“If the conservatives in official Washington want to do something other than stand by and look impotent, they might consider pressing for legislation that would oblige the federal government to divest itself of 1 percent of its land and other real estate each year for the foreseeable future through an open auction process. Even the Obama administration has identified a very large portfolio of office buildings and other federal holdings that are unused or under-used. By some estimates, superfluous federal holdings amount to trillions of dollars in value. Surely not every inch of that 87 percent of Nevada under the absentee-landlordship of the federal government is critical to the national interest. Perhaps Mr. Bundy would like to buy some land where he can graze his cattle.”<<<Read More>>>
“How stupid does Mr. Holder think the average American is? Any system using a transmitter/receiver can be jammed, if you know the right frequency. Here is how Holder and his minions would like to see things work:
1- A law gets passed to force firearm manufacturers to incorporate the so-called “smart gun” technology into their products. You have no choice but to buy smart guns.
2- The FCC grants a range of frequencies that can be used for smart guns to operate on so they don’t interfere with anything else, basically what they did for cell phones and why we had to switch to digital TV.
3- At some point in the future, an anti-gun administration could order the smart gun frequencies to be jammed and render all firearms equipped in this manner to stop working. How convenient?”<<<Read More>>>
After nine years focusing on residential wildlife attractants, it’s time to look to the outback, says Squamish’s WildSafe B.C. coordinator.
With tourism advertizing highlighting Squamish’s outdoor recreation and new branding inviting people to come and share the adventure, Meg Toom is bracing herself for more calls regarding wildlife encounters.
“It is just going to be an ever-growing problem as we bring more people into our trail networks,” she said.
So far this year, conservation officers are busying warning people about an aggressive bobcat. A number of dogs were sent to veterinarians for stitches after unwelcome meetings with the bobcat. The dogs were off leash, Toom noted, adding the attacks took place near Fawn Lake and in the Coho Park Trail area.
“In the nine years working here, we have never had any calls coming in about aggressive bobcats,” Toom said, noting the cats usually go after smaller pets rather than approaching dogs.<<<Read More>>>
One of the complaints I have always had about gray wolf (re)introduction has been the fact that claims of using “best available science” was a sham and a deliberate con job right from the very beginning. For Best Available Science to be a viable tool, then science must be the driving factor. Science is science and it doesn’t work at all when personal agendas and politics are the driving forces behind such events as wolf (re)introduction.
I have stated before that it is easy to look back on what took place in order to learn going into the future. In so doing, researching has discovered many things about wolf (re)introduction; very little that was claimed and predicted has come true, those involved were inexperienced “rookies” and some very serious and important information was completely disregarded about wolf history globally and the dangers to public health from diseases, worms and parasites carried by wolves.
In a recent article on this website, I wrote about how, in my findings of researching the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), deliberate lying and misinformation was given to the public in order to influence public opinion that would support wolf (re)introduction. One has to wonder what the outcome of pre-introduction polls would have been if people had been told the truth.
One blaring example I gave was that everywhere Ed Bangs and his band of wolf marauders went that sold the public on what I believe was an intentionally misleading claim that within the three regions where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) wanted wolf populations when 10 breeding pairs or 100~ wolves were confirmed for 3 consecutive years, wolves would be removed from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection and management of wolves turned over to the states. That, as we all now know, not only never happened but it never happened so badly that over protected wolves have destroyed far too much.
The other aspect I want to cover is the terrible disregard of valuable information and the fact that there was no experienced scientists available or made available in dealing with wolves, especially wolves being dumped into areas adjacent to human-settled landscapes. Those pushing to get the wolves were only guessing what wolves would do based on models from watching wolves in cages or in remote areas of Canada or Alaska. These same people refused to use any kind of historic documents about wolves claiming it was mostly fairy tales and folk lore. What puzzles me is that it is ONLY that information that is available to United States scientists who refuse to accept with or work with people and scientists in foreign countries who have dealt with wolves for centuries. Perhaps our elitist attitudes and desire to not use historic knowledge of wolves and wolf interactions with humans, for an agenda of getting wolves in this country, has cost the American people substantially.
To go back and review the FEIS and all associated documents is quite an eye-opening experience. Looking at this issue of “best available science” and what appears a deliberate disregard at the utilization of the best science and historic documents that were available at the time of wolf (re)introduction, we see disturbing claims that should have been troubling at the time.
