May 25, 2019

An Open Letter To President Donald Trump

*Editor’s Note* – The views expressed in the accompanied “Open Letter” may not totally express the opinions of this editor. Thank you.

Dear President Trump;
 
There are millions of us in this country who truly hope that you were sincere and honest about appointing a commission to investigate Hillary and Bill Clinton, and to hold them accountable for all the injustice they have inflicted upon this country.  Those two showed their true character and total selfishness when leaving the White House – illegally taking with them priceless National Heirlooms.  They truly considered themselves the “King & Queen of America” – free to live as they saw fit, outside of the laws which govern all the rest of the country’s citizens.
Whether you follow through with that campaign promise or not, there was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.  That was the illegal introduction of a non-native wolf subspecies into the Northern U.S. Rockies during the early to mid-1990’s – and how those invasive predators were wrongfully allowed to destroy big game populations which took a hundred years to rebuild from the near extinction levels of the 1890’s and early 1900’s.  This criminal act was committed by none other than the United States Fish and Wildlife Service – an agency whose mandated mission is supposed to be the conservation of wildlife populations.
Since the early 1900’s, America’s sportsmen have fully funded the conservation efforts which brought huntable species back from that near total loss.  Through the years, the money that hunters and fishermen have spent to purchase hunting and fishing licenses has also funded the establishment and annual operations of State Game & Fish Departments.  All of this was accomplished without burdening the average taxpayer.  It was all financed by the very sportsmen who valued a bounty of game.  Those same hunters and fishermen also strongly supported imposing excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment to finance the improvement and expansion of healthy and suitable habitat for game and fish – under the Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) and the Dingell-Johnson Act (1950).
 
The dumping of North-Central Canadian wolves into the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 1995-1996 had absolutely nothing to do with restoring wolves to the region.  The native subspecies of wolf still existed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming – and could be found in small isolated packs – supposedly protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Under pressure from radical environmental and animal rights groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actually violated the Endangered Species Act when it covertly flew wolves in from Alberta, housed them inside of Yellowstone National Park, and unleashed those wolves into one of the richest wildlife regions of the United States.  
Those same wolves, and their offspring, quickly killed out the smaller endangered native wolf, and in short order began to negatively impact elk, moose, deer and other big game populations.  When game became harder for them to hunt, the larger and more aggressive Canadian wolves turned to feeding on cattle, horses and other livestock.   
Within 15 years, the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd had been drastically reduced from around 22,000 (in 1995) to around 6,000 by 2010.  Today, that herd is down to around 3,000 animals.  That loss is directly due to never ending predation by wolves, which quickly kill out the young of the year, eliminating any chance of the herd reversing the dramatic decline.  As the wolves proliferated and began to spread rapidly, that same level of wolf predation has destroyed elk herds up and down the Northern U.S. Rocky Mountains by 80-percent – destroying along with that loss of game the hunting opportunities for the very same sportsmen who have funded real wildlife conservation.
 
What makes this crime so much more severe, is the manner in which USFWS acquired the money for funding the project – which Congress had already denied.
 
The USFWS literally embezzled the money out of the Pittman-Robertson funds, which by law were to be used exclusively for the improvement of wildlife habitat.  The agency did a great job of hiding the theft of these sportsman provided dollars until Jim Beers, a former Chief of National Wildlife Refuge Operations, blew the whistle on the stolen funds. A Congressional Hearing was convened on that robbery, but the best they could narrow it down to was that between $60- and $70-million were misappropriated by the USFWS, under the leadership of, then, Director Jamie Rappaport Clark.
USFWS had authorized the illegal use of those funds to foot the bill for a number of projects, including the introduction of non-native wolves into the American West.  Other non-approved projects, or whims, were the building of a new Regional USFWS Office in California, new vehicles for the USFWS, bonuses of up to $30,000 (including for Director Clark herself), moving expenses for USFWS employees, the purchase of “National Refuge” land for the building of a prison, and a slush fund for upper USFWS management. 
 
So, who was held accountable?  No One!
 
