Calamity Jane Lists Pacific Smelt

Lunatic NOAA Admin Jane Lysenko freaked out and put the common Pacific smelt on the Endangered Species last week.

You ask, can Calamity Jane do such a thing? The answer is yes. Only in America, and only when the Commies run the zoo, but yes, yes they can.

The common, abundant Pacific smelt was listed as “threatened” on March 16th by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMS), a vassal sub-sect of NOAA [here].

[T]he ESA requires federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund or conduct are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. Prohibitions against harming them would apply only to Pacific smelt in U.S. waters or to U.S. citizens on the high seas, even though the population extends into Canada.

No more smelt dipping under penalty of 5 to life in Leavenworth. The super-abundant, NMS-protected sea lions can have all they want however.

The Pacific smelt or eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) is abundant, has high fecundity, and a demonstrated ability to rebound from periods of low abundance. Even the smelt-brains at NMS know that. But the facts don’t matter with “our” feral gooberment.

The NMS created a “distinct population segment” out of thin air, declared it in danger of going extinct, and slapped a new Law of the Land on an astounded human population, caught unaware and blindsided by the smelt-brains.

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Environmental Groups Net $91,000 on Jaguar Habitat Litigation

For Immediate Release / March 22, 2010

From the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association

The federal government paid a total of $91,000 to environmental groups as part of settlement agreements in two lawsuits filed regarding designation of critical habitat for the jaguar.

“The amount of money — our tax dollars — that has gone and continues to go to these groups is unbelievable,” said Bert Ancell, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) President, Bell Ranch. “How the government can continue to make these agreements, knowing that money will be used to fund yet another lawsuit against the federal government, is beyond me.”

The Center for Biological Diversity received $53,000 and the Defenders of Wildlife received $38,000 in settlement of a case they filed in 2008 to force the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to designate critical habitat for the jaguar. The groups are pushing for the designation of 53 million acres of habitat in southern New Mexico and Arizona, for a species that is rarely seen north of the Mexican border.

Ancell is concerned about the impacts a critical habitat designation could have on natural resource users, including ranchers. “These designations are far-reaching, and could seriously impact ranching operations and rural economies in southern New Mexico and Arizona.”

“The cost of these lawsuits is staggering,” Ancell continued, “with no actual benefit to the species in question. These environmental groups file hundreds of lawsuits every year, forcing agencies to dedicate time, money and resources that could go to species benefit, instead it goes into the courtroom. Our tax dollars are used to defend the case, our tax dollars are used to settle the case and the environmental groups go out and file more lawsuits. None of this impacts the jaguar one way or the other – the species continues to do just fine in natural range — which does not include the southwestern United States. Jaguars need running water and a humid climate.”

Groups are able to ask for attorneys’ fees as part of the settlement of a lawsuit with the federal government under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) and other fee shifting statutes. EAJA was passed in the 1980s to ensure that private citizens’ and non-profits’ rights were protected. Today, however, well-funded environmental groups are using the legislation for profit, Ancell concluded.

The NMCGA has represented the beef industry in New Mexico and the West since 1914 and has members in all 33 of the state’s counties as well as some 14 other states. The Association participates in venues necessary to protect beef producers and private property rights including litigation, state and federal legislation and regulatory affairs.

-30-

18 Mar 2010, 10:10pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2009 Interagency Annual Report

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nez Perce Tribe, National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Blackfeet Nation, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Idaho Fish and Game, and USDA Wildlife Services. 2010. Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2009 Interagency Annual Report. C.A. Sime and E. E. Bangs, eds. USFWS, Ecological Services, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, Montana. 59601. [here]

NORTHERN ROCKIES WOLF SUMMARY 2009

Abstract — The 2009 NRM wolf population increased over 2008 levels and now includes at least 1,706 wolves in 242 packs and 115 breeding pairs. Wolf packs and especially breeding pairs largely remain within the core recovery areas, but for the first time breeding pairs were confirmed in eastern Washington and Oregon. Agency control, hunting, other causes of mortality, and the natural territorial behavior of wolves slowed population growth to less than 4 percent in 2009, the lowest growth rate since 1995.

