October 19, 2017

Montana Elk Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—A key wildlife landscape previously threatened by subdivision in northwest Montana is now permanently protected and in the public’s hands thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a conservation-minded family and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

“This property lies within the popular Holland Lake recreational area of the scenic Swan Valley and there was some pressure to develop it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the landowners for recognizing the wildlife values of the land and reaching out to us to help conserve it.”

The 640-acre parcel offers important summer and winter habitat for elk and whitetail deer. It is also provides key habitat for grizzly bears, Canada lynx and a vast array of other wildlife. Additionally, it contains riparian habitat via springs and a chain of wetland ponds that feed a tributary of Holland Creek.

Located about 65 miles north of Missoula, the property lies west of the Swan Mountain Range and is nestled between the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and Mission Mountain Wilderness to the west. It was previously an inholding within the Flathead National Forest but thanks to its conveyance, it now falls under the ownership umbrella of the USFS and belongs to all citizens.

”This acquisition will improve public land access, and help to preserve the recreation setting and valuable wildlife habitat in the popular Holland Lake area,” said Rich Kehr, Swan Lake district ranger.

The Holland Lake project is one of the first to receive 2017 funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 967 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Montana with a combined value of more than $160.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 818,826 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 289,532 acres.

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Tough Answer to a Tough Question

by James Beers

As I continue boring through a stack of requests after a recent week in Montana, four questions from four readers are essentially the same question.  I have given much thought to an answer but I am afraid that there is no truthful answer other than the one that will disappoint the fine folks that ask the question and probably tick off many that read the answer.  Doing this to colleagues that have done and do so much is hard to do because it may either discourage them or cause them to simply give up and take up crossword puzzles in some 17th floor, urban condominium.  Nonetheless, here is the question and my answer.

Question: “What can we do to make USFWS ‘return wolf management’ to our state as happened recently in Wyoming?”

My Answer:

Dear Reader,

“Returning wolf management” to your state is the sort of thing that the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because it may come true” was referring to when first spoken.

I recently spoke with two Wyoming ranchers attending the Western Governor’s Conference in Whitefish, Montana about this very point and each was adamant that unless and until the federal authority to “List” wolves (and grizzly bears as well) under the ESA is repealed, just like Prohibition or the Dred Scott Decision by the Supreme Court, nothing will change in the long run.  Each rancher was fully aware that this “return of management” was simply a band aid on a serious wound to American liberties.  They fully expected that if “we” (i.e. the Trump Administration and a yet-to-emerge Congressional coalition of vertebrate politicians) don’t get rid of that federal authority, the next age class of progressive/get-along politicians will simply whisk aside all this “management” (i.e. say-so by State governments and the residents of that state about federal wildlife mandates) by state governments and take right off again from where they were on 7 November 2016, the eve of the recent Presidential election.

Allow me to take a stab about why I agree this is so.

  1. The majority of USFWS, NPS, BLM and USFS employees from the newest to the oldest will fight any attempt to repeal superior federal wildlife authority nationwide for any “species” (or “sub sp.”, or “race” or “population” or “segment???”) they believe they have and should have total authority over all wildlife in every way.  This attitude has been fostered by federal laws of the past 45 years that reinforced their belief that they are on a quasi-religious (taxpayer funded) mission to dictate the presence of wildlife, the abundance of wildlife and ALL aspects of the human/wildlife interface nationally and internationally.  They believe that the ESA, EPA, and an alphabet-soup hodgepodge of federal laws and precedents not only grant them this responsibility but also that the opinions of the elites (much like climate change/warming/cooling) and “experts” confirms their legitimacy to rule others through absolute wildlife authority and jurisdiction.

 

  1. The radical Non-Government Organizations from the NWF and DU to the extremists like DoW, NRDC, CBD, PETA, AWI, etc. are, and will remain, supported by rich elites as these NGO’s maintain all their young volunteers, their lawyers and their “connections” (i.e. money) with the federal agencies, federal politicians, Native American governments, key state politicians, certain judges in certain courts, University staffs, and foreign connections with their mirror images in the UN and EU bureaucracies.  They are lying low as I write to fight Trump clandestinely but they will rise quickly like the Phoenix when conditions are again favorable.

 

  1. Congress, no matter how many drain tiles (to “Drain the Swamp”) President Trump and his allies lay in Washington will steadily be “re-watered” by new and drainage-surviving politicians and bureaucrats.  Many cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami et al, and many states like California, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Illinois and Minnesota will still send an army of progressive, urban-oriented federal politicians into Washington, DC to eradicate any rural accommodations that Trump achieves while reaffirming all of the environmental/animal rights extremism of the past four decades since they only affect those bumpkins “out there” and not (they think) the smart and rich elites living in the cities that believe they should run the country and the world.

