September 22, 2018

THE Wolf Syllabus

By James Beers:

The following talk was given at a Wolf Symposium by Dr. Geist, a retired Canadian environment professor.  Dr Geist is an internationally recognized scholar and consultant in the subject of predators, predation and changing ecosystems; particularly as this involves wolves. 

I am proud to say that Dr. Geist, a man for whom I have the greatest respect and highest regard, has been both an acquaintance and colleague for many years. 

This “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” was, in my opinion, a smoke screen in the latest subterfuge by uber-rich Americans, non-government organizations and federal bureaucrats to introduce and protect wolves In Colorado to complicate wolf control in Wyoming, circumvent wolf opposition in New Mexico and place wolves ever-closer to The Great Plains where they will duplicate their impacts seen to date throughout much of the West.  

Utah, reportedly, has no established wolf packs and through adept political wrangling has prevented federal bureaucrats from asserting their legal intention to introduce or protect wolves in Utah. This political maneuvering is largely due to Big Game Forever, a Utah-founded and based hunters organization that for about a decade has steered a somewhat maverick role between Washington politicians and bureaucrats, and national non-government organizations of all stripes.  

A former Ted Turner employee and Montana legislator recently kicked off a campaign to introduce wolves into Colorado.  The “usual suspects” came forth (Denver/Colorado Springs/Fort Collins” “wolves only improve the world” crowd to a hodgepodge of ranchers, hunters, rural dog owners, and shepherds that saw what lay ahead but appeared powerless to stop it.  The next step was this “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” sponsored by the Utah-based Big Game Forever to bring together “experts, scientists and decision-makers”.  Fortunately, Dr. Geist was asked to speak, and speak he did. 

I believe Dr. Geist’s talk is the best comprehensive information presentation on wolves that I have read.  It is for this reason that I am forwarding this presentation.  If you or anyone you know is involved in the wolf issue or may be involved in the future with the wolf issue, or has noticed their kids being propagandized about wolves, or that simply likes wildlife and is concerned about America’s future rural environment – Please Share This with Them. 

As to the future of wolves in Colorado, a colleague recently told me that after cutting through all the “science” and smoke: if the Democrat wins the Governor’s race in November (a likely outcome in the heavily urban population and increasingly Magnet-State for liberals fleeing high-tax western states and even high-tax Eastern states) Wolves Will Be Introduced into and Protected in Colorado. 

Luckily, Dr. Geist is Canadian and one of those all-but-extinct endangered species candidates – a professor with Integrity.  He ignores the politics and does a masterful job of saying what I am sure the majority of banqueters neither expected nor wanted to hear. 

Thank you Dr.Geist. 

Jim Beers

4 September 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

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Futility

I am here to tell you why the wolf does not belong into settled landscapes. Wolves do unbelievable damage to wildlife, they do great damage to agriculture, they pose a real threat to public health and safety, and they kill humans under now well-known circumstances. Moreover, after all the pain, suffering and deprivations that wolves inflict on people in settled landscapes, after the enormous public expenditures to maintain wolves, all the effort and costs are for naught, because in settled landscapes wolves degrade via hybridization with dogs and coyotes into worthless hybrids, that is into coydogs and feral dogs. Settled landscapers remorselessly destroy the real wolf. Wolves cannot be conserved as a species in settled landscapes. What is being done with wolves here and in Europe has nothing to do with nature conservation. What the US and the EU are doing with legislation is a very expensive, brutal and mindless way to destroy real wolves. We can do better!

Wildlife destruction

When wolves are introduced, they first destroy wildlife. When I worked in Banff National Park in the 1960’s there were present about 2,500 elk. After wolves returned in the 1970’s elk dropped to less than 300. Moreover, elk became invisible as they were not only hiding, but the bulls quit bugling during the rutting season. We have the same silent bull elk on Vancouver Island where I now live, courtesy of wolves, cougars and big black bears. After 1970 I was no longer able too observe the behaviour of elk in Banff. Also, the moose, which were readily observable in the 1960’s went extinct or invisible.

The same patter has been observed in the Yellowstone area after wolves proliferated following their introduction.  The famous northern elk herd went from 19,000 to about 4,000. Why not less? Because the park elk left the park and went onto private land where there were safe from wolves. I was informed that only some 600 or so now winter in the park. Elk not only went onto private ranches, but also into hamlets or small cities such as Gardiner, where they were also safe from wolves. And that’s exactly what elk have been doing in Canadian national parks for ages: go into towns to escape predation. Deer do that also. Currently in western Canada they are doing it on a grand scale and flee into suburbs, farms, hamlets and even into the very core of cities. Deer on Vancouver island are concentrated in human settlements and virtually missing in the vast back-country. They are not welcome in cities, but tenaciously, they hang on. In Alberta elk have left the forestry reserve, the home of wolves, and moved onto private ranches. Moose have gone even farther and moved far, far out into the prairie where they now live along watercourses and in coulees. They did not do so that when I was still living in Alberta a quarter century ago. In Yellowstone park, however, moose went extinct. Which was, of course blamed on global warming. In early fall 2006 I rode for a week from dawn to dusk through some of the finest moose habitat I have ever seen. And I have see a lot of moose habitat in Canada between the Montana/Idaho/ Washington and the Alaska boundaries. I never saw a moose or a track or a feeding sign. And that was during the moose rutting season when bulls are maximally active.

The very landscape I was riding through was also excellent mule deer habitat. During my week on horseback I saw two does and fawns and found one antler rub by a buck. I suppose they were also victims of global warming!

On Vancouver Island the annual deer kill dropped from about 25,000 a year to some 3,000 per year. Vast forest areas are now virtually without deer. My wife and I observed directly how deer vacated the landscape and rushed into suburbs and farms when a wolf pack showed up.  At night deer lined up body to body along the walls of our neighbour’s cattle barns, oblivious of the farm dogs. For the first time in four years they entered my garden and demolished the fruit trees I had planted. Some 80 trumpeter swans left with the wolf packs arrival, but only some 40 returned after the pack was extirpated; when the second wolf pack arrived the swans left and never returned. Nor did the geese, the large flocks of American widgeons, the green-winged teals, the pheasants and ruffed grouse. Note: it’s not only big game that vanishes!

Alaska colleagues experimentally released wolves on a coastal island. The wolves exterminated the deer, tried catching seals, and starved to death. Similarly, Tom Bergerud, the premier caribou biologist on this continent, documented caribou extinctions on islands occupied in the current spread of wolves.

Research in Yellowstone has shown that wolves kill about 22 elk per wolf per year, and that wolves begin leaving the country once the kill declines to 16 elk per wolf per year. That’s about the same amount of moose wolves kill in Scandinavia per year.

But where do the wolves go when they deplete the prey?

Outside the park, of course, in search of more prey. Here they may be trapped or shot. This has led to vociferous protests that the evil hunters are killing park wolves. A book has been written about it.  No mention of park management which allowed wolves to exceed their carrying capacity of the land. A classical failure of “protectionism.” However, more on that later.

You asked what will happen to your moose, elk and mule deer when wolves are introduced into Colorado and are free to multiply. The moose will be exterminated, the elk and deer decimated, except in so far as they can find shelter from wolves on private ranch-lands, as well as in hamlets and suburbs. However, protected wolves learn to hunt big game even in towns, as now witnessed in Germany. Game population will decline as well as your hunting opportunities. Wolf control can reverse that, but wolf control, as we shall see, will also accelerate hybridization and the genetic destruction of real wolves.

Hydatid disease

Wolves come with a number of diseases of which historically the worst have been rabies and hydatid disease.  Modern medicine had reduced the dangers of dying from rabies if bitten by a rabid wolf, but in the past it was cause for real anxiety, as the bite of a rabid wolf was fatal. As to hydatid disease, all technical matters I mention are to be found in descriptions on the internet – except for context! There had been a presentation given by myself together with Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the Province of British Columbia, to the Montana Legislature’s Environmental Quality Council about Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, on April 27th 2010. Everything we said then applies to all western states. Nobody can claim they were not warned on the basis of very extensive research carried out  by the late Professor James Adams of the University of British Columbia. My late wife was a student of his, and I have seen his extensive collection of images taken in the Vancouver regional hospital of this disease. A horror show beyond description! We also were privy to  the shop talk of surgeons emanating from the operating rooms, that does not find its way into learned journals. It appears that hydatid disease was prevalent then in British Columbia as trappers still used dog sleds for transportation and were feeding to the dogs the viscera of moose, caribou etc including hydatid cyst infected viscera. This practice came to an end with the rise of snowmobiles for transportation which replaced dog-sleds by the 1960’s. Soiled dog sled harnesses were one source of infection.

Hydatid disease is a nasty parasitic disease, caused by us ingesting the eggs of the dog-tape worm Echinococcus granulosus. It can be deadly! The danger resides primarily in the family dog getting infected, and then spreading infective tape worm eggs on lawns, drive ways, veranda and in the house. However, one can also catch the disease from handling the bodies and furs of infected wolves, or from berries and mushrooms contaminated with hydatid eggs from nearby wolf scats, or by running a lawn mover or hay-baler over some dry wolf scats, or drinking water that has percolated over wolf scat.  The people in real danger are ranch families on whose lands infected elk and deer gather to spend the winter and who crowd in about buildings to escape the marauding wolves. Infected elk, moose or deer carry large cysts filled with tiny tape worm heads primarily in lungs and liver. Normally they become debilitated by these cysts and readily fall prey to wolves. These, upon ingesting the viscera, also ingest the cysts. The little tape worm heads are then freed and attach themselves by the thousands to the gut of the wolf. Here they produce masses of tiny eggs that go out with the feces of the wolf. When such dries, the eggs are blown about on the surrounding vegetation. That vegetation is fed on by elk and deer. The tiny eggs turn in the gut of elk and deer into tiny larvae that drill into the intestines and are carried by the blood to the liver, lungs and more rarely the brain of the elk, where they then grow in time into the large cysts, debilitating the elk, making it prey for wolves.

If hunters shoot an infected elk on a ranch and leave the viscera behind, there is the possibility that the ranch dogs will find it, feed on it, become infected by the dog tape worm and begin shedding eggs around farm buildings, barns, and lawns within about seven weeks. People will step into the infected dog feces and, inadvertently, carry it into veranda and house. Here the eggs spread over the floors, but may also drift onto tables and furniture. The dog, licking its anus and fur, transfers tape worm eggs into its fur. The eggs are most likely to infect babies crawling about on the floor, veranda or lawn. They child will lick its hands, or eat contaminated food, and the eggs will develop into cysts. Since re-infection is likely, numerous cysts begin to grow in the liver and lungs. Cysts in the brain are normally fatal. The cysts develop initially slowly, so that not much may be notices till the child is a teen. Then, while playing sports, a cysts in the abdomen may burst. Some children die right then and there of anaphylactic shock. Those that survive need to undergo extensive operations. Should even a tiny bit of parasitic tissue lining the cysts survive surgery, it will grow into another cyst. A terrible, debilitating lifelong condition.

