Episode 16

May 09, 2024


President Biden MIA from States' War on Wolves

Hosted by

International Wildlife Coexistence Network Josh Adler
President Biden MIA from States' War on Wolves
For the Wild Ones
President Biden MIA from States' War on Wolves

May 09 2024 | 00:49:08


Show Notes

Find out why now is the time to speak up for stronger protections for wolves and healthier ecosystems.


Ready to help? Donate here and sign our Petition to President Biden.


Additional information on the Global Indigenous Council Wolf Treaty can be found here



Suzanne Asha Stone from IWCN, James Holt from the Nez Perce tribe, and Coyote Peterson from Brave Wilderness



For the Wild Ones Theme Song by Priya Darshini

Around The Richters Nature by Piotr Hummel 



View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

President Biden MIA from States' War on Wolves
 [00:00:11] Josh: Greetings and welcome to another episode of For the Wild Ones, brought to you by the International Wildlife Coexistence Network. I'm your host Josh Adler. 
 [00:00:21] On this episode, we're joined by three leading wildlife advocates, Suzanne Asha Stone from IWCN, James Holt from the Nez Perce tribe, and Coyote Peterson from Brave Wilderness. All deeply disturbed by the continued violence against gray wolves across the United States. 
 [00:00:39] Josh: Our discussion delves into challenges in wolf protection, including legal battles, cultural perspectives, the role of government, and the necessity of public participation in conservation. 
 [00:00:51] Thanks so much for joining us. Each one of you is amazing advocate and spokesperson for wildlife adding your voice in distinct and powerful ways. I want to give each one of you a chance to introduce yourself. 
 [00:01:05] Suzanne: My name is Suzanne Asha Stone. I'm the director of the International Wildlife Coexistence Network. And I am a wolf advocate and working on wolf conservation efforts for nearly four decades here in the Northern Rockies, starting in Idaho, where it was part of the Yellowstone An Idaho wolf reintroduction and as an intern for the Nez Perce tribe, and then going beyond that across the western United States as wolves have expanded their range in the U.S. and now working internationally as well to help with wolf conservation efforts and other wildlife efforts around the world. 
 [00:01:43] James: My name is James Holt. I am the executive director of Buffalo Field Campaign. I am a Nez Perce tribal member. I have served on the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee and on the Fish and Wildlife Commission for a few terms. I have a background in water quality and salmon recovery, as well as interacting with the U.S. Forest Service on their policy and their management in our homelands, as well as with Buffalo, and I'm happy to be here with you all today. 
 [00:02:17] Coyote: Hey, how's it going? Coyote Peterson. I'm a host on the Brave Wilderness YouTube channel. I travel all over the world to film and get up close with wildlife. 
 [00:02:25] The big message with our brand and channel is to give people an inside look at animals that people are oftentimes afraid of or that may be misunderstood. Our goal is to always promote a message of education and conservation. I have a big passion for wolves and have filmed with them several times over the years. 
 [00:02:44] So happy to be a part of today's conversation. 
 [00:02:46] Yeah, I was not aware of the wolf situation in Idaho until this morning when you guys shared that information with me. So between the wolf in Wyoming and now the wolves in in Idaho. 
 [00:02:55] Yeah, pretty timely to be having a conversation surrounding both topics. 
 [00:03:00] James: I think it was almost 20 wolves that were killed in Idaho and the Nez Perce country in the Selway Bitterroots, I want to say in my homelands and we've done so much to recover these wolves and just to see such disrespect and disregard for their lives and the role they are so critically needed to fill right now is, it's unconscionable. 
 [00:03:21] Josh: That was my exact word to Suzanne, actually when she shared yesterday, what happened, unconscionable. 
 [00:03:28] Suzanne: James and I haven't had a chance to speak and this information is so new. It wasn't through trapping and hunting. The state of Idaho and then helicopters and airplanes and did aerial gunning of 20 wolves in the Lolo in the tribal ceded land where there are no livestock, 
 [00:03:47] They took what they call Judas wolf, where they satellite collared numbers of the pack of multiple, I think they went to five different packs. and put the collars on and then used the collars to go in. They did it on March 7th killed all 20 of them and they started in the morning and then just worked their way through all the different packs that they could find those GPS satellite collared wolves and killed, they didn't kill the collared, all of the collared wolves, they left them alive so that those wolves would survive. 
 [00:04:20] And if any new wolves come in, or if those wolves connect with wolves outside the area and reestablish in that area, create new families, they're planning to do it again next year, if any more wolves show up. So, they're exterminating wolves across the Nez Perce ceded land. 
 [00:04:36] Coyote: Can you talk a little bit about who specifically are we talking about? So you've got wolves that have radio transmitter collars on them. So people know where these wolves are specifically. And these are these wolves that were being researched and looked after by park services or some other organization. 
 [00:04:56] Why did these wolves have tracking collars on them to begin with. And how did those collars end up there? 
 [00:05:02] Suzanne: James probably knows the history on the Lolo herd better than I do. So I'll leave, that portion to him. The state of Idaho was the one that conducted these the aerial gunning it's, they've done this now for many years, which is why we went to the Nez Perce Tribe. 
 [00:05:18] This winter and asked if Colorado was looking for wolves, they went to all the states asking for wolves to be part of their reintroduction. And we thought, This would be the perfect source for those wolves, because there are no livestock and these, those preceded lands there's no livestock conflicts there with the wolves at all. 
