October 19, 2018

THE Wolf Syllabus

By James Beers:

The following talk was given at a Wolf Symposium by Dr. Geist, a retired Canadian environment professor.  Dr Geist is an internationally recognized scholar and consultant in the subject of predators, predation and changing ecosystems; particularly as this involves wolves. 

I am proud to say that Dr. Geist, a man for whom I have the greatest respect and highest regard, has been both an acquaintance and colleague for many years. 

This “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” was, in my opinion, a smoke screen in the latest subterfuge by uber-rich Americans, non-government organizations and federal bureaucrats to introduce and protect wolves In Colorado to complicate wolf control in Wyoming, circumvent wolf opposition in New Mexico and place wolves ever-closer to The Great Plains where they will duplicate their impacts seen to date throughout much of the West.  

Utah, reportedly, has no established wolf packs and through adept political wrangling has prevented federal bureaucrats from asserting their legal intention to introduce or protect wolves in Utah. This political maneuvering is largely due to Big Game Forever, a Utah-founded and based hunters organization that for about a decade has steered a somewhat maverick role between Washington politicians and bureaucrats, and national non-government organizations of all stripes.  

A former Ted Turner employee and Montana legislator recently kicked off a campaign to introduce wolves into Colorado.  The “usual suspects” came forth (Denver/Colorado Springs/Fort Collins” “wolves only improve the world” crowd to a hodgepodge of ranchers, hunters, rural dog owners, and shepherds that saw what lay ahead but appeared powerless to stop it.  The next step was this “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” sponsored by the Utah-based Big Game Forever to bring together “experts, scientists and decision-makers”.  Fortunately, Dr. Geist was asked to speak, and speak he did. 

I believe Dr. Geist’s talk is the best comprehensive information presentation on wolves that I have read.  It is for this reason that I am forwarding this presentation.  If you or anyone you know is involved in the wolf issue or may be involved in the future with the wolf issue, or has noticed their kids being propagandized about wolves, or that simply likes wildlife and is concerned about America’s future rural environment – Please Share This with Them. 

As to the future of wolves in Colorado, a colleague recently told me that after cutting through all the “science” and smoke: if the Democrat wins the Governor’s race in November (a likely outcome in the heavily urban population and increasingly Magnet-State for liberals fleeing high-tax western states and even high-tax Eastern states) Wolves Will Be Introduced into and Protected in Colorado. 

Luckily, Dr. Geist is Canadian and one of those all-but-extinct endangered species candidates – a professor with Integrity.  He ignores the politics and does a masterful job of saying what I am sure the majority of banqueters neither expected nor wanted to hear. 

Thank you Dr.Geist. 

Jim Beers

4 September 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.

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Futility

I am here to tell you why the wolf does not belong into settled landscapes. Wolves do unbelievable damage to wildlife, they do great damage to agriculture, they pose a real threat to public health and safety, and they kill humans under now well-known circumstances. Moreover, after all the pain, suffering and deprivations that wolves inflict on people in settled landscapes, after the enormous public expenditures to maintain wolves, all the effort and costs are for naught, because in settled landscapes wolves degrade via hybridization with dogs and coyotes into worthless hybrids, that is into coydogs and feral dogs. Settled landscapers remorselessly destroy the real wolf. Wolves cannot be conserved as a species in settled landscapes. What is being done with wolves here and in Europe has nothing to do with nature conservation. What the US and the EU are doing with legislation is a very expensive, brutal and mindless way to destroy real wolves. We can do better!

Wildlife destruction

When wolves are introduced, they first destroy wildlife. When I worked in Banff National Park in the 1960’s there were present about 2,500 elk. After wolves returned in the 1970’s elk dropped to less than 300. Moreover, elk became invisible as they were not only hiding, but the bulls quit bugling during the rutting season. We have the same silent bull elk on Vancouver Island where I now live, courtesy of wolves, cougars and big black bears. After 1970 I was no longer able too observe the behaviour of elk in Banff. Also, the moose, which were readily observable in the 1960’s went extinct or invisible.

The same patter has been observed in the Yellowstone area after wolves proliferated following their introduction.  The famous northern elk herd went from 19,000 to about 4,000. Why not less? Because the park elk left the park and went onto private land where there were safe from wolves. I was informed that only some 600 or so now winter in the park. Elk not only went onto private ranches, but also into hamlets or small cities such as Gardiner, where they were also safe from wolves. And that’s exactly what elk have been doing in Canadian national parks for ages: go into towns to escape predation. Deer do that also. Currently in western Canada they are doing it on a grand scale and flee into suburbs, farms, hamlets and even into the very core of cities. Deer on Vancouver island are concentrated in human settlements and virtually missing in the vast back-country. They are not welcome in cities, but tenaciously, they hang on. In Alberta elk have left the forestry reserve, the home of wolves, and moved onto private ranches. Moose have gone even farther and moved far, far out into the prairie where they now live along watercourses and in coulees. They did not do so that when I was still living in Alberta a quarter century ago. In Yellowstone park, however, moose went extinct. Which was, of course blamed on global warming. In early fall 2006 I rode for a week from dawn to dusk through some of the finest moose habitat I have ever seen. And I have see a lot of moose habitat in Canada between the Montana/Idaho/ Washington and the Alaska boundaries. I never saw a moose or a track or a feeding sign. And that was during the moose rutting season when bulls are maximally active.

The very landscape I was riding through was also excellent mule deer habitat. During my week on horseback I saw two does and fawns and found one antler rub by a buck. I suppose they were also victims of global warming!