The primary danger comes from dogs which have fed on infected gut piles of elk, moose and deer. Also from farm and ranch dogs that have found an infected dead elk in a coulee and fed on its innards. Since in winter elk will seek refuge also in suburbs and hamlets, any resident dog finding dead elk is likely to get infected, and infect its owners in turn. In short any dog, hunting dog or companion dog that finds a dead deer or elk or an infected gut-pile will bring the disease into the home and to the neighbourhood of its owner. And that will include school yards.

So, where elk winter on ranches, de-worming dogs regularly is a necessary precaution. So is the removal of all dead elk. It is essential to insure that during hunting season hunters bring in the infected viscera for destruction. The real problem will be teaching hunters to dispose in the field infected viscera.

And be weary of people belittling this disease! The claim of a benign parasite is flatly contradicted by Delane C. Kritsky; Professor Emeritus, Idaho State University, who was Associate Dean and Professor (35 years) within Department of Health and Nutrition. “We should be asking who (the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife service, the wolf advocates) will be paying the health bills and funeral expenses for those who will ultimately become infected as a result of wolf introduction into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

Wolves are also known carriers of bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, Neospora caninum (causes abortion in cattle) and, of course, rabies. In Yellowstone, by dispersing elk far beyond the park, the park elk met elk infected with brucellosis, and became infected themselves. In Wood Buffalo National Park wolves have not eliminated tuberculosis and brucellosius in bison. Wolves may not even bother taking down old diseases bison bulls, but looks to young bison instead,

Chronic Wasting Disese CWD

Chronic wasting disease is a juggernaut descending onto American wildlife. Because of its prevalence it has been suggested that predation would wipe out this pernicious disease. In short, introducing and spreading wolves within areas where this disease is endemic among deer and elk, would eliminate the disease. Not so. It would spread the disease.  Wolves generate panic among deer and prey leading to desperate long distance flight as well as desperate searches for locations free of wolves, primarily due to human presence. I have personally witnessed this wolf-induced panic among deer. And I have observed it personally also among livestock. Secondly, because wolves in dispersing go great distances, they would spread ingested CWD prions via feces and urine over very great distances. And they would disperse it in concentrated form. More ranches would wind up CWD infected, let alone public lands. And who in his right mind would buy a ranch infected with CWD, or even a ranch adjacent to an infected ranch? And the trouble is that, generally, we have been trying to contain CWD locally instead of eliminating the root cause of its spread: the commercial trade in wildlife.

Attack on humans the escalation model. While real wolves do indeed attack humans rarely and are very shy, they kill humans none the less under predictable circumstances. Historically wolves have killed in Eurasia tens of thousands of people, and are know as belonging to the “beasts of battle”,  who occupied battle fields and devoured the dead.  Medics noted on battle fields in modern times that wolves vastly preferred human flesh to that of horses and other domestic animals. Fortunately, when wolves begin targeting people, they do so in very diagnostic fashion. They sit or stand and begin watching humans at a distance. They close the observation distance gradually. They continue their exploration by pulling on clothing, licking exposed skin before trying an initially clumsy attack. Not only food shortages trigger exploratory behaviour, so do well fed wolves frequenting garbage dumps. The key factor to watch for is the steady, consistent observations by wolves of humans. Wolves, unlike dogs, are sight-learners, very intelligent sight-learners, I might add. And steady observation of humans by wolves signals an intent on behalf of the wolf to attack people as potential prey.

Why American wolves – were – “harmless”

A prevailing myth is that wolves are so shy as not to attack people, especially North American wolves, which had for the longest time no recorded attack on a person by healthy wolves. When the student Kenton Carnegie was killed by wolves, it was blamed on black bears by a scientist ignorant of tracking, but widely accepted by environmental interests. Totally ignored was the investigation by two educated native people that had exceptional qualification in tracking. That follows a pattern of ignoring the experiences of native Americans. The myth itself can be traced back to a number of North American wolf specialists in the 1950’s who then lacked the understanding of wolves we have now, and who dismissed historical accounts as “tall tales”, precisely because of the scarcity of attacks by wolves on people in north America. It remained a puzzle for a long time even to great specialists in wolf behaviour, such as the late professor Erich Kinghammer of Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Indiana, with whom I discussed this puzzle many times in the decades past. However, I now know the answer: In the 19th Century, the wild spaces of Canada and Alaska were not only occupied by hamlets of rural and native people, and the wilderness widely exploited seasonally by an influx of hunters, while vast private lands were secured from predators by government predator control officers. Moreover, wolf control included the areal dispersal of poisoned horse meat. However and most important of all: vast areas were divided into trapping territories and trapped over by – in the case of Canada – by about 60,000 trappers. These desperately poor, hard working men depended on wildlife for survival and on dog sleds for transportation. Since wolves disperse wildlife, follow trap-lines destroying fur and kill dogs, trappers were usually not well disposed towards wolves. The wolf population of Canad is currently estimated at 60,000 and was probably less than half that in the 19th century. Note: for every wolf alive there were one or two trappers, and that does not include the armed no-trappers occupying that land. Granted the huge territories wolf packs roam over, all wolves in 19th century Canadian wilderness were thus in constant contact with very hostile human beings. That is, all wolves were being continually educated to shun humans. Moreover, because of wolf control there was a super abundance of wildlife – which I still personally experienced. That is, wolves surrounded by a a super abundant food supply grew into shy giants of almost unbelievable body size. I still experienced that personally. Because of reduced density, hydatid disease was relatively rare, attacks on livestock very limited and attacks on humans unheard of. Moreover, by keeping wolves out of settled landscapes it retained the integrity of packs as well as the genetic identity of wolves. Giant wolves living in functional packs will not hybridize with coyotes or dogs, but annihilate such. The wolf kill by trappers, however, was limited. It amounted only to about one wolf per five trappers per year, judging from bounty records.  

Replacing the little wolf with the big wolf.

North America has two species of wolves, a little native wolf who survived the incredible predation hell-hole that characterized North America during the ice ages, and a big wolf who came from Siberia, repeatedly, who did poorly in the native North America fauna, and who spread and multiplied only after human had exterminated most of the native megafauna some 12,000 years ago. The little wolf is a very smart, adaptable little fellow, who does poorly in the presence of the big wolf, but explodes in numbers in settled landscapes and follows humans closely. With human aid it spread into Alaska as well as central America and is still expanding. And it is obnoxious enough to have triggered large scale control measures. In the US coyotes are killed at roughly1000 per day.

You have also legislated via your endangers species legislation and endorsed by the courts that the big wolf will be placed where the little wolf is now.

Has anybody considered what this replacement will mean?

Do you think you will be happy having replaced the unprotected little wolf with the highly protected big wolf?

Do your legislators talk to one another?

Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

The real wolf versus the dog, destructive hybridization.

Protecting grey wolves in settled landscapes and letting them multiply freely leads in the long run to wolves hybridizing with other canids in the settled landscapes, with coyotes in north America and Golden Jackals in Europe, and with domestic dogs in both. That is, or will be, the fate of real wolves to be genetically degraded into extinction as a species. The end product of current American and European “wolf conservation” – so called – is to loose the real wolf as as species and produce a human-caused artifact, a worthless hybrid.

The real wolf is s a species. The dog is not. A species it is the product of Nature sculptured by such for millions of years.  By contrast the dog is NOT a species, but an artifact of human creation using the genetics of the wild wolf and other canids. The dog is a very great, highly useful, but also artistic creation, one which I would not want to live without. And I thank providence that the dogs I have are not wolves! Dogs have been created by humans to fit with human needs, our habitations and professional activities. They are a great treasure, as dog owners can attest to.

But so is the real wolf. And there is no question that we must insure the perpetuation in modern times of the real wolf. However, it cannot be done the way it is practised now in the USA and the European Union. For trying to maintain wolves leads remorselessly to slow, but certain, hybridization with dogs and coyotes and thus the loss of the real wolf. Hybridizing wolves with dogs and coyotes is a way to exterminate the real wolf by destroying its genetics. Of course wolves and dog are closely related genetically. However, very nearly the same basic genetics generates totally different animals. The dog is not a wolf, no matter what.  Similarly, humans and chimpanzees are also very closely related genetically, but are very different organisms.  Pigs and whales are closely reflated genetically, but you do nothing for whale conservation by protecting pigs. Placing dogs into the same species as wolves is a profound confusion of categories.

Consequently, after all the trials and tribulations of introducing wolves into settled landscapes, after all the cost to the public and private purses, after all the destruction caused by these wolves, after all the pain and suffering that befalls humans, livestock, pets and wildlife, after the loss of a grate public treasures such as wildlife, at the end, the wolf is exterminated genetically and replaces by a worthless artifact of hybridization.

Some achievement, some nature conservation, something to be really proud of!

Ecological management for native biodiversity and productivity: The fiasco of “protectionism” advanced by good, but mindless nature lovers.

Right now the national park service is bemoaning the fact that in US national parks the bio-diversity is plummeting (species are going extinct) while at the same time the parks have now over 6,500 invasive plant and animal species in the parks. Management in national parks is primarily protection – that is, doing nothing! (after all, “nature knows best”, it will restore ecological ” balance”  and etc. etc.). However, in reality, doing nothing allows the extinction of sensitive native species, while the hoodlums of the plant and animal world, the invasive species, thrive and prosper under total protection. Is this nature conservation? Is the national park service intellectually capable of differentiating between degeneration and evolution? To make my point another way: In one project in California, Wildergarten, one gentleman, Mark Vande Pol, in fierce opposition to national parks and their ruinous do-nothing policy, bought 14 acres of ground on which there were only 60 species of plants total, currently visible and reproducing. After 28 years of hard, intelligent, insightful work the count  today is some 245native species, while he controls completely another 125 exotics that were once in the seed bank.  Uniquely, the project has a special emphasis upon small annuals.  In fact, he is actively replacing an exotic seed bank with natives!  Have you ever even heard of such a public, foundation, or university project?

Do you see what I am getting at?

The publicity making lament of the National Wildlife Federation about the state of affairs on “protected” areas, is in good part due to the self-infliction of dogmatic, uncritical protectionism, in which even monitoring would be shunned as it smacks of intervention. Ergo, no science, no scholarship disturbs the fundamentalist religious view that “protection” is the salvation of nature. In reality, its exactly the opposite! Protectionist policies lead to the unwitting degeneration of nature, the longer and more effective the protection, the greater the degeneration.

Has the Wildlife Federation, let alone the Sierra Club or humane societies ever learned any lessons from the great and – when it is allowed to work – wonderful North American Model of Wildlife Conservation?

Turkeys were virtually extinct. How about their numbers today? And turkeys cannot exist without a diverse, productive habitat!

Wood ducks were virtually extinct, but no more. How come?

In 1974 bighorn sheep across the US were in decline, despite all attempts at “protecting” them, and that for over a century in California. All to no avail.  Well, the cause of the decline was identified publicly in 1974, a society to implement the rescue was called into life by 1976, and within 25 year the population of bighorns increased by almost 50%.