In 2009 Federal agencies spent $3,763,000 for wolf management. Private and state agencies paid $457,785 in compensation for wolf damage to livestock in 2009. Confirmed cattle losses in 2009 (192) were lower than in 2008 (214), but confirmed sheep losses (721) and dog losses (24) were higher than in 2008 (355 and 14 respectively).

Montana removed 145 wolves by agency control and 72 by hunting. Idaho removed 93 by agency control and 134 by hunting. In Wyoming, 32 wolves were removed by agency control. In Oregon two wolves were removed by agency control. No wolves were controlled in Washington or Utah. Wolves in the NRM, except in Wyoming, were removed from the list of endangered species on May 4, 2009. That decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being litigated in both Wyoming and Montana Federal District Courts.

See [here] for the following reports:

Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2009 Annual Report
(50 pages, 800 KB PDF file)

Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2009 Annual Report
(178 pages, 6 megabyte PDF file)

Wolf Conservation and Management in Idaho Progress Report 2009
(78 page 5 megabyte PDF file)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery Program Update 2009
(44 pages)

18 Mar 2010, 12:43pm
Endangered Specious Homo sapiens
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Confessions of a Treatyphobe

by Jim Beers

“My name is Jim Beers and I am a treatyphobe.”

I grew up in the period of wildlife abundance in the 1940’s and 50’s. From the first time I hunted with my Dad, the dream of spending my life managing and preserving the use and cultural heritage provided by US fish and wildlife was always in my mind.

When I studied wildlife management in college and when I worked for the Utah Fish and Game and then the US Fish and Wildlife Service after a stint in the Navy; fish and wildlife management and use, like American freedoms and the American way of life were still intact. Today, fish and wildlife management and use, like American government, American freedoms, American culture and traditions, and American society are in tatters and on the verge of disappearance.

I lay much of the blame for this decline on the sordid manipulation of the Treaty powers contained in the US Constitution by persons with hidden agendas. That is not to say that this power is wrongly described therein, it is to say that this power as it has evolved in the past century has eroded the strong foundation of Constitutional government and fish and wildlife use and management as we knew it.

I am “taking pen to paper” here because yesterday I wrote about the potential for the current Administration (Obama et al) and the current US Senate (Reid et al) to cynically craft and line up a few nations to sign a UN Treaty “On Small Arms and Ammunition” that, when signed by the President (of the US) and ratified by 2/3 of the Senators “present” whenever old Harry (Reid) deigns to ask for a vote, automatically becomes “the Law of the land” per the Constitution. I further speculated that it would mean the inevitable demise of our 2nd Amendment rights.

A lawyer that I respect essentially responded that such a scenario was unlikely because such a treaty would not and could not change the Constitution and therefore would be challenged and found to be unable to change our rights. I was crestfallen but I accept that lawyerly advice.

Therefore I have joined Treatyphobics Anonymous and as my first step in overcoming my phobia about Treaties will try to explain my formerly inexplicable fear of Treaties so that I might return to societal confidence in the Treaty-making authority of federal leaders.

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13 Mar 2010, 4:29pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Klamath Farmer Water Rights

In a landmark decision issued last Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court held that Klamath farmers have a valid property interest in their water rights. That means that when the Federal Government steals, appropriates, or cuts off the use of water, Klamath farmers can petition for just compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The OSC decision is [here].

Klamath Irrigation District v. United States, 345 Or 638, 202 P3d 159

“In sum, we find nothing in the text and context of the 1905 statute that would preclude plaintiffs from acquiring a beneficial or equitable property interest in the water right appropriated by the United States.”

The plaintiffs in this case were various Klamath irrigation districts and affected farmers. The defendants were the United States of America and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA). The State of Oregon intervened on behalf of the Feds. The PCFFA was represented by Todd True of Earthjustice. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Klamath Tribes also intervened on behalf of the Feds.

The plaintiffs kicked all their asses.

