September 18, 2018

Wildlife Management as Government-Sponsored Comedy

By James Beers:

Upper Midwest newspaper articles have become vibrant reporting platforms for the increasingly absurd and wasteful machinations of the mixture of radical environmentalism and animal rights doctrines.  As loony (pardon the pun) as these popular appeals for public favor are becoming, the fact that our tax dollars support them only increases their incongruity and therefore the comedic nature of modern American wildlife non-management.  To quote the old Pogo cartoon classic;

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The latest “Outdoors” column in a Twin Cities Newspaper’s Sports Section is one such example thanks to a summer doldrum week when fishing is slow, hunting is closed, the Twins are 12 games out, and the NFL Preseason is just getting underway.

The following is a thumbnail description of the article with my italicized comments.

The article is titled, ‘Geese police’ hoping kayakers can protect wild rice.  There are two photographs; one of a “biology student” paddling a kayak, and another of a half dozen Canada geese swimming in a very thin scattering of wild rice.  This vignette takes place on the St. Louis River that dumps into Lake Superior at Duluth, Minnesota and which forms the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin (Duluth, MN and Superior, WI) upstream from Lake Superior for about 8 miles.  Here are some quotes in the order they appear in the article:

  1. “When the expanding population of giant Canada geese start munching on manoomin before it’s even ripe, destroying the entire stalk, they can cause a lot of damage.”

1.)50 years ago, the federal government (USFWS) began raising “Giant” Canada geese to “restore” these prairie nesting geese in the Dakotas and Minnesota.  Think “Red” Wolves. Although they were indeed “large” geese their questionable lineage and their restoration were murky attempts to give further justification to buy, ease and manage wetlands that were rapidly disappearing.  In fact, the first releases in Rochester and other Minnesota communities (Minnesota was much farther along in draining their wetlands so they got the early releases) were the beginning of the creation and explosion of “RESIDENT” Canada geese across the northern half of The Lower 48 States.  The “Giant” Canadas quickly hybridized with migrating Canadas producing hybrids (wolves/coyotes/dogs anyone?) some of which stayed year around in City Parks or near schoolyards or open rivers or below dams and learned to eat grass, waste grains and even food provided by humans as if they were wintering nuthatches. The offspring became “average” Canada geese with an occasional “giant” emerging in an occasional clutch. Canada geese, we soon discovered, are just like mallards: they will eat almost anything and given some food and open water they will winter successfully farther north than imagined only 40 years ago.  For many years overabundant “Resident” Canadas that caused lots of problems were live-trapped and scattered around to other communities’ reservoirs, golf courses, parks and other etceteras like vetted refugees; but that was abandoned as the problems and costs overwhelmed federal and state agencies and every nook and cranny filled up.  Costs and (like wolves, grizzlies and other federally-created wildlife problems) constant emphasis of made-up imaginary benefits and denials and cover-ups of growing problems steadily co-opted state agencies into federal schemes of benefit to politicians and environmental/animal rights agenda items.  Think wolves, grizzlies, southern black bears and alligators claimed by federal bureaucrats as endangered and under federal authority with dangled proffers of federal dollars to states to cooperate.  Note also that the word “giant” is no longer Capitalized since it is an artificial construct of unnatural hybrids, yet; it is still mentioned in hopes of kindling the old magic imagery of another unique species that was almost made extinct by Europeans, capitalism, and unbridled greed.

2.) “Manoomin” is the latest spelling of “Mahnomen” which is reputed to be the Indian/Ojibwe word for the English words, “wild rice”.  This is worth noting since in 1906 the County spelled “Mahnomen” was founded in western Minnesota on the White Earth Indian Reservation.  My assumption would be that the “Manoomin” spelling is a recent construct by minority and Progressive political groups much like the removal of statues and un-naming of schools and streets named after Founding Fathers and Generals that were once honored for their contributions to American history but who owned slaves or otherwise offended modern sensibilities.  In a real but subtle way, this example of spelling change authority evinces the power of a minority to modify spelling thus exert their ownership (think dogs and fire hydrants) of the wild rice subject in Minnesota as will be seen later in the article.

