosecute. Their spokesman threatened to charge FWS with "dereliction of duty" and indicated they would seek legal action against Humphrey themselves. The wolf defenders continued to stir up the controversy and the negative publicity grew by leaps and bounds. They went so far as to state that the killing of the wolf was "malicious and not just ignorant."

Humphrey maintained his silence and looked for some way he could get the true story to the press. A friend of his, the publisher of Outdoor News, got involved in Richard's plight. He had known Richard for many years and knew what kind of man he was. A little investigation on their part revealed that a rather large controversy had been brewing about this particular wolf release. Because of the controversy, FWS conducted a covert release, that is to say, they did not issue public notice of the release. The FWS release pens, where the wolves were fed road-kill twice a week by the FWS, were less than a mile from their camp even though the FWS had guaranteed in public meetings that "Notice of general wolf locations will be publicized."

The Humphreys had been completely unaware they had set up camp in a wolf release area. As unconscionable as releasing the wolves without public notice was, it was even worse when the FWS continued their coverup. FWS chose instead to harass, interrogate and intimidate their innocent victims, the Humphreys, all but accusing them of wrongdoing. This nonsense has go to stop. Taxpayers have contributed well over $6 million on the wolf release program, yet the FWS deliberately did not warn U.S. citizens that dangerous predators were being released close to populated areas and a major highway. No, the FWS chose to release those hungry wild animals in an area frequented by large numbers of tourists where camping was common.

Do you think the FWS will continue to maintain their "harmless wolf' policy? You would think they'd learn from their mistakes, but don't be surprised if they don't - not while the powerful green political machine chums out their garbage - garbage that folks with more common sense and a better grasp of reality must clean up and throw out.

P.S. Buck continues to mend slowly and his courage and devotion to his family are to be commended. Information taken from articles written by J. Zane Walley of The Paragon Foundation.  J. Zane Walley is a writer from Lincoln, New Mexico. In an effort to feel what the Humphreys felt when the wolf rushed at them, he called a neighbor who owns a hybrid wolf. Walley got in the pen and allowed the wolf, which was on a long chain, to charge at him. Needless to say, he felt fear run through his veins and completely understood why Humphrey had to shoot the wolf. Walley interviewed Kieran Suckling, champion of the wolf-release program and director of the SCBD, the one who began the "Indict Richard Humphrey" crusade. When Walley suggested that Mr. Suckling experience the "wolf pen" experience, without the chain of course, Suckling quickly declined.

The CITES Permit from Hell

CITES and the Orchid Enthusiast

or the Permit from Hell
On Wings, January 1997 Volume 3:1

Carson E. Whitlow. CITES - Blueprint for Extinction. (12/31/93). Information is condensed from the original article with author's permission.

The well-intentioned concept of CITES was born from an attempt to curtail exploitation of wild plants and animals that possibly could lead to their extinction. However, in reality, CITES neither encourages production of artificially propagated plant material or establishes reasonable cooperative breeding programs. Consequently, many valuable species in the wild will be lost due to unnecessary and counter-productive interference from excessive bureaucratic red tape.

Complaints from many commercial and private individuals regarding the administration of CITES are ignored. Since there are no formal rules and regulations to administer CITES,  the Office of Scientific Authority (OSA) and Office of Management Authority (OMA) enforce "guidelines" or "advice". Requests for copies of any rules and regulations which would interpret these "guidelines or advice" go unanswered. Apparently the OSA and OMA do not have to tell anyone what the rules are and not only that, they can change them at whim.

If a permit is difficult to obtain (even when plant sources are legal) and the basis of the rejection is challenged or questioned, the FWS, which administers CITES, requests even more documentation. Carson Whitlow has endured over ten years of submitting repeated requests and "necessary" documentation so that he may add a species to his permit only to have the OSA and OMA deny permission.

The Office of Scientific Authority (OSA) is a consultant to the Office of Management Authority (OMA) which issues the permits. Documentation is required even for our own native orchids. Mr. Whitlow obtained a "Permit for Artificially Propagated Plant Material" issued for Appendix II - "Threatened" plants, specifically orchids. Appendix I contains the list of "Endangered" plants and this list contains some orchid species, but not the ones he was requesting. He grows and artificially propagates several native American orchid species and produces artificial hybrids from them.

