July 11, 2020

New-Science Wildlife Scientists: Creations of Wellington House – Part V

Before I get into talking about the one lead agency that is responsible for all things brainwashing in the United States, I think it imperative to continue on a bit more in exposing how the brainwashing is done and who is responsible for the creation of a duped wildlife science institution and the formation of a society willing and eager to accept it.

It is important, in helping readers to understand the dynamics of what is taking place, to distinguish the two things that must exist in order for effective brainwashing to take place. I have written of these two things already. One, is that there exist a deliberate and planned program to “train” educators and leaders at all levels of our society. Once the “trainers” are in place, then the brainwashing of the masses can take place in order that they become willing to accept the “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America.” This contrivance then begins to perpetuate and snowball with each passing generation until it becomes the gigantic monster that it is. It is my hope that I can begin to expose the enormity of this illusion, for without it comprehension is doomed to failure.

Charlotte Iserbyt is a former Senior Policy Adviser, under the first Reagan Administration, of the United States Department of Education; in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. In this capacity, she had access to files on “restructuring American and Global Education”. She is also author of the book, “Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”.

Iserbyt was troubled after having read some of the files that existed that pertained to “restructuring” America’s education. As a senior policy adviser she was “trained” to identify the “resistors” of the programs designed to change our education system. Some of the programs designed to completely alter what our children were taught are: sex education, drug education; alcohol, suicide, death education. When Iserbyt recognized these “resistors”, her job was to “win them over.” One of the best ways to do that was to get as many respectable community leaders to drink the Kool-Aid and then dropping names often was all it took for “resistors” to follow along – a sad commentary, but nonetheless accurate. In her own words she says that she was trained at “conning” the communities in which she visited. This is a point in which once Americans would have asked why it was necessary to “con” the community? Either the program had merit and could stand on it’s own or it wouldn’t. Anything else had to have been a con game and what was the purpose of that snow job?

Iserbyt also speaks of the impact that Benjamin Bloom has had on American education. As she describes it, just about every teacher in the United States has to have been taught aspects of Benjamin Bloom’s ideology of “restructuring” education. This is often done through “sensitivity sessions”, something highly encouraged and done in National Training Laboratories “T-Groups”. Bloom’s twisted and to some, perverted, ideas about reeducating the masses have effectively permeated the depths of the United Nations and their UNESCO areas of education that I wrote about in Part III.

Bloom is called the father of outcome-based education and proudly describes his notions of what educating our people should be:

“The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.” “….a large part of what we call ‘good teaching’ is the teacher’s ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students’ fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues.”

The professor often bragged at workshops geared at “training” teachers that he could take a young student and convert them to atheism from Christianity in about an hour.

Berit Kjos writes that, “Facilitated group discussion is key to the transformation, and UNESCO’s plan for “lifelong learning” calls for universal participation. Young and old everywhere must be trained to think and work collectively.”

And again here, “This mind-changing (Hegelian dialectic) process required students in Communist nations to “confess” their thoughts and feelings in their respective groups. Trained facilitator-teachers would then guide the group dialogue toward a pre-planned consensus.”

Recall if you will what I wrote in Part IV about the recent symposium that was put on by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, presented as a means of attempting to discover what the people of Idaho wanted the department to do about finding new means of financing the department. The event had nothing to do with what they presented it as but everything to do with what was just described above, whether IDFG knew what they were doing or not. I believe they knew full well what they were doing simply by looking at the slate of presenters for the conference.

When groups gather, such as the one in Idaho, a well-trained and fully brainwashed facilitator will cause the “transformation”. This transformation results in more than just what might meet the eye. Not only will the event achieve a result that then can be misrepresented by claiming it was what the people wanted, their brainwashing processes continue, as all in attendance have been subjected to a “training” session all of its own. Each participant leaves having learned how great and productive facilitated meetings are. And the cycle grows and continues, which is all part of the bigger plan.

All of this reminds me of a simple card trick but to the person without the ability or the desire to think for themselves, can be easily duped. As the presenter of the card trick, select four cards; two, three, four and five will work wonderfully. You have a participant select one of the cards and have them hold it. You should know which card the person is holding. If you can’t figure out how to do that then I suggest you not try this trick.

Let’s say as a “facilitator” of the trick you know the person is holding a four of clubs. You are going to make them think you are going to guess the card they picked and so you use a process of elimination. You say, “I’m thinking of two numbers between 2 and 5.” You ask them to pick 2 of those four numbers. If they pick say, 3 and 4 you say, “pick one of those numbers.” If they say three, you tell them that leaves 4. If they pick 4 they’ve made it easy for you.

You use the same process to select a suit until you eventually have them convinced you picked their four of clubs card. Stupid? You bet. But the point here is, this is the same process a trained facilitator will use to force desired results. Getting people’s ideas and writing them down always works well. That’s why there are always easel boards and overhead projectors. If nobody in attendance offers up the desired ideas, predetermined before the meeting, then the facilitator will suggest it to them and write it down. Certainly no one there will question or even suspect what they are up to. They will eagerly nod their heads and agree because mostly that’s what they have been brainwashed to do. After all, they are a facilitator, right?

Are you getting any clue here as to how deeply entrenched this outcome based manipulation is into our education systems and thus our entire society? Because we have been so brainwashed to believe that our government and our leaders are better than those evil other countries, we seldom, if ever, question. We just accept. The more robotic, passive and unthinking we are, the better it is for the “change agents”, the “facilitators” and those really in control.

This process might not seem so sinister if it wasn’t for the ambition of those with power and control, “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America.”

Part VI will look more closely at the Environmental Movement and I’ll begin to pull this all together in what I hope will make more sense.


New-Science Wildlife Scientists: Creations of Wellington House – Part IV

What transpired recently in Idaho is a prime example of the product of “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America.” Idaho, like many other states, cannot find funding enough to carry out their non fish and game, environmentalist-dictated programs. In a ruse to find “alternative” means of funding, the Department of Fish and Game cobbled together a symposium, of sorts, structured entirely from the knowledge gained from outcome based education. In other words, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) knew what they wanted to achieve from such a gathering and thus designed the meetings to achieve the desired outcome.

The brainwashed leaders believed and/or convinced themselves, while at the same time mounting a propaganda campaign to additionally alter public opinion, that filling the room with operatives trained in new-science science and new-education education, was a fair representation of stakeholders and the only thing they had been taught to do. (Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.)

A small group of not so easily influenced holdouts, who have enough of an understanding to see that this sort of thing is not right, did their best to stop the symposium or change it to something resembling sanity. The result was that the majority, which is a reflection of American Society, are victims of the sinister brainwashing that exists in our schools and throughout every aspect of our society. I believe those putting on the meetings, and the majority of those in attendance, actually believe they are doing the right thing.

The key here is to gain an understanding that this “changing” or mindset alterations is not some natural phenomenon. It is not merely explained away as a “progressive” lifestyle. It may appear that way but is this progression a voluntary one? It’s an orchestrated effort as we shall learn. Readers must open their eyes to this fact.

Who is responsible for the brainwashing? I choose to call it brainwashing because that’s really what it is. When anyone or any organization sets out to change the rational way of thinking in a mass of people, that’s brainwashing. When I write that those responsible for this action believe that, “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America”, the only way this can be done is through mind manipulation; to devise a way in which to completely alter the way that people think; to convince those masses that what was white is now black, that what was right is now wrong. This is brainwashing.

As I said, this program did not start yesterday. It has been implemented to varying degrees for a very long time and what some of us are seeing in our society is a product of that work.

In Part III, I shared a tiny bit of how the United Nations has implemented programs in education that have an influence on our everyday lives. What I didn’t write much about is who is responsible for the programs and what’s behind those plans to brainwash our people.

This conversion of thought, or the destruction of all thought, comes from seemingly countless entities but all with a common factor. To grow such a large sphere of influence is a monumental task that must begin with finding the right leaders of nations around the world and “training” them to take their new-found knowledge back to their homes and businesses with them to share with others and to train new “change agents”. In time, there becomes hundreds, then thousands and tens of thousands of change agents all freshly brainwashed carrying out the mission of the “enlightened” elites of the world “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America.”

One of those training facilitators is known as the National Training Laboratories (NTL). I have personal knowledge and experience with this organization because NTL was founded in my hometown of Bethel, Maine. As a high school student I worked for this company and later as an adult actually attended some of their seminars and “T-Groups” (training groups), as well as visited the homes of some of the founders.

Bethel, Maine is a micro New England village where the population in the village proper is approximately 1,100 people. In a town that tiny, it’s difficult to not know what is going on; the same could be said for the activities of NTL.

Founded in Bethel, Maine in 1947 by Dr. Kurt Lewin, main offices were eventually set up in Washington, D.C. and during the summers, “training” took place at the NTL Center, as well as the facilities of Gould Academy and the Bethel Inn; all located in Bethel, Maine. In addition to Lewin, Ron Lippett, Lee Bradford and others helped found NTL and after Lewin’s early death, it was mostly Lippett and Bradford that continued on with NTL.

Lewin was a freak show really; a German native trained in psychology and kicked out of his native country because of the controversial work he did. In short, he discovered that through his work he believed he could make mentally ill people well. While that is a readily acceptable practice all across America, Lewin carried it to an antithetical extreme. He believed he could make mentally well people ill. His findings became the basis for sinister plans to extract information from people and brainwash masses to achieve desired public opinion. This was used initially for military tactics but later was found to be helpful in influencing the people, anywhere and in any numbers.

With Lewin’s evil notions grounding the foundation of NTL, he, Ron Lippett (an OSS, now CIA, operative) and Bradford set out “to shape the moral, spiritual, cultural, political and economic decline of the United States of America.”

In the tiny town of Bethel, Maine, corporate and educational leaders from all over the world came for their special “training”. I was most exposed to some of their tactics when I worked as an audio/visual technician. In that capacity, I would have to make sure each classroom was set up with the desired tools, i.e. easels, markers, paper, tape recorders and sometimes movie cameras and projectors. There were times when I was requested to remain in the room and run tape recorders, movie projectors and cameras. Things that I saw at age 16, I knew somehow were really wrong at all levels but at 16 I had no idea exactly as to why. In addition, I was clueless as to what was actually going on and why and to what degree this “training” was and did have that greatly influenced this nation and the destruction of our society.

