Mushroom for Idiots


I recently joined the Mycological Association of Washington, DC and I learning to forage.  I have no scientific knowledge of fungi but I do have an emotional connection to mushrooms as I use to pick them when I was a youngster when my mother and I would go to a near by field.  She knew what she was doing.  I hope to learn!  I participated in the cooking class sponsored by MAW.  My recipe was simple:  Chicken of the Woods vs. Hen of the Woods, both served over rice.

Did you know that fungi is a kingdom more like the animal kingdom because members of both kingdoms cannot make their own nutrients (like plants can).

The War on Elephants

Hike for Elephants April 8 - October 16, 2016

    The only country in the world completely surrounded by another country is Lesotho, strategically located for anyone who loves wildlife [ELEPHANTS?].  This was my second time in Africa, this time for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer.  One of my fondest memories toward the end of my tour was a five week visit from my mother.  We traveled throughout South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.  On one particular day while we were camping in Ethosha in northern Namibia I joined my mother as she gazed at an enormous elephant with long tusks as he drank peacefully at a water hole separated from us by an almost unnoticed rock mote.  My mother was captivated and so was I.  It seemed that elephants were everywhere as we watched them move stealthily across the landscape.  I could not have imagined at the time that in twenty years I would attend the International Law and Wildlife Well-Being: Moving from Theory to Action Conference in Washington, DC and hear that elephants face extinction.  

    This is my story about taking action.  In 2016 I thru-hiked the 2200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine as a fundraiser for elephant conservation.  It is an account of the people, the challenges, and the cause to raise awareness of the elephant crisis.  Readers get a snapshot view of the behind the scenes at why laws, and nonprofits such as the World Wildlife Fund, fail elephants, the poaching epidemic, and lastly a call to action - what we can do before it’s too late.


    I unzipped my tent fly, fumbled for the light on my cell phone, and crept cautiously outside to find rocks to anchor each corner of the tent.  I thought my tent, flapping wildly, would either collapse around me or take off with the wind and rain.  Now I understood why Mt. Washington is infamous for erratic weather*. The howling winds and pounding rain were nothing like the calm sunset and mild temperature the evening before when I crawled into my tent hoping for a long night sleep to ease away the aches from the climb that day.  Jolted  awake I listened for any stirring in the tent not far from me occupied by my hiking partner, Swiss Miss, but I heard nothing but wind.  

*  Mount Washington holds the world record for the fastest wind gust ever recorded on the surface of the Earth: 231 miles per hour, recorded April 12, 1934.


    The day before started out uneventful.  That morning Swiss Miss and I planned our day.  We would either meet at Mitzpah Spring, the closest shelter or if we had time before the sun descended, push on a few more miles to Lake of the Clouds Hut closer to Mt. Washington summit.  

    As usual I tried to hurry my pace to keep up with Swiss Miss.  And, as usual it was impossible.   I’m sure being 35 years younger and a veteran alp hiker had something to do with it.  Swiss Miss was her for another one of her adventures, thru-hiking the A.T.  She had two goals.  One, to learn english and prove her teacher wrong.  Swiss Miss told me she was dyslexic and the teacher told her she could never learn another language because of that.  The other goal, was to change her lifestyle from that of architect model maker to something unknown at the time.  She was motivated by an aha moment on the Geneva metro when she realized the sad looking passengers were victims of a system she no longer wanted to be part of.  Swiss Miss was close to her grandmother who guessed that she was off on another adventure when she said goodbye.  In her twenties, Swiss Miss left traveled the silk road to China, and recently she sailed around Patagonia.  Before arriving at Springer Mountain in Georgia in 2016 to begin thru-hiking she was sailing off the coast of Brazil. 

    Our paths quite literally began to overlap in the Shenandoah National Park and we hiked together on and off from Pennsylvania to Maine.  Occasionally when we took a zero (a day to rest in a town) or nero Swiss Miss would update me on former roommate in Switzerland who was hiking the PCT.  This roommate, “a warrior” according to Swiss Miss wanted to hike  the A.T. but Swiss Miss said it would keep her from learning english to hike with another french speaker.         

    I arrived alone at Mitspah Hut to find this message  anchored by a stone on the trail:  

    Hi Iron Butterfly!  I left here at 01:30 for get Lakes of the Clouds Hut              take care.  Swiss Miss 09/22/16.