 [00:05:38] And so these would have been the perfect wolves, knowing that the state had still planned to go in and, and kill these wolves. And they're trying to kill predators in there, but wolves in particular, because they don't want competition for the elk hunters there. And this area has a long history. 
 [00:05:57] There were fires there early 1910, 1920 period, huge fires that opened up enormous elk habitat. And the elk in that region swelled up to be one of the largest elk herds or the largest elk herd in the Western United States. The hunters that grew up during the 40s and 50s, this was the the easiest elk herd to hunt from. 
 [00:06:20] And when the habitat through fire suppression started changing back. Of course, the elk numbers dwindle, and they have nothing to do with wolves being on the landscape. They could kill every wolf in there, and not bring back the elk, because the habitat won't support the number of elk that were there, somewhat, artificially or temporarily, when the fires had opened up these enormous to off land for habitat for the elk. 
 [00:06:48] So blaming the wolf does nothing. Killing every wolf does nothing to increase those elk herds. But the hunters in that area are particularly vocal. They represent the anti wolf group in the state. One of them was a commissioner on the Fish and Game Commission, and they have gotten their way in terms of isolating wolves as a scapegoat for the elk members. 
 [00:07:10] James: You know, that's, that's the crux of it right there. I talked to a member of our fish and wildlife commission yesterday, and he said, there's a growing fear, even of chronic wasting disease and the suppression of apex predators is tied directly to that, so the dialogue is beginning to grow and the concern is growing and it's unfortunate that they keep taking these horrific actions. 
 [00:07:35] Misplaced actions, we need to do more and we need to educate more people about what's going on here and hopefully we can get ahead of the Senate and nip this in the bud there before further damage can happen. 
 [00:07:49] Coyote: So I'm just trying to make sure I'm understanding correctly. 
 [00:07:51] So 
 [00:07:52] James: As I understand it is Colorado was looking for wolves to be reintroduced there, and the, healthy packs that were in the Nez Perce seeded homelands were robust enough to support a few of them being taken to support the reintroduction in Colorado. 
 [00:08:08] Coyote: I see 
 [00:08:09] James: Idaho and ran that by going in there with their, their recent kill and lowering numbers. 
 [00:08:15] Coyote: Oh, so you're saying they killed wolves in Idaho specifically so that wolves couldn't be relocated to Colorado by basically lowering the population so that there weren't enough wolves to spread them out elsewhere. 
 [00:08:28] Suzanne: It's worse. The state of Idaho completely rejected Colorado and the Nez Perce tribes offer to take those wolves knowing that the state was going to kill them anyway. 
 [00:08:41] And so Colorado requested those wolves. The Nez Perce tribe requested those wolves permission to remove them and translocate them to Colorado. They would have been the perfect source wolves for Colorado, having not been involved in livestock issues at all. And instead the state of Idaho rejected that completely and chose to kill the wolves instead. 
 [00:09:03] Coyote: Wow, that is a bold move right there. That's a really bold move to be like, we can effectively move these wolves to an area where they're wanted. 
 [00:09:14] And instead they went out and followed the radio transmitter collars that were on them. I'm assuming put in place by like fish and wildlife services or some conservation initiative. So they were able to essentially cherry pick almost like shooting ducks in a barrel from a helicopter , to wipe these wolves out. 
 [00:09:34] Yeah, it's pretty messed up when you think about it. 
 [00:09:38] Suzanne: And the order came from the governor's office to reject Colorado's governor's plea for wolves. So it went all the way up to the governor's office in our state, not just the commission. 
 [00:09:50] Coyote: So it's the government in Idaho, who's just like, we don't care. We would rather kill these wolves. So you can't have them as compared to maybe successfully tranquilizing them and transporting them. And is it expensive to go out and safely tranquilize and transport wolves? I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here. 
 [00:10:15] Is there the possibility that. That's not in a financial plan to be able to do that. That still doesn't justify by any means killing the wolves. I'm just trying to see is there another route that they would have taken to be like, yeah, financially, we can't afford to actively pull off what that is. But to your point, there are no cattle that are being affected by the wolves in Idaho to begin with. 
 [00:10:36] And to have the argument that it's forcing competition for hunters when it comes to elk, I don't know the numbers specifically. Of the thousands upon thousands of elk that are out there right now with no real predatory balance, are, is anybody really concerned about Elk numbers, regardless of of forest fire and habitat destruction at this point. 
 [00:10:58] Suzanne: It would have cost the state of Idaho. Nothing. In fact, they would have been able to save thousands of dollars because they wouldn't have had to send up helicopters and sharpshooters to kill the wolves. Colorado would have paid for it. We had plenty of private donations that would have paid for it. 
 [00:11:13] They just had to stand aside and give permission to do it. The other part of that that James raised is that we have chronic wasting disease raising itself in the state, and they are intentionally going out and killing deer especially right now, but they will also be killing elk because that disease is the greatest threat to the elk and deer population here. 
 [00:11:34] Coyote: What is chronic wasting disease? 