 

  1. State wildlife agencies, with but very few exceptions, have proven in the past 20 years (from their failure to request or demand the replacement of the $45 to 60 Million documented as stolen by USFWS bureaucrats from State PR funds to release Canadian wolves into Yellowstone under President Clinton, to their shameful acquiescence in cooperating with all those mentioned in 1 through 3 above in covering up wolf incidents and damages, lying about the numbers and declines of big game due to wolves, failing to pay compensation for the majority of wolf complaints, and lying about diseases spread by wolves and the documented history of living with wolves since the time of Plato to the settlement of North America and in Asia/Europe today) that they cannot stand up to federal demands or represent their residents.  As a consequence of decades under their desks hoping for eventual federal employment, they have become wolf and grizzly lap dogs to federal bureaucrats, from taking orders from progressive  politicians and activists that they believe (naively) will supplant hunting and fishing  financing and spark a Brave New World of federal tax funding in a make-believe world run by the folks mentioned in 1 through 3 above.

I hear you wondering what all this has to do with “returning management” to the States?  Isn’t “returning management to the States the answer in the “real” political world of the “possible”?

“Actually” (to quote my 11 year-old grandson) the folks in 1 through 4 are prepared to and will do whatever it takes to keep and restore all federal power and the status quo.  As long as the ESA is the source of that power, they have all the advantages (law, regulation, court precedents, media, University “experts” and schoolteachers) on their side.

Consider, what “returning” Management – not Authority or Jurisdiction – means.  It means the federal bureaucrats and the courts will allow the states to maintain X number of wolves throughout each state.  “Management” is simply the steps necessary to accomplish pre-determined ends.  “Authority” and “Jurisdiction” are the final word in determining the ends that are a federal mandate in this case.  State “management” is simply the privilege to pay for what the folks in 1 through 4 say is the way things will be.  Think of Poland conquered by the Soviets in 1945 and then told that henceforth they are the Soviet Republic of Poland and henceforth they will do and pay for what the Politburo dictates.  Who would consider that a victory worth pursuing?

Poland didn’t celebrate until June of 1989 when Soviet tyranny was voted out in a free election and the Polish Republic was founded.  To this date, Poland has had to constantly fend off both Russian bullying and EU immigration policies that threaten Poland’s very identity.  If there was a lingering key to Soviet or Russian reclamation of  authority or jurisdiction over Poland; who doubts that the Polish Republic  would exist today?  It is exactly the same thing with this “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” ESA AUTHORITY to “save the world’s wildlife” and rural America.  As long as this ESA authority exists, wolf or grizzly to name but two, future federal politicians, judges and bureaucrats can reactivate it like Dr. Frankenstein in his lab on a stormy night.

How is this so?  Consider:

–       Two months ago I asked a lady USFWS employee on the phone if the recent “return of wolf management to the State of Wyoming” meant that “they could kill all the wolves in Wyoming?”  Since I had identified myself as a Minnesotan, I guess she was thinking of me as some sort of fellow traveler and/or lover of “the ecosystem”.  Her lowered voice told me to talk to my friends and write letters to USFWS about our “concerns” and they will try to do something when they can.

–       All of the “Return” agreements mention a base number of wolves, BUT you can’t count wolves so how does that work?  The State agency may have counts or trends or estimates or WAG’s but what happens when Dr. Love the predator “expert” for Wolf/Grizzly International appears before Senator Snodgrass’ Committee on the Environment and refutes that above “data” and pontificates on “alpha males”, pup and cub mortality, climate change, ticks, disease, poaching and a certain questionable attitude by certain state employees about the value of predators?  Who could leave “management” in the hands of such barbarians?

–       State agencies will have to begin (due to lawsuit fears) picking up the tab (from where?) for more:

  1. Babysitting, trapping and transplanting of wolves.
  2. Compensation for damages by wolves.
  3. Investigations of wolf carcasses, poaching, etc.
  4. Explaining wolf impacts on game animals.
  5. Investigating and follow-up on human attacks.
  6. Resolving and preventing dog deaths.
  7. Researching Disease, Infections and Parasite threats from wolves.
  8. Answering lawsuits and other challenges to any “management”.
  9. More diversion of license money and Excise Taxes for training, meetings, lawyers, administrative support, vehicles, fuel, office space, storage, retirement costs, health insurance, planning, etc. for wolves.

–       Speaking of license money, there is a certain euphoria in the air from all the Montana, Idaho and Wyoming residents buying a wolf tag, just as there is a similar whispering about “Delisting” (another MacGuffin intended to divert your attention with no real consequence) Grizzly Bears resulting in a few high cost licenses eventually – the implication being to fleece the rich, another socialist/communist policy favorite.  Wolves are not only hard to hunt, they learn quicker than a Jack Russel Terrier in Obedience School.  As all those license buyers are learning  this and understanding how few can be shot.  This will result in wolf license money becoming a minor factor, just as a few rich cats killing a few of those “sacred” grizzly bears will provide better media fodder to kill such hunts and hunting than that Minnesota Dentist that shot that Lion with a name in Zimbabwe recently.

