May 24, 2019

What To Do About Isle Royale Wolves

An article at Pioneer Press, TwinCities.com, has blubbering about what is to be done about wolves, if anything, on Isle Royale. Here’s the link.

I’ll make a brief comment and then lastly will be followed by Jim Beer’s perspective on what the article actually is saying.

From this bit of information found in the article:

A debate is raging in the scientific community, the public and among Park Service officials on whether humans should intervene to rescue an isolated wolf population that some experts say appears doomed due to genetic inbreeding that’s causing physical deformities that are affecting wolves’ life expectancy.

Others say climate change might have a major impact on the island’s wolves, and the Park Service has formed panels of experts to look at genetics and a warming climate to evaluate their effects on wolf numbers.

Park Service officials have said they have three basic options: doing nothing; waiting for the wolves to die off and then reintroduce new wolves; or introducing new wolves soon while some wolves still are present.

I think other options are not listed and I think the options should be based on what the brain trust decides to finger as the reason wolves have disappeared on Isle Royal and not on the mainland and moose have increased on Isle Royale but decreased on the mainland. For example, climate change. If the special interest “scientists” on the panel that will decide the cause, opt for climate change, not only will they have some explaining to do for their decision but there is little reason to do anything about wolves until they have solved, as gods, the climate change issue. Let me explain further.

If it is decided climate change is the reason, or at least a substantial contributing factor, by their own fake standards, then the same people need to explain why, then, the moose population on Isle Royale has exploded to 1,000, as the wolf population has disappeared, while at the same time climate change has been fingered as the cause of the reduction of moose in Minnesota (Isle Royale is part of Michigan but the island is closer to the Arrowhead of Minnesota than any part of Michigan mainland including the Upper Penninsula.)

Using the same logic and faux science as those thinking climate change is the major factor in a dwindling moose population, and now wolves, why rush into wasting taxpayer money to introduce more wolves if an unresolved, man-caused, climate change issue has not been resolved?

I am of the opinion that the reason that we have not seen more wolves “crossing on the ice” (like they did in 1949 – wink, wink) to repopulate the island is because too many people are watching too closely.

My opinion: Don’t waste my dime on fake science that contributes nothing to the realities of wildlife management outside of a rare closed, incomplete ecosystem.

Jim Beers Perspective:

WHAT IS REALLY BEING SAID by Jim Beers

1. “A debate is raging in the scientific community, the public and among Park Service officials on whether humans should intervene to rescue an isolated wolf population”

The “public” and the “Park Service” are what they are but consider that “the scientific community” is supposedly pure and composed of incontrovertible facts and experts that justify every manner of government intervention. If a “debate” “rages” there: on what basis does it revolve? The answer here as elsewhere in government plant and animal machinations is that “science” and “scientists” are ideologues and advocates every bit as much as the urban animal “rescue” lady or the lawyer working for The Defenders of Wildlife. They are as worthy of the deference shown them in court or their argument-settling role as some Conscientious Objector wearing his Dad’s Service uniform and medals is worthy of consideration in setting Defense Policy in the Pentagon.

2. “Others say climate change might have a major impact on the island’s wolves”.

Minnesota DNR bureaucrats and “scientists” have told docile Minnesotans that “climate change” was the leading factor on the steady demise of the moose population in the State. Twice each year in prominent newspaper articles the State bureaucrats and scientists asked for more money to investigate how “climate change” explained why moose were disappearing. Every such article characterizes those who say, “If moose are disappearing as wolves have been and continue to increase, what about predation of wolves on moose?” as red-necked, jack pine savages that probably flunked out of grade school and lead an alcoholic existence in some trailer back in the North Woods somewhere. So how can “climate change” decrease wolves on Isle Royal while wolves increase on the mainland? How can “climate change” be responsible for the decline of moose throughout Minnesota while their numbers are exploding on Isle Royal? Is there a scientist in the house?

3. “Allow public discussion on wolf management on the island, a designated federal wilderness area.”

This is a “two-fer”. First, I wish to humbly thank the Park Service for their kind offer to “allow public discussion”. For such august bureaucrats to deign to “allow” the rest of us to publicly discuss such matters is so benevolent that I for one can merely express my eternal gratitude. Think about that folks, think about how low the American citizen vis-a-vis his government has sunk. Second, I thought NOTHING could be “managed” in a “federal wilderness area”? Does this mean that downed timber or fire-hazard brush can be removed or burned safely? Can firewood be cut with a chain saw or water scooped from a stream to fight a fire or uses like logging, grazing, vehicle travel, be considered on the (formerly?) precious “Wilderness Areas” at the sufferance of federal bureaucrats? Inquiring minds would like to know.

