Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
on 18 May 2014, by Jim Beers
WOLVES as STALKING HORSES*
*A stalking horse is a figure that tests a concept when someone mounts a challenge against someone else on behalf of an anonymous third party. If the idea proves viable or popular, the anonymous figure can then declare its interest and advance the concept with little risk of failure. If the concept fails, the anonymous party will not be tainted by association with the failed concept and can either drop the idea completely or bide its time and wait until a better moment for launching an attack.
The term stalking horse originally derived from the practice of hunting, particularly of wildfowl. Hunters noticed that many birds would flee immediately on the approach of humans, but would tolerate the close presence of animals such as horses and cattle.
Hunters would therefore slowly approach their quarry by walking alongside their horses, keeping their upper bodies out of sight until the flock was within firing range. Animals trained for this purpose were called stalking horses. Sometimes similar mobile hides are used for such a purpose.
An example of the practice figures in the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson when Johnson and Chris Lapp ("Bear Claw") are hunting elk in the Rockies:
Jeremiah: Wind's right, but he'll just run soon as we step out of these trees.
Bear Claw: Trick to it. Walk out on this side of your horse.
Jeremiah: What if he sees our feet?
Bear Claw: Elk don't know how many feet a horse has!
A “Q” & “A”:
“Q.” WHO and HOW MUCH TO BLAME?
1. When a wild rabid fox descended from generations of wild foxes in your area bites a kid?
2. When a wild rabid coyote either descended from generations of wild coyotes in your area or naturally repopulating your area kills your cat or bites a kid?
3. When a “wild” hog descended from escaped domestic hogs ruins your garden or attacks a kid?
4. When a new arrival in your town lets his dogs or wolf-dogs loose and they kill your dog, threaten your kids and cause your family to stay indoors and lead fearful and stressful lives?
5. When government forcibly inserts wolves into your community (after they were purposely eradicated decades ago for sound reasons by local residents) and protects them despite strenuous local objections as the wolves kill your dog, your calves, your sheep, the big game you once hunted; spread numerous diseases and infections affecting your family, your dogs, your domestic animals and your wild game animals; and threaten your safety, your family, your children’s freedom and your very “domestic Tranquility” and Way of Life?
“A.” Re: 1 and 2 – Your County officials and State fish and wildlife agency for not killing those animals with rabies and for not maintaining those animals at lower levels and densities. The magnitude of such blame is really minimal due to the difficulty of always accomplishing such control on wild animals that the community chooses to allow in their midst or finds severe controls too costly or impractical to continually apply.
Re: 3 – The farmer that might have released them or through negligence let them escape though anymore that is impossible to determine beyond the first generation of such escaped animals.
Re: 4 – The new arrival’s dogs can be blamed and euthanized. The new arrival can be sued, fined and even jailed. Blame is clear and the magnitude is concomitant with the damages caused.
Re: 5 – Not the federal bureaucrats that put them there and that “protect” them. Not the federal politicians that passed the laws and fund those bureaucrats that put them there. Not the State bureaucrats and politicians that either cooperated with or showed only token opposition to the forcible insertion of federal wolves. Not the radical organizations like the “Defenders” of Wildlife or the media or the rich, urban donors that worked with the politicians, bureaucrats and courts to enable the forcible insertion of the wolves. Those responsible for this wolf travesty, that causes the most damage and ruination to the far greater areas and human population and that thus calls for infinitely far greater accountability and blame, are BLAMELESS! In other words, those perpetrating the greatest dangers, damages and stress to the greatest number of US citizens bear NO responsibility for what they wreak!
Let’s explore how this happened.
Who is behind the Wolves?
-Mostly urban teachers, media reporters, billionaires, actors, nature program producers and others that equate humans with wild animals and propagandize about “Native Species and Native Ecosystems” as superseding both human rights and US Constitutional jurisprudence. They prey on modern guilt about civilization harming our natural surroundings and offer as the only solution human population reductions and a shrinking of the human presence and living standards in the world to be replaced by “more” animals that they claim were “here first” and are “necessary.” They proscribe a human world population in numbers and locations, as well as living standards they mandate based on the completely secular morality and values they hold and wish to impose on others.
-Federal politicians that passed and now refuse to significantly amend or repeal the Endangered Species Act.
-Federal bureaucrats (especially in the US Fish & Wildlife Service) that write, modify and enforce the increasingly unjust regulations under the ESA.
-Federal bureaucrats in the BLM, USFS, NPS, Reclamation, and other federal agencies and Departments that use USFWS regulations, operations and precedents to obtain more authority, bigger budgets and more land.
-State politicians that see how the ESA is harming their residents, communities, economies and quality of life yet turn a blind eye claiming they are helpless.
-State bureaucrats, especially of the F&W/DNR variety that have mostly become sycophants to federal counterparts and growing national and international environmental/animal rights Non-Governmental Organizations and their hidden agendas.
-Influential, rich and powerful national environmental organizations such as the Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and others plus their subsidiaries and chapters.
-Radical and rich national Animal Rights organizations such as The Humane Society of the US, Animal Liberation Front, Animal Defense League, Animal Rights Networks, Friends of Animals, Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade plus others and their subsidiaries and chapters.
-International, rich and powerful environmental organizations such as The World Wildlife Fund and the myriad environmental/wolf groups, anti-hunting groups and population control groups throughout Europe that have all-but absolute control of European Union politicians and bureaucrats at the expense of national governments, local governments, local communities, rural economies, rural families and rural lifestyles; just as in the US today.
