January 28, 2015

Trapping is Cruel? Nah! Reading Drivel From the Clueless is Cruel

Some need to get a life. I’ve overused that saying, attributed to more than one person, including the Bible, that it’s better to keep your mouth shut causing people to wonder if you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Or, how about the comment once made by Alice von Hildebrand: “God has set limit’s on man’s intelligence, none on his stupidity.”

A letter to the editor in a Maine newspaper about trapping describes the act as such: “held there struggling in pain and fear until it dies”, “execute it at point blank range”, “an indifference to life”, “condones suffering”.

Since 1980 there have been 1.3 billion unborn babies murdered; “held there struggling in pain and fear”, “executed at point blank range”, and yes, obviously there’s an “indifference to life” and those billions of people “condone suffering.” So where’s the outrage?

Perverse!

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Lynx Lawsuit: “Bureaucratic Interests, Emotions and Propaganda Fantasies

In a recent article written by James Beers, he said that one of the difficulties that exists today that seriously hampers the ability to make informed decisions about wildlife management was “a matter of bureaucratic interests, emotions and propaganda fantasies.”

Friend of Animals (FOA), another radical and perverted group that fails to have any comprehension of the realities of wild animal existence and fights with every breath to protect all animals at all costs, even the destruction of other species, having nothing but “emotions and propaganda fantasies” to operate with, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because the Service issued the state of Maine and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for Canada lynx.

FOA, calling those involved in the fur bearing business, “killers involved in this murderous industry,” without providing substantiation claimed that, “Canada lynx are expected to decline by 65 percent in the next two decades.” Much like global warming models predict I would surmise.

It’s all a money making ploy by the radicals who deliberately avoid the truth in the matter as it does little to pad their bank accounts.

The ITP was issued and within two months, administration of the ITP was necessary to mitigate the loss of lynx, subsequently resulting in the closing of trapping in lynx protected habitat in Maine. The only thing not working right here is there’s no money going into the bank accounts and pockets of FOA.

The Courts v. Congress

What a mess the Courts have made as it may pertain to Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings. Court interpretations of the ESA have essentially rendered the Act a useless instrument to deal scientifically with specie issues. Because of out of control Courts, it has literally taken an act of Congress to effect some sort of sanity back into reality…..or not.

In the latest issue of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) newsletter, Gerry Lavigne, a former Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologist, now works with SAM as a science adviser, wrote an article titled, Trojan Lynx.

In that article he writes: “To make matters worse, the USFWS lumped all 14 states into one recovery area, or “Distinct Population Segment” (DPS). Biologically, there are four distinct and separate lynx populations in the lower 48 states. Each of these four lynx populations extend into Canada….

“Recovery and removal of the lynx from the endangered species list depends on all four subpopulations attaining some as yet undetermined recovery standards simultaneously. What are the chances? How the USFWS chose to define the listing appears corrupt, and lacking biological integrity.

Lynx canadensis  Canada Lynx

The yellow-shaded areas show the historic range of Canada lynx throughout North America.

I’m not sure I agree totally with Lavigne’s assessment but that has little bearing on the bigger issue at hand. There was corruption all around during the Canada lynx listing process, and so we know that the choice to list the lynx was all based in political corruption and animal rights activism. Little can be done to reverse that act as history has shown government agencies and their pal environmentalists are not held accountable for any of their corrupt actions.

At this juncture, it matters not whether the USFWS listed lynx as “threatened” in one recovery area, 4 or 4,000, the Courts have decided, twice that I am aware of, that the USFWS doesn’t have authority to do that. Yesterday I explained this in an examination of Judge Beryl Howell’s recent gray wolf nonsense ruling.

Lavigne states that the only way the lynx can be taken off the list of protected species is when all lynx in all of the Lower 48 States are recovered – and we don’t know what the recovery criteria is because the USFWS has, of yet, to make that determination. (Sanity would suggest that in order to declare something “threatened” there must be some kind of data to show that and at the same time to have knowledge of what it will take to declare a species recovered. Otherwise how can such an act come about other than through corruption? But we don’t deal in normal things.)

