28 Sep 2008, 4:21pm
by admin
leave a comment

Wyoming Double-Crossed By USFWS

by Tom Remington, Idaho Hunting Today, September 24, 2008 [here]

Wyoming’s U.S. Senator John Barrasso yesterday says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withdraw its proposal to remove protection of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act was a “significant breach of trust.”

We shouldn’t stop at Wyoming. Let’s add Idaho and Montana to the list as well, as I’m sure several states could also be included as being shafted by the USFWS. Promises were made from the beginning, promises some said the federal government would never adhere to, had no intentions of fulfilling and couldn’t achieve if it wanted to. Yet, the USFWS got its way and dumped the unwanted wolves on the back doorsteps of thousands of citizens in the Rocky Mountain West areas.

Much of the fears and concerns predicted over 12 years ago have come to pass and each of the states waited patiently for the feds to finally delist the wolf and turn management over to the state where it legally belongs anyway.

The feds were sued by environmentalists and the USFWS turned chicken and ran from the fight, once again leaving the citizens of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to deal with a mess they never asked for with their hands tied behind their backs.

Sen. Barrasso is right. We were double-crossed, driving a wedge deeper to widen the gap of distrust between government and the people. Some day the majority of people will figure out that agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believe they are independent. They have forgotten that they are supposed to be working for the people not for the promotion of their own special interests.

We are now entering historic times in this country, much of it the result of an out of control Congress and an administration that doesn’t know how to stop spending money. This of course affects us all and on top of that, we have citizens already struggling to pay bills, who are battling a killing machine that cares nothing about interest rates, mortgages and utility bills.

For decades these states have worked hard and spent tons of money building, protecting and managing an elk and deer population that can sustain itself. In areas these are being threatened, yet we can do nothing but sit back and watch years of hard work flushed down the drain all in the name of someone’s “experiment.”

It’s time for leadership. It’s time for all of us to step forward and say enough is enough. It’s hard enough for people to deal with the everyday financial struggles. Why should they also have to deal with animals that are destroying their only means to make a living, and threatening to destroy an elk herd that can provide much needed food for thousands of families?

The November election is approaching rapidly. I hope everyone decides to vote and when they cast that ballot, considers the circumstances we are in, the result of this Congress and the laws they and others before them have passed that have ripped from us our individual rights, threatening to do more of the same. Short of a revolution, the ballot box is the only way to effect the right kind of change.

What we have is broken. Socialism isn’t the answer. Freedom is! Dumping a $700 billion burden on us so that the “money people” can continue down the same path will do nothing good for any of us. This is your chance to do something. We have to have hope that by putting the right people in Washington, we can also change government agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

28 Sep 2008, 11:04am
Bears Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin

Palin On Alaskan Wildlife Management and Predator Control

A year ago CA Congressman George Miller (D, Vacaville) introduced a bill to ban wildlife management in Alaska. It was a publicity stunt, and Miller’s ill-conceived bill never went anywhere. But it did anger the citizens and Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

Governor Palin responded to Miller’s political posturing stunt with a well-written letter, dated Sept. 27, 2007, that explains the importance of wildlife management to Alaskans. The entire letter is [here].

Some excerpts:

On behalf of the state of Alaska, I am writing to express my displeasure with you introduction of a bill that proposes to end what you refer to as “airborne hunting” of wolves and bears in Alaska. You have misconstrued the reality of life in Alaska and the importance of wild game management as food to the people of this state. You displayed a shocking lack of understanding of wildlife management in the North and the true structure and function of Alaska’s predator control programs. You have threatened the very foundations of federalism and the state’s abilities to manage their own affairs as they see fit.

