August 19, 2019

New Study? “Zoning” Ineffective Way to Protect Deer Wintering Habitat

Personally, I think these so-called studies should be either banned or categorized for what they are – modeling fiction.

Little in this report about a “new study” at the University of Maine makes sense and determines nothing except a suggestion that the only way we can protect those deer wintering areas that researchers seem to think deer can only survive in is to lock up the land with regulations that prohibit the use of any kind. How wonderful.

The report shares such brilliance as this: “The researchers found that zoning was effective at protecting winter habitat within zoned areas, but that ‘the zoning protections, which have exclusively targeted core use areas, have contributed little to reducing fragmentation or maintaining habitat connectivity region-wide in northern Maine.'”

And that means…?

And when it is all said and done, we are left with information few will read and even fewer will understand: “The study emphasized that monitoring is needed to understand the long-term benefits of zoning in wildlife habitat conservation, and that remote sensing can be a way to overcome the difficulty of monitoring protected forest areas.” (emphasis added) (sounds like more money is needed…wink, wink)

But we were just told there are no benefits to zoning…no, no, wait a minute we were told that there is a benefit in zoning but there isn’t a benefit in zoning. Zoning within zones zoned for zoning might do the trick. Got that?

And while their study SUGGESTS many things, it determines nothing and this is further substantiated by their emphasis that “monitoring” is needed in order to understand something about what it is they just spent time “studying.”

I wonder who paid for this and why it qualifies for publication?

 

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Wildlife Management as Government-Sponsored Comedy

By James Beers:

Upper Midwest newspaper articles have become vibrant reporting platforms for the increasingly absurd and wasteful machinations of the mixture of radical environmentalism and animal rights doctrines.  As loony (pardon the pun) as these popular appeals for public favor are becoming, the fact that our tax dollars support them only increases their incongruity and therefore the comedic nature of modern American wildlife non-management.  To quote the old Pogo cartoon classic;

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The latest “Outdoors” column in a Twin Cities Newspaper’s Sports Section is one such example thanks to a summer doldrum week when fishing is slow, hunting is closed, the Twins are 12 games out, and the NFL Preseason is just getting underway.

The following is a thumbnail description of the article with my italicized comments.

The article is titled, ‘Geese police’ hoping kayakers can protect wild rice.  There are two photographs; one of a “biology student” paddling a kayak, and another of a half dozen Canada geese swimming in a very thin scattering of wild rice.  This vignette takes place on the St. Louis River that dumps into Lake Superior at Duluth, Minnesota and which forms the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin (Duluth, MN and Superior, WI) upstream from Lake Superior for about 8 miles.  Here are some quotes in the order they appear in the article:

  1. “When the expanding population of giant Canada geese start munching on manoomin before it’s even ripe, destroying the entire stalk, they can cause a lot of damage.”

1.)50 years ago, the federal government (USFWS) began raising “Giant” Canada geese to “restore” these prairie nesting geese in the Dakotas and Minnesota.  Think “Red” Wolves. Although they were indeed “large” geese their questionable lineage and their restoration were murky attempts to give further justification to buy, ease and manage wetlands that were rapidly disappearing.  In fact, the first releases in Rochester and other Minnesota communities (Minnesota was much farther along in draining their wetlands so they got the early releases) were the beginning of the creation and explosion of “RESIDENT” Canada geese across the northern half of The Lower 48 States.  The “Giant” Canadas quickly hybridized with migrating Canadas producing hybrids (wolves/coyotes/dogs anyone?) some of which stayed year around in City Parks or near schoolyards or open rivers or below dams and learned to eat grass, waste grains and even food provided by humans as if they were wintering nuthatches. The offspring became “average” Canada geese with an occasional “giant” emerging in an occasional clutch. Canada geese, we soon discovered, are just like mallards: they will eat almost anything and given some food and open water they will winter successfully farther north than imagined only 40 years ago.  For many years overabundant “Resident” Canadas that caused lots of problems were live-trapped and scattered around to other communities’ reservoirs, golf courses, parks and other etceteras like vetted refugees; but that was abandoned as the problems and costs overwhelmed federal and state agencies and every nook and cranny filled up.  Costs and (like wolves, grizzlies and other federally-created wildlife problems) constant emphasis of made-up imaginary benefits and denials and cover-ups of growing problems steadily co-opted state agencies into federal schemes of benefit to politicians and environmental/animal rights agenda items.  Think wolves, grizzlies, southern black bears and alligators claimed by federal bureaucrats as endangered and under federal authority with dangled proffers of federal dollars to states to cooperate.  Note also that the word “giant” is no longer Capitalized since it is an artificial construct of unnatural hybrids, yet; it is still mentioned in hopes of kindling the old magic imagery of another unique species that was almost made extinct by Europeans, capitalism, and unbridled greed.

