I was among many people who rejoiced when Deb Haaland was appointed Secretary of the Interior. I expected that many of the egregious acts of the Trump administration would be swiftly reversed, most notably the removal of wolves from the Endangered Species list, which was done in October of 2020.  Wolves had been on the endangered list for more than 45 years. There was no solid evidence that the population had recovered across the country, which is the requirement for delisting, and there was every assurance that a bloodbath would follow. It has. 

       In February, hunters in Wisconsin killed 216 wolves, more than 82% over the allowed quota. Wolf pups are being dynamited in their dens. Now Wisconsin plans to kill another 300 wolves, despite warnings from biologists that such a slaughter could permanently endanger the animals in that state. The Secretary of the Interior has been silent on this impending bloodbath.

            For many months now, petitions have been directed at Deb Haaland to do something to save the wolves that are about to be slaughtered. I got a contact name of someone who knows her, who assured me he would forward everything I emailed to him. I have sent countless articles, petitions, pleas from environmental groups. I even wrote a personal letter to her. Still, she has said nothing.

            The environmental community rejoiced over her appointment for many reasons. One was, as an Indigenous woman she seemed to have the consciousness and the conscience to know that persecuted animals need protection. Few animals have been more persecuted than wolves. They were brought to the brink of extinction when this country was being “settled.” The other massacre at that time was of Native Americans.

            Native Americans’ relationship with wolves is regarded as sacred. They once believed that God visited the earth in the form of wolves and that whatever befell the wolfpack would affect the tribe as well.

            At a public hearing on August 11th John Johnson, Jr. a leader of the Chippewa tribe in Wisconsin, said, “The hatred toward this being is based on myth…Nothing will dissuade the desire for more blood from our brother.”

            So how is it that Deb Haaland has nothing to say about this? How is it that nothing has come from her office about restoring wolves to the endangered list? And when hundreds more are shot from helicopters, run down with snow-mobiles and hunted with packs of dogs, snared in traps, when more pups are killed with explosives in their dens, will she think anything about it? Will she imagine the howl of a wolf who has lost its pack, its pups, and is wandering alone across a landscape where death is everywhere? 

            We leave things behind in this world. We leave behind what we do and what we fail to do. Everyone has a legacy. I wonder if Deb Haaland thinks about that.


  1. Omg, Patti, thank you for writing this. Michael just sent this to me, and I cried through the whole thing. God bless you. What more can we do? You know me, and I care about this so very much. I have spent lots of time testifying in court these past few years on behalf of animals and will continue to do all I can for the rest of my days on this planet. You have written a powerful plea on their behalf. What more can we do now? Love & appreciation for you. Sincerely, kitty

  2. David L. Williams says:

    Hi Patti, thank you for speaking out. I have been tabling in Madison WI and handing out literature on this issue since last May in the wake of the terrible February wolf hunt. I think at least four things need to be done: 1) the petition campaigns, letters and emails to be stepped-up until it becomes a national groundswell; 2) some investigative journalist or journalists need to dig deeper into why Haaland of all people is going the impending wolf slaughter (I am thinking perhaps Jimmy Tobias at The Guardian who did a great story on the red wolves and the FWS in the Aug 9th edition of The Nation); there need to be mass meetings and public demonstrations as we get close to the wolf slaughters; 4) if we are unable to stop the pending hunts then we must make a public scandal of the awful results.

  3. Joy Kim says:

    US Interior does not protect wild horses either😢

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