10 Dec 2009, 11:58am
Birds Wildlife Agencies
by admin

Barred Owl Blasting Is Back

Yup, shotgun blasting of barred owls is back on the menu. The US Fish and Wildlife Service wants to blow the little birds to smithereens:

Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comments on Possible Experimental Removal of Barred Owls

USFWS News Release, Dec 9, 2009 [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it is preparing an environmental analysis of possible experimental removal of barred owls from three areas in Oregon and Washington, to determine if the removal benefits northern spotted owls. The agency is seeking public comments on the scope of the analysis that should be carried out; that is, what are the biological, social, economic and environmental effects that should be studied before the agency decides whether to conduct the experiments. The announcement will be published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2009.

“We will decide whether to conduct experimental removal of barred owls only after this open, transparent review of the effects those experiments might have,” said Paul Henson, the Fish and Wildlife Service supervisor in Oregon. “Removing individuals of a common species to benefit a species in peril is something the Fish and Wildlife Service does when necessary, but we will not proceed with this experimental removal until we better understand – and document – the environmental effects of doing it.” …

We first reported this amazing story over two years ago [here]

Shoot to Kill: The Curse of the Spotted Owl, Part 3

SOS Forests, May 8th, 2007

The latest “solution” proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to the Spotted Owl Crisis is to arm Federal “biologists” with shotguns, send them onto public and private property, and have them blast away at owls.

That’s right, sports fans. The defective brain trust at USFWS plans to give loaded weapons to wackos, form owl death squads, and send them out here to shoot to kill owls.

In the name of the Environment!!!!

Get this: after 15 years of intense expert study (ha ha, that’s a laugh), after 15 years of an economic straightjacket strapped on millions of citizens, after 15 years of a half-trillion dollar forest set-aside program, the architects of “owl biology” are punting.

They don’t have a clue about spotted owls, or the hope of a clue, and so have devolved their “owl biology” into a nightmare of pointless violence and owl murder. …

more »

New The Outdoorsman Is Excellent

The previous two posts were extracted (with generous permission) from articles appearing in the new issue of The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]. The Outdoorsman is written and edited by Mr. George Dovel [here].

The new issue is excellent, as usual. Looking back, we have posted excerpts from six? previous issues [here, here, here, here, here, here] at least. We highly value and appreciate Mr. Dovel’s work and voice.

Another article (beside the two we posted) printed in the new The Outdoorsman is “When Biologists Stocked Alaska with Wolves” by Ned Rozell of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rozell discusses the “predator pit” that resulted from the 1960 release of a mating pair of wolves onto Coronation Island, a remote 45-square-mile island exposed to the open Pacific. Prior to the release, Coronation Island had a high density of blacktailed deer and no wolves. By 1965 at least 13 wolves lived on the island and three litters of young had been born since the first wolves had arrived. Few deer remained. By 1966 only signs were found of 3 deer and one wolf. By 1983 researchers found no evidence of wolves, and the deer were once again plentiful.

Another article is “Let’s Get Real” by Dr. Valerius Geist, about the myth of the “harmless wolf”. Dr. Geist is the undisputed authority on North American big game species, and many of his essays have also been posted at Wildlife and People [here].

Another article is “The Rest of the Story” by George Dovel in which he discusses predator-prey relationships and the myth of the “balance of nature”.

… In his article “Vancouver Island Wolves,” (see April-May 2006 Outdoorsman) Dr. Geist described how, when wolves entered Vancouver Island during the 1970s, the annual deer kill by hunters plummeted from about 25,000 to less than 4,000. Are we to believe that Vancouver Island’s 12,076 square-mile area is, like Alaska’s Coronation Island, also supposedly “too small for both deer and wolves?”

In both cases, with an abundance of deer to kill and eat, the wolves multiplied much faster than the deer and soon depleted their numbers. When the wolves on Coronation Island killed off most of the black-tailed deer and exhausted the supply of other prey they starved and the deer eventually recovered.

