March 30, 2020

Maine’s Proposed Transmission Line: Lying, Cheating, Stealing, Fraud and Hypocrisy

All governments and those criminal agencies who support and perpetuate fraud and deception in their common practices, sometimes get caught with horse manure on their hands. With dirty hands dripping with juicy dung, then the criminal politicians go to work to change existing laws that will, somehow, run in their favor – whether financially or garnering votes. Some things never change.

Central Maine Power (CMP) company wants to destroy a great deal of forest in Maine, some of which will be on Maine Public Land, to run a transmission line from a hydro project in Canada to supply electricity in Massachusetts, a state that irresponsibly neglects their own needs choosing instead to satisfy their wants via the destruction of others -typical of today.

I was reading this article in a Maine newspaper about a recent revelation that CMP seems to have already received permits to “lease” Maine Public Land, those permits, depending on whose lie is being perpetuated to get what they want, were issued as the perhaps the cart ahead of the horse scenario.

Who to believe?

The former director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, says that nobody told him about the Public Lands being used for a transmission line before he issued permits. But read what he was quoted as saying: “When I was working on it, I believed that it was for renewable energy and possibly windmills to be built in that region.” We’ll come back to this in a moment.

The former director also claims that by the time any application for land lease reached his office, it should have met all approvals by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. Did the director assume and didn’t bother to check? Aren’t there any checks and balances? Or does any of this matter anymore?

Any lease, according to this news report, is “…conditioned upon the project receiving a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity,” which CMP already has. Who issues this certificate and what was the criteria to get it?

Like with anything in this age of totalitarian head-bangers (spoiled brats) those opposing the transmission line, decided to craft a bill that would nullify the lease and require that any changes of use of the Public Lands be handled through the Legislature by a two-thirds majority vote. Is this how things are now done? Just make a new law voiding an older one without due process? Does CMP have a legal permit? Can a government simply nullify such a permit simply because they disagree with the proposed project? If so, what kind of trouble are Maine residents going to face with no assurance that any laws are any good anymore?

I don’t want the corridor either but I also place some kind of value on law and order which should give us slaves some sense of where they can go and how they can get there. This looks like a mess and that it got that way from a combination of greasy hands and typical criminal politics.

But, let’s return to the statement made by the former director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, where he said, “When I was working on it, I believed that it was for renewable energy and possibly windmills to be built in that region.” From this statement, are we to believe that a lease was signed by the director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands (we don’t even know if this lease was issued legally or not) for Maine Public Lands to be used to erect windmills and that a lease wouldn’t have been issued for a transmission line? Shouldn’t the consideration for a lease on public land be considered for the amount of change of use and destruction any project would bring? Evidently, this lease decision was based on one’s belief about Climate Change and their personal perspectives on what is, or isn’t, “renewable energy.”

Below are a couple of pictures. One shows the destruction from the construction of windmills, the other an electrical transmission line. Is one of these less destructive than the other?

This is a clearcut which is but one small portion of the entire site where windmills were erected. What kind of forest destruction is there here? Is this how Mainers want their public lands used?
A typical Maine transmission line.

Are we then to assume that because a lease was granted to a company for one type of use over another, that one is more or less destructive than the other? It would seem to me that before any further nonsense with wind power and transmission line permits are granted, Maine residents need to ask a few more questions and get a few more honest answers.

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And Right on Cue, Out Come the “Balance of Nature” Scorpions

I knew that yesterday when I published a short piece about one Maine town planning on spending $27,000 to kill a handful of rabies-infected animals causing safety problems within the town, that the misguided and ill-informed masses would begin speaking out in protest of killing any animal. And here they come.

I apologize that I cannot give you a link because the story I read this morning was from a copy of the newsprint version.

Aside from the lies about nature being in balance and the need to protect rabies-infected animals, like foxes, skunks, and raccoons, nothing ever seems to change as people refuse to correct their ignorance and make decisions based on something other than emotional clap trap.

When you read foolish drivel like, “Everything is connected. When you take something out, you disrupt the whole balance,” one can only ask where do people get this terrible information from. And then I remember, it is the babble that is taught in our schools and perpetuated by the media.