How come?

How come we have today so many more elk than three decades ago? Though of course not in Yellowstone National Park! There, the “within-park do nothing policy” has driven the park elk almost entirely onto private ranch land. What a success!

Oh, I must also add this one: place wolves into Yellowstone park – where everything is “protected“. And the moose went extinct. How come? We area about to loose the woodland caribou in North America forever, courtesy protectionism of same and of “habitat”. How come?

The natural “regulation” paradigm of the nature protectors is an intellectual failure, as it has to be if one understands that ecosystems, unlike individuals, are subject to positive, not negative feed back. Trusting nature to do it “right”, whatever that may mean, leads often enough to impoverished landscapes of low productivity and biodiversity. Letting “nature” have its way does not always lead to the productive, the diverse and the beautiful. Quite the contrary. And we have missed the obvious right under out noses: The revolutionary North American System of Wildlife Conservation not only saved species from extinction, but its knowledgeable hands-on policies created a landscape full of life, full of productivity, full of awe and beauty, as well as to high benefits to society while proving that the public ownership of land and resources did not lead to the” Tragedy of the Commons”, but quite the contrary. It led to the triumph of the commons. Tragedy resulted from pecuniary interests undermining the public good.

Must we abandon policies that generated productivity, richness and beauty, but also a humane treatment of wildlife? The fate of wildlife is to be changed form being killed quickly and humanely by a hunter’s bullet, to being torn to pieces bite by bite, tortured sometimes for hours by wolves tearing and ripping their way towards their unfortunate victims slow death. Which hunter ever left wildlife torn savagely? Which hunter chokes his prey slowly to death? What inhumanities are the protectionists and their ilk imposing on our unfortunate wildlife?

We have to make it clear that we can vastly improve on Nature. In fact we are doing so every day in our daily lives and dealings. We have improved on bird flight, and can transport humans in masses to distant earthly destination or to the moon and beyond. We can see so much farther in the night sky than the natural eye can achieve, and we can conserve nature on the smallest pieces of land, where as national parks fail in part because they are too small. So their lament! And where a continued existence of predators and prey is achieved in the “do nothing model”, it is on sizes beyond comprehension. Like some 150 wolves and 2,500 bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, which exceeds Switzerland in size! And I am thrilled that we have such an area for comparison. See the wonderful books of Lu Carbyn on bison and wolves in said park. Read and learn!

Not everything “Natural” is good, not everything “Natural” is beautiful, not everything “Natural” is worth fighting for. Quite the contrary! Wildfires are natural, so is tuberculosis, Lyme disease and septicemia. We are asked to abandon landscapes rich in wildlife with a proven and humane treatment of wildlife, for one that is so thoroughly impoverishing vast landscapes, while subjecting wildlife to the horrid cruelties and inhumanity of death by predation.

Is that a goal worth celebrating? Is that a goal worth striving for?

I do not believe in reincarnation , but should I be wrong, all I can say is “Lord please do not let me come back on this earth as a BISON IN WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK’. Here is my story why.” Dr. Lu Carbyn, Canada’s primary wolf biologist.

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Polish Pythons & Colorado Canids

By James Beers:

As I write this; helicopters, drones, a private detective and a lady dressed as a snake are part of a government posse on the hunt in a Warsaw suburb for the former user of an 18-foot python’s freshly shed skin.  Thus far, numerous people have been interviewed about how scared they are for their children and their pets; “three other exotic snakes” were “nabbed”; the home of a dead man suspected of having advertised anonymously to give away a large python called “Bertha” last winter has been searched; and “an erotic-art photographer who specializes in shooting women wrapped in snakes” has been detained.  Poles have been informed by government not to worry since, if not found by autumn, Bertha’s “coldblooded life will end with the summer”.  All in all, the entire affair is somewhere between a fiasco and a circus.

When I was the lone US Special Agent in New York City, deadly snakes were a constant worry because of the danger not only to import regulators like me, but to children in homes with the snakes, neighbors, and the general public when they escape or are released clandestinely like “Bertha”.  Using what used to be called “stereotyping”, then “profiling” and now may not be either used or mentioned; I found the majority of those keeping such snakes to be either anti-social or un-social.  They refused to accept any responsibility for what they were doing or what it wrought and, more often than not, they exuded hostility to the society or community in which they lived.

The python is a deadly danger to children, adults and pets.  Bertha would most likely die with the cold weather but what if “Bertha” finds a cave or abandoned deep foundation in which she overwinters in a state of torpor?  Female pythons like “Bertha” can reproduce without males (it’s called parthenogenesis) so the trauma of getting through a winter or going into a winter could trigger such reproduction leading to other possibilities.

Poland has extensive wetlands, several are UN Ramsar sites, many are state-protected and most (except for winter temperatures) could support pythons. The following map, though of 1939 vintage, is the best representation I could find to show historic marsh areas (the blue dot pattern), and the at-or-below water levels (the dark green areas) where water stands or floods.  Warsaw is right in the middle of both. Tell anyone denying that releasing 1 or 2 pythons, or 3 or 4 “exotic snakes” annually might eventually adapt to such a climate, that you believe in climate change and global warming, so it is possible if you are a believer. The point here is that if every couple of years snakes escape or are dumped and that happens to combine with a warm period (take note Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, et al) the danger of adaptation of pythons or “exotic snakes in a food-rich environment is not outside the realm of possibility.

Then there is “the Facebook user” that has written, “Poor animal” “The system fails again”.  Evidently, even Poland with its hardnose attitude toward immigration and a dictatorial and unresponsive (think wolves) Brussels (the European Union seat of power equivalent to Washington, DC) has ladies of the “Poor animal” stripe.

What to do?  The EU allows deadly snakes to be imported, Poland allows people to keep snakes and does nothing to find illegal or dangerous snakes and get rid of them.  When one gets loose like “Bertha”, even the urbanites in the capital of Warsaw move heaven and earth to find them and get rid of them.  Would that they shared this attitude with rural Poles that feel similarly about wolves and additionally are losing their livelihoods to wolves.  Even a snake like “Bertha” is pitied by some, while a wolf or wolf pack is simply an opportunity for the same urban folks and EU bureaucrats that are responsible for allowing the snakes in, in the first place, to tell the rural rubes to suck it up; the wolves were “there” first; wolves are important to the mythical ecosystem; wolves bring back willows along streams; etc., etc.  To call it (not just “Bertha” but the entire central government ignoring deadly wildlife dangers like snake importation and possession while manufacturing and mandating other deadly and destructive wildlife dangers like wolves) a mess, is an understatement.

In recent weeks I have read of two more current examples that further expose the environmental craziness and corrupt government manipulation of wildlife in our modern world.

First is the arrival of wolves in ?land, the Finnish islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia separating Finland and Sweden. These islands, in salty water that does not often freeze hard or for any distance, are about 70 miles from the wolf-infested mainland.  Additionally, the islands are somewhat densely settled with small family farms.  Wolves are increasing rapidly and displaying alarming habituation (familiarity and no fear) toward rural occupants.  Wolves belong on such settled islands just like pythons and “exotic snakes” belong in high-rise apartment buildings.  I agree with a European colleague that the probability of the wolves arriving on the island via ferry (in a trunk?) by unknown persons is the most likely scenario for this purported miracle of long-distance swimming.  Nonetheless, the central government bureaucrats in Brussels protect the wolves despite local objections and stand poised to pounce on any resident that literally disturbs a hair on any of “The poor animals” the same as if they suddenly popped up on Aran Island in the mouth of Galway Bay in the Republic of Ireland.

Lest our European cousins imagine that this American is somehow biased toward Europeans, European governance or the equal treatment of wild animals and European humans under EU law: I move on to the second recent expose of wildlife insanity and hidden environmental agendas that is the actual subject of this article – The Proposed Introduction of Wolves into the State of Colorado in the good old USA.

Colorado, is prime wolf habitat though it has not hosted wolves for 70 years.  Wolves were purposely and at great time and expense exterminated from Colorado because of the danger they pose to humans; the destruction they wreak on livestock, game animals, and pets; and the impediments that their presence imposes on rural communities, rural economies and state conservation revenues necessary for fish and wildlife programs.

Wolves were forcibly imposed on the State of Wyoming that borders Colorado on the North and the State of New Mexico that borders Colorado on the South.  The New Mexico wolves are constantly fizzling out as stiff local resistance and shootings attest.  The Wyoming wolves have been the object of fierce state opposition to federal wolf imposition and recently the state has forced a political compromise and exception that allows the state to kill wolves at their discretion across most of the state while maintaining an area of limited wolf distribution and numbers.  There is no wolf presence to date East of Colorado in Kansas.  West of Colorado, in Utah wolf arrivals seem peculiarly to be few in number and quickly dissatisfied with their new habitat as no wolf population seems to have become established.

The powerful and rich environmental/animal rights Non-Government-Organizations that are the clandestine allies of federal and state bureaucrats had been counting on (for at least 30 years) wolves swarming into Colorado from the North, South, and West as their protected numbers swelled.  Such has not been the case.

Additionally, the current political climate in the USA under the Trump Administration has been discouraging to any federally-supported wolf expansions to say the least.  Thus, we have the current situation of the radical organizations and federal bureaucrats initiating a public relations/legal move to coerce state acquiescence to introduce and protect wolves that will surely harm their rural communities in many ways.  Arguing that wolves are “Endangered” or “Threatened” in this climate and at this time is akin to taking coals to Newcastle.  Wolves need government intervention today about as much as mosquitoes, minnows or marmots.

A good friend in Colorado has explained to me that the Democrat or Progressive Party has made it clear that if they win the Governorship, hold the Assembly and take control of the Senate that the State will release and protect wolves.

Several factors are at play in this matter.  First, while Democrat has been the preferred and majority party of environmentalists and animal rights voters; Republicans have mostly been tepid opponents that usually prefer to appear supportive of such agendas and rarely oppose proposals or advocate reforming established government programs in these areas.

Second, rich Democrat donors have made political contributions and sponsored a professional campaign in Colorado to soften any opposition to releasing and protecting wolves.  This will serve another hidden agenda.  Wolves scattering from established Colorado packs will likely go North and undercut Wyoming wolf control programs; West and establish wolves in Utah; and South into New Mexico to further frustrate New Mexican efforts to keep their state wolf-free and their wildlife programs federal-free as much as possible.  Now keep in mind this is being pulled off as the federal government is not in a wolf-expansion mode and this will be done with Colorado wildlife program funds and private donations to key state politicians.  A national hiatus in radical environmental agendas is only an illusion.  Given a federal Democrat House and/or Senate the federal government will once again shift into high gear and the results will only get uglier and uglier.

Summarizing all this, Europe has much to learn from the US and the US has much to learn from Europe.

