August 17, 2018

In Search of the Hidden Public Costs of Wolves

By James Beers:

This was written for the Wallowa County [Oregon] Chieftain newspaper and can be found on their Facebook page.

Recently an ad hoc group of wildlife professionals concerned with wolves in Europe, Canada and the US has been discussing a 7 April 2015 article in the Wallowa County (Oregon) Chieftain newspaper.  The article, by three researchers with Oregon State University,concerned the economic impact of wolves on rural communities in Northeast Oregon based upon a six-year, ongoing study.  This analysis focused on cattle depredation and harassment costs related to wolf densities and was originally published in “Oregon Beef Producer” magazine, published by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Our discussion, composed of frequent comments and observations, revolved around the lack of any reliable estimates of the cost of wolves in the media, scientific journals, or government justifications regarding the costs associated with wolves, especially in the settled landscapes of Europe, Canada and the USA.  The discussion caused me to consider how I might contribute to this subject of wolf costs in a milieu of government and environmental obfuscation and deception about the costs of wolves.  My experience and background with state and federal program budgeting and analysis left me with a familiarity that enables me to speak about government costs that will hopefully shed light on the state portion of costs, both monetary and opportunity, of wildlife programs, especially controversial and political issues like wolves.

While I am not a domestic animal economist, I am a wildlife biologist with over 55 years of working in the field of government wildlife programs.  From several temporary stints with the Utah Fish and Game to 32 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 4 states and 25 years in Washington, DC and then as a speaker and writer about wildlife: I was, among other things during my USFWS tenure, a Program Analyst; a Budget Analyst; a Congressional Fellow; and the administrator of the federal Wildlife Excise Taxes (currently over $600M) Apportioned annually to state wildlife agencies.

During this latter assignment I uncovered the theft of $45M to $60M from those Excise Taxes by USFWS officials in Washington to fund the capture of Canadian wolves and their release in Yellowstone in the mid-1990’s.  The stolen funds were also used to clandestinely open a USFWS Office in California and to increase bonus amounts for select USFWS managers.  Both the introduction of wolves into the Upper Rockies and the office in California had previously been rejected for either funding or authorization by Congress.  As a “whistleblower” I assisted the General Accounting Office to construct an Audit that was the subject of two Congressional Hearings before the House Resources Committee.  I spent 10 months at home on full pay and benefits before being given a large cash settlement contingent on my complete silence for three years regarding anything having to do with my separation and retirement from federal employment.

All the foregoing is necessary for you to understand that I know both federal and state wildlife agency budgets and many of the ways that bureaucrats hide and dissemble what they do not want the public or any overseer to know.  Think, at this point, about the FBI/DOJ scandal before Congress; Fast and Furious; Lois Lerner and Koskinnen at the IRS; Benghazi excuses; recent BLM actions in Nevada and the shooting in the snow near Malheur Refuge of a protesting rancher.  Federal bureaucrats are not unique in their exemption from prosecution that would send civilians away to prison for decades.  They share this “perk” with powerful politicians and the very rich.  When bureaucrats of any stripe see other bureaucrats go unprosecuted for escalating crimes; like any kid on the street that sees his friends get away with crimes; the bureaucrat is emboldened and grows more and more contemptuous of the law that he believes doesn’t apply to him or her.  For instance, State wildlife agencies have been caught using wildlife funds to buy vehicles for the state vehicle pool; giving wildlife lands purchased with Excise Taxes to land developers (Whitewater in Arkansas); paying state park employee’s salaries when the state parks money runs out; giving wildlife land to state prison administrators to build a prison; and selling timber on wildlife lands and placing the receipts in the General Fund (instead of the wildlife budget as required by the Excise Tax law).  These things were all done clandestinely and were it not for a whistleblower or a fair audit (a rarity) by an uninvolved Audit Firm, they would likely have gone unreported.  State bureaucrats want to “please” their political overlords (Governors, select Legislators, Political Party bosses) every bit as much as FBI Agent Strzok, Lois Lerner, Koskinnen, BLM thugs, USFWS appointees, etc. want to “please” those that care for them financially and politically.

It is about State costs when Government Issue (GI) wolves are imposed by federal fiat that I wish to speak here.

The federal government is imposing or has imposed every current wolf in the Lower 48 States.  Wolves present when the ESA authorized federal seizure of all wolf authority in The Lower 48 States and all those imported, released and protected have been and are (despite the few states “enjoying” wolf management “returned” by benevolent bureaucrats and politicians) under federal directives and the threat of being retaken by federal bureaucrats given a favorable political climate.  At last count, wolves are present in 25 or more states.  Wolves are not “native” to Hawaii and wolves are ubiquitous in Alaska preventing federal claims of being “Endangered”, though that does not stop Lower 48 radicals and federal bureaucrats from trying to dictate wolf policies like aerial shooting, trapping and hunting to depress wolf densities to protect large game like moose and human/wolf interfaces where human safety and human property like dogs are in danger.

Let us use one state as a hypothetical example of what happens within a state wildlife agency when wolves arrive.  What I mention here goes for any state with wolves, be they under federal (Endangered Species) jurisdiction or under state management authority within federal guidelines as the result of federal bureaucrats’ benevolence to “return management to the state”.  This “return” is a false gesture since the Endangered Species Law remains untouched to authorize future federal bureaucrats to reassert federal authority and jurisdiction over not only wolves as a species, but also about wolves’ subspecies, wolf races, wolf populations, wolf distinct population segments, as well as distinct population segments (wolves on either side of a “government boundary” such as a County line).  One significant factor in the disappearance of federal wolf claims in the current atmosphere is the reluctance of the Congress to openly cough up many millions to USFWS to protect and spread wolves at this time if they reasserted federal authority and some States suddenly realized that negotiating with federal bureaucrats over wolf presence, distribution and control is akin to negotiating with Iran or North Korea about their behavior.  Better to let the State wildlife agencies scrimp and go broke so that when the time comes next to reassert ESA provisions, they (the States) will be even more dependent on federal funds and federal bureaucrats.

I was in our hypothetical state last year when I attended an all-day meeting “about” wolves.  Attendees included angry cattlemen, hunters, dog owners and the usual scattering of urban representative of radical groups opposed to anything that would affect wolves.  A State Biologist in charge of the Wolf Program from the Wildlife Agency Headquarters was in attendance.  Two wardens came and went during the day.  There were frequent breaks and lots of chitchat.  The State fellows were pleasant and honest; the cattlemen/hunters/dog owners were anxious to tell their stories; and the radicals were neither easy to talk to nor interested in sharing anything.  The cattlemen/hunters/dog owners innocently hoped that bureaucrats and environmentalists would listen and negotiate relief for their problems with wolves.  The radicals, knew their power was to be protected but not here in the open but in the backrooms of State politicians, the lunches for staffs of federal politicians, and the evening get-togethers with state and federal bureaucrats that support them like FBI Agents behind-the-scenes in federal elections and afterwards.

While speaking to the administrator about common acquaintances and politics, I asked how much money the State agency was spending on wolves and he answered honestly, “eight-hundred thousand”.  Now this state has large losses of cattle, hundreds of dead dogs (from hunting beagles and bird dogs to bear dogs), elk losses where they are trying to establish and build up an elk herd, and numerous human threats to rural people (including one killing that was mysteriously buried by the government and the media) and platoons of urban “volunteers” that count wolves and otherwise “help” state employees.  So, when he casually answered so quickly with such a round (and small) number, my interest was piqued.

I asked if that included the time spent by that warden over there and the administrator said, “oh no, that is different”.  When I then asked what the total might be he was honestly flummoxed (this did not surprise me) as most agency workers outside the budget office are woefully ignorant of what I was asking.  By the way, the warden told me that in the last 12 months he had spent well “over half his time” on reports of wolf poaching, investigating livestock and dog losses, advising rural residents encountering wolves near homes or businesses, running wolf errands for other State agency offices, helping with capturing and collaring wolves, and organizing wolf counts to speaking to schools and civic groups about how lucky they all were to have wolves in their midst.

Now this state has established and dense wolf numbers in at least 2/3 of their Counties.  The other 1/3 have transient and occasional resident wolves.  The state had wolf “management” “returned” for a few years ago and then had the federal jurisdiction returned to USFWS as the result of a lawsuit by a radical group so the USFWS did little more than “protect” wolves that increased (take note all you fans of “returning wolf management to the States”).  Even with USFWS back in the driver’s seat, State responsibilities included law enforcement, counting, compensation, public relations and associated tasks thanks to a State Legislature beholden to radical groups and interested in rural votes and a cool rural temper during elections.  Politicians that appear to not respond to voter’s ire are the politicians whose names you can never remember. So, following state and federal politicians as they “promise this and that”, and “introduce” this and that is a little like wandering through the House of Mirrors at the Carnival on a summer evening: you come out right where you went in.

Let us make a few ballpark estimates with round numbers about costs  The ball park numbers are necessary because actual numbers are all but impossible to obtain, as I found out, from state agencies hidden behind laws meant to provide transparency but that have been adapted as veils for state agencies that make you jump through more hoops than a Hula Hoop contest.  Like their federal counterparts; between the charges, delays, forms and information dissembling; public knowledge is kept to a bare minimum.  The round numbers are necessary to keep your attention and not lose you “in the weeds”.

Let us say there are 60 Counties (2/3 or 40 have lots of wolves) in the State and a Warden in each one. Based on the Warden at the meeting and hypothesizing about the other 39 Wardens in the wolf Counties, let us assume each warden spends 40% of their time on wolf-related work.  Let us further assume the 1/3 of the Counties with either transient or occasional resident wolves spend 30% of their time on wolf-related work.  Such work would include:

  • Investigating wolf depredations on livestock and dogs.
  • Arranging compensation for verified wolf depredations.
  • Investigating reports of being wolves shot or hunted.
  • Investigating reports of traps, snares or poisons set out for wolves.
  • Advising residents, dog owners and livestock producers about deterring wolves.
  • Overseeing and assisting in wolf censuses.
  • Responding to requests for assistance with wolves in campgrounds, garbage, outbuildings and on bike/hiking trails.
  • Training on state and federal wolf policies and regulations.
  • Training on equipment and handling sedated, live and dead wolves.
  • Investigating reports of wolf hides and/or skulls.
  • Meetings with schools, the media and organizations concerning wolves.
  • Training on wolf-related information management.
  • Investigating wolf and wolf hybrids in private homes.
  • Making Investigative Reports and preparing charges for prosecutors.
  • Keeping up with all the non-lethal control recommendations and non-lethal control claims so as not to be quoted in a way that could jeopardize your job.
  • Learning how to answer questions about wolf impacts and things like wolves as vectors of many diseases so as not to get in trouble with the latest state policies.

Now you might think this (40% of the Warden’s time in dense-wolf Counties and 30% of the Warden’s time in the mostly transient-wolf Counties) is all paid for out of the $800,000 in State funds but you would be wrong.  The $800,000 is first skimmed by headquarters and regional administrators for let’s say 10% for “administration”.

The remaining funding ($720,000) is mainly going to compensate livestock producers and dog owners (in this state but not in the majority of wolf states) for verified losses of livestock and dogs to wolf depredations.  But what about “research”?  The University “needs” funding for graduate students and professors all willing to work on what the wildlife agency and the radicals and those being harmed by wolves want as current justifications.  To wit, some “silver bullet” that won’t kill anything and justification for more funding to buy out livestock producers and to justify banning dogs from wherever dogs might hybridize with or conflict with wolves. So, let’s give them (rural folks and University justifiers) $420,000.

The amount available after this “compensation” is $300,000.  Well, there is also the Wolf Administrator’s salary and overhead in Headquarters along with a secretary and one or two regional wolf persons and poof, there goes the $800,000.  So, who or what pays for all that Warden time?

Before we answer that question, let us recognize where most of the license revenue and Excise Tax dollars that support state wildlife agencies goes.  It goes to salaries, equipment, land purchase and operations.  If our hypothetical Wardens make an average of $50,000 per year and 40% of that goes to wolves that means each warden is spending $20,000 of that salary on wolves.  But, then there are the hidden costs of Overhead; each warden also costs annually:

  • Health Insurance $8,000
  • Early Law Enforcement Retirement State Fund $10,000
  • IRA Contributions $ 3,000
  • Vehicle (annual amortization) $15,000
  • Boat/Trailer (annual amortization) $12,000
  • Storage for Equipment $4,000
  • Gun/Arms training/Uniforms $3,000
  • Computer/Administrative Support (@Regional Office) $4,000
  • Total: $55,000

Each of these costs must also be added to the $50,000 salary and then 40% deducted to see what the real cost of 2/3 of the Warden’s cost to babysit wolves amounts to.

$50,000 (Salary) + $55,000 (Overhead) = $105,000 (Warden Compensation) X 40% (% of time on wolves) = $42,000 the annual real cost of ONE Warden on wolves in the (2/3) Counties with dense wolf populations.  But we have 40 such Wardens, so – $42,000 (the cost of One Warden’s wolf time) X 40 (the number of Wardens in dense wolf country) = $1,680,000 (the state real cost of Warden services re: wolves in the dense wolf counties).  That is without adding in gas, overtime, vacation, and maintenance/repair of vehicles and equipment!

At this point we add in the cost of wolves in Warden’s time in the other 1/3 of the Counties’; i.e. those Wardens that only spend 30% of their time on wolves.  $105,000 (total annual cost of a Warden) X 30% (% of time on wolves) = $34,500 the annual cost of one Warden on wolves in the 1/3 of Counties with transient and scattered wolves.  Again, we have 20 such Wardens, so $34,500 (Annual wolf cost in 1/3 of Counties) X 20 = $690,000 (the state real cost of Warden services re: wolves in transient wolf counties.