But, as Dr. Geist explained in “Vancouver Island Wolves,” after the wolves killed off most of the black-tailed deer and smaller prey, they survived on alternate prey, including elk, livestock and domestic animals and pets. These wolves also continue to kill pockets of deer thereby preventing recovery of the deer population. …

In geographically “closed” ecosystems such as Coronation Island and Isle Royale, a single large carnivore species decimates its single wild ungulate prey and ultimately destroys itself, allowing the prey to repopulate over time. But in the vast majority of ecosystems such as Vancouver Island and Interior Alaska, where alternate prey species allow predators to survive after the primary prey is decimated, the primary prey may not recover without a dramatic reduction in predator numbers. …

That is the situation throughout much of Alaska today and it resulted from pandering to propagandists who were allowed to promote the myth that predators and their prey will seek and maintain a “natural” balance. …

In the lower 48 States, pretending to manage ecosystems rather than actively manage wildlife populations can only result in decades of starvation, disease and scarcity in between the occasional rare “balance” that may appear to exist briefly. At a time when our federal government is promoting sustainable communities and the use of renewable natural resources, promoting the wanton destruction of our renewable timber and wildlife resources is inexcusable.

Please read the (free online) newest issue of The Outdoorsman [here]. You may also wish to send George Dovel a donation for his important and valuable efforts (see the last page of The Outdoorsman).

5 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
by admin
1 comment

Wolf Recovery and the Corruption of Government Science

by George Dovel

From The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]

In November 2007 when Evolutionary Biologists Jennifer Leonard and Robert Wayne announced that most of the several thousand “wolves” being protected in the Great Lakes region were actually wolf-coyote crosses, Utah Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Charles Kay commented, “What a mess!” During their two-year study of the genetic make-up of Great Lakes wolves that were delisted, the study did not find any purebred Eastern Timber Wolves, and only 31% of the wolves tested had any Eastern timber wolf “genes” in their genetic make-up.

When confronted with this information by the news media in November 2007, Eastern Gray Wolf Recovery Team Leader Rolph Peterson admitted they had known all along that the wolves were crossbreeding with coyotes. …

The wolfote or coywolf hybrid reportedly found in western New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Image courtesy The Outdoorsman

Molecular genetics analysts concluded that the “red wolf” being bred and raised in captivity and then released into rural areas of the Southeastern US by the US Fish and Wildlife Service is in actuality a wolf-coyote hybrid. Image courtesy The Outdoorsman

more »

The Truth about Idaho’s and Montana’s 2009 Wolf Harvest Quotas

By George Dovel

From The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]

On March 6, 2008, in an effort to pacify Defenders of Wildlife and other wolf extremist groups, the Idaho F&G Commission ignored the 15 breeding pairs (150 wolves) goal established by the Legislature and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interior Secretary. Instead, the Commission adopted a bastard plan that has never been submitted to the full Legislature for approval or rejection as required by Idaho law.

The 2008-2012 IDFG Plan agreed to manage for a minimum population of 518-732 wolves for five years …

In his testimony to the Court, Mech explained: “Every year, most wolf populations almost double in the spring through the birth of pups” [Mech 1970]. For example in May 2008, there will not be 1,500 wolves [in the Northern Rocky Mountains], but 3,000! …

Without any science to support their claim, Idaho F&G Commissioners said they were going to cut the minimum estimated end-of-year wolf population from 732 in 2007 to ~520 in 2008 using only a fall hunting season which also prohibited two methods used to harvest Idaho bears and mountain lions!

In other words, they ignored biology and science and pretended they could do what no other state or Canadian province with wolves has ever been able to do. …

more »

3 Dec 2009, 12:04pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
by admin
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What is Conservation? Who are conservationists?

By Hunter’s Alert [here]

There are many words that have double meanings, like “gay”, “coke” and “conservation”. Most people would argue that conservation only has one meaning. Through language deception perfected by government agencies and environmentalists (which has been so skillfully brought to our attention by Julie Smithson of Property Rights Research) words are of monumental importance in our perception of the way we view things and make decisions.

