October 24, 2014

Leonardo DiCaprio Buys Rights to Wolf Movie: He must have caught the Canis lupus fever when he was filming “The Wolf of Wall Street” because Leo is buying the movie rights to a book that will tell the story the famous female alpha wolf, 06. “American Wolf” will follow 06’s multi-year journey from the time she was collared in Yellowstone National Park to her eventual death in 2012 just outside park boundaries. As any Yellowstone wolf advocate knows, 06 was a particularly special wolf, known to many as “the most famous wolf in the world.” She was monitored for years by researchers and scientists, and during that span of time, gathered a large public following due to her indomitable free spirit. In 2012, she was legally killed by a hunter just 15 miles outside of the park.

Yellowstone wolves, © Doug McLaughlin

Yellowstone wolves, including the famous “06” (left) that was killed in late 2012.

It was a grievous event made even more tragic since she had grown up in the park and was less wary of humans, making her an easy target outside the park boundaries. The public took notice and mourned her loss; 06 even got an obit in the New York Times. 06’s courageous story is a wonderful way to share many of the bittersweet successes and continued threats wolves face as they continue their recovery in the Northern Rockies. We’re thrilled to see Leo support wolves by telling 06’s incredible story.

We’re Still Fighting to Stop the Proposed Wolf Derby in Idaho: The hunters’ rights group called Idaho for Wildlife has requested permission from the Bureau of Land Management(BLM) to hold a multi-day predator killing contest starting in January 2015 on wide expanses of national public lands around Salmon, Idaho.  We’ve asked you before to help stop this proposal by submitting comments to BLM. We continue to tell BLM that events like these are the same kinds of extermination-era tactics that drove wolves to the brink of extinction in the Lower-48 in the first place. This is not modern wildlife management and it has no place in our society. In addition, this week, the agency got some additional pressure from ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Representative Peter DeFazio. Rep. DeFazio sent a letter to the Director of BLM this week requesting he deny the permit application. The letter says: “… this proposed activity is clearly inconsistent with BLM’s mission ‘to sustain the heath, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.’ Allowing the Derby to take place on BLM land would be yet another blow to conservation of one of the West’s most iconic animals and undermines more than twenty years of Federal recovery efforts.”

Wolf, © Chris SeniorIf BLM still isn’t convinced about its need to prevent this derby from occurring, here is one more reason: this commercialized killing contest violates a standing policy of the Idaho Fish and Game Department (IFGD). The policy states “the Department [IDFG] will not support any contests or similar activities involving the taking of predators which may portray hunting in an unethical fashion, devalue the predator, and which may be offensive to the general public.” In other words, this proposed derby violates the state of Idaho’s very own policy which opposes contest hunting of predators! BLM should deny the derby on these grounds alone. Thank you to everyone (more than 55,000 of you) who took a few minutes to write to oppose this ill-conceived derby. Every person who speaks out helps ensure that our voices are heard.

Help Defenders Select Winning Wolf Design! We’re releasing a limited edition wolf t-shirt in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first wolf reintroductions to the Northern Rockies this January. You can help us chose from the final three designs, and the winning design will become our official 20th anniversary t-shirt! The design with the most votes by 11:59pm EDT on Friday October 24th will be offered in the Defenders’ Online Adoption and Gift Center next month. All those who vote will be able to order the winning shirt for a discounted price and you’ll have a chance to purchase the winning design before anyone else! So, cast your vote today!!

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