  1. A biology student was, “tasked with checking out an idea.  Why not draft volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders to scare the geese away?”

Why not, indeed?  Because these students, professors the general public are so animal rights-oriented that they will eternally seek, regardless of the truth or practicality, the Golden Fleece of non-lethal animal control for every human/animal conflict.  Think wolves and “range-riders”, electric fences, guard dogs, fladry, taste aversions, penning at night, 24-hour herd/flock guards, horns, sirens, drones, etc., etc. all to no avail but that proves nothing to the modern “biologist”.  Any Upper Midwest waterfowl hunter knows when you hunt wild rice beds, most waterfowl would do anything to get at it.  Allow hunting and the birds will feed at night or earlier in the morning.  Shoot the N end of a wild rice bed and birds will pour into the S end.  Try to flush them from wild rice and they will simply get up and come back down nearby.  Yet, just think: if “volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders” can scare them away, we will have found the ‘giant” Canada goose Golden Fleece!  That will prove it can be done.  Now all we need to find is 10, 20 or 200 “volunteer kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders” that will sign up to “scare” geese 24/7 in August, September, October, November and December come rain, sleet or snow, in the darkness of night, in rough windy days and at night when other boats are about.  Well everybody likes the possibility anyway.

  1. The “biology student” received “a $3500 grant for the project.”

Protected wolves are killing cattle, sheep and dogs and state politicians debate annual compensation for the losses to owners that owners always say is too little.  Wolf predation on domestic animals and wild animals increases as wolf numbers increase and will be present forever and any compensation will disappear as soon as rural complainants get tired of all the rigmarole and stop complaining as ranches diminish, dog ownership decreases, and hunting/game goes the way of Isle Royale moose into the guts of wolves.  Whether the $3500 comes from hunting license funds, Casino revenue, federal Excise Taxes, State Appropriations, or federal grants; it is a waste of money intended to assuage one more negative aspect of the “protect nature, whether naturally occurring or government-contrived by government-created geese and wolves, and she will take care of herself” philosophy.

  1. “You usually had to be very obviously trying to scare them away.  They didn’t scare very easily.”

You had to have a “biology student” confirm that?

  1. “The Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources, Fon du Lac Band, 1854 Authority, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and others for years have been trying to restore wild rice beds once common along the St. Louis River estuary in Duluth and Superior.” Wild rice is “a sacred food for Ojibwe people”.

Tribal Authorities and legally-held Native preferences play a big role here.  Just like certain western Tribes encourage federal authorities to release wolves on Tribal lands to evade State and local jurisdiction and objections: so too do Upper Midwest Native authorities cooperate with state agencies to do things like restoring wild rice on non-tribal lands that may then fall under Native control and be administered to achieve different agendas.  For instance, wolves that spread onto non-tribal lands diminish rural communities in many ways thus reducing their power in any conflicts with tribal activities and claims.  Simultaneously, while non-tribal residents on non-tribal lands that kill a wolf are subject to imprisonment, large fines and loss of voting and gun ownership rights: tribal members on tribal land can kill a wolf with impunity as one North Shore (of Lake Superior) tribal member did on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation two years ago.  While presented as some sort of restoration of “buffalo and wildflowers” project; wild rice restoration while once strongly supported by waterfowl hunters and their organizations has become a nuanced effort that often turns out to be something political that everyone denied at first.

  1. “Having geese police on site was thought to be potentially more effective than sound or motion deterrents like sound-cannons which geese become accustomed to.  It was also considered more politically correct than instituting a goose removal effort.”

Quick goose habituation to such devices has been known for over 70 years.  The thing is; “geese police” will never be enough or spend enough time to make a dent in the depredations of “Resident” geese aware of a food as preferred as wild rice.  Goose removal, likewise, has proven to be an annual matter, of great cost ever since those first “Giant” Canada left Rochester, MN wetlands for the golf course and intown schoolyards and Parks.  Note the “removal” word.  “Removal” to where?  Actually, it will be “removal” like California bureaucrats tell urban fantasizers that “problem” mountain lions (protected in California) will be “removed to a ‘wilderness’ location”, meaning some rural gravel road in the middle of the night.  Moving geese about as suggested here is like taking an infected bandage off your finger and putting it on a cut on your toe: you listen to any doctor or nurse suggesting it at your own peril.  The mysterious and amorphous words “goose removal” are dog whistles for “hunting” so; just like lethal controls for wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, alligators, etc.; we hereby erase and never mention the ONLY tried, true and proven method to keep geese from destroying a wild rice restoration project. 

