If You Don’t Want Wolves (or Grizzlies)…
By Jim Beers
As I prepare to write about this current issue, I feel like a Doctor explaining why parents should vaccinate their children against measles while completely ignoring how it got and is getting into the US in recent years. All of those writing me of late about where to get the answer about how to avoid getting wolves and grizzly bears in their state are like parents asking the doctor about where to get their kids vaccinated and when told the ongoing onslaught of illegal immigration of passport-less and health-record-less immigrants from all over the world scattering into American communities is probably the source of this and other maladies – either shrug about how there is nothing they can do about that or simper that it is impossible to do anything about it.
Wolves Today (30 April 2019)
Legally, socially and biologically wolves are a mess in the Lower 48 States.
– Their numbers and densities are (as expected and planned) expanding.
– Numbers and distributions are dependent on who (federal, state, enviros, or government-hired academics) counts and for what purpose.
– They have very likely killed a woman on the Upper Peninsula and two ladies in a National Park, all of which was covered-up by federal government agents and Charlie McCarthy state enablers. Young women working in wolf “Centers” go to great lengths to “show the public” that wolves are gentle and nice by going into enclosures and feeding and schmoozing the wolves. What they have discovered is that around three years of age wolves, unlike dogs, become increasingly dangerous and unpredictable. Additionally and especially when they are in a group, when a person (particularly children or elderly females) falls or trips wolves are triggered to pounce bite and tear quickly. As a result, many of these young female “believer”/advocates have been killed in both North American and European wolf displays
– Children have been attacked in campgrounds and hunters driven away from retrieving downed game by wolf packs.
– Cattle and sheep depredations increase despite all the fairy tale “solutions” like compensation, fladry, electric fences, night/day riders, firecrackers, etc. being shown day in and day out to be no more effective than the “placebo” in medical experiments.
– Dogs of all stripes from watchdogs, hunting dogs, and guard dogs to family pets have been killed in the thousands by wolves. Paradoxically, the pro-wolf enviros (the majority of whom are simultaneously animal rights advocates and Dog Rescue thugs) have been silent for decades about this matter.
– The over thirty deadly and dangerous diseases contracted by wolves and then spread over vast areas to be contracted by rural dogs, adults and children in myriad ways from tapeworm eggs on carpets to dogs mouthing a contaminated (by a wolf) item and then licking members of the family with a cut or on the face playfully. “Scientists” and veterinarians that know better, weave and evade like boxers when asked about this. When asking about this, ask them if this is not a problem, “Why do we spend millions on our dogs for vaccinations and examinations, if wolves (with whom they breed and produce fertile puppies) don’t contract and spread the same diseases and infections? Won’t the dangers and threats from this only increase exponentially as greater wolf densities lead inevitably to more habituation of wolves to people as they find food harder to obtain and spend more time around homes and settlements? Won’t this habituation, as documented down through the ages, lead to not only more exposure to wolf-borne diseases and infections as well as more attacks on rural children and rural elderly?”
– Wolves are increasingly interbreeding with dogs and coyotes (and producing fertile puppies just like the pups of a Doberman and a Basset Hound) in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States. When will any or all wolves no longer be a “wolf”? When will coyotes cease to be coyotes or wild free-roaming dogs to be “dogs”? At what DNA Standard? At what outwardly discernible appearance characteristics (if the wolf is to be sanctified from any human effect; if the coyote is to be and should be shot on sight; and if the “dog” is to be governed as private property subject to County or community regulation) does any federal, state, or County jurisdiction kick in? If there aren’t any such firm characteristics – How can any law or regulation be observed or respected by any citizen, enforcement officer or court?
– Wolves have been and are extirpating game herds from Alaska and Western Canada (especially British Columbia and Alberta) to the US Great Lakes States and Western US States. Periodic wolf extermination by winter aerial plane shooting has been a necessity for Alaskans committed to maintaining moose hunting for meat in rural areas for decades while minimizing human encounters that commonly end badly as with a young lady school teacher jogger killed and eaten by wolves 5 or 6 years ago on the Alaskan Peninsula. Wolves exterminated caribou on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior and almost eradicated moose on Isle Royale, also in Lake Superior. Protected wolf numbers exploded in Minnesota as moose declined to the point that moose hunting has become no more than a dim memory of a disappearing rural America. Wolves have decimated moose in Yellowstone while reducing the elk population by 85%. Moose hunting in the Rocky Mountain States and Provinces is disappearing as is elk hunting. You do not have to be a biologist or ecologist to imagine what lies ahead as omnivorous wolves go from one food source (moose, elk, cattle, sheep, deer, garbage, elk, dogs, etc.) to another and increase their numbers and densities. Habituation and human attacks, much like central and Northern Asia, will become a most unwelcome and unmentioned “New Normal” in rural communities.