If we add the estimated real cost of warden services for wolves we get:

$1,680,000 + $690,000 = $2,370,000 Total cost of warden servicing of wolves not including gas, overtime, vacation, and maintenance/repair of vehicles and equipment!  But wait; there is more.

What about the agency Director and all the staff in Headquarters and Regional Offices for the entire Department?  The Public Relations staff, the computer staff, the receptionists, environmental “educators”, biologists, solicitors, appointees, et al?  Like all those Assistants and Deputies; they have salaries, overhead, meetings to attend, travel, vehicles to travel in, and training to compose and to go to ad infinitum.  If the field personnel spend 30 – 40% of their time and effort on wolves, do you really believe these others spend all their time protecting and managing your fish and wildlife?  So, we must take the same slice +/- 37% of their salaries and support (the average of all Wardens work on wolves) and treat it as Wolf Costs.  That is a large number that I am sure varies greatly by state (imagine that cost in Washington or California and then think of comparable costs in New Mexico or North Dakota).  It is a big number and 25 states from one extreme to another are involved in it as you read this. When you figure this all out, don’t forget to add in the original claim of $800,000’s counterpart that I expect by now you no longer think of as, “not too bad” anymore.  Pause and think of how much is really being spent and how no one ever gets anything but sneers and guffaws when they say, “we’re spending a lot more than $800,000”.

In fact, Warden’s spending over $2,000,000 on wolves are not managing and regulating fish and wildlife to that tune as the public still assumes.  Fish and Wildlife populations and distributions compatible with settled landscapes and local interests, is the reason the agency was created and those employees are simply using up the available funding and the respect with which the public once held their predecessors to serve federal bureaucracies, politician’s egos, and radical Non-Government Organizations and their pernicious agendas that prioritize imaginary nature worship over those actually being harmed.

Do the math on one agency, then figure 24 more states now and another dozen in five years.  Think about how this cost is going into eliminating hunting and the Excise Taxes that support these agencies.  Hunting is threatened by lack of game from wolf depredations; human and dog safety concerns where wolves are present, disease problems for people and dogs where wolves are present, sporting dog breeders disappearing as dogs are no longer in demand (one of many animal right’s goals), and diminishing License Revenue (a self-fulfilling prophecy).  Excise Taxes are threatened by gun control, vilification of shooting and shooting sports in schools, the media and political platforms.  Who will pay for State wildlife programs in the future when these things are gone?  What will be done other than growing government control and ownership of more rural land and more elimination of any animal use or management as hunting and animal husbandry disappear and rural communities wither?

My grandmother used to say, “figures don’t lie but liars figure” and she was right.  Basing these wildlife scenarios on biology and nature myths is foolish. For instance, after about 50 years on the Endangered “Species” LIST, “experts” still cannot agree if there are one, three or more “species” of wolves in The Lower 48 States.  Someone shooting a 65 lb. “coyote” must wait weeks to have a bureaucrat tell him if he shot an “Endangered Wolf” (thereby incurring severe federal prosecution); or a coyote (thereby set free under state laws); or a dog (either under Local jurisdiction or owned by someone that may sue you for shooting his dog).  Since dogs, coyotes and wolves mate freely given the opportunity and their puppies are just as viable to reproduce and explicable as a pup out of a basset hound bred by a poodle; what then is this wolf?  One of many species, simply a Canid form like coyotes and dogs, or a unique species?  Look to the math of this scam and when you understand the costs and what you are losing: do something!

Were we able to (we aren’t because state wildlife agencies like the FBI, IRS, USFWS et al do not want the public ever getting a hold of such real numbers) get actual audit information, what I am trying to display here would be infinitely more understandable. While states vary as to audits, federal agencies never get audited unless Congress requests it and anyway the federal General Accounting Office no longer does “audits”, they do “Accountability Reports” because they are no longer an agency of accountants, they mutated years ago into an agency of social studies and political science majors as a diversity thing.  “Accountability” only exists anymore in the eye of the beholder.

All those State salaries, all those overhead costs, all that rental office property, all that equipment, all that support and all those laws and regulations were set in place to manage fish and wildlife for people.  Hunting/Fishing License Revenue and Excise Taxes both supported a wide assortment of businesses like sporting goods, clothing, dog breeding, etc., plus it controlled or eliminated certain wildlife deemed harmful and encouraged other wildlife highly desired for game, food and traditional recreation.  Excise Taxes on arms and ammunition, archery equipment, gas used for sporting and recreation boats, and fishing tackle supplemented the license revenues as the backbone of state fish and wildlife agencies funding.

The unseen and unmentioned millions being spent on wolves by state agencies is simply money diverted from the original public mandates and objectives to manage deer and elk and moose and ducks and grouse and walleyes and ice houses and invasive species, etc.  The same thing happened at the USFWS level when several hundred waterfowl and songbird support positions were “re-imagined” overnight by Secretary Babbitt into a “new” environmental science research agency in the US Geologic Survey that Congress had refused to fund.  The old public and organizations of hunters, fishermen, ranchers and others have stood by while those opposed to their presence from the National Wildlife Federation to PETA “re-imagined” the state fish and wildlife agencies into babysitting agencies feeding imaginary nature to urban constituencies largely dissatisfied with everything American from naming streets and schools after Presidents to hunting and fishing with your children like your Dad and Grandpa did with you.

The state wildlife agencies, once one of the most beloved of all government services have been co-opted (willingly and for their own job and retirement concerns) into this scam which you might call a “two-fer”.  Not only are the wolves spreading in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 and wreaking havoc (where they do not belong for many very valid reasons from hybridization to spreading disease and danger to rural children and old ladies): the state agencies that once managed fish and wildlife for people have joined in this clandestine endeavor and managed to eliminate a steady amount of fish and wildlife management and convert it into wolves that make rural life, rural pursuits and rural economies more difficult and problematic.  They are giving License Revenue and Excise Taxes, the primary example of the tried and true “User Pays” principle, to the enemies of the “Users” to, as Lenin once observed, “Buy (actually take) the rope from the Capitalists (actually the Users) with which we will hang them”.

James Beers

9 August 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Evolving Coyote Mythology & Urban Political Dog Whistles

By James Beers

I recently thanked the St. Paul Pioneer Press and one of its writers for exposing the controversy surrounding growing complaints in St. Paul, Minnesota regarding the presence of and conflicts with urban coyotes.  Phone calls by the author of the article to the St. Paul Animal Control Supervisor; who was quoted as saying, “It speaks well for our city that wild animals choose to live here”; had gone unanswered.  The writer noted that, “Most of us don’t want coyotes, only to discover we have as our animal-control supervisor a woman with a Golden Book view of wildlife” and wherein “at night all the creatures gather around a fire and the raccoons provide for story time.”

I noted the similarities between this urban newspaperman and his coyote concerns in the face of a city government bureaucracy that disdains to recognize or address his interests and the drama taking place in rural America between rural residents concerned with wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes in the face of an arrogant “Deep State” in Washington, DC and state wildlife agencies that have become little more than subcontractors to federal bureaucrats and agents of the same environmental/animal rights agendas exposed in the St. Paul newspaper.

My “thank you” to the newspaper and the writer took the form of a Letter to the Editor that was recently published in the Sunday edition.  It was placed in between a letter from a St. Paul lady that thought she was, “fortunate to live with a National Park – and its attendant beauties, including wildlife – running through our midst”, and an instructive wildlife letter from a lady assistant professor of environmental education at a local University.

The latter letter from the assistant professor brought to my attention two things.  One was a silly and contradictory modernistic biological theory justifying coyotes as beneficial to urban landscapes reminiscent of the after-the-fact of introduction of wolves that, “wolves restore willows along streams” nonsense.  She opined that:

When there are coyotes in an urban area, there are fewer skunks, feral cats, and even foxes.  Not because the coyotes are tearing them apart, but because of something known as ‘competitive exclusion’ – when more than one species relies on the same food source in a given area, competition for that food source becomes a limiting factor, driving out competitors (i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere).  The result is a stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem – more plant species, bird and small mammal species.”

According to this “something known as ‘competitive exclusion’”; “driving out competitors (i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere)” makes, “a stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem – more plant species, bird and small mammal species.”  Is it me or do others wonder how making less of some predator species probably makes for more of the winning predator (in this case coyotes) and this then makes more and hungrier top predators to decimate the prey species ever more efficiently and not a“stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem” whatever “stronger” and “more robust” connote?  The contradiction here is all the more regrettable when spewed by a professor at a University; even when dressed up with animal rights drivel about how coyotes do not tear apart “skunks, feral cats, and even foxes” but merely drive out competitors “(i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere) one must assume here in some sort of “Grapes of Wrath” convoy into oblivion.

The second thing that caught my eye was her comment that:

St. Paul doesn’t have a coyote problem. The city’s approach to coyotes hardly represents the ‘Golden Book view of wildlife’ that Soucheray (i.e. the newspaperman) claims.  It uses science to inform policy and aims to educate the public so they can form educated opinions based on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”

Just as with so much of the “science” and “good intentions” surrounding wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes this is hilarious nonsense attempting to eliminate any opposition to whatever is imposed by bureaucrat/ideologues with government power based on animal rights and preferences.  You have no right to question the fact that the city Animal Control lady won’t return your calls and answer questions; she is rightly busy “educating the public”.  You have only uneducated opinions and we are tasked with getting you to ratify (our) “educated opinions based on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”  Just as with calling someone not supportive of what you are saying or doing a “racist”, or “misogynist”, or “Islamaphobe”, or “homophobe”, etc.; environmental/animal rights ideologues categorize troublesome citizens as “uninformed”, “uneducated”, “questioning ‘science’”, and incapable of basing opinions “on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”  Methinks the ladies should first inform the “public” rather than hiding from and disparaging a “public” that deigns to question their brilliance and chicanery.

Lastly, the other urban lady that imagines she lives in a “National Park” “and its attendant beauties” closed her letter with:

By all means be on the watch for coyotes.  Also dogs, cars, cyclists, tweeting while walking, ticks, needles, poison ivy, storm warnings, and Archie Bunker reruns.  Danger, as well as beauty, is everywhere.  You’ll find what you seek.”

Setting aside the sarcasm here, remember this is the urban area of Minnesota and there is perhaps no more liberal/progressive political concentration in America.  When you compare the newspaperman of the paper to “Archie Bunker reruns”, you have destroyed any credibility he might have with 75 to 80% of the readers.  In Minnesota, such an epithet is a classic “dog whistle” with a double meaning ending all discussion.

As I mulled over these three ladies (one hiding in her office, another preaching nouveau biology to justify the unjustifiable, and the third in her imaginary ecosystem all too glad to disparage anyone questioning her nature beliefs) I was reminded of the 3 witches in Macbeth reciting their famous ditty.

Doubledouble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble’ are two of the most famous lines in English literature. These lines show how what the witches say can have double meanings and can be contradictory.  The three ladies in St. Paul exhibit all of the misleading perfidy and disdain for others that we see in Macbeth and nationally regarding wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes and as with Macbeth they will lead us into great harm as long as we let them intimidate us and mislead others.

For your edification here is the whole poem from Macbeth that the witches, speaking of animals by the way, spoke that gave them a place in infamy.

Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”

(from Macbeth) by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

For my money, the three St. Paul ladies should keep their “charms” to themselves.

Jim Beers

10 August 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

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An Opportunity to Make the ESA Benefit People

*Editor’s Note* – I have the utmost respect for Jim Beers. His experience and his knowledge, along with a willingness to share makes him a standout in today’s world of programmed automatons. However, it is my belief that there is insanity in thinking that just one more attempt at instituting change can happen if we vote in the “right” people to serve in Washington. The System is far too big, far too powerful, and far too corrupt to think that any person or group of persons can change that. Thinking so is explemplary to the ignorance of the Global Power Structure.

Inserting another “however,” we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Beers latest writing contains many accurate and powerful facts that we shouldn’t forget.

Having said this, I cannot offer any solution that will cause real change in our governmental structure, especially the criminal aspects of it. In the years that I have spent in this work, which involves uncountable hours of read-searching, it has become extraordinarily clear that in government absolutely nothing has changed – only the allowed rhetoric to rile and divide the masses. 

As to the history of the Endangered Species Act, all the promises, all the talk, all the hype over the past 20 years and, like all government establishments, nothing has changed. Beers has it right in warning us not to be fooled by false promises – promises for action in exchange for your vote. This has been the history of real criminal politics and there is no hope that it will change or that you and I can actually do anything about it…short of changing ourselves and how we perceive things.

My only suggestion is to do as we have been instructed in the Scriptures to not be a part of man’s government – “Come out of Her my people” (the Whore of Babylon). Our Creator knew and knows the corruption that would rule man’s crafted cesspool of lying, cheating, and stealing. 

Put your faith and belief in God the Almighty instead of man-gods and your perspective will change. Government will not.

By Jim Beers:

As this old wildlife bureaucrat sees the “Deep State” wriggle and squirm like a nightcrawler on the hook of the President I am encouraged that there may be a remedy on the horizon for all the damage and abuse that rural America is absorbing from environmental and animal overreach by federal bureaucracies.  “Endangered” “species” from Wolves and Grizzly Bears to Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs and Tooth Cave Spiders can be changed from tools forged by bureaucrats to decimate animal husbandry, grazing, hunting, logging and other rural pursuits necessary for rural American communities into animals that decimate such communities for a wide range of nefarious hidden agendas.

The possibility of changing this has come to mind as I have followed the political battle between the Congress, and the FBI and DOJ about if and to what extent the FBI and DOJ meddled in the last Presidential election.  Furthermore, the vitriol spewed by certain members of the last Administration, particularly in the intelligence arena, toward the President and everything he does up to and including calling him a traitor is not only stunning but suggestive of a possible remedy for Endangered Species, Wilderness and other environmental laws that use power-seeking bureaucrats as unanswerable and irresponsible tools of vote-seeking politicians that pass and protect unjust laws they then disavow as being administered by “scientists” and “experts”.

