“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” ― Aldo Leopold, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold
There is a big problem in America today. It is the acceptance of “bad-science” as well as the use of “ignorance” to make overwhelming and certainly detrimental decisions in regard to our nations wildlife and natural environment. This is compounded by irrational decision making by government agencies, and when challenged by the general public, the Justice Department steps in and protects the government agency rather than the Public. There is a lot obviously wrong with this situation!
But it goes further, into the realm of our legislators catering toward small lobby groups and corporations only, and to hell with the rest of the general public. Within nature we can actually look at previous decisions in regard to Wolves, and use this example toward just about every bad decision made within the past ten years.
Proof of Bad Decision Making
By the end of 2012 there existed many States in America that used “bad science” and “ignorance” to proclaim the Wolf as, stated simply here, “. . . a predator that had to be removed. . .” Interesting that this situation directly involved terms such as “. . . to enhance elk and deer herds in Idaho or Montana for example. . .” or “. . . to protect our cattle and elk herds. . .” and on and on. The fact of the matter is the situation also cost the taxpayers in the millions of dollars within each state, in order to develop these “kill-only” management principles’, and directed entirely toward the Wolves.
One sportsman’s lobby group went on to say Wolves are bad for the environment. They (i.e. the wolves) often killed out of lust for the kill or the actual enjoyment of killing. Some went further to state Wolves attacked people and especially kids. There exist nothing to support anything the sportsmen’s lobby groups have stated as accurate; absolutely nothing. So this journalist will not waste your time any further on neither what the sportsmen’s groups nor the lobby groups say as factual, since there is simply nothing to substantiate their claims.
On the other hand there does exist an overwhelmingly amount of evidence combined with “good science” based on quality research and quality data gathering and other well noted information resources. This is all pertinent and well known before the Wolf massacre began, and yet ignored by both State and Federal government agencies and legislators. Why is that, do you suppose?
Proof of Ignored or Neglected Science Facts and Data
The discussion here centers on the qualities of Wolves within an Ecosystem. There does exist prevailing benefits. Currently these benefits being ignored in many government agencies that are paid to know at least the basics of environmental or ecological management — but apparently do not. One has to ponder their decision making process, and exactly what fact based science their decisions based upon? Well, none!
So it becomes apparent we have a problem with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They supposedly have the know-how to decipher nature’s language, as their in excess of $100,000 a year employee’s salaries says as much, and so our tax money tells us. But do they, or do they simply ignore the specifics for their political or personal income agendas? So why would this government agency ignore good science?
Good Science does Exist
“It’s all here,” the Cristina Eisenberg, Research Scientist said. “You just have to know the language.” 1
“Until about 1920, wolves patrolled these meadows, which have long been an important wintering ground for elk. Then humans hunted the predators into extinction here, and for 60 years or more the elk grazed in peace. By the mid-1980s, however, wolves were recolonizing the landscape, straying south from Canada to reclaim this western fringe of GlacierNational Park.” 1
“The 100-year-old aspens grew up with wolves. So did the 20-year-olds. There are no middle-agers, Eisenberg said, because without wolves to run the elk, all the young aspen sprouts were browsed to death.” 1
“It is,” she said, “quite clear and profound. The wolves leave an indelible mark on the entire ecosystem. . . Eisenberg’s work shows that before wolves were killed out, about one in every six aspen trees grew to reach the canopy. When wolves were absent, perhaps one in 300 made it. . . Her findings: Wolves increase biodiversity; wolves affect elk behavior more than elk populations; and aspen growth in elk winter range is directly related to wolves. It’s pretty rock-solid,” Eisenberg said. “The information coming out is unbelievably clear.” 1
Then we come, again and again and wherever the use of taxpayer money is in controversy, to Welfare Ranching and its dubious entry in the mooching-off our government system, and simply obtaining a lot of taxpayer money under false pretense.
“While Idaho taxpayers are facing budget cuts to public education and health care, ranchers are busy writing self-serving bills to provide money for “studies” that will paper over destructive impacts of livestock grazing. . . Meanwhile, lawmakers also sought to line their own pockets by trying to pass bills that would give themselves and other big landowners special hunting licenses that they could sell for exorbitant prices while giving the Idaho Department of Fish and Game the shaft.” 2
And in the matter of their research, “. . . Will it look at places like Hart Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oregon where livestock have been absent from the landscape for 20 years and sage grouse populations have dramatically flourished while they have declined throughout the rest of the state? Doubtful. . .” 2
Important to note here, when Welfare Ranchers involved they simply wish to kill anything and everything other than the cattle — and that includes the ecological system as well. They simply use up a section of our PublicLands and then move on, all the time collecting government stipends for doing so — taxpayer money!
