November 23, 2017

Comments on ESA Political Posturing – Aug. 2017

By James Beers:

The following proposals in Congress to “fix” the ESA deserve exposure to sunlight and a few comments as to what they are up to beyond posturing for campaign photos: the answer being, not much.  Jim Beers

  1. •H.R. 424(Rep. Collin Peterson), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes. “Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017

Numbers of gray wolves are exploding in most areas where they exist or have been introduced. This has had a severe impact on local livestock, as well as large grazing wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, etc. Ranchers and state wildlife managers have found themselves at odds with environmentalist wolf advocates who urge–and often go to court for–continued protections on what are thriving, and ecologically and economically significant predator populations. The hearing memo summarizes the issue this way:

Gray wolves were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1974. Existing wolves present in the Western Great Lakes Region were protected, and the federal government introduced the species canis lupus irremotus to the West by removing wolves from Canada and releasing them in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park in 1994 and 1995. States, local citizens, livestock groups, and sportsmen opposed the reintroduction effort. The reintroduced wolf population in the West recovered and expanded more quickly than anticipated. As a result, in September 2001, the states and tribes began working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to formulate plans that would effectively transition management responsibility to the
states upon delisting.

FWS deemed the Idaho and Montana wolf management plans adequate, but did not approve the Wyoming plan. Gray wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List on January 14, 2009. As part of their management plans, Idaho and Montana conducted tightly controlled wolf hunts beginning in the autumn of 2009. Sales of wolf hunt tags fund management activities, and hunts are conducted in a similar fashion to those of large ungulates and other wild animals under state management.

Litigious environmental groups challenged the FWS decision to delist the wolves in Idaho, Montana, and the Western Great Lakes, arguing that the rule had been politically motivated and did not comply with ESA. The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana held that the rule was a “political solution that does not comply with ESA” and that delisting of a species which was still endangered in a portion of its region (Wyoming) was not appropriate. The delisting of the wolves was halted in all states until the Wyoming plan was acceptable. See full hearing memo here.

Comments:

–       It says a great deal about the sad state of national wildlife affairs when, as a positive justification for more federal legislation, we accept as a positive accomplishment thriving, and ecologically and economically significant predator populations”.  Predators are like armies; they kill and disrupt things in accord with their controls. Do we really think “thriving” predator populations are good when they kill and wreak all manner of havoc when uncontrolled?  When, and if, we choose to maintain, introduce and protect large predators; it should be done primarily for the common good of society and not for the “ecology” which is a controversial judgment at best or to have them “thrive” with no qualifier that recognizes where they do not belong and densities and distributions to be tolerated in other areas with the consent of those communities forced to host them.

–       It is specious to say, reintroduced wolf population in the West recovered and expanded more quickly than anticipated”.  The politicians should tell the truth and drop “anticipated” to be replaced with “we were told”.  The very same bureaucrats that downplayed the potential of wolves with full protection and unlimited food sources (like your pet dog wolves are omnivorous) are the same bureaucracy you want to tweak and expect to get a different result when the past 3 decades reveal how they operate and the increasing havoc they are wreaking.

–       It is a scam of enormous proportions to write and speak that, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to formulate plans that would effectively transition management responsibility to the states upon delisting” is anything other than the federal government and the wolf NGO’s simply telling the states where and how many wolves they must maintain and then the state pays the bill and only uses federally approved methods based on counts (never accurate and always grist for lawsuits in the “right” court before the “right” judge) that will allow the bureaucrats and their “partners” to takeback “control” whenever politically possible.  This is one case where the piper doesn’t pay the bill: those told how and when to dance, pay the bill!  Ask yourself where does the money come from for lawsuits, counting, investigating, vehicles, fuel, salaries, retirement, insurance, clerks, biologists, wardens, contractors, compensation, “administration”, etc. for all this?  It diverts large portions of the License fees, Excise Taxes and other revenue from state functions for all to dance to a federal piper.  When they tell you that they sold a lot of wolf licenses, keep in mind that wolves are smart and quickly adapt.  Shooting, trapping and other “sporting” methods of take are quickly learned and after a year or two of only a few killed, the initial surge of “hunters” buying a wolf tag (that at best will never begin to cover the cost of “managing” these federally sanctified critters) for only a few wolves will wane and then the surge of happiness will turn into a hangover as everyone realizes that this may go on “forever” and everything else in the state responsibilities toolbox is going to suffer, and suffer bigtime.

  1. •H.R. 717(Rep. Pete Olson), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require review of the economic cost of adding a species to the list of endangered species or threatened species, and for other purposes. “Listing Reform Act

One of the starkest examples of devastating economic impact by an ESA listing is that of the spotted owl, which effectively decimated the timber industry of the American North Pacific. The Listing Reform Act is intended to prevent such sweeping economic destruction. It is summarized:

H.R. 717, the “Listing Reform Act” would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to consider economic impacts in listing decisions for threatened species, and allow preclusion of the listing if the likelihood of significant, cumulative economic effects would result from the listing, or from the resulting designation of critical habitat. See full hearing memo here.

Comments:

–       I love the way these politicians can casually say, One of the starkest examples of devastating economic impact by an ESA listing is that of the spotted owl, which effectively decimated the timber industry of the American North Pacific” (the Aleutians are treeless could the staffer mean Northwest?) and then blithely go on talking about the law that caused that devastation to thousands of families and the economy, and expanded the bureaucracy power created by that law as if they were a Mayor explaining why revenue-generation-only speed traps are really good and a tweak or two here and there and everyone will benefit and be happy one day.  What about the pols that passed such a law that did this?  What about the increasingly corrupt bureaucrats that then perpetrated this atrocity with their “rules”, “regulations”, “policies” and collusion with radical groups for a myriad of hidden agendas – all under the color of a LAW every bit as bad as Prohibition?  Who has ever been held responsible for any of this?  Physician, heal thyself!

–       Are you kidding me?  “Consider economic impacts”?  These are the same federal bureaucracies that ignored wolves as vectors disease and infections; that denied any impacts on big game; that turned over federal livestock compensation for wolf predation to the Defenders of Wildlife; that lied about human dangers; that has minimized human attack reports; that stole millions from state Excise taxes to trap wolves in Canada after Congress had denied authorization and funding; that imported the wolves without required paperwork (something seriously punished on select civilians); that released the wolves into the Upper Rockies again without Congressional authorization; and that to this day works with radical environmental groups to further subdue and conquer rural America for their purposes.  None of these awful and illegal oppressions were ever punished. Indeed they (the bureaucrats) rewarded themselves greatly from government funding for their good job.  That said, who really believes that something as “airy-fairy” as “economic impacts” requires anything but lies?  There is no accountability for the aforementioned REAL egregious actions.  How would you ever hold anyone accountable for economic impacts that turned out to have missed XY&Z?  Beam me up Scotty!

  1. •H.R. 1274(Rep. Dan Newhouse), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require making available to States affected by determinations that species are endangered species or threatened species all data that is the basis of such determinations, and for other purposes. “State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act

Despite the provision within the ESA requiring the federal government to cooperate with states and tribes to the greatest extent possible, history has shown that this does not always happen, and states and localities are often left out of listings and related regulatory processes. The background of this issue is summarized this way:

States have testified that the ESA as currently implemented, does not properly honor their ability to participate to the maximum extent practicable in federal ESA listing decisions. States also have stated that they are not made privy to factors utilized by the federal government in listing decisions that impact lands, communities, and species within their borders.

States are the species managers prior to a listing decision by the federal government and will become the managers of the species after a delisting decision by the federal government. States possess extensive, on-the-ground experience and expertise in science-based wildlife management principles, generation of applicable data, and the application of public policy in managing wildlife as a public asset.

In spite of the expertise and willingness of State, local, and tribal governments to participate in the ESA process, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce are not required to disclose scientific information or the basis they used in making listing or critical habitat decisions to the states or to utilize scientific data generated by the states, even though states often have actual data that the federal agencies do not. See full hearing memo here.

Comments:

–       All of this nonsense, Despite the provision within the ESA requiring the federal government to cooperate with states and tribes to the greatest extent possible, history has shown that this does not always happen, and states and localities are often left out of listings and related regulatory processes” and  States have testified that the ESA as currently implemented, does not properly honor their ability to participate to the maximum extent practicable in federal ESA listing decisions. States also have stated that they are not made privy to factors utilized by the federal government in listing decisions that impact lands, communities, and species within their border” is merely rich irony.  These same politicians that pass and condone a law that gives a federal bureaucracy (USFWS) total authority over calling wolves whatever works for their hidden agendas and complete jurisdiction over Where and How Many will be placed and maintained and who (ranchers, hunters, dog owners, elderly, children, etc.) will have to put up with what Or Else; these same guys now whine that there is little “participation” and “cooperation” and “transparency” with States?  Am I mistaken, but hasn’t it been made crystal clear that they (USFWS) have been and will continue to be (as long as USFWS staff and managers sympathetic to radical i.e. anti-grazing/private property/animal ownership/hunting/trapping/animal control /animal management/logging/irrigation/dams/roads/gun, etc. agendas and organizations remain in place) in league with and colluding with organizations and agendas that are anathema to States Rights, and a Rural America composed of free men with families and rights?  Mouthing “cooperation” and “transparency” for someone to whom you have given absolute power is like Russia “welcoming” Poland into the USSR after WWII and then years later wondering why there hasn’t been any “cooperation” or “transparency”.

–       Ditto for, In spite of the expertise and willingness of State, local, and tribal governments to participate in the ESA process, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce are not required to disclose scientific information or the basis they used in making listing or critical habitat decisions to the states or to utilize scientific data generated by the states, even though states often have actual data that the federal agencies do not.”  See previous comment.

  1. •H.R. 2603(Rep. Louie Gohmert), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that nonnative species in the United States shall not be treated as endangered species or threatened species for purposes of that Act. “Saving America’s Endangered Species Act” or “SAVES Act

This bill offers protections to foreign species by easing and clarifying regulatory processes for captive breeding programs. Designed to support restoration programs for international species jeopardized by poaching, or other factors outside the purview of United States law, this bill would offer protections to endangered and threatened species without necessitating an ESA listing. The hearing memo summarizes the issue this way:

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 includes protections for nonnative endangered species in an effort to encourage foreign nations to protect jeopardized species and their habitats abroad. Nonnative endangered species are regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Endangered Species Act through the captive bred wildlife (CBW) program.