 [00:11:37] James: I'm no expert on this, but I believe it attacks the brain and nerve system in ungulate populations, deer, elk, and moose. And, it just wastes away their system and makes it where they almost go mad. 
 [00:11:49] I've read an article just yesterday because I was speaking with that Fish and Wildlife Commissioner. And it sounds like it, like, went zombie in Texas, where there was actually two cases of people who ate it and they went mad. So it's crossing populations, just like we're seeing with the bird flu and cattle, and we should be nervous about the growing threat of chronic waste and disease. 
 [00:12:14] Coyote: So is that due to like genetic deficiency within populations , of ungulates? So meaning that there are maybe too many coming from the same genetic lines that, are interbreeding, like how does that even begin to form? And I'm asking that from that perspective, cause that's where my mind went to be like, how does that even start to begin with? 
 [00:12:34] And it would seem to me that having wolves present to keep the population balanced taking down the ones that are sick or elderly or balancing out the calves that are born every single year would actually be more healthy for the ecosystem and less of a chance of that happening. 
 [00:12:50] Suzanne: Chronic wasting disease, they call it a prion disease. 
 [00:12:53] And so it can take ages for it to get out of the ecosystem itself. Once it's there, it's present for a very long time. And it affects as James was saying, the brain. Also, it's passed on by bodily fluids from infected deer or elk. So, when you have a higher concentration of elk and deer together, which is why like the Wyoming elk populations, they're doing feeding stations there, which attracts elk, I've been to much more closer proximity than they normally would. 
 [00:13:24] And it makes it much easier for them to pass this disease along, but I believe they think it came from captive breeding deer hunting and breeding facilities initially, but it is spread like wildfire to the populations the wild populations, and wolves are really one of the only hope for pulling those animals out of the population and helping to reduce the that disease, the spread of disease, just as you've had, 
 [00:13:50] Coyote: and so chronic wasting disease isn't something that can transfer to wolves. 
 [00:13:54] I wouldn't want anybody listening to be like, wait, would that create, like, insane, psychopathic wolves has no effect on wolves. Correct. 
 [00:14:02] Suzanne: They've never seen that happen where a canine has has contracted that disease. So they're one of the best sources for minimizing that of the population. 
 [00:14:12] Coyote: Nature's natural solution, right? 
 [00:14:14] Suzanne: Yeah. So this is just the aerial gunning slaughter of all of these 20 wolves is Like the tip of the iceberg of what's happening in Idaho and of course in Wyoming. Now we're seeing the examples as well. But in Idaho for years now, the state of Idaho is funding a bounty on wolves to actually go in, take wolves from across the state by hunting trapping. 
 [00:14:39] There's no limit and no season. It's 365 days of the year. They are even allowing wolf hunters to take pups out of the dens when they're hunting. Newborn and turn in those pups. They they're getting 1, 000 or more per pup. And just it's part of honestly an eradication program for the state. 
 [00:15:01] They're trying to kill as many wolves as they can. And I think what's really sad is that the federal government is just not paying attention that. Idaho, their initial 2002 wolf management plan stated that the Idaho's legislature, that their stance is that they want all removed, wolves removed from the state by any means necessary. 
 [00:15:24] And that's the preface of the Idaho wolf management plan. So it is very clear that they are trying to, again, eradicate wolves from the entire state as they did a century ago. And yet the federal government is not paying attention to all these signs that that's exactly what they're doing 
 [00:15:44] Coyote: For anyone listening, who like us is probably like, how does this make any sort of sense when you think about the. 
 [00:15:53] legalities and the permits and everything needed across the board in the United States, most places around the world, protections in place for wildlife, for domestic animals, et cetera, et cetera. Is there any like dialed down reason in you guys opinions that is the why the state of Idaho or the state of Wyoming or any states that may be looking to eradicate wolves? 
 [00:16:14] Is there like a specific, this is why people are trying to do this, even in your opinion, I guess. 
 [00:16:22] Suzanne: I think it's the same reason that they passed the 2002 house strong memorial that said we want all wolves removed by any means necessary. Their ancestors eliminated wolves from across the western United States. 
 [00:16:34] It was part of the old west. They tried to kill not only the native people that were living here. But a lot of any threats they perceived in predators here, grizzly bears, wolves, bison, you know, we're all victim to that. And it's still living here today. It isn't. That animosity is an old one and it is deeply rooted. 
 [00:16:58] Coyote: But that still doesn't tell me a why, like, if I say, are wolves eating children, your answer is no, are wolves sneaking into people's houses at night and getting into the refrigerators. 
 [00:17:09] The answer is no. Our wolves is strategically, you know, climbing into people's vehicles and ripping apart the insides and costing thousands of dollars in automobile insurance claims. No. Like is, is there a, why we should be eradicating at any wool? 
 [00:17:24] James: I read the other day from some Idahoans in the comment section of social media. And the hunters, the Idaho hunters on there were saying that they need to eradicate all wolves, grizzly bears, and severely reduce the population of cougars so that they minimize their competition for hunting. And that was like a big thing for them. 
