LA Times OpEd: Rocky Mountain low

The LA Times weighs in on western politicians’ effort to deslist Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves by way of legislation:

Rocky Mountain Low – LA Times Opinion Editorial

The actions of three states and a handful of congressmen seem likely to undermine the return of the gray wolves of the northern Rockies. Even worse, they would set an appalling precedent for undermining the species act.

50 Responses to “LA Times OpEd: Rocky Mountain low”

  1. Phil Says:

    Great article by the LA Times. The New York Times published a similar article last week or so. Yes! This is nothing more then a political purpose from the three states to satisfy the hunter and rancher society. As one of the comments stated in the article, there are about 70 million Wildlife lovers/watchers, and about 12 million hunters, but government in the three states would rather satisfy the minority and not the majority because the minority produce much of the money to government wildlife organizations, such as the Fish and Game.

  2. Ken Cole Says:

    It’s true that hunters pay for most wildlife management but, in part, that is by design. While there is opposition against using general funds for game management from some of the general public there is also some opposition from hunters because it would mean that the general public would have some say in game management which they don’t want.

    Also, could you imagine letting the state legislature have even more power over game management than they already have?

    • JimT Says:

      Exactly right, Ken. The more radical members of the sportsmen groups complain that the burden is on them, but if a serious proposal to use a slight increase in the general tax rate was made so all citizens bore some responsibility–something I strongly support generally…for the management of lands and species in their state, they would oppose it because it would mean their power would be diluted.

      • Salle Says:

        Yeah but wait, Aren’t the WS funds taken from the general fund and not from the tax base of the ranching and sporting groups? I think that’s a sum far larger than the sporting tags contribute…? And the BLM, FS and other agencies’ funding come from taxes collected and not tag fees… and the farm subsidies and the lack of fair exchange for grazing fees, the difference of which is paid for by the taxpayers of America… Guess those funds don’t count?

        This is public property, so the states claim of wildlife even on federally administered public lands, so I don’t see where the hunt-tag buyers get all the credit or benefit of authority since we, all the citizens -either of a state or the whole country, are owners who pay taxes that fund pretty much everything with the exception of those few $$ that tag-hunting fees produce.

      • JB Says:

        Hunters pay for management via their license fees, while the Pittman-Robertson Act’s excise tax on hunting-related equipment provides additional funding (~700 million nationwide) for the conservation and management of game species.

        Save bears noted below that SOME hunters actually lobbied Congress to have this excise tax passed–that is absolutely true. Of course, it is also true that OTHER hunters have been complaining about it ever since. You can’t “paint” hunters with a single brush.

        Like others have mentioned, I think we need a similar excise tax on outdoor equipment (e.g., tents, sleeping bags, field glasses, etc.) that can be used to support state agencies’ non-game management activities. I wish one of the wildlife advocacy groups would “step up” and get this going. Of course, ever since Ronald Reagan “tax” has become a dirty word.

    • jon Says:

      Yeah, but hunters have no choice in the matter. They have to pay in order to kill wildlife. If non-hunting wildlife lovers had some way of contributing financially in some way to help wildlife they would do it in a heartbeat. Buying a conservation license, but not using it to kill wildlife is one way.

      • Salle Says:

        And at what point does anyone have a choice in the matter of paying taxes?

      • jon Says:

        As you know Salle, everyone has to pay taxes. Hunters have to pay in order to hunt. If they don’t, they are breaking the law. They are only paying for conservation because they have to, they have no choice in the matter. I’m sure if they could hunt and kill animals for free without being arrested or fined, they would imopo.

      • Save bears Says:

        Hunters are the ones that in 1937 came up with the idea of the Pittman Robertson Tax and supported it 100% to help conserve land and wildlife.

      • mikepost Says:

        Jon, how do you explain the millions of $$$ raised by hunter conservation groups for habitat work every year? Your clearly biased profiling of hunters takes away from your other good comments.

  3. Mike Says:

    Great article. There’s something about sea air that clears the mind.

  4. mikepost Says:

    This from a state that has permanently protected mountain lions as a state endangered species…we only have about 5000…and are running out of habitat.

    • WM Says:

      Maybe CA should lobby for some wolves of their own, instead of sticking their urban noses in the business of their more rural neighboring states. They can co-habit with the mountain lions. Tahoe would be another great area for them. Lots of little rodent dogs there for them to snack on.