Consider the following examples.

1.) When terrorism first became a major national concern, the law enforcement “experts” made the logical case that new “secret” courts (FISA courts) were necessary to issue “secret” warrants to search and investigate the profusion of cells and individuals suspected of plotting and carrying out terrorist acts. Despite misgivings by many legal historians, Congress passed a law establishing these FISA courts.  So, what happened?

We find that the FBI, DOJ and CIA tapped phones of Congressional staff, conducted secret surveillance of the Trump election campaign, and then lied to Congress and stalled only to dribble heavily redacted documents to Congressional Committees.  When called to appear before these Committees the contempt and disdain displayed toward Congress and the Administration was stunning.  The forecast that FISA would create a Star Chamber form of “justice” wherein proceedings were secret, rulings were arbitrary and tyrannical, and there was little difference between the “Kings” enforcers and the “Kings” judges became a fact. When an investigation is launched against the President, it lasts for years while being made up of lawyers strongly opposed to the President.  The wife of an FBI official is given thousands of dollars to run for an office by the Party opposing the President.  “Lost” emails, a private server containing highly classified information kept in a private residence basement are dismissed as acceptable.

2.) When the federal government sought to “equalize” tax advantages for all political lobbying organizations under President Obama, IRS employee Lois Lerner engaged in serious discrimination against conservative groups while favoring tax exemptions for liberal groups.  When that was exposed by a Congressional Committee, Ms. Lerner took the 5th and her boss, Mr. Koskinen lied to Congress when he said her emails were lost to a computer glitch.  Ms. Lerner skated free and retired: her boss did a double arabesque and pirouetted off stage right into infamy.

3.) Gun control advocates here and in the UN began accusing American gun dealers of supplying Mexican drug lords and foreign revolutionary movements with illegal guns and ammunition early in the Obama Administration.  Soon thereafter, ATF and DOJ began a secret operation they labelled Fast and Furious.  Two thousand automatic weapons, including over 30 .50 caliber rifles, were placed in the purported flow of illegal guns into Mexico to ostensibly discover the identify of traffickers.  The guns promptly disappeared and popped up in such widespread places as Mexican drug-related executions and the personal gun collection of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as well as one being the murder weapon of an American Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.  Simultaneously, the US State Department was negotiating an unmentioned “Small Arms Treaty” at the UN that supposedly would replace the 2nd Amendment when ratified by the US Senate and signed by President Obama.

When Fast and Furious became public, the DOJ refused to give Congress, or anyone else, any information.  The Attorney General was exceptionally arrogant (shades of Strzok, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and McCabe, et al of recent vintage) and was found in Contempt of Congress.  The UN “Treaty” ploy was abandoned and since then guns from this ATF debacle continue popping up in both US and Mexican crime scenes.

4.) When I worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington in the 1990’s I saw the same arrogance and hubris emerge in top managers.  They began to feel the power at their fingertips and what it could do for themselves.  Contempt for hunters, ranchers, loggers, shepherds, private property rights, animal ownership, and renewable natural resource management was what the environmental laws had become.  Successful bureaucrats were those that saw themselves as accumulating power and the financial rewards and gravitas it created.  By the mid 1990’s USFWS appointees and top bureaucrats were placing beholden women and minorities in top management positions as endangered species came to the forefront and the entire concept of managing wildlife for people became bureaucrats managing people and their rights for wildlife.

This led to Budget Requests to Congress to introduce wolves into the Upper Rocky Mountains and to open an unnecessary new office in California to seal a close alliance with radical environmental and animal rights’ organizations.  When Congress refused to authorize or fund either;  USFWS simply “diverted” (either “took” or “stole” is more accurate) $45M to $60M from the Excise Taxes that by law could only go to state wildlife agencies and then surreptitiously captured and imported Canadian wolves, released them into the Upper Rockies, opened the California office, and gave the leftover funds to USFWS managers in bonus packages.

When this theft was documented in a General Accounting Office Audit and presented to the House Resources Committee, the Director was absent at the Hearing she was requested to attend.  When she and her underlings finally testified, the arrogance and contempt for American law and the American electorate was a copy of that noted in 1, 2, and 3 above examples.  Any prosecution or reprimand or accountability for the perps was lost in the approaching Presidential election. Any deterrence for other bureaucrats about ever losing a bonus or retirement for any transgression was not only foregone; the opposite or “we are untouchable” was the message sent to the “Lerners”, “Comeys” and “Holders” of the “Deep State”.

Recommendation

Each of these examples has 2 things in common:

  1. Excessive central government power in the hands of unelected political appointees and bureaucrats.
  2. Legal backing by elected central government politicians to enact and federal laws that implement political agendas disguised as “feel-good” goals such as “saving” species and wilderness, gun control, tax “fairness”, and fighting terrorism.

There is an approaching federal mid-term election coming upon us.  Some forecast the House and Senate ceding the majority to the other Party, while some forecast the opposite.  The majority Party is apparently shedding the bloc of politicians that fight the President and his proposals at every turn and the minority Party is putting forth a radical-socialism, mix based on Venezuela and Cuban governance.  It will be a tumultuous election with no guarantees.  That tumult is what has created an opportunity.

The harms and damage of the Endangered Species Act (and the Wilderness Act, FISA, and similar federal overreaches for “feel-good” purposes) can be greatly, if not entirely reduced by telling your federal politicians running for office and the incumbents that you want to amend the ESA.  Tell them you are concerned about having an environment as hospitable to truly endangered plants and animals AS CAN BE ENCOURAGED IN THE SETTLED LANDSCAPES OF THE LOWER 48 STATES WHERE YOU LIVE, WORK AND RAISE YOUR FAMILIES AND THIS DEPENDS ON LOCAL SUPPORT!

Then tell them “the problem has been and remains that there is no responsibility or accountability for the success or failure of these programs in either federal politicians that support the programs or the federal bureaucrats that administer them”.

Therefore, you want to amend the ESA to require that as of the following fiscal year, all endangered species actions other than listing must have the written concurrence of the Governor of the state in which any action shall be proposed to take place.  Such permission by the Governor should be a signed agreement for each species and include the end-point, funding to be available annually, compensation for likely negative impacts like cattle, sheep and big game losses and human and property losses due to  government actions or lack thereof.  Tell them if they won’t support this, you either won’t vote for them or you will vote for the other guy.  AMEND THE ESA is the sign you should put along the road for the local paper to run.

Do not be fooled by offers to “return management of this or that species to the state”: such “offers” disguise the precedent that what the feds “give” they can later take away under a future political situation.  Don’t be fooled by legislative proposals promising more “transparency” or “participation”: such things are meaningless smoke and mirrors.  Nothing, short of taking primary authority and jurisdiction for all non-treaty wildlife and plants from federal control and placing it back at the lowest (and therefore most responsive to people) level of government will work.  Two hundred years of American life proved no less.

I could go on, but your time is limited.  Suffice it to say that the Governor (include the state legislature if you will) is an official actually close to the impacts of such federal action and he (they in the case of the Legislature) can be recalled or voted out of office when things go south: that is not true with either federal politicians or bureaucrats when sheep are killed by “GI” (Government Issue) grizzlies or elk/moose hunting is destroyed by “GI” wolves.  Governors and state legislatures are more responsible and responsive than any federal politician or bureaucrat in nearly every state.

If you think this too hard to do, just picture Strzok or Comey smirking at the camera, or Holder defending the indefensible, or the discredited Koskinen explaining how the “computer ate my homework”.  Then think about your kids and grandkids in ten or 15 years when a President Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are telling Secretary of the Interior Cameron Diaz to let those fires burn over onto private property and get rid of those ranchers, farmers and sheep herders so we can consolidate and expand federal land ownership.  If they still have the authority over these unjust federal laws solely in their hands without any check or balance, it can happen in a New York nanosecond, with or without Congress.

Either we get this under control soon or we can just say goodbye to the American experience.

Jim Beers

25 July 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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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Bye, Bye Partner

By Jim Beers:

See the article below regarding one more intended but denied future casualty of the war on hunting – hunting dog breeds

In the USA –

  • As more predators are introduced and protected from any management;
  • As more hunting license revenue & Excise Taxes & and state wildlife agency’s manpower are diverted to non-game and predator babysitting, propagandizing and cover-ups;
  • As wildlife management for people is supplanted by wildlife worship laws, and displacement of human activity and rights for animals is prioritized over humans;
  • As Universities, bureaucrats, politicians and the nouveau “scientists” of “overseeing” natural processes without intervention in our environment reap the rewards of catering to those false ideas:

“public hunting” will decline.

Game management is no longer understood or practiced by government bureaucracies founded to do so.  What game will be left on the “public lands” will continue to decline, government controls of public lands will continue to grow, private property will be either controlled by government ideologues through new laws and easements or will be used so intensively that game sightings will become like Ivory-billed woodpecker “sightings” (only fodder for bureaucracies to get more money and hire more people).  When combined with the ferocity of anti-gun political movements and the propagandizing of children in the public schools on these matters things do not bode well for the optimistic view that the numbers of hunters and the availability, indeed the very existence, of game birds (and big game for that matter) will continue to underpin dog breeds and all that creates thanks to “public hunting”  in the USA.

The English, as so often in past, have solved such dilemmas by leaving them to only the rich landowners and their patrician class.  This has been the case for centuries for both hunting and fishing in the British Isles.  In one very real sense, they are at least honest about it.  In the past 50 years in the US we have allowed liars, animal worship ideologues, politicians, bureaucrats, school teachers, socialists, vote-hungry conservatives and urban dreamers to conduct an offensive against hunting and animal management for human benefit that rivals the breadth and diversity of the offensive by the Allies against The Third Reich.  Yet we look the other way and avoid argument or any meaningful challenge to what is happening.

As we compromise and compromise public hunting and game on public land decline.  As the demand for game dogs in the US eventually declines, dog breeds and breeders will decline as the author notes in Britain.  Whether game farms and paid-for hunting can generate enough demand to make a difference is, in my opinion, not likely.  Either such breeds will disappear or be bred into fine-boned “beauties” like Irish setters have become or into some sort of “scientific” breed that doesn’t shed, doesn’t bark, licks the kids, is content in a condo, and is considered beautiful by vegans and others opposed to the old practice of “owning” any animal.

I want to thank Mr. Tom Keer for this informative article highlighting one more casualty of environmental/animal rights agendas, and to Sporting Classics Daily for making it available.

Jim Beers

23 July 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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“Are Those BLACK DUCKS IN Those Trees?” “No, those are Cormorants.”

By Jim Beers

Recently, a colleague (XXX) in Finland sent me and several North American associates the following email about wolves Europe.

From: XXX
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 11:36 PM
To: Jim Beers

Subject: RE: France to let wolf population grow by 40% despite anger from farmers | World news | The Guardian

I bet they mean an annual growth of 40 %!!

 We are facing the same problems with wolves as we have seen with the Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) here in Europe. In 2009 we had approx. 2,000 breeding pairs in Finland and our authorities agreed, that’s enough. Now the population is up to 50,000 breeding pairs and recently we were allowed to shoot 50!!

 These birds were originally brought to Europe from China where they are used for fishing. Its name Sinensis means “from China”. Although it is an invasive species it is strictly protected all over Europe and thus allowed to terrorize the nature. I attach two photos giving a picture of their impact on the once so beautiful archipelagos of Stockholm (Sweden) and South-West Finland.

 Enjoy the nature now, tomorrow it is too late.

XXX

My response:

XXX, my good friend,

 If we were kids I would think you were copying my homework.  Knowing you has made me aware of how Finland and United States’ STATES (our federal government is more like Brussels) are alike.

 Speaking of cormorants:

Back in the 1970’s; when anytime someone in Washington said “this is environmental” the politicians rolled over on their backs, peed in the air and bellowed like a buffalo, while all the bureaucrats wagged their tails and ran over to the enviro lobbyists and begged for “treats”, i.e. money; the US Fish and Wildlife Service did everything they could in those days to ingratiate themselves with the emerging radical organizations since “hunting and fishing will soon be outlawed and where will our salaries come from?” was their belief.

Earlier, in 1917, the US federal government seized absolute legal jurisdiction and authority over 217 “migratory” bird species from State governments.  They did this by signing a treaty with Canada and Britain.  (When the President signs such a treaty after the US Senate ratifies it, it becomes “the Law of the land” per our Constitution.)

Certain birds like pelicans, hawks and owls were purposely excluded from the treaty as were cormorants.  The reasons cormorants were excluded were that they ate lots of young sport and commercial fish so the sport fishermen, the commercial fishermen and the general public saw those fish as important food sources since we were fighting in WW I at the time.  That meant that the individual states kept exclusive legal authority and jurisdiction over cormorants.  Thus wherever cormorants were raiding fish hatcheries; or depressing certain sport or commercial fisheries mainly by killing the young or the food of the desired fish; or killing trees cormorants roosted in by crapping in the trees and making the ground acidic beneath (as I am sure you know, cormorant crap rivals heron crap as extremely powerful where concentrated like gull or heron rookeries, islands, etc.; or where they were exterminating fish like goldfish in ponds or otherwise creating a mess (cormorant crap on the sides of buildings makes even the hardest radical wrinkle up their nose, wonder about disease and generally look the other way these days when told the cormorants will be live-trapped gently and driven in new SUVs to a location in “the wilderness” where they will be released together to begin life in their new and “natural ecosystem” (in other words killed and buried secretly by bureaucrats fearful for their pensions); etc., etc.  Today, cormorant concentrations and seal concentrations assemble at the mouths of big salmon rivers and work together.  The seals kill adult fish entering the rivers from the sea to spawn and the cormorants eat the young fish migrating to the sea. Government “experts” and radicals bamboozle the public with all sorts of Rube Goldberg ineffective and expensive schemes like “range riders” and “guard dogs” for wolves that are similarly intended only as placebos for tinker belles.

