May 28, 2017

Taxpayers Funding the Industrial Complex

This is nothing new, right? We all know that for a very long time us taxpayers have been funding just about every pet project of some corrupt, fascistic politician and all his or her crony buddies for personal gain and political votes. Here’s another look at the hegemony thriving in this country, when powers of the industrial complex wield their control over government, forcing the government’s hand, which then becomes the responsibility of contracted citizens (you and me) to pay taxes and more taxes to fund the criminal enterprise – and liking it. One such example is found in an article at the Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately this article is behind a paywall.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, it turns out, spends lots and lots of time and money lobbying the Federal Government to do things like TAKE more and more land from the states/people for the main reason to have more and more land where his customers can do things like hike and camp and rock climb, etc., which places him and his company in a position to profit monetarily. The Federal Government taking land is nothing new. But are they really taking it? I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

The problem with this scenario is that the contracted citizen is left with the bill to subsidize the company of Patagonia by providing its customers a place to play. The more places to play the more money Patagonia stands to make. In addition, if companies like Patagonia can continue to successfully lobby the Federal Government to restrict use of those lands to only the activities of which they provide gear for, all the more money and exclusivity.

The taxpayer’s responsibility grows however. We know that the Federal Government is seriously in arrears in maintenance and upkeep of the land they already have in direct control. The cost of such maintenance falls on the taxpayer. The Federal Government needs at least an additional $20 billion dollars each year just to keep up with the federal land maintained. It seems ridiculous to keep adding to the shortfall by taking over more land…unless of course the powerful Industrial Complex forces presidents, like Barack Obama, to keep creating national monuments, perhaps knowing full well that Congress would not approve taking over more land for more parks. Or maybe it’s not forcing anybody to do anything. Aren’t they all in it together?

We know that just before Obama left office he designated two new national monuments – Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine and Bears Ears in Utah. We now know that Chouinard lobbied Obama very hard to get the Utah national monument in order to pad his own wallet at our expense.

In both cases, Maine and Utah governments are working hard to get President Trump to somehow overturn the designation of the two monuments. It appears quite clear that the majority of the people did not want either of the two monuments but the Federal Hegemony cannot be reeled in.

In addition, the author of the WSJ piece suggested that a solution to this problem would be to implement an excise tax on camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc. gear, similar to the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on shooting and hunting gear, and the Dingell-Johnson excise tax on fishing gear, to fund the upkeep of federal lands and/or to get that section of the outdoor sports and recreation industry to begin paying their way. I’m not so sure that this would actually solve anything and might create more problems if not implemented properly. Otherwise, the present act of federal takeover of land and lobbying efforts would not bring into check the hegemony but might expand it even further. I would have to examine this very closely.

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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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Good Riddance (and don’t let the door hit you in the…)

by James Beers

Two years ago I wasted quite a bit of time opposing the Minnesota DNR decree to impose a ban on using any lead ammunition on State Wildlife Areas.  During this thorough waste of time (it was a simple government decree in a decree-friendly state based on nonsense with no possibility of any change from the get-go) I trekked to downtown St. Paul to the DNR Headquarters for a “Hearing” and a chance to “testify”.

What a circus. The 40 or 50 attendees were divided by sex and costumes.  On “my” half sat males over 50 sitting in groups of friends all decked out in wool shirts; they were the opposition.  On the other half sat a gaggle of females under 50 that probably thought that a gunstock was something listed on the Stock Exchange: they were obviously all acquainted with each other and each was decked out in “professional” clothes suitable for CEO-level executives recently departed from their offices or some expensive urban watering hole for this important meeting; they were the supporters of the ban.

There were a few anomalies in the female supporters group.  First there was the DNR “chief” that obviously knew each lady and wandered amongst them like a movie star.  Then there was the old man dressed in impeccable Orvis duds that looked real “outdoorsy” as he self-identified as a “hunter”.

Last but not least was an older lady in fairly grubby clothes that identified herself and her plea as an “Eagle Rescue biologist”.  Her emotional “testimony”, that was allowed to exceed the time limit unlike the rest of us, was full of tales of Bald eagles injured by “hunters” and brought to her Rescue venue located on a heavily used wintering eagle stretch of the Mississippi.  She even shared X-rays of eagles showing “lead” pellets that were “killing them”.  She received an ovation at her conclusion.