The elephant drawing was Swiss Miss saying:  Think of the elephants.  Keep going.  

    Lake of the Clouds Hut closed two day before we arrived.  The season is shorter her because of the proximity to Mt. Washington and the high probability for erratic and extreme weather.  The hut has a dungeon, built after hikers died trying to reach the summit and were trapped due to storms, that is open year round. 

    The Hut staff gone, and the windows boarded, Swiss Miss and I set up our tents.  I didn’t feel the slightest disappointment that I couldn’t access the inside of the hut.  The mild and sunny day was transitioning to a balmy evening with orange and red colors encasing the setting sun.  The only smell in the air was my slightly charred pasta neglected by my efforts to check on the sunset from behind the hut and enjoy the hikers who danced as they watched.     

    Pasta was my dinner of choice while hiking.  Every 40 or so miles I would collect a resupply package at local hostel or post office within hitchhiking distance of the trail.  My pace would quicken as I got closer to this destination in anticipation of the tasty vegan treats, trail mix, chocolate, power bars, and  staples of pasta and oatmeal.  Before leaving Georgia in April 2016 I recruited friends and family to mail packages every 40 miles.  

     Just as the sun vanished over the horizon on the left side of Mt. Washington I ate my pasta then crawled into the tent where I anticipated a good nights sleep to heal an achy body.  I could hear the faint footsteps of hikers as the retired around the corner of the hut to the dungeon for a nights rest.  I remember one hiker from France hiking with his dog who decided to continue hiking over the summit and I was only mildly concerned because of the late hour.        

    Sometime during the night everything changed.  Jolted awake by the winds I thought of the three hikers who left at sunset to cross the summit.  How were they?  I knew there was no where to stay until Madison Hut.  Sometime after securing my tent with rocks I heard Jon, aka “Sota”:

    Jon:  Are you okay in there?      I can help you pack up.  We’ll make room     in the dungeon.  I’ll to check on Swiss Miss.

    Together we grabbed and packed and headed for the dungeon.  I could barely see Jon as I tried to maintain my upright posture following him as my glasses fogged in the pounding cold rain.  Inside the dungeon, I tried to find a place to sit.  There were two bunk beds in L-shape formation with floor space for about five people to sit with legs outstretched.  I climbed up top and waited.  

    Impossible to lie down much less sleep, the young hikers played music, listened to podcasts and told jokes.  One young hiker joked he wound need to get his flip flops resoled.  Jon played a Moth Hour podcast about a young African American women who had suck bad luck dating men she went to an astrologer to get her chakras realigned.  The story ended when she told the audience was in a ten-year relationship and now married, to a woman.              About that time Jon who had stepped outside to check is cell phone announced:

     The weather and it’s going to get worse but according to the weather             report we have a 3-hour window to leave and make it over the summit     to Madison.  Who’s in?

    Others:  A chorus of let’s go including Swiss Miss:  I go.   

    At that point I started to be really scared imagining myself alone in the dungeon for god knows how long.  I had to say something.

    I think it’s dangerous.  We can’t see and I don’t think we should take                 this risk.  It’s too risky!

    Luckily the statement from a young woman hiking with three others saved the day and changed the mood in the room when she avowed:  

     My grandmother made me promise not to do anything foolish.



       I was learning to swing a pulaski near the North Carolina border when a trail crew member announced Time for lunch.  My friend Susan invited me to go with her for a volunteer week working on the Appalachian Trail in southwestern Virginia.  This was my first introduction to tools I never heard of and people who hiked the entire 2200-mile A. T.   We were assigned duties and everyone pitched in to help with cooking after a long day’s labor.  Sitting around the camp I listened as people told tales of their thru-hike.  

    After we arrive at Konnarock and are assigned to a crew we help load the food to last five days and prepare our lunch for the next day before heading out to the camp site.  While the trail work was crazy hard what stuck with me after this crew experience was an image of hiking from Georgia to Maine in six months.  The idea of thru-hiking was new to me and intriguing and one that I let fester for several years before taking the plunge in 2016.


