27 September 2012 Policy Experts Descend on Defenders’ “Living with Predators” Forum Posted by: Alex Slippen | 9 comments | Share: by Alex Slippen Our nation has long been thought of as a “melting pot” of different human races living side by side. But humans and wildlife need to live side by side too. They need to coexist. And although this necessary coexistence can lead to conflict, there are good faith actors out there trying to make it work. And Defenders is helping to lead the way. Over the years, Defenders has worked with numerous collaborators and experts to prevent and mitigate conflicts between humans and wildlife, particularly with predator species such as wolves, grizzly bears and panthers. Recently, Defenders hosted a policy forum in Washington, D.C. on the topic of coexistence to bring many of these partners together. Opening remarks were delivered by Defenders president Jamie Rappaport Clark, who stressed that peaceful coexistence should be the new norm when it comes to living with predators, not the exception. And she praised the forum panelists for their pioneering work in making that happen. Wolves are one of many animals that depend on coexistence efforts like those discussed during this forum. Following a brief video produced by Defenders on helping people coexist with wildlife, a diverse panel of four experts from various fields and locations took turns discussing their coexistence work. First up was Lawrence Schoen, a board member of the Blaine County Commission in south central Idaho. Schoen spoke about his involvement in Defenders’ Wood River Wolf Project, which uses a combination of deterrents and good old-fashioned foresight to keep nearby sheep separated from wolves in the area. He was followed by Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, who spoke of his experiences with coexistence projects in Florida as “proactive, adaptive solutions” to human-panther conflicts. Next up was Nancy Gloman, vice president of field conservation for Defenders of Wildlife, who reiterated the organization’s long-term vision of human populations as tolerant, appreciative and accepting of the wildlife around them. And closing out the panel was David White, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (a section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), who tied all the panelists remarks together by discussing coexistence efforts at the federal level. Some of NRCS’ landscape conservation initiatives include the protection of the sage grouse in key agriculture areas. Defenders is committed to a collaborative approach to living with wildlife, and the variety of different perspectives that comes from experts like these panelists will go a long way towards bridging the gap between humans and wildlife. 9 Responses to “Policy Experts Descend on Defenders’ “Living with Predators” Forum” kathleen henson October 12th, 2012 COEXISTENCE……WHAT A GREAT PROJECT!!CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR HARD WORK. Juli October 12th, 2012 Thank you Defenders. I sign every petition I can, and have wondered what techniques & methods were used for successful co-existence, and this video beautifully answers this question. It seems now our biggest call to duty is to share this information far & wide to raise awareness. Keep up the good work! Anita October 12th, 2012 I agree that we need to help to the protection of wildlife and I have donated to them over the years. thank you for putting this on the internet. Love and GODS Blessings, To All of You Lewis Ratliff October 12th, 2012 I think some more effort should be given to pointing out to ranchers, that a good percentage of “wolf” predation should be written off to feral dog packs. I came close to being attacked by one of these 30 yrs ago in Calif. We lived near one of the traditional Basque sheep herding routes. I brought in a truck load of horses about 2 in the am, & notice about a dozen new “bushes”, or dark shapes around the perimeter of the stalls. When I noticed them closing in, I made it for one of the roofs, made some noise & they left. Dunno if they thought the horses were sheep, but I think I would have been on the menu. Jaime Perez October 14th, 2012 What a wonderful thing Defenders is doing to help with the co-existence of humans and wildlife. We have encroached to badly on their land, and then in turn wipe them out. This is so wrong. These majestic animals keep nature and the ecosystem in check. Thank you Defenders for working so hard to make sure wildlife is protected and will be around for a long time. I will continue to donate to the good work you do. God bless you. Steven Trevaskus October 14th, 2012 Well done Defenders of Wildlife without you and your pioneering work Wild Animals would be facing a bleak future . michiel October 16th, 2012 Everybody thank you very much for keeping up the state of normality for human race Joseph Ogrodnik January 9th, 2013 I would like to know some details of what Defenders is doing to help stop the Wolf hunts here in the Great Lakes Area were Minisota killed 411 wolves, Wisconsin killed 167 wolves and now Michigan is getting ready to have a wolf trophy hunt? Moderator January 9th, 2013 The western Great Lakes region’s wolf population is the largest in the lower 48, so while Defenders will continue to monitor the situation in the region to ensure that control actions are carried out responsibly, our resources are limited and we are focusing our efforts in areas where the threats are greatest to wolves: in the Southwest and the Rockies regions. If you have concerns regarding the hunting policies in your state, please contact your Fish & Wildlife Department, Department of Natural Resources, and legislators. Most legislators are eager to hear from their constituents. Your opinions are valuable to them, and by contacting them you can be very influential. Defenders of Wildlife will always be available as a guide and resource to states that are pursuing wildlife management policies. We believe that all regulated take of wildlife should be based on sound science and sound wildlife management principles and thus be consistent with maintaining healthy populations of all species and supporting ecosystems. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. 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