On Vancouver Island the annual deer kill dropped from about 25,000 a year to some 3,000 per year. Vast forest areas are now virtually without deer. My wife and I observed directly how deer vacated the landscape and rushed into suburbs and farms when a wolf pack showed up.  At night deer lined up body to body along the walls of our neighbour’s cattle barns, oblivious of the farm dogs. For the first time in four years they entered my garden and demolished the fruit trees I had planted. Some 80 trumpeter swans left with the wolf packs arrival, but only some 40 returned after the pack was extirpated; when the second wolf pack arrived the swans left and never returned. Nor did the geese, the large flocks of American widgeons, the green-winged teals, the pheasants and ruffed grouse. Note: it’s not only big game that vanishes!

Alaska colleagues experimentally released wolves on a coastal island. The wolves exterminated the deer, tried catching seals, and starved to death. Similarly, Tom Bergerud, the premier caribou biologist on this continent, documented caribou extinctions on islands occupied in the current spread of wolves.

Research in Yellowstone has shown that wolves kill about 22 elk per wolf per year, and that wolves begin leaving the country once the kill declines to 16 elk per wolf per year. That’s about the same amount of moose wolves kill in Scandinavia per year.

But where do the wolves go when they deplete the prey?

Outside the park, of course, in search of more prey. Here they may be trapped or shot. This has led to vociferous protests that the evil hunters are killing park wolves. A book has been written about it.  No mention of park management which allowed wolves to exceed their carrying capacity of the land. A classical failure of “protectionism.” However, more on that later.

You asked what will happen to your moose, elk and mule deer when wolves are introduced into Colorado and are free to multiply. The moose will be exterminated, the elk and deer decimated, except in so far as they can find shelter from wolves on private ranch-lands, as well as in hamlets and suburbs. However, protected wolves learn to hunt big game even in towns, as now witnessed in Germany. Game population will decline as well as your hunting opportunities. Wolf control can reverse that, but wolf control, as we shall see, will also accelerate hybridization and the genetic destruction of real wolves.

Hydatid disease

Wolves come with a number of diseases of which historically the worst have been rabies and hydatid disease.  Modern medicine had reduced the dangers of dying from rabies if bitten by a rabid wolf, but in the past it was cause for real anxiety, as the bite of a rabid wolf was fatal. As to hydatid disease, all technical matters I mention are to be found in descriptions on the internet – except for context! There had been a presentation given by myself together with Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the Province of British Columbia, to the Montana Legislature’s Environmental Quality Council about Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, on April 27th 2010. Everything we said then applies to all western states. Nobody can claim they were not warned on the basis of very extensive research carried out  by the late Professor James Adams of the University of British Columbia. My late wife was a student of his, and I have seen his extensive collection of images taken in the Vancouver regional hospital of this disease. A horror show beyond description! We also were privy to  the shop talk of surgeons emanating from the operating rooms, that does not find its way into learned journals. It appears that hydatid disease was prevalent then in British Columbia as trappers still used dog sleds for transportation and were feeding to the dogs the viscera of moose, caribou etc including hydatid cyst infected viscera. This practice came to an end with the rise of snowmobiles for transportation which replaced dog-sleds by the 1960’s. Soiled dog sled harnesses were one source of infection.

Hydatid disease is a nasty parasitic disease, caused by us ingesting the eggs of the dog-tape worm Echinococcus granulosus. It can be deadly! The danger resides primarily in the family dog getting infected, and then spreading infective tape worm eggs on lawns, drive ways, veranda and in the house. However, one can also catch the disease from handling the bodies and furs of infected wolves, or from berries and mushrooms contaminated with hydatid eggs from nearby wolf scats, or by running a lawn mover or hay-baler over some dry wolf scats, or drinking water that has percolated over wolf scat.  The people in real danger are ranch families on whose lands infected elk and deer gather to spend the winter and who crowd in about buildings to escape the marauding wolves. Infected elk, moose or deer carry large cysts filled with tiny tape worm heads primarily in lungs and liver. Normally they become debilitated by these cysts and readily fall prey to wolves. These, upon ingesting the viscera, also ingest the cysts. The little tape worm heads are then freed and attach themselves by the thousands to the gut of the wolf. Here they produce masses of tiny eggs that go out with the feces of the wolf. When such dries, the eggs are blown about on the surrounding vegetation. That vegetation is fed on by elk and deer. The tiny eggs turn in the gut of elk and deer into tiny larvae that drill into the intestines and are carried by the blood to the liver, lungs and more rarely the brain of the elk, where they then grow in time into the large cysts, debilitating the elk, making it prey for wolves.

If hunters shoot an infected elk on a ranch and leave the viscera behind, there is the possibility that the ranch dogs will find it, feed on it, become infected by the dog tape worm and begin shedding eggs around farm buildings, barns, and lawns within about seven weeks. People will step into the infected dog feces and, inadvertently, carry it into veranda and house. Here the eggs spread over the floors, but may also drift onto tables and furniture. The dog, licking its anus and fur, transfers tape worm eggs into its fur. The eggs are most likely to infect babies crawling about on the floor, veranda or lawn. They child will lick its hands, or eat contaminated food, and the eggs will develop into cysts. Since re-infection is likely, numerous cysts begin to grow in the liver and lungs. Cysts in the brain are normally fatal. The cysts develop initially slowly, so that not much may be notices till the child is a teen. Then, while playing sports, a cysts in the abdomen may burst. Some children die right then and there of anaphylactic shock. Those that survive need to undergo extensive operations. Should even a tiny bit of parasitic tissue lining the cysts survive surgery, it will grow into another cyst. A terrible, debilitating lifelong condition.

The primary danger comes from dogs which have fed on infected gut piles of elk, moose and deer. Also from farm and ranch dogs that have found an infected dead elk in a coulee and fed on its innards. Since in winter elk will seek refuge also in suburbs and hamlets, any resident dog finding dead elk is likely to get infected, and infect its owners in turn. In short any dog, hunting dog or companion dog that finds a dead deer or elk or an infected gut-pile will bring the disease into the home and to the neighbourhood of its owner. And that will include school yards.

