December 17, 2014

Maine Trappers Association Presser About Canada Lynx

Maine Trappers Association
News Release

As most all Maine trappers now know we have an Emergency Rule put in place as of 9 December 2014 to take the following actions, due to the recent taking of a second lynx.
1. The use of body grip (lethal) traps in the Lynx Zones (WMD’s 1-11, 14, 18, and 19) above ground or snow level are now no longer allowed.
2. In WMD 7, 14, 18, and 19 body grip (lethal) traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground – only if in a lynx exclusion device.
3. In all the above WMD’s foothold traps above the ground or snow level are no longer allowed.
• This Emergency Ruling was triggered by a contingency provision in IF&W’s Incidental Take Plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canadian Lynx. Under the conditions set forth in the Incidental Take Plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent another lynx being killed.
• This Emergency Ruling action was taken by IF&W after their notification of and consulting with the Maine Trappers Executive Officers on the incident. The MTA officers were in total agreement with this emergency action. Any other recommendation or action taken by the parties would have resulted in the U.S. F&WS taking some form of action.
*It should be noted that a 3rd lynx taken in “any part of the state” (no matter what WMD) will have the same results.

• IF&W and the MTA board are diligently working together to a resolution to this issue, with the end results hopefully benefiting Maine trappers being able to continue to trap in the future in the affected areas for marten and fisher in some fashion that will prevent the taking of the final 3rd lynx. Meetings have been and are being held by both parties to work towards a resolution.
• A meeting of MTA officers, directors, and any members who want to attend to talk about Lynx and what actions we need to take to help resolve this is planned to be held either the 4th or 11th of January 2015 in Bangor at the Bangor Motor Lodge. IF&W will attend this meeting so that we can all work to a resolution. The actual date and time will be determined and disseminated to MTA members as soon as possible.

Canada Lynx in Maine Will NEVER be Removed From ESA List

lynxintrap290I’m reading a lot lately from several sources how that Maine needs to generate an accurate and up-to-date count of the number of Canada lynx residing in the Pine Tree State in order that efforts could begin to remove federal protection of the animal via the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, most of these people either have no understanding of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) history on such subjects as the Endangered Species Act, or they simply wish to ignore it. Historically, the USFWS will do little in this regard and what they do do will be an absolute mess, while continuing to tie up any efforts to “delist” the Canada lynx in unending lawsuits brought on by environmentalists.

Recently Maine signed an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), a permit designed to formulate a plan that would allow for continued trapping efforts while protecting the lynx. Seemingly, within hours of signing the ITP, two lynx were reported killed in traps set for other furbearer species. Odd isn’t it? Only two lynx were killed in traps “incidentally” since 2009 but within hours of signing an ITP, two are “killed” in traps almost at the same time. Hmmmm. One could also ask what the State of Maine was thinking to agree to a plan that provides for only 3 “incidental” deaths from trapping in 15 years – the duration of the permit? If two were “incidentally” killed in 5 or 6 years, why would they think it reasonable that only 3 would be taken in 15?

However, essentially the trapping season in lynx critical habitat has been effectively eliminated. Some are now claiming that if Maine and the USFWS had a definite count of Canada lynx, it would show the critter “recovered” in Maine and so can be removed from federal protection. If it were only that easy.

As a reminder to readers, any and all criteria that placed the lynx on the “threatened” list of the ESA, must be remedied before a species can be removed from that list – all of them.

It took the USFWS years to approve an ITP and it will take years, if ever, before they will make any effort to delist the lynx. As an example, the USFWS is required to formulate a recovery plan. One would think that before the animal was listed, or at least immediately thereafter, the USFWS would have devised a lynx recovery plan. How, may I ask, can the USFWS or anyone else, know when a species is “recovered” if they don’t know that ahead of time? If the efforts were truly about recovering a lynx population, one with a brain would have to ask what the plan was to accomplish that task. And yet, the inept and corrupt USFWS does not have a plan and Maine people should not expect one anytime soon. They got what they wanted – to place the lynx on the ESA list. Any efforts beyond that, historically have proven to be a complete joke combined with insincere efforts, playing into the hands of the environmentalists. The issue will end up in the corrupt court system, which historically has proven to be nothing more than a means of reinterpreting fake laws, using fake science.

Estimating and determining species populations is mired in politics and science. Maine officials might come up with a sound, scientific estimate of lynx numbers but being that the state is a slave to the Feds, the Feds will play games with those numbers.

