August 14, 2018

Silly Animal News Headlines

“Rabid raccoon attacks woman in Woodbridge, taken to Woodbridge Animal Control”

I hope they properly, i.e. humanely, restrained the woman, checked to make sure she had all her shots and treated her for rabies. How were the accommodations?

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Witnesses Weigh In on What Congress Should Do About Endangered Species Act

naturalresourcescommittee*Editor’s Note* – The following is a press release from the United States House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee and found on their website. What is printed below does not necessarily reflect or agree with the opinions of the editor. As a matter of fact, it’s easy to state that all the comments sound good, but talk is cheap and historically nothing worthwhile ever comes out of Washington. Go! To be so damned skeptical!

Witnesses: Endangered Species Act Must be Improved to Better Protect both Species and Local Economies
Field hearings highlight local and state conservation efforts

BILLINGS, MT, September 4, 2013 – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee held two Full Committee field hearings in Casper, Wyoming and Billings, Montana on “State and Local Efforts to Protect Species, Jobs, Property, and Multiple Use Amidst a New War on the West.” At these hearings, witnesses discussed how federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings can impact local jobs and the economy and how federal litigation often stands in the way of successful local and state recovery efforts.

The Natural Resources Committee has held a series of hearings on the ESA and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings this year announced the creation of the Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group. These field hearings are part of the Committee’s efforts to hear directly from local entities and private landowners on ways in which the ESA works well and how it could be improved.

“Ramped up ESA listings and habitat designations through executive orders and closed-door settlements with litigious groups are wreaking havoc on private landowners, multiple use, agriculture, rural economies, rural timber communities, energy producers, and even states’ own species conservation activities,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “Rather than ensuring the federal government cooperates with states ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ on major actions affecting land or water within states’ borders as ESA requires, this Administration is allowing ‘sue and settle’ to dictate how federal agencies use taxpayer-funded resources and how they prioritize endangered species activities.”

“It is so important that we get it right when it comes to making listing decisions. We need sound science, and open data that can be replicated. We need innovative, collaborative approaches to wildlife management that offer incentives for sound management. We need a clear distinction in our minds about what constitutes conservation: on the ground stewardship, or repeated court battles. We need a common understanding of what constitutes success when it comes to the Endangered Species Act,” said Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY-At Large). “In short, we need a new 21st Century conservation ethic that is not clouded by accusations and rancor. We can and should do better for our wildlife.”

“Our wide variety of wildlife and the environment that supports it are central to our way of life in Montana, for better or for worse … Our lands, living in concert with our diverse wildlife, allow us to grow commodities that feed the world, develop minerals that provide economic security for our state and jobs for our kids, and provide recreational opportunities that are second to none … We want to keep the ESA from being used as a tool to obstruct positive species and resource management and allow the people, not bureaucrats in Washington or Judges in the 9th Circuit, to determine how our environment and our resource economies can flourish together,” said Rep Steve Daines (MT-At Large).

Witnesses at today’s hearings all agreed that this law needs to be updated in order to make sure it works in the best interest of both species and local communities:

“Montana farmers and ranchers are extremely frustrated with the Endangered Species Act. It is like a treadmill to landowners and producers. We spend an inordinate amount of time and effort in order to keep species from being listed, only to have them listed anyway. Once listed, delisting goals are moving targets. When delisting targets are reached, delisting is further delayed by court cases. Habitat control takes precedence over species conservation. Conservation of one species leads to the degradation of another… When we start playing God to one species, there is no place to stop until the federal government controls the entire west.” – Matt Knox, Montana Farm Bureau Federation

“I firmly believe that species conservation is a community-driven effort that strives to work with individuals, groups, and agencies to achieve a goal. It is essential that addressing species, such as sage grouse, is a grassroots effort, not a top down approach.”– Lesley Robinson, County Commissioner, Phillips County, Montana

“I think we’d all agree with Congress’ worthy intentions when passing the Endangered Species Act. However, we must make sure that any actions to save a species also takes into consideration the human impact. The Endangered Species Act should not force us to choose wildlife over humans and the economic opportunity necessary to my family and my tribe…Good paying jobs do not have to come at the expense of the environment. We can have both. As a heavy equipment operator for a coal mining company and a member of the Crow Tribe, I know we are already accomplishing both.” – Channis Whiteman, Crow Tribe Member

“The energy industry, tourism industry, and agricultural industry is the three legged stool that provides a robust and healthy economy. These industries produce good paying jobs for Wyoming citizens. They also help us pay our bills and put money in the bank for a ‘rainy day.’ As it is currently implemented, the ESA is too far reaching in its impacts on both the species it seeks to protect and the lives it impacts to allow so many of these impacts to be left to the regulatory and judicial process. After 40 years, the need for greater Congressional direction is abundantly clear and that should be that the conservation of species is necessarily best accomplished by those closest to the resource.” – Rob Hendry, County Commissioner, Natrona County, Wyoming

“I believe that collaborative processes are a great tool for increasing the success of the implementation of the Endangered Species Act. The Wyoming Plan is an example of a win-win plan for everyone.” – Meghan O’Toole Lally, Sheep & Cattle Rancher, Savery, Wyoming

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Some news coverage of this hearing can be viewed here.

