November 18, 2018

Gorby Falling Down on the Job?

Earlier I posted some history from a book called “Away From it All” by Dorothy Boone Kidney. In that post it was about attacks on humans by bears and the history of the Lock Dam on Chamberlain Lake in the Allagash of Northern Maine.

The same friend who sent that information also sent me a short quip about gorbys, the Canada jay, and how one of the jay’s names is “moose bird” because the moose allows the gorby to land and ride on him or her and feed on ticks. We have recently learned that a combination of a harsh winter and an overabundance of winter ticks, a gorby’s delicacy, killed a lot of moose. Are there just too many moose with ticks that the gorby can’t keep up? Or not enough gorbys?

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Book: “Away From it All”…..and into the Middle of Bear Attacks

In a continued effort to dispel the false security perpetuated by wild animal predator lovers that black bears “rarely” bother or attack humans, I’ve put together some bits of history that relates black bear events of attacks on humans, along with some history of northern Maine, the building of dams for the logging industry and the use of water power to get lumber to the mills many, many miles away.

The following information was sent to me by a close friend. It comes from a book title, “Away From it All” (information about the book included). Also, at the end of the excerpts from “Away From it All” is a link to a Bangor Daily News article called, “The Dam that Pine Built.”

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From Bangor Daily News – “The Dam That Pine Built

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Picking and Defining What’s Wild for Purpose

“The notion that America was “wild” when Europeans found it is more than a little racist; it assumes that Indians didn’t act like humans everywhere else did by changing their environment. Native Americans weren’t Ur-hippies taking only photos — or I guess drawings — and leaving only footprints. They cultivated plants, cleared forests with extensive burning to boost the population of desired animals, and otherwise altered the landscape in ways that may have seemed natural to newcomers but were nonetheless profound. As biologist Charles Kay observes, “Native Americans were the ultimate keystone species, and their removal has completely altered ecosystems . . . throughout North America.””<<<Read More>>>

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The Largest Otter Ever Recorded

In V. Paul Reynolds’ latest outdoor article, he tells of his discovery of what was left of an old log cabin in Maine’s Aroostock County in the DeBouillie area. Through research he finds out, through a nephew of the cabin’s owner, that the cabin used to be the winter abode of trapper Walter Bolstridge:

The cabin was a trapper’s winter digs. And the trapper, Walter Bolstridge, was my friend’s uncle. According to Floyd his Uncle Walter would hire a bush plane to fly him and his gear into the roadless DeBoullie area in October. He would stay and trap. In March he would come out with his furs in time to make the Annual Town Meeting. Imagine that! What a special breed of man he must have been.

By the way, Uncle Walter may still hold the record for having trapped the largest Otter ever recorded. He got his name in the newspaper. The Maine Fish and Game Commissioner at the time, George J. Stoble, said that the critter, which Bolstridge trapped on the Fish River, was a world’s record otter.

Well, with a lot of help from a friend, who did some of his own research, this is what he found about Walter Bolstridge’s world record otter:

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Gene Letourneau: Subsidizing Honest, Capable, Experienced Trappers Makes More Sense

SportsmenSayGene L. Letourneau of Maine was a outdoor sportsman, an outdoor writer and author of many books covering several topics, including game animals, hunting, trapping, fishing, and more. In one publication, “Sportsmen Say,” a book published in 1975 by Guy Gannett Publishing Company, Letourneau talks about Maine coyotes; something he calls the “new wolf.”

Read below his 1975 perspective and then following this excerpt, taken from pages 73 and 74 of the book, I’ll offer some discussion and commentary.

However, the larger animal or the new wolf, may be coming in from eastern Quebec where in the winter of 1973-74 they were considered common in some parts of the Gaspe Region.

By 1974 the establishment of this new predator in Maine appeared permanent. Some people welcomed it, others deplored it. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Game were trying to satisfy both factions, an impossible dream.

There were suggestions for their control such as hunting them with dogs, calling or tracking them, all idealistic but hardly effective in Maine.