–       Methods of taking wolves, much less grizzlies, will have to be non-lethal and cause them to put on weight to avoid lawsuits.  Trapping?  Definitely not.  Poisons?  Are you kidding?  Denning (i.e. killing pups)?  Yeah right.  Aerial shooting as Alaska and Russians know is the only effective and affordable means with a chance of real results?  Nope.  Gun calibers, bullet materials, etc. will be set so high that new guns and non-available ammunition will be the norm.  Federal land (USFS, BLM, USFWS, et al) requirements (they are landowners don’t you know) will further restrict all of these things and probably many we haven’t even thought about yet.

–       Speaking of aerial shooting to “manage” wolf numbers and distributions; 100 years ago men formed posses and rode down and killed the last wolves in Counties much like Irish and English landowners came up with wolfhounds – not for sport but to kill the last wolves in Ireland and thereby end the scourge, death and destruction wrought by wolves.  None of these are conceivable today in the Lower 48 states.  Private property and federal ownerships require Permission to fly over and shoot into, or to ride posses through or to run killer dogs in.  The federal estate behemoth and the private property owners with wolves will, for a multitude of reasons make any of that all but impossible.  I have written for years that County Wolf Boards in Counties desiring wolf control are the answer like County Weed Boards authorized to control wolves in various ways and any property owner (including federal properties In The County either allow access for wolf control, accomplish County-directed wolf control, or the County bills the landowner and places a lien or sues to pay for County-financed wolf control.  But, this requires delegated State Authority and a state with merely “management” delegation from federal authority cannot delegate that which it does not first possess.

If you still think “management return” is worth pursuing I will mention one last factor.  If you live in rural Minnesota you will always have the Twin Cities/Duluth political dominance (like Illinois has with Chicago) to contend with about wolves.  Rural Wisconsin has the same issue with Madison and Milwaukee.  Similarly rural Oregon has the same issue with Portland/Eugene that rural Washington has with Seattle.  Why allow them and all their compatriots in 1 through 4 above to utilize lawsuits and blackmail revolving around  withdrawing wolf management they so magnanimously granted.  You have to fight them anyway so level the field as best you can, for you will have no federal backers when push comes to shove.  Eliminate the federal tool just like Poland eliminated Soviet hegemony and tyranny  when the chance presented itself.

Now folks smarter than me might recommend achievable incremental change over time but I say that if Poland had followed that advice Pope John Paul, Reagan, and Thatcher would have died and the Bushes, Clinton, Obama and the current Pope would come and go and Poland would still evoke our pity and “tsk, tsks” as they were brought up at Brie parties on the Chicago North Shore (or maybe we would be speaking and reading Russian today?)

We need to push for real reform in federal law while this period of real change is underway.  Say and think what you will about President Trump, his voters have created a tumultuous atmosphere in Washington where momentum might favor achieving what everyone says is impossible.  If the folks in 1 through 4 above ever get back in power, we must make it so that they have to try and reauthorize this travesty in a law passed by the Congress and signed by the President that does what millions of rural Americans KNOW should never be re-instituted.  We could defeat that after what we now know is afoot.

When we ask for and get “management” returned to states we only quiet things down while real change is possible, thereby make a quick return to the status quo and where it has been leading us inevitable when Washington is again a problem.  Additionally, if we get “management” returns; how many rural Americans will believe that is the best we can do and then go into hibernation and let this reform of the law opportunity pass us by only to waken us with a bang when those in 1 through 4 re-seize federal power.

Those folks in 1 through 4 represent ideologies and a future that should be repugnant to all Americans but it is mainly rural Americans up until now that they are harming openly (the diversion of tax dollars and foregone work diverted to their peccadilloes are topics for future articles).  Their habits and notions cannot be “reformed”; we must defeat their programs by repealing them.

“Returning Management to the State” is merely a placebo we take to fool ourselves into believing we have taken something real.  Anything short of eliminating this Constitutional insult at this time is a real defeat and anyone telling you different should be listened to at your (and our) own peril.

Jim Beers

11 July2017

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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Dear Montana Wolf Hunter: Do You Have a Strong Emotional Bond With Wolves?

Think about this one…if you are at all capable. It appears the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department sent out a wolf management survey to some of the residents. What’s not clear to me is exactly who the survey was mailed to. I wonder because the letter (shown below) that accompanied the survey, is addressed this way: “Dear Resident Wolf Hunter.” If the survey was only sent to Montana resident wolf hunters, then the question needs to be asked why did the survey include Questions 12 and 25? (Shown below)

Question 12 wants to know if Montana Resident Wolf Hunters think “the rights of wolves” are more important than the interests of humans. Doesn’t that tell us a lot of where the perspective on wildlife and animals is and where it is going? I need to ask, why you would ask a Montana Resident Wolf Hunter, whose goal, I am to assume, is to kill a wolf….or five, would be interested in “the rights of wolves” or other socially retarded, emotional, clap-trap, insane issues as wolf rights and emotional bonds, among others?

