9 Sep 2009, 10:48am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Judge refuses to block wolf hunt

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter lauds decision

Spokane Spokesman-Review at 10:23 a.m. on September 9 [here]

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy has denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to block wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana; Idaho’s already has begun, and three wolves have been taken by hunters. The two states included hunting in their management plans for gray wolves, which until May were on the endangered species list; since they’ve been delisted, the two states now manage their wolf populations. Here is Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s response to the judge’s decision:

“Judge Molloy did the right thing. Idaho has met and exceeded the criteria agreed upon by all parties for recovery. We have a plan in place for managing wolves, based on the best science available, and we intend to keep our promises outlined in that plan. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Fish and Game Commission have done a great job of setting hunting numbers to ensure a sustainable wolf population and genetic connectivity. We are and will continue to be responsible stewards of the species.”

Dem Minnick and Rep Risch praise Judge Molloy’s decision

Spokane Spokesman-Review at 10:32 a.m. on September 9 [here]

Two members of Idaho’s congressional delegation have immediately weighed in with statements praising federal Judge Donald Molloy’s decision to reject a move to halt wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana. Here are the statements from 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick, a Democrat, and Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican:

Minnick: “Today’s ruling by Judge Molloy was a victory for those of us who want land-use and wildlife decisions made at the local level, using sound science, collaboration and consensus. I applaud the decision, and now urge all parties, including the state of Wyoming, to work with scientists to ensure a healthy but balanced population of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.”

Risch: “I am pleased that the judge has allowed wolf hunting in Idaho to continue, and I hope this brings an end to lawsuits opposing the hunt. Wolf numbers have far exceeded the recovery goals set when they were introduced into the state. It is time to let Idaho’s game managers do their job and manage wolves just as they do bears, cats and other species.”

26 Aug 2009, 8:49pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolves — When Ignorance is Bliss

Wolves mustn’t be coddled if we hope to balance them with modern ecosystems — and to avoid becoming prey

by Valerius Geist

Nothing convinces like personal experience! And I too am slave to it. As an academic I confess to this with some distress, because by training, experience and attitude I should be above it. That I am not alone in this habit is of little comfort. And so it was with wolves.

In my field research on mountain sheep, goats, moose etc. I also observed wolves, and my experience with North American wolves matches that of colleagues. Consequently, during my academic career and four years into retirement I thought of wolves as harmless, echoing the words of more experienced colleagues while considering the reports to the contrary from Russia as interesting, but not relevant to an understanding of North American wolves. I trusted my wolf-studying colleagues to have done their homework and I dismissed light-heartedly the experiences of others to the contrary. I was wrong!

I saw my first wolf in the wild early one morning in May 1959, on Pyramid Mountain in Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia. I spotted an ash-gray wolf, with a motley coat, sitting and watching me from a quarter mile away with an eager, attentive look about his dark face. His red tongue was protruding, while golden morning light played on his fur. In the spotting scope his image was crisp and clear. I do not know if my heart skipped a beat, but it well might have. Whose wouldn’t?

Five months prior, in early January, I had had an informative brush with a wolf pack just a few miles from that spot. A friend and I were observing moose. We were in the midst of a migration and some two dozen, mostly bulls who had shed antlers, were dispersed over a huge burn. A few were feeding on the tall willows, but most were resting in the knee-deep snow. Suddenly we heard a low, drawn-out moan. When I glanced at the moose I saw that all were standing alert, facing down the valley. We were green then and perplexed about this unearthly sound.

As if to answer us, a high-pitched voice broke in, and then another and another. We realized we were hearing wolves. Within minutes a chorus was underway—and so were the moose. All were hastily moving up the valley and 10 minutes later the moose had vanished. I opted to stay at our lookout while my friend borrowed my rifle and went to search for the wolves. He saw them at dusk as they walked across a small lake, a pack of seven. Try as he may, the rifle would not fire; it had frozen in the great cold. This may have been kind fortune, for the first wolf I shot with that rifle instantly attacked me, but collapsed before reaching me. The second screamed, and that has triggered pack attacks in the past. Had the pack attacked, I would have been minus a friend in minutes. While a large man can subdue an attacking wolf, even strangle it, there is no defense against an attacking pack.

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25 Aug 2009, 10:37am
Homo sapiens Marine mammals Wolves
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NY Times Gums Up Science

The New York Times, that bastion of unbiased science, managed to gum up more research last week with a yellow journalism article about paleo Indians on the California coast.

