14 Feb 2009, 11:32am
Deer, Elk, Bison Endangered Specious Wolves
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The Wolf-Dogs of Yellowstone

Wolves have decimated the elk herds in Yellowstone Park [here], but that’s okay because Yellowstone wolves are wild animals in danger of extinction, whereas elk are totally expendable.

The USFWS tried to take wolves off the Endangered Species List last year [here], evidently because their scientists believe that Canadian gray wolves are not endangered [here, here, here, here]. But twelve enviro groups sued to put a halt to the delisting [here], and a federal judge agreed with them [here].

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy enjoined the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and put them back on the Endangered Species list because, in his a-scientific opinion, wolves need more “genetic exchange” [here]. If the entire country is not crawling with wolves, they might get inbred and retarded like European royalty, in the judge’s twisted view of world.

We wrote at the time:

The problem is that wolves breed like dogs, and with dogs, coyotes, and everything else dog-like. Genetic purity can only be maintained within limited populations. When wolves are allowed to roam all over, their genotype gets polluted with dog genes.

They become wolf-dogs, like in New Mexico, or wolf-otes, like in Minnesota.

Sure enough, a new study by a team of biologists and molecular geneticists from Stanford University, UCLA, Sweden, Canada and Italy has found that nearly half of North American wolves have dog genes already [here].

Biologists solve mystery of black wolves

UCLA Press Release, 5-Feb-2009

Why do nearly half of North American wolves have black coats while European wolves are overwhelmingly gray or white? The surprising answer, according to teams of biologists and molecular geneticists from Stanford University, UCLA, Sweden, Canada and Italy, is that the black coats are the result of historical matings between black dogs and wild gray wolves.

The research, federally funded by the National Science Foundation, appears Feb. 5 in the online edition of the journal Science and will be published later in the journal’s print edition.

The scientists used molecular genetic techniques to analyze DNA sequences from 150 wolves, about half of them black, in Yellowstone National Park, which covers parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. They found that a novel mutated variant of a gene in dogs, known as the K locus, is responsible for black coat color and was transferred to wolves through mating.

It is hard to imagine how genes could get transferred other than by mating, but we didn’t write the press release. The scientists could not find evidence that Yellowstone wolf-dogs had picked up the domestic genes recently, but if the proliferation desired by Judge Molloy and the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit is realized, more cross-fertilization with dogs is inevitable.

“The underlying assumption is that genes from one species will be contained and not enter another species on a massive scale; this may not be true,” [Dr. Robert] Wayne said. “There may be implications for genetically modified organisms.”

Implications? Genetically modified organisms? Wolf-dogs?

All the hoo-rah over wolves and it turns out they aren’t wolves after all!

Elk herds decimated, sheep and cattle slaughtered, rural residents beset with killer predators, state legislatures in an uproar, Fish and Game budgets cannibalized, and the damn wolves aren’t even pure wolves.

They’re wolf-dogs! It’s Save the Zebronkey [here, here] all over again.

The wildlife rights groups who wish to “save” a species (Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, and Wildlands Project) are gumming up the wildlife populations of an entire region with hybrid wolf-dogs!

The whole thing is a monumental fraud!

The wildlife species of choice (the wolf-dogs), to be protected no matter how much damage they do to other wildlife species, are not even wild; they’re feral!

Oh well. The monumental fraud will continue. Too many folks are too deeply invested in the proliferation of killer predator wolf-dogs. They hate everything else (people, elk, sheep, etc.) with such a burning passion that it does not matter to them what the killer predators are. As long as the slaughter continues, the wolf-dog lovers will be happy.

Slaughter, death, destruction, extirpation, mass suffering of man and beast; it’s all good.

Save the Wolf-dogs! Kill everything else.

11 Feb 2009, 10:21am
Homo sapiens
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Anything But Science

By Jim Slinsky, Outdoor Talk Network, 02/07/09 [here]

If one takes the time to look around the country and investigate the myriad of wildlife and fisheries management controversies in all states, one should get deeply concerned. To the casual and uninformed the heated debates appear to be nothing more than business as usual. Wildlife resource management always was and always will be, controversial.