What she failed to mention was that the fact of lead or some other pellet metal was immaterial; lead pellets or bullets imbedded in muscle or other non-organ tissue is benign.  You or I or an eagle or a loon or a duck for that matter so afflicted may live a long life or die soon depending on the wound, not the presence of lead, since lead is not absorbed into the organs and blood (where accumulations can be fatal) when it is simply lodged in muscle or other non-organ tissue.  The lead ammunition bugaboo is based on waterfowl hyperbole and over estimation where ducks and geese, et al have CROPS full of GRIT (pebbles, shot and other small round and hard items they must constantly replenish) that they use to grind their hard plant food like seeds for digestion.  Lead shot (less than claimed) is often ground up and passes through the digestive system with the seeds and if absorbed over a long period can prove fatal.  This “climate-change”-like anecdotal over-estimation successfully justified banning lead for any waterfowl hunting over two decades ago.

Then the same folks used it to justify banning lead fishing tackle because loons were dying from “lead poisoning”.  When I tried to explain to a couple of Minnesota fishermen asking for others to turn in all their lead tackle a few years ago that the miniscule number of loons documented to have toxic lead levels ALSO had digestive systems plugged with fishing TACKLE (hooks, leaders, line) and were in fact starving to death thanks to the plugged digestive system and NOT LEAD, they got irate and told me to get lost.  You see loons HAVE NO CROP AND THEREFORE NO LEAD GRIT because they are fish eaters with digestive systems more like ours than their seed-eating cousins.  When a loon finds a bait minnow on a broken line (with tackle attached) on a snag, it swallows the minnow and the attached tackle that eventually knots up in the digestive system and starves the bird to death as its digestive juices flow freely and absorb as much of the lead as possible.

So let us return to the meeting about lead ammunition on MN State Wildlife Areas and the ladies emotional appeal on behalf of eagles.  Eagles don’t have, nor need, crops.  Eagles don’t need nor gather grit.  Eagles eat fish and meat.  So, all the eagle and lead-pellet X-rays that brought tears to our eyes that winter evening were simple deceptions.  Eagles that die from or are maimed by lead (or any other shot or bullet for that matter) either die from the wound; are disabled by the wound; or recover to stir all MN progressive’s patriotism as they soar above our waterways.

I remembered that little old lady recently and wondered where she is now as I read the following newspaper article titled, “Wind-turbine rule would allow for eagle deaths”.

Having been sensitized to the “fact” that no sacrifice (like ammunition cost and effectiveness or traditional family-heirloom weapon use) is too much to ask to “save” one, much less multiple eagles, from death or wounding I was shocked by the title.  Seeing men and kids investigated, prosecuted, fined, jailed (and prohibited from future voting and gun ownership unlike current prisoners incarcerated for “non-violent” drug crimes being released to vote and bloat growing recidivism statistics) and otherwise marginalized for shooting, mounting or possessing a Bald or Golden Eagle – all at great government expense – I read the article that upset me far more evidently than all the little old ladies or urban professional ladies or the old guys and bureaucrats that hang around them.

Here are the relevant parts of the article with my comments italicized in parentheses.

Wind-turbine rule would allow for eagle deaths

The Obama administration on Wednesday (14 December 2016) finalized a rule that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years — even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

(THOUSANDS??  30 YEARS??  Those wind “farms” have been killing millions of “Protected” birds every spring and fall for 30 years already with nary a scream from all these do-gooders.  Not only were federal bureaucrats paid handsomely to “Protect” them, the bureaucrats of USFWS, the State bureaucrats, the “conservation” organizations, the bird outfits, the radical environmentalists and even the little old Eagle Rescue lady were all AWOL as they lied about lead to discourage hunting and fishing and treated their fellow citizens and their cherished pursuits far worse than government treats terrorists or incarcerated drug smugglers, sellers and perverters of America’s youth.)

    Under the new rule, wind companies and other power providers will not face a penalty if they kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles, nearly four times the current limit. Deaths of the more rare golden eagles would be allowed without penalty so long as companies minimize losses by taking steps such as retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.