I’ve been trying to educate the public for years about the intellectual rubbish of “Balance of Nature.” “Nature,” as most have grown to believe is some magical mystery tour, is a vicious and continuous cycle of positive and negative feedback loops. What that means to us simple folks is that it is always changing and most often is replete with wild fluctuations.

But, I digress in order to attempt to make some sort of sense out of who would, out of their self-acclaimed love affair with Nature, consider protecting the likely perpetuation of rabies, not only on the animals but the people who come in contact with them, in order to achieve a “balance” that does not exist? Do we exchange one disease for another based on preferred animal affections?

Rabies is a cyclical disease, as a reflection of the truth of the positive and negative feedback loops; some years there’s rabies, some years there’s not. It is basic information to understand that diseases are most often spread when there are too many of one group of animals – in this case the canines that carry the disease. This is a clear indication that there is no balance, otherwise there wouldn’t be any issues with numerous encounters between people and wild animals and the threat of disease. This is not a difficult concept to handle when observed away from an emotional attachment to animals, coupled with having been taught false information.

Believing that if left alone, the foxes, raccoons, and skunks, diseased or not, would solve the rodent problem that carries other ticks and diseases that transmit Lyme and other diseases, then believers of such rubbish surely should then believe that there is some magic formula that will take care of the foxes, raccoons, and skunks. So, why is there a problem of too many wild canines that are carrying rabies and threatening people, if nature was in balance?

And why do we pay good money to have fish and wildlife departments and federal departments to handle such threats from diseases that pose public safety issues? If “Nature” balanced itself, think of the money we could save.

If people understood the realities of “leaving nature alone,” they would know that, at times, it requires man to step in and responsibly take care of public health and safety issues…even if it means checking a population of animals to facilitate the resolve to an important problem.

It’s always easy to speak up for the protection of animals when these diseased animals aren’t in your backyard threatening you and your family. Have some sense. Ridding the community of a few rodent-eating varmints isn’t the end of their world. As is obvious, these animals will reproduce and come back, probably to threaten the neighborhoods again.

Take a Xanax and call me in the morning.

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$27,000 To Euthanize Possible Rabies-Infected Wildlife

A small city and area in the mid-coast region of Maine has announced plans to set out traps to catch animals that might be infected with rabies. Evidently, there have been several encounters between people and foxes and other critters that can carry rabies, and concerns are growing to the point town managers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) think something needs to be done.

Before I make my statement that is sure to piss off a great number of people, let me say that dealing with rabies in wild animals is a difficult task. There is no way of knowing whether any animal is rabid. The town feels they are at a point where they must kill off a percentage of the animals that can contract and spread rabies in order to reduce encounters with people. Even the USDA says this action has no guarantee to stop the spread of rabies.

So, here’s the insane part. It’s going to cost the town nearly $27,000 to put out 20 traps and check them for a period of 10 days. So what costs so much? That’s easy. Let me paste here exactly what one news report printed: “The traps will not be lethal or harm the animal, but every wild animal caught in the traps will be euthanized.”

This is insanity! Is there a reason, other than the trapping “will not be lethal or harm the animal,” that lethal traps can’t be used? The animals are going to be killed…period. Kill them, properly dispose of them, and be done with it. The bulk of the cost of “euthanizing” the captured animals is putting the animals down “humanely.”

I know, I know. But seriously. Think about it. $27,000 is going to be spent to kill how many animals?

I’m sorry. I just can’t help myself. I wasn’t raised that way.

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Is What We Are Being Told About Habitat Really True?

One has to wonder. I was reading this morning about issues with feeding whitetail deer in Maine. George Smith, outdoor writer, shares with his readers that: “A SAM [Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine] survey of our members in 2018 revealed that 26% had fed deer sometime during the previous 3 winters. That equates to about 2,000 feeding sites, just among SAM members!” This information, as I understand it, does not include data from food plots, i.e. those places around where people plant crops specifically to feed deer.