  • Allowing possession of dangerous snakes creates not only threats to human safety; the threat of repeated clandestine releases flirts with the establishment of snake populations that could cause untold dangers.  Pythons and boa constrictors in Florida were allowed to be imported by federal bureaucrats despite laws empowering them to prohibit it.  These snakes have become firmly established and are slowly expanding their range and destruction northward as state control programs prove to be ineffective and prohibitively expensive.
  • Confidence in federal bureaucrats to either prohibit importation or releases is greatly misplaced.  Not only pythons and constrictors were  imported, Asian carp species that are destroying central US watersheds were allowed in for catfish farmers; snakeheads that are taking over Eastern rivers were brought in by Chinese restauranteurs; monitor lizards and iguanas were brought in for the pet trade and escaped; exotic birds were brought in for pets and escaped and are established in certain areas; many exotic trees that have become established pests were imported for landscaping purposes and the list goes on. No federal bureaucrats or politician that has allowed this slipshod wildlife importation enforcement has taken any responsibility for the impacts of the resulting harms.  Like wolves and grizzly bears introduced and protected by federal bureaucrats, the federal government dictates and then pirouettes off the stage leaving it in the State or Country’s hands as they look for the next communities to claim as their own jurisdiction.
  • There are no “miracles” in wildlife management.  When wolves pop up 70 miles from the mainland on small islands it is due to either radicals drugging and transporting them or some clandestine government program.  In either case, why is there no investigation or “transparency”?  Who can you trust about predator numbers or distributions or what animal is becoming established?  Who is responsible?  Why have we given government the freedom to ignore importation laws and the ability to tinker with animals and a natural environment that is strongly objected to by those forced to live in and with it?  Why do urban high rollers have the authority and wherewithal to tailor the lives and surroundings of rural citizens to fit urban imaginings?
  • Federal efforts should be directed toward controlling importation of Injurious and harmful wildlife and plants, plus working with other Nations to assure healthy ecosystems that meet the needs and desires of all citizens to live in peace and prosperity.
  • State and national governments should work with their Local governments to determine and then maintain the best numbers and distributions of wild animals and plants desired by the local population.  State governments should protect Local integrity just as nations like Italy should protect their local governments; because they are protecting their own people not remote, faceless numbers on a page.
  • Be they what others call “Native” species or “Non-Native” Species; their presence, abundance or absence creates the “Ecosystem” most appropriate for the people living there and not some imaginary fantasy.  Truly endangered species should be the matter first of Federal/State/Local negotiation and only as a last resort the subject of specific legislation that least disturbs the balance of governance and assures that those concerned pay for what must be done.  If you want certain species in certain areas where the locals do not want them, then work to convince them of the desirability of your wishes and be prepared to pay ad infinitum for the local people to approve and tolerate what you ask them to do and tolerate.

Pythons in Poland and Wolves in Colorado are only two recent examples of the abuses, complexities and challenges ahead for all of us as we contemplate just government and a healthy natural environment for prosperous human communities to prosper worldwide.  All-powerful central governments have proven to be the enemies here and accountable Local governments with authority are the only real solution.

Jim Beers

4 September 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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The Realization of the Power of Centralized Government

*Editor’s Note* – As with all guest posts, the views expressed may or may not be the position of this editor/administrator. Having clarified that, I believe there are more than the three choices Mr. Beers has presented to readers. But I’ll save that for another time. Enjoy the article.

A story by James Beers:

HOW?

(A colleague recently asked the question, “I do not understand how the EU has such authority about wolf populations in countries around Europe.  Each country has its own singular problems with a wolf population.  It seems to me to be reasonable that each country should make its own regulations about how to control its wolf population.”  The following is an answer…  Jim) 

The EU has such authority for precisely the same reason that Washington, DC has the same authority in Washington.  The past 50 years have seen simultaneous explosions in two areas of US and European governance:

  1. Centralization of all authority and jurisdiction in one central point; Brussels for Europe and Washington in the US.  Brussels was created for all manner of reforms from saving Europe from a WW III; growing an economy to compete with the US; and deterring the Soviets from gobbling it up.  This centralization of laws, Parliamentary power and bureaucracy subservient to the politicians in Brussels who then, in turn, became both unanswerable and unaccountable to anyone except their own personal interests and somewhat to the “elected” national leaders that played a game called “two canoes”.  “Two canoes” is played by persons (national leaders) paddling in a race downstream, each in two canoes with one foot in each one.  The two canoes represent the central EU government and the citizens of the country they ostensible represent.  The winner of the race gets the most money and power that is controlled by the Brussels politicians and bureaucrats actually ruling Europe.

The exact same thing took place in the US.  Jurisdictions and authorities that were Constitutionally and traditionally both Local and State were absorbed by a growing federal government starting during WW I when the Democrat Party controlled the Presidency, the Congress and the Courts.  They established a federal Income Tax and changed the basic nature of the US Senate from representatives of States to a House of Lords where Senators became national and international interest group’ advocates approving Treaties and federal appointments in return for lobbyists’ money and emoluments. After 50 years of Depression, WW II and Soviet travails, the expanding federal centralization reached a critical mass when Vietnam and the Free Love/Drugs/Anarchy exploded in the US.  Central authority was the “only” answer to put down riots, stop drug smuggling and take over the schools that were pumping out all those “hippies”, etc.

  1. It was during the 1960’s and 70’s (Watergate/Inflation/Counterculture, etc.) that the “environmental/animal rights” movement began laying eggs in both the US and Europe.  The eggs were laid in the warm and fuzzy nest of the all-powerful central governments.  The politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels and Washington saw the eggs as sure political winners as they expanded central controls.  Europe and the US saw an explosion of “environmental” and “animal rights” laws emanating from Brussels and Washington.

First were the “global cooling” discoveries that came from the Universities threatening a second Ice Age due to human activities that, if not controlled by central governments, would destroy civilization and crop production for a thousand miles North or South of the Equator. This morphed later into “global warming” that threatened to drown coastal areas from melting Ice Caps and rising seas.  America’s E and W Coasts were going to run through Ohio and Utah respectively.  Hunting, animals as experimental objects, animal husbandry, and animals as property were all to be banned.

Right behind those scares came the calls for “Clean Air” and “Clean Water” laws that confirmed new central authorities over air “polluters” like cars, power plants, and manufacturing processes; and water “polluters” like farmers, cities, and disposal practices.  Universities worked overtime for grant funds from central government bureaucracies; and politicians crowded each other for publicity and votes as they passed laws for banning all manner of human activities and societal traditions.  None of this is to say that cleaning up air and water pollution was not worthy but, I believe it is inarguable that the magnitude of central government mandates often exceeded common sense and any fair cost-benefit analysis.  Yet, the greater magnitude and most important aspect of growing central control; more urban support and bureaucratic growth (and compensation) were generated and legal precedents were established over former and vanishing national or state-controlled activities; was the real reason for this agenda’s survival, no matter what.

To call the 1970’s anything other than the period confirming central government ascendancy over state (in the US) and national (in Europe) powers of governance would be to misread history.  On the heels of all the air and water cleansing came the federal environmental/animal rights’ laws.  Wilderness, Endangered Species, Wild Horses and Burros, Marine Mammals, New Bird Treaties, Estuarine Areas, Scenic Rivers, Parks, Sanctuaries, etc. Acts established all manner of new or increased central government jurisdictions over everything from frogs and flies to whales and wolves.  UN Conventions and Treaties were drafted by central government bureaucrats to confirm and expand their own central government authorities.  The words “Ecosystem” and “Protect” appeared and were heard everywhere.  Central government politicians were canonized for “saving” everything: central government bureaucrats were paid more and more to manage bigger budgets and more employees to fulfill all the promised benefits: and Universities became integral partners grinding out (for grant money, notoriety and tenure) all the “science” the bureaucrats paid for to justify and discover new reasons for, and benefits of the, “New Normal”.

Thus, in answer to the question:

“I do not understand how the EU has such authority about wolf populations in countries around Europe.  Each country has its own singular problems with a wolf population.  It seems to me to be reasonable that each country should make its own regulations about how to control its wolf population.”

The answer is, there is NO OTHER REAL AUTHORITY today in either Europe or the US.  The national responsibility in Europe to protect the rural citizenry from wolf depredations, dangers and destruction was passed to Brussels that both birthed the wolf problem in the first place and has no incentive to abandon all the urban animal rights’ myths and love for wolves that supports continued expansion of central government authority.  The wolves are destroying the sheep, endangering hunters, decreasing game, killing and mating with dogs thereby depopulating rural areas and making more land available for government to take over for urban fancies from Wilderness to Parks.  Likewise, State authorities over wildlife in the US have been absorbed by central government politicians and bureaucrats.  State governors, like European national leaders, play the “two canoes” game like Olympic athletes getting medals, money and publicity from central government overlords that get money from the environmental/animal rights’ organizations and then tax the public more and more to support the scams they invent to maintain power over everything from gardens to plastic straws.

European and American shepherds, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, loggers, and rural residents are living in a make-believe world where wolves are good, and livestock are bad.  Where vegans are good; and meat eaters are bad.  Where wolves are good; and domestic dogs are bad.  Where catastrophic forest fires are good; and loggers and grazers are bad.  Where far-off, remote and unaccountable central governments are good; and National/State/Local governments (closer to the people and accountable to them) are bad.

That is “how the EU (and Washington) has such authority about wolf populations.”

There are only three choices.

  1. We begin reforming these central governments incrementally into what they were 50 or 100 years ago.
  2. We fight the central governments like the Brexit voters and the State of Wyoming have done and strike for an immediate (as far as that is humanly possible) reversal of central government authority and re-establishment of State, National and Local authorities and jurisdictions.
  3. We just shrug, like Atlas, and watch freedom, liberty and accountable government disappear in the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren.

I vote for #2.

Jim Beers

3 September 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Judge Blocks the Killing of Members of Pack of Washington Wolves

As is ALWAYS the case, a judge has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from removing some or all of the members of a wolf pack habituated to killing livestock in eastern Washington. The Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands immediately sued once they heard of WDFW’s intentions.

According to reports, Washington has “a minimum of 122 wolves in 22 packs, with 14 successful breeding pairs.” This is a far cry from any endangerment to the species. In addition, the actions of the pack of wolves in depredating on livestock meet all the requirements for lethal removal.

But what is most sad is that wolves have NEVER been endangered. All that exists are a group of selfish, misled, and perverted people who want wolves in everyone’s backyard. Wolves do not belong in human-settled landscapes for the very reasons that WDFW decided it was time that something is done to stop this pack from destroying livestock. There should be no reason whatsoever that any property owner has to sacrifice his or her property for the protection of any animal.

In addition, while the intentions of WDFW and other wildlife managers are mostly good, you cannot accomplish the stoppage of livestock depredation by culling only one or some of any pack. It’s a pack activity and unless all members are taken out, depredations will continue. That’s a fact whether we like it or not. It’s a matter of where the importance lies – protecting animals or taking away a person’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Wars have been fought over one nation wishing to take away property and rights from another.