-Many of the “Unlimiteds” and “Forevers” and “Foundations claiming to represent hunters and fishermen. Also the “Associations” and “Bureaus” claiming to advocate for cattlemen and farmers and others are often as not acting out agendas in Washington that are ultimately not in your best interests. They all share time and space with federal agencies in Washington where they each “scratch” each other’s backs while lobbying and looking for federal jobs as feds simultaneously look for retirement jobs with them. Go to any annual meeting of federal and state managers and the buffets and breakfasts and receptions will find them all at the wine and cheese table provided by people that “understand” and “tolerate” wolves where you live.
-Lawyers working both for and against the groups mentioned above.
-University professors, “scientists” and other “experts” that benefit from government grants that create tenure and bonuses as well as fame from supporting organizations mentioned above in return for “science” and “research” that supports their agendas and ideologies.
-Finally, UN bureaucracies and bureaucrats that cater to and cooperate with all of the above by jointly drafting Conventions and Treaties to (just like US and European counterparts) grow their power and influence as well as to increase their budgets, pay and retirements under the guise of Agenda 21, Controlling International Trade and other Stalking Horses like Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change.
What do they obtain from Wolves?
-Growing areas where ranching becomes prohibitively expensive and stressful and ranchers go out of business just like logging and loggers were put out of business by spotted owls, red-cockaded woodpeckers, ghostly (and extinct) Ivory-billed woodpeckers and other rural area evacuations have been based on ESA biology fantasies from Delta smelt (farmers) and Sage grouse (energy development) to Snail Darter (Dam) and Florida Panther (land developers and sugar cane farms). These lands then become ripe for federal closures, federal land purchase and federal land easements by profiteering front-organizations like TNC and its many subsidiaries.
-Growing areas where nearly all human uses and society cease just like Wilderness Declarations and the catastrophic fires they create.
-Growing areas where more and more newly discovered “habitat needs” for wolves can be claimed to justify less and less human activity and presence just like BLM utilizing faux concerns for desert tortoises where grazing has occurred for over a century while ignoring nearby government-funded solar-power farms that eradicate all tortoises and as the same agencies plan releases of “free-roaming” buffalo that are far more destructive and dangerous to humans and rural America than any cattle have ever been.
-Justifications to claim that cattle or sheep are “incompatible with wolves” so therefore the livestock grazing allotments and land management have to go (where?)
-Eradication of big game herds (Minnesota moose, Idaho elk, Montana moose, etc.) to destroy big game hunting by destroying any “harvestable surplus” of big game herds and the state and local revenue it generates.
-Precedents for federal jurisdiction and authority over more and more (formerly) State responsibilities such as hunting, fishing and trapping.
-Precedents for forcing wolves on local communities and then “returning wolves to state management” as dictated by federal overseers and federal “requirements” thereby making state residents and taxpayers pay for the censuses, compensation, lawsuits, and all-but impossible management and control of the wolves. This would be laughable if not so sad and serious!
-Precedents permitting the government to introduce and protect wild animals that kill dogs (private property) and livestock with impunity without any federal or state responsibility for the damage and losses despite vehement local protests.
-Precedents and justification for succeeding dangerous federal government assaults on rural America like the recent proposals to introduce and protect “free-roaming Buffalo” in Arizona and Montana; protesting border enforcement necessities because of jaguar habitat claims in S Arizona over local protests, and federal controls on hunting, trapping and predator control methods and magnitude.
-Precedents for bureaucrats to take private property without compensation in direct conflict with the 5th Amendment as in Texas where brush land could no longer be developed because of Critical Habitat claims for a warbler without compensating owners.
-Precedents for stopping public works projects, power projects, roads, interchanges, channel maintenance, pipelines, power lines and other needed developments meant to benefit rural Americans and the America Economy.
-Precedents for “creative science” and “romance biology” to sway courts and generate public opinion for the benefit of radicals and bureaucrats.
-An increasingly bamboozled public becomes increasingly susceptible to such propaganda (to paraphrase GK Chesterton’s famous observation about atheists) “it is not that they believe in nothing, it is that they will believe in anything.”
-Precedents for using deadly force and questionable enforcement techniques on fathers, workers, hunters, ranchers and others protecting their families, property and very lives from federally introduced and protected species like grizzly bears, wolves and buffalo.
-Precedents for federal bureaucrats to steal, with impunity, excise taxes intended for state hunting and fishing programs to fund federal efforts to destroy those very programs without either punishment or replacing the stolen funds.
-Precedents for federal bureaucrats to avoid any responsibility or accountability (indeed one could say they were rewarded handsomely) for using stolen funds to fund and accomplish activities that the US Congress refused to authorize or fund like introducing wolves into the Upper Rockies and opening a new federal office.
-Precedents for federal bureaucrats to be secretive and lie about where they get certain introduced animals; or to even complete Importation Documents like they would prosecute (a felony) you or me for not filing; or if the wolves they imported had been vaccinated; or if they know what diseases or infections that they carried; or informing the public about the dangers of diseases and infections they are capable of transmitting to humans, domestic animals or wildlife; or the specific genetic, DNA descriptions of introduced wolves or specific regulation descriptors of what genetic make-up of a Canid qualifies as “endangered” (i.e. a wolf) and what other DNA make-up definitions are for unprotected predators (i.e. a coyote) or domestic private property animal (i.e. dogs.) This entire skullduggery is carried out by federal and state bureaucrats with impunity and without any concern for accountability or responsibility.
-All of the above wolf effects are (just like the effects of suckers in the Klamath, smelt in the Delta, sage grouse in the Upper Rockies, black bears and panthers in Florida, etc. etc.) causing economic disruptions and ultimately vacating more and more of rural America as jobs disappear, local tax revenue and local government presence dwindles, and lifestyles are increasingly restricted and property values decrease accordingly. Children no longer can play unattended, dogs are in constant danger, livestock must be attended 24/7, diseases and infections become both more common and undeniable, old folks are worried when checking mail at far-off mailboxes and children must be transported to and from school bus stops that are cages in which they must wait to be picked up and dropped off; all this where the wolves are established and that were the reasons, coincidentally, why our forefathers went to all the precious time and expense to eradicate the wolves throughout almost all of the increasingly settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States as they were settled and developed for human benefit.