At the present moment I think Lavigne is correct, according to the Courts. Judge Howell’s and Judge Friedman’s rulings both said that the USFWS doesn’t have authority to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting a species. And yet reality shows that they have authority to create a DPS for the purpose of listing a species. This cannot be and makes no sense at all. A complete one way street as I see it.

I almost never support the USFWS because they are agenda oriented, biased, corrupt and inept, but I do believe that part of the USFWS’s decision in listing the lynx originally as one segment in the Lower 48 States, their belief was, from past events, that they could chunk out a separate population segment and declare lynx (or any other species) within that segment recovered. The Courts have said no way.

Even though the USFWS has provided the Friedman Court an explanation of where they get authority within the ESA to create DPS and delist, and the Obama Administration drafted and entered into the Federal Register their definitions of historic range, current range and “significant portion of its range” evidently the Courts don’t want anything to do with that stuff.

The Courts have created a legal mess, destroying the ESA and rendering the functioning of the USFWS as nothing more than a government agency trying to work with both hands tied behind their backs. This all brings the solution back to Congress. As with what happened in Montana and Idaho, because the Courts are so ignorant of wildlife issues, and corrupt due to activism, then the Legislature has to do what legislatures do and that’s write more laws. When a corrupt Congress decides that the corrupt courts can’t interpret laws as they were corruptly written, then the lawmakers simply write new corrupt laws even if if means circumventing the corrupt rule of law. Make sense to you?

Lavigne asks what the chances are that lynx will be recovered simultaneously throughout 14 states. The answer is never and that is the reason why the Courts rule in favor of the environmentalists because animal protection, in their perverted minds, must be continual, and that includes no hunting, trapping and fishing. Go ahead. Keep denying it.

The Fuss Over Maine’s “Endangered” Lynx: What About the Whitetail Deer?

While agenda-driven environmentalists, who couldn’t recognize an honest scientific process if it lifted it’s leg and peed on their shoes, fret and stew over the Canada lynx in northern regions of Maine, the whitetail deer is moving toward extirpation. For those who pay attention at all to history, the Canada lynx was called the “deer wolf.” Note: Post normal science and history would tell us that, like the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, early settlers calling the Canada lynx the deer wolf was probably also a myth to scare children through abuse. Anything to protect a predator at the cost of the destruction of other species.

There’s not much sense in trying to sugar coat the fact that in northern Maine, the whitetail deer is struggling to persist. Excuses are abundant: severe winters, deer are at their northern range (although further north in portions of Canada there’s not necessarily the same struggle), loss of habitat, the pope is Catholic, etc.

And yet, as the deer population there in Maine struggles, other species that compete with, threaten and prey upon the deer are overprotected – black bear, bobcat, Canada lynx and coyote/wolf hybrids. Because the whitetail deer has historically been the species of focus for most hunters, why then are we protecting everything that wants to destroy the deer? Maybe I just answered my own question, if you follow.

Now that the totalitarians have taken complete control of the Canada lynx, there’s little now that Maine’s wildlife managers can do to mitigate the loss of deer due to loup cervier, the deer wolf. The same act of wildlife management extortion, via the Endangered Species Act, has further severely restricted trapping and so what now will become of coyotes and bobcats? I suspect increased predation on whitetail deer.

For now, Maine is off the hook as far as putting an end to bear hunting but don’t take that to the bank. So long as Maine Guides control what the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does with the implementation of bear hunts, I don’t expect any real effort to reduce bear numbers in areas where the deer are struggling. This is where, as a matter of convenience, anyone can play any one of a number of those excuse cards that explain why the deer are disappearing. I’ll bet this is a good chance to get a grant to study global warming in Maine and it’s affects on deer. Line up!

Nobody else will make notice that the deer are, more than likely, feeling the effects of hydatid cysts on lungs and other organs, that reduces their ability to evade predators.

