November 21, 2017

Three Questions About the Ethics of Wildlife Management

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*Editor’s Note* – The below opinion piece is a classic example of ignorance as it pertains to wildlife management. That ignorance is driven by emotional nonsense of “ethics,” and “values.”

The author claims that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) manages wildlife from the perspective of “the end justifies the means.” He bases this incomplete thought process on what appears to be a belief that the MDIFW manages game animals strictly for the purpose of harvest. Harvest is only one part of the North American Wildlife Management Model. This is reflected in the agency’s efforts in controlling and limiting harvest numbers in all game species when necessary. It is dishonest to lead people to believe MDIFW’s call for harvest of game is to appease the hunters because they buy licenses. I know of no hunters or trappers who would promote any fish and game agency to recklessly allow unrestricted harvest simply to pay the bills.

The author’s revelation of how he enjoys “hearing” coyotes and that hunting and trapping of coyotes is strictly for the purpose of protecting deer for hunters, is ignorant and dishonest.

It would appear that the author espouses to a “natural balance” – a false theory that if man would simply butt out of wildlife management all things would be in perfect balance. That simply is not true. I guarantee that if that practice was employed, it wouldn’t be long before people would realize the results are extremely undesirable.

Too many coyotes destroy far more than deer and they also carry and spread many diseases – many of them harmful and some deadly to humans.

The third complaint this author has is that managing wildlife makes wildlife less wild. I would concur that idea carries some merit depending upon the level to which such wildlife/habitat manipulation is taking place. However, if anyone is going to get on that wagon, then they must also stay on that wagon to argue against the introduction or reintroduction of all wildlife, in all locations, for all reasons.

If, for example, stocking Atlantic salmon fry in attempts to restore a robust salmon population, makes one believe the fish are no longer wild but farmed, then the Federal Government has no business introducing/reintroducing wolves or any other species or subspecies. It also should not be allowed to protect one species at the detriment of others, including the species of man.

Realism often gets in the way of idealism. While the author in question here certainly has the right to his opinions about wildlife management, that right doesn’t carry over in order to force another’s lifestyle and supposed “ethics” onto the others.

I see much of wildlife management within the MDIFW as a win/win trade-off. The author seems to take issue with the idea that hunters harvest game. I believe it’s a small price to pay for an idealist in order that the overwhelming costs of being good stewards of our wildlife, is taken up by those willing to cough up the money in exchange for some meat in the freezer or some extra cash to help pay the bills.

MDIFW is not infallible. As a matter of fact, I could present a real good argument that much of what MDIFW does is more in line with the desires of this opinion-piece author.

Bears and coyotes do destroy a lot of deer over the course of time and is partly responsible for a deer herd that is sparse and struggling to recover in some areas. If MDIFW’s only concern was providing deer for hunters, they would have killed a lot more bear and coyotes than is the case.

Game species (deer) trump non-game species (coyotes) because the sale of licenses is the agency’s primary source of income.  If the agency were funded out of the general fund and license fees were not dedicated revenues, the agency would obviously need to be responsive to a broader constituency than just consumptive users.  For economists, this is a phenomenon we see in the public sector termed regulatory capture.  An interest group (consumptive wildlife users in this case) employs some technique to “captur

Source: Three Questions About the Ethics of Wildlife Management | Stirring the Pot

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