November 21, 2014

The Real State Fish and Game Agenda Revealed

*Editor’s Note* – The below article appears in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin #56, April-July 2014. It is republished on this website with permission from the editor of The Outdoorsman. Please help to support the continued publication of this valuable magazine by buying a subscription and/or making a donation. You can do this by clicking the link on the right side of this page, printing out an application and mailing to George Dovel. Thank you.

The few who are able to accept the truth when they read it, know that The Outdoorsman has kept them aware of the 1980 change in state Fish and Game priority from providing continued supplies of wildlife for hunting fishing and trapping, to making non-consumptive wildlife viewing (bird watching, etc.) its number one priority. We have also photocopied and repeatedly published and referred to Jim Unsworth’s 1991-1995 Elk Plan, which boldly stated it was a plan to manage the impacts of people upon wildlife and
wildlife habitat. It also encouraged and promoted non-consumptive use of elk and claimed a single use like harvest was not necessarily a good thing.

The Outdoorsman has presented undeniable proof that officials in IDFG and several hundred from other states’ F&G agencies were trained by FWS and The Nature Conservancy in their West Virginia Training Center to sell our governors on putting Fish and Game biologists in charge of all development on public and private lands. This included implementing the system of wilderness core areas and connecting wildlife corridors.

These biologists were taught, “Instead of being the decision maker on trivial decisions like deer seasons, our primary responsibility must be to be the trusted source to the people, media and political decision-makers on incredibly important decisions like land use, water quality, biodiversity and global climate change.”

We reported how IDFG Director Virgil Moore recently conducted a seminar in the East to teach others how to use the Public Trust Doctrine to replace hunters with non-hunters. We also reported Moore’s working with the MAT (the “Management Assistance Team with offices in the FWS/TNC Training Center in W. Va.) at IDFG Headquarters in Boise to accomplish the transition from managing wildlife to their new “business” of regulating activities on public and private land.

In the latter part of July an eight page document surfaced that was dated May 21, 2014 and titled “Idaho Fish and Game In-Service Training School, Confluence Café Summary.” It said that 500 IDFG employees had participated in its preparation and showed color photos of several large groups participating in the “Confluence Café.”

It contained multiple suggestions to de-emphasize the role of hunters and fishermen and increase the programs available for those who don’t buy licenses. It suggested Nature Walks and Auction Wildlife Viewing trips but admitted that wildlife viewers were not willing to pay for the programs.

There was strong approval for dropping “Fish” and “Game” from the name of the Department and adding something about habitat. There were also numerous suggestions to utilize public funding for the programs they said they wanted to provide, including the lottery and sales tax.

I was privy to the angry reaction from several license buyers, one angry legislator and read several pieces of written testimony. Administrative Chief Barton lied to Sen. Cameron about having surplus money to hire the first nongame biologists, Rita Dixon lied to the Commission about having sufficient donations to pay matching funds for their program, and now they have replaced game biologists so sportsmen can pay some of their cost.

Maine/USFWS Plan for Canada Lynx Incidental Take Permit

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Agencies release revised plan, assessment for protecting Canada lynx affected by Maine trapping programs Maine to manage at least 4,785 acres for Canada lynx
August 5, 2014
Contacts:

USFWS, Meagan Racey, 413-253-8558
MDIFW, Mark Latti, 207-287-5216

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one step closer to making a decision on permitting Maine’s state-regulated trapping programs for effects to the federally protected Canada lynx. The Service and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reviewed public comments on the necessary documents for the permit and have released revised versions for public review and comment through September 5, 2014.

The agencies previously released draft versions of MDIFW’s incidental take plan and the Service’s environmental assessment for public comment in November 2011, followed by three highly attended public information sessions. The Service received about 285 unique letters, 129 comment cards from public information sessions and 6,100 form letters commenting on issues from outreach and monitoring measures to lynx handling procedures and enforcement.

The revised plan describes measures proposed by MDIFW to minimize the effects of incidental trapping on lynx, such as increased trapper outreach, compliance monitoring by wardens and veterinary oversight, and it incorporates several new methods of trapping and new trapping regulations. MDIFW proposes to offset, or mitigate, for the effects on lynx by maintaining at least 4,785 acres of lynx habitat in the state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands Seboomook Unit in northern Maine. The agency has added the predator management and animal damage control programs as activities to be covered under the plan, but the addition has not changed the expected effect on lynx.