Maine biologists reported, albeit inaccurately and incompletely, that moose examined in portions of Aroostook County had, what officials called, “lung worms.” What the moose had were hydatid cysts, the result of ingestion of Echinococcus granulosus eggs found in the scat of wild canines. Ingestion of these eggs by humans can be fatal. The more the coyote/wolf hybrid is protected the greater the chance of infecting wild ungulate populations in Maine (deer, moose) and putting humans at risk.

Because the cysts were found in moose, the likelihood of finding similar cysts in deer grows. The last thing Maine’s deer herd needs is another enemy. Wintering deer can struggle to exist under normal circumstances but if moose and deer struggle to breathe due to cysts on the lungs, liver, brain and muscle tissue, odds of surviving the onslaught of predators goes down.

Over the past several months, all focus has been on defeating an anti human, bear referendum and now it has shifted to Canada lynx. The deer still suffers while managers hope and pray for some global warming. The question I have is what will then become the excuse for disappearing deer herd when Maine’s climate becomes like Virginia’s?

NorthernMaineDeerHarvestLynx

ITP For Canada Lynx in Maine “Not Needed”

V. Paul Reynolds’ weekly article in the Sun Journal states: “The hard facts suggest that there is no need for either this state-mandated trapping hiatus or even federal protection of the Canada lynx, in Maine at least.

The state-mandated trapping hiatus is action taken by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) after two Canada lynx were “incidentally” trapped and killed shortly after the signing of the Incidental Take Permit (ITP).

I would suppose the take away lesson here might be that people should be careful what they wish for. Or, as the old saying goes, better the devil that you know than the devil you don’t. And hind site is always 20/20.

Having said all that, were things all that bad BEFORE the negotiated ITP? Maine was regulated by trapping in Canada lynx territories under a consent agreement from a previous court ruling. That ruling stated that Maine would abide by this agreement until such time as the state had negotiated an ITP that would help in protecting it from lawsuits from accidentally “taking” a lynx. And so, how did that work out?

Reynolds says an ITP isn’t needed but says so in that the lynx population in Maine is sufficiently high enough – perhaps too high – that the animal doesn’t need the kinds of protections being thrust upon it and the draconian limitations put on outdoor sportsmen. But that is rational talk. We can’t have none of that.

The Courts don’t help. When we thought some sort of progress was being made in dealing with endangered species, once again we find an ignorant and agenda-driven judge who ruled on gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region saying that wolves cannot be taken off the Endangered Species Act list of protected animals until wolves have fully recovered throughout all of its historic range. So, substitute Canada lynx where the word wolf is found and you see why Canada lynx in Maine will likely not be “delisted” until lynx are prevalent across all of the historic range in the Lower 48 states – and that will never happened.

We are now back to a point of asking ourselves why a state should even bother to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about issues such as the Canada lynx? Everyone makes all these claims about how we need to avoid lawsuits because they cost so much money. How much money do you think it cost the state of Maine and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to hammer out a faulty agreement, the result of which has effectively shut down trapping in the state of Maine? Perhaps Maine should have been more aggressive to fight against the original proposal to list the Canada lynx as a threatened species. We’re supposed to learn from history.

Maybe Maine doesn’t need an Incidental Take Permit. Maybe it never should have taken the time to get one. Maybe we sportsmen should never have pressured MDIFW to get a permit, thinking it would somehow bring trapping back to “normal.” There were even those who believed an ITP would restore snaring. All utter nonsense – some of which could easily have been predicted and others not.

Maine received word recently that the Feds are going to look into the status of the lynx in Maine and then make a decision to either, do nothing, increase protections or decrease protections. Any bets? Mostly Kabuki Theater. If the USFWS doesn’t have the resources to draft a lynx recovery plan, why should we think they have the resources to effectively evaluate the realities of lynx in Maine? If the USFWS decides to decrease lynx protections, lawsuits will follow, and as usual USFWS will not appeal them because they know they can’t win an appeal and/or they don’t want to win.