 [00:17:52] And then you could go on to the, the sheep producers. They have their angle as to why those public allotments on forest service lands. So they're going to support the hunters and their cry for no competition. And then you get those loggers and the foresters who benefit off the, the fire suppression and then the, the thinning and the, the harvest of forests. 
 [00:18:16] So all these industries that are driven by. No wolves. And so they, they see wolves as a threat in some way, shape or form as to what they're doing. So in my view, a lot of that's driven by misunderstood species and a legacy of demonizing the, the importance of these species. And we have a lot of work to do to change that mindset. 
 [00:18:42] Coyote: Yeah, I mean, that's that's a good thing to point out. And let's like, try to absorb that for a second to think about the competition with hunters. And I'm not trying to point a finger at hunting, whether you're a hunter or not a hunter. It's obviously a very popular sport. A lot of people that hunt sustainably that may go out and take an elk or deer or whatever it might be that is sustaining their family or their friends, families or whatnot. 
 [00:19:08] People that are going out not to trophy hunt, but to hunt for food. But in the grand scheme, and I'm sure you guys have these numbers and maybe certainly one thing that could be shared with people publicly, and maybe it already is, I apologize if so. And I just don't know. It's like. What is that balance of like a wolf pack and the number of elk they're taking on a yearly basis versus the overall number of elk or other prey species that would be of interest to hunters? 
 [00:19:34] Like how big can that competition really be is what I'm saying. Because aren't hunters on a yearly basis given a permit to only take So many animals as it is like you can't just go out and mow down 15 bull Elks in elk hunting season Can you isn't it? Like you get a tag to get like either a doe or a buck I mean, I don't hunt so I could be wrong, but you can't just go out and like slaughter Elk or mule deer or any, you know, herbivore species for that matter. 
 [00:20:08] Correct. 
 [00:20:10] James: Correct. You know, that's the way it is. And there should be some rhyme. There should be some reason there should be some foundation and scientific principles at a minimum. Let alone the respect that we should have for these species and the vital roles they have in the ecosystem. So yeah, exactly. where is the, the scientific foundation for this? 
 [00:20:29] Coyote: It seems like a scapegoat argument. If you ask me where it's like hunters or people in the state of Idaho or Wyoming, why don't we want wolves? Oh, they're competitive to our hunting practices. It seems like a really simple mathematical equation that if the right people in government had that clear information, I mean, for example, how many elk calves are born on a yearly basis? 
 [00:20:54] It's got to be thousands, right? 
 [00:20:56] Suzanne: We are actually at the highest or second highest now number of elk in the state of Idaho since they started counting elk in the early 1900s. There's higher winter harvest of elk now than there was before wolves were reintroduced to Idaho. None of this makes sense. It's not about the elk. 
 [00:21:16] It's not about the livestock. It is about killing, and it's about killing wolves, and that animosity there of having a species brought back that people didn't want, they didn't want to have that competition with, they didn't want to have back on the landscape, and it comes down to that cultural value of understanding. 
 [00:21:39] They see wolves very much demonized, is what James said they don't see the value in wolves. They don't understand that wolves are a driver of protecting biodiversity across the landscape, that they are an essential species, that they have always been here, except for the last hundred years. And only were lost because of this this very deep hatred against them, where they were pursued more than any other species on the landscape, to the point where we didn't lose these other species, like we lost wolves, they got them all. 
 [00:22:13] And I think that's part of what emboldens them now is that they think they can get them all again. So in less than 30 years, we could see the complete loss of wolves again from The Northern Rockies ecosystem, particularly in states like Idaho and Wyoming, and we haven't even talked about Wyoming yet, but, across Wyoming, there's only 15 percent of the state where wolves are protected at all, plus the, when river tribal lands which is better than Idaho, because Idaho is, there's no protection across 100 percent of the state, but Then they have the predator zone outside of that nearly 85 percent of the state where there is no protection year round period, which is why Colorado had to ask for wolves, beg for wolves from other states, because if Wyoming had protected its wolf population, those wolves would have naturally dispersed down on their own, but they just, only a few of them were able to make that Get through that gauntlet, and those were the first ones to return to Wyoming, but they weren't enough. 
 [00:23:19] There weren't enough of them that could do that in order to restore wolves for the state of Colorado. So having this open season on wolves has really encouraged this kind of treating them like vermin. And we saw this. Just embodied what happened with this man Cody Roberts in Daniel, Wyoming, where he did what a number of hunters have bragged about doing for years now, using a snowmobile to chase down and kill the wolf, striking it with the snowmobile. 
 [00:23:50] This time he didn't kill it all the way, he just wounded it severely. And then he took this wolf that was still alive, bound its mouth in tape, drug it to the local bar, and let people torment it. All day until they finally until they finally killed this wolf outside the bar and that animal suffered. I mean I don't understand how we live in a world where we allow. 
 [00:24:16] That kind of violence against against animals yet it's legal in Wyoming. He got a 250 fine, not for tormenting the wolf, not for, abusing it, not for clubbing it and all the things that, that they reported to have done to this animal, but for keeping it alive in captivity. That was what the fine was for. 