    REI offers free classes, one called Thru-hiking the A. T.   I attended every class at every store in the DC area during 2015 and the beginning of 2016.  What I learned: 

    *  what guidebook to use:  The A. T.  Guide by David “AWOL” Miller

    *  experimenting with equipment by hiking the 41-mile Maryland                 section* 

    *  using Guthook** an app with updated hiking info

    *  how to resupply from home and where to received packages

*If it is within the same calendar year it is considered kosher to skip this section and still claim thru-hiker status.  I used this experience to try out my cooking skills using a canister stove and my ability to carry a 30-pound load. 

**  Guthook publishes an app that can be downloaded by section of the A. T.   It doesn’t require cell service to use and is valuable for updated advice on water shortages along the trail.  For me, it was great to calculate how many miles until the next shelter.


    Friday was Skype Day for Cat, Joan, Beth and me as we planned the hike.  Cat and Joan researched vegan food companies that met the musts of hiking;  light, non perishable, nutritious, vegan.  Beth googled organizations  dedicated to elephant conservation.   This is what we found and who we supported:  

    *  The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya

    *  The International Anti-Poaching Foundation based in Zimbabwe

    *  Conservation Lower Zambezi in Zambia

    *  The Black Mambas in South Africa

    After setting up a fundraising site using YouCaring I sent emails to everyone I knew to rise funds.  I attended the third UN World Wildlife Day on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2016, a month before leaving for Springer Mountain.  This year's main theme is "The future of wildlife is in our hands," with a sub-theme of "The future of elephants is in our hands”.   


    As a keystone species* elephants are also considered the gardeners of the forest.     According to National Geographic a keystone species is one that helps define an entire ecosystem.  Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.  I thought about my life in Lesotho walking around dongas (eroded ravines) and what Lesotho must have been like years before they killed all their elephants. 

    Mana Pools located along the Zambezi River affords visitors the unique experience of going on walking safaris and I did this every chance I got.  Our guide took on paths through thick brush that he said were created by elephants.  He pointed out young acacia trees that sprung form seeds dispersed by elephants.  Our guide told us some plants have evolved so their seeds only germinate when passed through the elephant’s digestive.  

We watched wart hogs drink water collected in elephant foot prints.  Our guide told us in the dry season elephants use their trunks and tusks to dig for water sources making it available to other species.  

    *Most contemporary ethologists view the elephant as one of the world's most         intelligent animals. With a mass of just over 11 lbs, an elephant's brain has more         mass than that of any other land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twenty times those of a typical elephant, a whale's brain is barely twice the mass of an elephant's brain. In addition, elephants have a total of 300 billion neurons. Elephant brains are similar to humans' in terms of general connectivity and areas. The elephant cortex has as many neurons as a human brain, suggesting convergent evolution.  Elephants manifest a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, mimicry, play, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory, and communication. Further, evidence suggests elephants may understand pointing: the ability to nonverbally communicate an object by extending a finger, or equivalent. It is thought they are equal with cetaceans and primates in this regard. Due to such claims of high intelligence and due to strong family ties of elephants, some researchers argue it is morally wrong for humans to cull them. Aristotle described the elephant as "the animal that surpasses all others in wit and mind."


    *Three species exist:  two in Africa, the slightly smaller Forest Elephant and the Savannah Elephant, and a third in Asia where there are three subspecies:  Indian, Sri Lankan, and Sumatran.  While not a separate species, but definitely special, the desert elephant lives in northwest Namibia and in the Sabel desert of Mali.  They have longer legs, larger feet and smaller body mass to adapt to roaming long distances in harsh arid environments.


    The Asian elephant is a different species from the savannah and forest elephants in Africa.  For one thing only the males have tusks.  Unlike the African species, the Asian elephant is smaller with smaller ears.  I remember when I traveled to Sri Lanka in the 1970s one of the first images of my visit from was an elephant using her trunk to move heavy logs.  Asian elephants are misused in tourism for rides outside of temples and transported to zoos worldwide.  Their populations continue to plummet and are down 50% since the start of the 1900.  Their current range is now 15% of the original area.



    It was safe to hitchhike along the road from Mombasa to Nairobi in the 70s and I left my ride to visit a safari lodge in Tsavo.  While visiting Tsavo* I listened to rangers talk about the illegal slaughter of their elephants.  I remember thinking this has to stop.  It can’t go on.   

     I learned in 2016 when researching organizations that the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust named for David Sheldrick who was administrator of Tsavo in the 70s during my visit.  