And, if the USFWS should even take steps to delist the lynx, 15 years from now, as that is how long the process will take, lawsuits will prevent this action. This has been the modus operandi over the past 40 years with endangered species, to such a point that now the push back has resulted in acts of Congress to effect any change from such nonsense.

It would appear that if this is how the environmentalists want to conduct business then states and sportsmen who believe in responsible, scientific wildlife management will have to take up the same reins as the environmentalists and demand Congressional action to do what the Endangered Species Act fails miserably in doing.

V. Paul Reynolds is correct. Maine doesn’t need an ITP and it doesn’t need the Feds, forced by environmentalists, destroying all things normal and endangering other species by falsely listing the Canada lynx in Maine as a threatened species. But the process will not accomplish what is needed. Maine might as well start now and start banging on their Congressional representatives’ doors demanding action to resolve this issue.

U.S. FWS to Review Lynx Status in Maine

At the end of the review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to maintain the lynx’s current status as a “threatened” species, to bump it up to “endangered” or to remove the cats from the endangered species list. The finding will then inform the agency’s next step as it creates a recovery plan for lynx.

“I believe that, at the very least, they should keep the status quo or even up-list it” to endangered, DeJoy said. “I can’t imagine that the feds will de-list the lynx. There just aren’t enough of them.”<<<Read More>>>

MDIFW Will Resume Capture and Radio-Collaring Moose

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Starting next week, The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will take to the air in year two of an intensive five-year moose study that will provide a greater understanding of the health of Maine’s moose population, particularly factors that impact their survival and reproductive rates.

A trained crew that specializes in capturing and collaring large animals is utilizing a helicopter and launched nets to capture and collar female moose and calves in an area located in and around Jackman and Greenville (centered in Wildlife Management District 8).

“By radio-collaring moose and actively monitoring their movements, we can further understand the factors that can impact Maine’s moose population,” said IFW moose biologist Lee Kantar.

The radio collar study is just one component of the research that IFW conducts on moose. IFW also utilizes aerial flights to assess population and the composition of the moose herd. During the moose hunting season, biologists also examine teeth to determine a moose’s age, measure antler spread, monitor the number of ticks a moose carries, and examine ovaries to determine reproductive rates.

Depending on the weather, the crew plans to start next week, and they plan to capture and then collar 3 adult female moose (cows) and 35 moose that were born this past spring (calves) with GPS collars that will track and broadcast their movements to IFW biologists.

This is the second year that the crew from Aero Tech, Inc. will work in Maine capturing and collaring moose. Aero Tech specializes in this type of capture and collaring, and is currently performing a similar job in New Hampshire. The crew, based out of New Mexico, consists of a team of four, with each having a specialized role in the process.

Prior to their arrival, Kantar and several other IFW biologists will fly and scout different areas of WMD 8 in order to locate cow-calf groups. This pre-capture scouting worked very well last year by providing GPS coordinates to Aero Tech pilots who were able to fly to these areas, and capture and collar moose with an increased efficiency that decreases their time in the air, and the number of days they fly.

Last year, the department collared 30 adult cows and 30 calves.

Once collared, the GPS-enabled collars transmit twice a day, providing biologists the ability to track moose movements. The GPS collars are expected to transmit movement signals for four years. If there is no movement for a certain period of time, the collar transmits a mortality signal, and biologists will then travel by foot to investigate the cause of death.

“Once we receive a mortality signal, we locate the dead moose within 24 hours,” said Kantar. Biologists conduct an extensive field necropsy on each moose, taking blood, tissue and fecal samples that will later be analyzed by the University of Maine-Animal Health Lab as well as other specialized diagnostic facilities,.

This is the second year of the monitoring study. Additional moose and calves will be captured and collared next year.

“This project is just one component of the Department’s multi-faceted moose management system. It provides us with another important tool to ensure we have the most relevant data needed to manage our moose population,” said Kantar.