So, where elk winter on ranches, de-worming dogs regularly is a necessary precaution. So is the removal of all dead elk. It is essential to insure that during hunting season hunters bring in the infected viscera for destruction. The real problem will be teaching hunters to dispose in the field infected viscera.

And be weary of people belittling this disease! The claim of a benign parasite is flatly contradicted by Delane C. Kritsky; Professor Emeritus, Idaho State University, who was Associate Dean and Professor (35 years) within Department of Health and Nutrition. “We should be asking who (the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife service, the wolf advocates) will be paying the health bills and funeral expenses for those who will ultimately become infected as a result of wolf introduction into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

Wolves are also known carriers of bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, Neospora caninum (causes abortion in cattle) and, of course, rabies. In Yellowstone, by dispersing elk far beyond the park, the park elk met elk infected with brucellosis, and became infected themselves. In Wood Buffalo National Park wolves have not eliminated tuberculosis and brucellosius in bison. Wolves may not even bother taking down old diseases bison bulls, but looks to young bison instead,

Chronic Wasting Disese CWD

Chronic wasting disease is a juggernaut descending onto American wildlife. Because of its prevalence it has been suggested that predation would wipe out this pernicious disease. In short, introducing and spreading wolves within areas where this disease is endemic among deer and elk, would eliminate the disease. Not so. It would spread the disease.  Wolves generate panic among deer and prey leading to desperate long distance flight as well as desperate searches for locations free of wolves, primarily due to human presence. I have personally witnessed this wolf-induced panic among deer. And I have observed it personally also among livestock. Secondly, because wolves in dispersing go great distances, they would spread ingested CWD prions via feces and urine over very great distances. And they would disperse it in concentrated form. More ranches would wind up CWD infected, let alone public lands. And who in his right mind would buy a ranch infected with CWD, or even a ranch adjacent to an infected ranch? And the trouble is that, generally, we have been trying to contain CWD locally instead of eliminating the root cause of its spread: the commercial trade in wildlife.

Attack on humans the escalation model. While real wolves do indeed attack humans rarely and are very shy, they kill humans none the less under predictable circumstances. Historically wolves have killed in Eurasia tens of thousands of people, and are know as belonging to the “beasts of battle”,  who occupied battle fields and devoured the dead.  Medics noted on battle fields in modern times that wolves vastly preferred human flesh to that of horses and other domestic animals. Fortunately, when wolves begin targeting people, they do so in very diagnostic fashion. They sit or stand and begin watching humans at a distance. They close the observation distance gradually. They continue their exploration by pulling on clothing, licking exposed skin before trying an initially clumsy attack. Not only food shortages trigger exploratory behaviour, so do well fed wolves frequenting garbage dumps. The key factor to watch for is the steady, consistent observations by wolves of humans. Wolves, unlike dogs, are sight-learners, very intelligent sight-learners, I might add. And steady observation of humans by wolves signals an intent on behalf of the wolf to attack people as potential prey.

Why American wolves – were – “harmless”

A prevailing myth is that wolves are so shy as not to attack people, especially North American wolves, which had for the longest time no recorded attack on a person by healthy wolves. When the student Kenton Carnegie was killed by wolves, it was blamed on black bears by a scientist ignorant of tracking, but widely accepted by environmental interests. Totally ignored was the investigation by two educated native people that had exceptional qualification in tracking. That follows a pattern of ignoring the experiences of native Americans. The myth itself can be traced back to a number of North American wolf specialists in the 1950’s who then lacked the understanding of wolves we have now, and who dismissed historical accounts as “tall tales”, precisely because of the scarcity of attacks by wolves on people in north America. It remained a puzzle for a long time even to great specialists in wolf behaviour, such as the late professor Erich Kinghammer of Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Indiana, with whom I discussed this puzzle many times in the decades past. However, I now know the answer: In the 19th Century, the wild spaces of Canada and Alaska were not only occupied by hamlets of rural and native people, and the wilderness widely exploited seasonally by an influx of hunters, while vast private lands were secured from predators by government predator control officers. Moreover, wolf control included the areal dispersal of poisoned horse meat. However and most important of all: vast areas were divided into trapping territories and trapped over by – in the case of Canada – by about 60,000 trappers. These desperately poor, hard working men depended on wildlife for survival and on dog sleds for transportation. Since wolves disperse wildlife, follow trap-lines destroying fur and kill dogs, trappers were usually not well disposed towards wolves. The wolf population of Canad is currently estimated at 60,000 and was probably less than half that in the 19th century. Note: for every wolf alive there were one or two trappers, and that does not include the armed no-trappers occupying that land. Granted the huge territories wolf packs roam over, all wolves in 19th century Canadian wilderness were thus in constant contact with very hostile human beings. That is, all wolves were being continually educated to shun humans. Moreover, because of wolf control there was a super abundance of wildlife – which I still personally experienced. That is, wolves surrounded by a a super abundant food supply grew into shy giants of almost unbelievable body size. I still experienced that personally. Because of reduced density, hydatid disease was relatively rare, attacks on livestock very limited and attacks on humans unheard of. Moreover, by keeping wolves out of settled landscapes it retained the integrity of packs as well as the genetic identity of wolves. Giant wolves living in functional packs will not hybridize with coyotes or dogs, but annihilate such. The wolf kill by trappers, however, was limited. It amounted only to about one wolf per five trappers per year, judging from bounty records.  

Replacing the little wolf with the big wolf.