    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is a disaster.  The founders good intentions have been corrupted.  In the 1960s the Union of Concerned Scientists began talks over worries about declining species worldwide and these talks eventually led to the trade agreement we know today as CITES which is tasked with regulating species by determining a species level of endangerment.  Species are placed on one of three appendices and for elephants this proved to be a nightmare. 

    African elephants are the only species in the world that are split-listed under CITES.  What this means is some African elephants are protected and are placed on Appendix 1 of CITES and others, those in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana receive lesser protection and are placed on Appendix 2. 

    Split-listing came into existence at the CITES meeting in 1999 when some southern African countries wanted to sell their stockpiled ivory and parties to the agreement voted to allow this.  During the 1990s the elephant populations actually began to recover after decades of dramatic decline.  Following the CITES meeting in 1998 elephant populations of southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia) were down-listed and moved to Appendix 2 where they receive lesser protection.  This allowed for the legal sale of stockpiled ivory from Botswana and South Africa to Japan and China.  The consequences were dire for elephants.  It was also the precursor of the perfect storm today and led to the poaching crisis ever since.    

    Why is this a perfect storm you may ask?  Several factors occurred at the turn of the century fueling the ivory trade:    

        *the rise of the internet making it easy to sell ivory

        *the ease of bribing poor rangers and corrupt government                         officials in African nations with elephant populations

        *the rise of the middle class in China that wanted the perceived                     status symbol of ivory

        *the inability to discern legally sourced ivory from poached ivory

        *the rise in criminal cartels that used ivory to fund terrorism                     because ivory is worth more than gold on the black market and punishments even if caught are lax.   

    According to the WSJ,  today Mombasa is the intersection of supply, demand and corruption fueling the ivory trade and a major battleground in the rush to save Africa’s elephant population.  Stretched along the Indian Ocean coast, East Africa’s biggest port has emerged as the world’s major transit point for ivory.  As the African elephant population falls to historic lows, tusks are exiting Mombasa in record numbers—secreted in containers of dried fish, buried in chili powder or wedged inside vats of shea butter.  The ivory trade, propelled by surging demand from Asia’s swelling middle class, is enriching African poachers, Chinese gangsters and corrupt officials. Two of the biggest ivory seizures in Asia this year originated in Mombasa, but Kenyan authorities haven’t seized any ivory there for almost 18 months. 


The Wildlife Section at DOJ where I worked for a year as a paralegal specialist prosecutes CITES violations.         

        The African elephant was first listed by Ghana in Appendix III in 1976. The following year, at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP1), all African elephants were moved to Appendix II. 

    Asian elephants have a very different history.  They have been listed on Appendix I since CITES became law in July 1975.

    In 1990, after nearly a decade during which African elephant populations dropped by almost 50%, all African elephants were moved to Appendix I.  Many news articles and other sources refer to this as a “global ban” or “international moratorium” on ivory trade.  Some countries with range elephants, i.e., South Africa, did not support the total ban and opted for a “reservation.”  However, because of the restriction on trading South African could not find a market for their stockpiled ivory.  The price of ivory on world markets dropped 65%.

    After the Appendix-I listing was instituted some elephant populations began to recover and were subsequently transferred to Appendix II.  This created the dilemma we face today:  a split listing.


*Each party adopts its own domestic laws to implement CITES at the national level.  For example, the US regulates CITES through the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service.   The two arms of the FWS are the Wildlife Permit Office ("WPO") and the Office of the Scientific Authority ("OSA"). The WPO acts as the CITES Management Authority, while the OSA acts as the Scientific Authority. Although CITES is legally binding on the parties who signed the agreement it does not take the place of national laws.  CITES provides a framework which must be respected by each party, each party must adopt their own domestic laws to implement CITES at the national level.  Here lies one of the problems.  Too often domestic laws are non-existent or lax.  In 2002 50% of the parties lacked one or more of the four major CITES requirements:

    — Designation of a Management and Scientific Authority

    — Laws prohibiting trade in violation of CITIES,

    — Penalties, and 

    — Laws providing for the confiscation of specimens.  

CITES is administered through the United Nations Environment Program.  A Secretariat is located in Geneva and oversees the implementation.  Each country that implements CITES is referred to as a Party and designates a Management and Scientific Authority to implement the agreement.  The Management Authority ensures that listed species are traded legally through a system that issues permits and the Scientific Authority determines whether trade in a particular species could be detrimental to its survival in the wild.

