March 1, 2015

Final Rule ESA Protections Enacted for Great Lakes Wolves and Wyoming

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this final rule to comply with court orders that reinstate the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as
amended (ESA), for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes. Pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court order dated September 23, 2014, this rule reinstates the April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123), final rule regulating the gray wolf in the State of Wyoming as a nonessential experimental population. Gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and north-central Utah retain their delisted status and are not impacted by this final rule. In addition, pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court order dated December 19, 2014, this rule reinstates the March 9, 1978 (43 FR 9607), final rule as it relates to gray wolves in the western Great Lakes including endangered status for gray wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, and the northwestern portion of Ohio; threatened status for gray wolves in Minnesota; critical habitat for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan; and the rule promulgated under section 4(d) of the ESA for gray wolves in Minnesota.<<>>

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H.R. 884 Disqualifies “Judicial Review” in Reinstating Final Rule on Wolves

Here is the text of the bill H.R. 884, sponsored by Rep. Reid Ribble. It is simple and to the point. It calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue the Final Rule that delisted gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming (separately) and that in both cases, “Such reissuance shall not be subject to judicial review.”

This bill has been sent to the House Committee on Natural Resources and was introduced on the House Floor.

Real or Not: Wolves, Coyotes and Foxes in Downtown Trenton Are Where They Ought to Be

Packs of wild animals including wolves, coyotes and foxes are running around on city streets after dark and residents are raising concerns about their safety, according to a Trenton councilman.

Councilman George Muschal said he received reports from residents about the animals and saw a gray fox cross in front of his truck last Tuesday at the corner of Hudson and Broad Streets.

“If a child is out there or a dog in the yard it might be a problem,” said Muschal, speaking during a council meeting Thursday night.<<<Read More>>>

Maine Deer Management: Excuse Du Jour?

I was reading George Smith’s blog this morning about all the deer plans Maine has come up with over the years all aimed at rebuilding a deer herd. Smith points out, and I believe he is factual, that the number one excuse found in the myriad of deer plans as to why deer numbers don’t grow is because of diminishing habitat for the animal. Really?

I won’t deny that losing habitat isn’t a factor – and it might even be a significant factor – to maintaining and growing a deer herd. But I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I am really quite sick and tired of listening to that crap sandwich.

It’s a crap sandwich because of all the things that could be done to increase the deer herd, it’s the least likely something anybody can do about it. It’s not too far from thinking we can control the weather.

First of all, the avoidance continues, with never an answer, as to why if wintering deer habitat is so lacking why are there empty deer yards across the state? But let’s forget that for now – seeing that nobody wants to talk about it.

So Maine has all of these deer plans proposed and proposed and proposed and then along comes another to suggest another working group to come up with a plan, a plan, a plan and guess what? Nothing changes…well, at least nothing any of these people want to talk about.

Let me ask one question. What are Maine deer managers doing to build the deer herd back up? Simple question. Let’s form a list:

1. Form a working group
2. Devise a plan
3. Cry because it’s all about habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat…excuse me, I just vomited on my computer screen.
4. Ignore the plan
5. Talk about wasting money to collar 40 deer to study whether or not coyotes are killing deer.
6. Form a working group
7. Devise a plan
8. Self committal to an insane asylum.

INSANITY!

Here’s something to think about. The excuse du jour – no habitat – claims that deer can’t be grown because there just isn’t enough habitat so deer can survive the winters. So, Maine has done nothing about that and that’s not surprising. So, they wash their hands of any responsibility and decide to go study moose. Oh, but let’s not forget that token deer collaring program that might happen. That will surely put meat in my freezer.

So, if habitat is the big deal here, then there must be enough wintering habitat to allow for the increase in deer densities following 2 or 3 relatively mild winters. That did happen. I know it did. That’s encouraging so, hold that thought for a minute.

If Maine could maintain the current level of deer wintering areas and build deer up to carrying capacity, would not hunters and others be happy? Or at least happier than they are now? So, let’s work at trying to keep the habitat that exists, without becoming statist, totalitarians, and actually do those things within our easy power to cause deer numbers to go up.