2.) “Manoomin” is the latest spelling of “Mahnomen” which is reputed to be the Indian/Ojibwe word for the English words, “wild rice”.  This is worth noting since in 1906 the County spelled “Mahnomen” was founded in western Minnesota on the White Earth Indian Reservation.  My assumption would be that the “Manoomin” spelling is a recent construct by minority and Progressive political groups much like the removal of statues and un-naming of schools and streets named after Founding Fathers and Generals that were once honored for their contributions to American history but who owned slaves or otherwise offended modern sensibilities.  In a real but subtle way, this example of spelling change authority evinces the power of a minority to modify spelling thus exert their ownership (think dogs and fire hydrants) of the wild rice subject in Minnesota as will be seen later in the article.

  1. A biology student was, “tasked with checking out an idea.  Why not draft volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders to scare the geese away?”

Why not, indeed?  Because these students, professors the general public are so animal rights-oriented that they will eternally seek, regardless of the truth or practicality, the Golden Fleece of non-lethal animal control for every human/animal conflict.  Think wolves and “range-riders”, electric fences, guard dogs, fladry, taste aversions, penning at night, 24-hour herd/flock guards, horns, sirens, drones, etc., etc. all to no avail but that proves nothing to the modern “biologist”.  Any Upper Midwest waterfowl hunter knows when you hunt wild rice beds, most waterfowl would do anything to get at it.  Allow hunting and the birds will feed at night or earlier in the morning.  Shoot the N end of a wild rice bed and birds will pour into the S end.  Try to flush them from wild rice and they will simply get up and come back down nearby.  Yet, just think: if “volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders” can scare them away, we will have found the ‘giant” Canada goose Golden Fleece!  That will prove it can be done.  Now all we need to find is 10, 20 or 200 “volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders” that will sign up to “scare” geese 24/7 in August, September, October, November and December come rain, sleet or snow, in the darkness of night, in rough windy days and at night when other boats are about.  Well everybody likes the possibility anyway.

  1. The “biology student” received “a $3500 grant for the project.”

Protected wolves are killing cattle, sheep and dogs and state politicians debate annual compensation for the losses to owners that owners always say is too little.  Wolf predation on domestic animals and wild animals increases as wolf numbers increase and will be present forever and any compensation will disappear as soon as rural complainants get tired of all the rigmarole and stop complaining as ranches diminish, dog ownership decreases, and hunting/game goes the way of Isle Royale moose into the guts of wolves.  Whether the $3500 comes from hunting license funds, Casino revenue, federal Excise Taxes, State Appropriations, or federal grants; it is a waste of money intended to assuage one more negative aspect of the “protect nature, whether naturally occurring or government-contrived by government-created geese and wolves, and she will take care of herself” philosophy.

  1. “You usually had to be very obviously trying to scare them away.  They didn’t scare very easily.”

You had to have a “biology student” confirm that?

  1. “The Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources, Fon du Lac Band, 1854 Authority, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and others for years have been trying to restore wild rice beds once common along the St. Louis River estuary in Duluth and Superior.” Wild rice is “a sacred food for Ojibwe people”.

Tribal Authorities and legally-held Native preferences play a big role here.  Just like certain western Tribes encourage federal authorities to release wolves on Tribal lands to evade State and local jurisdiction and objections: so too do Upper Midwest Native authorities cooperate with state agencies to do things like restoring wild rice on non-tribal lands that may then fall under Native control and be administered to achieve different agendas.  For instance, wolves that spread onto non-tribal lands diminish rural communities in many ways thus reducing their power in any conflicts with tribal activities and claims.  Simultaneously, while non-tribal residents on non-tribal lands that kill a wolf are subject to imprisonment, large fines and loss of voting and gun ownership rights: tribal members on tribal land can kill a wolf with impunity as one North Shore (of Lake Superior) tribal member did on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation two years ago.  While presented as some sort of restoration of “buffalo and wildflowers” project; wild rice restoration while once strongly supported by waterfowl hunters and their organizations has become a nuanced effort that often turns out to be something political that everyone denied at first.

  1. “Having geese police on site was thought to be potentially more effective than sound or motion deterrents like sound-cannons which geese become accustomed to.  It was also considered more politically correct than instituting a goose removal effort.”

