Friday, September 4, 2015

Meeting with the Washington Wolf Advisory Group

       Yesterday I had the opportunity to address Washington state's Wolf Advisory Group, or the WAG. The WAG is a group of stakeholders (hunters, ranchers, and conservationists) that provides different perspectives and recommends strategies for reducing conflict with wolves to the Department of Fish and Wildlife as wolves return to Washington. 
       Because the members of this group have radically different views on wolf management, they had had trouble being productive and respectful towards each other when the group first started out a few years ago; so the department brought in a professional human/wildlife conflict facilitator to help improve the process and build trust between the members. As part of that, the facilitator is having the WAG meet with members of the public with various perspectives on wolves and how they should be managed. In May, the WAG met with some ranchers in wolf territory; yesterday, I voiced my opinion as part of the conservation community; and later, they will meet some hunters. 
        When I spoke to the WAG, I talked about my experiences studying wolves in the wild, why I think wolves are important, and what I think about the conflicts in Washington and in other places. I also talked about my experiences here on Kids4Wolves, interacting with you guys on Instagram and Facebook but also hearing from kids who are hunters and ranchers and have a different opinion about wolves than I do. I talked about how nasty these online conversations sometimes start (as some of you guys may have seen), but also how often we can get to a place where we respect each other's views even if we disagree. I think respect is essential if we want to accomplish anything. Hopefully the members of the WAG can respect each other and get something done for wolves and the communities that live alongside them. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kids4Wolves on Instagram

The main branch of Kids4Wolves is on Instagram; there, we post facts, photos, videos, ways to help, and updates on wolves around the country almost every day. We are up to over 12,000 followers as of September 2015! Please follow us to learn about wolves and to get involved!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

TAKE ACTION: Call your senators!

**The bad rider on this bill did NOT pass. Thanks to everyone who contacted their Senator! It really does make a difference.**
  In February 2015, a court ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to put wolves back on the Endangered Species List in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming (meaning they are protected from hunting in those states). 

       But now, politicians have attached a rider onto the Department of Interior Appropriations Bill, a bill for funding the Department of the Interior which will almost certainly pass. A rider is a tactic to pass something controversial that would not pass as its own bill. This rider would require the Secretary of the Interior to remove Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in the states I mentioned before. This particular rider also prohibits any judicial review of the decision to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List in those states, meaning the courts would not be allowed to have any oversight in the matter. 

       This rider directly violates the Endangered Species Act and science, and does nothing but serve a political agenda. 

       Please take a quick minute to call your two state senators! Tell them to take action to REMOVE this rider from the bill. No matter what your age, it really makes a HUGE difference. Senators won't care about wolves unless they know that their constituents care about wolves. It only took me about 90 seconds! Even if it's after work hours, leave a message.

       Make the call for wolves! Find your Senator's contact information here:

       Here's what you could say:

"Hello Senator_____,

My name is _____ ________ and I live in ______, _______. I’m __ years old. I’m calling to ask you to OPPOSE the rider attached to the Department of Interior Appropriations bill concerning the Endangered Species status of gray wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This rider undermines science and the Endangered Species Act. The fact that the rider prohibits judicial review is outrageous and borders on unconstitutional. Legislators are not the ones to decide which species is endangered; that is the job of scientists. Please do all you can to remove this rider.
Thank you very much."