On page 54 of Chapter 4 – FEIS – Consultation and coordination, we find this statement:
– Obtaining information through scientific techniques has lead to tremendous benefits to society. Wildlife management has been greatly improved through scientific investigations and research, including the use of radio telemetry technology. Any reintroduction of wolves would be closely monitored and new information used to improve the program. However, wolves have been intensively studied in many areas of North America and many of the basic questions about wolf biology and behavior are well documented. Currently, another massive research program is not needed to re-study the basic nature of wolves in the western United States. While there will certainly be some interesting and necessary questions that may arise from the actual reintroduction of a top predator into an ecosystem, more research or study is certainly not required before wolf restoration could proceed. The number and level of “predictive” models and studies conducted to date have fully exhausted the ability to predict what effects wolves may have on the ecosystem in Yellowstone and central Idaho without wolves actually being present. Additional studies appear unnecessary and would only serve to increase overall costs and delay real progress toward wolf recovery and delisting.(emphasis added)
Did our scientific community fail this badly? When you honestly consider that very little predicted in the FEIS about wolves, their behavior and impacts that a recovered wolf population would have on the ecosystem and that of humans, materialized, can we look back on this event and not question what was behind wolf (re)introduction?
To claim just prior to wolf (re)introduction that Ed Bangs and his cohorts knew all there was to know about wolves, that they had “fully exhausted” everything that they could use to predict what was going to happen and then find the results we did, one has to view this as perhaps an agenda-driven, politically motivate event, designed to specifically deceive the American people. Or perhaps it is even something more sinister and/or criminal.
USFWS refused to examine or at least consider historic documents of wolf history that contain years and years of conflicts between humans and livestock, as well as wildlife impacts due to wolves. Their refusal was evidently based on some elitist notion that this history could not be substantiated and the most of it was lore and made up stories. Is this how we treat history? Will one hundred years from now, people look back at wolf (re)introduction and disregard it for many of the same reason this generation of fraudulent scientists did?
Nobody involved in wolf (re)introduction had any kind of real experience and first hand knowledge of what it would be like living, as humans, with wolves. It’s not their fault. Wolves were mostly gotten rid of before any of these people were born. But, there are history books and there are and were at that time, many countries who were living with and dealing with wolves. Did we then disregard their knowledge and if so why? Did our scientists NOT want to learn the truth because they had an agenda?
Watching some wolves in a cage or documenting their behavior in remote forests and then creating “models” to GUESS what wolves will do, is not best available science and wolf (re)introduction should never have been allowed to happen. With zero actual knowledge and experience, and confirmation that wolves were recovering naturally in Northwest Montana and parts of Idaho, we should have left it alone and continued to learn first hand about wolves.
Here’s some more examples found in the FEIS that should have sent up red flares:
FEIS – Chapter 4, Consultation and Coordination – page 22:
6. The Jackson moose population is discussed in Chapter 3, The Affected Environment, and average harvest is presented in Table 3-12. The analysis of wolf predation effects on the Jackson moose population is discussed in Chapter 4, Environmental Consequences, and cited in Boyce and Gaillard’s (1992) modeling of wolf predation on ungulates including the Jackson moose herd. Their models suggest a recovered wolf population may decrease the moose population about 7%.(emphasis added)
10. The analysis presented in Chapter 4 showed the effects a recovered wolf population would have on various ungulate populations throughout the primary analysis area. Additional ungulate herds or larger ungulate populations added to the analysis means more ungulates available to wolves and subsequent reduced effects of wolves on those ungulate populations. As stated in the analysis, the FWS recognizes ungulate populations can be quite different from one another in terms of population numbers, hunter harvests, and other physical and biological characteristics. Additionally, the FWS cannot predict exactly where wolf packs may establish territories, thus wolves will not impact all ungulate herds in the primary analysis area. However, the analyses and ranges of impacts presented would apply to most ungulate herds if wolves were associated with them.(emphasis added)
And these two items:
13. From the information available, nearly all elk, deer, and a few moose populations inhabiting areas in or near the Yellowstone National Park have population numbers in excess of several thousand. Also, harvests in many Wyoming herd units averaged hundreds of antlerless animals for elk and deer herds east and south of the park. For the herds having large antlerless harvests, reducing the antlerless harvest might be possible if wolf predation reduced ungulate numbers below objective levels. It is possible wolves could keep very small moose populations at low numbers in combination with severe winters, human harvest, and other factors (i.e., the predator pit theory) and affected the antlered harvest, but moose tend to be more difficult to kill than elk or deer and for areas east of the park, moose will not likely be a primary prey species compared to the more numerous elk and deer populations. Elk and deer because of their relative abundance will probably be the primary prey.