  1. “Early fall hunting seasons help trim local goose numbers some.  But with the entire Duluth side of the estuary off limits to all firearms hunting the geese learn quickly to avoid the Wisconsin side of the river once the shooting starts.”

The geese avoid the hunted side ( where evidently most of the wild rice occurs) during the day but surely visit the other side when there is no hunting taking place (or packs of kayakers are waiting to pounce).  Note here also the word “some”.  Hunting will kill as many geese as you want.  Want to kill “more”?  Allow electronic calls, unplugged guns, baiting, earlier and later hours, sculling, sinkboxes, urban shooting sites, etc. and you can kill all or nearly all the Resident geese in a short time or each and every year if you want to maintain a few Resident Canada geese, though why any informed person would want to do so given all the negatives that accompany these hybrids is beyond me.

But what about the “Duluth side of the estuary off limits to all firearms hunting” presented as a problem?  Obviously, Duluth and/or the state of Minnesota place a higher priority on restricting hunting for geese than on restoring wild rice.  If you cannot get any or more hunting authorized on the beds for Resident geese then face facts, you have too many geese and you are unwilling to do what must be done. Stock walleyes or “study” how to restore furbearers and the state fur market with any wildlife or fish money burning a hole in some government pocket. 

  1. “Short of killing more geese, which may or may not be a viable option, having volunteers wave paddles at the big birds may be the best option to allow some wild rice to grow.”

If killing more geese every year ad infinitum is not “a viable option” you can’t grow wild rice in that section of the St. Louis River.  You have TOO MANY GEESE, just like the rancher or sheepherder run out of business by TOO MANY WOLVES. All the silver bullet promises in the world can’t and won’t change that.  The solution for waterfowl problems like this local one with Resident birds is to reduce, and keep reduced, the numbers of geese.  Like it or not; politically correct or not; annual hunting aimed at a certain level of those geese is not only affordable, it generates license revenue unlike the bevy of kayakers and actually finances conservation programs and associated businesses from sporting goods and clothing to tackle and boats. 

As to the wolves, the answer is and always has been local control and decision authority as to if any, how many, where and the rights of residents to protect property and or authorize anything and any methods from complete protection to complete eradication.

Isn’t it funny how the same destructive organizations and ideas that gave us wolves and grizzly bears in The Lower 48 States are now giving us kayakers and “Giant” Canada geese in wild rice?  The same religious assumptions about “Native” this and that represented by hybrids shoehorned into settled landscapes presented as somehow rectifying the sins of our fathers?  The same hatred toward anyone enjoying useful traditions which with they disagree?  The same contempt for traditions and American culture as we now see in the cities?  The same tales about the search for silver bullets and Golden Fleece that will one day soon resolve the irresolvable?  The same reckless use of scarce fish and wildlife dollars? The same sagas with the same players and the same Useful Idiots that Lenin first observed 100 years ago.

What’s next, free-roaming buffalo?  You betcha!

Jim Beers

17 August 2018

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

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

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

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Conservation Biology II

By James Beers

More on the Term “Conservation Biology”

Two days ago I wrote an article titled “The Etymology of ‘Conservation Biology’”.  The transmittal e-mail was titled “Word Games”.  In that article I attempted to explain the origin of the term “Conservation Biology” 100 years ago as a description of the American effort to describe practical fish and wildlife research and management to be used to guide federal and state government programs to conserve and manage fish and wildlife resources of the United States.

I explained in the article that the reason the term was important was that the inevitable advent of laws and property set-asides were to be justified and explained as the result of “scientific” facts obtained from “biological research” conducted in wild places on wild animals.

Further, I described how the modifier, “Conservation” was meant to describe a particular branch or mode of biology that attended specifically to the management of fish and wildlife resources amidst the Constitutional government, capitalism, and life styles of the USA.