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Wolves in Maine Beginning in the 1600s

Perhaps readers will remember a 6-part series I did on wolves in Maine beginning in the 1600s. The majority of the information was taken from a book, “Early Maine Wildlife: Historical accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lions, White-tailed Deer, Wolverines, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930, by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving.

I have taken those 6 parts and compiled them into one PDF file for free download and easier reading; along with some minor editing to make the reading flow a bit smoother. Please feel free to share this document should you deem it worthy. Thank you.

Please find that file and download at this link.

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Wolf Attacks Retired Kazakh Police Officer

wolfviciousTo some living in denial, wolves don’t attack people, unless of course they have contracted rabies…..from man non doubt. However, this story, which must not be true to those in denial, tells of a retired policeman living in Kazakhstan who was attacked from behind by a wolf while the man was looking over his car. He eventually fought off the wolf with his bear hands and strangled the animal; something Dr. Valerius Geist has always reported that could be done by a strong enough person.

I would like to draw readers attention to another report from the BBC of this same incident. I suppose searching for an explanation, the author writes:

Elders are surprised at the attack on a human, but recall that local huntsman Aldaberdy Akshabayev has stopped his regular wolf culls since the council cut off funding. Mangistau region police warn that the wolves are now becoming bolder as they compete for food.

Bingo! Too many wolves. Not enough food. Trouble! Read about this in Dr. Geist’s seven steps before wolves will attack a human.

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Once Again Nobody Shows For Bloomberg Anti-Gun Rally. Second Amendment Supporters Take Over

At an recent anti-gun, pro fascist rally sponsored by the fascist himself, Michael Bloomberg, about 10 brain dead supporters showed up to promote more stripping of American’s rights. But when the rally began, it became clear that the majority of the other people in attendance, where there in opposition to Bloomberg’s cry for more gun regulations and took over the rally drowning out the speeches of Bloomberg’s puppets.

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Obama Administration’s Attempt to Define “Significant Portion of it’s Range”

Let me say right off the top in order that some may not want to waste their time seeking truth, that I believe very strongly that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)(Act) is unconstitutional. It is such because it does not stand up against the authority of the Constitution in which a statute cannot, in and of itself, be a violation of the Constitution. It also does not mean that I oppose species protection. The majority of people in this country don’t care nor are they free to undertake independent thought to learn about the truth. Most every, if not all, laws on our books are nothing more than tools to extract power from the people and put it into the hands of government. I pray for your epiphany for truth.

However, simply because I believe the Act is criminal, doesn’t dismiss me from exposing the further fraud behind the ESA and now the attempts by Congress and the Obama Administration to “fix” it.

As I have written about recently, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has begun a series of hearings to examine the Endangered Species Act, (ESA) in hopes of determining: “How litigation is costing jobs and impeding true recovery efforts.” With the Committee using that description of the intent of their hearings, should we hold out any hope that any efforts will be directed at amending or, as some are asking, repealing of the ESA? Not likely.

But this has not stopped the Obama Administration of getting into the ESA fray. After all, we do have an election coming up and doing and saying anything to steal a vote is chichi these days in Washington. The “Services”, collectively the Department of Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have gone all out to help Americans define the simple phrase, “significant portion of its range”.

That phrase is used extremely sparingly in the ESA and it pertains, at least in my mind and after reading Obama’s proposal I question if the “Services” have any mind, to criteria used to determine when and if a species might be considered for federal protection under the ESA.

Either I’m not fully enlightened or am too honest, but I happen to think that “significant portion” would mean a big or perhaps as much as a majority or more of something, especially when used in the context of a word that describes size, i.e. “portion”. Evidently I’m wrong, according to the “Services” Draft Policy to define “significant portion of its range”.

There is a reason that Congress and the President, beyond the usual politics, are taking a look, finally, at the ESA. It’s badly broken. In its day, it was intended, we were told, to provide a means in which government regulation could prevent the needless destruction of plant and animal species. Perhaps because the bill was signed into law by President Richard Nixon, who was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, set the stage for a bill designed to fail. And fail it has.

The Act has done little to save species and a lot to put a lot of money into the bank accounts of environmentalists, stifling job growth and stripping Americans of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If you and I can get beyond arguing whether the ESA is worth anything and discover that it’s not, then surely we can begin to see the efforts of Congress to examine portions of the ESA and President Obama’s administration to define words in the Act as laughable.

Regardless of whether President Obama thinks he can define “significant”, it is NOT going to do anything to change the problems with the ESA. Among the massive issues that makes the ESA look like a falling down old barn, is the lack of specific information in the administration of this bill. This leaves the door open to giving the Secretary of Interior too much discretion, flexibility and deference as it pertains to interpretive policy, and it has led to a myriad of court rulings in which judges have taken it upon themselves to interpret the ESA in any fashion they can.

One of the downsides to the judicial branches of our government is that every time there is a court ruling the words created in that ruling become case law and at least to some degree becomes precedent in future court cases, regardless of the truth or accuracy of what is written.