I am dismayed that you did not attempt to contact the state your bill affects most directly before announcing your legislation. At the very least, we could have helped you correct the many inaccuracies and misstatements of fact in both the written and the oral portions of your media presentation yesterday. …

Federal powers to regulate wildlife are limited and seldom result in broad, area-wide effective management strategies, but Alaska’s fish and game management programs have been widely recognized for their excellence and effectiveness. Alaska, alone among the states, has managed its wildlife so that we still maintain abundant populations of all of our indigenous predators almost fifty years after statehood. Your proposal to limit this effective management… is an unworkable and unwarranted interference…

Alaska’s predator control program is mandated by the Alaska State Legislature, regulated by the independent Alaska Board of Game, and implemented by the world-renowned scientists at our Alaska Department of Fish and game. Our state constitution requires wildlife to be managed on the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among beneficial uses. When game populations or harvest goals are not met, Alaska’s intensive management law mandates action, including habitat improvement and/or predator control.

Our state biologists use radio tracking, visual surveys, and numerous other scientifically proven methods to assess the health of wildlife populations. Often, predators keep prey populations lower than the area habitat could support. In most states. wildlife populations are limited primarily by habitat; in many parts of Alaska, however, moose and caribou are prevented from reaching abundant levels by heavy predation. Wolves and bears are powerful and effective predators; these predators kill far more moose and caribou than do humans hunting for food.

Our science-based program is designed to reduce the effect of predators in given areas with the intent to allow a higher harvest of moose and caribou by humans for food. By thinning the numbers of predators in selected areas, we are enabling more Alaskans to hunt moose and caribou and put food in their freezers. each program is specifically designed, carefully considered, and closely monitored. We do not undertake predator control lightly. …

With due respect, Congressman Miller, you failed to do your homework. I urge you to learn more about the realities of Alaska’s predator control program, and not to swallow the rhetoric of special interest advocacy groups trying to raise money for their inaccurate campaigns. In addition, I invite you to come to Alaska and see for yourself how we manage our wildlife, and meet some of the hardworking Alaskans who rely on our predator management programs to give them access to the food they need.


Sarah Palin, Governor

11 Sep 2008, 3:49pm
Homo sapiens
by admin
leave a comment

Victory for Sportsmen in Arizona as Judge Decides in Favor of Wildlife Management

From U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation [here]

In a major victory for sportsmen and conservationists nationwide, a federal court has ruled to protect hunting and wildlife management on an important parcel of federal land. The ruling reiterates that wildlife management takes precedent over protectionism on the nation’s National Wildlife Refuges.

Judge Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. District Court for Arizona decided in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in a case brought against it by Wilderness Watch and the Arizona Wilderness Coalition.

For a list of the Plaintiffs and Defendants, see [here].

In the suit, the plaintiffs had claimed that FWS violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act by constructing and restoring wildlife watering devices on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). While these devices are key for the survival of bighorn sheep and other desert wildlife, the plaintiffs claimed they violated federal law.

Last year, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (U.S. SLDF), the litigation arm of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), moved to defend FWS and several sportsmen groups in the case. The U.S. SLDF argued that a “Wilderness” designation does not preclude wildlife conservation.

Joining the U.S. SLDF were several other groups including: Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Deer Association, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club, Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association.

“This decision establishes that conservation in a wildlife refuge does not take a back seat to the concept of an area being designated as wilderness,” stated USSAF Senior Vice President Rick Story. “Hopefully, this will prevent other efforts to prohibit active wildlife management in refuges that have been given the wilderness designation.”

The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939. It is home to desert bighorn sheep and an array of other wildlife species. In 1990, more than 80 percent of the refuge was designated Wilderness by Congress.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund is the nation’s only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmen’s interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmen’s rights in local, state and federal courts. The SLDF represents the interests of sportsmen and assists government lawyers who have little or no background in wildlife law.

Thanks and tip of the hunting cap to Julie Kay Smithson of Property Rights Research [here] for pointing out this story.

5 Sep 2008, 7:30pm
by admin

Wolf Predation: More Bad News

Note: the following essay was published in the Sept/Oct 2008 issue of MuleyCrazy Magazine [here], the premier hunting periodical in the country today. With a subscription you get excellent articles like this one, and the photos that go with it, and hunting news, and a whole lot more.

by Dr. Charles Kay, Ph.D., published in MuleyCrazy 7(5), pp. 29-32.

