Bloody Budget Bill….

September 12, 2014

This was posted in the aftermath of the disastrous sellout of wolves by the US Senate and President Obama in 2011.

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April 23, 2011

A dead on opinion piece from the Christian Science Monitor. It explains how Congress played “let’s make a deal” with wolves lives in a BUDGET BILL.  This was especially egregious because Democrats led the charge, betraying wolves and their base.

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True cost of budget deal will be paid in blood – of gray wolves

By David N. Cassuto APRIL 19, 2011

Many words have been spent on the budget compromise struck between Republicans and Democrats in the 11th hour a couple weeks ago, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. In the days since, details of this budget agreement have slowly emerged, but few actually know what it fully entails – and what it really means for Americans. Perhaps this is because Congress and the president appear to have had a similarly limited understanding of the nature and scope of the cuts they agreed upon.

Nevertheless, President Obama and members of Congress did know that they agreed on a few things having nothing whatsoever to do with the budget, budget cuts, or with federal spending at all. One of the most unfortunate of these “budget” agreement riders is the decision to strip the gray wolf of the protections of the Endangered Species Act. In the 37-year history of the Act, no species has ever been delisted for purely political reasons. Prior to last week, science guided such decisions. Now, science will be subordinated to political instrumentalism, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

A political, rather than scientific, agenda

The gray wolf was reintroduced into the Northern Rocky Mountains in 1995. Today, there are approximately 1,700 wolves in Idaho, Wyoming, andMontana – a significant resurgence, albeit a relatively small number of wolves for 328,417 square miles of territory. Nevertheless, those three states have campaigned tirelessly to delist the wolf in order to legalize wolf hunts and thereby cut back their allegedly unmanageable populations. Under such pressure, the Bush and Obama administrations agreed to delist the wolf, but the plan did not survive legal challenge.

The court found the delisting agenda to be based on political rather than scientific reasons, an approach that did not withstand scrutiny under the plain language of the Endangered Species Act. Still, the anti-wolf contingent (including the governors and congressional delegations from all three states) persisted, arguing that the wolves needed culling because they were killing livestock and decimating the elk population. The diminishing number of elk, the argument goes, interferes with the rights of hunters.

Hunters complain that the wolves – who hunt for survival using only their bodies – impede the hunters’ ability to hunt for fun with high-powered rifles. It bears noting that before wolves were extirpated from the region, they coexisted with humans with little incident. Those humans also hunted elk, but did so with bows, arrows, and spears. Despite the challenges posed by wolves, fewer elk, and low-tech gear, they managed to find enough game to survive.

It seems reasonable to assume that today’s hunters, whose survival depends more on supermarkets than elk, and who enjoy competitive advantages and a far larger elk population, could do likewise.

Benefits of wolves outweigh ranchers’ concerns

The ranchers’ argument against wolves also withers under serious scrutiny. While it is true that wolves take a certain amount of livestock, it is also true that ranchers annually lose more cattle to lightning strikes, dog attacks, and noxious weeds than they do to wolves. The leading causes of livestock deaths are not wolves or other predators but bad weather, disease, and birthing complications. Even so, there are nonprofit groups with compensation programs in place to partially compensate ranchers who do suffer losses from wolf predation.

The benefits of having wolves in these ecosystems – even for ranchers – far outweigh livestock losses. Since wolves have been reintroduced to the region, the deer and elk populations have been brought under control, which has enabled nearly wiped out native tree and plant species to grow back. Concern for the ranchers might be better expressed by maintaining the health of the ecosystem – of which wolves are a vital part – and the range, thus protecting the ranchers, the ranch land, and the rest of the regional environment. Many ranchers are already making efforts in these directions.

Why are wolves part of a budget deal?

But perhaps more important than the weakness of the arguments for delisting the wolf is the fact that there is no good reason for this discussion to have taken place during these budget negotiations. The issue at hand was (or was supposed to be) the federal budget. There are legitimate policy differences about the ways, means, and even the need to bring federal revenues in line with spending, but this important national conversation has nothing to do with wolves.

Yet in defiance of logic and sound wildlife management, the two sides negotiated an agreement under which endangered wolves will die, and the deficit will remain. As the rest of the particulars of the deal come to light, one thing will remain clear: The true cost of this agreement has nothing to do with money. It will be paid in blood.