Should the day ever arrive, and I believe one day it will, the USFWS will make a feeble attempt to delist the lynx but immediately upon doing so, the environmentalists will line up with their lawsuits (and the Feds know this) and all efforts to manage a lynx scientifically will be trumped by lawsuits and “new-science” “best available science.” When the lawsuits roll out, the USFWS will run and hide, seldom, if ever, making any honest attempt to do what is in the best interest of the animal or the citizens of a state or region.

For Maine people to place their hopes in government bureaucracy in order to manage a lynx population, that is currently at artificially high numbers, is asinine and certainly plays into the hands of the USFWS whose only real goal here is the perpetuation of romance biology and the complete cessation of consumptive game practices.

What has been discovered, because of the corruption of the USFWS and the continued propping up of Environmentalism, is that there is no solution to the corrupt process of dealing with animals under the administration of the Endangered Species Act. Therefore, the mindset in this country is to fight dishonesty and corruption with dishonesty and corruption. As per the gray wolf, the ONLY solution appears to have been legislative action by the U.S. Congress to remove wolves from federal protection and include a restriction on further lawsuits. Because of that action, more and more states are turning more quickly to that form of totalitarian rule to get what they want, not realizing the door swings in both directions.

But Maine would have a problem in that regard. Their Congressional delegation are basically gutless and never become involved in anything to do with fish and wildlife issues in the state. Historically they have done nothing to assist in protecting their constituency from the onslaught of environmental attacks and lawsuits. While other states’ delegations are helping to raise millions of dollars to fight Environmentalism and implement predator control programs, Maine runs silent.

Maine residents probably have better odds at working toward the implementation of legislation to fight environmentalism than they are going to realize in playing the bureaucratic nightmare that is designed to prop up environmentalism. We are part of a rigged system. Therefore, our choices are to removed ourselves, individually, as best we can, or get in there and fight corruption with more corruption. How does that future look?

Maine IFW Adopts Emergency Trapping Rule Changes In Northern Maine

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has implemented immediate trapping regulation changes through an emergency rule making process after two Canada lynx were killed in traps this fall.

“We are taking immediate measures to drastically decrease the probability of having another lynx killed in a trap,” said James Connolly, Director, IFW Bureau of Resource Management.

Effective immediately, lethal traps that are commonly used to catch fisher and marten are not allowed above ground or snow level in areas of the state where there are lynx, specifically Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) 1-11, 14,18,19 (Predominantly Aroostook, northern Somerset, northern Piscataquis, northern Penobscot, northern Hancock and northern Washington counties). In WMDs 7,14,18,19, lethal traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground if the trap is placed within a lynx exclusion device. Additionally, the use of any foothold trap above the ground or snow level will not be allowed in these WMDs.

The new regulations were triggered by a contingency provision in the Department’s incidental take plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canada lynx resulting from the Department’s trapping programs.

Under the conditions set forth in the incidental take plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent the likelihood of another lynx being killed.

These are the first lynx trapping deaths in six years in Maine. Statistics show that trapping is not a major factor impacting Maine’s lynx population. Since 2009, there were 26 lynx killed by vehicles, and only 2 by trapping.

“Although trapping related deaths are uncommon, we have worked diligently with Maine trappers in order to change the regulations to protect lynx,” said Connolly. “We are committed to protecting Maine’s lynx population.”

According to Laury Zicari, supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maine Field Office, “The incidental take permit for trapping issued to Maine accounted for the possibility of lynx deaths. It outlined what trapping restrictions would need to be implemented if lynx were killed to hopefully avoid additional deaths. We commend Maine’s swift action through these regulation changes to address this issue, demonstrating that the permit framework is working.”

The first lynx death was self-reported by the trapper to the Maine Warden Service when he checked his traps as required by Maine regulations and the conditions of the Incidental Take Permit. The second dead lynx was discovered Sunday, December 7 St. Croix Township by a Maine Game Warden conducting a routine check of traps for compliance with Maine trapping regulations. An initial inspection by the game warden showed that the trap was set in compliance with Maine’s trapping regulations. The trapper was immediately notified by the warden about the capture.

“Trapping education, outreach and compliance with Maine trapping laws are important aspect of Maine’s lynx management plan. The Maine Warden Service is in the field, working with trappers, to make sure trappers are complying with Maine’s trapping regulations to protect lynx from accidental trapping,” said Major Chris Cloutier.

