March 22, 2019

Cameron (Cam) Sholly Named Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park

*Editor’s Note* – Two items that need attention: First, it would seem that Sholly taking over the position of Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park is a step down from previous work within the National Park Service. Why?

The second issue is that in the following press release Congresswoman Liz Cheney was quoted as saying, “I’m pleased Secretary Zinke moved quickly to name Cam Sholly as the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.” Perhaps while handing out pats on the back to Sec. Zinke for his quick actions to find a replacement for the superintendent he fired, Congressman Cheney should ask Zinke why it has taken a year and a half and still, we have no Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Press Release from the U.S. Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Today, National Park Service (NPS) Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith announced the selection of Cameron (Cam) Sholly to be the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.

“As a veteran of the National Park Service, Cam has a track record of working with local communities and Tribes on important wildlife and conservation work and he’s overseen some of the park service’s most high-profile park infrastructure projects in recent years,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Managing our National Parks is a responsibility and a privilege, and I’m confident Cam Sholly will do a fantastic job at Yellowstone.”

“Cam is a proven leader, who has successfully worked at every senior level in the National Park Service including assignments as regional director, associate director, and superintendent,” said Deputy Director Smith. “Most recently, he has overseen the completion of one of the largest public/private partnership projects in NPS history – the $380 million renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and museum in St. Louis. Cam has built productive and valuable relations with communities, landowners, and local, state, and tribal leaders throughout his career, and I am confident he will continue shaping the right vision for Yellowstone’s future.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the extraordinary staff and partners at Yellowstone,” Sholly said about the appointment. “Exceptional work has occurred there over the past years because of the dedication of the NPS staff, partners, and communities. I look forward to continuing a positive trajectory for one of the greatest park in the world.”

“Cam has great experience and an understanding of what will make Yellowstone National Park a family destination for all Montanans and its visitors,” said Senator Steve Daines. “We discussed many critical issues facing the park service and I look forward to working with Cam. As a Gardner High School graduate I know he will bring Montana common sense to the job every day.”

“Yellowstone National Park is one of America’s most treasured parks. Together with Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone is home to a wide variety of wildlife and stunning landscapes, and hosts of thousands of visitors each year. As Cam takes the reins as the incoming superintendent, I look forward to working with him to ensure Yellowstone remains a shining example of our national park system,” said Senator John Barrasso.

“I’m pleased Secretary Zinke moved quickly to name Cam Sholly as the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park,” said Congressman Liz Cheney. “Superintendent Sholly’s extensive resume and background within the Park Service will serve him well as he transitions into his new role. I’m looking forward to working closely with the Superintendent to keep Yellowstone one of the Nation’s most beloved parks.”

“Cam has a record of success that will help him manage the first of our nation’s national parks,” said Congressman Greg Gianforte. “Having worked with Cam, I know he understands the importance of being a good partner with neighboring communities. I am confident in Cam’s leadership and am certain he will do an (sic) outstanding job at Yellowstone.”

Since early 2015, Sholly has served as the NPS Midwest Regional Director, and he manages a team of 2000 employees, a budget of over $250 million, and the operations of 61 national park units spread across 13 states. Over the past three years, national parks within the Midwest transferred nearly 800 bison to state and tribal governments through a transparent and collaborative process. During his tenure in the Midwest Region, Sholly also has overseen several major planning processes, including the recent signing of the record of decision to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The region also supported efforts with states to develop wildlife and land management plans, including a plan to address Chronic Wasting Disease in elk populations in South Dakota. He has improved business processes in the region and collaborated with partners on a variety of complex and important park issues. In 2016, Sholly also established a regional Office of American Indian Affairs, to build stronger tribal relations across the region.

From 2012-2015, Sholly served as the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection at NPS headquarters, where he managed a national portfolio that included wilderness stewardship, fire and aviation management, risk management, public health, ranger law enforcement, regulations, and the United States Park Police. As Associate Director, Sholly guided the development and implementation of a national employee safety strategy which has helped dramatically reduce employee fatalities across the bureau. He also approved new national policies for wilderness stewardship, law enforcement, wildland fire, and many other NPS programs.

From 2009-2012, Sholly served as the Superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway, overseeing NPS operations within a 444- mile, three-state corridor that includes 25 counties and 20 communities, with approximately 6 million visitors annually. In 2011, Sholly was named superintendent of the year in the Southeast Region for his sustained partnership and business planning efforts within the corridor.