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to “take”—meaning trap, capture, collect, harass, harm, wound or kill—federally threatened or endangered wildlife, such as the threatened Canada lynx. Some activities, such as trapping for common species like bobcat or fisher, have the risk of incidentally taking protected species. An incidental take permit would allow trapping through the recreational, predator management and animal damage control programs to continue as MDIFW undertakes practical measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of lynx.

Incidental take plans, known also as habitat conservation plans, identify the impacts to wildlife from a project or program; the steps the applicant will take to reduce or compensate for such impacts; what alternative actions were considered; and how conservation efforts will be funded.

To learn more and comment on the documents:

Visit the Maine Field Office website, http://www.fws.gov/mainefieldoffice/, for questions and answers about the revised documents, species information and an archive of the draft documents.
Visit www.regulations.gov and enter docket FWS-R5-ES-2014-0020 to review comments submitted during the 2011-2012 comment period, the Service’s response to comments, and the revised plan and assessment.
Submit comments at www.regulations.gov or by hard copy to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2014-0020; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. Please reference the docket number for this notice.

After the comment period ends, the Service will determine whether the application meets the permit issuance requirements.

Copy of an email sent to various recipients from Mark McCollough of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has updated its draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) revised incidental take plan (ITP) for incidental trapping threatened Canada lynx. The agencies will make both available for a 30-day supplemental public comment period. They will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, August 6. There will be a 30-day comment period ending September 5, 2014. No public meetings are planned.

In summary, from 1999 to 2013, 84 lynx have been reported incidentally trapped in Maine (seven were caught in killer-type traps and 77 in foothold traps). Under the revised plan, the MDIFW anticipates that up to 13 lynx per year, or 195 total, might be incidentally trapped in restraining traps (e.g., foothold, cage traps and cable restraints) following issuance of the 15-year permit. The MDIFW expects that the majority of lynx caught in these traps will be released with little to no injury. They are requesting the permit to allow for up to three lynx fatalities as the result of incidental trapping. The MDIFW does not anticipate take in killer-type traps and take of orphaned kittens. The MDIFW seeks incidental take coverage for lynx that might be trapped in fur trapping, predator management (coyote control), and animal damage control programs. The agency proposes to phase in cable restraints, a new form of trapping for Maine, rescind regulations governing the size of foothold traps, and resume use of cage traps in northern Maine. The MDIFW will conduct a number of minimization measures that include increasing trapper education; a trapper hotline; biologists responding to lynx trapping incidents; assessing, classifying, and treating injures; rehabilitating injured lynx; and a protocol to care for kittens in situations where a female is trapped and injured and must be removed from the wild for rehabilitation. To mitigate for potential lynx mortalities, the MDIFW will maintain and enhance at least 4,785 acres of lynx habitat on a 10,411-acre area in the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Lands Seboomook Unit in northern Maine.

The documents are available for review today at the Federal Register Reading Room at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/06/2014-18548/incidental-take-plan-maine-department-of-inland-fisheries-and-wildlifes-trapping-program. The Service is releasing the revised versions of the plan and the Environmental Assessment for a 30-day supplemental public comment period. We encourage you to submit comments. Written comments may be submitted electronically by September 5, 2014, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy, via U.S. mail, to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R5–ES–2014–0020; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. The docket number for this notice is FWS–R5–ES–2014–0020.

Following this comment period, the Service will evaluate the revised plan and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit complies with ESA section 7 by conducting an intra-Service consultation and biological opinion.

All documents associated with MDIFW’s 2008 and 2014 incidental take permit applications (including the Service’s draft Environmental Assessments) will also be posted at the Service’s Maine Field Office website Canada lynx page: http://www.fws.gov/mainefieldoffice/Canada_lynx.html. We are also posting public comments that we received during our 2011-2012 90-day public comment period. Responses to these public comments are appended to our 2014 draft Environmental Assessment.

The Service issued the attached press release and question-and-answer documents this afternoon.

Please contact Laury Zicari, field office supervisor (207 866-3344 x111, Laury_Zicari@fws.gov), or myself (contact information below) if you have any questions. We encourage you to comment through www.regulations.gov.

Please distribute to others who may be interested in this issue.

