Monday, July 4, 2011

ESA Observations

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Must Read Article - Enviros 'helped' wolf lose protection
Yet the pro-wolf lawsuits have ended in a colossal strategic failure: Congress has just brushed them aside and passed a bipartisan measure that strips Endangered Species Act protections from most northern Rockies wolves, effective May 5. ... The lawsuit-oriented groups shrugged off any experts who disagreed with their own experts - including Valerius Geist, a widely respected researcher and author who is also a professor emeritus of wildlife biology at the University of Alberta in Calgary. Geist reveres the North American Model of Conservation, a concept dating back to 1842 that prevents private ownership of wildlife while allowing hunting and fishing within the boundaries of laws set, mostly, by the states. It has been, arguably, the most effective wildlife conservation and restoration model in the world.

Geist told me in 2000, while I was researching a story for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle magazine, that wolf reintroduction was "a bad idea……..

Environmentalists have an idealistic vision that there is a balance of nature that can be achieved. What you will actually see is quite a depletion in your big-game (herds)." Geist thinks that "those dickybird fellows" - as he calls most environmentalists - do not really care whether the wolves reduce opportunity for big-game hunters, even though the special taxes hunters pay on firearms and their hunting-license fees basically paid for restoring the elk that allowed the wolf recovery: "The enviros have taken a free ride on the money provided by hunters, and they have never paid their share of wildlife costs."…… (As usual, the greenies and the lefties never have to pay for their actions! It is always up to others to pay for their schemes, not to mention that fact that it is everyone else who pay the penalty for their being wrong. RK)

Terri Tew, who with her husband, Tim, manages the LF Ranch near Augusta, Mont., - known for its wildlife and tolerance of predators - once told me, "We're not always sure why we should go through all this with losing calves and staying up all night, just so somebody from back East can come out here for a week and listen to a wolf howl." Kathy Konen of Dillon, Mont., probably felt the same way when she arrived in her family's sheep pasture on private land to find that wolves had killed 120 rams in one night in August 2009. Some ranchers lost priceless breeding stock they'd built up through generations of careful genetic management……

As a horde of Western politicians harnessed the anti-wolf fury, determined to get Congress to intervene, 10 of the groups involved in the fatal lawsuit panicked. Suddenly, they sought to compromise, offering a "settlement" that resembled the partial delisting they had previously sued against. There was no chance Judge Molloy would accept the settlement, because it still enforced the federal law differently in different states and four of the plaintiffs refused to sign it. It was political theater, and Molloy rejected it on April 9.

Within a few days, Congress approved a bipartisan measure - a rider attached to a budget bill with no real debate - that more or less carried out the previous Bush and Obama plans to delist wolf populations in Montana, Idaho, and portions of Utah, Washington and Oregon, while maintaining federal control in Wyoming. The measure also said that the decision cannot be challenged by lawsuits. President Obama signed it, and it was finalized in the Federal Register on May 5. Defenders of Wildlife warns: "This unprecedented action marks the first time in the history of the Endangered Species Act that protections for a specific species will be revoked by Congress. (It) paves the way for other bills that undermine the scientific principles of the Endangered Species Act and put countless other species at risk at the whim of politicians."…… (Is that versus the whim of greenies and judges who are clueless about the concept of separation of powers? RK)

Meanwhile, three Western environmental groups --Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians - are already suing the feds over the May 5 delisting of most Northern Rockies wolves, charging that it's unconstitutional for Congress to override a judge's ruling. A fourth group that also thrives in court, the Center for Biological Diversity, has filed a separate lawsuit along the same lines. (It would appear that the left really doesn’t understand the simple language of the Constitution. Congress determines the jurisdiction of the courts. It is the job of Congress t pass the laws that the courts are supposed to follow….not the other way around. Although I know that hasn’t been obvious for many years. RK)

Federal wildlife officials passs on more Utah prairie dog protections
Federal wildlife officials on Monday said the Utah prairie dog doesn't warrant stronger protections under the US Endangered Species Act. While state officials praised the decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service because they say ...

Groups sue Army Corps of Engineers over levee tree-removal policy
The plaintiffs allege the Army Corps policy violates the Endangered Species Act, because the agency did not consult with federal wildlife agencies; and the National Environmental Policy Act, because it didn't prepare an environmental study. ... ..But after Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed numerous levees in New Orleans in 2005, the Corps decided to impose uniform standards nationwide. Failure to comply would make local agencies ineligible for federal funds to recover from flood damage. The Corps argues that trees can blow over in storms, potentially ripping out levee sections. It also says roots provide a path for water to seep through levees. But it offers little scientific evidence for those conclusions.

My TakeTwo things. This whole idea of one size fits all is stupid, and if they stop paying people to live in flood plains this problem will go away because they will fix this themselves in some way or the other. The other thing that fascinates me is the idea that you have to show “scientific evidence” that wind will blow trees over and ruin levees, and that roots will allow seepage. Well….duh….why would anyone need “scientific” evidence of that? I would think that a little basic observation of reality would be enough. As for tree roots holding the levee in place; did anyone ever see documentaries showing what happens when massive amounts of water surge through an area? The trees go down, roots and all, taking tons of dirt with them. I mean….just a guess mind you…..but isn’t that why they build levees where they do; because massive amounts of water comes pouring through that area somewhat regularly?

No Endangered Species Designation for Gila Monster
The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday that a petition seeking to protect the Utah population of the Gila monster under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not contain substantial scientific information to ...

Look Out for Piping Plovers and Least Terns on the Beach
The North Fork Audubon Society continues to protect piping plovers and least terns — both still endangered species that nest on beaches. By Connie Gillies | Email the author | June 20, 2011 The North Fork once again is home to nesting piping plovers ...

Las Cruces Utilities protects burrowing owls
Some species even have additional protection under federal laws such as Endangered Species Act or under state laws. Even though burrowing owls are not listed as "endangered," they are still a "Species of Concern" according to the US Fish & Wildlife ...

Thousands of Gulf Sea Turtles Killed by Shrimp Trawls
Each of the six sea turtle species found in US waters is listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, which means that they may go extinct in the foreseeable future. But did you know that under the Endangered Species Act, ...

Shrimpers await reaction to lawsuit
The groups sent a joint letter to federal and state officials in May announcing their intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act “for actions and inactions related to the management and regulation of the shrimp-trawl fishery that have resulted in ...

Arlington thoroughfare plan, dunes sagebrush lizard, Perry's texting veto
There's a good reason for the Endangered Species Act: so that decisions related to the protection of such species are not left to politicians, industries and other such biased parties. All too often, however, protection of endangered species falls to ...

Final Thoughts

I have always been in a quandary over all of this. I am opposed to placing non-human things over humans. I am also opposed to wholesale wanton eradication of animals. I am also opposed to the irrational idea that every species is absolutely necessary for the survival of all other things, since over 95 percent of all species that has ever lived has gone extinct, and 100 percent of every species alive today will go extinct eventually. I am also opposed to the concept of "pristine" environments. The greenies want preservation, yet conservation is what works, and they are against it. Why? Because conservation is a use based concept.

I also am thoroughly convinced that the ESA is less about saving animals and plants than about eliminating private property rights and controlling the population. The green movement is the step child of socialism; it is also the spear point; and the ESA is the tip of that spear point. There will be no compromise with these people that they will adhere to. As you read the articles you find that they hate each other as much as they hate everyone else. It seems to me that it would be reasonable to revise the ESA, except for one thing. There is no trusting the other side. So how can the ESA be fixed in some other way than to eliminate it? I don’t believe there is one.

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