August 11, 2020

Beware of Professors

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The following is a Letter sent to the Editor of the Spokane, Washington Spokesman Review.  It answers an article “Kick cows off refuge lands” by a Professor at Eastern Washington University that appeared in the paper. The article appears after the Letter..   Jim Beers

“Once proud” is a term overused in today’s dwindling newspaper publishing business.  A significant factor contributing to the demise of many “once proud” newspapers is their yielding to the temptation to pander to the imaginary boogeymen of uninformed readers with myths from reputedly informed writers.  Sad to say, you have entirely succumbed to this disgusting temptation by publishing, Professor Lindholdt’s “Kick cows off refuge lands” a composition worthy of some “Occupy Wall Street” handbill passed around during a demonstration.

The following refutations apply to the main assertions in your (i.e. Lindholdt’s) diatribe.

1.)  The Bundy’s and other occupiers of Malheur have very legitimate grievances with the USFWS, the BLM and the US Forest Service.  That they picked Malheur to give attention to their grievances is as logical as any other USDI or USDA facility.  The wildlife resources of Malheur Refuge are as healthy as ever.  One of those ranchers is dead and the other fathers and husbands face imprisonment.  Given the Professor’s animus toward ranchers, is it futile to ask him to “give it a rest?”

2.)  The Professor’s liking of the vegetarian diet is as relevant to the article’s title as is my preferences for snow goose cassoulet or walleye filets parmesaned.

3.)  Ranches are indeed corporations and as such they provide immense fuel for Local communities’ economies such as jobs, support businesses and revenue for Local governments to protect Local communities from both the federal government and uncaring interlopers like Professor Lindholdt.  Furthermore, when these refuges were founded like Little Pend Oreille in 1939; you can bet your bippy that the Local community was asked to welcome the refuge and their once benign efforts to benefit wildlife and by extension the Local citizenry.  Like the majority of refuges in the system, the Congressional Authorizing Legislation paid homage to Local communities and their governments and stressed (now slowly being eradicated like Jewish achievements under German National Socialism) that waterfowl and other Treaty species like songbirds were of primary consideration.

4.)  Speaking of the Professor’s fawning homage to two recent lady refuge managers that “ousted” the cows from Turnblull NWR (“ more than 3,000 acres of wetlands of the last quality breeding habitat available in eastern Washington

for waterfowl”), and Little Pend Oreille NWR’s; his enthusiasm is offset by the negative impacts the waterfowl production very likely suffered.  Regulated (by time, intensity and grazing species) grazing by livestock is an important tool in managing wetlands and associated nesting cover for desirable waterfowl species’ nesting success.  Like timber management (another modern boogeyman) as a regulated tool also provides benefits to desirable plant and animals species and their abundance is vilified, so too is livestock grazing besmirched as inherently harmful.  Both beliefs are false.

5.)  I see the Professor also accuses opponents of the ESA as involved in a “coalition” within the agriculture industry that sponsor “illegal measures” to punish “whistleblowers”.  I could write several books (I have written over a thousand such articles) about why the ESA should be “defeated”.  As a Utah State Wildlife graduate; a Utah Fish and Game former employee; a USFWS wetlands biologist in North Dakota; a US Game Management Agent in Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City and Washington, DC; a USFWS Animal Damage Control Program Coordinator in Washington, DC; Chief of the Branch of Refuge Operations in Washington, DC; wildlife biologist administering Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax funding to state wildlife departments from Washington, DC; member of both a State Department team and US Trade Representative Team battling unjust fur regulations in the European Union; and as a Congressional Fellow I oppose the ESA: that neither makes me a bad person or one in need of “re-education”.

6.)  As a “whistleblower” myself, I was amused by the Professor’s concern about suppressing “whistleblowers” he supports.  When I testified twice before a packed US House of Representatives Committee about the theft of $45 to 60 Million in state wildlife funds by USFWS managers to trap Canadian wolves, release said wolves in Yellowstone, and open an office in California – all 3 of which Congress had refused to either authorize or fund) – I became a “whistleblower”. I was threatened with loss of my health care and my pension after 32 years with USFWS and 4 years as an officer in the US Navy and I spent ten months at home with full pay and then was offered and accepted a large cash settlement  (thank you Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer) on condition I would not speak or write about the circumstances of my “retirement” for 3 years (so much for “transparency”.)  By the way this was all perpetrated by the same folks administering these Refuges and that the good Professor lauds while ranchers are imprisoned and shot.  Ooohh, the ranchers copied down his license plate?  Poor baby.

In closing, cattle should not be banned from refuges.  Refuges were created and remain funded to care for wildlife and the people that use and enjoy them.  Camping is a “secondary” use of refuges as it is these days for National Forests and National Parks, both of which were founded to provide camping but today are increasingly becoming closed federal enclaves that ignore Local communities, Local governments and any activity not favored by political bosses back in Washington, DC.  I suggest the Professor look for Parks and Forests the next time and that if he continues to attend rancher meetings he exert the sort of discretion one might at a Black Lives Matter Meeting and not provoke the Local folks or belittle their concerns.

Oh and one more thing, I am often asked when I speak and when I write, “Mr. Beers, how did these bureaucrats ever get like they have become?”  My new answer from now on will be. “Because they all studied wildlife under English Professors like Mr. Lindholdt at Eastern Washington University that not only are ignorant and biased about wildlife but that also harbor a deep dislike for rural Americans and the rural America that made (and makes) America great.

Jim Beers

7 February 2016

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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