Sincerely, Mark McCollough

Mark McCollough, Ph.D.
Endangered Species Specialist
Maine Field Office
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Canada Lynx Incidental Take Plan and Permit Application for Maine Trapping Program
Questions and Answers

Trapping: Effective Management Action

Abstract

Many populations of wildlife, including large- and medium-sized predators are increasing in Europe. Trapping can be one way to reduce negative impacts of predators on human interests, such as game species and threatened species, but there is little knowledge of trap usage and motivation behind it. We used a mail survey in Sweden (n?=?3,886 respondents) to compare predator trappers with hunters who used other methods to kill predators, and with other hunters who did not kill predators, in regard to sociodemographics, beliefs, behaviors, and constraints. During 12 months prior to the survey 19 % of respondents had trapped any small- or medium-sized predator, while 15 % of respondents had trapped and 55 % had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), or corvid birds. Reducing predator numbers was an important reason for hunting predators with traps. Of predator trappers, 97 % had hunted species that were potentially prey of the targeted predators (e.g., roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], hare [Lepus spp.], and grouse), 94 % believed that there were too many red foxes, badgers, or corvids on their main hunting ground, and 64 % believed it to be very important to reduce predator numbers to benefit other game species. We conclude that the use of traps is widespread among Swedish hunters, and that increasing wildlife populations, increased presence of wildlife in urban areas, and management of invasive species calls for effective management actions, of which trapping can be one. (Note: This Abstract is part of the overall study results posted online. For those interested the entire study can be purchased online as well. Learn more about this by following this link.)

Impacts of Wolf Hunting/Trapping on Tolerance of the Gray Wolf

ABSTRACT:

The Public Trust Doctrine placed wildlife in trust, via state control and regulation, for the benefit of the people. Managing agencies that lose sight of the importance of public acceptance of predator policies and management actions may find themselves legislatively or judicially subverted. This study examines how the Montana public wolf hunting and trapping seasons have affected tolerance and acceptance of gray wolves (Canis lupus) among rural resident ranchers, hunters, and trappers. Twenty residents from the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Ninemile Valleys were qualitatively interviewed over the summer and fall of 2013. Potential participants were initially identified using purposive sampling, with subsequent interviewees located through snowball sampling. The presence or absence of the public wolf hunting and trapping seasons is not the sole determining factor of tolerance or intolerance of wolves in this sample population. The pattern of determinant factors instead more closely represents a web of influence than a direct line of cause and effect. Eight main nodes, or themes, were identified in interview transcription data identified based on frequency of occurrence in interview data and how essential they seemed in shaping attitudes of interviewees: 1) the consequences of political maneuvering (frustration, perceived inequity, and mistrust); 2) the need for management and control of the wolf population; 3) wolf-related impacts to interviewees’ livelihood and way of life; 4) personal beliefs, affects, and attitudes; 5) previous interactions with predators; 6) cultural influences; 7) the place and impact of wolves in the ecosystem; and 8) noted changes in opinion. Most themes were further divided into subthemes, and the connections between all themes and subthemes were examined from there. While the impacts of the seasons have not yet been great or entirely consistent across the sample population, statements made by interviewees suggest that removal of public wolf hunting and trapping liberties would greatly reduce tolerance and acceptance in these interest groups and increase an overall polarization of public opinions. Interview data reveal complex relationships between stakeholders, interest groups, and impacts from wolf re-establishment, as well as complex attitudes towards wolves that often incorporate some level of awe and admiration. Individual’s trust in managing agencies may be critical in moving forward. Data also shows that there will likely be more changes to come in this sample population’s acceptance and tolerance of wolves. Wolf tolerance and acceptance levels should be further monitored in Montana rural resident ranchers, trappers, and big game hunters, the stakeholder groups that are the most directly impacted by and most necessary for continued wolf management and recovery.<<<Download PDF Document>>>

Bringing Wolves Back: “That is no Good!”

Today I was reading through an article about how wolves had returned to France and are now being found on the outskirts of Paris. For some, with extremely ill minds, returning wolves (actually probably wild dogs) is even better than France being liberated from Hitler’s Nazis.

As I was reading, I recalled a comment I had read a bit ago that was written by James Beers, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, who, during his tour of duty in Washington, D.C., traveled to Europe to meet with delegates from the European Union, Canada and Russia. At this time, around about 1998, the European Union, firmly in the grasp of the environmental movement, was attempting to ban the importation of furs from the United States, Canada and Russia.

