Let’s discuss a sub agency at the USDA called Wildlife Services. One must be leery at best here, as we then enter into psychotic realms, where no less of an explanation exists — the killing of 20.2 million animals — America’s Wildlife. The Landscape: America’s Wild Lands.
Our wildlife is being killed within negligent parameters. Method and irresponsible management is obvious, yet ironically ignored. Wildlife Services uses our taxpayer-based-money extraordinarily, to kill wildlife. Currently we are looking at a harsh reality — the actual lose of nearly 50% of our nation’s wildlife (i.e. data and statistics from the Living Planet Index).
You’ve never heard of this agency? Many have not, and why this agency gets away with what they do. Their personnel abuse and kill wildlife with no other apparent reasoning, other than misleading information or hidden agendas and covered up lies. This ironic situation is apparently the norm in wildlife management today, in both State and Federal government agencies; although, Wildlife Services leads the way in extreme behavior and one can say truthfully, oddly, a hatred toward wildlife.
Time for change! And yes, we could be discussing the Bureau of Land Management here as well, and their atrocities and psychopathic behavior patterns also, as their management paradigms quite destructive as well, with a similar and odd antagonistic behavior and psychotic hatred toward America’s wild horses.
Killing America’s Wildlife
With so much of an abundant kill-statistic of animals, one has got to wonder about our government and the mind-set that currently exists. Obviously, Wildlife Services uses no science their approach within management levels or in the matter of their actions, of killing wildlife. Yes, those that should not be responsible for animals, especially managing any part of our nation’s wildlife, are in positions of responsibility — yet their irresponsible actions and behavior quite obvious. But why am I making these statements?
In truth, we the people of America have got to wonder what happened to humanity within our government, and all it conveys within ideology, especially within a perspective of day to day management of our wildlife. We can attest that if our government is reflective of its population and voters, our country, America is in dire need of change, especially within wildlife management.
Occupation: Killing Wildlife
“As far as I know those government trappers are supposed to take care of marauding animals that are doing public damage. Some of those people just do killin’ to be killin’. . . those here like this fellow at Wildlife Services ya mentioned, I heard of him, sadly, and he’s another story all together. His reputation of how he would trap an animal, then club it to death out of pure sick-joy – like he enjoyed it. Not a fellow I really care to know, but know of him. I don’t agree with that.” — Bob Pritchett, 75 year resident of Southern Oregon – (this author also a 64 year resident of the Northwest).
Near the turn of this century, 1998-99, wildlife-kills hit a staggering 4 million. Two years later, in 2001, it fell to about 1.5 million and stayed relatively low. Unimaginable, this mind-set of several million animals dying yearly is a “norm” for this government agency – simply amazing and defies logic. Perhaps psychotic is an understatement here.
But in 2008, the number of kills rocketed to 5 million before trending downward to 3 million over the next four years. These figures staggering to say the least – to even suggest this amount within a yearly rate to be okay, is disgusting to many Americans. Even more disgusting, we paid them via our taxpayer money to kill.
Now it’s back up, well past 4 million in the most recent count, and critics, actually normal folks and taxpayers, those that have found out about this agency, are pressing for a better explanation for why. They are getting no answers. In reality, there are simply no answers or excuse to give. These numbers, as I repeat, are extraordinary and defy the reasonable conduct of people that should or would be expected.
“The more than 4 million animals in 2013 shot, poisoned, snared or trapped by the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2013 included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears and at least three eagles, golden and bald.”
In 2014 there were minimal – their language and not mine — assessments of 3.2 million animals, mostly wildlife, killed by this same agency. In July of 2015 an estimated 2.7 million wildlife species killed by this same government agency, Wildlife Services, by July of this year.
An Ongoing Catastrophe for America’s Wildlife
But wait there is more, and the plight of our nation’s wildlife worsens to a catastrophic level of negligence – believe it or not, statistics and LPL Index Standards have been not only reasonably accurate over the past decade, but at the advent of the LPL Index, our methodology has increased to extremely accurate, both in data gathering and statistical truth. Estimates without the LPL Index rise to an 80% extinction level of wildlife worldwide; in America the LPL Index has it at 60% extinction. Yes, as your jaw dropped and under your breath you may have mumbled, “Unbelievable”, in an astonished manner. I did as well. My heart sunk.
The Nature Report, exclusive of the LPL Index, estimates somewhere between 500 and 36,000 species a year are going extinct. Oh, it gets worse – the Nature analysis predicts that 75% of life on Earth, at the rate we are going and/or combined with ignoring the causes (i.e. cattle, too much industry, et al. which directly attributes to land, water, and air destruction) will become extinct by the year 2200.