Legal captive breeding of nonnative endangered species is a conservation measure that can create healthy populations of animals to augment recovery of wild populations, decrease illegal wildlife trafficking, and increase educational opportunities relating to the species. While no federal permit is required to own listed nonnative species, those wishing to sell or buy nonnative endangered species across state lines, including zoos and private breeders, must obtain a CBW permit from FWS.

H.R. 2603 would effectively eliminate the duplicative requirement for CBW permits for nonnative endangered species in the United States and held in captivity. Ease of transfer across state lines would enhance conservation and welfare of the species by allowing owners, breeders, and conservators of the species to ensure robust, and genetically diverse populations continue to exist in the United States. See the full hearing memo here:

Comment:

–       While it is admirable and surprising to see a proposed ESA Amendment to, effectively eliminate the duplicative requirement for CBW permits for nonnative endangered species in the United States and held in captivity. Ease of transfer across state lines would enhance conservation and welfare of the species”; some would say it is a symbolic token adjustment to the federal authority to totally regulate American Exotic Animal Owners.  Zoos and Aquariums would especially benefit from this, and the fact that the former Director of USFWS, who went out the door when President Trump came into office and is now the Executive Director or some such official with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is an example of the close relationship between lobby groups and USFWS top bureaucrats.  The federal oversight interference with and disruption of Privately-owned Exotic wildlife that is a foreign ESA Listed Species lies not so much with the transfers across state lines but with the totality of the management of privately owned herds that need routine culling and the federal interference with hunts, selling meat or hides or mounts to 1.) Keep herd sizes compatible with available forage, 2.) Contribute to local economies and 3.) Provide owners with the wherewithal to maintain the species.  The standards and treatment of zoos and aquariums are too often but a pale shadow of the treatment by bureaucrats of what private Listed Exotic Animal Owners endure.  It is worth noting that this is a proposal of a Texas Congressman and Texas had more such Exotic Wildlife and Exotic Wildlife Owners than any other State the last time I looked.

  1. •H.R. 3131(Rep. Bill Huizenga), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to conform citizen suits under that Act with other existing law, and for other purposes. “Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act.

Environmentalist groups, some with radical agendas, have taken advantage of the Equal Access to Justice Act to sue the federal government for ‘failing’ to properly protect species listed under the ESA. In so doing, the American taxpayer has paid out billions of dollars in huge settlements, which more often than not are used by such special interests to hire staff and bring on more lawyers to expand efforts to sue involved federal agencies. Known as ‘Sue & Settle,’ this long-standing practice has not just enriched radical special interests with public monies, but has given environmentalists an edge in using the ESA to halt economic activities, such as ranching, mining, logging, fishing, etc. This is made possible in large part due to the fact that there is no cap on what special interest groups which win settlements can claim for attorney’s costs. The issue is summarized this way.

Special interest attorneys representing environmental groups argue that their expertise is “specialized” to justify substantial, uncapped fees. Some special interest attorneys have collected fees as high as $750 taxpayer dollars per hour. According to records from the Department of Justice, at least two such attorneys have garnered more than $2 million in attorneys’ fees by filing ESA suits.

The taxpayer-funded Judgment Fund serves as the source for ESA-related attorneys’ fees payments. H.R. 3131 would require ESA litigants to abide by the same rules as others bringing suit against the federal government, requiring plaintiffs to prevail in order to collect attorneys’ fees, as well as impose the $125 fee cap set by EAJA. Capable environmental attorneys are no longer rare or specialized to the point where uncapped attorneys’ fees are justified. While this legislation does not restrict aggrieved parties’ ability to seek redress in court, it removes an incentive for litigious plaintiffs to request large fee awards and safeguards taxpayer dollars against abusive litigation tactics.

I leave this one to the lawyers in the crowd.  Such legislation, written by lawyers, proposed by lawyers, lobbied for by lawyers and described by lawyers are truthfully above my pay grade.  This complexity and long-standing possession of this arena of governance is one of the big reasons no one stands up to things anymore since we are all such purposely – uneducated ignoramuses about these matters.  I suppose this is why Will Rogers once observed that, “The minute you read something you can’t understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.”

Jim Beers

4 August 2017

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

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Tough Answer to a Tough Question

by James Beers

As I continue boring through a stack of requests after a recent week in Montana, four questions from four readers are essentially the same question.  I have given much thought to an answer but I am afraid that there is no truthful answer other than the one that will disappoint the fine folks that ask the question and probably tick off many that read the answer.  Doing this to colleagues that have done and do so much is hard to do because it may either discourage them or cause them to simply give up and take up crossword puzzles in some 17th floor, urban condominium.  Nonetheless, here is the question and my answer.

Question: “What can we do to make USFWS ‘return wolf management’ to our state as happened recently in Wyoming?”

My Answer:

Dear Reader,

“Returning wolf management” to your state is the sort of thing that the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because it may come true” was referring to when first spoken.

I recently spoke with two Wyoming ranchers attending the Western Governor’s Conference in Whitefish, Montana about this very point and each was adamant that unless and until the federal authority to “List” wolves (and grizzly bears as well) under the ESA is repealed, just like Prohibition or the Dred Scott Decision by the Supreme Court, nothing will change in the long run.  Each rancher was fully aware that this “return of management” was simply a band aid on a serious wound to American liberties.  They fully expected that if “we” (i.e. the Trump Administration and a yet-to-emerge Congressional coalition of vertebrate politicians) don’t get rid of that federal authority, the next age class of progressive/get-along politicians will simply whisk aside all this “management” (i.e. say-so by State governments and the residents of that state about federal wildlife mandates) by state governments and take right off again from where they were on 7 November 2016, the eve of the recent Presidential election.

Allow me to take a stab about why I agree this is so.

  1. The majority of USFWS, NPS, BLM and USFS employees from the newest to the oldest will fight any attempt to repeal superior federal wildlife authority nationwide for any “species” (or “sub sp.”, or “race” or “population” or “segment???”) they believe they have and should have total authority over all wildlife in every way.  This attitude has been fostered by federal laws of the past 45 years that reinforced their belief that they are on a quasi-religious (taxpayer funded) mission to dictate the presence of wildlife, the abundance of wildlife and ALL aspects of the human/wildlife interface nationally and internationally.  They believe that the ESA, EPA, and an alphabet-soup hodgepodge of federal laws and precedents not only grant them this responsibility but also that the opinions of the elites (much like climate change/warming/cooling) and “experts” confirms their legitimacy to rule others through absolute wildlife authority and jurisdiction.

 

  1. The radical Non-Government Organizations from the NWF and DU to the extremists like DoW, NRDC, CBD, PETA, AWI, etc. are, and will remain, supported by rich elites as these NGO’s maintain all their young volunteers, their lawyers and their “connections” (i.e. money) with the federal agencies, federal politicians, Native American governments, key state politicians, certain judges in certain courts, University staffs, and foreign connections with their mirror images in the UN and EU bureaucracies.  They are lying low as I write to fight Trump clandestinely but they will rise quickly like the Phoenix when conditions are again favorable.

 

  1. Congress, no matter how many drain tiles (to “Drain the Swamp”) President Trump and his allies lay in Washington will steadily be “re-watered” by new and drainage-surviving politicians and bureaucrats.  Many cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami et al, and many states like California, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Illinois and Minnesota will still send an army of progressive, urban-oriented federal politicians into Washington, DC to eradicate any rural accommodations that Trump achieves while reaffirming all of the environmental/animal rights extremism of the past four decades since they only affect those bumpkins “out there” and not (they think) the smart and rich elites living in the cities that believe they should run the country and the world.

 

  1. State wildlife agencies, with but very few exceptions, have proven in the past 20 years (from their failure to request or demand the replacement of the $45 to 60 Million documented as stolen by USFWS bureaucrats from State PR funds to release Canadian wolves into Yellowstone under President Clinton, to their shameful acquiescence in cooperating with all those mentioned in 1 through 3 above in covering up wolf incidents and damages, lying about the numbers and declines of big game due to wolves, failing to pay compensation for the majority of wolf complaints, and lying about diseases spread by wolves and the documented history of living with wolves since the time of Plato to the settlement of North America and in Asia/Europe today) that they cannot stand up to federal demands or represent their residents.  As a consequence of decades under their desks hoping for eventual federal employment, they have become wolf and grizzly lap dogs to federal bureaucrats, from taking orders from progressive  politicians and activists that they believe (naively) will supplant hunting and fishing  financing and spark a Brave New World of federal tax funding in a make-believe world run by the folks mentioned in 1 through 3 above.

I hear you wondering what all this has to do with “returning management” to the States?  Isn’t “returning management to the States the answer in the “real” political world of the “possible”?

“Actually” (to quote my 11 year-old grandson) the folks in 1 through 4 are prepared to and will do whatever it takes to keep and restore all federal power and the status quo.  As long as the ESA is the source of that power, they have all the advantages (law, regulation, court precedents, media, University “experts” and schoolteachers) on their side.

Consider, what “returning” Management – not Authority or Jurisdiction – means.  It means the federal bureaucrats and the courts will allow the states to maintain X number of wolves throughout each state.  “Management” is simply the steps necessary to accomplish pre-determined ends.  “Authority” and “Jurisdiction” are the final word in determining the ends that are a federal mandate in this case.  State “management” is simply the privilege to pay for what the folks in 1 through 4 say is the way things will be.  Think of Poland conquered by the Soviets in 1945 and then told that henceforth they are the Soviet Republic of Poland and henceforth they will do and pay for what the Politburo dictates.  Who would consider that a victory worth pursuing?

Poland didn’t celebrate until June of 1989 when Soviet tyranny was voted out in a free election and the Polish Republic was founded.  To this date, Poland has had to constantly fend off both Russian bullying and EU immigration policies that threaten Poland’s very identity.  If there was a lingering key to Soviet or Russian reclamation of  authority or jurisdiction over Poland; who doubts that the Polish Republic  would exist today?  It is exactly the same thing with this “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” ESA AUTHORITY to “save the world’s wildlife” and rural America.  As long as this ESA authority exists, wolf or grizzly to name but two, future federal politicians, judges and bureaucrats can reactivate it like Dr. Frankenstein in his lab on a stormy night.