Upon locating fresh footprints in the snow along the railroad tracks near Wilson Street, Penobscot County Deputy Ryan Allen deployed his K9, Dozer, on the track. Approximately 1.5 hours and nearly two miles later, Deputy Allen located Webb in a large piece of woods between Wilson Street and Bagaduce Road. Webb was very cold, disoriented and not dressed for the extreme cold weather. Maine Game Wardens responded with an ATV and 4-wheel drive trucks to remove Webb from the woods. Capital Ambulance transported him to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be treated for a substantially decreased core body temperature.

Lt. Dan Scott of the Maine Warden Service attributed the quick thinking and teamwork of the first responding units to saving the man’s life. Lt. Scott commented, “With temperatures hovering around zero and wind-chills near -15 below, the man would likely not have survived a night in the woods.” The Maine Warden Service reminds us that hypothermia can set in very rapidly in the extreme temperatures we have been experiencing. People should monitor themselves and especially young children for the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Anyone recreating outdoors should dress accordingly, take a friend, and tell someone where they plan to go and when they plan to return.

MooseCollaring

No Longer the Butler Rather the Owl Did It

WHO

Owls, and perhaps in particular great horned owls, are nothing we humans should want to mess with. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, great horned owls are noted for their ferocity.

Great Horned Owls kill and eat small to medium mammals of many kinds, especially hares and rabbits. They eat mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, woodchucks, bats, weasels, and the occasional domestic cat. Great-Horned Owls also eat skunks, which are sometimes such a prominent part of the diet that both bird and nest may smell of musk. Although mammalian prey typically comprise more than three quarters of the diet, more than fifty species of birds have been recorded as prey. In addition to hunting small songbirds, Great Horned Owls have been known to eat large birds such as grouse, herons, ducks, Canada Geese, hawks (including Red-tailed), and even other species of owl. A woodland with resident Great Horned Owls usually lacks any other raptors in the immediate vicinity.

WHO

In March of 2009, outdoor writer for the Bangor Daily News, John Holyoke, crafted an article about how the City of Bangor’s Rolland F. Perry City Forest was the site of attacks on humans by a nearby nesting great horned owl. It appears from this story, as well as others, that these owl attacks were happening from behind and to the heads of the people. OUCH!

WHO

In yesterday’s edition of the Bangor Daily News, the same outdoor writer, John Holyoke, picks up his story about the owl attacks on humans of 2009. He tells us that three years after his 2009 story, he did a radio interview with a woman in North Carolina who was interested in the owl attacks. It seems that a North Carolina man had been accused of murdering his wife. The man was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

WHO

A neighbor of the victim and the accused, being a lawyer, out of curiosity wanted to examine the evidence in the case. When he did, he found microscopic owl feathers mixed in with the victim’s blood.

WHO

On January 31, 2014, the same woman who had interviewed Holyoke back in 2009 created her own Online radio broadcast called Criminal. Her first episode, called Animal Instincts, deals with the case of the man accused of killing his wife. In the broadcast, Phoebe Judge, founder of the radio show, interviews the lawyer neighbor about his investigation into the murder case and includes a short interview with John Holyoke that had taken place previously about owl attacks on humans.

WHO

It now appears the accused had his original case vacated due to a technicality and is awaiting a new trial. It appears that this new evidence, along with a theory that the woman was attacked outside her house by an owl and then ran inside and died, will be presented in the new trial.

Can we no longer say, “The butler did it?”

*Note* If you listen to the radio broadcast in its entirety, the second part of the broadcast deals with historic accounts from the 14th and 15th centuries when animals were treated like humans in regards to criminal activity. One case involves a pig that was accused of killing a small boy, was found guilty in a court of law and the judge sentenced the pig to be hung in the public square.

I wonder if anybody ate the pig?

OINK!