And the bottom line; the vacated lands are purchased or eased by federal bureaucrats and their surrogates (TNC, your local “Land Trust”, the sweet-named “conservation” group, etc.) for a song utilizing federal or pass-through funds intended to close the lands to any future human uses or presence as mentioned in UN AGENDA 21 documents.
How did we get here?
In the 1960’s/1970’s there was a national orgy of federal “environmental” legislation (ESA, MMPA, CWA, NEPA, EPA, AWA, Scenic Rivers, Historic Areas); UN Conventions and Treaties (Endangered Species, International Wetlands, International Places of Concern); expansion of US Bird Treaties and species they cover with new Nations; restrictions on whaling; strengthening of federal laws on eagles, cormorants, hawks and owls; and expansion of federal powers over federally owned and controlled lands. Federal bureaucrats and “conservationists” were all pleased and delighted as their power and the funding available to them increased exponentially. Nearly all of this originated under President Nixon and a Democrat Congress while President Ford only tinkered with it and President Carter built on it. To those believing that either Liberal/ Democrats or Conservative/Republicans are your friends in all this, I suggest that right down to the present, both political parties have built this house of cards while arguably at a different pace. One needs look no further than the recurring Earth Day honoring of (Saint?) Senator Gaylord Nelson (D) and the environmental public indifference to and even hatred of President Nixon (R) to explain the way both parties vie for environmental/animal rights’ votes by Democrats reminding them of long-time concern and Republicans assuring them of sound support for all environmental “protections” currently in place. Like Obamacare and the Cold War; Environmental Extremism, we are told by “our” political leaders, is a fait accompli and will never go away.
At this point I wish to convey to you the well-wishes of a good friend, former head of the Cal Fish & Game under Governor Reagan, and former Assistant Secretary of Fish, Wildlife & Parks in the Interior Department under President Reagan. Ray Arnett said to say hello when he heard I was coming here to speak.
When Ray was placed in charge of the US Fish & Wildlife Service in the early 1980’s, all of my coworkers in USFWS went nuts. “Who did he think he was, telling us to reduce ‘our’ regulations, or to spend the funds we had more wisely before we asked for more?” For several years he was the butt of not only some pretty nasty jokes but very biting and off-color comments in offices and on coffee breaks. The USFWS workforce was beginning to change in those days. President Carter and his Congress had passed an Equal Opportunity Law and as it was implemented and federal bosses had their large bonuses tied to “hiring, promoting and transferring” percentage quotas of “women and minorities” education and job experience “requirements” diminished and disappeared. This – and make no mistake about this – opened the door for USFWS, USFS, and BLM to actually begin “hiring, promoting and transferring” women, minorities and white males that were unalterably opposed to logging, grazing, hunting, fishing, trapping and ANY use or management of Renewable Natural Resources. Within a decade, University curriculums and professors that were formerly Forest, Range and Wildlife Management-oriented shifted to Climate Change, “Native Ecosystems” and the “Protection” and “Saving” of all plants and animals by restricting human uses and human presence. But when Ray came to Washington, this “Green” invasion was just getting underway: those 1980 bureaucrats just hated him because he questioned “our” growing power and had the audacity to tell us we were accountable to the American public. Things would only get worse.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s USFWS introduced pen-raised “red” wolves (that were largely dog and coyote DNA representatives) into the Carolinas. They introduced pen-raised “Mexican” wolves into Arizona and New Mexico. Both of these varieties or breeds (like Doberman or German shepherd) have had severe problems from public hostility and disappearances to cross-breeding with domestic (hunting, shepherding, watch, pet, etc.) dogs and abundant coyotes.
Also in the 1990’s after a moribund (ESA-wise) HW Bush Presidency, President Clinton took office with the first Republican House of Representatives in over 40 years. New Speaker of the House Gingrich immediately eliminated a superfluous but powerful Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee that was a hotbed of environmental radicalism. USFWS, USFS, BLM and NPS employees were stunned. The Chief Democrat Staff Director on the Committee was out of a job. In a matter of weeks he popped up in USFWS in a new slot in charge of the Millions of annual Excise Taxes collected for distribution to state fish and wildlife programs based in their size and the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. He was under USFWS’ 2nd Lady Director (the 1st Lady Director had just died in office)
The Director and the Democrat were turned down for funding wolf introductions in Yellowstone National Park and for a new office in California to work “closer” with West Coast environmental/animal rights organizations. In 1998, a General Accounting Office (their name was later changed to General ACCOUNTABILITY Office in line with how they were no longer made up of Accountants like USFWS was no longer biologists or USFS made up of foresters or BLM made up of range managers) Audit submitted to the US House of Representatives’ Resources Committee revealed the following:
In 1994 and 1995 USFWS stole, diverted, reassigned, used - choose whatever term you are comfortable with - $45 to 60 Million from the Excise Taxes collected solely for state fish and wildlife programs to 1.) Introduce wolves captured in Canada into Yellowstone and on an Idaho Indian Reservation, 2.) Open the “environmental” office in California, and 3.) Use the leftover (about 15%) to give bonuses to favored managers that had no right to such funds at all since they had no involvement in managing those funds. This resulted in:
- The wolves you and your neighbors are faced with today.
- The USFWS making the recently hired (at a senior level) child of a powerful Republican Senator that they had recently hired the office chief in the new California office thus heading off any challenge to the office.
