February 5, 2023

“Nonnative” is Nonsense

Here is an article that talks of how “nonnative” plants and animals are causing all kinds of troubles within our ecosystems. This is really quite nonsensical in the grand scheme of things.

Truthfully spoken in this article is the notion that we, as the “apex” predator and the ones who hold “dominion” over the plants and animals, work at managing our ecosystems in ways that fit our ideals. Bastardized “democracy” always stands in the way of sensible management, and gets tainted by powerful special interest groups who are bent on forcing society to accept their ways or face their wrath.

There is room for everyone, but somehow that has been lost or stolen.

The notion that anything inside of this floating disk in “nonnative” is actually nonsense. All things on earth are native to earth. Even in the article it speaks of a certain species of tree that, due to “changes” migrated from China to the U.S. , on its own, according to the article, and yet we still clamor and get upset over “nonnative” plants and animals.

It is true that we may not want certain species because of their destructive ways – that is destructive as defined by the ideals and perspectives of those wishing a certain existence within an ecosystem – but calling such plants and animals nonnative or “invasive,” isn’t entirely accurate. Perhaps “invasive” works if we don’t want a certain species interfering with how we want things to be like.

We see this everyday in our management of the flora and fauna. How we manage is most often based on what we desire. In today’s Post Normal existence, it has become who has the most money and can scream the loudest that “wins.”

A useful resource has, historically, been managed to pay benefits. An example would be hunting, trapping, and fishing. Yes, these activities in the past were more readily perceived as necessary for subsistence. The resources still are highly demanded but that doesn’t stop those that want that ended based on such things and rights of animals and their “inhumane” treatment. This coming from a society that readily accepts murdering of unborn babies. Where does inhumanity exist?

Managing our species for scarcity makes no sense at all. Locking it up believing somehow it protects a renewable resource ventures in the realms of insanity.

Somehow, we have gotten on the track that so-called invasive species and nonnative species are the works of evil men without the realization that much of this “immigration” of species occurs naturally.

And yet, we still should be managing our ecosystems accordingly with focus on keeping unwanted, often destructive, species out and taking away the determination of removing the human users.


MDIFW Says Some Waters Have Too Many Fish

I was reading MDIFW’s fish biologist, Tim Obrey’s, article about readjusting fishing regulations to match management goals. He writes some interesting things. Here’s a sampling of some of his comments he made:

“I used to cringe the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend seeing the steady stream of traffic heading south all loaded with fish (in my mind anyway) from my favorite trout ponds. Back then, we frequently crafted more restrictive regulations to limit harvest to protect the wild fish resources. It was rare to liberalize regulations.”

“But now, things are much different.”

“…fewer people are fishing and those that do practice catch and release at a much higher rate…”

“The combination of a sharp decline in angler harvest and the very restrictive regulations created a perfect storm for salmon management.  The salmon began to stockpile because there was little harvest.”

“We attempted to alleviate the situation by liberalizing the salmon regulations, but with little success.”

“This situation is very similar to the problems we had at Moosehead Lake with an over-abundant lake trout population.  It took some serious regulation changes at Moosehead Lake to reverse the trend and we are looking at similar strategies for Chesuncook Lake.”

It seems that tactics employed at Moosehead Lake are being tried on Chesuncook Lake with no success yet. At the end of this article, an invitation is extended to fishermen to come to Chesuncook Lake and participate in a fishing derby designed to work at reducing the number of small salmon. Will it work?

Upon a bit of examination, I would have to say I have my doubts.

First of all, when something changes there has to be a reason. In this case, Mr. Obrey seems to believe it is because people just aren’t going there to fish. Why? Does the fishing suck? Is it cost prohibitive? Is there good access to the fishing resource? Are fishing licenses too expensive? Are there fishing rods are in stock always? Is there that much of a decline, if there is one, in overall purchases of fishing licenses? If all waters in Maine as tracked by the Snowmobile GPS are not having these problems, then there must be enough anglers that current regulations are sufficient to manage the resource. Why these selected lakes?