During a roundtable discussion that took place early in 2010 with Jim Beers, Dr. Valerius Geist, Bill Hoppe, Robert Fanning, Will Graves and Dr. Delane Kritsky, Beers recalled a comment made to him by a Russian government representative (wolf technician) during one particular meeting. Here’s that comment:

BEERS: It is ironic you should mention the Finn solution. In 1998 I was involved in traveling to Europe multiple times that year fighting European unions’ attempt to ban the import of furs. The United States worked very closely with Canada and Russia to do that and we were having lunch one day arranged lunch by the Europe Union and there were two Russian representatives there one with a Ph.D. from Moscow and the other a wolf technician from a region close to Siberia. The technician sat next to me and we got along real well in the meetings. He actually said to me about halfway through the meeting . . . he said Mr. Beers, “Can I ask you something?” I said “sure.” I thought we were going to talk about fur bearers because he was really into sables and the export of furs, but he said, “Is it true that your country is bringing wolves back and protecting them and trying to breed them?” He looked at me right in my eyes and he was unbelieving. I said, “It’s true . . . they’ve just done that in Yellowstone Park.” And I said, “I don’t know where that’s going to lead.” And he actually said to me, “That is no good . . . I do not understand how you ever beat us in the Cold War.” I’ve since reflected on this Russians incredulity at the U.S. folly and the humor of this guy wondering with our bungling mentality on this matter, how we could have ever beaten them.” (emboldening added)

Some may disregard anything the Russians might have to say about wolves but they have been studying and “living with” wolves for a very, very long time. When the United States Fish and Wildlife Service decided they were going to force wolves onto people and lie about it all, one thing that they DID NOT do during the compilation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Final EIS, was talk to anybody in Europe, Finland or Russia; actually not one ounce of effort was put into communicating with countries world wide that had dealt with wolves for centuries. The USFWS obviously had an agenda and they wasn’t going to have it ruined by employing any truth about wolves.

Coming from a man from a country that knows about wolves, willingly going about bringing wolves into a country and protecting them so they can breed, “That is no good!”

That is no good!

Another Predator Taking Control of People’s Lives

The fisher, Martes pennanti, now can be found just about everywhere in Connecticut; enough so that people are beginning to see them in their back yards…….really? Claimed to be nocturnal, one science teacher, captured one on video during the middle of the day.

And as one has become accustomed to hear, “Officials from DEEP also say it’s unlikely “fisher cats” will bother humans. Officials recommend removing any food sources such as garbage cans from your property.”

The bit of irony in this story is that wildlife officials in 1988 captured fisher cats in Vermont and New Hampshire and introduced them into the northwestern area of the state. Now, since 2005, licensed trappers can harvest the animals for often times valuable fur.

Connecticut awaits the Loup Garou!

FisherConnecticut

Radical Groups Intend to Sue Idaho to Protect Canada Lynx

LynxintrapThe usual suspects, those lust-after wolf perverts at the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of the Clearwater, plan to do what they do best and sue the State of Idaho believing they are protecting the Canada lynx. These three groups will get what they want and probably more. My advice to Idaho is to just sit down and work out a plan that will essentially stop just about all trapping in lynx habitat. Going to court is a winless battle and a waste of money.

Gasp! I’m sure I will hear from the trappers and the haters of the environmentalist greedy pigs who lust more for money than saving any kind of wildlife, wanting to know why I am saying this. Just look at what happened in Maine. And where is Maine now in their trapping issues and how it pertains to protecting the Canada lynx? It is just surprising that Idaho has gotten away without making changes in their trapping regulations that are believed to help protect the lynx.

First, readers should understand that the Canada lynx, like the gray wolf, like the polar bear and God only knows how many other species romance, back-seat biologists cry out to protect, are not in any danger of being threatened, endangered, or extirpated. But in this day and age of new-science scientist and romance biologists, barking like underfed canines themselves, demanding “new understandings” and a “shift in paradigms” is there any wonder science and reality have absolutely nothing anymore to do with wildlife management. It’s about sick and often perverted dreams of “coexisting” with nasty animals. Best Available Science has become best romantic model.

So, then, what is it about? Mostly it’s about ignorance and what we see is the result of years of planned brainwashing. Is there any other explanation for human behavior that is……well, not human?