How is this so?  Consider:

–       Two months ago I asked a lady USFWS employee on the phone if the recent “return of wolf management to the State of Wyoming” meant that “they could kill all the wolves in Wyoming?”  Since I had identified myself as a Minnesotan, I guess she was thinking of me as some sort of fellow traveler and/or lover of “the ecosystem”.  Her lowered voice told me to talk to my friends and write letters to USFWS about our “concerns” and they will try to do something when they can.

–       All of the “Return” agreements mention a base number of wolves, BUT you can’t count wolves so how does that work?  The State agency may have counts or trends or estimates or WAG’s but what happens when Dr. Love the predator “expert” for Wolf/Grizzly International appears before Senator Snodgrass’ Committee on the Environment and refutes that above “data” and pontificates on “alpha males”, pup and cub mortality, climate change, ticks, disease, poaching and a certain questionable attitude by certain state employees about the value of predators?  Who could leave “management” in the hands of such barbarians?

–       State agencies will have to begin (due to lawsuit fears) picking up the tab (from where?) for more:

  1. Babysitting, trapping and transplanting of wolves.
  2. Compensation for damages by wolves.
  3. Investigations of wolf carcasses, poaching, etc.
  4. Explaining wolf impacts on game animals.
  5. Investigating and follow-up on human attacks.
  6. Resolving and preventing dog deaths.
  7. Researching Disease, Infections and Parasite threats from wolves.
  8. Answering lawsuits and other challenges to any “management”.
  9. More diversion of license money and Excise Taxes for training, meetings, lawyers, administrative support, vehicles, fuel, office space, storage, retirement costs, health insurance, planning, etc. for wolves.

–       Speaking of license money, there is a certain euphoria in the air from all the Montana, Idaho and Wyoming residents buying a wolf tag, just as there is a similar whispering about “Delisting” (another MacGuffin intended to divert your attention with no real consequence) Grizzly Bears resulting in a few high cost licenses eventually – the implication being to fleece the rich, another socialist/communist policy favorite.  Wolves are not only hard to hunt, they learn quicker than a Jack Russel Terrier in Obedience School.  As all those license buyers are learning  this and understanding how few can be shot.  This will result in wolf license money becoming a minor factor, just as a few rich cats killing a few of those “sacred” grizzly bears will provide better media fodder to kill such hunts and hunting than that Minnesota Dentist that shot that Lion with a name in Zimbabwe recently.

–       Methods of taking wolves, much less grizzlies, will have to be non-lethal and cause them to put on weight to avoid lawsuits.  Trapping?  Definitely not.  Poisons?  Are you kidding?  Denning (i.e. killing pups)?  Yeah right.  Aerial shooting as Alaska and Russians know is the only effective and affordable means with a chance of real results?  Nope.  Gun calibers, bullet materials, etc. will be set so high that new guns and non-available ammunition will be the norm.  Federal land (USFS, BLM, USFWS, et al) requirements (they are landowners don’t you know) will further restrict all of these things and probably many we haven’t even thought about yet.

–       Speaking of aerial shooting to “manage” wolf numbers and distributions; 100 years ago men formed posses and rode down and killed the last wolves in Counties much like Irish and English landowners came up with wolfhounds – not for sport but to kill the last wolves in Ireland and thereby end the scourge, death and destruction wrought by wolves.  None of these are conceivable today in the Lower 48 states.  Private property and federal ownerships require Permission to fly over and shoot into, or to ride posses through or to run killer dogs in.  The federal estate behemoth and the private property owners with wolves will, for a multitude of reasons make any of that all but impossible.  I have written for years that County Wolf Boards in Counties desiring wolf control are the answer like County Weed Boards authorized to control wolves in various ways and any property owner (including federal properties In The County either allow access for wolf control, accomplish County-directed wolf control, or the County bills the landowner and places a lien or sues to pay for County-financed wolf control.  But, this requires delegated State Authority and a state with merely “management” delegation from federal authority cannot delegate that which it does not first possess.

If you still think “management return” is worth pursuing I will mention one last factor.  If you live in rural Minnesota you will always have the Twin Cities/Duluth political dominance (like Illinois has with Chicago) to contend with about wolves.  Rural Wisconsin has the same issue with Madison and Milwaukee.  Similarly rural Oregon has the same issue with Portland/Eugene that rural Washington has with Seattle.  Why allow them and all their compatriots in 1 through 4 above to utilize lawsuits and blackmail revolving around  withdrawing wolf management they so magnanimously granted.  You have to fight them anyway so level the field as best you can, for you will have no federal backers when push comes to shove.  Eliminate the federal tool just like Poland eliminated Soviet hegemony and tyranny  when the chance presented itself.

Now folks smarter than me might recommend achievable incremental change over time but I say that if Poland had followed that advice Pope John Paul, Reagan, and Thatcher would have died and the Bushes, Clinton, Obama and the current Pope would come and go and Poland would still evoke our pity and “tsk, tsks” as they were brought up at Brie parties on the Chicago North Shore (or maybe we would be speaking and reading Russian today?)

We need to push for real reform in federal law while this period of real change is underway.  Say and think what you will about President Trump, his voters have created a tumultuous atmosphere in Washington where momentum might favor achieving what everyone says is impossible.  If the folks in 1 through 4 above ever get back in power, we must make it so that they have to try and reauthorize this travesty in a law passed by the Congress and signed by the President that does what millions of rural Americans KNOW should never be re-instituted.  We could defeat that after what we now know is afoot.

When we ask for and get “management” returned to states we only quiet things down while real change is possible, thereby make a quick return to the status quo and where it has been leading us inevitable when Washington is again a problem.  Additionally, if we get “management” returns; how many rural Americans will believe that is the best we can do and then go into hibernation and let this reform of the law opportunity pass us by only to waken us with a bang when those in 1 through 4 re-seize federal power.

Those folks in 1 through 4 represent ideologies and a future that should be repugnant to all Americans but it is mainly rural Americans up until now that they are harming openly (the diversion of tax dollars and foregone work diverted to their peccadilloes are topics for future articles).  Their habits and notions cannot be “reformed”; we must defeat their programs by repealing them.

“Returning Management to the State” is merely a placebo we take to fool ourselves into believing we have taken something real.  Anything short of eliminating this Constitutional insult at this time is a real defeat and anyone telling you different should be listened to at your (and our) own peril.

Jim Beers

11 July2017

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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A TALK ON WOLVES, DISEASE AND THE NEED FOR REFORMING THE ESA

Given at the Sugar Camp Town Hall, Sugar Camp, Wisconsin on 8 April 2017, by Jim Beers

Thank you for this opportunity to discuss an aspect of modern wildlife management that is of great importance but that, in my opinion, has been given scandalously short shrift over the past 30 years.

I will speak for about 20 minutes on the topic of wolves and disease; and then for an equal time on what I see as the problems and solutions associated with wolves and the ESA in the United States in 2017 while reserving a similar period for questions.  If this seems like a daunting task to you, it seems to me like being asked to read War and Peace in a similar timeframe!

First, to wolves and disease – More than one of you is probably wondering, who is this guy about to speak about wolves and disease when he probably has never even taken a class in veterinary science?  That is true.  I am no more than an ex-Utah Fish and Game employee; a USFWS Wetland Biologist/Special Agent/Program Analyst/ Chief of National Wildlife Refuge Operations/Congressional Fellow/ Wildlife Biologist and US Trade Representative Delegation Member to the EU on Fur Trade Regulations.  I have a Bachelor’s degree from Utah State in Wildlife Resources and a Master’s degree from the U of Northern Colorado in Public Administration.  I am also a whistleblower to Congress about the theft by USFWS of +/- $60M in State Wildlife Funds from Arms and Ammunition Excise Taxes.  I also testified before a Senate Committee opposing the creation of federal Invasive Species authority.  I have been speaking and writing about wildlife and government programs all across the Nation for the 17 years since I was sent home and forced to retire from USFWS after a 32-year career.

This is the third time I have been asked to speak about wolves and the disease dimensions of their presence in the past 17 years.  Why is that?

Well, I first became aware of why when I was a speaker at a western cattlemen’s affair and I sat in on a talk by the state Wildlife Veterinarian and the Agriculture Livestock Veterinarian.  I innocently asked a question about wolves and they huddled and refused to answer and then said they had to get back to the Capital and left.  A few years later I was asked to explain about wolves and disease to a Natural Resource Committee of a State Legislature.  When I asked why me, they said they couldn’t find anyone else.

Looking back over these 17 years, most veterinarians, like many government wildlife folks, give me a wide berth.  With the exception of an old horse veterinarian who lost two sons to the defense of our Nation, and who squired me around one day through remote wolf, cattle and former elk hunting country, I confess that I have encountered only three kinds of veterinarians in my travels.

First, there are the pet doctors whose customers understandably “love” their pets and who are generally repulsed by trapping or lethal animal control or, for that matter, anyone that would denigrate the wolf or the “native ecosystem”.  They, understandably, wouldn’t touch this topic with a 10” pole.

Second, there are the government veterinarians.  They are like Urban Police Chiefs.  That is to say they are hired (and fired or marginalized) by Mayors and Agency Directors.  When Police “Chiefs” (not elected Sheriffs) chirp about gun control, they are little more than “Charlie McCarthies” for their boss, the Mayor.  Similarly, what state or federal Veterinarian, most of whose Agencies and Directors embrace unconditionally the federal protection and spread of wolves in defiance of many of those forced to live with the wolves, would risk controversial statements jeopardizing the agency’s proclamations and policies regarding wolves as benign additions to a communities’ wildlife?

Finally, there are the University Veterinary Science professors.  Their students flock to this over-manned profession because they “love animals”, a laudable and understandable motive.  The bureaucracies that generate grants and support for much, if not most, of their research (i.e. the ticket for more grad students, bigger budgets, tenure, and retirement security) do so for a wide variety of topics. Today, such “research” fills Veterinary Journals with ever more unintelligible (to the general public) data than modern economic research “papers”.  Additionally, the Universities understand that both state and federal governments are “all in” for wolves and that controversial reports or fodder for complaints that enable public protests would jeopardize far more than funding and other support for wildlife veterinary issues in the future.

So, here you are stuck with me.

