August 19, 2019

Maine Fish & Game to Invest $ Million Windfall From Pittman-Robertson on……Rifle Ranges?

It appears to me that this blind, political ignorance that so blatantly reveals itself in Washington, is deeply imbedded into state governments as well.

According to George Smith, free lance writer and blogger, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MIDFW) is about to receive a one-million dollar windfall from excess Pittman-Robertson (PR) money, due to the increase in gun and ammunition sales since Barack Obama became president. The excise tax on guns, ammunition and other assorted sporting goods, gets doled out to each of the states according to land mass, how many licenses sold, etc.

Smith writes that Governor LePage doesn’t want to use that money for programs that will just cost the taxpayers of the state more money once the symptoms of the windfall go away.

Governor Paul LePage is determined not to take federal dollars if the end result – down the road – will be increased spending of state dollars. In other words, he doesn’t want this extra PR money to be spent on new staff, because if and when the federal funds go back to normal levels, the state would have to pay all those costs. That’s got DIF&W officials looking for one-time expenditures of the new PR funds.

LePage’s notions make sense. So, if the state is looking for “one-time expenditures”, what’s the first thing that comes into your head? There are restrictions on the PR money and what it can be spent on. But like all government appropriations and expenditures, that expenditure gets abused and isn’t used exactly as was intended. It’s supposed to be money for preservation of wildlife habitat or most anything directly related to promoting and enhancing huntable wildlife, etc.

What would you say if I told you that also according to Smith, MDIFW is looking to use at least some of that money on gun and rifle ranges. No, really! Don’t get me wrong. I think having some rifle ranges around are a good thing but honestly, how high on the priority list of things “critical” is dumping money into game club’s rifle ranges?

Smith says, “The Department may also spend some of the new PR funds on the acquisition of wildlife habitat.” Gosh, am I mistaken or wasn’t it just a short time ago that deer hunting was never going to recover unless the state did something about protecting habitat? This coming directly from MDIFW. And wasn’t it just awhile ago that the state was arguing over whether the Governor should appropriate some general fund money to pay for predator reduction? And wasn’t the concern over where the money would come from to continue the effort as all agreed it had to be ongoing to be effective? And what ever has become of Maine’s Plan for Deer? Wasn’t the lament that the plan might be good but where in hell was the money going to come from?

And now MDIFW thinks the need for improved rifle ranges is more important than what has come before?

I just don’t get it. Is this a bit of sour grapes that the Governor doesn’t want to use the money to hire more wildlife officials to count butterflies, bats and look out for piping plovers and so MDIFW has decided to spend the money on something that probably ought to be handled by the private sector, especially at a time when money is tight all over. In your face?

Isn’t it a matter of priorities and sound, sensible investment. A loss of a deer herd and the hunting industry will cost the state millions of dollars. Using this money toward that goal, of which the plans are drawn and everything ready, only makes sense; not improving rifle ranges. Not now!

Is MIDFW still praying global warming is going to take care of the deer problem? That’s my bet.

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Deer Infestation Problems? What the Heck is That?

An article in Bloomberg recently, lamented about the problems encountered by communities and individuals from having too many deer. Maine does not have that problem, with the exception of a few isolated areas in which hunting essentially is prohibited.

While the author bemoans the results of having too many deer around, even to the point of suggesting a resuscitation of “market hunting”, his blame that he puts on hunters, while partially accurate, needs a bit more of an explanation behind it.

The author claims that, “The hunters who are supposed to control the deer want to keep the numbers up so they have a better chance of shooting a buck. They support changes such as the New Jersey measure to allow bow hunting closer to houses, but they generally oppose efforts to reduce the deer population.”

First off, it’s not the responsibility of hunters solely to “control the deer”. Our money, in the implementation of the North American Model of Wildlife Management, is to be used for game and wildlife management utilizing proven and best scientific practices. The goal of which is a healthy forest. We don’t strictly “control” deer populations but that is just one part of a sought after deer management plan. The author fails to give credit where credit is due.

Secondly, a sweeping and broad statement that hunters only want to shoot bucks is a bit misleading. Studies still reveal that the majority of hunters would like to bring down that so-called “trophy” buck, they also realize the odds are seriously stacked against them and thus, as the season wears on, they are looking for meat to fill the freezer.

Third, to state that hunters, “generally oppose efforts to reduce the deer population”, cannot stand alone. Hunters are the first and best conservationists. This has been forgotten and intentionally so in recent years because of environmentalism and anti-hunting and animals rights activism. The problem that rears its head in deer population reduction comes from the influence of environmentalists, whose real goal is to end hunting and thus convince the masses that deer numbers need to be “about five [deer] per square mile”, as is stated in the article. This effort was attempted in Pennsylvania and created quite a stir. Hunters will protect their investment but most know when there are too many deer and are anxious to do something about it. The problems come because there are too many restrictions that prevent the killing of more deer during hunting seasons.

Therefore, most opposition that this author might be referring to coming from hunters that oppose the reduction of deer numbers, is in opposition to radical killing of deer disguised as an effort to save the forests and songbirds.

It’s also quite laughable that while some so-called environmentalists call for the radical reduction of deer numbers, the same ones oppose the reduction of any amount of large predators that are destroying other species, as is the case in Maine where coyotes, bears, bobcats, etc. are being protected while the deer herd disappears. Why is there a difference in species management?

What this all comes down to is wildlife and forest management based on agendas driven by huge sums of money as opposed to proven scientific methods.

When will we learn?

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“Charting a Course Where the Prey, and the Preyed-Upon Can Coexist”

In response to an article that appeared at KAJ18.com that quoted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson as saying, “now comes the hard part of charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist.”, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jim Beers offers his rebuttal.

By Jim Beers:

While these state biologists are working hard to come across as good guys as they try to assuage the anger of rural Montanans, note what they say and not how they sound. Note especially that last sentence.

If they see their job as “charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist” they are no friends of rural Montanans. This Disneyesque fairyland where the “preyed and preyed-upon coexist” is EXACTLY the perverted philosophy that got us all into this growing pickle,

OH LOOK! Out there on that island in Lake Superior (where there is NO HUNTING, no towns, no farms, no rural residences, no ranches, no timber management, no economy, no livestock, no hunting dogs, no working dogs, no walking off the designated trails, etc., etc.) accessed only by ferry, owned and kept sealed off by the National Park Service and known as Isle Royal National Park: the wolves and moose coexist! OOOOHHHH!

Montanans concerned about what the state and federal government in league with radical environmental/animal rights cabals have done and are doing to Montana, take note. Those that do not recognize that you are the real “preyed-upon” are not your friends, whether it is through ignorance or secret evil motives makes no difference.

The “hard part” they envision is no harder than falling off a log. They think all they must do is maintain wolves/bears/lions while keeping a few elk/deer/moose in “coexistence”. Hello, is anyone home?

– They don’t see any responsibility to all those Montanans outside Montana cities that must live with wolves/bears/lions. They will just have to live with however many and wherever these large predators occur.

– They see no responsibility to maintain huntable numbers and distributions of elk/deer/moose. Whatever numbers and wherever they occur will be “natural” and therefore pleasing to Gaia and the national urban elites that they see funding their futures with OUR tax dollars.

– They see no responsibility to maintain the financial health of the livestock industry.

– They acknowledge no responsibility to protect rural dogs from pets and hunting dogs to watchdogs and working dogs.

– They acknowledge no threat from wolf diseases and infections that threaten humans, dogs, livestock, and desirable (i.e. sought for hunting) wildlife.

– They see no responsibility to the safety and well-being of kids catching rural school buses or old ladies walking to rural mailboxes or kids camping or fishing or fathers working far-off jobs while mother tends to the kids on an isolated rural home site.

No, all these Bozos think they “have” to do is “chart a course” to “prey and preyed-upon” “coexistence”. Do you really want Montana (outside a few Montana cities of course) to be another Isle Royal National Park?

Men, the road ahead is going to be tough. All of us have to fight our way back out of this tar-baby morass that government bureaucrats, radical elites, and our own past indifference has gotten us into. It is not going to be easy.

None of us need these namby-pamby bureaucrats either as advisors or certainly not as leaders. Letting the likes of these current state FWP, DNR, etc. bureaucrats remain in place is like emptying out Guantanamo Bay prisoners to scatter throughout US Forces fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It not only won’t work. It is suicide!

Jim Beers
25 May 2012

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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Maine’s F&G Biologist Kantar Will Oversee Fate of Moose, Leave Deer Behind (Literally and Figuratively)

*Scroll Down for an Update and a Correction*

Last week George Smith, former head of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine now turned blogger/journalist/reporter, wrote on his blog that as part of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) “restructuring”, Commissioner Woodcock, with the approval of Governor Paul LePage, decided that MDIFW needed a separate head deer biologist and a separate head moose biologist. Currently Lee Kantar has held the position as both deer and moose head biologist.

In addition to Smith’s report of the restructuring, he stated that Kantar was given his choice by the Commissioner, of whether he wanted to be head deer or head moose biologist.

Lee Kantar, the agency’s deer biologist, “assumed responsibility for moose as a favor to the department,” said Chandler, who also announced that he offered Kantar his choice of species, and he took moose.

Favor? Hmmm, interesting perspective.

In a separate report filed by John Holyoke of the Bangor Daily News, we read about comments made by Lee Kantar, efforts by MDIFW to conduct moose and deer aerial count surveys and some data that seems to support earlier claims that Maine’s moose herd is at least triple what hunters and wildlife enthusiast have been told for many years now.

While the first part of Holyoke’s report attempts to gloss over the dismal deer harvest report by stating:

While Kantar hasn’t crunched all the numbers from the 2011 hunting season, he expects that more than 18,000 deer were taken by hunters. That’s a significant increase from preseason projections, which put the number under 17,000.

The numbers are out and the actual harvest number stands at 18,170 deer taken. However, somehow trying to make the 2011 deer hunt a success by spinning the facts to make it look like there’s a “significant increase” because what could have been didn’t happen, isn’t getting the job done.

Aside from that, Holyoke’s report along with data from Kantar, tells us Maine may have as many as 100,000 moose, all the while for the past decade we have been told that Maine has 29,000 moose and that moose lottery permits have been allotted during that time to maintain a moose herd of 29,000.

George Smith reported in one of his earlier blogs and Holyoke brings it up in his report, that former moose biologist Kim Morris recently stated that Maine probably has around 60,000 – 90,000 moose. However, Kantar is sure there are less than that but far more than 29,000.

Without fully analyzing the new data that has been collected, Kantar feels fairly confident that an estimate of 75,000 moose is accurate.

His new data comes from last year and this year doing helicopter aerial surveys to count moose.

It should be extremely disturbing to everyone that Maine has been saying the state has 29,000 moose and now they “feels fairly confident” that there are 75,000. This isn’t chump change. Who has been heading up the moose management in Maine up to this point?

Also, is this statement a misprint or an attempt at humor?

“One of my biggest concerns is, we have a lot of moose in certain areas, and then we have a lot of areas where we have a lot of moose,”

Assuming it is a stab at humor and bears a resemblance to some truth, what Kantar is saying is Maine has a lot of moose. He then turns around and tells Holyoke that just because we have three times the number of moose the state has been managing for, doesn’t mean we can increase permits so hunters can take more moose. This is followed by this ridiculous comment:

“We realize, more than anything, that moose are valued economically for viewing as well as hunting opportunity as well as being on the landscape and just the aesthetic of moose,” Kantar said. “We balance all those things. That’s our job.”

Balance, balance, balance. I wonder if wildlife managers anymore have any idea what they are doing except hiding behind some kind of shroud that requires invoking that magical word “balance”, as though balance was some kind nirvana achieved only by those most enlightened?

Are we to pretend to be stupid and say nothing when for years we have been told that 29,000 moose in Maine is a good number, perhaps even “balanced”, by using their own jargon? And then, within weeks we are told there are 75,000 moose but that’s not enough to provide more hunting opportunities and Maine is “balanc[ing] all those things”. This makes little sense and stinks of agenda-driven wildlife management.