North America has two species of wolves, a little native wolf who survived the incredible predation hell-hole that characterized North America during the ice ages, and a big wolf who came from Siberia, repeatedly, who did poorly in the native North America fauna, and who spread and multiplied only after human had exterminated most of the native megafauna some 12,000 years ago. The little wolf is a very smart, adaptable little fellow, who does poorly in the presence of the big wolf, but explodes in numbers in settled landscapes and follows humans closely. With human aid it spread into Alaska as well as central America and is still expanding. And it is obnoxious enough to have triggered large scale control measures. In the US coyotes are killed at roughly1000 per day.

You have also legislated via your endangers species legislation and endorsed by the courts that the big wolf will be placed where the little wolf is now.

Has anybody considered what this replacement will mean?

Do you think you will be happy having replaced the unprotected little wolf with the highly protected big wolf?

Do your legislators talk to one another?

Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

The real wolf versus the dog, destructive hybridization.

Protecting grey wolves in settled landscapes and letting them multiply freely leads in the long run to wolves hybridizing with other canids in the settled landscapes, with coyotes in north America and Golden Jackals in Europe, and with domestic dogs in both. That is, or will be, the fate of real wolves to be genetically degraded into extinction as a species. The end product of current American and European “wolf conservation” – so called – is to loose the real wolf as as species and produce a human-caused artifact, a worthless hybrid.

The real wolf is s a species. The dog is not. A species it is the product of Nature sculptured by such for millions of years.  By contrast the dog is NOT a species, but an artifact of human creation using the genetics of the wild wolf and other canids. The dog is a very great, highly useful, but also artistic creation, one which I would not want to live without. And I thank providence that the dogs I have are not wolves! Dogs have been created by humans to fit with human needs, our habitations and professional activities. They are a great treasure, as dog owners can attest to.

But so is the real wolf. And there is no question that we must insure the perpetuation in modern times of the real wolf. However, it cannot be done the way it is practised now in the USA and the European Union. For trying to maintain wolves leads remorselessly to slow, but certain, hybridization with dogs and coyotes and thus the loss of the real wolf. Hybridizing wolves with dogs and coyotes is a way to exterminate the real wolf by destroying its genetics. Of course wolves and dog are closely related genetically. However, very nearly the same basic genetics generates totally different animals. The dog is not a wolf, no matter what.  Similarly, humans and chimpanzees are also very closely related genetically, but are very different organisms.  Pigs and whales are closely reflated genetically, but you do nothing for whale conservation by protecting pigs. Placing dogs into the same species as wolves is a profound confusion of categories.

Consequently, after all the trials and tribulations of introducing wolves into settled landscapes, after all the cost to the public and private purses, after all the destruction caused by these wolves, after all the pain and suffering that befalls humans, livestock, pets and wildlife, after the loss of a grate public treasures such as wildlife, at the end, the wolf is exterminated genetically and replaces by a worthless artifact of hybridization.

Some achievement, some nature conservation, something to be really proud of!

Ecological management for native biodiversity and productivity: The fiasco of “protectionism” advanced by good, but mindless nature lovers.

Right now the national park service is bemoaning the fact that in US national parks the bio-diversity is plummeting (species are going extinct) while at the same time the parks have now over 6,500 invasive plant and animal species in the parks. Management in national parks is primarily protection – that is, doing nothing! (after all, “nature knows best”, it will restore ecological ” balance”  and etc. etc.). However, in reality, doing nothing allows the extinction of sensitive native species, while the hoodlums of the plant and animal world, the invasive species, thrive and prosper under total protection. Is this nature conservation? Is the national park service intellectually capable of differentiating between degeneration and evolution? To make my point another way: In one project in California, Wildergarten, one gentleman, Mark Vande Pol, in fierce opposition to national parks and their ruinous do-nothing policy, bought 14 acres of ground on which there were only 60 species of plants total, currently visible and reproducing. After 28 years of hard, intelligent, insightful work the count  today is some 245native species, while he controls completely another 125 exotics that were once in the seed bank.  Uniquely, the project has a special emphasis upon small annuals.  In fact, he is actively replacing an exotic seed bank with natives!  Have you ever even heard of such a public, foundation, or university project?

Do you see what I am getting at?

The publicity making lament of the National Wildlife Federation about the state of affairs on “protected” areas, is in good part due to the self-infliction of dogmatic, uncritical protectionism, in which even monitoring would be shunned as it smacks of intervention. Ergo, no science, no scholarship disturbs the fundamentalist religious view that “protection” is the salvation of nature. In reality, its exactly the opposite! Protectionist policies lead to the unwitting degeneration of nature, the longer and more effective the protection, the greater the degeneration.

Has the Wildlife Federation, let alone the Sierra Club or humane societies ever learned any lessons from the great and – when it is allowed to work – wonderful North American Model of Wildlife Conservation?

Turkeys were virtually extinct. How about their numbers today? And turkeys cannot exist without a diverse, productive habitat!

Wood ducks were virtually extinct, but no more. How come?

In 1974 bighorn sheep across the US were in decline, despite all attempts at “protecting” them, and that for over a century in California. All to no avail.  Well, the cause of the decline was identified publicly in 1974, a society to implement the rescue was called into life by 1976, and within 25 year the population of bighorns increased by almost 50%.

How come?

How come we have today so many more elk than three decades ago? Though of course not in Yellowstone National Park! There, the “within-park do nothing policy” has driven the park elk almost entirely onto private ranch land. What a success!

Oh, I must also add this one: place wolves into Yellowstone park – where everything is “protected“. And the moose went extinct. How come? We area about to loose the woodland caribou in North America forever, courtesy protectionism of same and of “habitat”. How come?

