I hope you all are enjoying this fall season as much as I have been! The weather has been ideal and the beautiful trees are finally changing color. I love October because here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is nature’s last hurrah before winter sets in.
October also brings National Wolf Awareness Week where we celebrate the wolf’s unique place in nature and learn more about their threatened status not only here in Wisconsin but worldwide. During Wolf Awareness Week, we will be sharing information about threats to their survival and what you can do to help wolves stay protected here at home. Follow along on social media by using #NationalWolfAwarenessWeek or #WolfAwarenessWeek.
To enhance your wolf awareness this month, please join us October 18th for a wolf presentation by Lois Lehmann at the Deforest Public Library where you can meet our new “Robo Lobo” and help support the wonderful efforts of our volunteers! Details here.
There are so many things happening this month and one you might not be aware of is Howl at the Moon Night on October 26th. Howling at the moon can represent breaking free of the traditional and standard, to stare into the dark night and away from convention and civilization. This can be your opportunity to cut free, do something unexpected and release the wild within you. We strive to do just that at our organization. Thinking BIG and making sure wildlife can remain WILD and FREE.
You can keep things literal in your Howl at the Moon celebrations and merely take a step outside to give the clear, crisp sky a great big howling hello. Get a group of friends together and head out to the forest to build a bonfire under a dark autumn night and howl to the moon that hangs overhead like a giant eye watching over the world. However you choose, howl with us on October 26th to let wolves know we will always continue to advocate for them. After all, it is HOWL-A-WEEN!
While October seems to celebrate the wolf, the Wisconsin DNR’s wolf management plan is still on hiatus and the new population report they just released is problematic, shocking and disturbing. Using their model, they reported that our wolf population is down by nearly 15 percent, but realistically and with the best available science, we believe that number is substantially lower. More information coming soon about this DNR population report and the state-sanctioned killing that wildlife services carried out to nearly 70 wolves for safety and livestock depredation. This is the most wolves ever to be taken by wildlife services here in Wisconsin.
When families are torn apart with hounds and wolves are killed to “protect” livestock, displaced wolves will only be forced to resort to livestock because their family unit has been destroyed. In response, we currently have a team of scientists and tribal biologists analyzing the report and requests submitted to USDA APHIS wildlife services to provide us the evidence that this was absolutely necessary. Had our state lawsuit not been successful, that population would be even further down. Without our win in federal court, hunters, wildlife services and even poachers would still be killing wolves with impunity. Thankfully that federal win ultimately placed the grey wolf back under protection of the Endangered Species Act…for now.
Until these aggressive hunting, hounding and trapping methods are no longer considered a “balanced approach” to conservation, we at Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife and Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance will continue to push for protection of the wolf from egregious state management tactics that risk long term recovery of the species, ignore cultural native values and the will of the people.
We will continue to fight for wolves and other species until wildlife management can catch up to 2022. The agency caters to hunters, trappers and fishermen while we all know dog fighting, trophy hunting, cruel traps, killing contests, baiting and hounding have no place in modern wildlife management.
When we show up, we win BIG but we must continue to speak up loudly. We are here to help you do that and do it well. We have accomplished the impossible and will continue to pursue the impossible. As your Executive Director, I am committed to this mission for the long haul. Active hope wins. Values, integrity, and representation matter. Wildlife matters. You matter.
Keep howling and as always, thank you for your continued support.
VEGAN FEST RECAP
We had a wonderful time at Vegan Fest last weekend! We saw so many of you who attended the event and stopped by our booth to learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife. We enjoyed talking to people about our passion, making you laugh and getting more people involved. We collected over 100 new advocates email addresses to join our mailing list too! Special thank you to Gary Feest and Leigh Langford for helping man the booth. They were able to get over 100 postcards signed for both Governor Evers and Senator Tammy Baldwin to protect wildlife.
We also created three new handouts we want to make available to you about wolves, killing contests and bear baiting and hounding. You can access those here.
Melissa and our new volunteer Leigh Langford met the coolest dairy farmer who loves wildlife. He’s 80 years old, raises dairy cattle in Northern Minnesota and fully supports what we are trying to do to help wolves and wild animals. He’s willing to do an interview with us about farming in the near future, so stay tuned!
Paul Collins of Animal Wellness Action and FOTWW, Kelly Osborn and Chuck Hanson of Wisconsin Wildcare, Juliee de la Terre of Singing Trees Farm/Conservation Congress Delegate and our director Melissa Smith conducted a fiery speaking panel about saving wildlife. Lead ammo, CWD, wolves and agency reform were discussed along with Conservation Congress and animal-friendly farming.
We reached many new advocates and had so much fun. We even got invited by a teacher to visit her classroom. Cottage Grove Elementary School’s mascot is the wolves! We love being out in public and our experience reinforced to us how little the public knows about wildlife and hunting. Many had no idea we even HAD wolves in Wisconsin. We have a lot of work to do, but it was a great event. Very energizing. Thank you!!
Many pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths are in decline and their losses threaten Wisconsin wildflowers, ecosystems, agricultural crops and natural areas, which depend upon them. Pollinators transfer pollen, which then helps plants produce fruits and seeds. Many native plants, as well as many food crops, rely on pollinators.
The main threats facing pollinators are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. As native vegetation is replaced by roadways, manicured lawns, crops and non-native gardens, pollinators lose food and nesting sites necessary for their survival. Migratory pollinators, such as monarchs, face special challenges. As the distance between the suitable habitat patches along with their migration route increases, more individuals may die during their journey.
You can help slow this down and help reverse this by providing water and shelter. Pollinators need water to drink and safe places to rest, avoid bad weather and spend the winter. You can provide brush and leaf piles, create bee nest boxes, leave patches of bare earth and provide fresh water with a bird bath.
Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance has partnered up with Million Pollinator Garden Movement and we hope that you will consider joining us by registering your garden or planting for pollinators. Fall is the perfect time to get out there and do some planting!
You can get free seeds and resources to help the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, Karner Blue Butterfly and Monarch butterfly in addition to many other threatened species. Even a small space in your yard can make a difference. All of us are joining this movement, and we hope you will too.
We hope you can join in the fun next Thursday for some WOLF TRIVIA to help us celebrate #WolfAwarenessWeek! Also, be sure to SAVE THE DATE for our second monthly Fireside Chat scheduled for Thursday, October 27th. We hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 966 2471 6122 Passcode: 854398 One tap mobile: +19292056099,,96624716122#,,,,854398# US (New York) +13017158592,,96624716122#,,,,854398# US (Washington DC)