July 19, 2018

Advice to a Professor Wanting a Meet and Great Before Making Wolf Documentary

*Editor’s Note* – With the permission of the author, I redacted some elements of the original email for obvious reasons. Knowing the names of some involved does nothing to alter the message in the advice given. The focus and intent of this publication is a delivery of the important message. 

As a preamble to the content of the written work of Jim Beers, let me set the stage as best I can. A university professor contacted an editor of a Western ranch magazine seeking advice as to whom he should contact before making a movie about wolves. According to the original email, this professor, along with a group of university students, intend to travel to Wyoming and Colorado to “explore the question of whether wolves should be allowed to re-populate wild areas in Colorado.”

In asking who they should talk with before making the film, James Beers offered the below advice. This advice has already been told to me that it should be “required reading for every Wildlife Management Student” as well as hunters.

Dear Professor XXXXXXXX,

I see that you are from a Jesuit school named after the great Jesuit _______________.  I further see that your Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation program is ten years old and that you are evidently quite honestly enough concerned about this modern Gordian Knot of American wildlife that you asked [Western ranch magazine’s editor] for both her advice and perhaps her presence to be interviewed by you and your students.

You cannot know how refreshing and hopeful your simple request may be to millions of Rural Americans either affected by or familiar with the wolf phenomenon of the past 40 years.

First of all a word about who is writing this.  I am a retired US Fish and Wildlife Service employee.  I can send you a resume but the simple ‘Bio” I put after most things I write is posted after these remarks.  I am a graduate of a Benedictine High School where, 60 years ago, the excellent teacher/monks communicated their misgivings that I still hold about Jesuit schools, although my son is a graduate of Wheeling (WV) Jesuit University.  I spent my first year of college in the late 1950’s at DePaul University where I learned a good deal about philosophy.  Today, I have a low opinion of DePaul that has, like Georgetown, become a hotbed of animal rights jurisprudence.

Why, you must be thinking, would someone like me be enthusiastic about a professor and some students from a modest Eastern (where the federal and state bureaucracies have not taken up the rural cudgel of wolves with all its hidden agendas as they have done in the rest of the Nation, HHHMMM) College are taking a summer field trip in 2018 to investigate, study and integrate the American wolf experience into their lives and the school’s academic life.  Quite simply, you bring “fresh eyes”, not to a biological issue but to a political/social issue that is even more basically an ethics issue.  You are like St. Peter Canisius journeying from Holland to Germany during the Reformation and after years of work there generating a Catechism that went on to evolve over 200 editions in less than 40 years.  Would that you and your students bring some resolution to this issue that so many from those affected and those wise enough to see the impacts of wolves on so many things have been unable to resolve.

My advice –

Everyone you meet or speak to, with any bona fides about wolves, will have a basic belief that is set stone.

You will meet “hunters” and “ranchers” that will appear to be pro-wolf but who upon investigation will be discovered to be politically active progressive reformers that support all manner of transformative political ends with the same sort of “think of me as neutral” approach.

You will meet both state and federal politicians that will be as duplicitous about where they “stand” and what they “believe” as they would if you were asking them about the latest budget battles or a proposed bill to place “All Waters of the USA” under federal authority.  Investigation will reveal the “golden egg” from the “Goose” of wolves to be urban votes (assuring re-elections) and lots of money from environmental/animal rights’ coffers to politicians that meet the agendas and daydreams of those unaffected by or familiar with the effects or truth about what they are creating.

You will discover that the vast majority of academics will be as enthusiastic about wolves as they are about tenure and grants that generate graduate student stipends.  Careful reading of the academic studies and pronouncements of the past 50 years about wolves and their impacts will show them to be reflections of the bureaucratic need to justify regulations, court case and Budget Requests.  They are the result of those bureaucratic needs, paid for by government funding, rather than the assumed other way around, “science” guiding concerned bureaucrats in search of wise decisions on behalf of all Americans.

You will meet many deceitful federal and state bureaucrats: I say this as a whistle-blower and “reforming” bureaucrat.  They have agendas these days as diverse as covering up autopsies of bodies taken away quickly without investigations, and spinning nonsense about a wolf attack being due to a “deformed wolf brain”, or the Minnesota moose population (so decreased by wolf predation) disappearance and moose hunting being closed (probably forever) as due to climate change and deer (coexisted for centuries) brain worm; to concern for kid’s college bills and paying for daughters weddings.  I cannot overstress the very real adverse consequences (as bad as using a forbidden word or of being accused of sexual harassment) to any government employee not being completely “in” on wolves.  Wolves allow them to decrease land values to enable government purchase or easement.  Wolves establish precedents for eroding the Constitutional concept of animals as private property thereby enabling agendas from prohibiting killing and eating them to making products of all kinds or even keeping them as watchdogs or pets.  All of these things in this short and incomplete list are grist for more government land control and more people control but most importantly more bureaucracy with higher salaries, higher retirement pensions and increased status both professionally and within various communities.