The real travesty in all of this is that either there is no real intent to protect the Canada lynx or the ignorance, the result of an inability to think beyond the next lawsuit, cannot fathom that while these environmentalist groups (and by God please let’s stop calling them “conservationists.” They just are not that at all.) wrongly believe that ecosystems would “balance” themselves if man would butt out, they themselves butt in like man does to change what is naturally happening. Does it make any sense? Of course not.

The cry is for wolves to be forced back into places they once lived a hundred and more years ago, with no consideration of the changes to the landscape in 100 years, while disregarding history. The perverse belief that wolves are magical and will create this fabricated “trophic cascade” of Nirvanic spender simply by existing will make everything a miracle or two, like the Candy Man can.

With the absence of critical thinking, it appears none of these shallow thinkers comprehends what competes with the Canada lynx and places it in greater danger of being run out of or killed off in Idaho. Because of the inbred hatred of the existence of the human species, they believe it is only humans that cause wildlife problems. Irrational thoughts of balanced wildlife proportions prevents them from existing in reality and therefore no thought is given to the fact that the wolves they long to protect and protect and protect some more, until everyone has 1 or 12 living in their back yard, kills far more Canada lynx than does a handful of trappers and yet the focus becomes the outrage that three lynx were incidentally captured in traps in the past two years. Two lynx were released unharmed and a third was shot by a trapper thinking the animal was a bobcat.

The “new understanding” and the “paradigm shifts” perpetuated by new-science scientism is this: Man is evil. Get rid of man and ecosystems will flourish and be in balance. However, the radicals can interfere in the management of all wildlife providing it is done their way.

There is no escape. Maine went to court over Canada lynx and the trappers lost; so did the lynx. The trappers always lose. But Maine had a way out. The Courts gave them a way out. Maine operates under a consent agreement, which is probably what Idaho will end up under. The judge in the Maine case said the terms of the consent agreement would remain in affect until such time that the state obtains an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). That was over 5 years ago and Maine has failed miserably in not pushing the USFWS for a permit. Such a permit would stop these kinds of lawsuits but bear in mind that the USFWS, an agency riddled with new-science scientists and balance of nature perverts, is going to place such ridiculous restrictions on trapping in order to get a permit, that the restrictions essentially end trapping.

As a good friend recently stated, it’s impossible to fight against a rigged system. The entire wildlife management industry is simply one small part of a corrupt and rigged system, enabled by “True Believers” and useful idiots with zero knowledge or understanding that they fight for all those things that are against them. Does that make any sense?

If it was suggested that we protect all predators and all animals at all costs and begin killing off the only problem these sick people think exists – humans, that they would do it? Do they not see this is precisely what they are asking for? Do they not realize that they are humans too? Do these same people believe the lie of protecting a desert tortoise is so valuable it is worth the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of one man and his family? The potential exists here for something more costly.

It’s a rigged system and the system is so large, few can see it.

The Largest Otter Ever Recorded

In V. Paul Reynolds’ latest outdoor article, he tells of his discovery of what was left of an old log cabin in Maine’s Aroostock County in the DeBouillie area. Through research he finds out, through a nephew of the cabin’s owner, that the cabin used to be the winter abode of trapper Walter Bolstridge:

The cabin was a trapper’s winter digs. And the trapper, Walter Bolstridge, was my friend’s uncle. According to Floyd his Uncle Walter would hire a bush plane to fly him and his gear into the roadless DeBoullie area in October. He would stay and trap. In March he would come out with his furs in time to make the Annual Town Meeting. Imagine that! What a special breed of man he must have been.

By the way, Uncle Walter may still hold the record for having trapped the largest Otter ever recorded. He got his name in the newspaper. The Maine Fish and Game Commissioner at the time, George J. Stoble, said that the critter, which Bolstridge trapped on the Fish River, was a world’s record otter.

Well, with a lot of help from a friend, who did some of his own research, this is what he found about Walter Bolstridge’s world record otter:

BolstridgeHeadline

BolstridgeArticle

BolstridgeOtter

BolstridgeMap

Gene Letourneau: Subsidizing Honest, Capable, Experienced Trappers Makes More Sense

SportsmenSayGene L. Letourneau of Maine was a outdoor sportsman, an outdoor writer and author of many books covering several topics, including game animals, hunting, trapping, fishing, and more. In one publication, “Sportsmen Say,” a book published in 1975 by Guy Gannett Publishing Company, Letourneau talks about Maine coyotes; something he calls the “new wolf.”

Read below his 1975 perspective and then following this excerpt, taken from pages 73 and 74 of the book, I’ll offer some discussion and commentary.