Why The Recent Fuss About Wolves?
– Wolves have been introduced to and protected by federal bureaucrats into Montana, Idaho and Wyoming for over 20 years. Outraged hunters, ranchers, shepherds and other rural residents have been screaming at their federal politicians to lift the federal authority over wolves and return that jurisdiction to state governments that are too often reticent to speak for the rest of us. That happened recently thanks to a specifically-worded federal law. These 3 States have found that hunting wolves is very difficult. Managing wolves causes them to divert money from license revenue and Excise Taxes for hunting programs to wolf lawsuits, public relations, laws enforcement, and federal demands for wolves. Simultaneously they found that unless current wolf levels are reduced 65-75% and kept at that lower level, game herds do not recover and domestic depredations remain high. Further unless wolf levels are kept at or below about 20 % of current levels wolves will continue to spread and become even more difficult to control as they adapt to method after method of control programs as they do in Asia and throughout history. All this is moot however, since enviro lawsuits and state wildlife agency reluctance to reassume their role as advocates for rural residents as opposed urban environmental groups and federal bureaucrat overlords produce little more than smoke and mirrors. Methods of control, census “numbers”, claims about too few “Alpha” Males, inhumane practices, etc. are grist for both enviro lawsuits and federal bureaucrats lighting candles in their offices for the return of a “Progressive” environmentalism bureaucracy. The Endangered Species Act lays like a leopard playing possum as its quick renewal awaits the right moment (or judge) to rise like the Phoenix.
– Surrounding States (WA, OR, CA) love the wolves that have (as planned) spread into their state. The federal government claims authority over the wolves and the Progressive state bureaucrats and politicians support them fully. Rural residents have long lists of complaints that are either dismissed, explained away, or covered up by urban news media reports. As is always the case, promises of “compensation”, new stock protection “silver bullets”, and (purchased) “scientific” explanations of how climate change and undetermined causes in need of more money for research are the real problems. Just yesterday I received a news article from one of these States titled, “Enviros’ acceptance of shooting wolves frays” that says it all. Unless there is shooting, trapping, snaring and other such lethal wolf control methods, you might as well shutter rural America and clear the land like England did with the Scots and Irish centuries ago and shipped them off to America, Australia and all the nooks and crannies in between. Dealing with such wolf “Enviros” is reminiscent of Hitler dealing with Chamberlain, a joke to one side and undeserved hope to calm the other for a short period.
– The federal bureaucrats and docile state “colluders” are continually trying to force wolves on New Mexico and Arizona (where, except for livestock, dogs and garbage a wolf has to pack a lunch every day and wolf packs are scarce like food) and the Carolinas (with wolves having large amounts of dog DNA) that interbreed with hunting dogs and pets while appearing more and more like coyote/dog cross individuals when glimpsed in the thick cover.
– While preparing to write this piece, I tried to determine the “Legal Status of Wolves in each of the Lower 48 States” to no avail. The federal (Endangered Species Act-based) jurisdiction over wolves is nowhere clearly stated about where federal law prevails, where state law prevails; where federal law establishes levels below which federal law is reasserted. All that plus pending lawsuits and federal regulatory expectation of declaring wolf “Critical” Habitat wherever it pleases them or their sponsors. Thus we are left with the:
1.) States where they have the authority and jurisdiction to eliminate or increase wolves where the federal government has “returned management to the States”. I believe this is ZERO since the feds retain the implicit authority to prevent wolves from going below some yet to be determined level by some favorable judge where the wolves were established by federal (ESA) actions. What a racket! The feds impose the wolves and retain the authority to say what the state must maintain and how; and then like PT Barnum selling it to the public paying for it as “returning wolf management to the state”. Barnum was right about that “sucker born every minute”.
2.) States where the wolves are roaming and the State and the federal government and state wildlife agencies are joined at the hip with a mix of claims and counter claims about who is in charge and what the future holds. (MT, ID, WY, MN, WI, MI, AZ, NM, NC/SC(?), WA, OR, CA.)
3.) States with “straggler” wolves that are either killed without comment, or otherwise disappear (i.e. NV, UT. CO, ND, SD, NE, KS, IL, MO, IA, IN, OH, (KY/TN?), TX, GA, VA, WV.)
4.) All the rest of the Lower 48 States.