 [00:24:36] Coyote: I've worked quite a bit in the state of Wyoming. It's a place, honestly, that's pretty near and dear to my heart. I'm directing a feature documentary film that's set on a storyline that's coming straight out of Wyoming. I show up there every single year for charity events. And, this next statement, I certainly don't want to constitute the entire State of Wyoming. 
 [00:24:56] But when I heard about this incident, I was so embarrassed for that state, not only for the fact that something like this could happen, that a human being could do something like this to another living thing. Granted humans are tortured. Animals are tortured. Terrible things happen every day on this planet, but for a human being to go to that extent, to abduct an animal. 
 [00:25:24] And torment it like this small pocket of Wyoming that is Daniel, which, I don't have one opinion one way or another about that area. I've never visited. I'm just simply embarrassed for us as a a species for Wyoming as a state for anybody to look at that situation to have participated. 
 [00:25:44] Think about how up in arms people get if you hear about a domestic animal like a dog or a puppy or a cat or a kitten going through something traumatic and the entire world will go up in arms. There was a documentary a couple years ago called Don't F with Cats. There was this whole chain of events that unraveled from this guy essentially. 
 [00:26:05] killing these kittens, right? You think about how upset we get about cats, but we can't get upset about wolves. That just, it boggles my mind, and I can't believe that the fine for something like that, for having an animal that was living in possession, it's like, What? Basically like running a stop sign? I think it's kind of like the same fee for running a stop sign. 
 [00:26:28] It really makes you ask a lot of questions about what's happening in the government across the United States, but there in Wyoming as well. 
 [00:26:37] Suzanne: Yeah. And the difference with this guy is that he got caught. If we didn't know, if somebody hadn't been taking video and pictures, he would never have gotten caught. 
 [00:26:45] So I've literally had phone calls from people in Wyoming after the wolves lost their federal protection. Calling to tell me and brag that they had been chasing wolves for over 50 miles and then eventually killing them with their snowmobile and it is not a rare thing. It's not a one off thing like the state of Wyoming is trying to present right now. 
 [00:27:08] This kind of stuff is happening because people have this emboldened view that the government doesn't care about wolves and therefore they can do anything to them that they want to. And it's beyond words, right? I mean, it's just, he got caught. But how many other wolves have suffered? 
 [00:27:26] How many other coyotes have suffered this kind of same tragedy and abuse? 
 [00:27:31] Coyote: But who are these people? Like, really ask yourself that. , who are these people that live within our world, our country, that are like, Oh yeah, for fun, I'm gonna go out and chase down a wolf with a snowmobile. the whole concept to me is just, It's so asinine. 
 [00:27:51] It's so far fetched. It almost seems made up. But then when you see something like this actually happening, I mean, maybe because I live in Columbus, Ohio, and we don't have any real apex predators here that somebody would be like, let's go be a threat because it might eat my little flu flu dog that's in the backyard. 
 [00:28:10] It isn't as palpable as it might be in some other places, but I just find a real hard time believing that we have humans on this planet that are at that level of inconsiderate behavior towards any living thing. You're right. There are no real words for it. It's just paralyzing in a certain sense. 
 [00:28:31] James: It really lets us know, the good work we must do to educate the people on, where our priority should lie with the wildlife with the natural world and where our place is in it. , we are the ecosystem and, we see that playing out, not just within our own communities, but around the world, and, and how we demonize the wolf right now, we're doing that with so many other things. 
 [00:28:55] We need to get back to humanity, in our own humanity, maybe we'll find some compassion for the wolf, it's very difficult to watch and to read as a nest purse when we were guided so intimately since time immemorial by the presence of wolf, he led us to where the game was, he was a guide to us. 
 [00:29:14] So he was, many of our family structures were structured after the wall because wolf, because they were so. Great at taking care of the babies, so that there's a lot more respects and appreciation. I think we could garner just by giving a pre appropriate education to the people. 
 [00:29:33] Coyote: I think it's very publicly known that I spoke with president Biden a few years ago in regards to the code vaccine. 
 [00:29:39] And to be honest, the majority of that conversation had to do with wildlife conservation and the clip of him expressing, , his grandkids wanting to support the wolves and, look, the president's in a busy person, right? We get it. There's a lot of things that he's got going on. 
 [00:29:55] And, a number of wolf support organizations had written to me after that, to be like, man, do you have a. Do you have an in to really follow up with this and, and pull some effective directive, and I'll be honest, and I'm calling it out on this podcast right now, we tried over and over and over again to get back in touch with the people who we were talking about. 
 [00:30:15] Say, Hey, president Biden said to, to reach out to these people and these people that, that some sort of difference would happen. Crickets. Nobody responded back ever, and I'm calling it out now. I mean, sure, the president in any given situation is going to say exactly what the right thing is. He's not going to get on a recorded conversation and be like, I don't care about wolves, even if his grandkids did care about wolves. 