As a hound enthusiast of more than fifty years and being familiar with the hunting of coyotes in some states with dogs, I can only say that any of these three control methods would be a waste of time and money. Subsidizing honest, capable and experienced trappers to operate in the trouble areas would make more sense.

While the Fish-Game Department is aware that the economic value of such an animal cannot be compared with that of the whitetailed deer, it has made no plans to attempt a population control program of the new predator.

Dr. Richens says he expects the animal’s range and number to increase in Maine. But he adds that it is his “personal opinion that coyotes will have little effect on the whitetailed deer herd. They will not kill a significant number as compared to the usual damage done by dogs.”

A state-wide leash law on dogs, however, enacted in 1973, has resulted in a tremendous decline in deer killed by them.

Not everyone agrees with Dr. Richens on the relative effect of the new predator on deer. But a Game Division spokesman sums up the situation with “We’ve got these predators and there isn’t much we can do about them.”

Henry Hilton, a research assistant at the University of Maine Orono Wildlife Cooperative Unit, began a study of the Maine coyote in 1973, planned to spend more time with Warden Sirois studying coyotes in the Big Black River area.

Hilton discounts the “new wolf” theory advanced by Dr. Coppinger and quotes the latter as using the name because is saves a lot of time. He adds, however, that in this matter of professional disagreement Dr. Coppinger stands alone. Hilton contends the animal is not a wolf.

In two years of research Hilton says he will accumulate a good amount of information involving over 100 of the animals, including food and hunting habits and their relationships with deer.

While he agrees with the writer that there is sufficient evidence in Maine that this new predator kills deer in winter he adds “this does not mean that there is a problem.”

No everyone will agree with Dr. Richens or Hilton on the relative effect of the new predator on deer in Maine.

A Game Division spokesman summed up the problem this way: “We’ve got these predators and there isn’t much we can do about them.”

After approximately 40 years, can we conclude that Letourneau was knowledgeable and prophetic?

Gene said the “new wolf” “may be coming in from eastern Quebec.” That seems to have been the case – knowledgeable – check!

Letourneau said that Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (then Game) idea to control the “new wolf” could be done with tracking, hunting with dogs and calling – knowledgeable and prophetic – check!

His statement that, “Subsidizing honest, capable and experienced trappers to operate in trouble areas would make more sense,” was extremely knowledgeable and prophetic – check!. But then MDIFW and the Maine Legislature stole away from trappers the best tool in the arsenal to control the “new wolf.” The snare.

I should like to point out that Letourneau said to use these trappers in “trouble areas.” Did he mean around slaughter sites in deer yards during tough winters? I think so – prophetic – check!

I think it safe to say that Gene Letourneau was knowledgeable enough to predict that his “new wolf” would be a problem for deer in winter deer yards, at a minimum. While others made claims that these new predators were NOT wolves and that these new predators would NOT be a problem for deer, history has shown otherwise.

And with this, it’s quite clear that Mr. Letourneau was both extremely knowledgeable and prophetic – check and check!

Good calls.

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Romance Biology – Now and Then

Guest blog by James Beers:

The following lurid prose is from a recent article about wolves in Yellowstone. It is foisted on the public as some sort of “scientific” factoid.

The following two paragraphs say all that need be said about the sad state of public information, public gullibility and government propaganda disguised as “science” today.

Regarding government-introduced wolves in Yellowstone National Park (totally isolated from the millions of acres surrounding the Park but who cares?) we are told:

“Photos taken in the early 1900s, when wolves roamed Yellowstone, reveal that young trees such as aspen and willow were abundant. In 30 years, after wolves were hunted out, the forest stopped regenerating. “Wolves are shaping what you see here,” Douglas W. Smith, leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, told Scientific American magazine. “In 30 years, when you drive through the park, it will look very different.”

Maybe more like it did a century ago. You can see the colour return to those black-and-white photos. If only Jack London had lived to read about this.”