Nancie G. Marzulla of Marzulla Law, LLC represented the farmers. She reports [here]:

Klamath Water Users Win Big in Oregon Supreme Court’s Ruling

WASHINGTON - (Business Wire) The Oregon Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking decision yesterday, resolving issues that have prevented the water users in the Klamath Reclamation Project (located in southern Oregon and northern California) from obtaining just compensation for the taking of their irrigation water in 2001.

Klamath Irrigation Dist. v. United States, (No. S056275) (Or. Mar. 11, 2010). The Oregon Supreme Court held that the Oregon legislature in 1905 did not give away all of its water rights in the Klamath Reclamation Project to the federal government. Further, the Court stated that whatever rights the federal government did acquire in 1905 were for the benefit of the water users: “[I]n acquiring water rights under the aegis of the Reclamation Act, the United States was not acting for its own benefit, but for the benefit of the persons who Congress intended would put the water to beneficial use reclaiming the land” — in other words, the farmers who are the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Finally, the Oregon Supreme Court held that the Klamath Basin adjudication that is currently underway does not deprive the water users of the ability to pursue their taking claim in federal court, explaining that “[a] person asserting only a beneficial or equitable property interest in a water right is not a ‘claimant’ who must appear in the Klamath Basin adjudication and file a claim to determine that interest.”

“We are thrilled with this decision,” stated Nancie G. Marzulla, lead counsel for the Klamath water users in the Court of Federal Claims proceeding. “The trial judge obviously was wrong on Oregon law and plainly misapprehended how federal reclamation law operates. We are glad that we now have some definitive guidance and direction for the trial court as we go forward to complete this litigation.”

The Oregon Supreme Court’s decision was in response to three questions posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Now that the Oregon Supreme Court has answered these questions, the case will go back to the Federal Circuit and ultimately back to the trial court for final resolution. The case arises from events that took place in 2001. That year the federal government took all of the farmers’ water during the growing season, depriving the farmers of any water with which to grow their crops. The water was used to benefit three species of endangered fish. The water users did not challenge whether the federal government could take their water for endangered fish protection, but instead asked that the federal government compensate them for the taking of their water rights that year—which had inflicted devastating losses on the farmers who had been forced to sit out an entire growing season due to the taking.

Marzulla Law is a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that represents water users and water entities in complex litigation in matters involving water, property, and environmental issues. For further information about Marzulla Law or this decision go to www.marzullalaw.com.

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11 Mar 2010, 11:06am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Panel Roundtable: Canadian Gray Wolf Introduction into Yellowstone

by Tom Remington, Blackbear Blog, March 10, 2010 [here]

Following is no doubt the most candid discussion you will find anywhere in North America today about predators and their diseases. The discussion surrounds the introduction of the gray wolf to the Greater Yellowstone area and the impact this has had on not only the ecosystem but economically, socially and in the lives of private ranchers and citizens. This discussion not only covers the politics behind the introduction and the ongoing politics but also covers the diseases carried and transmitted by the wolf and the lack of comprehensive research to fully study the environmental, social and economic impacts to this region of the country. This discussion no doubt covers this topic to depths most Americans have never had the opportunity to experience and it is done by some of this continent’s most renowned scientists and researchers. This is a bit lengthy but is very much worth the time it takes to read it thoroughly. — Tom Remington

Republished by permission

Economic and physical dangers to Rural Americans and other unintended consequences

By Kelly Wood, All American Patriot, March 2010

There are significant economic, health and safety ramifications of the Gray Wolf Introduction Program in Yellowstone Park that have manifested themselves in the Western States along the Rocky Mountain Front. A distinguished panel joins The All American Patriot to discuss these critical issues. The guests assembled for this roundtable are:

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11 Mar 2010, 10:41am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Pack thought to have killed teacher in Chignik Lake seen close to village again

By JAMES HALPIN, Alaska Daily News, March 10th, 2010 [here]

Villagers in Chignik Lake were on patrol Wednesday, hunting for wolves they blame in the death of a 32-year-old school teacher who was found dead after she went running on an isolated road this week.

