November 15, 2018

An Epiphany Outside of Environmentalism’s “New Approach” to Wildlife Management

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With very little effort and a clear, open mind, it is obvious that when it comes to wildlife management things aren’t looked at in the same way as the tried and proven ways which created the foundation for the North American Model of Wildlife Management. It may, however, come as a surprise to many readers that this new environmentalist’s way of talking about wildlife management is a planned event and not something that just evolved over time – certainly not the result of real scientific research.

What is amazing, to me anyway, is when groups and individuals mired in the muck of environmentalism’s new approach to wildlife management, are forced to see what isn’t intended to be seen in this new approach. It shows itself as some kind of epiphany, as though because of lack of knowledge due mostly to a prohibition of access to historical documentation constructed from the actual scientific process, tested over decades and centuries of time, a moment of brilliance comes bursting through the muddled mess of what today we call modern wildlife management.

We catch a glimpse of this at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) where when it was discovered that winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) were numerous and killing off the state’s moose herd, modern wildlife management’s “new approach” declared the cause was global warming. Every echo chamber around the world wanted to reverberate the woes of man-caused global warming and yes, “we’re all gonna die!” Their emotional claims for cures demanded that the only way to mitigate this winter tick problem that is killing moose populations everywhere was to somehow find a “cure” for global warming – a condition that does not exist in the context of how it is being sold.

Maine began a moose study – determined, it was said, to get at the root causes of what was really reducing the moose population. I have been most pleasantly surprised to discover that Maine’s moose biologists dared break with the mold of “Climate Change ate my homework” and suggested what has been known for a long, long time what was stated by an Alaskan moose biologist in recent years, that the ONLY way to mitigate the winter tick problem is to reduce the population of moose.

In George Smith’s recent column he writes of a book, recommended to him by Maine’s Wildlife Division Director (White as a Ghost by Dr. Bill Samual) who is quoted as saying in his book, “As moose and tick numbers build, moose harvest by hunters is far more appropriate and humane than invasive harvest by winter ticks. We should be able to moderate some of the damage caused by winter ticks for moose by managing moose at below die-off levels.”

(Author’s Note: To dispell the critics who will want to claim that my call, and that of MDIFW’s, to reduce the moose population is rooted in the desire to hunt and kill more moose. For the control of ticks, it must be realized that once a “die-off level” is reached through controlled harvest, that die-off level will need to be maintained even while it changes and fluctuates up and down. That’s what real, responsible wildlife management is.)

Perhaps we can see a bit of this “new approach” to wildlife management in the attitude shown in what Smith writes: “And while this book was published in 2004, it is still very informative and pertinent to our moose/tick problem.” I find it a near incurable disease that has infested academia and every institution that employs science – a refusal to research historic documents, accounts, scientific research, etc. as though it was worthless because it is so old. In this case, the author seems to indicate that observations and documentation of Dr. Samuel aren’t dangerous to the new approach narrative of wildlife management even though it is an ancient history of some 14 years.

In my own research about winter ticks, because of the lack of any modern studies on ticks, I spent the majority of my time reading and studying the ones that have existed for many years. These old documents proved then that global warming could not be the cause of increased tick populations. This is valuable knowledge that should never be discarded because of age even if new studies want to suggest something else.

Some honest effort, with a goal of seeking the truth rather than propping up the new scientismic pathway, can reveal many useful things. This must begin with an attitude that historical scholarship isn’t useless, outdated material – it is the foundation of the Scientific Process.

Instead, we see here where it appears that some miraculous epiphany has caused the resulting talking points to become one of a need to reduce the moose population to solve much of the tick problem rather than wasting time with the mythological Climate Change fantasy.

Maybe the scientific process ruled in this case of the Maine moose study. Perhaps the efforts made and what appears to be a daring and honest assessment of what’s going on has helped to restore my faith that there are still glimmers of hope in wildlife management – that it hasn’t completely gone to the environmental dogs…yet.

These epiphanies present themselves as though a discovery was made, and something is written as old as 2004 supports that discovery. It should be the other way around. That is the scientific process. But, if you don’t know and have not researched the scientific process, this is what we see. In this case, it appears as though a correct conclusion has been reached despite lack of historic scientific knowledge.

There should be a great takeaway from this. We will see.