Judges are owned by environmental groups who are owned by the government. That’s why none of this makes any sense.

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In Search of the Hidden Public Costs of Wolves

By James Beers:

This was written for the Wallowa County [Oregon] Chieftain newspaper and can be found on their Facebook page.

Recently an ad hoc group of wildlife professionals concerned with wolves in Europe, Canada and the US has been discussing a 7 April 2015 article in the Wallowa County (Oregon) Chieftain newspaper.  The article, by three researchers with Oregon State University,concerned the economic impact of wolves on rural communities in Northeast Oregon based upon a six-year, ongoing study.  This analysis focused on cattle depredation and harassment costs related to wolf densities and was originally published in “Oregon Beef Producer” magazine, published by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Our discussion, composed of frequent comments and observations, revolved around the lack of any reliable estimates of the cost of wolves in the media, scientific journals, or government justifications regarding the costs associated with wolves, especially in the settled landscapes of Europe, Canada and the USA.  The discussion caused me to consider how I might contribute to this subject of wolf costs in a milieu of government and environmental obfuscation and deception about the costs of wolves.  My experience and background with state and federal program budgeting and analysis left me with a familiarity that enables me to speak about government costs that will hopefully shed light on the state portion of costs, both monetary and opportunity, of wildlife programs, especially controversial and political issues like wolves.

While I am not a domestic animal economist, I am a wildlife biologist with over 55 years of working in the field of government wildlife programs.  From several temporary stints with the Utah Fish and Game to 32 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 4 states and 25 years in Washington, DC and then as a speaker and writer about wildlife: I was, among other things during my USFWS tenure, a Program Analyst; a Budget Analyst; a Congressional Fellow; and the administrator of the federal Wildlife Excise Taxes (currently over $600M) Apportioned annually to state wildlife agencies.

During this latter assignment I uncovered the theft of $45M to $60M from those Excise Taxes by USFWS officials in Washington to fund the capture of Canadian wolves and their release in Yellowstone in the mid-1990’s.  The stolen funds were also used to clandestinely open a USFWS Office in California and to increase bonus amounts for select USFWS managers.  Both the introduction of wolves into the Upper Rockies and the office in California had previously been rejected for either funding or authorization by Congress.  As a “whistleblower” I assisted the General Accounting Office to construct an Audit that was the subject of two Congressional Hearings before the House Resources Committee.  I spent 10 months at home on full pay and benefits before being given a large cash settlement contingent on my complete silence for three years regarding anything having to do with my separation and retirement from federal employment.

All the foregoing is necessary for you to understand that I know both federal and state wildlife agency budgets and many of the ways that bureaucrats hide and dissemble what they do not want the public or any overseer to know.  Think, at this point, about the FBI/DOJ scandal before Congress; Fast and Furious; Lois Lerner and Koskinnen at the IRS; Benghazi excuses; recent BLM actions in Nevada and the shooting in the snow near Malheur Refuge of a protesting rancher.  Federal bureaucrats are not unique in their exemption from prosecution that would send civilians away to prison for decades.  They share this “perk” with powerful politicians and the very rich.  When bureaucrats of any stripe see other bureaucrats go unprosecuted for escalating crimes; like any kid on the street that sees his friends get away with crimes; the bureaucrat is emboldened and grows more and more contemptuous of the law that he believes doesn’t apply to him or her.  For instance, State wildlife agencies have been caught using wildlife funds to buy vehicles for the state vehicle pool; giving wildlife lands purchased with Excise Taxes to land developers (Whitewater in Arkansas); paying state park employee’s salaries when the state parks money runs out; giving wildlife land to state prison administrators to build a prison; and selling timber on wildlife lands and placing the receipts in the General Fund (instead of the wildlife budget as required by the Excise Tax law).  These things were all done clandestinely and were it not for a whistleblower or a fair audit (a rarity) by an uninvolved Audit Firm, they would likely have gone unreported.  State bureaucrats want to “please” their political overlords (Governors, select Legislators, Political Party bosses) every bit as much as FBI Agent Strzok, Lois Lerner, Koskinnen, BLM thugs, USFWS appointees, etc. want to “please” those that care for them financially and politically.

It is about State costs when Government Issue (GI) wolves are imposed by federal fiat that I wish to speak here.

The federal government is imposing or has imposed every current wolf in the Lower 48 States.  Wolves present when the ESA authorized federal seizure of all wolf authority in The Lower 48 States and all those imported, released and protected have been and are (despite the few states “enjoying” wolf management “returned” by benevolent bureaucrats and politicians) under federal directives and the threat of being retaken by federal bureaucrats given a favorable political climate.  At last count, wolves are present in 25 or more states.  Wolves are not “native” to Hawaii and wolves are ubiquitous in Alaska preventing federal claims of being “Endangered”, though that does not stop Lower 48 radicals and federal bureaucrats from trying to dictate wolf policies like aerial shooting, trapping and hunting to depress wolf densities to protect large game like moose and human/wolf interfaces where human safety and human property like dogs are in danger.

Let us use one state as a hypothetical example of what happens within a state wildlife agency when wolves arrive.  What I mention here goes for any state with wolves, be they under federal (Endangered Species) jurisdiction or under state management authority within federal guidelines as the result of federal bureaucrats’ benevolence to “return management to the state”.  This “return” is a false gesture since the Endangered Species Law remains untouched to authorize future federal bureaucrats to reassert federal authority and jurisdiction over not only wolves as a species, but also about wolves’ subspecies, wolf races, wolf populations, wolf distinct population segments, as well as distinct population segments (wolves on either side of a “government boundary” such as a County line).  One significant factor in the disappearance of federal wolf claims in the current atmosphere is the reluctance of the Congress to openly cough up many millions to USFWS to protect and spread wolves at this time if they reasserted federal authority and some States suddenly realized that negotiating with federal bureaucrats over wolf presence, distribution and control is akin to negotiating with Iran or North Korea about their behavior.  Better to let the State wildlife agencies scrimp and go broke so that when the time comes next to reassert ESA provisions, they (the States) will be even more dependent on federal funds and federal bureaucrats.

I was in our hypothetical state last year when I attended an all-day meeting “about” wolves.  Attendees included angry cattlemen, hunters, dog owners and the usual scattering of urban representative of radical groups opposed to anything that would affect wolves.  A State Biologist in charge of the Wolf Program from the Wildlife Agency Headquarters was in attendance.  Two wardens came and went during the day.  There were frequent breaks and lots of chitchat.  The State fellows were pleasant and honest; the cattlemen/hunters/dog owners were anxious to tell their stories; and the radicals were neither easy to talk to nor interested in sharing anything.  The cattlemen/hunters/dog owners innocently hoped that bureaucrats and environmentalists would listen and negotiate relief for their problems with wolves.  The radicals, knew their power was to be protected but not here in the open but in the backrooms of State politicians, the lunches for staffs of federal politicians, and the evening get-togethers with state and federal bureaucrats that support them like FBI Agents behind-the-scenes in federal elections and afterwards.

While speaking to the administrator about common acquaintances and politics, I asked how much money the State agency was spending on wolves and he answered honestly, “eight-hundred thousand”.  Now this state has large losses of cattle, hundreds of dead dogs (from hunting beagles and bird dogs to bear dogs), elk losses where they are trying to establish and build up an elk herd, and numerous human threats to rural people (including one killing that was mysteriously buried by the government and the media) and platoons of urban “volunteers” that count wolves and otherwise “help” state employees.  So, when he casually answered so quickly with such a round (and small) number, my interest was piqued.

I asked if that included the time spent by that warden over there and the administrator said, “oh no, that is different”.  When I then asked what the total might be he was honestly flummoxed (this did not surprise me) as most agency workers outside the budget office are woefully ignorant of what I was asking.  By the way, the warden told me that in the last 12 months he had spent well “over half his time” on reports of wolf poaching, investigating livestock and dog losses, advising rural residents encountering wolves near homes or businesses, running wolf errands for other State agency offices, helping with capturing and collaring wolves, and organizing wolf counts to speaking to schools and civic groups about how lucky they all were to have wolves in their midst.

Now this state has established and dense wolf numbers in at least 2/3 of their Counties.  The other 1/3 have transient and occasional resident wolves.  The state had wolf “management” “returned” for a few years ago and then had the federal jurisdiction returned to USFWS as the result of a lawsuit by a radical group so the USFWS did little more than “protect” wolves that increased (take note all you fans of “returning wolf management to the States”).  Even with USFWS back in the driver’s seat, State responsibilities included law enforcement, counting, compensation, public relations and associated tasks thanks to a State Legislature beholden to radical groups and interested in rural votes and a cool rural temper during elections.  Politicians that appear to not respond to voter’s ire are the politicians whose names you can never remember. So, following state and federal politicians as they “promise this and that”, and “introduce” this and that is a little like wandering through the House of Mirrors at the Carnival on a summer evening: you come out right where you went in.

Let us make a few ballpark estimates with round numbers about costs  The ball park numbers are necessary because actual numbers are all but impossible to obtain, as I found out, from state agencies hidden behind laws meant to provide transparency but that have been adapted as veils for state agencies that make you jump through more hoops than a Hula Hoop contest.  Like their federal counterparts; between the charges, delays, forms and information dissembling; public knowledge is kept to a bare minimum.  The round numbers are necessary to keep your attention and not lose you “in the weeds”.

Let us say there are 60 Counties (2/3 or 40 have lots of wolves) in the State and a Warden in each one. Based on the Warden at the meeting and hypothesizing about the other 39 Wardens in the wolf Counties, let us assume each warden spends 40% of their time on wolf-related work.  Let us further assume the 1/3 of the Counties with either transient or occasional resident wolves spend 30% of their time on wolf-related work.  Such work would include:

  • Investigating wolf depredations on livestock and dogs.
  • Arranging compensation for verified wolf depredations.
  • Investigating reports of being wolves shot or hunted.
  • Investigating reports of traps, snares or poisons set out for wolves.
  • Advising residents, dog owners and livestock producers about deterring wolves.
  • Overseeing and assisting in wolf censuses.
  • Responding to requests for assistance with wolves in campgrounds, garbage, outbuildings and on bike/hiking trails.
  • Training on state and federal wolf policies and regulations.
  • Training on equipment and handling sedated, live and dead wolves.
  • Investigating reports of wolf hides and/or skulls.
  • Meetings with schools, the media and organizations concerning wolves.
  • Training on wolf-related information management.
  • Investigating wolf and wolf hybrids in private homes.
  • Making Investigative Reports and preparing charges for prosecutors.
  • Keeping up with all the non-lethal control recommendations and non-lethal control claims so as not to be quoted in a way that could jeopardize your job.
  • Learning how to answer questions about wolf impacts and things like wolves as vectors of many diseases so as not to get in trouble with the latest state policies.

Now you might think this (40% of the Warden’s time in dense-wolf Counties and 30% of the Warden’s time in the mostly transient-wolf Counties) is all paid for out of the $800,000 in State funds but you would be wrong.  The $800,000 is first skimmed by headquarters and regional administrators for let’s say 10% for “administration”.

