August 23, 2019

From When the New York Times Printed Truth

By Jim Beers

The following link to a New York Times article from 1907 should be considered by all those currently living in wolf country; those living in soon-to-be wolf country; and those supporting the forcible use of unjust central power to force wolves on their neighbors and fellow citizens.

Wolf History:

Wolves Killing Deer

The New York Times Published: May 26, 1907
http://tinyurl.com/ku9n5cn

When I try to explain to fellow Minnesotans the role of dense wolf populations on the disappearance of moose and deer, they smirk and sneer. They talk of global warming, ticks, unspecified diseases and the need for more research. Newspapers, Universities (especially the U of Minnesota and the U of Wisconsin that are true hotbeds of environmental/animal rights extremism), and State wildlife agencies that have become clones of these State Universities all avoid the mention of wolf predation and identify anyone questioning this as an uninformed crackpot.

Nonetheless, consider how everyone accepts the “fact” that year-around wolf predation on Isle Royale, an island far offshore in Lake Superior, steadily accounts for the disappearance of moose. This romantic notion of “Mother Nature” at work makes the very efficient but gory killing of calves, pregnant cows and adult moose by wolves into a “natural” and entertaining children’s story. The same scenario when proposed by hunters, trappers, ranchers, elderly rural residents and others regarding wolf effects on deer and moose in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan is merely proof of “old”, uninformed and anti-social political incorrectness.

There is no denying the following simple truths about wolves in settled landscapes like the Lower 48 States:
– Wolves kill moose and deer, reducing them to levels that will not sustain hunting.
– Wolves spread over 30 deadly and destructive diseases to humans, wildlife, livestock and dogs.
– Wolves are dangerous and deadly threats to children, the elderly, dog walkers, hikers, and a wide array of rural residents and recreationists.

The thing to remember about wolf predation; whether on an adult moose caught in a snowy woodland by a group of wolves, a pregnant cow moose giving birth caught by one or more wolves, a doe deer and fawn run down by a couple of wolves – IT IS ADDITIVE to whatever else is happening to moose and deer. Even if you accept global warming (I do not) or think maybe ticks or some errant and unknown disease has just popped up (each of which I find unlikely as significant until I see evidence I can trust) – wolf predation is steadily more and more efficient as wolves learn (just like that dog in your backyard) AND IT IS ADDITIVE!

Consider again that 1907 NYT article. In addition to what we deny as it is all around us today, weather phenomena like the winter snow depths, snow characteristics, and snow duration can and will create an environment wherein suddenly wolf predation both for food and for the joy and fun of killing (even dog packs will kill a large number of deer in snow or sheep by cliffs for “fun” and “excitement”) will dramatically reduce the number of deer and moose regardless of the “experts” protestations to the contrary.

When wolves are not kept at very low densities or eradicated from regions inhabited by people like the Lower 48 States or Europe, what happened in 1907 will happen again and again. This article is about but ONE of many reasons wolves were eradicated in The Lower 48 States and Europe by our wise and determined ancestors.

Two years before this article, in 1905, George Santyana, a 19th century philosopher and author said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Some say Santyana was paraphrasing the 18th century Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke who observed, “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” Posterity is truly what we no longer concern ourselves about as abortion, birth control, births out-of-wedlock and non-child-oriented marriages proliferate in these very same American and European societies looking to secular morality and self-gratification in matters like “restoring the native ecosystem” and returning large predators to settled landscapes no matter the human costs.

In either case, both men were telling us to heed the lessons of history. In the case of wolves, environmental extremists and self-serving politicians and bureaucrats have not only denied history: they have perpetrated a great crime against Americans and Europeans in a way that relieves them of responsibility for their actions and the terrible fruits of their crime.

One last quote from Edmund Burks seems in order:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Jim Beers
15 Sep. 2014

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.
Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Michigan: House Passes “Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act”

A Press Release from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs:

Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act now law, renders anti-hunting referendums moot

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House of Representatives passed the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act today with a bipartisan vote of 65-43. The citizen initiative, which passed the Senate on August 13 and was supported by the signatures of almost 300,000 registered voters, allows the Natural Resources Commission to name game species and issue fisheries orders using sound science, creates a $1 million rapid response fund to prevent Asian carp, and provides free hunting and fishing licenses for active military members.