Finally, I described how, until the emergence of the environmental/animal rights takeover of federal and state wildlife agencies in the 1960’s, “Conservation” was synonymous with the proactive management of a diversity of fish and wildlife to (among other things):

–       Maintain sustainable levels of sport fish and wild game to generate license revenue to fund wildlife programs of all sorts,

–       Cooperate with businesses, Local communities and Local governments to provide compatible fish and wildlife populations,

–       Minimize wildlife depredations, damage and threats to citizens,

–       Manage ALL fish and wildlife and their habitats on government lands for societal benefit,

–       Influence, as requested, the presence of fish and wildlife on private lands and the continued availability of fish and wildlife throughout the state and the nation.

The foregoing was accomplished for about 60 years (1900-1960’s) to the great satisfaction and benefit of the citizenry. Yet, when the environmental/animal rights interest groups emerged to condemn “Conservation Biology”, a term they found synonymous with hunting (i.e. “killing animals”), trapping (i.e. “wearing skins), logging (cutting trees) and grazing (“raping the land”); the term fell into disrepute and was dropped from the lexicons of US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and, finally, the State wildlife agencies whose new employees and political bosses were establishing a “New Age” of “ecosystem/native/benign/oligarchy autocracy” of managing people and human rights for the supposed purposes of the animals themselves.

A reader has recently informed me of their umbrage at me being so cavalier as to say that “Conservation” was a term used to describe wildlife management only for people, or that it was a term used 100 years ago to describe wildlife programs that differ from today.  The reader is mistaken.

1.) Anyone with the interest should review the writings and speeches of Teddy Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Gifford Pinchot and even the semi-poetry of John Muir and John Burroughs.  The word “Conservation” is as common as desert flowers after a rain.  Indeed, on the flyleaf of my copy of Aldo Leopold’s nature classic, A Sand County Almanac appears the following, “He died in 1948 while fighting a brush fire on his neighbor’s farm. His death cut short an assignment as an adviser on conservation to the United Nation.

2.) It is not far-fetched to say that the term fell into disrepute with the advent of the current wildlife philosophy ruling government and our Universities that the killing of wildlife is wrong, the use of wildlife is wrong, the management of wildlife is wrong, and human conflicts with wildlife from death and injuries to loss of property and rights should always be decided in favor of wildlife and the human element in the equation be eliminated as a last resort.

3.) From the 1930’s to the 1960’s most state wildlife agencies adopted names as “Conservation Departments” or “Fish and Game Departments”.  At the same time many state wildlife agencies changed the title of their “Game Wardens” to Conservation Officers.  Both names denoted organizational and personal titling to suggest the origin of the applied science of “Conservation Biology”.  This was the period so despised by environmental/animal rights ideologues: it was the period of big game management and restoration or[of] deer and elk and moose.  It was the period of introduction of chukars and the proliferation of introduced game species like brown trout and pheasants.  It was the period of stocking striped bass in the West, and rainbow trout below dams, and muskies in Southern waters, and salmon in the Great Lakes – all for sport and human enjoyment and enrichment.  In short it was everything the new philosophy detested and the new employees hated.  As they gained control from the 1960’s on, is it any wonder that the term “Conservation Biology” and the word “Conservation” was rejected and ignored?

4.) Finally, I consulted my complete 1960’s-era collection of state (and Provincial) Wildlife Uniform Shoulder Patches.  In 1960, 21 states still either called themselves “Conservation” Departments or had the word “Conservation” in their title, or called their Game Wardens – “Conservation” Officers.

5.) Today, in our politically correct world of Orwellian terms where “war is peace” the wildlife rulers are no different than their education peers or their global warming “scientists.”  Words matter and we need look no farther than that state leader of idiocy, California.  The state that bans any management of cougars and ignores human dangers and property destruction from coyotes and wolves, has removed any vestige of the old “Conservation Biology”/managing wild animals for state residents crowd.  As a final touch, I offer the following news item:

“Call them words of war between hunters and wildlife activists: Starting Jan. 1, California’s Department of Fish and Game will become Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The change, hunters say, reflects a move away from traditional hunting and fishing values and is part of a bigger push by the Humane Society of the United States to eliminate hunting across the nation.