However, close examination reveals we may have actually transcended a new era. You’ve read the stories. Ban all trapping in Maine and Minnesota because of a possible incidental take of an endangered Canada lynx. Ban all bear hunting in New Jersey because the Governor hates hunting. Ban all bear hunting in Florida because Florida bear are a newly discovered subspecies. Stop all trout stocking in California because trout are predators and may impact the frog population. Poison out rainbow and brown trout because they are invasive species. Kill the deer in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri because they are destroying forest regeneration. (I may have missed a few states) State and federal experts are always on hand to tell us predators have no impact on wildlife populations. Really? The national press and their continuous condemnation of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska for culling their wolves fill the news doldrums. In New York coyote season actually closes so coyotes can give birth and raise their young. Huh?

Out West as in Alaska and Canada, it is the wolf programs that are destroying our wildlife, our hunting and our ranching industry. Those western state wildlife agencies supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (or maybe controlled would be a better word) argue vehemently (except Wyoming) that wolves are beneficial as elk, deer, wild sheep, livestock and pet dogs and cats rapidly disappear. These are just a few examples of the madness; I could go on and on.

Behind each of these stories and controversies we hear voices proclaiming that we must follow the path of science and science says we must go down this road. It is extremely difficult for some not to conclude that all of this is really the Wildlands Project unfolding right before our eyes. Others have said war has been declared on our rural residents and their way of life. And still others conclude the origins of these agendas are the International Association of Game and Fish Agencies and even the United Nations. That conclusion will have eyes rolling and you will be branded a conspiracy theorist for certain

In reality the origins of the anti-hunting and anti-fishing agendas over the past ten years really don’t matter. They are real and they are happening. What is new is our state wildlife agencies are running out of money. Their programs have decimated sportsmen retention and recruitment. The traditional “customer” of these state agencies is realizing hunted species and his and her voices have been completely removed from table and the environmental voice has usurped their interests. In desperation the state agencies have appealed to their legislators for general tax fund financing, which has fallen on totally deaf ears. Legislators don’t want wildlife management as another line item within state budgets subject to economic down-turns and stimulus packages.

On the upside all the nonsense may be drawing to a conclusion. State wildlife agencies are now being forced to make a choice. They can rebuild their bridges with our sporting community or they can bank on the environmentalists getting them general tax fund revenue. Our national economic crisis will probably force the agencies to see the light, sooner rather than later.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but wildlife management as we once knew it is dead. We are currently in an era of total political management. It is not about science, it is about politics. The truth is politics now controls the science. Yours truly has hosted and produced one thousand radio interviews in the last thirteen years. I believe I have a handle on this one. Ironically, after one hundred years of financing the total recovery of our game and non-game species across this nation, our sportsmen are being pushed aside as an insignificant voice in the discussion of management. So, the next time you go to battle with your state agency over a management issue, don’t waste your time arguing science.

Wildlife management across this country has evolved into anything but science.

Note: Jim Slinsky is the host and producer of the “Outdoor Talk Network”, a nationally syndicated, outdoor-talk radio program. For a station near you or to contact Jim, visit his website at www.outdoortalknetwork.com.

11 Feb 2009, 1:12am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Wolves Reducing Elk Populations In Montana

A new study of wolves and elk was released last week by the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks that showed the MT wolf population has been increasing exponentially since 1995 at rates of approximately 10% to 34% annually. The best estimate as of December 2007 is that there were a minimum of 422 wolves (73 packs) and 39 breeding packs within the State boundaries of Montana.

The study, entitled Monitoring and Assessment of Wolf-Ungulate Interactions and Population Trends within the Greater Yellowstone Area, Southwestern Montana, and Montana Statewide by Kenneth L. Hamlin and Julie A. Cunningham, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, found that wolves killed approximately 7 to 23 elk per wolf in winter (November through April). Summer kill rates were not estimated.