So “young trees” “were abundant” “in the early 1900’s”. So what? Is it written somewhere that “young trees” are better or necessary or belong in particular places? Are aspen and willow prettier or better for stream fish you either can’t fish for or are being eradicated to be replaced by fish species that provide less fishing opportunity? Are the aspen and willows better for elk and moose that no longer provide hunting opportunity but only food for more wolves?

“After wolves were hunted out”? I thought job #1 for Park Rangers, since the Park was withheld by federal fiat from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, was to prohibit all use (hunting, predator control, trapping, etc.) of animals in the Park?

“The forest stopped regenerating”? When the “Cedars of Lebanon” (of Biblical fame) were cut for Phoenician ships that ruled the Mediterranean economy for centuries, rural Lebanese folk set sheep and goats to graze on all the grasses, brush and young trees that suddenly were so abundant. Between the slopes and all that hard grazing (before folks realized how important and beneficial it was to manage grazing pressure) on lands that were communally-owned, soil eroded and soon only grasses and brush were present. For many centuries that modified landscape has supported and supports pastoral communities of villages and herders. THAT forest truly stopped “regenerating”: Yellowstone merely began regenerating differently as it no doubt has done since time immemorial thanks to fires, diseases, predators, native impacts, drought, earthquakes, torrential rains, snows and snow melt, and all the other vagaries of nature. Thinking there is some absolute ideal picture that always was and always should be is as silly as saying wolves are benevolent and belong in settled landscapes such as The Lower 48 States.

Speaking of which, “Wolves are shaping what you see here,” is certainly true. So too is the lack of former elk and moose numbers and the presence of tourists and campers and tourists feeding animals and etcetera, etcetera “shaping what you see here”. That is merely an academic observation slanted to the observer’s wishes. Is the Park “better” with no wolves and abundant elk in the meadows and moose in the ponds being observed enthusiastically by the “once-in-a-lifetime” tourists and harvested outside the Park each fall by thousands of hunters supporting rural economies and state conservation programs to the tune of Millions of dollars annually? Or is it “better” with only a rare tourist glimpse of an elk or moose or a wolf and the presence of all the dangers (disease, human safety, etc.) associated with the presence of wolves even in this tightly regulated and scripted government enclave where there are no dogs or livestock or kids walking alone to rural bus stops or old ladies walking to rural mailboxes for the wolves to menace.

So the head Pooh-Ba scientist tells a “Scientific” magazine that “In 30 years, when you drive through the park, it will look very different.” Really? It looked different 50 years ago and it will look different 50 years hence despite all this twaddle about some mythical and sacred Park landscape that only government employees and environmental extremists with access to unlimited funding and political power can provide. The Park was set aside for “the People” as in “We the People”, the first three words of our Constitution. Making it into a federal reserve differing from the lands of bygone monarchs only in being unmanaged estates of unused renewable natural resources lacking herbivores and stuffed with trees and undergrowth that yield catastrophic fires in surrounding settled landscapes is not only a travesty, it is a betrayal of “the People”. It violates the Constitutional charge to a federal government to “establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, …”promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.

For those unfamiliar with the spelling of color as “colour”; colour is the accepted British spelling. This anomaly may be attributable to the Yellowstone ecology author’s (Bijoy Venugopal) background as likely somewhat distant from Yellowstone? You see, Romance Biology compositions are only limited by the imagination of the author. Experience or truth are neither required nor expected.

Finally we have the piece de resistance, “If only Jack London had lived to read about this.” When I was young I greatly enjoyed Jack London’s fiction. So I searched high and low to discover the reason for this reference but while I found that old Jack abandoned his wife and kids, was an alcoholic, ran unsuccessfully as a Socialist for Mayor of Oakland, was picked up for vagrancy in Niagara Falls and had visited Korea, Australia and England; nowhere could I find an interest in or visit to Yellowstone. Thinking it may have to do with his frequent mention of wolves in his writing, I searched those mentions and discovered that Jack London too could have been a successful Romance Biology writer today if only he “had lived to read about this”. Perhaps it was due to passages like the following that Mr. London’s name is evoked?

