*Editor’s Note* – I am reminded of Leviticus 26: vss 14 and 22 –
“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; …..I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.”
An article by James Beers
Question: What do sharks, grizzly bears, wolves, cougars and similar large mammalian predators have in common?
1.) They attack, injure and kill humans.
2.) Their presence in locations of human presence varying in density from the lightly inhabited to densely inhabited by humans is rightly controversial.
3.) They compete with humans for renewable natural resources like various marine species from seals to bass, and game animals from moose and elk to antelope utilized for human consumption and recreation like fishing and hunting.
4.) They depress human activities from bathing and biking to hiking and simple day in and day out actions of families and other residents where such animals are allowed to occur.
5.) They depress economic activities from tourism and animal husbandry to pet ownership and all the subsidiary economic activities they spawn thereby shrinking both employment opportunities and local tax revenues that are the lifeblood of both local governance and a political voice for rural residents.
6.) They destroy private property from dogs to cattle.
7.) They are “loved” by mostly urban people and little more than constant problems for rural people and others forced by governments to live with them.
8.) They are political vote fodder for central government politicians forever spending scarce dollars and implementing the laws they are forever passing to “protect” and “save” these “charismatic mega-species”.
9.) They are central-government bureaucrat’s ticket’s to more power and authority (resulting from the manipulation of regulation-writing for all the laws mentioned under # 8); more personnel and bigger budgets leading to increased career opportunities leading to larger retirements and public adulation; and they are an introduction to after-retirement opportunities with the Non-Government environmental Organizations (see # 10 below).
10.) They are the primary tools of the self-aggrandizing “environmental”, animal “rights”, and faux “conservation” lobby groups collecting millions from the general public that they use to “influence” the politicians, woo the bureaucrats, and give the urban population a false sense of doing something “good” while being “involved”.
11.) Too often the government schemes to “save” or “restore” such species are thinly-veiled hidden agendas for other campaigns from population control to gun control and further erosion of local governments and the political voice of rural people and their issues.
Now, lest you think I do not “like” or “want” such animals; I assure you I am committed to their preservation and conservation. I say this with full recognition of the following:
1.) These animals DO NOT belong wherever they want to be or where they simply existed 20 or 200 years ago. They belong where their negative impacts are tolerable primarily to those communities that government’s target to coexist with them.
2.) The formal acceptance by local populations should be a prerequisite of any government protection, introductions or increases of these animals for reasons of both justice and morality.
3.) While the “public” et al (see the foregoing #’s 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11) knowledge of words like “decreasing”, “endangered”, etc. are rudimentary at best; their rejection of terms like “too many”, “destructive”, “dangerous”, or “necessary lethal control” are also clouded by bureaucrats, teachers, politicians, and the influence peddlers mentioned under the foregoing # 10.
4.) The proper and just challenge to preserving and conserving these animals lies not with destroying human society or humans as is happening in Africa and India as I write.
5.) Lethal controls are necessary and right in areas of human density and activity. For instance, sharks should be excluded as far as is possible from beaches with moderate to heavy use. Until the lobby groups or private enterprises come up with a workable and dependable way to exclude dangerous sharks from such beaches in Australia, the US or South Africa or on similar beaches worldwide, that means lethal control.
6.) As someone living in a country with a $20 TRILLION debt, I do not believe that government funding should be spent by the millions on things that would certainly appear to be no more effective than fladry or electric fences for livestock being ravaged by wolves, or bells being worn by hikers or workers in grizzly bear country.
7.) Government funds directed toward sharks (like government funds directed toward other mammalian large predators mentioned herein) should be directed toward enactment and enforcement of laws that allow local control in certain areas and protection in other (not all) areas. Leave it to the Universities and NGO’s to “investigate” “sonar buoys” shark “face recognition”, “electronic and magnetic shark deterrent devices”, and “cameras attached to sharks”. The government role is to first protect its citizens.
Three years ago I wrote several articles comparing the “conservation” of mammalian and marine predators like sharks, wolves and killer whales. The two articles below [link (WSJ is a PayWall and link] indicate to me how far astray we have come in just the short time since I wrote those articles. I submit that we could take this shark article and this grizzly bear article and just use them in the future for the next wolf or cougar attack that kills or maims a human in the US. For that matter, the next Nile crocodile that kills an African woman doing her wash or an African kid playing by the river; we can use these article by just erasing “shark” or “grizzly bear” and scribbling in “lion” or “tiger” or whatever misunderstood critter evokes our mercy by causing us to equate such animals with hapless humans offered up by the government druids for their notion of what the “ecosystem” should be.
Here are a few comments on what appears in these recent news items. These items are highlighted in the articles and are not meant to be snide or to condemn either our Australian or Canadian cousins that like us emerged from the British Colonial system. Truth be told, American concepts of wildlife management, human justice, and rural economic concern are as far or farther astray than either of these articles tell us about Australia or Canada.
1,) “The effort is being closely watched around the world—especially tourism-focused places like Réunion, a French territory whose economy was devastated after sharks killed seven people in recent years.”
Comment: While this is about sharks, the same thing is happening in the Lower 48 US States with forced introduction of grizzly bears (the latest in central Washington state) making de facto wilderness areas due to the danger from the bears as are forced wolf introductions exterminating elk and moose hunting along with ranching and rural residences. Denying it as we do, fools no one.
2.) “Where some of these species of sharks bite people, it becomes more of a social issue, whether the government should be responsible for the safety of their citizens when they go into the ocean.”
Comment: What chutzpah! As a former colonial and as a US Constitutional supporter, I can only marvel at any representative government being perceived as neither concerned nor responsible for the safety of their citizenry utilizing THEIR beaches. Yet, the US government mimics this attitude by their wolf and grizzly bear activities being no one’s responsibility when they go horribly wrong and even California’s government behaving similarly with their sanctification of cougars within that state.
3,) “Record keeping on shark attacks is fragmented and inconsistent,
Comment: See, sharks are just like wolves and grizzly bears. Nothing is for sure so only the government wizards know the “truth” and thus the courts will believe only them. For those unfamiliar with this lingo, “fragmented and inconsistent” means you must believe whatever we say it is about “how many”, the “danger” and what to expect or who is responsible. If we say moose and elk disappeared because of “climate change” or that persons or cattle killed by wolves were killed by “undetermined animals, possibly dogs” then by golly that is the truth so move along citizen, there is nothing to see here.
4,) “Thousands of underwater video tapes showing that sharks are much more abundant in northern Australia than in unprotected waters like those surrounding Indonesia—the world’s biggest shark-fishing nation”.
Comment: What a mysterious assertion. Could there be a connection? Can sharks prosper in one place (like Australia) while evidently hammered unmercifully relatively nearby (like Indonesia)? Could this be duplicated on a scale such as lightly-used Australian beaches v. heavily-used beaches? Inquiring minds want to know.
5.) “People for some reason have a real fear of sharks,” Geoff Harris, the club’s president and a veteran lifesaver, said as he surveyed the town’s deserted white-sand beach one morning. “I think it’s the fear of being eaten by something.”
Comment: Ya’ think?
6.) “But you don’t want to jump to the conclusion that the bear’s hungry and it attacked an individual. Norris also said it’s “never cut and dry that a bear will be destroyed because it attacked someone.”
Comment: Indeed, animals have “rights”! Their motive is important! You never know when there are extenuating circumstances that justify releasing him or her like Americans are doing with criminal illegal aliens that only return and repeat offenses until they stand accused of homicide. I am reminded of that satirical Jewish definition of chutzpah being the man that killed his mother and father and then threw himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan.
27 March 2017
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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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