Quick goose habituation to such devices has been known for over 70 years.  The thing is; “geese police” will never be enough or spend enough time to make a dent in the depredations of “Resident” geese aware of a food as preferred as wild rice.  Goose removal, likewise, has proven to be an annual matter, of great cost ever since those first “Giant” Canada left Rochester, MN wetlands for the golf course and intown schoolyards and Parks.  Note the “removal” word.  “Removal” to where?  Actually, it will be “removal” like California bureaucrats tell urban fantasizers that “problem” mountain lions (protected in California) will be “removed to a ‘wilderness’ location”, meaning some rural gravel road in the middle of the night.  Moving geese about as suggested here is like taking an infected bandage off your finger and putting it on a cut on your toe: you listen to any doctor or nurse suggesting it at your own peril.  The mysterious and amorphous words “goose removal” are dog whistles for “hunting” so; just like lethal controls for wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, alligators, etc.; we hereby erase and never mention the ONLY tried, true and proven method to keep geese from destroying a wild rice restoration project. 

  1. “Early fall hunting seasons help trim local goose numbers some.  But with the entire Duluth side of the estuary off limits to all firearms hunting the geese learn quickly to avoid the Wisconsin side of the river once the shooting starts.”

The geese avoid the hunted side ( where evidently most of the wild rice occurs) during the day but surely visit the other side when there is no hunting taking place (or packs of kayakers are waiting to pounce).  Note here also the word “some”.  Hunting will kill as many geese as you want.  Want to kill “more”?  Allow electronic calls, unplugged guns, baiting, earlier and later hours, sculling, sinkboxes, urban shooting sites, etc. and you can kill all or nearly all the Resident geese in a short time or each and every year if you want to maintain a few Resident Canada geese, though why any informed person would want to do so given all the negatives that accompany these hybrids is beyond me.

But what about the “Duluth side of the estuary off limits to all firearms hunting” presented as a problem?  Obviously, Duluth and/or the state of Minnesota place a higher priority on restricting hunting for geese than on restoring wild rice.  If you cannot get any or more hunting authorized on the beds for Resident geese then face facts, you have too many geese and you are unwilling to do what must be done. Stock walleyes or “study” how to restore furbearers and the state fur market with any wildlife or fish money burning a hole in some government pocket. 

  1. “Short of killing more geese, which may or may not be a viable option, having volunteers wave paddles at the big birds may be the best option to allow some wild rice to grow.”

If killing more geese every year ad infinitum is not “a viable option” you can’t grow wild rice in that section of the St. Louis River.  You have TOO MANY GEESE, just like the rancher or sheepherder run out of business by TOO MANY WOLVES. All the silver bullet promises in the world can’t and won’t change that.  The solution for waterfowl problems like this local one with Resident birds is to reduce, and keep reduced, the numbers of geese.  Like it or not; politically correct or not; annual hunting aimed at a certain level of those geese is not only affordable, it generates license revenue unlike the bevy of kayakers and actually finances conservation programs and associated businesses from sporting goods and clothing to tackle and boats. 

As to the wolves, the answer is and always has been local control and decision authority as to if any, how many, where and the rights of residents to protect property and or authorize anything and any methods from complete protection to complete eradication.

Isn’t it funny how the same destructive organizations and ideas that gave us wolves and grizzly bears in The Lower 48 States are now giving us kayakers and “Giant” Canada geese in wild rice?  The same religious assumptions about “Native” this and that represented by hybrids shoehorned into settled landscapes presented as somehow rectifying the sins of our fathers?  The same hatred toward anyone enjoying useful traditions which with they disagree?  The same contempt for traditions and American culture as we now see in the cities?  The same tales about the search for silver bullets and Golden Fleece that will one day soon resolve the irresolvable?  The same reckless use of scarce fish and wildlife dollars? The same sagas with the same players and the same Useful Idiots that Lenin first observed 100 years ago.

What’s next, free-roaming buffalo?  You betcha!

Jim Beers

17 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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RMEF, Partners Take Action, Protect Popular Recreation Area, Wildlife Habitat

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—A 120-acre tract of wildlife and riparian habitat in western Montana, under threat of development, is now permanently protected and open to public access thanks to timely collaborative work by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners.

“This project is a big win for a multitude of reasons,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “It’s a win for elk and other wildlife. It’s a win for multiple-use and it’s a win for everyone seeking better access to our public lands.”

The property is located immediately to the north of the Bass Creek Recreation Area (BRCA) between Missoula and Hamilton. It lies at the base of the Bitterroot Mountains, borders Sweeney Creek and is approximately two miles east of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. It is also surrounded on three sides by the Bitterroot National Forest while a five-acre subdivision lies immediately to the east.