I don’t have all these answers but I was pointed in the direction of one thing that might be a roadblock to Chesuncook Lake.

On a website called Great Northern Vacation, under Lodging, we can find a bit of information on the Chesuncook Lake House Cabins, a historic location for anglers, hunters and all sorts of outdoor explorers. But here’s what it says: We strongly recommend that you arrive by float plane, your boat or snowmobile.

A new road to Chesuncook!?? Unfortunately, the new road is in horrible condition, unkept and dangerous. Many guests have arrived unhappy with the high Northwoods gate fees ($40+ pp), flat tires, getting lost, (don’t depend on your Tom-tom) and it’s not a pleasant start to your stay here. Please consider getting here in the traditional fashion, don’t drive in. Your car and wallet will thank you. Your mechanic will not!”
So, the invitation is out to attend a fishing derby at Chesuncook Lake. Is the fact that access appears to be quite difficult, along with exorbitant gate fees, enough to not only deter participants from a fishing derby but do nothing to help cure the fisheries management problems?
Environmentalists should take notice, along with MDIFW biologists and wildlife managers. It appears you want your cake and to eat it as well. Environmentalists bitch and complain because logging roads being built destroy the “wilderness.” At the same time, wildlife biologists readily use too much access to hunting and fishing resources as an excuse for unsuccessfully reaching management goals. And now, we see where at least one lake in Northern Maine can’t properly (by MDIFW’s standards) manage the fishery because people can’t get to the lake in a reasonable fashion to fish.
So, what’s it going to be? Cave to the demands of environmentalists who want to end the logging industry, thus allowing access roads that belong to the logging companies to deteriorate to a point of impassability, resulting in wasted and destroyed wildlife resources, or find a balance somewhere where everyone benefits?

Canada Lynx: The Comeback Cat

“Biologist Jen Vashon was in the North Woods of Maine, deep in a sea of rolling spruce and fir and a couple hundred miles from any town or paved road.

She wasn’t alone. Peering over the top of a large fallen tree, she spied what she’d come for. Just yards away lay the storied cousin of the bobcat: a Canada lynx, distinguished by its black-tipped tail and ears and long legs with large, furry paws. Snuggled against the lynx were balls of fluff with blue eyes and their own black tufts of fur rising like antennas from the ear.

The Maine biologist was witnessing a nursing female Canada lynx for the first time.

“I was so anxious to get a photo that I called in my crew member, but due to his excitement his approach spooked the cat,” Vashon said. The mother took off, leading her scent away from the litter.

This allowed the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife crew to quickly gather information on the month-old kittens and attach ear tags. The mother’s radio collar that had led them to the den revealed that she lurked nearby. Vashon, with each rise from the den, saw the yellow eyes warily stare back.

The litter became one of 44 litters with a total of 116 kittens that have been tagged and monitored in Maine since 1999. Nearly 100 adults have been tracked with radio collars, all in an effort to better understand the abundance of lynx in the state, their ability to survive and reproduce, and the factors that may limit their numbers.”<<<Read More>>>


Commenting on Maine’s Moose Management Mismanagement

This morning, while I was waiting for my server to come back online, I ended up on a web page of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). The page is information about Maine’s moose – it’s history and management plans/goals. I came across some items of interest that I thought I would share.

In a section about moose survival, it reads: “Three parasites can cause mortality in moose in Maine: brain worm, winter tick, and lung worm.  Moose infected with brain worm almost always die, but winter tick and lung worm infestations rarely kill moose.  Winter ticks and lungworms tend to effect calves overwintering for the first time due to small body size more than mature adult moose.”

Lung worm is a common name for a parasite known as Echinococcus granulosus (E.g.). The life cycle of this parasite involves various canidae and ungulates, i.e. dogs (canine) and deer, moose, sheep, etc. The danger for moose is that canines (in Maine it’s the coyote/coywolf/wolf-hybrid) leaves tiny spores in their feces that are extremely viable in varying climate differences. As other ungulates, deer and moose to name two, feed or drink water near to the infected canine scat, they ingest the worm and the, so-called, lung worm grows in the moose, deer, etc. It’s easy to call the parasitic invasion lung worm because often the tumors grow in the lungs. However, such tumors can also be found in the liver, brain and other organs throughout the animals’ body.