Anyway, cormorants were kept at tolerable levels for 50 years after the 1917 Treaty under a wide variety of State controls and management regimes.  Fishermen, hatchery folks, and an assortment of rural folks that had been at one time or another harmed by or were aware of the problems created by the presence of too many cormorants, such as picnic area customers that could no longer use the picnic area, insisted what the STATE government HAD to do because their State and Local residents demanded it.  Unlike Washington’ or Brussels’ politicians that act as if seemingly immune to local demands and concerns the voters that the State politicians answered to could actually vote them out and replace them. Thus cormorants could be killed year-around in some states by hatchery or fish farm operators or killed under easily obtained permits in others and violations of these various laws, like locals shooting out a roost in some high-concentration area, were “lightly” enforced something like an Indian that kills a wolf today. (This latter happened recently here where I live in Minnesota.)

Everyone was happy with that 1917-1972 cormorant situation except the federal bureaucrats that wanted MORE power, employees, salaries and higher pensions; AND politicians like Presidents Nixon (tangled up in “Watergate”) and his successor Ford that wanted to be elected President when running against soon-to-be President Carter in.  On the heels of the Vietnam War in the early 1970’s radicals of all sorts and especially environmental/animal rights’ radicals were seen to have a rich potential for political donors and voters. Nixon and Ford and a bevy of Senators and Congressmen began passing an orgy of new federal laws seizing State natural resource jurisdictions and authority by the bushel.  It was as if we were in a war and everything was an “emergency.  Suddenly, in the 1970s, the federal government was the sole dictatorial arbiter and “owner” under the new laws of “endangered species”; “clean water”; estuarine areas”; “animal welfare”; “American ‘antiquities’”; marine mammals in state waters; “fish and wildlife improvement”; and “free-roaming horses and burros”.  Wilderness Declarations by Presidents became as common as passing out “freedom medals”.  National Forests and National Wildlife Refuges began evolving into (“National”) Parks where there were no roads, no hunting, no fishing, no trapping, no logging and less and less grazing.  It was in this lemming-like national enthusiasm that the radicals and bureaucrats saw and seized another opportunity.

At this time, the radicals wanted, and were given federal control of hawks, owls, pelicans AND CORMORANTS, or all the migratory birds not listed on the 1917 Treaty.  This was done by the US signing Migratory Bird Treaties with Japan and Russia in 1972.  The public perception was that this was just another federal “rescue” of “unprotected” wildlife that was headed to eventual extinction and the ONLY hope for them was federal control and legal punishment for the vile people killing them and a body of regulations that forbid any management and allowed the beautiful and “important” cormorants to live peaceful existences as they did up until European immigrants arrived to destroy the ecosystem.  One government announcement even characterized it as “Environmental Detante”. There was hoopla about how cormorants would “balance” the ecosystem and benefit native fish (“fisheries” were unmentioned).  It was just like the “restoring the willows along streams”; “they only eat the sick (or mice and small rodents when a different crowd appears) and the lame” nonsense today about wolves.

So, our cormorants became much more numerous like yours under Brussels and censuses were minimized and mostly lies soon thereafter, but who could deny the censuses?  Again, just like wolves today.  Government fish hatcheries came up with all sorts of “non-lethal” cormorant controls like nets, firecrackers and exploders that never worked for long but anyway the hatcheries and thefisheries they supported were being steadily reduced anyway as fishing became unacceptable and spending fish dollars on the new “environmental” programs was easier for government bureaucrats that justifying the New Wave stuff.

Many of our big Midwestern rivers hosted growing cormorant roosts that became ubiquitous coincidentally as Asian carp were imported by American catfish farmers using them to keep their ponds clean.  The federal government had allowed importation of the Asian carp while simultaneously charged with denying importation of “Injurious” Wildlife like boa constrictors, pythons, snakeheads – each of which have become established as I write – looked the other way as the carp were imported.  Almost immediately, the catfish ponds flooded (imagine that in low-lying water areas where ponds used stream water and flooding was routine) and the Asian carp escaped and simply eliminated fish life and aquatic vegetation everywhere. The Illinois River in my home state of Illinois was once a great waterfowl wintering area with lots of aquatic plant food and nearby fields for enormous wintering flocks of ducks.  Today, the Asian carp have eradicated all those waterfowl food plants AND all the sport fish like bass, bluegills, catfish and bullheads.  The last estimate I saw, Asian carp made up 95% of the fish biomass in the River.  Millions and millions are spent in Chicago in a vain attempt to keep the Asian carp in the Illinois River/Chicago River drainage from breaching an electric weir that they hope will forever keep Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan and eventually all the Great Lakes.  What role did the growing cormorant populations play in the demise of sport and commercial fisheries?  No one knows or investigates, or honestly could be expected to tell the truth about it.  This is only one small example of what is going on.

Anyway, by the 1990’s when I was expelled from the federal government, cormorants were seriously affecting fisheries in the Great Lakes and many US rivers, especially in the Eastern 2/3’s of the Lower 48 States.  The federal tinker belles had no idea what to do but they wanted to appear to be doing something.  I attended one silly meeting where this came up painted a pretty big cormorant impact on Great Lakes sport fisheries.  One of the New Wave young ladies asked, “why don’t we just open a hunting season on them?”  As if hunters would line up to shoot and buy licenses, equipment and ammunition for an inedible and smelly bird that you had to use or be in violation of the law for “wanton waste”. She, like her cohort, believed that some hunting (wasn’t “hunting” responsible for the extinction of buffalo, passenger pigeons, dodoes, grizzly bears and wolves???) would miraculously put cormorants into a tailspin toward extinction that could be cut off when it got too near, by federal bureaucrats?  I remember sitting there thinking about the duck hunts I had been on and all the decoys (I have a nice collection) I used.  I imagined a cormorant decoy with its face upturned; another with a big lump in its throat; another beginning a dive; yet another with the tail of a big perch sticking out his bill; and perhaps two cormorants (actually one decoy) that appear to be fighting over a young walleye.  It would have looked like about a thousand mallards feeding on a pile of bait like corn or buckwheat!    The mind boggles at the unreality of these government wildlife programs today.  Our State agencies have become little more that federal subcontractors in all this.

So XXX, we have more in common then we knew.  None of this is going to get any better without drastic change and without a more knowledgeable public and a rejection of this mad notion that the people in Brussels or New York or Berlin or Los Angeles can force the sheepherder in Italy or the hunter in Finland or the rancher in Idaho or the camper in Montana or the dog owner in Wisconsin to live with animals they do not want and that cause them harm and financial loss be they wolves or cormorants.

Jim Beers

Wed. 11 July 2018

————————————————————

Addendum

On the following day, an American colleague who was copied on my response wrote me to tell of a Wisconsin Lake he fishes.  As the federal cormorants increased, the perch fishing declined and all but disappeared (just like Minnesota moose as federal wolves increased in Minnesota).  After several years of complaining to their state agency and the state agency running out of excuses, the state bureaucrats began “oiling” (i.e. killing the chicks) of cormorants in large but untold numbers.  The cormorants declined and the perch returned in a very understandable and predictable fashion.

He also mentioned a Lake on the Upper Peninsula on Michigan where a friend of his reported the demise of a large and popular perch fishery, clearly as a result of cormorants; the same as the wolf explosion on Isle Royale in Lake Superior preceded the collapse of the moose on Isle Royale.

I mention this because it occurs to me that many might wonder why the State agency is the one getting the complaints and resolving, in a patchwork way, a federally-generated problem caused by birds under federal primary authority.  The answer may be of interest.

Historically, since 1917, when the US government actions or inactions (Asian carp; pythons; boa constrictors; snakeheads; wolves; grizzlies; black bears in the South; sea otters & abalone, clam mussel fisheries; manatees and boats; cormorants; etc.) involving fish and wildlife run into scandals or bad publicity, they do one or more things:

  1. They cover up the facts like they do about the insane “Florida Panther” “Recovery”.
  2. They mumble about “compensation” for things they caused but somehow money is never available for, or only much less is available just for long enough for opposition to fade away.
  3. They deny the truth just like the FBI has been doing for a year about their political investigations at this writing.
  4. They figure out a way to get more money and people to “solve” the self-inflicted wound.
  5. They pay some academic to publish a paper about how a disaster like the loss of the largest elk herd in the US to government wolves was worth it because “willows have been restored along streams” and rodent populations (the only thing wolves reputedly eat besides sick and dying animals) benefit from more food and their increased tunnels aerate the soil and benefit earthworms, etc.
  6. They grind out endless blather about “native” ecosystems as the ONLY ecosystem to have and how things like wolves, cormorants or grizzlies are absolutely necessary if we are to have any hope of passing on an “ecosystem” to future generations.  Then they stress that, “this is the government speaking; this is the ‘New Normal’ and you better get used to it”.
  7. Failing all of the above, they instruct the always-compliant State agencies to accept the “Return of Management to the State”.  This one never fails.  Think wolves here.  When wolves are introduced by the federal government and protected by the federal government they cause massive problems.  A few states like California, Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota (States that have never encountered a federal program they didn’t love) welcome and protect the wolves much to the pleasure of their elite political power centers like L.A., Portland, Seattle and the Twin Cities.  When the federal wolf numbers become all but intolerable the “offer” of Returning Management to the State is as enthusiastically celebrated by the public as V-E Day or V-J Day.  Now with that said, note the following.  The “Return” comes with “strings about numbers, distributions, growth, methods of control, etc., plus THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT with all its implied power for bureaucrats REMAINS IN PLACE!  What Trump or Zinke DO; Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders; Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi can UNDO even quicker with a lock-step Congress.  The federal government can seize control of the “Returned” wolves or the Southern Black Bears in a New York nanosecond as long as the ESA as written remains in place.

So, quietly, the federal government “Returned Management of Cormorants” to State governments UNDER FEDERAL OVERSIGHT since the cormorant is named in those two (Russian and Japanese) Bird Treaties.  The State discretion is kept in line with the minimum the federal government thinks it can get away with when perch fishermen complain in Wisconsin or a hatchery loses thousands of dollars and fish to cormorants that figured out how to get under the nets unnoticed.

One last item for your edification.  These federal “Returns” of fish and wildlife are not only temporary placeboes over time – they cost money, lots of money.  State Wardens spending most of their time and office support and equipment responding to complaints, damage, hand-holding, commiseration, etc. for cormorants, wolves, snakeheads, black bears, pythons, etc. costs millions per year.  Supervisors, main offices and administrative staffs all divert their time to “the New Normal”.  Where does the time and money come from?  The State may make some Appropriation gesture or get some federal dollars initially and everyone cheers but take my word and I know whereof I speak: the vast bulk of the costs (75 to 90%) come from the hunting and fishing license money and hunting and fishing federal Excise Taxes collected for the States.  This does TWO THINGS:

  1. It hides the costs of all this fish and wildlife babysitting justified by animal rights/”native” ecosystem” agendas that no one admits exist.
  2. And perhaps most important, it DEFUNDS the game management and fishery management programs. Bye, bye pheasants, walleyes, ducks, deer, moose, elk, etc., etc.: from now on you are only good for feeding cormorants, wolves, bears and cougars.  Bye, bye Bass Pro Shops, LL Bean Shoes, Browning Arms, US Fishing Tackle manufacturers, US Archery manufacturers, Hunting/fishing gear manufacturers, and all the taxes, jobs and rural benefits you once generated.  Hello, US Taxpayers to BIG tax increases to keep things that are but a shadow of the current State fish and wildlife agencies operating under federal “oversight” for????

Think of it, if you are a radical, as a “twofer”.

Jim Beers

13 July 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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A question of “Science”?

The following question was sent to a colleague recently”

Question: “Was the Arctic Gray Wolf EVER native to Washington State?”

————————————————

The following response to that question comes from another colleague who is coincidentally a retired University professor in Canada for whom I have the greatest respect.

The gray wolves are all one species, and the subspecies game is highly questionable. There are indications that a very few local wolves did exist in the west before the release of wolves from Alberta. I only saw one picture of a wolf in Yellowstone before the release, and it was simply a large, black wolf, no different from what I had seen in Canada. Size is not a taxonomic criterion, because wolves increase in size markedly with good nutrition and shrink in size with poor food availability. The large wolves from Alberta released in Yellowstone merely came from a good wolf habitat.”

——————————————————

Though in no way dissatisfied with that response, this old bureaucrat (me) added the following government-science perspective: 

The last political-correctness-free treatise on the Wolves of North America is oddly enough the name of the 1944 book by Stanley Young.  He was a Bureau of Biological Survey/USFWS (the modern name) trapper, control agent and finally a bigwig in Washington over the old Predator & Rodent Control Division going back to WWI and he was all over the place doing all manner of things.

In his 650-page tome full of pictures (the one of the red wolf/hound dog cross on a chain in Missouri is priceless) he treats the wolf as a species.  He pictures many coyote/dog/wolf crosses and innocently explains that they interbreed freely and the pups are all viable and completely capable of transferring their genes to either wild or domestic “cousins” for posterity.

That said I always hear echoes of that high school/college/biological historic definition of an animal Species when I am discussing Species, i.e. “animals with similar characteristics capable of interbreeding and producing viable offspring.”.  By that definition, a horse is a separate species from a donkey because the mule is not viable.  Ergo, a dog is a wolf is a coyote is a dingo, in fact all one “species”.  I mention this to provide what they call “full disclosure” of my belief. 