The study also found that “the number of grizzly bears in southwest Montana and the GYA has increased more than 3-fold since 1987,” and the combined effect of wolves and bears has reduced elk calf survival:

In the Northern Yellowstone and Gallatin- Madison elk herds, calf per 100 cow ratios have recently been approximately half or less than levels recorded prior to wolf restoration.

Elk counts from 1994 to 2008 have dropped from 67% to 81% in those herds.

The number of elk wintering and counted within YNP (subject to the greatest natural predation pressure) has declined dramatically since 2000 (Fig. 17) compared to elk wintering and counted outside YNP (subject to greater hunter harvest and lower natural predation pressure). Since 2005, however, hunter harvest was insignificant for all Northern Range elk but wolf numbers and predation have increased.

The study is [here]. Regarding wolf delisting, conclusions of the study include:

Wolves have long since reached the numerical and distributional goals for recovery, but de-listing has not occurred and management options are limited. …

The federally funded budget for wolf monitoring and management has increased by 8% since 2005, while the MFWP budget for all big game monitoring, including but not limited to all of the ungulate species, has declined by 15% since 2006. Currently, the wolf program budget is approximately 2/3 the size of the budget for the big game program.

The Helena Independent Record reported:

Wolves tied to elk decline in parts of state

By EVE BYRON - Independent Record - 02/07/09 [here]

A study released Friday confirms what some hunters have long suspected — that the elk population in some areas of Montana has dropped dramatically due to wolf predation.

In particular, the study found that since 2004 in the northern Yellowstone National Park elk herd, wolves have killed more elk than hunters did; since 2005 wolves killed more adult cow elk than hunters did; and in all but one year since 2002, wolves have killed more bull elk than hunters did.

Researchers spent the past seven years measuring elk populations and behavior of elk in Montana, and the report by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks found that elk numbers in some areas of southwestern Montana have dropped rapidly, mainly due to the loss of elk calves targeted by wolves and grizzly bears in those areas.

However, the same study, led by FWP and Montana State University, suggests that in some areas of western Montana elk numbers have increased even while the number of elk taken by hunters has decreased. The study found little apparent influence by local wolf packs on elk numbers in those areas.

Researchers said the seemingly contradictory findings show that not all elk populations respond in the same ways when they share the land with wolves.

“One-size-fits-all explanations of wolf-elk interactions across large landscapes do not seem to exist,” said Justin Gude, FWP’s chief of wildlife research in Helena.

About 1,500 gray wolves roam Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah. That includes about 400 in Montana, 780 in Idaho and 350 in Wyoming.

An estimated 130,000 elk are in Montana.

The study notes that habitat, weather patterns, human hunting, and the presence of other large predators and livestock also play a role. Scientists added that wolf predation by itself doesn’t necessarily initiate declines in prey populations, but it can exacerbate that or lengthen the time needed for the population to rebound.

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, wasn’t surprised to hear that elk populations have dropped as the result of the 1994 reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park.

“Wolves are an ecological catastrophe,” Marbut said. “There have been a lot of studies that show each wolf will take from 25 to 80 elk per year … it’s just a matter of third-grade math that the number of elk will go down as the number of wolves increase.”

9 Feb 2009, 11:00am
Wolves
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Agency wolf count comes up short again

Press Release from Wolf Crossing [here]

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and cooperating agencies working on the Mexican wolf reintroduction have just released their yearly wolf count report. Wolf numbers in 2008 haven’t changed significantly in the past year.

“Agency personnel failed to find suspected newly formed packs that they had evidence of in earlier in the year,” said Laura Schneberger, President of the Gila Livestock Growers Association. “While it is possible that animals that were killed could have contributed to the year-end count, it is clear they did have significant conflict with human beings and were killed by those close encounters. Had the agency followed protocol developed in the rule, those animals might be alive now,” said Schneberger.