    The backbone of CITES is the permit system that facilitates international cooperation in conservation and trade monitoring. Permits are issued only if a country’s Management and Scientific Authorities (in the case of the United States, the US Fish & Wildlife Service) determine that trade is legal and does not threaten the species’ survival in the wild. The use of standardized permit forms, allows inspection officials at ports of export and import to quickly verify that CITES specimens are properly documented.

    Appendix I: Includes species threatened with extinction and provides the greatest level of protection, including restrictions on commercial trade.  Any species listed in Appendix I of CITES is effectively banned from international commercial trade.

    Appendix II: Includes species that although currently not threatened with extinction, may become extinct without trade controls. It includes species that resemble other listed species and need to be regulated in order to effectively control the trade in those other listed species. Most CITES species are listed in Appendix II.  

    Appendix III: Includes species for which a range country has asked other Parties to help in controlling international trade.

Relevance to elephants




Conference on The Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act (50-year anniversary) Conference at Harvard Law School, December 2-3, 2016

Welfare Standards under the AWA:

The AWA originally called the Animal Laboratory Act is a federal statute that directs the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture to "promulgate standards to govern the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors." The six covered species of animals were animals used in research: dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits.

Mice, rats, fish are not covered by the AWA and they make up 99.9% of the animals in labs.

1970 amendment: The 1970 statute expanded the definition of “animal” to include not only the six species previously covered, but any “warm-blooded animal, as the Secretary may determine is being used, or is intended for use, for research, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet.”   (As discussed below, APHIS immediately construed “warm-blooded animal” to exclude birds, rats, and mice.” [34] )   The 1970 statute’s definition of “animal,” although it generally included warm-blooded animals, excluded “horses not used for research purposes and other farm animals . . . used or intended for use as food or fiber. . . .” [35]   The new definition, by adding the phrase “exhibition purposes,” added not only warm-blooded animals (other than horses and farm animals) to those that the statute covered, but included such animals if they were used not only in research, but in exhibitions, which the statute defined to include “carnivals, circuses, and zoos,” but to exclude “retail pet stores, . . . State and country [sic] fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, purebred dog and cat shows, and any other fairs or exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences, as may be determined by the Secretary.”   The 1970 amendment also expanded the scope of the standards that the Secretary of Agriculture was required to promulgate, by mandating that they include “the appropriate use of anesthetic, analgesic or tranquilizing drugs, when such use would be proper. . . .” The statute provided, however, that it should not be construed to authorize regulations with regard to “actual research or experimentation by a research facility.” “[T]he research scientist,” the committee report made clear, “still holds the key to the laboratory door.”  This meant that researchers were not required to balance the relative importance of an experiment against the amount of pain the experiment might cause, or otherwise to justify the infliction of suffering on animals.

(g) the term animal means any live or dead dog, cat, monkey (non human animal)....

The 1976 amendments formally named the act the “Animal Welfare Act,” expanded the act in various respects, including to cover dogs used for hunting, security, or breeding purposes, and to require intermediate handlers and carriers, in transporting animals covered by the act, to adhere to standards promulgated by the Secretary. The 1976 amendments also made it a misdemeanor “to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal in an animal fighting venture to which any animal was moved in interstate or foreign commerce”

The 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act direct the Secretary of Agriculture to "promulgate standards to govern the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors."

Only USDA can bring an action to enforce the AWA - (there is no citizen suit provision).

In the 1980’s during the Reagan administration there was no budget allotted for enforcement. We fear the same going forward with the Trump administration.

Kimberly Ockene, HSUS attorney, works on puppy mills regulations.
Commercial breeders must be licensed.  Puppy mills produce sick puppies. The current regs allow for wire cages and stacking and there is no limit on the amount of breeding.

Recommendations include requiring that wire flooring be prohibited, cage size be doubled, and eliminating cage stacking, mandate unfettered access to exercise run at least twice size, restriction of frequency of breeding - petition asks for no more that two breeding cycles in an 18th month period.

AWA recognizes that marine animals (polar bears sea otters, cetaceans, need their own subsection. (Captive animals are excluded e.g. Lolita). Lolita is the poster orca for what is wrong with the AWA. (Marine Mammal Protection Act no longer protects captive animals.)  §3.111. Swim-with-dolphin program.

