John Holyoke has an online poll question about supporting the anti bear, anti human, anti hunting fall referendum created by The Humane Society of the United States.
Under a proposed plan, New York would become the second state in the nation where it is legal to trap a bear, after Maine. The new rules also would allow for the use of dogs and bait to attract bears during hunting, both of which are now illegal. The state will increase the hunting season in the Catskills to reduce the bear population there and allow for killing of females and bears younger than a year in other regions. State officials will also promote bear hunting as a cost-effective way to reduce the population.<<<Read More>>>
Anglers anxiously awaiting the snow melt, ice out and the opening of fishing season , can learn the latest fishing techniques and visit with guides, sporting camps and a variety of angling exhibitors at the Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo to be held Saturday, March 22 at the Bethel Inn Conference Center in Bethel Maine. This year all proceeds from an auction of items including guided trips, sporting camp vacations and fly fishing gear will go toward the construction of the Veterans Casting Platform at Songo Locks on Sebago Lake to benefit our wounded servicemen and women. The Expo runs from 9:00 am to 4 pm and is sponsored by The Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Admission is $5 for adults and free for youth 15 and under.
Exhibitors include Maine and New Hampshire outfitters and guide services, sporting camps, wildlife artists and authors, The Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Casting for Recovery, equipment manufacturers and retailers. Attendees can learn the art of fly tying, rod building and wildlife photography. There will be seminars on getting started in fly fishing, and travel to destination fisheries. and fly tying contests in different age and ability categories. Sponsors and exhibiting vendors are giving away dozens of door prizes every hour.
The Fly Fishing Film Tour, a nationwide movie tour featuring segments from the best fishing films of the year will cap off the day. The two and a half hour movie, “North of Wild” will be shown at 7 pm at The Bethel Inn Conference Center. Tickets are $8 when purchased in advance at the Bethel Inn 207-824-3694 or $12 at the door. The film was produced by Carter Davidson of Gray Ghost Productions. Carter is a Bethel native who grew up fishing in the western Maine region and has hand crafted his own wooden drift boat.
Information on the event is available on line at www.westernmaineflyfishingexpo.com .
The natural resource commissioners — from the Departments of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife — don’t often get involved with policy debates outside their agencies. Their involvement in the Medicaid expansion debate represented the strongest push yet by LePage to gain traction with his core message in recent weeks: that Medicaid spending is “cannibalizing” other state programs.<<<Read More>>>
The Bangor Daily News has run a news story of how students from Unity College in Maine, as part of an ongoing black bear study, are collecting bear data in the middle of winter and sharing their information with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The story and pictures can be found here.
I have two quick comments to make about this story. First, this comment as reported by the Bangor Daily News from Lisa Bates, a biology technician.
This bear is about twice as big as the average Maine bear her age, according to Bates. That size is consistent with bears found in this area and is likely because there was plenty of food available during the summer and fall.
Please understand what she is saying. She says this particular bear is about two times bigger than the “average Maine bear her age.” Does that not tell us that the size of a bear must have something to do with geographic location?
She further states that even though this bear is twice the average size, it’s “consistent with bears found in this area.” So, why are bears in the region where Unity College students are studying them bigger than the state average?
Bates explains that it, “is likely because there was plenty of food available during the summer and fall.” Note that she did not say that there are millions of pounds of jelly donuts scattered all over the Unity area that’s making the bears fat.
Ignorant animal rights perverts are laying claim that if bear hunters would stop feeding bears through baiting stations, there wouldn’t be so many bears. Of course they have no data to prove such a claim, because there isn’t any.
The second comment I want to make about this report has to do with the use of a chainsaw to cut a big square hole in the middle of the tree the bear was hibernating in in order to extract the bear to collect data. Is this a common practice?
An Idaho wildlife biologist, part of a five-year program, “to collect information on 20 little-studied creatures in the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington”, was quoted as saying after trappers captured a Canada lynx:
“I was surprised that there were lynx in the West Cabinets,” said Michael Lucid, who’s heading up the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative for Idaho Fish and Game. “It shows us how little we know about the animals that live in our forests.” (Emphasis added)
I have no intention to pick on or embarrass any particular employee of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game(IDFG) or even the department as a whole (I know. Shocking isn’t it?). The statement made probably has more truth to it than most people know and that some shouldn’t be too eager to make.
The article makes claim of two things. One, Canada lynx is at least one species that is “little-studied” in portions of Idaho. Two, the biologist admits “how little we know” about certain animals his department is responsible for managing and caring for.
But I’m not here to blame IDFG necessarily for not knowing anything about Canada lynx. Instead, I might suggest that one might think that it would be a good idea to have even more than casual knowledge about a species before it is placed on the Endangered Species Act list of endangered and/or threatened species.
Consider this. The Endangered Species Act(ESA), has something to say about what must exist before any species can be considered as being threatened or endangered and protected by law. Note: The ESA, once implemented, can cause severe limitations and restrictions on private property, property rights and even a state agency to effectively run their own wildlife management programs. In short, administering the ESA for any species in any state should be considered a most serious undertaking, due to the potentially devastating fallout it can cause.
Having said that, isn’t it reasonable to expect that any professional wildlife administrator/biologist, governmental and non governmental agency, politician, etc. would want to know more about a species than “how little we know” BEFORE a species is listed and costing so much?