“We are very thankful to the legislators who voted for sound science, the voters who signed the petition, the organizations who supported it, and the tireless volunteers who collected the signatures of almost 300,000 registered Michigan voters,” said Dan Eichinger, executive director for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “This is an important step to protecting the rights to hunt, fish and trap in Michigan from radical animal rights organizations.”

The initiative also renders moot two referendums sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a Washington, D.C.-based anti-hunting organization, which sought to repeal two bills that would allow a regulated hunting season for wolves in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula where they have killed pets, dogs and livestock. Because the initiative contains an appropriation, it is not subject to a third referendum by HSUS or its front group, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

“We thought it was important to listen to the will of the 300,000 registered voters who brought this initiative to us,” said Representative Jon Bumbstead (R-Newago). “This is about more than wolves. It’s about protecting the rights of our constituents to hunt and fish by managing our fish and wildlife with sound science.”

Passage of the citizen initiative settles the wolf hunt controversy, which has moved back and forth over the past two years, providing the certainty that Department of Natural Resources biologists need to move forward with wolf management.

Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is a coalition of conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping groups and individuals including the Michigan chapters of Safari Club International, the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, U.P. Whitetails, Inc., the U.P. Bear Houndsmen, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance. The act has also received the endorsement of the National Wildlife Federation, the Michigan Salmon and Steelhead Fishermen’s Association, the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association, the Lake St. Clair chapter of Muskies, Inc., and numerous local conservation groups throughout Michigan.

Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, Grassroots & Public Relations | 734-272-2584 | dyoungedyke@mucc.org

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Management of Michigan’s Wolves, Show Down Between Big Money Anti’s & We the People

“Lansing, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- The impending showdown over Michigan’s wolf management looms large, as we head into the current election cycle.

On one end of the spectrum is the largest anti-hunting organization in the nation – the Washington-based Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), while opposition comes from Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management (CPWM).”<<<Read More>>>

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A Woodchopper Disables Himself and is Killed and Eaten by Wolves

Cheboygan, Mich., April 13.-While John and James Gillespie were chopping in the woods near Mullet Lake, a few miles from here, Saturday, James’ ax slipped and sank into his ankle. His brother John attempted to stanch the flow of blood and carry him two miles to the nearest house, but the load and deep snow was too much, and at James’ suggestion John started for the settlement alone, leaving James in the snow. John roused a party of rescuers, who started out to bring James. On arriving near the place where John had left his younger brother, they came to a lot of blood stains and wolf tracks in the snow, and following the trail they beheld a pack of wolves growling and fighting over a lot of bones and shreds of clothing. The party beat the wolves off with their axes, as they had no other weapons, and took all that remained of James back to Mullet Lake for burial.
[Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot, Apr 13, 1891; Submitted by Deb Haines]<<<Source>>>

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Outdoor Life Explains HSUS’ Slimy Tactics of Fraud Against Hunting Interests

“First, HSUS will identify an area of vulnerability. Usually, this comes in the form of a newly-created hunting season or the hunting of a new species that hunters have not yet developed an allegiance to.

It then follows up by creating a “citizen’s” group that includes the name of the state in it to make it appear as if local residents are the ones behind the actions. HSUS will seek out local “hunters” willing to speak out against the hunting of the new species.

Then it spends money. The group will flood the airwaves and mailboxes with propaganda that contains very little truth. As an example, during a fight over dove hunting in Michigan a few years ago, HSUS spent millions on TV ads that made the following claims: No one hunts doves. Hunters don’t eat the doves that they kill.

The above formula is the precise path the group is taking in Maine where HSUS is funding a front called “Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting.”

Despite the home-grown title, the group’s mandatory campaign finance reports show that of the $85,000 reported in the group’s 2013 report, all but $881 of that came directly from Washington-based HSUS.