So, let’s say there are about 2,000 feeding sites across Maine each winter season. We don’t know the location of all these feeding stations and/or the ones that aren’t included in the SAM survey report. (Is it reasonable to think that there are more deer feeding sites from people who are NOT members of SAM?) Consider that there is a possibility that if there are feeding stations near each other, some feed lots are sharing the feeding of the same deer.

Regardless, can you guess what the average number of deer that are being fed per feed site? If I were to take a wild guess, I’ve seen some where at peak feeding time, it appears as many as 100 deer are chowing down. Back yard feed sites, might get around a dozen, maybe more and maybe less.

For argument sake, let’s say each of the 2,000 + deer feeding sites nourishes 30 deer (I think that might be conservative so bear with me). That would mean, excluding some deer that might move between two or more feeding sites, perhaps 60,000 deer are receiving supplemental nourishment they wouldn’t get if they were on their own.

If the 60,000+ deer receiving supplemental nourishment (and once again, this does not include summer food plots and those feed stations that SAM isn’t aware of) comprise at least one quarter, and perhaps one half, of the statewide deer population, and not having any scientific data on geographic locations, what is this activity doing to the survival and promotion of healthier deer throughout the state?

We are repeatedly told that during the harshest parts of the winter months, deer browse on stuff that is of little or no value as far as nutrition goes. The fiber ingested more or less fills an empty stomach. So, ask yourself whether or not the deer that are being fed are better nourished. If so, what does that mean for the long term for deer?

If you’ve ever watched deer interact at a feed station, you will notice that the bigger deer bully the smaller deer, such that the smaller, and less aggressive deer, get what’s left over. Biologists and others have stated that feed plots aren’t “fair” because of this natural dynamic. Shouldn’t we consider that whatever “scraps” the runts get is certainly more than they would get without food sites?

Have you ever been to a deer wintering area and observed the realities taking place there? One quite obvious dynamic is the neat trimming that takes place of the bows of trees in the lowest parts of the canopy. As winter progresses and the snow level rises, so too does the trim line at the lower parts of the trees. When the trees have all been trimmed that can more or less easily be reached, deer begin to stand up on the hind legs in order to reach the tree bows. This means the bigger (taller) deer get food and the runts don’t. According to the misguided thinking of some, this natural event wouldn’t be “fair” either.

What does happen then with a quarter, or more, of the total deer population in Maine getting “unnatural” food? Do these deer receive the necessary energy to help them survive those long harsh winters better? If so, to what extent is the increased survival affecting the mortality rate of the deer herd? Does this increased nutrition cause the fawn survival rate to go up? If so, how much? Is it skewing natural dynamics? Does this event send those biological triggers, often conveniently talked up by animal rights groups and predator advocates, that “cause” deer to produce more as part of their reproductive rates?

There are many things to be considered with this extent of deer feeding. Probably we are left with more questions than answer. However, when we consider what we are being told about habitat and deer mortality rates etc., we might be looking at two different consequences of deer feeding. One consequence might be that we are seeing more deer added each year to the total deer population, or perhaps at least in those areas where deer feeding is more concentrated. Are we? Have we received any word from the biologists in charge of deer management that the population is actually growing? Maybe word from observations from those who feed deer can tell us if they are feeding more deer each year. I would think they ought to know. Don’t they count them? Does the harvest data indicate that the population of deer might be going up?

If none of this is actually happening, then it would be sensible to ask just what the condition of the deer herd would be without any supplemental feeding.

If you think about all these things, then one has to wonder if law makers and game managers are making too big a deal out of feeding deer. Is it really hurting in any way? Yes, there are concerns over spreading of disease, but is there an equitable concern for disease and virus spread throughout the landscape of all wildlife? If Chronic Wasting Disease was found in Maine, I’m positive the state would immediately implement all necessary actions to curb the spread. Supplemental feeding isn’t going to cause CWD, but it might contribute to spreading the disease.

We should probably ask ourselves how significant changes in feed and habitat, quality and quantity, are to the management of our wildlife. Is it like we are being told?

I think supplemental feeding of at least one quarter of the total deer herd is significant. I also believe this activity has contributed to the survival and reproduction of more deer. With that said, what would the state of the deer herd be today without the years of supplemental feeding?