- State Fish and Wildlife Directors (ALL of them) never made a peep or even asked the US Congress to replace the stolen money!
Where are they today?
The Lady Director had numerous “secret” meetings with environmental/animal rights radicals while in office and after hours, this was while there was still the public illusion of state and federal wildlife agencies abiding by the US Constitution and considering humans as superior to all animals. Since she had appointed the radical Defenders of Wildlife to be in charge (???) of wolf damage to livestock compensation (LOL) when she was USFWS Director, when she had to resign when President Bush came into office, she could not go to work for DOW for 3 years. By a stroke of luck the National Wildlife Federation picked her up on a 3-year, high-paying position near her home. Then after 2 years she was let go, reportedly with a significant “golden parachute” (i.e. severance package), but miracle of miracles, about a year later she was selected for a top-dog job (currently President) with the Defenders of Wildlife where she “serves” today.
The Democrat was made a “Science Advisor” under the Bush the younger Administration. He kept a nice office in Headquarters for 8 years and when President Obama was elected, he was made Director of the USFWS where he still “serves” today. (“You take care of me and I will take care of you.”)
I was reminded of all this recently when BLM unleashed snipers, assault weapons, dogs and tasers to kill cattle and intimidate a Nevada rancher, all without a Court Order. When we were then told the BLM Director was a highly experienced and respected (by everyone in BLM) professional, I was surprised I did not recognize his name as I had ridden in a BLM carpool in Washington for many years. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he was in his 30’s and had been a political advisor to US Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid! Doing the math (subtracting the years of “advising” and schooling and getting selected and then appointed and then confirmed by the US Senate plus becoming “respected” by all in the BLM), why he must have graduated from college and gotten hired right out of grade school to get all of that “experience” and “respect.”
Living with wolves!
Wolves have attacked, killed and eaten humans throughout history. Ancient fables and parables intended to warn children and others about the dangers of wolves to especially children, the injured and the elderly are borne out annually in Asia where they killed over 30 villagers in one recent year in India alone, as well as recently a young jogging schoolteacher in Alaska and a young mine worker in Saskatchewan. Injuries from wolves are numerous from a camper in my home state of Minnesota only last summer to numerous accounts in histories of the settlement of North America. Dogs are not only vulnerable to wolf attacks even on a leash or in a yard; European and North American research on hybrids is indicating a common “truce” in these wolf attacks when ANY wolf, coyote or dog bitch comes into “heat” and is not accompanied by a male to deter coitus from any wolf, coyote or dog encountering her. This surprisingly widespread mixing of genetic material and the subsequent skewing of arbitrary and unmentioned-in-regulations DNA Analysis Standards creates even more discretionary enforcement authority and citizen intimidation. Setting some mysterious “Standard” and asking for some vague “decision” based on questionable “Standards” for a prosecution is far different than establishing that it is Joe’s DNA on the weapon that killed Sam like on a TV show. ANY wolf and ANY dog and ANY coyote can breed and produce viable (capable of reproducing) offspring. Are they therefore ONE SPECIES? It is laughable to read and hear all this local hoopla about “OR-7” (that sounds scientific) “looking” for a mate when he will “mate with any dog or coyote “in heat” that he encounters and in addition to his wanderings, the smell that will set him off goes many miles given the right wind and landscape. When is a wolf, no longer a wolf? When its uncle is a German shepherd? When its Great Aunt was a coyote? Can such animals be said to have predictable behavior or identical (to the parents) offspring? If not, what indeed makes any group a species? When confronted with a 30 to 100 lb. Canid (dog, coyote or wolf) attacking your dog or your livestock property or frequenting your kids’ play area or the school bus stop or the path to the mailbox where grannie goes daily to check the mail or that suddenly appears in your riflescope as you try to kill the “coyote” that has been killing your sheep, is it:
A.) A protected wolf for which you could go to prison or face a large fine or have your property seized and never again be able to vote or even hold a gun?
B.) An unprotected coyote whose demise could bring you satisfaction and the thanks of your neighbors, family and friends?
C.) An escaped or semi-wild dog owned by someone who may sue you or take revenge on you for killing his dog?
D.) A recent mix of wolf, coyote and dog parentage?
E.) Some mix of the foregoing that only a lab test by whoever the government chooses and pays could determine your fate?
F.) Under federal (wolf), state (coyote), or local (dog) jurisdiction?
Wolves, just like dogs and coyotes can contract and spread a wide spectrum of deadly diseases and infections. What makes wolves particularly dangerous disease and infectious carriers is that they: 1.) wander routinely over a much wider range than other predators; 2.) are curious and thus eat, stick their nose in, mouth and roll in every manner of animal matter and detritus from freshly-killed and recently-killed to rotting matter and things they find interesting; 3.) pick up, drop and carry the widest possible variety of fleas and ticks; 4.) move, eat and live in close proximity (like bats) with others such that what one gets they all get.
The following list of diseases carried by wolves, while not totally comprehensive, represents over 30 infections that have been credited to wolves. Those that can infect humans are followed by an (H) and those that affect other animals are followed by an (OA).
1. Rabies (H) (OA)
2. Brucellosis (H) (OA)
Hydatid Disease (2):
3. Echinococcus granulosis (H) (OA)
4. Echinococcus multilocularis (H) (OA)
5. Anthrax (H) (OA)
6. Encephalitis (H) (OA)
7. Great Lakes Fish Tapeworm (H) (OA)
8. Smallpox (H) (OA)
9. Mad Cow Disease(BSE) (OA) (H)
10. Chronic Wasting Disease (OA)
From Ticks (10) Carried by wolves:
11. Anemia (H)
12. Dermatosis (H)
13. Tick paralysis (H)
14. Babesiosis (H)
15. Anaplasmosis (H)
16. Erlichia (H)
17. E. Coast Fever (H)
18. Relapsing Fever (H)
19. Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever (H)
20. Lyme Disease (H)
From Fleas (4) Carried by wolves:
21. Plague (H)
22. Bubonic Plague (H)
23. Pneumonic Plague (H)
24. Flea-Borne Typhus (H)
25. Distemper (OA)
26. Neospora caninum (OA)
27. 2 Types of Mange (H) (OA)
28. GID (a disease of wild and domestic sheep) (OA)
29. Foot-and-Mouth (OA)
30. Parvo (OA)
Wolves are killing thousands of sheep annually in Europe as I write this. Wolves killed 70 sheep in one night, in one flock recently in Idaho. Wolves kill domestic calves and cows everywhere and always. Wolves decimate pregnant moose, pregnant deer and pregnant elk and they are very effective killers of the calves and fawns of these animals that they widely prefer. Wolves kill dogs from hunting dogs and watch dogs to herding dogs and family pets; they kill them in yards, on leashes, and in the field. Wolves decimate reindeer herds and domestic flocks and herds throughout Asia; plus they strike fear in rural people all too familiar with hungry wolves in winter or with pups in a nearby den or rabid wolves suddenly appearing and wreaking tremendous havoc. They have known of the wolf diseases for centuries and that is why dogs are not welcome in Asian rural homes. The promises to provide “compensation” by government or the radical organizations when wolves arrive are hollow excuses intended only to buy time for the wolves to get established. Compensation for livestock is never total due to the requirements for “proof” and there is NEVER enough money initially and soon enough there is NO money from either state or federal or private coffers as the initial “rush” of helping rural bumpkins ravaged by wolves is forgotten for other “feel-good” programs du jour. This same con scheme is being played out in Germany today as wolves infest the country and are expected to be everywhere in five years or less. Either suck it up or move!
The current true annual wolf damage costs to animal property from wolves in Europe, Asia and North America is easily in the many, many Millions of dollars. There is no estimate of the annual Lower 48 States dog deaths from wolves but it is undoubtedly in the many hundreds if not thousands. With only one exception, dogs killed by wolves are considered the problem of the dog owner, period. Wildlife loss, especially to big game herds and hunting is in the hundreds of millions annually including license revenue for DNR’s and dollar losses to local economies, sporting goods dealers, guides, motels, restaurants, taxidermists, Excise Taxes for fish and wildlife programs, processors and many other rural residents to whom such revenue is very important.
How do you estimate the damage to rural lifestyles? In a rural America where parents are loath to let children fish or hunt or hike or camp; where is the “domestic Tranquility” our Constitution charged the federal government to “insure”? In a rural America where workers and parents are afraid to protect their property for fear of draconian government enforcement; where is the “general Welfare” our Constitution charged the federal government to “promote”? Where are the “Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” charged to the federal government in our Constitution in a once-vibrant rural America wracked by unemployment and abandoned ranches, farms, communities and disappearing local governments?
Controlling established wolf populations to provide a level of damages and dangers tolerable to Americans living in the settled landscapes of The Lower 48 States is VERY expensive and never-ending. Wolves are wide-ranging and learn what to avoid, how to hide, and adopt new behavior as they are harassed. Taking 25 % or less (generally speaking) annually does exactly what big game hunting harvests do: it simply sends fewer adults into the next year in better condition (less food competition) and frequently stimulates reproduction and survival of the young thereby assuring as many or more individuals the following year. Control of wolves causing significant damage involves, as a rule of thumb, killing 60-75% of the wolves for 5+ years and then taking 35-45% of the remainder ever after. Add in what we all know, that wolves move into food-rich environments from surrounding areas and the magnitude and cost of the control aspect becomes even more expensive and difficult quickly. Now think about this in an atmosphere of NO HANDGUNS and impossible-to-obtain permits required for all guns (look to primitive Asian societies or tightly controlled Russian societies and the annual death and injury tolls from wolves on UNARMED wolves they are forced to “live with”) and consider the rural America you are leaving your children and grandchildren. .
Do not be fooled by “studies” about historic guesses about numbers or distributions of wolves, or current Nirvanas like Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. That island story and all the romance biology about pre-European North America reputedly demonstrating that wolves decrease when their “prey” decreases is NOT applicable in The Lower 48 States. True, when moose almost disappear on Isle Royale, the wolves decrease because there is no longer FOOD since there are no deer or other large mammals on the island. Remaining moose require too many calories to find and kill and wolf inbreeding as food decreases, like inbreeding dogs from the same litters, creates fewer surviving pups or able adults but The Lower 48 States are no island! Guesses about pre-European wolf population and range changes before Europeans began settling North America are simply guesses mostly by folks that have an agenda to fulfill and a propaganda story to create. Today’s Lower 48 States are a Cornucopia of wolf food. Cattle and Sheep v. Wolves will ALWAYS create a history just like human warfare. Wolves get used to fladry, they learn how to divert guard dogs and shepherds, they quickly become nocturnal, they learn to dig under or jump electric fences, and they even kill your dog and then use your place more frequently. They go after moose, elk, and deer; and learn how, when and where to find them throughout the year. They prefer the unborn and the young so when those animals dwindle they can shift (like coyotes) to pronghorns or (like cougars) to lambing mountain sheep in high mountain meadows. Like your dog they will get into your garbage and dumpsters in town and behind The Pizza Hut along the highway. They will roam through your place at night looking for anything (like your dog and coyotes they are omnivorous) to eat and this raises more frequent surprise encounters by kids and unarmed persons where watchdogs or pets are no longer present. They will always find food and to say they will not is either wishful thinking or a lie. As they do all this, exposure to the many diseases and infections will increase not only for humans but for their livestock and dogs as well.
Shooting, trapping and snaring are difficult to use continually as wolves are very adaptive and learn quickly because they often are moving in groups and those that survive LEARN. Aerial shooting is effective at certain times in certain weather and in certain terrains but it is expensive with all manner of purposely difficult impediments placed by radicals and bureaucrats in laws and regulations. Poisons are prohibited though they are effective over time as demonstrated by M-44’s and coyotes for decades. The questions of who does it and who pays are paramount. Hunters are not continuously effective and large initial interest soon dwindles as hunters pay for a license and lose interest when they go long periods without even seeing a wolf. Government (federal and/or state) employees are usually the best when they specialize in this activity but they are expensive over time, and finding a sure and continuous funding source is not realistic given the recent record of radicals getting politicians to restrict and eliminate such programs plus the deep hostility of the current government bureaucracies toward any such activity.
In perhaps the biggest paradox of this affair, the radicals and their federal government surrogates imposed wolves with ludicrously low target populations for each state they moved into. Then, when the wolf populations were 3 to 4 times the target, they “returned wolf management to the state.” This was done with great fanfare and cheering, until reality set in. If the state didn’t manage wolves to levels and as the federal government dictated, federal control would be reinstituted. Counting wolves consistently and with any accuracy is a hit-and-miss, “best estimate”, and “minimum number” matter; and additionally it is costly. The need for counts is vital because federal bureaucrats would gladly take back control of wolves to please their “partners”. Thus the lawsuits and propaganda are based on unable-to-disprove lies about the wolves, their victims, their impacts and the costs all this generates to society.
There is also the matter of lawsuits. Radicals are suing to force the federals to take back authority over wolves in Wyoming. They are suing to prevent the use of dogs in Wisconsin to hunt wolves because it is “inhumane” for the dogs (these are the same Wisconsin dogs that for over two decades were being killed and maimed by wolves and NO ONE except their rural owners gave a hoot about!) They are suing to prevent snaring and trapping. They are suing to prevent harvest quotas. They are suing to challenge wolf counts. They are suing because of individual (“apex” this and wolf “social” structure claims) wolf taking by government or a rancher or a hunter. They are suing because of inadequate enforcement to catch and “put away” whoever killed “Willie” (they are fond of naming or getting government to name individual wolves or certain packs with romantic human names to bolster their animal rights agendas.) What is the cost to YOU? You have to employ more state lawyers full time on this stuff. Your state DNR/Fish and Wildlife have to count and monitor wolves by specialists. Your state bureaucrats have to enforce the laws and answer damage complaints and assuage residents and either live trap or kill individual wolves. You have to do full-time public relations about why there is no moose season, and why we must live with wolves, and how wolf disease threats are overblown, and how to keep dogs contained, and how there is no money for compensation that was promised, and how it is your fault that wolves killed your livestock, and how livestock or dogs don’t “belong” where you live, and even why wolves frequenting where your kids play or wait for the school bus or where grandma has to walk to the mailbox is really not a problem.
What you wind up with is:
-Your state fish and wildlife agency gladly diverting money from hunting and fishing to wolves, this pleases the feds and the radicals whom the state folks believe will soon be the source of their employment when hunting, fishing and trapping are outlawed.
-Your state agency “fudging” on big game numbers due to “poor counting weather” or a bad winter, etc.
-Your state agency claiming more and more if they don’t get “more” money they will have to close that hatchery or that season since they don’t have enough employees.
-Radical groups increasingly appearing to “save” this or that wildlife (education or research) project.
-University “research” confirming how wolves help this or that; how wolves are “desirable” and “necessary”; and how an unmanaged environment is preferable to a managed environment. – Think about that last one!
-Highly pleased federal bureaucrats and federal politicians willing to give more “support” (i.e. grants, jobs and recognition) to state “cooperators.”
-Highly pleased wealthy radicals from The Defenders of Wildlife to the World Wildlife Fund that similarly can favor state cooperators with support.
This is a win/win for radicals (diverting hunting funds from hunting programs to the bottomless pit of wolf non-control and non-management); and a loss/loss for hunters, ranchers, local communities, local governments and Constitutional government. It is a classic example of what Lenin planned when he observed that they (the Communists) would hang the capitalists with the rope they bought from them.
WHAT MUST WE DO?
In his book, “Winning the Culture War”, Dr. Peter Kreeft tells us, “To win any war, three things are necessary: Know that you are at war, know who your enemy is, and know what strategies can defeat him.”
I believe you know that we are at war. The fact that you are gathered here and are willing to pay for me to come here is proof of that.
I believe you know who your enemy is:
-You cannot negotiate with those bureaucrats I mentioned. But in truth, if you made me President for 4 years and I replaced everyone one of them with people with your values, the next President could snap it right back to what you face today and make things worse and worse.
-You cannot “work with” the hunting, ranching, etc., lobby groups in Washington. Expecting them to be with you in a fight over wolves is like expecting the high school debating team to be your backup in a bar-fight or domestic call as a policeman. They are neither inclined nor trained to do it and if they tried they would only make things worse.
-You cannot “work with” those environmental/animal rights organizations or the UN affiliates. They despise you and will continue to do whatever it takes to destroy (the right word) you and your families and your communities. They covet your land and have all the respect for you that those Boko Haram terrorists have for those kidnapped Christian girls, which is to say – NONE. This is not an exaggeration. This comes from one who has seen them up close and personal.
-You can no longer trust the majority of the “environmental” research manufactured in our Universities. Like the hazy DNA-Species’ Specific Standards, they are a house of cards constructed to implement hidden agendas with government money and government cooperation. Additionally, Universities, with few exceptions, no longer produce wildlife biologists, foresters and range managers despite those old titles on government jobs. They produce ill-trained activists that would no more “manage” renewable natural resources than a Quaker would lead other men in battle.
