May 24, 2013
Haven’t we heard this expression before?
May 24, 2013
Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not related to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.
May 23, 2013
Readers of my work are mostly familiar with the abuses of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Just one of the tactics of abuse of this has been properly established is when environmental groups petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list so many species under protection of the Endangered Species Act, that it is impossible for the USFWS to address all of these requests. Under the rules of EAJA, if the USFWS does not address each request in a timely manner, government coughs up all the legal expenses to the environmental groups. It’s a giant cash cow.
Now we have “Sue-and-Settle”. According to Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review Online, environmentalist groups are raking in millions and costing taxpayers billions of dollars by suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only to have the EPA “settle” the case, therefore bypassing Congressional scrutiny and of course keeping actions out of sight of the public, while blaming the courts.
These environmental groups put together demands for regulations, hundreds of them, and sue the EPA, as allowed by law, to set up such regulations. Once the lawsuits are filed, here’s what National Review Online says happens:
The EPA then settles, negotiating the terms with the environmental groups without including those pesky states or industries sure to be affected by the new regulations. The court approves the consent agreement without analysis, as if it were a simple agreement between private parties. And once a settlement is reached, the court orders the EPA to issue rules according to the terms of its agreement.
Because the EPA is in agreement with the regulations being sued for, instead of fighting against them, they settle. This can only be construed as collusion between governmental and non governmental agencies in pursuit of common agendas.
If this brand of totalitarian suppression isn’t sickening enough, it gets worse. Not only do the new rules get enacted, per order of the court that worked the settlement, but you and I, the taxpayer, pick up the tab.
The costs of implementing these new rules are also paid for with tax money, the amount of which runs deeply into the billions. Should Congress question any of this, the comeback, evidently, is that the courts are forcing the EPA to do this.
May 23, 2013
Maine has a lot of forest. Maine has a lot of bears. Too many bears presents too many problems, like killing too many deer and moose fawns in the Spring and bears banging down people’s back doors and yards looking for something to eat, either because of too many bears or not enough to eat or both.
But Maine is, once again, being threatened by a citizens’ referendum against bear hunting and trapping. The Humane Society of the United States, unsuccessfully tried passing legislation in the Pine Tree State, to severely limit bear hunting and to end trapping and hunting bears with dogs. They threatened that if they lost the fight to get the legislation passed, they would come back next year with a referendum and that would include a proposal to end baiting bear for hunting purposes.
Should such a referendum pass, it would, for all intent and purposes, end hunting and trapping of bears and remove the most essential management tool the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has to control bear populations. If that should happen, well, then Maine can expect some of what I have below for links about bears encountering people. More bears mean more encounters with people, which means……not so good.
In Wisconsin, a man is attacked by a bear and his wife, noticing the attack, grabbed the shotgun. She didn’t know how to load it so she commenced to beat the bear with it.
The above story takes place at a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. The next story takes place in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At Incline Village in Nevada, a 325-pound bear enters a condominium on Lake Tahoe and ultimately gets killed because of the threat posed to humans.
And of course the bear/predator lovers and protectors, who live in a different world than the rest of us, will cry that it’s the human’s fault and tell everyone we must learn to live with large predators – meaning we are to become prisoners in our houses.
People should do as much as they reasonably can to reduce the chances of having an encounter with bears. This is no guarantee that it still will not happen. Bears generally mind to themselves but circumstances dictate their behavior. When bears get hungry, whether because of a lack of natural food and/or too much competition, meaning too many bears or other animals competing for the same food source, they go ANYWHERE they can find food. Anywhere!
May 23, 2013
Milt Inman Photo
Milt Inman Photo
May 23, 2013
May 23, 2013
Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not related to the content of articles published no this blog. Thank you.
May 22, 2013
MISSOULA, Mont.–Improving forage quality and quantity for elk and other wildlife is the focus of 2013 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for the state of Oregon. The grants total $215,790 and directly affect Benton, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Yamhill Counties. RMEF is also funding a hunting heritage project of statewide interest.
“These projects cover a wide spectrum of actions that will enhance habitat across Oregon’s elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Forest thinning, prescribe burns, seeding and planting native grasses, noxious weed treatments, and restoring aspens will positively affect nearly 4,200 acres.”
Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 724 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $43.6 million.
“The funds for these projects are a testament to the passion and dedication of our RMEF volunteers in Oregon. They raise money through their membership drives and banquet fundraising, which stays on the ground in their home state. To them we say, ‘Thank you!’” said Allen.
Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers around the nation for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county:
Douglas County–Burn 200 acres to reduce understory tree density in the Coffin Butte area on the Umpqua National Forest and create 12 new acres of forage openings in the Diamond Lake Ranger District to address declining Roosevelt elk populations.
Klamath County–Thin 205 acres and burn 1,100 acres of previously thinned acreage as part of a five-year project to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Fremont-Winema National Forest (FWNF); remove lodgepole pine on 90 acres and plant 5 acres of hardwoods to restore meadows on the Deschutes National Forest; remove small trees and burn 79 acres to promote native grass and forbs in a Roosevelt elk calving area south of Crater Lake National Park.
Lake County–Thin conifers and junipers from 158 acres in the Drews Creek watershed on the FWNF as part of a five-year plan to restore aspen stands and improve elk forage and calving habitat; and thin 198 acres of aspen stands and meadow habitat in the Upper Scyan Watershed on the FWNF (also affects Klamath County).
Lane County–Carry out prescribe burning, noxious weed treatments and other efforts on 230 acres of the Willamette National Forest (WNF) to increase forage quality for Roosevelt elk and deer; enhance 199 acres via seeding, planting browse shrubs, herbicide treatments, and installing holding tanks and plumbing at two ponds to enhance water availability during the dry season on Foley Ridge in the WNF; burn, cut, seed and prevent weed growth to benefit summer range and calving areas on 85 acres of habitat on Upper and Lower Murphy Meadow on the WNF; remove noxious weeds and seed native grasses on 79 acres along a power transmission line corridor on the WNF; and improve quality of grass, forb and brush habitat on 505 acres by removing blackberry vegetation and small trees plus treatment of noxious weeds on the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).
Linn County–Implement a combination of thinning, burning, browse cutback and seeding and planting of native vegetation to enhance 64 acres of summer meadow habitat for Roosevelt elk in the west Cascade Mountains. The work also includes adding slash to log jams to improve water availability for elk in the WNF.
Statewide–Host 4-H camp at Lake Creek Youth Camp to introduce youth to careers in natural resources by interacting with professionals in hydrology, forestry, range, wildlife, fisheries, fire science, shooting sports and other fields.
Tillamook County–Noxious weed treatment applied to 156 acres of meadows in the Siuslaw National Forest. The work also includes mowing, weedeating and mulching to benefit Roosevelt elk herds (also affects Lincoln and Yamhill counties).
Union County–Thin 300 acres to decrease conifer cover and increase forage on elk summer range on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Wallowa County–Thin conifers from 330 acres of historic meadows to improve forage quality and quantity for 400 elk on crucial winter range near Troy.
Wasco County–Burning of underbrush on 80 acres on the Seven Mile/Rowena Plateau in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with noxious weed treatment on 45 acres to follow to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.
Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies. RMEF staff and volunteers select education projects to receive grants. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.
Partners for 2013 Oregon projects include the Deschutes, Freemont-Winema, Siuslaw, Wallowa-Whitman and Willamette national forests, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other government, state, wildlife and volunteer organizations.
May 22, 2013
It is a rare occasion when outdoor writer and political activist, George Smith, doesn’t write about the woes of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) lamenting the need to get general tax money to fund the department. My argument has always been that first we need to audit the department and more wisely spend the money that exists, move programs and activities out of fish and game and put them into conservation, agriculture or law enforcement and/or where more appropriate and then see if more money is needed.
Smith’s latest rant, of which he, a bit tongue in cheek, says that the Maine Warden Service, State Police and county Sheriffs won’t like his article, because he doesn’t think they are doing the jobs they are being paid for. And, I think he is right.
When a warden service, paid for with mostly fees collected from licensing of outdoor sports activities, issues more citations for possession of marijuana than trespassing or possessing too many fish, one has to wonder just what is going on. According to Smith, 60% of the entire MDIFW budget goes to the Warden Service and this money is being used to investigate traffic accidents, crime scene investigation, school security, etc.
Instead of crying that MDIFW and the Warden Service need more money to function, Smith suggests fine tuning the department and stop spending outdoor sportsman’s dollars on law enforcement that causes fish and game to suffer.
He has my vote.
May 22, 2013
And environMENTALISTS cannot tolerate this natural phenomenon, probably because they believe it is man-caused. As a result, these same mentally ill of the environment cult, plan to spend a cool $ 1 million of tax money a year and begin killing 9,000 striped barred owls because they are breeding with their fetish owl, the spotted one, and competing for habitat. Isn’t this insanity?