(How come ranchers weren’t offered a silly “out” by these “concerned” bureaucrats like putting out eagle food or working at an eagle “rescue” center when they killed A golden eagle killing a lamb or a calf or a dog?  Maybe they could attach an electrical shocker to their dog or a lamb or a calf or a kid and let a golden eagle swoop in and get shocked when it grabs them?  It doesn’t work with wolves but then we could “test” it for years until the ranchers are gone. Just below you will see that the government won’t discuss or release eagle deaths data; so how do we know 4,200 is “four times” the current limit?)

     The new rule will conserve eagles while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source intended to ease global warming, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan, said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. 

(Pollution-free”??  4200 dead Bald eagles and an untold number of golden eagles minced up and lying about is a certain level of accumulated tissue and genes that is hardly describable as “pollution-free”.  The next time some jerk or jerkette bullies you or your children into a “come to Gaia” moment to deny any doubts about global warming, remember this bit of national disgrace because this bureaucrat justifies a magnitude of eagle killing unknown since federal ”protection” of eagles became a federal duty as a good because it eases “global warming.  As a nod to public information, this bureaucrat “Director” was a radical political staff Director in the US House and lost his job when Newt and the Republicans took control of the House 2 years into the reign of Clinton.  He was quickly picked up by USFWS in a top job and given charge of the federal Pittman Robertson Excise Taxes on arms and ammunition intended for state wildlife agencies and their wildlife programs.  Over the next two years $45 to 60 Million went missing, and per a General Accounting Office Audit was used to insert wolves into the Upper Rockies and open an office in California, both of which the Congress had refused to fund or authorize.  This effete environmentalist spent the Bush years in a non-job post and was then made Director under Obama.  The money was never replaced, state governments went AWOL, and no one was charged after Two Congressional hearings just before a Presidential election.  Yes, such a person is no surprise in the middle of this debacle.)

    “No animal says America like the bald eagle,” Ashe said in a statement, calling recovery of the bald eagle “one of our greatest national conservation achievements.” The new rule attempts to build on that success, Ashe said, adding that the Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to balance energy development with eagle conservation. 

(If this isn’t straight out of George Orwell’s description of Newspeak, i.e. meaningless babble that cannot be challenged or understood, then I don’t know what is.)

   Wind power has increased significantly since Obama took office, and wind turbines as tall as 30-story buildings are rising across the country. The wind towers have spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan, and blades reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

The birds are not endangered species but are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The laws prohibit killing, selling or otherwise harming eagles, their nests or eggs without a permit. 

(“30-story buildings”; “passenger jet’s wingspan”; “170 mph blades”: all built in enormous acreages EXACTLY where birds migrate and soar because that is where the best and most persistent winds have occurred for centuries.  Who knew such a situation was or even could be harming birds?  No wonder NO media or environmentalists or professors said anything.  Luckily we have the likes of the USFWS enforcing these bird protection laws and state DNR’s to do thing like manipulate “Rescue” ladies to regale us with why we should stop using economical and efficient ammunition for hunting because we might kill an eagle unknowingly. Al Capone had nothing on these guys.)

    It’s unclear what toll wind energy companies are having on eagle populations, although Ashe said as many 500 golden eagles a year are killed by collisions with wind towers, power lines, buildings, cars and trucks. Thousands more are killed by gunshots and poisonings.
Reporting of eagle mortality is voluntary, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information. 

(Raise your hand if you are surprised that the Administration that gave us the Hillary/ATF/Gun Smuggling/UN Small Arms Treaty Attempt/ Fast & Furious scandal; the Lois Lerner/IRS record destruction scandal; Private computer servers in basements; and just recently refused to explain computer hacking by Russia to Congress and magically disagreement between 17 government intelligence agencies disappeared while the President says he knows all about in a press conference as he scoots out to a 17-day vacation in Hawaii – also gives us:

“It’s unclear what toll wind energy companies are having on eagle populations.”

Ashe said as many 500 golden eagles a year are killed by collisions with wind towers, power lines, buildings, cars and trucks. Thousands more are killed by gunshots and poisonings”.  This latter is a lie.  If there was anything near this USFWS would have been screaming to Congress for more employees and budget and the “Establishment” would have granted it immediately for fear of being called “anti- America’s symbol”.

Reporting of eagle mortality is voluntary, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information. These guys must have taken public information classes in Moscow.  They should be fired for such illegal public employee arrogance to cover up…??)

