Wildlife Service’s aerial predator control is grounded

At least in South Dakota. Hopefully more generally-

With all the budget problems, finally here is a good one — USDA Wildlife Services is running out of funding for aerial predator control.

Aerial predator control is grounded. AP

House GOP budget bill aims to slash environmental regulation

It’s not really about cutting federal expenditures by $60-billion-

The argument over these particular budget cuts is not about reigning in big costs. It is almost entirely about eliminating or gutting entire programs, many of them very popular, without a hearing or even a separate vote on each (most of which they would lose).

House GOP budget bill aims to slash environmental regulation. By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times. This is undemocratic process at its worst. The method used allows members to avoid any responsibility for the cuts made. In my opinion, it is certainly worth shutting the government down so that people will put required to pay attention.

Budgetary reprieve for wolves short-lived

Senator Tester gets delisting added to Senate version of the budget-

Tester amends federal budget bill to declare wolves recovered in Montana, Idaho. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

The recent CR (Continuing Resolution) that passed Congress avoiding a government shutdown for two weeks provided short term relief on wolf delisting by Congress, but it is just a short term measure while the Senate and the House argue over the budget.

As he said he would, Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester got language added to the Senate’s final budget bill.  It seems to match the language on the House side that was inserted by Mike Simpson of Idaho. It delists the” wolf in Idaho and Montana, but not Wyoming. It prevents legal challenges to the delisting.

Here is the language, “SEC. 1709. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such re-issuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Provision of this on both chambers of Congress pretty much guarantees the wolf will be delisted in Idaho and Montana. In Idaho, Governor Otter seems determined to have a wolf killing spree as soon as he and the GOP Tea Partiers are  done gutting the state’s education system, busting unions, and cutting Medicaid for those who are sick and poor.

You can contact U.S. Senators about this, asking that it be removed. We are still an uncertain distance from a budget because to the extreme differences between Republicans and Democrats on many parts of the budget. I expect sniping, possible government shutdowns, and unstable budgets to continue for quite a while.

 

Write to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to cut USDA Wildlife Services Funding

American Sheep Industry Association asks key U.S. Senator not to cut funding for notorious wildlife killing agency-

The President has proposed cutting the budget of USDA Wildlife Services by 10-million dollars. President Obama said there needs to be shared sacrifice although so far it seems to be teachers, police, sick people, students, science, reproductive health, food inspection, and pollution control that is doing all the sacrifice under GOP pressure.

The sheep and cattle industry certainly doesn’t want to be cut, and they are working their classic strategy of contacting a key U.S. Senator asking for a quiet restoration of funds. In this case they are contacting U.S. Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. He heads the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies on the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Senate.

If you want to fight back effectively for once, contact Senator Kohl, asking for deeper cuts, especially for aerial gunning of wildlife. bigger cuts for so-called “livestock protection,” and no funding for the use of poisons like the poison 1080. Kohl’s web site only accepts Wisconsin email contacts, but here are the telephone and fax numbers for his Washington office (202) 224-5653; Fax: (202) 224-9787

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s budget would deeply cut farm subsidies, inc. Wildlife Services

Cuts include Wildlife Services-

Obama’s budget would deeply cut farm subsidies. By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times

I kind of thought Obama might not figure this out, but his budget proposal seems to take a whack at this nasty agency as well as the heretofore unstoppable subsidy payments to rich and corporate farmers.  If you want to help wildlife, please write to the President and your members of Congress urging an axe be taken to the Department of Agriculture agency Wildlife Services. Make it clear you are not asking for cuts in the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service. These can be confused because the anti-wildlife cattle and sheep operations deliberately got the federal agency that kills wildlife, Animal Damage Control renamed “Wildlife Services.”

This is not all good news because the Department of Agriculture does have some conservation programs that protect the land, although perhaps at too high a monetary cost.

It is possible that the explanation of Governor Schweitzer’s behavior on both bison and wolves are the cuts to wasteful USDA programs, including the federal wolf killing agency.  I personally think that cutting Wildlife Services budget is one of the best things we can do to protect our native wildlife from government directed killing.

– – – –
Cuts to Wildlife Service’s proposed by Obama’s budget.  Note that FY 2012 begins on October 1, 2011

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY12budsum.pdf
page 84
Wildlife Services:
Wildlife Damage Management

2010 enacted $79 million
2011 Estimate $79 million
2012 Budget $69 million.  Ask for zero, RM

Land agencies could endure heavy cuts under new Bush budget

Bush released his proposed FY 2009 budget yesterday. It cuts just about every domestic government agency and program. Defense would get a 7% increase.

Land management agencies get the ax again. The National Park Service is said to be one exception, although the story in the Missoulian as an update indicates even this is slight-of-hand. The oil and gas portion of the BLM’s budget will go up. Land agencies could endure heavy cuts. By Noelle Straub. Billings Gazette Washington Bureau.

His budget received heavy criticism in Congress. I found the Republican National Committee had good things to say about the budget on-line, but the National Republican Congressional Committee (the Republican caucus in the House) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee were silent.

The major newspapers I read were critical. There will be a big battle over this budget.

Update. National Parks budget falls short, critics say. By Michael Jamison. The Missoulian

Update. Congress Looks Askance at Bush’s Budget. By Jim Abrams. AP.

All-terrain vehicles restricted to only some terrain. Government limits off-road recreation

All-terrain vehicles restricted to only some terrain. Government limits off-road recreation. By Patrick O’Driscoll. USA Today.

The days of legal, recreational cross country travel on public lands of the United States (that is, off road or off trail) are just about over. Of course, there is little money to enforce it right now due to the failure of the Bush Administration to seek adequate funds for the agencies. On the other hand, the inexpensive way to write the rules if you have little money is to say “nothing off-trail” and a route is closed to motor vehicles unless a sign says it is open to them.

Related story in southern Idaho. Geared for conflict. Public land use evolves with high ATV traffic. By Matt Christensen. Times News.

Note: Congress actually appropriates the funds, but last year they could not produce a budget. So the government has been running for a year on a “continuing resolution,”or “CR.” which keeps the old budget figures intact (except for the “supplemental appropriations” Congress has since passed, mostly for the civil war in Iraq).

This year Congress has given the land management agencies a big increase, but Bush is threatening a veto and his stated that a CR might be OK for the second year a row.