September 23, 2019

“Oh Give Me a Home, Where the Buffalo Don’t Roam..”

By James Beers:

News Item from:  THE WESTERNER

National Park Service Approves Quarantine And Transfer Of Bison To Tribes  By MELODIE EDWARDS  MAY 25, 2018

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations.

Now, the National Park Service has signed an environmental assessment that will quarantine animals for six to 12 months before releasing them into tribal care. Public lands are also interested in growing bison herds. 

In the fall of 1957, during hunting season and while I was playing high school football; I came down with a high fever, swollen glands and a spleen the “size of a baseball” according to my doctor.  I spent 5 days in the small-town hospital and a week at home in bed.  I had contracted undulant fever, the human manifestation of brucellosis.

No one could figure out where I got it and there was no County Health Department at the time so the source of the infection went unresolved.

More than 5 decades later while researching diseases, infections and other deadly and dangerous maladies carried and transmitted by wolves, I came across some OLD veterinary science. (Note: NEW vets and their researchers don’t touch anything like this for fear that those soccer moms with money and pets that they “love” like our parents used to love us might think their veterinarian was anti-wolf and probably pro farming, ranching, animal ownership, hunting, etc.)  Brucellosis, I learned is carried by dogs and wolves, coyotes and any other Canid that happens to wander into an infected area.  They can contract it from any infected item eaten, mouthed or sniffed, or from blood contact like rolling in infected material with skin lesions or oral contact with infected material.  Further reading explained that brucellosis can be transmitted by saliva to humans and livestock.

That fall I had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever that was a crackerjack pheasant-finder and duck-retriever.  I had permission over a wide farm area to wander with that dog and my shotgun pretty much at will as time permitted.  The farms were mainly dairy and corn farms with lots of edge and ditches holding everything from mallards to snipe and mink.   I am now convinced that one or more dairy cows had brucellosis in the areas we wandered through and my dog had contracted it (probably in a pasture) and I got it from his saliva.  Canids can be simple carriers showing no outward symptoms.

That dog and I were on the same wavelength and I often showered him with praise when he did what I wanted.  I would often scratch his ears and put my face close to him letting him lick my face.  I also had cuts on my hands from football, cutting wood, etc. that he would lick when he noticed them.  He and I had been hunting mallards and pheasants in the days before I went into the hospital and my mother feared I would die while the diagnosis was uncertain.

There are many other reasons than cattle infections to keep agricultural/farming areas free of animals like buffalo that can contract, carry and transmit brucellosis.

  • Just think about some dark buffalo standing on a gravel road at 10 o’clock some stormy night as you drive home from some business in town with your kids in the back seat asleep.
  • Think about pasture and field fences that are simply stumble points for buffalo.
  • Think about ornery buffalo bulls getting in with cattle.
  • Think about buffalo in plowed ground or corn or wheat or a garden or a green pasture.
  • Think about hunting as I was one fine day behind a dog in an enormous stretch of rolling hills and grass near Malta, Montana for pheasants and sharptails.  There was nary a tree in sight.  What if the dog topped a ridge and startled or otherwise bothered some buffalo out of his or my sight and the buffalo went for the dog?  Where and to who would the dog go?  If you said, “why to you”, Bingo!  So where would I and my 20 gauge with #6’s go??  Quick now buffalo can move pretty fast.

Buffalo were extirpated on the Great Plains and mountain valleys, not by “hunters” nor for “sport”.  Buffalo were extirpated for the common-sense and common-good purpose understood by men without “degrees” but with families and a hope to raise them by raising crops and grazing livestock.  They knew that you could never do those things with free-roaming buffalo in the neighborhood.  DITTO, by the way, for wolves and grizzly bears.