Solving wolf livestock conflict was not prioritized in 2008 and problem wolves were left on the ground. Some ranchers were provided range riders during high depredation seasons as part of an experimental livestock conflict prevention program, but clearly more genuine effort by agency personnel is necessary to develop long term solutions to wolf conflict. It may be too late for some ranchers who have had it with dealing with the agencies.

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9 Feb 2009, 10:38am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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The High Costs of Wolves

by Allen Schallenberger

A recent final research report by the Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) shows that wolves are grabbing 67 percent of the funding compared to all other big game surveys in the state of Montana. That figure has increased from 45 percent in 2005.

MT FWP is getting $823,604 from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for wolves. FWP is spending about $2,000 yearly per admitted wolf. Those wolf numbers are a little hazy as FWP makes their wolf count at the end of December but will not release the numbers until their annual wolf report in March. Also the public should know that a fiscal note on SB 183 indicates FWP wants to spend about $6,600 per wolf.

What is the true cost per wolf in Montana today? How much money is taken from other FWP programs? How much are the universities, USFWS, USDA Wildlife Services, other agencies and environmental groups spending per wolf in addition to FWP? What is the cost of the numerous big game animals killed by wolves? For example wolves kill 23 elk per wolf in the Madison Valley during the 6 month winter period. What they are killing the rest of the year is unknown.

Humans must pay FWP restitution fees for illegally taken big game animals. Trophy animals — bighorn $30,000; elk $8,000; moose and any mountain goat $6,000; deer $8,000; antelope $2,000. Other restitution fees are bighorn and wolves $2,000; elk and moose $1,000; buffalo and antlered deer $500; deer and antelope not covered by above sections $300. The wolves are killing thousands of expensive animals.

What are the costs of livestock killed, wounded and harassed as well as animals such as dogs? What are the stress costs for big game, livestock, ranchers, hunters, outfitters, other citizens and businesses and the costs of wolves spreading diseases? The feds imported wolves with $12,000,000 stolen funds [from hunting and fishing excise taxes].

Note: Allen Schallenberger is an experienced wildlife research and management biologist, wildife consultant, former cattle rancher, 20-year general outfitter, and a 5th generation Montana native. He is a frequent contributor to Wildlife and People and SOS Forests.

6 Feb 2009, 11:59pm
Bears Endangered Specious
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Palin and lawmakers were right to dispute beluga, bear listings

by Matt Cronin, Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, Feb. 6, 2009 [here]

Gov. Sarah Palin and the Legislature were criticized for opposing the Endangered Species Act listings of beluga whales in Cook Inlet and polar bears. Mike Nizich and Gov. Palin eloquently justified the state’s positions. Species considered under the Endangered Species Act are not necessarily in danger of extinction. Polar bears have increased worldwide over the last 40 years and most populations have not declined. Numbers of belugas have increased over the last six years. The bears and belugas were listed because of predictive models that a scientist would treat as hypotheses in need of testing, not conclusions.

Some Endangered Species Act species are not even species, because the act includes subspecies and populations (DPS), so almost any population can be listed. The belugas were declared genetically distinct to support the DPS designations but this is scientifically simplistic.

Maintaining belugas in Cook Inlet is one management objective, as are fishing, oil, minerals, marine and air traffic, and forestry. Because Endangered Species Act listings are not definitive and can negatively impact citizens, the governor’s opposition is legitimate and I believe reflects her concern for multiple-use management and her responsibility to the state of Alaska.

Scientists who don’t support ESA listings have been accused of non-objectivity and bogus science (Daily News, Jan. 15, 2009; May 9, 2008). This smacks of Soviet Lysenkoism, in which science was dictated by government policy and dissent was not allowed. In science, debate and discussion should be encouraged, not prevented.

Note: Dr. Matthew Cronin PhD. is Research Associate Professor of Animal Genetics, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is also a member of the Alaska Board of Forestry. Three of his research papers are currently posted at the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Wildlife Sciences [here].