 [00:30:38] And I'm sure that his grandkids do. And I'm sure that he does care that his grandkids are upset that wolves are getting eradicated. But I can tell you right now, the U. S. government's not at all. Worrying about anything that we are calling out because we as Brave Wilderness, the largest wildlife brand in the digital space, who spoke directly to the president, we went hard after trying to be like, what can we do, guys? 
 [00:31:01] How can we get involved? These are the organizations we know. This is what Brave Wilderness is willing to put in. How do we start fundraisers? I mean, we tried and tried and tried. I'm not even saying we got emails back. It was like, Hey guys, the president's busy right now. And this division of the government's busy right now, but let's see if we could circle back on this. 
 [00:31:18] And we eventually, I want to say we gave up. It's not that we gave up because we're still here today talking, but it was like, look, you can only beg for these people to get involved so many times before we can all collectively come together and voice. are disdained for these situations, voice our opinions for what can change. 
 [00:31:37] And the way brave wilderness started looking at it, it's like, how do you just continue to enforce the education? How do we get the next generation of people that are going to be running our country to recognize that wolves are not a part of the problem. The wolves are actually part of the solution to a lot of problems that exist. 
 [00:31:53] So I'd love to get you guys opinions on how you feel about What the government is doing collectively to try to support any of this, because I think it's more than just Idaho and Wyoming at this point, 
 [00:32:05] Suzanne: it is we actually took students that summer after you did your clip with President Biden, we took high school students from Idaho and sat down with Martha Williams. 
 [00:32:15] Who's the head of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We went to the White House. We went to we had people from Department of Interior under Deb Haaland, and the students met with all of them, agencies, everyone, and it was exactly the same response. They told them what was happening here on the ground in Idaho. 
 [00:32:33] And Martha Williams response to that was, well, we don't, we don't manage cruelty issues. Well, the bigger issue here is not the cruelty issue. The bigger issue is they're using the cruelty to wipe out the population. And that is part of her responsibility. But they have been like the three monkeys. They just don't see, they don't hear, they don't, they, they won't talk. 
 [00:32:57] They, they had no response back to these kids. None, zero crickets afterwards. And so they are showing these states that they don't care, which means that the states are saying, okay, well, if they don't care, then we can wipe them out 
 [00:33:12] James: Yeah. And even further than that, we see on the feds, like within with tribes, for instance they go into a vacuum and we don't know the outcome of those discussions. 
 [00:33:22] But I was told when I ran into. The chairman of the Nespers tribe, not long ago that they, he had been, interfacing with federal officials, hoping to gain some type of commitments , and not getting anything in return. So this is definitely a, unified messaging on behalf. And there's just so many wildlife conundrums that seem to be going on that we need to take 
 [00:33:43] a closer look at that North American wildlife management model in general and, and really take a look at what we're doing with all these different species, develop it into a more unified plan that would hopefully respect these apex predators in a better way and acknowledge their importance on the landscape, Humans cannot replicate what they're doing, and we're seeing that now with these huge efforts trying to get a handle on chronic wasting disease, and it's just continuing to spread continuing to do its thing and, and still they remove predators and still these other environmental calamities grow and apex predators could help with so many of them. 
 [00:34:25] Suzanne: We're living in a time where it feels like the state wildlife agencies, a lot of them are still in the past of believing that there's just this unlimited resource out there of all wildlife. And yet we know that in terms of biodiversity, we're facing the greatest loss of biodiversity across the world, since humans have walked the earth. 
 [00:34:47] Right. So it is now where we have between humans and our pets and our domestic livestock. We represent almost 96 percent of the biomass on planet Earth, right? And so we're fighting for those, small numbers of animals that are still able to make a living out there. And one of the key bioengineers here that we're fighting for is the wolf. 
 [00:35:15] We know that wolves help protect biodiversity across the scale. They help remove weaker animals so that elk and deer are stronger. Better protected from disease that trickles down to moving. Also, there's Elfin deer across the landscape, but they don't concentrate themselves in areas that become very hammered by too many of those animals in the same area, which allows for willow and. 
 [00:35:41] Regrowth of native plants and shade over those stream beds where those plants are growing that helps protect the fish. It's all connected, right? So we understand how valuable these animals are, but it seems like it's become this positioning of these state wildlife agencies that are only there to protect hunting and perhaps livestock, but not there to protect the wildlife themselves. 
 [00:36:08] And we really need to look at those structures in each state to make sure that, they're addressing the issues that we're facing today not back in the 1950s or 40s or, , earlier on when people all thought that, that wildlife was an unlimited resource, because clearly it is not. 
 [00:36:27] We are losing wildlife across the planet. 
 [00:36:30] Coyote: One other question that I want to pose is we're in an election year, right? In a very heated battle for who is going to become president of the United States, either re become or stay as is. 