So what I can say right from the beginning that what the “Services” are attempting to do in defining “significant portion of its range”, is to hand select from existing statutes, case histories and case law, some or all which are seriously flawed, combined with their own interpretations of what they think the intention of the legislators were in writing the Endangered Species Act.

What on earth could go wrong?

Remember back in 1998?, when then President Bill Clinton was answering questions before a grand jury about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky? He was asked if there was anything going on between him and Miss Lewinsky. Bill Clinton responded to the jury:

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

This kind of jibber-jabber spin is endemic among politicians and governmental agencies. That’s why we all hate them so. Obama’s “Services” people don’t go quite to that extreme in their attempts to define “significant portion of its range”, but read what they did say.

This Draft Policy took approximately 20 or more pages to conclude using the various resources and criteria I have already described above to determine that “significant portion of its range” in its entirely, together, as a whole, means:

provides an independent basis for listing and protecting the entire species

In other words, this is pretty much what we have all become subjected to over the past near 40 years. Some too highly paid, well indoctrinated person(s) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) made a determination that a particular species was in trouble and was in trouble over a “significant portion of its range” and therefore was declared “endangered” and the “range” essentially became critical habitat.

But the “Services” have determined that it depends on what the meaning of significant is as to whether or not significant actually becomes significant.

This draft policy includes the following definition of “significant” as it relates to SPR [significant portion of its range]: a portion is “significant” in the context of the Act’s “significant portion of its range” phrase if its contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction.

Significant, used as an adjective, which if my English 101 is correct, is defined in most dictionaries as:

1. important; of consequence.
2. having or expressing a meaning; indicative; suggestive: a significant wink.
3. Statistics . of or pertaining to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.

If “significant” is used as an adjective to describe portion, and portion in this context relates to a physical area or size of land, i.e. range, then wouldn’t significant portion suggest what is being talked about here is geographical scope of the range of a species?

The “Services” concluded that the choice of definition for “significant” is “important”. Therefore, it’s not the size of the portion of the range but the importance of the portion of the range they have decided to use.

I could go on with such foolishness but it’s more important to provide focus on what’s the bottom line. The bottom line here is that not only will Obama’s Draft Policy not only not help anything as it pertains to the ESA but will in fact make matters even worse.

Nothing in this policy limits the discretion and authority of the “Secretary” to implement and make definitions and rulings as he/she deems “scientific” and necessary for the administration of the ESA. Not only that, but this policy seriously places into the hands of the government, greater authority to not only create “portions of its range”, in other words, the Secretary can declare a species endangered and establish all the “critical habitat” he wants. He will still have power to create Distinct Population Segments. However, this new policy will allow the Secretary, through a series of predetermined “thresholds”; a measure of how important it is to protect one small area where a certain species may exist in order to save the entire species globally, create millions of tiny DPSs that the “Services” have said they don’t want to do.

Try to paint a picture in your mind of what this might look like. Haul out a map of the U.S. and it is peppered with 6,537,129 little dots where the Secretary has created a “significant” “significant portion of its range”. And that “significant” range happens to be the 350-acre ranch your trying to eke out a living on. I think this is significant.

Oh, that won’t happen! You all say. Won’t it? If not, then why is this included in the Draft Policy?

Therefore, if a species is determined to be endangered in an SPR, under this draft policy, the
species would be listed as endangered throughout all of its range, even in situations where the facts simultaneously support a determination that the species is threatened throughout all of its range. However, we recognize that this approach may raise concerns that the Services will be applying a higher level of protection where a lesser level of protection might arguably fit if viewed across a species’ range. The Services are particularly interested in public comments on this issue.

I am sure that how I see this Draft Policy and how others may see it will be worlds apart. For those who have faith and confidence in government and believe the ESA is a viable statute that actually protects species, while preserving the rights of Americans, you may think this attempt at defining “significant portion of its range” is a good thing. I do not!

I see it as further pushing the ESA bus over the cliff. It defines nothing. It only serves to foist even more autocratic power into the hands of government, particularly that of the Secretary of Interior. And, gives authority to the Secretary to amass hundreds upon thousands of SRPs (Significan Range Portions) and DPSs (Distinct Population Segments) all over the country.

One can think of instances where this authority and application may be practical but you shouldn’t think it actually will. One example might be the instance in Wyoming, where the state, in working with the Feds, has come up with a SRP of sorts that provides protections for the gray wolf in one zone, while at the same time the rest of the state isn’t burdened under the same ball and chain of ESA protection. But when you consider the amount of abuse that will come from this authority, it becomes a more effective fire starter than an extinguisher. There are so many catch words and phrases in this Draft that one would be foolish to think it’s intended for anything of value to the people.

While I am not expecting anything productive to come out of the Committee hearings in Washington, I will write them and tell them that they need to derail this Draft Policy and actually get down to meat and potato changes or consider complete repeal of the ESA.

If you would like to take the time to read Obama’s Draft Policy, you can read it at this link. In addition, at the end of the Policy proposal, you’ll find specific questions the “Services” are seeking comments on and how you can submit comments about this policy. Comments will be opened for 60 days after the official posting of the Draft to the Federal Register.

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