  1. Wolves are very wide-ranging Canids that unlike our dogs get no Parvo/Distemper/Rabies/etc. shots and treatments.  They are not only fearless, they frequent human habitations routinely and with growing impunity as they increase in densities or experience no challenging behavior from humans or human settlements.  They are periodically concentrating on pastures or homesteads or big game wintering areas or calving areas as with moose in their wanderings so that when they pick up an infection or disease, they will likely go to similar surroundings where similar animals or humans can be infected.  They are constantly sticking their snout in and eating organs from a variety of animals both dying and deceased for a period of time thus exposing themselves to a very wide variety of bacteria, viruses, prions and other pathogens. It is not that they all carry all these diseases, it is that when they do get a really bad one like anthrax or rabies or foot-and-mouth or Mad Cow or chronic wasting disease – stopping the spread is almost impossible as when dogs and other wildlife disease vectors, that don’t roam far and wide, are killed to stop outbreaks of things like anthrax or smallpox.

Wolves travel in packs; romp; fight; and, like bats, sleep and groom together.  They are very often silent (and therefore unidentifiable) vectors spreading diseases, pathogens and infections among themselves and over a wide area to humans, domestic animals and other wildlife in a multitude of ways.  They are all but impossible to eliminate quickly or efficiently as when there is a rabies, foot-and-mouth, smallpox, anthrax or Mad Cow (BSE) outbreak.  Consider the havoc, often documented in early America of rabid wolves that went for miles biting everything they encounter, or the Russian sawyer (along with many others at the time, several of whom died) bitten by a rabid wolf while running a chain saw a few years ago.  Indian villages, trappers, homesteaders, and even forts with soldiers all are mentioned in historical records and reports of the terror and death rabid wolves were and are capable of imposing.

Certainly bites are an obvious danger for infection.  Less obvious (and ignored or denied) are:

–          Saliva left in yards and along (increasingly urban) paths on objects that are of interest to dogs that mouth them and nose them before returning home.

–          Mucous from a sneeze or runny nose left in areas frequented by people like yards and camping areas where dogs, children and others are exposed and can become carriers.

–          Feces laden with various tapeworm eggs (some of which develop deadly cysts years later; some of which last more than a year on the ground around where deposited and are capable of being transported by dog’s feet or shoes into homes, tents or campers onto rugs and elsewhere where small kids are especially vulnerable to ingesting them unknowingly) and also Parvo viruses that also have long infection periods where deposited.  Feces are a particular problem when undigested meat is passed and dogs do what they often do with

feces containing partially digested meat.

–          Blood transfer or deposit from accidents, fights with dogs or other wolves or incidents with other animals creates a potential infectious transfer to others and even a temporarily infected site that can infect others that touch or mouth anything coming in contact with the area, especially in places like campgrounds and rural residence surroundings.

–          Oozing sores or unhealed infections are an area of concern, in my opinion, but I could not find any information on such matter or what threat it may or may not pose.

–          Fur between toes and on the body coming in contact with the ground or infected animals can capture, transport and spread Mad Cow (BSE) prions; anthrax bacterium (capable of being absorbed through the skin, ingested or inhaled); and foot-and-mouth, and smallpox viruses among other pathogens.

For the record, I no longer let dogs lick me. I helped my Dad raise Dobermans as a kid and as a young man I had several retrievers, one of which I am about to tell you about.

The following is a list of diseases carried and transmitted by wolves.  While not totally comprehensive, it represents over 30+ infections and diseases that have been attributed to wolves.  Those that can infect humans are followed by an (H), those that affect other animals are followed by an (OA).

  1. Rabies (H) (OA)
  2. Brucellosis (H) (OA) ** i.e. Undulant Fever

Hydatid Disease (2):

  1. Echinococcus granulosis (H) (OA)
  2. Echinococcus multilocularis  (H) (OA) ** i.e. Deadly Cysts
  1. Anthrax (H) (OA) ** Cleanup Requirements
  2. Encephalitis (H) (OA)
  3. (Granulomatous meningoencephalitis) (OA)
  4. (Necrotizing encephalitis) (OA)
  5. Great Lakes Fish Tapeworm (H) (OA)
  6. Smallpox (H) (OA) ** i.e. Aral Sea Is.
  7. Mad Cow Disease(BSE) (OA) (H) ** i.e.UK
  8. Chronic Wasting Disease (OA)

From Ticks (13) ** Carried by wolves: Natural History?

  1. Anemia (H)
  2. Dermatosis (H)
  3. Tick paralysis (H)
  4. Babesiosis (H)
  5. Anaplasmosis (H)
  6. Erlichia (H)
  7. E. Coast Fever (H)
  8. Relapsing Fever (H)
  9. Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever (H)
  10. (A new type of Spotted Fever is being investigated) (H)
  11. Powassan Fever (H)
  12. Heartland Fever (H)
  13. Lyme Disease (H)

From Fleas (4) Carried by wolves:

  1. Plague (H) ** i.e.MT (OA)
  2. Bubonic Plague (H)
  3. Pneumonic Plague (H)
  4. Flea-Borne (Endemic) Typhus (H)
  1. Distemper (OA)
  2. Neospora caninum (OA)
  3. 2 Types of Mange (H) (OA)
  4. GID (a disease of wild and domestic sheep) (OA)
  5. Foot-and-Mouth (OA)
  6. Parvo (OA)

Of the 30+ diseases and pathogens listed, 27 affect humans and many of these are deadly.  Whether it is a child ingesting tapeworm eggs from a ranch house floor rug, or a dog walker or jogging soccer Mom encountering wolves as a schoolteacher did recently in Alaska that resulted in a horrible death, the fact that these human health hazards have been given short-shrift and even covered up by government agencies and their allies as they forcibly introduce, protect and spread wolves is nothing short of scandalous.

How do you control wolves as vectors of these diseases when there is an outbreak?  Who pays for control?  Whatmethods are permissible? Who is responsible?  These sorts of questions need to be answered before we can determine where wolves are to be tolerated; in what numbers; and how these things are to be achieved ad infinitum.  I am a strong believer that State Governments, recognizing the primary interests and desires of the Local communities expected to bear the costs of hosting wolves in their midst, are the proper government authority for such decisions if the first and foremost purpose of all government as defined in the Preamble o0f our Constitution,i.e. – “domestic Tranquility” and “the general Welfare” of the all the citizenry – is to be achieved and maintained.

  1. What are we to make of all this?  How did it happen?  Most importantly, what can or should be done?

Wolves are like mosquitoes: both are numerous, found worldwide, and both create serious and increasing problems for humans closely correlated in magnitude to the human densities found in modern settled landscapes where each is found.  Each has benefits that are marginal as when mosquitoes and their larva provide food for fish and especially young birds with brief time windows in which to grow, fly and migrate.  Similarly wolves existing in relatively uninhabited (by humans) habitats create an insular plant and animal community that, while described by some appreciatively as “native” or “balanced”, provides a biological comparison for plant and animal management in more densely inhabited and settled landscapes as found in the Lower 48 States.  Even in these less inhabited landscapes like Alaska and Siberia, human interventions are required.  Examples of the latter being:

–          When humans are killed, attacked or injured

–          When disease outbreaks occur

–          When moose and elk et al needed for human food are being decimated

–          When wildlife licensing revenues and matching funds dwindle due to scarcity of game

–          When cattle, reindeer or sheep et al husbandry is being decimated.

–          When always fragile rural economies and communities worldwide are diminished in any of the many myriad ways that wolves can affect them from dog killings to threatening or attacking especially children and the elderly.

To say that a world with a Canada full of thousands of wolves; an Alaska bursting with wolves; a vast Siberia **Magadan/Kazakhstan/India (indeed much of Asia) with high wolf densities; a Europe currently dealing unsuccessfully with wolves continent wide; and a world full of dogs & coyotes (that are currently cross breeding with wolves in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States) dingoes and jackals (all 4 of which breeds can breed with wolves and produce viable or fertile offspring) ** current crossbreeding – to say in such a world that WOLVES ARE (currently) ENDANGERED in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States and :

–          Require federal pre-emption of traditional and Constitutional State Wildlife Authorities and Jurisdictions.

–          Require the expenditure of millions of scarce federal and state general taxes and wildlife funds.

–          Require preposterous federal bureaucratic authority to take private property without compensation in defiance of the Constitution.

–          That rural communities forced to host the wolves are to have NO say regarding their presence, numbers, distribution, control or impacts.

Is (*?) to say the least.

* What? – “Absurd”? “Crazy”?  “Misguided”? “Ignorant”? “Unjust”? “Illegal”? “Not what it appears to be”? “A direct threat to rural ‘domestic Tranquility’ and the ‘general Welfare’ of the Nation”?  NOTE: I confess to wrestling continuously with the right term to use both for the policies and instigators of this misbegotten fiasco. Too harsh or too truthful words turn off many readers and listeners.

The federal bureaucratic placement of wolves is an arbitrary nightmare for groups out of political favor **New England? and almost always not in any direct way affecting those lobbyists, ideologues and politicians enabling the wolf programs.  Wolf types in the Lower 48 (i.e. red, Mexican, timber, etc.) are simply names for varieties similar to other widespread mammals like the large whitetails in Saskatchewan descending in size and varying in coloration to the tinier and lighter whitetails found in the Southwest to the tiniest whitetails found in the hot and food-poor FL Keys.  Was the ESA really passed to preserve such morphologies?

There is an abundance of hidden agendas behind wolf programs from human population and gun control to eliminating hunting and trapping and surgically parsing rural America into expanding federal ownerships and easements with decreasing land costs.

As with grizzly bear expansions in the Lower 48 States, no one is responsible for the calamities brought about by wolves.

Only last week the morning the paper reported the first Zika-infected childbirth in the US.  The child was born in San Diego.  Imagine if you will, if mosquitos had been eliminated from the San Diego area one hundred years ago and if only ten or twenty years ago the federal government had announced the “scientific” finding that the lack of mosquitoes in the San Diego environs was unacceptable.  Suppose further that the federal government then initiated and the government of California enthusiastically embraced (no surprise there) the reintroduction, protection, and spread of the “native San Diego Yellow Mosquito”. This was done with the enthusiastic support of:

–          Midwest, East Coast and Northwest environmental organizations that collected millions to “save the San Diego Yellow Mosquito”.

–          Federal politicians that accepted “contributions” from these groups and then were subsequently featured in the news as a “friend of the Mosquito”.