It’s the same story in my home state of Michigan.”<<<Read More>>>

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What To Do About Isle Royale Wolves

An article at Pioneer Press, TwinCities.com, has blubbering about what is to be done about wolves, if anything, on Isle Royale. Here’s the link.

I’ll make a brief comment and then lastly will be followed by Jim Beer’s perspective on what the article actually is saying.

From this bit of information found in the article:

A debate is raging in the scientific community, the public and among Park Service officials on whether humans should intervene to rescue an isolated wolf population that some experts say appears doomed due to genetic inbreeding that’s causing physical deformities that are affecting wolves’ life expectancy.

Others say climate change might have a major impact on the island’s wolves, and the Park Service has formed panels of experts to look at genetics and a warming climate to evaluate their effects on wolf numbers.

Park Service officials have said they have three basic options: doing nothing; waiting for the wolves to die off and then reintroduce new wolves; or introducing new wolves soon while some wolves still are present.

I think other options are not listed and I think the options should be based on what the brain trust decides to finger as the reason wolves have disappeared on Isle Royal and not on the mainland and moose have increased on Isle Royale but decreased on the mainland. For example, climate change. If the special interest “scientists” on the panel that will decide the cause, opt for climate change, not only will they have some explaining to do for their decision but there is little reason to do anything about wolves until they have solved, as gods, the climate change issue. Let me explain further.

If it is decided climate change is the reason, or at least a substantial contributing factor, by their own fake standards, then the same people need to explain why, then, the moose population on Isle Royale has exploded to 1,000, as the wolf population has disappeared, while at the same time climate change has been fingered as the cause of the reduction of moose in Minnesota (Isle Royale is part of Michigan but the island is closer to the Arrowhead of Minnesota than any part of Michigan mainland including the Upper Penninsula.)

Using the same logic and faux science as those thinking climate change is the major factor in a dwindling moose population, and now wolves, why rush into wasting taxpayer money to introduce more wolves if an unresolved, man-caused, climate change issue has not been resolved?

I am of the opinion that the reason that we have not seen more wolves “crossing on the ice” (like they did in 1949 – wink, wink) to repopulate the island is because too many people are watching too closely.

My opinion: Don’t waste my dime on fake science that contributes nothing to the realities of wildlife management outside of a rare closed, incomplete ecosystem.

Jim Beers Perspective:

WHAT IS REALLY BEING SAID by Jim Beers

1. “A debate is raging in the scientific community, the public and among Park Service officials on whether humans should intervene to rescue an isolated wolf population”

The “public” and the “Park Service” are what they are but consider that “the scientific community” is supposedly pure and composed of incontrovertible facts and experts that justify every manner of government intervention. If a “debate” “rages” there: on what basis does it revolve? The answer here as elsewhere in government plant and animal machinations is that “science” and “scientists” are ideologues and advocates every bit as much as the urban animal “rescue” lady or the lawyer working for The Defenders of Wildlife. They are as worthy of the deference shown them in court or their argument-settling role as some Conscientious Objector wearing his Dad’s Service uniform and medals is worthy of consideration in setting Defense Policy in the Pentagon.

2. “Others say climate change might have a major impact on the island’s wolves”.

Minnesota DNR bureaucrats and “scientists” have told docile Minnesotans that “climate change” was the leading factor on the steady demise of the moose population in the State. Twice each year in prominent newspaper articles the State bureaucrats and scientists asked for more money to investigate how “climate change” explained why moose were disappearing. Every such article characterizes those who say, “If moose are disappearing as wolves have been and continue to increase, what about predation of wolves on moose?” as red-necked, jack pine savages that probably flunked out of grade school and lead an alcoholic existence in some trailer back in the North Woods somewhere. So how can “climate change” decrease wolves on Isle Royal while wolves increase on the mainland? How can “climate change” be responsible for the decline of moose throughout Minnesota while their numbers are exploding on Isle Royal? Is there a scientist in the house?

