Category Archives: Animals

Natives Fight Back for the Grizzly!

“When Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species list in late June, at least seven environmental groups filed notices of intent to sue him. But nine Indian tribes have beaten them to the punch, citing violations of religious freedom.” L. Lundquist Courthouse News

Excerpt: Indian Tribes Take the Lead in Fight for Grizzly Bears by Laura Lundquist courthouse News

“Zinke announced on June 22 that he was removing grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from protections of the Endangered Species Act. Conservation groups filed notices of intent to sue June 30, but must wait 60 days under the Endangered Species Act to give the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service an opportunity to respond.

Native Americans have other avenues of recourse, and sued the United States on June 30 in Federal Court. The four-count lawsuit, filed by nine tribes or their representatives, plus three spiritual societies and spiritual leaders, claim the defendants failed to consult with them in developing the delisting documents, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the delisting violates their religion and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…As Fish and Wildlife proceeded to work with other federal and state agencies to delist the Yellowstone grizzlies, tribes were not represented in the meetings.

Mama Grizzly and cubs

Had they been present, tribal representatives would have cited the religious importance of the grizzly bear, according to the tribes’ 34-page lawsuit. The spiritual leaders say grizzly bears need to be allowed to expand throughout their historical range for tribes such as the Hopi to freely express their faith. They say that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Fish and Wildlife should not take action that prevents grizzlies from repopulating their homeland, such as allowing states to conduct trophy hunts.

Education- image windigotravel

‘It’s not surprising, but it’s not acceptable for our tribes to be ignored of our needs and our requests. We wanted full consultation, meaningful consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service. But even though they promised us, that’s not happening,’ Ben Nuvamsa, former chairman of the Hopi Tribe, told the Public News Service…The tribes seek an injunction against the delisting until Fish and Wildlife properly consults with them and considers their religious needs.

The nine tribes and their representatives are just a fraction of more than 120 tribes and nations in the United States and Canada that have signed a Grizzly Treaty in the past year to protect the bear. On July 4, some of those tribes met in Rapid City, South Dakota, to renew their opposition to the delisting, among other issues.

However, the tribes do not comprise a totally unified front. On the Blackfeet Reservation in north central Montana, the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council supports the delisting, though it opposes trophy hunting on the reservation. But in a June 17 letter to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, the Crazy Dogs Society of the Blackfeet Nation said the Business Council did not have the authority to speak for the tribe on matters related to the grizzly bear, and Society leader Leon Rattler questioned whether the council had conflicts of interest. Erik Molvar of Western Watersheds Project expects grazing leases to proliferate on federal land occupied by grizzlies and the resulting conflict will mean more dead bears.

‘The Yellowstone region is one of the last places where grizzly bear still occupies its natural place as the king of the mountains,’ Molvar said. ‘But the livestock industry continues to push sheep and cattle deep into the mountains, causing conflicts with grizzly bears and other native wildlife in their natural habitats. Turning grizzly bear management over to trigger-happy state agencies without guarantees that the bears will be protected turns back the clock to the dark days when predator killing was the rule and grizzly bear populations were eliminated.”

Category: Animals

Meet The New Baby Bison!

“A bison calf has been born on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation for the first time in 130 years.”Casper Star Tribune

The first wild bison calf in 130 years. Billings Gazette

Excerpt: First bison born on Wyoming reservation in 130 years — Casper Star Tribune

“The Casper Star-Tribune reports the baby bison was born Wednesday into a herd of 10 animals reintroduced to the reservation last fall.

Jason Baldes with the Eastern Shoshone tribe says the bison calf is ‘an honor bestowed upon us by the Creator.’ White settlers nearly eradicated bison from the West in the 19th century.”

Do You Know the Difference Between Buffalo and Bison?

“It’s easy to understand why people confuse bison and buffalo. Both are large, horned, oxlike animals of the Bovidae family. There are two kinds of bison, the American bison and the European bison, and two forms of buffalo, water buffalo and Cape buffalo. However, it’s not difficult to distinguish between them, especially if you focus on the three H’s: home, hump, and horns.

From top to bottom: A bison, an Asian water buffalo, and an African Cape buffalo. Photos-Modernfarmer.com

Contrary to the song “Home on the Range,” buffalo do not roam in the American West. Instead, they are indigenous to South Asia (water buffalo) and Africa (Cape buffalo), while bison are found in North America and parts of Europe. Despite being a misnomer—one often attributed to confused explorers—buffalo remains commonly used when referring to American bison, thus adding to the confusion.