David N. Cassuto is the Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at Williams College and professor of Environmental Law at Pace Law School. He is the founder and chief contributor to the Animal Blawg, a blog on animal law and policy.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2011/0419/True-cost-of-budget-deal-will-be-paid-in-blood-of-gray-wolves


Photo: Courtesy of All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolves sold out, playing politics with wolves, bloody budget bill, infamous 81, US Senate betrays wolves, tampering with the ESA, David N. Cassuto, Christian Science Monitor


1293 Concerned Scientists Ask The Senate To Reject Meddling With The ESA!

Enough is enough already. It seems like a lifetime since  anti-wolfers came up with the brilliant idea to legislate wolves out of the ESA. They were losing badly in court, so they decided to make an end-run around the ESA.  Now every Tom, Dick and Harry has an anti-wolf bill. They think it’s going to win them votes in the Red States but it’s just upsetting environmentalists and wildlife watchers, who happen to be voters as well. The Democrats that support the dismantling of the ESA are in for a rude awakening in 2012.

AND not all environmentalists are Democrats either, many are Independents.  The Dems are going to lose the Independent vote and Obama will end up as a one term President. He has abandoned his base and is acting like George Bush. Who would have thought Democrats would have a hand in trying to weaken one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation ever written? It’s an upside down world.

Now, 1293  scientists from around the country have spoken out against this outrage. They are collectively asking the Senate to reject any and all attempts to meddle with the ESA, specifically to delist gray wolves.

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A Letter from 1,293 Scientists with Expertise in Biological Systems to the United States Senate

Concerning Science and the Endangered Species Act
March 30, 2011

Dear Senators:

As scientists with expertise in biological systems, we are writing to urge you to vote against any
legislation that would undercut the use of best available science as the basis for adding or removing
any particular species from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Allowing Congress to
remove or add protections for particular species would set a dangerous precedent, as the fate of
every species on the endangered species list (or any candidate for that list) would then be subject to
political interference.

Because of its strong scientific foundation, the Endangered Species Act is the most critical and
successful law for ensuring the protection of threatened and endangered wildlife in our country.
Objective scientific information and methods should be used in listing or delisting species,
subspecies, and distinct population segments as endangered or threatened. While non-scientific
factors may appropriately be considered at points later in the process, their use in listing decisions is
inconsistent with the biologically defensible principles of the Endangered Species Act.
We are aware that there are legislative attempts to remove individual species from the Endangered
Species Act. For example, congressional proposals to delist the gray wolf forgo scientific
determination of whether the species, or populations of the species, have recovered and whether
sufficient regulatory mechanisms are in place to ensure the species’ survival. In the northern Rocky
Mountains the return of wolves has restored key predator-prey dynamics in and around Yellowstone
National Park that have resulted in changes throughout the entire ecosystem. To remove protections
for wolves before the best available science tells us recovery is ensured would place one of our
country’s greatest conservation success stories at risk.

Biological diversity provides food, fiber, medicines, clean water, and myriad other ecosystem
products and services on which we depend every day. To undermine the careful and thoughtful
scientific process that determines whether a species is endangered or recovered would jeopardize
not only the species in question and the continued success of the Endangered Species Act, but the
very foundation of the ecosystems that sustain us all.
We strongly urge you to oppose any legislation that circumvents the use of best available science in
Endangered Species Act decision making.

Respectfully,
[Signers listed alphabetically by state]

CLICK HERE For Link To Letter and Scientists By State

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act, gray wolf

Tags: Concerned scientists, tampering with the ESA, political expediency, Senate Budget Bill

AP News Break: Montana governor says wolf deal dead….

Take this with a grain of salt.

Apparently the wheeling and dealing between Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Salazar over how to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections has hit an impasse, according to Montana’s Governor.

I would still advise everyone to continue to call members of Congress and the Obama admin. to express your outrage over the attack on gray wolves and the ESA.

Who knows what to believe anymore? This is a very bad soap opera which has taken more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. My head is ready to explode.

AP News Break: Montana governor says wolf deal dead….

December 6th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

By MATTHEW BROWN
Associated Press

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=13501230

 

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: bad soap opera, wolf politics, tampering with the ESA, wolves in the crossfire, wheeling and dealing

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