In 2016 APHIS published rules that dealt with the areas that were not agreed on in previous ‘meetings’.

Ana Frostic, HSUS attorney, spoke about the commercial use of infant exotic animals. Breeding animals for commercial purposes. Main animals - large cats. They are taken from their mothers to be raised by caretakers. Regulated under 9C.F.R sec. 2.131. Petition asking for no direct contact (tigers…). Commercial use of exotic animals has a negative impact on wild species . It affects people's perception of whether they are wild. More of these endangered animals living in captive facilities than in the wild. They are bred in captivity and also interspecies bred. All of this negatively affects the gene pool.
Captive animals can drive poaching by increasing demand.

Recent decision by Trip Advisors not to list these (commercial zoos) facilities. We need to look to corporations for pressure e.g. South West airlines severing ties with Sea World.

Puppy mills section at HSUS works with industries to try to strengthen standards.

NIH has minimum standards for lab animals (chimpanzees) but their standards exceed those under the USDA's AWA.

We need to work with states to enact laws such as the laws passed in NY, SC that prohibit the display of cetaceans.

AWA Interaction with Other Laws:

Ani Satz:  Myth of AWA Preemption

Many state actors believe it is useless to file suit for animal cruelty in state courts because any decision would be preempted by federal law. Myth of preemption has chilling effect on attorneys from bringing action for fear of agency discretion.
This is a myth because the AWA specifically allows states to rule. Sec 2141

*States have reserve power under 10th amendment to address health safety + welfare.

USDA is only government agency without a neutral mission. It exists to foster agriculture creating an inherent conflict of interest between agri-business and oversight of animal welfare as designated by the AWA through their Animal Care office under APHIS (Animal and Plant Inspection Service).

The interaction of the ESA (Endangered Species Act) and the AWA:

ESA has citizen suit provision by prohibiting a ‘take’, 16 USC 1532, e.g. hunting, harassing. (There is NO citizen suit provision under the AWA.)

For harm need actual injury or death; harassment can be intentional or negligent.
Exemption under the ESA for captive wildlife.

Lolita- even though her orca pod is listed as endangered under the ESA she s excluded because she is captive.


PETA v. Miami Seaquarium
A Florida federal judge entered final judgment against peta. The suit asked the court to force the Seaquarium to surrender Lolita for relocation to a new home more conducive to her well-being, arguing her continued captivity now constituted a taking under the Endangered Species Act. The judge's ruling in the case is based on a very narrow interpretation of the Endangered Species Act that fails to protect captive animals from all but imminent death.

Hill v Coggins (the Cherokee Bear Zoo case)
The court held that Plaintiffs failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the pit enclosures fail to comply with 9 C.F.R. § 3.128. The USDA has concluded that the pit enclosures do not violate the provisions of § 3.128 under the AWA when it has conducted quarterly inspections. The USDA has never cited the CBZ for any violation of the AWA. The Court concluded that the bears were not "taken" within the meaning of the ESA.

Cricket Hollow Zoo - Challenged the treatment of tigers and lemurs
The Zoo argues that the fact it is licensed under the AWA makes it exempt under the ESA.

Regulating Animals Used in Research:

Alka Chandra: 1985 amendment to the AWA passed in response to the outrage over the silver spring monkey case and the head injuries at the Univ. of PA. The amendments established the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, technically an oversight committee to approve research) § 2.32. Research facilities are registered not licensed and registration cannot be revoked (unlike licenses).

Annual report - category E experiments - 8% were not given pain medicine because it would change the data outcome.
ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments)
Use when teaching scientists.

Ethical question People with diminished capacity are protected from the types of studies in which they can participate. They have a guardian. Can we have something like that for animals?

Administrative forfeiture:
Agency can take property
Criminal  forfeiture
Civil asset forfeiture process: Seizure- notice - claim - judgment

§2156(f). What property can be seized, dogs themselves.
Heart act - restricts time dog can be held, gets money to government faster.
Fine goes to U.S. treasury.
Restitution is key.
9 C.F.T.
Dealer §2.129
Research facility §2.38
§2.143 importation of dogs

Center for Zoo animal welfare.
Biggest issue for captive animal is they don't have agency - no choice
There is legal Action against USDA for automatic renewal of licenses

Helms amendment omitted rats birds and mice from the AWA

ALDF v Madigan 781 F. Support 797 (D.D.C. 1992)
Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and two individuals brought suit challenging USDA’s regulation excluding birds, rats, and mice from the definition of “animal” under the Animal Welfare Act. District Court, Charles R. Richey, J., held that: (1) Department’s promulgation of regulations that failed to include birds, rats and mice as “animals” protected by the Act was arbitrary and capricious, and (2) Department’s refusal to institute rule making proceedings was arbitrary and capricious.