5 Feb 2009, 9:48pm
Salmon and other fish
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Food Grows Where Water Flows

California Farm Water Coalition Press Release, February 4, 2009

“Water needs to be managed first for the needs of fish, and second for the needs of people.”

A statement like this is sure to inflame individuals in California’s water industry who struggle to provide the water needed by both our farms and cities. However, it is important to go beyond the immediate reaction to the statement and realize what this statement means to California’s water future.

The statement was taken from a presentation at last month’s International Sportsman Exposition in Sacramento and was made by an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This group has long been a strong advocate toward increasing the water supply dedicated for the environment and it hasn’t mattered what the cost might be for others. NRDC has repeatedly used the court system to push its agenda.

The real surprise resulting from the statement is that it publicly acknowledges what many of us have thought for years — radical environmentalists will do whatever is necessary to take water away from farms and cities.

This approach to claiming increased water supplies for the environment has certainly been proven in recent years. One only has to take a look at the amount of water that has been redirected, mostly from farmers, to the environment since 1991:

1991: National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion, 80,000 acre-feet.

1992: Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 800,000 acre-feet.

1994: Bay-Delta Accord, 1.1 million acre-feet.

2000: Trinity Accord, 600,000 acre-feet.

2006: San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement, up to 200,000 acre-feet if water recovery under the Settlement is not realized.

2007: Federal court decision preserving water for Delta smelt, 600,000 acre-feet.

The combined total of these actions on an annual basis amounts to more than 3 million acre-feet of water. To put that in perspective, the contracted annual delivery of water from the State Water Project calls for 4.1 million acre-feet and annual contracts from the federal Central Valley Project total 7 million acre feet. Of course, neither of these projects is delivering anything near that amount of water this year.

California is entering a third consecutive year of drought and the prospect for water deliveries this year is not looking good. It will take all water interests working together to survive what is shaping up to be a crippling water year for all. If we are going to plan for a future that will adequately provide water for all Californians, then we must be willing to work together. It appears the National Resources Defense Council does not plan to be a part of that effort.

Copyright 2009, California Farm Water Coalition.

Note: see also Salmon Advocates Appeal to Kerry to Remove Lower Snake Dams [here]

5 Feb 2009, 10:55am
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Is dam removal really the best option?

By Rex Cozzalio, Opinion, Siskiyou Daily News, February 3, 2009 [here]

Parts one and two:

Klamath River - In order to justify mandated job security, asset reallocation and condemnation without compensation, government agencies, environmental groups, and several self-seeking tribal individuals have altered or ignored the history, current reality, and the accumulated knowledge of the vested majority with a love, past connection, and consequence of decision regarding the Klamath watershed. They have also ignored primary fisheries influences and instead focus on any conditions that advance their cause, creating “theories” based upon those self-serving “conditions.”

With generations in the same location immediately below where Iron Gate now sits and above any other confluences, we are in perhaps the best position to gauge the effects of the dams on the Klamath environment. Personally swimming in the Klamath before and after Iron Gate, a minimum of 50 times per year for 50 years, as my grandfather and area predecessors before us, I can say without question that the water quality, quantity, riparian stability, temperatures and condition, including algae, are far better because of the dams than before; support of an improved environment was a primary reason they were originally put in place. The salmon were never known to migrate in significant numbers above Spencer Creek, which helped determine the Copco Lake location. In fact, even under the improved water conditions, the majority are still exhausted and dying by the time the salmon reach our property, with the prior hatchery director’s estimate of the best remaining energy reserves taking them no higher than the Copco area. If the Klamath tribal leaders did not know this, why would they demand fishing rights to our area below the proposed dam removal as part of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement?

Considering this and other extensive historical information supported by non-benefiting, knowledgeable, concerned local multigenerational river residents (which to complete an agenda current rhetoric blatantly ignores), what is the likely result of historically unjustified mass asset destruction with no preliminary proof or guarantee of success, and what is the future cost and inevitable actions taken after that massive asset destruction and reallocation has failed?