Welfare Ranchers simply do not care about much, other than receiving their government money, which they have relied upon for decades now, and under false pretense. They are not the mom and pop ranchers of yesteryear! They will lie out rightly about Wolves killing their cattle, and this has been proven time and again, and a subject for a later article.
Killing the Wolves and Then What
Montana is another State that had out rightly lied about their Wolf problem. But this happened within all of the States promoting Wolf Hunts, well referenced, but too many for one article.
These same States were told time and again, out rightly, there was no shortage of elk or deer. This information was referenced from reliable data. Wolf Advocates stated repeatedly elk and deer herds had increased over the years, due to mismanagement, and certainly had not decreased what so ever. But as the tale goes on, Montana Fish and Game and in cahoots with the U.S. Fish and Game, opened the season on the only animal that kept elk and deer in check for a better Ecological functioning system. Now Montana has an over abundance of elk and deer, and totally out of management capacity.
Oh and by the way, they will be asking the federal agencies, yes indeed, yours and my tax payer money, to supplement their monetary situation to rid their state of the overabundance of elk and deer. Think about the next time you view a photo of a psycho holding up his Wolf Kill and grinning, or bragging about torturing a Wolf before killing it. Our tax money played a large part of them having the ability to do such activity! And that, folks, is outright disgusting as well!
But the story gets even better, unscrupulous one might say, and criminal fiction has once again been surpassed by reality, and our government agencies lust and greed for money.
“Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-Hamilton, submitted House Bills 375 and 376 to allow more local control over impacts from deer, elk and antelope that forage on agricultural land. HB375 would make FWP reimburse landowners for crop damage. . . My bills are intended to give farmers and ranchers some relief from the deer damage they’re experiencing,” Ballance said. . . . I’m here to tell you this is a serious problem. It’s been talked about for 30 years and it’s not gone away. The remedies are not working.” 3
Well! Wait a minute here! The entire Wolf-Kill landscape was predicated on Wolves damaging and the extravagant overkill of elk and deer — now we find this not to be the truth what so ever! And we find yet another damaging situation, “. . . a recent Supreme Court lawsuit stated that when people acquire property in Montana, they do so knowing that wild game will be present. He added that they estimate they would lose about $18 million in federal funding if the money is diverted for crop damage.” 3
And now, quite by accident we discover that the Montana sportsmen and the State Fish and Wildlife pulled another fast one on America and delisting of the Wolves. That is within the Supreme Court decision and within it’s context, it protects the Wolf and other wildlife. How far that protection goes we do not know currently, but will certainly look into the situation. Essentially, it was to have ranchers acknowledge presence of wildlife when purchasing their property, and the State of the Federal government not responsible for consequences of or in regard to any present wildlife in the state.
The facts still remain, overall documented losses of livestock to wolves are less than one percent, considerably less than losses to weather, disease, and other dangers. Wolf kills are difficult to confirm, and indeed Welfare Ranchers have been caught in outright lies about Wolves killing their cattle.
This is largely due to reimbursement of the killed cattle by Wolves program — yes, it has been proven fraud had been committed on at least 96% of those cattle-killed and taxpayer money reimbursed. Yet, Welfare Ranchers as well as sportsmen want Wolves all wiped off the face of this planet, and because –. I do not think it odd that many of these people requesting such things are ignorant not just of wolves, but of life in general.
Once again we find a rivalry between outdoor sportsmen, who assume they know everything; Welfare Ranchers, who assume they know everything; corporations, who pay government employees and legislators under the table for their use of Public Lands; and Animal Advocate groups that quote directly from firm scientific facts and data.
Profoundly and within many different situations, our legislators and government agencies, who also think they know everything, leans favorably toward lobby groups and money. And just as often good and common sense science within managing our natural resources and wildlife remains ignored. This simply leads to bad decision making. What a surprise, huh?_____________________________________________
1. “Tracking science: Biologist’s findings show forest diversity, health influenced by wolves” http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/territory/tracking-science-biologist-s-findings-show-forest-diversity-health-influenced/article_3ec9fc54-c01f-11de-bf16-001cc4c002e0.html
2. “Idaho ranchers want more taxpayer money for grazing “studies” Billings Gazette, 02/28/13 http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/02/28/idaho-ranchers-want-more-taxpayer-money-for-grazing-studies/
3. “Bills would give counties more control over wildlife,” Billings Gazette, 02/14/2013, http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/bills-would-give-counties-more-control-over-wildlife/article_8584d7a3-8e5d-5d4e-bf78-e5223fe2d00f.html