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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Ecology Sustainability Wild Horses and Truth

A lack of knowledge, or ignoring good science, and what nature is telling us, is no longer an excuse to not do the right things. We find illiteracy in many different, at times ironic, places. The wild horse advocacy is something of a quagmire of this situation. Let’s take a look, and confront the contrary conditions of horse advocacy, and we will see many in leadership rolls, which those have taken upon themselves, in reality inadequate in knowledge, or lack the education in many instances, as well as the power of observance, to actually do the right things to resolve situations.

The existence of any definable positive developments, by either horse advocacy or BLM Management, remains “0” productivity toward any positive-resolutions what so ever – the matters have simply gotten worse, with rhetoric and lies far more abundant than previously. . . This is mostly due to ignoring good knowledge, or many being totally ignorant of honest, resolution-type knowledge from truthful and good data collection and observation, honesty in horse counts on Public Lands, or simply honesty in general. . . What does exist are pretend resolutions to situations, that indeed, those resolutions simply make the situations far worse . . . and the reason this is worth discussing.

Coffee – Sun Grown versus Shade Grown

Interesting example, and thorough discussions abound. Let’s look at something we all know, and love – Coffee. . . Ready for Reality?  I will spare you the history, market displacements and incentives, for the more direct, and discussion driven information.

Sun Grown Coffee – grown as a monoculture that uses heavy doses of pesticides and fertilizers, which turns the coffee farms into ecological deserts. As well, impacts to humans develop, as sun grown coffees often require the removal of trees from steep mountain slopes, thereby, it causes erosion, runoff of contaminated water, and landslides. Hoping for better yields, disease resistant coffee, lower costs of conversion, and cheaper prices on the commercial markets created the mutant coffee monster, and devastated soils and lands negatively. Ironically, the coffee turned out to be of a less quality, equates to lower prices . . .

Shade Grown Coffee – Now this is where it gets interesting, a “natural process” really does mean something, actually it means a lot. This methodology is a much cheaper method of producing coffee, quality coffee, and with lesser needs for fertilizer (because decaying leaf litter feeds the coffee plants), and less pesticide use – if at all (because trees attract birds that eat a diversity of bugs, to include the archenemies of coffee farmers, the coffee borer). The final bean yields a better tasting cup of coffee (healthier as well), which can mean a higher price per pound. Also, as one coffee farmer attests, “The trees give the coffee more taste, more force. . .”

Sustainability / Biodiversity and Wild Horses

Many of us who observe and understand biodiversity and sustainability, defend within a support-complex of good science, compared to Nature’s already well defined roll, within survival on this planet  We strive to aggressively create Change, for the beneficial and positive change for wild horses, supporting the natural progression of Nature’s Methodology, and establish the wild horse within its Natural Environment . . . This compared to the already attempted and lacking resolution paradigms, or Human-Management of Wild Horses, based on bad-science and often no rangelands’ management truthfulness, that ibcludes rhetoric and lies.

Within this type of Natural-Order, or progression of things, we remain concerned about the spatial complexities within healthy ecological systems. The truth is, neither cattle nor modern ranching situations provide healthy Ecological Systems – and not only America’s Wild Horses suffer, but a vast range of wildlife wiped-out; which, all the while our own human species is placed into a very threatening situation, with our future appearing very gloom, indeed. All of this is from incompetent management paradigms, or immediate-reactions stirred by political agendas (equates to special interest only paradigms of lands and wildlife management) – which both destroy land and wildlife alike.

The un-natural items, pesticides and fertilizers, we are currently using within our wilderness areas, and ecological zones, and simply do not know the overall effects of its use, neither in the wilds nor within the wildlife, undoubtedly destroy our lands – for nothing more than very low-quality products of limited usage, as well as financially-profit-base-driven situations within a system where, truthfully. . . Just as knowledge important to save our planet, Nature also must be allowed to do what it does – and this will save our planet. . . Through knowledge, we will understand this – through ignorance, our planet will be destroyed in a few decades.

Short term pretend-solutions, in use by many government agencies of today, disregard soil as one of many critical links; spatial densities certainly yet another concern for viability and natural progression of self-controlled populations of wild horses – apparently overlooked due to lack of knowledge base, or truthful science. . . or a robust form of total-ignorance in the matters of how relationships of wildlife and land-mass exist, especially in matters of sustainability and within healthy Ecological Zones.