Mr. Kantar does not make MDIFW policy but this kind of crap sandwich issued by our fish and game department is the stuff that drives hunters away in disgust. The state is trying to figure out why nobody from out of state wants to come to Maine to hunt deer and they act clueless. What are they going to do when the residents stop buying licenses? And here’s an even bigger question somebody at IFW ought to answer. Whose money and efforts set the stage to provide the resources necessary that Maine now has 75,000 moose? Here’s a hint for all you at MDIFW. It wasn’t the environmentalist clowns and animal rights freaks or even those who use are resources and contribute nothing to them. Now that we’ve fronted the money and made our investment, you want to send us away telling us these aren’t our moose.

I don’t have to be a biologist to understand that 75,000 moose, the majority of them living in the same regions of Northern Maine where the deer herd has been run into the ground, isn’t a very promising prospect when those same moose are in direct competition with the deer.

As long as MDIFW and the governor of the State of Maine insists that 75,000 moose or more is good for moose watching and helps to “balance” the landscape and provide increased “aesthetic of moose”, there will never be a rebuilt deer herd because I don’t think they know how to do it.

Here’s the key question: If Lee Kantar was the head deer biologist and the deer herd is in the poorest condition it has been in, perhaps in the last century, should the Commissioner have given him the choice to move on to another species?

If Maine has been managing its deer herd in the same fashion as stated above, “economically for viewing as well as hunting opportunity as well as being on the landscape and just the aesthetic(s)”, and we now have a deer herd that may never return in 2/3rds of the state, what then are we to expect of the condition of our moose herd a decade from now?

*Update*: March 14, 2012, 1:45 p.m.

If you look below at the comments left concerning this article, you will notice a comment left by John Holyoke, author of the Bangor Daily News article linked to in this report. Mr. Holyoke states: “John Holyoke here: A clarification: The passage attributed to Lee contained a mistake (on my part). It should have said, ‘We have a lot of moose in certain areas, and then we have a lot of areas where we have hardly any moose.'”

It is important to make this clarification because of my reference in the article wondering if Mr. Kantar was making an attempt at humor. One would assume after reading Mr. Holyoke’s comment, there was a misprint or typo and not an attempt at humor. This eases the thoughts that coming at a time of serious discussions about the condition of both Maine’s deer and moose herds, the head biologist was not attempting to pass off the seriousness through ill-timed humor.

This is not a case of humor, however, this does not change the fact that Mr. Kantar did state that he is comfortable with an estimate of 75,000 moose in the state of Maine.

Tom Remington

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20 Dead Maine Coyotes

I am told that these dead coyotes are at least part of efforts by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s attempt at targeting coyotes in deer wintering areas.

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Montana Gubernatorial Candidate Fanning to Restructure FWP “So Help Me God!”

In an email exchange, of which I have been made privy to, it shows that even among the ranks of those with a common interest, opinions vary and disagreements persist.

A concerned Montana citizen, Tom Madden, sends an email to Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA). Madden takes Marbut to task in what he sees as the position of the MSSA to “gut” the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP).

The thought of a group like yours wanting to gut the FWP is very unsettling to many of us and we see it as yet another attempt or reason to institute Ranching for wildlife which would kill the sport of fair chase hunting and the reason most Montanan’s live here and work for shit wages.

From this email, it appears that Mr. Madden believes what problems exist in wildlife management in Montana can be rectified through government legislation. Ironic as it appears, Madden blames the problems of wildlife management on the Legislature and suggests using the Legislature to correct those problems. His solution is a bill that “increases the elk objectives” so there are enough elk to feed both hunters and large predators; a task easy to express and difficult to accomplish.

Increasing the the elk objectives across the board by 35% would do wonders to bring the elk heards[sic] back. also[sic] create and pass a bill that has a wolf objective number that would only allow X number of breeding wolves thus reducing the unregulated wolf population.

Madden further goes on to reveal that his perceptions are that “sportsmen” must all comprise a population of wealthy people of whom the majority spend $50 – $100 a day at the shooting range, are members of country clubs and can drop $50 – $100 anytime they have a mind for a tank of gas, and as such should be able to pay whatever the price is that MFWP asks for a license fee.

Madden promises Marbut that his group of “sportsmen” are going to bring “MANY bills” to the Montana Congress, that will be “PRO sportsman”, full of “common sence”[sic], and “good bills, well thought out that include resident sportsmen.” Madden suggests MSSA “take a proactive approach to fixing the problems created by the Legislature”.

Gary Marbut responded directly to Mr. Madden by first explaining who specifically MSSA advocates for.

MSSA does not advocate for “sportsmen.” MSSA advocates for hunters, primarily the typical Montana hunter who needs to fill his freezer to feed his family for the following year. Frankly, we don’t care much about cockfighting, fox hunting with hounds and horses, collecting trophy mounts, or many of the other things covered by the term “sportsman.” MSSA does not advocate for landowners or ranchers. They have their own lobby. Ditto outfitters.

Marbut explains that those MSSA advocates for “certainly not any more wealthy, on average, than the average Montana citizen”, and shares the reason these Montana citizens aren’t buying is because, “there is nothing left to hunt, because FWP has gone so readily along with the plan to feed Montana’s game herds to large predators (especially wolves, but including bears and lions) rather than Montana families.”.

After an explanation of the positions of MSSA, Mr. Marbut then takes the MFWP to task for their failures citing:

1. “FWP has clearly failed in its duty under law to properly manage and protect Montana’s herds of huntable game – to preserve those herds for those who have always paid the bills, hunters. The agency has long maintained a culture of arrogance and disdain for what anyone but the FWP elite wish to do or accomplish with Montana’s hunting heritage.”

2. “FWP even vigorously opposed MSSA’s decade-long but ultimately successful effort to put the Right to Hunt into the Montana Constitution.”

3. “FWP has been begged, asked, persuaded and even commanded by the Legislature to change its ways and listen to common sense. The agency has made endless excuses why it does something different than is requested, or even mandated by the Legislature. The agency will NOT listen.”

From this point, Marbut explains why his position is to “gut” MFWP.

FWP has demonstrated for far too long that it simply doesn’t care what anyone but the agency thinks or wants and will use any disingenuous tactic to defend its turf. The only recourse it has left Montana is to jerk the rug out from under it. I wish things had not come to this impasse, but it is only FWP that is responsible. At this point, no amount of promises to “do better” will satisfy the thousands of Montanans who have watched in frustration as FWP sold out our heritage.

Robert Fanning, Jr. is a candidate for the office of governor in the state of Montana. He is also founder of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. As a recipient of the above referenced email, Fanning took the opportunity to show his position on wildlife management in his home state. In August of 2011, the early stages of Fanning’s campaign, he shared with supporters his proposals for MFWP if he were governor. In the email he urges us to read what he wrote last August and to reference a bill, HB343, proposed in 2007 that was to seek the removal of gray wolves in Montana from the Endangered Species List and just as importantly seek damages caused by the reintroduction of wolves and the poor management since reintroduction.

While I have provided above a link to Fanning’s August proposals, I have decided it would be appropriate to republish his piece here.

Robert Fanning, Candidate Mt. Governor Reveals His Proposals for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department

In a recent email sent out to subscribers, Robert T. Fanning, founder of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, outdoorsman, economist, political activist and now candidate for Montana governor, offered some of his notions of what a revamped Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department would look like under his watch.

1) Mt. FW&P primary mission will be about access to wild game meat for Montanans’ poor, voiceless and common man (especially-particularly veterans) rather than feeding federal wolves valuable protein which is the property of our citizens. See 2005 HJR 29 which I helped author below, these are the values of a super majority of our citizens.

2) Non game species will be defunded except for the location, collaring and control of wolves in strict adherence with Montana law.

3) Montana FW&P will get a regular, true and accurate peer reviewed census of the location and number of every ungulate within her 147,042 sq mi borders. The F&G commission will see to it that Montanans are given access to huntable game populations all over the state. Conservation easements, etc. don’t transfer title of Montana’s game herds to private land owners.

4) All wolf packs will be located and collared in strict adherence with Montana law. The federal “Wolf Implimentation Rules of Nov. 18 1994? will be overriding policy for all problem wolves.

5) Once Mt FW&P has been completely restructured and streamlined; administration, oversight, all funding and policy direction, will be completely turned over to the legislature. The Executive branch will never again be able to use our wildlife policy to raise money for an Executive branch political campaign war chest.