Candice Berner was found Monday evening along a road leading out of town just a short time after leaving work. State officials haven’t yet determined her cause of death, but those who live in the village feel they know.

Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, villagers said, an armed group of men was out roaming on snowmachines in search of tracks left by wolves, which people say have been coming too close to town lately.

“We approached them last night, but we ended up losing them,” said Fred Shangin, 32, who is among the hunters. “They were right by the village again. They started running, we started chasing them but they came up to a creek we couldn’t get across.”

Villagers say people are on edge, concerned with the boldness of wolves in the wake of Berner’s death.

Berner, who came to Alaska from Slippery Rock, Pa., was a special education teacher for the Lake and Peninsula School District. She was based in Perryville but traveled to different towns teaching. She arrived in Alaska in August, said her father, Bob Berner. …

School district officials say she left work at the end of the day Monday to go for a run on the road out of town.

Four people riding snowmachines along the road came across her body about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Gregory Kalmakoff, 23, said by phone Wednesday he and the others had been out riding at Portage Bay and were on their way back.

“There was a blood spot on the road,” he said. “I turned around, looked and there was drag marks going down a little hill.”

There were wolf tracks in the new snow and footprints left by a person, he said. It appeared something had been dragged off the road, said Kalmakoff’s cousin, 24-year-old Jacob Kalmakoff, who troopers say was among those who discovered the body.

“We seen her gloves on the road where she was running,” Kalmakoff said. “She didn’t get away too far from them; they took her down pretty fast. You could see a blood trail of her body getting drug down the hill.”

They went down the hill to investigate and found Berger’s remains not too far down. Berner’s arms and head had been mangled, Jacob Kalmakoff said. … [more]

8 Mar 2010, 8:29pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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We Still Need You, Klamath Farmers

By Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research, March 7, 2010 [here] posted with permission

Nine years after the historic call for help emanated from Klamath Falls, Oregon — a call answered by Americans from all walks of life and places as distant as Ohio, over 2,200 miles east — another crisis looms. Those in positions of power are grinning from ear-to-ear at “historic signing ceremonies.” They chortle with glee at how their “collaboration and “consensus-driven stakeholder process” has been “inked.”

Those few letter writers who continue to stand against the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River — and the three Oregon elected officials who’ve never wavered in their stand to protect the promises made to those on the Klamath Project — are being marginalized by a media that seems to have had its loyalty bought and paid for.

The voices of the original lottery winners have been largely silenced by age and death, but their descendants’ voices may have been silenced by deceit and coercion.

No dictionary perused online or in hard copy has yet to yield synonyms tying words like “independence,” “versatility,” “freedom,” “property rights,” “resource utilization,” etc., to “collaboration,” “consensus,” “stakeholder,” etc.

There are some situations where agreement between factions can never be reached. One such situation was the lords and serfs of Europe. Those that chafed under the heavy hand of the land-LORDs had few options and none that involved remaining in their native lands. A small number of these moxie- and hope-filled, courageous souls set out from “the other side of the pond” on a journey to America, a place about which they had heretofore only known in dreams. The perils known to these immigrants were many — from dying aboard ship from a wide variety of maladies, not the least of which was malnutrition, dysentery, etc., to surviving the journey only to perish before emerging from the indentured servitude which had purchased their passage to a new land.

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8 Mar 2010, 4:21pm
Uncategorized
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Defenders of Wildlife General Counsel Appointed to US Justice Dept.

Bob Dreher, the General Counsel of the Defenders of Wildlife, a litigious lobbying group that has sued the US Government hundreds of times, has been appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General to oversee the Natural Resources and Wildlife and Marine Resources sections of the US Dept. of Justice.

Dreher has also previously served as co-managing director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice).

Defenders and Earthjustice are among the groups that have bled the American taxpayer for $4.7 billion in legal fees through the Equal Opportunity to Justice Act [here]. Defenders has ongoing lawsuits currently in Federal courts regarding wolves, plovers, turtles, caribou, wolverines, right whales, jaguars, sage-grouse, and who knows what else.

Now the Obama Administration has hired the Defenders General Counsel to oppose the very lawsuits he brought against the government.