–          Professors and entomologists that shared in a bonanza of grants, graduate student increases, tenure and public adulation as they justified the banning of spraying and other controls of mosquitoes and their kin; the need to further regulate and restrict chemical production and use; and the need for a myriad of new laws forbidding the removal of any standing water suitable for the mosquito’s many needs to reproduce and live.

–          Federal and State bureaucrats that outlined the need for more employees, bigger budgets, more regulations, new amendments to existing laws, “key” land acquisition and easement, and promotions and bonuses as their “workload increased”.

Could that be a “just” law authorizing such actions?  Would the Constitution in any conceivable way allow such a travesty?  Would San Diego parents and parents-to-be tolerate such a law?  Would the parents of an infected child be able to sue federal politicians, federal bureaucrats or “scientists” that denied or hid the dangers they knew to exist? Of course this could never happen, but not because:

–          Mosquitoes (and wolves) are ubiquitous

–          There is no San Diego Yellow Mosquito

–          The environmental organizations and government would look silly.

This would not happen because it would be the urban voting majority being imposed upon.  The suburban (with a few exceptions like NJ) and rural voters neither demand nor contribute to such impositions on their city cousins so the National Organizations do not reap millions; politicians do not reap votes; professors do not reap emoluments; and bureaucrats do not reap dollars and fame.

It is a fact that no one is responsible for any of the many wolf, or grizzly bears’ deadly effects or the economic and cultural sectors that they diminish and that what happened here with the Mosquito is and has happened with the wolf and grizzly bear to name just two such “Listings”.

Here is what I have learned in 17 years of dealing with the ESA and wolves et al:

  1. It is unjust and unconstitutional to empower federal bureaucrats (and their enablers from politicians and “scientists” to wealthy environmental lobby groups) to seize State wildlife and wild plant authorities and jurisdictions and violate with impunity such Constitutional Rights as are found in the I, IV, V, VI, VII, or X Amendments as defined in The Bill of Rights, and as is being done under the color of the Endangered Species Act.
  2. Large predators like wolves and grizzly bears are not endangered or threatened.  (Grizzlies are abundant in W Canada, Alaska and N. Asia). Both are very dangerous and destructive animals; and their presence, abundance, and distribution should be under State authority with primary attention given to those local communities expected to live with either of these animals.  To say that either, especially grizzles, belongs anywhere in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 in a protected status is a position that anyone valuing human life and American freedoms should think long and hard about. Current magnanimous “return of management” to State governments by federal bureaucracies with attendant “minimum” wolf levels is a chimera or mirage, like promises of “compensation” to ranchers and others, simply short-term public relations ploys intended to continue drainage of wildlife conservation funding and programs until a future push to invigorate greater federal control is judged politically possible.
  3. State wildlife agencies, state governments and Universities have each been corrupted by the current system ** PR theft w/o repayment and have become little more than subcontractors to federal bureaucrats, powerful Non-Government Organizations and their agendas.  Governments no longer serve constituents, and Universities and science no longer seek nor publicize the truth regarding these issues.  A companion issue with wolves that draws only snickers today is the downplayed but very real concerns that present wolf immersions in the dense Canid populations on the Lower 48 States spell disaster for future wolves as crossbreeding with coyotes and dogs point to a future similar to that of Russian Caucasian immigrants to Formosa over a hundred years ago that today only linger in a rare Caucasian facial feature in that otherwise dense Mongolian populous.
  4. If urban/environmental organizations and voters want wolves or grizzly bears in XYZ let them first convince those folks living in XYZ to appeal to the State government with a plan to do so and how to finance it.  Counties could allow these animals if the residents and their neighbors agree under a system like Virginia has for deer hunting wherein the Counties decide what guns, methods, seasons, bags, and goals are permissible for deer hunting in THEIR County recognizing the County  resident’s desires.  Adjoining Counties could oppose the proposal and/or authorize the dispatch of any such animal in their County under certain or any circumstances. In other words if Wyoming and Idaho and Montana do not want any wolves, when a wolf  steps out of Yellowstone, State laws and regulations could authorize shooting or trapping 365 24/7.  Other federal Parks, Forests, BLM and USFWS lands would and should need State permission as with other property owners in the State to introduce or maintain such wildlife just as if they wanted to introduce and maintain pythons or Asian carp in or on their ownership. Yellowstone has a very singular and unique legal status regarding such matters.
  5. Non-large-predator Endangered Species Act programs and policies have also become corrupt political activities.  Too often they are thinly-disguised environmental and animal rights agendas and ploys to destroy dams, irrigation, farms, ranches, private property, hunting, trapping, fishing, public land access, Local governments, sustainable and renewable natural resource use and management, national sovereignty, corporations, human development nationally and internationally, and a long list of human cultural and traditional pursuits considered politically incorrect at the moment.

For instance, while I was in Washington recently, the paper described a pending Endangered Listing of a Bee that is declining nationally.  The Bee occupies burrows in intermittently plowed fields and are “thought to be” affected by pesticides sold by “Dow” Chemical.  The Listing article (like snail darters intended to stop a dam; or smelt and suckers intended to close down farms and irrigation; or spotted owls intended to eliminate forest – i.e. timber – management) painted objecting farmers and the Dow Chemical Corporation as villains.  The Listing will and is intended to importune widespread farm production and practices in the Midwest thereby adversely affecting the national economy, the food supply and food availability for the poor.  It will also disrupt a giant Chemical “Corporation” bottom line, facilities and processes for an unknown time and with likely significant financial and job losses.  Now while all this may please some elements in the country it is counterproductive to American prosperity and our modern way of life.

What if the process for conserving true species in extremis was harmonized between Federal and State lawmakers and authorized and mandated that federal and state scientists first jointly determine what is causing the decline and not just hammer “all the usual suspects”?  Then work with USDA and farmers to identify and evaluate alternatives and their costs to modify practices or equipment.  Then have federal and state scientists work with and through the National Institute of Science and Technology (that routinely works with American Corporations on such matters) to cooperate with Dow Chemical on research for specific adjustments and tolerable costs to their products and existing infrastructure to reduce bee declines.  All of this should be accomplished with specifically requested Congressional funding which, if not authorized, means it is not of sufficient importance in line with other national priorities at the moment.

This is the opposite of the bureaucratic hammer in use today and returns to recognition of the Constitutional role of elected officials authorizing, funding and administering things currently left to bureaucrats with a bag of money to do all sorts of mischief and harm without accountability or responsibility except for their own careers.

  1. I am constantly told the ESA will NEVER be repealed (even though a similar travesty, Prohibition, authorized by a Constitutional Amendment, was repealed when its pernicious and corrupting effects were no longer deniable).
  2. I am constantly told that the ESA will Never be amended because any politician supporting such a thing would be deported or jailed by environmentalists, animal rightists, professors, teachers, bureaucrats, and a hodgepodge of urban residents that could be mobilized to “save” the environment.
  3. Could elected rural Sheriffs resist these federal impositions like some Mayors, Governors and County officials are resisting federal illegal immigrant enforcement activities?
  4. Could ESA reforms be enacted in laws, regulations and policies amid the turbulence of reform and confrontation now taking place in Washington, DC?

Questions:  Is rural America slated to continue falling behind the advancements and opportunities of the rest of the Nation to become like many rural African and Asian societies; places where “life is” as Thomas Hobbes once said, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short?  Where residents sell trinkets along the road or move to cities to perform menial tasks?  Are rural Americans, rural communities and urban America to be treated equally or are rural Americans and their communities and economies to be permanently inferior American sectors at the mercy of urban dreamers and pandering politicians?

How we recognize and resolve these self-imposed problems, involves and affects far more than wolves, bees and imaginary mosquitoes.

Jim Beers

8 April 2017

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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A Stark Contrast

-A Letter to the WSJ- by James Beers

You unwittingly offered a dramatic comparison between Alyssia Finley’s juvenile and feminine fable about wolf myths in her Gray Wolf in the Silver State and Fahoum Fahoum’s The Arab Boy on the Israeli Tennis Team.  For the record, Miss Finley’s ridiculing wolf depredations on cattle (“”cow-ripping isn’t a crime”); wolf depredations on livestock (“was never proven beyond a reasonable doubt”); and making ranchers the villains regarding wolves (“evidence could have been planted by ranchers” and accusing ranchers of being “vigilantes”) only throws gasoline on an already red hot issue.  Her cutesy closure by “Tom Wolf”, AKA Thomas Wolfe no doubt, only confirms this bit of urban elite environmental tale meant for little more than propagandizing munchkins before they can evaluate what they are being told about an important matter.

Mr. Fahoum’s excellent piece about an Arab boy and Israeli governance is a stark contrast about a masculine view about sports as a significant remedy for at least some of the decades-old conflicts between Jews and Arabs in Israel as well as other such conflicts worldwide.  His explanation and example as a current member of the Quinnipiac University tennis team is a great archetype of what he calls “a shared, complex identity” and what psychologists call, “superordinate identity”.

Comparing these two Opinion pieces in one WSJ issue: I give a loud “Hurray” for Mr. Fahoum’s values, his writing and his handling of a very sensitive matter; as for Miss Finley, what were you thinking?

Jim Beers

6 April 2017

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

 

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Speaking of Sharks, Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Cougars & Such

*Editor’s Note* – I am reminded of Leviticus 26: vss 14 and 22 –

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; …..I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.”

An article by James Beers

Question:  What do sharks, grizzly bears, wolves, cougars and similar large mammalian predators have in common?

Answer:

1.) They attack, injure and kill humans.

2.) Their presence in locations of human presence varying in density from the lightly inhabited to densely inhabited by humans is rightly controversial.

3.) They compete with humans for renewable natural resources like various marine species from seals to bass, and game animals from moose and elk to antelope utilized for human consumption and recreation like fishing and hunting.

4.) They depress human activities from bathing and biking to hiking and simple day in and day out actions of families and other residents where such animals are allowed to occur.

5.) They depress economic activities from tourism and animal husbandry to pet ownership and all the subsidiary economic activities they spawn thereby shrinking both employment opportunities and local tax revenues that are the lifeblood of both local governance and a political voice for rural residents.

6.) They destroy private property from dogs to cattle.

7.) They are “loved” by mostly urban people and little more than constant problems for rural people and others forced by governments to live with them.

8.) They are political vote fodder for central government politicians forever spending scarce dollars and implementing the laws they are forever passing to “protect” and “save” these “charismatic mega-species”.