It is correct to state that “lung worm infestations rarely kill moose.” But that might be a bit of incomplete information. The hydatid cysts – tumor growth from the parasite in a moose or deer – that grow in the animal’s organs, especially the lungs, can seriously hinder the animals breathing capacity which, in turn, suffers the animal to become easier prey to larger predators due to their reduced capacity to escape danger. (Note: This statement also says that moose rarely die from winter ticks. I’m guessing that since the time of this statement, biologists have discovered that the effects of winter ticks on moose is much greater than first thought. While moose do not die directly from the winter tick, the results of heavy infestations is deadly to the moose, through exposure and great loss of blood from blood sucking ticks.)

While Maine is in the midst of its moose study, where collared animals are said to give researchers data to better determine what kills moose, one has to wonder, with the acknowledged presence of “lung worm” found in moose a few years ago, how much this disease is contributing to the overall mortality of the moose. We do know that all dead moose necropsied as of June 2016, had Echinococcus granulosis.

This disease spread rapidly by wild canines, due to their ability to range far and wide, is a very serious concern for anyone spending time in the outdoors or who allow their dogs to free range – especially if those free ranging dogs are living in the house with people. Hydatidosis in humans can be deadly, as it is difficult to diagnose and extremely difficult to treat through surgery.

In addition to a better and more complete explanation of the role that lung worm plays with moose, I also wanted to comment on the history of moose management in Maine. According to the website, “moose were plentiful in New England during the 1600s.” This gives us zero indication as to what “plentiful” means. Such an unsubstantiated statement is actually worthless and can be easily used to mislead, if someone had that agenda. What MDIFW tells us is that regardless of the uncontrolled free-for-all moose hunting in Maine, moose were never extirpated. We are told the estimated population by the early 1900s was around 2,000 animals – a mere guess.

After controlled hunting seasons and management goals and plans implemented, moose numbers recovered rapidly to what the website says are about 76,000 moose.

And now, Maine is witness to what appears to be a substantial die-off of moose. That die-off has been attributed to global warming, over-hunting, predation, and disease.

Were there near 76,000 moose in Maine when, during the 1600s, we are told they were “plentiful?” Who knows. We know there have always been predators, and during the time of “plentiful” there were still “wolves” roaming the Maine forests. There have always been ticks, as we can read about them in past journals. So what has changed?

I think it’s quite clear. Let’s look at what MDIFW says about management goals during the time span of 1980 – 1999. (1980 was the year of the first modern-day moose hunt.) “The Population Objective is to maintain moose populations at 1985 levels in all WMU’s through 1996. The Consumptive Use Objective is to increase harvest to 1,000-1,400 moose per year or whatever level is needed to maintain populations at 1985 levels. The Non-consumptive Use Objective is to maintain opportunity to view moose and decrease unsuccessful viewing trips by 50%.”

MDIFW tells us in this report about moose management history that in 1985 there were an estimated 21,150 moose. So the goals were to somehow, magically I would guess, maintain a moose population of 21,150, increase the harvest rate AND increase the “successful viewing trips” by 50%. We don’t know what the moose population was by 1999 but it is most ridiculous to think that the Department could maintain the moose population and at the same time increase moose gawking rates by 50%, while baring making a dent in increased moose harvest.

Within the management goals from 2000 until present, we see similar nonsense. Canning the idea of establishing some magical “number” of moose, it is decided to shoot for 60% of carrying capacity.

Not knowing what that number might look like, we also read that, “Reduce the population by 1/3 to reduce moose/vehicle accidents and maintain some quality recreational opportunities.”