14. The primary analysis area was limited to places where wolves would most likely inhabit and to those ungulates wolves would most likely have impacts on at recovery levels. The FWS cannot predict exactly where wolves might set up territories. However, based on the population sizes of the ungulate herds near Dubois, if 1 pack of wolves lived in this area, it is unlikely the effects would be greater than demonstrated for other herds in the analyses presented. Indeed, with more ungulates available for wolves to prey on, overall impacts to some herds (and to associated hunter harvest) might be less than predicted. Overall impacts would be less because significantly more animals would be available and the impacts would be spread among more herds. The FWS also recognized wolf predation might severely impact some ungulate herds because of increased vulnerability (i.e., Whiskey Mountain sheep herd) and that wolf presence might inhibit the states and tribes from meeting their wildlife management objectives. The FWS believes the states and tribes are better able to determine those rare instances where wolves might severely impact wildlife populations and the FWS will work closely with those agencies in developing plans that promote wolf recovery and provide flexible management options when state and tribal objectives are being compromised.(emphasis added)
If, as the USFWS claims above, that they have “intensively studied” and that all wolf behavior is “well documented” and that “predictive models” have been “fully exhausted,” then why all the waffling in these last statements about how they can’t predict this about wolves and that about wolves? In these same claims, officials said, in effect, they knew all there was to know about wolf behavior and yet history has shown us the huge failure. This has to be a gigantic failure of science or a criminal act to deliberately mislead the people to promote an agenda to play with wolves.
It is just as disturbing to look at this evidence about poor science and deliberate disregard of facts, as it is this one statement contained in the quotes above: “The number and level of “predictive” models and studies conducted to date have fully exhausted the ability to predict what effects wolves may have on the ecosystem in Yellowstone and central Idaho without wolves actually being present. Additional studies appear unnecessary and would only serve to increase overall costs and delay real progress toward wolf recovery and delisting.”
This tells me that Ed Bangs and his gang of thieves were no longer, or probably never were, interested in knowing anything more about wolves, as it might spoil their party. They didn’t care. They didn’t care about wolf impacts on humans. They didn’t care about wolf impacts on game herds. They didn’t care about disease. They didn’t care about wolves in Russia, or Finland, Norway, Germany, India or anywhere else in the world. They want wolves to play with in Yellowstone and Idaho and they didn’t much care how they got them there. They admitted they couldn’t predict what was going to happen until they put wolves in there to find out. They called it “real progress.” And that is what they call “best available science?”
Among many terrible things this wolf (re)introduction has caused, it’s a travesty on the science community. This effort has done more to create complete distrust of government officials and the administering of the Endangered Species Act. One can only wonder, knowing and discovering the shameful acts and actions involved with wolf (re)introduction, what other ESA projects are as anti science and crooked as wolf (re)introduction?
MISSOULA, Mont.—A multi-year project to restore wild elk to their native hills of Virginia is complete thanks to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, its volunteers, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and several other partners.
“This is a prime example of what can happen when good people work together,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “There is now a growing and sustainable elk herd on the ground in Virginia for the first time in more than four decades.”
The third and final group of 45 wild elk –14 bulls and 31 cows, 16 of which are pregnant– arrived in Virginia’s Buchanan County from Kentucky. They join an existing herd of approximately 30 elk previously relocated in 2012 and 2013.
Financially funded by in part by RMEF and several major donors, RMEF volunteers also played a major role in the restoration program.
“Volunteers first got involved when approached by Buchanan County officials back in 2010,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “They helped search for and find suitable locations in the southwest part of the state and then rolled up their sleeves and went to work in many reclaimed mining sites. Crews cleared brush, applied fertilizer and planted native grasses to improve habitat, talked to and worked with local landowners, and stepped up each time to assist wildlife officials with the actual on-the-ground elk reintroductions.”
Virginia has a goal of growing the herd to about 400 animals and eventually instituting a regulated hunting season. Proceeds from hunting permits will target elk habitat and conservation efforts.
RMEF’s project partners include the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.RMEF completed successful elk restorations in Wisconsin in 1995, Kentucky in 1997, Tennessee in 2000, Ontario in 2001, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2002, Missouri in 2011, and Virginia in 2014. RMEF also previously funded feasibility studies in Illinois, Maryland, New York and West Virginia.
Patrick Murphy will deliver some great news tomorrow to the sportsmen of Maine. A survey of Maine voters conducted by Murphy’s company, Pan Atlantic SMS Group of Portland, found that 46.7 percent support a ban on hunting bears with bait and dogs and trapping bears, 48.1 percent oppose the ban, and 5.3 are undecided.<<<Read More>>>
Most of you will be aware that armed employees of the EPA and FBI recently conducted an armed raid on a company in Bozeman that recycles used cartridge brass. This email is to give you additional information that was not in the news about that, to tell you what I’ve been doing concerning the raid, and to prepare you to help with the next step.
