December 20, 2014

Opening One’s Mouth and Removing All Doubt

There’s an old saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln where he said, “It is better to remain silent and thought of a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” And it was H.L. Menken who said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public.”

But alas, where doth the blame lie and to which action should one point a finger?

Recently in a Bangor, Maine newspaper, a person had published his “opinion” and comment about the recent bear hunting referendum, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, to effectively end bear hunting. While some are licking their wounds and others beating their chests in triumph, some just don’t get it.

I think it was humorist/comedian Tim Sample who got a laugh when he said that some people not only don’t have a clue, they don’t even suspect.

This man with an opinion had a complaint that the referendum was worded wrong and suggested, “Was it malice aforethought or just stupidity?” At issue was that he believed the use of the word “or” in the referendum was in error. In part the referendum read, “An Act To Prohibit the Use of Dogs, Bait or Traps When Hunting Bears Except….”(emphasis added) The writer wanted to know if the referendum had passed, who would have had the authority to decide which method of bear hunting would be banned.

I seldom would come to the support of any government official, however, I have my doubts that the person(s) who drafted the wording acted with “malice aforethought.” And I know it wasn’t stupidity but it might have been ignorance.

I’m no English writing expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. But it appears to me that the use of the word “or” in the context of this referendum is used in the collective sense. In other words, had the item been written something like this: To Prohibit Fred Brown the use of Dogs, Bait OR Traps…. then his assumption that somebody would have to decide which method would be banned. In the case of the actual referendum, the use of nouns and pronouns are in the collective sense, whether directly stated or inferred and thus the use of the word “or” then “collects” all three items, i.e. dogs, bait and traps, and then effectively becomes one item.

It is often said that stupidity can’t be corrected but ignorance can. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Stupidity is seeing no need to have knowledge. Or better yet, they don’t even suspect.

In this case, the writer was ignorant of the proper uses of nouns, pronouns and verbs, but was really stupid to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper in order to “open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Win a Ruger LC9 Pistol

Buy a raffle ticket(s) for a chance to win a Ruger LC9 pistol with Crimson Trace Laser site. Proceeds go to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in support of Second Amendment issues.

SAMGunRaffle

Maine Trappers Association Meeting on Lynx Date Set

Yesterday I posted a press release from the Maine Trappers Association with information about trapping rule changes as they pertain to trapping in Canada lynx habitat areas. In that press release, there was information about a meeting planned to discuss lynx issues.

The date of that meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Bangor Motor Lodge in Bangor, Maine.

Here’s a Bear Hug for You

Check out that bear trap. It reminds me of a joke about pain and a bear trap but I guess this is not the forum to share such a story.

PetersonBearNews

Maine Trappers Association Presser About Canada Lynx

*Scroll for update on time of meeting*

Maine Trappers Association
News Release

As most all Maine trappers now know we have an Emergency Rule put in place as of 9 December 2014 to take the following actions, due to the recent taking of a second lynx.
1. The use of body grip (lethal) traps in the Lynx Zones (WMD’s 1-11, 14, 18, and 19) above ground or snow level are now no longer allowed.
2. In WMD 7, 14, 18, and 19 body grip (lethal) traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground – only if in a lynx exclusion device.
3. In all the above WMD’s foothold traps above the ground or snow level are no longer allowed.
• This Emergency Ruling was triggered by a contingency provision in IF&W’s Incidental Take Plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canadian Lynx. Under the conditions set forth in the Incidental Take Plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent another lynx being killed.
• This Emergency Ruling action was taken by IF&W after their notification of and consulting with the Maine Trappers Executive Officers on the incident. The MTA officers were in total agreement with this emergency action. Any other recommendation or action taken by the parties would have resulted in the U.S. F&WS taking some form of action.
*It should be noted that a 3rd lynx taken in “any part of the state” (no matter what WMD) will have the same results.
• IF&W and the MTA board are diligently working together to a resolution to this issue, with the end results hopefully benefiting Maine trappers being able to continue to trap in the future in the affected areas for marten and fisher in some fashion that will prevent the taking of the final 3rd lynx. Meetings have been and are being held by both parties to work towards a resolution.
• A meeting of MTA officers, directors, and any members who want to attend to talk about Lynx and what actions we need to take to help resolve this is planned to be held either the 4th or 11th of January 2015 in Bangor at the Bangor Motor Lodge. IF&W will attend this meeting so that we can all work to a resolution. The actual date and time will be determined and disseminated to MTA members as soon as possible.