Lastly, you will meet very radical (the correct word) ideologues that work for and volunteer with a plethora of “environmental” and animal rights NGO’s (non-government organizations).  I have a long lifetime of experience with such groups and their treachery (again the right word).  I am reminded at this point of what my Irish grandmother that raised me during WWII told me while Dad was driving a tank in Africa and Europe; “Jim, if you can’t say anything good about someone; don’t say anything at all.”

Think of what you are about to do as interviewing people going to and from a Planned Parenthood Clinic and interviewing people in a Church parking lot after a 9:30 Mass on Sunday morning about abortion.  Others without the basic belief and experience are a “general public” whose thoughts and ideas are little more than indications of how any future vote is likely to come out.  So what to do?

I would hope you see your opportunity to collect your data, impressions, facts and references as you travel about and meet who you will.  Then go back to Buffalo, sort it out, and discuss it.

Then assign some students to investigate and document the abundance of wolf history from the Greeks and Romans to modern day Siberia, Russia and Kazakhstan. Look into why wolfhounds were invented and what they did.  Look into metal dog collars and spike dog collars so popular in Medieval England and why walkers always walked between villages with dogs and why Dalmatians often accompanied carriages.  Read about America settlers from Colonial times in isolated cabins to the spread of smallpox in Plains’ Indian Villages to the problem of rabid wolves invading US Forts.  Read Will Graves’ Wolves of Russia especially about a Russian sawyer bitten by a rabid wolf WHILE RUNNING THE CHAINSAW.

Look into the 30 + diseases and infections carried and spread by wolves.  Be honest about wolves frequenting farmyards at night and tapeworms and be honest about the danger wolves present if anthrax or smallpox (both in current bio-weapon inventories) is released or if foot-and-mouth or Mad Cow Disease outbreaks occur.  Note the absence of any veterinarians willing to say anything or to be quoted as someone says, “what does he know, he’s not a veterinarian!”

Draw a picture of the “costs” (government, social, and business-wise) of introducing and protecting wolves from the millions stolen by federal bureaucrats from state fish and wildlife funds to introduce them back into Yellowstone to all the salaries, admin support, equipment, office space, grants, legal support, enforcement support, public “information”, meetings, travel, etc. spent and being spent at the state and federal level to concoct and enlarge the wolf debacle for 40+ years.  Take a shot at the costs that lie ahead.  Debate how we are to live without control of wolf numbers and how we will do it when things get intolerable

Calculate the costs to rural communities losing animal husbandry, hunting, camping and associated funds from guiding and locker plants to taxidermy and businesses from hardware to restaurants and motels as a result of wolves.  Do not be bamboozled about “eco-tourism” and “biking/hiking” et al.  That tourism is a chimera and the first time a wolf runs down a biker (like a dog chasing a bicyclist or a wolf engaging some lady with a leashed dog, etc) or kills a kid in a backyard all that euphoria will disappear in a New York second.

Document the truth about wolves and “species”.  If a wolf breeds with and has viable offspring with coyotes, all dogs and dingoes (given the opportunity) is it really a “species”?  How absolutely crazy is it to (as is happening as I write in NE South Dakota and more often all the time everywhere) to give government the power to “rescue” free-roaming dogs that disturb the neighborhood; allow legitimate and necessary managed control of coyotes; and simultaneously the power to “protect” a wolf when all three or many of the millions of genetic combinations their interbreeding begets look as much alike as clones?  How is it even conceivable, much less occurring, that a NE South Dakota coyote hunter may go to prison, pay a large fine, lose the right to vote and lose the right ever own a gun again BASED ON SOME DNA ANALYSIS CONDUCTED POSSIBLY BY SOME IDEOLOGUE (environmental/animal rights) ANALYST based on sketchy parameters and definitions?

Then compare things about where wolves are now, where they can be expected to be (don’t be hoodwinked about “pack animals” avoiding suburban/urban areas: undiscouraged wolves will look for food at night in a Denver suburb as quick as they will a Montana farmyard or a dumpster behind the pizza joint in the shopping center) and just how any likelihood of wolves killing a kid by a bus stop or some grandma walking out to the rural mailbox is worth whatever nonsense being peddled like “willows along the stream” (if that was important, simply allowing hunters to reduce grazing game populations would have been done but it wasn’t; so ask yourself, why?)