1. Control coyotes/wolves (Sorry that means killing them and it has to be a program, ongoing and forget all the lame excuses as to why it doesn’t work. It does and there’s proof. We don’t need a study group to find out.)
2. Reduce black bear populations. When discussions surround coyote killing to mitigate depredation, we hear how bears kill more deer than coyotes. Fine, go kill some bears. How about a spring season? Oh, wait. Because we live in fear for our lives over fascist animal rights groups we dare not stir the pot and have a spring bear hunt. IT MIGHT OFFEND SOMEBODY. It might offend the farmer losing his livestock too but that doesn’t count? It offends me that I don’t see deer at all while hunting deer in the woods in the Fall. And while we bury our heads in the sand, the deer population works toward extirpation in Maine, while deer to the north of the state, in Canada, are doing okay.
3. Better control and monitor where bobcats and all other predators are having an effect. We don’t have to kill all the bobcat, just reduce numbers in areas where deer need help.
4. Here’s another suggestion. Instead of caving in to the political power brokers to allow them to build trails through the middle of deer wintering yards, maybe that would help save habitat. Oh, what’s that you say? That doesn’t count? That doesn’t matter? That’s too small an amount to have any impact? Okay. I get it. It’s about power and control.

If habitat is so big that nothing else matters, as it sure seems that’s the case, then how do you explain the fact that in Eastern Maine were coyote/wolf control is ongoing, their deer numbers are rebounding nicely? Why? Coincidence? I don’t think so. They are doing something about it. I think they at least understand that while habitat isn’t fully abundant, and let’s face it, it never will be again, they can and are doing somethings that will help.

Now, I know these suggestions require work and it might not be as much fun as tracking radio collars and flying in helicopters counting animals, but one more claim that Maine can’t do anything about the deer herd because of habitat and I will have to vomit on my computer screen again.

Enough already! Rome burns while another working group and deer plan is devised.

The text of H.R.884 has not yet been received from GPO

“Bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress from the Government Publishing Office a day or two after they are introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. Delays can occur when there are a large number of bills to prepare or when a very large bill has to be printed.”

This is the current status of Rep. Reid Ribble’s bill, H.R. 884. His proposal is supposed to take the gray wolf off the endangered list and put management control back into the hands of the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming.

There’s been a lot of talk about this bill but I’m waiting impatiently for the actual text of the bill in order to determine what, if any, value it has.

Do We Really Need More Collaring To Know Predators Kill?

CollaredDeerWhile I understand interviews with media outlets and the perpetual screwing up of a story, sometimes readers must be left wondering all sorts of things. And yes, during those interviews, sometimes we are asked really stupid and/or questions that the answer is so obvious it doesn’t deserve an answer.

Depending on what region of the country you are from, would depend upon whether or not and how many and different species of large predators exist that are ripping into the whitetail deer populations. In a report filed in North American Whitetail, Kyle Rivana, Maine’s head deer biologist, says that Maine doesn’t have enough information to know whether coyotes are causing damage to the deer herd.

“We really don’t have a good handle on the relationship between predator and prey in Maine,” he notes. “And partly because of that, we’re getting ready to begin a survival study in which we’ll collar 40 whitetails. One of [the] things we’ll try to measure is cause-specific mortality. Are the coyotes really having the impact we think they’re having?”

Here’s a suggestion. Depending upon who you might talk with, coyotes have been filling up the forests of Maine since the 1950s, give or take a decade. I can remember back to the late 1960s and early 1970s listening to outdoor sportsmen complain about the negative impact of coyotes then. It’s been 40, 50, 60 years and Maine “don’t have a good handle on the relationship between predator and prey”?

It should be embarrassing the state has wiled away its time and resources, poorly managing the whitetail deer, and claiming they don’t have any idea if coyotes are having an impact, when much of everybody and everywhere else understands the problem.

So what’s the solution? Rivana says, “…we’re ready to begin a survival study…” Save your money. You don’t need to put collars on deer in hopes you might find out what’s killing them. Predators are killing the deer. Not all of them but predators kill deer. That’s why they are called predators. And besides, if Maine collars 40 deer and finds out that coyotes, or bears, or bobcats, or lynx or mountain lions or wolves, or Big Foot, or all of them combined, are killing off the deer herd, what is the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) going to do about it? NOTHING! Oh they might toss some money in the air and for a year or two pay $200-$300 a varmint to have them killed until such time as those making complaints are placated and forgotten. Then it’s back to business as usual.

Does the new deer biologist understand anything about the relationship of predators and deer in Maine? Here’s what he said:

“In some areas of the United States, bears can have more of an impact (on whitetails) than coyotes or wolves,” says Kyle Ravana, who heads up Maine’s deer management program. “In other areas, it could be coyotes or bobcats that are having the biggest impact. It kind of depends on where you are.

“When you’re in a state like Maine, that has a full suite of predators — coyotes and bears and bobcats and wolves — you can’t point your finger at any one predator. It could be all of them combined, including hunters.”