    The new rule is set to take effect in mid-January, days before Obama leaves office. President-elect Donald Trump could change the rule or scrap it, but the process would likely takes months or years.

(Wow, can you imagine what things would be like if President Obama hadn’t promised President-elect Trump an honest and friendly transition of power?)

    Ashe declined to be interviewed, but he said in a blog entry Wednesday the total number of eagles killed per year is likely to be in the hundreds, not thousands. 

(How does a “public” “servant” decline” to tell the public about public business that has NO security (other than the tushes of the said bureaucrats) implications?  This swamp not only needs to be “drained”; it needs to be tiled and planted for the benefit of those paying for it!)

    Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy said Wednesday that his group has “some serious concerns” that the new rule will not do not enough to sustain populations of threatened eagles. 

(The “conservation” organizations are full of these guys.  They are like draft dodgers telling little kids what they did “in the war”.  I include here all those urban “useful idiots” that harm their rural fellow citizens for their own selfish imaginings and even the sincere little old ladies that babble on and are never challenged like some minority spouting nonsense or a terrorist-looking man or women stranger that shows up in some public gathering wearing heavy clothing and a backpack.  All of them intend to force the rest of us to submit to th+++eir vision of a society they run and we either submit or lose our rights or worse.

Yesterday I received an email telling me I was accusing Obama and his Administration unjustly of doing bad things as they went out the door.  The writer inferred that I must be a racist to be so anti-Obama.  Well, make your own decision here but I, for one, am glad to be done with them.  And as I said in the title, “don’t let the door hit you in the &$$ on the way out!”

Jim Beers

17 December 2016

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Proposal: Annual Certification of State’s Hunting and Fishing License Sales

I. Abstract

    The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669 et
seq.) and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 777 
et seq., except 777e-1) provide authority for Federal assistance to the 
States for management and restoration of fish and wildlife. These Acts 
and our regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 
80, subpart D, require that States, territories, and the District of 
Columbia annually certify their hunting and fishing license sales. 
States, territories, and the District of Columbia that receive grants 
under these Acts use FWS Forms 3-154a (Part I--Certification) and 3-
154b (Part II--Summary of Hunting and Sport Fishing Licenses Issued) to 
certify the number and amount of hunting and fishing license sales. We 
use the information collected to apportion and distribute funds 
according to the formula specified in each Act.<<<For more information and where  to comment>>>
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Hunters, Anglers Fund America’s Conservation Efforts

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—New statistics recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) show hunters and anglers generated $1.1 billion in 2014. That funding will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to support America’s conservation and recreation projects.

“‘Hunting Is Conservation‘ is not just a motto or a theme or a mantra. It’s truth,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “Sportsmen and women who hunt and fish are the people who generate the funds for on-the-ground conservation and wildlife management efforts from coast to coast.”

The funding is raised through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs which place excise taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, electric boat motors, and from taxes on the purchase of motorboat fuel.

“These funds are the cornerstone of state-based efforts that are critical to the preservation of America’s wildlife and natural resources,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “But they are also the fuel for a massive financial engine that benefits outdoor recreationists, hunters, boaters and anglers, equipment manufacturers and retailers, and local and regional economies. Their value cannot be overstated in providing opportunities for the next generation of Americans to get outdoors, experience our wild places and learn the importance of conserving our natural heritage.”

“It is thanks to this significant financial investment made by America’s sportsmen and women and the hunting, shooting sports, angling and boating industries that state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies can deliver science-based conservation on the ground,” said Larry Voyles, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies president and Arizona Game and Fish Department director. “The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has made the difference between the survival and abundance of some species and it helps agencies, like mine, manage a vast estate of lands and waters and connect more people to wildlife-related recreation.”

Funding generated by RMEF’s volunteers and members in 2014 furthered the Elk Foundation’s conservation mission by helping complete 253 land and habitat stewardship projects that protected or enhanced 160,180 acres of elk habitat and opened or secured public access to 61,817 acres.

“We are so grateful for our dedicated volunteers and members, as well as sportsmen and women around the country for their passion for land and wildlife conservation,” added Allen.

Go here to see a state-by-state breakdown of the funding distribution.