*Update* December 18, 2014 9:00 am. The meeting mentioned above will be on January 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. at the Bangor Motor Lodge in Bangor, Maine.

Deer Season in Northeast Ends on Tough Note

“The early arrival of winter has certainly made for an interesting end to big game seasons. The snow caused deer to yard up already in some areas, and guys I have talked to have seen very little movement over the past couple of weeks.”<<<Read More>>>
SnowDepthDec15

Canada Lynx in Maine Will NEVER be Removed From ESA List

lynxintrap290I’m reading a lot lately from several sources how that Maine needs to generate an accurate and up-to-date count of the number of Canada lynx residing in the Pine Tree State in order that efforts could begin to remove federal protection of the animal via the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, most of these people either have no understanding of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) history on such subjects as the Endangered Species Act, or they simply wish to ignore it. Historically, the USFWS will do little in this regard and what they do do will be an absolute mess, while continuing to tie up any efforts to “delist” the Canada lynx in unending lawsuits brought on by environmentalists.

Recently Maine signed an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), a permit designed to formulate a plan that would allow for continued trapping efforts while protecting the lynx. Seemingly, within hours of signing the ITP, two lynx were reported killed in traps set for other furbearer species. Odd isn’t it? Only two lynx were killed in traps “incidentally” since 2009 but within hours of signing an ITP, two are “killed” in traps almost at the same time. Hmmmm. One could also ask what the State of Maine was thinking to agree to a plan that provides for only 3 “incidental” deaths from trapping in 15 years – the duration of the permit? If two were “incidentally” killed in 5 or 6 years, why would they think it reasonable that only 3 would be taken in 15?

However, essentially the trapping season in lynx critical habitat has been effectively eliminated. Some are now claiming that if Maine and the USFWS had a definite count of Canada lynx, it would show the critter “recovered” in Maine and so can be removed from federal protection. If it were only that easy.

As a reminder to readers, any and all criteria that placed the lynx on the “threatened” list of the ESA, must be remedied before a species can be removed from that list – all of them.

It took the USFWS years to approve an ITP and it will take years, if ever, before they will make any effort to delist the lynx. As an example, the USFWS is required to formulate a recovery plan. One would think that before the animal was listed, or at least immediately thereafter, the USFWS would have devised a lynx recovery plan. How, may I ask, can the USFWS or anyone else, know when a species is “recovered” if they don’t know that ahead of time? If the efforts were truly about recovering a lynx population, one with a brain would have to ask what the plan was to accomplish that task. And yet, the inept and corrupt USFWS does not have a plan and Maine people should not expect one anytime soon. They got what they wanted – to place the lynx on the ESA list. Any efforts beyond that, historically have proven to be a complete joke combined with insincere efforts, playing into the hands of the environmentalists. The issue will end up in the corrupt court system, which historically has proven to be nothing more than a means of reinterpreting fake laws, using fake science.

Estimating and determining species populations is mired in politics and science. Maine officials might come up with a sound, scientific estimate of lynx numbers but being that the state is a slave to the Feds, the Feds will play games with those numbers.

Should the day ever arrive, and I believe one day it will, the USFWS will make a feeble attempt to delist the lynx but immediately upon doing so, the environmentalists will line up with their lawsuits (and the Feds know this) and all efforts to manage a lynx scientifically will be trumped by lawsuits and “new-science” “best available science.” When the lawsuits roll out, the USFWS will run and hide, seldom, if ever, making any honest attempt to do what is in the best interest of the animal or the citizens of a state or region.

For Maine people to place their hopes in government bureaucracy in order to manage a lynx population, that is currently at artificially high numbers, is asinine and certainly plays into the hands of the USFWS whose only real goal here is the perpetuation of romance biology and the complete cessation of consumptive game practices.

