June 3, 2020

“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

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Addendum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

13 July 2018

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

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

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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

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

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A question of “Science”?

The following question was sent to a colleague recently”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

26 June 2018

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

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

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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

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Proposed Replacement of the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental Population of [Fake] Red Wolves in Northeastern North Carolina

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to replace the existing regulations governing the nonessential experimental population designation of the red wolf (Canis rufus) under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act, as amended. We request public comments, and announce a public information session and public hearing, on this proposed rule. In addition, we announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment on the proposed replacement of the existing nonessential experimental population regulations for the red wolf. In conjunction with this proposed action, we are initiating consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and completing a compatibility determination pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997. We propose this action to ensure our regulations are based on the most recent science and lessons learned related to the management of red wolves. If adopted as proposed, this action would further conservation of red wolf recovery overall by allowing for the reallocation of resources to enhance support for the captive population, retention of a propagation population for future new reintroduction efforts that is influenced by natural selection, and provision of a population for continued scientific research on wild red wolf behavior and population management. This action would also promote the viability of the nonessential experimental population by authorizing proven management techniques, such as the release of animals from the captive population into the nonessential experimental population, which is vital to maintaining a genetically healthy population.<<<Read More>>>

*Note* – A person who lives in North Carolina and has been very active in fighting this abomination of the Endangered Species Act for many years now, had the following comment about this latest action published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I can’t say just how much I agree with his comments as history has shown those who pay attention that this is a set up to profit the Environmentalists in their pursuit of “sue and settle” tactics.

“Well, this is just a sue and settle setup by the Feds.  It will be sort of like “put and take” quail hunting.  USFWS will release fake [wolves], who will then cross the refuge property line only to be shot.  Adjoining landowners will likely even sell guided trophy red [wolf] hunts. At this point DOW, RWC and SELC will walk into the Federal court room before Judge Boyle and he will then grant this fake [wolf] the full protection of endangered status throughout our State.  This is a very shallow and short lived win for us.  The greenies still rule our USFWS…   This is a set up.”

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George Orwell, call your office re: Wolves

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

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

The news report:

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

Comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Beers

24 June 2018

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

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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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What’s This? Wolves to be Removed From Protection Nationwide?

*Editor’s Note and Update* (5/21/18) The below link to the Appropriation Committee’s Draft Bill does not work at this time. I was able to track down a copy of that Draft at this link. Once reaching the PDF of the Draft Bill, scroll down to “Gray Wolves Range-Wide” 

Appropriations Committee Releases the Draft Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Bill

GRAY WOLVES RANGE-WIDE – SEC. 117

(a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule.

(b) Such issuance (including this shall not be subject to judicial review; and shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

 

Draft bill:

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP06/20180515/108314/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2019-Interior-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

Press release:

https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=395297

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Maine’s Bald Eagles Not “Big Game” So Worthy of Population Counting?

What a mixed bag of contradictory statements that come from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). We heard recently that MDIFW intends to shift its focus from keeping track of population densities of the state’s deer, moose, bear, and turkey and concentrate more on the health of these designated “big game” animals.

Evidently, Maine’s bald eagles are not “big game” nor are the piping plovers, as we discovered here, and so they deserve to be counted and kept track of in order that biologists can…can…can… better manage them? Because they are NOT going to be hunted?

A recent press release from MDIFW tells us that the Department is undertaking a bald eagle “survey” – something they do every 5 years. The release states: “Biologists are looking to determine the current eagle population; determine whether the eagle population has increased, slowed, or stabilized; evaluate changes in breeding abundance and occupancy rates and compare occupancy rates in traditional eagle nesting territories based on habitat protection.”

Sounds pretty smart to me!

Will this effort tell the biologists the overall health of the bald eagle? It would appear so. So why is MDIFW counting eagles and piping plovers and are not going to place as much effort on counting “big game” species? Is it because eventually, the move will be toward deer, bear, moose, and turkeys not being hunted?