Mr. Young, whom I never met but have always held in high regard treats the wolf “species” Canis Lupus as having 23 “subspecies” on a map on page 414.  Each subspecies name credits some long-gone biologist as their discoverer (i.e. given the privilege of “naming” their “discovery”).  The North America map is covered exception for Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida(?) from Southern Mexico to Greenland and all the Islands between Greenland and Canada with 23 “subspecies”.  There is no “Arctic” wolf mentioned.  The closest is those wolves Canis lupus tundrarum found in the “tundra region of NW Alaska; south to the Noatak Valley.  Intergrading to the south with pambasileus, and east along the along the arctic coast with mackenzii.”

I mention all this to show how our biological perceptions have changed with scientific advancements driven in this case all too much by political opportunism and the hidden agendas of rich environmental/animal rights extremism.  This is so distorted because the government bureaucrats and radicals came up with the ESA claims and regulations that (insert any animal here) implement the Endangered Species Act.   

So, the erstwhile bureaucrat writing regulations and staging faux court cases for “precedents” finds the “Beers’ Grass Mouse”Peromyscus Beersii to be “endangered”.  As our bureaucrat toils at his computer and while at coffee he decides and shares with fellow bureaucrats that, “We are really “saving habitat” (i.e. people-free zones infinitely expanding) and not just animals, so we “must save not only:

  • The Species Beers’ Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii found throughout the Great Plains but more specifically;
  • The Subspecies Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus found in the Eastern Prairies and more specifically;
  • The Race Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris found “only” in the Eastern Woodlands/Prairie interface and more specifically;
  • The Population Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus) AND EVEN – drumroll please;
  • The Distinct Population Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus meridionalis) AND EVEN;
  • (Full band roll here) The Distinct Population Segment Larry Bird County Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass MousePeromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus meridionalis larrybbirduscountyii found “only” in Larry Bird County, Indiana! 

All such nonsense has come to mean access to billions of dollars, millions of acres of private property and unquestioned, unconstitutional and unlimited power for the central government and radicals over a once free Nation.  You see there is probably a dam or pipeline permit application somewhere in Larry Bird County, Indiana that would benefit taxpayers, the economy, rural communities, rural families and could, if anyone cared to try anymore, benefit the human ecosystem and the natural aspects of that system but it will never happen: The Critical Habitat Declaration for the Larry Bird County Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eared Grass Mouse kills the project and they are cheering in Washington Offices and on the North Shore patios of environmental radicals in Chicago.  Welcome to the world of government “science” “saving” “species”.

Val (the retired professor quoted in the first answer) hits the nail right on the head about those “large wolves from Alberta”.  Concern about the “red” or “Mexican” et al wolves is disguised in the imaginary aura of somehow involving sacred and unseen biological material and factors hidden in the Sp./Sub. Sp./Race/Pop. /Dist. Pop. /Dist. Pop. Segment. du jour.  We have sold our kids and soccer Moms that a red wolf or “Arctic” Wolf is like the rhinoceros, unique, distinct and in “need” of severe intervention by government saviors; people, property, families, rural communities, expense and Constitution be damned!

I would submit that this environmental/animal rights hysteria of the moment is, hopefully, a passing phenomenon because the subject of scientific inquiry is so distorted now that, like Diogenes with his lantern looking for an honest man; looking for an honest biologist/veterinarian today is on a par with seeking an honest bureaucrat/politician.

Jim Beers

26 June 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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George Orwell, call your office re: Wolves

The attached news report of a presentation touting the re-introduction of wolves in Colorado is so egregious, we debated even placing it on the Wolf Education International website.  Upon further examination, it was thought to be so misleading and so full of disinformation that it might serve as a useful example of how the public is manipulated and government mislead by radical and extremist views and funding.

What follows are 10 quotes (90%?) from the news report with a short comment about each.  Upon your examination, please consider them in total and you have a composite of what wildlife management as a tool of radical government has come to….  Jim Beers

The news report:

https://www.csindy.com/TheWire/archives/2018/06/18/rocky-mountain-wolf-project-calls-for-animal-reintroduction-amid-pushback

Comments:

1). “Though native, wolves have not roamed Colorado since the 1940s, when unregulated hunting pushed populations to the brink of extinction.” 

  • Comment:  Wolves were not pushed “to the brink of extinction” by “unregulated hunting”.  They were hunted; chased by possees on horseback; trapped; poisoned; snared; and otherwise “controlled” by ranchers, bounty hunters, federal trappers and state trappers with the express goal of exterminating them for a period of almost 100 years.  This is just as they were exterminated in the British Isles, in fact, Irish Wolfhounds were bred expressly to hunt and kill remaining wolves in Ireland. Europeans were engaged in similar programs as recorded in writing since the time of Plato and Cicero.

2). “The animals are still listed as endangered in Colorado.”

  • Comment:  That is a Listing strictly by the state of Colorado.  It implies no responsibility or intention to re-introduce them in Colorado.  Wolves are not present in New York or New Hampshire, yet those states “list” them as “endangered” and only extremists call for their restoration.  This is true of many other states that “list” animals that they have no intention of restoring like cougars and grizzly bears that are especially dangerous to human safety and health as well as destructive of dogs and other pets.

3). “Though seemingly unable to shed the stereotype of the “Big Bad Wolf,” statistically, wolves do not kill people.”

  • Comment: First, this a senseless sentence.  What does “statistically, wolves do not kill people” mean?  Wolves have killed people by the thousands down through the ages.  It is documented in writings and the limited reportage since Roman Times.  It is mentioned in the Middle Ages and in recent times.  It is mentioned circumpolar in Russia, Siberia, Europe and North America.  Read Wolves of North America by Stanley Young.  Read Will Graves’ Wolves in Russia. The fact that the press and governments that introduce wolves for which they recognize no responsibility kill people (recently, like Kenton Carnegie in Saskatchewan, the school teacher on the Alaskan Peninsula, the two ladies in Craters of the Moon in Idaho, the vacationing lady in N Wisconsin and all the annual deaths and disfigurements in Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Siberia etc.) is the only basis for and belie this specious claim worded like a child’s bad English grammar homework. 

4). “[Historically] wolves don’t pose a threat to human safety,” Phillips told the audience, throwing his hands up emphatically. “That’s just a fact.”

  • Comment:  Repeating a lie (when spoken by an “expert as purported in the Introduction it is a lie); when spoken by someone that does not know better it is either misinformation or propaganda spoken for a host of reasons.

5). “But just three weeks prior to Phillips’ presentation, Mesa County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to oppose any efforts to expand or reintroduce wolves in the county, citing threats to moose populations and livestock, and the spread of disease. Phillips says it’s rare for a wolf to kill livestock, and if/when it does the wolf is older, or injured, and it’s not normal pack behavior.”

  • Comment:  I. Ask yourself, “who is Mr. Phillips or for that matter his coterie of national environmental extremists financing his campaigns, to ignore the opposition of the people of Mesa County opposing any wolf reintroduction”?  If the people of a County and their elected representatives oppose such action, the intentions of those in other Counties or states for that matter should respect those legitimate wishes.

II It is as rare for wolves to kill livestock as for foxes to kill mice.  They must eat and livestock has always been a good meal, far more vulnerable to capture than swift wild animals.  They kill as much livestock as they want and can get away with.  They even kill many domestic animals at a time for “fun” as in the hundred + sheep driven off a cliff recently in Idaho.

III. Wolves are no more “normal” than coyotes or the family pet when hungry or excited or just plain “wild” as when Fido runs off with a pack of dogs to harass and kill domestic animals until stopped. “Normal” means “expected”, not “only”.

6). “Between 1997 and 2015, Phillips says 117 cattle were killed by wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. That’s 0.002 percent of an estimated six million cattle during that time. He also notes that ranchers are compensated for their loss when it does happen. The 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Management Act authorized up to $140,000 per eligible state from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for wolf loss compensation and preventing future conflicts. The Act replaced Defenders of Wildlife‘s Wolf Compensation Trust, which paid $1.4 million over 23 years to compensate ranchers. Defenders of Wildlife, which works to protect native animals and their habitats, contributes funds to help states initiate wolf compensation programs. In lieu of the Wolf Compensation Trust, Defender’s created the Wolf Coexistence Partnership, which works with ranchers on nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock.”

Comment:  The Defenders of Wildlife illegitimately “administered” this public relations scheme for the US Fish and Wildlife (whose Director at the time went on to be the top person in Defenders of Wildlife after resigning when the Political Party of the President changed.  Less than 10 % of the claims were even recognized due to the lateness of investigation and the anti-livestock orientation of the DoW investigators.  Ask ranchers in Montana and Idaho about this natural resource Ponzi Scheme that was only meant to spread wolves by protecting them.  “Nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock” are another chimera intended to delay wolf management to make ranching less profitable and vulnerable to buyouts like the current American Prairie Restoration land scheme in central Montana.  There is no evidence that nonlethal control techniques (Fladry, range riders, aversion agents, dogs, exploders, sheds, etc.) are not temporary at best and often quite expensive and impractical. Look no further than your pet dog and imagine some deterrent that, while he is unrestrained, he does not figure out when hungry or when he really wants something beyond it.

7). “As for the threat to the moose population and of disease, Phillips says wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size, and disease is also rare.”

  • Comment:  I. This may be the biggest lie in this presentation.  Wolves all but wiped out moose in Yellowstone in 10 years.  Wolves so decimated the Minnesota moose herd that moose hunting was abandoned about six years ago and will likely never be resumed.  Wolves decimated the moose population on Isle Royale, a large island in Lake Superior.  Wolves decimated the moose herd in E Washington.  Wolves kill moose in Finland and will decimate herds in 5 to 10 years if not controlled.  Alaskan periodic wolf control from planes and on the ground is done mostly for moose and the moose rebounds after a significant number of wolves are taken.
  1. As to “wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size”: it is precisely because of their size and vulnerability, especially in timber, that wolves zero in on moose.  All moose from unborn calves torn from the still living mother to cow moose and bulls are preferred prey. Moose give birth in certain habitat covers that wolves learn to frequent.  Moose caught by several wolves in timber are vulnerable to being hamstrung as the wolves feint in and out and the animal can neither flee nor defend itself.
  • Comment:   How misleading is it for an “expert” to say a state-authorized wolf management program forced on a State by the federal government to maintain so many wolves in such and such area is something wherein “wolves are considered predatory and can be killed without consequence”?   It also tells the reader a lot that, “Although Colorado Parks and Wildlife wouldn’t stop a natural repopulation” because this state agency is trying to please their pro-wolf urban constituency they aren’t opposed to wolves while telling their rural constituency that they won’t force wolves on them.  This has become a national phenomenon during the recent rise in federal power and money resulting in many, what are often called, state agencies that try to canoe down a river with each foot in a different canoe.  Mesa County and western Colorado need support, not platitudes.

9). “A recent Outside Podcast questions the theory of how reintroduction of top-down predators can create a trickle effect on an ecosystem, and how much credit wolf reintroduction should get for the health of the Yellowstone ecosystem over the last 20 years. According to Outside, the benefits of wolves are exaggerated, not giving enough credit to increases in other predators like grizzlies, or the effects of drought, which also contribute to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands, according to Outside.)”

  • Comment:  I. “Trickle effect” like the following “trophic cascade” are simply words that say nothing but are intended to assuage the consciences of those that might be hesitant to importune their rural neighbors with something that harms them and their families.  They are terms denoting “change” as in the weather changes.
    Health of the ecosystem” fits into the same category.  You either have the “up and down” chaos of a “natural” or “untouched” ((meaning NO people) ecosystem or you have the managed ecosystem of a settled and human-inhabited landscape wherein the interface between humans and “the ecosystem” is managed to be beneficial to humans and wildlife or not beneficial to either.  In our Constitutional Republic, the people should have the final say about the ecosystem THEY live in.
  • II.  As to contributing to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands)”.  If all these “Johnny Come Lately” claims of wolf benefits (willows along the stream, native plants, etc.) were legitimate, why didn’t federal Yellowstone Rangers, for instance, “thin the herds of elk and buffalo” for decades and decades?  Why were hunter’s bag limits not increased by state agencies?  Where were all these “(willows along the stream, native plants, etc.)” advocates for years? Ask yourself, where are they now?

10). “But Phillips and his colleagues counter that wolves, over time, can restore balance to an ecosystem if they exist in large enough numbers. In the Yellowstone example, multiple pack reintroduction thinned deer and elk herds and increased herd movement. That movement not only aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands, but also increases competition between coyotes and wolves, and decreases predation on smaller mammals. This is all in line with the idea of Trophic Cascade, and the trickle-down affects everything down to waterways and aquatic life.”

  • Comment:  What is “balance”?  There are times and places where plant thinning or reductions are desired for renewal or fire fuel reduction.  What in the Good Lord’s name is the “decreases predation on smaller mammals” all about?  Should we consider reducing fox populations or hawks and owls?  My silliness here pales in comparison to the absurdity of such claims.  Ditto for ”aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands”.

11) “Western Colorado represents a true mother-load of ecological habitat for the gray wolf,” he says. “All we have to do is put them back.”

  • Comment:  A cute closing quip for a flawed proposal and philosophy.

Jim Beers

24 June 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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Advice to a Professor Wanting a Meet and Great Before Making Wolf Documentary

*Editor’s Note* – With the permission of the author, I redacted some elements of the original email for obvious reasons. Knowing the names of some involved does nothing to alter the message in the advice given. The focus and intent of this publication is a delivery of the important message. 

As a preamble to the content of the written work of Jim Beers, let me set the stage as best I can. A university professor contacted an editor of a Western ranch magazine seeking advice as to whom he should contact before making a movie about wolves. According to the original email, this professor, along with a group of university students, intend to travel to Wyoming and Colorado to “explore the question of whether wolves should be allowed to re-populate wild areas in Colorado.”

In asking who they should talk with before making the film, James Beers offered the below advice. This advice has already been told to me that it should be “required reading for every Wildlife Management Student” as well as hunters.

Dear Professor XXXXXXXX,

I see that you are from a Jesuit school named after the great Jesuit _______________.  I further see that your Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation program is ten years old and that you are evidently quite honestly enough concerned about this modern Gordian Knot of American wildlife that you asked [Western ranch magazine’s editor] for both her advice and perhaps her presence to be interviewed by you and your students.

You cannot know how refreshing and hopeful your simple request may be to millions of Rural Americans either affected by or familiar with the wolf phenomenon of the past 40 years.

First of all a word about who is writing this.  I am a retired US Fish and Wildlife Service employee.  I can send you a resume but the simple ‘Bio” I put after most things I write is posted after these remarks.  I am a graduate of a Benedictine High School where, 60 years ago, the excellent teacher/monks communicated their misgivings that I still hold about Jesuit schools, although my son is a graduate of Wheeling (WV) Jesuit University.  I spent my first year of college in the late 1950’s at DePaul University where I learned a good deal about philosophy.  Today, I have a low opinion of DePaul that has, like Georgetown, become a hotbed of animal rights jurisprudence.

Why, you must be thinking, would someone like me be enthusiastic about a professor and some students from a modest Eastern (where the federal and state bureaucracies have not taken up the rural cudgel of wolves with all its hidden agendas as they have done in the rest of the Nation, HHHMMM) College are taking a summer field trip in 2018 to investigate, study and integrate the American wolf experience into their lives and the school’s academic life.  Quite simply, you bring “fresh eyes”, not to a biological issue but to a political/social issue that is even more basically an ethics issue.  You are like St. Peter Canisius journeying from Holland to Germany during the Reformation and after years of work there generating a Catechism that went on to evolve over 200 editions in less than 40 years.  Would that you and your students bring some resolution to this issue that so many from those affected and those wise enough to see the impacts of wolves on so many things have been unable to resolve.

My advice –

Everyone you meet or speak to, with any bona fides about wolves, will have a basic belief that is set stone.

You will meet “hunters” and “ranchers” that will appear to be pro-wolf but who upon investigation will be discovered to be politically active progressive reformers that support all manner of transformative political ends with the same sort of “think of me as neutral” approach.

You will meet both state and federal politicians that will be as duplicitous about where they “stand” and what they “believe” as they would if you were asking them about the latest budget battles or a proposed bill to place “All Waters of the USA” under federal authority.  Investigation will reveal the “golden egg” from the “Goose” of wolves to be urban votes (assuring re-elections) and lots of money from environmental/animal rights’ coffers to politicians that meet the agendas and daydreams of those unaffected by or familiar with the effects or truth about what they are creating.

You will discover that the vast majority of academics will be as enthusiastic about wolves as they are about tenure and grants that generate graduate student stipends.  Careful reading of the academic studies and pronouncements of the past 50 years about wolves and their impacts will show them to be reflections of the bureaucratic need to justify regulations, court case and Budget Requests.  They are the result of those bureaucratic needs, paid for by government funding, rather than the assumed other way around, “science” guiding concerned bureaucrats in search of wise decisions on behalf of all Americans.

You will meet many deceitful federal and state bureaucrats: I say this as a whistle-blower and “reforming” bureaucrat.  They have agendas these days as diverse as covering up autopsies of bodies taken away quickly without investigations, and spinning nonsense about a wolf attack being due to a “deformed wolf brain”, or the Minnesota moose population (so decreased by wolf predation) disappearance and moose hunting being closed (probably forever) as due to climate change and deer (coexisted for centuries) brain worm; to concern for kid’s college bills and paying for daughters weddings.  I cannot overstress the very real adverse consequences (as bad as using a forbidden word or of being accused of sexual harassment) to any government employee not being completely “in” on wolves.  Wolves allow them to decrease land values to enable government purchase or easement.  Wolves establish precedents for eroding the Constitutional concept of animals as private property thereby enabling agendas from prohibiting killing and eating them to making products of all kinds or even keeping them as watchdogs or pets.  All of these things in this short and incomplete list are grist for more government land control and more people control but most importantly more bureaucracy with higher salaries, higher retirement pensions and increased status both professionally and within various communities.

Lastly, you will meet very radical (the correct word) ideologues that work for and volunteer with a plethora of “environmental” and animal rights NGO’s (non-government organizations).  I have a long lifetime of experience with such groups and their treachery (again the right word).  I am reminded at this point of what my Irish grandmother that raised me during WWII told me while Dad was driving a tank in Africa and Europe; “Jim, if you can’t say anything good about someone; don’t say anything at all.”

Think of what you are about to do as interviewing people going to and from a Planned Parenthood Clinic and interviewing people in a Church parking lot after a 9:30 Mass on Sunday morning about abortion.  Others without the basic belief and experience are a “general public” whose thoughts and ideas are little more than indications of how any future vote is likely to come out.  So what to do?

I would hope you see your opportunity to collect your data, impressions, facts and references as you travel about and meet who you will.  Then go back to Buffalo, sort it out, and discuss it.

Then assign some students to investigate and document the abundance of wolf history from the Greeks and Romans to modern day Siberia, Russia and Kazakhstan. Look into why wolfhounds were invented and what they did.  Look into metal dog collars and spike dog collars so popular in Medieval England and why walkers always walked between villages with dogs and why Dalmatians often accompanied carriages.  Read about America settlers from Colonial times in isolated cabins to the spread of smallpox in Plains’ Indian Villages to the problem of rabid wolves invading US Forts.  Read Will Graves’ Wolves of Russia especially about a Russian sawyer bitten by a rabid wolf WHILE RUNNING THE CHAINSAW.

Look into the 30 + diseases and infections carried and spread by wolves.  Be honest about wolves frequenting farmyards at night and tapeworms and be honest about the danger wolves present if anthrax or smallpox (both in current bio-weapon inventories) is released or if foot-and-mouth or Mad Cow Disease outbreaks occur.  Note the absence of any veterinarians willing to say anything or to be quoted as someone says, “what does he know, he’s not a veterinarian!”

Draw a picture of the “costs” (government, social, and business-wise) of introducing and protecting wolves from the millions stolen by federal bureaucrats from state fish and wildlife funds to introduce them back into Yellowstone to all the salaries, admin support, equipment, office space, grants, legal support, enforcement support, public “information”, meetings, travel, etc. spent and being spent at the state and federal level to concoct and enlarge the wolf debacle for 40+ years.  Take a shot at the costs that lie ahead.  Debate how we are to live without control of wolf numbers and how we will do it when things get intolerable

Calculate the costs to rural communities losing animal husbandry, hunting, camping and associated funds from guiding and locker plants to taxidermy and businesses from hardware to restaurants and motels as a result of wolves.  Do not be bamboozled about “eco-tourism” and “biking/hiking” et al.  That tourism is a chimera and the first time a wolf runs down a biker (like a dog chasing a bicyclist or a wolf engaging some lady with a leashed dog, etc) or kills a kid in a backyard all that euphoria will disappear in a New York second.

Document the truth about wolves and “species”.  If a wolf breeds with and has viable offspring with coyotes, all dogs and dingoes (given the opportunity) is it really a “species”?  How absolutely crazy is it to (as is happening as I write in NE South Dakota and more often all the time everywhere) to give government the power to “rescue” free-roaming dogs that disturb the neighborhood; allow legitimate and necessary managed control of coyotes; and simultaneously the power to “protect” a wolf when all three or many of the millions of genetic combinations their interbreeding begets look as much alike as clones?  How is it even conceivable, much less occurring, that a NE South Dakota coyote hunter may go to prison, pay a large fine, lose the right to vote and lose the right ever own a gun again BASED ON SOME DNA ANALYSIS CONDUCTED POSSIBLY BY SOME IDEOLOGUE (environmental/animal rights) ANALYST based on sketchy parameters and definitions?

Then compare things about where wolves are now, where they can be expected to be (don’t be hoodwinked about “pack animals” avoiding suburban/urban areas: undiscouraged wolves will look for food at night in a Denver suburb as quick as they will a Montana farmyard or a dumpster behind the pizza joint in the shopping center) and just how any likelihood of wolves killing a kid by a bus stop or some grandma walking out to the rural mailbox is worth whatever nonsense being peddled like “willows along the stream” (if that was important, simply allowing hunters to reduce grazing game populations would have been done but it wasn’t; so ask yourself, why?)

If you get this far, take this from the biological/political/hidden agenda realm to an Ethical perspective.  This is the tough part since our modern secular society has demolished most common moral understanding and replaced it with a “whatever floats your boat” morality: ethics is today a relative matter where your right is my wrong and vice versa but given the University approach to relativism, you might find a way to apply a common standard as to what is ethical about aspects of wolves et al.  Nevertheless, attempt to form a basis (like Peter Canisius’ did with his Catechism(?) for dialogue and debate that avoids harm and leads a way out of a worsening  situation for millions of Americans and American Wildlife.  You and this are needed more than you can imagine.

When you are in Yellowstone you might call on Mr. Bill Hoppe, a third generation Montanan from that area.  He lives near Gardiner at the N end of the Park.  I suspect his views would be a welcome relief if you have been subjected to US Park Service bureaucrats by that time.

Good Luck.

Jim Beers

12 February 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 is an advocate for a Rural American Renewal that benefits rather than ruins the culture, economy and surroundings of rural American communities and families. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Wolves and Chaos

A Talk Given at the Annual Agri-Women Conference

Bloomington, Minnesota

18 November 2017

 By

 Jim Beers

 

It is an honor to be invited to speak to you about wolves in the Lower 48 States.

Your 2005 Veritas Award hangs in my office.  This talk, that I expect will have some far-reaching national impacts, has been composed with my appreciation for that Award in mind. What I say about wolves is equally true about federal grizzly bears, spotted owls, smelt, suckers and frogs that have evolved into tools destroying Rural America in so many ways.  This is the result of a federal law, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that has created unaccountable bureaucrats and their bureaucracies that work with extremist environmental and animal rights groups to enact a multitude of hidden agendas that deeply trouble Rural America today.  It is with this in mind that I hope what I say here about wolves and the remedy I propose will be of use to not only those with wolf problems but also to those that realize the need for reform of the ESA and several other environmental and animal rights laws that are eroding rural life, rural families and rural communities throughout our country.

I assume some, if not most, of you are troubled by wolves to some degree and it is to you that I am directing my observations.

  1. History – After more than two decades of speaking and writing about wolves I have learned one sure thing.  That is that despite:

–       Wolves are ubiquitous and number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions considering the difficulty of counting them and the vastness of Asia and the tendencies of European and Lower 48 bureaucrats to manipulate unchallengeable numbers.

–       The millions of dollars stolen by federal bureaucrats, that were never even admonished, from Excise Taxes intended for state wildlife programs in order to trap, transport, introduce and protect initial wolf introductions (something that Congress had refused to authorize or fund) in the Upper Rockies.

–       The preposterous collusions between federal bureaucrats and radical NGO’s (one of which hired an agency Director as a top Manager after she had appointed them to “manage” livestock “compensation”) to create the illusion of “compensating” farmers and ranchers but not dog owners for animal property killed or maimed by wolves.

–       The impacts on sheep and cattle operations from higher costs (for protection), increased stress on agriculture families, animal losses, and lower land values as with a New Mexico rancher that could neither sell his ranch nor give into his son because of persistent wolf predation thereby making it a cheap target only for government purchase or easement.

–       The steady federal progress in claiming increasing authority over state wildlife jurisdictions that was enabled by federal exclusive ESA authority over the wolves and their interfaces with all manner of human activities from ranching and hunting, to dogs and human safety.

–       The official denials of human history with wolves from Plato to the present regarding wolf attacks and wolf impacts on humans, their property and their rural societies in general.

–       The denial of what is an increasingly common phenomenon; cross-breeding between wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs in North America and Europe.  Wolves also opportunistically breed with and produce viable offspring with dingoes and jackals.

–       The denial and cover-up of both recent human attacks by wolves and the dangers posed by over 30 deadly and debilitating diseases and infections from Rabies and Brucellosis to Foot-and-Mouth, Parvo, Distemper Mad Cow carried and spread by wolves.

–       The reduction of big game herds (Minnesota lost so many moose as wolves increased that moose hunting was suspended with no indication of ever being resumed) and the sizeable revenue losses supporting wildlife programs due to the losses of hunting opportunities and the myriad businesses they support in rural communities.

–       The losses of hunting (bear, cougar, rabbit, bird, etc.) dogs, watchdogs, pet dogs, tracking dogs and guard (livestock) dogs to wolves and the resulting further loss of hunters and the benefits (economic, social, traditional, cultural, etc.) of their hunting and things such as the availability of trained hounds for tracking problem bears, cougars and missing persons.

–       The fact that wolves are now present and spreading in over half the Lower 48 States; an area they find rich in food, space and low to non-existent human harassment; does not preclude the time when wolf densities will eventually exceed the available garbage, game and domestic animal food sources causing human attacks, livestock losses and disease problems to multiply to the annual levels sustained to great human life and property loss in Asia for centuries.

–       I could mention more such wolf impacts like diversion of millions from state wildlife managementcover-up of dollars spent, being spent and estimated to be spent both federally and state-wise on wolvescorruption of Universities and academics for grants, future academic recognition and resulting tenure for providing necessary justificationsappalling “nature” myth indoctrinations taught in schools such as the “necessity” of wolves in “the ecosystem”, the “necessity” of “restoring native wildlife”, and the “reasons” children and the elderly should not fear wolves in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States.

Despite all of the above; the “one sure thing” I learned is, no one except those being directly impacted really cares.  The politicians get votes from urban dreamers; the NGO’s get donations and subscriptions to accomplish their hidden agendas from free-roaming buffalo in agricultural areas to transferring rural private property to government land control; academic grants and tenure; and the bureaucrat raises, promotions, bonuses, and larger retirements.  It is fair to say that increasing areas of rural America and numbers of rural Americans find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place regarding wolves.

  1. Today– Wolves are present today in over half of the Lower 48 States.  There is really only one wolf but federal bureaucrats proliferate imaginary “breeds” (like dog breeds) by declaring “red” wolves in the Carolinas and “Mexican” wolves in Arizona and New Mexico over strenuous local opposition for decades.  Wolves in MN, WI and MI are now called “Great Lakes” Wolves. Wolves in the NW, though descended from wolves trapped at undisclosed locations in N Canada are simply called grey wolves.  Promised low wolf levels in “restorations” were blown through by bureaucrats and NGO’s like Bonnie and Clyde blowing through a roadblock and there is still no agreement about either “too high” or “too low” populations and distributions; tolerable methods (if any) of controlling or managing wolves; or the losses sustained or stresses endured by rural residents forced to live with wolves..

Wolves are federally “Listed” under the ESA in nearly all Lower 48 States.  Urban-controlled states like CA, IL and WA also protect them under strict state laws while rural states like UT and ND try to keep them out. Other states like MN remain quiescent explaining moose declines as due to climate change and an attack on a sleeping camper in a USFS campground as due to a wolf with a “deformed brain”.  The majority of all states with wolves publish questionable data, cover-up attacks and damages, and generally divert funds and manpower clandestinely as they attempt to navigate these political rapids with their feet in two canoes – one belonging to powerful urban political pro-wolf lobby groups; the other belonging to those rural residents putting up with one wolf outrage after another as wolves (like dogs and coyotes) learn to evade controls, expand their territories and find new food sources in the “food-rich” and “unused-to-wolves” settled landscapes of the Lower 48.  I have met rural mothers that no longer let their sons go camping or on Scout overnights where wolves have been seen or have killed dogs, especially where federal government-introduced and protected grizzlies are also now present in the Lower 48 States.

Some states like ID, MT, and WY have exerted political pressure to have “Wolf Management Returned to the State” and others like WI are pursuing similar relief as politicians play with them by offering “proposed” legislation passed in a Congressional Committee as a sign of progress or “Management Agreements” that are little more than dictates from federal overseers to be maintained and paid for by state agencies with money from wherever they can find it.  Wolf-advocate-NGO’s, bureaucrats and certain Congressional staffers then undermine it, using money and political lobby machines in Washington with varying intensity that is no more than a reflection of the Administration and Congressional temperature du jour.  But as appealing as that sounds to those dealing with wolves, “Returning Management” whether by an “Agreement” or a legislative exception is merely a placebo with no lasting effect meant only to quiet anti-wolf complaints and currently keep the wolf issue low on the radar as the complaints of the last few years die down and now as the Trump phenomenon tears at the federal establishment.

Those states “gifted” “their” wolf management by federal bureaucrats and politicians must:

–       Maintain federally-dictated levels and distributions of wolves.

–       Pay millions annually with wildlife program revenues and resources such as facilities, equipment and manpower to control, census, administer, enforce, study, defend (in court), compensate owners, justify wolves as they impact hunting, ranching, farming, rural life, rural economies, etc.

–       Publicly depend on initially high wolf “license” sales that are inadequate to begin with for managing wolves.  Over time the sales of wolf licenses decline as the combination of low harvest numbers (wolves are difficult to hunt or trap) and large numbers of license buyers that become discouraged.  This causes a fallback to looser regulations for rural people to kill wolves whenever problematic that is intolerable to federal overseers and a steady clandestine diversion of state funding from wherever it can be grabbed without complaint.

–       The costs of “managing” wolves in accord with federal mandates are truly astronomical and divert current state wildlife program efforts to degrees and cost levels hidden by state and federal bureaucrats.  Not too far into the future, a backward glance by taxpayers and (former) state wildlife program beneficiaries will expose a diminishment of wildlife funding and effort from license sale revenue declines due to increased hunter declines; a tax burden increase on state general revenues for wildlife annual and specific control demands to “compensation” claims for livestock and dogs that will be unsustainable. Increases in wildlife problems from livestock depredation increases to sustained human safety and health concerns alone will be well beyond state or federal sustained attention given the loss of hunters, trappers, trained dogs and both the usefulness and benefits from revenue and animal controls they once provided rural America

Keep in mind that these things, after the past two decades, are currently relatively quiet where wolves are expanding.  Relatively quiet federal bureaucrats are watching the hustling and dissembling state bureaucrats’ striving to please the powerful NGO’s while misleading rural Americans simultaneously.  The NGO’s are ready to pounce with lawsuits about killing too many wolves, humane law violations, poor documentation, and government land closure claims.  New laws, amendments and regulatory tweaks are always being discussed behind closed doors but there is a prevalent note of caution as the danger of overreaching in this period of political reform and turbulence calls for bureaucratic patience.

IIIThe Problem  State wildlife agencies, like their federal counterparts, are now majority employees that cannot (because they are “educated” in Universities that oppose it) “manage” wildlife or plant environments: they can and will only “save” and close an unending procession of lands and human activities as they build a Brave New World of “saving” everything in Rural America except human society.  Wildlife biologists no longer manage wildlife for human benefit just like today’s “forester” no longer manages timber for human benefit and the “range manager” no longer manages “the range” for human benefit.  Both the bureaucracies and the Universities that formerly taught these sciences have become islands of ideologues arrayed against and not with the Rural America that they intend to vacate and then claim.  Behind the carefully-designed persona of USFS, BLM, USFWS, EPA, et al lays bureaucrats with the power of Soviet Commissars and agendas that are truly dangerous to Rural America.

What applies to wolves, applies to grizzly bears, spotted owls, Delta smelt, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and a host of similar select wildlife species.  They are grist for a myriad of hidden agendas not least of which is the personal and organizational enrichment of bureaucrats; politicians; academics, environmental extremists; and allied conservation and human use organizations like those representing hunters, dog owners and animal husbandry businesses.

I will state here unequivocally that if you think you have trouble with wolves, you are mistaken.  Your basic problem is not with wolves: your basic problem is with government. Unless and until you resolve this government aspect of the wolf problems; you are doing only what Neville Chamberlain did when waving a piece of paper and saying that his meeting with “Mr. Hitler” had brought “peace in our time”. Unless and until you limit the authority being exercised by federal bureaucrats under the ESA; things with wolves and other wildlife will only get worse to degrees and in ways I hesitate to mention because of the disbelief it would engender.

If you think I exaggerate, consider how far this bureaucrat empowerment has come in the last two decades:

–       Federal bureaucrats can steal millions from state programs with no consequences.

–       Federal bureaucrats can introduce wolves despite Congressional refusal to authorize it, again with no consequences.

–       Federal bureaucrats can name and rename “species” and “populations” in ways that further extremist agendas without challenge.

–       Federal bureaucrats can “take” (with “Habitat” claims) Private Property; decimate rural economies; destroy rural communities, local governments and rural tax revenue without any responsibility.

–       Federal bureaucrats can get “secret” appropriations for clandestine operations as USFWS did over a decade ago with $14M to find a bird extinct for 70 years, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

–       Federal bureaucrat appointees head up multi-million dollar organizations when Administrations change and they resign.  It is so common and routine in today’s world of transferring retirement accounts to new jobs that the “musical chairs” between Federal, State, NGO and Academic players in these issues for full-time, part-time and after-retirement grants and positions that business card stores are keeping busy.

–       Federal bureaucrats exercise discretion such that oil companies with modest sludge pits that kill a few grebes are publicly prosecuted, fined and pilloried while wind turbine farms killed millions of protected birds for decades with impunity free from prosecution and publicity only to be granted future carte blanche bird kill permits even including hundreds of eagles.

A government problem, i.e. unfettered bureaucratic power, can only be resolved by a government solution as was learned by Americans fed up with the effects of Prohibition in the early 1930’s.  All the “ecosystem” arguments and all the denial of history and all the faux science about willows along streams and “Alpha” wolves, etc. are simply window dressing to make you feel good and to encourage urban voters to ever-greater oppression of rural residents and their communities in the name of “biodiversity” and “native species”.

  1. The Solution– As a retired wildlife biologist with 30+ years of federal bureaucracy; a year as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill; and as a writer and speaker on these matters for over 15 years: I believe there are only two solutions that hold any hope and we must choose one of them if there is to be any hope for rural America.  Unless and until the arbitrary and unfettered power of federal bureaucrats to manipulate animals like wolves (deadly, destructive, ubiquitous and not even a species) and other wild animals as they wish; and unless the unjust and ruinous aspects of the authority and jurisdiction of federal power simply absorbing State and Local government roles and Constitutional responsibilities under the shadow of the ESA (and other such federal laws (not just regulations) like – The Airborne Hunting ActAnimal Welfare ActMarine Mammal Protection ActNational Forest Management ActNational Park Service ActNational Wildlife Refuge Administration ActWild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros ActWilderness Act; the broadened and abused Executive Order aspects of the Antiquities Act, and the federal drafting and use of UN Convention Mandates to manufacture increased federal authority over everything from takings and guns to wildlife, rural land use and state and local government roles in general.

Choose one:

  1. Amend the Endangered Species Act to redirect federal authority back into line with Constitutional precedence and understanding.  This would require that all ongoing and future federal Endangered Species activity in every state (planning, funding, land acquisition, property easement, public land use changes, compensation, wildlife control, introductions, habitat modifications, human activity regulation, private property controls, etc.) must have the participation and a signed approval on a five-year basis from the Governor of the State.  I would recommend that State laws be simultaneously amended or drafted to give those Counties directly affected by any proposed Endangered Species activity preferential status in any state approval process.  For instance require that the Governor MUST have the agreement of 50(?), 75(?) percent of the Counties DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED FEDERAL ENDANGERED  ACTIONS and that there must be at least three public hearings on the proposed actions before the Counties affected are asked to approve or oppose the action.  It is no more right for federal bureaucrats to oppress rural communities with lesser political clout than it is for the Madison/Milwaukee, Wisconsins or the Portland/Eugene, Oregons of the USA to oppress their less numerous rural neighbors, their economies and their “ways-of-life”.  Assuring state approval and involvement in any federal endangered species activity returns a very real check on currently unchecked federal bureaucratic power.  Assuring a serious rural voice in any and all state approval action brings a balance to those voiceless rural Americans often harmed unknowingly by urban neighbors with “no real dog in the fight”.  Making the point that, unlike the supporters of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States, those of us harmed by and opposing effects of an onerous federal law believe in changing that law to eliminate the harms while providing for achieving the original intent of the law.

Or:

  1. Repeal the Endangered Species Act and restore the historic American jurisdictional roles regarding wild animals.  This might well be the best solution for wildlife as well as rural Americans.  Let those noticing and concerned about the diminishment of a wild species or population first look to their own funding and conclusions.  Let them hire academic specialists to confirm the status and make recommendations, if necessary.  Let them raise money and if private funding or voluntary modifications cannot be generated, let them turn to state government for funding or to ask the state DNR/F&G for help.  Absent sufficient support, let those concerned seek to build a partnership between their counterparts in nearby states to institute beneficial activities.  Absent success in that regard, let them appeal to their federal representatives through a planning process like that outlined under #1 above complete with state approval for presentation to the Appropriate Congressional Committees.  That is the American way and a recent example of the success of this approach is the discovery of and application of biological controls to limit the national expansion of Purple Loosestrife by several state wildlife agencies utilizing the Excise Taxes collected on arms and ammunition for state wildlife programs.

Neither solution requires pages of complex gibberish or defies understanding by the general public.  Each is simple, saves money and enhances Rural American life in more ways than we have time to list here.  Only when one is accomplished can any state, through its local governments take the pulse of those living with wolves and begin to implement:

  1. If, and if so where, wolves will be tolerated?
  2. What state legislation, if any, is required?
  3. Are capable employees available, trained and willing to carry out these tasks?
  4. How many wolves will be tolerated?
  5. When and how wolves will be controlled and by whom, at what cost?
  6. How will tolerable wolf levels be achieved and how will they be maintained?
  7. What methods and circumstances will be tolerated or banned?
  8. How much is the cost; where does it come from; and who pays it?

These are all fertile subjects for a talk when next you invite me to speak.

  1. Chaos as Opportunity– I sense an exasperation and hopelessness that I have encountered for many years, in many locations.  If this is even possible and the two answers could fit on a postcard; how come it has not been done already?  The answer is, your level of frustration and hopelessness has never been so high, so widespread, and your level of understanding about where all this is leading has never been as thorough.

Something else has changed that makes what has been believed to be impossible, possible.  It is called Chaos and it may be our chance to make the unmentionable, mentionable and to reverse the rule of bureaucrat commissars to restore the Constitutional rule of free men and women by a limited government as envisioned in the Constitution.

Consider the following historic results from Chaos.  Remember that some are good, some are bad, but all were unforeseen and significant thanks to the advantages presented by chaos and the ability of supporters to capitalize on that chaos:

–       From 1773 (Boston Tea Party) to 1781(Yorktown) we fought a hard and divisive Revolutionary War.  Six years later in 1787 we united under a bitterly-argued Constitution no one really anticipated and that has been uniquely functional to this day.  Absent the tumult and chaos of those years, it is unlikely that any such document and nation would have ever existed.