Spatial Wildlife Livability

We can use as an example here of the “cruising-radius” of a mole, just for something to think about and place into a proportional mind-set of circumstance. A half-mile may be seventy-five times its “cruising-radius”, which represents only 1 percent of the area a solitary Cougar traverses.

Another very good example of this situation, or landscape-scale of livability for wildlife, is the Grizzly Bear and old-growth forests, and the boundaries within them; or, productive HMA’s and the non-virtues of them being over-populated by cattle, which again we discover cattle serve no purpose what so ever in our rural or natural environments – it is a myth, which remains destructive and within a drastic proportion directly effecting our planet . . .

The fact we attempt to work within the confines of corruption, we attempt to assume we have a voice of authority within a politically corrupt system, or we assume resolution and yet ignore the reality that it is unfavorable to corruption, or continue to ignore the facts that it could even be possible to achieve, any type of resolution what so ever, within a corrupt organization, is and remains merely faulty perception or mind-set, and those perceptions indoctrinated within us from childhood —

This is a situation lightly touched upon by wild horse HMA’s, but at such an elementary and non-conclusive level, and so mismanaged, that we can assume the HMA’s really remain nothing more than political footballs, tossed back and forth by political pundits and lobby groups, directed toward special interests only, and what is actually non-definable and in real-time consequences.

The fact is when terms and names of situations to replace the actual life or living-evolution of an animal (the term Feral for example, attached to wild horses and represents such an overwhelming number of them, actually means nothing at all); which, is an oxymoron none the less, and used by those who really know nothing of the situations of America’s wild horses on Public Lands. Yet, another term to cover-up what one does not know or understand at all — as it does take time and patients to do so, and knowledge to understand what one is looking at, to actually define in principle anyway, a known situation we can understand better; or grasp the real-time methodology or paradigm toward resolution.

We can measure, quite often as a matter of fact, the bullshit-paradigms that do exist today, simply by placing them into categorical anomalies, or real-time occurrence models, and find they really do nothing – yes, gravity exists, and when throwing an apple into the air, it indeed plummets back down to the ground – start speaking about feral, and the vastness of the undefined term simply nullifies itself – yet government agencies have attempted to establish definable boundaries for feral horses . . . which perpetuates the lies of wild horses not being indigenous in America — and of course, welfare ranchers acquire much more cattle pasture by using the term quite freely, and even to liquidate our wild horses — and yet???? a mere term which means nothing — and oddly, no one admits their ignorance, and need to learn more . . . Wild Horses die!

Ecological Connections – Landscape Scale

What is developed, from all the loose terminology within the political and lack of good science spectrum, is the reality of a landscape scale of appropriate use. Yes, from one reserve boundary to another, the actual dis-connect of ecological connections, so much required within a functional and healthy ecological system, as well, becomes disconnected in total. Out of ignorance? Most often, and Ecological Diversity or Sustainability remain words tossed around by many, but never really understood. The wild horses suffer from this tremendous lack of knowledge almost daily now, and their numbers becoming less weekly.

The bothersome situation here is, if I am correct and there is evidence to show I am within a well-defined situation of science and biology alike, with the hierarchy theory being correct also, then there exist emergent properties at each different level to the extinction of others, are and remain misleading.  We question the truth, once again.

Cattle only, for example and assuming it is a management priority type of paradigm, is and remains ridiculous, and certainly within a proper biological perspective; as well as any necessity at all of financing or business venture (other than to obtain taxpayer money similar to a welfare basis of falsified needs), shows us extensively!

Cattle is a specific intrusive element of non-indigenous animals, and the cost so inflated, due to corruption and on several other levels attached to it, not only wild horses suffer but all wildlife, indigenous by the way, as well as taxpayers alike.

In another word, not to consider the genetics, with viability concerns as well, of our wild horses on Public Lands, and be truthful about them, and protect them at the same time — then disregarding biology and its necessity, and simply going by their general characteristics only, and in walks the bullshit term “feral” once again — and yet, many are realizing today, that indeed one must look at the over-all diversity of an Ecological Zone, with everything included — and that insures the wild horse’s viability and continued genetics will exist — not done by any types of birth controls what so ever — which merely, by the way, perpetuates the bullshit term “feral” once again.