The paper assumed there exist 5 million species on Earth and extinction occurs at a rate of 0.72 percent per year. A small percent is attributable toward inconsistency, although, due to the widely varied estimates on the actual number of existing plants and animals on the Earth – but within reason, this is still a low-estimate. One research scientist described Wildlife Services’ work as “a staggering killing campaign, bankrolled by taxpayers” and happening “beyond the view of most Americans.”
Wildlife Services has been killing millions upon millions of animals for a long time. Dr. Bradley Bergstrom, a biologist at Valdosta State University, notes, “The whole approach of just getting rid of the perceived-problem by killing it is something that this agency has been doing for well over 100 years.” And, as they merrily torment, torture, and kill these animals. Wildlife Services continues to be scrutinized by those who want to put them out of business (please see “Exposed: Human-Animal Interactions and the War on Wildlife” and also “Murder Incorporated: Wildlife Services Under Public Scrutiny” and “The Federal Government Killed Nearly Three Million Animals Last Year“).
Wildlife Services of the USDA
One has to attest that how ironic, our Department of Agricultural is the leading cause for ruin and destruction of environments, ecological systems, and wildlife on our planet.
Wildlife Services kills native animals en masse, sometimes based solely, or mostly on farmer’s or rancher’s “perception” of a threat (i.e. a small part of the overall issue, but a good example within this discussion).
Worse yet, is the implied situation of environment and ecological habitat damages. The situation becomes insurmountable at the disappearance of wildlife, often deemed necessary for its ecological health, not only to other animals, but to vegetation and water quality. So much is truthfully destroyed by such negligence and mismanagement.
Example extended: Often these ranchers place an overabundance of cattle or sheep that merely over-graze and destroy the lands, onto Public Lands. When they want to add to the already over-abundant livestock, they send for Wildlife Services, and at times even the BLM, to eradicate all native life on the ranges – even though it is the wildlife’s home.
Why send for either of these government agencies? Because they do things underhandedly that is most often unethical, questionable and often against the law. The ranchers have become a special interest group; they break laws, and these two agencies, both, usurp the laws daily – they cover-up for ranchers constantly, a truth that exceeds all other misinformed facts these agencies give to the public.
Though there’s a list of animals killed, there’s little data showing the cause for each killing. Then we discover the methods used and the reasons behind mistakes, which lead to massive kills of other animals that aren’t targeted, and left-out of any report of truthful numbers killed. Science? What science? EPA Environmental Impact Statements? Most that do exist are dishonest in fact, no science, or significant data left out, and actual impact upon any environment or ecological habitat not given.
At least two members of Congress have called Wildlife Services secret and opaque for failing to provide more information, and there are mounting calls for an investigation into how it operates.
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) has railed against the secret methods of Wildlife Services, at one time calling it “. . . one of the most opaque and obstinate departments I’ve dealt with.” DeFazio has asked to know what goes into poisons used by the agency that are a danger to people and harmless animals but hasn’t gotten an answer. “We’re really not sure what they’re doing.”
Neither Science Nor Reality Based Kills
Wildlife Services, “a rogue agency” that is “out of control.” There simply exists no checks-n-balance system to generate a reasonable assumptive equation of “methodology” or “Necessity” for most of the wildlife they trap and kill.
A Wildlife Services spokeswoman said “. . . the agency is guided by a science-based decision-making model. For example, wolves are killed to “lessen the negative impacts of expanding wolf populations,” even though those populations are still recovering from earlier government programs that aimed to exterminate them.”
The problem here is when we asked for the “science” or the EPA’s requirements of Environmental Impact Statements neither were available. Inner-office memos at that time showed clearly it was their assumptive perception, or they could get-away with killing wolves and to hell with science and who cared if they disturbed or destroyed an environment or ecological system and its health. Apparently, this particular agency hates, in their terms “Enviros” which means environmentalists. . .
“. . . the majority of the agency program’s efforts in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide have only served to create public turmoil. Illegal attempts to kill federally-endangered wolves in Oregon in 2010 without fulfilling National Environmental Policy Act duties, questionable handling of livestock depredation investigations in eastern Oregon and Washington in the recent past, and Wildlife Services’ involvement as hired consultants in the killing of the Wedge Pack, makes clear to us that Wildlife Services cannot serve an unbiased role in wolf management. . . anywhere – and that its involvement thus far has greatly undermined gray wolf recovery throughout its historic range.”
In a 2012 report, Wildlife Services relied on a National Agricultural Statistics Service survey to show that wildlife caused $944 million in agricultural damage in 2001. A Research Scientist dismissed the “science-based model” and he mentioned that as a document that “basically says they can use whatever methods at their disposal whenever they want apparently was the reasoning to generate this cost in question.” But still the agency provided no explanation for why the kill total can be 1.5 million in one year, and 5 million the next.
The $944 million dollars in damage could not be verified either, as there exists no paperwork as evidence, nor reports filed as to occasions. Although voucher trails lead to mostly cattle ranchers, specifically in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, with some in Nevada and Wyoming, there is simply no paperwork or reports to backup the vouchers.