      • Salle Says:

        Maybe folks in CA recognize the real value in the public part of public land and their investment in all of that which belongs to all of us, including habitat for wildlife… or maybe just the person who wrote the article gets it, which is more than we can say for a lot of folks in the NRM region who can’t seem to being themselves to share – even with wildlife. In fact, many of them can’t seem to share anything, including that which belongs to all citizens of the nation, with the other owners to whom public lands belong.

      • JB Says:

        “…instead of sticking their urban noses in the business of their more rural neighboring states.”

        WM: If urbanites hadn’t “stuck their noses in the business” of rural states, we wouldn’t have National Parks nor National Forests today, and the only thing you’d have to hunt in Idaho would be sheep and cows. You might ponder that before adopting they “ignorant city-slicker” rhetoric.

      • mikarooni Says:

        WM, you don’t really contribute anything worthwhile to the discussion here. Perhaps another website would be better suited to you and you might find more friends there. Good luck and bon voyage.

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        The think that irked me about the LAtimes opinion piece is the fact that they conveniently jumped to the legislative issue, without so much as acknowledging the events which lead to these proposals.

        Mik,

        Sorry if I annoy you. I guess, in your mind, there is little room for those with moderate views on this forum. See, I want wolves on the landscape, in lots of places, just at lower densities than some folks do. In a sense, I think change to the ESA may be helpful for that to happen. The Tester bill, with the fairly high numbers of wolves in the NRM, would make that happen alot easier than what is happening, and be better than what the ID legislature/Otter are looking at now. This festering wound is only going to get worse, unless it gets drained.

        I would give you ten to one odds the authors of this opinion piece in the LA Times have no idea what has transpired over the last 15 years in the NRM, except what has been spoon fed to them by wolf advocacy groups. But ya know, LA sure does like to have the water and electrical power from the West, don’t you think, and let their nasty smog blow over the mountains into adjacent states, even with all the negative environmental consequences. So much for LA’s environmental values, when it comes to something meaningful.

      • Jerry Black Says:

        mikarooni Says:
        December 18, 2010 at 9:22 PM
        WM, you don’t really contribute anything worthwhile to the discussion here. Perhaps another website would be better suited to you and you might find more friends there. Good luck and bon voyage.
        HA!!!! Best comment of the day.

      • Salle Says:

        I would give you ten to one odds the authors of this opinion piece in the LA Times have no idea what has transpired over the last 15 years in the NRM, except what has been spoon fed to them by wolf advocacy groups. But ya know, LA sure does like to have the water and electrical power from the West, don’t you think, and let their nasty smog blow over the mountains into adjacent states, even with all the negative environmental consequences. So much for LA’s environmental values, when it comes to something meaningful.

        So now you are blaming an oped author for all of the smog and negative impacts from decades of abuse of the land? It might interest you to know that the author of this editorial is highly educated and has quite a lot of experience worldwide on many policy issues, our area is just one place on the planet but US policy is still policy, there for all to read and explore – if they have the capacity to do so ie. reading comprehension and the like.

        Or maybe it’s the fact that someone who isn’t always here can’t fathom anything because they haven’t had the redneck education that goes with being raised here is the piss-poor school systems that keep losing funding to stupid pet projects that pay for legislative persons’ elections?

        You don’t have to live here to pay attention to what’s happening here. Your prejudice is showing…

      • jon Says:

        Salle, I agree 100% with what you’re saying. People who live in states with wolves who don’t like wolves and want them eradicated have been spoonfed lies and misinformation from their fellow hunters and ranchers. Most of these wolf haters rely on websites like lobowatch and saveelk.com even though they live there and assume they know what is the truth and what is not. They don’t even take the time to get educated. They just take whatever their hunting buddy tells them about wolves as the truth. Make no mistake, people who don’t live in those specific wolf states can become real knowledgable and educated on the wolf subject by doing a ton of research on it. You don’t have to live there to know what’s going on. Look at the people who live there and spew lie after lie about the wolves like how they killed all of the elk and deer, a lie we know isn’t true. Look at the claims that these people who live with the wolves makes, those wolves are 200 pounds when infact they are 100 pounds less. The fact is the wolf haters who live with the wolf are much more misinformed about them than say people who don’t live there and that is a shock in itself. It’s real easy to discredit someone who doesn’t live there and lives in California or some place like that, but even the people who live with wolves and hate them are grossly misinformed and uneducated on the subject of wolves. That probably has a lot to do with their hatred of them and that is why they constantly lie about wolves.