In “Love of Life” a prospector who has abandoned a friend and walked for hundreds of mile in N Canada to reach the Arctic Ocean endures unbelievable hardships with the thin hope of finding a ship to rescue him. As he lies almost dead on an Arctic beach a whaler appears on the horizon as he encounters a sick wolf. The account of this man and wolf interaction must surely be why Romance Biology authors everywhere admire Mr. London and why he must have a secure place in the Romance Biology Hall of Fame:

“The patience of the wolf was terrible. The man’s patience was no less terrible. For half a day he lay motionless, fighting off unconsciousness and waiting for the thing that was to feed upon him and upon which he wished to feed. Sometimes the languid sea rose over him and he dreamed long dreams; but ever through it all, waking and dreaming, he waited for the wheezing breath and harsh caress of the tongue.

He did not hear the breath, and he slipped slowly from some dream to the feel of the tongue along his hand. He waited. The fangs pressed softly: the pressure increased: the wolf was exerting its last strength in an effort to sink teeth in the food for which it had waited so long. But the man had waited long, and the lacerated hand closed on the jaw. Slowly, while the wolf struggled feebly and the hand clutched feebly, the other hand crept across to a grip. Five minutes later the whole weight of the man’s body was on top of the wolf. The hands had not sufficient strength to choke the wolf, but the face of the man was pressed close to the throat of the wolf and the mouth of the man was full of hair. At the end of half an hour the man was aware of a warm trickle in his throat. It was not pleasant. It was like molten lead being forced into his stomach, and it was forced by his will alone. Later the man rolled over on his back and slept.”

In true Romance Biology fashion, the man on the beach is first seen from the whaler by “scientists” on a “scientific expedition” whereupon he is rescued. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Yet, what would Jack London have thought if he “had lived to read about this”, i.e. Yellowstone and wolves? My guess is he would have admired how fellow authors were making money from such silliness; he would have gotten a kick (do “Socialists” have a sense of humor?) out of a public so gullible as to believe even bigger tales than he wove; and finally he would have shook his head and wished to be back in his world where people knew the truth about things like wolves and understood that even a dying man couldn’t kill a wolf with his teeth and then suck out wolf blood.

But, all Romance Biology today must have these propaganda chestnuts in them to qualify; besides the only difference is that people once merely enjoyed such fiction unlike today when they actually believe it.

Regardless of what these authors and their bureaucrat/radical friends tell you, wolves do NOT belong in the settled landscapes of The Lower 48 States, bombastic prose or not.

Jim Beers
19 March 2014

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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The Wolves Held Back the Deer

A friend and reader sent me some information found in a book called, “The History of the White-Tailed Deer in Maine.” Below are excerpts from that book about the deer herd in the State of Maine from as early as the 1700s. Readers might note a couple of things:

1.) In early settlement times, the deer were found almost exclusively along the coastline for a number of reasons. Twice in this writing it is mentioned that deer migrated inland with the expansion of the human population due, in part, by the reduction of the wolf population by the settlers.

2.) The deer would not and did not migrate inland as, “…the wolf still held back the deer from making important gains in those areas which were beginning to be opened up.”

Odd, isn’t it, that our history books are filled with accounts of how wolves dictated the scarcity of game and yet, today, this fact is denied by every environmentalist and their phoney organizations.

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Flying Without Wings – Ski Jumping History of Mount Revelstoke National Park

VIDEO: Historic

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Wolves Cannot be a Keystone Predator And Not Have an Effect on Ungulates

wolvestwoI recently received a copy of a brand new article that had been published in Muley Crazy Magazine, that was written by Dr. Charles Kay. The title of the article is, “Keystone Predation and Trophic Cascades.” What a brilliant piece of work, I must say. Most brilliant because not only does Kay simply and effectively explain what a keystone predator is, along with trophic cascade, but points out the overuse, perhaps ignorantly and incorrectly, of the term “keystone predator.”