Several months ago, OSHA visited the business, USA Brass, because of allegations of workplace safety issues, notably lead dust in the air from tumbling fired brass (the lead dust would be from primers). There were two employees who had lead levels above what is acceptable. As a result, USA Brass invested a lot of money in expensive air filtration and ventilation equipment, and upgraded employee training and practices. As a result, USA Brass passed a subsequent inspection by OSHA.
However, upon OSHA’s first visit, I’m told, USA Brass managers didn’t kneel quickly enough to OSHA inspectors and offended them by not being subserviently cooperative. So, the subsequent raid by EPA, FBI and others was conducted to teach them a lesson about federal power and proper cooperation.
I have yet to learn if the federal entry was conducted with guns drawn, but that will come out. Many, if not all, of the federal employees were visibly armed (thanks to the local TV station for covering this). The federal employees were aided and abetted by personnel from the Bozeman Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office.
Upon arrival, the federal employees forced all the employees into a room or rooms where they were isolated and held for hours. The employees cell phones were confiscated so they could have no communication out of the building. The feds disabled all of the security cameras in the building so there would be no video record of the federal deeds or misdeeds. The feds confiscated and took away all laptop computers and external hard drives, and copied all desktop hard drives, including USA Brass’s contact information for 10,000 customers.
I see this as a Montana version of what’s happening in Nevada. And, I see no reason to put up with it. None!
What is known about the Bozeman raid presents more questions than it answers. I put those questions in a polite letter to the U.S. Attorney for Montana and asked him to look into it. He has not responded. I assume my very polite request went into his round file.
With no response from the U.S. Attorney, I redirected my request for an investigation to Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. That request, which includes the request to the U.S. Attorney, is pasted below for your information. I’ve had no response from Fox yet.
If I don’t get a response from AG Fox by Tuesday (actually, later today as I write this at 2 AM), I’ll turn up the heat.
One additional tidbit: Lawyers for USA Brass have persuaded the principals that they should hunker down and make no waves, for fear of triggering more Draconian and punitive federal actions. While I sympathize with USA Brass, frankly this posture strikes me as similar to advising Jews in pre-WWII Germany to not make any fuss over their neighbors being hauled away in the night by the Gestapo, for fear that the remaining neighbor might be executed right in his apartment then next night by the same Gestapo, rather than just being given a nice train ride to an undisclosed destination.
That’s all. If/when I need your help with this, I’ll get out another email. Stay tuned for more as I learn more.
April 10, 2014
Attorney General of Montana
Montana Department of Justice
You will have seen my request addressed to Mr. Cotter (below). Mr. Cotter has not responded, at least not in a timely manner. I interpret this lack of response as a reluctance or unwillingness to conduct the investigation I requested of him.
Therefore, I now make the same request of you.
In addition to the questions suggested to Mr. Cotter, I hope you will also look at what role the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office may have played, or not played, in the federal raid at USA Brass. More specifically, was the GCSO looking out for the welfare of the people of Gallatin County, or was the GCSO simply aiding and facilitating the operation of federal entities and federal personnel?
Tim, given the heavy-handed application of federal force by BLM currently unfolding in Nevada, I believe it is imperative that Montana assert some accountability for the application of federal police, or police-like, force in Montana. If Mr. Cotter won’t do that, then it becomes even more important for you to be interested and involved.
On behalf of all Montanans, I thank you in advance for your willingness to look into this incident.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
April 4, 2014
Michael W. Cotter
U.S. Attorney for Montana
2601 2nd Ave N.
Billings, MT 59101
Dear Mr. Cotter,
Greetings from Missoula.
The purpose of this email is to request that you conduct a careful investigation into the circumstances surrounding a raid executed upon cartridge brass recycler in Bozeman, USA Brass, last Thursday, March 27, 2014, by employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, possibly other federal agencies, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, local law enforcement agencies, and possibly others.
Although the federally-employed personnel involved prefer to characterize this incident as an “audit,” the media portrayal of the incident as a “raid” appears to be more accurate.
The information I have about this incident so far comes from a variety of sources. I seek more information, and so should you. Some of the troubling ingredients of this incident, as I believe them correctly to have been, ingredients not consistent with a simple “audit,” include:
1. Although USA Brass had been subject to some civil enforcement action for workplace safety by OSHA, the company had completely remedied any such problems and had been given a clean bill of health by OSHA. Thus, the recent incident appears to be disconnected from any ongoing issues with OSHA. You may be able to discover the letter issued to USA Brass by OSHA acknowledging USA Brass’s full compliance with OSHA requirements.
