October 21, 2019

Anybody Out There?

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A guest post by James Beers:

Two hours ago I sent out a short article (Public Employees and Animal Rights) about how the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) was suing USFWS and the State of Alaska for “using federal wildlife restoration grants to illegally support killing wolves and bears to increase moose and caribou hunting”. What they call “grants” at this point on their website they later refer to as “federal funds” and later yet as “federal wildlife funds” and finally as “money from taxpayers in the other 49 states” are actually none of these.

Evidently in the time it took to mow my lawn and pull a few (native?) weeds in my garden I gained a significant number of new and unhappy readers. The hate mail is surprising and indicates a nerve has been struck.

Boys and girls, sorry but “killing wolves and bears” allows “moose and caribou hunting” to both increase and endure. FYI, those dollars the U of Alaska Prof and other bleeding heart public employees have gotten the “vapors” about are NOT “grants” or “federal funds” or “federal wildlife funds” or certainly not “money from taxpayers in the other 49 states”. Those Funds are EXCISE TAXES ON ARMS AND AMMUNITON AND CERTAIN SPORTING ITEMS USED FOR HUNTING. They are collected by the federal government for the exclusive use of state fish and wildlife programs for WILDLIFE RESTORATION. BY law the funds can only be used by State wildlife agencies and the states receive their share of the annual available funding BASED ON ½ THE SIZE (SQ. MILES) OF THE STATE AND ½ ON THE NUMBER OF HUNTING LICENSES SOLD IN THE STATE. These EXCISE TAXES and this Pittman Robertson Program were instituted in 1937 by hunters to perpetuate and enhance hunting opportunity under honest and professional state wildlife programs.

Curious, those words “Wildlife Restoration”: they replaced the words “Pittman Robertson” and “Wildlife Management” in the early 1990’s when the old P-R Law was retitled by Congress. At that time only a small group of hunting advocates raised any question and they were marginalized by the USFWS bureaucrats AND the State F&W Directors AND the hunting NGO’s. Why, you might be tempted to ask? Because that was the “Dawning of the Wildlife Age of Aquarius” when everyone believed hunting, trapping, and fishing were soon to be banned and “Chickadee Check-offs”, “Birdseed Taxes” and “Outdoor Taxes” (how about that last one Madame Secretary of the Interior and former “outdoor” Co. Exec?). The name change was unopposed by the very same State Directors and hunting NGO’s that lost their voices a few short years later when those same federal bureaucrats that led them forward into their Brave New World STOLE $45 to 60 Million from those funds to do 2 things Congress had (wisely) refused to either fund or authorize – 1. Release wolves into Yellowstone Park to spread all over the Mountain West, and 2. Open a new office in California for USFWS and all those radical environmental/animal rights groups that dwell there to cozy up together like some cheap Grade-B movie characters. So all those old, but valid, objections by a few hotheads like yours truly are hereby shown to have been true. Even wildlife “scientists” (OOOH) tell the entire nation that “their tax dollars” are going to something he dislikes and should be stopped and those doing it punished.

Well Herr Doctor and all the rest of you with your panties in a wad this “ain’t” healthcare where you can mandate it and then complain about old folks getting knee replacements or stints that “YOU PAY FOR.” First, if you want to complain start buying guns and ammunition and then whine as a real contributor, and then 2. whine about why anything that perpetuates and increases Alaskan moose and caribou hunting and license sales (short of turning over Christian children to Jihadists) is not a worthy use of those Excise Taxes.

This brings up two other items. First, this PEER lawsuit has USFWS fingerprints all over it. USFWS is always modifying the regulations and with the current crop of “Public Employees” would see this suit as right up their alley as a way to kill hunting. Their moral indignation and ignorance is only exceeded by the arrogance that bleeds all over this PEER lawsuit. Yet another reason to reduce bureaucratic power and the size of the federal “work” force.

Second, yesterday I received a Waterfowl & Retriever magazine in the mail. Page 5 reports “Hunting Expanded in National Wildlife Refuge System”. The “expansion” covers 6 new programs that I suspect are six new refuges and “expansion” on 20 other Refuges of indeterminate amounts. My first reaction was that this was a ploy for Democrats in tight re-election races to brag about bringing home some “bacon”; why else would this be done at this time by the current USFWS bureaucrats?

When I turned the page I saw why. Delta Waterfowl has “sent a letter” (one is tempted to ask if it was one of those “strong letters” said to follow a strong public verbal objection?) to USFWS opposing the USFWS California/Nevada Regional Office decision to “cease migratory bird programming (that means all waterfowl hunting programs Pilgrims) in California and Nevada in order to address a backlog of permitting, research and evaluation needs related to wind and solar energy projects.” So now USFWS is an energy apologist outfit as they exempt wind propeller operations from any prosecution for killing eagles that they will still send you and me to prison for. All of the waterfowl work for which they were founded is now set aside for “permitting, research and evaluation needs related to wind and solar energy projects.”

By the way, this CA/NV Regional Office is the very same office that Congress refused to fund or authorize in the early 1990’s but for which USFWS STOLE $45 to 60 Million from the above EXCISE TAXES to open surreptitiously. Republicans, upon discovering what took place were all set to close that office but serendipity intervened when USFWS made the recently hired daughter of US Senator Ted Stevens, perhaps the most powerful Republican in the US Senate at that time, the office manager. Alas Congress was right when they said NIX to any new office in California but USFWS stole the money, did it anyway and all the “perps” went on to greater fame and glory in Earth Day Celebrations and on lists of great conservationists as their annual salaries reached dizzying heights.

So here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Ask your state fish and wildlife Director where he stands on the lawsuit to bar Alaska from using PR funds for predator control to improve moose and caribou hunting. Tell him you believe this is a very dangerous precedent to allow anti-hunting lawsuits to expand federal authority while diminishing state authority over the use of PR funds for hunting programs. Ask him what he is going to do.

2. Ask DU, PF, RMEF, and any other hunting organization you belong to the same questions as in #1.

3. Send a letter to USFWS in Washington with copies to every state and federal elected person you know, STRONGLY objecting to USFWS rejecting their Migratory Bird Management Responsibilities for which they receive Migratory Bird Funding AND then using those dollars and those employees to be little more than undeserved apologists for the wind energy industry that has consistently killed millions of birds while USFWS looked away and is now receiving exemptions to kill eagles from USFWS. USFWS has lost sight of their mission and the responsibilities for which they were created and exist.

4. If any of the worthies in #’s 1 & 2 tell you they won’t join with Alaska to defeat this lawsuit, or that it doesn’t affect waterfowl or pheasants, etc., or they just try to baffle you with BS — stop giving any money to such organizations and work for the dismissal or firing of your State Director and look to clean the state F&W house of anti-hunters regardless of any federal or state protections, preferences or powerful relatives.

Strong Letter to Follow!

Jim Beers
2 July 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.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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