May 28, 2023

A Suggestion for Rural Americans

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Guest post by James Beers:

If you are a rural American that:

– Realizes that you are being harmed in many ways by a central government environmental/animal rights apparatus.

– Is concerned about what lies ahead in your community and County for your children and grandchildren as jobs dwindle, grazing and logging are eliminated and hunting and fishing are being vilified and abolished.

– Sees the expansion of government ownership and easement-taking as the ultimate threat to voiding your property rights and jeopardizing your and your family’s future.

– Doesn’t know who to turn to as urban voting blocs, both nationally and within your state, work with national and state politicians to vacate rural America and turn it into a government-controlled enclave by the use of unjust laws and bureaucrat-empowerment of regulatory tightening for personal their gain.

– Is rightly afraid of the human safety, property damage, diseases and impacts on rural American life posed by the introduction, protection and sanctification of uncontrolled and unmanaged predators like grizzly bears, wolves, mountain lions and coyotes.

– Understands how Wilderness Declarations, expanding government-controlled lands and government bureaucrats that are no more than radical activists with both a disdain for American Constitutional government and human hegemony in the world causes increasingly common catastrophic fires with increasing destruction of homes, communities and lives.

– Knows that federal bureaucrats from US Fish and Wildlife Service manipulating unjust laws like the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of themselves, friendly politician’s re-election and radical Un-American agendas; to the BLM invading a Nevada ranch with all the equipment and tactics of a US Ranger attack on an Afghan village; to the current revelation of USDA buying submachine guns for unstated purposes, are all matters for great public concern especially for rural Americans.

– Is anxious about how state fish and wildlife agencies are mirroring federal agencies’ hiring and staffing of radical employees that are deeply opposed to rural Americans and their way of life.

– Cannot understand how or why state fish and wildlife bureaucrats have become subcontractors for harmful federal policies and actions while increasingly not only ignoring the harms they are causing to rural residents and communities of their state but steadily aiding the federal bureaucrats in their destructive laws and policies.

I could go on here but I think I have made my point and stretched your patience sufficiently.

As an old bureaucrat writing and speaking on this matter for well over a decade, I believe rural Americans have only 3 choices.

1.) Continue hoping for the best like Oregon loggers and mill owners did; like Minnesota moose hunters did; like all the former grazing allotment holders did; like all the ex-sheep ranchers did; like the cattle rancher that committed suicide did; like the people killed and seriously injured by unmanaged and too-numerous predators did; like the thousands that have lost dogs to protected predators; and like current rural old folks and kids especially, living in rural America in the same sort of stress and fear common in primitive Asian societies where guns are prohibited and to quote Thomas Hobbes writing in Leviathan about a similarly out-of-control central government in England in 1651 described the resulting life of the people as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” and a “war of every man against every man.”

2.) Tinker around the edges of the destruction by “increasing participation”. “transparency”, and understanding why our destruction is “good” and “beneficial.” Tolerating teachers indoctrinating our children; politicians that worsen and refuse to better our condition; and bureaucrats that abuse us and treat our families, our communities and our way of life with haughtiness and contempt. This is similar to current approaches to immigration, Islamic interfaces and current handling of Constitutional rights from freedom of speech and religion to the right to bear arms that are all only digging the holes deeper and giving a false sense of hope as things get worse and worse.

3.) Begin taking concrete actions to reverse, not amend or modify, the political and bureaucratic actions that are strangling rural America.

Numbers’ 1 and 2 above are not acceptable. They lead to either:

– Living as slaves under tyrants and dictators as all Constitutional “guarantees” are eliminated and all power over all things resides in the most powerful factions and individuals that seize and hold power. Or…

– Armed conflicts between government and the governed, and the “war of every man against every man” that Hobbes wrote about and our Founding Fathers fought in addition to British Troops during The Revolutionary War.

If you want to begin taking back the rural America we built and enjoyed until what I write of here took hold, I submit the following for your consideration.

Neither federal nor state government (politicians & bureaucrats) will be reformed without solid pressure, just as they have been perverted by radical agendas promising rewards from radicals and the Treasury to politicians seeking re-election and bureaucrats seeking their own enrichment. Where is this pressure for reform to come from?

Either it will come from the military ( a horrible thing to contemplate) or it must come from Local Governments strongly advocating for Local Communities and Counties.

Just as strong Local governments are the venue for reforming state governments gone astray, so too are strong state governments the venue for reforming an out-of-control federal government.

But, the fact is that Local governments and their revenues have been prime targets for these radical agendas of destruction right from the get-go. Their presence and their voice have purposely dwindled as their revenue dwindled from economic destruction of rural areas and the growth of federal rural restrictions with state tolerance and the expansion of federal ownership and land controls.

The first step is to elect Local politicians that will fight for you at the state level. That means reasserting Local power in your state Capital.

– Overhaul your state agencies that are harming you and make structural changes in the State Legislature to balance rural representation. Consider that the US Constitution originally designated TWO US Senators for EACH STATE to balance tiny Rhode Island and Delaware with Leviathan’s California and Texas. Something similar is needed to balance the “800 lb. gorilla” effect of the Chicagoes and Manhattans in the states they occupy.