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Trickle-Down Nonsense of Moose Tick Infestations

This morning I was rereading a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) blog post about the department’s ongoing moose survival study. There is little hope that ever in my lifetime we will rid ourselves of the ignorant brainwashing that has caused a new religion of Climate Change Worship. I am left with the firm understanding that, beyond politics, the science of climate change, has been replaced with the Scientism of utter nonsense. There is no hope. Regardless of whatever reality is, whether natural or man-made, the inability to understand simple concepts has been bred out of this post-normal society. Such is the case within our wildlife management departments worldwide. All that is known is we’re all gonna die from Climate Change.

There’s nothing I can say or do that is going to have any influence on the epidemic that has overtaken this dystopian totalitarian existence.

But maybe there is hope to some degree…or not. The blog post of which I linked to above reads: “This increase in winter tick is a consequence of the changing climate, resulting in milder winters and creating a greater opportunity for tick survival.”

One of the problems with making this statement is that there are not enough studies done on winter ticks to be able to fully understand the survival rates and conditions. While fish and wildlife biologists, along with millions of climate change religious fanatics, are nothing more than echo chambers of what he said-she said, hand selected information, most of which is based on scientism (outcome based) and void of real science (truth), is used to prop up narratives and is rooted in unprovable propaganda.

Currently, there are just as many, perhaps even more, pieces of scholarship that tell us that “climate” really is not a strong enough factor to consider in tick survival. (But, as I say, Don’t go look!)

The echo chambers constantly repeat the tale that harsh winters (this from the standpoint of we don’t have harsh winters anymore, which is bunkum) will kill off ticks that cause mortality in moose. Harsh winters have come and gone and returned again, the same way they always have. Those who choose to believe false data about temperature changes, wrongly believe that normal cold winters (if we still had them, wink-wink) would take care of the tick problem. They fail to understand tick mortality and the relationship to temperatures and climate, even suggesting they don’t really understand the life cycle of the moose tick.

Consider the following…if at all possible. If Climate Change is a real factor (There is natural climate change. There is NOT man-caused climate change…at least not in the way it is being sold to the public.) and if Maine is indicative of the rest of the world, it has seen a minuscule increase in average year round temperature (perhaps a half a degree) in the past few decades, then which scenario do you think would have the most influence on tick proliferation and mortality – a temperature change of half a degree over several decades, or an increase in moose populations, directly proportional to the increase in ticks, of say 50% or more over the same period of time?

Because the political persuasion of Climate Change Religion has so poisoned the minds of good men, perhaps then the only hope will be some changes made to moose management that is secondary, or worse, to counter the invasion of Scientism.

If we read further on at the MDIFW blog, we can read the following: “With parasites and disease, higher moose population leads to greater chance of transfer, ultimately causing more death. Since calves have two critical periods in their lives to ensure survival, it is of high priority for MDIFW to find ways to help improve moose health. For this reason, the agency is considering methods of selectively lowering the moose population in certain parts of the state to decrease the chance for parasite and disease transfer, eventually leading to a healthier and higher quality population.”

What is extremely interesting in this approach is that this is something I have been harping at for years now, i.e. that we should recognize those factors that influence wildlife that we have no ability to control and focus on those things that we can. DUH!

As much as anyone wants to harp on Climate Change, there’s nothing we can do about it, short of an all out war on the worlds’ human population. Some believe a tax on carbon will do the job. I might suggest that first we take a look at the historic raping of the public of taxes for such things as the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Education, etc. and do an honest assessment as to the status of those billion dollar (in taxes) programs and the yield on investment. Yeah, I thought so.

So, we can’t change the climate…no, really, we CANNOT change the climate. We don’t even understand it or what influences it. How are we ever going to change it? Or do we want to?

A warming climate has historically always been followed by periods of prosperity, growth, ample food supplies, etc. Carbon dioxide is an important and necessary component to our own health and prosperity.

If the climate in Maine is changing so much, as we are led to believe, that moose ticks are growing by the trillions as a result, then it only makes sense, as we are also told, that the southern fringe of natural moose habitat would be migrating north, and along with it the northern fringe of the whitetail deer population would be expanding north along with the retreating moose.