What has been discovered, because of the corruption of the USFWS and the continued propping up of Environmentalism, is that there is no solution to the corrupt process of dealing with animals under the administration of the Endangered Species Act. Therefore, the mindset in this country is to fight dishonesty and corruption with dishonesty and corruption. As per the gray wolf, the ONLY solution appears to have been legislative action by the U.S. Congress to remove wolves from federal protection and include a restriction on further lawsuits. Because of that action, more and more states are turning more quickly to that form of totalitarian rule to get what they want, not realizing the door swings in both directions.

But Maine would have a problem in that regard. Their Congressional delegation are basically gutless and never become involved in anything to do with fish and wildlife issues in the state. Historically they have done nothing to assist in protecting their constituency from the onslaught of environmental attacks and lawsuits. While other states’ delegations are helping to raise millions of dollars to fight Environmentalism and implement predator control programs, Maine runs silent.

Maine residents probably have better odds at working toward the implementation of legislation to fight environmentalism than they are going to realize in playing the bureaucratic nightmare that is designed to prop up environmentalism. We are part of a rigged system. Therefore, our choices are to removed ourselves, individually, as best we can, or get in there and fight corruption with more corruption. How does that future look?

Maine IFW Adopts Emergency Trapping Rule Changes In Northern Maine

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has implemented immediate trapping regulation changes through an emergency rule making process after two Canada lynx were killed in traps this fall.

“We are taking immediate measures to drastically decrease the probability of having another lynx killed in a trap,” said James Connolly, Director, IFW Bureau of Resource Management.

Effective immediately, lethal traps that are commonly used to catch fisher and marten are not allowed above ground or snow level in areas of the state where there are lynx, specifically Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) 1-11, 14,18,19 (Predominantly Aroostook, northern Somerset, northern Piscataquis, northern Penobscot, northern Hancock and northern Washington counties). In WMDs 7,14,18,19, lethal traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground if the trap is placed within a lynx exclusion device. Additionally, the use of any foothold trap above the ground or snow level will not be allowed in these WMDs.

The new regulations were triggered by a contingency provision in the Department’s incidental take plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canada lynx resulting from the Department’s trapping programs.

Under the conditions set forth in the incidental take plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent the likelihood of another lynx being killed.

These are the first lynx trapping deaths in six years in Maine. Statistics show that trapping is not a major factor impacting Maine’s lynx population. Since 2009, there were 26 lynx killed by vehicles, and only 2 by trapping.

“Although trapping related deaths are uncommon, we have worked diligently with Maine trappers in order to change the regulations to protect lynx,” said Connolly. “We are committed to protecting Maine’s lynx population.”

According to Laury Zicari, supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maine Field Office, “The incidental take permit for trapping issued to Maine accounted for the possibility of lynx deaths. It outlined what trapping restrictions would need to be implemented if lynx were killed to hopefully avoid additional deaths. We commend Maine’s swift action through these regulation changes to address this issue, demonstrating that the permit framework is working.”

The first lynx death was self-reported by the trapper to the Maine Warden Service when he checked his traps as required by Maine regulations and the conditions of the Incidental Take Permit. The second dead lynx was discovered Sunday, December 7 St. Croix Township by a Maine Game Warden conducting a routine check of traps for compliance with Maine trapping regulations. An initial inspection by the game warden showed that the trap was set in compliance with Maine’s trapping regulations. The trapper was immediately notified by the warden about the capture.

“Trapping education, outreach and compliance with Maine trapping laws are important aspect of Maine’s lynx management plan. The Maine Warden Service is in the field, working with trappers, to make sure trappers are complying with Maine’s trapping regulations to protect lynx from accidental trapping,” said Major Chris Cloutier.

Trappers are required to report all lynx captures and all lynx captures are investigated by the Maine Warden Service.

Brian Cogill, President of the Maine Trappers Association commented that “The Maine Trappers Association has always supported department efforts to protect lynx. Trappers understand and believe that these measures are currently needed, and support these immediate protections for lynx. We look forward to working with the department as they develop long-term regulations to protect lynx for the 2015 season and beyond.”