And notice that he had to, just had to, because that’s how he was indoctrinated in his educational institution, that it could be HUNTERS that are causing the reduction of deer in Maine. Really? So Rivana, and anyone else at MDIFW or across the country that wants to say that it is hunters that are destroying game herds, then what that REALLY means is that the fish and game departments of each state aren’t doing the job that their state mandated them to do. If Maine has a problem with too many deer being killed by hunters, that is the responsibility of deer managers to reduce that impact. So, let’s quit with the blaming the hunter BS. But I understand it’s impossible to lose that brainwashing, and it might be just as likely that some environmental groups are funding the collared deer study, which means….well, you figure it out.

I’m done buying vowels and so, I’d like to solve the puzzle: Predators exist in Maine and many, many other places. They have for many, many years and those predators are growing in numbers for a variety of reasons. Predators kill prey. Deer are prey. When there are more than one prey species for predators to kill, when they’ve depleted one, they will switch to another. Predators, like coyotes and wolves, keep growing in numbers partly because there is ample food – they just switch from one prey species to another. If nothing is done about controlling the predators, there’s a possibility that the predators, in combination with other things, such as severe winters, disease, etc., will reduce their prey base so low and keep it there, they will either move on, starve or resort to cannibalism. It isn’t the responsible way of managing wildlife.

Therefore, because it’s been 50, 60, 70 years that coyotes have been around in Maine and bears have always been here and now in historic high populations, bobcats as well and Canada lynx, my solution to the puzzle would be to implement predator control into the deer management program. It has to be part of any game plan – that is game that is a food source for large predators. What’s to get a handle on. DO SOMETHING!

But no. The answer is always one of two things; form a study group or put a collar on an animal. The results? NOTHING! (global warming) Another year goes by and then another and another and the only thing that has been taken care of is someone’s pension fund.

Save your damned money. You don’t need collars to find out if coyotes are having an impact on deer. All of Maine’s large predators are having an impact on deer. It’s what they do. It’s time to do something about it other than forming another study group and putting on collars.

Settled Landscapes

By James Beers:

“Settled Landscapes” is a term both mellifluous and of primary importance as I write this in early 2015. It is especially important to the rural residents of the Lower 48 States of the United States and the rural inhabitants of the European continent.

I first became actually aware of the term and its’ importance about ten years ago while learning all I could and writing about wolves and grizzly bears, two large and impactful predators that had been declared “Endangered” for a wide range of hidden agendas and that therefore were being forcibly imposed by federal fiat and power on a growing area of rural America in the Lower 48 States.

I was reading some comments by Dr. Val Geist, a retired Canadian University Professor, Ecologist and Wildlife Biologist par excellence. He was making the simple, yet undeniable, statement that given a long list of very negative effects on humans, human communities, human economies and the wolves themselves; his words, “wolves do not belong in ‘Settled Landscapes’” not only caught my attention but have rung ever more true over the years. Although I have never met Dr. Geist, I have learned more from him over the years through frequent communications and collaborations.

So, what is a “Settled Landscape”?

To the environmental extremist, it might be the buildings on Manhattan Island, but not Central Park itself. It might be New York City’s 5 Boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island) but not Long Island or Westchester County. It might be the Eastern Seaboard but not everything West of the Appalachians and East of California, Oregon and Washington State.

To an old Alaskan bachelor trapper, it might be everything South of the 60th Parallel that roars out of the Bering Sea by Nunivak Island heading East just North of the Alaskan Peninsula and Skagway to make the Northern Border of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Many older Alaskans still see those lands South of that Parallel as what they once called a century ago, the place of the Cheechakoes or those that were new to or recent arrivals in the “real” Alaska.

To many urban Americans, it might be all of the Lower 48 States outside the current edges of suburban sprawl form the metropolitan center they tell others from far away they are “from”.

To politicians, it is where (like Willie Sutton the notorious bank robber once answered the question in prison about why he kept robbing banks and answered matter-of-factly “because that is where the money is”) the “votes are”.

To the government bureaucrats it is anything they want to make of it or even ignore it in the regulations they write under the burgeoning authorities they reap as present-day politicians pass law after law to garner the votes and financial support of the urban worthies who see the results as affecting only those places and bumpkins outside the urban sprawl surrounding where they live.