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Distribution of P-R/D-J Excise Tax Money

Last week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was going to distribute $1.1 billion dollars (that’s $1,100,000,000) in revenues generated by the hunting and angling industries to state and territorial wildlife services across the nation. That probably elicited a resounding shrug from most of us. So, we wanted to put a little bit of perspective on that number. The best way to do that is to breakdown the massive number into smaller, more easily understood numbers.

Source: Fun With Numbers : The Outdoor Wire

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We Are All Montanans Now

By James Beers:

A stunning maneuver by the federal government was recently brought to my attention. While it is directed at the government of the State of Montana concerning shooting ranges; there is a much broader precedent establishment being attempted that concerns every state official and every rural resident that farms, grazes, hunts, fishes, traps, owns animals and/or owns property or recreates in myriad ways on both public and private rural landscapes.

BACKGROUND:

* Since 1987 Montana Shooting Sports Association and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have partnered to make about $25 M in grants available to local shooting ranges. This wildly popular program has made a huge difference in the availability of safe and suitable places for Montanans to shoot and practice gun (and by extension hunter) safety.

* Early in the program, federal funding was sought but insurmountable red tape from several federal sources made such funding impractical. For more than a decade, in-state hunting license fees were used to fund the program

* The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has always administered the program and this was confirmed in a State Statute in 1999.

* State funding budgets are confirmed every two years (the Legislature meets every two years).

* In the last two funding cycles, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has diverted nearly all of this funding from the State budget for other purposes not budgeted by the Legislature such as employee pay raises.

* This year the State Legislature is considering proposing putting the money they authorize for shooting ranges into a separate account to be used ONLY for shooting ranges.

* The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks objects to this, claiming it violates the Pittman Robertson (Wildlife Restoration) Act that is the basis for federal collection of Excise Taxes on guns, ammunition, archery paraphernalia and certain imports. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks notified the US Fish and Wildlife Service Excise Tax administrators who have threatened to deny all Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds (over $27M last year) if the State tells their own agency where to spend the money they authorize for shooting ranges. As a result, the State’s own wildlife agency is fixing to oppose the State legislature and Governor’s exercise of their duly elected and sworn duty to exercise oversight and set priorities OVER THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES WORKING IN THE STATE AGENCY THEY ESTABLISHED, AUTHORIZED, FUND AND FOR WHICH THEY (THE LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR) ARE THE SOURCE OF THEIR POWER AND CONTINUING OPERATION.

FURTHER FEDERAL BACKGROUND:

* The US Fish and Wildlife Service Office that was notified by the State agency was the Federal Aid Program. This State Excise Tax oversight office is the very office that “saw no evil, heard no evil, and said no evil” twenty years ago when their political bosses stole $45 to 60M of the Excise Taxes from the state agencies (and you and me and our wildlife programs financed by our license dollars and equipment purchases) and then used the money secretly to capture Canadian wolves and release them in Yellowstone plus open a new office in California to all but share space with the environmental extremist and animal rights radical organizations that were replacing the historic wildlife management and wildlife users organizations as federal partners. Both the wolves and the office had been turned down by Congress and were refused authorization before the appointees, bureaucrats and the administration decided to simply steal the money, release the wolves and build the new office anyway.

* This federal office oversees the operation of state wildlife agencies for compliance with Excise Tax uses named as “eligible” in the law and the operation of the state wildlife agency activities and uses of license revenue to remain eligible for their annual share or “Apportionment” of available Excise Taxes based on their area and the sale of hunting licenses in the state. Historic violations included Excise Tax or license dollars used to purchase vehicles for state motor pools; or such funds used to pay state parks’ employees; or hatchery fish or upland birds released on the private property of donors and politicians; or lands purchased with such funds used to build a prison; or revenue from timber sales on such lands put in the General Treasury; or selling wildlife for profit. These are examples of “diversions” and were supposed to be detected by audits by the overseers every five years as required by the law. Despite this requirement, the twenty years preceding the theft of the $45 to 60M were marked by the all-but disappearance of any audits, a hiatus that was welcomed by federal and state bureaucrats as their working “relationship” became closer and closer and more and more “informal”. When the theft of the money was exposed by a Government ACCOUNTING Office Audit, an audit firm was hired to audit every state wildlife agency and then to re-establish a 5-year cycle as required by law, corruption again reared its ugly head. Less than 3 years into the audits, the auditors had had found millions of dollars in “diversions”; the states were screaming (quietly); and federal bureaucrats wanted no more scandals: so the auditors were fired for being “behind schedule” and the Interior Department Inspector General who was simultaneously responsible for overseeing US Fish and Wildlife Service (?) was then “hired” to resume the audits. Needless to say, the “diversions” were evidently “mistakes” and never reported; and that particular Inspector General was introduced later by President Obama at his first State of the Union as the “New Inspector General for the Stimulus Program” that consisted of billions and which, like the state PR audits, was found to be as pure as the driven snow.