-You cannot expect any help from “your” state fish and wildlife agency. They (from Iowa to Oregon to Arizona to Maryland to Connecticut and back to Minnesota) have been corrupted by federal influence and infiltrated (again the right word) by radical-oriented employees. They no longer answer to you but to the agendas of those entities.
-You cannot seek redress from 90% of the current federal politicians. Most would not alter much less significantly change the Endangered Species Act under any circumstances (as long as it is YOUR kid or dog or calf of elk hunting, etc. being destroyed.) The rest of them (with a few exceptions) and BOTH PARTIES will admit to do no more than “tinker around the edges” of the ESA such as “increasing transparency” or “expanding decision-making processes” or “including more ‘partners’”, etc., etc. That is to say, NO CHANGE.
NOTHING will or can change as long as our Courts, our Legislature, and “We the People” allow or accept the terrible situation of allowing the federal government to say what animals will go where. While the jurisdiction over that matter traditionally and Constitutionally has been the responsibility of STATE governments, if the last 40 years have taught us anything it is that anymore, the Primary responsibility for that determination should lie with LOCAL governments.
When I was young I believed a smart person should be able to tell others not only what must be done, but also how to do it. Was I ever proud and stupid. In old age I have come to realize (like advising your son what he “should” be) that I can only suggest what I think is best and leave it to your determination to do what you think best.
What we are up against is a group of people that are profiting from our increasing misery. Just like when confronting Communist ideologies during the Cold War, today we are led by people who tell us environmentalism like communism cannot be changed and that our only hope is accommodation to a superior force and an inevitable philosophy. One could easily compare that to the current policy in some quarters toward Islamic terrorism. Who could have predicted the Fall of the Berlin Wall? How did that happen? Who know what lies ahead between Islam and the rest of the world? For that matter, who can depict a clear strategy to resolve our wolf dilemma?
The current abuses under the ESA and all the serious precedents it is breeding cannot and will not stand. If it and other abuses from political use of the IRS and EPA seizure of jurisdiction over “all waters of the US” and a central government system of tyrannical manipulation of energy and Constitutional rights continue, we are approaching an abyss. Either we change course or we will find ourselves where Our Founding Fathers found themselves in 1776. If you think what I am about to tell you is simply impossible, consider how:
-The Soviet Union fell due to a President, a Pope and a Prime Minister doing something. None of them was elected with the slightest hope of bringing about the fall of the Soviet Union. No one believed for years before they did it that it could be done or much less that it would ever happen, but it did. The communist tyranny was basically no different than the central government/environmentalism tyranny we are facing.
-The Netherlands is faced with an impossible assimilation of Moslems existing in a bubble of “multiculturalism” that threatens to destroy the Dutch people and their society. They are considering as we speak, a bill to formerly reject “multiculturalism” and make all legislation expressly serve “the Dutch people.” We are similarly facing an internal threat that has grown thanks in large part to our deference and naiveté. If the Dutch can forthrightly confront absorbing and not coddling Islamic immigration and its attendant issues in the midst of an increasingly all-powerful European Union government, the ESA and its attendant cohorts in the US are manageable by determined State and local populaces.
-Like growing US government wolf outrages, the European Union is currently requiring anyone participating in Wolf Policy developments to sign a document that they accept the presence of wolves. US government demands to accept global warming or climate change as a fact that can only be met with acceptance of vast new government powers and loss of more rights and freedoms is similar in that government dictates and government whims will brook no objections: they are in fact evolving into dictatorships before our eyes. The ESA is a very important cog in many gears taking us in this wrong and intolerable direction.
-A recent news item that crossed my desk told of a woman that recently died or rabies from a wolf bite in a city in Myanmar (Burma.) I asked myself if there is any difference between that woman and a schoolboy in New Mexico threatened by a wolf near a bus stop other than one is dead and the other waits now in a cage for the bus. The answer, I told myself, is that the woman and her ancestors have been living with that wolf and its ancestors for centuries, while the wolves in the West, Upper Midwest and Southeast US were purposely eradicated at great cost of time and treasure by free Americans to build a human society where wolf damages and horrible deaths from rabies were no longer common. Since free Americans have meekly and quietly accepted government-introduced wolves to be forcibly placed back in those areas I felt regret that the dead Burmese lady had never been given the opportunity to live in a wolf-free area and thus had never known the freedom and safety provided in such areas. On the other hand, the Americans accepting wolves that destroy their very ways of life after decades of knowing the benefits of their right to determine what animals would or would not be tolerated in their communities had both drunk the drink of freedom and understood the benefits of self-determination and yet let them slip right through their fingers. One could say the Burmese lady died before ever knowing better, yet she was as free as she ever knew. The Americans who knew better yet tolerated having their rights restricted, now live more as subjects of tyranny than that woman in Burma, killed by a wolf. Can such Americans reclaim their rights and the “domestic Tranquility” of their formerly productive settled landscapes? Only we can answer that!
Here are 5 things that must be done. Whether they are done by some reformers swept into office by other issues as Reagan was after Carter or some political Party is forced to stand tall by a reform movement or some such other phenomenon, these 5 things are vital if we are to contain the wolf problem and many of the other agendas that it is tangled up in:
1.) Repeal the Endangered Species Act. Note how we successfully repealed Prohibition that similarly bred corruption and caused great harm to American life. Consider the current debate about whether we should repeal or amend Obamacare and how the numbers of politicians on each side of that issue would probably be similar to those repealing or amending the ESA if they were really forced to take a side or be replaced. Do not be afraid.