The use of mind-altering drugs, human mental abuse and sex where quite common, especially in what NTL called their “sensitivity training” sessions. It was often described as a means of “emotionally tearing somebody down in order to build them back up.” And build them back up as what, I might ask?

The National Training Laboratories‘ website gives us a mission statement and a list of values. I would like, for the purposes of the context of this multi-part series to point out one specific bulleted “value”. “Creation and dissemination of new knowledge and practice.” It amazes me that anyone can believe they can “create” new knowledge and “create” practice of that knowledge. This again, should give readers a better understanding of “new-science scientists” and where they get their garbage faux “knowledge” that they bring with them into the field.

NTL has worked hand in hand for years with the National Education Association (NEA), which is the largest teachers union today. In addition, Lippett and Bradford founded and ran the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), where one of its objectives was the promotion of illicit drugs into our culture. SPRU trained what today are known as “New-Science Scientists”. The purpose of their training was to implement “Future Shocks”, a tactic where crises are created for the purpose of “shocking” the masses into submission. What easier way to control and train the masses than through fear. We see it everyday…..well, at least those who can see.

Try to imagine how many new NTL trainees have infiltrated our society in the past 65 years. Scary isn’t it and again, NTL is only one small part of the big picture in the planned decline of the United States. I contend that probably by now every university and perhaps every school district in this country, along with local, state and federal governments have NTL, United Nations and other operatives working diligently to complete the change. Hundreds of thousands of “change agents” and we wonder what has happened to our wildlife biologists. Maybe it’s time to look around and ask what has happened to our lives, our heritage and our culture.

Part V will look at what one agency here in America is probably responsible for making sure our schools, television, entertainment, music, politics, etc. are carrying out their brainwashing schemes.


Dare We Speak of “The Demons Within” our Fish and Game Departments?

Below is a copy of a letter written by a man who has, over the recent years, become a very outspoken activist for the Idaho hunting, fishing and trapping community. Part of his focus is on weeding out the corruption that exists on the Board of Commissioners as well as within the fish and game department itself. And now, it appears that Mr. Rockholm has taken another step in his desire to weed out those who not only refuse to carry out the mission of the fish and game department, but work behind the scenes if necessary, against the mission of the fish and game department.

In this instance in Idaho, Rockholm fingered one man specifically, who, it was discovered, had gone on Facebook and advocated for pro wolf supporters to “shoot, shovel and shut up” private livestock legally being grazed on public lands. For those who may not know, “shoot, shovel and shut up” is a term that was used in describing the actions supposedly taken by some in dealing with federally protected gray wolves. The words speak for themselves.

Rhetoric is cheap and we all practice it to some degree. I have made comments in the past and I have read them and heard them from others, that our fish and game departments have been taken over by environmentalists and animal rights advocates, many of whom are supporters of predator protection and non consumptive wildlife management.

In this Idaho case, after the employee was offered early retirement because of his actions, he made it known on further Facebook postings that he no longer had to work quietly while on his job as a pro wolf, environmentalist activists and was ready to become openly active while at the same time fingering a fellow fish and game employee as being in the same predicament. Nice guy!

Even though Mr. Rockholm was told by the director of the fish and game department that the person in question was fired, he wasn’t. He was just offered an early retirement package. Which brings us to another point in the discussion about getting rid of fish and game employees who don’t work to fulfill the mission of the departments they work for. Easier said than done.

We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that these people are government employees and as such it makes it next to impossible to get rid of them, even if they are not doing their job – frustrating but true.

Many sportsmen advocate that fish and game work should be based on science and not on politics. While it should be, how do you suggest keeping politics out of it when more than likely the appointment to the head of the fish and game department is a political one?

As just another political department, it should be fish and game carries out the program guidelines set up between the governor and his selection to run the department. It then becomes the responsibility of the head of the fish and game, to bring his employees in line with the mission. If there are no alternatives for fish and game leaders to deal with non complying employees, then that is the fault of the state’s governmental structure and needs changing. And good luck with that.

This political crap runs in both directions through both parties and as such the employees need to be able to adapt accordingly. If they refuse to do their job or are found to be working against the mission of the department, proper disciplinary action should be allowed, not an easy out with early retirement.

There’s always been a difficult line as to what a government employee can and cannot do on their own time. I think it shouldn’t matter, so long as it is within the law. I’m not sure encouraging people in the destruction of other people’s lawful property isn’t taking things a bit too far.

No employee should be protected from being fired from their job for good reason.

And now, Scott Rockholm’s letter:

Idaho Fish No Game
The demons within

September 2012 was an enlightening month for those of us who keep an eye on Idaho Fish No Game. On 19 Sept 2012, I received notice of a IDFNG Senior Fisheries Tech prowling the internet, professing that the wolf loving / anti ranching activist’s should start killing cattle on public land grazing allotments. See screen shot of Ric Davidson’s comment.

After I was notified of this outrageous comment, I immediately called Director Moore. I also called the Fisheries Chief, Ed Schriever, and we had a brief discussion of the important nature of a Idaho Fish No Game employee advocating shooting private ranchers cattle, lawfully grazing their property on permitted allotments. Mr. Shriever and Mr. Moore assured me that the issue would be handled in a professional manner. I was called later that afternoon by Mr. Moore, who advised me that Ric Davidson was fired, or as he put it, “Mr. Davidson , as of this very moment, not a IDFNG employee any longer”. I thanked Virgil, and the conversation ended. Problem solved, and one more anti hunting/ anti ranching employee of the department was vetted. I assumed the problem was handled, but it appears no punishment was delivered at all. He was given an option to retire, and now he will collect even more of sportsmen’s dollars through retirement. This is absolutely unacceptable.

Within days of Ric Davidson’s firing, he was already on the world wide web, proclaiming his “Retirement” from the Department. This hate filled man, who had been sucking off of hunters hard earned dollars, is now revealing himself even more. He is now working with, or maybe had been working with all along, the Friends of the Clearwater. This organization couldn’t get more radical, and is charged with the same hate filled rhetoric that Ric Davidson has. Below is a screen shot, where he implicates himself working with this organization, while working for the Idaho Fish No Game, and he also implicates his supervisor, Sean Wilson. Look for yourself.

What we have here is an example of corruption from within. Many of our department employees are agenda driven people who hide behind the IDFNG logo. They drive department vehicles, and collect very good wages for enjoying a great job, in one of the nations treasures. These employees must be vetted, and removed from the payroll for good. A forensic audit of the department is in order, and the only means by which we can weed out the anti department bad apples. I ask the Idaho Legislature to consider a thorough and extensive audit of the Idaho Fish No Game, and the audit must be a independent forensic review that spans many years. There is no reason to have employees working for a department, with the goal of destroying it from within.

Scott Rockholm
Save Western Wildlife INC


If I Wanted To End Hunting, What Would I Do?

If I wanted to be the despot of the New World Order/One World Government, and one of the ways I believed imperative to control the people, those lovers of liberty, to achieve that goal, was to put an end to hunting, trapping and fishing, how would I do it?

In it’s most simplistic form, I would have to take away the tools used to kill game or take away the game. But seriously, who is going to sit quietly by while one day I decide it’s time to destroy and ban ownership of guns, bows and arrows, traps, fishing poles, etc.? So far that hasn’t happened although there are efforts underway to slowly undermine the manufacture and possession of certain of these tools. But just keep believing it’s “reasonable” restrictions. “Nothing to see here! Move on, please!”

And would we as a people revolt if, one day, we woke up and were told all game species are now protected and cannot be hunted, trapped or fished? Probably not as well, but what if it was all just a slow death? Would we even take notice?

I’m not sure how we can put a timeline together as to when it started but in my judgement the birth of environmentalism in the 1970s was the onset of the end of our hunting, trapping and fishing culture and heritage. No, we didn’t wake up one morning and discover we couldn’t hunt and fish. A slow erosion has forever stripped away the identity of our hunting and fishing culture and heritage and replaced it with a socialistic architecture; the result of a war waged at winning the public’s trust first, then a systematic, unnoticeable (by most), dismantling of not only our culture and heritage, but the science that crafted the foundation of a wildlife management scheme of which was the envy of the world.

If it isn’t enough that most of us slept through the 70s, 80s, 90s and the early 2000s, we not only remain asleep but some that have woken up enough to get a first cup of coffee into them, don’t realize they are still being duped and at the same time thinking they have put a stop to, or at least slowed down, the onslaught against hunting and fishing and trapping. Quick! Drink another cup of coffee or six.

I have a case in point, which I will be forthright in saying it is my opinion based on years of reading, research, discovery and history. I have always said a person has met his match when he walks into, let’s say someone’s office, to demand their way and walks out with a big smile on his face believing he has won his demand, not knowing he was further taken advantage of. Being taken advantage of comes from ignorance and naivete.

In the Northern Rocky Mountains region, the citizens there were lied to and miserably misrepresented by government as to the realities of gray wolf reintroduction. Some have called the actions by the United States Government, staff and certain non governmental agencies and staff, criminal in nature and in need of legal prosecution.

Regardless, gray wolves were dumped onto the landscape and the result, in my opinion, has been a disaster; not in the sense that wolves didn’t make a biological recovery, but for whatever the reasons one chooses to point a finger at, it has turned into a social nightmare and a biological imbalance of wildlife species in those areas where wolves have been allowed to run rampant. However, the perpetrators of the wolf introduction aren’t suddenly going to roll over and play dead.

There’s a better way for them. In the original plans, such as they were, there was talk that one day there might be enough wolves in the forest to offer a hunting season on them. By doing such, even though many of the useful idiots who don’t understand the despot’s plan, the varmint dog is elevated to an equal social icon as other “big game” animals, i.e. elk, deer, moose, big horn sheep, grizzlies, etc. Now that the species is elevated to something it should never have been allowed to, more protections are put on the creature and value that is contemptible.

