Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wyoming Wolf Management

Wyoming has once again taken over management of wolves within its borders. The Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., entered its final order in favor of Wyoming in a lawsuit that put wolves back on the endangered species list in 2014. The court announced in March that it had upheld the state’s plan but had not issued its final order. Tuesday’s decision is what Wyoming wolf managers hope is the last legal battle in a roller-coaster legal process.


One interesting note is that no changes were made to Wyoming’s wolf management plan from when the state oversaw the carnivores between 2012 and 2014. Wyoming will manage the 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Wolves in the majority of the state will be considered predators and can be shot on sight, similar to coyotes. In the Northwest corner of the state where most of the wolves are located they are classified as a trophy animal and will be subject to fall hunting seasons. Season dates will be set by The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission after a public comment period.

Environmental groups sued Wyoming in 2012 over the state’s management plan claiming that the state’s plan to maintain a buffer of more wolves than the required amount was not legally binding and insufficient to protect wolves under the Endangered Species Act. Since that time, surrounding states have effectively managed their wolf populations but Wyoming's hands have been tied when it comes to managing a predator that has a very real impact on the rest of the wildlife in the state.

The topic of wolf management is very polarizing, with very strong opinions on either side. Some would have no management of them at all, and others would like them all wiped off the face of the earth. Like most issues, I tend toward the middle ground. I believe that as a native species in the state, wolves have their place, and that with effective management, can cohabit with our elk, deer and moose. That's with a strong emphasis on the management, because left unchecked, wolves can decimate our elk herds. In many areas that I hunted growing up, elk behaviors and populations have changed drastically since wolves began moving out of the Greater Yellowstone area. This ruling is a giant step forward in the management of Wyoming wolves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Relevance

Here's a great clip from Shane Mahoney's speech at the 2017 RMEF National Convention. If you are not familiar with his work, I highly recommend researching it. Born and raised in Newfoundland, Shane is a biologist and writer widely known internationally as a lecturer on environmental and resource conservation issues.



A committed hunter and fisherman, Shane lectures widely in the United States and Canada on the future of hunting and sport fishing and the role hunters and anglers have played in conserving our wildlife legacy. He frequently addresses resource management agencies and professionals concerning their roles as conservation leaders in the 21st century and conducts workshops on this theme throughout North America.

Also check out his recent interview with Adam Janke on the Beyond The Kill.FM podcast. It's a great listen and well worth your time.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Blake Alma and The Outdoorsman's Art

When I was 16 years old, the only writing I was doing was the bare minimum required in English class. I always enjoyed writing, but the thought of writing outside of school never really occurred to me. I didn't start this blog until about 8 years after high school, and that was the first real writing I had done.

By contrast, 16 year old Blake Alma has been building a catalog of high quality articles for a wide variety of online and paper publications, in addition to publishing several books. Not only that, but he hosts The Outdoorsman's Art Radio Show, a podcast dedicated to discussing hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor pursuits.


Blake began writing his first book, The Outdoorsmen Bible, in May 2014, and writing about his passion for the outdoors only fueled his fire to build a career around his love for the outdoors. The following year he published a few more books and won the Ohio Outdoor News writing contest with an article about trapping. Things really took off for Blake in 2016, when he was approached to write for Survival Life, to host a radio show on WRVO Radio and he established The Outdoorsman's Art Media. Blake recently took on the position of Editor-in-Chief at Survivalist Daily and will also be producing a survival podcast for Survivalist.com.

The thing that strikes me about Blake's work is the inclusion of so many aspects of the outdoor lifestyle. For example, when Blake talks about trapping, which is something I'm not very familiar with, his passion for it comes through and I find myself intrigued to learn about this art myself. The guests on Blake's podcast and radio show bring a wide range of personalities and topics and make for a very entertaining show. It's definitely worth a listen if your a podcast listener.

Blake has some awesome goals for the future and part of that includes getting kids away from video games and phones and back into God's creation the way he was raised. I'm completely onboard with that. It goes without saying that all of Blake's accomplishments are especially impressive when you consider that he's only 16 years old. He's got a great head start and I'm really looking forward to seeing what this young man does in the next few years.