But it gets worse. Question 25 wants to know if Montana Resident Wolf Hunters think wolves should have the same rights as people, hunting is disrespectful to animals, have a “strong emotional bond,” and the list is nauseating to read. Only a mentally ill quack would think up such questions.

Yesterday in a radio interview I talked of how our society has become so perverse toward animals, placing them at an existence level higher than man, that it was an abomination unto Yehwah.

The idea that any managers of wildlife would ask such insane and perverse questions says a lot about the status of our mentally deranged society and drives home the reality that hunting, trapping and fishing are rapidly headed toward its end. Don’t kid yourself. There is no hope.

In my opinion, this survey was either sent to a random sampling of Montana residents, disguised as a survey for Montana Resident Wolf Hunters, whose objective is to be able to publish results of this survey that contain mostly or all non hunting residents to manipulate public opinion. Or, they are sending this survey only to Montana Resident Wolf Hunters, and as a reflection of the positions, policies and values of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, are attempting to continue the brainwashing of as many hunters as they can to effect the gradual, perverse changes that they intend for all the rest of us.

Psalm 36: Wickedness saith to the wicked man,even in mine heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, while his iniquity is found worthy to be hated.

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to understand and to do good.

He imagineth mischief upon his bed: he setteth himself upon a way, that is not good, and doth not abhor evil.

Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens, and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness is like the mighty mountains: thy judgments are like a great deep: thou Lord, dost save man and beast.

How excellent is thy mercy, O God! therefore the children of men trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be satisfied with the fatness of thine house, and thou shalt give them drink out of the river of thy pleasures.

For with thee is the well of life, and in thy light shall we see light.

10 Extend thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee, and thy righteousness unto them that are upright in heart.

11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked men move me.

12 There they are fallen that work iniquity: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

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By Funding Trophy Wolf Hunts, We’re Destroying Real Game Hunts

wolfutah*Editor’s Note* – This post first appeared on this website on October 8, 2014. It was requested of me to republish it as a means of updating the importance of the article as a prediction of the future.

It seems just a short while ago that wolf (re)introduction happened – 1995 and 1996. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and as the water moved downstream, it has blended in with a lot of other water, not becoming lost but perhaps unrecognizable.

As most of you know, I’m writing a book about wolves. Actually it’s really not about wolves other than to point out the obvious behaviors of the animal. The book is more about the corruption. However, in working to put all this information together, I’ve come across some things that I had written about in which I had actually forgotten.

It really began in early 2009, when there was a glimmer of hope that wolves might come off the Endangered list and residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming could begin killing the animal to get it back down to 100 wolves as promised in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. What? Had you forgotten?

Around about that same time, I began reading about the plans Idaho was going to begin formulating in preparation for wolf hunts. I said then that utilizing a season for “trophy” wolf hunting would not work.

I wrote a five-part series that I know some of you have read, perhaps more than once, called “To Catch a Wolf” – an historical account of the extreme difficulty people had throughout history trying to control wolves to stop them from killing livestock and attacking people.

The real joke was when Idaho officials, in a fraudulent attempt to convince anyone who would blindly listen, that trophy hunting wolves, was going to protect the elk, deer and moose herds. This did not happen. As a matter of fact, it so much did not happen, that Idaho Fish and Game took to helicopters to gun down wolves in the Lolo Region because officials were willing to admit there was a wolf problem….or maybe they were just placating the sportsmen. They killed 5 wolves and yet somehow they want sportsmen to believe that a trophy hunting season will protect the game herds?

The myth here is that increasing or decreasing wolf tags will grow or shrink elk, deer and moose herds. Sorry, but controlling elk, deer and moose tags controls elk, deer and moose herds. Select-harvesting a handful of wolves does nothing to protect game herds.

Why, then, are Idaho sportsmen continuing to fund a fraudulent trophy wolf hunting season that may actually be causing the further destruction of the elk, deer and moose they so much wish to protect and grow?

On November 30, 2012, I wrote and published the following article. I took the liberty to embolden some statements I wish to now more fully draw your attention to.

Trophy Hunting Season on Wolves Destroying More Elk, Moose and Deer?

Recently I read a comment made by Bob Ream, chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Commission, state that:

We [MFWP] have implemented more and more aggressive wolf harvests. We also increased lion harvests considerably this year.

The word aggressive is certainly an overused adjective used much in the same fashion as say a male peacock when he displays his tail feathers. In the context used in the quote above, I’m assuming Mr. Ream intended his use of the word aggressive to mean something to be proud of, a feat of accomplishment or something related. But when talking about wolves, killing, attacks, predation, hunting, trapping, disease and every aspect associated with gray wolves, “implementing[ed] more and more aggressive wolf harvests” kind of rings a bit hollow.

In its simplest form, wolves, at least under the existing conditions in most of Montana, Idaho and Wildlife, grow and expand at a rate of anywhere between 20% and 30%, I am told and have read as well. Estimates of wolf populations mean little except in political and emotional battles because nobody knows how many there are and they are lying if they tell you otherwise. For the sake of argument, I have read that the tri-state region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have at least 6,000 wolves. On the top end I’ve heard 15,000 but I’m going to guess that might be high but then again I don’t live there and spend time in the woods.