Trappers are required to report all lynx captures and all lynx captures are investigated by the Maine Warden Service.

Brian Cogill, President of the Maine Trappers Association commented that “The Maine Trappers Association has always supported department efforts to protect lynx. Trappers understand and believe that these measures are currently needed, and support these immediate protections for lynx. We look forward to working with the department as they develop long-term regulations to protect lynx for the 2015 season and beyond.”

Lynx are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). IFW recently received an incidental take permit issued by the USFWS, which allows for the accidental trapping of Canada lynx by trappers legally pursuing furbearers in Maine. The permit outlines specific protocols and mitigation measures for the incidental take of lynx that minimizes direct impacts to lynx while providing habitat that benefits species recovery.

In 2006, Maine’s lynx population was estimated at between 750 and 1,000. IFW has increased protections for lynx in those areas where lynx are now found. IFW will also be conducting a lynx population survey this winter.

Maine’s lynx population is a subset of a larger population of lynx in Canada, and Maine lynx continue to interact with a far-reaching lynx population in Canada.

As part of an extensive 12-year lynx study, the IFW radio-collared over 80 lynx and monitored their movements, and documented survival and birth rates. Although more lynx die on roads than in traps, the major source of mortality for the 85 radio-collared lynx tracked over a 12-year period in northern Maine was predation by fisher and starvation attributed to disease (i.e., lungworm).

Radio-collar research of Maine’s lynx show that Maine’s lynx travel in and out of Canada, and ear-tagged Maine lynx have also been captured in Canada. Maine’s lynx study showed that one lynx travelled a straight-line distance of 249 miles from northern Maine into the Gaspe Peninsula.

Another lynx was tracked using a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar after it was trapped and released last fall. Although the lynx was initially trapped northeast of Greenville, in May, the lynx headed east all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick, before turning around and venturing back to the Greenville area, covering 481 miles from March through December.

Insanity and Diversions

Insanity is running rampant in our world, filling the airwaves and media platforms with tons of diversions, i.e. meaningless, nonsense. Here’s some examples:

1. Logging leads to long-term release of carbon from soils in Northeastern hardwood forests

This report is loaded with “maybes” and “mights,” all classical examples of “creating new knowledge” and “shifting paradigms.” Utter useless nonsense.

2. New Jersey bear hunt fueled by emotion over mauling death

Blow-back from the bear mauling death of a Rutgers University Student, delusional people, more interested in romantic notions of bears, blame everyone and everything for why bears attack people. In this case, let’s blame it on hunting and sound proven wildlife management. Remember, these clowns have been brainwashed into believing that “we must change the way in which we discuss wildlife management.”

3. California bans coyote hunts that offer prizes

From the article linked to above, we read: “Awarding prizes for wildlife killing contests is both unethical and inconsistent with our modern understand[ing] of natural systems.” By some totalitarian socialist it is perceived as unethical and because of intense training since birth, believe it is their appointed duty to force their ethics down the throats of other people. However, note the part of the comment that says that coyote derbies WITH PRIZES, is, “inconsistent with our modern understanding of natural systems.” (emphasis added)

This is another classic example of the ongoing effort to “create new understanding,” and “create new knowledge,” and “changing the way we discuss wildlife management.” Modern understanding is absolute post-normal, new-science, scientism at its finest. Also, utter nonsense.

4. More lynx being trapped in Maine, but reasons in dispute

Blinded by hatred of American heritage, all things normal and humans in general, in Maine, totalitarian, animal rights booger men say that because Maine was issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for trapping by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more Canada lynx are being caught in traps. The idiocy here is that the only thing, as it pertains to trapping, that has changed is that Maine designated 22,000 acres of public lands to protect the Canada lynx. None of the already strict trapping guidelines have changed from the Consent Decree that was signed and in affect until such time as an ITP could be obtained.

So, what has changed that might be causing a few more Canada lynx to be “incidentally” caught and released unharmed? How about the fact that when lynx were declared a “threatened” species in Maine, the lie was there were fewer than 500 of the animals. Today, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife guesstimate there are closer to 1,000 – 1,500. One with a brain might conclude that having 2 to 3 times the number of Canada lynx might play a role in a few more lynx being “incidentally” trapped and released unharmed. But let’s not let sensibility stand in the way of human hatred and animal perversion.

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!

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