3. “Allow public discussion on wolf management on the island, a designated federal wilderness area.”

This is a “two-fer”. First, I wish to humbly thank the Park Service for their kind offer to “allow public discussion”. For such august bureaucrats to deign to “allow” the rest of us to publicly discuss such matters is so benevolent that I for one can merely express my eternal gratitude. Think about that folks, think about how low the American citizen vis-a-vis his government has sunk. Second, I thought NOTHING could be “managed” in a “federal wilderness area”? Does this mean that downed timber or fire-hazard brush can be removed or burned safely? Can firewood be cut with a chain saw or water scooped from a stream to fight a fire or uses like logging, grazing, vehicle travel, be considered on the (formerly?) precious “Wilderness Areas” at the sufferance of federal bureaucrats? Inquiring minds would like to know.

4. “Isle Royale has a long-standing history of broad ecosystem management,”.

This is gobbledygook. They aren’t even supposed to “manage” wilderness. Ecosystem is a maligned term that has been perversely mangled over the past 45+ years into a meaningless word alone and a word that can mean everything in the ear of the listener or the eyes of the reader. That these insular bureaucrats claim, and the media validate, that their personal work to pander to powerful radical organizations for their own benefit is “broad” ecosystem management is simply ludicrous.

5. “It’s believed that moose first swam to the island in the early 1900s and for decades thrived with no predators. Wolves are relatively new to the 45-mile-long, 143,000-acre island complex, having crossed Lake Superior ice to get there in 1949.”

And wolves that have been somewhere only for 61 years are what: “endangered”, “vital”, “native”, “keystone sp.”, what? Why aren’t they (bureaucrats and scientists and their financier-enablers) treating these moose and wolves that are such recent arrivals (radicals call them “Invaders”) to Isle Royal like they treat pheasants, Hungarian Partridge, Brown Trout, Great lakes Salmon, and all the other dreaded “non-natives” and “introduced” species they want to eradicate, that is to say with contempt? The vast majority of these desirable “non-natives” (radicals call them “Invasives”) have been in place and benefitting human society far longer than these moose and wolves on this Island.

6. “Wolves are no longer performing their function as predator on the island,” “There just aren’t enough to have any real impact on moose.”

So, let me get this straight: wolves on Isle Royal “perform a function as predator” on moose on which they are expected to have a “real impact”. Simultaneously, in the rest of Minnesota (yes Isle Royal was once widely considered to be part of Minnesota until federal controls and hegemony became so powerful that everyone believes the federal estate to simply be separate and distinct from States and Local Communities despite their window-dressing “allowing” of “public discussion”) moose decline as wolves increase and we are instructed to not listen to those fools that say there is a connection between the two. This stuff belongs on Prairie Home Companion.

7. “The situation is so unusual that it’s affecting other species on the island”.

Oh my word! Attention, “species” are being “affected” somewhere. You mean like elk and moose disappearing when wolves are forced into rural enclaves that do not want them? Aren’t “ecosystems” supposed to be like “climate” in that any (well not quite any) change is an emergency that only more government, more spending, more laws and more regulations can control before we all die? Actually, if bureaucrats and radicals want wolves or grizzlies somewhere they haven’t been for a century that is OK: if the same suspects want to eradicate wild species or domestic animals from somewhere that is OK: only if you or I want a landscape and rural environment safe and productive in which to live comfortably and safely raise our families and this is at odds with an all-powerful government acting as a shill for radical organizations –that is NOT OK! My God, “species” go up and down from moment to moment and saying that it is government’s job to intervene with no more cause than that things will be different is an abuse of government power for an unachievable purpose that could drain the world’s debt and GDP’s combined.

8. “It will be up to the National Park Service to decide”.

Unless you are one of the few that think of the Park Service or Fish and Wildlife Service or Forest Service (curious that word “Service” as in who or what do they “SERVE?”) as in your pocket, such common words these days should send a chill up your spine and heartburn down your throat.