The inhabitants of predators as well as all other low-range, mid-range, and large wildlife must exist there as well – in accord with the viable habitat and environment. The BLM and DOI, among others, overlook these very basic biological-principles of a healthy Ecological System today, and yet call themselves Rangelands Managers?

Conclusion

Proper wildlife counts, to include horses on our federal and public lands, essential. Viability, and being truthful about genetics, of our wildlife as well as vegetation and soils and trees, remains just as important. Understanding this will save our Planet. Ignoring this, whether out of ignorance or for profits, will continue to destroy all around us.

We must confront the realities of what we, as American’s allow, and what our responsibility of our citizenship within this universe, indeed is and always has been – and our effect on everything around us. For so many, this apparently is difficult to understand . . . — John Cox, The Cascades 4-2017

 

 
 

Our Mountains and Wild Horses Speak; We need to listen (Part 1 of 4)

‘”One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.’  — Aldo Leopold

Conservation biology protects biological diversity. In another word, whenever we have a dominant non-indigenous species (cattle in this case scenario and kill-off all other species for its safety and growth) within an Ecological system and throughout our natural environment, we are contributing to Mother Earth’s destruction overall; which, the poor health of an ecological system is not nature’s creation, but a human-kind complex of bad decisions based upon bad science, and simply bad knowledge or very narrow mind-sets. Why say this? Because nature shows us this and within many different ways.

“Diversity — not destruction of other species, for simply the growth of a single species — is required today. The first mandatory, the second is not conservation, but special interest driven and leads to wholesale extinction of several species, in order to save one.

The inevitable destruction of an Ecological System, we find, follows almost immediately when cattle chosen selectively, and all else destroyed for the cattle. We see the results of this today, on our Public Lands while we also observe, and understand why, the extinction ratios increase concerning America’s Wild Horses, as well as many other regional wildlife, due to bad decisions based upon non-conservation ideologies and bad science – and yet cloaked within a conservation-style only explanation given to the public by ignorance and special interests. . .” (i.e. John Cox, The Cascades)

The following are interactions, similar on a scale to biodiversity, nature and consequences; but keep in mind also, human-intervention does create further destruction when involved. The appeal toward conservation is to intercede wisely, from good science, in order to prevent total disaster; which, in this case Wild Horses and to prevent their extinction; thereby, another significant virtue of diversity (i.e. wildlife and vegetation, et al.) and the positive nature of a healthy ecological system to start with:

  1. Genetic Uncertainty, or random changes in genetic makeup due to inbreeding, etc., which alter the survival and reproduction capabilities of individuals;
  2. Demographic uncertainty resulting from random events in the survival and reproduction of individuals;
  3. Environmental uncertainty due to unpredictable changes in climate, weather, food supply, and the populations of competitors, predators, etc.;
  4. Catastrophic uncertainty from such phenomena as hurricanes, fires, droughts, etc., which occur in random intervals.

What we see, within a biodiversity situation and with the Wild Horses, is these four classifications do interact. A disease (an environmental uncertainty) could reduce the Wild Horse population on our Public Lands to numbers creating a short-term extinction (6 months to 1 year). The culmination of mares’ availability, for example, results within an unbalanced sex ratio (demographic uncertainty) could contribute to inbreeding (genetic uncertainty), and this could lead to few viable offspring and, eventually, extinction. But the forms of Pesticide PZP as well as other over-population (a falsehood due to the selection of a single-species = cattle) extremes, without concern or understanding toward biodiversity, or ignorant displacement combined with greed, can and is causing this exact situation currently.

Although these four stochastic processes are difficult to model, and thereby through incompetence of Bureau of Land Management employees to understand the difference. We find that the over-population modeling paradigms as significant (easily manipulated software programs), and the reality of extinction, based upon this same ideology to be quite extreme within the realms of reality – or to put it bluntly, what exists is a total ignorance toward any type of ecological system sustainability or diversity within it, what so ever.

The burden of saving our natural environment is upon us right now. Certainly, just as we protect our home, the planet upon which we live now needs our attention as well. The problem remains, we simply do not act toward resolving the issues, and as nature places them blatantly in front of us. We would rather make excuses, in order to not act upon them.