The remaining funding ($720,000) is mainly going to compensate livestock producers and dog owners (in this state but not in the majority of wolf states) for verified losses of livestock and dogs to wolf depredations.  But what about “research”?  The University “needs” funding for graduate students and professors all willing to work on what the wildlife agency and the radicals and those being harmed by wolves want as current justifications.  To wit, some “silver bullet” that won’t kill anything and justification for more funding to buy out livestock producers and to justify banning dogs from wherever dogs might hybridize with or conflict with wolves. So, let’s give them (rural folks and University justifiers) $420,000.

The amount available after this “compensation” is $300,000.  Well, there is also the Wolf Administrator’s salary and overhead in Headquarters along with a secretary and one or two regional wolf persons and poof, there goes the $800,000.  So, who or what pays for all that Warden time?

Before we answer that question, let us recognize where most of the license revenue and Excise Tax dollars that support state wildlife agencies goes.  It goes to salaries, equipment, land purchase and operations.  If our hypothetical Wardens make an average of $50,000 per year and 40% of that goes to wolves that means each warden is spending $20,000 of that salary on wolves.  But, then there are the hidden costs of Overhead; each warden also costs annually:

  • Health Insurance $8,000
  • Early Law Enforcement Retirement State Fund $10,000
  • IRA Contributions $ 3,000
  • Vehicle (annual amortization) $15,000
  • Boat/Trailer (annual amortization) $12,000
  • Storage for Equipment $4,000
  • Gun/Arms training/Uniforms $3,000
  • Computer/Administrative Support (@Regional Office) $4,000
  • Total: $55,000

Each of these costs must also be added to the $50,000 salary and then 40% deducted to see what the real cost of 2/3 of the Warden’s cost to babysit wolves amounts to.

$50,000 (Salary) + $55,000 (Overhead) = $105,000 (Warden Compensation) X 40% (% of time on wolves) = $42,000 the annual real cost of ONE Warden on wolves in the (2/3) Counties with dense wolf populations.  But we have 40 such Wardens, so – $42,000 (the cost of One Warden’s wolf time) X 40 (the number of Wardens in dense wolf country) = $1,680,000 (the state real cost of Warden services re: wolves in the dense wolf counties).  That is without adding in gas, overtime, vacation, and maintenance/repair of vehicles and equipment!

At this point we add in the cost of wolves in Warden’s time in the other 1/3 of the Counties’; i.e. those Wardens that only spend 30% of their time on wolves.  $105,000 (total annual cost of a Warden) X 30% (% of time on wolves) = $34,500 the annual cost of one Warden on wolves in the 1/3 of Counties with transient and scattered wolves.  Again, we have 20 such Wardens, so $34,500 (Annual wolf cost in 1/3 of Counties) X 20 = $690,000 (the state real cost of Warden services re: wolves in transient wolf counties.

If we add the estimated real cost of warden services for wolves we get:

$1,680,000 + $690,000 = $2,370,000 Total cost of warden servicing of wolves not including gas, overtime, vacation, and maintenance/repair of vehicles and equipment!  But wait; there is more.

What about the agency Director and all the staff in Headquarters and Regional Offices for the entire Department?  The Public Relations staff, the computer staff, the receptionists, environmental “educators”, biologists, solicitors, appointees, et al?  Like all those Assistants and Deputies; they have salaries, overhead, meetings to attend, travel, vehicles to travel in, and training to compose and to go to ad infinitum.  If the field personnel spend 30 – 40% of their time and effort on wolves, do you really believe these others spend all their time protecting and managing your fish and wildlife?  So, we must take the same slice +/- 37% of their salaries and support (the average of all Wardens work on wolves) and treat it as Wolf Costs.  That is a large number that I am sure varies greatly by state (imagine that cost in Washington or California and then think of comparable costs in New Mexico or North Dakota).  It is a big number and 25 states from one extreme to another are involved in it as you read this. When you figure this all out, don’t forget to add in the original claim of $800,000’s counterpart that I expect by now you no longer think of as, “not too bad” anymore.  Pause and think of how much is really being spent and how no one ever gets anything but sneers and guffaws when they say, “we’re spending a lot more than $800,000”.

In fact, Warden’s spending over $2,000,000 on wolves are not managing and regulating fish and wildlife to that tune as the public still assumes.  Fish and Wildlife populations and distributions compatible with settled landscapes and local interests, is the reason the agency was created and those employees are simply using up the available funding and the respect with which the public once held their predecessors to serve federal bureaucracies, politician’s egos, and radical Non-Government Organizations and their pernicious agendas that prioritize imaginary nature worship over those actually being harmed.

Do the math on one agency, then figure 24 more states now and another dozen in five years.  Think about how this cost is going into eliminating hunting and the Excise Taxes that support these agencies.  Hunting is threatened by lack of game from wolf depredations; human and dog safety concerns where wolves are present, disease problems for people and dogs where wolves are present, sporting dog breeders disappearing as dogs are no longer in demand (one of many animal right’s goals), and diminishing License Revenue (a self-fulfilling prophecy).  Excise Taxes are threatened by gun control, vilification of shooting and shooting sports in schools, the media and political platforms.  Who will pay for State wildlife programs in the future when these things are gone?  What will be done other than growing government control and ownership of more rural land and more elimination of any animal use or management as hunting and animal husbandry disappear and rural communities wither?

My grandmother used to say, “figures don’t lie but liars figure” and she was right.  Basing these wildlife scenarios on biology and nature myths is foolish. For instance, after about 50 years on the Endangered “Species” LIST, “experts” still cannot agree if there are one, three or more “species” of wolves in The Lower 48 States.  Someone shooting a 65 lb. “coyote” must wait weeks to have a bureaucrat tell him if he shot an “Endangered Wolf” (thereby incurring severe federal prosecution); or a coyote (thereby set free under state laws); or a dog (either under Local jurisdiction or owned by someone that may sue you for shooting his dog).  Since dogs, coyotes and wolves mate freely given the opportunity and their puppies are just as viable to reproduce and explicable as a pup out of a basset hound bred by a poodle; what then is this wolf?  One of many species, simply a Canid form like coyotes and dogs, or a unique species?  Look to the math of this scam and when you understand the costs and what you are losing: do something!

Were we able to (we aren’t because state wildlife agencies like the FBI, IRS, USFWS et al do not want the public ever getting a hold of such real numbers) get actual audit information, what I am trying to display here would be infinitely more understandable. While states vary as to audits, federal agencies never get audited unless Congress requests it and anyway the federal General Accounting Office no longer does “audits”, they do “Accountability Reports” because they are no longer an agency of accountants, they mutated years ago into an agency of social studies and political science majors as a diversity thing.  “Accountability” only exists anymore in the eye of the beholder.

All those State salaries, all those overhead costs, all that rental office property, all that equipment, all that support and all those laws and regulations were set in place to manage fish and wildlife for people.  Hunting/Fishing License Revenue and Excise Taxes both supported a wide assortment of businesses like sporting goods, clothing, dog breeding, etc., plus it controlled or eliminated certain wildlife deemed harmful and encouraged other wildlife highly desired for game, food and traditional recreation.  Excise Taxes on arms and ammunition, archery equipment, gas used for sporting and recreation boats, and fishing tackle supplemented the license revenues as the backbone of state fish and wildlife agencies funding.

The unseen and unmentioned millions being spent on wolves by state agencies is simply money diverted from the original public mandates and objectives to manage deer and elk and moose and ducks and grouse and walleyes and ice houses and invasive species, etc.  The same thing happened at the USFWS level when several hundred waterfowl and songbird support positions were “re-imagined” overnight by Secretary Babbitt into a “new” environmental science research agency in the US Geologic Survey that Congress had refused to fund.  The old public and organizations of hunters, fishermen, ranchers and others have stood by while those opposed to their presence from the National Wildlife Federation to PETA “re-imagined” the state fish and wildlife agencies into babysitting agencies feeding imaginary nature to urban constituencies largely dissatisfied with everything American from naming streets and schools after Presidents to hunting and fishing with your children like your Dad and Grandpa did with you.

The state wildlife agencies, once one of the most beloved of all government services have been co-opted (willingly and for their own job and retirement concerns) into this scam which you might call a “two-fer”.  Not only are the wolves spreading in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 and wreaking havoc (where they do not belong for many very valid reasons from hybridization to spreading disease and danger to rural children and old ladies): the state agencies that once managed fish and wildlife for people have joined in this clandestine endeavor and managed to eliminate a steady amount of fish and wildlife management and convert it into wolves that make rural life, rural pursuits and rural economies more difficult and problematic.  They are giving License Revenue and Excise Taxes, the primary example of the tried and true “User Pays” principle, to the enemies of the “Users” to, as Lenin once observed, “Buy (actually take) the rope from the Capitalists (actually the Users) with which we will hang them”.

James Beers

9 August 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Evolving Coyote Mythology & Urban Political Dog Whistles

By James Beers

I recently thanked the St. Paul Pioneer Press and one of its writers for exposing the controversy surrounding growing complaints in St. Paul, Minnesota regarding the presence of and conflicts with urban coyotes.  Phone calls by the author of the article to the St. Paul Animal Control Supervisor; who was quoted as saying, “It speaks well for our city that wild animals choose to live here”; had gone unanswered.  The writer noted that, “Most of us don’t want coyotes, only to discover we have as our animal-control supervisor a woman with a Golden Book view of wildlife” and wherein “at night all the creatures gather around a fire and the raccoons provide for story time.”

I noted the similarities between this urban newspaperman and his coyote concerns in the face of a city government bureaucracy that disdains to recognize or address his interests and the drama taking place in rural America between rural residents concerned with wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes in the face of an arrogant “Deep State” in Washington, DC and state wildlife agencies that have become little more than subcontractors to federal bureaucrats and agents of the same environmental/animal rights agendas exposed in the St. Paul newspaper.

My “thank you” to the newspaper and the writer took the form of a Letter to the Editor that was recently published in the Sunday edition.  It was placed in between a letter from a St. Paul lady that thought she was, “fortunate to live with a National Park – and its attendant beauties, including wildlife – running through our midst”, and an instructive wildlife letter from a lady assistant professor of environmental education at a local University.

The latter letter from the assistant professor brought to my attention two things.  One was a silly and contradictory modernistic biological theory justifying coyotes as beneficial to urban landscapes reminiscent of the after-the-fact of introduction of wolves that, “wolves restore willows along streams” nonsense.  She opined that:

When there are coyotes in an urban area, there are fewer skunks, feral cats, and even foxes.  Not because the coyotes are tearing them apart, but because of something known as ‘competitive exclusion’ – when more than one species relies on the same food source in a given area, competition for that food source becomes a limiting factor, driving out competitors (i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere).  The result is a stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem – more plant species, bird and small mammal species.”