The natural “regulation” paradigm of the nature protectors is an intellectual failure, as it has to be if one understands that ecosystems, unlike individuals, are subject to positive, not negative feed back. Trusting nature to do it “right”, whatever that may mean, leads often enough to impoverished landscapes of low productivity and biodiversity. Letting “nature” have its way does not always lead to the productive, the diverse and the beautiful. Quite the contrary. And we have missed the obvious right under out noses: The revolutionary North American System of Wildlife Conservation not only saved species from extinction, but its knowledgeable hands-on policies created a landscape full of life, full of productivity, full of awe and beauty, as well as to high benefits to society while proving that the public ownership of land and resources did not lead to the” Tragedy of the Commons”, but quite the contrary. It led to the triumph of the commons. Tragedy resulted from pecuniary interests undermining the public good.

Must we abandon policies that generated productivity, richness and beauty, but also a humane treatment of wildlife? The fate of wildlife is to be changed form being killed quickly and humanely by a hunter’s bullet, to being torn to pieces bite by bite, tortured sometimes for hours by wolves tearing and ripping their way towards their unfortunate victims slow death. Which hunter ever left wildlife torn savagely? Which hunter chokes his prey slowly to death? What inhumanities are the protectionists and their ilk imposing on our unfortunate wildlife?

We have to make it clear that we can vastly improve on Nature. In fact we are doing so every day in our daily lives and dealings. We have improved on bird flight, and can transport humans in masses to distant earthly destination or to the moon and beyond. We can see so much farther in the night sky than the natural eye can achieve, and we can conserve nature on the smallest pieces of land, where as national parks fail in part because they are too small. So their lament! And where a continued existence of predators and prey is achieved in the “do nothing model”, it is on sizes beyond comprehension. Like some 150 wolves and 2,500 bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, which exceeds Switzerland in size! And I am thrilled that we have such an area for comparison. See the wonderful books of Lu Carbyn on bison and wolves in said park. Read and learn!

Not everything “Natural” is good, not everything “Natural” is beautiful, not everything “Natural” is worth fighting for. Quite the contrary! Wildfires are natural, so is tuberculosis, Lyme disease and septicemia. We are asked to abandon landscapes rich in wildlife with a proven and humane treatment of wildlife, for one that is so thoroughly impoverishing vast landscapes, while subjecting wildlife to the horrid cruelties and inhumanity of death by predation.

Is that a goal worth celebrating? Is that a goal worth striving for?

I do not believe in reincarnation , but should I be wrong, all I can say is “Lord please do not let me come back on this earth as a BISON IN WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK’. Here is my story why.” Dr. Lu Carbyn, Canada’s primary wolf biologist.

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George Orwell, call your office re: Wolves

The attached news report of a presentation touting the re-introduction of wolves in Colorado is so egregious, we debated even placing it on the Wolf Education International website.  Upon further examination, it was thought to be so misleading and so full of disinformation that it might serve as a useful example of how the public is manipulated and government mislead by radical and extremist views and funding.

What follows are 10 quotes (90%?) from the news report with a short comment about each.  Upon your examination, please consider them in total and you have a composite of what wildlife management as a tool of radical government has come to….  Jim Beers

The news report:

https://www.csindy.com/TheWire/archives/2018/06/18/rocky-mountain-wolf-project-calls-for-animal-reintroduction-amid-pushback

Comments:

1). “Though native, wolves have not roamed Colorado since the 1940s, when unregulated hunting pushed populations to the brink of extinction.” 

  • Comment:  Wolves were not pushed “to the brink of extinction” by “unregulated hunting”.  They were hunted; chased by possees on horseback; trapped; poisoned; snared; and otherwise “controlled” by ranchers, bounty hunters, federal trappers and state trappers with the express goal of exterminating them for a period of almost 100 years.  This is just as they were exterminated in the British Isles, in fact, Irish Wolfhounds were bred expressly to hunt and kill remaining wolves in Ireland. Europeans were engaged in similar programs as recorded in writing since the time of Plato and Cicero.

2). “The animals are still listed as endangered in Colorado.”

  • Comment:  That is a Listing strictly by the state of Colorado.  It implies no responsibility or intention to re-introduce them in Colorado.  Wolves are not present in New York or New Hampshire, yet those states “list” them as “endangered” and only extremists call for their restoration.  This is true of many other states that “list” animals that they have no intention of restoring like cougars and grizzly bears that are especially dangerous to human safety and health as well as destructive of dogs and other pets.

3). “Though seemingly unable to shed the stereotype of the “Big Bad Wolf,” statistically, wolves do not kill people.”

  • Comment: First, this a senseless sentence.  What does “statistically, wolves do not kill people” mean?  Wolves have killed people by the thousands down through the ages.  It is documented in writings and the limited reportage since Roman Times.  It is mentioned in the Middle Ages and in recent times.  It is mentioned circumpolar in Russia, Siberia, Europe and North America.  Read Wolves of North America by Stanley Young.  Read Will Graves’ Wolves in Russia. The fact that the press and governments that introduce wolves for which they recognize no responsibility kill people (recently, like Kenton Carnegie in Saskatchewan, the school teacher on the Alaskan Peninsula, the two ladies in Craters of the Moon in Idaho, the vacationing lady in N Wisconsin and all the annual deaths and disfigurements in Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Siberia etc.) is the only basis for and belie this specious claim worded like a child’s bad English grammar homework. 

4). “[Historically] wolves don’t pose a threat to human safety,” Phillips told the audience, throwing his hands up emphatically. “That’s just a fact.”

  • Comment:  Repeating a lie (when spoken by an “expert as purported in the Introduction it is a lie); when spoken by someone that does not know better it is either misinformation or propaganda spoken for a host of reasons.

5). “But just three weeks prior to Phillips’ presentation, Mesa County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to oppose any efforts to expand or reintroduce wolves in the county, citing threats to moose populations and livestock, and the spread of disease. Phillips says it’s rare for a wolf to kill livestock, and if/when it does the wolf is older, or injured, and it’s not normal pack behavior.”