Conflict of interest? More like deliberate sabotage of the public interest on behalf of a well-healed lobbying group.

What next? Will Barack Hussein Obama appoint Osama Bin Laden to be on the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces? Will he appoint Bernie Madoff to run the Federal Reserve?

What does Congress think? Can Congress think?

Who does this country belong to, the citizens or an evil cabal of anti-American saboteurs?

Don’t believe me? Here’s the US Dept. of Justice announcement:

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Friday, March 5, 2010 [here]

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno Announces Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Senior Leadership

WASHINGTON—Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), today announced the members of the division’s senior leadership. The announcement came on the same day that Assistant Attorney General Moreno was officially installed by Attorney General Eric Holder as the division’s head.

“I am pleased to welcome this team of outstanding and committed professionals who will join the hard working and talented civil servants who make up the Environment and Natural Resources Division. They hail from environmental groups, academia, government and private practice, and will put this experience to good use in vigorously enforcing our nation’s environmental laws and defending agency actions and environmental statutes,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno.

The leadership team includes: …

Robert Dreher, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General—

As a seasoned environmental lawyer, Dreher has extensive experience in conservation policy, environmental law and natural resources management. He has represented environmental organizations, federal agencies, tribes and businesses in a variety of environmental matters. Dreher previously served as senior vice president for Climate Change and Conservation Law and General Counsel of Defenders of Wildlife. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law &; Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, and as deputy general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earlier in his career, he was a staff and co-managing attorney of the Washington, D.C. office of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice). Representing tribes, government agencies, businesses and environmental groups in solo private practice, he served as counsel to the law firm Troutman Sanders LLC and as an associate at the Boston firm Hill & Barlow. He has taught federal natural resources law at The George Washington University Law School and at Georgetown University Law Center. Dreher received his J.D. from Yale Law School, a Masters in American Civilization from Brown University, and his undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

Dreher will oversee the Natural Resources and Wildlife and Marine Resources sections.

7 Mar 2010, 4:28pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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MT EQC Gets Earful on Wolf-Borne Diseases

The Montana Environmental Quality Council, an interim legislative committee charged with oversight of the MT Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, became informed at a March 5th meeting concerning wolf-borne diseases such as Hydatid (tapeworm) disease and rabies. The DFWP attempted to defend their look-the-other-way unmanagement of wolf vector diseases, but were less than successful according to observers.

The testimony included a letter from MT State Sen. Greg Hinkle [here]

Additional follow-up testimony was provided by Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association [here]. Mr. Marbut wrote:

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Council:

There are issues about wolves that were not adequately addressed before the Council on Friday, primarily because of time constraints, and about which I’d like to follow up.

Wolf diseases and human health risks.

About Echinococcus granulosus (EG for short), I felt that the council did not get a good synopsis of this disease. The Council was informed by FWP that 63% of Montana wolves carry this disease, which is transmissible to humans.

Because this disease has not been well studied, especially concerning the likelihood that this disease has been or will be transmitted to humans, FWP takes the position that it is no big deal. They equate their lack of information with absence of risk — what you don’t know about can’t hurt you, an attitude similar to the people of Haiti about earthquakes a year ago.

This is a mistake. Council members have been provided recent issues of The Outdoorsman [here] which will generate a more informed view. Let me summarize.

EG (called “Wolf Worms” by some) is a parasite — a type of tapeworm. In Montana wolves examined there were literally thousands of these tiny tapeworms in the intestine of wolves. These tapeworms produce tens of thousands, maybe millions of microscopic eggs that are expelled in wolf feces. These eggs are viable for long periods of time, depending upon conditions.

These millions of EG eggs can become airborne or get flushed by rain into moving water. I have been unable to learn if community water treatment processes normally used to purify drinking water will reliably remove or destroy these eggs. That remains an open question.

What is not open to question is that people who intake these eggs though inhalation or any sort of transport-to-mouth mechanism can develop cysts that may be discovered any time from soon after exposure to as long as 20 years later. Such a long incubation period causes EG to be a nightmarish, untrackable public health risk.