Today, Jamie Rappaport Clark is serving as the CEO of the animal rights group known as Defenders of Wildlife, knocking down some $300,000 a year.  Defenders of Wildlife is one of the radical environmental groups which have used the Equal Access to Justice Act to keep its coffers filled.  Collectively, this “Non-Profit Organization”, and dozens of other phony “Wildlife & Environmental” groups have milked the wolf cash cow for several billion taxpayer dollars over the past twenty years.
Another criminal in all of this would be the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project coordinator, Ed Bangs.  The USFWS did its best to keep “facts and figures” hidden.  There really is no way to put a figure on just how many stolen sportsman dollars were spent to illegally bring those wolves across the International Boundary between Canada and the United States.  According to the USFWS’s own extremely strict regulations, Form No. 3-177 must be submitted in order to bring any live wildlife or fish species into this country.  That form identifies the exact subspecies being imported…the exact number being brought across the border…and the exact cost of the shipment.  Those are all “exact” things that USFWS apparently did not want the American public to know.  Bangs failed to ever file that “mandatory” form.  Other than Ed Bangs himself, no one likely knows the exact cost of paying Alberta trappers to live trap those wolves…or exactly how many shipments were actually made…or the exact number of Canadian wolves that were literally dumped into Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
 
Further tainting those transplants has been speculation that many of the so-called “wolves” that project leader Bangs did bring into the U.S. were actually wolf-sled dog hybrid crosses.  Bangs has been quoted saying, “If it looks like a wolf…and can live in the wild…and reproduce…then I consider it a wolf.”  That’s just another violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Please keep in mind, all of this began under the Bill Clinton administration.  Along the way there have been many accusations of U.S. Senators and Representatives being paid off…of Federal Judges accepting under the table money…or Governors receiving incentive to “Look The Other Way”.  Both Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have long allowed the destruction of big game populations to continue far too long…not to have had some of those millions of dirty dollar thrown their way.  Who knows, Bill Clinton himself might have pocketed a few million dollars.
 
The Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has been the dirtiest and darkest chapter in wildlife conservation in this country.  Under the Obama administration very little was done to clean up this mess, or to hold guilty individuals and the less than genuine organizations responsible.  But, that’s understandable.  All of this has nothing to do with “wolf conservation” … but rather everything to do about the United Nations’ goal of pushing people off the land and into the cities – Agenda 21. 
You know as well as I do, that Obama’s run for the presidency was totally orchestrated and largely paid for by George Soros, and his billionaire friends.  Soros and others within the crowd he tends to associate with are the largest supporters of the United Nations – and its futuristic goals of drastically reducing the human population of Planet Earth…centralizing human settlements…and returning a vast majority of this planet to wilderness areas where predators rule and keep wildlife populations in check.
 
Obama has been a part of that same idiotic ideology, explaining his real reason for pushing so hard for gun control, and supporting the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.  As long as we have the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” in this country, the U.N.’s pipe dream is just that.
 
Mr. President, if you honestly want to go down in the history of this country as being one of the “Greatest Presidents” of the United States, begin by fully investigating the corruption, lies, deceit, collusion and theft surrounding the forced Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, and similar wolf projects in the Northern Midwest…in the Southwest…and along the Eastern Seaboard.  Hold those responsible fully accountable, and return the feeling to Americans that we do indeed live in “The Land of The Free”. 
 
Ryan Zinke is the right man for Secretary of the Interior … and Jim Beers, the 32 year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who blew the whistle on the theft of Pittman-Robertson Funds for financing the destructive wolf projects, is the man to clean up that filthy federal agency.
 
Respectfully Yours,
Toby Bridges,
Lobo Watch 2
Missoula, Montana
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Having Received Their Money, Wolf Prostitutes Want Fame and Recognition for Wolf Delisting

FriendlyWolfToo little too late in my opinion. I am disgusted by it actually. Where were these “professionals” back when the fake recovery goals, established in the Environmental Impact Statement and Wolf Recovery Plan, were laid out and met? It is pretty damned easy, some 20-plus years after the fact, when wolves have done and are doing their destruction, and numbers are as much as ten times greater than Ed Bangs had determined would be considered a recovered number of wolves, to sign your name to a document stating the support to “delist” the gray wolf.

Now that their monies are running out and they have their wolves everywhere they want them, it’s much easier to be brave and courageous and step up to the plate stating wolves no longer need to be listed.

Or maybe this is a case where they see the dangers coming about for which they should be held responsible. They pushed for and got, and then remained silent about recovered wolf species while the rest of us worked our collective posteriors off to counter their corrupt efforts of forcing wolves into human-settled landscapes and everything bad that can come of it.