Aldo Leopold’s famous phrase that we are as “plain members and citizens” of Earth, we need to grasp these realities’; we need to understand that biology of life on this plant of ours is very real indeed; thereby, Leopold’s Think Like a Mountain – and take it a step further, and place those thoughts into action.

The situation becomes worse when the magnitude of “uncertainties” grow, or certainly have an effect on population dynamics as they increase, cause and effect, the effect being actual populations of the Wild Horses becomes smaller.

A viable population is one that maintains a vigor (health) and the potential for evolutionary adaptation. Populations face increasing risk as their numbers decline. This is why honesty is of a priority, in order to make good decisions. When numbers, or modeling criteria is manipulated, this entire situation compromised. We can also, in truth state clearly, when ignorance is at the helm, then everything is gone; Ecological Destruction is inevitable, and Extinction of Wild Horses a certainty.

True Conservation

Previously, ecologists used an “Island Principle” of approach toward conservation. For clarification, we can use the term Public Lands in eastern Oregon, for example, as a viable Island Principle, in order to understand the situation better, and within a conservation style or mind-set.

The fact is Public Lands in Oregon have been severed from its “continental source pool” of ancient forests, grasslands, by logging and ranching roads, cattle grazing, and human population growth. Since the early 1900’s, data shows us the lands in Eastern Oregon has indeed lost 42% of its resident mammals.

Is this evidence of a catastrophic “relaxation rate” that will further reduce the species, in this case scenario Wild Horses, over time? Absolutely, because the cattle-only mind-set is taking a priority over any type of conservation principle or ideology. Diversity, in wildlife and vegetation, is lost in total, thereby the Ecological System set for failure.

Those that call themselves Conservationists, such as hunters or trappers (but they are not really, because they prescribe to no Conservation style of modeling, principle’s, or ideology what so ever), also want such things as a good population of Elk, Deer, or other game-species as a priority-only circumstance.

Yes, to state ignorance is blind becomes an understatement here, and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife, and their business as usual concept of selling game license, is fundamental toward a true ecological systematic disaster, nothing more than a destruction process (defined by all four processes above) of our natural wilderness areas in Oregon.

The reality to all of this? The ability to foresee where ecological health reaches a point, where these so to speak islands or ecological zones, can become their own continental source pool, which equates to Conservation at its best.

Conservation and Wild Horses

With the wild horses, we all have asked what is the minimum viable population? Many of us have also debated the fact that, is not the use of pesticides within ecological zones, as well as other population controls used on wild horses, and being dispersed within our environment, really useful? In reality, there exists no reasonable answer given yet, which leads us to the fact that we have no idea, really, how many horses are running around our Public Lands, nor what effect does the chemicals from the population control drugs have on our ecology (it remains a variable that is ignored within all scientific research of, for example, pesticide PZP – this lack of variables represents bad science). . . Are we, in realty, shooting ourselves in the foot?

Once again ignorance, special interests, and political agendas enter the landscape of sustainability of our natural wilderness areas and habitats. Thereby, we have to move away from the Island Biogeography theory, to answer two very serious questions – How long can Wild Horses exist on our Public Lands, or how low can we go within any other wildlife situation, and still have healthy ecological zones? And — How big is big enough?

Yes, we are concerned with the diversity of species lost, in particular the 52% of all wildlife on an international basis, lost to extinction since 1972. That wildlife does not exist any longer. This is a tremendous statistic of fact to acknowledge, all by itself, and to understand its reality, and why it, indeed, it happened at all. This makes the questions we have, certainly, far more serious than simply the average management questions.

Those of us in the field ask, more often than not and noting the fragmentation taking place of our natural landscapes — What size, shape, and type of connections will maintain viable populations in a system of protected areas? HMA’s for example, and the Bureau of Land Management, disregard the Laws and Congressional Policies always – which, in truth bring about more questions of incompetency and corruption of those BLM employees?

None the less, viable populations and reserve size represent two paths toward the same goal, protecting biodiversity. The overall truth is, at some point a minimum viable population needs a certain amount of habitat to survive. So here we are, coming to the main question. What will it take to protect the diversity of wildlife, in this case the Wild Horses, on our Public Lands?