* An “Acting Chief” of the above Office responded to the letter from the Director of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks about shooting ranges and how those mean old Legislators and the Governor were about to tell the all-wise and smarter-than-everybody-else agency what to do! Imagine! Well, the
“Acting” (federal) Chief in what can only be described as an arrogant and laughable (if everyone rolls over for him) way said in his “view” (??) such administration by the State elected officials would “render Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks ineligible for further participation in the benefits (i.e. Excise Tax funding) of the (Wildlife and Sport Fish Program)”.

He told the downtrodden State Director that, in “our (federal government?, USFWS?, Solicitor?, a frog in his pocket?) view the (sic Montana) FWP would suffer a loss of control of its hunting and fishing license revenues” if the proposed bill was passed. All the State Director does is to tell the State officials that he will therefore be compelled to oppose the attempt by the Governor and Legislature to tell him (and “his” employees) what to do or how to do it. The fact that the State Director offered no blowback to the federal threat is, take my word, a clue.

Two reasons given for this federal threat to deny any future Excise Tax sharing are taken from the Code of Federal Regulations govern the PR Act in the letter:

1.) “Revenue from hunting and fishing licenses (must) be controlled only by the State Fish and Wildlife Agency.”

Does this mean that the Governor or Legislature cannot set priorities and expenditures for lawful and eligible Wildlife and Fisheries activities? Of course not! Can anyone argue that this Excise Tax program for conservation has contained within it for over 70 years an authority for federal bureaucrats to not merely assure that State governments did not MISUSE Excise Tax and Licenses dollars BUT TO DENY STATE GOVERNMENTS ANY ROLE IN THE ACTIVITIES AND PRIORITIES THEREOF FOR THEIR WILDLIFE AGENCY TO PURSUE JUST, LEGITIMATE AND ELIGIBLE (UNDER THE PR ACT) FISH AND WILDLIFE PROJECTS (that both the Act and the State agency share and agree on? Since when did the responsibility to assure compliance intended to protect “Eligible Uses” of Excise Tax and License dollars morph into a federal bureaucrat power to tell the duly elected officials of a State government to stand down because the federal bureaucrats doesn’t agree with their and the people of the state’s priorities?

2.) “Revenues from hunting and fishing licenses can only be used for administration of the State fish and wildlife agency which includes only the functions required to manage the agency and the fish and wildlife related resources for which the agency has authority under State law” and, “A State becomes ineligible to receive the benefits of the Act if it diverts hunting and fishing license revenue from purposes other than the agency’s administration.” Really?

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was given the administration authority over shooting ranges by the Montana Legislature in 1999.

But, I am sure you are thinking, what about the federal view of shooting ranges especially in these days of gun control hysterics and the most anti-gun administration in my lifetime?

The PR Act and the Regulations promulgated under it define “Eligible Uses” of Excise Tax dollars and license revenues as “Constructing, operating and maintaining recreational firearms shooting and archery ranges” right alongside other eligible uses such as, “Management of wild bird and mammal populations”, “Managing wildlife habitat”, and “Providing public use that benefits from Wildlife Resources”.

So the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has the authority to manage shooting ranges and shooting ranges in totality are an “eligible use” under the federal Act and under State law, and the Governor and Legislature simply want more emphasis on it and for the agency to stop diverting shooting range money from where the State Legislators direct. How does the federal bureaucrat suggest they do that other than what they are considering? Will the federal bureaucrat pay for it like “the People” want? Will the federal bureaucrat even allow the Governor and State Legislature to even speak with these ostensible crybaby employees or will they just get their priorities from Washington henceforth? Federal priorities for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, given their way, span everything from wolves and grizzly “management” in accord with federal dictates to fooling a hostile Montana public into allowing federal “free-roaming buffalo” to be loosed like Yellowstone wolves once were and for eventually the State to “assume management” (how sweet that sounds) of the latest federal imposition following federal dictates on rural Montana in cahoots with State employees. All that takes money and Lord knows Montanans may want shooting ranges but federal bureaucrats want gun control and control of these ostensible “State” agencies AND their license revenue And their Excise Tax dollars to do what Montanans are obviously too dense to realize they should be doing if only they could see “the big picture”.