They were still supportive of, gutless, and still in need of more money, when it took an act of Congress to get wolves delisted in Idaho and Montana. Evidently they didn’t think, at that time, that something more permanent should be done about wolf recovery. No, their personal agendas were not yet filled.

Now that they see Congress pushing for a similar bill as before, to get wolves delisted in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, AND to make sure the Courts have, no more authority over wolf delisting, these cowards are running scared, and fearing their next pet project might not be so much fun at taxpayer’s expense.

Oh, yes, the letter states how they fear that continued protection for wolves MIGHT cast negative feelings about wolves and the ESA. Again, why was this not a concern many years ago to these clowns? They lied to us and then remained silent. Now they want something done and to take credit for it; a tactic often employed by progressive totalitarians employing the useful idiots to promote agendas.

Perhaps the basis of this letter is a reflection of their fear that their power might be taken away from them by the creation of federal laws that effectively bypass the ESA and ban the courts from having a say.

I find it all disgusting. In my opinion it would be wrong to support this letter, even though it might be helpful in accomplishing the delisting of wolves. It still does NOTHING toward the ultimate cure and continues to support corruption.

Yes, I am bitter and I feel that I am justified in those feelings. I am not a part of, nor would I ever want to be, this post-normal scientific community climbing on board by signing this letter.

I cannot and probably will not, get beyond my anger for what has been done. To acknowledge these people’s effort at signing a piece of paper, when everything is safe and secure for them AND THEY HAVE ALL GOTTEN WHAT THEY NEED FROM WOLF RECOVERY, would be a travesty.

I have spent many years fighting against the corruption of wolf introduction and I will not quietly allow these people to now step up and claim themselves to be the saviors of wolf management.

In reality, they should be ashamed to sign their name to this, nor allowed to do so.

An open letter from wolf experts and other wildlife management professionals supporting delisting gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan

The undersigned wildlife management professionals and scientists agree with Dr. Dave Mech, Dr. Steven Fritts, Adrian Wydeven, Dr. Tom Heberlein, Ed Bangs, Dr. Lu Carbyn, Dr. Jim Peek, Dr. Paul Krausman, Dr. Mark Boyce, and Dr. Bob Ream that gray wolves (Canis lupus) should not now be listed by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan (western Great Lakes states). This is consistent with the position of The Wildlife Society1. For at least a decade, wolf populations have recovered in these states to the point where continued listing under the ESA is no longer necessary or beneficial to future wolf conservation2.

The ESA is the world’s most effective legislation to halt the slide of threatened and endangered species into extinction. In broad terms, there are 3 main components to the ESA:
1. Identifying species at risk of extinction and providing federal protections for these species (“listing”);
2. Creating and implementing plans to reverse declines and identifying targets for when ESA protections can be removed and species returned to management by the states (“recovery”); and
3. Removing listed species once identified recovery targets have been achieved (“delisting”).

Steps 1 and 2 have worked well for many species but step 3 has become nearly impossible to achieve for wide-ranging or high profile species like gray wolves. Four efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and its cooperators to delist or down-list gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states have been foiled or reversed by litigation typically based on legal technicalities rather than biology. For those of us who have worked on and supported wolf and wildlife conservation issues for many years, it is ironic and discouraging that wolf delisting has not occurred in the portions of the Midwest where biological success has been achieved as a consequence of four decades of dedicated science-based work by wildlife management professionals. This success has been well documented in “Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story” (A. Wydeven, T. van Deelen, and E. Heske, eds. 2009, Springer) and in many other professional publications.

The efforts by Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and their cooperators including the USFWS, other federal agencies, tribal governments, and some non-governmental conservation groups have succeeded in accomplishing wolf recovery that has greatly exceeded recovery criteria in recovery plans3. In 1974 when wolves were originally protected south of Canada, only about 750 wolves occurred in northeastern Minnesota. Today, wolves are found throughout northern portions of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin with a midwinter (2014) count of >3,700. There are few, if any, areas in these or surrounding states where wolves could live on natural prey without exceeding socially tolerable levels of depredation on livestock and pets. We believe that failure to delist in the face of this kind of cooperative effort and biological success is detrimental to ecologically sound management and to continued progress in wolf recovery and management efforts in these states and elsewhere.