9.) They are central-government bureaucrat’s ticket’s to more power and authority (resulting from the manipulation of regulation-writing for all the laws mentioned under # 8); more personnel and bigger budgets leading to increased career opportunities leading to larger retirements and public adulation; and they are an introduction to after-retirement opportunities with the Non-Government environmental Organizations (see # 10 below).

10.) They are the primary tools of the self-aggrandizing “environmental”, animal “rights”, and faux “conservation” lobby groups collecting millions from the general public that they use to “influence” the politicians, woo the bureaucrats, and give the urban population a false sense of doing something “good” while being “involved”.

11.) Too often the government schemes to “save” or “restore” such species are thinly-veiled hidden agendas for other campaigns from population control to gun control and further erosion of local governments and the political voice of rural people and their issues.

Now, lest you think I do not “like” or “want” such animals; I assure you I am committed to their preservation and conservation.  I say this with full recognition of the following:

1.)  These animals DO NOT belong wherever they want to be or where they simply existed 20 or 200 years ago. They belong where their negative impacts are tolerable primarily to those communities that government’s target to coexist with them.

2.)  The formal acceptance by local populations should be a prerequisite of any government protection, introductions or increases of these animals for reasons of both justice and morality.

3.)  While the “public” et al (see the foregoing #’s 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11) knowledge of words like “decreasing”, “endangered”, etc. are rudimentary at best; their rejection of terms  like “too many”, “destructive”, “dangerous”, or “necessary lethal control” are also clouded by bureaucrats, teachers, politicians, and the influence peddlers mentioned under the foregoing # 10.

4.)  The proper and just challenge to preserving and conserving these animals lies not with destroying human society or humans as is happening in Africa and India as I write.

5.)  Lethal controls are necessary and right in areas of human density and activity.  For instance, sharks should be excluded as far as is possible from beaches with moderate to heavy use.  Until the lobby groups or private enterprises come up with a workable and dependable way to exclude dangerous sharks from such beaches in Australia, the US or South Africa or on similar beaches worldwide, that means lethal control.

6.)  As someone living in a country with a $20 TRILLION debt, I do not believe that government funding should be spent by the millions on things that would certainly appear to be no more effective than fladry or electric fences for livestock being ravaged by wolves, or bells being worn by hikers or workers in grizzly bear country.

7.)  Government funds directed toward sharks (like government funds directed toward other mammalian large predators mentioned herein) should be directed toward enactment and enforcement of laws that allow local control in certain areas and protection in other (not all) areas.  Leave it to the Universities and NGO’s to “investigate” “sonar buoys” shark “face recognition”, “electronic and magnetic shark deterrent devices”, and “cameras attached to sharks”.  The government role is to first protect its citizens.

Three years ago I wrote several articles comparing the “conservation” of mammalian and marine predators like sharks, wolves and killer whales.   The two articles below [link (WSJ is a PayWall and link] indicate to me how far astray we have come in just the short time since I wrote those articles.  I submit that we could take this shark article and this grizzly bear article and just use them in the future for the next wolf or cougar attack that kills or maims a human in the US.  For that matter, the next Nile crocodile that kills an African woman doing her wash or an African kid playing by the river; we can use these article by just erasing “shark” or “grizzly bear” and scribbling in “lion” or “tiger” or whatever misunderstood critter evokes our mercy by causing us to equate such animals with hapless humans offered up by the government druids for their notion of what the “ecosystem” should be.

Here are a few comments on what appears in these recent news items.  These items are highlighted in the articles and are not meant to be snide or to condemn either our Australian or Canadian cousins that like us emerged from the British Colonial system.  Truth be told, American concepts of wildlife management, human justice, and rural economic concern are as far or farther astray than either of these articles tell us about Australia or Canada.

1,) “The effort is being closely watched around the world—especially tourism-focused places like Réunion, a French territory whose economy was devastated after sharks killed seven people in recent years.”

Comment: While this is about sharks, the same thing is happening in the Lower 48 US States with forced introduction of grizzly bears (the latest in central Washington state) making de facto wilderness areas due to the danger from the bears as are forced wolf introductions exterminating elk and moose hunting along with ranching and rural residences.  Denying it as we do, fools no one.

2.) “Where some of these species of sharks bite people, it becomes more of a social issue, whether the government should be responsible for the safety of their citizens when they go into the ocean.”

Comment: What chutzpah!  As a former colonial and as a US Constitutional supporter, I can only marvel at any representative government being perceived as neither concerned nor responsible for the safety of their citizenry utilizing THEIR beaches.  Yet, the US government mimics this attitude by their wolf and grizzly bear activities being no one’s responsibility when they go horribly wrong and even California’s government behaving similarly with their sanctification of cougars within that state.

3,) “Record keeping on shark attacks is fragmented and inconsistent,

Comment: See, sharks are just like wolves and grizzly bears.  Nothing is for sure so only the government wizards know the “truth” and thus the courts will believe only them.  For those unfamiliar with this lingo, “fragmented and inconsistent” means you must believe whatever we say it is about “how many”, the “danger” and what to expect or who is responsible. If we say moose and elk disappeared because of “climate change” or that persons or cattle killed by wolves were killed by “undetermined animals, possibly dogs” then by golly that is the truth so move along citizen, there is nothing to see here.

4,) “Thousands of underwater video tapes showing that sharks are much more abundant in northern Australia than in unprotected waters like those surrounding Indonesia—the world’s biggest shark-fishing nation”.

Comment:  What a mysterious assertion.  Could there be a connection?  Can sharks prosper in one place (like Australia) while evidently hammered unmercifully relatively nearby (like Indonesia)?  Could this be duplicated on a scale such as lightly-used Australian beaches v. heavily-used beaches?  Inquiring minds want to know.

5.) People for some reason have a real fear of sharks,” Geoff Harris, the club’s president and a veteran lifesaver, said as he surveyed the town’s deserted white-sand beach one morning. “I think it’s the fear of being eaten by something.”

Comment: Ya’ think?

6.) “But you don’t want to jump to the conclusion that the bear’s hungry and it attacked an individual.  Norris also said it’s “never cut and dry that a bear will be destroyed because it attacked someone.”

Comment:  Indeed, animals have “rights”!  Their motive is important!  You never know when there are extenuating circumstances that justify releasing him or her like Americans are doing with criminal illegal aliens that only return and repeat offenses until they stand accused of homicide.  I am reminded of that satirical Jewish definition of chutzpah being the man that killed his mother and father and then threw himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan.

Jim Beers

27 March 2017

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

 

 

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Jim Beers Seeks Directorship of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

*Scroll for Updates*

For those with interest, our friend and a contributing writer on this website, James Beers has applied for the position as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I was sent two email addresses:

One is to Tom Reed, Vice-chairman of the Trump Transition Team – sempolinsi@gmail.com Note: This email was bounced back to me.

The second email is to Mr. Myron Ebell, director of Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute – Myron.Ebell@cei.org

You can also contact any “insiders” that can effect influence as well as your local representative.

If I can get additional emails or contact information, I will pass it on with an update to this posting.

*Update* – 1/4/2017 –

The Honorable Tom Reed. Vice Chairman, DJT’s Transition Team:

“I called his DC office because I was unable to get on his website .

The following is his contact info:

(202) 225-3161 phone

(202) 226-6599 fax

You can send an email by going to his website:

www.reed.house.gov

and go to his contact page.  You can send a message through his website.”

Many thanks to an American Lady,

Jim Beers

*Update* – 1/4/2017 – 3:20 pm

The Honorable Tom Reed, a Congressman from New York, is the  Vice Chairman of President-Elect  Donald J Trump’s Transition Team.  His Chief of Staff is Joe Sempolinski.

 Mr. Sempolinski can be reached at     joe.sempolinskia@gmail.com

Thank you for any help in my quest for the position of Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service under President Trump.

Jim Beers

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Advice Worth the Cost

By James Beers

Congressman Ryan Zinke, Republican Representative for the entire state of Montana, has been named by President-elect Trump as his pick for the Secretary of the Interior.

I subsequently received the following inquiry (along with many others) from a group for whom I have high regard.  It is with honest forethought that I respond to this question recognizing that it is probably not in my personal best interest to do so.  The reason for this being my long-standing enthusiastic support and bias for President-elect Trump and the fact that at the urging of more than a few acquaintances I sent a resume to the Trump Transition Team for any role –full, part-time or advisory that they might use someone with my record and talents.  While I had several friends that then sent my resume to Transition Team acquaintances and some potential candidates for the Secretary Appointment, I claimed no personal preferences, endorsements, or “dog in the race”. I still find all the named candidates in this transition to have strengths and weaknesses that overall make any of them far better that any Secretary of the Interior since the three (Watt, Clark & Hodel) under President Reagan.  While an honest answer here will probably torpedo any active role in this Administration for an old guy like me, I trust it will not diminish any consideration they or the public might give to future recommendations I may write or speak about.

The question:

–       Q. I have concerns about this cabinet pick.  Xxxx tells me they were on his ag advisory committee and he is definitely NOT in favor of turning federal lands back to the states.  I also wonder about his background and will wikepedia him next.  Any ideas on how we should proceed?

My Answer:

First of all, I am an enthusiastic Trump supporter and during these times of his every move evoking more incomings than Fort Sumter, I am loathe to add anything to the barrage he is already experiencing.

Secondly, Congressman Zinke certainly seems sensible; what the English used to term a “hail fellow well met”. The two interviews I saw were impressive and left the urban New York interviewers pleased and laughing.  Add to this, his service as a Seal and his being a fellow Naval Officer and, as with President Trump, I find it hard to express negative observations.

This morning’s Wall Street Journal has given me pause for thought on what lies ahead for federal oppressions and “how we should proceed” as I ponder the question.

The following is an excerpted copy of the WSJ article with my observations italicized in parentheses.

POLITICS

Donald Trump Jr. Played a Key Role in Interior Pick

By

AMY HARDER

Dec. 15, 2016 6:36 p.m. ET

Donald Trump Jr. heavily influenced his father’s decision to fill the post of interior secretary with Rep. Ryan Zinke, a one-term congressman who shares the younger Trump’s enthusiasm for hunting, say people familiar with the pick.

(So far so good.)