Kay explains in his article that many talk of how wolves are a keystone predator and have created a trophic cascade (more on this in a moment) wherever they are present. He references Yellowstone National Park as an example.

In explaining to readers what keystone predation and trophic cascade are, he used the example of sea otters, kelp forests and urchins along the northern California coast. There exists kelp forests, where, for one thing, small fish use to nourish themselves and seek a degree of protection from larger fish. Urchins eat kelp and sea otters eat urchins. This condition is explained by Kay as a “trophic pyramid”, with the otter on top and the kelp on the bottom.

Uncontrolled hunting by man killed off most of the otters, causing the urchin population to grow, which in turn destroyed much of the kelp forests and yes the disappearance of a fishery. With the efforts of humans, a few surviving otters were returned to the area and with ample prey, the urchin, the otters soon reestablish. With otters reducing the number of urchins, the kelp forests return and in turn the fishery came back also. Dr. Kay says this, “is what is called a cascading trophic effect, where what happens at one trophic level impacts what takes place at other trophic levels.”

In the case of the sea otter, Kay says that, “a keystone predator is a keystone predator only because predation causes a major reduction in the herbivore population, which then causes a major rebound in the associated plant community.”

So, then, is a wolf a keystone predator? By definition a keystone predator, like the sea otter, reduces its prey to levels that have a significant effect on that ecosystem. In my opinion, wolf advocates and others – Dr. Kay lists them: Media, public, judges – wrongly use the term “keystone” in order to make people believe that because it is KEYstone, the ecosystem could not survive without them. As Kay so aptly points out, the wolf sponsors can’t have it both ways; be a keystone predator and NOT reduce significantly its prey species. Since the beginning of the debate about wolves, prior to introduction, the clap trap was readily repeated that wolves will not have any significant impact on its prey species, i.e. deer, elk, moose. However, we are seeing the results of this “keystone” predator, where in places the wolf has roamed and flourished, prey populations have shrunk out of sight.

For decades, where the environmentalists have gone wrong, is their insistence that man was not factored into the role as a keystone predator. This is where Dr. Kay explains that while the sea otter, wolf, bear, mountain lion, etc. may be keystone predators, they are not necessarily THE keystone predator. That title is rightfully placed on the shoulders of man and has been there since the beginning of man’s existence on the planet.

Dr. Kay’s article goes to great lengths in explaining the history of the role of Native Americans as THE keystone predators. His work in establishing time lines, geographical locations and availability of wild game of Lewis and Clark and other explorers, shows where and in what abundance game animals existed and why. It’s not what our education institutions have taught us.

In one’s dishonest effort to protect any species of keystone predator, they cannot claim it to be a keystone predator, for the sake of placing importance and glorification, while at the same time making bold statements that these “keystone” predators will not have any measurable effect on the prey species and ecosystem. Simply by definition, this is ludicrous. It’s as ludicrous as thinking that man can somehow be removed from the entire equation and then everything will be nirvana.

Dr. Kay explains that in reality, if those humans who want Yellowstone National Park to be brought back to its, “natural condition”, then we, “simply need to add native people.”

Kay ends his article with this statement: “As a rule, carnivores did not kill and eat aboriginal people. Instead, aboriginal people killed and ate carnivores, especially bears, making them the ultimate keystone predator.”

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U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

She said one faculty member took down the portraits of Lee and Jackson and put them on the floor as part of the inventory process. That gave rise to rumors that the paintings had been removed.

“This person was struck by the fact we have quite a few Confederate images,” she said, adding that the portraits were rehung on a third-floor hallway. “[Lee] was certainly not good for the nation. This is the guy we faced on the battlefield whose entire purpose in life was to destroy the nation as it was then conceived. … This is all part of an informed discussion.”<<<Read More>>>

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