“This project maintains habitat values and prevents fragmentation of vital habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said Larry Irwin, RMEF board member who lives nearby in the Bitterroot Valley. “It also enhances recreation activity in the popular Bass Creek area and prevents the conversion of a non-motorized trail into a permanent vehicle route.”

A bank previously foreclosed on the land with the intent of selling it on the private market. If that happened, the Bitterroot National Forest could have been obligated to grant permanent access via the establishment of a motorized road through the property. Instead, RMEF and its partners worked together to purchase the land and convey it to the Bitterroot National Forest, thereby placing it in the public’s hands.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the Forest Service, our partners, and most of all, public land users,” said Tami Sabol, Stevensville District ranger. “The close proximity of the Bass Creek Recreation Area to Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley make it one of the most popular areas on the Bitterroot National Forest, providing a quality ‘backyard community’ recreation experience.”  Sabol also emphasized “this purchase consolidates existing federal ownership and provides connectivity across the Bass Creek, Larry Creek, and Sweeney Creek watersheds, which is a fantastic benefit for wildlife.”

The property is important winter range for elk and mule deer and is also home to whitetail deer, turkey and other bird and mammal life.

The BCRA is used by approximately 60,000 people each year for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking and other recreational pursuits. The acquisition provides improved access to adjacent public land and to Sweeney Creek.

“Farmers State Bank is so excited to partner with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Forest Service to provide a new outdoor recreational area in the Bitterroot Valley. Working with the RMEF and Forest Service to bring this project to fruition is a great example of community involvement and is one of the many reasons Farmers State Bank is proud to call Western Montana home,” said Kay Clevidence, Farmers State Bank president.

Funding for the project came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Priority Recreational Access program, Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Torstenson Family Endowment, National Wild Turkey Federation, Mule Deer Foundation, Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen and Farmers State Bank.

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Sportsmen group developing Augusta land for kids, families

AUGUSTA — The state’s largest sportsmen group is currently developing a 40-acre parcel land in Augusta on which kids and their families will be able to learn about hunting, trapping, fishing, wildlife and the outdoors.

The land, which is just north of Route 3, was donated to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine last year. For the last few months, the group has been clearing brush, selectively removing trees, constructing an access road and digging a one-acre pond that will eventually be stocked with trout.

That’s the first phase of the project. Over the coming years, the group intends to build trails, camp sites and an archery range with 3-D models of animals, all in consultation with wildlife biologists who can help improve the habitat.

“We don’t want it to look like a national park,” said David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance. “We don’t want to drive the wildlife off.”<<<Read More>>>

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Montana Project Protects Wildlife Habitat, Expands Public Access

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with a conservation-minded family to permanently protect nearly 1,000 acres of elk habitat in southwest Montana. In addition to providing public access to the property, the project also greatly improves access to approximately 2,600 acres of adjacent public land.

“We appreciate Jerry and Linda Grow for recognizing the wildlife values of their land and reaching out to us to both protect it and open it to public access,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

The 960-acre parcel is located about 45 minutes south of Dillon in an area that includes a number of other RMEF land protection and public access projects. It is bordered on three sides by land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. RMEF now holds the property and will keep it open to public access until conveying it to the BLM, expected to happen later in 2018.

“We are very grateful for our partnerships with the private landowner, RMEF, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) who all were all instrumental in securing this property for the public and conserving this habitat,” said Cornie Hudson, BLM Dillon Field Office manager.

The property features high quality winter range habitat for as many as 700 elk and approximately 450 mule deer. It also supports moose, antelope, black bear, wolverine, greater sage-grouse and other wildlife. Both West Fork Little Sheep Creek and Straight Creek cross the immediate landscape providing vital riparian habitat for fish and other aquatic species.

The parcel will be incorporated into a grass bank to be periodically grazed by domestic livestock. Doing so will make it subject to prescribed fire and other stewardship work that will maintain high-quality habitat for wildlife and livestock alike.

The tract is also historic range for bighorn sheep that used it until a recent die-off. FWP is strongly considering the property for future bighorn reintroduction efforts.

Two small cabins are on currently on the site and will remain to be used as public rentals via the BLM recreation.gov system.

“We are so excited for the public to be able to experience this recreational opportunity!” added Hudson.”

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More Pennsylvania Elk Country Protected, Open to Public Access

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Another piece of Pennsylvania elk country is permanently protected and open to public access thanks to a collaborative effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

The Woodring Farm II project entails 37 acres and is the newest addition to State Game Lands 311. It is located near a project finalized in 2014 and marks the 13th RMEF land protection and access project in Pennsylvania elk country.

“Even though these three parcels amount to just 37 acres, every piece of the puzzle counts in expanding the total amount of elk habitat acreage protected in Pennsylvania,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate our partners at the Pennsylvania Game Commission as well as RMEF members and volunteers for their continual support.”

The property lies within the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range in Elk County’s Benezette Township which boasts the highest elk population density in the state.

“This acquisition is critical as it protects a very popular public corridor for elk viewing.  Public visitation to these viewing areas increases every year,” said Bryan Burhans, PGC executive director. “However, high-quality elk range is finite. This area is now protected perpetually thanks to our partners at RMEF and an anonymous donor.”

Funds generated from Pennsylvania elk tags and the anonymous donation to RMEF provided funding for the project.

Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 425 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $25 million. These projects protected or enhanced 26,907 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,152 acres.

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Court Rules in Favor of Active Forest Management

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied claims by several environmental groups and ruled in favor of a habitat management project in southwestern Montana.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and several other partners filed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Forest Service and several other federal agencies.

“We have seen environmental groups file frivolous litigation time and time again seeking to thwart efforts designed at improving wildlife habitat and overall forest health. That is the case here,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the court’s ruling and look forward to the implementation of this needed habitat stewardship work.”

The East Deer Lodge Valley Landscape Restoration Management project is a landscape project in the Pintler Ranger District on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest designed to improve forest health and reduce sedimentation in the headwaters of the Clark Fork River.

The vast majority of lodgepole pine trees in this immediate area are dead. Many of them are already on the ground. Without forest management treatment in the near future, the forest floor will be covered with combustible material that will also impede the growth of shrubs and grasses needed by elk, deer and other wildlife.

The project calls for the removal of pine beetle-killed timber, forest thinning to reduce conifer encroachment and other treatments on riparian areas to protect and improve watersheds that will enhance both fish and wildlife habitat.

“RMEF maintains litigation reform is necessary in order to allow agencies tasked with managing our forests the ability to implement active forest management that is so badly needed all across elk country,” added Henning.

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Repeating False History of Wolves

The other day I was reading an article in which the author quoted a section of Maine’s Game Management Plan for deer. The portion quoted that caught my eye was: “In the 19th century, extirpation of wolves and cougars from Maine allowed deer to further expand and increase in number essentially unencumbered by predation.”

The use of the term “extirpate” is interestingly convenient. According to an Online definition and from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, extirpate is defined as “root out and destroy completely” and/or “to destroy completely; wipe out.” Upon further examination of “wipe out” I discovered: “the act or an instance of wiping out: complete or utter destruction; a fall or crash caused usually by losing control”.

It would, therefore, be safe to conclude that to extirpate something – in this case, wolves and cougars in Maine – would involve the deliberate act of men to purposely, or without knowledge, “completely destroy” and wipe out populations of these predators. Is this factual history?

I guess that depends on who you talk to and what you choose to believe according to what most conveniently fits your agenda, ideology, and narrative.

The use of the term extirpate, which points a big fat accusatory finger at evil men, is forever used when any form of wildlife disappears or more accurately within this lopsided and misinformed society when wildlife doesn’t appear in numbers to satisfy the social demands of some.

To environmentalists and to animal rights perverts, Man is evil. They cause about as much chaos as global warming – which is also caused by man in their eyes – and at the same time hunting causes wildlife species to grow. According to the expert EnvironMENTALists, hunting, fishing, and trapping has and is causing the extirpation of wildlife species every day, and yet, when convenient, that same action causes species like predators to magically perform some sort of compensatory increase in sexual activity and a boost in reproductive rates. Scientism on full display, bolstered by Romance Biology and Voodoo Science.

According to the quote by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), wolves and cougars in Maine were extirpated (by men) in the 19th Century and this act caused the population of deer to grow “unencumbered by predation.”

I have not spent a lot of time read searching cougars in Maine but I have studied the history of wolves and coyotes in Maine quite extensively. It appears that MDIFW, and all willing and eager True Believers, want to believe that man by deliberate intention “completely destroyed” the wolf population in the state. And yet, there is little history that supports that statement.

History is loaded with accounts of the troubles that Mainers had with wolves dating back into the 1600s and yet little is written about many wolves being killed for those actions, not necessarily due to lack of trying.

Actual historic accounts of wolves in Maine, show their presence but, like the deer population, there was no honest way of knowing what the real population of wolves was other than anecdotal evidence. It is more convenient for us to make up population estimates pertaining to history in order to complete our narratives.

