Here Are The Criminals Who Are Stealing Your Hunting Opportunities...And They Are Using Your Tax Dollars To Do It!
Editorial News/Press Release
August 26, 2013
When It Comes To Wolves, State Wildlife Agencies In The Northern Rockies Still Don't Get It...Or, Do They?
In less than two weeks the archery big game seasons kick off in Montana, and while elk and deer populations may be doing just great in the Eastern half of the state, the herds of Southwest, West Central, and Northwest Montana continue to take a beating from a gross over population of predators. High numbers of mountain lions, black bears and an ever growing population of grizzly bears do add to the negative impact large carnivores are having on game numbers throughout most of Western Montana - however, the majority of big game herd destruction can be directly attributed to poorly managed packs of gray wolves.
(Photo at Right - The Northern U.S. Rockies were once one of the best places to hunt elk and other big game, but much of those opportunities have disappeared - thanks to an over population of predators...and the changing agendas of state wildlife agencies.)
In many of the major mountain ranges that make up most of Western Montana, and Northern Idaho as well, to say that the big game outlook has become extremely bleak would be an extreme understatement. Herd dynamics hit the "extremely bleak" level five or six years ago, and the numbers of remaining elk, moose and deer across the Northern Rockies have continued to crash, to the point where many dedicated hunters now accuse Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game of fraudulently selling general licenses for hunting elk and deer that no longer exist - at least not in the numbers that will allow for human hunters to harvest game. Have these agencies gotten desperate? Has MT FWP and IDFG, along with the State of Montana and the State of Idaho taken on a new agenda, to purposely allow big game levels to dip dangerously low? Is their new mission to cater to the anti-hunting groups, and to allow exaggerated numbers of wolves, lions and bears replace human hunters in the role of keeping big game populations in balance with habitat and forage?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of hunters who live and hunt in those areas hardest impacted by wolves and other predators now tend to answer such questions with a quick resounding "YES!" And they are now quick to point fingers, and are no longer afraid to say what they have to say.
Under the leadership of former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, the state of Montana lost more of its wildlife resources than under the leadership of any other governor holding that office over the past hundred years. It was his inability to stand up to federal agencies like the Department of the Interior, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which freely allowed wolves to dramatically expand their range...and their impact on other wildlife. Schweitzer failed to aggressively oppose federal control of a state resource - it's wildlife.
(Photo at Left - Former MT Governor Brian Schweitzer...who gave new relevance to the old joke..."How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving!")
So, has newly elected Governor Steve Bullock done much to resolve this issue since taking office this past January?
The answer to that question is about as wishy-washy as politics go. "Yes", he has signed into legislation new wolf hunting regulations that allow the use of electronic callers, allows hunters to purchase up to five wolf tags, expanded the length of the rifle wolf hunting season, and gave the green light to other wolf hunting regulations which have loosened up some other restrictions that previously made it far more difficult for hunters to actually harvest a wolf.
The answer is "No" when it comes to mandating that MT FWP stop treating the wolf as a big game animal, and classify it as the predator it really is, allowing Montana hunters to control wolf populations at a low enough level to allow elk, moose and deer populations to rebound.
In Idaho, the state and IDFG have taken a more liberal approach to now attempting to control a wolf population which has been mismanaged for far too long. In some parts of the state, the wolf hunting season is nearly year around, and it is almost impossible to determine when "one year's" season ends and "another year's" season begins. With greatly relaxed methods of take, extremely liberal limits, the use of trapping and snares, and extremely low permits costs, the harvest of wolves in Idaho is still not great enough to permit big game herds to begin to recover, to be able to climb out of the predator pit into which wolves and other predators have thrown elk, moose and deer populations.
(Photo at Right - A pack of 10 to 20 wolves the size of this non-native Northern Rockies transplant can wipe out an entire elk herd in one attack.)
