October 21, 2019

Liberal Activists, Mainstream Media, Law Enforcement Bear Partial Blame for Showdown in Oregon that Led to Death of LaVoy Finicum

Press Release from the National Center for public policy research:
Left-Wing Civil Disobedience Often Goes Unpenalized, With Media Complicity

Is It Any Wonder Some Conclude Civil Disobedience is a Safe and Consequence-Free Activity?

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Left-wing activists and news outlets that only partially cover their activities are in part to blame for the confrontation in Oregon that led to the death of LaVoy Finicum, says the National Center for Public Policy Research.

That’s because left-wing organizations often use civil disobedience without consequences, which leads the public to believe law-breaking in pursuit of political or public policy goals can take place without serious consequences.

Parts of the news media are complicit because they cover stories in ways that help the left-wing organizations achieve their goals.

Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a left-wing green group, was repeatedly covered in the news media criticizing those occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (for example, here, here, here, here,here ). No story we found mentioned that Suckling has been found guilty in court (here, here) for occupying private property and refusing to leave as part of a political protest, or that he has been arrested (and even bragged about it by issuing a press release) for civil disobedience as recently as 2014.

“In yet another case of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ the environmental left is protesting civil disobedience by citizens while it practices and/or condones civil disobedience itself,” said David Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a left-wing green group that sues the government while expecting the taxpayers to pay its legal bills, has gone to Oregon to protest the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Yet he has been found guilty of much the same offense. Occupying another’s property without their permission in the name of a political cause is either wrong or it isn’t. It isn’t okay when the environmental movement does it and wrong for everyone else. Kieran Suckling is much like the Bundys; he may disagree on policy but he’s used the same technique,” Ridenour added. “Kieran Suckling should be laughed out of Oregon for his hypocrisy. So should any news reporter who writes about the Center for Biological Diversity’s statements about the occupation at the wildlife refuge without covering Mr. Suckling’s past conviction in a court of law for similar activities.”

Parts of law enforcement also share partial blame, the group says.

“Kieran Suckling is far from the only leftist to be arrested for civil disobedience,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Most liberal activists who commit civil disobedience are never charged, or get merely a tiny slap on the wrist. The news media runs pictures of left-wing activists getting arrested for their cause of the day knowing full well the charges will be dropped, but the media never tells the public the arrests are all-but-fake. Quite often all this is arranged in advance. The public is impressed by this false dedication. But people who pay attention know those arrested rarely face any penalties. Is it any wonder some have gone on to assume civil disobedience is a perfectly safe and consequence-free thing to do?”

“Law enforcement shouldn’t make essentially fake arrests so activists can look good on camera, and government officials who get arrested on purpose should be fired,” Amy Ridenour added. “A high-ranked member of the Bush and Obama Administrations, James Hansen, who ran NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies before he retired, wasrepeatedly and intentionally arrested – in violation of the law as well as federal ethics rules — while serving in the executive branch, the part of the government that is tasked with enforcing laws. He was never fired. When even high-ranking members of the law enforcement branch of government break the law to get attention for their pet causes, sanity has broken down. Until we restore sanity, expect to see more civil disobedience. And because law enforcement treats some civil disobedience as worse than others, and enforces the law against some while dropping charges against others, expect to see more deaths like the one in Oregon yesterday.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research last commented on the Oregon situation in a press release here. It neither endorses nor participates in acts of civil disobedience, and it has not endorsed the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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RMEF Calls Out Center for Biological Diversity: Stick to the Facts

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling on the environmentalist group Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to stick to the facts when making presumptions about wildlife populations.

CBD recently claimed that Idaho’s wolf population is on the verge of endangered status when, in reality, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) stated that preliminary counts indicate Idaho has more than 100 documented wolf packs and 600-plus wolves. IDFG also reported it has a minimum of 22 documented breeding pairs after counting only 30 packs. IDFG biologists have yet to examine the status of 77 additional packs.

“A few advocacy groups chose to take the breeding pair metric out of context to make claims that Idaho wolves are ‘teetering on the brink of endangered status once again.’ That’s hogwash,” said Virgil Moore, IDFG director. “And it’s the kind of polarizing misinformation that undermines responsible wildlife conservation and management in Idaho.”

“It is not surprising when you consider this group’s intent on stirring the pot to dilute the facts in order to raise emotions and money,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Groups like CBD do not really want states to manage wolves and they don’t really want states to be successful in managing wolves. Facts are facts and it is a clear fact that none of the states managing wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Region are remotely close to low numbers of breeding pairs or total wolf population. These groups would rather file a lawsuit and collect their legal fees from the U.S. taxpayers than actually work with the states to better manage all the wildlife populations together.”

History shows that to be true. A 2012 report used Department of Justice data that showed the federal government defended more than 570 Endangered Species Act-related lawsuits (wolves included) over a four-year period which cost American taxpayers more than $15 million in attorney fees. CBD was, by far, the most litigious organization with 117 cases.

“Groups like CBD excel at taking advantage of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) which was never intended to fund lawsuits by NGOs to promote ideology. What they don’t excel at, to say the least, is conducting wildlife counts,” said Allen.

