The following article from a Northern Minnesota newspaper describes a 40-year US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired) Wolf Biologist admitting that wolves in Minnesota have indeed decimated the Minnesota moose population and that, undoubtedly, any attempt to increase moose numbers in Minnesota would be akin to introducing impalas into a lion cage at the zoo.
Since retiring here 8 years ago, no other subject caused the shunning and downright rudeness I experienced than my saying or writing that the moose were declining due to wolf predation. Newspaper reporters said I was stupid and the Minnesota DNR and the University of Minnesota authored article after article in the papers that went on at great length about “ticks”, “global warming” and “unspecified diseases” being the cause for the moose decline and the loss of the moose hunting season. Such articles always carried the following disclaimer that I paraphrase, “While some claim wolf predation is a factor, the one thing we are certain about is that wolf predation does not diminish moose populations”.
Many of my colleagues today are cheering the fact that Dr. Mech has “seen the light” and is “man enough to admit it” regarding the suddenly discovered fact that wolves are THE cause of the demise of moose in Minnesota. I offer no such cheer.
The federal wolves are here in Minnesota in great densities. Mech and the DNR and all the University “experts” have profited in great measure from protecting wolves that have been destroying moose populations, moose watching and creating many, many other negative impacts from their actions and lies performed in league with very evil (the correct word) environmentalists and animal rights radicals with broad agendas associated with wolf dangers and destruction.
Now I try to practice forgiveness but the following explanation by the “good” doctor and his cronies is simply further dissembling and meant to only keep the hunters, ranchers, dog owners and rural Minnesota in their state of perpetual subservience to Mech and the DNR and the University and their federal sugardaddy, the USFWS.
After reading all the “science” and “discovery” humbug I ask you to consider:
- “Assuming the legal issues are resolved soon” is the caveat given for any solution. Any biologist with the least understanding of and appreciation for the US Constitution and the North American Wildlife Management model would not give this meaningless pap as a necessary beginning. Federal seizure of state wildlife management authority and jurisdiction is THE reason moose hunting, moose and other things like wolf attacks on campers and dog deaths are happening throughout northern Minnesota. While Mech warbles about court decisions and working with the radicals that control USFWS and have made the DNR and the University federal lapdogs, federal impositions driven by national and international politics and corruption will keep rearing its ugly head whenever bureaucrats and politicians see a benefit to themselves. Anything that does not start with the complete removal of any federal opportunity (like repeal of the Endangered Species ACT) to reassert federal jurisdiction over non-treaty Minnesota wildlife is simply a pipedream.
- “Mech recommends that the state focus more of its wolf harvest quota in future years in the primary moose range, to give the moose population some breathing room.” Any future wolf control that would give ANY “breathing room” would (thanks again to Mech, the DNR, the “U” and USFWS) require reducing the wolf population drastically over many years and then keeping it at the lower level forever. Even if the progressive urban Minnesotans understood and agreed; it would require shooting, trapping, snaring, aerial hunting, poison (?) etc. to attain and sustain the lower wolf levels. Would government do it? Would rural Minnesotans do it? What is the cost? Who would pay? Are rural Minnesotans anymore able to do such things? Are the staffs of the DNR or USFWS or even USDA any longer capable or willing to do what would have to be done?
- His assertion that, “if moose continue to decline, wolf numbers will decline as well” is pure poppycock. If you believe that, there is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. Wolves decline when moose decline as described on little islands like Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior. Wolves in NW Canada, Siberia and Alaska switch to other wildlife and even humans when a main food source like moose decline. In the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States when moose decline, wolves shift to deer, elk, cows, calves, sheep, lambs, dogs (when they are not breeding them), kids at bus stops, old ladies in gardens, old men checking the mail, toddlers in the back yard, garbage, hunters’ game, livestock discards, and more than I have room to describe here. Between their doing “what they never did before” in areas they were “never in before” and hybridizing with every coyote and dog they don’t eat: I guess I am just making an otherwise “double arabesque and pirouette off stage right” retirement for this Bozo into a “get out and stay out” exit by a failed bureaucrat as he deserves.
- He concludes, “There’s really little reason to delay. The evidence is increasingly clear. While climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation), wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon. That’s a scientific conclusion that’s hard to refute”.
He still keeps his foot in the radical canoe with, “climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation” something with no evidence and no more than a fairy tale to sell snake oil.
He goes on with, “wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon”. No Doctor; You and the USFWS and the DNR and your University cronies are responsible and you offer no solution other than a glass of warm milk before retiring.
Your nostrums from your retirement villa for the debacle and losses you wrought are too little and too late. It will take men doing what men do best, to undo what you and your cronies once sold and offered as testimonials to justify imposing them on rural Americans.
To quote a Boatswain Mate I once knew, “put a cork in it!”
15 Sep. 2016
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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.
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