– Enact and enforce Ordinances and Regulations that require the state government to side with you against unjust federal intrusions. For instance, require a County Permit to introduce or release any wild animal in YOUR County. That means federal or state bureaucrats. If your state government will not recognize its role as protecting and nurturing you and opposing federal abuses that you will not tolerate then Reform it with all the enthusiasm and determination of those that took it from you in recent years!

– Elect good Local politicians to state offices. Then elect good state politicians to federal offices with an agenda of repealing and amending unjust laws and reducing the power and agendas of out-of-control federal bureaucracies.

– Repeal the 17th Amendment that, in 1913, changed the way US Senators were appointed (from “chosen by the Legislature thereof” to “elected by the people thereof”): this began the steady and incremental loss of States Rights under the 10th Amendment that underpinned the growth of the problems facing us today. While the Senate and its awesome powers (Ratify Treaties, Confirm Judges and high Appointees as well as passing on all Legislation and Budgets) were designed to Represent Each State; today they represent and advocate for the changing and variable (mostly urban) voting coalitions that elect and re-elect them AND NOT THE STATE they reputedly “represent.”

So, here is my suggestion on getting started. Since I am on old wildlife guy, this concerns wildlife but I challenge you ag guys and timber guys and road guys and rural businessmen to come up with some similar beginning at the Local level.

Enact an Ordinance that establishes that you (the Local Level) are the Primary Authority for the presence, management and control of wild and domestic animals in Your County. You will determine if, what, where and how many cougars, coyotes, free-roaming dogs, black bears, foxes, raccoons, etc. will be tolerated in the County. You will set the seasons, conditions, limits, methods and circumstances that said animals can or will be taken. You will provide a County where cattle or hunting or fishing or recreation or all in some mix is what is desired by residents for their own good in their own communities. You will prohibit the state to release cougars or coyotes or bears from urban areas where urban residents think that wild animals can be managed in line with human necessities by live-trapping and kicking them out on some rural County road in the dead of night. (This latter phenomenon is going on all over the country as I write.) You will require a permit from any federal, state or local entity releasing wild animals and that application will have a written permission of any landowner in the vicinity of the release. You will prohibit certain species like grizzly bears or wolves from becoming established in the County and authorize landowners, hunters, ranchers, County Animal Control and others to shoot, trap, snare, etc. any arriving in the County or live trap them for the agency responsible who then pays a fine the first time after proving the animal has certain vaccinations and the second time the animal is euthanized.

The state government should back you up in this. The state game warden and the state wildlife budget should recognize, protect and nurture the Counties in these regards. The state wildlife managers and wildlife control agents should enable Counties to create Local environments for the Local people.

Now, if you think there won’t be extreme blowback on this, you are mistaken. The state is “superior”, “it won’t work”, “they don’t know what they are doing”, etc., etc. will be screamed everywhere. Massachusetts’ Constitution, California’s laws, Illinois’ regulations will all suddenly take on all the importance of The Ten Commandments as the Capitals are filled with squeals. This is EXACTLY what must eventually take place in Washington when a majority of the states get squared away and real reform of the federal government begins.

Finally, as this is “pooh-poohed” by state and (behind the scenes) federal government; try this. File a Freedom of Information (FOIA) Request with your state government and the federal government for a summary of the circumstances of all live-trapped wild animal in your state for the past (3?, 5?) years AND the LOCATION of where they were released. You will be surprised whether you live in Oregon, Illinois or Connecticut .

Now I personally expect that just like the numbers of wolves or the numbers of elk/moose in wolf country, some states may, like their federal “partners, lie about this since they believe they are truly unaccountable but, some will be rightly fearful that being misleading or lying or destroying records could possibly wind up in a court before a judge that does not see them as above the law.

Maybe this could be accomplished with the help of some legal aid or law advocate firm or organization or maybe even some firm interested in American Civil Liberties? Maybe some of the elk/deer/hunting/fishing/Unlimited/Forevers/Sporting Goods Stores, et al might possibly see how this affects them and drag themselves away from the federal buffets long enough to help legally and financially? Maybe even ranchers and farmers and loggers and rural businesses might even discern a stake in such a move to begin getting things back on the right path?

The following cartoon was drawn over 250 years ago before there was ever a Declaration of Independence, US Constitution or a United States of America. Just as Ben Franklin was addressing the colonies to unite and address British tyranny peaceably at that time, so too must rural Americans either come together and prevail or the consequences will be far more awful than anyone will admit. This idea for bottom-up reform starting with Local government that I am suggesting here is made in the same spirit that Ben Franklin addressed those colonists centuries ago.


Join, or Die by Benjamin Franklin was recycled to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule

Join, or Die by a well-known cartoon by Ben Franklin appeared in the :Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754 to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule. It is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It shows a snake cut into eighths (New England was treated as one) with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the 13 American colonies or region.

Jim Beers
24 May 2014

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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

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