 [00:36:46] Considering the fact that with Biden in office, we have seen this situation Not get better. If anything, maybe get worse. How fearful are both of you, Suzanne and James when it comes to if Trump is put back in office, how bad the directive could potentially go when it comes to decimating these animals, knowing that it's already been so much of a struggle to get protections in place over the past four years of Biden's term. 
 [00:37:16] Where does that kind of sit in your ethos? Is it just doom and gloom moving forward? And then the follow up question to that is in your opinions, what is the best solution moving forward? How can we activate a next generation or more people that are currently out there that maybe don't know this message? 
 [00:37:33] How do we get that out there in your opinions to get it out there more solidly so that people can recognize what's happening? 
 [00:37:40] James: Definitely, those are all very concerned, real concerns, because, we see our own existence being of concern with the rise of climate change and extreme weather events, human caused habitat degradation. 
 [00:37:52] We see a powerful force here in Idaho right now with these hunters and those people that just with impunity go and take out entire packs like that. And it does take a certain psychology to be able to just kill puppies and to go in there and to do that thing. 
 [00:38:09] So we have to marshal that next generation. We have to empower the youth. You know, my daughter always corrects me and she says, no, I'm, I'm not tomorrow's leader, , I'm a leading today too, and just don't let my age fool you, and we've seen that through youth time and time again. 
 [00:38:27] And sometimes all we can do is batten down the hatches and weather the storm and, produce those advocates that we need to continue the message and continue the fight. Because we're all in this together and it doesn't end, and it won't end, and so we have to do our part, we have to do our part. 
 [00:38:46] And it's hard to see sometimes what that solution would be. But at least when we empower our next generation and those youth, we at least can see that the, wherewithal and the tools and the spirit and the heart needed are passed on to those who come next. 
 [00:39:02] Coyote: Do you think that the government kind of puts us permanently behind the eight ball? 
 [00:39:05] Cause I mean, I hear what you're saying. And it's like the same thing that I am always saying publicly when I'm talking to a large group of people, when it comes to, Defending anything in regard to our planet, but it does really start based on the limitations of what the government is and isn't willing to make law. 
 [00:39:22] And if those laws don't change and those protections aren't put in place from the government down, we as, speakers for the animals we're always behind the eight ball. How will it ever change? 
 [00:39:32] Suzanne: Under the delisting rule for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, for the Northern Rockies states, the government included a clause, a safety clause there that said if any state allows for unlimited and unregulated killing of wolves, that they would immediately pursue emergency listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. 
 [00:39:51] Well, that happened three years ago, and they still haven't immediately pursued, haven't pursued at all. In fact, they just decided against pursuing a listing of wolves for the Northern Rockies. So we are in court. We will be fighting them again, and this was the second time we had to fight them the first time around on a bad delisting rule and it is then,, at the congressional level, they can exempt folks, which is what they're trying to do, from judicial review, which means that no matter how well we do in court, no matter how firm these laws are, To protect them, they can exempt wolves from those laws. 
 [00:40:29] And they are actually trying to do that just to wolves right now. And the House passed that legislation yesterday, so we have to stop it now. In the Senate, and we've got to get Biden's attention because Trump won't care. He won't care. 
 [00:40:43] Coyote: I wonder sometimes if you can make a great piece of media that can get out to widespread audience. If you look at a movie like Blackfish, as an example, that really caused some waves in the world of, you know, Orca treatment and organizations like SeaWorld and any place that's keeping large, intelligent marine life in very small, contained little areas. 
 [00:41:06] Maybe that will make a difference. But you never know what what's it going to take to really open up enough eyeballs within the United States and the world as a whole to say, Look, some big change needs to happen. And when you look at the two candidates that we have to be leading the United States right now, one has expressed concern but hasn't acted on it. 
 [00:41:28] And to your point, Suzanne, the other one probably is not going to care a whole lot. 
 [00:41:33] Suzanne: Yeah, we were lucky to have like Senator Booker. I think he does care. He came on to our film the last time we had to raise this attention and he has legislation in draft form right now that's he's vetting. With tribes across the country that would allow for tribal co management of wolves, of grizzly bears, and of bison, which are the three probably most persecuted animals in our part of the world, or certainly will be if bison if grizzly are delisted as well. 
 [00:42:02] So we have hope in him as a leader, and we will continue to help support his efforts, and then pray that the The stars align and allow for that new legislation to go forward because the Endangered Species Act is not meant to be a long term solution. It's meant to be a stopgap, and wolves need more than a stopgap. 
 [00:42:24] Clearly, they need protection from these states. 
 [00:42:27] Coyote: Are there other states where perhaps I'm just trying to play worst case scenario here. Let's say things do not change in a state like Idaho or Wyoming. Are there other states within the lower 48, for example, that could make good habitats for wolves where you can get the right group of people saying this is a protected area for wolves and they can sustain here? 