– Into this mishmash a billionaire from Montana has recently sent one of his acolytes (his man in the Montana Legislature) to Colorado on a dog and pony show mission to “introduce wolves” into Colorado. This was met with wild adulation by cheering Progressives from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs (political shades of Chicago/Illinois, New York City/Upstate New York, and Seattle/Washington State et al). Wolves have assumed the status of Gun control, Planned Parenthood funding, and eliminating the Electoral College and Border Patrol/ICE in the Progressive Pantheon of never-ending campaigns. In all fairness here, there are a few RINO’s that would support such wolf introduction in order to assuage certain voter blocs.
Additionally, most of the States listed under #3 above, must (whether they admit it or not) expect undeniable wolf arrivals as packs compete for food in accelerating competition in nearby states already saddled with wolves they must maintain. The States listed under #2 have issues and problems they have long known and failed to resolve (because of feckless state politicians and bureaucrats, plus amoral federal politicians that have and are enriching themselves at the expense of their rural constituencies). I will address the states in #3 that might find what I say applicable and all the states in #4 with what follows.
If you are wondering what wolf issues lies ahead for you, you have every right to be worried. The Endangered Species Act has proven that the fact that wolves are overpopulated by at least the hundreds of thousands if not millions throughout the Northern Hemisphere (the land between the North Pole and the Equator) is immaterial. The fact that wolves have created chaos, danger and economic disruption everywhere they occur in the settled landscapes of rural America has nothing to do with the Act. The fact that there is no recognizable description under law of the difference between dogs, coyotes and wolves in federal, state or Local laws, regulations or ordinances makes distinguishing them in law an unjust expectation. “Enviros” are commonly quoted as advocating wolves that currently occupy only 20% of the “Native” range in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States despite the ESA not mentioning such a task nor achieving it but given the right political climate will be resurrected as a federal goal by self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. Like Griswold v Connecticut’s “penumbras and emanations” made a “right” out of thin air, a similar jurisprudence exercise could easily justify making The Lower 48 States awash in wolves given the right Congress and President.
Suggestions to #’s 3 & 4
- Lobby your State politicians to pass a Law naming wolves (and grizzly bears that are even more dangerous and destructive and also DO NOT BELONG IN SETTLED LANDSCAPES!) as Predators that may be taken at any time of the year (or at least when threatening private property or near human habitation) by a wide panoply of methods and means. OR…
- Do the same thing by organizing a Statewide Referendum. OR…
- Exert political pressure on the Governor and/or the wildlife agency to issue a regulation to the same effect. OR…
- Issue Local Ordinances, Statements or other appropriate notices that your County stands for Wolves and Grizzlies be treated as Predators as mentioned above. OR…
- Enlist your County Sheriff to make a statement of support and offer to manage such Predator control in your County and then support or find money to support your Sheriff.
- Openly support and explain the need for effective initial control of these unwanted rural animals by accepting aerial control, shooting, snaring, trapping and whatever is necessary to keep your County or State free of these dangerous, destructive, and deadly Predators.
- Reform your state wildlife agency to a staff with your values and neither federal nor urban organization’s hidden agendas involving rural residents and their communities. Those that do not understand and support your community’s vision of a wildlife/human interaction in your community, transfer them to the Parks or Administrative support functions.
- Make representing your wildlife values a political election item for especially Governors, Attorneys General, Delegates and Senators and then strive to make it consequential.
Wolves and Grizzly bears do not belong in settled landscapes for the reasons listed and many more. Reluctance to offend and natural avoidance of controversy got us into this dilemma and it will take more than this advice to reverse it but it might stall it and provide a basis for change like saving the bridges over the Rhine to provide the counter-attack to end WW II.
Making public and diverse statements about the reasons for opposition to wolves and grizzly bears does several things. It forces those that would impose them on you to answer and avoid multiple points and not just the Governor, the wildlife chief and a couple of Quisling state legislators. It will also make urban advocates for wolves and radical enviro organizations answer questions they have been spared for too long. Perhaps most importantly, it may start Americans of all stripes thinking about the difference between a Lower 48 States with or without wolves: if that happens, we will have won this argument and made an incremental accomplishment that will benefit our kids and grandkids.
I would rather die with that on my conscience than be one of the bureaucrat/biologists or feckless politicians responsible for the grizzly bear that killed two girls in a tent or the wolves that drove ranchers out of business and killed a kid at a rural school bus stop. I think a vast majority of residents, both rural and urban, in North America and Europe would feel the same. Even those rural people in Africa and Asia suffering similar wildlife abuse thanks to authoritarian governments similarly profiting from UN cooperation and radical “enviro” use of weaponized predators feel the same in my experience when it is explained to them.
If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.
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.
Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.
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