As I explained in the last issue of MuleyCrazy, pro-wolf advocates are now demanding 6,000 or more wolves as one interbreeding population in every western state. Pro-wolf advocates also claim that predation, in general, and wolves in particular have no impact on prey populations. Recent research by Dr. Tom Bergerud and his colleagues, however, paints an entirely different picture and serves as a poignant example of what will happen to the west’s mule deer if pro-wolf advocates have their way.

Woodland and mountain caribou have been declining throughout North America since European settlement. Many attribute the decline to the fact that caribou must feed on arboreal or terrestrial lichens during winter, a food that is being destroyed by logging, forest fires, and other human activities; i.e., modern land-use practices are to blame. However, others attribute the caribou’s decline to predation by wolves and other carnivores. To separate between these competing hypotheses, Dr. Tom Bergerud and his co-workers designed a series of simple but elegant experiments and have now accumulated 30 years of data.

In the northern most arc of Lake Superior, there lies a cluster of seven major islands plus smaller islets. The Slate Islands are five miles from the mainland at their nearest point and only twice, during the last 30 years, has winter ice bridged that gap. Terrestrial lichens are absent, plus the islands have been both logged and burned, making them unfit for caribou according to most biologists. The Slate Islands lack wolves, black bears, whitetailed deer, and moose, but caribou are indigenous. As a companion study, Bergerud and his associates chose Pukaskwa National Park, which stretches for 50 miles along the north shore of Lake Superior. In contrast to the Slate Islands, Pukaskwa has an abundance of lichens, which are supposed to be a critical winter food for caribou, but unlike the Slate Islands, Pukaskwa is home to wolves, bears, moose, and whitetails. Woodland caribou are also present.

So we have islands that are poor caribou habitat, but which have no predators versus a nearby national park that is excellent caribou habitat but which contains wolves. Now according to what many biologists and pro-wolf advocates would have you believe, habitat is the all important factor in maintaining healthy ungulate populations, while predation can largely be ignored. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Habitat, as it turns out, is irrelevant and ecologists have been, at best, brain-dead for years.
more »

3 Sep 2008, 4:10pm
Bears Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

Alaska Wolf and Bear Hunting Ban Ballot Measure Defeated

An Alaskan ballot initiative that would have prohibited shooting of a free-ranging wolf, wolverine, or grizzly bear from an airplane went down to defeat Aug. 26, 2008, with voters splitting 44.4% for the measure and 55.6% against (with 98% of precincts reporting).

Measure 2, the Alaska Wolf and Bear Protection Act, appeared on the statewide August 26 ballot in Alaska. It was promoted by Paul Fuhs, Bob Lynn, Victor H. Kohring of Alaskans for Wildlife, Friends of Animals, the Sierra Club, and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance with aid from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

The measure was opposed by Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management, the Alaska Outdoor Council, the Alaska legislature, and Governor Sarah Palin.

Alaska Wildlife Alliance filed a complaint Aug. 14 with the Alaska Public Offices Commission alleging that the state is illegally trying to influence the outcome of Measure 2. “The timing and one-sided nature of the Palin administration’s propaganda are an illegal attempt to influence voters,” said John Toppenberg, the alliance’s director.

Tim Barry, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the Legislature did make an appropriation of $400,000 so that the Board of Game could educate and inform the public about the state’s intensive management program. He says the agency has not “been doing any campaigning or putting inserts in papers or making speeches about the issues.” [here]

Prior to the vote Wayne Regelin, former deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said if the ballot measure passes it means the end of a program, and along with it a “very important wildlife management tool that is used sparingly” in Alaska.

Donne Fleagle, a longtime McGrath resident who is married to former game board chairman Mike Fleagle, said the program has nothing to do with hunting. It is a game management tool that is helping people in rural Alaska put food on the table, she said. “We are seeing cows that are birthing twin calves now,” Fleagle said. “We are seeing a better survival rate for calves … It has helped our moose population. I don’t know how long people want to live on store-bought meat or could afford it,” she said. “I would hate to see village Alaska turn into a ghost town. This is the heart and soul of Alaska.”[here]

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta