February 22, 2019

In Search of the Hidden Public Costs of Wolves

By James Beers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Beers

9 August 2018

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

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

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

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

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Deep State, the Swamp and Willful Blindness

Americans love their coined phrases even when they are clueless to their meaning. It’s the result of willful ignorance and insanely wishful thinking.

A couple of very popular catchphrases or terms are “Deep State” and “Swamp.” Some have chosen to believe the Swamp is the Deep State. According to Wikipedia, Deep State is: “…used in Republican and conservative political messaging to describe a conspiracy theory of influential decision-making bodies believed to be within government who are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations. The term is often used in a critical sense vis-à-vis the general electorate to refer to the lack of influence popular democracy has on these institutions and the decisions they make as a shadow government.”

To assist in enhancing the Deep State theory, the term “conspiracy theory” has been changed to “Fake News.” Fake News, like Conspiracy Theory, is the smoke screen that is put up against anyone or any idea that doesn’t fit the current narrative or that threatens the existence of corrupt government and the REAL Deep State…a condition of which few even know about or care to spend the time to examine.

In reality, the use of the terms Deep State and Swamp is a display of Fake News crafted within the Swamp which is part of the Deep State. It is the REAL Deep State that allows Trump to use these terms for other sinister reasons – more than likely a continuation of divide and conquer (the masses).

To refer to an uncontrolled government that involves members (the Swamp) who are unaffected by changing administrations and new elections “deep” is akin to claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald acted independently in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

As such, it is more than just ideology to actually think any president is going to “drain the Swamp.” It, therefore, becomes fools play to think this Fake News Swamp Draining digs into the roots of a Deep State and changes anything. But that doesn’t stop the eager-for-change crowd from thinking it is and does. None ever examine truth beyond what they see and hear in the media and thus are left ignorantly convinced there are actual changes taking place and that a new administration is going to get them what they want.

We become our own victims when we act this way, but we can’t help it I guess. Years of programming and mind manipulating have brought us to a point where we are head over heels in love with a centralized government (even though we might give lip service to the opposite) that performs daily as a two-party rigged system. Until one is enlightened to a point of understanding the false paradigm of Republican and Democrat, it will continue to be business as usual.

What brilliance Trump and his planners (more than likely the planners are members of the REAL Deep State most are blind to) achieved in devising the Swamp and the Deep State. Quickly this group of campaigners (lying bastards with one thing only on their minds) covered their dishonest tracks with the “Fake News” smoke screen – another mark of understanding, not just human nature but the nature of people programmed to react a certain way under certain conditions.

The truth is a “Deep State” has always existed and could not exist at any level, led by anyone, without a Swamp to operate from. You can choose to believe the contrary and most likely will because that is how you have been programmed.

All that has changed over the years as far as the operation of the Deep State, is that the Deep State or the Global Power Structure (the REAL Deep State) has a tighter grip on the masses through years and years of propagandizing, mind control, changing history, fake science (scientism), social perversion, media mind control, the list is endless.

In the excitement of some over Donald Trump’s use of Swamp and Deep State, there also exists a false sense that this administration will effect changes wished for. This has become obvious in ongoing discussions with those who believe this administration will actually do something to amend the Endangered Species Act and/or remove wolves from the protected list and give control over these predators back to the states.

Few understand that wolves, grizzly bears, and every other animal, protected or not, fall within the confines of the United Nations Environmental Policy “treaty” of which the U.S. is held hostage as “the supreme law of the land.” (BUT DON’T GO LOOK!)

Those caught up in the whirlwind of Trump mania fail to understand what a REAL Deep State is and waste their time, programmed as such, with perpetuating myths like Swamp, Deep State, and Fake News. With this insane mindset, many go about seeking solutions from a corrupt, rigged, centralized government that created the problem to begin with.

The only things that actually change are those things the Global Power Structure (the REAL Deep State) allow to change. Everything else is theater, a “Bread and Circus” if you will, designed to keep the masses content and ignorant of the realities of the REAL Deep State.

Nothing will change until we change. This first requires a willingness to consider that most of what you have been taught is a lie. If you can get beyond that, there is hope…that is if you are willing to take the time to learn the truth…which is NOT found on Facebook.

Which is why you undoubtedly will never learn anything.