So, what does the ESA say must be the conditions in order to consider listing of a species?
SEC. 4.[16 U.S.C. 1533] (a) GENERAL.—(1) The Secretary shall by regulation promulgated in accordance with subsection (b) determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened
species because of any of the following factors:
(A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
(B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
(C) disease or predation;
(D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.
I should also note right here that in order to remove a species from federal protection, ALL of the above criteria must be met.
I ask. Are the above five conditions that this law, enacted by Congress, something that fits the demand and execution of listing the Canada lynx in portions of Idaho that, according to one biologist was, “little-studied creatures” and “shows us how little we know about the animals that live in our forests.”? In other words, how can one honestly administer to protect a species it knows nothing about?
If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS) has studied the Canada lynx extensively (enough to list a species honestly), then why is it necessary for the IDFG to conduct its own study of a species they say is “little-studied” and admittedly they know nothing about? One would think it sensible to contact the USFWS and get the critical information about the lynx that they MUST have compiled before making such a critical decision about whether or not to list the Canada lynx as a “threatened” species. They did do this, didn’t they? And it was specific to Northern Idaho, right?
If they did this in Idaho, who did the work? Obviously it must not have been IDFG employees because they say the lynx hasn’t been studied and they don’t know anything about it. If USFWS has the information, shouldn’t that be shared? And if so why spend more money to learn the same things? Or is this busy work being paid for through grants in order to keep more government employees at work?
Well, here’s the Canada Lynx Listing Decision page from the USFWS website. You go to work and find in there where studies were conducted and information gathered, specifically for Idaho, that would scientifically warrant placing the Canada lynx on the Endangered Species Act list where it has been designated. I’ll wait.
In the meantime, you can also find information on the IDFG website about the trapping of the lynx in Northern Idaho, but there’s nothing there that answers any of my questions.
And thus, I am left with an even bigger question of which I don’t suspect to get an answer for. Is there ever any real specific information gathered before listing ANY species or do USFWS “experts” just use the same regurgitated information available from Alaska, Colorado and West Canine, and only cherry pick through the information that fits their narrative and agenda and ignore the rest?
Maine is another state where the Canada lynx is listed as a threatened species. And like many species the lynx is not threatened “throughout a significant portion of its range.” But for political purposes, Canada lynx and other species recognize boundaries when it is convenient for USFWS to do so and ignored when it is not.
While the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources fakes their way though making people think they are seriously proposing changes to the Endangered Species Act, how about I suggest that before any species can be listed anywhere in the United States (and by the way, the United States thinks it has the right to list species in other countries.) specific studies must be done by third parties and paid for by those agencies requesting the listing, before any decisions can be made about federal restrictions.
I think it’s obvious nobody knows anything specific about Canada lynx in Northern Idaho and yet, the USFWS took it upon themselves to flex their muscle and blindly list portions of the Gem State as lynx critical habitat and historic range.
Had this effort been done correctly the first time, it would look something like this. Whoever the entity or agency seeking to list the Canada lynx as threatened or endangered, would have to be prepared to foot the bill to conduct the third party studies to support or refute the claims of those claiming the lynx was in danger. Then IDFG, in this case, could have taken the money and conducted the necessary studies on lynx to determine the existing population of lynx, the health and range, and condition of the habitat. This all being done BEFORE any proposals are drafted for consideration of listing.
Yes, we probably know very little about some or most animals in our forests, but when it comes to the politics of the Endangered Species Act and the money that can be made from it, it’s quite amazing how much information can be faked.
And don’t forget, this is Stop Government Abuse Week.
From an article found on the MPBN website:
“To be honest, there’s no way we can harvest enough bears without these tools,” Cross says.[Randy Cross, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) bear biologist. Cross was referencing the upcoming referendum that, if successful, would strip the MDIFW of any tools needed to properly manage a healthy black bear population.
Darryl DeJoy, who runs the Wildlife Alliance of Maine(WAM), says: “I would argue that we have created an artificial bear feeding season, August and September, where in years of low mast crops and other bear food, the bears are supplemented with this highly unhealthy diet of literally millions of pounds of junk food.”
What we have here is this. For at least 39 years, the MDIFW has conducted scientific bear studies. Most people would agree that Maine’s bear study and management program is the best there is. Some might even argue the best worldwide. We know that Maine is the envy of many states with black bears and I’m sure those states rely on findings from the Maine studies to assist them in their bear management programs.
On the flip side of this, we have the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS), known anti hunting, anti human people, and a clone of which would be Darryl DeJoy. Like an echo chamber they repeat their rhetoric about supplemental feeding programs creating an “unhealthy diet” and “millions of pounds”, all of which is creating a population increase of black bears in the state.
Where is the proof? Where are the scientific studies (real science not “new science scientism) to support this claim? What does HSUS and the WAM have to support their claims? The answer is none and therefore nothing they say or offer can be considered by anyone with a brain as useful information.
IF HSUS and WAM really believe in what they are saying and their claims to be concerned about the health and “inhumane” treatment of black bears is so damned important to them, then why haven’t they produced real science to prove their claim? Put their money where their fat mouths are?
So, Maine people need to decide. Should they listen to those biologists and bear management people at MDIFW with a program of 39 years of bear studies, or a bunch of radical human haters with nothing but rhetoric to support their money-making con game?