Another major difference is the presence of a hump. Bison have one at the shoulders while buffalo don’t. The hump allows the bison’s head to function as a plow, sweeping away drifts of snow in the winter. The next telltale sign concerns the horns. Buffalo tend to have large horns—some have reached more than 6 feet (1.8 meters)—with very pronounced arcs. The horns of bison, however, are much shorter and sharper. And, if you want to throw a B into the mix, you can check for a beard. Bison are the hipsters of the two animals, sporting thick beards. Buffalo are beardless.”

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Category: Animals | Tags:

Warriors and Wolves

“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a tough problem and it’s not just a problem for veterans. We just think of veterans when we think of PTSD…their families get the PTSD problem stacked on top of the other issues. Lockwood Animal Rescue Center near Frazier Park, California refers to their PTSD work as Warriors and Wolves.” S. Russell, ICTMNlockwood-animal-rescue-center

Excerpt: Warriors and Wolves; Disappearing Nooksacks By Steve Russell,ICTMN

living-with-wolves-saved-my-life

living-with-wolves-saved-my-life

“I’ve always thought it makes sense to worry about the effect of combat on veterans because even if the government lied about the reasons for fighting, the GIs often think they are fighting for us and they always think they are fighting for the GIs to their right and their left caught up in the same battle. LARC rescues wolves and wolf-dog hybrids who face an automatic death sentence in ordinary animal shelters because they are thought to be too dangerous for pets.

untitledAt LARC, they are allowed to live like wolves, but they do appear to bond with a human caretaker. In the Warriors and Wolves program, the wolves make the decisions. LARC just provides the opportunity by bringing in combat veterans as caretakers. According to LARC, the wolves have been excellent judges of character and the veterans find that bonding with a wolf levels out fight and flight impulses better than conventional therapy.”

untitled

Category: Animals, Healing

U.S. and Canadian Natives Join Forces to Protect The Grizzlies!

“U.S. and Canada-based Native American tribes are expected to sign a treaty on Friday that urges protections be maintained for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. The Canada-based tribes are signing the measure to show solidarity with tribes based in the United States, as they are all united by cultural and religious ties to grizzlies. The treaty is the latest sign of growing American Indian activism tied to tribal rights and the environment and just the third such cross-border agreement in 150 years.” L. Zuckerman, Reuters

Grizzly-mom-and-cubs

Grizzly-mom-and-cubs

treaty-signing October 2, 2016.

treaty-signing October 2, 2016.

Excerpt: Native American tribes in Canada, U.S. to sign treaty to protect Yellowstone grizzlies L. Zuckerman, Reuters

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said earlier this year that Yellowstone-area grizzlies had come back from the brink of extinction and it proposed stripping U.S. Endangered Species Act protections from the population of about 700 bears. The move would open the way for hunting bears that roam outside the park’s borders in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

crow-prayer-for-bear

crow-prayer-for-bear

The treaty, expected to be signed by Piikani Nation and other tribes in the western Canadian province of Alberta on Friday, declares support by more than 50 tribes for protecting grizzlies from random killing and preserving their habitat against development.

zuni-bear-fetish

zuni-bear-fetish

The planned ceremony comes two days before representatives of other tribes mostly in and around the U.S. Rocky Mountain West are expected to sign the same treaty during a ceremony in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Grizzly family in yellowstone-

Grizzly family in yellowstone-

photo-chief-stanley-grier-piikani-nation

photo-chief-stanley-grier-piikani-nation

Chief Stanley Grier of the Piikani Nation and representatives from such tribes as the Blackfeet Nation in Montana and the Shoshone-Bannock of eastern Idaho, argue grizzlies are too sacred and culturally important to be killed by hunters.”

“There should be no doubt that delisting and trophy hunting the grizzly bear on ancestral tribal and treaty lands threatens irreparable harm to those sites and to tribal sovereignty and religious freedom.” ~Chief Stanley Grier, member of the Piikani Nation~

Category: Animals

Help Save The Horses of the Salt River

Soon after federal officials announced the imminent capture of 100 or so horses within the boundaries of a national forest near here [Arizona Salt River] — to be sold at auction, “condemned and destroyed, or otherwise disposed of” — a resourceful cadre of self-appointed guardians issued a desperate call for action.” F. Santos, The New York Times

Beautiful Salt River Horses. Photo: facebook

Excerpt: Threat to Arizona’s Salt River Horses Spurs New Battle…  By Fernanda Santos NYT

“The response was broad and fast, stunning the guardians, as well as officials at Tonto National Forest, to whom the horses are a nuisance and a risk. Some 200 volunteers organized on July 31, the same day the notice of the planned capture appeared in a local newspaper, offering to stand between the horses and whoever tried to catch them. Dozens more gathered for a rally at a recreation area by the Salt River, holding signs and chanting, Wild and free, let them be, despite oppressive 112-degree heat.