If there were 6,000 wolves then math tells us that 1200 – 1800 wolves should be killed each year just to sustain the population at 6,000; and states like Montana, who according to Bob Ream, are aggressively killing more wolves.

But now the question has been brought up that perhaps states offering hunting and trapping seasons, based on the principle of “trophy” and “big game” hunting and trapping, might be causing even more game animals, like elk, moose and deer, to be killed. Is this possible?

It was nearly 4 years ago that I wrote a series, “To Catch a Wolf“. Much of the purpose of that series and other related articles, was to explain how difficult it is to kill a wolf; historically and globally. It’s one of the hardest things to do over a prolonged period of time and that’s why I chuckle at comments like Bob Ream’s when he describes the MFWP actions toward killing wolves as aggressive. There is NOTHING aggressive about trophy hunting wolves.

The process was long and mostly wrought with illegal actions and corruption, but eventually, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got the infamous and controversial gray wolf removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and trophy hunting seasons commenced; after all, wasn’t that the target goals of each of the states’ fish and game departments?

And so how’s that “aggressive” hunting and trapping going to reduce wolf populations?

If any of this isn’t complicated and wrought with emotion and irrational thinking enough already, in an email exchange I received today, the idea was presented that hunting a token number of wolves, in other words, managing them as a game species and classified as a trophy animal, might actually be only amounting to breeding a healthier, less stressful wolf that will eat more elk, deer and moose and become an even larger creature than it already is, further capable of killing more and bigger prey.

This idea is based in science, although those who don’t like the science disregard it. The science is the topic of wolf size. Most people are of the thought that a wolf’s size is determined by the species or subspecies the wolf comes from. I’m not going to pretend I have a full grasp of this science but will pass on that the essence of wolf size is determined mostly by food supply.

Consider then this premise to manage wolves as a big game species, which is what is being done in Montana and Idaho. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which includes managing game for surplus harvest, has worked marvelously well over the years, producing in places too many of certain game species. We certainly don’t want that for wolves as the proportion of wolves to prey/game species will soon get all out of whack. Our only hope then, is that the fish and game departments will fail as miserably managing wolves as they have elk, moose and mule/whitetail deer.

There is a reason why honest wildlife managers classify bona fide game animals as such and coyotes (and it should be also wolves) varmints to be shot and killed on site. It’s the only way to keep them at bay. This would be considered an aggressive move toward wolf control. Anything, short of an all out organized program to extirpate the wolf, would work just dandy and would never danger the future existence of this animal.
End

In the years that I have written about wolves, wolf “management” and the political nonsense that goes hand in hand with it, it certainly appears to me that there has become quite an effort among sportsmen to protect THEIR “trophy” wolf hunts. Is that in the best interest of actually regaining a vibrant elk, deer and moose population, that is supposed to be managed for surplus harvest, according to Idaho code?

In its most basic form, at least ask yourself how that “aggressive” trophy wolf hunting is effecting the elk, deer and moose herds? At the same time, what has become and continues to become of those elk tags? There just aren’t enough “trophy” wolf hunters to be effective and supporting the farce perpetuated by Idaho Fish and Game isn’t helping. It’s the same as buying a fifth of gin for a gin-soaked homeless fool.

As was relayed to me today, it seems the, “participants are in a race for the final bull elk or big buck in various units.” That’s the direction it seems we are headed.

Here’s a mini refresher course in promised wolf management. When the Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved, leading to the Final Rule on Wolf Reintroduction, the citizens of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, where wolves were to be (re)introduced, were promised several things. First, we were promised that wolves would be “recovered,” a viable, self-sustaining population, when 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves existed in three separate wolf management zones for three consecutive years. Those numbers were achieved by 2003. What happened? Nothing but lawsuits and wolves didn’t finally get delisted until 2011 due to legislative action.

All promises made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were based on 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves. They lied!

Second, citizens of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were promised that wolves would have no measurable impact on wild game herds. The only thing that might possibly be needed was a slight 10% or less reduction in cow elk tags should the occasion arise for the need to boost elk production in exceptional cases.

So, I ask. How many elk tags have been lost since those promises were made? As a matter of fact, all promises made were reneged on. There is no reason to believe or support anything promised us by government. Stop giving government money to run their con game. At this rate game animals will all be gone soon enough and no hunting opportunities will prevail….except possibly trophy wolf tags.