Lynx are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). IFW recently received an incidental take permit issued by the USFWS, which allows for the accidental trapping of Canada lynx by trappers legally pursuing furbearers in Maine. The permit outlines specific protocols and mitigation measures for the incidental take of lynx that minimizes direct impacts to lynx while providing habitat that benefits species recovery.

In 2006, Maine’s lynx population was estimated at between 750 and 1,000. IFW has increased protections for lynx in those areas where lynx are now found. IFW will also be conducting a lynx population survey this winter.

Maine’s lynx population is a subset of a larger population of lynx in Canada, and Maine lynx continue to interact with a far-reaching lynx population in Canada.

As part of an extensive 12-year lynx study, the IFW radio-collared over 80 lynx and monitored their movements, and documented survival and birth rates. Although more lynx die on roads than in traps, the major source of mortality for the 85 radio-collared lynx tracked over a 12-year period in northern Maine was predation by fisher and starvation attributed to disease (i.e., lungworm).

Radio-collar research of Maine’s lynx show that Maine’s lynx travel in and out of Canada, and ear-tagged Maine lynx have also been captured in Canada. Maine’s lynx study showed that one lynx travelled a straight-line distance of 249 miles from northern Maine into the Gaspe Peninsula.

Another lynx was tracked using a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar after it was trapped and released last fall. Although the lynx was initially trapped northeast of Greenville, in May, the lynx headed east all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick, before turning around and venturing back to the Greenville area, covering 481 miles from March through December.

Getting the Best Constitutional Amendment for Right to Hunt, Fish and Trap

V. Paul Reynolds, in his weekly article in the Sun Journal, indicates efforts are underway to introduce legislative action in the Maine Congress for a constitutional amendment aimed at helping to protect the right of Maine residents to hunt, fish and trap. I’ve been calling for this for many years now, as have several others.

I’ve also had a few brief communications with George Smith, outdoor writer and outdoor sports activist, in which he asked me a few questions about the ideas of an amendment. He also has indicated that an effort is underway to propose a constitutional amendment.

If an amendment can even survive the Maine legislature, it has to be the right amendment. It is pointless to jump through all the hoops and spend the time, effort and money to get an amendment passed, if, in the end, the amendment doesn’t do what I believe it is that sportsmen and citizens expect.

But first let’s look at what an amendment will not do. It will not prohibit the right of the people to petition. Some fear such amendments will do that, when in fact, what the amendment, if written properly, will do, is better define what the people of Maine want and expect as it pertains to hunting, fishing and trapping. It would not, if written properly, unconstitutionally prohibit the right to petition.

The three major positives, in my opinion, that can come from a properly written amendment, are explained below.

1. An amendment clearly defines what the Maine people want and expect.

2. An amendment written that acknowledges that Maine residents want game animals for consumptive use, within the regulations for that purpose by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, sends a message to radical animal rights and environmental groups that this means enough to the Maine people that they went to the effort of providing that guarantee in their constitution. This would not end lawsuits, but might deter others. It will not prohibit the right to petition.

3. Of most importance in an amendment must be a clear directive that any official Maine fish and wildlife department must manage game species for surplus harvest. Let me explain. I have been involved with and studied constitutional amendments in other states that have them. An amendment of this kind, if it is going to do as residents want, has to do more that simply recognize a “right” to hunt, trap and fish. Some states have such amendments, some of which state that fish and game departments must manage wildlife to provide “opportunities” to fish, hunt and trap. Stop and think for a moment exactly what that means.

An opportunity to hunt fish and trap, does not result in a harvest, for consumptive use. Herein, lies one of the problems with enacting these amendments. As wildlife agencies nationwide morph more and more towards providing opportunities for bird watching, an amendment without a mandate to manage game for surplus harvest, results in going on a wildlife watching tour and carrying a gun, fishing rod or bag of traps merely for the exercise. It is my opinion that an amendment of this kind is to deter lawsuits, protect a heritage and provide sustenance for those wanting and needing to eat game and to ensure that fish and game departments manage for those purposes, not just “opportunities.”