Finally, I had some extraneous, but I believe relevant, thoughts as I wrote this:

* I note that the State agency is “preparing to argue against HB 234”. This plus their request to federal overseers and then the absence of any blowback by the state agency to argue for the State (and evidently NOT the State agency’s) position leads me to believe that this State agency (like many others) is much more of a federal subcontractor agency than a State Agency. As Struther Martin said in the movie Cool Hand Luke, I think that regarding the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the Governor and Legislature have “a failure to communicate”.

* State agencies are generally reluctant to identify with “shooting ranges” in these days of national and international environmental and animal rights “awareness”. Shooting Ranges are generally like Trapping and Animal Control in these regards in that they anger those out to eliminate hunting and fishing and do things like loose free-roaming buffalo on rural Americans.

* Wolves and grizzlies and like critters are loosed on a rural populace by federal bureaucrats and then “turned over” to state (is it their governments or one of these “independent” agencies???) management. This federally mandated management of these animals is expensive and the federal bureaucrats and State bureaucrats WANT FULL CONTROL OF ALL STATE FUNDS AND PRIORITIES WITHOUT ANY ACCOUNTABILITY TO STATE GOVERNMENTS OR STATE TAXPAYERS. This is not unrelated to these federal PR bureaucrats and State agency bureaucrats colluding to do just that with STATE LICENSE FUNDING EXPENDITURES AND PRIORITIES.

* Federal bureaucrats these days accrue significant political and career benefits from enacting ways to further restrict gun uses, gun availability and ammunition supplies. Examples are – The secret negotiations by the State Department under Clinton and Kerry to negotiate a UN Small Arms Treaty that will shrink or abolish the 2nd Amendment. The Fast and Furious federal gun-running scheme into Mexico intended to create justification for more gun control that has never been explained. Closure by EPA of the last lead smelter in the US. Continuous statements by the President and Attorney General about the need to register and confiscate guns, etc……. Is it not possible that any federal bureaucrats that can establish a PRECEDENT to abolish any vestige of State control of their state wildlife agency, or their state wildlife license revenue, or such agency’s activities, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY POINT THE WAY ON HOW TO STOP AND REVERSE THE GROWTH OF SHOOTING RANGES might not at least be in line for a bonus and maybe an eventual promotion and all that portends? I do not doubt that this is involved in this whole tug of war between the government of Montana on the one hand and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks & US Fish and Wildlife Service “partners” on the other.

Consider YOUR State wildlife agency. It gets Excise Taxes and dances to a federal tune that is steadily pushing YOU and YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT out of the picture. If Montana succumbs here; whether because of State employees that serve Washington and not your state government or because of federal bureaucrats that have silenced your organizations and are working so closely with your enemies that you won’t see what is happening until it is too late is immaterial: you will be like that lonesome German noted in the early 1940’s, “when they came for me, no one was there”. Truly we are all Montanans in these regards.

Allow me two analogies: State wildlife agencies are becoming like that famous horse Lincoln once noted was bucking and got his foot caught in the stirrup and his rider (the Governor, Legislature and people of the state) leaned over and told him if he will just calm down, “I will get off so you can get up”.

The federal agencies (US Fish and Wildlife Service with its ESA and easement schemes with radicals; the US Forest Service with its Roadless/Wilderness/Grazing Shutdowns/Logging & Timber Management Elimination; BLM with its Bundy Fiascoes and selective use and management shutdowns; and National Park Service with its Viewsheds/Historic Zones/Total anti-natural resource management and use mission) are like Oscar Wilde’s famous Picture of Dorian Gray. He was an outwardly handsome and wealthy man that made a pact with the devil that his secret life of corruption and vice would only be noted on a painting of himself hidden away in his attic while he stayed forever young and spotless. Just as Dorian met an horrific end, so too will these federal agencies that are operating on a no longer real image that was once true but any longer simply conceals an existence of harm to people and abuse of power that will eventually end in something much worse than anyone imagines.