The blaring headline in the NYT read, “Ancient Man Hurt Coasts, Paper Says”, but that is the opposite conclusion reached by the researchers.

Some excerpts from the NYT article:

Ancient Man Hurt Coasts, Paper Says

By CORNELIA DEAN, NY Times, August 20, 2009 [here]

The idea that primitive hunter-gatherers lived in harmony with the landscape has long been challenged by researchers, who say Stone Age humans in fact wiped out many animal species in places as varied as the mountains of New Zealand and the plains of North America. Now scientists are proposing a new arena of ancient depredation: the coast.

In an article in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Oregon cite evidence of sometimes serious damage by early inhabitants along the coasts of the Aleutian Islands, New England, the Gulf of Mexico, South Africa and California’s Channel Islands, where the researchers do fieldwork.

“Human influence is pretty pervasive,” one of the authors, Torben C. Rick of the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution, said in an interview. “Hunter-gatherers with fairly simple technology were actively degrading some marine ecosystems” tens of thousands of years ago.

And, the researchers say, unless people understand how much coastal landscapes changed even before the advent of modern coastal development, efforts to preserve or restore important habitats may fail.

Dr. Rick’s co-author, Jon M. Erlandson of the University of Oregon, said people who lived on the Channel Islands as much as 13,000 years ago left behind piles of shells and bones, called middens, that offer clues to how they altered their landscape.

“We have shell middens that are full of sea urchins,” Dr. Erlandson said. He said he and Dr. Rick theorized that the sea urchins became abundant when hunting depleted the sea otters that prey on them. In turn, the sea urchins would have severely damaged the underwater forests of kelp on which they fed.

“These effects cascade down the ecosystem,” Dr. Erlandson said.

Today, coastal scientists argue about a similar cascade, which some attribute to sea otters’ being eaten by killer whales.

Two papers by Rick and Erlandson are posted at W.I.S.E. in the History of Western landscapes Colloquium [here, here].

The paper that discusses shellfish is:

Erlandson, Jon M., Torben C. Rick, Michael Graham, James Estes, Todd Braje, and René Vellanoweth. 2005. Sea otters, shellfish, and humans: 10,000 years of ecological interaction on San Miguel Island, California. Proceedings of the Sixth California Islands Symposium, edited by D.K. Garcelon and C.A. Schwemm, pp. 58-69. Arcata: Institute for Wildlife Studies and National Park Service.


We use data from San Miguel Island shell middens spanning much of the past 10,000 years in a preliminary exploration of long-term ecological relationships between humans, sea otters (Enhydra lutris), shellfish, and kelp forests. At Daisy Cave, human use of marine habitats begins almost 11,500 years ago, with the earliest evidence for shellfish harvesting (11,500 cal BP), intensive kelp bed fishing (ca. 10,000-8500 cal BP), and Sea Otter hunting (ca. 8900 cal BP) from the Pacific Coast of North America. On San Miguel Island, Native Americans appear to have coexisted with sea otters and productive shellfish populations for over 9,000 years, but the emphasis of shellfish harvesting changed over time. Knowledge of modern sea otter behavior and ecology suggests that shell middens dominated by large red abalone shells–relatively common on San Miguel between about 7,300 and 3,300 years ago–are only likely to have formed in areas where sea otter populations had been reduced by Native hunting or other causes. Preliminary analysis of sea urchin lenses, in which the remains of urchins are unusually abundant, may also signal an increasing impact of Island Chumash populations on kelp forest and other near shore habitats during the late Holocene. Such impacts were probably relatively limited, however, when compared to the rapid and severe disruption caused by commercial exploitation under the Spanish, Mexican, and American regimes of historic times.

Note that the abstract says, “Native Americans appear to have coexisted with sea otters and productive shellfish populations for over 9,000 years” and “Such impacts were probably relatively limited, however, when compared to the rapid and severe disruption caused by commercial exploitation under the Spanish, Mexican, and American regimes of historic times.”

That is not the same as “Ancient Man Hurt Coasts”; in fact, it’s the opposite.

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9 Aug 2009, 12:12pm
Bears Homo sapiens
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Don’t Feed The Bears

The latest craze of the dingle-brained rich is to feed bears. Wealthy McMansion owners from Aspen to Lake Tahoe have adopted the insane practice of putting food out for black bears in a kind of twisted substitute for human charity.