According to this “something known as ‘competitive exclusion’”; “driving out competitors (i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere)” makes, “a stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem – more plant species, bird and small mammal species.”  Is it me or do others wonder how making less of some predator species probably makes for more of the winning predator (in this case coyotes) and this then makes more and hungrier top predators to decimate the prey species ever more efficiently and not a“stronger, more robust and diverse ecosystem” whatever “stronger” and “more robust” connote?  The contradiction here is all the more regrettable when spewed by a professor at a University; even when dressed up with animal rights drivel about how coyotes do not tear apart “skunks, feral cats, and even foxes” but merely drive out competitors “(i.e. causing the other species to look for food and shelter elsewhere) one must assume here in some sort of “Grapes of Wrath” convoy into oblivion.

The second thing that caught my eye was her comment that:

St. Paul doesn’t have a coyote problem. The city’s approach to coyotes hardly represents the ‘Golden Book view of wildlife’ that Soucheray (i.e. the newspaperman) claims.  It uses science to inform policy and aims to educate the public so they can form educated opinions based on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”

Just as with so much of the “science” and “good intentions” surrounding wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes this is hilarious nonsense attempting to eliminate any opposition to whatever is imposed by bureaucrat/ideologues with government power based on animal rights and preferences.  You have no right to question the fact that the city Animal Control lady won’t return your calls and answer questions; she is rightly busy “educating the public”.  You have only uneducated opinions and we are tasked with getting you to ratify (our) “educated opinions based on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”  Just as with calling someone not supportive of what you are saying or doing a “racist”, or “misogynist”, or “Islamaphobe”, or “homophobe”, etc.; environmental/animal rights ideologues categorize troublesome citizens as “uninformed”, “uneducated”, “questioning ‘science’”, and incapable of basing opinions “on sound reasoning, evidence and data.”  Methinks the ladies should first inform the “public” rather than hiding from and disparaging a “public” that deigns to question their brilliance and chicanery.

Lastly, the other urban lady that imagines she lives in a “National Park” “and its attendant beauties” closed her letter with:

By all means be on the watch for coyotes.  Also dogs, cars, cyclists, tweeting while walking, ticks, needles, poison ivy, storm warnings, and Archie Bunker reruns.  Danger, as well as beauty, is everywhere.  You’ll find what you seek.”

Setting aside the sarcasm here, remember this is the urban area of Minnesota and there is perhaps no more liberal/progressive political concentration in America.  When you compare the newspaperman of the paper to “Archie Bunker reruns”, you have destroyed any credibility he might have with 75 to 80% of the readers.  In Minnesota, such an epithet is a classic “dog whistle” with a double meaning ending all discussion.

As I mulled over these three ladies (one hiding in her office, another preaching nouveau biology to justify the unjustifiable, and the third in her imaginary ecosystem all too glad to disparage anyone questioning her nature beliefs) I was reminded of the 3 witches in Macbeth reciting their famous ditty.

Doubledouble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble’ are two of the most famous lines in English literature. These lines show how what the witches say can have double meanings and can be contradictory.  The three ladies in St. Paul exhibit all of the misleading perfidy and disdain for others that we see in Macbeth and nationally regarding wolves and grizzly bears in settled landscapes and as with Macbeth they will lead us into great harm as long as we let them intimidate us and mislead others.

For your edification here is the whole poem from Macbeth that the witches, speaking of animals by the way, spoke that gave them a place in infamy.

Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”

(from Macbeth) by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

For my money, the three St. Paul ladies should keep their “charms” to themselves.

Jim Beers

10 August 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

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An Open Letter About the Insanity of Wolf Protection Over Livelihoods

The Merciful Bullet

By Len McIrvin, Partner Diamond M Ranch Laurier, WA 99146

As I looked into the dark, pain filled, pleading eyes of the calf lying on the ground in a dense thicket, many thoughts flashed through my mind. This had been a strong, healthy heifer calf (in human terms, she would have been a 5 or 6 year old girl-halfway between birth and puberty, with-hopefully-her whole life ahead of her)
As I looked at the calf’s ripped and torn, blood-soaked body; with her shoulder ripped from it’s joint, her hindquarters and her back and upper leg deeply punctured and lacerated with dozens of wolf bites – I had to ask myself, “Why?” Why is this becoming a common place event for cattlemen and sheepmen all over the West as they see their herds ravaged by wolves?
The mother cow mournfully bellows to her unmoving, fatally wounded calf. Her udder is swollen with milk but is never again to be suckled by her baby. Showing her love and concern, the mother cow stands watch over her calf all day long; refusing to leave the area where it was attacked by wolves. Her grief-stricken cries haunt me as she continues to call to her dying baby.
Once again I ask myself “Why?” Why this terrible waste to satisfy the desire of a few people who just hope to hear a wolf howl?
I couldn’t help but think “Why” once again as the Fish and Wildlife Officer asked my grandson if he could dispatch the victim, stating that he would then transport the body to the dump. What a waste of a healthy, young calf to end up in that place where she will rot or be eaten by scavengers.
I looked again at those dark, pain filled, and pleading eyes of the calf as my grandson compassionately placed the Merciful Bullet between them. Even though this is an experience I have lived through over 100 times, I still cannot accept this merciless killing of our herd by wolves.

Wolves kill whatever they want to kill, but death by wolves is slow, and horrible, and a long time coming. In the case of this calf, she could have lived for days, or lived until the wolves came back and started eating her alive. With tears in my eyes, I am asking all the good friends, neighbors, and citizens in our area, state, and nation for help in ending this situation.
God has said He put man on earth to have dominion over the animals. For those of you who believe there is a Lord, you must assume this responsibility and demand that this terrible carnage ends and that our predators are managed to the point that our herds and flocks, our pets, and our wonderful herds of game animals can survive.
There are only 3 factors involved in controlling the population density of wolves:
1. The first factor is disease and parasites, which invariably come when wolf population reaches its saturation point. (these are transmittable to humans)
2. The second factor is starvation. The starvation factor kicks in at the point when there is no food source available. At this point, they become cannibalistic and start eating each other, thereby controlling their own population.
3. The third factor and the most viable and effective population control of wolves is man; but in today’s political correctness, man has been taken out of the equation. This is the scenario we are facing today.
As a cattleman who has been involved with cattle all my life-nearly 3/4 of a century, I am asking for your help as we deal with the consequences of an exploding wolf population. Local control is the only answer. Let’s do everything possible to assure that each County Sherriff has complete control and is totally in charge of all the wolf predation that affects his citizens and their property.

Len McIrvin, Partner Diamond M Ranch Laurier, WA 99146

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In Search of Your Real Trophy?

Or a hundred and one things to do with a dead wolf.

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A question of “Science”?

The following question was sent to a colleague recently”

Question: “Was the Arctic Gray Wolf EVER native to Washington State?”

————————————————

The following response to that question comes from another colleague who is coincidentally a retired University professor in Canada for whom I have the greatest respect.

The gray wolves are all one species, and the subspecies game is highly questionable. There are indications that a very few local wolves did exist in the west before the release of wolves from Alberta. I only saw one picture of a wolf in Yellowstone before the release, and it was simply a large, black wolf, no different from what I had seen in Canada. Size is not a taxonomic criterion, because wolves increase in size markedly with good nutrition and shrink in size with poor food availability. The large wolves from Alberta released in Yellowstone merely came from a good wolf habitat.”

——————————————————

Though in no way dissatisfied with that response, this old bureaucrat (me) added the following government-science perspective: 

The last political-correctness-free treatise on the Wolves of North America is oddly enough the name of the 1944 book by Stanley Young.  He was a Bureau of Biological Survey/USFWS (the modern name) trapper, control agent and finally a bigwig in Washington over the old Predator & Rodent Control Division going back to WWI and he was all over the place doing all manner of things.

In his 650-page tome full of pictures (the one of the red wolf/hound dog cross on a chain in Missouri is priceless) he treats the wolf as a species.  He pictures many coyote/dog/wolf crosses and innocently explains that they interbreed freely and the pups are all viable and completely capable of transferring their genes to either wild or domestic “cousins” for posterity.

That said I always hear echoes of that high school/college/biological historic definition of an animal Species when I am discussing Species, i.e. “animals with similar characteristics capable of interbreeding and producing viable offspring.”.  By that definition, a horse is a separate species from a donkey because the mule is not viable.  Ergo, a dog is a wolf is a coyote is a dingo, in fact all one “species”.  I mention this to provide what they call “full disclosure” of my belief. 

Mr. Young, whom I never met but have always held in high regard treats the wolf “species” Canis Lupus as having 23 “subspecies” on a map on page 414.  Each subspecies name credits some long-gone biologist as their discoverer (i.e. given the privilege of “naming” their “discovery”).  The North America map is covered exception for Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida(?) from Southern Mexico to Greenland and all the Islands between Greenland and Canada with 23 “subspecies”.  There is no “Arctic” wolf mentioned.  The closest is those wolves Canis lupus tundrarum found in the “tundra region of NW Alaska; south to the Noatak Valley.  Intergrading to the south with pambasileus, and east along the along the arctic coast with mackenzii.”

I mention all this to show how our biological perceptions have changed with scientific advancements driven in this case all too much by political opportunism and the hidden agendas of rich environmental/animal rights extremism.  This is so distorted because the government bureaucrats and radicals came up with the ESA claims and regulations that (insert any animal here) implement the Endangered Species Act.   

So, the erstwhile bureaucrat writing regulations and staging faux court cases for “precedents” finds the “Beers’ Grass Mouse”Peromyscus Beersii to be “endangered”.  As our bureaucrat toils at his computer and while at coffee he decides and shares with fellow bureaucrats that, “We are really “saving habitat” (i.e. people-free zones infinitely expanding) and not just animals, so we “must save not only:

  • The Species Beers’ Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii found throughout the Great Plains but more specifically;
  • The Subspecies Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus found in the Eastern Prairies and more specifically;
  • The Race Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris found “only” in the Eastern Woodlands/Prairie interface and more specifically;
  • The Population Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus) AND EVEN – drumroll please;
  • The Distinct Population Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass Mouse Peromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus meridionalis) AND EVEN;
  • (Full band roll here) The Distinct Population Segment Larry Bird County Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eyed Grass MousePeromyscus Beersii magna luscus negris indianus meridionalis larrybbirduscountyii found “only” in Larry Bird County, Indiana! 

All such nonsense has come to mean access to billions of dollars, millions of acres of private property and unquestioned, unconstitutional and unlimited power for the central government and radicals over a once free Nation.  You see there is probably a dam or pipeline permit application somewhere in Larry Bird County, Indiana that would benefit taxpayers, the economy, rural communities, rural families and could, if anyone cared to try anymore, benefit the human ecosystem and the natural aspects of that system but it will never happen: The Critical Habitat Declaration for the Larry Bird County Southern Indiana Black Beers’ Big-Eared Grass Mouse kills the project and they are cheering in Washington Offices and on the North Shore patios of environmental radicals in Chicago.  Welcome to the world of government “science” “saving” “species”.

Val (the retired professor quoted in the first answer) hits the nail right on the head about those “large wolves from Alberta”.  Concern about the “red” or “Mexican” et al wolves is disguised in the imaginary aura of somehow involving sacred and unseen biological material and factors hidden in the Sp./Sub. Sp./Race/Pop. /Dist. Pop. /Dist. Pop. Segment. du jour.  We have sold our kids and soccer Moms that a red wolf or “Arctic” Wolf is like the rhinoceros, unique, distinct and in “need” of severe intervention by government saviors; people, property, families, rural communities, expense and Constitution be damned!

I would submit that this environmental/animal rights hysteria of the moment is, hopefully, a passing phenomenon because the subject of scientific inquiry is so distorted now that, like Diogenes with his lantern looking for an honest man; looking for an honest biologist/veterinarian today is on a par with seeking an honest bureaucrat/politician.

Jim Beers

26 June 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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George Orwell, call your office re: Wolves

The attached news report of a presentation touting the re-introduction of wolves in Colorado is so egregious, we debated even placing it on the Wolf Education International website.  Upon further examination, it was thought to be so misleading and so full of disinformation that it might serve as a useful example of how the public is manipulated and government mislead by radical and extremist views and funding.

What follows are 10 quotes (90%?) from the news report with a short comment about each.  Upon your examination, please consider them in total and you have a composite of what wildlife management as a tool of radical government has come to….  Jim Beers

The news report:

https://www.csindy.com/TheWire/archives/2018/06/18/rocky-mountain-wolf-project-calls-for-animal-reintroduction-amid-pushback

Comments:

1). “Though native, wolves have not roamed Colorado since the 1940s, when unregulated hunting pushed populations to the brink of extinction.” 

  • Comment:  Wolves were not pushed “to the brink of extinction” by “unregulated hunting”.  They were hunted; chased by possees on horseback; trapped; poisoned; snared; and otherwise “controlled” by ranchers, bounty hunters, federal trappers and state trappers with the express goal of exterminating them for a period of almost 100 years.  This is just as they were exterminated in the British Isles, in fact, Irish Wolfhounds were bred expressly to hunt and kill remaining wolves in Ireland. Europeans were engaged in similar programs as recorded in writing since the time of Plato and Cicero.

2). “The animals are still listed as endangered in Colorado.”

  • Comment:  That is a Listing strictly by the state of Colorado.  It implies no responsibility or intention to re-introduce them in Colorado.  Wolves are not present in New York or New Hampshire, yet those states “list” them as “endangered” and only extremists call for their restoration.  This is true of many other states that “list” animals that they have no intention of restoring like cougars and grizzly bears that are especially dangerous to human safety and health as well as destructive of dogs and other pets.

3). “Though seemingly unable to shed the stereotype of the “Big Bad Wolf,” statistically, wolves do not kill people.”

  • Comment: First, this a senseless sentence.  What does “statistically, wolves do not kill people” mean?  Wolves have killed people by the thousands down through the ages.  It is documented in writings and the limited reportage since Roman Times.  It is mentioned in the Middle Ages and in recent times.  It is mentioned circumpolar in Russia, Siberia, Europe and North America.  Read Wolves of North America by Stanley Young.  Read Will Graves’ Wolves in Russia. The fact that the press and governments that introduce wolves for which they recognize no responsibility kill people (recently, like Kenton Carnegie in Saskatchewan, the school teacher on the Alaskan Peninsula, the two ladies in Craters of the Moon in Idaho, the vacationing lady in N Wisconsin and all the annual deaths and disfigurements in Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Siberia etc.) is the only basis for and belie this specious claim worded like a child’s bad English grammar homework. 

4). “[Historically] wolves don’t pose a threat to human safety,” Phillips told the audience, throwing his hands up emphatically. “That’s just a fact.”

  • Comment:  Repeating a lie (when spoken by an “expert as purported in the Introduction it is a lie); when spoken by someone that does not know better it is either misinformation or propaganda spoken for a host of reasons.

5). “But just three weeks prior to Phillips’ presentation, Mesa County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to oppose any efforts to expand or reintroduce wolves in the county, citing threats to moose populations and livestock, and the spread of disease. Phillips says it’s rare for a wolf to kill livestock, and if/when it does the wolf is older, or injured, and it’s not normal pack behavior.”

  • Comment:  I. Ask yourself, “who is Mr. Phillips or for that matter his coterie of national environmental extremists financing his campaigns, to ignore the opposition of the people of Mesa County opposing any wolf reintroduction”?  If the people of a County and their elected representatives oppose such action, the intentions of those in other Counties or states for that matter should respect those legitimate wishes.

II It is as rare for wolves to kill livestock as for foxes to kill mice.  They must eat and livestock has always been a good meal, far more vulnerable to capture than swift wild animals.  They kill as much livestock as they want and can get away with.  They even kill many domestic animals at a time for “fun” as in the hundred + sheep driven off a cliff recently in Idaho.

III. Wolves are no more “normal” than coyotes or the family pet when hungry or excited or just plain “wild” as when Fido runs off with a pack of dogs to harass and kill domestic animals until stopped. “Normal” means “expected”, not “only”.

6). “Between 1997 and 2015, Phillips says 117 cattle were killed by wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. That’s 0.002 percent of an estimated six million cattle during that time. He also notes that ranchers are compensated for their loss when it does happen. The 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Management Act authorized up to $140,000 per eligible state from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for wolf loss compensation and preventing future conflicts. The Act replaced Defenders of Wildlife‘s Wolf Compensation Trust, which paid $1.4 million over 23 years to compensate ranchers. Defenders of Wildlife, which works to protect native animals and their habitats, contributes funds to help states initiate wolf compensation programs. In lieu of the Wolf Compensation Trust, Defender’s created the Wolf Coexistence Partnership, which works with ranchers on nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock.”

Comment:  The Defenders of Wildlife illegitimately “administered” this public relations scheme for the US Fish and Wildlife (whose Director at the time went on to be the top person in Defenders of Wildlife after resigning when the Political Party of the President changed.  Less than 10 % of the claims were even recognized due to the lateness of investigation and the anti-livestock orientation of the DoW investigators.  Ask ranchers in Montana and Idaho about this natural resource Ponzi Scheme that was only meant to spread wolves by protecting them.  “Nonlethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock” are another chimera intended to delay wolf management to make ranching less profitable and vulnerable to buyouts like the current American Prairie Restoration land scheme in central Montana.  There is no evidence that nonlethal control techniques (Fladry, range riders, aversion agents, dogs, exploders, sheds, etc.) are not temporary at best and often quite expensive and impractical. Look no further than your pet dog and imagine some deterrent that, while he is unrestrained, he does not figure out when hungry or when he really wants something beyond it.

7). “As for the threat to the moose population and of disease, Phillips says wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size, and disease is also rare.”

  • Comment:  I. This may be the biggest lie in this presentation.  Wolves all but wiped out moose in Yellowstone in 10 years.  Wolves so decimated the Minnesota moose herd that moose hunting was abandoned about six years ago and will likely never be resumed.  Wolves decimated the moose population on Isle Royale, a large island in Lake Superior.  Wolves decimated the moose herd in E Washington.  Wolves kill moose in Finland and will decimate herds in 5 to 10 years if not controlled.  Alaskan periodic wolf control from planes and on the ground is done mostly for moose and the moose rebounds after a significant number of wolves are taken.
  1. As to “wolves rarely hunt moose because of their size”: it is precisely because of their size and vulnerability, especially in timber, that wolves zero in on moose.  All moose from unborn calves torn from the still living mother to cow moose and bulls are preferred prey. Moose give birth in certain habitat covers that wolves learn to frequent.  Moose caught by several wolves in timber are vulnerable to being hamstrung as the wolves feint in and out and the animal can neither flee nor defend itself.
  • Comment:   How misleading is it for an “expert” to say a state-authorized wolf management program forced on a State by the federal government to maintain so many wolves in such and such area is something wherein “wolves are considered predatory and can be killed without consequence”?   It also tells the reader a lot that, “Although Colorado Parks and Wildlife wouldn’t stop a natural repopulation” because this state agency is trying to please their pro-wolf urban constituency they aren’t opposed to wolves while telling their rural constituency that they won’t force wolves on them.  This has become a national phenomenon during the recent rise in federal power and money resulting in many, what are often called, state agencies that try to canoe down a river with each foot in a different canoe.  Mesa County and western Colorado need support, not platitudes.

9). “A recent Outside Podcast questions the theory of how reintroduction of top-down predators can create a trickle effect on an ecosystem, and how much credit wolf reintroduction should get for the health of the Yellowstone ecosystem over the last 20 years. According to Outside, the benefits of wolves are exaggerated, not giving enough credit to increases in other predators like grizzlies, or the effects of drought, which also contribute to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands, according to Outside.)”

  • Comment:  I. “Trickle effect” like the following “trophic cascade” are simply words that say nothing but are intended to assuage the consciences of those that might be hesitant to importune their rural neighbors with something that harms them and their families.  They are terms denoting “change” as in the weather changes.
    Health of the ecosystem” fits into the same category.  You either have the “up and down” chaos of a “natural” or “untouched” ((meaning NO people) ecosystem or you have the managed ecosystem of a settled and human-inhabited landscape wherein the interface between humans and “the ecosystem” is managed to be beneficial to humans and wildlife or not beneficial to either.  In our Constitutional Republic, the people should have the final say about the ecosystem THEY live in.
  • II.  As to contributing to the thinning of elk and deer herds. (Thinning herds makes for healthier woodlands)”.  If all these “Johnny Come Lately” claims of wolf benefits (willows along the stream, native plants, etc.) were legitimate, why didn’t federal Yellowstone Rangers, for instance, “thin the herds of elk and buffalo” for decades and decades?  Why were hunter’s bag limits not increased by state agencies?  Where were all these “(willows along the stream, native plants, etc.)” advocates for years? Ask yourself, where are they now?

10). “But Phillips and his colleagues counter that wolves, over time, can restore balance to an ecosystem if they exist in large enough numbers. In the Yellowstone example, multiple pack reintroduction thinned deer and elk herds and increased herd movement. That movement not only aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands, but also increases competition between coyotes and wolves, and decreases predation on smaller mammals. This is all in line with the idea of Trophic Cascade, and the trickle-down affects everything down to waterways and aquatic life.”

  • Comment:  What is “balance”?  There are times and places where plant thinning or reductions are desired for renewal or fire fuel reduction.  What in the Good Lord’s name is the “decreases predation on smaller mammals” all about?  Should we consider reducing fox populations or hawks and owls?  My silliness here pales in comparison to the absurdity of such claims.  Ditto for ”aerates the soil and creates healthier woodlands”.

11) “Western Colorado represents a true mother-load of ecological habitat for the gray wolf,” he says. “All we have to do is put them back.”

  • Comment:  A cute closing quip for a flawed proposal and philosophy.

Jim Beers

24 June 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 resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

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