That one day came around and to appease the “sportsmen”, a hunting, and yes, even a trapping season in some places, was offered; a complete placation to the sportsmen. This should have been seen as an insult, a mockery of the tried and esteemed “model” of game management, and instead was hailed by some sportsmen as a victory.

History has proven that you can’t manage the gray wolf like you do other game animals. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation utilizes the hunting of game species to control populations and a controlling of predators to protect the game species; the key word being “control”. If wolves and other large predators aren’t controlled in order to produce consumptive use, then there will result in no game left to hunt. Oh wait! Isn’t that my despotic plan?

Nearly four years ago I warned that the plans being formulated by fish and game institutions would have no effect on the wolf populations. Around about that same time, I did a five-part series on the historic difficulties by civilizations in many countries, including the United States, to control wolves.

The short of it is, having limited tool and resource hunting and trapping seasons is only going to make the sportsmen think they have gotten their way, when in fact their opportunities will slowly diminish to nothing. Is there a smile on your face? Is that satisfactory to you?

As I write, Idaho and Montana have had wolf hunting seasons. Wyoming and Wisconsin are planning them this fall, although Wyoming’s may not happen because of lawsuits (what else is new?).

As the evil despot that I am, I believe I have mitigated the angst of many of the sportsmen. This will allow me more time to do things like Idaho is doing; lining up environmentalists, animal rights groups, predator protectors, etc. who will funnel the money I channel to them – through worldwide agencies all opposed to consumptive wildlife use, land ownership, liberty and rights – to fund wildlife departments nationwide that have now all been brainwashed into believing my hogwash I injected into the education institutions many years before. My plan is in place, so deeply rooted you’ll never change it. You might slow it down here and there, so go back to sleep.

Not that I think there’s a lot that can be done anymore to stop this giant steamroller, but at least don’t be shot with a black bag over your head. Knowing who killed your culture and heritage must have some kind of redeeming value. Doesn’t it? Snore!


Gov. Otter Submits Alternate Sage Grouse Plan To Restrict Human Activity on 10 Million Acres of Idaho

*Editor’s Note* On the surface this may appear to be an article about attempts in Idaho and generally the Northern Rockies to save sage grouse. It is much, much more than that. Although this is a long read, I strongly encourage readers to wade through it. It contains all the elements that expose environmentalists’ agendas for it is.

Present here are the methods employed by environmentalists to achieve agendas, regardless of what science suggests, all in an effort to rid people of the landscape. In short, they just don’t want anyone using the resources God gave us nor are they interested in private ownership of land. This is an arm of the United Nations Agenda 21 plans for “sustainable development”, which can be defined as you ceding you rights and your right to own land and do with it what you wish.

Many outdoor sportsmen have had the wool pulled over their eyes and they think environmental organizations, sometime disguised as “conservation” groups are the friends of hunters, trappers and fishermen. Nothing can be further from truth. This article, written by my good friend George Dovel, who prides himself on accuracy in reporting, exemplifies the blatant hypocrisy that exists in that the only goals are to end hunting, access to land for recreation as well as such things as mining, etc.; somehow disguised as an attempt at saving the sage grouse.

As the author points out, this “plan” to save the sage grouse is a carbon copy of the “plan” to save the gray wolf and many other species. While science unequivocally shows the real cause of sage grouse decline, as is the same old claim repeated and repeated, “it’s loss of habitat, human presence and hunting by humans”. This tactic has been alive for years now and is going strong. Until sportsmen first are willing to admit this is a real issue and secondly learn to recognized and then not accept it, we can only expect further reductions in our opportunities to harvest game and take advantage of the resources we have. And that’s only the beginning.

Republished from The Outdoorsman with permission from the editor:

by George Dovel

After associates convinced me to begin publishing the current version of The Outdoorsman in March of 2004, the first 23 issues documented the change from state F&G agencies managing our wildlife resource – to many of them ignoring state laws and exploiting it. While still pretending to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage our valuable game and fish species, the only species they took any effective action to perpetuate were “native” predators and other non-hunted species and their parasites and diseases.

Five years ago I published Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 24, summarizing for readers, including Idaho’s state and federal lawmakers, exactly how our state Fish & Game management was hijacked by national and international extremists. That issue discussed so-called “nongame program funding” and explained how that was simply a phrase used to accomplish the transition from managing the game, fish and furbearers which benefit humans, to implementing the so-called Wildlands/biodiversity agenda promoted by the United Nations and various extremists.

We’ve Won a Few Battles but We’re Losing the War

Our publication of facts resulted in a few notable battles being won, including the Idaho Legislature’s defeat of TNC’s (The Nature Conservancy’s) effort to have taxpayers fund its acquisition of so-called “conservation easements”. Also, the National Rifle Association’s “Right to Hunt, Fish and Trap” language published in that 2007 issue will finally appear as a proposed Constitutional Amendment on Idaho’s November 2012 ballot.

But despite these minor setbacks for bureaucrats whose goal is destroying our rural way of life, our Western Governors have given them control of our ability to develop cheap energy and other benefits from our public lands. It is represented as the states controlling their own destiny but, nothing could be further from the truth.

Back when USFWS invited the three Northern Rocky Mountain states to participate in wolf recovery and submit their own plans for how this would be done in each state, the Idaho Legislature created a Wolf Oversight Committee. It told IDFG to provide accurate information and said the plan must preserve local customs and culture.

Instead, IDFG statisticians grossly exaggerated the number of prey animals available for wolves, and a majority of the Oversight Committee members allowed Biologist Jon Rachael to simply copy the FWS Wolf Plan. That included its extreme penalties for anyone who killed or harassed a wolf without proof it was in the act of killing livestock. Efforts by Boise County Commissioners to include the right to protect domestic livestock and dogs on private land in the Plan were publicly ridiculed.

History is Simply Repeating Itself

Now, nearly two decades later, a similar committee (“Sage-Grouse Task Force”) was appointed by Idaho’s Governor, and co-chaired by Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore and Otter’s legal counsel. The Task Force was supposed to rewrite a federal plan to prevent the sage grouse from possibly being listed as a threatened species in 2015, while protecting existing rights of Idaho citizens.

But like the former Wolf Oversight Committee, Gov. Otter’s Task Force submitted a condensed form of the federal “Dec. 21, 2012 Sage Grouse Conservation Plan” to Gov. Otter on June 15, 2012. Apparently virtually copied from Wyoming’s “amended” federal plan, it restricts new human activity and implies more grouse leks* should be counted and more money spent on habitat projects.
(* assembly areas for male grouse display and courtship)

Before we discuss the draft plan that Otter prepared for the feds on June 29, 2012, let’s examine IDFG records to see if the fed’s solutions produced more grouse:

Lek Total Grouse Birds Per
Year Count Hunters Harvest Hunter
1986 178 11,200 37,900 3.4
1996 387 12,000 21,000 1.8
2006 660 8,900 12,500 1.4

Earlier Idaho Sage Grouse plans written in 1997 and 2006: (a) put restrictions on new human activity; (b) increased the number of leks counted every year; and (c) increased federal funding for IDFG grouse surveys and other projects. But the continuing decline in the number of sage grouse harvested by hunters in Idaho and other states is proof that none of these solutions have worked.

Sage grouse, as their name implies, normally rely on some types of sagebrush to exist. If half of the sagebrush in the 11 states with sage grouse populations has been converted to grassland or other agricultural use, or else destroyed by fire, it is reasonable to assume that the remaining acres should support up to half as many sage grouse as it previously may have been capable of.

But once their population declines, whether from excessive harvest by humans or other causes, the decrease in grouse does not cause a decrease in the number of many of their primary predators. This is especially true of nest predators such as ravens, crows and magpies – which rely on many other food sources for their survival.

A Comparison with Elk and Bears

Outdoorsman readers are aware that both black and grizzly bears are a major predator of neonatal (newborn) elk calves. When the ratio of bears to elk was low, the elk herds in Idaho’s Clearwater Region remained healthy.

But when IDFG biologists allowed hunters to kill too many elk, the same number of bears kept killing the same number of newborn elk. Because there were now too few adult elk left to produce enough calves to feed the bears, plus enough surviving calves to replace adults that died, the once-famous elk herd now remains in a non-productive unhealthy predator pit.

Seventeen years of protected wolves added to the bears, cougar and lesser predators impacting the Clearwater elk herd has virtually destroyed world-famous elk units that provided almost half of Idaho’s annual elk harvest for half a century. A very similar scenario is playing out in the 11 states that still have populations of sage grouse – but refuse to control their predators.

Every wildlife biologist with any involvement in sage grouse is aware that excessive predation is the primary cause of the grouse decline. And virtually all of the recent research indicates that raven populations have increased by 600% in the U.S. during the past 25 years, with increases of up to 1600% in parts of the West.

NDOW Claims Its P-R Funded Study Was Flawed

When I read the research report published on July 25, 2008 by Idaho State University Assistant Professor Dr. David Delehanty and former graduate student Dr. Peter Coates (see at http://www2.isu.edu/headlines/?p=1308), I felt this was finally a quality of research that no wildlife manager could ignore or excuse* away. I was wrong.
(* In sage grouse mortality study W-48-R-21 by NV. Dept. of Wildlife in 1988, NDOW put 7 brown chicken eggs in each of 200 simulated grouse nests in two study areas in Washoe County, and on a ranch in Elko County. Predators ate 100% of the Washoe County eggs in two weeks and destroyed 84% of the nests in 3 days. NDOW now claims the study proved nothing because the nests were artificial.)

The ISU researchers reported that sage grouse left their nest for about 25 minutes to get water and feed each morning near dawn, and again each evening at dusk. Taking advantage of the hen’s brief absence in the morning, they concealed miniature camouflaged infrared video cameras focused on the nest area to record every predator of the eggs and young chicks around the clock.

Pre-nesting hens were captured at night using a flashlight, and fitted with radio collars in order to follow their movements and locate the nests they built later (see video image inset).

Other researchers had claimed ravens, badgers and ground squirrels were primary sage grouse nest predators. But despite frequent nest visits by the ground squirrels, they were never able to bite through the large eggs.

The cameras confirmed that small bits of eggshells found in ground squirrel droppings by earlier researchers resulted from their eating pieces of shells, a source of calcium, after a real predator had destroyed the shell in the nest and eaten its contents.

The researchers used video monitoring at 55 of the 87 nests they regularly observed from 2002-2005. Ravens committed slightly more than half of the total predation at nests, with badger predation running a close second.

Video frame photo of Raven eating eggs in Sage Grouse nest in NE Nevada.

In 2010 a more complete and updated version of their study was published in the Journal of Wildlife
Management. But as with their study published earlier, their recommendation remained the same:

“We encourage wildlife managers to reduce interactions between ravens and nesting sage-grouse by managing raven populations and restoring and maintaining shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas.”(emphasis added)

“Managing” ravens or other primary nest predators means reducing their population to a number that will
allow enough surviving sage grouse chicks to halt the decline and restore the populations. The Coates/Delehanty research included getting USDA APHIS Wildlife Services to distribute 10,500 chicken eggs laced with poison at the southernmost of their four research areas (see below).

Coates and Delehanty sage-grouse study sites in NE Nevada during 2002–2005, based on lek complexes separated by distances of more than 12 miles. Ravens were poisoned at southernmost site by USDA-WS. Note landfill near Jackpot.

Similar raven control in both Nevada and other states had similar success increasing young sage grouse survival. In a 1981 Idaho Study by Autenrieth, raven predation was also the major cause of nest failure.

And once raven control was initiated, 51% of nests survived compared to only six percent in the study area with no raven control. Although controlling ravens and other major nest scavengers is the logical solution to increase young sage grouse survival, nest predators are not mentioned in the FWS Greater Sage Grouse Fact Sheets.

Its 2006 Sheet discusses 35 Army installations and numerous National Guard facilities that fall within the sage grouse areas. It boasts about how the Yakima Training Center developed a greater sage grouse conservation plan which included translocating birds to diversify the gene pool, maintaining high quality habitat, and reducing the threat from fire and predation (by altering habitat).

Military Bases Spend $Millions on Sage Grouse

Among its report of the expensive conservation measures being implemented by these various military bases, it says Idaho’s Mountain Home AFB has been working on sage grouse conservation since 1996, including research, habitat mapping, grouse surveys and avoidance protocol. It describes how it trained ground emitter crews to report sighting of the species, sagebrush habitat and invasive weeds and how it restricts human access to nesting sites during the breeding and nesting seasons.

This one air base spent more than $3 million just on sage grouse from 1998-2004. These costs plus the helicopter grouse surveys, restoring native plants, getting rid of invasive plants and weeds, etc. at all of the military bases that are involved amounts to millions of taxpayer dollars spent by DOD every year on the failed effort to halt the sage grouse decline.

FWS: Restrict Human Activity – Ignore Predators

The next FWS “Greater Sage Grouse Fact Sheet”, published in 2011, fails to mention that military efforts to transplant sage grouse successfully were a dismal failure. Ongoing military activities are not even mentioned and the “threats” section reflects the “restrict new human development” agenda that is now dictated by each state’s wildlife management agency as follows:

“A sage brush community may take years to recover from disturbance and some range management practices. Greater sage-grouse populations are negatively affected by energy development activities (primarily oil, gas, and coal-bed methane); especially those that degrade important sagebrush habitat, even when mitigative measures are implemented. Impacts can result from direct habitat loss, fragmentation of important habitats by roads, pipelines and power lines, and direct human disturbance. The negative effects of energy development often add to the impacts from other human development, resulting in declines in greater sage-grouse populations. Other important factors in the species’ decline include fire and invasive plant species.”(emphasis added)

Otter’s Plan Ignores Predation as a Threat

Gov. Otter’s 52-page June 29, 2012 Sage Grouse Plan says it supplements and in some cases replaces the (358-page) 2006 Idaho Plan. It continues, “For activities not addressed by this planning effort, including predation issues, the 2006 State Plan and LWG (local working group) plans will continue to be operative.”

It goes on to explain that regulatory mechanisms in this plan “address primary threats (i.e. large infrastructure and energy development, wildfire, and invasive species) and secondary threats ( i.e. livestock grazing management issues, West Nile virus, recreation, and livestock infrastructure.)” Those are exactly the threats FWS told the state governors to address, with no mention of predation as a threat to sage grouse survival.

In preparing its 2006 Plan, the Idaho Sage Grouse Advisory Committee listed predation as only a very minor threat to sage grouse survival – number 12 in a declining order of ranked threats! And the biologists’ solution to sage grouse predation by ravens, crows and magpies is to eliminate their food sources provided by humans.

Although covering landfills, trash collection sites and sewage treatment facilities, and providing personnel and vehicles to dispose of road-kills might sound attractive, it ignores the tons of agricultural crop residue that is still available to ravens during a normal winter. Although large numbers of ravens and crows congregate at garbage dump landfills, especially during deep snow winters, they are also well-equipped to scavenge the wild creatures elsewhere that succumb to malnutrition.

LWGs Find It Easier to Repeat the Myth, “Control of Predators Is Not Necessary to Restore Sage Grouse.”

The 2006 Plan includes three pages of biological questions that must be answered before a decision is rendered to attempt limited short-term predator control. Two of those questions require three years of research and record keeping to get answers, and then there are habitat and infrastructure requirements and specific criteria that must be met before they ask IDFG to request control.

But One Utah LWG Dealt in Facts – Not Myths

During a March 2007 Predator Workshop held in Portland, Oregon, Baxter et al presented the results of an eight year study confirming that red fox predation was driving Utah’s Strawberry Valley sage grouse to extinction. They reported that the grouse population decreased from 3,000-4,000 in 1939 (Griner 1939) to only 150 in 2000 – the third year of the study.

Beginning in 1999, after fox predation was confirmed as a major cause of recent sage grouse decline, USDA-Wildlife Services specialists combined aerial gunning and on-the-ground fox control. In 2001-2002, fixed wing and helicopter gunner flights easily located active fox dens by noting dirt on top of the snow, and then placed an ESA-approved gas cartridge in each active den to kill the foxes.

For all of 2003 through 2005 they added control of coyotes, badgers and skunks, and used aerial gunning, gassing dens, site-specific shooting and trapping, plus weekly poison egg baits to kill magpies, crows and ravens. Ground hunting and gassing dens by volunteers was also used to remove and disrupt breeding of resident red foxes throughout the study area.

Trapping and Transplanting Triples Grouse Numbers

While this intensive predator control was taking place, Utah FWP submitted a plan to transplant sage grouse with the same characteristics and DNA to the Strawberry Valley from five different locations. This prevented the inbreeding and poor reproduction that destroyed the declining pygmy rabbit population in Washington, and also prevented shortages in the several source populations.

And the intensive predator control prevented the poor survival that otherwise occurs when any prey species is relocated in a new environment without first controlling its predators. Thanks to excellent chick survival, 30 months after the first transplant, the declining Strawberry sage grouse population had tripled!

One of two signs erected by the Strawberry Valley LWG to caution those who recreate in the area not to disturb the sage grouse.

The sign shown above states, “Current population numbers have increased through reintroduction efforts and effective habitat restoration and predator management.” It is important to remember that none of the dozens of expensive habitat and infrastructure recommendations in all of the sage grouse plans were considered relevant by the Strawberry LWG members until after several years of predator control and the transplanted grouse had reversed the grouse decline.

Over $1,000 Spent For Each Grouse Harvested

The millions of dollars spent annually by the military on these recommended corrective measures is just the “tip of the iceberg”. For example, Wyoming appropriated an average of a million dollars annually for six years to implement former Governor Freudenthal’s Core Area Sage Grouse Plan and has appropriated over $35 million since 2005 for wildlife projects – with 40% of that used to purchase conservation easements.

Those easements, which prevent portions of large ranches from being subdivided or developed, receive a 3-to-1 match from hunter’s federal excise taxes and other sources. In 2010, one of those other sources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, provided $20 million for Wyoming conservation easements and another $17 million to fund Wyoming Sage Grouse Core Area projects.

In Feb. of 2012, Wyoming Gov. Mead reported that expenditures from the state-appropriated trust fund and matching funds have totaled $200 Million spent on the ground since 2005. If you add sage grouse funding from the BLM, USFS and the many other sources mentioned in this article, and divide the average annual funding by the number of sage grouse killed by hunters, you will see that Wyoming is spending one or several thousand dollars for each sage grouse that is harvested!

Failure to Control Predators Has Decimated Wyoming’s Once Famous Sage Grouse Harvests

Although Wyoming’s reported 2011 harvest of 10,120 sage grouse is almost exactly the average 10,140 birds harvested during the preceding 10 years, it is an 88% decline from the 1980 harvest of 85,254 grouse! Sage grouse numbers had peaked between the 1930s-1960s and the total decline becomes more severe in each new decade.

In 1990 hunters in Wyoming killed only 41,786 sage grouse and that was also when the IAFWA, the State biologists’ lobbying group in Washington, D.C., declared that hunting had been replaced with non-consumptive wildlife recreation as the State Agencies’ top priority. In 2000, one year after a December 2, 1999 Sublette County Journal article titled “Are Sage Grouse the Next Spotted Owl?” the number harvested had dropped to 20,685.

The “Spotted Owl” article pointed out that biologists’ research indicated the need to control nest predators. But two lengthy rebuttal articles by Wyoming sage grouse biologists were also published, including the following comment:

“Although predators are the agent responsible for the majority of nest failures, the ultimate cause probably relates to habitat inadequacies, and not overall predator numbers. Sage grouse nesting habitat is characterized by dense sagebrush patches, with hatching success hinging on a healthy residual and forb herbaceous understory.” (emphasis added)

The current state alternate sage grouse plans similarly claim that lack of habitat is the “real” problem in most areas. Yet they offer not one shred of evidence to substantiate the unsupported opinion that manipulating the habitat will halt or significantly reduce the nest predation.

But the Coates video-camera research in Nevada found that, regardless of nest cover, the addition of each extra raven in a nesting area substantially increased the odds of predation and nest destruction. It also found that leaving a grass and/or forb understory at the nest site, resulted in increased predation by badgers and other four-legged predators, and also radically increased the potential spread of destructive wildfire.