4. “Isle Royale has a long-standing history of broad ecosystem management,”.

This is gobbledygook. They aren’t even supposed to “manage” wilderness. Ecosystem is a maligned term that has been perversely mangled over the past 45+ years into a meaningless word alone and a word that can mean everything in the ear of the listener or the eyes of the reader. That these insular bureaucrats claim, and the media validate, that their personal work to pander to powerful radical organizations for their own benefit is “broad” ecosystem management is simply ludicrous.

5. “It’s believed that moose first swam to the island in the early 1900s and for decades thrived with no predators. Wolves are relatively new to the 45-mile-long, 143,000-acre island complex, having crossed Lake Superior ice to get there in 1949.”

And wolves that have been somewhere only for 61 years are what: “endangered”, “vital”, “native”, “keystone sp.”, what? Why aren’t they (bureaucrats and scientists and their financier-enablers) treating these moose and wolves that are such recent arrivals (radicals call them “Invaders”) to Isle Royal like they treat pheasants, Hungarian Partridge, Brown Trout, Great lakes Salmon, and all the other dreaded “non-natives” and “introduced” species they want to eradicate, that is to say with contempt? The vast majority of these desirable “non-natives” (radicals call them “Invasives”) have been in place and benefitting human society far longer than these moose and wolves on this Island.

6. “Wolves are no longer performing their function as predator on the island,” “There just aren’t enough to have any real impact on moose.”

So, let me get this straight: wolves on Isle Royal “perform a function as predator” on moose on which they are expected to have a “real impact”. Simultaneously, in the rest of Minnesota (yes Isle Royal was once widely considered to be part of Minnesota until federal controls and hegemony became so powerful that everyone believes the federal estate to simply be separate and distinct from States and Local Communities despite their window-dressing “allowing” of “public discussion”) moose decline as wolves increase and we are instructed to not listen to those fools that say there is a connection between the two. This stuff belongs on Prairie Home Companion.

7. “The situation is so unusual that it’s affecting other species on the island”.

Oh my word! Attention, “species” are being “affected” somewhere. You mean like elk and moose disappearing when wolves are forced into rural enclaves that do not want them? Aren’t “ecosystems” supposed to be like “climate” in that any (well not quite any) change is an emergency that only more government, more spending, more laws and more regulations can control before we all die? Actually, if bureaucrats and radicals want wolves or grizzlies somewhere they haven’t been for a century that is OK: if the same suspects want to eradicate wild species or domestic animals from somewhere that is OK: only if you or I want a landscape and rural environment safe and productive in which to live comfortably and safely raise our families and this is at odds with an all-powerful government acting as a shill for radical organizations –that is NOT OK! My God, “species” go up and down from moment to moment and saying that it is government’s job to intervene with no more cause than that things will be different is an abuse of government power for an unachievable purpose that could drain the world’s debt and GDP’s combined.

8. “It will be up to the National Park Service to decide”.

Unless you are one of the few that think of the Park Service or Fish and Wildlife Service or Forest Service (curious that word “Service” as in who or what do they “SERVE?”) as in your pocket, such common words these days should send a chill up your spine and heartburn down your throat.

9. “With wolf numbers so low, moose numbers on the island have exploded, more than doubling in recent years to more than 1,000. That’s the opposite trend from moose in Minnesota, where numbers have plummeted in recent years to the lowest levels in decades. While moose in Minnesota face bears, humans and deer-related diseases as predators, moose on Isle Royale have only wolves as threats”.

Finally, the piece de resistance! Like the President and his minions explaining what he “really” meant when he said we could keep our doctors and our insurance policies; these bureaucrats, scientists, and their media enablers are faced with a dilemma. How to explain how wolves decimate moose on Isle Royal and not on mainland Minnesota and why when the wolves are about to disappear moose populations are exploding on Isle Royal? If we knocked down dramatically the wolves on mainland Minnesota would moose recover? (The answer is YES.) Yet the Park Service will milk the federal Treasury for more money and people for this mysterious “situation” just like the Minnesota DNR bureaucrats and the University “scientists” have and are milking the State Treasury for more and more money and people to conduct “research on this mystery. Like the explanation of the President’s repeated use of the word “period”; these government con artists add “bears, humans and deer-related diseases” to the growing and irrelevant reasons for the mainland moose declines.