AWA-Related Litigation and Other Efforts:

Jenni James, PETA, how the AWA evades judicial review. Standing is a way to keep unpopular plaintiffs out of court.

Legal (Article III) Standing:  Nothing stopping state legislatures from putting an animal in a statute and then the animal would have standing.
For standing need: Injury, causation, redressability

Prudential standing:
APA fall under zone of interest
Way to get into court for AWA is thru APA
Representational standing

Havens v Coleman Havens standing

ALDF v Glickman was the fourth in a series of five lawsuits ALDF brought against the USDA aimed at getting the agency to do its job of providing humane standards for animals covered by the AWA. While the Court of Appeals later held that the “standards” set by the USDA were already adequate, they upheld the decision that Jurnove did have legal standing to sue to protect the interests of animals under the AWA. This decision established that animal activists have standing to sue under the Animal Welfare Act and has been cited frequently in subsequent litigation promoting humane treatment of animals.

Chevron v NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court set forth the legal test for determining whether to grant deference to a government agency's interpretation of a statute which it administers. Chevron is the Court's clearest articulation of the doctrine of "administrative deference," to the point that the Court itself has used the phrase "Chevron deference" in more recent cases.

Heckler v Chaney 1985
Case heard before the Supreme Court. The case presented the question of the extent to which a decision of an administrative agency to exercise its discretion not to undertake certain enforcement actions is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act. Under the APA courts can't review something committed to agency.
Footnote 4: Courts can step in.

Ray v. Vilsack 2014 WL 3721357
Informational standing. If you as for FOIA and it is denied you can sue.

Plans to establish primate well being have to be sent to agency then FOIA kicks in.

PA allows for a citizen to sue e.g. pigeon shoot.

U.S. V Felts
Title 18 general provisions false statements, mail fraud, conspiracy

AWA Enforcement:

Civil monetary penalty. $10k per per animal. Criminal - Available. Injunctive.

Bernadette Juarez, Animal Care (AC), APHIS, USDA

AC: 3% of budget and 89% of enforcement cases of OFC
Cases where AC intervened
1. Gus White - willful act
2. James Joseph Hickey and Craig Lesser - access case
Inspections come within the 4th amendment requirement for a warrant
3. Lanzie Horton. Penalty for dog breeder
4. Feld entertainment
Wild animal orphanage financial disarray - placement of animals
5. Hawthorn Corporation leased elephants. 1st time USDA confiscated elephants (elephants had TB)
6. CC Baird - dog breeder. Removed 400 animals.
7. Santa Cruz Biotechnology. Revocation of their license largest penalty under AWA


I've heard that PA is rocky but nothing prepared me for the boulders that are the path on this state. The combination of rocks, rain, humidity and dry or scarce water make this state so challenging. I have 30 more miles until I reach the NJ border. One more challenge - snakes. I haven't seen any rattle snakes but other hikers have - among the rocks.  Today I climbed a rocky, steep trail from Lehigh Gap. I think it was the most challenging area so far on my hike. 

I could look down over the Gap and view the superfund site in Palmerton.  The redeeming feature was loads of blackberries at the top. 

Port Clinton:   mile 1217.2

July 28:   Last night I stayed at the Port Clinton Hotel, a relic from the early 1800's when it was a stagecoach stop between Philadelphia and Sunbury. Since crossing the half way point last week I have hiked the rocky path of Pennsylvania for over 100 miles. I learned how accidents can have along this well maintained and marked trail. Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 I was about a mile from the shelter when the sky turned dark and the winds increased. Shortly after the skies opened up and thunder and lightening hit the trail. My glasses fogged up so bad I had to remove them and I could not see the blazes. I thought I'd have to wrap up in my tent and wait. As I turned to go back to the last blaze a hiker showed up ("Dusty"). I told him I couldn't see and asked if I could follow him to the 501 shelter. Thank you Dusty. As he left me at the path by the shelter he said he was going back to look for "Swiss Miss" who also wore glasses.  The 501 shelter was cabin-style so we bunked in for the night hoping to dry out the next day. 