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4 Feb 2009, 2:13pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Klamath Dam Removal Sheer Madness

From Klamath Basin Crisis [here] — [Yesterday] around 100 people drove to Salem to testify at a hearing on Senate Bill 76, Klamath dam removal financing.. Up to $4.5 billion, according to FERC report, is the pricetag. 1800 petitions from Karuk tribal members, Siskiyou County residents, on and off Project irrigators and community members signed petitions opposing SB76, and these were submitted to the senators. Signers oppose the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Advocates of SB76 tried to convince the senators and media that there is no opposition.

The following is the Testimony of Katherine Lehman before the Oregon Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, Hearing on SB 76, Tuesday, February 3, 2009 [here]:

My name is Katherine Lehman. I live in Ashland, in Jackson County. I am the President of People for the USA! Grange, with members in both Oregon and California. PFUSA Grangers are “People united in applying Constitutional, free market principles in support of strong communities, vigorous economies, and a healthy environment.” I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to comment on SB 76; I hope you consider my comments as earnestly as they are submitted.

I hope each committee member has personally read the draft Klamath River Basin Restoration Agreement released in January 2008, and the Agreement in Principle released late last year, as SB 76 proposes Oregonians fund the proposed removal of 4 Klamath River hydroelectric dams; said dam removal is inextricably linked to both documents. The hydroelectric project owner is PacifiCorp. PacifiCorp has been attempting relicensing since 2006. If pursued, this will be the largest dam removal project in the world, necessitating generation of replacement of the project’s 169 megawatts (mw) of abundant, clean (that is, greenhouse gas free, and carbon free), renewable, and sustainable electricity, serving about 70,000 customers. That is enough clean, GREEN POWER to serve the combined populations of Eugene and Springfield - GONE!

These agreements, while not yet binding, represent many serious infirmities, such as violations of existing Oregon and California state statutes, existing federal statutes, and even the U.S. Constitution. But too few care about violating the law anymore, so I am here today to speak for PacifiCorp’s ratepayers, and as a taxpayer, for it is we who will pay the astronomical cost of this dam removal boondoggle - costs not just for the replacement energy required, but mitigation for the expected environmental and property damage, loss of jobs, tax revenues, and other significant impacts I don’t have time here to fully address.

Part of this proposed dam removal would entail the complete destruction of the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery. The hatchery was established in 1963 at river mile 190 to mitigate the effects of the dams on anadramous species. Production goals for the hatchery include 4,920,000 Chinook salmon smolts, 1,080,000 Chinook salmon yearlings, 75,000 coho salmon yearlings, and 200,000 steelhead yearlings (Richey 2006). If we Oregonians really mean to increase populations in these species, killing off such great production is worse than moronic.

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4 Feb 2009, 12:09pm
Bears Homo sapiens
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Waging War with Wildlife

What responsibilities do government wildlife managers have to the general public? The question arises in regards to the 2007 case of Sam Ives, an 11-year-old boy killed in a bear attack.

The Ives family went camping in June 2007 at the US Forest Service’s Timpooneke Campground on the Unita NF in Utah. Unbeknownst to them, a rogue bear was in the area.

Boy Killed by Bear in American Fork Canyon

Sam Penrod, KSL.com, June 18th, 2007 [here]

It was a horrifying end to a family’s camping trip in American Fork Canyon when a bear dragged a sleeping child from a tent and mauled him to death. It’s the first fatal attack in Utah’s history.

Authorities still have not released the identity of the victim. But Tuesday morning, the Deseret Morning News will report the young boy who was killed while sleeping in the tent is 11-year-old Samuel Ives from Pleasant Grove.