The USFWS has determined that adequate regulatory mechanisms for wolf management are in place in the western Great Lakes states. We believe it is highly unlikely that these states will allow their wolf populations to decline to the point where wolves are again threatened or endangered4. All 3 states have set minimum population goals that are much higher than the levels established for delisting in recovery plans and the USFWS has established post-delisting monitoring criteria for the states to follow. In the unlikely event that management efforts in these states prove to be inadequate, the proper and legally mandated course of action would be to relist the species. It is counterproductive to keep wolves as listed under the ESA because of speculation that the western Great Lakes states will not appropriately manage wolves and sustain their recovered status. There is no scientific evidence that wolf harvest systems established in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have or would reduce wolves’ ecological benefits in the areas where wolves have recovered. Neither is there scientific evidence that regulatory systems in the western Great Lakes states have or would reduce the dispersal ability of wolves5 or that the harvests that occurred during the period between delisting and the 2014 court-ordered relisting were not sustainable and consistent with maintaining recovered status.

The undersigned strongly believe that it is in the best interests of gray wolf conservation and for the integrity of the ESA for wolves to be delisted in the western Great Lakes states where biological recovery has occurred and where adequate regulatory mechanisms are in place to manage the species. We believe that failure to delist wolves in these states is counterproductive to wolf conservation there and elsewhere where suitable habitat may exist. The integrity and effectiveness of the ESA is undercut if delisting does not happen once science-based recovery has been achieved. When this happens, it creates disincentives for the states to continue to be active participants in recovery efforts and creates public resentments toward the species and the ESA. It is important to the overall ESA goal of maintaining biodiversity to focus available funds on species that are truly threatened or endangered.

The signers and endorsers of this letter listed below include biologists with over 900 years of experience as wildlife academics, researchers, and managers; those of us who have worked directly on wolves have published over 31 books and monographs on wolves as well as hundreds of scientific articles on this species.

INITIAL SIGNERS (PRIOR TO WIDESPREAD DISTRIBUTION):

L. David Mech Ph.D., Hon. Dr. Ag.
University of Minnesota
Books: The Wolves of Isle Royale, National Parks Fauna Series No. 7 (1966); The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, Natural History Press (Doubleday Publishing Co. (1970); The Arctic Wolf: Living with the Pack, Voyageur Press (1988); The Way of the Wolf, Voyageur Press (1991), Wolves of the High Arctic, Voyageur Press (1992); The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack, Voyageur Press (1997); The Wolves of Denali, University of Minnesota Press (1998 with L. Adams, T. Meier, J. Burch,and B. Dale); The Wolves of Minnesota: Howl in the Heartland. Voyageur Press (2000, editor); Wolves, Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation (2003, co-editor with L. Boitani); Wolf Hunting Behavior: The Behavior of Wolves Hunting Wild Prey, University of Chicago Press (2015 with D. Smith and D. MacNulty).
Monographs: Ecological studies of the timber wolf in northeastern Minnesota. USDA Forest Service Research Paper NC-52 (1971 coauthor with L. Frenzel); Deer social organization and wolf depredation in northeastern Minnesota, Wildlife Monographs (1981 coauthor with M. Nelson); Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly protected wolf population in northwestern Minnesota, Wildlife Monographs No. 80 (1981 co-author with D. Fritts); Elk calf survival and mortality following wolf restoration to Yellowstone National Park, Wildlife Monographs (2008 coauthor with S. Barber-Meyer and P.J. White).

Adrian P. Wydeven MS
Cable, WI.
WI DNR wildlife biologist (ret.), state wolf manager 1990-2013
Co-editor (with T. van Deelen, and E. Heske) Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story” (2009 Springer)
Certified Wildlife Biologist (TWS)

Steven H. Fritts Ph.D.
Wesley, Arkansas
US Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Research Biologist (ret.)
Wildlife Professor University of Montana and University of Idaho (affiliate, retired)
Books and Monographs: Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly-protected wolf population in northwestern Minnesota, Wildl. Monogr. (1981 with D. Mech); Wolf depredation on livestock in Minnesota, U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Res. Publ. 145, (1982); Wolves for Yellowstone? A Report to the United States Congress Volume II, Research and Analysis (1990, USFWS team member and co-author/editor); Trends and management of wolf-livestock conflicts in Minnesota, U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Resour. Publ. 181 (1992 with W. Paul, D. Mech, and D. Scott); Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world, Canadian Circumpolar Inst., (1995 with L. Carbyn, S. Fritts, and D. Seip, eds).