It is de rigeur to hate the human race, and so the deep-pocketed-and-guilt-ridden set are uncomfortable feeding starving people. Instead they feed bears to quell their feelings of self-loathing. Besides, bears are cute whereas hungry people are homelessly homely.

Until the bears turn on their charity-givers and kill them and eat them. This news is just in from Colorado.

Ouray County woman’s body found; bear attack suspected

By Le Roy Standish, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, August 08, 2009 [here]

A 73-year-old Ouray County woman, possibly killed by bears, was found dead on her property around noon Friday, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The woman lived about four miles north of Ouray in a quiet, rural subdivision with large-acreage lots. The town is south of Montrose on Colorado Highway 550.

“We haven’t confirmed the cause of death yet, but this woman was found this afternoon around noon and it appeared that she had been mauled by a bear,” said Joe Lewandowski, a spokesman for the DOW.

A Ouray County Sheriff’s Department deputy, investigating the woman’s death, was attacked by a bears.

The deputy shot the bear six times with a shotgun.

“They got here about 12:30, and as they were examining the scene, a bear came out of the woods and the Ouray County sheriff’s deputy shot the bear,” Lewandowski said.

“This bear was shot, but we don’t know if that was the bear that was involved with mauling the woman.”

The woman’s death and the attack of the deputy has triggered a response from the federal government. Wildlife Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been mobilized and is baiting bears onto the property with the intention of killing them, Lewandowski said.

The bears have lost their fear of humans. The woman found dead was frequently seen by neighbors feeding bears on her property, Lewandowski said.

“With this sort of habitation we don’t have any choice, and that is what is really sad. There have been as many as 14 bears that have been observed at the house,” he said.

So the unnamed Ouray County woman was known to feed bears, who were known to congregate on her property, and not her family, her neighbors, nor the authorities did anything about it until she became bear chow herself.

The entire community sat there with their heads in the sand (or somewhere) while an insane lady baited bears into their midst. And now she is dead, others have been attacked, and the bears have to be put down.

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8 Jul 2009, 11:26pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
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NYT Gets It Wrong, Again, As Usual

Shut up in their mega-urban hell and subjected to all the insanity therein, it is really no surprise that the editors of the financially reeling New York Times know absolutely nothing about the reality of life in the normal parts of this country.

The madness and profound ignorance of NYT editors was on display again yesterday, in an unsigned editorial that railed against hunting in National Parks. From the defunctifying NYT [here]:

Editorial: Elk Hunting in the Badlands, July 7, 2009

In 1985, 47 elk were released in the southern section of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. Today, that herd numbers some 900 animals, far more than the park can sustain. The herd needs to be reduced to about 300 in order to bring it into balance with its ecosystem. What to do?

Senator Byron Dorgan’s idea — spelled out in a rider to an Interior Department appropriations bill that the Senate is expected to consider soon — is what he calls a “common sense” public elk hunt. The idea violates both common sense and the very idea of a national park.

To begin with, the proposal would legislate a management issue better left to the secretary of interior and the National Park Service. Worse, it would authorize an activity — public hunting — that is proscribed by the founding legislation for the national parks and their current management policies.

Where did the NYT get that idea? Hunting was one of the founding activities and is not proscribed. Unauthorized hunting in National Parks is not allowed, but authorized hunting is and always has been.

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14 Jun 2009, 4:15pm
Endangered Specious Homo sapiens Wolves
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Killer Wolf Tagged and Released

Wolves have been mass slaughtering lambs in NE Oregon. In April 23 lambs were wolf-killed in Keating Valley near Baker City [here]. Since then more sheep and calves have been killed by wolves.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tracked and captured one of the killer wolves. Then they released it so it could kill some more.

NEWS RELEASE, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, May 4, 2009 [here]

LA GRANDE, Ore. – A joint effort by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife specialists resulted in the capture, radio-collaring, and release of a male wolf on Sunday morning, May 3, at approximately 7 a.m. PT. The event marks the first radio-collaring of a wolf in Oregon.

The wolf captured and radio-collared was an 87-pound male estimated to be about 2 years old. The track size and a second, smaller wolf seen at the capture site indicate that the wolf is one of two involved in several livestock depredations in the Keating Valley area of Baker County over the past few weeks.

The male wolf was trapped about 2.5 miles from the ranch house where this pair of wolves attacked a calf on April 17. Tissue samples were taken from the wolf for genetic analysis. …

Here is smiling ODFW wolf coordinator Russ Morgan fondling the killer wolf just prior to releasing it 2.5 miles away from the most recent mass slaughter site.