For him to include a plant(s) on his permit, he must show that they were legally removed from the wild and that the removal was not detrimental to the existence of the species in the wild. He must show that the plants are being grown successfully and assure their long-term maintenance. None of the original collected material (i.e. back portion of the rhizome or similar material resulting when the plant was in the wild) may be exported.

The OSA requires that at least five plants of a species, or three plants if general cultivation, must be maintained as a base population. (That is, five plants must be maintained indefinitely from artificially propagated material) By the way, this is one of those unwritten requirements which appears nowhere and to which permit holders have no input.

These conditions also apply to hybrids, whether of natural or artificial origin. CITES Conference Resolution 2.12(c) defines "artificially propagated plants" as plants grown by man from seeds, cuttings, callus tissue, spores or other methods and controlled conditions. For example, if you have five plants this year that are "artificially propagated" but next year you only have three, these are not considered "artificially propagated."

Conversely, if you have 500 different rare species plants from which you are producing propagations for export, you must increase that population to 2,500 before any can be exported. Furthermore, you can send hundreds of wild collected plants out of the country without being required to maintain any of them, but if you decide to only collect one plant and propagate it by division or seed, you must maintain it indefinitely and have in excess of five plants before exporting any. Therefore, there is no incentive to propagate such plants.

Mr. Whitlow read an article written by Dr. Victor Soukup in a 1977 issue of The Mid-American regarding "Cypripedium daultonii, sp. nov." which was described as a "new" species. The article also mentioned the efforts of a Mr. Jim Daulton to have the species properly identified by competent botanists. Mr. Whitlow contacted Dr. Soukup for more information and was able to meet with Mr. Daulton to obtain a plant. The plant he took was nearly washed out and would have been lost in the next flood. Most of these cypripediums in this area had been washed away by two decades of severe floods. Mr. Daulton was given permission by the owner of the property to collect plants in this area, and so this plant was legally collected. Once home, Mr. Whitlow carefully potted the specimen and while doing so found a young seedling in the soil. This seedling was also carefully planted.

In 1982, he applied to have the Cypripedium daultonii included on his Certificate of Artificially Propagated Plants. He was denied by the OMA three months later because they stated the plant was a rare and recently discovered taxon from Kentucky. They did not request documentation that would show if the plant's removal was detrimental or non-detrimental to their survival in the wild. Several other species were denied as well because "these plants are generally rare or restricted in distribution throughout their range."

Mr. Whitlow continued requesting the inclusion of these two plants on his permit and appealed when refused. At the end of 1984, he sent in a request to renew his Certificate and included the Cypripedium kentuckiense. The request was denied in November 985 according to the OMA because "you have recently [in 1983] supplemented your stock with wild-collected material, even after our department informed you of the rarity of this species."

It wasn't until September of 1986 that the OMA decided they wanted to know that the collection was legal and removed in a manner not detrimental to the species in the wild! Mr. Whitlow complied and sent additional information and a signed statement from Mr. Daulton which clearly described how the plants were collected, the reason why they were collected and the fact both had permission to do so. The article from The Mid-American regarding this plants' site and history was also included. No response was received.

In March 1988 the inclusion of Cypripedium kentuckiense was again denied because the OMA had finally decided that the removal of the original plant was detrimental. They suggested that an appropriate conservation official might obtain a few stock specimens from suitable populations for propagation purposes. Remember that this is the plant the OSA and OMA believed was so rare that they denied adding it to Mr. Whitlow's Certificate. They criticized him for suggesting that other such material be collected, but FWS suggested he could get more plants from sites where these plants were removed by "approved" collectors, i.e. conservation officials. Does this sound reasonable or logical to you?

Following another appeal, on August 1988 the OMA responded that "this is a flood plain species capable of surviving floods" and the plants were again denied from being added to Mr. Whitlow's Certificate. The species is in fact a floodplain species and individual species are often washed out when streams change course. Yet, irony of ironies and contradiction of contradictions, the OMA continued to base their denial on the unfounded opinion that removal of this plant by Mr. Whitlow was detrimental to the species' existence in the wild!