Oh well, it sell papers and garners urban votes to keep in power State pols maintaining unemployment with handouts and building stadiums (Romans called it “Bread and Circuses) and Federal pols signing UN Treaties to sell our sovereignty while taking away our property and our Rights. You couldn’t make this up if you tried to.

Jim Beers
7 November 2013

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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

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Top Wolf Scientist Charges Wolf Researchers Have Become Advocates Rather Than Scientists

Dr. David Mech, the man who invented “balance of nature”, refutes his own claim. Says “Balance of Nature” a Myth.

Top Wolf Scientist Charges Wolf Researchers Have Become Advocates Rather Than Scientists
by George Dovel
The Outdoorsman – Bulletin Number 51 – Page 8

Republished on this website with permission from editor/author.

During a May 7, 2010 Boise State University Radio interview, Idaho Fish and Game Predator Biologist Dr. Hilary Cooley stated emphatically that wolves – not hunters – are necessary to manage elk herds.

Speaking with authority, as if she were part of a team of scientists whose research prompted her statements, Cooley stated:

“We saw this in Yellowstone – when we had tons and tons of elk they could change the entire landscape. We saw songbird densities changing, we saw beaver populations changing – everything responds to that and so while some people like to have high, high densities of ungulates, it’s not always good for the rest of the ecosystem.”

What Cooley was referring to are the alleged “trophic cascades” that many ecologists and most conservation biologists now claim are the stabilizing benefits provided to ecosystems by wolves and other top predators. The basic theory is that the top predator (wolf) reduces the number and/or alters the habits of its prey (elk), which provides more habitat for other species such as beaver, song birds and smaller predators.

This revival of the “Balance of Nature” myth promoted by Durward Allen and his graduate student David Mech in their 1963 National Geographic article, began when Robert Payne coined “keystone species” in 1969 and “trophic cascades” in 1980.

In 1985 Mech Admitted Balance-of-Nature is a Myth

Meanwhile after several more years of research with wolves and moose on Isle Royale and wolves and deer in Minnesota, Mech found that his “balance-of-nature claim had zero validity. Both wolves and their prey were in a constant state of changing from population peaks to radical declines, yet Mech waited until 1985 to publish the truth about what was occurring in both states but with different prey species.

And instead of publishing the correction in National Geographic or major news media – or at least in scientific journals – Mech’s startling confession that he was the cause of the balance-of-nature myth appeared only in National Wildlife Vol. 23, No. 1, and in the May 1985 Alaska Magazine. In that article titled, “How Delicate is the Balance of Nature,” Mech wrote, “Far from being ‘balanced,’ ratios of wolves and prey animals can fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically.”

Several years later, I photocopied the article, including its B&W and color photos, and sent it to the leadership of all 27 organizations in the Idaho Shooting Sports Alliance. But those groups were understandably still so upset with IDFG for letting half of Idaho’s mule deer and thousands of elk die from malnutrition during the 1992-93 winter, they failed to even consider what would happen with wolves 10-20 years down the road.

Misleading Headline: “Wolves Not Guilty”

Because the National Wildlife Federation was promoting wolf recovery, and Mech’s 1985 article emphasized the need to control wolves to prevent the radical swings in populations, his choice of magazines was perhaps understandable. Canadian wolf transplants into Idaho and Wyoming (YNP) would not happen for another 10 years, but the biologists promoting wolves were enlisting all the help they could get from environmental activists to lessen public resistance to restoring wolves.

Twenty years later, Mech’s team of student Yellowstone Park researchers (wolf advocates) issued a news release with the headline, “Wolves Not Guilty,” saying their unfinished research revealed that bears were the major predator of newborn elk and moose calves.

When the study was finally completed, Mech explained that bears killing most newborn elk or moose calves had been documented for several decades. But based on the volume of mail I received from Alaskans who read the “Not Guilty” article, it was too late to change their new opinion that wolves had been wrongly accused of killing elk and moose.

Mech 2008 Testimony Refuted DOW Claims

Mech has always recognized the necessity for state wildlife managers to control wolves that adversely impact either livestock or game populations. And when Defenders of Wildlife and 11 other preservationist groups sued FWS to shut down wolf hunting in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, Mech’s May 9, 2008 22-page testimony destroyed every one of their arguments.

The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that federal and state wolf promoters have “been in bed with” for several decades, now oppose the same recovery plans they helped design during the early 1980s. They have parlayed wolf recovery into a never-ending billion-dollar enterprise, and used tainted science and activist judges to support their destructive agenda.

Mech realized that the states’ failure to control wolves to numbers that are biologically sustainable has generated extreme opposition to their very existence in the areas where they are causing problems. The difference between the make-believe world of indoctrinated biologists like Hilary Cooley, and the real world where wolves eventually destroy the wild prey necessary to sustain their numbers, caused Mech to take drastic action in 2011.

On Oct. 26, 2011, Mech submitted an article to the editor of Biological Conservation titled, “Is science in danger of sanctifying the wolf.” He also sent copies to eight wolf scientists for review and suggestions, and on Feb. 29, 2012, the slightly amended article was submitted to Biological Conservation and was accepted for publication on March 12, 2012.

In his article, just before he dropped his bombshell on wolf preservationists who falsely promote the image of the wolf as a saint, Mech mentioned that North America’s wildlife manager, Aldo Leopold, continued to recommend bounties on wolves in 1946 to increase abundance of big game populations. Leopold also warned that extermination of large predators could result in over-browsing.

Propaganda Changed Wolf Image from Devil to Saint

But in 1967 the wolf was listed as endangered and one of the most effective propaganda campaigns of all time began. Mech points out that the image of the wolf changed from a devil to a saint and wolf advocates began to claim that the wolves’ presence was vital to restore healthy “native” ecosystems.

He said that his library has more than 30 books written about wolves and that 27 NGOs have been formed to promote wolf preservation. One of Mech’s reviewers commented on the millions of dollars raised by these groups, and could have commented on the dollars many of them receive for reimbursement of legal fees from the feds each time they sue to halt delisting or hunting.

Mech also said that a large number of researchers have invaded Yellowstone Park with the intention of proving the existence of trophic cascades caused by wolves. Yet he asserts there is not even one YNP study with evidence proving that a cascade actually took place beyond the wolf and its prey.

For example he says the claim that wolves would kill most of the coyotes and replace them with smaller predators has not happened. Instead, after the initial coyote decline they have repopulated the Park with the same number of coyote packs.

Do Wolf Kills Really Benefit Scavengers?

According to Mech the claim that wolves benefit other scavengers by providing more kills ignores the fact that wolves consume most of the prey they kill. If the prey animal died from other causes, the scavengers would have 7-10 times as much meat as is available from a wolf kill.

And he reminds us that as the wolves kill more of the available prey, the scavengers have fewer – not more – animals available for food.

What Really Caused the Restoration of Beavers

Similarly, the claim that wolves killing the elk and/or creating a “landscape of fear” would reduce elk depredation on willows and aspen, which would cascade to restoring beavers, which would, in turn, raise the water table has been highly advertised – but it has never been proved according to Mech.

He points out the reality that there were no beavers in the Northern Range of YNP when wolves were introduced in 1995. He responded to recent unsupported claims that wolves caused beavers to return to the Northern Range and raise the water table with the following excerpt from a recent study:

“What has had little publicity, however, was that the rapid re-occupation of the Northern Range with persistent beaver colonies, especially along Slough Creek, occurred because Tyers of the Gallatin National Forest released 129 beavers in drainages north of the park.”

Mech referred to other research pointing out that the combination of these beaver colonizing in the Park and raising the water table, and a reported 27-day addition to the YNP growing season, were valid reasons for increased growth and height of willows, and aspen. “It should be clear from the above examples that sweeping, definitive claims about wolf effects on ecosystems are premature whether made by the public or by scientists” said Mech.

Mech continued, “Once findings claiming wolf-caused trophic cascades were published, scientists competed to find more. Teams from several universities and agencies swarmed National Parks and churned out masses of papers, most of them drawing conclusions that wolf advocates considered positive toward the wolf.”

He explained that after synthesizing 19 chapters of reviews relating to the ecological role of large carnivores in 2005, a research team concluded, “Scientists will likely never be able to reliably predict cascading impacts on bio-diversity other than prey.” Mech continued, “As one reviewer of this article put it, ecologists (and particularly conservation biologists) do seem obsessed to the point of blindness with predator-induced trophic cascades.”