Jim Beers
17 February 2015

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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A Proposed “Tax Holiday” on Hunting Equipment Purchases

In Texas:

“The bill would create two sales tax holiday weekends, one on the last full weekend in August to coincide with the beginning of dove season, and a second on the last full weekend in October to coincide with the beginning of deer season.
Items that would be included in the tax-free weekend are firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, gun cases and gun safes, and hunting safety equipment.”<<<Read More>>>

*Note* As one reader emailed me, he said, “…here is one way for the *$(#@&*^ not using money for bunny studies….don’t give them any!”

What do you think? Excise tax money collected from the sale of certain sports equipment is collected by the government and then after the government and special interest groups take their share, some legal and some not, the government redistributes that money back to the states supposedly to be used for programs designed to enhance hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting. Do you support a tax holiday in your state?

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A Made Up Issue About Pittman-Robertson Money and Wolves

wake-up-america

The Idaho Statesmen trumps up a story that isn’t, I suppose to sell copies. According to Rocky Barker there’s a problem with whether or not Idaho is going to utilize Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson excise tax money to prop up the coffers of a fascist bill, painted as a means of controlling wolves, and making the sportsmen pay for it. The fake “concern” is whether or not using P-R/D-J money to kill wolves is in violation of the excise tax law.

If Mr. Barker believes this to be an “issue” where was he on this issue when P-R/D-J money was stolen by the millions from sportsmen to illegally bring the wolves to Idaho in the first place? Isn’t that an issue? Or how about the fact that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies convinced Congress to give them some of that excise tax money to fund their anti-hunting programs? Does that make sense? Where’s the uproar? What’s the issue? P-R/D-J monies have been abused for so many years by fish and game departments and now, out of the blue, somebody thinks wasting P-R/D-J money to kill some wolves might be in violation of the law? Oh, I get it. It’s because it’s about wolves. Everything for the G.I. wolves, that’s it.

Give me a break!

I have written in the past about this ridiculous bill that forces hunters to pay for damages done by Government Issued wolves and the crooks that pulled it off. That’s like asking a patient to pay for damages done by an incompetent doctor. Where’s the outrage? I hear nothing but crickets! Have we become that communistic in our non thinking ways that we cannot even see the damned government is making us pay for our own rope to hang ourselves with?

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RMEF Celebrates Conservation on National Hunting and Fishing Day

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation stands tall, shoulder-to-shoulder alongside hunters and anglers nationwide to support National Hunting and Fishing Day, a day set aside to celebrate America’s conservation accomplishments.

Signed into law in 1972, and instituted on the state level that same year in all 50 states, National Hunting and Fishing Day marks its 41st anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 28.

“Our mission is to enhance the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We firmly recognize the role outdoorsmen and women have in funding, supporting and embracing land and wildlife conservation. Those efforts further solidify our mantra that ‘Hunting is Conservation.'”

As wildlife numbers dwindled across the country more than 100 years ago, hunters were the force behind a movement to encourage and support conservation and science-based wildlife management. President Theodore Roosevelt, among other hunter-conservationists, called for an end of the commercial taking of species. They also lobbied for the creation of hunting licenses leading to a funding mechanism to assist with growing sustainable wildlife populations.

“The actions taken by Teddy Roosevelt and the fellow sportsmen of his time led to the foundation of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which spells out that wildlife belong to us and need to be managed in a way that populations will thrive forever. That model is the only one of its kind and remains the most successful in the world,” added Allen.

In 1937, hunters requested an 11 percent tax on guns, ammunitions, bows and arrows, with the proceeds directed solely toward funding conservation. To date, that tax raised more than $7.2 billion for wildlife conservation, including a record $522.5 million in 2012 alone. Through state licenses and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs. They also add $440 million a year to the effort through donations to conservation organizations like the RMEF.

“We are proud of the more than 6.3 million acres of habitat RMEF protected and enhanced across the country and the hand we had in reintroducing elk back on their native range in six states, but we know there is still much to do. We salute our dedicated volunteers for their efforts in raising funds to ensure the future of elk and elk country nationwide,” added Allen.

Allen urged sportsmen and women to show their support of National Hunting and Fishing Day by honoring actions of the past and by taking our children and grandchildren into the outdoors this weekend and in the future.

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