A Bill To Change Signature Gathering Process for Referendums

Hot off the latest vote by anti human groups to ban all things normal, a bill is being proposed in the Maine Legislature that would change the process of how signatures are gathered in order to petition the state to get placement of referendum questions on the ballot. At issue, for some, is the so-called loophole that allows for out-of-state persons to effectively gather signatures, even though Maine law says signature gatherers must be Maine residents.

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine is supporting the bill. Executive director David Trahan says, “Just the fact that any group in the world could come in and cut a check and get their issue on the ballot,” Trahan said, “that should send a chill down everyone’s back in the state of Maine.”

According to an article in the Central Maine edition of the Morning Sentinel, the text of the bill, not yet released, would:

…clarify state law to say only Mainers can ask for signatures during citizen initiative and people’s veto drives, processes that allow citizens to make and repeal laws, respectively.

It would also make paid signature-gatherers for initiatives register with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. While gathering signatures, they would have to wear a badge that says their name, residence and who’s paying them. They would also have to tell the state what they’re paid and how many signatures they gather. Violating the new provisions would be a misdemeanor crime.

Some opposed to the bill say it isn’t necessary and tramples on the First Amendment.

Secretary of State, Matt Dunlop, says that he, “…don’t think there’s anything wrong with transparency.”

The difficulty, most always, with bill proposals to change and/or increase governmental regulation is all too often people fail to realize that laws created swing in both directions and place the same limits on everyone. While a bill today might seem to solve a problem of today, what happens tomorrow when the tide turns?

As with the proposals that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) should not be allowed to actively support or oppose citizen referendums, calling for transparency should be welcomed but a ban should not. Voters must know a department’s position and why. And yes, that door swings in two directions also.

I understand the call for preventing entities from outside the state from taking over the processes and priorities of the Maine people. An opponent of this bill proposal, a person who worked to collect signatures for the late bear referendum, called the bill, “a cowardly way to attack the initiative process.” He further explained that it was his belief that those who signed the petitions were more important than the process and that added restrictions drives up the cost of placing citizen initiatives on the ballot.

I’m not sure I would go so far as to call the bill proposal cowardly, as there is merit in claiming that the signature is more important than the process, providing that the process is legal and ethical and the gathering of signatures actually is a reflection of the citizenry as a whole.

When professional signature gatherers are paid, sometimes handsomely, to garner signatures, what happens to the process of approaching voters for their interest in the issue, especially if being paid an amount for each signature retrieved? There’s a good chance that the signatures do not represent the citizenry as a whole. Wasn’t the establishment of gathering signatures in the amount of a percentage of the last election intended to be a reflection of issues that would appear important enough to the people of Maine or any other state, to place a ballot initiative?

When signature gathering becomes a matter of enough funding to pay enough people ample money to harvest signatures, isn’t this a bastardization of the Initiative process? Can we then, with a straight face, say that the signature is more important than the process?

We might draw two examples that could provide reasonable substantiation of those wishing to change the process. Twice the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) brought a referendum against bear hunting and trapping to Maine – 2004 and 2014. Twice that referendum was defeated but not until after hours and hours of time and gobs of money were spent by both sides. After ten years of debates about bears and bear management, HSUS, able to buy the necessary number of signatures got their initiative on the ballot. Think of the large expenditures, on both sides and for what purpose? Evidently right now that purpose is a couple of proposals to change the laws in which both sides think it might “better the process”, perhaps better explained as increasing their chances of winning next time.

This has become part of the political process whether we like it or not. As with the bear referendum and the debates we were all subjected to, once again voters are being subjected to the same process, both sides wishing to make tougher laws. And when tougher laws are enacted, the people lose.

The people ALWAYS lose!

Are Those Snow Geese?

I think the one on the left looks like a rabbit or a long-eared rhinoceros; perhaps the mini variety. The one on the right could be a goose but it might more resemble a smoking pipe or even one of those alphorns blown in the Alps, while some guy yodels, “Riccola.”

SnowGeese

Photo by Gary M. Inman