We know that the opposite is true. Maine’s deer population is struggling to survive north of say the East and West highway of U.S. Route 2. We also know that moose are expanding into southern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. This is all opposing the theories of Climate Change and the false claim that moose ticks are increasing due to Climate Change.

It is of some relief to see that at least in Maine, moose biologists are willing to attempt something beyond crying over Climate Change to improve the health of the moose herd. With open minds and a return to real wildlife science, biologists will soon learn, as others have before them, that the ONLY way to mitigate moose ticks is to reduce the population.

Let’s get on with it and put an end to this needless suffering.

Photo by Albert Ladd

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Deer Yards and Recreational Trails

Note: The below article has been submitted to the Bethel Citizen, a local newsprint publication and subsidiary of the Lewiston Sun Journal (Sun Media Group). It is intended as an open letter to the State of Maine, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Legislature, and any and all groups that develop land and in particular recreational trails.

Maine’s Trails Need Consideration for Wildlife

Open Air with Tom Remington

The Bethel, Maine area has become one of the fastest growing areas when it comes to the use and development of recreational trails. With little or no guidelines to develop, expand, or limit use, perhaps now is a better time than later to closely examine the effects of increased use by people and pets on trails throughout the year.

Trails for recreation are a great thing. As cultural demands change, I have watched as old logging roads, railroad beds, footpaths, hiking trails, snowmobile and ATV trails, etc., have been upgraded and are maintained for increased traffic far beyond foot traffic alone. The Western Maine area, which includes Bethel, at present has the most recreational trails available than at any other time in history.

With the development of paths, capable of moving more and different forms of recreation to greater distances, in less time, with manual and motorized transportation devices, with this come direct threats to our wildlife. We don’t always think about how our presence and activities can negatively effect habitat.

If we take a look at the whitetail deer population and how their biological cycles go allowing them to survive long winters in Maine, then perhaps we can see a definite need for considerations in locating trails, size of trails, and intended uses.

During the winter months, the whitetail deer in Maine, move into what our biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) call Deer Wintering Areas (DWA). Most don’t realize that the Bethel region is home to a few of these DWAs, with one that used to be one of the state’s largest located near the Bethel Airport and within land which is now part of the Bingham Forest Park.

When deer enter Deer Wintering Areas (typically at the end of November into mid-December depending on weather conditions), their metabolism begins to slow. This is a necessary and natural adaptation that allows deer to conserve energy needed to stay warm and survive. This approximate 100-day period, where deer eat very little and what they do consume is more to fill a void than provide nutrition, is an extremely critical time.

It is during these mid-winter days, that deer are at their most vulnerable stage of existence. Any disturbances within these DWAs can result in near immediate death.

I have written in the past about concerns that I have with DIFW offering late season deer hunting opportunities for concern that deer that have already begun to “yard up” will be unnecessarily stressed by the presence of hunters. I also have concerns about when and where people can “shed hunt” (search of antlers) because efforts can stress deer and other wildlife during critical times.

Biologists at DIFW repeatedly echo that the biggest obstacle in efforts to maintain and manage healthy levels of whitetail deer is destruction/loss of habitat.

With all of this in mind, it would seem but only reasonable and responsible that all efforts to seek advice and guidelines be sought from professionals BEFORE construction or expansion of recreational trails. This is far better than waiting for the strong arm of the “law” to come down on all of us.

It’s not just a trail. Consideration must be taken as to the location of a trail and just as important, what types of use are intended. For example, a small walking path through the middle of a DWA, while I would strongly urge that no trail be built going through any DWA, would seem less stressful on deer than motorized recreational devices that would frighten and cause deer to run away, using up valuable energy to stay alive. Any and all activity penetrating a DWA is undue deadly stress and can be easily prevented.

As trails are developed, upgraded, and advertised for use, with it comes increased use. This use always includes those who want to go outside on trails with their pets. A combination of people, noise, and ambitious dogs looking to bark at and chase (they are dogs after all) yarded up deer, can be catastrophic.