Feds, NGOs Lack Authority to Manage Sage Grouse

It is important to remember that all three of Idaho’s state sage grouse plans – 1997, 2006 and 2012 – were written by committees that included people whose goal was to lock up rural land in core areas and wildlife corridors. But neither the federal participants nor the non governmental organizations (NGOs) have any authority to dictate how the states manage their wildlife unless/until that wildlife is listed as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA.

So Why Aren’t the Governors’ Plans Trying to Restore Sage Grouse by Controlling Excessive Predators?

In his Feb. 2012 State of the State address, WY Gov. Mead boasted that the $200 million in trust fund expenditures created about 500 new jobs per year and paid a total of $21 million in labor earnings since 2006. Most of the $200 million spent was state or federal income taxes or federal excise taxes paid by hunters so receiving only a $21 million return (benefit) would seem to be a poor investment for those who paid the taxes.

Despite Wyoming’s use of the fed’s recommended tools to rebuild its sage grouse population since 1996, the harvest has declined another 23%. During that same 16 years, the harvest in Idaho has declined from 21,000 in 1996 to only 2,144 in 2011 – a decrease of 90%!

For cynical readers who feel I may have cherry-picked the 1996 date to make Idaho look bad, Idaho’s 1990 sage grouse harvest was 55,800 which means the 2011 harvest of 2,144 reflected a decline of 96%! Yet on page 1 of his June 29, 2012 “Alternative Plan for Sage Grouse Management in Idaho,” Gov. Otter wrote:

“Idaho currently enjoys viable and widespread populations of sage-grouse.”

But on page 23 his plan states, “Due to the fact that sage-grouse can move across large areas during the year, IDFG is unable to precisely calibrate the State’s population or the minimum viable population.” (emphasis added).

Yet at “4.3.12 Predation” in Idaho’s 2006 plan, which is part of Gov. Otter’s 2012 plan, it states:

“Some believe sage-grouse declines coincided with the abandonment of broad-scale predator control efforts in the 1970s. During the post-1986 timeframe, however, sage-grouse populations overall stabilized, and in some instances increased.”

Yet the annual harvests published by IDFG below indicate that exactly the opposite occurred overall:

Period Total Total Avg Annual
Years Harvest Harvest
1987-1995 9 350,200 38,911
1996-2005* 9* 92,600 10,289
2006-2011 6 38,536 6,423
(* 2003 missing)

Although the season length was changed from 30 days to seven days in 1996 due to declining birds, the harvest still averaged 18,167 for three more years before it began to nose dive. In 2008 and 2009 biologists increased the season to 23 days and doubled the bag limit but it did not attract more of the hunters who knew the chance for harvesting even one sage grouse was poor.

The 2010 harvest was reported as 4,052 for 3,539 hunters and the 2011 harvest was 2,144 for 2,715 hunters. This was a new record low season harvest and also a record low for the number of birds harvested per hunter.

Idaho’s seven-day 2012 sage grouse season may be moved back to September to attract more hunters. The earlier season allows hunters to recognize juvenile grouse, which are preferred for eating, and makes it easier to kill hens and juveniles before they scatter in October.

Male Counts at Leks Don’t Guarantee Recovery

The message in Gov. Otter’s new plan that IDFG is not able to accurately estimate sage grouse populations or accurately calculate a minimum viable population is being repeated by other states. Despite an Idaho judge claiming the total population in the 11-state area is somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000, none of the state plans make any effort to accurately estimate the number in their state.

Instead they count just the number of males that are presumably “booming” at the active leks they find and count. Then they use those numbers over each three-year period to see whether one or both of the counts declined by more than 10% compared to the 2009-2011 counts.

There are obvious discrepancies built into this system. Not the least of these is the fact that the 2009-11 male/lek counts supposedly indicated a stable sage grouse population, yet the three years of declining harvests are the second lowest, the lowest, and a new record low harvest.

Would it be reliable to use the number of bugling bull elk counted to estimate the total number of bulls and cows, and the calves that survive predation? Of course not! Yet the plans are more concerned with imposing extreme restrictions on human activity than they are with restoring healthy viable sage grouse populations.

Feds, Judge, NGOs Create Another “Spotted Owl”

Beginning five years ago, Outdoorsman Bulletins 24, 29, 41 and 47 documented how 400 state wildlife
information specialists attending the FWS/TNC school in West Virginia were taught to spread misnformation about nongame wildlife. The state agencies were then provided with propaganda kits to help them convince the 49 state governors and the States’ congressional delegations they must work together with federal agencies and NGOs (e.g. TNC and The Wildlands Network) to regulate wildlife habitat, energy and water development and all other human activities on public lands.

In February of 2007 the Western Governors Assn. adopted “Protecting Wildlife Mitigation Corridors and Crucial Wildlife Habitat in the West.” In June of 2008, WGA approved its “Wildlife Corridors Initiative” using the TNC/WCI “Spine of the Continent” Wildlands map to illustrate proposed Core Areas and Wildlife Corridors.

That map implied a significant portion of Idaho would be designated as sage grouse core areas, and the 19 governors in the WGA were directed to involve their state wildlife agencies in every phase of the plan. IDFG and MTFW&P recently completed their multi-state boundary of that portion of Idaho and Montana set aside to protect bears, wolves and mountain lions, and the following FWS map illustrates the sage grouse areas in the 11 states used as a guide in mapping each state’s core areas:

March 25, 2011 USFWS map indicating their current and historic sage grouse ranges in the 11 states and two Canadian provinces.

Litigation That Supposedly Forced State Plans

In 2004 FWS said the sage grouse would not be listed under the ESA, but in 2007, Boise Federal District
Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill said FWS should reconsider its decision because he said it was “based on politics rather than science.” In 2010 FWS said the sage grouse should be listed as “threatened” but did not list it because too many other species had a higher listing priority.

FWS also said there was inadequate protection in the federal rules to protect the grouse from wildfires, cattle grazing, etc., and gave the BLM and the states until 2015 to come up with strict preventative measures that would be implemented if certain criteria were not met. In a series of lawsuits filed by three activist groups headed by “Western Watersheds”, Winmill approved this FWS action.

In yet another ruling on Feb. 7, 2012, resulting from a Western Watersheds lawsuit against the BLM,
Winmill ordered the BLM to immediately place the needs of sage grouse above the needs of cattlemen. At issue were five recently renewed grazing permits, which the Plaintiff charged and Winmill agreed, failed to properly address all potential impacts on Sage Grouse.

The Wyoming and Idaho Sage Grouse Plans plainly state that their primary goal is to prevent the bird from being listed by FWS in 2015, with a secondary goal of protecting sagebrush habitat for the grouse. Instead of proposing solutions that will halt the grouse decline, they both propose providing an understory in nesting areas that guarantees uncontrolled spread of wildfire and increased predation by 4-legged predators.

Otter’s requirement to limit the spread of wildfires to either 1,000 or 2,000 acres is ludicrous to Idahoans who have seen 933,000 acres already burned this summer – with 42 wildfires still active. One fire between Twin Falls and Oakley started three weeks ago, is still only “10% contained”, and wiped out a significant portion of the “Core” and “Important” Habitat Zones before most of the firefighting equipment even arrived.

The fact that sage grouse and all other game species were flourishing when predators were controlled and vast herds of livestock grazed off the understory, is ignored by extremists who want to severely curtail or eliminate almost every human use of the 10 million acres in Idaho. The Idaho plan bears a remarkable resemblance to the Idaho Wolf Plan copied by IDFG nearly two decades ago – except F&G was doing everything secretly and illegally then – whereas now they have legally been put in charge of the destruction by our Governor.

Would Interior Dept. Approve Existing Practices?

Wyoming’s plan would exempt current grazing and oil and mineral extraction and Idaho’s plan would exempt current grazing and other practices, but the BLM and Judge Winmill have just halted the grazing exemption in both Idaho and Wyoming. Several Idaho members of Otter’s Sage Grouse Task Force recommended changing a Core Habitat Zone (CHZ) in Washington and Adams County to a General Habitat Zone (GHZ) so that it is not part of the 10 million acres but, like the grazing exemption, how long will that last?

The few who hopefully still respect the welfare of at least some of their constituents seem to ignore the reality that they have promoted the anti-predator control, anti-resource user plan of their state fish and Game agency, the federal agencies and their radical NGO supporters. What guarantee does Otter have that the federal bureaucrats will honor their promises?

And if they do, and even if environmental activist Judge Winmill decides to reverse his 2012 ruling and approve the plans that disagree with that ruling, what will stop the next environmental activist from filing another legal action based on the fact that sage grouse populations are known to still be declining?

“The Dark Ages of Wildlife Management?”

Most of the bureaucrats who claim to support the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation weren’t even born when sportsmen and wildlife managers rebuilt our wild game resource. Those who have researched the remarkable feat even slightly, know that controlling predators to allow their prey species to recover was the primary biological tool that was used.

Yet many of the academic and agency wildlife biologists I have discussed this recovery with tell me that period was the “dark ages of wildlife management.” They repeat the well worn excuse that the “predator and prey evolved together for 10,000 years” and say they consider it “barbaric” to kill one species to benefit another.

The reality is that many Idaho sage grouse and mule deer populations had recovered so much by the mid-1930s that the federal agencies reported tens of thousands in some areas where there are now only a few hundred. Livestock grazing limited the size of many wildfires and facilitated the forage growth required by these species.

But by the late 1960s and early 70s the overharvest of virtually every game species was taking its toll. Protection of predators compounded the problem and it took until the late 1980s to partially restore these species.

In the early 1990s most wildlife managers endorsed a “hands off” philosophy of game management, now called “ecosystem management”. They continued to protect predators and non-game species and continued to exploit the game species in Idaho, including sage grouse.

Idaho hunters are now paying much more to harvest a fraction of the mule deer and upland bids they did then. Yet these destroyers of our wild game, who should be charged with criminal negligence for the loss of our billion-dollar wildlife resource, have been put in charge of restoring sage grouse and regulating all human activity in the Mexico-to-Alaska wildlands system they helped create.