Tom Heberlein Ph.D.
Madison, Wisconsin
Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Community and Environmental Sociology
Author: Navigating Environmental Attitudes (2012, Oxford)

Lu Carbyn Ph.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Emeritus Professor University of Alberta, Dept. Renewable Resources, Endangered Species and Ecosystem Studies
Research scientist Federal Dept. Environment, Science and Technology Division, Ottawa
Books and Monographs: Wolves in Canada and Alaska: Their status biology and management, CWS report series #45 (1983); Traditional knowledge and Renewable Resource Management in Northern Regions, Boreal Inst. Occ. Pub. # 23 (1988 with M. Freeman); Ecology and Conservation of wolves in a changing world, Canadian Circumpolar Institute #35 (1995 with S. Fritts and D. Seip); Wolves, bison. and the dynamics related to the Peace-Athabasca Delta in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park (1993 with S. Oosenbrug and D. Anions); Wolves: an annotated bibliography, Northern Reference Series No. 6. Canadian Circumpolar Institute (1998 with E. McClaren and E. Maloney); The Buffalo Wolf – Predators, Prey and the Politics of Nature. Smithsonian Institution (2003).

Ed Bangs MS
Helena, Montana
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Wolf Recovery Coordinator (ret.)

Jim Peek Ph.D.
Moscow, ID
Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho
Department of Fish & Wildlife Science
University of Idaho
Panel Chair and first author: Management of Large Mammalian Carnivores in North America, The Wildlife Society Technical Review (2012).

Paul Krausman Ph.D.
Missoula, MT
Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona
Past President of The Wildlife Society
Editor, TWS/JHUP Wildlife Book Series
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Wildlife Management starting July 2015.
Certified Wildlife Biologist, TWS
Monograph: Ecology of wolves in relations to a migratory caribou herd in Northwest Alaska. (1997, Wildlife Monographs with W. Ballard)

Mark S. Boyce, Ph.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Professor of Ecology and Alberta Conservation Assoc. Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife
Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton
Formerly: Vallier Chair in Ecology, and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Certified Wildlife Biologist, TWS
Monographs (wolf-related): Cumulative effects of human developments on Arctic wildlife, Wildlife Monographs (2005 with J. Johnson, R. Chase, H. Cluff, R. Gau, A. Gunn, and R. Mulders).
Gary Roloff Ph.D.
Mason, Michigan
Assoc. Professor Michigan State Univ.

John G. Bruggink Ph.D.
Marquette, Michigan
Northern Michigan University, Professor Biology

Bob Ream Ph.D.
Helena, MT.
Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation
Former Chair, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (2009-2013)
Director, Wolf Ecology Project, Univ. of Montana (1973-1993)

C. Charles Schwartz Ph.D.
Bozeman, Montana
Montana State University (Adjunct, ret.)
Yellowstone Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team Leader (ret.)
Alaska Dept. Fish and Game Research Biologist (ret.)
Certified Wildlife Biologist

Sterling D. Miller Ph.D
Lolo, Montana
Univ. of Montana and Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks (affiliate)
National Wildlife Federation Senior Wildlife Biologist (ret.)
Alaska Dept. Fish and Game Large Carnivore Research Biologist (ret.)
Certified Wildlife Biologist (TWS)

Hank Fischer MS
Missoula, Montana
Special Projects Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation
Book: Wolf Wars: The remarkable inside Story of the Restoration of Wolves to Yellowstone. (1995, 2003)

L. Jack Lyon Ph.D.
Missoula, Montana
Emeritus Prof. Wildlife, Univ. of Montana
Research Project Leader, Intermountain Research Station USFS (ret.)
Research Leader, Colorado Division Wildlife (ret.)

Gary L. Alt Ph.D.
Lagunitas, CA
Pennsylvania Game Commission, Leader Statewide Research and Management Program (deer and bear), (ret.)
Environmental Consultant, Principal Scientist (Normandeau Associates) (ret.)
Joseph Van Os Photo Safari Leader

Pat Brown Ph.D.
Professor, Northern Michigan Univ

Pat Valkenburg MS
Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska Department Fish and Game, Division Wildlife Conservation, Research Biologist, Research Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner for Wildlife (ret.)
Wildlife Research and Management Consultant
Certified Wildlife Biologist

H. William Gabriel Ph.D.
Florence, Montana
USFS biologist (ret.)
UN-FAO biologist (ret.)
Univ. of Montana (affiliate, ret.)
US BLM (ret.)

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