Environmentalists and animal activists say it reflects a move to manage all wildlife in the state, not just “game” for hunters.

California’s change will leave just 12 states using “game” in the name of the agency overseeing wildlife, according to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. (Those are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming.)

Eighteen states use “wildlife,” while the others use “natural resources” or “conservation.”

Moreover, data from the association and the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates the shift away from “game” is accelerating, the Associated Press reported.”

What’s in a word?  The question arose because those affected by growing federal abuse using wildlife “needs” as an excuse have seen “Conservation Biology” cropping up in news items, Federal Register Notices, government-generated “reports and papers”, and even in court transcripts.

To repeat what I said in the earlier article:

–       There is an election coming up and the feds want to set minds at ease and quell any negative news about what they are doing.  It is all “Conservation Biology” don’t you know?

–       They are keeping the great unwashed (that’s you Mr.  & Mrs. Rural America) off balance. The more they baffle you and the courts, the more you think them good guys just like grandpa’s old Conservation Department and all those legendary Conservation Officers he used to talk about.  The more you stay docile and forego challenging them; the deeper their hold on you.

–       Remember it is their game and their rules and your money paying for it.

We have been like Austrians during the March 1938 Anschluss; welcoming the Nazis in to take over their country without firing a shot.  The Austrians threw flowers in the street and cheered as the Nazis absorbed them into their foul nest; just like the environmentalists and animal rights bureaucrats are taking over rural America, one community at a time and often in league with compliant state governments.  Whether we think of it as a “Fatherland” or as a bygone world where “conservation” was a good word; it is only a diversion and lie by those that represent nothing good for us or our descendants.

Jim Beers

24 February

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

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

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. 

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

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Are Increased Incidences of Antlered Does the Result of Chemical Geoengineering?

One has to wonder if that might be the case….just asking!

The Wall Street Journal is carrying a story of a man from North Carolina who went to Kansas to hunt deer and shot a large antlered female deer.

The Wall Street Journal article references three other stories of hunters killing antlered does this year. One was in Maine where a hunter took an unusually large, by body weight, female deer (185 pounds dressed) and sporting a large, 8-point rack of horns. There were also similar incidents in Montana and in Arkansas.

How rare this is appears to be a matter of one’s perspective with opinions varying all over the place. A wildlife professor at Mississippi State University says, “We collect data on about 25,000 bucks every year in Mississippi, and from that data I don’t think I’ve been informed of any antlered does.” Others say there’s a one in 5,000 or one in 10,000 chance of shooting an antlered doe. An Online search for antlered female deer reveals ample reading material with photos of poorly formed antlers – the more common variety – to the “rare” type as has been written about of late where female deer are sporting antlers more typical of 4, 5, or 6-year old mature adult males.

A study of antlered does published in the Journal of Wildlife Management in 1965 described findings from the necropsies of 23 antlered does. “Seventeen were functional females, four were males with undescended testes in the intra-abdominal fat, one was a hermaphrodite, one bore an adrenal-type tumor,” said the paper.

We have seen and will continue to see these “rare” and anomalous occurrences. What I don’t know is if there is becoming an increased occurrence or if it appears that way due to the growth of instant access to information. However, being that we know of other events prominent in this country and around the world, it would seem a reasonable thing to ask the question of whether or not man’s contributions to the air, the earth and the water are playing a role in the incidences of freak deer or other wildlife?

We know that due to drugs from birth control chemicals found in drinking water and public waterways, it is causing fish to have both sex organs. Back in 2006 there was a report in Wisconsin about a man who shot a seven-legged buck deer that had both sex organs. We know that the U.S. Government and military run a continuous rain of hell upon us from the sky with their relentless 24/7 chemical aerosol spraying. One has to believe that all of this must somehow be contributing to deformities and what we often think of as biological anomalies.

At the end of the Wall Street Journal article, an Arkansas farmer, familiar the the case of the 72-year-old woman who shot a female deer with horns, said in a profound statement, “If this can happen to an animal, I can’t see why it can’t happen to people as well.”

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