Our native American brethren welcome buffalo on select reservations for many reasons that are best left unmentioned, just they did and do with wolves in cahoots with bureaucrats and radicals.  Even when tribal members shoot and kill a wolf, they are “punished” like Montessori kids whose dog ate their homework, while you and I may go to prison and lose our voting and gun rights plus pay a large fine for even attempting to “take” a wolf.  Like the wolves, buffalo on reservations will certainly wander off the reservation and begin more mayhem than I mentioned here as their numbers increase and their range spreads just like wolves and grizzly bears.

While rural Americans will “howl” about all this like Atlanta under Sherman, the natives will only smile and the urban environmental radicals; animal rights extremists; urban lawyers; state wildlife agencies; and “perfessors” in search of money, graduate students and notoriety will swarm into media reports, demonstrations, classrooms and lawsuits to “save” the buffalo. Media outlets and courts of law will be platforms protesting everything from how “they” (the buffalo) were here first and how any “control” would jeopardize the precious buffalo “family” structure to how buffalo “restore” the prairies (and other) “ecosystems” while being of immense benefit to rural America (all of which is 100% BS) as the accompanying rural evacuation as in The Grapes of Wrath they are perpetrating continues.

I guess you can mark me down as a supporter of a big (8’ x 12’) professional sign I saw next to the entrance of the Catholic Church in Malta, Montana when I went to church there while bird hunting one fine fall Sunday morning a few years ago.  It read:

NO FREE-ROAMING BUFFALO IN MALTA… VOTE NO! 

Consider:

  1. Buffalo are very susceptible to being infected with Brucellosis.
  2. If not contained, buffalo will roam far and wide; and when uncontained they are, by definition, without an owner responsible for their actions or effects.
  3. When free-roaming buffalo encounter Brucellosis, they will contract and spread it.  The likelihood of cattle, canids and certain humans contracting and spreading brucellosis is significant.
  4. Who would check free-roaming buffalo for Brucellosis and how would you know which buffalo is checked as buffalo numbers and range increase?  For how long and under who’s jurisdiction and oversight would free-roaming buffalo be checked? How thoroughly and how often, as in all or annually would free-roaming buffalo be checked? How practical is that? How much would it cost?  Who pays for all this with what funds?   Who has primary jurisdiction over which (federal land/private land/state land/reservation/entire species/etc.) buffalo?
  5. Who is responsible if there is an outbreak of Brucellosis or other damage to the public by these government-introduced (GI) Buffalo?  Is it to be like government-introduced wolves and grizzly bears that kill people or destroy private property with no government responsibility while the blame is placed on human victims for not behaving correctly or for violating some bureaucratic regulation?
  6. Who, with any common sense believes that all this checking will be done for more than a few (at most) years, while Draconian law enforcement will increase and go on for a bureaucrat’s forever as the buffalo increase and spread?

The real point is the urban supporters are not harmed by buffalo or wolves or grizzly bears (or pythons): while the ruralcitizens lack both the political power and financial wherewithal to stop what is being perpetrated upon them by powerful bureaucracies for all manner of foul agendas.

If this were made into a movie it could sensibly be titled, “The Bride of Wolves and Grizzlies”.  The past 40 years of this same scheming by federal and state bureaucrats, Indian Tribes and radical organizations to similarly introduce and protect wolves, grizzly bears and now buffalo as adjuncts to Wilderness; Government Land Purchases, Government-supported Easements of Private Property; Public Land Closures to use and management; and a host of other government moves on behalf of radical groups intending to ultimately depopulate the rural West and the Great Plains.  Like wolves and grizzlies, buffalo will only increase and speed up the dissolution of local communities’ economies and safety to steadily establish unchallenged federal enclaves that destroy communities, rural families and local governments while making state bureaucracies little more than federal offices.

George Orwell, call your office.

Jim Beers

9 November 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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Politics May Cause Focus on CWD Spread to be in the Wrong Places

Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in deer in Ontario Province in Canada. Some in Maine and other New England states have taken up a panic or semi-panic mode while saying and doing stupid things. One thing is for sure. Few of us know anything about the disease…even those pretending to be an authority.