If you get this far, take this from the biological/political/hidden agenda realm to an Ethical perspective.  This is the tough part since our modern secular society has demolished most common moral understanding and replaced it with a “whatever floats your boat” morality: ethics is today a relative matter where your right is my wrong and vice versa but given the University approach to relativism, you might find a way to apply a common standard as to what is ethical about aspects of wolves et al.  Nevertheless, attempt to form a basis (like Peter Canisius’ did with his Catechism(?) for dialogue and debate that avoids harm and leads a way out of a worsening  situation for millions of Americans and American Wildlife.  You and this are needed more than you can imagine.

When you are in Yellowstone you might call on Mr. Bill Hoppe, a third generation Montanan from that area.  He lives near Gardiner at the N end of the Park.  I suspect his views would be a welcome relief if you have been subjected to US Park Service bureaucrats by that time.

Good Luck.

Jim Beers

12 February 2018

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 is an advocate for a Rural American Renewal that benefits rather than ruins the culture, economy and surroundings of rural American communities and families. 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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Is Crawling Into a Disease-Infested Wolf Den Responsible?

The Spokesman Review has an article about how Idaho biologists are monitoring and studying about wolves. One biologist tells of being small enough to slide into a wolf den in order to examine and tag wolf pups. The report provides three photographs, I assume taken at the scene of some of the wolf dens and during examination of the pups, in which the female biologist has no devices, including mask on face and rubber gloves, to protect her from contracting disease. The ingestion of tiny Echinococcus granulosus eggs that probably are in mass numbers inside the den, can give a person hydatidosis – the growth of Hydatid cysts in organs in the human body that can be fatal.

We know that at least 60% of all wolves tested in Idaho have this dangerous tapeworm. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game even has an entire page about Echinococcus granulosus but evidently they don’t believe anything they have written about this disease if they are allowing this person to enter a wolf den(s) unprotected.

I wonder if the young biologist has any understanding of the potential danger she and others in her party are in?

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The Reintroduction of Wolves in the Northern Rockies as a Method of Making Money Under the Guise of Ecological Restoration

Rattler Rider;

According to these excerpts below from the 1984 study of Wolves in Central Idaho by Kaminski and Hanson including involvement with IDFG questionnaire data, many Idahoans were telling the truth about Idaho already having wolves before the 1995 wolf reintroduction fraud which wolf advocates and some retired USFWS employees still profit from to this day. Tim Kemery who did a Wolverine Study locating 13 wolverines for the IDFG Department and Craig Groves then collared all 13 wolverines, Kemery also handed in data of wolves he located as well as six trapped wolves which had been turned over to IDFG for evidence. Tim documented the wolverines and indigenous wolves simultaneously. He recorded their travel patterns, within their territory. He also documented the number of individuals, and put this information on maps.

Wolves were recovering and thriving under multi-use! That is the “main” objective the “greenies” in our IDFG and USFWS want to cover up, is the fact that both the wolves, and even more so the wolverines were making a “come-back” under multi-use.—Tim Kemery

This wolf evidence was “lost”, and IDFG denied it existed. The truth is going to keep coming out, the truth always wins in the end. Many of the sightings were in areas I lived in as a boy where I also sighted wolves, near Goat Mountain, and Graham. The rest below are excerpts from the 1984 200 page study done by Timm Kaminski and Jerome Hanson, Wolves of Central Idaho.

Study cooperators were; FWS, Endangered Species Program; Boise Field Office, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Univ. Montana. U.S. Forest Service, Region 1 and 4. Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

A hundred years ago, gray Wolves (Canis lupus) ranged over most of Idaho (Goldman 1944; Figure l). The last of these animals were believed to have been extirpated from the mountainous regions of the state by the late 1930’s with the removal of wolves from elk and deer winter range near the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 1938 (J.Harris, pers. caoum.). However, reports of wolves persisted, with observations varying from detailed descriptions of large gray canids to droppings consisting of ungulate hair and bone. Such reports, ranging in time from the early 1940’s through the mid 1970’s received little attention from state and federal resource agencies. Moreover, reports of wolves brought ridicule and cynicism from a doubting public, often peers or hunting companions of those reporting wolves.

In June 1978, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game research biologist observed and photographed a black wolf on the Clearwater National Forest in north central Idaho. During October 1978, a gray wolf was shot and killed 200 miles south on the Boise National Forest of west central Idaho. Newspaper- accounts rewritten in review of wolves recent presence in Idaho, lending credibility to both past and present reports.

Study Approach;

Past studies (Kaminski and Boss 1981~ Schlegel and Kaminski 1983) have indicated that 80% of all wolf reports in Idaho identify lone wolves and 13% pairs. Most (>70%) of these reports have occurred during the summer and fall.

Scattered wolf reports persisted throughout north and central Idaho since the 1940’s despite past control efforts and have indicated the presence of adult wolves, young wolves, and/or pups together (Kaminski and Boss 1981). Past field investigations have had little success in detecting the presence of pups, young wolves,or groups of wolves (~3) together. However, 6% of all wolf reports refer to groups of 3 or more wolves and 13% to pairs suggesting periodic recruitment may take place.

The occurrence of lone wolves and pairs during the summer and fall is not unusual for pack members (Mech 1970, Fritts and Mech 1981, Harrington and Mech 1982a). During this time, wolves frequently travel and hunt alone or in pairs while focusing their activities near pup rearing areas called rendezvous sites (murie 1944, Joslin 1966, Pimlott et al. 1969, mech 1970). Rutter and Pimlott (1968), and L. Garbyn (pers. cammun.) postulated that prey availability (e.g. calving areas, beaver) might play a role in the selection of pup rearing areas. Past studies have suggested similar relationships (Pimlott et al. 1969, Haber 1980, Oosenbrug and Carbyn 1982). With the approach of winter, pack members (pups and adults) begin traveling together and frequent ungulate wintering areas (VanBallenberghe 1972, Hoskinson and Mech 1976, Mech and Karns 1977, Nelson and Mech 1981) for pre~ (elk, deer, moose) that comprise the bulk {>90%) of the annual diet (Mech 1970, Gasaway -et al. 1983).

Wolves were reported consistently on the Boise NF from 1974 through 1977 and increased from 1978 to present. Nine of 10 reports received probable ratings from 1974 through 1977. Thirteen reports were received in 1978, 22 in 1979, and 15 in 1980. Wolves were reported 47 times during 1981 and 1982. Nine reports were received on the Forest in 1983, excluding some reports not yet received from the Boise NF.

Kaminski and Boss (1981) found 65% of all wolf reports on the Boise NF were concentrated in the Bear Valley – Warm Lake (BVWL) area. High mountain meadows used traditionally by ungulates for calving, available ungulate and secondary prey (beaver, ground squirrels)and habitat typical of that used by wolves during summer for rearing pups were suggestive of a possible relationship between wolves and ungulates in the BVWL area. Thirty reports of wolves in this area since 1974; 24 that were rated probable, supported this hypothesis.

Review of wolf reports from BVWL since 1 October 1980 suggested a possible bias toward probable ratings (Kaminski 1980-82) due to other reliable reports in the area. Re-evaluation of reports questioned the validity of those involving 3 or more wolves together and revealed a wider distribution of wolf reports on the Forest after 1981. Since 1 October 1980, 41 of 71 reports described wolves outside BVWL, including 12 of 19 (64%) probable reports during 1982 and 1983.

Most evidence of wolves on the Boise NF since 1974 was reported outside designated Wilderness, including 37 of 44 reports from 1 October 1980 to present.

In October 1980, Wolves were reported 15 times with 14 receiving probable ratings. Ten reports were located in BVWL but were distributed widely within the area. Live animals were reported 7,
times, including 3 reports from Dagger Creek north to Sulphur Creek, l from Park Creek, and 3 from Bear Valley.

Outside the BVWL, wolves were reported 4 times. A wolf was reported near the town of Graham in mid October followed by reports in November near Jackson Peak and Clear Creek. In July, a wolf was reported near Shafer Creek.

Eleven wolf reports were rated probable in 1981. Reports were distributed from Mores Creek south of the South Fork Payette River to Sulphur Creek.

Thirty-eight wolf reports from the Boise NF were received during 1982 and 1983. Nineteen •reports received probable ratings. Eleven reports were distributed outside BVWL, and 8 were located within the area. During 1982, wolves were reported during July near Archie Creek in the South Fork Payette River drainage and on 2 occasions 1 week apart near Fir Creek. Reports during September included wolves east of the North Fork Range near Scriver Creek, south of Stolle meadows in Yellowjacket Creek drainage, and near Fir Creek.

Wolves were seen 8 times in October with reports distributed widely over the Forest, probably as a result of increased backcountry visitation by hunters. Wolves were reported in the Deadwood River drainage near Goat Creek and black wolves were reported 4 times during a 2 week period from October 16 to October 30 between Thorn Creek and Troutdale on the Middle Fork Boise River. A buff colored wolf was reported near Warren pond on 22 October and a gray wolf was seen in the Middle Fork Boise River drainage near Dismal Swamp on 23 October. A wolf was reported near winter range along Danskin Creek in November.