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Analysis of the DEIS for Wildlife Conservation Strategy Phase I for the Boise National Forest

Full text [here]

Selected Excerpts:

By Ned N. Pence, Retired Forester

Jan. 24, 2010

INTRODUCTION

The Boise National Forest comprises nearly 1.68 million forested acres. A current Forest Plan was completed in 2003; however since 2000 the forest has experienced extensive wildfire, affecting about 380,000 acres (17% of the forest). The purpose of the project is to complete a comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (WCS) for the forest and amend the 2003 Forest Plan (Summary, page 6). The Wildlife Conservation Strategy is being completed in conjunction with the Sawtooth National Forest and the Payette National Forest that have also experienced similar extensive wildfires.

The DEIS explains that Forest Plan amendments are necessary for eight reasons (Summary, page 8):

1. Add to or modify existing management direction to emphasize retention of most forest stands that meet the definitions of old-forest habitat or large tree size class.

2. Add to or modify existing management direction to focus restoration in forest stands classified as large tree size class and medium tree size class to promote desired old-forest habitat or large tree stand conditions and reduce hazards and risks to these habitats.

3. Delete wildlife standard WIST01 and replace it with a more comprehensive and diverse strategy for wildlife conservation that relies on scientifically accepted conservation concepts and associated principles.

4. Move the 400,000 acres in the planning unit that fall within Management Prescription Category (MPC) 5.2 (Commodity Production Emphasis) to a restoration emphasis.

5. Add or modify existing management direction to emphasize retention of large snags while balancing other objectives associated with a given MPC (e.g., the desire to provide for economically viable timber harvest on lands suitable for timber production).

6. Prioritize vegetative and associated wildlife habitat restoration treatments to increase the overall probability of restoration success.

7. Identify the location of priority or key habitat areas for wide-ranging carnivore species, such as wolverine, and retain linkages between these habitats. Based on the best information available, identify where potential conflicts between this species and human use may exist and whether further review is warranted.

8. Balance wildlife habitat restoration needs with multiple-use objectives, and allow treatment exemptions for treatments that respond to emergencies, provide for public health and safety, and allow for the exercise of existing rights and other statutory requirements.

The Boise National Forest desires to return the vegetation to “historical conditions” believing that past forest management – wildfire suppression, and timber harvest have “directly and indirectly affected habitat quality, quantity, and distribution” (Summary, page 7). It is not possible to know what “historic conditions” (prior to human settlement) were; however, the Forest Service believes past management practices have resulted in:

1. Substantial reduction in the abundance and extent of large trees size class and old forest habitat.

2. Substantial reduction in the abundance of legacy ponderosa pine and western larch, and large snags.

3. Substantial increases in tree densities and ladder fuels resulting in reduced habitat quality.

4. Reductions in habitat quality due to an increase in climax tree species.

5. Reductions in forest cover from uncharacteristic wildfire, insects and disease.

6. Reductions in habitat quantity and quality due to historic and/or continued human use.

The above concerns prompt me to ask, which is more important, habitat or human use to satisfy current and future needs? The Forest Service must recognize that it is not possible to change current human needs and the impossibility of returning the historic conditions that existed prior to European settlement. However, the desire to return the historic role of fire has to make one wonder.

There is considerable evidence that Native Americans regularly burned the forest to satisfy their needs prior to European settlement. The “mosaic” that the Boise National Forest seems to desire was the result of hundreds of years of deliberate human caused fires combined with allowing lightning fires to burn. It is doubtful that current management can duplicate those conditions due to existing fuel loading without mechanical treatment and then frequent prescribed fire. A major question and concern should be: “Will current attitudes and needs allow the Forest Service to return the historic role of fire?” Current attempts using Wildland Fire Use (WFU) and Appropriate Management Response (AMR) have resulted in catastrophic fire and the expenditure of millions of dollars. …

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5 Mar 2010, 5:42pm
Birds
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USFWS Announces Greater Sage-Grouse As Candidate Species

In a long-awaited denouement, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the greater sage-grouse will not be listed as threatened or endangered but instead will be placed on the candidate species list. That means the species will not receive statutory protection under the Endangered Species Act and that states would continue to be responsible for managing the bird.