What, you might be asking, did I see of such importance in Dr. Geist’s observation? What I saw was the simple and undeniable truth that as humans advance, order and improve their living conditions and communities certain animals that once occurred in those now “settled landscapes” must of necessity be either controlled at certain levels (i.e. big game, furbearers, upland game) or eliminated in those “settled landscapes”. Some examples of animals that can become incompatible with growing or advancing human societies and therefore call for management controls on their numbers and distributions, or for their elimination would be:

* Elephants in areas of agriculture where their wanderings destroy crops and endanger children and elderly persons as they pass through inhabited sites as free-roaming buffalo once did and would do again if imposed on rural residents of the Lower 48 States.

* Poisonous snakes, constrictors, poisonous spiders and frogs, etc. that reside in or near and wander into human living sites.

* Animals that carry and transmit diseases and infections like tapeworms, hoof-and-mouth, plague, rabies, anthrax, etc. like wolves and coyotes that endanger human lives or property such as livestock, valued wildlife or dogs.

* Animals that compete for forage with livestock or game animals; or that destroy haystacks, orchards or food-producing plants like elk and deer.

* Animals that denude property of plants and are responsible for deadly disease outbreaks or that make holes that cause livestock and humans to injure themselves like prairie dogs.

* Animals that are unpredictable and present threats to humans from rural children and the elderly to hikers, campers, joggers, dog walkers, hunters and other rural recreationists and workers like grizzly bears, cougars and wolves.

Uncontrolled large predators like grizzly bears, wolves, cougars or panthers, jaguars, coyotes, or black bears that kill and attack people, destroy livestock operations, kill dogs and other pets, carry diseases and infections dangerous to humans and other animals, generally make rural life regress toward what Thomas Hobbes described in his 1588 book, Leviathan, as “the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

It is entirely sensible to recognize and address these conflicts with wild animals as matters to be reckoned with as “landscapes” are “settled”. Tolerance for large predators was the only option for Native American communities before European settlers arrived; just like tolerance for large predators in and around “landscapes” being settled by Europeans with primitive guns and almost no other means of reducing the growing conflicts they experienced as “settlement” began and continued to grow was the only option. As settlement grew and intensified; awareness of human dangers, livestock losses and rudimentary recognition of the health dangers to humans and desirable animals escalated with the sophistication and intensity of control of certain species that could be tolerated like black bears and cougars, and the elimination of those that could NOT be tolerated due to their inherent and uncontrollable danger to humans and the extent of their destruction to human communities and their economies like wolves and grizzly bears.

The tolerance for some species like black bears, cougars and coyotes was composed of many aspects from the difficulties inherent in trying to rid any area of coyotes to the behavior of low-density black bear and cougar populations to generally avoid humans and human communities WHEN THEY ARE HUNTED, TRAPPED AND OCCSIONALLY SHOT AT thereby making them what we call “shy” and “furtive”. Wolves and grizzly bears exhibit no such tendencies. Wolves and grizzly bears persist as dangers to humans and as behaving in exceedingly destructive ways to all manner of human interests no matter their density or the densities of humans IN SETTLED LANDSCAPES.

But, what is a settled landscape? A “Settled Landscape” is all of the Lower 48 States with three exceptions.

The first exception to “settled landscapes” is the POLITICAL exception. This exception is often mentioned regarding the Yellowstone’s (i.e. National Parks); the “National” Forests/Refuges/ BLM et al lands; the “Declarations” and Executive Orders decreeing “Wildernesses”, “Sanctuaries”, and “Preservation”/”Scenic”/”Historic” et al Areas: and the two clearly and exclusively federal land holdings that elude any State jurisdiction, i.e. the District of Columbia and all “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock yards, and other needful Buildings” as mentioned in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution. These are, with only three exceptions, NOT exceptions in any legal or Constitutional sense to definition as “Settled Landscapes” as those landscapes “settled” under the authority, jurisdiction, protection and government authority of that State in which they occur.

A “Settled Landscape” is legally and Constitutionally ANY and all land in the Lower 48 States (Alaska is an exception due to the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act and I am unfamiliar with the State/Federal relationship in Hawaii) under the authority and jurisdiction of the people and government of THAT STATE. Unless a State relinquishes its’ sovereignty and authority over any land within the state to the federal government, the federal government’s ownership of National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, BLM lands, and all other “Declarations” and “Orders” are subject to State laws. In other words, although federal agencies that “own” parcels of lands within a State are not required to pay State and Local Taxes to the State and Local governments they are subject to State authority like other landowners, with only three exceptions:
1. Yellowstone National Park was placed under the jurisdiction of the US Army and withdrawn from the Territory of Wyoming in 1872, 4 years after becoming a Territory in 1868 and 18 years before it became a State in 1890. It therefore remained independent of the State of Wyoming and was transferred to the National Park Service in 1917. Other National Parks outside The District of Columbia are. Like their counterpart National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, et al, merely landowners of property subject to state jurisdiction. The federal government exercises what is called “Exclusive Jurisdiction” over Yellowstone similar to:

2. The District of Columbia as defined in the US Constitution, and:

3. The “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings” (i.e. Department of Defense lands when taken and maintained as properties “needful” for national defense but not when sold off or given to political patrons like environmental groups or transferred to federal agencies.