Zinke, Montana’s sole House member and a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, resigned as a delegate to the GOP’s convention this past summer because its platform calls for a transfer of federally owned wilderness lands to the states. That is a position favored by most Republicans, including Ms. McMorris Rodgers, but the president-elect and his son, an avid hunter, oppose it.

(No matter your stand on returning federal lands to the states, it is a bargaining chip of the first order for anyone interested in making ANY progress in reducing federal overreach and reviving rural America.  Also, note the “wilderness” with a small “w”.  Does she mean “Wilderness-designated lands” with a capital “W” or did Zinke and Donald Trump Jr. use that term?  The difference being; if it is a typical urban observation that all that “out there” is “wilderness” replete with wolves, grizzly bears and free-roaming buffalo then it has no significance: if Ryan and Donald used it, it suggests that they are prepared to argue that those are the “most sacred”, “most unique’’ etc. acres and under no circumstances should their status be changed.  This is just the opposite of what is likely to happen.  The non-“Wilderness” acres would be gradually transferred and the status, management and uses of “Wilderness” acres questioned; to reverse this is simply what Hitchcock called a “MacGuffin” or diversionary device that serves no purpose.)

“The federal government needs to do a much better job of managing our resources, but the sale or transfer of our land is an extreme proposal, and I won’t tolerate it,” Mr. Zinke said at a June congressional hearing.

(This is very troubling. The federal government has proven over the last 25 years that it is no longer capable of this task and indeed is the source of the mismanagement and harms that helped elect President-elect Trump.  Asking the current US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service or the US Forest Service (although in the Department of Agriculture) to begin doing a “much better job of managing our resources” is truly and accurately like asking:

Animal Control Officers to surrender their guns and extraordinary Police Powers and notify Local Police of suspected violations; or

School teachers to begin teaching wild animal and plant management that benefits rural communities and generates taxes and Local control of Local issues; or

University professors to refuse government funding that influences both “science” and political dialogue; or

Federal and State bureaucrats to take a pay cut or retirement reduction and return to a hiring/promotion/bonus system free of race and sex classifications and preferences.

In other words, none of these things can happen with the current workforces in place and while the current laws and practices that spawned and protect them remain in place.  All of these bureaucracies have been staffed with ideologues that not only do not know how to “manage our resources”, they are actually mentally and physically opposed to “managing our resources” and will fight with all the motivation of disgruntled Middle Eastern refugees to create their alternative view of the world that we should all live in.

You do not have to sell or transfer land; you need to restore State and Local influence over resource management in the States and Local communities where federal lands are located.  That is done by giving State governments (the one closer to the residents) certain controls or influence over federal appropriations and federal programs in their jurisdiction.  Local governments (the ones closest to the people) will influence the states actions because the Local people will control the Local government. The threat of eventually transferring the federal estate to the State is the threat if satisfactory accommodations cannot be achieved.  People that aver their trump card like this are reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain “dealing” with Hitler or Ukrainians bargaining with Stalin in the early 1930’s.)

The president-elect’s children have urged him to seize broadly on environmental conservation as a potentially defining issue for his presidency. The younger Mr. Trump has a longtime interest in preserving wilderness areas for hunting and fishing, and Mr. Zinke’s own opposition to selling off federal lands stems from his concern that it would mean less access to public lands for outdoor sports.

(See (or request) my “Rural America Needs the Electoral College” article of 1 December regarding rural harms as urban bribes.  “Environmental conservation” and “preserving wilderness” are dog whistles for the urban voters President Trump will be seeking over the next four years.  They (and the radical environmental/animal rights organizations and the current bureaucrats, professors, et al) hear more land acquisition, more land easement, more land control and more land = more authority, more jurisdiction, more budgets, more employees and more of everything down the road.)

There is something of a split in the environmental movement between those, like Messrs. Zinke and Trump Jr., who favor preserving wilderness areas mostly for hunting and fishing, and a more mainstream group that emphasizes such issues as protecting endangered species and keeping natural lands pristine.

(Well said in an urban fashion; scary to rural residents with less political heft in many states; and something that is to be resolved one way or the other.  There is no solution similar to Solomon splitting the baby to be had here.)_

Apart from the public lands issue, Mr. Zinke supports traditional GOP positions on the environment. He backed the Keystone XL pipeline, for example, and opposed a recent Interior Department rule setting standards for emissions of methane from oil and natural-gas wells on public lands.

The president-elect, following his children’s urging, is showing signs of embracing the notion of following in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican president who protected roughly 230 million acres of public lands.

“Honoring the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt—believe it or not, one of our great environmentalists—we’ll also be able to preserve and protect our natural resources for the next generation, including protecting land and anglers and hunters and all of those who enjoy the outdoors like my sons Don and Eric,” Mr. Trump said earlier this month in a speech in North Carolina.

(If the implication of rivalling or exceeding TR’s acreage “protection” circa 1900 (that has ultimately turned out to be mostly “closure” and “non-management”) in a USA 100-plus years later and hundreds of millions more people more doesn’t scare you, I must admit it does me. The current federal (and many States as well) bureaucracies are no more able, willing or qualified to “preserve and protect our natural resources for the next generation, including protecting land and anglers and hunters and all of those who enjoy the outdoors” than the Little Sisters of the Poor are capable of playing the Chicago Bears,)

The younger Mr. Trump spoke at length about his interest in preservation issues, and his influence with his father when it comes to them, in an onstage interview at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in Colorado this summer.

Outdoor groups based in Montana that have known and worked with Mr. Zinke for years and  talked him up weeks ago to the younger Mr. Trump

“With McMorris Rodgers becoming more and more real, sportsmens’ groups pushed back,” said Land Tawney, president and chief executive of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a Montana-based group that counts the younger Mr. Trump as a lifetime member.

(This is disturbing. The TR Conservation Partnership is one of many modern such organizations that wine and dine with the bureaucracies and the radical groups while swapping jobs and grants and fostering a persona of “fighting” for (insert your group here).  Like Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited et al they spend their funds like the Clinton Foundation and send out glossies of faux accomplishments.  These groups are political hermaphrodites entertaining both Democrats and Republicans for the same end, i.e. expanding government controls by bureaucracies enforcing and regulating for their narrow interests.  One need look no further than the crickets heard from these groups for 25 years about windmills killing birds by the millions while birds by the pair at a taxidermist or one dead on the ground can get you and me put in prison unlike the Indian that killed a wolf in Minnesota not long ago and the federal government refused to prosecute. Finally, Montana has some very green organizations that masquerade as cowboy/Orvis clothes models while wielding strong political power. They seem to already be displaying a prevalent influence here.)

In summary, I do not sense any commitment for change, only more of the same.  Although I was prepared and hopeful for an Administration that could change things for far into the future by changing laws and making hard choices, I have forebodings about this and especially as McConnell is already balking about passing a stimulus as Trump had promised and Ryan is already waffling about a “wall” as Trump had promised.  What I fear is four years about arguing for short-term “feel-good” things and either four or eight years down the road the bureaucrats and long-term pols at the behest of the urban radicals will take off from where we are now with a vengeance.

Targeting the “Number” of regulations is meaningless in this government land business, unless you repeal, amend, or limit (as I suggested) these unjust laws, “reducing regulations” is no more than lipstick on a pig.  Unless you restore state and local government authorities and jurisdictions the feds will just grow and grow like that exploding fat guy John Cleese serves in the Monty Python movie, “The Meaning of Life”.  Anybody that believes that keeping this federal estate whole under the current bureaucracies’ policies will not mean LESS hunting and fishing (along with a whole lot of other harms from fires, predators and economic strangulation of the rural American economy) doesn’t deserve the right to vote in a Constitutional Republic.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and to quote the Matrix movie, “he’s not the one”

Jim Beers

16 December 2016

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

 

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Minnesota Wolves: No Kudos from Here

The following article from a Northern Minnesota newspaper describes a 40-year US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired) Wolf Biologist admitting that wolves in Minnesota have indeed decimated the Minnesota moose population and that, undoubtedly, any attempt to increase moose numbers in Minnesota would be akin to introducing impalas into a lion cage at the zoo.

Since retiring here 8 years ago, no other subject caused the shunning and downright rudeness I experienced than my saying or writing that the moose were declining due to wolf predation.  Newspaper reporters said I was stupid and the Minnesota DNR and the University of Minnesota authored article after article in the papers that went on at great length about “ticks”, “global warming” and “unspecified diseases” being the cause for the moose decline and the loss of the moose hunting season. Such articles always carried the following disclaimer that I paraphrase, “While some claim wolf predation is a factor, the one thing we are certain about is that wolf predation does not diminish moose populations”.

Many of my colleagues today are cheering the fact that Dr. Mech has “seen the light” and is “man enough to admit it” regarding the suddenly discovered fact that wolves are THE cause of the demise of moose in Minnesota.  I offer no such cheer.

The federal wolves are here in Minnesota in great densities.  Mech and the DNR and all the University “experts” have profited in great measure from protecting wolves that have been destroying moose populations, moose watching and creating many, many other negative impacts from their actions and lies performed in league with very evil (the correct word) environmentalists and animal rights radicals with broad agendas associated with wolf dangers and destruction.

Now I try to practice forgiveness but the following explanation by the “good” doctor and his cronies is simply further dissembling and meant to only keep the hunters, ranchers, dog owners and rural Minnesota in their state of perpetual subservience to Mech and the DNR and the University and their federal sugardaddy, the USFWS.