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Wolves Coming Colorado II

No matter how many people go to Symposiums against wolves or for wolf management, leave comments on web site articles, hide on Facebook and cry like bitches, the Nation/State members of the U.N. are ALL still incrementally implementing the 1995 United Nations Environmental Policies and “Globall” Biodiversity Assessment which is the extended version of the 1992 Agenda 21 Charter which means Contract… Which means as long as they’re in charge your incompetent protesting against what they are intentionally doing to you is not going to stop. Time to stop following and believing in amateurs who are making non arguments against the case for REWILDING yet have never read the UNEP case book for REWILDING..

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Hocus Pocus Voodoo Science: Proposed Replacement of the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental Population of Red Wolves

The purpose of the proposed action is to incorporate the most recent science and lessons learned related to the management of red wolves to implement revised regulations that will better further the conservation of the red wolf. We propose to establish a more manageable wild propagation population that will allow for more resources to support the captive population component of the red wolf program (which is the genetic fail safe for the species); serve the future needs of new reintroduction efforts; retain the influences of natural selection on the species; eliminate the regulatory burden on private landowners; and provide a population for continued scientific research on wild red wolf behavior and population management.<<<Read More>>>

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Wolves Coming Colorado

It’s interesting observing a certain group preaching how to stop wolf introduction into Colorado using the same arguments that failed Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon..And this particular group speaks of education and coming together when they in fact are divisive, and ignore the international UNEP tome which has been in the states legislatures since 1995 setting up the infrastructure for the REWILDING process which includes the participation of protesting the progress of the UNEP tome itself.. What the wolf does is irrelevant when the so called teachers ignore the progress of the implementation of UNEP with no countering language to push back against the UNEP terminology. Thus because of the ignorance of the language and the process of implementation those implementing the UNEP REWILDING plan win hands down based on incompetent rebuttal {non compos mentis} which is legal silent acquiescence. Which is exactly the way the wolf intro went down in the states mentioned above.. . SWW is a limp dick..

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Sen. Murkowski Once Again Blocking Passage of Wolf Delisting Bill

An email from Tom Petri, State Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (WI):

This is the fourth year in a row we’ve tried to get the wolf delist bill attached to the annual Interior & Environment (I&E) appropriations bill as a non-fiscal / policy rider.   Each of the past three years, we’ve gotten it into the final House spending bill, but not into the Senate’s.

Senator Murkowski (R-AK) has been the chairwoman of the Senate’s I&E appropriations subcommittee since 2014, and she has final say over the issue when the House-passed and Senate-passed bills are conferenced in an attempt to reconcile the differences between the two and find a final compromise.

The problem, to me, is that she always lets her staff cave in to democrats’ demands, and the wolf delist language, and most every other ESA-related policy rider always get pulled out of the final report at the very end of the process.

As you know, the vast majority of the Senate Dems view it as a poison pill policy rider, and the vast majority of Senate Republicans come from unaffected states, so most don’t care.  Murkowski’s staff always indicate they had to let it go in order to secure enough democrat support, and therefore allow the larger spending bill to have enough support for passage in the Senate (always need 60 votes).

To recap, while we’re hopeful, and Sen. Johnson is certainly engaged on a personal level again, I’m skeptical that Sen. Murkowski (or Leader McConnell for that matter) will suddenly prioritize the issue on our behalf this year.   If you think about it, they didn’t prioritize it and help us in 2016 when he was up for re-election, why would they now?

The Senator and staff are trying to work behind the scenes to make sure the House language survives the conference process, once we get there next month.

Hope that helps.  Feel free to share my update.

Tom-

Tom Petri

State Legislative Director

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

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RMEF, Sportsmen’s Alliance File Brief in Support of Yellowstone Grizzly Management

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed a joint summary judgement brief supporting a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to remove federal protections from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) grizzly bear population.

“We stand alongside the Sportsmen’s Alliance and our fellow conservation organizations in supporting federal scientists and wildlife biologists who declared the grizzly population fully recovered,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “The next step is keeping grizzly management under the umbrella of state agencies that manage all wildlife in accordance with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, which uses hunting as a management tool.”

“Despite the emotional rhetoric of the animal rights crowd, the time has come to return this population of bears to state management,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “The truth is, this is a historic moment for the species and the Endangered Species Act as a whole. Returning the Yellowstone area population of bears to state management should be a monumental achievement widely celebrated as a conservation success story.”

Numbering more than 700, 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 in a manner that maintains its healthy and secure status.

