March 20, 2023

Finding Humor in Tragedy

The following is an editorial/Letter to the Editor sent to the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Press-Gazette in response to a “fawning” article about the recent decision by a lady, federal judge in Washington, DC to place all Great Lakes wolves back under federal jurisdiction, thereby precluding even a modest, “fig-leaf” illusion of states (i.e. those living with the wolves)managing wolves or having any say about how many, where, and to what extent wolf damage and destruction will be tolerated as enforced by draconian federal law enforcement. ..Jim

Finding Humor in Tragedy

The recent decision by an activist federal judge in far-off Washington, DC utilizing (not really enforcing) what is arguably the most recklessly un-Constitutional law in American history to abolish all State and Local authority over the presence of wolves in their midst is a Tragedy of a magnitude worthy of a Shakespearean Play. It would not be out of order to compare it to some individual cleric in W. Iraq issuing a Fatwa based on his interpretation of Sharia Law.

Your paper lauds how the lady judge has confronted “hostile state management” (i.e. of wolves). Hostile state management by State politicians and bureaucrats would have first and foremost been to follow state and federal law and forbid the expenditure of any state hunting license revenue or and Pittman-Robertson excise taxes derived from arms and ammunition sales on any wolves that were forced into the state by federal bureaucrats and that have caused great harm to rural life, livestock, game animals, and the “domestic Tranquility” of Wisconsin residents being forced to endure the harms spreading wherever wolves become established.

State government has become a handmaiden to federal overreach and Local government revenue, jurisdictions and authority have been severely restricted, for what?

What is “management” of any wild animal population other than achieving and maintaining numbers and distributions of the animals as desired by those that live with or utilize those animals?

How can anyone right-thinking person (the judge in question and your writer are as right-thinking as St. Louis demonstrators shown a Coroner/Police Report) describe a wolf season with stated number goals as “unregulated killing?

If Killing wolves is “barbaric”, what pray tell is wolves killing and eating an Alaskan schoolteacher or a Canadian college student?

What is “recovery”? As many wolves as can be shoehorned into 48 states (when there are millions worldwide)? What were all those early ESA “goals” for wolves other than lies?

Even the miniscule annual harvest quotas in our states are merely tiny efforts meant only to quiet critics. The 10-15% harvest quotas of the (asserted) wolf population (since wolves cannot be accurately counted we may be sure DNR numbers are as reliable as national jobless and inflation numbers) are even lower than annual harvest quotas of desirable game animals. These tiny harvest quotas do only 2 things, 1) they reduce winter competition for food guaranteeing more and healthier reproducing females next spring and 2) they encourage larger litters and therefore MORE wolves next fall. That nonsense about “pack structure” and “alpha males” is no more that romantic biological propaganda. To reduce however many wolves are out there, a harvest of 50-70% for at least 5 years and then a 35-50% reduction annually thereafter would be required.

If leghold traps (that by the way allow for release of non-target animals), snares, electronic calls and baiting are “cruel” and “unsportsman-like”; this latter term from organizations that would eradicate all “sporting” hunting, trapping and fishing activities tomorrow; are to be banished what is left? Evening classes for predators? A domestic Jane Goodall Corps?

Please spare us the use of the term “science”. Wolf/predator “science” over the past 30 years has become little more than propaganda purchased by government bureaucrats and radical environmental/animal rights organizations from University professors seeking funding, tenure, recognition and graduate students.

Wolves kill people, livestock, game animals, dogs and other predators like coyotes and foxes. Wolves spread, carry, and contract over thirty diseases and infections that kill and disable humans, domestic animals and other wild animals. Wolves cause great stress to rural families, rural communities and rural life. To call this “decision” a Tragedy is actually being kind. So what is so funny? Where is the “Humor” in this Tragedy?

The “Humor” lies in how your paper and all those wolf-lovers you serve in all those places distant from where the wolves and rural people are doing their “Danse Macabre”, (i.e. Dance of Death) can say with a straight face that it is “barbaric” to kill wolves with “packs of dogs – with hounding of wolves so out of the realm of responsible action that it’s drawn condemnation around the nation”.

Jim Beers

1 January 2015

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.