The killer wolf happily on its way to kill more sheep.

Photos courtesy your bloodthirsty government.

2 Jun 2009, 11:01am
Bears Homo sapiens
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Grizzly Bait and Switch Proposed

by RRS

Just some thoughts I wanted to pass along on a story I saw in a local paper. Evidently the USFS is looking for excuses to shut people out of our public forests. The latest game: lock out the public to allegedly save a growing population of not-really-endangered grizzly bears.

Here’s the article:

by Becky Kramer, Spokesman Review, May 5, 2009 [here]

Protecting grizzly bears across a 4,560-square-mile swath of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains will require closing hundreds of miles of backcountry roads used by hunters and huckleberry pickers, the Forest Service says.

Grizzlies need secure areas to avoid contact with people, according to a new agency report. Despite 2-inch claws and a fierce reputation – the grizzly’s Latin name is Ursus arctos horribilis, or “horrible northern bear” – bears are typically the losers during encounters with humans.

Since 1982, people have killed 87 grizzlies in two grizzly bear recovery zones in the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak mountains of northeastern Washington, Idaho and Western Montana.

Seventy percent of the human-caused deaths occurred near roads. Poaching and mistaking a grizzly for a black bear were two frequent reasons grizzlies were shot and killed on Forest Service lands. Self-defense by hunters was also a factor, particularly during elk season.

“Grizzly bears kill relatively few people, yet every year, we hear about grizzly deaths in the Northern Rockies,” said Mike Petersen, executive director of the Spokane-based Lands Council. “These bear mortalities are taking place near roads.” …

My thoughts: I would like to see some numbers to go with these broad statements. How many bears were poached? Hit by vehicles? Killed in self defense? Mistaken by hunters? How are roads evil? If 87 bears were killed in the last 26 years that would be about 3.3 bears per year.

How many people have been killed by grizzly bears in the last 26 years? What’s the score? Who’s ahead?

The article continues:

Over the past decade, environmental groups brought a series of lawsuits against the Forest Service, arguing that the agency needed to do more to keep people and bears apart by restricting motorized access to prime habitat areas. The litigation triggered forest plan revisions in the Idaho Panhandle, Kootenai and Lolo national forests.

The plan is out in draft form. Public comments will be accepted through June 22.

Closing roads to protect habitat is controversial, particularly when it halts people’s ability to drive or ride an ATV to well-established huckleberry picking sites or hunting areas, said Karl Dekome, the Forest Service’s team leader. An earlier draft attracted more than 300 public comments.

“People have their favorite places out there that they like to use,” he said. “When you’re talking about closing that off, it can become emotional.” …

My thoughts: I can see how the comments will go. A few locals will get fired up and write letters attempting to protect their rights with perfectly logical and sound reasons. The common sense letters will be drowned out by the mass of identical “letters” from well funded organizations that promote a dehumanized wilderness concept backed by people that have no concept of what is beyond their steel and concrete world.

More from the article:

The Forest Service reviewed two alternatives. Grizzlies would benefit most from barricading up to 1,800 miles of Forest Service roads; erecting gates on up to another 490 miles of roads; and eliminating motorized use on 57 miles of trails, according to the agency.

Forest Service officials, however, prefer a less restrictive plan that gates or barricades about 325 miles of road, while reopening other roads for motorized travel. About 30 miles of trail would close to motorized use. “It tries to strike a balance, providing sufficient habitat recovery for grizzly bears, but recognizing there are other issues and needs,” Dekome said. …

My thoughts: This is how the FS now operates. They come up with an outrageous plan, then an alternative that isn’t quite as restrictive so they can look good by “compromising”. What they are really doing is depriving people of their rights and forcing illegally conceived de facto wilderness upon the people.

More from the article:

Recreational activities would be hard-hit under the more restrictive plan, he said. Driving access to more than 22 developed recreation sites would be eliminated. The day-use area at Roman Nose, a 7,221-foot peak in Boundary County, is on the list. So are six campgrounds, three boat ramps and three picnic areas in the Kootenai National Forest.

Some hiking trails would effectively double in length. Snowmobile trails would be affected, because trail maintenance would be restricted during the summer months, Dekome said.

