August 20, 2019

Historic Range: All Or Nothing? Intellectual Bankruptcy?

CognitiveDissonanceIt is more and more obvious with each passing day that the United States has eagerly, and yet unknowingly, moved into a Totalitarian socialist government and existence of servitude. Much of this occurred the result of intellectual bankruptcy at all levels. If you at all get it, this might appear to you as obvious in Court rulings about endangered species…and then again, maybe not.

The latest in this seeming Kabuki theater is one ruling and explanation of a Washington, D.C. judge, Beryl Howell, who essentially ruled that the United States, under the Obama-administrated Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) cannot remove any species from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) unless that species is fully recovered throughout all of its historic range. In other words, the USFWS does not have authority because of the ESA to manage species through the confines of the ESA by declaring a species recovered within a designated region, most often called a Distinct Population Segment (DPS).

In Judge Howell’s Memorandum of Opinion in the Humane Society of the United States v. Sally Jewell, Judge Howell states, “The FWS’s interpretation is unreasonable on two levels. First, the structure, history, and purpose of the ESA do not permit the designation of a DPS for the purpose of delisting the vertebrates that are members of the DPS. Second, the ESA does not allow the designation of a DPS made up of vertebrates already protected under the ESA at a more general taxonomic level.”

This statement must be understood in its entirety in order that one can see the intellectual bankruptcy of such a statement. This statement says that the USFWS’s interpretation of the ESA is unreasonable because that department cannot create or designate a DPS for the purpose of delisting a species. Let me better explain for those who might not be able to fully understand. In the specific case in discussion, Judge Howell contends that gray wolves were listed as an endangered species in 1973 throughout all of the Lower 48 states – with the exception of Minnesota, where the wolf was listed as threatened.

The USFWS, after determining that wolves in a broad area of the Western Great Lakes had fully recovered, drew some boundaries and declared wolves within that boundary as no longer protected by the ESA.

Howell is not the first judge to rule this way. I have written about it before. Another Washington, D.C. based, intellectually bankrupt judge ruled pretty much identically as Howell did. My explanatory response to Judge Howell’s ruling can be found at this link.

At this link location you’ll be provided links to responses by the USFWS to Judge Friedman’s demand for an explanation as to why the USFWS has authority to create DPSs.

What Judge Howell is driving at is that because the USFWS cannot designate a segment as an area of recovered species, the only way that such a designation can be done is once wolves (or any other species) are fully recovered throughout its entire historic range. Howell reinforces this claim by saying, “The FWS’s interpretation of the ESA as authorizing the simultaneous designation and delisting of DPSs—or the designation of a DPS solely for the purpose of delisting—directly conflicts with the structure of the ESA and, consequently, this interpretation is entitled to no deference …. The ESA is remarkably clear: the FWS must identify “species” that are “threatened” or “endangered,” afford them the protections necessary to help them “recover,” and then re-evaluate the listed entities once such “species” are recovered.

Hopefully you have come to understand exactly what both Judges, Friedman and Howell, are saying, because I’m going to spoil their party. There are two things to consider but the major one is this: After the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was signed into law by the crooked Richard Nixon, wolves were designated as “Endangered” under the authority of the ESA. I know of nobody who disputes that event. My logical, and I think rational (sorry if you don’t see it that way) question is this: If, according to Friedman and Howell, the United States Government, under its own created law (ESA), cannot designate an area to delist a portion of a species’ historic range as recovered, then how did the United State Government have authority to designate the listing initially in the Lower 48 states?

Supposedly under this brand new law, the U.S. carved out an area, defined by the borders of the United States, and designated wolves endangered within those borders. How could they do this? In addition, at the same time, they carved out another area, separated by the borders defining the State of Minnesota, and declared wolves there “Threatened”. How could they do that?

But it gets worse. Because a group of people, which included not only the USFWS but also some of the very same activist, animal protectionist groups suing the U.S. Government to stop delisting wolves, wanted wolves introduced into the Greater Yellowstone National Park region, the U.S. Government carved out three areas where wolves would be introduced and protected with different protections than the rest of the country. How in God’s name, according to Friedman and Howell, could the USFWS do that?

Then the same USFWS and the same animal rights, environmental, totalitarians, headed for the Southwest. Once again they carved out and set boundaries and protected a fake hybrid species of wild dog they wished to call a Mexican wolf. Why was the USFWS able to do this? Friedman and Howell say that the ESA doesn’t provide authority to do that.

These hypocritical wolf lovers, carved out borders in the Southeast and created a Frankenstein wolf – red wolf- and introduced it into the landscape. How could the USFWS do that if the ESA doesn’t provide authority?

This same thing happened in the Western Great Lakes and all we hear about everyday are more and more environmental groups seeking to carve out borders and introduce wolves…wolves in everybody’s back yard.

And on and on it goes but only now, now that wolves are a damned menace, destroying wildlife wherever it goes and posing threats to humans for safety and health, do these people want an end to carving out populations for delisting. The cognitive dissonance is amazing. What was acceptable to get their damned wolves infesting this nation is no longer acceptable to bring them under control.

The second issue, which I will touch on only briefly, has to do with the determination of historic range and significant portion of a species range. Historic range and currently feasible range should be determined as different. Whether we like it or not, what once was historic range can no longer be acceptable to support a species that may have once roamed that area.

Once that has been determined, because the ESA uses as criteria in determining if a species deserves ESA protection, we must decide if the species under question is “threatened” or “endangered” throughout a significant portion of that range.

Section 3 – (6) of the Endangered Species Act defines “Endangered Species” as: “(6) The term “endangered species” means any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range…

The Obama-administered USFWS placed into the Federal Register what it deemed to be the definition of “significant portion of its range.” This determination attempts to separate the differences between historic range and range.

Determination of “significant” is not so cut and dry and leaves far too much wiggle room. “…we determine that a portion of the range of a species is “significant” if the species is not currently endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, but the portion’s contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range.”

Making determinations would be easier if definitions actually meant something. To many, the use of “endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range” has not at all been followed in listing of species for protection. The gray wolf is a prime example. Wolves live by the thousands all over the globe and only an idiot would think of them as being in danger of extinction. But that doesn’t bode well for those eager for other people to be forced to live with the animals.

It is my contention that the USFWS was wrong when it initially declared wolves endangered throughout all of the Lower 48 states because the determination was made utilizing historic range, with absolutely no determination as to whether wolves could conceivably exist in all of the Lower 48 States or that we would want them too.

According to statements made in the past by Ed Bangs and others, bent on protecting the wolves, they said that circumstances and “best available science” changes all the time and that the USFWS is forced, under the ESA, to recover wolves and they must make changes according to those influences. Perhaps then, it is time for these same ESA administrators to practice what they preach and begin making changes.

But this will be impossible to do provided this country gives jobs to judges that are clueless, intellectually deprived, make interpretations far outside anything historic or reasonable and to make statements like, “[The Courts] must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough.”

That door swings both ways.

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