July 31, 2014

American Life without The Endangered Species Act

A guest post by James Beers:

By passing The Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congress and the President (Nixon) did two things.

First they catered to the 5-year orgy of environmental hyperbole (much like the current global warming/cooling/climate change extravaganzas) that generated political support and energized the radical environmentalism and animal rights’ organizations and their agendas during the turbulence of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Second, Congress and the President, cleverly like Pontius Pilate washing his hands after sentencing Jesus, gave the responsibility and authority for whatever happened to federal bureaucracies, especially the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the “scientists” they would employ to justify the past 40 years of:

- Taking private property without compensation.
- Shrinking the timber, ranching, and farming economic sectors.
- Shrinking Local governments, their jurisdictional authority; and their revenue sources from shrinking rural economies.
- Stopping road projects and demanding the removal of dams used for power and irrigation.
- Subverting any State authority and jurisdiction over any plant or animal UNIT concocted by federal bureaucrats and their radical supporters to impede rural American prosperity and the “general Welfare” (per the Constitution) of rural communities and the rural families that compose them.
- The unjustified and unauthorized creation by bureaucrats of evil (the right word) “powers” to leap from saving “endangered” animals to a federal mission to “restore” the (imagined) “native ecosystem”; and the never-ending thread of absolute authority that even after “returning management of Listed endangered ‘species’ to the state” federal bureaucrats can set mandated conditions (that must be met at State and Local expense) or federal authority will be re-instituted by force.
- Creating Federal bureaucratic discretionary power to justify the elimination of highly desirable “non-native” or “out-of-(i.e. “native”)place plants and animals; steadily eliminate the management and use of renewable natural resources on and near Federally-controlled lands; and the unquestioned power to introduce and protect, or eliminate plants and animals at locations that serve other agendas from political pandering to current power structures to hidden agendas to achieve other goals from closing access and stopping new developments to further restriction of stressed rural communities that are subsequently purchased or eased with federal tax dollars.
- Inventing all manner of self-serving “science” from regulatory (yet legally-binding) concepts like “Distinct population segments” to arbitrary establishment of DNA definitions for Species, Subspecies, etc. distinctions that serve current and future bureaucratic agendas.
- Establishing an aura of “science says” that befuddles any honest judge and trumps any hope for an appeal by a citizen “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” as guaranteed in the 5th Amendment.

I often remark in talks I give and in what I write that the ESA must be repealed or at a minimum drastically amended. Aside from snickers and smiles this recommendation is frequently used to demean what else I say as the ravings of an idiot. When I was asked by a young lady reporter a few months ago if I thought the ESA did any good at all, I was taken aback and after a minute or so I had to admit that I saw no good from the ESA in the past 40 years that could not have been achieved with far less harmful consequences without the ESA.

So what does “American life without the ESA” mean? I have taken this tack, no doubt, after reflecting on the movie “America” that my wife and I saw last week. While one, i.e. “life without America”, would be a great sadness and loss to the entire world: the other, i.e. “American life without the ESA” would be a great boon to all Americans by restoring the rule of law to invigorating the national economy by putting rural Americans back in charge of their own destinies and the natural resources that abound all around them.

WITHOUT the ESA:

- Citizens concerned about a certain fish or a bird would have access to the US Congress to seek some remedy. They could make their case and request funding or a new law within the confines of Section 8 of the US Constitution that defines the “Power” the “Congress shall have”.
- Any such proposed law or funding would be subject to review and a vote in the House and in the Senate, as well as concurrence (Veto Power) by the President.
- The review of such a proposal involves a PUBLIC Hearing including statements by the proposers, comments by bureaucrats, and the pros and cons of supporters and opponents. Unlike the rigged “public hearings” sponsored and conducted by bureaucrats (like the old Soviet “show trials”) of the past 40 years that simply rubber-stamp bureaucratic ESA plans; such public hearings before Congress give Americans a fair chance before-the-fact to expose, question, and either modify or defeat the sort of hidden ESA chicanery of the past 40 years.

Consider how such public Congressional Hearings might allow for those being targeted to address Congress and the sort of questions an honest Congressman or Senator might be briefed to ask:

- “What is the position of the State government?”
- “Who will pay for this after this federal subsidy ends in X years?”
- “What effect will this have on Local government authority and revenue?”
- “Do you have any statements of support from the affected Local governments? Why not?”
- “What is the estimate of the increased danger to humans posed by these animals?”
- “What will be the effect on ranchers and farmers? What will their costs be?”
- What effect will this have on disease transmissions to humans, livestock and dogs?”
- “Who will pay for the resulting damages?”
- “How will landowners and animal owners be compensated for reduced land values and other losses of their property?”
- “How will lost power generation or lost irrigation capacity be replaced?”
- “How will lost revenues to State and Local government be mitigated?”
- “What is the Cost/Benefit Ratio for the closure of this area and these natural resource uses versus the claimed perpetual increase in animal X?”
- “Where are the statements of Veterinarians and Agriculturalists about how these proposals will modify animal and plant health and communities?”
- “How do you propose to maintain hunting and fishing revenues and programs with this project in place and considering the necessary diversion of state fish and wildlife program funds?”
- “What is the position of Rocky Mtn. Elk, or National Cattlemen’s Assoc., or Southern Timber Owners Assoc., or Pheasants Forever, or United Great Lakes Fishermen, or the residents of Timbuktu who will see their roads closed and economies hard hit?”
- “What studies confirm that this project is necessary and that this recommendation will work? What if it does not work as stated? What are the other alternatives?”
- “Under what authority can you assign a federal responsibility like livestock loss compensation to a private organization like Defenders of Wildlife who is a supporter of this bill?”
- “Where, in Federal Statutes, is there authority for the federal government to restore the native ecosystem everywhere despite opposition from state governments, Local governments, private property owners, and/or rural American residents?”
- “Why do you propose we compensate livestock owners for losses but not dog owners?”
- “If we pass this proposal and some people are killed by these animals next year or several years down the road, are we liable for placing them there? If not; why not?”
- Why does access to or recreational use of these public lands need to be restricted in conjunction with this proposal?”
- “Are you seriously requesting that we devastate the (logging, farming, ranching, power) industry and the rural American communities they support because you cannot think of any other way to maintain this (owl, smelt, wolf, bear, darter, bat, etc.)? We need people that tell us how this animal can be maintained in OUR community: not how WE must be managed to exist in theirs.”

I could go on here for pages but you get the point. Yes it would be difficult for concerned citizens and time-consuming for Congress (if they entertained much of it). Yes the vaunted bureaucrat/biologists and their fellow-“scientists” would once again serve US and not the other way around. If something is REALLY and DEMONSTRABLY important Congress could baby it along and reap the grateful votes of supporters and a solution tested by open discourse and opposition would sink or swim on its’ own.

It’s the American Way!

Jim Beers
26 July 2014

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

Feds Declare Mouse Endangered. Move Toward Shutting Down Family Ranch

A family’s livestock enterprise in New Mexico is in danger of being completely shut down now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the meadow jumping mouse to be an endangered species, Watchdog reports.

The new regulations came into effect from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month, and as a result, the U.S. Forest Service is considering installing 8-foot high fences to protect the mouse, which would permanently prevent the Lucero family’s livestock from grazing.<<<Read More>>>

Reverse Invasion of Property

Reverse invasion of property
Marxist central control abolishes private property rights

This morning I heard on the Chad Hasty Show talk about the “need” for some sort of environmental study regarding the sonic booms in Midland and their effect on the prairie chicken aka pinnated grouse.

Hunting with even light shotgun bird loads for dove in grouse habitat causes sonic booms as the projectile breaks the sound barrier, yet, I’ve never before heard any such ridiculous objection.

The recently proposed Federal Register regulations say that no invasion of the properties will occur as a part of their [Marxist top-down central] “planning” [and control].

Those proposed regulations, 79 Federal Register 27060 and 27052, can be easily found with a google or bing search. The comment period for one of them ends tomorrow, 11 July 2014.

Prohibiting sonic booms on land adjacent to grouse breeding grounds seems like a reverse invasion of property. I’ve never heard of a reverse invasion before but I have heard of reverse condemnation. In addition, their low-level population surveys invade private property, so the Fed Register regs are based on a lie. There I said it.

How are they going to cite people for violations without invading the private land? We know full well the regulations constitute an illegitimate Marxist taking.

If there are no meaningful remedies in the administrative system (Progressive Kangaroo Court), then the long term benefits of correctly tying Marxist Socialism (Communism) to the Endangered Species Act when applied to private property are obvious. Since 1973 this nonsense has been going on. Even for biblical times, 40 years is long enough to wander the communist wilderness. It’s time to find our way out. Learn how to say No.

Ludwig von Mises figured all this out and published his analysis in 1951. There is no point in reinventing the wheel. It’s not rocket science. It’s time to start saying No.