The ability to drive to the Lunch Peak lookout rental near Sandpoint is curtailed under both alternatives. But recreational impacts are much less severe in the Forest Service’s preferred plan, Dekome said.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, one of the groups that sued the Forest Service, questions whether the agency’s preferred alternative is scientifically sound. Opening roads for timber sales would be allowed, said Liz Sedler, who works for the alliance in Sandpoint. She also said the grizzlies need bigger, undisturbed areas than the preferred alternative creates. …

My thoughts: The mentality of locking it up and letting it burn is more detrimental to habitat than trying manage for a healthy forest. Locking out We the People is against our rights, and heavily discriminates against the poor and elderly. Its very selfish of these organizations to “save the wilderness” so they can be occasionally visited by the wealthy and fit.

1 Jun 2009, 11:57am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Yellowstone Staff Remove Human-Habituated Gray Wolf

NPS News Release, May 19, 2009 [here]

A wolf that had become habituated to people and exhibited behaviors consistent with being conditioned to human food was euthanized this morning by Yellowstone National Park staff along Fountain Flat Drive.

The yearling male wolf from the Gibbon Meadow Pack was first sighted in the vicinity of Midway Geyser Basin in March 2009. In recent weeks, the wolf had been frequently observed in Biscuit Basin and the Old Faithful developed areas in close proximity to park visitors. There have been several incidents of unnatural behavior, including chasing bicyclists on at least three occasions, and one report involving a motorcyclist. The park has also received reports of the wolf approaching people, as well as cars, which can best be described as panhandling-behavior consistent with a food conditioned animal. The wolf’s repeat offenses clearly demonstrate a habituation to humans and human food, escalating the concern for human safety.

Yellowstone staff made attempts at hazing the wolf from the area, only to have the wolf return and repeat this behavior. Hazing techniques are meant to negatively condition an animal and may include cracker shells, bean bag rounds or rubber bullets; all non-injurious deterrents.

The decision to remove the wolf from Yellowstone was made in consultation with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. This is the first time such a management action has occurred since wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone in 1995-1996. Yellowstone National Park removed this wolf from the population in accordance with the park’s habituated wolf management plan. …

According to Doug Smith, Wolf Project Leader, “This wolf was clearly not behaving naturally, reducing our management options. …

The removal of this wolf is not considered to have a detrimental impact to the overall health and population of wild, free roaming wolves in Yellowstone. The wolf population in Yellowstone National Park is currently estimated at 124 animals in 12 packs. Pups that were born this year have not been counted and are not part of this estimate.

1 Jun 2009, 11:49am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf Reported in Downtown Lewiston, ID

This email was received Friday, May 29th.

I wanted to tell you, I was at [a youth league] baseball game Tuesdy night, and at about 7:30 PM just as the game was finishing up, a big dog came out of the tall weeds and brush at the east end of the park (Clearwater Baseball Park) in north Lewiston.

It moved like a coyote, but was too big. So I walked down there to check it out. I got within about 70 yards of it. It was sniffing around and being quite jumpy, but it was definitely a wolf! If I did not see it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it, but there is no doubt in my mind it was a wolf.

I called Idaho Fish and Game, and they sent someone out there the next day but could not find any evidence of the wolf. I have heard, though, that someone has a trail cam photo of a wolf in the canyon on Gun Club Road.

Thought you would be interested.

2 Apr 2009, 12:02am
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Siskiyou County Supervisors Threatened by Pompous State Functionary

An unelected California State bureaucrat has threatened to deny the elected Siskiyou County Supervisors a seat at the table in Klamath dam negotiations. Functionary Mike Chrisman, a bureaucrat who does not answer to the voters, fired off his threats because the County Supervisors, who do answer to voters in this democracy, had the temerity to complain about the process and request scientific studies that Chrisman doesn’t want.

Chrisman, the California Resources Agency natural resources secretary, wants to tear down four dams on the Klamath River. He snipes at those who would oppose his grand plan with all the pomposity of a Czarist Inspector General.

The Board of Supervisors is understandably ticked, and responded in a unanimous letter to the Agency that “Both the tone and content [of Chrisman's letter] are inconsistent with the Board’s understanding of appropriate discourse between someone at the Secretary’s level and a group of elected officials.”

The war of words is reported today in the Siskiyou Daily News:

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25 Mar 2009, 9:53am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf Wars Appear Eminent

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, March 25, 2009 [here]

Selected excerpts:

Speaking of gray wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming only, it now appears that wolf wars may be on the horizon. Sportsmen, ranchers, individuals, legislators and other rational thinking people are coming to the end of their ropes on this wolf issue. One item may have temporarily stemmed the tide — Obama’s announcement to proceed with removing federal protection of the wolf. How long will this put off the inevitable?

This means very little to most in the Northern Rockies who have been lied to in the past, promises made and promises reneged on. And now in some areas, sportsmen sit helplessly by as years of money and effort are being flushed down the drain as an unmanaged and out of control wolf pack destroys deer and elk herds.

Momentum seemed to be building for some. Montana Shooting Sports Association had proposed SB 183, the Montana Wolf Recovery Act, in hopes of forcing the federal government to get out of the state and pay for the damages it has created through wolf reintroduction and protection. Yesterday, that bill failed on second reading in the Montana Senate.

Idaho is planning a similar bill and with the failure of the Montana bill, we now have to wonder how this will affect Idaho’s chances. Some believe that what killed the Montana bill was the announcement of the Obama administration to go ahead with wolf delisting, a move I believe was completely political in order to accomplish just what is now happening — avoid legislative embarrassment by the many states, something this administration seems prone to.

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Alaskans Feed Themselves from Nature’s Abundance

By Craig L. Fleenor, posted with permission from THE OUTDOORSMAN, Feb-Mar 2009

Craig Fleenor is Director of the Subsistence Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Once again Alaska predator management is in the national spotlight. With all of the hype, a very important perspective is often overlooked during this heated debate – that of the subsistence family.

As a young Gwich’in man I grew up in Fort Yukon, depending on wild resources for survival. This life was not a choice but an inter-generational way of life practiced by my family for thousands of years. Like many Alaskans, I was taught that we must manage wolves and bears to protect the local food supply, for safety and to meet other subsistence needs.

Most Alaskans know politics and clever ad campaigns are not what is important. For the subsistence family, acquiring enough food from the land is paramount.

Take the Fort Yukon fisherman who faithfully checks his fish-wheel twice daily, the Anaktuvuk caribou hunter who hopes the herd comes close to the village this year and the Haines moose hunter who spends 12 days hunting. Call it food security, subsistence or even barbarism, but to thousands of Alaskans who live subsistence, it’s about survival.

It’s the fundamental human right of access to high quality, renewable, locally grown, sustainable, affordable food. These needs can only be met if that food is managed for abundance.

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23 Mar 2009, 3:37pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
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Three Basic Problems, One 3-Part Solution

By George Dovel, editor and publisher, THE OUTDOORSMAN, Feb-Mar 2009

Problem #1 – Beneficiaries of Expanding Non-Hunting Programs Will Not Support Them Financially

For more than 100 years, North American hunters and fishermen have been footing the bill for wildlife conservation. But for the past 29 years the lobbying group for North American wildlife agencies has been trying to get taxpayers to fund separate management of species that are not normally harvested and used as food by hunters and fishermen.

The term “management” is hardly appropriate as the limited nongame funding that has been made available has been spent to catalog the species and help provide facilities for people to view them, while claiming they are managed. With game and non-game species increasing during the 1980s, wildlife agencies sought funding to hire nongame biologists “to help all citizens enjoy the species that were not sought by hunters and fishermen.”

Back then, everyone recognized that enhancing habitat for deer, ducks, pheasants and rainbow trout provided similar benefits to non-game species. Although Congress passed the “Nongame Act” in 1980, authorizing $5 million in total annual funding, it failed to appropriate any money to fund it.

Bird Watching Usurped Hunting, Fishing

In 1990 the (International) Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies hired bird watcher Naomi Edelson as its “Biodiversity Director” to sell bird watching and other non-game activities to the American people and their elected officials. In the USFS 2005 technical publication, “Finding Our Wings: The Payoff of a Decade of Determination,” (originally presented to a group of bird watchers in 2002) she details how bird watchers have gotten their “agenda to become someone else’s agenda.”

Edelson explained that in 1990, “The States, through IAFWA, made nongame their biggest priority, as it has remained through the decade.” Since 1990 “Partners in Flight” (PIF), with help from high profile bird watchers (including former TNC Chairman - Goldman Sachs Chair - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson), has substituted its agenda for the “sustained yield of wild game” agenda at every level of government.

Edelson continued, “Now Audubon is back in the bird business in a big way through their Important Bird Areas program (IBA), in part because of all of this bird conservation activity (by [I]AFWA and PIF). If there is one thing we should have learned from our duck friends in all of these years: be part of the movement that gets the money, then you can be part of spending of the money.”