 [00:42:49] In the event that they were wiped out from somewhere like Idaho or Wyoming, or you weren't able to get the legislation in place to protect them. Is there any thought of doing that to be like, let's lean into the states that are willing to have them here? 
 [00:43:02] Suzanne: Colorado, 
 [00:43:03] Coyote: Colorado, 
 [00:43:03] Suzanne: Colorado has the best habitat for wolves in the Western United States, but unfortunately, Colorado on a state level, seems to be very determined to follow in the tracks of Wyoming right now. 
 [00:43:15] They're taking a lot of guidance from that state. We keep hoping that they will look to states like Washington, Oregon, California, which require nonlethal protection for livestock, which helps reduce all of the conflicts down helps protect livestock helps. Wildlife helps protect wolves, but right now it's been very tough in Colorado to get past that old school versus the, the new school of, wolves are important to biodiversity, how do we proactively implement laws and requirements and programs that help assist ranchers to protect their livestock proactively so that We don't have to get to the point of killing once again. 
 [00:43:57] Coyote: Well, I know that habitat is probably not ideal, but I definitely volunteer Ohio for wolves. So many whitetail deer here. I got 10 does that keep eating the bird seed out of my bird feeder. I would love to have some wolves in my backyard. I know it's probably not the ideal habitat, but we got enough deer here that could definitely sustain a few packs in Ohio. 
 [00:44:18] We'd love that here. At least I would. 
 [00:44:20] Josh: we also have the Gulf Coast Canid Project, which is revealing hidden population of admixed red wolf and coyote which could eventually connect across the Gulf Coast potentially. And provide a totally different genetic source for wolf reintroduction on the East Coast. 
 [00:44:44] We also have some positive legislation in New York State recently that will allow dispersal of wolves into the state under some protections. And we are seeing dispersals into New York State. So the habitat there is fine. And they may in fact. Take interstate 90 right on over Ohio at some point. 
 [00:45:08] Coyote: Well, I got a little bit of pull here and some connections. So, if it ever makes sense, I would be first and foremost, an advocate for, this area. But, I think that, The overall conversation here today is, certainly one that is a bit on the somber side. 
 [00:45:23] It's very difficult to, for anybody who loves animals and anybody listening to this, to know that there are people out there on our planet right now that are, abducting, torturing, killing defenseless Animals of any type, let alone important ones like wolves. Oh, they're all important. , in a situation like this where you're trying to rebound populations and, from talking to you, Suzanne and James, it sounds like it really does start with affecting the government. 
 [00:45:48] And, tell us a little bit right now. There are a couple of things that listeners can sign that are petitions that will help make some movement. Correct. 
 [00:45:58] Suzanne: We do have a letter to President Biden right now that anyone can sign. We're asking both individuals and organizations to sign on, asking him to use his executive privilege, his authority that he has today to prevent unlimited killing of wolves on our national public lands, period. 
 [00:46:18] These lands belong to all of us. They should be protected in a way that we feel proud of what happens on those public lands and that this wolf slaughter is happening on our public lands is what is just so devastating. 
 [00:46:33] James: Tribes themselves have many of them have come together and signed a inter tribal wolf treaty. In living with coexistence with wolves today in this modern world. And I think we can all, take some lessons from that and look at that treaty and, implement those coexistence principles wherever we can , to live in concert with the natural world and, and elevate the importance of those species. 
 [00:46:57] Coyote: Good information to know. Certainly here at Brave Wilderness, our goal is to share this message far and wide. It's why I was,, so honored to get to be a part of this conversation today. And now, knowing this and we did our last wolf episode a couple years ago, I'm gonna definitely be going back to my production team and say, Hey, looking forward into 2025 when our calendar starts to reset. 
 [00:47:19] What else can we do to go out and create some more content surrounding wolves would love to work with you guys in more detail to say, Hey, how do we continue to craft this message to really encourage everybody out there who participates in the digital distribution space and who has the chance to scroll past some of this and recognize that, our voices really count and can make a difference in the more noise we make about it. 
 [00:47:44] The more chance there is that someone's going to pay attention and some change is going to happen. 
 [00:47:48] Josh: My sincere thanks to each of you for being part of this conversation. It's really fantastic. Albeit, as you mentioned, coyote under somber circumstances, we hope next time we get to chat, we're on a better track, but thanks to each of you for the work that you're doing. 
 [00:48:03] It's critical, critical for both people and planet. So keep it up. Thank you. Thank you, Josh. 
 [00:48:10] We hope you found this episode informative and that you're moved to take action. And for the generous sponsorship of this important podcast, we would like to specially thank the following conservationists, the Tailwinds Charitable Foundation, the Dressel family, Melinda Hirsch, Gisela Ryter, Kristine Karnos, and Pierre DePasse. 
 [00:48:33] Josh: If you'd like to sponsor a future podcast, donate through our website, wildlifecoexistence. org, or find a link to donate in this episode's show notes. 
 [00:48:42] If you want a future with healthy ecosystems, now is the time to speak up for wolves. We've got plenty more thought provoking and inspiring episodes coming up. So subscribe to our podcast on your favorite channel and keep your ears perked up for what's next on For the Wild Ones.

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