      • WM Says:

        Salle,

        ++So now you are blaming an oped author for all of the smog and negative impacts from decades of abuse of the land? ++

        Not so much as hoping Californians and their general circulation newspaper they would tend to their own house before criticizing others, without knowing the full story behind this proposed legislation. It isn’t just a handful of legislators from the West, I suspect, as this goes forward. The three GL states are a bit fed up with what is going on as well. If you have wolves your view will likely be a bit different than if you don’t. I think JB has, in the past, pointed to research which reaches this conclusion, with limitations, of course. I think there were also some studies done in Scandanavian countries that reached this conclusion). Incidentally there is alot not to like about parts of CA and LA, that affects this entire country. If you have ever spent time there, you would know this. Maybe you have.

        CA also has a combined 50% federal and state land ownership. CA has in excess of 45% federal lands, or about the same as AZ, and is by far the largest of the 11 contiguous Western states. CA has more federal land than WY, WA, NM, MT and CO). Maybe they have enough land/habitat and prey for wolves, especially when considered in conjunction with neighboring states. If they have in excess of 5,000 protected cougars, perhaps they can share.

        Defenders actually petitioned for a Northern CA/ SW Oregon DPS in 2001, with a request for reintroduction. From their petition:

        ++In this petition we will present documentation of vast areas of suitable habitat and favorable conditions for the establishment of viable populations of wolves in the N. CA/SW. OR area.++ [pdf page 3/20]

        http://www.defenders.org/resources/publications/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolf/pacific_west_wolves/northern_california-southwestern_oregon_gray_wolf_dps.pdf

        Write your congress persons and CA’s and ask for a CA wolf reintroduction, if you really feel we should all be in this together.

        JerryB, be the man and jump right on this, will you?

      • jon Says:

        WM, how are you? I don’t feel wolf reintroduction is really necessary in California. Wolves will inevitably find their way to California on their own. The matter is when. If wolves made it down to Oregon and Washington on their own, you can bet it’s only a matter of time when they show up in California. California is a very big state. Wolves should be allowed to exist there no matter what some ranchers says or thinks. You’re always going to leave some people pissed off.

      • mikarooni Says:

        WM, you and a bunch of others here say all the right practiced lines. You say you’re “moderates” and are in favor of wolves, just at the right “densities” and under “state” management. You decry “extremists” on the pro-wolf side, but conveniently take no serious action in the face of poaching and incitement on the part of Rammell and the like. You say nice things about basing things on science, then favor wolf numbers that will not ensure genetic viability over the long haul. You say you want wolves in the environment, but bash the feds and advocate control in the hands of states that do not have any science-based regulatory mechanisms that will reliably sustain wolves in the environment. Do you not see how transparent you are? Do you think that we can’t see through your little game? Do you expect us to keep being polite to you when you insult our intelligence with your cheap and shabby little charades? The truth is that you’re as moderate as a KKK rally and you can’t hide it; it shows.

      • JB Says:

        At the Midwest F&W Conference this past week Dave Mech suggested that wolves would eventually make it to California.

        In general I think the Baucus-Tester Bill, with some minor “tweaks”, would represent a reasonable compromise–it is instructive that neither “side” likes the bill. Of course, there is no “radical-middle” constituency for politicians to cater to, which makes this type of bill hard to pass (especially with the current Congress).

        – – – – – –

        WM: I have yet to have anyone give me a satisfying answer to how so many western states can support 5,000+ cougars (e.g., California, Oregon, Colorado) but 500 wolves is too many? As you know, these animals have similar energy needs and kill their prey at similar rates. I understand that wolves social nature means they are less evenly distributed on the landscape, and so they may have “localized” impacts; however, the fact is that feeding 5,000 cougars is going to require more ungulate biomass than 350-1000 wolves. How is it that 350 is too many wolves for Montana? Perhaps they are simply too “visible” when compared to cougars??? I really don’t know…

      • jon Says:

        JB, did you actually attend that conference? forgive if you said you did. If you were there, did any of the audience members ask Mech any questions regarding the wolves being non native or being extraordinarily large according to some? I would be very interested oif Mech talked about some of the myths about wolves like them being non native or weighing an average of 150-200 pounds like some think. JB, like Mike said it’s specie racism. Clearly there are many who don’t like wolves and consider say 100 wolves to be too many, but yet don’t see 5,000 cougars as being too many. There was also a recent study that came out that said that cougars are more efficient killers than it was thought to believe. Check out this link when you get the chance JB.

        http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/article_d9cf046b-2c47-539f-a267-972e72e570b6.html

      • WM Says:

        mik,

        ++but conveniently take no serious action in the face of poaching and incitement on the part of Rammell and the like.++

        What exactly would you like me (or anyone else) to do about poachers, or Rammell? If I had omnipotent power to do something constructive in this area, Rammell would be be behind bars and stripped of hunting privileges and voting rights for a very, very long time. Same is true for these troglodites like Bridges and Guillette. But, I can’t, so I have to be frustrated, and wish these guys the worst, just like everyone else.