I am still quite puzzled at how you can grow a moose herd to 76,000 animals, an increase of near 300% over 1985 estimates, increasing opportunities to “view” moose, while not increasing harvest opportunities by a proportionate amount, AND reduce vehicle accidents with moose.

Try to understand the insanity of these goals. Moose gawkers pay money to ride in a van or bus, or they drive their own cars, to view moose. They seldom get out and demand that from the comfort of their vehicles they can “view” a moose in the “wild.” If MDIFW is growing moose to increase the success rate to see a moose in the mud next to the road, isn’t this counter to a notion to reduce vehicle/moose collisions? 2nd-Grade circular reasoning?

Maine went from 2,000 moose, to 21,150 moose, to 76,000 moose in just over 100 years. And we struggle to understand why moose are dying off?

If every moose necropsied in the moose study up until June of 1016 carries lung worm, it’s a no-brainer. If Maine has more moose in the wild than at any other time in history, we are wondering why winter ticks are prevalent? If we are attempting to make it easier and easier for lazy people to see a moose from the comfort of their cars, we struggle to figure out what to do about reducing collisions?

One has to wonder if the money spent trying to figure out what kills moose in Maine, could have been better spent somewhere else.


Wildlife Management Districts Aren’t Perfect

When zones were established for the purpose of a better means of managing wildlife, it certainly helped. It should be understood that, like many “systems,” it is only as good as its weakest link. Such is the case of managing wildlife within districts. It’s not a perfect system, although argument could be made that it is much better than without them.

I’m not exactly sure how boundaries were established in Maine’s creation of Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). More than likely some politics were involved but hopefully not as corrupt as establishing voting precincts in order to further rig the system.

Eastport, Maine has a problem with deer taking over the downtown area. According to the Portland Press Herald, part of the problem associated with trying to mitigate the deer problem, comes from the boundaries established for the WMD for Eastport: “In 2005, the department redrew Maine’s hunting district boundaries for the state’s 27 wildlife management districts and, as a result, Eastport lost its any-deer permits and went to a bucks-only hunt. The state uses the any-deer – or doe – permit system to adjust deer populations in various parts of the state.”

It appears Eastport will get a chance, for one year only, to reduce the downtown resident deer population with an archery cull.

One has to wonder how long it will take before managers get a handle on the fact that deer aren’t where they used to be and have moved into human-settled landscapes, much because it is safer for them. They are not completely stupid animals. Perhaps one way to ease the influx of deer into human-populated areas is the go outside those regions and reduce the number of large predators forcing the deer downtown.

But Don’t Go Look!




Reproduction and Nutrition of Desert Mule Deer With and Without Predation


Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) in central Arizona declined from 11 deer/km2in the early 1960s to 2 deer/km2 in 2006. We had the opportunity to examine the causes of desert mule deer population fluctuations in Arizona from 1960 to 2006 by contrasting deer density, body condition, productivity, and diet quality inside and outside of the 259-ha Walnut Canyon Predator Proof Enclosure (WCPPE) on the Three Bar Wildlife Area (TBWA) in central Arizona. Mule deer inside the enclosure increased from 11/km2 in 1997 to 32 deer/km2 in 2004 while mule deer outside the enclosure in the TBWA remained between 1 and 5 deer/km2 during the same time. There was no difference in body mass and number of fetuses (in utero) between mule deer inside and outside the enclosure. However, there was evidence of mule deer in better body condition inside the enclosure compared to mule deer outside the enclosure. Mule deer inside the enclosure consumed a diet higher in energy than mule deer outside the enclosure. There were no differences in plant species diversity or composition inside and outside the enclosure. Current mule deer densities in the study area are below what the environment is capable of maintaining, and a history of higher mule deer densities inside WCPPE over 40 y has not resulted in measurable impacts on the highly diverse plant communities of TBWA. Observed differences in diet quality of mule deer may be related to trade-offs incurred through predation risk, where mule deer inside the enclosure are maximizing their energy intake without the burden of predator avoidance and vigilance. Our study provided evidence that current mule deer densities in central Arizona are below what the environment is capable of sustaining.<<<Read Entire Report>>>

Some very valuable information here.