I would implore all who are looking to create and/or expand new or existing trails anywhere, first seek help from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The DIFW has biologists who can help locate DWAs and advise on the best possible ways of getting where you would like your trials to go with the least chance of wildlife and ecosystem disturbances.

This is in no way intended to speak negatively against recreational trails, only to request that all trails be done in the best possible way for ALL.

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Hypocritical Ignorance and Public Lands

Lands supposedly bought and paid for with the money extorted from the public taxpayer, offering tribute in order to avoid imprisonment from the king and his men, we have been led to believe that when such actions happen, the lands should be widely left open and accessible to all those wishing to enjoy it. That is, after all, how socialism works?

Recently, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), wrote a column in a Maine newspaper explaining, in his opinion, that should the Maine Legislature, being strong-armed by environmentalists and animal rights groups to limit use and access to public lands by hunting, fishing, and trapping, could result in a reduction in support for the Land for Maine’s Future program designed to protect lands for everyone to enjoy.

While an honest and not necessarily bright person can understand that any leader of a special interest group would go to bat to protect the interests of those they might represent, in this case members of SAM, nowhere in the executive director’s article did I read that SAM intended to fight against environmentalists and animal rights groups who want to limit hunters, trappers, and fishermen, in order to limit use and access to any and all others.

As Maine has come to expect, such actions are typically followed by ignorant and hypocritical screeds by members of the environmental and animal rights groups.

In one such invective, we read how it is the hunters, trappers, and fishermen who are putting the Land for Maine’s Future in jeopardy because SAM wants to protect access and use to the same degree as all other extorted taxpayers. This isn’t the case in this rebuttal.

The author, who most of Maine realizes hates hunters, trappers, and fishermen and devotes much of his time to destroy any and all of that strong and important heritage, all in the name of promoting his agendas at the cost of limiting any and all others. This it totalitarian in nature and exemplifies the foundation of Environmentalism and Animal Rights.

The author writes: “Why should the people of Maine be forced to subsidize and accept life-endangering private activities that many do not approve of in order to preserve the land for the public?”

Perhaps this should be answered with another question. Why should the people of Maine be forced to subsidize and accept the agenda’s of those who want to limit use and access to public lands for the sole purpose of protecting and promoting their special interest agendas?

Taxpayers need to decide which approach is better: to leave public land open for all, or allow the richest, big-mouthed special interest groups to demand and get exclusive and/or limited access?

In general, most who participate in hunting, fishing, and trapping, particularly on public lands, do not have hidden or open agendas geared at stopping or limiting the activities of others and/or their special interest groups. Quite the contrary. Simply seeking to protect sportsman’s access to public land, fails the straight-face test of honesty when attempting to make SAM out to be exclusive users of public lands.

The author also asks: “Why should those who want to sell their land to the state for wildlife protection purposes be prohibited from doing so?” They shouldn’t and aren’t. If any landowners are considering gifting or selling land to The Land for Maine’s Future program, they should have understanding as to how the program works, as has been designed and amended by the voters of the state. If the land owner finds these designs unacceptable, there are other options available to any land owner that would like to lock up their land and exclude any and all special interest groups…including environmental and animal rights groups or hunting, trapping, and fishing.

In their own ignorance, many want to extol the benefits of living in what they believe is a democratic society, until such time as such democracy flies up their face. The system, as crooked as it is, is available for anyone to exploit and convince the voters to support their special interest. When that system won’t work for the totalitarian, their only other recourse is to turn to the media seeking publication of their hypocritical ignorance.

Proverbs 17:28 KJV – “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

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A “Naturally Occurring” Fungi To Kill Moose Ticks? What Possibly Could Go Wrong?

Oh my! I was reading this article about how entomologists have discovered what they call a “naturally occurring fungi” that, in lab conditions, attacks and kills the dreaded winter tick, or moose tick, that is being blamed for killing moose in numbers not satisfactory to the wildlife managers…or so it keeps being repeated.

The idea, evidently, is to figure out what dosages and how to apply it to the forests so that it finds its way to the ticks/larvae in order to have any affect. We should be asking, what could possibly go wrong?