RMEF and its partners helped permanently protect more than 169,000 acres of vital wildlife habitat valued at more than $131 million in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Additionally, RMEF also directly contributed more than $3.1 million and leveraged an additional $17.5 million to help enhance wildlife habitat on more than 426,000 acres in the GYE. RMEF also contributed more than $1 million in funding and leveraged an additional $10 million from conservation partners to carry out 118 GYE wildlife management and wildlife research projects.

“These projects are crucial and helped to contribute to the understanding of wildlife populations, ecology and habitat needs, including increasing the understanding of grizzly bears and conserving the habitat needed for them to thrive in conjunction with all wildlife populations,” said Weaver. “Habitat needs to remain the focus of on-the-ground conservation work, not seemingly non-stop litigation.”

The federal judge laid out a schedule that includes several more filing deadlines as well as a hearing in late August. He has stated he will make a ruling before the hunting season begins in September.

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An Open Letter About the Insanity of Wolf Protection Over Livelihoods

The Merciful Bullet

By Len McIrvin, Partner Diamond M Ranch Laurier, WA 99146

As I looked into the dark, pain filled, pleading eyes of the calf lying on the ground in a dense thicket, many thoughts flashed through my mind. This had been a strong, healthy heifer calf (in human terms, she would have been a 5 or 6 year old girl-halfway between birth and puberty, with-hopefully-her whole life ahead of her)
As I looked at the calf’s ripped and torn, blood-soaked body; with her shoulder ripped from it’s joint, her hindquarters and her back and upper leg deeply punctured and lacerated with dozens of wolf bites – I had to ask myself, “Why?” Why is this becoming a common place event for cattlemen and sheepmen all over the West as they see their herds ravaged by wolves?
The mother cow mournfully bellows to her unmoving, fatally wounded calf. Her udder is swollen with milk but is never again to be suckled by her baby. Showing her love and concern, the mother cow stands watch over her calf all day long; refusing to leave the area where it was attacked by wolves. Her grief-stricken cries haunt me as she continues to call to her dying baby.
Once again I ask myself “Why?” Why this terrible waste to satisfy the desire of a few people who just hope to hear a wolf howl?
I couldn’t help but think “Why” once again as the Fish and Wildlife Officer asked my grandson if he could dispatch the victim, stating that he would then transport the body to the dump. What a waste of a healthy, young calf to end up in that place where she will rot or be eaten by scavengers.
I looked again at those dark, pain filled, and pleading eyes of the calf as my grandson compassionately placed the Merciful Bullet between them. Even though this is an experience I have lived through over 100 times, I still cannot accept this merciless killing of our herd by wolves.

Wolves kill whatever they want to kill, but death by wolves is slow, and horrible, and a long time coming. In the case of this calf, she could have lived for days, or lived until the wolves came back and started eating her alive. With tears in my eyes, I am asking all the good friends, neighbors, and citizens in our area, state, and nation for help in ending this situation.
God has said He put man on earth to have dominion over the animals. For those of you who believe there is a Lord, you must assume this responsibility and demand that this terrible carnage ends and that our predators are managed to the point that our herds and flocks, our pets, and our wonderful herds of game animals can survive.
There are only 3 factors involved in controlling the population density of wolves:
1. The first factor is disease and parasites, which invariably come when wolf population reaches its saturation point. (these are transmittable to humans)
2. The second factor is starvation. The starvation factor kicks in at the point when there is no food source available. At this point, they become cannibalistic and start eating each other, thereby controlling their own population.
3. The third factor and the most viable and effective population control of wolves is man; but in today’s political correctness, man has been taken out of the equation. This is the scenario we are facing today.
As a cattleman who has been involved with cattle all my life-nearly 3/4 of a century, I am asking for your help as we deal with the consequences of an exploding wolf population. Local control is the only answer. Let’s do everything possible to assure that each County Sherriff has complete control and is totally in charge of all the wolf predation that affects his citizens and their property.

Len McIrvin, Partner Diamond M Ranch Laurier, WA 99146

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An Opportunity to Make the ESA Benefit People

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jim Beers:

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

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

Consider the following examples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommendation

Each of these examples has 2 things in common:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

25 July 2018

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

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

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

By Jim Beers

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Enjoy the nature now, tomorrow it is too late.

XXX

My response:

XXX, my good friend,

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

 Speaking of cormorants:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

Wed. 11 July 2018

————————————————————

Addendum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

13 July 2018

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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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