December 13, 2018

Wildlife 101

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By James Beers:

Fantasy disguised as “science” is called “junk” and your report about Yellowstone (Wolves, Cougars Help Restore Landscape) in the 12 November U. S. Watch is “junk”.

Despite the titles of the authors and University status of their employment, elk herds did not “grow in size” due to the “widespread extermination of wolves and cougars”.  They grew in size because the Park Service bureaucracy would not allow hunting of elk (or anything else) in the Park for the greater part of the last century.  Neither hunters nor federal bureaucrats did anything about the elk increase except study and whine about it.

Hunting that would have kept the elk at any desired level while funding conservation programs went unjustified for decades.  In addition to visceral NPS prohibitions, could elk management have been justified to “restore willow plants and other vegetation along the park’s streams” or to change “the herd’s behavior” or to “allow streams to return to a ‘more’ natural state”?  Right!

Hunting or those vaunted “government sharpshooters” using modern wildlife biology could have kept elk at whatever level was desirable.  Such a “level” however, has become a value decision for decades with urban fantasies slowly gaining steam to denigrate human management of wildlife for human welfare in favor of unmanaged ecosystems with dangerous deadly and destructive large predators at large threatening people while killing certain animals like moose, dogs and livestock in unacceptable numbers.

Think of it as replacing truthful data and knowledge with free-roaming, protected predators; a practice condemned in writing first by the Greeks hundreds of years before the time of Christ.

Jim Beers

12 November 2018

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.

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