The Division of Wildlife Resources confirmed that the bear that was shot and killed earlier today is the bear that attacked the young boy late last night. …

Initially there were fears the 11-year-old had been abducted by a human. His stepfather heard his screams but couldn’t see the boy. It seems the bear clawed right through the multi-room tent and dragged the boy out in his sleeping bag. Sadly, his body was found two hours later about 300 yards away. …

While the family was unaware that an aggressive bear was in the area, employees of the USFS and the Utah Division of Wildlife Services did know, because they had been searching for the bear earlier that day. The bear had been been prowling the campground, had been reported, and officials were cognizant that it was dangerously human-habituated. They made a futile attempt to locate the bear.

But rather than warning campers of the situation, the wildlife managers gave up their search and drove off without informing the public or so much as putting up a warning sign.

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1 Feb 2009, 1:14am
Homo sapiens
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Ripping Off Idaho Hunters and Fishermen

By George Dovel, editor and publisher of The Outdoorsman

How much of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) budget is spent on non-game programs?

In a 1,900-word response to several issues raised in a 500-word guest opinion published on Jan. 2, 2009, IDFG Communications Bureau Chief Mike Keckler intimated that about $70,000 in sportsman license fees are spent for non-game activities and about $168,000 in sportsman excise taxes are spent for non-game program employee salaries in the Wildlife Bureau.

During a fee increase promotion for an SFW-Idaho Chapter in Heyburn on January 23, 2009, Commissioner Wayne Wright reportedly said only about $50,000 of the $46 million collected exclusively from sportsmen is used for non-game and most of that is for education such as the non-game publication “Wildlife Express.”

In a seven-page email to three concerned sportsmen, dated Jan. 17, 2009, Commissioner Tony McDermott claimed that no sportsman money was spent on non game in two of the seven Bureaus that spend money both for nongame species and for other non-game activities.

What is the truth?

For starters, there is a significant difference between the single word “nongame” (species that are not classified as game) and “non game” or “non-game” (programs that do not benefit game species or the license buyers who pursue them).

For most of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s existence, “all wildlife” was defined as “wild mammals, wild birds and fish hunted by man” (i.e. game species and furbearers, and a few rodents, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and predatory species). Some other species were put off-limits to hunting and became protected nongame.

But when fringe radicals infiltrated the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (now shortened to AFWA), it directed State Fish and Game agencies to change the definition of “wildlife” to “any form of animal life, native or exotic, generally living in a state of nature” (i.e. thousands of nongame species in addition to the relatively few species harvested by hunters, fishermen and trappers).

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30 Jan 2009, 9:45pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Ratepayers Forced To Pay For Removal of Klamath Dams

Oregon Senate Bill 76 will be the subject of a Hearing next Tuesday, February 3rd. SB 76 requires that electricity ratepayers in the Klamath Basin bear the costs of dismantling four dams on the Klamath River.

The ratepayers oppose the destruction of the dams, which will cause electricity rates to skyrocket as well as cause massive brownouts in the region due to lack of substitute power. Despite that, ratepayers are being forced to buy the bullets for the firing squad that will shoot them.

Removal of the dams, and the plan to force costs on the ratepayers, are the brainchild of braindead Governor Teddy “The Torch” Taxandgougeme, the worst governor in history [here, here, here, here].

The removal of the dams is ostensibly to improve salmon survival, but instead will have the opposite effect [here]. In any case, those who have promoted the dam removal will NOT be paying for it, nor will they be paying for the exorbitant Enron-style electricity rates that result.

Furthermore, the Enron-style screwing of the residents of the Klamath Basin starts now, if Ted the Goober gets his sick way.

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30 Jan 2009, 8:19pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Mobilizing the Truth about Wolves

by Tony Mayer and Rick Mayer, Save Our Elk [here]

The major media tends to misrepresent the reality of wolf introduction. Unsubstantiated and inaccurate statements suggest that wolf control is the same as wholesale slaughter of wolves.

There is an alternate view. Knowledgeable wildlife experts like Dr Charles Kay, Dr Val Geist, Dr. Tom Bergerud, Mr. George Dovel, and many others express a more reasonable and scientific view of wolf control, but the main stream media rarely reports balance about wolves.

Filtered coverage by the media benefits organizations like Defenders of Wildlife, EarthJustice, Sierra Club, PETA, Western Watersheds, and several others who have ulterior agendas, enhancing their fund raising.

The best way for facts about wolves to prevail is to begin playing the game in the same way by finding effective ways to get our message out. We have created the SaveElk.com website for just that purpose. We are attempting to inform the public about the devastation that expanding wolf populations are causing to our region.

I encourage you to visit the Save Our Elk website [here]. Please review the information presented there. We challenge the systematic eradication of our native ungulate wildlife by uncontrolled wolves.

Although we are up against huge money-raising machines, we are doing we can to get the facts out to effect positive change in public opinion. We sincerely hope that common sense will prevail once the facts are out for everyone to see.

Please help us. Contact your local media, write letters to your newspapers, contact your radio stations, contact your kids teachers, rally your sportsman groups, call and write your legislators and your governor, inform your Fish and Wildlife representatives. This issue is urgent and its time that we all do our part.

26 Jan 2009, 2:41pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Secret Meetings, Wolves, Missing Money, and the Next Possible Director of US Fish and Wildlife Service

By Jim Beers, Wolfbites, January 25, 2009 [here]

Many years ago, my mother once observed at the dinner table “you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep”. The wisdom of that observation has grown in my mind with the passing of the years. It is my belief that it applies even to Presidents as in “you can tell a lot about a President by the appointments they make”.

Amidst the recent picture of CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta’s daughter being hugged by Hugo Chavez to the grinning delight of Daniel Ortega; the radical animal rights agenda of the new Chief of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; the spectacle of a Secretary of State whose husband has collected and will continue to collect millions of dollars from Middle East tyrants; and a Treasury Secretary who not only evaded paying substantial taxes for years but was specifically paid money by his employer to pay those taxes: comes a disturbing rumor that should concern every American.

In the late 1990’s the US Fish and Wildlife Service tried to force me to retire and when I wouldn’t they embarked on a hideous campaign to destroy my reputation, harass my family, and make me unemployable. There was no official reason for this because it could not be defended publicly. In fact, it was because of the secret alliance of the then US Fish and Wildlife Service Director and extremist environmental groups and radical animal rights groups.

I had been working for several years here, in Canada, and in Europe to defend the authority of State Fish and Wildlife agencies to administer trapping programs and for American businesses to buy and sell fur and fur products in the face of European Union bureaucrats efforts (on behalf of American/International extremist environmental and radical animal rights organizations) to ban all fur and fur products from Europe that was then the world’s largest buyer of furs. When the US Trade Representative and State Department delegations (of which I was usually the sole fur management and use advocate) prevailed and caused the EU bureaucrats to back down, the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service was secretly furious because she had been promising her new “secret friends” that we would not be successful. I say “secret” because at that time USFWS was publicly cultivating the fiction that they represented the management and use of fish and wildlife and not the radical agendas of the groups that now control them.

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22 Jan 2009, 1:43pm
Wolves
by admin
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Clearwater Wolves To Be Controlled?

In the latest twist to the Rocky Mountain wolf saga, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has announced their intention to request wolf control authority from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), specifically for the culling of wolves in the Clearwater River watershed.

Clearwater elk herds have been particularly hard hit by the burgeoning Idaho wolf population [here, here, here, here, here].

There are some legal/political clouds hanging over the request, however. The State of Idaho is not necessarily required to ask permission from the Federal government to control wolves. States have 10th amendment rights (and the obligation) to safeguard their own interests and those of their citizens. The USFWS has been on-again-off-again regarding the ESA status of Rocky Mountain wolves [here, here, here, here, here, and here among many other posts] which all parties agree are no longer in danger of going extinct, if in fact they ever were, which is hugely doubtful.

Idaho has an official approved wolf recovery plan (2002), and an unofficial unapproved one (2008), the latter currently a point of some contention [here, here]. And the IDFG has been playing games with their budget [here].

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