Sholly’s other previous assignments include: Chief of Staff and deputy to the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection; detail as Special Assistant to the NPS Director; and Chief of the Ranger Operations Branch in Yosemite National Park. Sholly is a U.S. Army veteran who served in both infantry and combat military police assignments. He was deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991.

Sholly has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University with curriculum concentrations in environmental economics and law and policy. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from St. Mary’s College of California, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program.

In 2015, Sholly was awarded the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award for his executive leadership actions. He has been married for the past 21 years to Jill Walston Sholly. They have a high school-aged son.

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Michael Finley: Recipient of the Golden Horse Excrement Award

horsepoopsmallMichael Finley, chair of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission, and former superintendent of Yellowstone National Park when illegal “GI” wolves were dumped there, receives my never coveted Golden Horse Excrement Award for the following statements.

“No one took any joy in this action,” said Finley, who retired from the National Park Service in 2001 and moved back to Medford, Ore., where he grew up.

“No one I know on the commission or on the professional staff wants to see wolves killed, period,” Finley said. “There are just places wolves can’t be and times they can’t be there. It’s a simple fact of wolf management.”

Aside from the utter nonsense printed in an online media outlet about “Trophic Cascades” I call out Finley on making such BS statements. It’s very easy, now that wolves were criminally introduced in the Greater Yellowstone Area, of which he was a part of, to state that “no one took any joy” killing wolves that were destroying private property, as well as making statements he doesn’t believe in that, “There are just places wolves can’t be,” calling it a “simple fact of wolf management.”

When you consider the pages and pages of lies fed to the public in the Environmental Impact Statement and the repeated lies given to the public at meetings and spread through fervent propaganda blitzes, by this criminal act, THEY got their damned wolves. They promised everybody that there would be no more than 300 wolves and/or 30 breeding pairs and with that number of wolves there would be no impact on game, i.e. elk, deer, and moose. And we mustn’t forget the complicit Congress told the wolf pimps that there can be no impact on ranchers, residents, etc.

Now they have thousands of them and they know that not only have they got their wolves but they also own everything about wolf reintroduction and the ongoing protection of them – including the USFWS, environmentalist groups, Congress and the media. They now are comfortable in the fact that nothing is going to harm their precious, nasty, diseased wild dogs and so, it takes a very brave man to step up to the press and say, “no one took any joy” in killing four wolves and that it’s a “simple fact of wolf management.” HS!!

Incorrectly stated at the beginning of the article, Finley don’t know squat about wolves. All he knows is how to play the political environmentalist game of power control over people.

The entire act of wolf introduction was criminal….PERIOD. Anyone involved in the act were criminals…PERIOD. They should be charged for the criminal actions. Wolf introduction has been nothing short of a disaster, regardless of the lies fed to us by environmentalists and the media they own and control. Now that they got away with it, the lying bastards are presenting themselves as some kind of heroes.

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J.D. King: Wolves Don’t Change Rivers 

HowlDoin

The wolves that were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 have not restored the landscape. They have not brought back the aspens and willows. They have not brought back the beavers or the songbirds. And no, the rivers have not changed, either

“Funny that you should ask,” replied Dr. Kay. “I just returned from Yellowstone National Park where I revisited many of my old research sites. Willows and aspen have grown taller at a few locations but there has not been any far reaching trophic cascade. The Lamar River and other streams have not recovered — in fact, the Lamar River in the Lamar Valley is worse than ever.”

Source: J.D. King: Wolves Don’t Change Rivers — The Patriot Post

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For Whom the Toll Taking Tolls

ElkHerdI’m sure some will consider this short piece being a bit picky but consider, if you would or should or can, that the choice of words in any document can certainly contribute to the propagandizing of the public and their ideas about certain things. For that reason alone, it must needs to offer a better explanation of choice words. (Yes, I do it too!)

In question is an article about Yellowstone National Park wolves and the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. Think what you will about the accuracy of the reporting overall. Frankly, I don’t care as few know the difference, nor do they care. In addition, more than likely anything I write here will do nothing to mitigate the years of biased and ignorant reporting on wolf and elk issues.