Otter Plan Includes 149 Conservation Measures

Instead of endorsing legitimate biological tools that will restore sage grouse populations, Gov. Otter’s Plan offers 149 “Band-aid” conservation measures rather than admit that predator control is necessary in some areas. Washington County, Idaho approved a comprehensive plan which protects sage grouse leks from excessive noise.

If these measures designed to please environmental activists at your expense are disturbing, I suggest you read “Sage Grouse – Son of Spotted Owl” in the Summer 2012 issue of Range Magazine. It can also be downloaded at: http://www.rangemagazine.com/specialreports/ range-su12

The second of seven articles addressing Sage Grouse includes an estimate of between 350,000-535,000 sage grouse in the 11 states and the author asks the question, “Is that endangered?”

On the following pages, an article titled, “Ravens and Sage Grouse” by former Nevada State Assemblyman Ira Hansen addresses the problem of sage grouse predation in Nevada. The article prompted a public response by NDOW Director Ken Mayer who said he will not take the time to increase grouse populations because he is too busy working to keep the bird from being listed.


DNA Studies – Smaller Native Wolves Existed in Northern Rockies before Canadian Wolf Transplant

By George Dovel (Republished with Permission)

In the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 26, the lead articled titled, “What They Didn’t Tell You about Wolf Recovery,” described the ongoing deception by federal and state biologists in their scheme to fill rural areas in the lower 48 states with wolves.

The article referred to 20 years of Dept. of Interior Solicitors (lawyers) changing the number of N. American wolf subspecies covered in the Endangered Species Act from 24, finally to two and back to four – and then to any or all wolves called “gray wolves” or “Canis lupus”. Then it told how FWS reclassified ESA-listed wolves as members of two “Distinct Population Segments”, which it later changed to three until a federal judge denounced the obvious attempt to circumvent the ESA.

The ongoing debate between wildlife scientists who classify species, concerns whether subspecies of elk (red deer), North American bison, grey wolves, etc., exist. Bona fide expert taxonomists include Dr. Valerius Geist who points out that changes in location, habitat, size and appearance alone do not necessarily change the genetic make-up to qualify an animal as a separate sub-specie.

However the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf subspecies – C. l. Irremotus – was documented by physical comparisons of skulls, etc., from larger wolves in 1959:

Page 2 of the 146-page FWS Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan dated August 3, 1987, contains the map showing the historical distribution of Canis lupus Irremotus in the lower 48 states, plus the 1987 distribution in black. It depicts immigration of Irremotus from southern British Columbia into Idaho and from B.C. or southern Alberta into the northwest corner of Montana.

It also shows the two 1987 Irremotus population areas in central Idaho, one of which included the three wolf pack territories mapped by Tim Kimmery between 1988 and 1991 (see Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 35).

Historical Impact on Wolf Subspecies

During the most recent (Pleistocene) ice age, water evaporating from the oceans became part of the glacial ice covering the land. Ocean levels dropped 300 feet or more and the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska dried up.
The exposed land bridge with little snow, later named Beringia, became a refuge for hardy Siberian animals and plants for several thousand years (see below).

Many scientists believe Beringia included a small human population from Siberia that was prevented from continuing into North America for 5,000 years by the North American ice sheets. Geologists report these continental ice sheets were 5,000-10,000 feet in depth and extended south in some places to the 40th Parallel below what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

The artists’ three views of Beringia published by “Wikipedia” illustrate the changes that have occurred in the “Bering Land Bridge” during the last 18,000 years. But there is still disagreement among biologists about when, where and how several current mammal species first arrived on the North American Continent.

Subspecies Had Limited Opportunity to Crossbreed

Since 1995 a number of wildlife biologists have accepted the determination by Nowak that five subspecies of gray wolf (Canus lupus) inhabited North America during the early 20th Century. There is also agreement that Canis lupus occidentalis (the large gray wolf transplanted to Yellowstone and Central Idaho by FWS in 1995) had virtually no opportunity to influence the genetic make-up of coastal wolves in SE Alaska and Yukon and portions of five other Canadian Provinces where it existed.

For thousands of years the ice between interior Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia and the coastal area prevented the occidentalis wolves from mixing with the smaller wolves defined as C. lupis ligoni by Goldman in 1944. And the intensive efforts to kill all wolves in the early 1900s also left few of the large wolves alive in most areas where they might have mixed with the native wolves.

The map below in the study titled, “Legacy Lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated U.S. gray wolves (Canis lupis),” published by Leonard et al in the 2005 Vol. 14 issue of Molecular Ecology, shows the five primary subspecies that existed in the early 1900s. The bold black line indicates the northern limit of gray wolf eradication that occurred in the 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

In 1995, C.l. nubilus, the primary subspecies common in the U.S. and Canada mainland included ligoni from the west coast of Canada, irremotus from the Northern Rocky Mountains and labradorius from Labrador. The “a” to “z” letters scattered on the map represent original locations of the various museum specimens whose DNA were recorded in the study.

A similar study titled, “Phylogeography of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Pacific Northwest”, by Weckworth et al (published in the 2010 (2) issue of the Journal of Mammology) used basically the same map, along with an expanded inset to illustrate locations of testing for the genetic difference between the smaller coastal wolves and the 30% larger occidentalis wolves from the Alaska and Yukon interiors.

Both of these DNA studies emphasize that the nubilus wolves migrated northward to populate Canada as the ice sheets and glaciers melted. They point out that the smaller wolves existed in the south before the larger wolves migrated into northern Canada, and the Weckworth study suggests the coastal wolves should be listed as a separate individual subspecies.

Court Allows Transplants – Then Orders Removal

Readers who actively opposed the FWS option to import Canadian wolves may recall the following events:
In 1994 the Farm Bureau, Audubon Society and other plaintiffs asked the Wyoming Federal District Court to halt wolf introduction because it could not legally occur where naturally occurring wolves already existed per the 10J Rule. But instead of issuing an injunction to halt the process while the arguments were presented, Judge Downes allowed FWS to go ahead and transplant Canadian wolves into Central Idaho and Yellowstone Park for three years until he issued his ruling in December of 1997.

Then after setting aside the final wolf introduction rules as unlawful, Judge Downes ordered FWS to remove all Canadian wolves and their progeny from both experimental population areas. This ruling was met with loud criticism by the wolf activists, including the state and federal wildlife agencies who apparently believed they could get by with ignoring both state and federal laws when it suited their agenda.

Judge “Passes the Buck” to Appeals Court

They quickly pointed out that it would not be possible to even locate most of the wolves – much less capture them. But even if that were possible, both Canadian Provinces refused to allow the wolves to return and there were not enough zoos willing to accept several hundred wild wolves so killing most was the only option.

Judge Downes could have prevented this disaster from occurring by simply putting wolf introduction on hold three years earlier until his decision was reached. But the second time he did essentially the same thing by later staying execution of his removal order pending an appeals decision by the 10th Circuit Court.

On January 13, 2000, five years after the first large Canadian wolves were introduced, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the December 1998 Wyoming District Court ruling that the reintroduction program was unlawful and should be revoked. The appeals court admitted that the evidence showed native irremotus wolves already existed when the larger Canadian wolves were introduced, but said FWS had the authority to determine what constituted a population.
The fact that the resident wolves coexisted with abundant big game populations and with negligible impact on livestock and human activity was already a matter of record in 1994. But on August 12, 1994, FWS Wolf Leader Ed Bangs sent a letter to Charles Lobdell telling him to stop issuing statements to the public advising that the number of reported resident wolves was increasing.

Bangs’ letter advised that FWS planned to introduce wolves from Canada and said: “From this day forward…confirmed wolf activity (will only include) individual wolves or members of packs that have been examined, radio-collared and monitored in the wild.” He also said he had transferred $9,000 to the FWS Boise Field Office to search for wolves and organize flights to locate any radio-collared wolves that might be in Idaho or the Yellowstone area during the summer and fall.

Bangs also included key issues to be presented to the public consistently by FWS:
“1. (I)t is likely that wolf populations would ultimately recover without reintroduction and breeding pairs of wolves would likely occur in Idaho before they would occur (in) Yellowstone.

4. Experimental populations will not knowingly contain a significant portion of the territory of any naturally occurring breeding pair that has successfully raised young. However once wolves are released all wolves in the area will be treated as experimental animals.”

Despite reported wolf sightings by more then 120 outfitters, trappers and others in less than two months, most in the same location where Kemery mapped three wolf pack areas from 1988-1991, and despite the USFS road closure to protect existing wolves (see Bulletin 35), Bangs dumped Canadian wolves halfway between the two known native wolf locations guaranteeing their extermination.

In February of 2012, I forwarded the Weckworth DNA study, without comment, to Dr. Valerius Geist. The following was his reply:

“Thank you, George, I have seen this study. To me it suggests that there was indeed a remnant of native wolves in Idaho that were finally done away with by introduced wolves from Canada. The native wolves would have been of the same clad as the coastal wolves. Anyway, that’s testable since some museum specimens of native Idaho wolves are still available for genetic analysis. However, somebody competent and trustworthy needs to do it. Cheers, Val Geist.”


Editorial Calls For Non Professional Wolf Managers to Butt Out and Shut Up

*Editor’s Comment* On May 18, 2012, in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, newspaper staff crafted an editorial in which they basically said that unless you are a paid professional wolf expert, people should mind their own business and stay out of concerns over control and management of the wild canines. Retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, Jim Beers, rebuts that editorial and is found below.


The following editorial from an urban Montana paper nicely encapsulates the arrogance of power being enjoyed by those that revel in subjugating others to their will, no matter the harm they create. The distortions it fosters are criminal and indicate that reason and appeals to civil discourse or to Constitutional guidance to such (per Lenin) useful idiots are as futile as explaining why increasing government debt is a similar recipe for disaster to a third generation welfare recipient.

Here is my answer to this editor:

1. So, “Let’s face facts: Wolves are going to be part of the Montana landscape from here on out. There will never be the national stomach to extinguish the species from the region for a second time.