In some cases, there were bounties established in hopes of ridding the residents of depredation attacks on their livestock, but there is no history that shows a systematic approach to “extirpate” the wolf and cougar from the Maine landscape.

Aside from the fur of the wolf during the winter months, neither animal had much value – certainly, it was not a food source. It isn’t to say that the open season on wolves and cougars didn’t contribute to the control of these predators, but history simply doesn’t give a blanket cause and effect of what happened to both of these large predators, especially to be able to continue to state that man extirpated these beasts – directly or indirectly.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our angst and eagerness to blame the existence of the human race on everything, including global warming, we put aside honest historical and scientific research and take the easy way out. Such is the case here I’m afraid.

Maine’s historical accounts of wolves actually show an interesting phenomenon – or at least from my perspective based on my read search. Maine also used to have caribou roaming about the countryside, mostly found in the northern half of the state. It is either unforgotten or never learned that wolves, will eat deer but prefer elk, moose, and/or caribou. But let’s also not forget that when hungry and wolf will eat anything, including dirt to stop the hunger pangs.

Maine history tells us that when wolves and cougars were part of the countryside, deer migrated south, away from the large predators, and often took up residence on the islands off the coast of the Pine Tree State – their learned adaptation for survival.

Environmentalists eagerly want to blame the actions of man for the “extirpation” of the caribou. At the time caribou were present in Maine, there were little management and regulatory guidelines to ensure sustainability. But, like the wolf, did man “extirpate” the caribou from Maine?

Not according to many historical documents. Perhaps more accurately we see an interesting phenomenon that happened in Maine. It is written by some historians that suddenly the caribou, for reasons at the time unexplained, simply migrated out of the state and likely found their way into Canada. Whether directly related or not, along with the departure of the caribou, disappeared the wolf – the common sense explanation given that the wolves simply followed their preferred food source.

As a society, we tend to hate men and their actions, while at the same time near worshiping animals and extolling their intelligence. Some animals are quite crafty and to ensure survival, these animals learn to adapt.

Man, on the other hand, was given a brain, and while at times I might question whether we know how to use it, generally speaking, we have used our brains to figure out there must be limits and plans devised and carried out in order to maintain wildlife populations. For the most part, these actions have done remarkable things where most negative consequences seem to be the result of actions by environmentalism and animal rights groups, i.e. perpetuating and protecting large predators at the expense of other more valuable species such as game animals as a useful resource.

I might suggest that it would do a world of good if men would learn to use that brain a bit more to discover the full truth of historical wildlife accounts and stop repeating what somebody else said simply because you like it or it sounds good. That does no good for anybody.

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Sec. Zinke Announces Members Of Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council in Order to Maintain Rigged Governmental Structure

The Government System that so many people believe in and rely on is a rigged system. In order that this rigged system remains intact when appointing people to sit on Government councils, they must reach out to those who believe in and rely on the rigged system to achieve their own goals and agendas. Appointing members to this fake advisory council is no different. The Secretary of Interior merely goes out and gets the lackeys that all work together in many other ways now, as part of the rigged system, and many now have more reason to become “True Believers” in more of the Government rigged system.

Insanity is doing the same action over and over each time hoping for a new result.

Here is Sec. Zinke’s Press Release announcing members appointed to his fake council:

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the newly appointed members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. The Council was established on January 9, 2018, and is intended to provide the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice regarding the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities with regard to wildlife and habitat conservation.

The Council will also examine ways to benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation organizations, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government; and benefit recreational hunting and recreational shooting sports.

“We have assembled here some of the best conservationists in America,” Secretary Zinke said. “Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”

“America’s hunters and recreational shooters have a champion in Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Zinke is fighting for our sportsmen and women to have greater access to our public lands. I am pleased to work with the Trump Administration’s new Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to make it easier for Americans to enjoy our public lands.”

“I am honored to be nominated to this important federal advisory committee that will address issues and advance policies that benefit America’s hunters, recreational shooters, and other outdoor enthusiasts,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane.

“I am humbled and honored by my appointment to the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council Federal Advisory Committee,” said Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation Lawrence G. Keane. “Comprised of national leaders throughout the hunting and recreational shooting communities, the HSSCC is widely regarded as one of the most effective and productive federal advisory committees across the federal government. As a member, I will work diligently to promote policies that expand and enhance access and opportunities to hunting and recreational shooting for all Americans. I am deeply appreciative of Secretary Zinke and Secretary Perdue for this extraordinary opportunity.”

“President Trump and Sec Zinke continue to make major positive structural changes to America’s land and wildlife conservation systems,” said Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife Founder Don Peay. “This new Council made up of the most accomplished hunter/conservationists in North America will assist in revitalizing conservation of our nation’s natural treasures for generations!”

“I am extremely honored to represent the archery industry and serve alongside such distinguished national conservation leaders on this important Council,” said Vice President & Chief Conservation Officer, Archery Trade Associations Dan Forster. “The incredible economic, environmental and social impacts derived from our nation’s hunters and shooters demands attention at the highest levels and I am excited to be a part of this national collaborative to serve, promote and invigorate hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts across America.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be selected as a member of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council,” said Former Chief ODNR Division of Wildlife Mike Budzik. “I pledge my support and energy in service to the Administration, Secretary Zinke, the sportsmen and women and shooting sports participants of this great country. I will strive to listen to the grassroots conservation leaders, industry professionals and the dedicated biologists of the Department of the Interior to provide the best input possible”.

“The Council provides a unique and valuable forum to convey the needs of ducks and duck hunters to the most important policy makers in the United States,” said Senior Vice President, Delta Waterfowl John Devney. “It will provide an incredible opportunity to contribute to the nationwide dialog on hunting and conservation. We are honored to be selected and excited to be a part of the good work the Council will undertake”.

“I am honored to be appointed by the Secretaries to this extremely important council that provides advice on wildlife management, hunting and recognizing the role hunter conservationists have played for over 100 years.” said CEO of Ducks Unlimited Dale Hall.

“This is truly an honor for me and a tremendous opportunity to carry forward the critical conservation work that must occur for mule deer conservation and our hunting heritage,” said President & CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation Miles Moretti. “I look forward to working with my fellow members of the Council to advise Secretary Zinke and Secretary Perdue and the agencies that they oversee on the issues that will make the biggest impact for our western wildlife species and the future of hunting.”

“As a lifelong hunter and shooter I am deeply honored to serve on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council,” said Hunter Graham Hill. “Throughout my life I have enjoyed and benefited from the rich hunting and shooting heritage of our great nation. Ensuring that heritage continues to play its critical role in wildlife conservation and management by ensuring hunting and shooting opportunities across the nation are preserved and enhanced for our citizens will be the noble and important work I look forward to with my fellow Council members”

“I am very pleased and honored to be appointed to this Council by Secretary Zinke,” said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chief Conservation Officer Blake Henning. “I look forward to representing the interests of big game and big game hunters as this Council does important work.”

“I am honored and look forward to contributing to the conversation with Secretary Zinke’s newly formed Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council,” said National Co-Chair NRA Hunters Leadership Forum Trig French. “With a lifelong passion for the shooting sports and hunting in our great outdoors, the opportunity to promote and expand access to sustainable hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands is a long-held goal. With rational and thoughtful dialogue among varied stakeholders, one can be hopeful that consensus can be reached resulting in the fair and wise use of our public lands for the benefit both of the present and future generations.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to work hand and glove with the Secretary, the staff at the Department of Interior and serve beside the brightest in the conservation arena, while we work together to advance the cause of conservation in this country,” said hunter John Green. “We have a unique opportunity to impact the future of hunting and fishing going forward, while being thoughtful about the resources available, for the betterment of our outdoors people”.

“I’m honored to be part of the Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council. I look forward to bringing my ideas to the table and making a positive impact for the next generation of hunters and outdoors men and women,” said Author of “Taking Aim” and Outdoor Channel Host Eva Shockey.

“What an exciting time for our hunting and shooting sports! This Shooting Sports Council is yet another way Secretary Zinke and staff is making the expansion of our great American heritage a priority,” said Smith & Wesson Pro Shooter and Consultant Julie Golob. “It’s an honor for me to be a part of it alongside so many influential and truly passionate leaders in outdoors sports.”

“As a lifelong hunter I’m honored to have this opportunity to work with the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council on important wildlife conservation issues and raising public awareness of the many benefits of hunting and outdoor sports,” said President of the Liberty and Property Rights Coalition David Spady. “Hunters play a critical role in wildlife habitat conservation and provide necessary resources to help maintain our public lands and wildlife populations. It’s imperative the public understand the value hunting and sport shooting activities provide to the economy, physical fitness, wildlife conservation, recreation activity and generational family bonding.”

“I am honored to be asked by Secretary Zinke to serve on the federal advisory council,” said Bob Model, Chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Sportsmen and women are vital stakeholders in federal land management. Secretary Zinke has made it a priority to improve public access to hunt on federal lands, and I look forward to serving on the Council to provide our best advice on how to tackle this quickly.”