What will it be. As the old saying goes, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

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Update on Progress of Proposed Montana Legislation on Guns and Right to Hunt

Press Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association:
Dear MSSA Friends,
Well, not exactly.  I’m home now.
Tuesday morning at 8 AM I attended a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee to support MSSA’s School Safety Act, HB 385, to allow for armed teachers.  Garrett Bacon of Helena also came to support the bill (thanks Garrett), but he was the only other proponent.  There were about 30 Moms Demand Action there.  Each side was allowed 20 minutes.  One of the MDA bill opponents took up over 10 minutes of that time with unpersuasive testimony.  Others of the 30 were frustrated when their side ran out of time and they were only allowed to state their name for the record.  I must admit that it is frustrating when some clueless dolt burns most or all of your side’s time with wasted talk, but I admit to not being so disturbed when it happened to the other side.  The committee has not yet taken action on the bill, but I think it likely the Committee will approve the bill.  It’s not too late to send messages to Committee members asking them to support HB 385.  Do it.
Tuesday afternoon, the Senate passed Permitless Carry (HB 262) and Post Office Carry (HB 246) on Second Reading.  Both of those were passed by the Senate today on Third Reading.  Since neither was amended by the Senate, both will now go to the Governor.  In a different email to you (maybe tomorrow) I’ll offer information and suggestions for messages to the Governor about these two bills.  Neither one passed with a veto-proof majority, which would be 34 votes in the Senate and 67 in the House.
Later on Tuesday afternoon I attended a public hearing before the House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee to support HB 151, a bill to prevent FWP from using for other purposes the money the Legislature appropriates for the Shooting Range Development Program.  There were several opponents, including FWP and their reliable sidekick the National Wildlife Federation.  I told how FWP had diverted the SRDP funding from two previous legislative sessions.  I think the Committee was sympathetic because legislators don’t like executive branch agencies and personnel ignoring legislative intent.  Please contact the House FWP Committee and ask that committee members support HB 151.
BTW, HB 151 and HB 262 (Permitless Carry) were MSSA bills (bills for which we overtly asked for introduction) last session.  They were not on the final MSSA legislative agenda this session, but we couldn’t hardly not support them when sponsors reintroduced them this session since they were introduced last session at MSSA’s request.
This morning at 9 AM I attended a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of SB 99 and SJR 11.  Garrett Bacon was there again in support (thanks again Garrett), but nobody else showed up to support these two MSSA bills.
Senate Joint Resolution 11 is the measure to provide the first authoritative definition for the critical phrase in the Montana Constitution “shall not be called in question.”  Surprisingly, there were no opponents.  I guess the Moms Demand Action wore themselves out on Tuesday.
SB 99 is the bill to prohibit state and local public employees (cops) from enforcing any new federal restrictions on firearms or magazines.  SB 99 was opposed by county attorneys and the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, although the opposition was not as spirited as it has sometimes been in the past.
NEW BILL.  A bill has been introduced for a referendum to upgrade the right to hunt, fish, and trap in the Montana Constitution, SB 236, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder.  It will have a public hearing tomorrow (2/16) before the Senate Fish and Game Committee.  I emailed a letter of support for SB 236 from MSSA.  Please send messages to the Committee in support of SB 236.
Every change to the Montana Constitution must be voted on by the people.  To put SB 236 on the ballot requires 100 votes combined out of the 150 possible votes in the Senate and House.  That’s a pretty heavy lift, so your ongoing support for SB 236 will be needed.
That’s enough for now.
Best wishes,
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MSSA-Sponsored Gun Bills Advance in Legislature

Press Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Dear MSSA Friends,

All four bills that had public hearings before the Montana House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday have been passed by the Committee.  They will now advance to the floor of the House for action before the full body on Second Reading.  If you’re not familiar with what this means, please review:
These four bills that have moved on to the House floor are:

HB 262 – Permitless Carry (in other states called “Constitutional Carry”) – Rep. Bill Harris. Since 1991, a concealed weapon permit (CWP) has not been required for a law-abiding person to carry a concealed weapon in 99.4% of Montana – outside the limits of cities or towns.  With over two decades of experience that not requiring CWPs for nearly all of Montana has not created any problems, this bill will harmonize the law so a permit will no longer be required for a law abiding person to carry a concealed weapon in the remaining 6/10ths of 1% of Montana, inside cities and towns.  This bill would leave the permitting process in place, so citizens who desire them may still obtain CWPs for travel to other states that recognize Montana CWPs, and for firearm purchases at gun stores under the federal Brady Law.  This change would exclude criminals from applicability – it would still be illegal for criminals to carry concealed weapons.  Another way to explain this is that if a law abiding person were wearing a firearm, this bill would make it legal to put on a coat inside city limits without a government permit to dress for cold or wet weather.  This bill was carried last session by Rep. Harris and passed House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Bullock.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0262.htm

HB 246 – Firearms in Post Offices – Rep. Randy Brodehl.  This bill would prohibit enforcement by state and local officers of federal laws making it a crime to have a firearm in a vehicle in a U.S. Post Office parking lot, or inside a Post Office building.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0246.htm

HB 273 – CWPs and legal immigrants – Rep. Barry Usher.  Current law requires that only U.S. citizens may apply for a Montana CWP.  This restriction has been stricken by federal courts in other states as a violation of  “equal protection” (of the laws) for legal immigrants, who are deemed to have rights protected by the Constitution.  This bill will cause Montana law to conform to the equal protection requirements of federal courts.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0273.htm

HB 251 – Exclude various concealed weapons  – Rep. Kirk Wagoner.  This bill would exclude from concealed weapons laws a variety of weapons listed there, including a dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, slingshot, sword cane, billy, knuckles made of any metal or hard substance, knife having a blade 4 inches long or longer, and razor.  It would leave subject to concealed weapons laws only handguns.  This bill would simplify existing law.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0251.htm

Please contact your Representative and ask him or her to support all four of these bills.
Thanks,
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MSSA File Complaint Against One of Bloomberg’s Crony New York Lawyers

The Montana Shooting Sports Association and its President, Gary Marbut, have filed a complaint with the Montana Office of Disciplinary Counsel against an attorney in New York  City for allegedly offering legal advice without being licensed to practice law in Montana.<<<Read More>>>

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An Open Letter To President Donald Trump

*Editor’s Note* – The views expressed in the accompanied “Open Letter” may not totally express the opinions of this editor. Thank you.

Dear President Trump;
 
There are millions of us in this country who truly hope that you were sincere and honest about appointing a commission to investigate Hillary and Bill Clinton, and to hold them accountable for all the injustice they have inflicted upon this country.  Those two showed their true character and total selfishness when leaving the White House – illegally taking with them priceless National Heirlooms.  They truly considered themselves the “King & Queen of America” – free to live as they saw fit, outside of the laws which govern all the rest of the country’s citizens.
Whether you follow through with that campaign promise or not, there was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.  That was the illegal introduction of a non-native wolf subspecies into the Northern U.S. Rockies during the early to mid-1990’s – and how those invasive predators were wrongfully allowed to destroy big game populations which took a hundred years to rebuild from the near extinction levels of the 1890’s and early 1900’s.  This criminal act was committed by none other than the United States Fish and Wildlife Service – an agency whose mandated mission is supposed to be the conservation of wildlife populations.
Since the early 1900’s, America’s sportsmen have fully funded the conservation efforts which brought huntable species back from that near total loss.  Through the years, the money that hunters and fishermen have spent to purchase hunting and fishing licenses has also funded the establishment and annual operations of State Game & Fish Departments.  All of this was accomplished without burdening the average taxpayer.  It was all financed by the very sportsmen who valued a bounty of game.  Those same hunters and fishermen also strongly supported imposing excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment to finance the improvement and expansion of healthy and suitable habitat for game and fish – under the Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) and the Dingell-Johnson Act (1950).
 
The dumping of North-Central Canadian wolves into the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 1995-1996 had absolutely nothing to do with restoring wolves to the region.  The native subspecies of wolf still existed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming – and could be found in small isolated packs – supposedly protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Under pressure from radical environmental and animal rights groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actually violated the Endangered Species Act when it covertly flew wolves in from Alberta, housed them inside of Yellowstone National Park, and unleashed those wolves into one of the richest wildlife regions of the United States.  
Those same wolves, and their offspring, quickly killed out the smaller endangered native wolf, and in short order began to negatively impact elk, moose, deer and other big game populations.  When game became harder for them to hunt, the larger and more aggressive Canadian wolves turned to feeding on cattle, horses and other livestock.   
Within 15 years, the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd had been drastically reduced from around 22,000 (in 1995) to around 6,000 by 2010.  Today, that herd is down to around 3,000 animals.  That loss is directly due to never ending predation by wolves, which quickly kill out the young of the year, eliminating any chance of the herd reversing the dramatic decline.  As the wolves proliferated and began to spread rapidly, that same level of wolf predation has destroyed elk herds up and down the Northern U.S. Rocky Mountains by 80-percent – destroying along with that loss of game the hunting opportunities for the very same sportsmen who have funded real wildlife conservation.
 
What makes this crime so much more severe, is the manner in which USFWS acquired the money for funding the project – which Congress had already denied.
 
The USFWS literally embezzled the money out of the Pittman-Robertson funds, which by law were to be used exclusively for the improvement of wildlife habitat.  The agency did a great job of hiding the theft of these sportsman provided dollars until Jim Beers, a former Chief of National Wildlife Refuge Operations, blew the whistle on the stolen funds. A Congressional Hearing was convened on that robbery, but the best they could narrow it down to was that between $60- and $70-million were misappropriated by the USFWS, under the leadership of, then, Director Jamie Rappaport Clark.
USFWS had authorized the illegal use of those funds to foot the bill for a number of projects, including the introduction of non-native wolves into the American West.  Other non-approved projects, or whims, were the building of a new Regional USFWS Office in California, new vehicles for the USFWS, bonuses of up to $30,000 (including for Director Clark herself), moving expenses for USFWS employees, the purchase of “National Refuge” land for the building of a prison, and a slush fund for upper USFWS management. 
 
So, who was held accountable?  No One!
 
Today, Jamie Rappaport Clark is serving as the CEO of the animal rights group known as Defenders of Wildlife, knocking down some $300,000 a year.  Defenders of Wildlife is one of the radical environmental groups which have used the Equal Access to Justice Act to keep its coffers filled.  Collectively, this “Non-Profit Organization”, and dozens of other phony “Wildlife & Environmental” groups have milked the wolf cash cow for several billion taxpayer dollars over the past twenty years.
Another criminal in all of this would be the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project coordinator, Ed Bangs.  The USFWS did its best to keep “facts and figures” hidden.  There really is no way to put a figure on just how many stolen sportsman dollars were spent to illegally bring those wolves across the International Boundary between Canada and the United States.  According to the USFWS’s own extremely strict regulations, Form No. 3-177 must be submitted in order to bring any live wildlife or fish species into this country.  That form identifies the exact subspecies being imported…the exact number being brought across the border…and the exact cost of the shipment.  Those are all “exact” things that USFWS apparently did not want the American public to know.  Bangs failed to ever file that “mandatory” form.  Other than Ed Bangs himself, no one likely knows the exact cost of paying Alberta trappers to live trap those wolves…or exactly how many shipments were actually made…or the exact number of Canadian wolves that were literally dumped into Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
 
Further tainting those transplants has been speculation that many of the so-called “wolves” that project leader Bangs did bring into the U.S. were actually wolf-sled dog hybrid crosses.  Bangs has been quoted saying, “If it looks like a wolf…and can live in the wild…and reproduce…then I consider it a wolf.”  That’s just another violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Please keep in mind, all of this began under the Bill Clinton administration.  Along the way there have been many accusations of U.S. Senators and Representatives being paid off…of Federal Judges accepting under the table money…or Governors receiving incentive to “Look The Other Way”.  Both Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have long allowed the destruction of big game populations to continue far too long…not to have had some of those millions of dirty dollar thrown their way.  Who knows, Bill Clinton himself might have pocketed a few million dollars.
 
The Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has been the dirtiest and darkest chapter in wildlife conservation in this country.  Under the Obama administration very little was done to clean up this mess, or to hold guilty individuals and the less than genuine organizations responsible.  But, that’s understandable.  All of this has nothing to do with “wolf conservation” … but rather everything to do about the United Nations’ goal of pushing people off the land and into the cities – Agenda 21. 
You know as well as I do, that Obama’s run for the presidency was totally orchestrated and largely paid for by George Soros, and his billionaire friends.  Soros and others within the crowd he tends to associate with are the largest supporters of the United Nations – and its futuristic goals of drastically reducing the human population of Planet Earth…centralizing human settlements…and returning a vast majority of this planet to wilderness areas where predators rule and keep wildlife populations in check.
 
Obama has been a part of that same idiotic ideology, explaining his real reason for pushing so hard for gun control, and supporting the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.  As long as we have the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” in this country, the U.N.’s pipe dream is just that.
 
Mr. President, if you honestly want to go down in the history of this country as being one of the “Greatest Presidents” of the United States, begin by fully investigating the corruption, lies, deceit, collusion and theft surrounding the forced Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, and similar wolf projects in the Northern Midwest…in the Southwest…and along the Eastern Seaboard.  Hold those responsible fully accountable, and return the feeling to Americans that we do indeed live in “The Land of The Free”. 
 
Ryan Zinke is the right man for Secretary of the Interior … and Jim Beers, the 32 year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who blew the whistle on the theft of Pittman-Robertson Funds for financing the destructive wolf projects, is the man to clean up that filthy federal agency.
 
Respectfully Yours,
Toby Bridges,
Lobo Watch 2
Missoula, Montana
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Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame to Induct RMEF’s Munson

Press Release from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame recently named Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation co-founder Bob Munson among its 2016 inductees.

“I am humbled and grateful for this honor,” said Munson. “I am especially proud that RMEF was born in Montana and still calls this great state home. I thank my wife, Vicki, who also played a key role in shaping RMEF, for always being by my side and supporting me.”

“This recognition is most deserving,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Bob’s induction is a reflection of his character, work ethic and endurance in establishing and helping this organization become the great conservation force that it is today. We thank him and Vicki for their past and continuing efforts.”

Munson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964 from the University of Montana. He served his country for four years as a U.S. Army captain. Munson was one of four Montana elk hunters who founded RMEF in 1984. He led RMEF in an executive capacity through 14 years of substantial growth and conservation achievement. He and wife Vicki, who have six children, currently serve as co-chairmen of the RMEF Habitat Council along with co-founder Charlie Decker and his wife, Yvonne. Munson is also a RMEF board member.

The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals, both living and posthumous, who made significant and lasting contributions to the restoration and conservation of Montana’s wildlife and wild places. The focus of the awards is not only to recognize Montana’s historical and contemporary conservation leaders, but also to capture the stories of these individuals in an effort to contribute to public awareness and education.

Munson and his fellow inductees will have their names recorded by the Montana Historical Society and take part in induction ceremonies December 3, 2016, in Helena.

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