If this focus on health is going to be the new scientismic approach to big game management, then, as the spokesman for MDIFW said, it gives the managers “more flexibility” in how they manage big game. We should then focus on the intent and purpose of “flexibility.”

Flexibility in government bureaucratic management historically has meant a chance to do whatever you want to do with less accountability for what it is you are doing. It also affords a chance to more easily cave into the demands of those whose power can make life uncomfortable. Of course, that “flexibility” is never presented in such a fashion. Instead, it is revealed to the public as some modernistic approach to new science that will make things better.

Unfortunately, this is never the case and will not be in this sense. It appears to me that seeking flexibility, or not having to account for numbers in wildlife as a baseline to successful species management, to go hand in hand with the continued migration of the purpose of wildlife management from supporting sustainable game herds to environmentalism’s non-consumptive over protection, is the real goal here…even if managers and biologists haven’t a clue as to what they are doing and for whom they are doing it.

Think indoctrination institutions!

However, the same press release indicates that perhaps MDIFW will decide whether or not they need to keep counting eagles: “The findings of this study will also be used to re-evaluate the future needs for monitoring of Maine’s breeding eagle population or determine whether to modify the 5-year aerial survey census that has been ongoing since 2008.”

If it is determined that there is no need to continue 5-year counting surveys, does that mean a shift toward general health evaluations instead? And if health evaluations are the focus, like with deer, bear, moose, and turkeys, I want to know how then managers will know how many of these creatures need looking out for? When they know numbers are low, counting is vital to the recovery of the animal. Is this then the new tactic – to wait until numbers of deer, moose, bear, and turkey “seem to be” so low protective measures must be implemented along with 5-year counting surveys? Are we not returning to the beginning stages of fish and game management of 150 years ago?

It would seem there is some middle ground here somewhere and perhaps that is what MDIFW is trying to do. But please, for those of us with a brain that works well enough to know the differences, do tell me that shifting management tactics from numbers to health offers more “flexibility.” I just am not going to buy it.

Can we back up and then move on?

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Piping Plovers Need Counting But Not Deer, Bear, Moose, and Turkeys

Maine says it wants to hire some scientists to monitor and manage piping plovers and least terns along the coast. Maine Public reports that: “The scientists will also conduct surveys of migratory shorebirds and map feeding and roosting areas.”

The only way that any scientists can “monitor and manage” these birds is to know how many there are. It is reported that “surveys” will be taken and maps will be drawn up to keep track of these birds. Why? Can’t we just have more “flexibility” in management if we know whether or not the flocks of piping plovers and least terns, regardless of their numbers, are “healthy?”

I say what is good enough for the deer, bear, moose, and turkeys is good enough for the piping plovers and least terns.

Maybe the object here is to focus the attention on the health of deer, bear, moose, and turkeys until they are extinct, like plovers and terns, and then hire “scientists” to “monitor and manage” them.

Job security!

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Environmentalists Whine Over Fake “Red Wolf”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing little to save the endangered red wolf according to an article published in the News Observer. Environmentalists are whining (and perhaps flogging themselves) because the claim is that red wolves cannot sustain their population without man’s help. But…but…but…I thought “Mother Nature” balances itself and would surely have accomplished this task by now.

But what’s not being written about in this article is that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was caught violating several rules of the Endangered Species Act, specifically introducing a fake hybrid species of dog claiming it was a species/subspecies of wild wolf endemic to the Southeast United States. In addition, it was a violation of the ESA and agreements laid out prior to the introduction that these fake red wolves would not be introduced or allowed on private land. They did it anyway.

Environmentalists are accusing the USFWS of not doing their jobs and yet they actually are doing what the laws demand that they do, except they are not actively going about to destroy the invasive creature of man’s creation. Their hands are tied and that is a good thing. The sooner the region can cleanse itself of this hybrid, mongoloid wild dog the better off everything will be.

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Wolves Impacting Humans

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