Next door in Montana, the state's wildlife agency is too busy trying to control hunters to actually make any impact on a wolf population which has easily wiped out 80-percent of elk and moose populations, and upwards of 50-percent of deer populations in as much as 40-percent of the state. MT FWP's directives come straight from Governor Bullock, and while he has been receptive to signing into law new regulations that, on the surface, seem to be a step toward a greater take of wolves, the numbers taken during recent seasons have failed to allow any recovery of game populations - and the sportsmen of this state have grown extremely frustrated...and angry.
So, what's all the fuss over a few wolves?
Many of you probably remember all the great things wolves were to bring to the Northern Rockies, as claimed by environmental groups like the Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity. How about all that tourist money wolf watchers were to bring to the Yellowstone National Park area economy?
In April of this year, former Executive Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Association, Stephen Capra wrote on the "Howling for Justice" website, "I have watched as Montana shared in the magical return of wolves to Yellowstone, watched as tourists have flocked from around the world, watched in Lamar Valley as you could not estimate the price of cameras in a one-
Capra is apparently out of touch with the current status of the park's wolves. Five or six years ago, Yellowstone's wolves numbered close to 160, but the prey base could not continue to support so many of the aggressive and extremely wasteful predators. Those wolves killed elk and moose indiscriminately, and in excess. The Northern Yellowstone elk herd, which numbered 19,000 in the late 1990's, now numbers only about 3,000 - and moose are now the rarest species to be found in Yellowstone National Park, due to wolf depredation. With such loss of the prey base, the wolves turned on each other and began killing their own kind, likely some of their own offspring, or parents. This spring there were fewer than 50 wolves left in Yellowstone, and the remnants of the so-
called "famous packs" which attracted tourists are now riddled with mange, parasites and diseases.
(Photo at Left - Wolves are extremely wasteful and kill in excess, wiping out the prey base in a short period of time.)
In the past, Yellowstone's abundance of wildlife drew as many tourists, if not more, than those who came to see the geysers, waterfalls and mountains. Now the elk and moose are gone, and the wolves are fast disappearing, and soon so will be a huge chunk of those tourist dollars.
Since the earliest planning stages of the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project during the 1970's, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to establish "another" (but different) wolf population in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. All told, likely several thousand "wildlife professionals" at one time or another have been involved in transplanting a non-native wolf subspecies from central Alberta,Canada into the region. So, how is it that so many "experts" got so much so wrong about sustainable wolf population numbers, wolf impact on wildlife, the effect of wolves on local ranching economies, the diseases and parasites these wolves would spread throughout the region, and the cost of planning, implementing, and overseeing the stocking of an invasive subspecies into a wildlife rich ecosystem - not to mention the failure to properly address the great expense and great anguish involved with controlling wolf numbers once populations began to exceed desirable or sustainable levels? How could "professional" wildlife managers, wildlife biologists and wildlife ecologists have been so far off on their claims, their predictions, and their promises to the residents of the Northern Rockies and citizens of the United States?
Maybe, just maybe, in reality they've achieved exactly what they had set out to achieve. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has all just been an integral part of a much bigger plan, a much larger and wider spreading agenda.
As more and more continues to leak out about this project, and the pieces of the puzzle all start fitting together, it becomes ever more clear that "The Project" is indeed all part of a much bigger conspiracy to allow more government control of the land we live on, and how we live our daily lives. Does this sound a lot like the United Nations' futuristic Agenda 21, to establish a single world government and a worldwide socialistic population? Well, it should, because it is.
(Photo at Right - Even then President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea partook in the criminal activity of dumping non-native wolves into Yellowstone. Here the father and daughter team, working with USFWS manager Mike Phillips, prepare to feed the captive Canadian wolves. Phillips is now the Executive Director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund, and serves as a MT State Senator, put into office by Ted Turner.)
Americans are now realizing that the USFWS mandated Wolf Recovery Project, and even the Endangered Species Act under which the project was justified, have become the greatest crime ever committed against the citizens of this country. The list of co-conspirators will amaze you, including federal agencies, state governors, state wildlife agencies, federal judges, elected officials, extremist environmental groups, taxpayer funded universities, educators, big corporations, national and local media, wealthy environmentalists, academics, and even a few of the large retailers that many sportsmen rely on for the outdoor gear they purchase.