“Takings (E.O. 12630)

In accordance with Executive Order 12630, we have determined the
proposed rule does not have significant takings implications.
A takings implication assessment is not required because this rule
(1) will not effectively compel a property owner to suffer a physical
invasion of property and (2) will not deny all economically beneficial
or productive use of the land or aquatic resources. This rule would
substantially advance a legitimate government interest (conservation
and recovery of listed species) and would not present a barrier to all
reasonable and expected beneficial use of private property.”
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-12/html/2014-10503.htm

Will Feds Be Successful in Defining “Significant Portion of its Range?”

“The ESA defines an endangered species as “any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” But the law didn’t define what qualifies as a significant portion.

Under this new policy, “significant” indicates that one portion of the species is so important to the survival of the species as a whole that, if it were lost, the species would likely go extinct.”<<<Read More>>>

USFWS Proposed Lynx Assessment: Increase Critical Habitat in Northern Maine/Wyoming on Private Land

“The lynx was protected under the ESA in 2000, when it was listed as threatened throughout its range in the contiguous United States, due to the inadequacy, at that time, of existing regulatory mechanisms. The Service designated critical habitat for the species in 2006 and revised the designation in 2009 to include habitat in six northern states. The current proposal includes most of the areas designated in 2009, as well as additional private timber lands in northern Maine, and Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service lands in northwestern Wyoming.”<<<Read More>>>

ESA Abuse Causing Desire Economic Destruction

“Curry County (71025MF), with heavily wooded tracts along the rugged Oregon coast, is verging on insolvency after U.S. officials designated the northern spotted owl as a threatened species, drying up area timber revenue and making the region reliant on federal subsidies that have ended.”<<<Read More>>>

Petition to Force Grizzly Bears Throughout the West

“WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a legal petition today calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to greatly expand its plans for recovering grizzly bears, including returning the iconic animals to vast portions of the American West. The petition identifies 110,000 square miles of potential grizzly habitat in places like the Gila/Mogollon complex in Arizona and New Mexico, Utah’s Uinta Mountains, California’s Sierra Nevada and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.”<<<Read More>>>

Petition to List Wild Horses as “Threatened or Endangered” Under the ESA

“On June 10, 2014 the Friends of Animals (FoA) and The Cloud Foundation filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The petition was filed because the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses. Six states have already lost their wild horse populations—Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.”<<<Read More>>>

GASP! Fake Polar Bear Scientists Provide Fake Polar Bear Science for Fake ESA Listing

“As with the hockey stick graph and many other elements of the concocted story, honest scientists working in the finest tradition of skeptical scientific inquiry, started to unravel fuzzy numbers and lies. One such hero is polar bear scientist Dr. Susan Crockford, who publishes the website Polar Bear Science. In it she documents how a scientist responsible for an alarmist lowball estimate of polar bear population is backing away from numbers that she has been questioning:”<<<Read More>>>

When THE LAW is the Problem

LawProvided by James Beers:

Yesterday I wrote TWO QUESTIONS, an article that appears [on this website]. An astute and well-informed reader in Europe wrote me the following response to that article:

By American law ..

I : = B
2 : = B

In other words, pups born as the result of the mating of a wolf and a dog are legally unprotected dogs and not protected wolves. This is true. Additionally, anyone that shoots, traps, injures, harasses such a DOG is not bound by any law concerning wolves but only those state and local Laws and Ordinances concerned with DOGS. This is also true.

However, I submit that today neither of these things are really true.

We throw around these reputedly “scientific”-based terms like wolf, dog and coyote like they are elephants, lemurs and kangaroos. While these latter THREE Species don’t look alike or eat the same things, they are absolutely, inexorably and basically different because THEY CANNOT MATE AND PRODUCE VIABLE (fully capable of and able to reproduce their own kind) OFFSPRING. Once upon a time for centuries and until very recently this capability to produce viable offspring was the defining characteristic determining, what was a distinct group of animals we defined as a Species. That is why mules (the offspring of a horse and a donkey that are not capable of producing viable offspring) are NOT a species, for instance. This definition of Species, while biological, has served us all well for centuries in myriad ways as we domesticated animals and managed wild animals for the benefit and protection of our families, communities and societies.

Enter the wolf and federal wolf laws and regulations.

In the late 1960’s, in the midst of great social chaos in the United States federal jurisdiction and authority over wild animals took major authorities from state governments under the auspices of “saving” endangered Species. This new federal authority steadily grew into previously unimaginable federal power to take and control private property; destroy formerly viable businesses; close public lands to any use or management or renewable natural resources; stop construction projects like dams and irrigation districts; eradicate valuable game animal herds; destroy local economies and communities; and even destroy the lives, families and livelihoods of rural men and women protecting their property and families from radically destructive government actions.

Early-on federal seizure and protection of remnant wolves as an endangered “Species” in Minnesota and subsequent releases of wolves in the Upper Rocky Mountains in a National Park and on an Indian Reservation (two locations that share the unique distinction of always having been outside and beyond state or surrounding local jurisdictions and their authority). Long story short, absent the federal “Endangered” Species Act, absent the absolute central government power it spawned largely due to federal bureaucrats writing and amending federal regulations to serve their own purposes plus the inattention of the public and state governments busy “Hoovering”- up (i.e. vacuuming or sucking-up) federal dollars with “strings” – were it not for all this – there would only be a remnant wolf population (and moose to hunt once again) in Minnesota and other than a few straggling wolves along the western Canadian/US border NO WOLVES IN THE LOWER 48 STATES today.

But, what is a wolf? Wolves breed with and produce viable offspring with all dogs, all coyotes PRODUCING VIABLE OFFSPRING. The genes of these three animals are in reality a stew of all manner of interbreeding from numerous wild encounters that have gone on for eons to the intentional crossbreeding by men to obtain more fearsome animals or animals with more stamina to do work like pulling sleds or any of a countless number of other human intentions lost in the mists of time.

Thus we in the Lower 48 States find ourselves fighting for our lives, families and livelihoods against a hostile (against humans) government with the outcome often hinging on points like:

- Was that a wolf you killed?

- Was it a wolf that killed your sheep?

- Is that a wolf hanging out where your kids play or catch the bus?

- Was that a wolf you were shooting at?

- Is that a wolf den with a wolf bitch and wolf pups “out back” of the pasture?

- What is your expertise to say it was not a wolf?

- You should have exercised due caution.

- Do you just shoot at anything?

- How could you have placed a snare like that where wolves were present?

- How do YOU tell a wolf from a German Shepherd or a large coyote?

- On what do you base YOUR expertise?

Ah, but you say “we have DNA Analysis” to identify wolves. HMMM, who sets the “Wolf” DNA Standard: The “Dog” DNA Standard: the “Coyote” DNA Standard? Is it the same “scientists” either employed by or funded in large measure by the federal government? “’It’ is a dog when ‘it’ has 30% of this and a coyote when it has 62% or more of that and a wolf when we say so”! Really?

DNA Analysis is perfectly suited for individual identification as shown daily by criminal investigators. But there is a great difference between tying someone’s DNA to the DNA found at a crime scene and the ARBITRARY standard that there is a genetic line and on one side we will call them wolves and on the other a dog and on yet another it is a coyote. Those are value judgments made by bureaucrats and the “scientists” they employ AFTER the fact of all these disputes arising from the forced introduction and protection of wolves. When such determinations determine prosecutions and great harm to citizens they are reminiscent of 19th century phrenologists describing the “criminal type”, or acolytes of Margaret Sanger describing the mentally-deficient that should be killed, or 1930’s racial “experts” describing those with Jewish “blood”.

None of that DNA specificity about wolves (in all their, like dogs, endless VARIETIES) is published in any regulation. That they can and do often look alike is undeniable. It is as if citizens were told that some deer had a gene resistant to Chronic Wasting Disease and they are totally protected but all the other deer, without the gene, should be killed to save the deer from the disease. The fact that they all looked alike and could only be identified after being killed was the shooter’s problem and if a warden found you with a deer THAT HAD THE GENE; you would be prosecuted, fined, imprisoned and have much of your property seized by the government. Distinguishing such deer is no different than relying on arbitrary government DNA Standards to identify real wolves! Such use of DNA findings is in fact (I speak here as an old state and federal law enforcement officer) DISCRETIONARY.

Forget that you thought it was a coyote or that you were sure it was a large dog that killed your dog or livestock. If I was the state or federal enforcer you wound up with and I was interested in:

- Ingratiating myself with environmental/animal rights zealots running my agency.

- Making an example of you to put the fear of (Gaia?) in others.

- Helping to rid the area of hunters, grazers, loggers, etc.

- Making a name for myself with a prosecution that engenders lots of publicity.

- Simply interested in proving how tough I am to both the public and coworkers.

- Getting even with you for some reason.

- Impressing everyone with how important these nutty laws are.

- Needing a complex investigation to justify overtime or Premium Pay.

- Forging a case with “Precedence Value” to immortalize myself.

- Etcetera.

I could be your worst nightmare.

Look no further than the recent “raid” on the cattle operation of Mr. Bundy in Nevada by such government enforcers, without a court order, that resulted in the shooting of valuable livestock and confrontations with citizens fomented by enforcers armed to the teeth ostensibly protecting a tortoise that nearby government-funded solar panel farms are harming far worse than any cattle. Those enforcers are “doing their job”, being rewarded for a “good job” and are planning their next moves to further oppress citizens as I write. (“Next time we will first use bean bags by the camera and then loudspeakers and then we rush them if they don’t disperse and then…!”)

Wolves, dogs and coyotes that appear for all intents and purposes as the same animal are either: A.) Wolves completely protected at all times, B.) Coyotes that are unprotected and may be killed at any time, or C.) Dogs that are either 1.) someone’s private property and thus covered by property laws and the owners ire, or 2.) free-roaming dogs covered or not by local ordinances and/or state laws. Just as the cattle shooters are apparently unrestrained as they go about their “duties”; so too are the enforcers arresting and prosecuting citizens that kill or bother wolves that may or may not look to every American just like a large coyote or dog.

Utilizing the discretion inherent in this genetic mishmash, I would seize the animal in question or describe it if it got away as a wolf. As I built the case, I would document your background, interview people that had dealt with you like environmentalists and anti-gun folks and game wardens and other enforcers. I would copy and enter as evidence everything you ever said or wrote about wolves or government benevolence. Only if the DNA Analysis was absolute (there is no such wolf or dog or coyote) would I stop if I wanted to go forward. I would document how you thought “it looked like” a large/small, light/dark canid (i.e. wolf/dog/coyote?). How you didn’t know about how tails and ears indicate one animal or the other. I would document how you mistakenly guessed the weight of the animal or how you misread the tracks around your dead dog and how you didn’t know the official government distances distinguishing the tracks of a wolf and the tracks of a coyote. I would catch all the times you said things like “that looked like” something you “should have” or “shouldn’t have” done .I will have a field day because the laws and regulations give the government all the aces and the citizens all the deuces.

In addition to watching ambulance chasers descending on you like vampires when the sun goes down, I would “shop” for the “professor” or DNA “Analyst” (just like litigious modern environmental Americans “shop” for Washington DC or 9th Circuit judges and courts to get judges that prefer them) to get DNA “Results” that will send you like Diogenes in search of “your own” “Analyst” or “Professor” that the court and jury will look down on as inferior to the august government “expert witness”. The public will admire me and begin to look on you as they do that guy that owns (owned?) the Los Angeles Clippers with the “girlfriend” about the age of his grandkids. Whether I win or lose: you lose and I win! Why? Because, it is all based on a bad (un-Constitutional and oppressive) law with all manner of hidden agendas and loopholes put there over time by self-serving bureaucrats that keep harmful federal and state politicians in power with illusions about animals.

So is “B.” the right answer to both questions?

1.) Is the wolf bitch birthing pups from eggs fertilized by a German Shepherd, a coyote and a Yellow Lab (yes litters can have more than one Papa) giving birth to wolves or dogs? Despite what a lawyer or bureaucrat tells you about how DNA “proves” and the Endangered Species Act says they are unprotected dogs: believe them at your own risk. Those offspring are what a court and a judge says they are. Go no further than the next generation when the half-Lab is subsequently bred by a wolf and the Lab genes join the genes of ancient semi-wild dogs from Indian Villages, peasant cottages in Medieval France and caves in prehistoric Europe and Asia in the genetic soup of the “wolf” critter you are charged with “taking”.

2.) Is the person that kills or harasses such offspring of a wolf/dog cross a felon or a hero? See #1. If the pup grows up looking just like his mother’s brother in the Little Red Riding Hood story, I would not hold out a hope or expectation of some benevolent enforcer or government bureaucracy with a scintilla of concern about your welfare if you are caught in a web of prosecution wherein the outcome revolves on what a jury thinks about the charges against you in light of claims about what the DNA “proves.”

I must admit I think the answer to both questions is “it depends.”

Like tyrannies down through the ages, our fate once more has come to “depend” on bad laws that exist only to mask the way the whims of the powerful are imposed on the rest of us day in and day out; in all we must do and all we cannot do.