In the Northeast, for example, the elimination of red wolves led to a proliferation of coyotes, which the wolves rarely tolerate in their range. Coyotes push away foxes, which prey on deer mice, which spread ticks. There exists a tick problem, that this author is aware of today, in many counties in southern Oregon, for example, and due to similar reasons here – no science, just hate toward wildlife, and within the ODFW as well.
Oregon Representative (D) Peter DeFazio claims, “Their lethal predator control program is particularly inhumane and totally unnecessary.” More details on the documentary “Exposed: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife” can be seen here.
Killing Wildlife in the Millions
“I’m updating the egregious and unregulated activities of Wildlife Services because when I tell many people about what they do they’re incredulous and think I’m inflating the numbers. Clearly, I’m not. And, in addition to intentional kills, Wildlife Services’ war on wildlife is responsible for slaughtering numerous animals unintentionally, and this collateral damage includes pets and animals who pose no danger or do no damage,” one researcher stated.
A science research professor notes, “Accidental kills are a frequent byproduct of the agency’s methods. Of the 454 river otters killed, for example, 390 were unintentional, likely during attempts to kill beavers, which can flood property with their dams.” Many animals just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and are wantonly killed. And, what’s also disconcerting is the fact that Wildlife Services doesn’t have to tell why the animals were killed and their killing ways don’t work. Thus, “A 2014 study examining livestock data from 1897 through 2012 found that lethal force against wolves actually increased the odds of a wolf attack on sheep by 4 percent and cattle by 5 to 6 percent. That’s likely because killing wolves causes the pack structure to collapse, which leads to solitary wolves looking for food beyond their usual hunting grounds.”
Wildlife Services No Longer Trusted.
On a broader level, Wildlife Services has lost the trust of the American public and Wildlife scientists, over its controversial animal damage control activities to benefit agribusiness interests. We want the conflict of interest situations taken out of the Oregon F&W service immediately, and understand there exists more than appropriate for honest management of our Northwest wildlife.
“The Wildlife Services program has been marked by secrecy, controversy, public opposition, stale and deficient environmental reviews and indiscriminate killings of large numbers of animals, with over 46.5 million animals reportedly killed since 1996, including more than 52,000 reported unintentional killings (dogs, cats, other pets, and wildlife that enhanced ecological habitats) in the last 10 years.”
“Unfortunate here, is the fact the circumstances that have led to wildlife extinction in the NW, within some species, is unknown; but attritional values of Wildlife Services neglect toward these same values certainly contributed in one way or the other.”
“The absence of any binding regulatory framework to govern its activities, a 2012 Sacramento Bee exposé, the scathing New York Times Editorial, a critical policy perspective last year, and the recently-announced investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture into Wildlife Services prove that the agency program has lost touch with American values and is entrenched in a culture of killing native carnivores at the expense of American wildlife.”
“Given the repeated criticisms, investigations, and Congressional inquiries into the function of this agency program, Wildlife Services should be suspending – not continuing – all predator control activities; Indeed, suspension of this program should also occur pending completion of a rulemaking for the program under the Administrative Procedure Act, as petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity on Dec. 2, 2013.”
The many Wildlife Services scandals show beyond a doubt this rogue-agency program is out of control. It fails to use the best available science, data gathering techniques (if at all), and pertinent information. This agency does not serve the interests of the public-at-large, rather the interests of a narrow constituency of special interests.
These scandals are not to be ignored, that personnel within the Wildlife Services are involved in currently. Many of the personnel demonstrate a psychopathic behavior pattern toward animals, comparable to many patterns found in Serial Killers backgrounds, which merely underscore why we have no reason to believe Wildlife Service’s involvement in killing of wolves in Oregon will be anything but detrimental to the recovery of the endangered gray wolf and other carnivore species within our state. . .
See Center for Biological Diversity, Data Compilation of Annual Animal Killings by APHISWildlife Services (2013) (hereinafter “Data Compilation”) (Center for Biological Diversity compilation of agency program data reports documenting the number of native and invasive animals taken each Fiscal Year from 1996 through 2012); Center for Biological Diversity et al., PETITION FOR RULEMAKING PURSUANT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT, 5 U.S.C. § 553(e), TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR PROMULGATION OF A REGULATORY SCHEME TO GOVERN THE WILDLIFE SERVICES PROGRAM (Dec. 2, 2013).
Editorial, Agriculture’s Misnamed Agency, New York Times (July 19, 2013); Bergstrom, J.B., Arias, L.C., Davidson, A.D., Ferguson, A.W., Randa, L.A. & Sheffield, S.R., 2013, License to kill: reforming federal wildlife control to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function, Conservation Letters, v. 6, p. 1-12.
Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain v. U.S. Forest Serv., 137 F.3d 1372, 1379 (9th Cir. 1998)
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