–       In 1865 Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.  From 1864 to January 1959 14 states were admitted to the Union, of those, 12 (Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, etc.) were admitted with large percentages of the state (unlike MN, IL, MI, MS, etc.) withheld by federal fiat in defiance of existing federal legislation and precedence under the Property Clause of the US Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance.  This reserved land formed the nucleus of today’s “federal” estate and the land managing agencies roaming out of control today.  Much of the motivation for withholding was the residue of a federal victory over the states and the feeling that states should not be so powerful again.  That federal hegemonic view has become an ideal for modern environmentalists and federal bureaucrats that ignore Local governments and simply corrupt State governments.  I submit this would have not been possible but for the chaos of the Civil War.

–       During 1913 to 1921 Woodrow Wilson was President and the 16th Amendment (Federal Income Tax) & 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators) were passed; Federal Reserve was founded; US Military and Civil Service were segregated; World War I; invasion of Mexico and Haiti; Russian Revolution; collapse of European Monarchies, and finally, the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) passed.  I suggest that the chaos of those years made the passage of this latter very bad CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (not a law) possible and advocates took advantage of that chaos to gain passage.

–       The period 1929 to 1933 saw a Stock Market Crash, Bank failures, inflation, Depression and the beginnings of the Dust Bowl and the collapse of US agriculture and much of rural America.  One of the key platforms that elected Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933 was Repeal of the 18th Amendment (i.e. Prohibition) that then took place when he was elected.  Would Repeal of a 15 year-old Constitutional Amendment (a much higher bar than a “law”) have been possible without all the chaos of that period?  I think not.

–       The chaotic 1960’s and 70’s consisted of Free Love, open drug use, Vietnam, anti-War riots and the Watergate fiasco.  As President Nixon navigated the Vietnam withdrawal, Watergate and Resignation: and as President Ford sought election in his own right, there was an orgy of federal environmental/animal rights legislation and an explosion of bureaucracies and bureaucrats to “save” fill-in-the-blank and gain sympathetic votes.  This included the ESA, AWA, MMPA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Coastal Zone Mgt. Act, Estuarine Act, Noxious Weed Act, F&W Coordination Act, USFS Organic Act, Fisheries Conservation Act, Fur Seal Act, NEPA, NPS Act, RF Recreation Act, River and Harbor Act, Water Bank, Wilderness Act, Wild Horse & Burro Act to name but a few.  Add in new Bird Treaties entered into to expand US federal authority over more bird species like pelicans, certain hawks and owls, and cormorants; plus UN Conventions on everything from Culture and Heritage Declarations to International ES Trade and Polar Bears and all the federal offices, agencies and their costs exerting all these new authorities and one wonders how any private property, state environmental responsibility or especially rural communities still exists. I strongly believe that this environmental “awakening” would not look anything like it is were it not for the 60’s and two desperate Presidents in search of those big voter blocs in US cities to save their Administrations by giving unaffected voters imaginary benefits “out there”.

–       Finally we have the Chaos of today.  I speak here not of the chaotic sharpening of Party animosities; the turbulent and unexpected-by-many election results; the politicizing of sports; or the knock-down drag-out issues before Congress.  Let us focus on two things.

First, there is the proliferation of “Sanctuary Cities” and even “Sanctuary States”.  These cities and states vowing to give no cooperation to federal Immigration Laws and personnel are, almost without exception, the very vote-rich Cities and States Nixon and Ford looked to for support.  They are the hotbeds of the “more wolves”, “more smelt”, “more grizzly bears”, “more government land control authority” and “more rural-oriented federal regulation” coalitions.  Consider the irony here.  They are enamored of using their federal voting majorities to oppress rural Americans and rural communities while simultaneously justifying their defiance of federal laws they don’t happen to like such as immigration.

Second, consider the outrage in high-tax states like NY, CA & NJ against the potential loss of the federal tax write-off of State taxes as federal taxes are being “reformed”.  These high-tax states’ political representatives might be amenable to rural and low-tax states’ cooperation in return for cooperation in resolving the Endangered Species “problem” as tax reform, debt control and American businesses are front-and-center politically.

I suggest these two issues, among others, might be used to our advantage.

  1. Taking Advantage – We are entering into a contentious political period where incumbents, upstart challengers and extreme political philosophies will be vying for your vote with great intensity.  If we were to form alliances with like-minded groups and lobby for something simple, straightforward and understandable such as either of the two proposals I have mentioned; is it not possible that chaotic circumstances might invite in a Repeal or Amendment movement as an issue much like FDR’s Repeal of Prohibition emerged in the midst of complex turbulences and political opportunity?

Would not urban candidates and incumbents be able to explain their support for Repeal or Amendment of the ESA (and other such harmful laws?) necessitated by the corruption, economic and other impacts from human safety to ecosystem diversification losses it has spawned, as comparable to the way city dwellers have reacted to and view Immigration enforcement issues?   Could not a wide, national coalition support one of these straightforward proposals when they understand what the alternatives are in light of what we know today?  Would not most Americans support a change that empowers their state government’s authority and revenue, while reinvigorating Local government revenue and authority?  Wouldn’t such change enhance the power of State and Local governments to protect and enhance rural communities, their businesses, and their “domestic Tranquility” and “general Welfare” to quote the Preamble to the Constitution?  You might even learn some things about “your” representative lobby group as you seek to make changes that really matter.

Imagine, if all the hunting, trapping and fishing “Forever’s”, “Unlimited’ s”, “Associations” and “Foundations” allied themselves with the Cattlemen, the Timber industry, the Farm Bureau and Farm organizations, the many Dog organizations, Agriculture businesses and many rural society organizations from churches and community groups to local political organizations and Scout groups to advocate a simple message.  If they were to begin telling the media; the school teachers; their Local, State and Federal politicians; their Political Party; their friends and relatives; their Universities; and the entire world that they demand change.  Not that they request change or that something like it would be nice and we would be so grateful.

That change is simply that we in Rural America, like many of our urban counterparts, will no longer tolerate a federal law (the ESA) that harms our families and communities like several States and many large Cities perceive current immigration laws.  Unlike those States and Cities, we want to either Amend or Repeal the onerous Endangered Species Act.  Either we:

  1. Amend the ESA to provide for public input by requiring that any and all ESA activity must be done under a species specific 5-year Plan with the participation of the Counties directly affected and Approved by the Governor of the State; or
  2. Repeal the ESA and allow species-specific concerns for wild plants and animals to receive attention first by grass-roots advocates and then only when failing to resolve the problem through a progression of appeals and proposals through Universities, national organizations of all stripes, local governments, and State governments; as a last resort appeal to the US Congress with a specific proposal that, like the Amendment proposed above, can be developed with Local participation and Governor approval on a 5-year basis.

This is a truly American solution to a problem vexing a particular segment of society and would be good not only for rural communities but better for the wildlife since locally-supported wildlife communities are good for both people and wildlife in the long run.  Depending on which (1 or 2) tack is chosen, at an opportune time demand a State law that states the Governor must have the approval of 51% or 60% of the County governments in those Counties directly affected by any federal Endangered Species activity before approving such federal actions.

Who can oppose Local participation?  Who can oppose a voice for the rural communities faced with often onerous federal actions not necessitated by national defense?  What could be more simple and understandable to the general public or even politicians?  If not now, when?

The next three, and possibly seven, years are our best chance to correct the anti-rural government problems we face. The upcoming (in one year) mid-term elections will be important opportunities but the next Presidential election in three years is a golden opportunity complete with plenty of time for preparation.  Depending on 2020, the following 2-year and 4-year elections may well be the greatest and perhaps even last golden opportunity presenting itself to us to straighten out these problems. Problems everyone tells us are settled and unchangeable (where have we heard that before?) but that are suddenly open to change and potentially resolvable.

Just as the Founding Fathers emerged from Colonial status into the most powerful nation in the world; and corruption-fighters emerged successfully from the nightmare of Prohibition thanks in large measure to a chaotic period involving unrelated issues: we can take advantage of this chaos we find ourselves in to improve a wide array of government environmental abuses in order to make a better Nation for ourselves, our environment and our descendants.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about what I believe is the paramount issue facing Rural America today.

We have time for a few questions.

Jim Beers

18 November 2017

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

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 is an advocate for a Rural American Renewal that benefits rather than ruins the culture, economy and surroundings of rural communities and families.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Words of Wolf Wisdom from Hay River, NWT

By James Beers

Words of Wolf Wisdom from Hay River, NWT

The sort of incidents reported by THE HUB newspaper in Hay River happen in The Lower 48 States and now in Europe more than is reported.  This is so for a host of reasons.

The fact that this took place near Hay River, NWT in Canada (South across the Great Slave Lake from Yellowknife) makes it different from The Lower 48 States only in the fact that wolves are harassed more (hunting, trapping, protection of property, self-defense) in NWT and therefore are less likely habituated to people that never threaten them in that sparsely settled landscape.  Recognizing that fact, should give pause to Lower 48 State and other rural residents in settled landscapes that are increasingly living amongst wolves that go near homes routinely and through towns at night as they forage and explore communities and residences much as happens in the settled landscapes of parts of Russia and (now) Europe.  If wolves in very sparsely settled landscapes like Hay River and the (mentioned) Alaskan Peninsula will attack humans; how much more likely are more habituated wolves in Wisconsin (Green Bay lady?), Minnesota (USFS Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish), Saskatchewan (Kenton Carnegie 2005), Idaho (Craters of the Moon?), Oregon (elk hunter one week ago), Greece (see my Wolves and Pillows article of 21 OCT.), Germany (some being investigated currently) and elsewhere to attack and kill humans (especially the elderly and the young)?

Note the sentence in the article by “a carnivore biologist with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Yellowknife” that, “In general, I’d say a wild animal that hasn’t been close to people is pretty leery, pretty cautious and stays clear.”

What goes unsaid in this doublespeak found even in the Far North is, that “a wild animal that is close to people (as is the case in the settled landscapes of The Lower 48 States) is not ‘pretty leery, pretty cautious and stays clear’”.  In other words, the more habituated to people is the wolf; the more dangerous is the wolf to the people!  Therefore the more settled the landscape, the more dangerous are wolves or bears or cougars in such landscapes for that matter.

The reason this is not believed by the urban public is due to more than years of animal rights propaganda about benevolent wolves being somewhat like unicorns flitting about the countryside eating only non-native plants while protecting lambs, calves and little children.  The reason this is not believed is because it is neither reported nor discussed.  On the rare occasion of being reported (see my Two Lucky Kids article of 1 Oct.) the encounter is presented as a rare glimpse of a benevolent Mother Nature worthy of mention on Sesame Street.

It is not mentioned whenever possible because to recognize its existence is to question allowing  the government to forcibly plant and protect wolves in the settled landscapes of The Lower 48 States and then having to ask yourself, “ Who is then responsible” if:

–           A single Human is maimed and/or killed?

–           If livestock losses to wolves decimate livestock producers’ livelihoods?

–           “     “            “         “   “       “            “      rural families and economies?

–           “     “            “         “    “      “             “     local government revenue and the political power of local people?

–          If meat prices spike and become prohibitively costly due to wolves”

–          If dog owners’ property (watchdogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, pets, show dogs, guide dogs, etc.) are killed or maimed by wolves?

–          If game animals from moose and elk to prairies chickens and grouse are no longer able to support hunting and hunters along with their license fees (that support the “Conservation/DNR/F&G” agencies), disappear?

–          If hunting and trapping are then so rare that there are no longer young men enthused about paying for or profiting from applying thenecessary annual  (and prohibitively expensive) controls of wolves, bears, cougars, coyotes, and wintering herbivores?

–          If dog packs that trail deadly predators after a human attack/death are no longer available when such animal needs to be tracked down?

–          If (actually when) the truth ever emerges that wolves are not only very serious carriers and vectors of over 30 deadly and debilitating (to humans, livestock and wildlife) diseases and infections ever begin spiraling into an outbreak?

–          If it is realized that the increasing cross-breeding between wolves /dogs /coyotes is not only the most real threat to the very existence of the wolves of such faux importance in The Lower 48 States, but the Raison D’etre for the emergence of a new breed that is even more dangerous or destructive than the current breeds of this large and varied species?

The ANSWER to “Who is then responsible”, is; No One!

The state guys (many of whom have been lying and dissembling for years about wolves) will blame the federal guys that forced wolves into “their” state.  The federal guys that have been profiting big-time (unlimited powers, promotions, bonuses, enhanced retirements, public adulation in the press, etc.) will blame “the law” and “the politicians”.  The politicians (who made millions fro9m lobbyists and who reaped urban votes) will blame the scientists for faulty “science”.  The “scientists” (who have profited for years from grants and tenure thanks to wolves) will blame the Non-Government Organizations like Defenders of Wildlife, Wildlife Federation, Center for Biological Diversity et al for “distorting” and “manipulating” the “science”.  The “Environmental”/”Animal Rights” NGO’s will simply shrug, count their money and go to some secret meeting with the federal bureaucrats and politicians about how to ease, buy and “take” the remaining remnants of private property left in The Lower 48 States abandoned and unused except for the wealthy in their mansions with views no longer marred by timber cutting, grazing livestock, crops, canoeists, campers, or the sounds of rifle and shotguns.

So Lower 48 State newspapers and news shows either avoid (when possible) or dissemble any negative incidents much like terrorism reports or select descriptions of urban perpetrator characteristics.  They do this with the attitude once spoken by Jack Nicholson and here only directed to the general public about wolves in this instance, “You can’t handle the truth”.  Like all those in the preceding paragraph, after years of distorting the truth about the costs and dangers of wolves and the constant denigration of those challenging the government/NGO version of wildlife in settled landscapes; the media is a major conspirator in the wolf debacle and, like some Chicago Police Lt. during Prohibition that cannot tell the truth for fear of indicting himself, they chirp duets with the powers-that-be and do whatever it takes to survive.

Jim Beers

4 November 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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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