Sportsmen, ranchers, concerned wildlife watchers, rural residents and many others sickened by the tremendous loss of wildlife and the freedom to use the outdoors, all to allow the continued propagation of an invasive wolf subspecies in the Northern Rockies, are now fighting back, and confrontations between citizens and elected officials and wildlife managers are now heating up - and are expected to reach an extreme boiling point as the wolf impact becomes more evident when hunters return to the mountains and valleys this fall and find even less than they have found each of the past seven or eight years. State wildlife agencies will be the first to feel the heat, since it is the wildlife managers and biologists who have been providing all the bogus statistics which keeps hunters buying licenses and permits.
"Wildlife agencies have been infiltrated with agenda driven bureaucrats, hell bent on ending hunting. Nearly half of our wildlife managers are non hunters, who work overtime to devalue our states' wildlife holdings. Prior to wolf introduction, Idaho and Montana biologists abandoned their fiduciary duties, and walked away from sound scientific data that proved wolves indigenous to the region existed in sustainable numbers. These biologists are now high level managers within the departments. This data is scientific fact, and the departments will be accountable for the fraud they've committed," says Scott Rockholm, the founder and c.e.o. of Save Western Wildlife.
(Photo at Left - Scott Rockholm being interviewed by Missoula's local NBC station during a wolf protest at the region's federal courthouse - as a green group friendly Judge Donald Molloy listened to a wolf related case inside.)
A couple of years back, Rockholm produced the sportsman acclaimed documentary "Yellowstone is Dead", which looked at how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service purposefully destroyed America's greatest wildlife treasure. Later this fall, he anticipates finishing his second such documentary, taking a look at the criminal activity taking place within state wildlife agencies.
A lot of "under the table" money has likely been paid out by dozens of environmental groups and organizations to sway the decisions of elected officials to pull back on the reins of anything that would resemble real wolf control - or to insure that states won't defy Washington D.C. and exercise their 10th Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution by ignoring USFWS requirements that wolves be "managed as big game". Suspect of enjoying some of those environmental group spoils are several governors, a few senators, and one particular appointed federal judge which was always just a bit too cooperative with groups like the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. A large chunk of change was spent by green groups to insure that MT Senator Jon Tester was re-elected, primarily due to his overzealous push for more and larger wilderness areas in the state - which insure huge inaccessible core predator areas for wolves, bears and lions. Again, much of the money thrown around by extremist environmental groups, most of which have anti-hunting agendas, comes from taxpayers, in kind of a roundabout way.
Scott Rockholm adds, "Anti-hunting organizations only exist at the behest of the Equal Access to Justice Act. They can only conduct their bidding with the taxpayers footing the bill. They confiscate $600 per hour from the common man, only to turn around and use that money to destroy the common man's livelihood and way of life."
One Idaho outdoorsman who has witnessed the USFWS orchestrated annihilation of big game herds in Western Montana and Northern Idaho is Barry Coe. He says the worst of green driven environmental groups is the so-called Natural Resources Defense Council. Coe points out that the phony name of the organization is nothing more than an attempt to hide the fact that the only thing "green" about NRDC is the taxpayer dollars they haul off to the bank.
Coe claims, "They are nothing but a multimillion dollar, tax exempt law firm that does nothing but sue the government and leech E.A.J.A. funds out of the federal coffers. Their CEO makes more than $600,000 a year. The entire federal government passes legislation to ensure tax dollars are funneled into radical groups via pre-manufactured lawsuits based on frivolous administrative procedural failures which creates 'design to lose' lawsuits. It is nothing more than bureaucratic money laundering."
Since the start of the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project during the early 1990s, such lawsuits by environmental groups have gobbled up well in excess of $5-BILLION taxpayer dollars.
Barry Coe is also quick to point out that one of the most blatant criminals associated with the introduction of Canadian wolves into the Northern U.S. Rocky Mountains has been Jamie Rappaport Clark. Under her watch as the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Clark embezzled $45- to $60-MILLION dollars from Pittman-Robertson funds - money collected in the form of the excise taxes that sportsmen pay on outdoor sporting goods, such as firearms, ammo, archery gear and fishing tackle. By law, these monies are supposed to be used exclusively for game and fish habitat improvement. Clark and the USFWS did a great job of hiding where the money went, but it is suspected that quite a bit was funneled into the wolf project.
(Photo Above Right - Jamie Rappaport Clark is responsible for the theft of more than $45-
million (maybe as much as $60-million) from funds provided by sportsmen for game and fisheries habitat improvement. Clark frivilously spent the stolen money on unauthorized projects, including the criminal activity known as the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project - and neither Congress or the Department of Justice did anything.)
Instead of serving prison time for her role in the theft of taxpayer dollars, Clark is now serving as Executive Director of the Defenders of Wildlife, and is being handsomely rewarded with an annual salary of around $300,000.
One thing is for certain, the true cost of the wolf fiasco will never be known. Project leader Ed Bangs was careful not to leave a paper trail identifying how much money was spent on the procurement of those non-indigenous Alberta wolves...nor their true origins, or their subspecies, or how many were actually brought across the border, or if they were each properly and successfully inoculated for the parasites and diseases those wolves were known to be infected with, and which they brought to the U.S. However, that USFWS paper work is mandatory for anyone else looking to bring live wildlife into this country.
Despite all that we now know about all that plagues the criminal fraud known as the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, Congress and the Department of Justice have ignored the illegal activity, grand larceny, and subterfuge that drove the project - as if it never happened. Allowing the crime to continue makes every elected official and every federal and state wildlife manager with any connection whatsoever to "managing" for the long term propagation of an illegally and unethically transplanted wolf population just as much criminals as those who masterminded and instrumented the planned destruction of the big game herds in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming - which is now spreading like a deadly cancer into Washington and Oregon.
(Photo at Left - Standard equipment these days in just about every pickup or sport utility vehicle in Montana and Idaho is a deadly accurate, flat shooting wolf rifle and plenty of ammo. A new breed of wolf hunter has emerged to counter all of the illegal and unethical efforts of wildlife agencies and elected officials to insure the continued destruction of wildlife by wolves. The new vigilante wolf season is now open 24 hours a day...seven days a week...365 days a year. And there's no limit!)
The sportsmen who have financed wildlife conservation for the past 75 or more years have had it with such idiocy. Many have already decided to take care of the problem themselves, and have vowed to shoot every wolf they see...then drive off. Many, many more are expected to also join in such vigilante wolf control. It has become all too evident that that MT FWP and IDFG either don't have the knowledge and ability to drastically reduce wolf numbers, or they have been willing accomplices in this crime all along, and are now just stalling for time to allow wolves the opportunity to give big game herds a less than merciful coup de grace.
While the Governors of Montana and Idaho continue to remain too complacent and while MT FWP and IDFG continue to adhere to wolf hunting restrictions that are not reducing wolf numbers fast enough, we will continue to watch big game herds nose dive even deeper into the predator pit. Even though the regulations and longer hunting seasons now in place are significantly better than the seasons and restrictions imposed back during the 2009 season, the changes are still not enough. Unless more aggressive year around opportunities to reduce these destructive predators are allowed there will continually be fewer hunting opportunities for the residents of the Northern Rockies. The big game populations of the region are now barely surviving on borrowed time. Most veteran sportsmen, who have spent a great deal of time in the outdoors over the past 30 or 40 years, fully realize that even if suddenly every wolf in the Northern Rockies was no longer on the prowl, it would still take three or four decades before game populations could ever begin to recover.
What makes these Northern Rockies residents more angry than anything else is simply knowing that none of the criminals responsible for this disaster will ever be held accountable. That is the powder keg that will sooner or later explode...but one day it will, most definitely, explode - and that day may come a whole lot sooner than some realize. - Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH