June 24, 2017

Department of Interior Announces Recovery and Delisting of Yellowstone Grizzly Population

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The U.S. Department of Interior announced the recovery of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population as well as its intent to remove federal protections and return management to state agencies.

“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supports the delisting of grizzly bears,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “It’s been a long time coming and we think this is the appropriate move by Secretary Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

The Yellowstone population rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today. Confirmed sightings of grizzlies are taking place in locations where they have not previously been seen for more than 100 years as they extend their range in the Northern Rockies.

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners,” said U.S, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

The Yellowstone grizzly population meets all delisting criteria. These factors include not only the number and distribution of bears throughout the ecosystem, but also the quantity and quality of the habitat available and the states’ commitments to manage the population from now on in a manner that maintains its healthy and secure status.

“We do caution everybody to manage their expectations about the potential of hunting grizzly bears. The reality is there will be very minimal hunting of grizzly bears for the next several years. Those who oppose the delisting are going to try and use ‘trophy hunting’ as a major obstacle and reason not to delist grizzly bears. It’s purely rhetoric and propaganda,” added Allen.

The final rule, and the supporting documents, will publish in coming days in the Federal Register and the rule will take effect 30 days after publication.

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Partners celebrate Endangered Species Act delisting following decades of collaboration

June 22, 2017

WASHINGTON – Due to the success of conservation efforts and collaboration among a variety of stakeholders, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today that the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear has been recovered to the point where federal protections can be removed and overall management can be returned to the states and tribes. The population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today and meets all the criteria for delisting.

“As a kid who grew up in Montana, I can tell you that this is a long time coming and very good news for many communities and advocates in the Yellowstone region,” said Secretary Zinke. “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners. As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. Grizzly bear populations outside of this DPS in the lower 48 states will be treated separately under the ESA and will continue to be protected.

The GYE grizzly bear population is one of the best studied bear populations in the world thanks to the longstanding efforts of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST). Population and habitat monitoring efforts undertaken by the IGBST indicate that GYE Grizzly Bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s. They now occupy more than 22,500 square miles, an area larger than the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. Stable population numbers for grizzly bears for more than a decade also suggest that the GYE is at or near its capacity to support grizzly bears. This decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was informed by over four decades of intensive, independent scientific efforts.

The GYE grizzly bear population was determined to be recovered because multiple factors indicate it is healthy and will be sustained into the future. These factors include not only the number and distribution of bears throughout the ecosystem, but also the quantity and quality of the habitat available and the states’ commitments to manage the population from now on in a manner that maintains its healthy and secure status.

In addition to this final rule, the USFWS will also release a final supplement to the 1993 Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan for the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear population. The Conservation Strategy that describes management of the grizzly bear following delisting was finalized by the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the IGBC in December of 2016. That document can be found here: http://igbconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/161216_Final-Conservation-Strategy_signed.pdf.

The final rule, and the supporting documents, will publish in coming days in the Federal Register and the rule will take effect 30 days after publication. More information can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/grizzlyBear.php.

Press Release from House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy:

Bishop: Grizzly Delisting Process Emblematic of Need for ESA Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2017

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will be delisted from the endangered species list. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“I commend this Administration and the Department of the Interior for delisting the grizzly bear even though it  should have been done years ago. States are far more capable of managing the grizzly population than the federal government. The time it took to get this delisting is the latest evidence that reform of ESA is sorely needed. Recovery and delisting — and responsible state management that will prevent listings in the first place — must be the goals of ESA, not lifetime sentences on the endangered list fraught with frivolous litigation.”

Background:

Grizzly bears are currently listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Delisting the species will allow states the ability to manage populations within their borders.

The grizzly bear population was originally delisted in 2007, but relisted in 20009 following litigation. In 2016, FWS proposed to delist the grizzly bear population as former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar deemed the population “unquestionably recovered” in 2012. The population has remained either steady or increasing for close to a decade.

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Maine Passes Bill That Unconstitutionally Targets Hunters and Fishermen

This is a tough one to address because I do not, in any way, shape or form, condone the destruction of anybody’s property, including “Posted” or “No Trespassing” signs.

LD 557, with amendments, has passed the Maine Legislature that, in summary, states: “The hunting and fishing
licenses of a person convicted of destroying, tearing down, defacing or otherwise damaging a property posting sign in violation of section 10652, subsection 1, paragraph B must be revoked, and that person is ineligible to obtain a hunting or fishing license for a period of one year from the date of conviction.”

There should be laws that protect a landowner from such destruction, and there probably are. Piling on to prove a point, while it might be a bit understandable, particularly to a frustrated land owner, cannot be justified by targeting a specific sector of the general public to punish that group for a law violation more than any other member of the public that is not part of the hunting and fishing community.

Even in testimony given in support of the law, a landowner states that he believes the majority of sign destruction comes from “hunters” shooting up his signs, but also admits destruction of his property, other than just signs, is being carried out by many different individuals and groups of individuals. Is it then constitutional to increase punishment on one group over others? I think not!

I’m not a lawyer but you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that this law is not right. I am surprised that the Maine Legislature, the Governor, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and others supported this law and could not see that it violates the constitutional rights of licensed hunters and licensed fishermen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a dismissal of lawful punishment for the willful act of property destruction, protected by Maine law. However, in order to be justified in taking away the licences of hunters and fishermen for one year, then one must ask what is the punishment for the same kind of destruction that might be carried out by a snowmobiler, an ATVer, a hiker, a berry picker, etc.?