9. “With wolf numbers so low, moose numbers on the island have exploded, more than doubling in recent years to more than 1,000. That’s the opposite trend from moose in Minnesota, where numbers have plummeted in recent years to the lowest levels in decades. While moose in Minnesota face bears, humans and deer-related diseases as predators, moose on Isle Royale have only wolves as threats”.

Finally, the piece de resistance! Like the President and his minions explaining what he “really” meant when he said we could keep our doctors and our insurance policies; these bureaucrats, scientists, and their media enablers are faced with a dilemma. How to explain how wolves decimate moose on Isle Royal and not on mainland Minnesota and why when the wolves are about to disappear moose populations are exploding on Isle Royal? If we knocked down dramatically the wolves on mainland Minnesota would moose recover? (The answer is YES.) Yet the Park Service will milk the federal Treasury for more money and people for this mysterious “situation” just like the Minnesota DNR bureaucrats and the University “scientists” have and are milking the State Treasury for more and more money and people to conduct “research on this mystery. Like the explanation of the President’s repeated use of the word “period”; these government con artists add “bears, humans and deer-related diseases” to the growing and irrelevant reasons for the mainland moose declines.

Oh well, it sell papers and garners urban votes to keep in power State pols maintaining unemployment with handouts and building stadiums (Romans called it “Bread and Circuses) and Federal pols signing UN Treaties to sell our sovereignty while taking away our property and our Rights. You couldn’t make this up if you tried to.

Jim Beers
7 November 2013

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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RMEF Grants Fund Michigan Conservation, Hunting Heritage Projects

MISSOULA, Mont.–Funding to enhance elk habitat, reduce damage to private crops and sponsorship of various hunting heritage projects highlight the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 2013 grants for the state of Michigan.

The grants total $28,500 and directly affect Cheboygan, Delta, Dickinson, Monroe, Montmorency, Oakland and Otsego Counties. There are also several projects of statewide interest.

“There are approximately 1,000 elk currently in Michigan. This funding will improve their habitat enabling the herd to prosper and grow,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The grants will also bolster Michigan’s rich hunting and outdoor heritage.”

Allen thanked RMEF’s Michigan members and volunteers for generating the grant funding through local membership drives, banquet fundraising and other activities. He also thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation in Michigan and across elk country.

RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 98 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Michigan with a combined value of more than $4.9 million.

RMEF’s 2013 grants will help fund the following projects in Michigan:

Cheboygan County—Enhance habitat and forage on 63 acres of elk range by cutting brush, tilling, fertilizing and planting buckwheat and white clover.

Delta County—Provide funding to assist the Upper Peninsula Youth Shotgun Sports Organization with efforts to expand participation in the Scholastic Clay Target Program into two additional Delta County school districts; and provide funding and RMEF volunteers to assist with the Great Lakes Sports & Recreation Club’s eight-week youth archery and shotgun league.

Dickinson County—Provide funding to offset travel costs to the state competition for the Dickinson County 4-H Big Shooters, which finished third place in junior air rifle, second in senior target .22, and an individual second in senior target .22.

Montmorency County—Provide funding to buy fertilizer to treat 266 acres of elk range to improve forage, reduce crop damage on nearby private lands, and provide wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities (also affects Cheboygan and Otsego counties).

Monroe County—Provide funding and RMEF volunteers to carry out SAFE Challenge youth shooting events at the Cabela’s Family Weekend in Dundee and the Bass Pro Shops in Auburn Hills (also affects Oakland County).

Statewide—Provide funding to help cover printing costs for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Elk Management Public Outreach Brochure; and provide three Eberlestock Team Elk hunting packs to the winners of the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing.

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to receive funding.

Partners for 2013 projects in Michigan include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and various sportsmen, wildlife and civic organizations.

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Elk Country Permanently Protected, RMEF Work Tops $5 Million in Michigan

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to permanently protect 32 acres of prime elk habitat it will transfer into public hands.

“This is a vital transaction because the parcel is an inholding of private property within Michigan’s Pigeon River Country State Forest,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “There was a real risk here because of the possibility to subdivide the land and turn it into private recreational tracts. The Tubbs Creek acquisition improves access to existing DNR land, provides a link to a continuous area of land owned and managed by the DNR, and provides public access to this previously private-owned land.”