The foregoing is an explanation of POLITICAL claims of exemption from the commonly understood concept of “settled landscapes”. In other words, “Settled Landscape” not only includes (politically) land with a certain density of “settlers”; it covers all the lands that were, are or could be “settled” under the auspices, protection and laws of the state within which they lie. Federal agencies (with the 3 exceptions above), while landowners within the State, can close certain areas or roads or uses in accordance with the laws of the state governing all land owners in the state, they are not free to introduce animals prohibited within the state or to kill or trap animals within the state outside state authority unless they have specific permits to do so. Now read that again and ask yourself, – “HOW did the federal Congress and President and Supreme Court contrive and invent the ‘power’ to simply say ‘wolves will be here and grizzly bears will be there’? If I own a ranch with deer on it, I can’t just shoot deer in my crops or haystacks the year-around without a state permit any more than the federal government can just decide to kill or poison certain birds or fish or mammals on federal lands (with the aforementioned 3 exceptions). I can no more decide to introduce and release lions or jaguars on my ranch without state authority than can federal bureaucrats decide to release wolves or grizzly bears on their lands. If my dogs get loose and bite your kid or kill your foal or kill grandma out by the mailbox or chase down your son on his bike or kill your dog on your porch or run your sheep over a cliff, etc.: why am I held responsible for compensation and subject to incarceration AND FEDERAL BUREAUCRATS LOOSING WOLVES AND GRIZZLY BEARS ON OUR “SETTLED LANDSCAPES” THAT DO THE SAME THINGS ARE NOT??

The second exception to “settled landscapes” is the BIOLOGICAL exception. There is biologically no exception to the concept of “settled landscapes” be it the Chicago Loop Area or the Big Hole Valley of Western Montana. Each has a human community engaged in whatever supports healthy families, children, elderly members and the community services they need and can afford. Each has dogs and wild birds and furbearers (raccoons, skunks, etc.): each has predators like coyotes: each has available fishing and netting (smelt): and each prohibits those animals that are dangerous like poisonous snakes, constrictors, and alligators; each controls those animals that are destructive (rats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, pigeons, etc.); and each encourages desirable species like songbirds, waterfowl, and rabbits.

Notice that residents of the Big Hole Valley in Western Montana (a vast area of large ranches and few people) has trouble with species like wolves that kill cows and calves and sheep and lambs and dogs but they can neither control the wolves nor eliminate the wolves as was the case for many happy and productive decades before federal laws and federal interlopers put wolves back in The Big Hole and cowed the State bureaucracy into not only acquiescing but also in singing a duet about how wolves only kill the old and sick; wolves don’t kill livestock or reduce big game numbers; and wolves will restore stream banks and make the lame walk, the blind see and generally clean up the air and the water. We must ask ourselves, if the Chicago Loop and the State of Illinois can manage the wildlife under their authority, why can’t Montana and The Big Hole do the same? Under what authority in a just and Constitutional Republic with a Constitution can the federal government simply decide to put deadly and destructive animals into one “settled landscape” and not another? Finally, why does the federal government choose to exercise this questionable and unjust authority in The Big Hole of Montana and not, Stowe, Vermont or Napa Valley, California?

The remaining biological aspect of exceptions to the “settled landscapes” concept is the one being used by every charlatan politician for the past 40 years; that is excluding places that (reputedly) “need” protection. This may be a desert area (like the California deserts long milked incrementally for political support and votes by the two ancient US Senators from that State) or it may be an expanse of ocean recently made into a “Sanctuary” by a Presidential Executive Order or an Alaskan oil-rich area or a Utah low-sulfur coal deposit set aside from any future exploitation by Presidents looking for adulation or to divert public attention from other matters: all of them have in common that 99% of the population neither knows nor care what is happening, they only “feel good” that such vacant space or unsettled landscape is being “saved”.