However, the larger animal or the new wolf, may be coming in from eastern Quebec where in the winter of 1973-74 they were considered common in some parts of the Gaspe Region.

By 1974 the establishment of this new predator in Maine appeared permanent. Some people welcomed it, others deplored it. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Game were trying to satisfy both factions, an impossible dream.

There were suggestions for their control such as hunting them with dogs, calling or tracking them, all idealistic but hardly effective in Maine.

As a hound enthusiast of more than fifty years and being familiar with the hunting of coyotes in some states with dogs, I can only say that any of these three control methods would be a waste of time and money. Subsidizing honest, capable and experienced trappers to operate in the trouble areas would make more sense.

While the Fish-Game Department is aware that the economic value of such an animal cannot be compared with that of the whitetailed deer, it has made no plans to attempt a population control program of the new predator.

Dr. Richens says he expects the animal’s range and number to increase in Maine. But he adds that it is his “personal opinion that coyotes will have little effect on the whitetailed deer herd. They will not kill a significant number as compared to the usual damage done by dogs.”

A state-wide leash law on dogs, however, enacted in 1973, has resulted in a tremendous decline in deer killed by them.

Not everyone agrees with Dr. Richens on the relative effect of the new predator on deer. But a Game Division spokesman sums up the situation with “We’ve got these predators and there isn’t much we can do about them.”

Henry Hilton, a research assistant at the University of Maine Orono Wildlife Cooperative Unit, began a study of the Maine coyote in 1973, planned to spend more time with Warden Sirois studying coyotes in the Big Black River area.

Hilton discounts the “new wolf” theory advanced by Dr. Coppinger and quotes the latter as using the name because is saves a lot of time. He adds, however, that in this matter of professional disagreement Dr. Coppinger stands alone. Hilton contends the animal is not a wolf.

In two years of research Hilton says he will accumulate a good amount of information involving over 100 of the animals, including food and hunting habits and their relationships with deer.

While he agrees with the writer that there is sufficient evidence in Maine that this new predator kills deer in winter he adds “this does not mean that there is a problem.”

No everyone will agree with Dr. Richens or Hilton on the relative effect of the new predator on deer in Maine.

A Game Division spokesman summed up the problem this way: “We’ve got these predators and there isn’t much we can do about them.”

After approximately 40 years, can we conclude that Letourneau was knowledgeable and prophetic?

Gene said the “new wolf” “may be coming in from eastern Quebec.” That seems to have been the case – knowledgeable – check!

Letourneau said that Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (then Game) idea to control the “new wolf” could be done with tracking, hunting with dogs and calling – knowledgeable and prophetic – check!

His statement that, “Subsidizing honest, capable and experienced trappers to operate in trouble areas would make more sense,” was extremely knowledgeable and prophetic – check!. But then MDIFW and the Maine Legislature stole away from trappers the best tool in the arsenal to control the “new wolf.” The snare.

I should like to point out that Letourneau said to use these trappers in “trouble areas.” Did he mean around slaughter sites in deer yards during tough winters? I think so – prophetic – check!

I think it safe to say that Gene Letourneau was knowledgeable enough to predict that his “new wolf” would be a problem for deer in winter deer yards, at a minimum. While others made claims that these new predators were NOT wolves and that these new predators would NOT be a problem for deer, history has shown otherwise.

And with this, it’s quite clear that Mr. Letourneau was both extremely knowledgeable and prophetic – check and check!

Good calls.

IDFG: “How Little We Know About Animals That Live in Our Forests”

IdahoLynxAn Idaho wildlife biologist, part of a five-year program, “to collect information on 20 little-studied creatures in the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington”, was quoted as saying after trappers captured a Canada lynx:

“I was surprised that there were lynx in the West Cabinets,” said Michael Lucid, who’s heading up the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative for Idaho Fish and Game. “It shows us how little we know about the animals that live in our forests.” (Emphasis added)

I have no intention to pick on or embarrass any particular employee of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game(IDFG) or even the department as a whole (I know. Shocking isn’t it?). The statement made probably has more truth to it than most people know and that some shouldn’t be too eager to make.

The article makes claim of two things. One, Canada lynx is at least one species that is “little-studied” in portions of Idaho. Two, the biologist admits “how little we know” about certain animals his department is responsible for managing and caring for.