2. Because a warrant was served on USA Brass, anyone would wonder if there were some particularly egregious activity going on there, and what the federal foreknowledge of that activity might be. Because of the overwhelming armed force used by federal officials to mount this raid, that suggests expected resistance or some sort of ongoing, violent criminal conduct at USA Brass. Your investigation should disclose whether or not these suppositions, spawned by the tactics of the raid, are correct or incorrect. This, in turn, should offer some perspective about whether or not the level of force and intimidation used was warranted.
3. Upon arrival at USA Brass, federal employees rounded up and sequestered all employees of USA Brass, confiscated their cell phones, disabled company phones, and held employees incommunicado for several hours. Since these employees of USA Brass were not free to leave, I believe this detention qualifies as an arrest under current case law. It would be helpful for you to examine whether sufficient justification for this mass arrest was present.
4. The confiscation of cell phones and disabling of security video apparatus for the incident smacks of advance action by federal employees to prevent any recording of what they did. If everything they did was by the book, proper and legal, it’s difficult to imagine what motive they would have had to insure that there was no video record of their activities. That is very suggestive that the reason they prevented a video record is because some or all of what they did was extra-legal, and that they knew going in that some of their actions would be extra-legal. Perhaps you can get clarification about why public servants doing public work would desire their public actions to be beyond public view and scrutiny.
5. From media video and reports and reports from those at the scene, it appears as if most or all of the raid personnel were obviously armed or displaying arms. This seems excessive for what some officials present would like to characterize as an “audit.” For an “audit,” this has all the appearances of deliberate intimidation, not something exactly calculated to inspire citizen trust and confidence in their government. Maybe you will be able to learn and make public why EPA personnel are armed, and why the many federal personnel present were so obvious about being armed.
6. One unverified report says that the initial entry into USA Brass by federal personnel was made with tactical weapons (machine guns) held pointed at the non-resisting office workers and other USA Brass employees present. Perhaps you will able to confirm or dispel this report. If the report is correct, this would also seem to be excessive for an “audit.” Actually, as someone accepted in state and federal courts as an expert concerning use of force, I can tell you that if a person points a firearm directly at another person, regardless of who the firearm pointer’s employer may be, the person pointing the firearm HAS used lethal force because the firearm pointer has put the life of the other at risk from an all-too-common accidental discharge.
7. During the hours that federal personnel held USA Brass employees captive and sequestered, the federal personnel confiscated laptop computers, confiscated external hard drives, and copied internal hard drives from USA Brass computers. Perhaps you can obtain an explanation for how such seizures are consistent with an “audit.”
8. If this federal action was authorized as an “audit,” perhaps you can learn and explain how it escalated into a full-blown, armed raid.
9. One knowledgeable person has told me that employees of the EPA do not have law enforcement powers in Montana – that the EPA lacks legal authority for the type of operation conducted at USA Brass. If that is so, perhaps you can determine and explain how such an operation fits within legal parameters.
10. The media reports that the senior federal official present at this incident was Bert Marsden, purportedly an employee of the EPA’s “Criminal Division.” A search of the Online staff directory for the EPA fails to disclose anyone named “Marsden” working for the EPA. It will be helpful if you can confirm that the “Bert Marsden” reported by the media actually exists, that he is an employee of the EPA, that the EPA actually has a “Criminal Division,” and that Bert Marsden actually is employed as some sort of official in this EPA Criminal Division.
Mr. Cotter, I urge you to investigate this incident very seriously. If you should find that there were any violations of law or policy by the personnel (federal, state or local) involved in executing this operation, I also urge you to take strong remedial action, including prosecution of any personnel involved who violated any laws.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope you will respond to this request and announce your intentions in this matter. I also hope you will investigate this incident and make public all relevant findings.
Sincerely yours,Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
Like Rich, I deeply respect the rule of law. As an attorney who practices in federal courts across the nation, I respect the rulings of those courts (indeed, much of my career is spent securing rulings from federal courts to protect individual liberties) and — having reviewed the pleadings in Bundy’s case — I do not fault the courts’ orders. John Hinderaker is right, “Legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”
But, as Hinderaker notes, that’s not the end of the story. I’d urge you to read Hinderaker’s entire analysis and don’t want to repeat it here. Instead, let me back up a bit and place the Bundy controversy in the larger context of America’s urban/rural divide and the resulting polarization of the increasing powerlessness of rural America.<<<Read More>>>