The announcement was published in the Federal Register [here]:

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce three 12–month findings on petitions to list three entities of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that listing the greater sage-grouse (rangewide) is warranted, but precluded by higher priority listing actions. We will develop a proposed rule to list the greater sage-grouse as our priorities allow.

The USFWS also found that there is no “western” sub-species of the greater sage-grouse, based on new genetic studies:

We find that listing the western subspecies of the greater sage-grouse is not warranted, based on determining that the western subspecies is not a valid taxon and thus is not a listable entity under the Act.

The USFWS also declared the Mono Basin population of greater sage-grouse to be a new Distinct Population Segment (DPS), but that DPS will not be listed and threatened or endangered, either. It will also be placed on the list of candidate species.

We find that listing the Bi-State population (previously referred to as the Mono Basin area population), which meets our criteria as a distinct population segment (DPS) of the greater sage-grouse, is warranted but precluded by higher priority listing actions. We will develop a proposed rule to list the Bi-State DPS of the greater sage-grouse as our priorities allow, possibly in conjunction with a proposed rule to list the greater sage-grouse rangewide.

The listing decision was precipitated by a lawsuit filed by the Western Watersheds Project in 2006 that requested action on various petitions, beginning in 1999, for listing from the Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, the Institute for Wildlife Protection, and the Stanford Law School Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of the Sagebrush Sea Campaign, Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and Christians Caring for Creation.

Numerous court cases have followed the various petitions. No matter the USFWS findings, they get sued anyway. An unknown amount of EAJA funds have been paid out to the litigants over the years. The USFWS has many times found that listing was not warranted, but most recently (Dec. 2007) the U.S. District Court of Idaho ordered the USFWS to issue new findings, again. After some delays, the new finding of “candidate species” was issued today.

No word yet on whether more lawsuits will be filed, but observers agree that when the government pays enviro groups to sue them, lawsuits multiply like bacteria.

More info is available at the USFWS Greater Sage-Grouse website [here].

1 Mar 2010, 2:43pm
Homo sapiens
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EPA Sociologist Plays Race-Sex-Age Card

Sabrina McCormick, EPA Sociologist and IPCC committee member has suggested on her blog [here] that “old white men” scientists should be “passed up because there are new views on critical subjects.”

It’s a bigotry triple play: racism, sexism, and ageism!!!

Questions abound. For instance:

* Why does the EPA hire sociologists? Is sociology a discipline that provides useful environmental science? What do sociologists know about climate science? Is sociology a “science” at all?

* Why does the EPA hire racist, sexist, ageist sociologists in particular?

* Is self-avowed bigotry and prejudice a job requirement at the EPA?

* What percentage of EPA employees are flaming bigots?

* Are expressions of racism, sexism, and ageism now PC when spewed forth from the cake holes of idiot government functionaries?

* Is the entire Obama Administration racist, sexist, and ageist, or is the problem confined to the EPA?

* How much is self-avowed bigot Sabrina McCormick paid by taxpayers to promulgate racism, sexism, and ageism?

* Has this country gone to the dogs or what?

Hydatid Disease Medical Reports

Was it a conspiracy, a terrorist act or stupidity that introduced a diseased animal species to the Northwest?

By Harvey Neese, The Eagle & Boomerang, March 1, 2010 [here]

Was it some kind of a conspiracy involving various government agencies/organizations to introduce an animal species with potentially dangerous diseases to the Northwest area? After introduction of Canadian wolves to the Northwest area carrying the Hydatid disease, the government organizations and so-called expert biologists responsible for the introduction have kept very mum on the Hydatid malady introduced by them.

If the biologists in the various agencies responsible for importing this disease to the Northwest had strange sounding foreign names and long beards and taking into account the potential long term financial and health costs to livestock, wildlife and humans in a large sector of the U.S., this might be dubbed a “Terrorist Act” and U.S. security agencies would be actively involved.