Wild horses of Salt River out for a swim. Photo-protectmustangs.org

Wild horses of Salt River out for a swim. Photo-protectmustangs.org

With pressure mounting, the Forest Service hit pause. Last month, Neil Bosworth, the Tonto National Forest supervisor, suspended any planned roundups for four months.

We have explored, and continue to explore, alternatives to address the horses.  The statement highlighted the service’s discussions with cattle owners, American Indians, state groups and horse advocates to seek a collaborative solution with the input of the public and interested parties.

The horses that roam along the Salt River in Tonto National Forest, as well as in the neighboring Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, have no owner, or at least none who has stepped forward since news of the plans for their removal. The problem with the horses is that they pose a risk of collision for visitors on the busy, narrow roads leading to the river, forest officials said.

Between Jan. 1, 2013, and Aug. 4, the authorities in Maricopa County received 26 complaints of horses on or near these roads and responded to four collisions, which caused no serious injuries to humans but resulted in one horse’s death. If they are eventually rounded up, some of the horses might end up on farms. Others might be taken to Mexico or Canada for slaughter — a practice that is not currently allowed in the United States. If their supporters have their way, the horses might end up in sanctuaries — or stay right where they are.

On a recent afternoon, south of where visitors finish rides along the Salt River on tubes that rent for $17 a day, a band of horses dipped their heads in the water, feasting on clumps of eelgrass. Ahead, Anne Dougherty, 60, knelt in the east bank of the river, submerged up to her waist as she admired a mare and her foal resting under the shade of a willow tree. This is their land,” said Ms. Dougherty, who lives in Apache Junction, on the southern edge of Tonto National Forest. “Why don’t we leave them alone?”

For more information visit : Save The Horses of the Salt River

Salt River Horses. Photo-newsofthehorse.com

Salt River Horses. Photo-newsofthehorse.com

A special “Wado” to K. Houpt

“A Horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”~Ovid~

Category: Animals

Fierce Rez Yorkie Saves Man from 200lb. Bear!

“Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Marine Corp training and his 10-pound pet Yorkshire terrier name Benji to thank for surviving a vicious bear attack that left him covered in stitches.” Floridanewstime

Lucky to be alive- Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Yorkshire terrier Benji to thank for helping him escape a vicious bear.

Lucky to be alive- Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Yorkshire terrier Benji to thank for helping him escape a vicious bear.

Excerpt: Vietnam vet Larry Yepez fought off a bear with help from Yorkie named Benji – Floridanewstime

“The bear mauling took place outside Mr Yepez’s home in rural Midpines, California, not far from Yosemite National Park, at around 4am last Thursday.
The decorated war veteran said he got up to use the restroom located outside when he heard a noise coming from his front porch and went around to check.
As he rounded the corner, Yepez said he came upon a 200-pound black bear rummaging through his garbage in search of food not 10 feet away. The bear apparently got spooked by the homeowner and charged at him.

Before the attack Yepez and Benji went everywhere.

Before the attack Yepez and Benji went everywhere.

Yepez grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on – a plastic flower pot – and hurled it at the bear, hoping to scare it off, but the animal was already on top of him, clawing at his chest and abdomen, and mauling his hand.
The hardened combat veteran, who was awarded a Purple Heart during the war after he was shot two times and wounded by shrapnel  punched the bear in the head with his right hand and tried to hit it with his left, but the woodland beast clamped down its jaws on his limb.

Larry Yepez and Benji talking to the Daily News at the Occupy Wall Street protests in November 2011.

Larry Yepez and Benji talking to the Daily News at the Occupy Wall Street protests in November 2011.

Describing himself in that moment like a little rag doll pinned beneath the bulk of the bear’s body, Yepez said he looked into the animal’s eyes just inches away from his face and realized it was going to kill him unless he acts fast.

As Yepez was being mauled and clawed by the hulking beast, his dog Benji, which tips the scales at only 10lbs, came to his defense.

As Yepez was being mauled and clawed by the hulking beast, his dog Benji, which tips the scales at only 10lbs, came to his defense.

As Yepez was making futile attempts to kick the bear away, help came suddenly from an unexpected source: his 10-pound Yorkshire terrier, who was able to distract the hulking animal by barking and nipping at its fur.

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear (not pictured) - -tiff

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear (not pictured) –

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has not been located.”

“Wado” to KAB!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.”

~ Josh Billings~

Category: Animals