2.) Repeal the 17th Amendment. In 1913, the 17th Amendment was passed. It changed the way that US Senators were appointed from “chosen by the (sic State) Legislature thereof” to “elected by the people thereof”. While this sounds “democratic” it was the beginning of the end for State’s Rights as envisioned in the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Ask yourself why state politicians and bureaucrats have become such doormats for federal abuses like the ESA?
A.) US Senators for the most part ignore rural Constituencies because they get elected by urban voting blocs. When you are elected and re-elected by (unions, environmentalists, feminists, anti-gun advocates, newly-arrived immigrants with immigration problems, minorities with desires for more government largesse, etc.) these blocs, your sympathy for rural issues, the rights of rural Americans not only leads you to ignore these citizens; you are sorely tempted to abuse them further to please and maintain urban voters seeking their demise.
B.) US Senators today do NOT represent their state; they represent those varying voting coalitions (mostly urban) that elect and re-elect them.
C.) The Constitution gives EACH State 2 Senators because, whether it is Rhode Island or Texas, EACH State has two Senators equally wielding the awesome power of that small body AND Ratifying Treaties AND Confirming Judges and Appointees to high offices on behalf of Each State. Why 2 equally to each state? Because they were intended to represent EACH STATE and NOT varying coalitions they create and cater to. In other words they are supposed to represent the STATE GOVERNMENT and that is who should appoint (or recall) them.
D.) Rural Americans take note: US Senators are, next to the President under the current set-up, practically bullet proof when they perpetrate or ignore rural harms like ESA or EPA or wolves or gun control schemes. While US Congressmen are more vulnerable to replacement by angry rural constituents, the more numerous urban Congressmen are mostly ignorant of or dismissive of rural problems. State Governors and State Legislators are even more vulnerable to rural wrath so when the State Legislature appoints US Senators that ignore or even support such egregious things as wolves, a Governor or State Legislators threatened with replacement by united rural voters (in many states) can and will recall a US Senator like too many today that act like one of those autocratic powdered-wig Members of King George’s Parliament that we rejected 225 years ago.
3.) Elect State, Federal and Local Politicians that support you. It goes without saying that you should work hard to get committed persons to run for government offices. You should vote for the good ones and work to defeat the bad ones. Elect good Local officials and then get the best to fill State offices and then select the best of them to go to Washington. Never forget Local officials are more responsive than State officials and State officials are more responsive than federal officials. If you let some candidate’s promise to give you MORE of something cloud your judgment or your vote; shame on you.
4.) Reform State government. Elect state officials that understand they serve YOU and YOUR Local government. They should protect you and help you to lead free, fruitful and productive lives. State officials should protect you from federal and other threats. State officials should work WITH YOU in everything and not like far-off politicians or bureaucrats or urban Non-Government Organizations. State governments should not allow federal bureaucrats to abuse Counties and local communities any more than they should dump problem cougars, coyotes and bears willy-nilly in rural Counties from urban precincts where the mysterious removal of such animals to some remote “wilderness” helps to maintain the fables and fictitious lies of radicals that lethal animal control and management (predator control, distribution and population control, hunting, trapping, etc.) “Aren’t necessary.” State officials should appoint agency heads (like your DNR/F&G) that respect local decisions and staffs the state agency with persons that treat rural residents with the same respect and deference as they do the urban residents.
5.) Restore Local Government’s Authority, Role and Revenue. After the last 4 decades of federal abuse and state reticence; Local communities and their government should be the first and primary authority over what animals and in what numbers and distribution are tolerated in the County. If the County wants to tolerate elk hunting up to a certain level, the state should manage in line with that purpose. If the County wants to minimizer elk; ditto. Likewise, if a County wants wolves, so be it. If a County wants NO wolves with year-around shooting, trapping, snaring and aerial shooting; so be that. If a County wants wolf dens cleaned out and closed and an owner refuses or the County wants to eliminate any remaining wolves and a landowner refuses, the County should be able to hire a contractor to do it and then bill the landowner and put a lien on the property until the bill is paid: wolves are like thistles (noxious plants) in this regard. The state should support these things and not be an impediment to local desires that do not conflict with the US or State Constitution. If the State Constitution is in conflict, push to amend it. You don’t force cobras or pythons on urban districts and such urban districts should not have the wherewithal to force wolves on you. Recent years even suggest to me considering Counties equally in State Legislatures (State Senate) based on Counties just as the US Senate is based on States. Other than that, I am at a loss about how to curb growing rural oppression by bankrupt or corrupt cities desperately in need of more money as they continue spending to maintain their historic power structures in the hands of the same cabals.
How you do these things are your business in your County and State. You do it in Washington by electing and appointing strong federal politicians. Give them a mission and then hold them accountable. The same goes for State and County officials. Publicize and make known to all what is happening to your community and your families and your lives. Get teachers on your side or replace them. Talk to friends, neighbors, coworkers and family about what is happening and what is needed. You know what you can do best: do it. There is no silver bullet and it takes each of us doing all we can, day in and day out.
As for me, I am reminded of the famous Roman Senator Cato the Elder. In the Second Century before Christ, Romans were dominated on the Mediterranean Sea by Carthage. Carthage was both a threat and a great worry to all Romans. Dominance of the Mediterranean not only contained Rome, it made an attack by Carthage almost constantly possible. No one was sure if Carthage could be eliminated as a threat or how it could be done, but done it eventually was. Up to the final and total destruction of Carthage by Rome in 146 BC, Senator Cato the Elder had for many years ended every address he made to the Roman Senate with the cry, “Carthage must be destroyed!”
I therefore end this talk with the cry, “The Endangered Species Act must be destroyed!”
18 May 2014
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
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