“All Americans reap the benefits when we recover wildlife populations, expand opportunities to enjoy our outdoor heritage, and conserve our unrivaled natural resources,” said President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation Collin O’Mara. “As the parent of two young daughters and the head of America’s largest wildlife conservation organization, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Council and look forward to working with the Secretary to ensure that we pass on a nation with abundant wildlife and unparalleled outdoor experiences.”

The Council is strictly advisory and the duties will consist of providing recommendations for implementation of Executive Order No. 13443 (E.O.): Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation, Secretarial Order No. 3347: Conservation Stewardship and Outdoor Recreation, and Secretarial Order No. 3356 (S.O.): Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Wildlife Conservation Opportunities and Coordination with States, Tribes, and Territories.

Recommendations from the Council to the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture shall include, but not be limited to policies and programs that:

  • Conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests and rangeland habitats;
  • Promote opportunities and expand access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands;
  • Encourages hunting and shooting safety by developing ranges on public lands;
  • Recruit and retain new shooters and hunters;
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and the social and economic benefits of hunting and shooting;
  • Encourage coordination among the public, hunting and shooting sports community, wildlife conservation groups, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government.

The members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council are listed below:

MEMBER NAME ORGANIZATION
Mike Budzik Retired Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Chris Cox Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
Jeff Crane President of Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF)
John Devney Vice President of U.S. Policy for Delta Waterfowl
Dan Forester Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer for the Archery Trade Association
Ward “Trig” French Chairman of the Hunter’s Leadership Forum
Julie Golob World and National Shooting Champion, Team Smith & Wesson
John Green CEO of Crossroads Strategies; Board member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Former Policy Advisor for the Senate Majority Leader- specifically in conservation policy
Dale Hall CEO of Ducks Unlimited and former Director of the USFWS
Blake Henning Chief Conservation Officer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Graham Hill Principal and Founding Partner- Ice Miller Strategies LLC; Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association
Larry Keane Senior Vice President for Governmental and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary, and General Counsel for National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF); General Counsel, Corporate Secretary for Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institutes, Inc (SAAMI); Serves on Board of Directors for Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Bob Model Former President of the Boone and Crockett Club Miles Moretti President and CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation and a previous Deputy Director of Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources
Collin O’Mara President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
Donald Peay Founder and Former CEO of the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW)
Eva Shockey Co-Host of Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures on Outdoor Channel
David Spady President of the Liberty and Property Rights Coalition
ALTERNATES
Jack Atcheson Board member of the National Wild Sheep Foundation
John Banks Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Indian Nation
Becky Humphries CEO of National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)
Rob Keck Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops
Paul Phillips President, Founder, Co-owner- Pac/West Communications
Keith Tidball Professor- Cornell University, Natural Resources and Environment
Jana Waller  Host of Skull Bound TV on Sportsmen Channel and Hunting Guide
Kristy Titus Host of Pursue the Wild; Board Member of the National Rifle Association’s Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Committee
Dianna Muller Captain of Team Benelli; World and National Champion competitor shooter
Wayne Hubbard Co-Founder of Urban American Outdoors TV (UAOTV)
Mark Williams Commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources

The Council will meet approximately twice a year, and at such other times as designated by the Designated Federal Officer. The Council will terminate 2 years from the date the charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is renewed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the FACA. The Council will not meet or take any action without a valid current Charter.

The Council is established to further the provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701), the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd), other Acts applicable to specific bureaus, and Executive Order 13443, “Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation.” The Council is regulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

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RMEF to Serve on Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council

*Editor’s Comment* – Participation in The Rigged System

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation accepted an invitation to serve on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.

Established on January 9, 2018, the group is tasked with providing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice about the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities regarding wildlife and habitat conservation.

“I am very pleased and honored to be appointed by Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “I look forward to representing the interests of elk and other big game, big game hunters and furthering RMEF’s conservation mission as we carry out this important work.”

“We have assembled here some of the best conservationists in America,” said Secretary Zinke. “Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”

Council Objectives:

  • Conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests and rangeland habitats
  • Promote opportunities and expand access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands
  • Encourage hunting and shooting safety by developing ranges on public lands
  • Recruit and retain new shooters and hunters
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and the social and economic benefits of hunting and shooting
  • Encourage coordination among the public, hunting and shooting sports community, wildlife conservation groups and state, tribal, territorial, and federal government

The Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council includes 17 members and 11 alternates. It plans to meet twice a year, and additional times as needed.

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