        As for your assertions about NRM wolf genetic diversity or viability, or whatever you want to call it, these are not my views, rather they are the views of recognized wolf scientists at the heart of the NRM reintroduction. If I find information I share it, usually with citations so others can find it and reach their own conclusions. In fact, as an example, I have linked to Scott Creel’s research a number of times long before this skirmish with the MTFWP that has been discussed on another thread. The science is what it is, and the answers are not all in support of one view.

        The thing I find most frustrating on this forum (in fact it is the only one I comment on), is that there are those, perhaps like yourself, who refuse to look at all sides of the issue, including the science, law and policy that are key to this discussion. There is so much group think with a few here it is disheartening….maybe disgusting is a better word, but I accept that when I read and comment.

        If you don’t like my comments or input, just do not bother to read them (or comment) if you find them too edgy. Pretty simple solution, don’t you think?

        As for your personal attacks about “charades or KKK,” the far right and that other crap, you know I am just not going there because your perception of me in that regard is not true. You would do well to sharpen your critical thinking and reading skills.

      • JB Says:

        Jon:

        Yes, I attended the conference. There was no Q&A about “monster” wolves, nor any of the rest of mythology, as this was a professional conference for wildlife managers. However, Mech did field a question about reports that wolves were “decimating” deer in northern Minnesota. He replied that they were saying the same thing in northern Minnesota when he began his studies (~50 years ago).

        Thanks for the link to the article about cougars.

        – – – – – – –

        I find it disheartening that so many debates end up in personal attacks (or thinly-veiled attacks) on this blog. Shouting down people who parrot myths is one thing, but attacking them simply because they express a view that differs from your own doesn’t help; nor does attacking them because they belong to some group who you generally view as having a different ideology (e.g. hunters, urbanites).

        A “science-based solution” to the wolf “problem” is NOT one that bans all hunting of wolves. Wolf populations can generally sustain mortality in the range of 30-50%; the population is not threatened by hunting. However, this idea that 100 wolves per state is sustainable is questionable at best; moreover, it does not account for the fact that most people in the U.S. support wolf recovery and wolves currently reside almost exclusively on Federal lands.

      • ProWolf in WY Says:

        WM, public land is land that belongs to EVERYONE including Californians regardless of urban or rural dwelling or political preference. There are Californians who do want wolves and grizzlies there and some mention has been made on this site about it. It just doesn’t seem to get very far, like wolf restoration in Colorado.

        I’ve never been to Tahoe, but I would imagine the rodent dog population might support predators for a while.🙂

    • WM Says:

      jon,

      As I have said before, the NRM states believe they have too many, and in excess of what the think they agreed to in the reintroduction. Why not translocate some of these to new areas – like northern CA/SW OR – and speed up the process. You, for one, should be in favor of this, because it keeps the hunters in the NRM from hunting them (if they become delisted again at some point). It also expands range, and for awhile decreases density, which should be applauded by those who want fewer on local landscapes.

      Translocation has always been a part of this reintroduction concept. Afterall, that is how the NRM got its initial 66 wolves. It is how the state of WA in its draft plan would achieve repopulation in discontiguous areas.

      Where is the downside in this, anyone?

      • mikarooni Says:

        It would give the right wing political machine a chance to spread the fight to additional legislative seats. It’s a perfect “Trojan Horse” for your side. It looks like a gift; but, it comes with toxic innards. No, we need to settle the issue of Wyoming regs and sustainable numbers in the NRM before we get seduced into a wider fight in which your side can use FuxNews as a science outlet. Honest enough for you?

      • Salle Says:

        The fact that none of this is in coordination with the science of numbers, density and pack dynamics.

      • WM Says:

        mik,

        You better study up some more to oppose this “trojan horse” with “toxic innards,” because the Center for Biological Diversity has had a petition before FWS for a national wolf managment plan for several months now.

        Here is a link to a New West article on it:

        http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/petition_calls_for_national_wolf_recovery_plan/C559/L559/

      • Ryan Says:

        They are not wanted in SW oregon by the locals.

      • ProWolf in WY Says:

        The only problem I can see with translocation of NRM wolves to southwest Oregon or California is that it is different habitat with different prey. I’m sure the wolves could learn to adapt, but would it be better to get wolves from British Columbia instead? That would be my only concern with that WM.

  5. ProWolf in WY Says:

    This is a good article. Now how many people will read this and automatically dismiss it because they are hippie, liberal, tree-hugging, greenie, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah people?

    • Salle Says:

      Well, how many folks are in the Idaho, Montana and Wyoming legislatures? And then the FauxNews crowd in those states and their relatives in other states…? Unfortunately too many, that is for those who can actually read.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/fox-news-viewers-are-the-_n_798146.html

      • Phil Says:

        I am one that does not believe 5,000 Cougars in California, Oregon and Washington is to many. 5,000 is no where near what their numbers once were, and I understand the human population has to be put into regards to the 5,000 population. But, yes California has a high population, and so does Washington and Oregon, but Cougars are scarce to humans and will rarely come into contact. I have heard by many that Cougars have stalked them believing the stalk was to elude the purpose of eventually attacking them for food. The facts are if the Cougar was stalking the person to attack them, then why didn’t they? There would be NOTHING to stop the Cougar from attacking the human, so what stopped them from doing so? The answer is simple. They did not attack the humans because the purpose of following the humans, not stalking, was to maintain assurance the humans were no threat to the Cougars territory. Being able to kill something 10x larger then them, there would be no doubt the Cougars would have gotten their humans if their main purpose of following them was to stalk and kill the humans, but it wasn’t.
        wm: As far as from what I understand, the government probably does not believe the numbers are to high rationally, they believe the numbers are to high because of the satisfaction they want to build with hunters who no doubtablly believe Wolf numbers are to high. If there were 5 Wolves and 1 breeding pair in the NRM hunters would still believe this to be to high in population.
        jon: From another article on Wildlife News, Maughan talks about Carter Nieyemer’s new book. I had never heard of Mr. Nieyemer until Mr. Maughan’s article, and I went through some of the interesting interviews of Mr. Nieyemer. Here is what he says about Wolves as to the issue of being native or not. “I have to support the science again, and specialists in morphology and genetics on wolves indicate that the wolf that was brought down from Canada is the same wolf that lived here previously. And I did some research into books on early wolves that were captured in the Northern Rockies, even as far south as Colorado during the days that wolves were being hunted down in the 1930s; and the body weights were very much the same.

        So I feel that this wolf that was brought from Canada is the same species and genetics as the wolves that lived here once upon a time. I think people have to remember that the northern Rockies — we call it the northern Rockies in Idaho and Montana, but actually we’re a southern extension of the northern Rockies out of Canada — and all of those wolves in Canada have the potential and the ability to disperse. I believe what happened over the last 50-60 years is that individual wolves have come from Canada following the Rocky Mountain chain and ended up periodically in places like Montana and Idaho.” Many of my friends know I am pursuing a Biology of Animal Behavior degree, and they ask me the question of whether this being the native Wolf or not, and I have answered almost exact to similarities to what Mr. Nieyemer stated in this comment in that there is no wall that blocked Canada Wolves entering the United States and vice versa before our Wolves were wiped out, which means the Wolves in the two countries migrated back and forth constantly. With the purpose of migrating back and forth between the countries, similar ecosystems, prey sources, etc, they share similar behaviors, which indicates similar species. Therefore, since we reintroduced the Wolves into NRM from Southwest Canada, and if the Southwest Canada Wolves were similar to the ones the we had in the NRM before, the ones we have now are similar. Maybe someone can answer this for me, but didn’t they take this issue to a leading DNA professor from UCLA and his conclusion after research and testings was that the current NRM Wolves are similar to the ones we once had?

      • jon Says:

        This is what you are looking for Phil. The guy’s name is Robert Wayne and he is from UCLA.Most know that gray wolves are native, but no matter how many times you tell this fact to a wolf hater, they will continue to deny it. These people have a hard time understanding that gray wolves are native animals to North America.

        http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/issues/wolves/index.html

  6. Larry Thorngren Says:

    All of us, the 70 million wildlife watchers and the 12 million hunters, ( many of us are both) pay for managing the federal lands administered by the BLM and USFS, where most of the wildlife lives, so the claim that hunters pay for managing wildlife is only partially true.
    They may pay for the bulk of state fish and game expenses, but that is only a part of the picture. Most hunters drive to their hunting spots on roads paid for by all us (including the logging roads so many of today’s hunters use to “hunt” with their ATVs), and they often use USFG or BLM campgrounds payed for by all of us.(I have noticed that the Forest Service generally does not collect campground fees in the fall during hunting season.)
    Perhaps hunters should be assessed a grazing fee for the animals they kill, in order to reimburse the rest of us for providing the forage that their elk or deer used all year long.
    They willingly pay a fee to hunt on private land, so why not pay the public for producing that game meat that so many of them claim they need.
    I am not opposed to paying a tax on binoculars,cameras and other camping supplies that goes to wildlife agencies, if it gives nonhunters more say in the management of wildlife.

    • Salle Says:

      I think that they -many hunters- feel they are paying for nonpredator space to kill their game sans competition of any kind.

    • WM Says:

      Larry,

      ++Perhaps hunters should be assessed a grazing fee for the animals they kill, in order to reimburse the rest of us for providing the forage that their elk or deer used all year long.++

      Or maybe the assessment should be charged to the states who claim ownership (fictitious in the eyes of some) over the wildlife they manage. On the other hand, maybe the states should charge the federal government for the management effort of wildlife on federal lands. Once one goes down that path of who should pay for what it seems to get rather fuzzy, since there seem to be subsidies going both ways. Just one more area of tension between states and the federal government.

      AS long as you raise the issue, I suppose those of us who live in the West might also ask that our distant neighbors along the Eastern seaboard who are closer and have greater opportunities to visit Washington DC monuments, the national museums and other exhibits to pay admission (they are all free to the public, and the cost of running them is very very expensive).

      • Phil Says:

        In regards to your comment of the public paying fees to the Washington DC monuments and National Museum, you seriously can’t compare these to the roads and other infrastructures that hunters use in order to hunt paid by taxes from the general public. The two do not relate in many many attributes. In regards to hunters paying wildlife organizations for hunting purposes, almost all of the fees from hunting license and such goes to conservation of big game species, such as Deer, Elk, Moose, etc. The taxes the general public pays for infrastructure, such as roads for hunters do drive through for their hunting spots, are in similar manner as to who should pay taxes and why they should. Visiting the Washington DC monuments and such are not relevant in forcing people to pay taxes. If you want to go further, the visitors to the monuments and museums technically do contribute to keeping them open. They drive the same roads they contribute their taxes to maintaining. I do agree in the term that there should be tax dollar money put into wildlife from non-hunters who enjoy the outdoors who go camping, hiking, skiing, etc. Maybe this will alter hunters from using the same “we put more money into conservation then any wildlife advocate or organization will ever do…”. But, then again; DOW generates around $31 million yearly, and many, if not all of the money donated comes from wildlife advocates. This can be said not only from DOW, but all of the wildlife organizations, such as WWF, NWF, etc.

      • WM Says:

        Phil,

        I am not quite sure I understand your post regarding public road use by hunters, but please consider this. Many of the access roads which hunters use were originally constructed to access timber sales, often paid (though likely subsidized) from the sale bid on the timber extracted. Or, they may have been and still are fire roads, or to developed as a part of the multiple use concept under which the USFS operates (wood, water, forage, wildlife and recreation) where these roads are available to ALL persons whenever they are open. This is not unlike the free museums and monuments. General federal taxes pay for it, and the resource is available to all who avail themselves of the opportunity. Nothing says a non-hunter couldn’t be in a campgound or on an access road during hunting season, although they may not want to be there. Sometimes it is also hard to distinguish between state and federal access roads and who maintains them in some areas. I also suspect some of the federal gas taxes for every gallon of gas purchased, generally goes to road maintenance of various types whether paved in a metropolitan area or a national forest access road, through general federal hiway or Forest Service appropriations.

        So, if I understand your comment, I do not think you are correct in your comparison or the conclusion you reach about hunters and public roads.

  7. Phil Says:

    Excellent point Larry! Never looked at it in that perspective. Excellent photos, by the way!

  8. Phil Says:

    I apologize. I misspelled Carter’s last name. It should be “Niemeyer” and not “Nieyemer”.
    Thanks jon!

  9. Phil Says:

    save bears: Do you really think that hunters accepted the Pittman Robertson Tax Act to help secure wildlife? Let’s put this into the equation. Hunters saw that certain species they hunted began to dimilish in population, so they created a proposal that was accepted into conservation of the species they value in hunting. Hunters in the modern day would agree in large numbers of conservation of big game, because they do not want to see less of the ungulate out there that they hunt on. Hunters know that they need conservation efforts to maintain assurance that the big game will be there for many hunting seasons for themselves. But where is the conservate to species of no value to them, such as Jaguars, Wolves, Grizzly Bears, etc?

    • WM Says:

      Phil,

      Read information at the link below, and see if you agree with your statement above. Pittman – Robertson funded projects do not just benefit game species. Please read carefully.

      http://www.fws.gov/southeast/federalaid/pittmanrobertson.html

      • Phil Says:

        wm: Yes! I definately still agree with my statement. As I mentioned yesterday, sportsmen were in acceptance of this act simply to make sure that there will be enough individuals in population of each species to hunt for years to come. When the act was in its first few decades I can understand the reestablishment of the species mentioned, but look at the hostility from hunters towards the Black Bears, Mountain Lions-Cougars and Bobcats, who are major competitors in hunting the Elk, Deer, Moose, etc, in today’s hunting activity. Now, go to the hunting websites, like Bear Blog, Safari Club, Sportsmen Alliance, etc, and read their articles regarding predators/carnivores and show me ANYWHERE of ANY article that portrays these species in a positive way. Compare the articles of these predators to those of ungulate where the articles have nothing but positive atrributes to the species. The conservation of the Bobcats, Mountain Lions, and Black Bears has not been relevant from the act from fees of hunting purchases in decades. And, as Nancy stated, there is no mention of Wolves or Grizzly Bears. Wolves had virtually no numbers until their reintroduction, and even after, where was the act in conservating them? Grizzly Bears have had below 1,000 in population for decades now, so where was the conservation of them? Jaguars are not significant in population in the Unite States anymore, so where are the sportsmen to conservate them? How about the Wolverines in Michigan?

      • WM Says:

        Phil,

        That is quite a “shotgun” response and indictment of hunters, which goes way beyond the purpose of P-R funds, or how their use has changed over time. It seems you are oversimplifying the accomplishments of P-R. You miss the point that much of the P-R funds goes to habitat restoration and acquisition that benefits all wildlife and non-consumptive wildlife users, not just hunters.

        Certainly some species have been compromised in different areas of the country with over a hundred plus years of development for an expanding human population, hunting, trapping, and targeted eradication in some instances – as you point out the jaguar (southern US latitiudes), wolverine (alpine), grizzly (NRM and other parts of the West), wolves (nearly everywhere), and so many other species of animals and plants. The ESA was enacted to deal specifically with those species and habitat. It has been my opinion we have spent far too much time on wolves (clearly a resilient species if social conflicts and habitat issues can be overcome) at the expense of some of the others that really are in trouble, as you mention.

        You might also be enlightened by knowing P-R funds, which are adminstered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, were tapped (illegally some might argue) to partially fund NRM wolf reintroduction after Congress failed to appropriate money for that purpose in 1994-95 (not sure of exact year).

        You might also be interested in the fact that Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has been responsible for preserving something like 5.7 million acres of habitat, which once again benefits all wildlife, which also enures to the benefit of wolves, cougar and bear, since it produces more prey.

  10. Nancy Says:

    *Although Pittman-Robertson is financed wholly by firearms users and archery enthusiasts*

    That seems to be what everyone talks about until you get to this sentence:

    **In the more than 50 years since P-R began, over $2 billion in Federal excise taxes has been matched by more than $500 million in State funds (chiefly from hunting license fees)**

    * Among them are the wild turkey, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, wood duck, beaver, black bear, giant Canada goose, American elk, desert bighorn sheep, bobcat, mountain lion, and several species of predatory birds*

    Curious, no mention of grizzly (or were the “dump bears holding their own in Yellowstone at the time) or the wolf (which I believe the last remaining few had been wiped out by the 30’s) Both species hunters are clammering to hunt now (and have delisted)

    But both species advocates want to see back for their contributions to the ecosystem which fall under the:

    *a much larger number of people who never hunt but do enjoy such wildlife pastimes as birdwatching, nature photography, painting and sketching, and a wide variety of other outdoor pursuits*


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