6) Mt FW&P will not be allowed to lobby the legislature. They will answer the Legislatures’ direct questions as informational witnesses, then leave the Capitol building.

7) SENATE BILL NO. 163….2001 Montana Legislature will be reversed IF the federal government does not pay for their unfunded “experimental non-essential” wolf mandate and install a federal 5th amendment restitution mechanism for those “harmed” in the past and all those forced to pay “the wolf tax” in the future. Natural rights, civil rights and Constitutional rights will trump the ESA in Montana, so help me God.

8) Echinococcus granulosus hydatid disease, neospora caninum and 28 other wolf born diseases & parasites will be objectively studied with highly competent peer reviewed science and quantified as public health threats, threats to our ungulates and their capacity to reproduce/recruit and Montanans’ livestock industry.

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Dr. Valerius Geist: “…….Because the Coyote is Coming”

American Hunter magazine has an article they published back in November of 2010 called, “How Coyotes Affect Deer Herds”. The article tells that 16 years ago, in 1994, Dr. Valerius Geist, while attending the annual Southeast Deer Study Group meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, said the following as it pertained to a perceived “problem” among wildlife managers in dealing with too large populations of whitetail deer.

“Enjoy your problem while it lasts, because the coyote is coming. Once he’s here, you’ll miss your deer problems.”

Dr. Geist’s crystal ball was pretty clear back then, as today many of these same wildlife managers now have coyote problems.

Today, there are new studies ongoing and some of the preliminary data is not only impressive but revealing things about the coyote that confirms what some biologists have suspected for a long time and that seasoned outdoor sportsmen have been seeing for a long time – coyotes are having a much bigger affect on whitetail deer herds than imagined.

One area of study is pointing researchers to conclude that coyotes don’t just randomly take out a deer fawn when the opportunity might present itself. As a matter of fact, data suggest the coyote is studying and learning the habits of the deer and are specifically targeting them for lunch and dinner.

This can further be supported by the research that shows that in one area where coyotes and deer intermingle, 75% of the deer fawns died before they reached the age of six months. Of those 75%, 85% were killed by coyotes.

Despite the new research information, skeptics continue to cry for more time and more studies to support this. Who can blame them? They’ve had so much bad information drilled into their heads for so long, I guess it’s going to take a long time, perhaps even a miracle to get them to change their way of thinking.

So, is this new study suggesting that where there are coyotes all the deer will eventually vanish? I don’t think so but it does now present another management issue of predator control. Not in all regions but in those where there is a problem, again facing a seemingly insurmountable task of convincing wildlife managers a shortage of deer might be the result of too many predators.

What will it take to reach that point? Perhaps first, we need to work on educating people that over-protection of a predator such as a wolf or a coyote is not a good thing. It was in Hank Fischer’s book, “Wolf Wars“, where he quoted Dr. L. David Mech. Mech is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, and considered by many to be the foremost authority of wolf behavior.

“The wolf’s repopulation of the northern parts of the lower forty-eight states . . . will stand as one of the primary conservation achievements of the twentieth century. Society will have come full circle and corrected its grave overreaction to its main mammalian competitor. Maybe not quite full circle. If we have learned anything from this ordeal, it is that the best way to ensure continued wolf survival is, ironically enough, not to protect wolves completely. If we carefully regulate wolf populations instead of overprotecting them, we can prevent a second wave of wolf hysteria, a backlash that could lead once again to persecution.”

Even Dr. Mech understood the many facets of the over-protection of wolves, including the one that much of the Northern Rockies is experiencing of a backlash of citizens wanting the wolf killed off. This, of course, the consequence of over-protection.

It would seem to make sense that where over-protection of one species, such as the wolf or coyote, is bad, so it goes with all predators and species. For Mech to suggest that over-protection of predators will ultimately harm the species, it would seem he would then have to disagree with the notion that wildlife is self regulating.

There’s a huge divide here that needs to be crossed. We need predator control and to accomplish that, it seems one object in the way is protection of species beyond what is good socially and scientifically. None of this consequently matters if we cannot successfully dispel the myth that nature will balance itself out.

Nothing short of a miracle is needed here.

Tom Remington

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