But I’m not here to blame IDFG necessarily for not knowing anything about Canada lynx. Instead, I might suggest that one might think that it would be a good idea to have even more than casual knowledge about a species before it is placed on the Endangered Species Act list of endangered and/or threatened species.

Consider this. The Endangered Species Act(ESA), has something to say about what must exist before any species can be considered as being threatened or endangered and protected by law. Note: The ESA, once implemented, can cause severe limitations and restrictions on private property, property rights and even a state agency to effectively run their own wildlife management programs. In short, administering the ESA for any species in any state should be considered a most serious undertaking, due to the potentially devastating fallout it can cause.

Having said that, isn’t it reasonable to expect that any professional wildlife administrator/biologist, governmental and non governmental agency, politician, etc. would want to know more about a species than “how little we know” BEFORE a species is listed and costing so much?

So, what does the ESA say must be the conditions in order to consider listing of a species?

SEC. 4.[16 U.S.C. 1533] (a) GENERAL.—(1) The Secretary shall by regulation promulgated in accordance with subsection (b) determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened
species because of any of the following factors:

(A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
(B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
(C) disease or predation;
(D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

I should also note right here that in order to remove a species from federal protection, ALL of the above criteria must be met.

I ask. Are the above five conditions that this law, enacted by Congress, something that fits the demand and execution of listing the Canada lynx in portions of Idaho that, according to one biologist was, “little-studied creatures” and “shows us how little we know about the animals that live in our forests.”? In other words, how can one honestly administer to protect a species it knows nothing about?

If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS) has studied the Canada lynx extensively (enough to list a species honestly), then why is it necessary for the IDFG to conduct its own study of a species they say is “little-studied” and admittedly they know nothing about? One would think it sensible to contact the USFWS and get the critical information about the lynx that they MUST have compiled before making such a critical decision about whether or not to list the Canada lynx as a “threatened” species. They did do this, didn’t they? And it was specific to Northern Idaho, right?

If they did this in Idaho, who did the work? Obviously it must not have been IDFG employees because they say the lynx hasn’t been studied and they don’t know anything about it. If USFWS has the information, shouldn’t that be shared? And if so why spend more money to learn the same things? Or is this busy work being paid for through grants in order to keep more government employees at work?

Well, here’s the Canada Lynx Listing Decision page from the USFWS website. You go to work and find in there where studies were conducted and information gathered, specifically for Idaho, that would scientifically warrant placing the Canada lynx on the Endangered Species Act list where it has been designated. I’ll wait.

In the meantime, you can also find information on the IDFG website about the trapping of the lynx in Northern Idaho, but there’s nothing there that answers any of my questions.

And thus, I am left with an even bigger question of which I don’t suspect to get an answer for. Is there ever any real specific information gathered before listing ANY species or do USFWS “experts” just use the same regurgitated information available from Alaska, Colorado and West Canine, and only cherry pick through the information that fits their narrative and agenda and ignore the rest?

Maine is another state where the Canada lynx is listed as a threatened species. And like many species the lynx is not threatened “throughout a significant portion of its range.” But for political purposes, Canada lynx and other species recognize boundaries when it is convenient for USFWS to do so and ignored when it is not.

While the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources fakes their way though making people think they are seriously proposing changes to the Endangered Species Act, how about I suggest that before any species can be listed anywhere in the United States (and by the way, the United States thinks it has the right to list species in other countries.) specific studies must be done by third parties and paid for by those agencies requesting the listing, before any decisions can be made about federal restrictions.

I think it’s obvious nobody knows anything specific about Canada lynx in Northern Idaho and yet, the USFWS took it upon themselves to flex their muscle and blindly list portions of the Gem State as lynx critical habitat and historic range.

Had this effort been done correctly the first time, it would look something like this. Whoever the entity or agency seeking to list the Canada lynx as threatened or endangered, would have to be prepared to foot the bill to conduct the third party studies to support or refute the claims of those claiming the lynx was in danger. Then IDFG, in this case, could have taken the money and conducted the necessary studies on lynx to determine the existing population of lynx, the health and range, and condition of the habitat. This all being done BEFORE any proposals are drafted for consideration of listing.

Yes, we probably know very little about some or most animals in our forests, but when it comes to the politics of the Endangered Species Act and the money that can be made from it, it’s quite amazing how much information can be faked.

And don’t forget, this is Stop Government Abuse Week.