The extreme bias of their studies is reflected in Mech’s comment that the only wolf study results he can recall that might be considered negative by the public is the 2003 Idaho study by Oakleaf et al who found that in central Idaho, ranchers discovered only one of eight calves that were killed by wolves. That study gained little popular press.

Although Mech candidly named several wolf scientists whose research reports are tainted by their “wolf is a saint” agenda, his closing comments reflect his own agenda. “National Parks are protected from most hunting and trapping, logging, grazing, agriculture, irrigation, predator control, pest management, human habitation, and mining, all of which wreak pervasive, long-term effects on ecosystems.” (emphasis added)

By the time tens of thousands of young biologists and journalists and a hundred million other youngsters have spent 80% of their lives being taught that all human activity destroys healthy ecosystems, they believe that starvation, cannibalism and widespread disease make up a “healthy” ecosystem. Is this the legacy you want to leave to future generations – or are you just too “busy” to care?

Note: This article and many more like it can be found in The Outdoorsman magazine. Please click this link to a PDF page where you can print out a form and subscribe to the magazine. The work of George Doval, editor of The Outdoorsman, is arguably the finest work to be found anywhere in print or online publications.

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“Charting a Course Where the Prey, and the Preyed-Upon Can Coexist”

In response to an article that appeared at KAJ18.com that quoted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson as saying, “now comes the hard part of charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist.”, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jim Beers offers his rebuttal.

By Jim Beers:

While these state biologists are working hard to come across as good guys as they try to assuage the anger of rural Montanans, note what they say and not how they sound. Note especially that last sentence.

If they see their job as “charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist” they are no friends of rural Montanans. This Disneyesque fairyland where the “preyed and preyed-upon coexist” is EXACTLY the perverted philosophy that got us all into this growing pickle,

OH LOOK! Out there on that island in Lake Superior (where there is NO HUNTING, no towns, no farms, no rural residences, no ranches, no timber management, no economy, no livestock, no hunting dogs, no working dogs, no walking off the designated trails, etc., etc.) accessed only by ferry, owned and kept sealed off by the National Park Service and known as Isle Royal National Park: the wolves and moose coexist! OOOOHHHH!

Montanans concerned about what the state and federal government in league with radical environmental/animal rights cabals have done and are doing to Montana, take note. Those that do not recognize that you are the real “preyed-upon” are not your friends, whether it is through ignorance or secret evil motives makes no difference.

The “hard part” they envision is no harder than falling off a log. They think all they must do is maintain wolves/bears/lions while keeping a few elk/deer/moose in “coexistence”. Hello, is anyone home?

– They don’t see any responsibility to all those Montanans outside Montana cities that must live with wolves/bears/lions. They will just have to live with however many and wherever these large predators occur.

– They see no responsibility to maintain huntable numbers and distributions of elk/deer/moose. Whatever numbers and wherever they occur will be “natural” and therefore pleasing to Gaia and the national urban elites that they see funding their futures with OUR tax dollars.

– They see no responsibility to maintain the financial health of the livestock industry.

– They acknowledge no responsibility to protect rural dogs from pets and hunting dogs to watchdogs and working dogs.

– They acknowledge no threat from wolf diseases and infections that threaten humans, dogs, livestock, and desirable (i.e. sought for hunting) wildlife.

– They see no responsibility to the safety and well-being of kids catching rural school buses or old ladies walking to rural mailboxes or kids camping or fishing or fathers working far-off jobs while mother tends to the kids on an isolated rural home site.

No, all these Bozos think they “have” to do is “chart a course” to “prey and preyed-upon” “coexistence”. Do you really want Montana (outside a few Montana cities of course) to be another Isle Royal National Park?

Men, the road ahead is going to be tough. All of us have to fight our way back out of this tar-baby morass that government bureaucrats, radical elites, and our own past indifference has gotten us into. It is not going to be easy.

None of us need these namby-pamby bureaucrats either as advisors or certainly not as leaders. Letting the likes of these current state FWP, DNR, etc. bureaucrats remain in place is like emptying out Guantanamo Bay prisoners to scatter throughout US Forces fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It not only won’t work. It is suicide!

Jim Beers
25 May 2012

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

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