IDFG is expected to release its final 2014 wolf population estimate in March. The minimum number of documented wolves as of December 31, 2013, was estimated at 659 or more than 500 percent above minimum recovery levels agreed upon during wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s. The 659 figure did not include wolves from 28 documented border packs that overlapped with Montana, Wyoming and Washington. IDFG presumes there are additional packs within its borders but are not included due to a lack of documentation.

“The bottom line is Idaho’s wolf population is not endangered in the least and it’s vital that state management remain in place in order to whittle the population closer to balanced recovery levels where they should be and where EVERYONE agreed the numbers should be. CBD did not object to the recovery goals in 1995, but now they and other groups like them pretend they never heard of the recovery goals,” added Allen.

In keeping with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as the preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF staunchly supports management to balance and control predator populations.

RMEF has awarded nearly $265,000 in grants to various states specifically for wolf management activities including $50,000 to Idaho in 2013. No other groups have granted any financial resources for any type of predator management including CBD.

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Further Evidence of Environmentalist Wanting It Both Ways

*Editor’s Note* – Below is a copy of a press release, I am told, from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), about information obtained through FOIA. Also, at the end of the press release is a link to the FOIA-obtained information available to read should you choose.

What angers me most about this utter nonsense by the CBD is their attempt at always having their bread buttered on both sides. The real conservationists of this country, the hunters, have for many years now been trying to get state fish and game departments, as well as federal wildlife agencies, to manage wildlife based on science and not on social demands and political pressure. I dare say that one of the major reasons that these agencies now operate in the manner that it does is because of efforts from environmental groups like CBD.

In this case, CBD is whining and complaining because they feel that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in their proposal to delist wolves in all the 48 lower states, made their decision based on, “‘what can the public tolerate’ and ‘where should wolves exist’ rather than where suitable habitat for wolves exists or what is scientifically necessary for recovery.”

While the CBD whines and complains, demanding the USFWS and other state wildlife departments use the CBD’s best available propagandized and fabricated science, they and other environmental and animal rights groups continue their efforts to infiltrate all of these same agencies in order to manipulate them into making wildlife management decisions based on “what the public can tolerate” and “where wolves should exist” instead of actual best available science.

You see, groups like the CBD demand agencies like USFWS to accept CBD’s “science” in their decision making processes when it is expedient and in the best interest of CBD and at the same time demand USFWS and other wildlife management agencies to accept CBD’s philosophies of managing wildlife based on social demands and all other political and non scientific agendas, when it is expedient and in the best interest of CBD.

When agencies such as CBD show such two-faced, hypocritical, unprofessional and unscientific nonsense, how can anyone take what they have to say in any serious way. They are nothing more than an activist, fundraising, fringe group wanting to have everything both ways.

For Immediate Release, June 27, 2013

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121

Documents Reveal State Officials, Not Scientists, Led Decision to Strip Endangered Species
Protections From Wolves Across Country

Endangered Species Act’s Science-based Mandate Sidestepped for Political Expediency

WASHINGTON— Documents obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show last month’s proposal to remove most federal protections for gray wolves was preordained three years ago in a series of meetings with state wildlife agencies.

Under the Endangered Species Act, decisions to list and delist species must be made solely on the basis of the best available science. In this case the newly obtained documents suggest the Service pushed ahead to delist wolves without scientific support in order to obtain a political outcome desired by state fish and game agencies.

Specifically, the documents show that the Fish and Wildlife Service constrained the possible geographic scope of wolf recovery based on perceptions of “what can the public tolerate” and “where should wolves exist” rather than where suitable habitat for wolves exists or what is scientifically necessary for recovery. The meetings left state agencies in a position to dictate the fate of gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states.

“This process made a mockery of the spirit of the Endangered Species Act. These documents show that years ago the Fish and Wildlife Service effectively handed over the reins on wolf recovery to state fish and game agencies, many of which are openly hostile to wolves,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “In order to ensure this politically contrived outcome, the Fish and Wildlife Service has spent the past three years cherry-picking scientific research that justifies the predetermined outcome that wolves don’t need protection anymore.”

In August 2010 officials from a select group of state fish and game agencies were invited to a week-long workshop at the Fish and Wildlife training center in West Virginia to effectively decide the future of gray wolf recovery in the United States. The decisions made at the meeting were largely adopted in the agency’s June 2013 proposal to end federal protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48.

As part of this process, the Fish and Wildlife Service also excluded any consideration of further protection for wolves in Colorado and Utah for either gray wolves coming from the north or Mexican wolves coming from the south. This was based solely on the opposition of the two states’ wildlife agencies and despite extensive wolf habitat in the two states. The documents also show that Fish and Wildlife promised that the input of state wildlife agencies “with a cooperative management role” would be given greater weight in any future decision-making and that it would develop a wolf delisting rule to “implement [the] understanding” reached at the 2010 meeting.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s actions demonstrate a near total lack of transparency and scientific integrity,” said Hartl. “If the Service had followed this same logic 20 years ago, there would be no wolves in Yellowstone National Park today — and no wolves roaming across the northern Rocky Mountains. The Service needs to go back to the drawing board and let the scientific facts guide how to recover wolves across the millions of acres of suitable wolf habitat remaining in the western United States and the Northeast.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Wolf FOIA Documents

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