Four of 9 wolf reports in 1983 were rated probable. Howling and tracks were reported south of Warm Lake in January. A wolf was reported howling near the Pine-Mack Creek divide in July and a gray wolf was reported by a hunter in Sulphur Creek in November.

Reports of wolves reviewed suggest wolves were distributed primarily in BVWL from 1974 through 1981 but became increasingly scattered on the Boise NF during 1982 and 1983.

ABUNDANCE OF WOLVES

Over 80% of reports from 1970 to 1 October 1980 involved lone .wolves on the Boise NF (Kaminiski and Boss 1981). Since 1 October 1980, 37 of 43 (86%) probable wolf reports on the Forest have also involved lone Wolves. More than 1 wolf was reported on the Boise NF 6 times since 1 October 1980. Three wolves, an adult and 2 pups, were reported during October and November of 1980. In January 1981, 2 wolves were reported near Lick Creek followed by a report of 6 wolves in the South Fork Deer Greek drainage in August. Pairs were reported twice during October 1982. Two wolves were observed near the South Fork Payette River drainage near Archie Creek and 2 black wolves were reported between Bald Mountain and Thorn Creek.

Twenty reports of lone wolves, 1 pair, and 3 reports of 3 or more wolves were used to estimate that 4 to 10 wolves inhabited the Boise NF and adjacent Forests fran 1980 through 1981. Nineteen of 33 reports, including 17 of lone wolves and 2 reports of a pair, were used to estimate that 4 to 9 wolves are presently scattered over the Boise NF and nearby Forests.

Despite a preponderance of reports involving lone wolves, Kaminski and Boss (1981) reported evidence to suggest wolves periodically produced pups near BVWL. Seven probable reports of more than 1 wolf since l October 1980 supported that supposition.

In October 1980, a creambuff colored adult and 2 pups, 1 similar to the adult and the other black, were reported in BVWL near Poker Meadows. An identical group was reported south of Stolle Meadows 3 weeks later. This group may have been responsible for 4-5″ tracks in snow of wolves along the SFSR road in late November.

In January 1981, tracks of 2 wolves Chasing a group of 5 or 6 elk near Lick Creek were reported by a lion hunter. In August, 6 wolves including 3 adults and 3 pups were observed by a FS employee in the South Fork Deer Creek drainage Where a wolf was killed in l978.

Evidence of wolves near Sulphur Creek including a silver-buff colored adult, a pup, and howling was reported during a 3 week period in September by outfitters. A rronth later, a black wolf was seen between the head of Sulphur and Whiskey creeks by a zoo director and – 2 hunting companions.

Outside the BVWL, pairs of wolves were reported twice in October 1982. Two medium gray wolves were reported along Archie Creek in the South Fork Payette River drainage, and 2 black wolves were reported between Thorn Butte and Bald Mountain. In each case, at least one additional probable report from these areas was reported in 1982.

INGRESS OF WOLVES

As on other Forests, ingress of wolves from contiguous and surrounding National Forests is believed partially responsible for wolves’ continued presence. The Boise NF lies at the southern most end of the CIA. It is unlikely that wolves would arrive on the Forest from anywhere but the north (Payette NF) and possibly east (Gballis NF) (Maps 1 & 2). Fran the north the rnost probable area of exchange of wolves between the Payette and Boise NF is the SF~lR and Johnson Creek.

In these areas, wolves are believed to follow ungulates (primarily elk) during spring and fall migrations. Fran the east, wolves may cross during sunrer through fall between the Sulphur and Boundary creek drainages, though wolves probably avoid the area during peaks in recreation use•. Consistent reports between Fir Creek and Cape Horn During the last 10 years also suggest this area as a potential movement corridor between forests. Two final areas include the Sawtooth Wilderness and the Middle Fork salmon River wolves historically were found in the Sawtooth Valley and during the past 2 decades have been reported in the Cape Horn area (Challis NF).

Wolves moving south could conceivably end up in roadless areas near Graham and the headwaters of the Middle and North Forks of the Boise River. Probable reports of wolves have increased in these areas during the past 5 years.

The Middle Fork Salmon River was mentioned previously as an area of mutual gathering for wintering ungulates migrating from summer range on the Boise, Payette, and Challis forests. the potential for the Middle Fork to act as a seasonal vector for wolves between forests in southcentral Idaho is worth noting. —Timm Kaminski and Jerome Hanson – Wolves of Central Idaho 1984 study.

So much for the theory of a few Canadian wolves just simply “passing” through.

Read Part II

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