After reading all the “science” and “discovery” humbug I ask you to consider:

  1. Assuming the legal issues are resolved soon” is the caveat given for any solution.  Any biologist with the least understanding  of and appreciation for the US Constitution and the North American Wildlife Management model would not give this meaningless pap as a necessary beginning.  Federal seizure of state wildlife management authority and jurisdiction is THE reason moose hunting, moose and other things like wolf attacks on campers and dog deaths are happening throughout northern Minnesota.  While Mech warbles about court decisions and working with the radicals that control USFWS and have made the DNR and the University federal lapdogs, federal impositions driven by national and international politics and corruption will keep rearing its ugly head whenever bureaucrats and politicians see a benefit to themselves.  Anything that does not start with the complete removal of any federal opportunity (like repeal of the Endangered Species ACT) to reassert federal jurisdiction over non-treaty Minnesota wildlife is simply a pipedream.
  1. Mech recommends that the state focus more of its wolf harvest quota in future years in the primary moose range, to give the moose population some breathing room.” Any future wolf control that would give ANY “breathing room” would (thanks again to Mech, the DNR, the “U” and USFWS) require reducing the wolf population drastically over many years and then keeping it at the lower level forever.  Even if the progressive urban Minnesotans understood and agreed; it would require shooting, trapping, snaring, aerial hunting, poison (?) etc. to attain and sustain the lower wolf levels.  Would government do it? Would rural Minnesotans do it?  What is the cost?  Who would pay?  Are rural Minnesotans anymore able to do such things?  Are the staffs of the DNR or USFWS or even USDA any longer capable or willing to do what would have to be done?
  1. His assertion that, “if moose continue to decline, wolf numbers will decline as well” is pure poppycock.  If you believe that, there is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.  Wolves decline when moose decline as described on little islands like Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior.  Wolves in NW Canada, Siberia and Alaska switch to other wildlife and even humans when a main food source like moose decline.  In the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States when moose decline, wolves shift to deer, elk, cows, calves, sheep, lambs, dogs (when they are not breeding them), kids at bus stops, old ladies in gardens, old men checking the mail, toddlers in the back yard, garbage, hunters’ game, livestock discards, and more than I have room to describe here.  Between their doing “what they never did before” in areas they were “never in before” and hybridizing with every coyote and dog they don’t eat: I guess I am just making an otherwise “double arabesque and pirouette off stage right” retirement for this Bozo into a “get out and stay out” exit by a failed bureaucrat as he deserves.
  2. He concludes, “There’s really little reason to delay. The evidence is increasingly clear. While climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation), wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon. That’s a scientific conclusion that’s hard to refute”.

He still keeps his foot in the radical canoe with, “climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation” something with no evidence and no more than a fairy tale to sell snake oil.

He goes on with, “wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon”.  No Doctor; You and the USFWS and the DNR and your University cronies are responsible and you offer no solution other than a glass of warm milk before retiring.

Your nostrums from your retirement villa for the debacle and losses you wrought are too little and too late.  It will take men doing what men do best, to undo what you and your cronies once sold and offered as testimonials to justify imposing them on rural Americans.

To quote a Boatswain Mate I once knew, “put a cork in it!”

Jim Beers

15 Sep. 2016

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

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Letter to the Wall Street Journal

by James Beers

*A Letter to the Wall Street Journal and to Shawn Regan (PERC, Bozeman, Montana) about his 25 April Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, National Parks: Lost in the Wilds of Neglect.

Tick, Tick*

Shawn Regan is to be commended for his description of the irresolvable and increasing maintenance backlog throughout the National Park System.  The same is true of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Forests and the Bureau of Land Management real estate.  His recommendations of stopping acquisition; selling land to generate revenue for maintenance backlogs; keeping park revenues locally; turning to the private economy to tackle infrastructure and operations problems; and creating a franchising system for new parks are each and all sound and needed actions for all four large federal land ownerships.

We must keep in mind one hidden cost however; the cost hidden by the federal bureaucrats from the public for decades.  Concessionaires on these federal estates are mostly long-established and entrenched businesses operating under government agreements and contracts.  Over time, Concession improvements, facilities and other real property have been provided by the concessionaires.  Such real property remains the property of the concessionaires that use that as a reason to remain the concession operators although the illusion has been that of federal bureaucracy providing them.

Close the Park (or Refuge or Forest et al) and the concessionaire can sue for return of or reimbursement of the property and values “donated” over the years.  The costs of this on these federal properties subject to Mr. Regan’s badly needed (for more reasons than maintenance) prescriptions will present the Congress with an enormous bill and lawsuits that will significantly diminish the hoped-for revenue to “tackle” maintenance and operations on remaining landholdings.

Jim Beers

Former Chief of Refuge Operations, USFWS, Washington, DC

25 April 2016

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Conservation Biology II

By James Beers

More on the Term “Conservation Biology”

Two days ago I wrote an article titled “The Etymology of ‘Conservation Biology’”.  The transmittal e-mail was titled “Word Games”.  In that article I attempted to explain the origin of the term “Conservation Biology” 100 years ago as a description of the American effort to describe practical fish and wildlife research and management to be used to guide federal and state government programs to conserve and manage fish and wildlife resources of the United States.

I explained in the article that the reason the term was important was that the inevitable advent of laws and property set-asides were to be justified and explained as the result of “scientific” facts obtained from “biological research” conducted in wild places on wild animals.

Further, I described how the modifier, “Conservation” was meant to describe a particular branch or mode of biology that attended specifically to the management of fish and wildlife resources amidst the Constitutional government, capitalism, and life styles of the USA.

Finally, I described how, until the emergence of the environmental/animal rights takeover of federal and state wildlife agencies in the 1960’s, “Conservation” was synonymous with the proactive management of a diversity of fish and wildlife to (among other things):

–       Maintain sustainable levels of sport fish and wild game to generate license revenue to fund wildlife programs of all sorts,

–       Cooperate with businesses, Local communities and Local governments to provide compatible fish and wildlife populations,

–       Minimize wildlife depredations, damage and threats to citizens,

–       Manage ALL fish and wildlife and their habitats on government lands for societal benefit,

–       Influence, as requested, the presence of fish and wildlife on private lands and the continued availability of fish and wildlife throughout the state and the nation.

The foregoing was accomplished for about 60 years (1900-1960’s) to the great satisfaction and benefit of the citizenry. Yet, when the environmental/animal rights interest groups emerged to condemn “Conservation Biology”, a term they found synonymous with hunting (i.e. “killing animals”), trapping (i.e. “wearing skins), logging (cutting trees) and grazing (“raping the land”); the term fell into disrepute and was dropped from the lexicons of US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and, finally, the State wildlife agencies whose new employees and political bosses were establishing a “New Age” of “ecosystem/native/benign/oligarchy autocracy” of managing people and human rights for the supposed purposes of the animals themselves.

A reader has recently informed me of their umbrage at me being so cavalier as to say that “Conservation” was a term used to describe wildlife management only for people, or that it was a term used 100 years ago to describe wildlife programs that differ from today.  The reader is mistaken.

1.) Anyone with the interest should review the writings and speeches of Teddy Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Gifford Pinchot and even the semi-poetry of John Muir and John Burroughs.  The word “Conservation” is as common as desert flowers after a rain.  Indeed, on the flyleaf of my copy of Aldo Leopold’s nature classic, A Sand County Almanac appears the following, “He died in 1948 while fighting a brush fire on his neighbor’s farm. His death cut short an assignment as an adviser on conservation to the United Nation.

2.) It is not far-fetched to say that the term fell into disrepute with the advent of the current wildlife philosophy ruling government and our Universities that the killing of wildlife is wrong, the use of wildlife is wrong, the management of wildlife is wrong, and human conflicts with wildlife from death and injuries to loss of property and rights should always be decided in favor of wildlife and the human element in the equation be eliminated as a last resort.

3.) From the 1930’s to the 1960’s most state wildlife agencies adopted names as “Conservation Departments” or “Fish and Game Departments”.  At the same time many state wildlife agencies changed the title of their “Game Wardens” to Conservation Officers.  Both names denoted organizational and personal titling to suggest the origin of the applied science of “Conservation Biology”.  This was the period so despised by environmental/animal rights ideologues: it was the period of big game management and restoration or[of] deer and elk and moose.  It was the period of introduction of chukars and the proliferation of introduced game species like brown trout and pheasants.  It was the period of stocking striped bass in the West, and rainbow trout below dams, and muskies in Southern waters, and salmon in the Great Lakes – all for sport and human enjoyment and enrichment.  In short it was everything the new philosophy detested and the new employees hated.  As they gained control from the 1960’s on, is it any wonder that the term “Conservation Biology” and the word “Conservation” was rejected and ignored?

4.) Finally, I consulted my complete 1960’s-era collection of state (and Provincial) Wildlife Uniform Shoulder Patches.  In 1960, 21 states still either called themselves “Conservation” Departments or had the word “Conservation” in their title, or called their Game Wardens – “Conservation” Officers.

5.) Today, in our politically correct world of Orwellian terms where “war is peace” the wildlife rulers are no different than their education peers or their global warming “scientists.”  Words matter and we need look no farther than that state leader of idiocy, California.  The state that bans any management of cougars and ignores human dangers and property destruction from coyotes and wolves, has removed any vestige of the old “Conservation Biology”/managing wild animals for state residents crowd.  As a final touch, I offer the following news item:

“Call them words of war between hunters and wildlife activists: Starting Jan. 1, California’s Department of Fish and Game will become Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The change, hunters say, reflects a move away from traditional hunting and fishing values and is part of a bigger push by the Humane Society of the United States to eliminate hunting across the nation.

Environmentalists and animal activists say it reflects a move to manage all wildlife in the state, not just “game” for hunters.

California’s change will leave just 12 states using “game” in the name of the agency overseeing wildlife, according to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. (Those are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming.)

Eighteen states use “wildlife,” while the others use “natural resources” or “conservation.”

Moreover, data from the association and the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates the shift away from “game” is accelerating, the Associated Press reported.”

What’s in a word?  The question arose because those affected by growing federal abuse using wildlife “needs” as an excuse have seen “Conservation Biology” cropping up in news items, Federal Register Notices, government-generated “reports and papers”, and even in court transcripts.

To repeat what I said in the earlier article:

–       There is an election coming up and the feds want to set minds at ease and quell any negative news about what they are doing.  It is all “Conservation Biology” don’t you know?

–       They are keeping the great unwashed (that’s you Mr.  & Mrs. Rural America) off balance. The more they baffle you and the courts, the more you think them good guys just like grandpa’s old Conservation Department and all those legendary Conservation Officers he used to talk about.  The more you stay docile and forego challenging them; the deeper their hold on you.

–       Remember it is their game and their rules and your money paying for it.

We have been like Austrians during the March 1938 Anschluss; welcoming the Nazis in to take over their country without firing a shot.  The Austrians threw flowers in the street and cheered as the Nazis absorbed them into their foul nest; just like the environmentalists and animal rights bureaucrats are taking over rural America, one community at a time and often in league with compliant state governments.  Whether we think of it as a “Fatherland” or as a bygone world where “conservation” was a good word; it is only a diversion and lie by those that represent nothing good for us or our descendants.

Jim Beers

24 February

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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. 

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