Be it vast tundra, desert lands, mountaintops or an arbitrary expanse of ocean; the concept of it being “unsettled” or never being “settled” is unsupportable biologically. Even the mountain tops and ocean visited infrequently by hunters, geologists or fishermen are connected to the “settlements” from whence these men come. Like the desert and tundra are connected to and utilized by men for transportation and sparsely-settled communities, who is to say they are independent of adjoining settlements human activities biologically?

To conclude, all this is very relevant to the USA and the European Continent where the same things (forcible wolf presence and gradual elimination of animal control for human benefit) are being perpetrated by the EU in Brussels with the same enablers and incentives that we see being imposed by the federal government in Washington, DC. As in the USA, real political or biological exceptions to the “settled landscape” concept are rare to non-existent though frequently mentioned and inferred.

The presence or absence of various wildlife species; the abundance and distribution of wildlife; the costs and revenue sources for management and control of wildlife; the uses of wildlife; and the authority over wildlife in “Settled Landscapes” should always rest with and remain with the LOWEST level of government THAT REPRESENTS THOSE HUMANS AND HUMAN COMMUNITIES LIVING IN THE SETTLED LANDSCAPES AFFECTED BY SUCH ACTIONS AND WHO ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING AND ENDURING THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS. The only practicable exceptions to this rule of law in the Lower 48 States are Yellowstone National Park and large Department of Defense landholdings.

Dr. Geist, in discussing alternative sites for wolves (and by my extension grizzly bears) often mentions large, FENCED government reservation like nuclear power plants, military lands, etc., as practicable sites: though such contained wildlife communities would require intense and expensive perpetual management to sustain. When considering “reservations” or “refuges” for animals like wolves and grizzly bears in “settled landscapes” it must be recognized that visitors to Yellowstone, or defense sites made available to the public, and resident workers are in danger and the questions of liability for injuries ON SITE and the disposition of animals OFF SITE ought to be established before any release on the excepted area adjoining any settled landscape. Impacts on defense operations and facilities in such locations would have to be carefully measured and evaluated as well as protected from likely future behavioral adjustments by such animals There cannot be any arguable business about wolf control outside Yellowstone affecting Yellowstone wolves or their pack structure if that is what the residents of the settled landscapes adjoining the Park deem is in their best interest when such animals stray back under State and Local authority and jurisdiction.

“Wolves”, like far-off powerful government dictates about plants and animals like grizzly bears, “do not belong in ‘Settled Landscapes’.” It is a testimony to American and Canadian ethics that wolves and grizzly bears have been maintained in Alaska and much of Canada to date. Likewise it is a testament to European concern that supporting a similar “rewilding” of the European continent is occurring. That said, the presence or absence of either dangerous or destructive animals must, in the final analysis, be the responsibility of those living in the “Settled Landscapes” affected by these species be they Chicago Loop picnickers or French shepherds.

If there is to be any hope for such animals in the future; only the continuing acquiescence of those living with these animals in their “Settled Landscape” and the continued financial support of those from elsewhere desiring the presence of these animals in the “Settled Landscapes” where others live, gives any hope of anything but a repeat of the historic accounts of the inevitable human reaction to these animals since the time of the Ancient Greeks and The Thirteen Original Colonies of what is now the USA. That is to say intolerable incident after incident until; despite Washington, despite Brussels, despite the King, despite the Lord of the Manor; the residents of the “Settled Landscapes” decide they have had enough and take things into their own hands and using a wide range of methods and even some new ones not even seen before once again make the “Settled Landscapes” safe and productive for human settlements.

Jim Beers
14 February 2015

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

Brucellosis And Wolves

By James Beers:

It was 1957 and I spent a touch-and-go week in a St. Charles, Illinois hospital with a swollen spleen, swollen glands under my arms in a semi-conscious state. I was diagnosed with Brucellosis, called Undulant Fever in humans and my parents were worried that I wasn’t going to make it. The local newspapers did not cover this and my parents soon found out that our County did not have a Health Department and certain factions, like dairy farmers, were opposed to having one established. The doctor said I must have gotten it from “bad” milk (we bought all our milk from a store) or had somewhere been “exposed” to brucellosis. My folks knew I had been hunting in and around dairy farms that fall so everyone assumed I had somehow “picked it up” while hunting pheasants.

In spring of 2010 I was preparing Testimony for the Oregon State Legislature’s House Agricultural Committee on Wolves and particularly on the Diseases and Infections they contract, transmit and spread. As I composed a list of over 30+ such diseases and infections I discovered that wolves, like dogs, contract, carry and transmit Brucellosis. I never knew this and certainly 60 years earlier, no one mentioned this or likely even knew it. I remembered that, those fall days right before coming down with Brucellosis I had hunted with my dog and he was often very good at finding and retrieving pheasants that I shot. In those early kid days I would lavish the dog with praise when he was “good” and he would often lick my face as I squatted and scratched his ears with hands that often had cuts on them as I was praising him. THAT is where I got Brucellosis. Some of those cows in those Health Department-free days probably had Brucellosis and my dog probably had:

“contact with infected birthing tissues and fluids (e.g., placenta, aborted fetuses, fetal fluids, vaginal discharges). The bacteria can also be found in the milk, blood, urine and semen of infected animals.

Animals can get the bacteria by ingestion (oral), direct contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), or breaks in the skin. Brucella can also be transmitted by contaminated objects (fomites) such as, equipment, clothing, shoes, hay, feed or water.

Some animals are carriers; they will have the bacteria but show no signs of illness. These animals can shed the bacteria into the environment for long periods of time, infecting other animals in the herd.” (From The Center for Food Security and Public Health)

The Center for Food Security and Public Health goes on to say that:

1. “Brucellosis can affect sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses, and dogs. Brucellosis can also affect rats and wild animals including deer, bison, elk, moose, camels, water buffalo, and marine mammals.”

AND

2. “Brucellosis causes reproductive problems (e.g. abortions, stillbirth, infertility) in most species of animals. Other signs can include arthritis in cows and pigs, mastitis and lameness in goats, and oozing skin lesions in horses (“fistulous withers”).”

NOTE: Under # 1. There is NO mention of Wolves or Coyotes that interbreed freely with wolves producing viable offspring and are for all practical purposes the Same Species, especially in their Disease and Infection capabilities and capacities. This is a reprehensible act of political correctness (to avoid the wrath of environmentalists) and a not insignificant breach of the Public Trust that withholds information of significant importance from those rural persons increasingly at risk due to the spreading presence of WOLVES. (Jim Beers)

The National Association of Public Health Veterinarians tells us that:

“Brucella canis is transmitted among dogs by mucosal contact with infected material. Vaginal discharges, semen, and fluids and tissues associated with birth and abortion contain the highest concentrations of the bacteria, but urine, blood, milk, saliva, and feces also contain organisms.3 Pups can be infected in utero, intrapartum, or during nursing. The infective dose in dogs ranges from 104 for the conjunctival exposure route to 106 for the oral route. Concentrations of 103 to 106 organisms per ml have been found in urine of infected dogs.2 Dogs can remain bacteremic for at least five years.”

In summary; dogs are wolves are coyotes. They contract, carry and spread a very serious infection (Brucellosis) that infects and debilitates humans; and additionally destroys livestock, big game, and pets. They can contract, carry and spread Brucellosis for “at least five years”.

WOLVES are the most effective and therefore most dangerous vector of the highly infectious Disease Brucellosis. Why is that? Because:

* Wolves roam over a far wider area that any other vector.
* Wolves can contract Brucellosis from livestock, big game, dogs, rats and coyotes, all of which they eat, attack and/or kill for one reason or another.
* Wolves that contract Brucellosis are extremely likely to frequent similar habitats and similar animals (cattle, wintering elk, moose giving birth, sheep pastures) as where they have contracted the disease thus exposing similar animals to “mucosal contact with infected material. Vaginal discharges, semen, and fluids and tissues associated with birth and abortion tissue, urine, blood, milk, saliva, and feces” that infected them and that “is being passed on in their blood, saliva, feces, mucous, milk, vaginal discharges that they leave behind as they roam chasing and killing animals similar to the ones that infected them”.
* Wolves roam, fight, play, sleep and feed in packs, all but guaranteeing that, like bats, what one gets – they all get.
* Wolves kill, eat and attack cattle, big game and dogs. They will tear out their prey’s rear end and often the fetus they carry thus exposing themselves to “Vaginal discharges, semen, and fluids and tissues associated with birth and abortion (sic, that) contain the highest concentrations of the bacteria.” They sniff, roll in and smell urine and blood as well as feces and saliva of infected animals, thus making them almost perfect 100% contractors of any Brucellosis-infected material wherever they encounter it.
* Wolves sneeze and deposit mucous material on plants and other items for an undetermined time. Wolves deposit feces for other animals to smell and/or to consume nearby plants that have become contaminated by infected wolf feces. Wolves leave blood at various sites that is smelled and licked by coyotes and dogs. Wolves leave saliva on items that dogs and coyotes smell, lick, pick up and even swallow. Wolves leave urine and vaginal discharges at various sites in their wanderings.