Later in September of 1989, the OMA stated (based on an advisement by the OSA) that " ...while it is stated that the mature plant removed in 1979 might have been washed out, there is not sufficient information that it would have been, that it might not have flowered and dispersed its seed before being washed away, or that it would not have become established at another site. Even the seedling inadvertently collected with the mature plant may have survived the site downstream." What?!?

Mr. Whitlow provided the information he had when he made the first request to add this species to his Certificate. It did not take a genius to observe that the plant he removed was in eminent danger. How could the OSA and OMA expect him to know whether by some miraculous, intricate working of nature the seedling might survive downstream?

Then in August 1993, the OMA replied that ". . .the OSA had determined the plants collected did not meet the Service definition of salvage (the removal of specimens from areas or habitats targeted for destruction) and therefore were detrimentally removed from the wild." The OSA and OMA could not see the opportunity to save a rare species of orchid beyond the mountain of the paperwork they had generated.

CITES has failed to do what it was created to do.

Part 2 of the Cypripedium kentuckiense Caper.

Removal from the wild of plants cultivated prior to CITES do not have to meet the non-detrimental survival rule. In 1983 Mr. Whitlow removed two back divisions from plants J. Daulton had planted in his yard in the 1950's. OSA and OMA requested that these developed plants be included on his permit as artificially propagated plants. In March 1988 the OMA denied the request!

Their 'rationale' was that "these two stems are not pre-CITES since they were acquired by the applicant in 1983, and we expect they were propagated in the late 1970s or early 1980s from the original specimens; therefore, the artificial propagation criteria in Resolution Conf. 2.12." must be applied with no pre-CITES limitation. We believe that the removal of the specimens in the 1950's may have been detrimental to the species' survival, so the propagation stock has not been established in a non-detrimental manner as Resolution Conf. 2.12 requires."

On appeal, this decision was overturned in favor of Mr. Whitlow. He now had choices. He could obtain another permit and export the plants without being required to maintain any material; or could maintain five propagated plants and then export them.

In January 1993, the OSA still recommended denial of the pre-CITES stock. "We therefore recommend denial to export specimens from the pre-CITES stock until the applicant had provided appropriate assurances that adequate specimens from the denied Cypripedium kentuckiense stock were being preserved in cultivation."

In other words, they threatened him with bureaucratic black-mail. Their ultimatum was "Either do what we want with the plants we denied and have no jurisdiction over (Cypripedium kentuckiense) or you won't get what is legally yours (the pre-CITES plants).

Two specimens of Cypripedium kentuckiense were finally approved by the OSA and were added to Mr. Whitlow's permit, but only because they were collected by a well-known scientist who was studying the population. Mr. Whitlow, thus, has to maintain ten specimens of the species because each came from two different areas. (Again, this is one of those requirements that is an unwritten rule)

The criteria for artificial propagation of hybrids are the same as for species. The hybrid must be maintained indefinitely and there must be sufficient stock. Either you must maintain five plants of each of the parents or maintain five of the hybrid. If your parent stock should die, none of the hybrids of which you may have hundreds, would qualify as artificially propagated, nor could they be listed for export.

A newer Conference Resolution 8.17 is clear in its definition regarding artificially propagated plants. "The term artificially propagated refers only to plants grown from seeds, cutting, divisions, callus tissue or other plant tissues, spores or other propagules under controlled conditions." Controlled conditions include the cultivated parental stock used for artificial propagation and must be managed "long-term" (not indefinitely). There is no requirement for maintenance of artificially propagated material, only of cultivated parental stock which may or may not be artificially propagated. However, another of Dr. Whitlow's appeals was denied even after he informed the OSA of these new rules.

The OSA and OMA can make their own definitions for permit requirements. These definitions need not be the same as the ones in the Conference Resolutions; yet, we must follow their guidelines while they follow none. The preceding story clearly illustrates the lack of accountability by governmental agencies.