By 1998 IAFWA’s “Teaming With Wildlife” (TWW) biodiversity funding group claimed 3,000 member organizations. Yet its proposal to have Congress fund nongame with a federal excise tax on recreation equipment failed to generate even lukewarm support from either manufacturers or the bird watchers it would have benefited.

TWW then joined forces with parks, historical preservation groups and coastal states’ interests in an intense lobbying campaign for Congress to pass the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). Finally the 2000 version, which passed the House but failed in the Senate, would have provided ~$3.1 billion in annual funding – with $350 million of that going to FWS for state nongame wildlife conservation, and up to $900 million appropriated to condemn and acquire private lands.

This massive “pork” bill, which would have used oil and natural gas royalties and monies from offshore oil exploration for funding, had numerous flaws. According to opponents, these included violation of 5th Amendment Property Rights and using money needed to maintain existing federal lands to instead condemn and acquire new lands from private citizens.

The highly watered-down version (substitute) that finally passed as “State Wildlife Grants” allowed the non-governmental wildlife lobby, including bird watchers and an anti-hunting advisor (i.e. Defenders of Wildlife), to determine the criteria for each state to receive a share of the money. Virtually the only federal government criteria is that sportsman dollars, as in P-R and D-J excise taxes, may not lawfully be used as any part of the mandatory 100% state match for the federal SWG funds for nongame and “at risk” species.

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16 Mar 2009, 1:48pm
Bears Endangered Specious Homo sapiens
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ESA Captured By Monkey Wrenchers

$5 Per Gallon Gasoline! Reason: Endangered Species Act

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, March 16, 2009 [here]

The intro to an excellent analysis:

That shouldn’t make a lick of sense unless of course scientists were to discover some rare and endangered species living deep beneath the earth where oil and natural gas reserves lie. But this is what has become of our beloved Endangered Species Act, a legal document devised in 1973 that was intended to help prevent the man-made destruction of animal and plant life.

Last year the Bush administration decided to list the polar bear as a species that is threatened - meaning that there is a possibility that if we don’t pay close attention to this animal, certain circumstances could put the bear in danger of going extinct. We don’t want that but was it necessary?

I guess it depends on whose science we opt to use and how much politicking comes into play. It appears that the Bush administration attempted to play politics instead of opting for science and fighting the battle based on that.

After the listing was announced, the Bush people tried to pull a double whammy political back 2 and one half somersault. They crafted an executive order that said lawsuits couldn’t be filed to stop energy production, or any other carbon emitting project, based on perceived global warming threats to polar bears. This of course makes about as much sense as pouring gasoline on a fire. The reason Bush and Kempthorne claimed for listing the polar bear was because of shrinking Arctic ice caused by global warming. Politics as usual.

Now with Obama in office and having recently overturned that sneaky little attempt by Kempthorne to prevent lawsuits, the door has been left wide open, welcoming with open arms any and every lawsuit known to mankind that might have an affect on polar bears. How creative can you get? … [more]

11 Mar 2009, 11:18pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
by admin
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Upper Mid-Klamath Watershed Council - Citizen and Landowner Survey

The region of the Upper Mid-Klamath Watershed Council is the portion of the Klamath River Watershed from Cade Mountain on the west to the Oregon border, and Siskiyou Mountain Ridgeline on the North, and southerly to the Cities of Yreka and Montague.

Over the past several months the Upper Mid-Klamath Watershed Council (UMKWC) Board has received numerous comments, concerns, and questions regarding the issue of dam removal and/or fish passage on the Klamath River. One of the objectives of the UMKWC is to provide communities within the UMKWC area a forum for outreach and education.

Whether or not the decision is made for dam removal (or alternative mitigation) IT WILL AFFECT ALL OF SISKIYOU COUNTY’S CITIZENS AND PROPERTY OWNERS. The UMKWC believes that any decisions made regarding the existing dams on the Klamath River be based on the best scientific research and data available, and strongly supports the idea that as the investigative process proceeds a neutral scientific peer group be established to review all scientific data that is developed regarding the dam issue. The UMKWC also desires that Siskiyou County government take the lead in the dam planning process and assist the community in responding to the many expressed questions and concerns.

The purpose of this survey is to gather input and summarize the concerns of the citizens and landowners for a presentation to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.

Take the survey [here]

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