As with most things like diseases that are serious, why does it seem the focus is placed on the wrong aspect of the problem? It seems an American thing to avoid the real issue and place the focus on emotional and political BS. We see this in discussions about AIDS and the Second Amendment. With AIDS, instead of addressing the immoral lifestyles that most greatly contribute to the spread of the disease, we only focus on a cure in order to permit the perpetuation of homosexuality.

In speaking of guns, Americans almost never focus on the real issue of what causes a person to resort to violent behavior that is deadly to other humans. So much effort is placed on ensuring that law-abiding citizens have their right to choose how to protect themselves taken away.

And now we see Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sneaking up on us. Many admit that scientists don’t fully understand the disease. They have a better sense of the end result – almost – than the cause and the spread.

As is typical, with diseases such as CWD, brucellosis, Echinococcus granulosis, Neospora caninum, etc., where both wild and domestic animals can become infected and infectious, often the blame, if you will, is placed on captive animal facilities as being the culprits in the growth and spread of these diseases to the wild population of the same animals. This has never been proven as fact and is next to impossible to do so. To state otherwise is dishonest.

In an article I read in the Berkshire Eagle of Massachusetts, it was written that: “If you have regulatory authority over captive farms you could require really high fences, double fences and require tags on your deer.”

Part of the argument being expressed here is that an agriculture department will not be strict enough in regulating captive cervids and that authority should be given to fish and wildlife agencies. There is serious political corruption that exists within both departments that we should never consider one government agency as being better at regulating than another. History has shown us that fish and wildlife agencies can be just as corrupt in their wielding of authority for political reasons as any agriculture department.

By directing the focus of the problem on captive cervid ranches, we may be doing ourselves a real disservice when it comes to serious efforts to understand this disease, for without the right knowledge proper control if there is such a thing, is impossible.

For those who don’t know, I will tell you that captive cervid ranchers would put up “high fences” and “double fences” if they could afford it in order to protect their herds from the spread of disease from outside into the ranch. It’s been several years now since I last spent a great deal of time learning about elk and deer ranching, but the last time I recall discussing double fencing the cost ranged somewhere around $1 million a mile. The argument for high and double fencing is to prevent any kind of contact between captive animals and wild ones.

It is sometimes lost in these emotional discussions that ranchers absolutely do not want any disease in their herds. It’s stupid to think differently. CWD within a herd of captive elk or deer would put the rancher out of business.

Because some choose to believe that diseases like CWD originate within the fences and is spread beyond the fences through contact with other animals outside the fences, they fail to understand that it can just as easily happen in the reverse. There was a time when in areas where CWD occurs, no instances of CWD had been detected in captive cervids. That should tell us something. It seems the real issue is in regulating the import and export of captive cervids, especially across state lines.

I visited domestic elk ranches in the West a few years back and was impressed with how conscientious they were about every aspect of their business, including the threat of disease. Again I say, any serious disease will destroy that business and none of them want it.

The author of the article linked to does a pretty good job explaining to readers about how easily and quickly CWD can spread in the wild. He writes: “Deer disperse out, and in studies they have found 75 percent of yearling males will disperse from two miles on up from where they were born. Stainbrook cited that one yearling disperser in Pennsylvania, which had a GPS collar on it went over 90 miles. This could be a major contributor to how CWD can spread across the landscape. There are ongoing studies to try to determine the average distance that deer will disperse. If the average males travel four or five miles, one can estimate after 10 years how far CWD has been spread.”

Captive deer are captive, enclosed behind fences, and unable to “disperse.” It, therefore, makes a bit of sense that they are less likely to be the chief culprit in the spread of the disease. Any agriculture business needs to be responsible for disease spread and for the most part, I think that is the case. We can do many things to reduce the risk of the spread of disease, or at least perhaps slow it down, but short of a cure, there is little hope of completely stopping it. Ensuring that we keep our focus on the problem in the right places, prioritizing them from a scientific position rather than a political one will go a long way in addressing a serious disease spread.

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