  • Comment:  I. Ask yourself, “who is Mr. Phillips or for that matter his coterie of national environmental extremists financing his campaigns, to ignore the opposition of the people of Mesa County opposing any wolf reintroduction”?  If the people of a County and their elected representatives oppose such action, the intentions of those in other Counties or states for that matter should respect those legitimate wishes.

II It is as rare for wolves to kill livestock as for foxes to kill mice.  They must eat and livestock has always been a good meal, far more vulnerable to capture than swift wild animals.  They kill as much livestock as they want and can get away with.  They even kill many domestic animals at a time for “fun” as in the hundred + sheep driven off a cliff recently in Idaho.

III. Wolves are no more “normal” than coyotes or the family pet when hungry or excited or just plain “wild” as when Fido runs off with a pack of dogs to harass and kill domestic animals until stopped. “Normal” means “expected”, not “only”.

6). “Between 1997 and 2015, Phillips says 117 cattle were killed by wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. That’s 0.002 percent of an estimated six million cattle during that time. He also notes that ranchers are compensated for their loss when it does happen. The 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Management Act authorized up to $140,000 per eligible state from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for wolf loss compensation and preventing future conflicts. The Act replaced Defenders of Wildlife‘s Wolf Compensation Trust, which paid $1.4 million over 23 years to compensate ranchers. Defenders of Wildlife, which works to protect native animals and their habitats, contributes funds to help states initiate wolf compensation programs. In lieu of the Wolf Compensation Trust, Defender’s created the Wolf Coexistence Partnership, which works with ranchers on nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock.”

Comment:  The Defenders of Wildlife illegitimately “administered” this public relations scheme for the US Fish and Wildlife (whose Director at the time went on to be the top person in Defenders of Wildlife after resigning when the Political Party of the President changed.  Less than 10 % of the claims were even recognized due to the lateness of investigation and the anti-livestock orientation of the DoW investigators.  Ask ranchers in Montana and Idaho about this natural resource Ponzi Scheme that was only meant to spread wolves by protecting them.  “Nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock” are another chimera intended to delay wolf management to make ranching less profitable and vulnerable to buyouts like the current American Prairie Restoration land scheme in central Montana.  There is no evidence that nonlethal control techniques (Fladry, range riders, aversion agents, dogs, exploders, sheds, etc.) are not temporary at best and often quite expensive and impractical. Look no further than your pet dog and imagine some deterrent that, while he is unrestrained, he does not figure out when hungry or when he really wants something beyond it.

7). “As for the threat to the moose population and of disease, Phillips says wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size, and disease is also rare.”

  • Comment:  I. This may be the biggest lie in this presentation.  Wolves all but wiped out moose in Yellowstone in 10 years.  Wolves so decimated the Minnesota moose herd that moose hunting was abandoned about six years ago and will likely never be resumed.  Wolves decimated the moose population on Isle Royale, a large island in Lake Superior.  Wolves decimated the moose herd in E Washington.  Wolves kill moose in Finland and will decimate herds in 5 to 10 years if not controlled.  Alaskan periodic wolf control from planes and on the ground is done mostly for moose and the moose rebounds after a significant number of wolves are taken.
  1. As to “wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size”: it is precisely because of their size and vulnerability, especially in timber, that wolves zero in on moose.  All moose from unborn calves torn from the still living mother to cow moose and bulls are preferred prey. Moose give birth in certain habitat covers that wolves learn to frequent.  Moose caught by several wolves in timber are vulnerable to being hamstrung as the wolves feint in and out and the animal can neither flee nor defend itself.
  • Comment:   How misleading is it for an “expert” to say a state-authorized wolf management program forced on a State by the federal government to maintain so many wolves in such and such area is something wherein “wolves are considered predatory and can be killed without consequence”?   It also tells the reader a lot that, “Although Colorado Parks and Wildlife wouldn’t stop a natural repopulation” because this state agency is trying to please their pro-wolf urban constituency they aren’t opposed to wolves while telling their rural constituency that they won’t force wolves on them.  This has become a national phenomenon during the recent rise in federal power and money resulting in many, what are often called, state agencies that try to canoe down a river with each foot in a different canoe.  Mesa County and western Colorado need support, not platitudes.

9). “A recent Outside Podcast questions the theory of how reintroduction of top-down predators can create a trickle effect on an ecosystem, and how much credit wolf reintroduction should get for the health of the Yellowstone ecosystem over the last 20 years. According to Outside, the benefits of wolves are exaggerated, not giving enough credit to increases in other predators like grizzlies, or the effects of drought, which also contribute to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands, according to Outside.)”

  • Comment:  I. “Trickle effect” like the following “trophic cascade” are simply words that say nothing but are intended to assuage the consciences of those that might be hesitant to importune their rural neighbors with something that harms them and their families.  They are terms denoting “change” as in the weather changes.
    Health of the ecosystem” fits into the same category.  You either have the “up and down” chaos of a “natural” or “untouched” ((meaning NO people) ecosystem or you have the managed ecosystem of a settled and human-inhabited landscape wherein the interface between humans and “the ecosystem” is managed to be beneficial to humans and wildlife or not beneficial to either.  In our Constitutional Republic, the people should have the final say about the ecosystem THEY live in.
  • II.  As to contributing to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands)”.  If all these “Johnny Come Lately” claims of wolf benefits (willows along the stream, native plants, etc.) were legitimate, why didn’t federal Yellowstone Rangers, for instance, “thin the herds of elk and buffalo” for decades and decades?  Why were hunter’s bag limits not increased by state agencies?  Where were all these “(willows along the stream, native plants, etc.)” advocates for years? Ask yourself, where are they now?