In addition, I do not know the writer in question. I know nothing about him. I don’t know how he feels about wolves, elk, hunting, Yellowstone or the price of peanuts. Perhaps his intent was to help form more negative opinions about hunters and hunting. Or maybe it was just a careless choice of words. I’ll let you decide.

The writer of the article states the following: “Also taking a toll on the herd have been hunters, other predators and harsh winters.”(emphasis added)

The report is about what appears to be an increase in the population of elk in the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. There is even an intimation that the elk numbers went up because the wolf numbers went down. God forbid such a connection be made!

But let me focus, nitpickingly, on the use of the writer’s words “And also taking a toll….” In having a basic understanding of the English language, and I think I do, I know from reading the article that the writer must believe that wolves are “taking a toll” because he claims there are “also” others “taking a toll.” I suppose that’s progress to see and admit that?

But he names others “taking a toll” as being hunters, other predators and harsh winters.

Taking a toll can be defined in a dictionary as, “An amount or extent of loss or destruction, as of life, health, or property.” In perhaps 100% of the context in which the term “taking a toll” would be used would be in helping to describe the “extent of loss or destruction.” To those who might not suspect, this is NOT a good thing. The writer evidently can see that the reduction of elk in the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd from 20,000 to under 3,000, is an event that can be described as something “taking a toll.” More progress?

However, I would like to take a bit of an issue with the description that hunters are or have been “taking a toll” on the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. Regulated hunting, generally speaking, does not “take a toll” on any game or wildlife population. Unless you plain hate hunting and hunters and then nothing would matter anyway to them. If poor management of elk and elk hunting caused the “taking a toll” on the elk, then those wildlife managers need to find a new job; maybe predicting more global warming would suit them. They seem to be well versed in how to use it as an excuse for everything.

Game managers today, employ methods where they can grow, reduce or maintain an existing population of animals, such as elk – well, that is providing there are any elk leftover after the wolves are done killing them all. This management plan has been visible since the illegal introduction of the gray wolf in 1995 and 1996, because of a continued reduction in hunting permits in those areas where wolves are present in too large numbers.

Hunters aren’t “taking a toll” on elk numbers because they are the ones being asked to make all the sacrifices while some play gOD with elk and wolves and others make statements in media outlets pointing a wrongful finger at hunters for “taking a toll.” No, wolves are taking a toll on hunting! Tough pill to swallow for some I know.

It’s pointless to discuss the ins and outs of whether “other predators” and “harsh winters,” along with those poor wolves, are what’s causing the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd to disappear. Wolves, lions, bears and all “other predators” aren’t regulated. They don’t have to cough up money or enter a lottery to get a permit to kill an elk. They just kill one anytime the urge strikes; and sometimes, just for the hell of it.

If there’s any toll taking that concerns hunters, it is that some writers, due to their unthoughtful, or not, choice of words, are taking a toll on us poor hunters. Time to give it rest. You got your damned wolves. Now, go way!

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Wolves Cannot be a Keystone Predator And Not Have an Effect on Ungulates

wolvestwoI recently received a copy of a brand new article that had been published in Muley Crazy Magazine, that was written by Dr. Charles Kay. The title of the article is, “Keystone Predation and Trophic Cascades.” What a brilliant piece of work, I must say. Most brilliant because not only does Kay simply and effectively explain what a keystone predator is, along with trophic cascade, but points out the overuse, perhaps ignorantly and incorrectly, of the term “keystone predator.”

Kay explains in his article that many talk of how wolves are a keystone predator and have created a trophic cascade (more on this in a moment) wherever they are present. He references Yellowstone National Park as an example.

In explaining to readers what keystone predation and trophic cascade are, he used the example of sea otters, kelp forests and urchins along the northern California coast. There exists kelp forests, where, for one thing, small fish use to nourish themselves and seek a degree of protection from larger fish. Urchins eat kelp and sea otters eat urchins. This condition is explained by Kay as a “trophic pyramid”, with the otter on top and the kelp on the bottom.

Uncontrolled hunting by man killed off most of the otters, causing the urchin population to grow, which in turn destroyed much of the kelp forests and yes the disappearance of a fishery. With the efforts of humans, a few surviving otters were returned to the area and with ample prey, the urchin, the otters soon reestablish. With otters reducing the number of urchins, the kelp forests return and in turn the fishery came back also. Dr. Kay says this, “is what is called a cascading trophic effect, where what happens at one trophic level impacts what takes place at other trophic levels.”