All of the above can transmit the Brucellosis bacteria from infected wolves to coyotes and dogs for further transmission (coyotes) and to carry back into homes and kennels (dogs). The bacteria can be deposited in pastures to linger on plants for consumption by livestock, or they can be given directly to animals that survive an attack for transmission to others. The bacteria can infect big game animals and their unborn young that survive an attack for later transmission to pastures and haystacks frequented by both big game and livestock.

And the beauty of all this is that the veterinarians won’t touch this with a 10 ft. pole; the academics say, “there is no research”; the state wildlife biologists’ say, “where is your proof”; and the federal “experts” that put the wolves there just remain silent and smirk: thus there is no problem and therefore no responsibility or liability. A federal bureaucrat can’t have a finer dream.

Jim Beers
15 February 2015

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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

109 Mexican Wolves – “Cross-Fostering” New Technique to Grow More Wolves

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Southwest Region:

The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) has completed its annual year-end population survey, documenting a minimum of 109 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2014. At the end of 2013, 83 wild wolves were counted. This is the fourth consecutive year with at least a 10 percent increase in the known population – a 31 percent increase in 2014.

“In 1982, the Mexican wolf recovery team recommended a population of at least 100 animals in the wild as a hedge against extinction; until we initiated the first releases in 1998, there had been no Mexican wolves in the wild in the United States since the 1970s,” said Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle. “Although there is still much to be done, reaching this milestone is monumental!”

“This survey demonstrates a major accomplishment in Mexican wolf recovery. In 2010, there were 50 Mexican wolves in the wild; today there are 109, a more than doubling of the population in Arizona and New Mexico. With our Mexican wolf population consisting of wild-born wolves, we expect the growth rates observed this year to continue into the future. In spite of considerable naysaying, our 10(j) program has been a success because of on-the-ground partnerships. We have every reason to believe that our efforts at reintroduction will continue to be successful,” said Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles.

In spring of 2014, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) successfully implemented a field technique in which genetically valuable pups were transferred to a similarly aged litter of an established pack. During the count operation, the IFT captured one of the two pups that were placed in the established pack during 2014, which confirmed this “cross-fostering” technique as an additional method for the IFT to improve the genetics of the wild population. In addition, the IFT conducted 14 releases and translocations during 2014, some of which provide promise for improving the wild population’s genetic health in the future.

“Testing and implementing new management techniques, such as cross-fostering, can help us improve the genetics of the wild population,” said Tuggle. The experimental population is growing – now our strategy is to focus on establishing a genetically robust population on a working landscape.”

The results of the surveys reflect the end-of-year minimum population for 2014. Results come from population data collected on the ground by the IFT from November through December of 2014, as well as data collected from an aerial survey conducted in January and February 2015. This number is considered a minimum number of Mexican wolves known to exist in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, as other Mexican wolves may be present but uncounted during surveys.

The aerial survey was conducted by a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter. Biologists used radiotelemetry and actual sightings of wolves to help determine the count. The results from the aerial survey, coupled with the ground survey conducted by the IFT, confirmed that there are a total of 19 packs, with a minimum of 53 wolves in New Mexico and 56 wolves in Arizona. The current survey documented 14 packs that had at least one pup that survived through the end of the year, with two that had at least five surviving through the end of the year.

The 2014 minimum population count includes 38 wild-born pups that survived through the end of the year. This is also considered a minimum known number since it might not reflect pups surviving but not documented.

The Mexican wolf recovery program is a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and several participating counties. For more information on the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/ or www.azgfd.gov/wolf.

USSA Files Great Lakes Wolf Appeal

From the United States Sportsman’s Alliance:

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has filed an appeal of the ruling handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell on Dec. 20 concerning management of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes area.

The Feb. 13 notice of appeal seeks to overturn the ruling that forced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return a population of wolves found in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act – with ramifications that affect the entire scope of managing the apex predator. The decision stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Humane Society of the United States; Born Free, USA; Help Our Wolves Live; and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to continue to fight this legal battle,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s vice president of government affairs. “There is no doubt that wolves in the region have recovered, but to hold their management in those states hostage until wolves are reestablished in Central Park in New York City is ludicrous and we will continue to fight it.”

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and our partners, collectively known as the “Hunter Conservation Coalition,” will fight for sportsmen’s rights, as well as for a state’s right to scientifically manage wildlife found within their borders.

The Hunter Conservation Coalition consists of the following organizations: U.S. Sportsmen Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International, National Rifle Association of America, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.