10). “But Phillips and his colleagues counter that wolves, over time, can restore balance to an ecosystem if they exist in large enough numbers. In the Yellowstone example, multiple pack reintroduction thinned deer and elk herds and increased herd movement. That movement not only aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands, but also increases competition between coyotes and wolves, and decreases predation on smaller mammals. This is all in line with the idea of Trophic Cascade, and the trickle-down affects everything down to waterways and aquatic life.”

  • Comment:  What is “balance”?  There are times and places where plant thinning or reductions are desired for renewal or fire fuel reduction.  What in the Good Lord’s name is the “decreases predation on smaller mammals” all about?  Should we consider reducing fox populations or hawks and owls?  My silliness here pales in comparison to the absurdity of such claims.  Ditto for ”aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands”.

11) “Western Colorado represents a true mother-load of ecological habitat for the gray wolf,” he says. “All we have to do is put them back.”

  • Comment:  A cute closing quip for a flawed proposal and philosophy.

Jim Beers

24 June 2018

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.

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Elk Habitat Protected, Hunting Access Improved in Colorado

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Thanks to a conservation-minded landowner and a key state funding program, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation joined Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to permanently protect 2,677 acres of vital elk habitat in northwest Colorado.

“We are grateful to Rick Tingle, a RMEF life member, for placing a conservation easement on his Louisiana Purchase Ranch,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Additionally, this project highlights the critical need for the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) and its Habitat Stamp which supplied important funding to help push things through to the finish line.”

“With a fast-growing human population, it is more important than ever before to ensure the state’s wildlife has the habitat it needs to survive in perpetuity,” said Bill de Vergie, CPW area wildlife manager. “Thanks to funds provided by Great Outdoors Colorado and CPW’s Habitat Stamp Program, a very valuable stretch of land is now protected through the CWHP. Some limited public hunting access will also be provided so the benefits of this easement will pay dividends well into the future.”

CWHP provides a means for CPW to work with private landowners, local governments, and conservation organizations to protect important fish and wildlife habitat and provide places for people to enjoy opportunities to hunt and fish.

Since the ranch is bordered on three sides by State Land Board and Bureau of Land Management land in a part of the state home to Colorado’s largest elk herds, it provides connectivity for elk and mule deer migration. Thousands of elk pass through the area during the spring and fall. The property also provides summer and winter range for both species and other wildlife.

“This truly is a special place,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, who has visited the location. “We are grateful to the Tingle family for recognizing and helping us protect the wildlife values of this land.”

Access is improved to surrounding public lands because the landowner will provide perpetual unlimited permission to public hunters for a 25-day period each year with drive-through access. In addition, he signed off on a 10-year CPW agreement to provide access for six elk and/or deer hunters on lands off County Road 23 during a three-day window during Colorado’s third rifle season.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 726 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Colorado with a combined value of more than $165.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 447,910 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 107,992 acres.

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Colorado Elk Herd in the Crosshairs

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is raising a word of warning about a “quiet” movement in Colorado seeking to place wolves on the landscape. It also has grave concerns about the tactics used by environmentalists and animal rights groups behind such efforts.

A representative of a wolf advocacy group, the Turner Endangered Species Fund, recently addressed a gathering of Colorado citizens claiming the placement of wolves on the Colorado landscape is “most germane” to the state’s future, and added “there’s no downside and there’s a real big upside.”

RMEF strongly disputes those claims.

“Wolves have a measureable and oftentimes detrimental impact on big game management wherever they go. Their reintroduction into the Northern Rocky Mountains led to a reduction of the Northern Yellowstone herd by more than 80 percent,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Among other things, wolves also greatly reduced elk numbers to dangerously low levels in central Idaho and have a profound impact on declining moose and deer populations in the Western Great Lakes region.”

The Northern Yellowstone Elk herd numbered more than 19,000 before wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s but dropped below 4,000 in 2012. Increasing grizzly, black bear and mountain lion populations also played a role in the decline. Minnesota’s moose population numbered approximately 8,840 in 2006 but since dropped 55 percent to an estimated 4,020 in 2016.

“We have also witnessed time and time again that pro-wolf groups seek to ignore agreed upon population recovery goals, thus moving the goals posts, so to speak, by filing obstructionist lawsuits designed to drag out or deny the delisting process altogether and allowing wolf populations to soar well above agreed upon levels,” said Allen. “These groups totally ignore what they themselves agree to once they get wolves on the landscape and they use lawsuits to manipulate the system, ignoring state-based management. And, in many cases the American taxpayers are paying for their legal fees,” Allen added.

Animal rights groups filed at least nine lawsuits regarding wolf populations in the Northern Rockies and at least six others affecting wolves in the Western Great Lakes, as well as several others that have impacted the listing status of wolves across the contiguous 48 states. Currently, two cases are pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, affecting listing status in Wyoming and in the Western Great Lake states.

As part of the wolf reintroduction efforts in the mid-1990s, federal and state agencies agreed to delist wolves and place them under state management when the original minimum recovery levels reached 100 wolves each in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Wolves met those delisting standards in 2002 but 2015 minimum populations were nearly 500 percent above that—786 in Idaho, 536 in Montana and 382 in Wyoming. The original population objective for wolves in the Western Great Lakes was 1,350 but at last count the overall minimum population numbered greater than 3,600.

Though well above minimum population levels, federal protections remain in place for wolves in the Western Great Lakes region and Wyoming due to environmental lawsuits.

“An unhealthy and litigious precedent has been set that once pro-wolf groups get a foot in the reintroduction door, they kick it open and file lawsuit after lawsuit to stymy the delisting process while using the wolf as a fundraising tool. Colorado’s elk population will be next in the crosshairs,” cautioned Allen. ”And by the way wolves are nowhere near endangered.”