PA is rocky and hot!  Currently I'm at mile 1164 enjoying trail magic.  Passed through the half way point (1094.5). 

Enjoyed hiking through Duncannon. Met someone who asked if he could pray for me, did laundry, and had an amazing black bean burger at The Doyle Hotel. 

Up to this point water has been scarce so I've had to carry at least 2 liters. 

Also met an older man, "Wild Bill" at a road crossing who gave me water and a P&J sandwich. 

Half Way

Today I crossed the 1000 mile mark and am almost at the half way point.  Yesterday was a long 18-mile day across the infamous "roller coaster". I made it to the Bears Den Hostel owned by the ATC and managed by the PATC. 

Today was a shorter hike to the Blackburn Trail Center where the caretakers are busy preparing a pasta dinner!


"The time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation." Theodore Roosevelt. 1908Shenandoah was established in 1935. I entered the park at Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro and registered for the required backcountry pass. The first night I rented at Calf Mountain Shelter. The next day I hiked 19.7 miles and tented at Loft Mtn Campground where showers and coffee were available. I met a couple from New York thru-hiking with the dog at the next tent site.  The next day I stopped at Hightop Hut where I saw a mother bear and cub just ahead of me on the trail. We saw each other and they bounded away. A ranger said there are more bears this year for to the abundant rain which caused berries to pop early creating a bear friendly food supply. 

One of the highlights of my trip through the park was meeting up with my niece at Big Meadows who dehydrated amazing food for resupply! The other plus was seeing my sister who drove the length of Skyline Drove to meet me at Rockfish Gap. 

I arrived at Skylands Lodge for lunch and avoided a downpour. I need up getting a ride to Luray and staying at the hostel and slack packing 10 miles south the next sag to make up the distance. 

Right now I'm at Elkwallow Wayside where I stopped for lunch. I left the shelter site at Pass Mountain early and now I'm waiting for a ranger talk on black bears. 

McAfee Knob, Tinker Ridge, Dragon's Tooth

McAfee KnobThis amazing site at mile 711.1 is the most photographed site along the A.T. The Knob has a 270 degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the north and the Roanoke Valley to the east.  Tinker Ridge/Hay Rock Overlook

This trail crosses Tinker Creek then ascends Tinker Ridge providing the most spectacular views of Carvins Cove respiratory and the Roanoke Valley. 

Dragon's Tooth

Considered by some to be the most challenging hike of the southern half of the A.T. This is a unique geologic feature that consists of Tuscarora quartzite spires which outcrop on the top of Cove Mountain. The tallest "tooth" projects 35 feet above the surrounding rock. The trail to Dragon's Tooth ascends steep, rugged outcrops of quartzite which form the spine of Cove Mountain and North Mountain. The spine is known as Dragon's Back. A difficult hike, Dragon's Tooth summit offers magnificent views of nearby and distant peaks. 

Grayson Highlands

I crossed the 500 mile mark this past week. Enjoyed the ponies in the highlands. The ponies were introduced by the USFS in 1960 to maintain the grasses in the area. The ponies are hardy and can withstand the harsh winter and have become beloved by tourists.  No tenting is allowed at GHSP but is permitted on the surrounding Mt. Rogers National Recreation Atra. 

Leaving Damascus

Last night I stayed at a hostel in Damascus called the Hikers Inn. The owners thru-hiked in 2009, came through town, saw the place was for sale, purchased it and moved from Charlotte. I was in the bunk house room with a father and his two daughters. I had to turn on the air conditioning g to s town out his snoring. This morning I stopped at Mojo's for a soy latte, bagel and peanut butter.  Getting ready to head out on the trail which bi-sects town. 

Yesterday I stocked up on snacks for the trail and found a couple of good vegan dinner options at an outfitter in town. 

I also decided to buy a quilt and give away my sleeping bag to save weight. 

Hike to End Elephant Poaching

About the Campaign:  I am an animal lover concerned about the plight of African elephants killed slaughtered for their ivory. I decided to highlight this issue and raise money by hiking the Appalachian Trail -- 2100 miles -- starting in April and finishing in October.


All money raised (100%) will go directly to helping elephants.  I am using personal funds to pay for the hike.