New Mexico’s Rep. Steve Pearce spreading lies and hysteria

Long time wildlife foe, Pearce spreading lies about protecting lizard and jobs-

Politics and reality clash in New Mexico. Posted on May 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn. Summit County Citizens Voice.

Although he was out of office for a couple years, newly elected Pearce (R-US Rep)  is up to his old tricks, made meaner for these lean times.

Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says protecting the lizard will cost no jobs, Pearce says it will have a big effect.

My view is these people (Republican office-holders like Pearce) can play around with causing a default on the national debt without worrying about jobs, but they won’t let this get past them  — a lizard versus oil jobs is just too good for rabble rousing to let it pass.

Kiren Suckling executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity called, “Congressman Pearce’s campaign of misinformation and hysteria is a threat to democracy.” A healthy democracy requires good information and trustworthy politicians. When people like Pearce abuse their positions of power and promote hysteria with fear mongering, they undermine the foundation of democracy and civil society.” This is from “Group Calls on New Mexico Congressman to Recant False Statements About Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. News Release.

New Mexico woman killed in attack by 4 dogs

Pit bull mixes attacked while she was on a walk-

I won’t bother to say the obvious about the danger of dogs versus wolves.

Killer dogs attackIdaho Statesman.

Mexican wolf population finally increases a bit

Grows from 42 to 50 in the year 2010-

Finally there’s a little bit of good news about Mexican wolves. After the population stagnated well below the recovery figure of 100 wolves, I has declined in recent years.  In 2010, on the strength of wild born pups and a halt on government killing for livestock depredations, it grew by 8.  The wolves were about equally distributed between Arizona and New Mexico.

Illegal shootings were the leading cause of death.

Federal biologists count 50 Mexican wolves in wild. Associated Press

A Valles Caldera National Park At Long Last?

Famed former Baca Ranch could emerge as national park after failed “free market” experiment-

I have never been to this famous New Mexico supervolcano area with its scenic, but degraded grasslands and forests.  The area is notable for its elk, but the herd is much smaller than it could be due to the competition with livestock.

In 2000 this former ranch was purchased by the U.S. government to become a national preserve, but under the rules of right wing ideology.  The former ranch, as a preserve, was to be managed by the Valles Caldera Trust.  It was supposed to be run much like a ranch — generate its own income by grazing, logging, oil and gas, and maybe geothermal development, and expensive visitor fees. These are hardly the rules the public expects for land it bought for scenic and environmental protection.

At the time, I wrote the whole thing off as a waste of money doomed to fail, and I forgot about it.  I was right. The area could not support itself financially without destroying its amenities. Today it is overgrazed and too expensive to use, and the local public wants it transferred to the National Park Service to restore it and allow affordable public access.

There is a bill before Congress (S.3452) by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Tom Udall (D-NM) to transfer it to the Park Service.  If it becomes a national park, or some other public land unit, it will have to be rehabilitated.

RLMiller at Daily Kos has written a number of articles about it. Here is his latest. Hike On: A Valles Caldera National Park At Long Last? July 3, 2010

Wolf-recovery program now ‘at risk of failure’

Cumulative impacts of many factors cited

A new report by the Us Fish and Wildlife Service assesses the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the news isn’t good.

Cumulatively there are many risks for the population.  Among them are poaching, too many controls related to depredation, small litter sizes and low pup survival possibly related to inbreeding.

The report states:

While it is not biologically reasonable to expect the population to track exactly with predictions or to increase every year, population swings over the last 5 years, coupled with a steady decline in the number of breeding pairs over the last 3 years, and inability of the project to achieve its objective to increase the minimum population by 10 percent in each of the last 2 years, indicate that the cumulative effects of identified threats coupled with the population’s biological parameters are putting the population at risk of failure.

Wolf-recovery program now ‘at risk of failure’.
Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ

REINTRODUCTION PLANNED AS EARLY AS THIS MONTH

This story appeared last week while I was gone and there was a little discussion about it on the open thread but I think it deserves its own thread.

The significance of this story is not so much that wolves are being released into the wild but that it is happening in Mexico close to the border and that if any of these wolves or their progeny enter into the U.S. they will have full protection under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be legally killed even if they are preying on livestock.

This would have significant implications for the floundering Mexican wolf recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico which announced that there are only 42 wolves in the wild, down from the 52 last year. These wolves are considered an experimental, non-essential population.

One of the main hinderances of the current recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico is that there are arbitrary boundaries inside which the wolves must stay. Wolves reintroduced into Mexico would not have these boundaries because they wouldn’t be considered an experimental, non-essential population under the Endangered Species Act.

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ
Tim Steller – Arizona Daily Star

Mexican wolf population dipping

Only 42 Mexican wolves!

This was contributed by “TallTrent” on “Have you run across any interesting news?”

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On December 28,  I posted an article about the status of Mexican wolves that was pessimistic, but some folks from the area commented that things were looking up.  This story casts doubt on that.

Mexican wolf population dipping. “Officials say total from last year was down nearly 20%.” Tony Davis and Tim Steller. Arizona Daily Star.

Almost all the pups in 2009 ended up dead, and it was an unusually large and hopeful number of pups. I don’t know if it was disease, but the Mexican wolf population is one that is clearly in or close to a genetic bottleneck. High pup mortality is often one result of this.