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Eagle Permits; Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle Nests; Final Rule

Executive Summary

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finalizing revisions to permit regulations for nonpurposeful (incidental) take of eagles and take of eagle nests in part 22 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The revisions are intended to create a permitting framework that we can implement more efficiently and thus encourage greater public compliance while ensuring protection of bald and golden eagles. Our goal is to enhance protection of eagles throughout their ranges through implementation of mitigation measures that avoid and minimize, and compensate for, adverse impacts from otherwise lawful activities.

The Service is modifying the definition of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act’s “preservation standard,” which requires that permitted take be compatible with the preservation of eagles. We are also removing the distinction between standard and programmatic permits, codifying standardized mitigation requirements, and extending the maximum permit duration for eagle incidental take permits (50 CFR 22.26). The regulations also include a number of additional revisions to the eagle nest take regulations at 50 CFR 22.27, as well as revisions to the permit fee schedule at 50 CFR 13.11; new and revised definitions in 50 CFR 22.3; revisions to 50 CFR 22.25 (permits for golden eagle nest take for resource development and recovery operations) for consistency with the Sec. 22.27 nest take permits; and two provisions that apply to all eagle permit types (50 CFR 22.4 and 22.11).<<<Read More>>>

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Wish to Be a Lynx Rather Than an Eagle

Actually, animals don’t matter when it comes to politics and profits.

But don’t go look!

Which reminds of the story of Barack “Walking Eagle” Obama, at a press conference, attempting, in his mumbling, stumbling, knuckle-dragging way, to speak about the need to protect the spotted owl. He told of the time he once ate a spotted owl. One reporter asked what it tasted like and he replied, “It was a cross between a bald eagle and a northern loon.”

If Obama’s greenie projects, to repay the cronies that got him elected, wanted to be put windmills up in the middle of the largest population of nesting spotted owls, you can bet it would happen.

We now see how, depending upon which environmental group and who forked over the most money for Obama’s “selection,” there is no rhyme or reason nor consistency in the hows and whys of the issuance of Incidental Take Permits – a Federal license to kill endangered animals.

So that Obama can pay off his political payback bills to his hacks before leaving office, in order for some of his crony wind farm owners to build their 500-plus windmill project, the Government is going to issue them an Incidental Take Permit to kill as many as 2 bald eagles and 14 golden eagles a year. The deaths occur from rotating windmill blades chopping the eagles and many other bird species into chucks fit for a stew. (Rumor has it the “road kill” is used in dog food.)

A previous study showed that such a wind project would result from between 46 and 64 eagle deaths. But, that information was discarded because it didn’t fit the president’s narrative on cronyism.

In comparison, Maine, in recent years, was issued an Incidental Take Permit that would allow trappers to kill one half a Canada lynx a year for ten years. Sound equitable to you? What a deal!

If lynx could fly, one has to wonder if some of the wind projects in Maine would have been granted Incidental Take Permits allowing for the destruction of 46 to 64 lynx over a prescribed period of time.

More information on the Incidental Take Permit for Eagles in Colorado.

Some online comments here.

And information about Obama’s environmental buddies putting up reward money to prosecute whoever killed two Canada lynx in Maine recently.

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And People Think Little Red Riding Hood is a Fairy Tale

This not only is a fairy tale, but it’s the biggest lie of the century.

“Phillips described the benefits of wolf recovery in terms of a “trophic cascade.” Essentially, that the reintroduction of wolves in Western Colorado will have a widespread effect resulting from the predation of elk. Most directly, it has the potential to cleanse the herd and mitigate the prevalence of chronic wasting disease. If wolves have a “big enough effect on prey, it can benefit willows and Aspens for example. They can grow more robust and many species can benefit from that,” he said.”<<<Read More Nonsense>>>

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Colorado Has Too Many Black Bears – We Told You So

*Editor’s Note* – When Colorado decided to effectively ban every method to legally harvest black bears, with the exception of one man and one rifle, we warned the public and officials that when social demands, orchestrated by the environmentalists, remove the tools necessary for wildlife managers to control wild animal populations, problems like those now appearing in Colorado would persist.

This is the same message that many of us sent to voters in Maine who, thankfully, opted not to do away with the hunting and trapping tools needed to keep bears in check. Now Colorado is considering increasing bag limits on bears and/or lengthening the season. Good luck with that. Maybe they should consider repealing the ban and allowing baiting and hounding.

The Post Independent reports higher numbers of bear-human conflicts has led to more relocation of the animal, but more relocations have led to less available locations for more relocations. According to the newspaper, Parks and Wildlife has relocated six bears and put down 17 this year in Management Area 17, which includes Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and most of Pitkin and Eagle counties.

Parks and Wildlife District Manager Dan Cacho told The Post Independent relocation gets complicated when that many incidents occur in one spot because officials want to move the bears “at least 100 miles away” but still need to keep them in Colorado.”<<<Read More>>>

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As Part of a 3-Year Study, Colorado will kill bears and lions to see if it will boost deer herds

*Editor’s Note* – I changed the headline for this story to one that is quite a bit more honest as it pertains to what is actually going on in Colorado. Reading the article that is in the link, will give you understanding as to what I mean.

“We remain well below where we would like to be in terms of overall mule deer numbers,” said Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde. “There is no one reason and no silver bullet solution to this problem, but many in the public identified predator management as one factor that could yield positive results, and we agree.”<<<Read More>>>

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Colorado Mother Fights Off Mountain Lion To Save Her Son

A Colorado woman managed to fight off a mountain lion that was attacking her 5-year-old son.

During the harrowing rescue Friday evening, she “reached into the animal’s mouth and wrested her son’s head from its jaws,” The Aspen Times reported.

Source: Colorado Mother Fights Off Mountain Lion To Save Her Son : The Two-Way : NPR

Aspen

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