Then, when “the national stomach” wants authority over all Montana “waters”, Montanans should go into their homes and listen to the radio about what they are to be allowed to do henceforth? When the UN (the “international stomach”) says Montanans should not possess guns, Montanans and other Americans should quietly turn in their guns and carry cellphones with 911 on quick dial (does FWP respond to 911?). Then, when the state “stomach” leaves the state and crawls into the sack with the “national stomach” and “international stomachs” we should all plan a “shower” for any issue therefrom?

Local communities bear the brunt of the wolf debacle. Local citizens are being harmed and in the absence of either protection from their state government or federal acknowledgement of their #1, Constitutional charge, i.e. “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare”: then by God Local citizens working with their Local government will return “domestic Tranquility” and general Welfare” to THEIR Local community. Let the “national stomach” take a gelusil or ex lax.

2. So, “State game managers are the most knowledgeable and best positioned to manage the wolves effectively.” Really?

The presence, distribution, and “management” of wolves, or any other high-impact wild animal is first and foremost a decision to be made and supported by those citizens and communities AFFECTED by such decisions. “State game managers” are charged to advise and implement the parameters of Local decisions from elimination of wolves to densities not seen since Russians were denied weapons by their dictators or Czars (and everything in between. Saying that “State game managers” should make such decisions is putting the cart before the horse. G.K. Chesterton said it best 103 years ago, “Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone man must tell us what to say”.

3. So, “Gallatin County commissioners may feel the need to act on pressure from constituents and call for a meeting with state wolf biologists. If so, the commissioners should listen politely, voice their concerns and then let the wildlife managers go about their work.”

Are we “free” men or slaves? Listen politely? Who works for whom?

Whoever believes such pernicious tripe would clearly be more comfortable in Stalin’s Russia where slaves (to the state) listened “politely” or were shipped off to a Gulag or worse. It has honestly gotten to the point where any opposition to federal or state wolf impositions begets not only law enforcement threats from those that ostensibly “protect” us but this sort of dripping disdain from arrogant elites.

4. So, “State wildlife managers, who took over wolf policy when federal protections were lifted from the species, have been upping the number of animals harvested with each season. And still the overall wolf numbers are increasing.”

Let’s see; state and federal “wildlife managers” release wolves despite overwhelming opposition from those on whom the wolves were imposed. Then the feds do a double arabesque and pirouette off the stage and the state “managers” oversee “increasing” wolf numbers (i.e. elk/moose disappearance, livestock losses, dog losses, stress and fear of rural residents as wolves habituate all around, etc.) and those rural bumpkins are told to buck-up, keep your kids inside, eat more vegetables, and take government job training for the next available job in LA or Chicago. My advice to those chirping this line is “stuff it”.

5. So, “On the good news front, state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials report that predation on domesticated animals went down last year over the previous year. That may be the result of government biologists and wolf advocates working with stockgrowers on how to protect livestock from the predators. Those efforts should continue, and they should continue to get results.”

Earth to elites: neither the state nor federal government should be spending billions ad infinitum THAT WE DON”T HAVE on such harmful and senseless twaddle. Additionally, wolves NEVER HAVE and NEVER WILL be harmlessly blended into settled landscapes as found in the Lower 48 states. They ADAPT; they HABITUATE; they DEPLETE GAME ANIMALS; they KILL LIVESTOCK; they KILL DOGS; they SPREAD DISEASE; and last but certainly not least THEY KILL AND THEY ATTACK CHILDREN, WOMEN, THE AGED, and even MEN RUNNING A CHAINSAW! Read Wild Graves excellent book WOLVES IN RUSSIA. “Good News” my patoot!

6. Finally we come to the piece de resistance of our arrogant author, “In time, ranchers, hunters and the rest of us will learn to live with the wolves. But it will take patience.”

“In time”? Tell that to Russians, Kazaks, Siberians, Alaskans, and others where humans are killed and maimed annually, livestock husbandry is a matter of small flocks tended 24/7 by women and kids, game hunting is a matter of dreams (not reality), and dogs are not allowed in homes (much less “kissed” and slept with) because of the diseases they contract from wolves FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS!. Patience, like Dirty Harry’s boss’s breath mints “ain’t cutting it”.

What it will take is local wrath expressed Constitutionally by Local governments in the teeth of rogue government bureaucracies and their elite enablers like the editor of this paper.

Two final newspaper quotes from G.K. Chesterton 100 years ago in London shows us that such media distortions as this wolf propaganda piece are nothing new.

“There never was a power so great as the power of the Press. There never was a belief so superstitious as the universal belief in the Press. It may be that future centuries will call these the Dark Ages, and see a vast mystical delusion spreading its black bat’s wings over all our cities.”

“We do not need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press. It is not we who silence the press. It is the press that silences us. It is not a case of the Commonwealth settling how much the editors shall say; it is a case of the editors settling how much the Commonwealth shall know. If we attack the Press we shall be rebelling, not repressing.”

Jim Beers
19 May 2012

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


Protection of Wolves In Maine Would Destroy What is Left of Fragile Economy and Ecosystem

Once again we are presented with a glaring example of much that is wrong with wildlife management, i.e being debated in an ignorant and biased media while supplied with information that is so far from the truth but geared only to play on the emotions of an ignorant and lazy populace.

CBC Canada News yesterday, published an article, which was nothing more than pretty much a copy and paste, unverified, unsubstantiated load of crap supplied by the Maine Wolf Coalition. The Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC) is asking the Department of Interior/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to devise a “bi-national plan”, between the U.S. and Canada, to protect fabricated wolf subspecies in order to allow “for the natural recolonization (as opposed to reintroduction) of wolves in Maine and elsewhere in eastern North America where habitat and prey will support wolves.”

The problems with this chimerical fool’s paradise go far beyond anything our copy and paste media is willing to research, or even bother with seeking facts or differing opinions. In addition, Maine’s fish and wildlife department are seemingly avid true believers into the notion of “balanced ecosystems” and the need for predator protection. Odd isn’t it, or maybe even suspect, that the citizens’ brains are bred to trust government, to rely on what fish and game, so-called, experts say because they utilize “science” in rendering decisions and making choices. The difficulty here, that when attempting to expose it one gets scoffed and ridiculed, is that this notion of “natural regulation” and how “predators make for healthy ecosystems” is only ideological theorizing in which none of it is substantiated by real science. Today’s “science” is more based on wishful thinking, computer modeling and fulfilling agendas while playing on the emotions of people to keep the coffers filled.

Aside from the fact that the Maine Wolf Coalition is lying when in reference to a killing of a wolf hybrid in New Brunswick, it says, “The New Brunswick wolf was determined to be a gray/eastern wolf hybrid. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) abuses the definitions of subspecies, especially as it concerns wolves, in order to fulfill their agendas. Historically, we know there once where some kind of wolf in Maine. All wolves are the descendents of the same canid species and the wavering and ever-changing definitions of wolf subspecies only is relevant in perpetrating predator protections, while stealing away people’s rights.

Historical accounts of wolves in Maine, dating back to the early 1600s, strongly suggest that while wolves certainly were present, they were so only because caribou roamed the state as well. Some believe that hunters killed off the caribou but historic documents show that for unknown reasons caribou migrated out of the state, almost overnight, and the wolves followed them, never to return. This of course is NEVER discussed because it fails to fit nicely into agenda-driven narratives.

It was determined a few years ago, through DNA testing, that so-called coyotes in the East, were nothing more than a hybrid, i.e. a fancy name for a mongrel. Lest we forget basic biology, a dog is a dog is a dog. About the only natural thing that prevents more interbreeding among subspecies of wild canines is the instinct of territory protection. It is most often when growing members of a pack are forced out that wolves can and will mate with coyotes and your pet dog Rover.

The premise of the MWC’s desire for a “natural” recolonizing of wolves into Maine is mostly based on their fantasy that wolves are “important and necessary for a healthy ecosystem”. The task then becomes whether or not I, or a group of like-minded truth knowing individuals, can somehow convince the people that those who espouse to this fictitious “balance of nature” cannot prove their dogma scientifically, that is, the old fashioned way of seeking truth. They simply cannot prove their doctrine.

The MWC believes that an estimated 250,000 white tail deer and 50,000 moose spread out over Maine and New Brunswick, Canada is ample prey to support a protected wolf population. It is not and it is completely ignorant of facts to state so. All one needs to do is verify facts of what is happening on the ground in states where wolves already exist: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the numbers keep growing.

Each wolf will eat 12-19 elk a year to survive. When they can’t get that, combined with other prey species, they turn to private livestock – cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens, horses, dogs, etc. Maine doesn’t have elk or caribou. How many deer and moose, along with cattle, horses and sheep, equal 12-19 caribou?

Both Maine and New Brunswick are trying to figure out how it can rebuild destroyed whitetail deer herds and groups like MWC are suggesting protecting more of these mongrel dogs because they make healthy ecosystems? This notion is completely insane.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that Maine’s post hunt deer population may be under 200,000. At 12 deer a year being eaten by 500 wolves, that’s 6,000 deer destroyed in one year. In addition, we already know that the coyotes, when the snows are deep enough, will infiltrate the deer’s wintering yards and kill doe deer and rip out their fetuses. As soon as fawning season begins, the same varmints take to killing every fawn they can get their jaws onto. With fawn recruitment already running as low as 5 or 6 per 100 does, where 30% is considered sustainable, anyone with understanding quickly sees the deer herd would be destroyed.

And how is this making for a healthy ecosystem?

And while discussing mythology, MWC states that wolves, like the coyote, only kill the weak and sickly. This also is unsubstantiated theorizing. Wolves are opportunistic and kill whatever is at their disposal. For every so-called study that exists that suggests that wolves kill only weak prey, just as many exist that suggest that wolves, being a keen and wily hunter, have learned to pick out a preferred menu item. They can pick out the pregnant prey in order to feast on the succulent fetuses. And there is never any mention of sport killing by wolves which is substantiated fact.

MWC also declares that wolves would help the economy. This also is a fabrication. In states like Idaho and Montana, the presence of wolves has not only mostly destroyed the entire hunting industry, including license sales and guiding outfits, but is also chopping away at wiping out the livestock industry.