Reading the article, it is difficult to make actual sense from much of it because it is laced with repeated mythology about the winter tick – such things as how global warming contributes to the increased number of ticks on the landscape. Mixed in with the mythology, we can extract a few comments, etc. from the scientists who are working on this project – enough to at least say, what to ???????

This is the part that causes normal thinking people to scratch their heads in confusion wondering about the hypocrisy in thinking, or the lack thereof.

Yesterday I wrote a short piece about the criminal U.S. Senate, who in one breath say we are all gonna die because there are too many cars and too much carbon dioxide, which is warming the planet, and…and…and…yes, we are all gonna die if they don’t do something about taking our cars away from us so members of Congress can fly bigger, faster planes. In the next breath, the Senate unanimously approves a bill to better promote America’s Scenic Byways, to encourage more people to drive more cars, longer distances…and what the hell happened to we’re all gonna die?

When it comes to ticks, cast aside are any thoughts from the post-normal society of automatons who claim they want Mother Nature to rule everything. They believe hunting, trapping, and fishing should be stopped because of animal’s “rights” and that actions such as these are destroying game animals and in return just the thought of hunting is having negative effects on the entire ecosystem – that man should just butt out of any sort of wildlife management and let things take a “natural” course.

But then, along comes somebody with a potentially dangerous suggestion of how to kill winter ticks (a naturally occurring entity) in order that we can artificially grow more moose. Forget any notions that the real reason there are so many ticks is because there are too many moose and “Mother Nature” is doing what it does to kill off much of the moose population as a means of attempting to mitigate the tick problem, which is, must be anyway, upsetting the ecosystem. Oh, my! Are we all gonna die?

So, another question is, what is the purpose of thinking that a “naturally occurring” fungus might kill off the winter tick? Is it because this effort has monetary profit? Is it because we are all gonna die from too many ticks? Is it because some people want to have more moose to play with?

And here’s a brilliant question. If the fungi that can kill winter ticks is “naturally occurring” then why isn’t it, in the grand scheme of Natural Regulation, already mitigating the winter tick problem and any other problem that might be solved by its existence?

In the entire article I can’t find anywhere any kind of discussion of protection and growth of the moose as a food source. In a normal existence, moose as a food source would be the number one consideration of any need to protect and/or grow a crop. No more. Post normal existence is about cherry picking ideas and actions that fit the narratives of the moment – and to hell with food sources…well, until I they get hungry.

Maine had perhaps as many as 100,000 moose. Greed and selfishness cause people to begin making demands for more moose for profit. Instead of obtaining understanding of why there were so many moose on the landscape all of a sudden and that one day when that reason for a population explosion went away, something was going to have to change, the intention of the moose biologists was to figure out how to keep growing moose so that everyone had one as a pet in their back yard (not for food).

The notion here is to figure out what kind of a dosage is needed to apply to the “naturally occurring” “earth and leaves” where the “naturally occurring” winter tick lands in Spring to lay “naturally occurring” eggs that begin the cycle all over again. Might I also mention here that whether there is ice and snow or not on top of those “naturally occurring” “earth and leaves” whatever it is at that time is “naturally occurring?” How dare I!!!!!

The article presents stunning photographs of a cluster of winter tick larvae at the end of a stick of vegetation “questing” for a host. When that host (moose, elk, deer) walks by, they climb aboard. Gee! What if there just weren’t so many darn hosts?

Instead of managing moose in numbers that are healthy…(Note: It was only a short while ago that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced they were going to abandon wildlife counts and concentrate on causing wildlife to be healthy.) the interest seems to be in protecting and growing them in numbers to satisfy the selfish desires of a post-normal society that is obsessed with securing animals as friends and not as a food source.

With a focus on how to kill the winter ticks to protect the moose, and other ungulates (that really are not bothered so much by the ticks -moose are poor groomers) has any consideration been given to the collateral damage that might take place if and when scientists begin sprinkling a “naturally occurring” fungi in unnatural quantities?