I believe the term that might apply to such an egregious violation of due process, can be found in Supreme Court cases that involve “unconstitutional animus.” If you Google that term, you can spend hours reading about what this term is and how it affects all of us. In brief, unconstitutional animus is a violation of equal protection under the law. In this case a hunter or fisherman, is not afforded the same due process and equal protection as someone else who might commit the same crime.

As a society we have been programmed to believe that the more draconian our laws are the more of a deterrent it is to prevent the crime in the first place. Whether that is true or not, I do not have the data to show one way or another. All drivers of automobiles that violate the law by speeding, are subject to the same set of laws and punishments. Would it be considered the right thing if hunters and fishermen were targeted for greater punishment because somebody believes them to speed more than other groups or individuals? This is what this new law allows.

This bill needs to be repealed and a different, constitutional approach taken in order to protect the rights of all people to ensure equal protection under the law, due process and to stop the obvious discrimination this law allows.

 

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Open Thread – 23 Day, 6th Month, 2017

Buffoons, Puppets!

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.

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I Support

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Open Thread – 22nd Day, 6th Month, 2017

@imaloser

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.

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Hey! Donald Trump!

Maybe if you spent less time on Twitter, you’d do something productive like naming your choice as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s been 5 months. WHAT THE HELL!

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When Men Were Men and Sheep Ran Scared

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2016 Deer Harvest Data is Out…Finally

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has finally released the harvest data for the 2016 deer hunting season. You can find a map on the MDIFW website. Where’s the written summary? Do we wait another 6 months for that or has work become so overwhelming that biolo”jests” just don’t have the time or resources?

With all the hoopla about how terrific the deer herd has become, due to those “mild” winters – caused by global warming of course – the total deer harvest for 2016 rose to a meager 23,512 up slightly from the previous 2 seasons and down from 2013’s harvest.

The harvest trend seems to be telling us a bit more truth as to what is trending with Maine’s deer herd. It just isn’t as robust as salesmen at MDIFW want to convince the public it is. And yet, MDIFW has announced they intend to increase the number of “Any-Deer Permits” up to over 66,000, an increase of 20,295 from last season and 37,280 from the 2015 season. Seriously? Seriously!

These numbers just don’t seem to make a lot of sense even when you try to make sense out of allotment of permits according by Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs). Permits are intended to be allotted in WMDs where deer herd numbers are bleak.

One has to wonder if the MDIFW is so desperate to make payroll and pay retirement funds, that they are going to do it at the expense of furthering the demise of the deer herd. If not, then it can only be determined that MDIFW intends to deliberately reduce the deer herd to where annual deer harvest for hunters will run in the mid to high teens of thousands. I would think even the coyote and bear lovers would be upset that MDIFW is planning to take away one of their favorite diets.

Below is a chart that shows deer harvests from 1999, along with comparatives which helps to give us some information on trends. From what I see, the trend is toward a lousier and lousier deer herd.

Your tax dollars at work…or play.

 

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Open Thread – 21st Day, 6th Month, 2017

We’re All Gonna Die! It is Written!

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Maine Moose Ticks And the Death of Man-Caused Global Warming

Climate Change, known to anyone with a brain as weather, can have effects on the growth and perpetuation of  Dermacentor albipictus – the moose tick or winter tick. Anthropogenic (man-caused) climate change does not exist and is dying in its tracks, and yet scientists and wildlife managers cling relentlessly to its shoestrings. Perhaps it’s the convenience of always having an excuse for everything that doesn’t go as planned or even for failing to do your job. Just blame it on Climate Change.

Climate Change, which one can only assume is always used in the context of Anthropogenic Climate Change, is 100% based on computer modeling. In other words it is fake. Actual temperature takings worldwide are not only flawed and basically useless information, but they aren’t living up to the hype of “we’re all going to die drown.” And so, the only recourse is to cling to computer modeling because the modeling can be manipulated to achieve the desired results, not necessarily matching reality.

To the honest person, computer modeling is a waste of time. This society is so completely addicted to technology that we fail miserably in learning how to think and observe. If the models don’t give us what we want, we will simply manipulate things until they do. How dire will things become once the entire world is dependent upon Artificial Intelligence, which is frighteningly on our doorstep?

Another example of the failures of computer modeling was reported at Powerline. The big cheeses of Al Gore’s money-making fake anthropogenic Climate Change, are trying to find ways to explain how their computer modeling has miserably failed them. Within the same report, we learn that computer modeling that was used to predict that by the year 2050 the United States would be 100% employing nothing but wind, solar and hydro power, also is failing and scientists are lining up in droves to protest the use and abuse of computer modeling in claiming the high ground on science.

But there’s money in it!

So, how will wildlife managers in Maine and elsewhere around the globe, explain their theoretic messes, once finally the fairy tale of man causing Climate Change is buried? Or will they remain the relic holdovers, forever clinging, bitterly, to their guns and Bibles hockey stick graphs while camped out at the beaches waiting for the water level to rise? (And waiting for cold winters to kill off all the ticks)

Whether it’s moose ticks, Lyme-causing ticks or Aunt Mabel’s lousy tasting homemade jelly, blaming global warming for it is representative of lousy use of a legitimate scientific method. Believing that the science of Anthropogenic Climate Change is “settled” has done the science community a grave disservice.

Once Artificial Intelligence rules the world, everything will be “settled” once and for all.

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