With the proliferation and protection of wolves comes disease. Canines carry more than 30 diseases, most of which are dangerous to humans and sometimes deadly and presents its own set of problems by infecting wild ungulates, i.e deer and moose. Large cysts that grow on deer and moose lungs, liver and other vital organs, does not for a healthy wildlife population make. The presence of cysts on deer and moose restrict their natural ability to flee large predators like wolves.

The short of it is, that protecting wolves, when we can’t even control coyotes that are destroying our wildlife populations, is folly only to those with personal agendas based in total disregard of the facts.

Tom Remington


Why Government Will Never Assure Your Access To Resources for Hunting, Trapping and Fishing

We must somehow learn to ween ourselves from the hind teat of government. Through the indoctrination and brainwashing forcefully imposed on us from birth, we grow up always looking to government for answers to our problems. When is the last time any government agency, law or program rightfully solved anyone’s problems?

Very few states in this Union have any kind of constitutional or statute law that protects the citizens and their right to make use of the natural resources for hunting, trapping and fishing. To my knowledge, the following states have constitutional amendments that supposedly guarantee the citizens of these states the unobstructed right to hunt: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin. Nearly all of these amendments were voted on and approved by the people.

There has been a push of late for states to enshrine their rights to hunting, trapping and fishing but does such a move actually accomplish what people are led to believe it will, i.e. an actual constitutional protection, a guarantee that this right shall never be infringed?

Hunters in states like Idaho are trying to bet their guarantee on a state code. One of the difficulties not being realized by these outdoor sportsmen is that they are not looking at the entire code. It’s not necessarily that they are cherry picking or taking the code out of context, it is that I believe they are victims of exactly what the authors and signers of the code intended. In other words the code was written intentionally to confuse, while at the same time sounding as though it was accomplishing what some of the voters asked for. This is a common tactic of all untrustworthy politicians and another reason none of them can be trusted. This should also bolster the resolve that we the people should not rely on government to protect us from anything.

In Idaho, this code debate began with the announcement by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) that a “Wildlife Summit” was being planned for August of 2012.

Much of the initial outrage occurred when the sportsmen discovered that many anti-hunting, environmental, and non governmental agencies were invited to the Summit. While I certainly agree that anti-hunting and all environmental groups should have no say in fish and game management because of their agendas, whether as individuals or groups, these people do have a right to attend such a meeting.

There are other issues that surround the intent of the Summit. One of them being that some members of the IDFG Commission seem to be indicating that the goal of the Summit is to rewrite the mission of IDFG.

In an email I received from one Idaho citizen who attended a recent IDFG meeting, I was told that one member of the Commission said that these anti-hunting, non governmental organizations (NGO), have a good representation of Idaho sportsmen. The person told the commissioner that he was trying to change Idaho Code 36-103.

This may actually be true, at least from the perspective of someone working very diligently to preserve the hunting heritage of their state but the bottom line is the codes that are written and what they actually say and just as importantly how they would be interpreted in a court of law, determines everything.

In many of the discussions I have read about this issue, the sportsmen seem intent on tossing out the first half of Idaho Code 36-103 , which reads:

36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.

The thrust of the focus by hunters appears to be directed at: “provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.”

This is done with disregard for the rest of the WORDS written into the code by lawyers. Before we take a bit of a closer look at this law, I’ll post here the entire statute:

36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.
(b) Commission to Administer Policy. Because conditions are changing and in changing affect the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of Idaho wildlife, the methods and means of administering and carrying out the state’s policy must be flexible and dependent on the ascertainment of facts which from time to time exist and fix the needs for regulation and control of fishing, hunting, trapping, and other activity relating to wildlife, and because it is inconvenient and impractical for the legislature of the state of Idaho to administer such policy, it shall be the authority, power and duty of the fish and game commission to administer and carry out the policy of the state in accordance with the provisions of the Idaho fish and game code. The commission is not authorized to change such policy but only to administer it.

Lawyers and a court of law can rip this Code to shreds and resulting rulings will leave us all wondering how that was done. While it’s easy as hunters to focus on those highlighted words above, even though the authors may have intended that to be your focus, all the other words have meaning too. To a lawyer and a judge, multiple meanings.

In brief, Part A above does not guarantee that the IDFG or the state of Idaho must grow game populations so that everyone in Idaho who wants to hunt, trap and fish can do so and for all the species in which seasons are provided. As a matter of fact, the Code says that the only time taking of game will be permitted is when there is enough wildlife to go around. However, that “taking” can be limited by any means the IDFG sees fit.

Part B then goes on to give the fish and game commission the authority to administer this code. As much as all of us would love to believe the fish and game commission doesn’t have the right to “change Idaho Code 36-103”, there’s nothing really in that code that guarantees Idaho citizens a right to hunt, trap and fish. What some members of the commission might be interested in doing by inviting anti-hunting groups to the summit, is to build support to change the mission statement of IDFG.

One would think that with the intent of Idaho Code 36-103, i.e to guarantee Idaho citizens the right to hunt, trap and fish, a step up to a constitutional amendment would be an easy task. That didn’t happen though did it? Perhaps now you are getting a better understanding as to why. Who’s your friend? Who’s on your side?

My intent here was not to dissect Idaho Code but to make a broader statement and support with facts on the ground. The truth is not even a constitutional amendment guarantees outdoor sportsmen any right to hunt, fish or trap. It may be perhaps the best chance at achieving such but is far from a blank check guarantee. And for those states with some kind of statute, like Idaho, no code or statute is protected from change, especially those with an agenda.

Most amendments to constitutions are non specific. In states that have such constitutional changes, the amendment may read that the citizens of that state have a right to hunt, trap and fish and that it may go so far as to require the fish and game departments to “perpetuate” wild game for hunting opportunities for the citizens. This is so non specific it leaves the door wide open to interpretation. Forget the intent of the amendment. Intent means nothing when dealing with law makers with an agenda.

Consider the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Recently in two Supreme Court rulings it was determined that Washington, D.C. (Heller vs. District of Columbia), and Chicago (NRA vs. City of Chicago) could not prohibit citizens from owning a handgun. While the Second Amendment is suppose to guarantee American citizens a right to keep and bear arms, we see that even with a Supreme Court ruling, the citizens of Washington, D.C. and Chicago do not have a right to keep and bear arms as they wish.

The reality of it is, we deal with many things most of us are completely unaware of. In our reliance on government to protect us, we refuse to believe that our constitutions and laws will not protect us and do what we have been told they will do. Even Supreme Court rulings are not enough to force cities to comply. They would rather take their chances in more courts with more lawsuits because that’s where their friends are. Surely if the rulings of the Supreme Court mean nothing to the governments of local cities, why should we rest that our state governments care one way or the other about our rights to hunt, trap and fish?

And while you are sleeping, changes to our laws are taking place that we know nothing about. For instance, in Maine, I was researching to find out what the state statutes were regarding trapping. You can find the details here, but what I discovered was that during a federally mandated “recodification” process, your laws can and are being changed and you may not know it.

We are told by our government that recodification of all states’ laws will be done every ten years. The intent of this action is supposed to be to clear up redundancies and other issues that make deciphering and interpreting the laws clearer and easier. What I discovered was someone took this opportunity to rewrite the laws the way they wanted them done. BTW, a new round of recodification is supposed to take place in 2013. Pay attention!

With a legislature either deaf and dumb to the responsibilities of the job or in on the illegal action, it is a snap to pass these recodified laws. After all, it’s just a housekeeping measure, right?

We must stop depending on government for anything. They cannot be trusted nor will they protect you and I from anything. To stop this would be monumental because it would require a complete makeover that begins in our schools and homes. At the ballot box we can work harder at getting the right people elected but it doesn’t end there. We need watch dog groups that will follow everything each law maker does and make sure the public knows and understands. This of course will never happen because there aren’t enough people who care.

Tom Remington


Idaho Fish and Game’s Blind Ignorance

This morning I was reading the “Critter News”, an electronic news report that get sent to a small contingency of readers. The editor provided a link to a story in the Magic Valley news online (subscription). The title of the article is, “Decline in Hunting-license Sales Sinks Conservation Money”.

As I began to read, it was about 50 words into the story that this quote from Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) regional conservation officer Gary Hompland, appeared.

“Fishing licenses have stayed relatively steady as far as the numbers of licenses sold,” regional conservation officer Gary Hompland said. “Most of that, from what we can tell, is because we’ve had some really good salmon and steelhead runs the last few years.”

From this point on Hompland laments about the drop in hunting license sales. While it appears from Hompland’s perspective, fishing license sales is very cut and dry; lots of fish equals lots of fishing licenses sold. Evidently this same theory doesn’t hold true for hunting.

According to Hompland, the loss of hunting license sales is having a devastating effect on the budget at IDFG and evidently the reasons are varied and have nothing to do with a lack of game to hunt. Here’s the list of excuses:

1.) According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey information, hunting license sales have declined since 1975. So, it’s a trend but no reasons given as to what drives that “trend”.

2.) IDFG attempted to lesson the blow by stating three other states, Rhode Island, California and Iowa, as having a greater decline in sales than Idaho.

3.) A “dour economy” as it is called by Hompland.

4.) And, “changing demographics of hunters”.

5.) Lack of new hunter recruitment “like we used to”.

6.) More single-parent families result in fewer hunters.

All of these items seem to be contributing factors to the decline of hunting and evidently none of them effect fishing. But what’s even more transparently ignorant is to think that when it comes to fishing, it’s all about how many fish there are to catch but when it comes to hunting, it’s about everything else except how much game there is to shoot.

Idaho is not alone. Several states face budget problems and some of that is due to a decline in license sales. The state of Maine is one such state. As a matter of fact they formed a dreaded “task force” to study why nobody from out of state wants to go to Maine to hunt anymore. The task force acknowledged the fact that Maine’s deer population has disappeared, especially in those regions where the out-of-state hunters went for trophy game. Instead of working to deal with that problem, the opted, as I guess we are seeing here in Idaho, to not necessarily deny there’s a game problem but find every excuse other than that for the decline in hunting licenses sold.

Tom Remington