I wonder why the Northwoods Wolf Alliance exercising its first amendment rights on public property threatens some of you so much? Apparently, this has something to do with the notion that some of us are “Indians.” Hmmm.
The post above recalls the walleye wars in Wisconsin a few decades ago. When Indigenous people want to use their rights under the various treaties in ceded territory, white sportsmen (ahem) brought guns to boat landings and threatened people’s lives.
What, exactly, are you so afraid of? Do people acting within the laws, YOUR laws I might add, who think differently from you make you feel that your ideas will not be seen as reasonable in comparison? Are your beliefs and values so shaky and ungrounded in fact, logic, common sense and economic rationality that you fear if we participate in the “free marketplace of ideas” that you may end up losing some of your privilege? Do you fear we will handily show you to be behaving counterproductively if we were heard?
It is really very interesting that our simple and silent display aroused such a stir from some of you. While our members, who represent a variety of cultural, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds, don’t tend to appreciate the racism that permeates this area so often (though there are also many decent people of rationality and good will we very much do appreciate) it is a good thing to have it right on the surface where we can deal with it openly at least.
There is nothing about a sign that reads “Stop the Wolf Hunt”, or our logo, that is an affront to a family atmosphere. Even if there were, we were not inside the boundaries of Bentleyville, and if I am not mistaken, even if we were, isn’t Bentleyville on public property?
There is, however, much about the recreational torture and killing of wolves for “fun” being sponsored by the state and subsidized by the public which one might quite reasonably find to be an affront to family values, in that it models sadism as appropriate conduct to the children of our state.
I note that the FBI and other law enforcement, as well as domestic violence agencies consider a person who enjoys inflicting suffering on animals, for its own sake, to be a red flag for predatory conduct, including violence, towards human beings, and wonder why those urging no torture would be perceived to be the threatening ones. We do not think the state should be presenting torturing animals as “fun” for the family or anyone else. It is not fun, it teaches gross disrespect for life and mocks entirely preventable suffering. This is not consistent with the interests of the state in reducing violent conduct, this is not in the interests of our children or any of the citizens of this state, other than those with an irrational hatred of wolves and a frightening sense of entitlement to run over the majority of Minnesotans in order to indulge the blood lust this hatred inspires. That is not sound or rational policy.
Despite the assertion made by one poster, this recreational slaughter is not intended to reduce the population of wolves, according to the MN DNR. The reason for the wolf hunt in Minnesota was made perfectly clear in an internal DNR email written by Dennis Simon. He stated that the agency owed its primary and secondary clients, hunters and trappers and livestock producers, a wolf hunt now that the wolf was under agency management. This is not consistent with the roundtable management plan and is clear evidence that the agency, whose ONLY rightful clients are the citizens of Minnesota and/or the U.S. (when managing resources of significance to the citizenry of the entire nation, which is the case with wolves) has been captured by a narrow special interest (sport hunters, i.e. those who kill for thrills), and a corporate interest (livestock producers).
The MN wolf hunt is an example of a state agency again caving in to animal agriculture lobbies (sparing them the need to honor the obligation they committed to in roundtable negotiations in many regards, including implementing non-lethal wolf depredation control methods) and a concession to people who think it is fun to inflict completely gratuitous pain, suffering and death on an iconic animal, crucial to a healthy eco-system, who is unquestionably worth far more to Minnesotans alive than dead.
The wolf hunt is a slap in the faces of the majority of Minnesotans who, while we may respect subsistence hunting, no longer have patience for modeling recklessly violent and sadistic conduct towards any living being.
Yes, the times are changing, and if that frightens some, well, that’s sad, but no excuse for refusing to object to this outrageous hunt. Perhaps instead of attacks on Craig's List, it would be more productive to engage in civil and reasonable discourse about why the roundtable management plan, which well represented the interests of all stakeholders in Minnesota as identified by the DNR, was ignored and not implemented? Why not discuss the very small number of domestic animals actually killed by wolves (about 91 head of livestock in 2011, hardly a huge issue) and the fact that farmers and other people concerned about domestic animals were enabled vis a vis the roundtable management plan, to kill or have killed wolves they felt were threatening domestic animals and ask ourselves why they still lobbied to not have to live up to their end of the bargain when wolves were de-listed? Why not write Governor Dayton or MN DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and ask them when they will respect the public in whose trust these animals are to be “managed?”
As for “Indians at Bentleyville”, it is true that the Anishinaabeg nation(s) collectively banned wolf hunting on their reservations and that two, the White Earth Nation and the Red Lake Nation, declared their reservations wolf sanctuaries. Those familiar with the mission of the Northwoods Wolf Alliance are aware that we intend to facilitate the Anishinaabeg and non-Anishinaabeg people of this area, i.e. Anishinaabeg Akiing, to work together to protect wolves. I don’t think that being a member of the group or being at the Bentleyville event, is grounds for any kind of projection about other characteristics. If someone was there, one may reasonably assume that they are a member or supporter of the NWA and that they were at Bentleyville Friday night. No person speaks for others, I think those of us who are reasonable and rational understand that. If someone wishes to equate attendance at the event with presuming to speak for every person in any demographic group, the error belongs to the person so assuming.
We all are committed to protection of the wolf in MN, WI and MI and to respect for traditional environmental and other ethics as we understand and continue to strive to learn more about them. I think it is clear that there has been a single dominant paradigm at work when it comes to policy in this state and regardless of our cultural identification, we all agree there is a need for different voices to be heard. The DNR did consider tribal representatives to be significant stakeholders when assembling the roundtable that was to set policy upon de-listing of the wolf from the federal endangered species list. However, it disregarded tribal voices, as a whole, when electing to give in to ag and sport hunters demands for a hunt. The state is obliged to consult (which entails more than informing) with tribal nations on policy affecting culturally and otherwise significant resources. The state did not meet its obligation to sovereign nations in this regard and no matter our heritage, we are ALL treaty people. Treaties are the law of this land, the highest law of the land, negotiated between sovereign nations. It is the obligation of all of us to honor and respect both the letter and the spirit of these agreements.
We are asking that law, and rational policy, be adhered to. Who reasonably objects to that?
This brings me back where I began- the walleye wars. The treaties were good enough when the “settlers” wanted to take land, resources and push both indigenous people and wolves out of the way for agriculture and other economic activity, with enormous brutality. Yet when it comes time for the people to enjoy their freedoms and privileges under these treaties, suddenly the hatred and death threats emerge.
You may not agree that the wolf hunt should stop. But if you have a problem with the peaceful and respectful exercise of freedom of speech in a public place, or with attempts to encourage Governor Mark Dayton and The MN DNR to fully respect both the letter and the law of the treaties that govern ceded territory, you have a problem with democracy, “family values” and a logical consistency issue that you need to work on.