Cut hunting permits 24 percent so public sees more Maine moose, plan urges

*Editor’s Note* – I can hear the nonsensical comments from the environmentalist-trained game managers that they must manage wildlife according to social demands. I think in the circles I grew up in and the research that I conduct on a daily basis, the effect is called communism. It was the Roman writer Marcus Tullius Cicero who wrote after the fall of the Roman Republic, which was replaced by the Roman Empire, that: “The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease.”

I guess we are supposed to ignore the schizophrenic actions and reactions of moose managers from the past 4 or 5 years who one day tell Maine citizens there’s at least 90,000 moose, to they’ve all died from winter ticks, and now a population of 60,000 to 70,000 and the head moose biologist is, “so giddy about” the number of moose he is seeing in his aerial surveys.

Some thought that the head moose biologist’s decision to cut moose permits over concern of a dwindling moose population was a hasty move. I’m not sure I would describe it as much hasty as I would wrong. I would have gone in the opposite direction in order to reduce the numbers of moose to mitigate the infestation of winter ticks – evidently the number one killer of Maine moose. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) insists on grasping desperately to global warming as the answer and perhaps they shouldn’t be.

If MDIFW believe in global warming, which that seems to be their number one excuse for everything, then why react in the way they are because they believe last winter the weather was harsh enough to kill off a few ticks and suddenly the herd is healthy again? Surely, global warming will return (in their minds?) and along with it will be more winter ticks – according to their own conclusions as to why there are so many ticks.

Evidently, we are to ignore any scientific evidence as it might pertain to decisions made on how moose should be managed. We read in the article linked to below, that MDIFW is proposing a reduction of moose permits for the upcoming moose hunting season in order to provide more moose for viewing opportunities so that, “We can meet our objectives.” And MDIFW admits, as they always have, that this decision is based solely on “management” reasons [social demands] and is not scientific.

If wildlife viewing is becoming such an important central government decision to feed and entertain the servitude with “bread and circuses” then perhaps it is time to give the Motherland what she wants. Maine sportsmen spend millions of dollars each year that is meant to go toward wildlife/game management. As the pot boils and slowly kills the frog, few recognize that soon those valuable “hunting opportunities” will be replaced with the “bread and circuses” of “wildlife viewing.” Those demanding the entertainment don’t understand that managing game at numbers high enough to see from their cushy SUV’s and tour buses is seldom healthy and responsible for neither man nor beast. Evidently MDIFW doesn’t understand that either and/or are driven by totalitarian influences and out of fear of losing their handsome pensions they must appease the environmentalist gODs.

Maine is in the middle of a moose study – the reasons given because they don’t know enough about moose to understand what causes the changes in moose populations etc. If that’s true, then the study is a waste of time and money. What’s the point of collecting scientific evidence if it is to be trumped by pacifying the environmental-socialists by giving them their bread and circuses?

So why the reduction in permits?

“We want to meet our objective (for what the public wants as far as viewing). So it’s for management reasons rather than biological,” she said.

Source: Cut hunting permits 24 percent so public sees more Maine moose, plan urges – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram


Idaho Wolf Management A Success

 But Don’t Go LOOK!

The bottom line is Idaho has a healthy, sustainable wolf population that is over seven times higher than the federal recovery goal. Idaho Fish and Game has proven we can responsibly manage wolves, provide regulated hunting and trapping opportunity, and reduce conflict. That is good both for the people of Idaho and our wildlife, including wolves.

Source: Idaho Wolf Management A Success : The Outdoor Wire


Deer Fearless, Bears Afraid, Pesticides Banned, Lyme Disease Promoted

DeerAttackSignFurthering the substantiation that the world has gone mad, I read of a town in Oregon where people are trying to figure out, “how to deal with droves of fearless deer.” Officials say, “The deer have no fear of humans” and “Deer just live there.” The same officials say that when there are too many deer sharing the same space with humans, “there’s going to be conflict.”

Toss the coin and when a bear appears, or a wolf, or a mountain lion, or a bobcat, or a coyote, “they are more afraid of you than you should be of them.” We are also told how “rare” it is to be attacked by any of these predators and yet, now seemingly on a daily basis, we hear about attacks on humans by large predators. Also note that the presence of large predators in human-settled landscapes doesn’t prompt these same officials to declare that when that happens, “there going to be conflict.” Just with deer I guess.

But not to fear about the deer. Officials say, “yell or make loud noises,” and they won’t bother you. I think they forgot to “look big”…or does that just apply to bears?

The events in the small town in Oregon aren’t anything new. In many parts of the country, deer are prevalent in numbers too big to ignore. Some want to give deer birth control pills. Even one university attempted to “fix” some deer so they couldn’t get pregnant, too stupid to understand that the “fix” didn’t cure the deer from “coming into heat,” which attracted all the buck deer for miles around. Result? More deer than when they started because the female deer remained in heat 24/7, thanks to the “fix.”

And yes, history, once again proves that history not learned is history repeated. There are cures for such problems. The cure has been in place for many, many years. But because citizens are unknowingly so severely brainwashed, (this is called paradigm shifting, changing the way wildlife management is looked at and dealt with and the creation, out of thin air, of “new knowledge.”) they are willing to risk their own lives, and that of others, so that deer can multiply, get sick, spread disease and cause other human deaths.

Going hand in hand with the sickness that pervades this nation, Environmentalism, we also see where in Maine, the state with the third highest incidence of Lyme Disease, wants to ban pesticides and fertilizers. More than likely that will happen. We are so stupid we can’t see that sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks. This is true in so many aspects of American life. I recall one time visiting a home for dinner. I looked across the table for some table salt and couldn’t spot any, so I asked. It was explained to me that because salt causes high blood pressure, they didn’t consume salt anymore, instead relying on an imitation or salt substitute.

I shook it on my food and began to eat. Almost instantly, my mouth felt like someone had poured gasoline in it. Once the attack simmered down, I picked up the container of salt substitute and began reading the ingredients. It was like reading a long list of toxic chemicals. Seriously, take your chances with the salt.

And let’s not forget all the wonderful things that have happened (for animals) once the Environmentalists banned DDT. Yep, we were lied to and told how we saved the animals and stopped put humans at risk from exposure to DDT (a rare event), but never to count the millions of dead people due to mosquito and other insect-borne diseases. In our brilliance, we think we save a tiny number of birds and killed millions of people. Brilliant! But, wasn’t that the plan? Club of Rome – Eugenics?

Our society is so emotionally consumed, all by design by the way, and madly in love with animals (many of the same hate human beings), they are willing to put other people’s lives at risk in order to protect the animals. The same holds true with “saving the planet” and it’s getting worse, spiraling out of control.

There should be a simple, common sense approach in which a person(s) can sensibly make a determination as to when decisions are necessary for the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. We don’t have that choice any longer. Government decides that for us and useful idiots do their bidding for them.

I’ve got news for you. Government wants to kill you and you want to support government? Does that make sense?

Stand by for a shock! In Oregon, kill the damned deer. Salvage the meat and feed the hungry. End of problem. It’s really quite simple.


Save All Our Public Lands for Wild Horses and Burros?

Guest posting by John Koleszar – Arizona:

As an advocate for all wildlife, I found the recent furor over the horse situation in the Salt River Recreation area to be tremendously sad because of the lack of education of the general public. From State legislator Kelly Townsend to all of the horse lovers of America, the very idea of removing SOME of the horses from the Salt River area was akin to mass murder. The reality of the situation is that horses do some things very well and that is where the problem arises. They eat, they poop and the breed. Breeding is where the problem comes in. Left to their own devices, a herd can and does double in size every four years. (That tidbit comes from the BLM) While a beautiful animal, they have no real predators and if left without any removal they can and do become a huge problem.

There are very few items that I can agree with the Sierra club on, but when horses are the topic we are in lock step with our thoughts. The wild lands are for ALL animals, not just horses. Some people see cattle and point to them and say “Hey look at all those cattle out there”. In reality, the cattle are managed, are moved from pasture to pasture and then removed for human consumption. Deer, one of the other ungulates that consume the same type of food, have their numbers controlled each year through hunts, set by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. In Heber and Show Low areas the catastrophic fires of the last decade have brought huge numbers of horses from the White Mountain Apache Reservation onto forest lands. They compete with elk, deer, javelina and cattle for the same foods. All but the horses are controlled by hunts or cattle management. Do people want to see ONLY horses in the future? I really don’t think so. Aside from the emotional, heart wrenching scenes that most of the television talking heads seem to dwell on, there are some facts that everyone should have in order to make an informed decision.

Horses are not native to Arizona. They were brought here centuries ago and as man has utilized them, some were turned loose for any number of reasons. Burros have the same history. They were brought to Arizona as a tool to use for miners and as a farm animal. A quick trip to Lake Pleasant and then heading northwest will show that the areas are inundated with wild / feral burros. As a once-in-a-while scene, they are cute to see. Unfortunately, they have grown in herd size to the point that they are dramatically overpopulated. The Bureau of Land Management has statistics about how many animals SHOULD be in any area. They then figure out how many ACTUALLY are out there. It is called “Carrying Capacity.” Currently the wild / feral burro population in Arizona is at 400% of carrying capacity. That means there are 4 times too many burros as the land can hold. What is the solution?

Each year there are roundups of these wild animals. Many protesters watch and document how the animals are captured, and in some rare instances animals will suffer through the process. Fortunately, most are handled well and then brought to various areas across the Midwest in holding facilities. Those holding facilities are the place where people can go for adoptions and then have a horse / burro that they can call their own. Sadly, the number of adoptions is far outweighed by the number of animals that are brought into the holding facilities.

There are over 40,000 animals that are waiting to be adopted. How is all of this work paid for? Your tax dollars my friends. Last year the cost for handling all of the animals, covered under the Wild Horse & Burro Act, totaled over $70 million dollars. Each year the costs have gone up for maintaining all of these animals and the end is nowhere in sight. The Salt River horses are starting to become similar to the burros. They can and do destroy vegetation. They have a profound impact on the vegetation and the riparian areas. They are also 900 pound animals that do not understand roads, right of way and danger to human beings. Arizona, through the efforts of the Endangered Species Act and the Center for Biological Diversity, has more “Endangered” animals/ plants than any other state. Probably half of those endangered species can be found in the Salt River area. I must admit that I am surprised that the Center for Biological Diversity has not filed lawsuits to remove the horses because of the danger that they represent to the animals / plants that are in the area and under the ESA. They have made vast fortunes by filing lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act. (We’ll visit that group at another time).

So, as we get down to the end of the trail here, we have thousands of horses and burros that cannot be left on public lands because they have outgrown / eaten their house and home. Are there any solutions? As repugnant as it is to Americans, the nation of China consumes over 1,700,000 horses each year as food. It is a staple of their diet in some regions. Horsemeat has been table fare for as long as horses have been around. Some European countries offer horsemeat at restaurants and even in Canada you can find restaurants in Quebec that offer horsemeat on their menus. The meat is tasty and low in calories (Not from personal experience here but from what I have heard and read). I am open to any other discussions regarding a solution, but inevitably as the bottom line gets higher and higher, more animals are going to be removed from the land in order that those remaining may have a better quality of life. With really no natural predators, the wild horses are consuming food that many other creatures could use to survive. Water is one key and forage is another. We simply do not have enough for ALL wildlife. As president of the Arizona Deer Association, we have helped place waters all across Arizona. I have never seen the Horse Lovers place a single water catchment anywhere in Arizona (They cost around $40,000 to build and establish). I understand the passion and love of an animal. I have it for horses as well, but I also love deer, elk and all wildlife. I will let the readers come to their own conclusions as to a solution, I just know there are options. JK