In the case of the sea otter, Kay says that, “a keystone predator is a keystone predator only because predation causes a major reduction in the herbivore population, which then causes a major rebound in the associated plant community.”

So, then, is a wolf a keystone predator? By definition a keystone predator, like the sea otter, reduces its prey to levels that have a significant effect on that ecosystem. In my opinion, wolf advocates and others – Dr. Kay lists them: Media, public, judges – wrongly use the term “keystone” in order to make people believe that because it is KEYstone, the ecosystem could not survive without them. As Kay so aptly points out, the wolf sponsors can’t have it both ways; be a keystone predator and NOT reduce significantly its prey species. Since the beginning of the debate about wolves, prior to introduction, the clap trap was readily repeated that wolves will not have any significant impact on its prey species, i.e. deer, elk, moose. However, we are seeing the results of this “keystone” predator, where in places the wolf has roamed and flourished, prey populations have shrunk out of sight.

For decades, where the environmentalists have gone wrong, is their insistence that man was not factored into the role as a keystone predator. This is where Dr. Kay explains that while the sea otter, wolf, bear, mountain lion, etc. may be keystone predators, they are not necessarily THE keystone predator. That title is rightfully placed on the shoulders of man and has been there since the beginning of man’s existence on the planet.

Dr. Kay’s article goes to great lengths in explaining the history of the role of Native Americans as THE keystone predators. His work in establishing time lines, geographical locations and availability of wild game of Lewis and Clark and other explorers, shows where and in what abundance game animals existed and why. It’s not what our education institutions have taught us.

In one’s dishonest effort to protect any species of keystone predator, they cannot claim it to be a keystone predator, for the sake of placing importance and glorification, while at the same time making bold statements that these “keystone” predators will not have any measurable effect on the prey species and ecosystem. Simply by definition, this is ludicrous. It’s as ludicrous as thinking that man can somehow be removed from the entire equation and then everything will be nirvana.

Dr. Kay explains that in reality, if those humans who want Yellowstone National Park to be brought back to its, “natural condition”, then we, “simply need to add native people.”

Kay ends his article with this statement: “As a rule, carnivores did not kill and eat aboriginal people. Instead, aboriginal people killed and ate carnivores, especially bears, making them the ultimate keystone predator.”

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The Mythical Magic of the Much Maligned Mutt (Wolf)

Perhaps not since Franklin Roosevelt has so much credit been given a person or thing for accomplishing things they never did or did and messed them up. Once again people calling themselves scientific researchers are crediting the existence of grey wolves in Yellowstone for helping to increase the grizzly bear population. This supposedly is being accomplished because wolves keep the elk from eating the berry plants. Information on this “study” can be found at Science World Report.

It appears that not all scientists are impressed with the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the berry bear study. As a matter of fact, Dr. Charles Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, says that, “YNP [Yellowstone National Park] bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!”

And as anyone who has come to know the work of Dr. Kay, he doesn’t spout off without providing the documentation to support his own claims. First, is a copy of a recent email Dr. Kay sent to a number of readers about the berry bear study and links to his own research and information on the subject. Please feel free to educate yourself.

Dr. Kay’s email:

… please see the attached pdf file[s] I doubt that Ripple et al. ever had an original idea in their lives – as explained in the attached article[s], I was the first researcher to measure berry production in YNP, as well as the first to note that YNP’s bears did NOT eat berries – unlike every other bear population that has been studied anywhere. This is because elk had destroyed all the berry producing shrubs in the park. All this, of course, has been completely ignored by IAGBST biologists for over 40 years – which is why YNP bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!

In 1491 you could count the number of grizzlies in North America on one or two hands, because grizzlies were simply large packages of fat meat that native hunters killed AT WILL. There are more grizzlies in NA today than there were in 1491 – a FACT I can prove.

Please see section 13 of the second pdf file, and Figure 8f in the third pdf file

Charles

Charles E. Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Yellowstone: Ecological Malpractice by Charles E. Kay June 1997

Browsing by native ungulates effects on shrub and seed in greater Yellowstone By Charles E. Kay

Were Native People Keystone Predators?

A Continuous-Time Analysis of Wildlife Observations Made by Lewis and Clark in 1804-1806

by Charles E. Kay January–March 2007 Canadian Field-Naturalist 121

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