Isn’t this entire effort really being based on the supposition that man-caused Climate Change is the culprit for everything? Combine that with misguided notions about wildlife and the purposes for its existence and, like promoting more driving while at the same time demanding people stop driving, ignorance in the causes and effects of “natural occurring” and man-caused events can potentially destroy much, if not all, of what people think they are trying to protect.

It would appear that we have continued ideas, much like our ready acceptance of a piece of paper that allows someone to “practice” medicine, so too are pieces of paper licenses for someone else to “practice” wildlife management and “practice” growing fungi. Like medicine and the demands for drugs by patients, wildlife practitioners are under pressure from a post-normal society that demands animals to play with, even at the expense of all other things…for that moment.

What can possibly go wrong?

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Maine Moose History and Shucking Bears

A couple of issues jumped out at me that I found reading two articles published in Maine newspapers recently. The first had to do with an article in the Bangor Daily News about the history of Maine’s moose and their moose hunt.

The article presents a timeline of events that began with how unregulated moose killing led to the end of all moose hunting, ending with the present day limited moose hunt lottery. The article, as written, states: 1980: Changes in forest practices, including clear-cutting, have provided moose with more habitat and food sources, and the herd shows signs of consistent growth.”

This is actually a partially inaccurate statement. Yes, there were changes in forest practices that have been ongoing, but everyone knows that it was the event of the outbreak of the spruce budworm and the resulting clear-cutting in efforts to salvage as much timber as possible that provided millions of acres of prime moose habitat. There was so much habitat as a result that Maine grew an artificially high population of moose. (Note: This same event and resulting clear-cuts, also provided false growths in rabbits, the prime food source for Canada lynx. And yes, the clear-cuts caused a false growth in Canada lynx and as these clear-cuts change, we are still attempting to artificially grow the number of Canada lynx.)

Two things have been happening since. First, because of man’s greed and ignorance, we attempted, and still are, to sustain a moose population approaching 100,000 animals. Mother Nature responded by knocking that population down with winter ticks providing an unnecessary and tormenting way to die for moose – wasted meat that would have provided some Maine families with nutritious food. Second, it’s been nearly 50 years since the spruce budworm and much of that prime habitat has changed.

In short, Maine’s generous uptick in moose numbers was an accident and not simply due to man’s efforts at management.

The second issue I found was in George Smith’s article about not needing to be scared of bears. George tells stories of some of his and his families’ dealings with black bears, and in one case of how he gathered up the family to run down to the shore of the lake to be there when a mother bear and two of her cubs came swimming across the lake.

George’s stories are presented as cute, fun, exciting, and never a serious word of caution. All the stories and accounts the author tells are probably true, but, what of that one time when a person, or family, due to “cute, fun, and exciting,” find themselves in a position where the mother bear will do whatever it feels is necessary to protect her cubs? Then what? Oh, yeah, yell.

Even domestic animals can be unpredictable but this is seldom, if ever, taught to our children. The family dog or the neighbor’s cat are always seen by people, children in particular because of how they are taught, as always approachable, never looking for signs that might indicate to stay away or having been taught that because they are animals they are unpredictable.

This incorrect teaching and attitude that animals are nothing but cute, fun, and exciting, it what causes those “rare” occasions when animal attacks person.

Perhaps instead of saying that there is no need to be scared of bears, we should be a bit more honest with ourselves and those around us and say that we don’t need to be scared but because it is an animal, and a potentially vicious predator, we need to be respectfully cautious, assuming that we might be treading where the bear, or other animal, may not want us to be.

Maybe then, those “rare” instances will become even rarer.

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Hunter Safety Not Banning Land Access

The editorial staff of the Central Maine Newspapers offers a rare opinion piece about the quasi debate about whether Maine should consider blocking access to private land in hopes of making things safer during hunting season.

The staff believes, and rightly so, that education, focused on safety, has done more to make things safer than any idea of blocking access to land will do. In the last three cases of people being accidentally shot on their own land, the hunter miss-identified the target for a deer and wrongly pulled the trigger.

To err is human, however, in the effort to achieve better hunter/people safety, perhaps it is time to reassess the importance and penalties for pulling the trigger when not 100% positive of the target at hand.

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