Dating back to 1993, RMEF has now carried out seven land protection projects that permanently conserved more than 3,200 acres of Michigan elk habitat. Overall, RMEF and its partners completed 108 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $5 million since 1990.

“This acquisition is the latest example of our long-standing commitment to elk and elk country in Michigan,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Working side by side with dedicated RMEF volunteers, we plan to increase our conservation efforts throughout the region in the future.”

Located in the northern part of Michigan, Pigeon River County State Forest is home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the Great Lakes Region. The nearly 100,000-acre state forest contains native hardwoods including sugar maple and basswood as well as pines interspersed with fields and forest openings. The DNR maintains the thriving habitat through careful forest and wildlife management with a focus on aspen management for winter elk food. The 32 acre parcel lies within the heart of the DNR elk management area and is located near one of DNR’s best public elk viewing areas. The DNR also continues to manage adjacent properties to enhance wildlife habitat.

“Elk and elk habitat are not the only winners. Deer, bear, turkey, grouse, and other wildlife are also found on the property, which is also a popular area for those who hunt and enjoy other recreational activities,” added Henning.

The transfer in ownership of the property from RMEF to the DNR will accomplish a long-term goal of consolidating state ownership and maintaining high wildlife values in the Pigeon River Country State Forest.

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Habituated Large Wild Predators and Liability

bearinfeederHumans share living quarters with wildlife and as a result there are inherent risks we assume. Therefore, no one or entity is liable should a bear, wolf or mountain lion decide to attack a human while lounging in a hammock in their back yard……right?

One would think. BUT……..

This morning I was reading another article about “nuisance” bears. It seems all summer long that’s all I’ve read are stories about bears and humans crossing paths, and the idiot responses and comments by wildlife officials as well as law enforcement.

In Michigan there seems to be a problem in the Iron River areas with what is being described as “multiple reports of nuisance bears” and “habituated, showing no fear of humans.” It appears from comments and actions that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) thinks people are feeding the bears, whether intentionally or by utilizing irresponsible habits, like leaving out garbage, that feeds the bears unintentionally.

Is there a liability issue here? I’m not lawyer. I’m just a writer asking questions and providing readers with some interesting case histories to ponder.

Michigan, like most states, has some kind of immunity law they believe protects them for actions or responsibilities undertaken as a function of their governmental entity and duties. I did some brief research into that and what I found, I saw no direct mention into anything concerning wild animals. I believe what I also found was that there are no laws restricting the feeding of wildlife in a person’s backyard….or front yard for that matter. There are many guidelines for feeding and baiting game animals.

What if people were intentionally feeding bears or some other large predator, and private property gets damaged or worse, personal injury or death? What if someone was feeding deer and the neighbor next door contracted Lyme disease? Is there liability? Somewhere?

In 2009, Charles E. Vandergaw, was charged with illegal feeding of bears at his remote cabin in Alaska. His cabin was named, “Bear Haven” and Vandergaw was featured in an Animal Planet show about his close encounters of the Alaska wild bears kind. According to a Daily Record article dated May 20, 2009, Alaska wildlife officials, “consider feeding bears a danger to humans.” What Vandergaw was charged with was improperly feeding the bears through a bear baiting permit he had obtained through the Alaska fish and game.

In October of 2007, Tom Holman fed bears in his backyard. Holman was a professional photographer. He lured bears in for the purpose of taking photographs and selling them. When I first reported on this event in 2007, information available said that “Tom lives in an area of Idaho where many neighbors like to feed wildlife. It’s not like he is the only one.” Was he targeted because he was making money? Did this somehow make him more liable?

But there is a different twist to this story. A grizzly bear, an endangered species in Idaho by federal standards, regularly came to Holman’s feeder. It was determined by the government officials that the bear was “habituated”, and as a result had become a danger to other people. The bear was killed.

Officials wanted to bring charges against Holman, not for feeding wildlife, as there are no laws prohibiting it in Idaho, but for violation of the Endangered Species Act……causing the avoidable death of a protected species. I do not believe any charges in that regard were filed but we see the beginnings of liability here.

Recently in Utah, the State Supreme Court issued an interesting ruling as it may pertain to liability and responsibility of protecting people from dangerous wild animals. Over time, this ruling may have sweeping consequences on how states and the courts view liability and whether or not people will be allowed to feed, intentionally or not, wildlife in their back yards, or be held responsible.

In 2007, Sam Ives was camping with family at Uinta National Forest. During the night, a grizzly hauled Sam Ives out of his tent, into the forest and killed him. A sad and unfortunate event. However, earlier that same day, the same grizzly bear attacked another man at the very same campsite. The courts not only ruled that the state didn’t do enough to protect Sam Ives from grizzly bears, their interpretation of Utah’s immunity laws leaves us wondering if other states will begin interpreting immunity laws, as they pertain to wildlife, in a similar manner.

In Francis v. State of Utah, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that wildlife are not a “natural condition of the land”, meaning the state’s immunity in this area does not include wildlife.

The differences that I can see in the issues in Michigan as opposed to those in Utah is that the bear attack on Sam Ives occurred on public land and in a designated campsite. But one does have to ask to what degree of liability is the state assuming when, as in Michigan, officials are doing what they can to provide public safety and protect people from being harmed by habituated bears. They are assuming responsibility for the problem. Will that make them subject to lawsuits, especially if a court rules on immunity as was done in Utah? In addition, what amount of responsibility is then put on the person(s) that deliberately feed wildlife?

So, long as there are greed and lawyers, lawsuits will be forthcoming; the result being the implementation of more and more laws prohibiting the feeding of any wildlife, including birds. This may appear all well and good, but this action will do little for the results of too many bears or large predators and/or not enough natural food to go around.

Who becomes liable for that action?

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Is A Landowner Responsible for Wildlife Destruction?

It used to be a common remark is response to something unbelievable to say, “You can’t make this stuff up.” It seems these days “you can’t make this stuff up” is so regular we just pass the information on is disgust.

In Maine, a person is being sued by the town because beavers built a dam, the dam broke, causing damage to roads, railroad bed, etc. and the town want the landowner to pay the damages because the landowner didn’t do anything to stop the beavers from building dams. And if that isn’t absurd enough, the landowner’s property is listed on the town tax maps as a protected resource.

I would guess that while readers find a way to get through this story, I will refresh your memories of a similar exchange of letters between a landowner and town officials over a beaver dam incident from several years ago.

Subject: Go Figure

This is a copy of an actual letter sent to Ryan DeVries, from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan. Wait till you read this guy’s response – but read the entire letter before
you get to the response.

Mr. Ryan DeVries
2088 Dagget
Pierson, MI 49339
SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;

Site Location: Montcalm County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department’s files shows that no permits have been issued.

Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994,
being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted.

The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2002.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
David L. Price
District Representative
Land and Water Management Division
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RESPONSE:

Dear Mr. Price,

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Montcalm County

Reference your certified letter dated 12/17/2000 has been referred to me to respond to. First of all, Mr. Ryan De Vries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan.

I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood “debris” dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond.

While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natural building materials “debris.” I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers? or,
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.3010,1 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. I have several concerns. My first concern is aren’t the beavers entitled to legal representation?

The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation – so the State will have to provide them with a lawyer.

The Department’s dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harrass them and call their dam names. If you want the stream “restored” to a dam free-flow condition – please contact the beavers – but if you are going to arrest them they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter (being unable to read English).

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I do to live
and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers’ Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2002 The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears. Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone.

If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!)

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your answering machine, I am sending this response to your office via another government organization – the USPS. Maybe, someday, it will get there.

Sincerely,
Stephen L. Tvedten
The University of Texas at: Austin
Office Community Relations/Accounting unit
P.O. Box 7367
Austin, TX 78713

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