Government agents (bureaucrats) and news media (journalists) like to refer to anti-hunting groups such as Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and many others as “conservationists”. These anti organizations (environmentalists) spend much of their time and their money on lawsuits, suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the government) thus establishing their agendas and imposing their will on the American people.

Hunters were the first conservationists practicing sound conservation in America and they are still the best, spending their money for all forms of wildlife.

These two words today, “conservation” and “conservationists”, have been usurped by anti organizations, agencies, and journalists, ignoring the true conservationist — none other than the HUNTER — and by so doing making the hunter appear to be the problem while they are the saviors.

Now think it through — who gave us all the abundant wildlife we have known up to this day that we rapidly see disappearing all around us? Hunters did it with their dedication to wildlife and their money without having to sue the very government agencies that these hunters pay to represent them in ALL wildlife management. Then the late entrance of these environmentalist organizations, paying virtually nothing, infiltrating our government agencies, and you can see who and where the problem is.

Now — who are the real conservationists?

2 Dec 2009, 10:36pm
by admin
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The Wolf Crisis

- While sportsmen in the Rocky Mountain states are getting totally fed up with an ever-increasing wolf population that has devastated the moose, elk and deer populations in some areas, the 2009 hunting season may be a pivotal point in this heated controversy when prudent wildlife management finally wins the day -

By Jeff Lampe, North American Whitetail, Oct 2009 [here]

Tim Craig began his career as a hunting outfitter in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of central Idaho. For 32 years Tim has faithfully returned to the remote wilderness. The main draw has always been elk hunting and the wildness of this 1.3-million-acre roadless expanse of trees and rocky peaks.

“That’s where I cut my teeth; that’s where my heart is,” says Craig, who operates Boulder Creek Outfitters out of Peck, Idaho.

But Craig is fortunate to have several other areas to hunt because, by necessity, he’s on the verge of giving up on the Selway-Bitterroot.

“I never used to ride on a horse for eight hours and only cut only one or two elk tracks,” Craig said. “But that’s what happens now, and you can’t take clients into that kind of situation. I’ve pretty well come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on. And I know of eight or nine other outfitters getting out of there as well. I’d be surprised if anybody is still there within five years. It’s that bad.”

While biologists point to invasive plants and hard winters as key factors in big-game declines, Craig and others who spend months camped in the woods single out another, toothier problem — wolves. The Selway-Bitterroot was an original-release location for wolves in 1995 and 1996. In the years since, Tim says, the wilderness area has been hard hit by the resurgence of these predators.

“Wolves come in and run the herd out,” Tim said. “I’ve been here for 32 years in the same areas, and we’ve got some spots where there are totally no elk or deer. “In the backcountry areas, the deer were the first thing that went once the wolves went in. Now they’re just hammering the elk. It’s pathetic.”

Since being reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains, wolves have steadily spread into haunts they had not roamed since the 1930s. At the end of 2008, some 1,645 wolves were documented in the Northern Rockies. This includes parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and part of north-central Utah.

Federal surveys show that Idaho has the densest concentration of wolves, with at least 846. Next high are Montana (496) and Wyoming (302).

In recognition of those numbers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted wolves in early 2009 for the second time in as many years. Though the latest delisting met with predictable lawsuits from anti-hunting groups, indications are that the Obama administration supports the plan. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar needed less than two months to affirm the USFWS decision in early March.

In response, Idaho and Montana plan to have wolf hunts this fall. The states hope hunting wolves will help offset potential losses in hunting income that recent surveys estimated could be as high as $15 to $24 million. Others hope hunting will make the presence of wolves more palatable to hunters who have witnessed the big-game losses.

“It’s way past time to do this,” says Ed Bangs, the USFWS biologist who has overseen the reintroduction of wolves to the west. “(Wolves) should be managed and that management should include hunting. The wolf population can’t keep growing. All the suitable habitat is filled now. So instead of having me in a helicopter shooting wolves after they eat a guy’s cow, you can have hunters pay for the same privilege. By having hunting as part of the equation, you can have a more effective program that’s cheaper.” … [more]

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