An amendment with real teeth, that will keep sportsmen happy and continuing to pay the bills for the fish and game departments, must guarantee that a fish and game department will do everything in its power to manage game species for surplus harvest. It is my opinion that anything short of that will not accomplish what I believe sportsmen want and in the long run what people who understand how successful the North American Model of Wildlife Management has been, want as well.

The argument has often been used by animal rights and environmental groups that less than 10% of the people hunt. Combined hunting, trapping and fishing, I’m sure provides a percentage higher than 10%, however, the vast majority of citizens understand what’s at stake and support this plan.

In 2012 Idaho passed an amendment. It did not include the “teethy” mandate for surplus harvest management requirements. However, that amendment easily passed with nearly 80% of the voters indicating they favored such an amendment.

A Collection of Moose Parts Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Moose Expert

Found in the Stowe, Vt. Stow Today, we read: “If you want a walking Wikipedia of the moose, not to mention the threats that assail it, then Alexander is your man.

In his jam-packed office in St. Johnsbury, he has vials of moose ovaries and ticks in all life stages, boxes of jawbones and antlers, teeth and other items that he brings on show-and-tells. He has every chart imaginable, from a tally of the just-finished hunt this year — he’s counted 147 so far, about as predicted — to how many moose have been killed by hunters since seasons began in 1999: about 6,150.”

Does collecting parts and pieces make for the “best” expert on moose? Just because a person has the largest automobile junkyard in the state doesn’t make them an expert auto mechanic necessarily.

Here are some issues not being addressed honestly which renders this article without a great deal of credibility. The first claim is that Vermont’s moose is in trouble. Is it? Is the moose in trouble because the state cannot maintain enough moose to satisfy all those interested in having more moose? When fish and game departments became fish and wildlife departments and decided decisions on wildlife management would be based mostly on the social demands of the public, the moose population has shown signs of fluctuation. Because it’s in a downward trend in some places, it is easy to claim the moose is in trouble and find nonsense issues to blame it on.

This article blames the decline of moose in Vermont on three issues: Brainworm, Winter Tick and Climate Change (global warming). Global warming is really a non starter because facts show us that the “climate” hasn’t warmed for at least a decade and yet those who make money from repeating the lies about climate change, beat the drum of unsubstantiated conclusions and predictions about global warming. If we listened to the “experts” we would have all been dead by now. It’s time to move on. Most of the world is very sick and tired of the bovine excrement surrounding the idiocy of man-caused global warming.

On the same token, it’s easy to blame the presence of winter ticks on global warming. This is done, for political reasons only as it appears even the so-called experts don’t even understand the simple life-cycle of the winter tick.

Left out of the discussion of moose management is whether or not attempting to create a moose population large enough to make money from selling moose hunting licenses and satisfy the social demands of those interested in driving around in climate-controlled cars observing moose, is the best scientific approach to managing a healthy moose herd. I contend it probably is not.

A couple of short years ago Maine bragged that their moose population might exceed 90,000; like that was a good thing. Is Maine really capable of sustaining 90,000 moose? Evidently not, because all indications are that the moose has realized significant die-offs, mostly due to winter ticks. Don’t any of these biologists think that perhaps 90,000 moose are too many and due to that fact alone, contributed to and/or is 100% responsible for the overwhelming presence of winter ticks? This in turn, created that “balance” few in this world understand is how Mother Nature does things. Isn’t this Biology 101? Too many animals breeds disease. Disease causes die-offs. If all things remained the same, except the outbreak of winter ticks continued to kill moose, doesn’t it make sense that once the moose are substantially reduced, we will be witness to a die-off of winter ticks? Is so, moose numbers will return and if allowed to return to the same high numbers, the up and down, unstable cycle of population changes will persist.

What good are we doing our moose populations when we parrot the nonsense of global warming and blame everything on this fake occurrence? In addition, because real science has been tossed out the window, in exchange for Post-Normal, or Romance science, states with moose might be attempting to provide more moose than the complete carrying capacity will allow. After all, carrying capacity is more than just food and forests.

So long as these romance writers, writing about romance scientists, persists, we cannot expect any substantial, effective and long lasting, real knowledge to be gained that creates a positive environment for real wildlife management.