It has been reported that a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who was previously employed in Alaska where the Hydatid disease had been known for many years, was transferred to this wolf dumping project in the Northwest. Really now, we are to believe he did not realize the potential undesirable ramifications of introducing this disease to the Northwest area with some 15 times more population than in prevalent areas in Alaska? Either he’s from another planet or this has to be stupidity at its height! Trying to cover up for this incompetence, the Idaho Fish and Game Dept. is now saying the disease was in the area several decades ago, so it is now okay to reintroduce it or a different strain to the Northwest. How much more idiotic thinking will this project lead to?

What are the ramifications of introducing a disease carrying animal species, as Canadian wolves infested with Hydatid tapeworm disease, to large public land areas, numerous farms and ranches with livestock and families throughout the area alongside some larger cities? This is an area that is inhabited by a high percentage of people who hunt, fish and recreate in the forest areas where wolves are now multiplying.

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27 Feb 2010, 12:09pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
5 comments

Lolo Elk Decline

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has released the aerial elk counts for the Lolo Wildlife Management Zones 10 and 12 in the Clearwater River watershed in Idaho. The counts along with counts of prior years are graphed below:

Lolo Zone 10 aerial elk counts 1989-2010.

Lolo Zone 12 aerial elk counts 1989-2010.

Discussion

All aerial elk counts were made in January or February, although not in every year. The data I received did not include any estimates of the uncertainty (statistical error) associated with the counting method.

Total count and counts of cows and calves by year are displayed. The count of cows is particularly important. This is because in ungulates the number of cows, that is the number of females capable of bearing young, are critical to population dynamics. One bull can impregnate many cows, so the number of bulls can vary greatly and not affect the birth rate or population change trends. That is not true for cows, which can bear only one or two calves (twins are rare) per year. On average most cows will have their first calf at 3 years of age. The gestation for elk cows is 250 days, which means calves are generally born in May and June. Calves counted in winter are those which have survived for six to nine months.

Also included in the graphs are linear trend lines for the cow count. In Zone 10 the number of cows has declined from 7,692 in 1989 to 824 in 2010, or 89 percent. In Zone 12 the number of cows has declined from 3,059 in 1986 to 534 in 2010, or 83 percent.

In Zone 10 the number of calves has declined from 2,298 in 1989 to 144 in 2010, or 94 percent. In Zone 12 the number of calves has declined from 856 in 1985 to 38 in 2010, or 96 percent.

Clearly, the elk populations have crashed in these zones.

The reason is not a lack of fecundity: calf/cow ratios have varied from 6 per 100 to 30 per 100 and were reported to be 17 per 100 in Zone 10 and 7 per 100 in Zone 12 in 2010. A calf/cow ratio of 15-20 per 100 is considered to be sufficient to replace the population under normal circumstances, and no trend in calf/cow ratio was detected over the counting period. As recently as 2006 the calf/cow ratios were 29 per 100 in Zone 10 and 20 per 100 in Zone 12.

The reason for the elk population crash is not hunting. All the animals taken are bulls, and that does not affect population dynamics as explained above. Furthermore, Lolo zone elk harvest has also decline precipitously, from over 1,500 in 1989 to less than 150 in 2008 in Zone 10 and from nearly 600 in 1992 to less than 100 in 2008 in Zone 12. I do not have the exact harvest numbers at this time.

The principal reason for the crashing elk populations is undoubtedly the introduction of wolves in 1995, and the subsequent explosion of the wolf population.

Wildlife and People has reported on the wolf problem in the Lolo Wildlife Management zones many times [here, here, here, here, here]. These are just the posts that mention wolves in the Lolo zones. The posts regarding wolves and elk in the Northern Rockies are too numerous to list.

Upcoming IDFG Meetings

The IDFG is holding public meetings next week from 5 to 7 p.m. at the IDFG Clearwater Regional Office in Lewiston on Tuesday and at the Clearwater Hatchery in Orofino on Wednesday. I invite you to print out the graphs above and present them, and ask the IDFG experts why they think the Lolo elk populations have crashed.

 
  
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