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.

Victory for Jaguars: Obama Pledges Recovery Plan, Habitat Protection

Good news below in the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity-

Capping a 13-year battle to save the American jaguar from extinction, this week the Center for Biological Diversity won a decision from the Obama administration to develop a recovery plan and protect essential habitat for North America’s largest and most endangered cat.

The Bush administration had twice declared that it would not recover, reintroduce, or do anything to protect jaguars in the United States. Twice the Center’s legal team filed suit and struck down the illegal decisions. This left the final decision up to Obama, but until the last moment, we were uncertain he would do the right thing as he has not made endangered species a priority to date.

Now that the Obama administration has committed to developing a federal recovery plan and mapping out the jaguar’s critical habitat, the long, hard work of saving the American jaguar can begin.

Read more in the Arizona Daily Star.

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Earlier we had reported bad news. U.S. Fish and Wildlife misses deadline on jaguar recovery plan

Mexican wolves have as bad a year in ’09 as in ’08

Hope for the future with plans to reduce “controls” for livestock depredations?

High mortality for the small population of Mexican wolves continued this year with the population again ending at about 50 wolves. Under new management plans it is hoped that government wolf removal for killing livestock will abate.

Another deadly year for Mexican wolf. By Associated Press

12/29. Note: An informed comment indicates 2009 was a bit of an improvement.

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Recently on this blog. Federal officials [said to] look for ways to make Mexican wolf recovery a success in the Southwest. Dec. 7, 2009.

Federal officials [said to] look for ways to make Mexican wolf recovery a success in the Southwest

A lot of this article is just blue sky exaggeration-

This article’s URL was emailed to me by someone familiar with the Mexican wolf program. Federal officials look for ways to make wolf recovery a success in the Southwest. By Susan Montoya Bryan. LA Times.

My email friend wrote: “I read these stories and I can’t keep a straight face.  Mexican wolves have killed hundreds of cattle in the last decade?  At best they got 52 of the “little buggers” so any talk of hundreds of dead cattle is absurd.  I certainly hope that someone . . . makes a stand on this kind of misinformation.  If any ranchers have gone out of business or plan to in the future I would think they could come up with a believable story rather than a laughable one………..”

NM man pleads guilty in Mexican wolf death

Rare justice for a dead Mexican wolf-

NM man pleads guilty in wolf death. By Susan Montoya Bryan. Associated Press Writer

Editorial opinion: Let science lift number of Mexican gray wolves

As a note, David Parsons was director of the Mexican wolf recovery program in its early and more successful years. His Bush boss fired him. Several years ago, he won our “Alpha Award” (awarded by the Wolf Recovery Foundation).

Let science lift number of Mexican gray wolves. By Rich Fredrickson and David Parsons. The Arizona Republic.

Who’s Afraid of…

On the Mexican wolf recovery program-

“The [Mexican] wolves will go extinct,” Michael Robinson, conservation advocate with the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, says. “If the program is continued exactly the way it is now, these wolves will go extinct.”

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In my view the federal government’s Mexican Wolf Recovery program is one of the most screwed up, politicized, and incompetent recovery programs the federal government has ever done. Wolves reproduce rapidly, and while we should not expect the rapid population growth here like the wolves in the northern Rockies because the Mexican wolf is extinct in the wild, there is plenty of prey and the Mexican wolves usually adapt  quickly to the wild, have pups, and their pups have pups if the federal government doesn’t shot them first.

Recovery was on track until 2003 when the Fish and Wildlife Service signed an agreement establishing the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (“A MOC”). The local livestock operators are required to do even less than their counterparts in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It’s like leaving their truck full of fuel, with keys in the ignition, and their credit card on the seat.

As a result, now the population is stagnant, having declined to 50 animals. It is like a minor “put and take” fishery. Note that this analogy is not original with me. Ralph Maughan

Who’s Afraid of… The big bad wolf? When it comes to New Mexico’s recovery program, the real fear is the wolves won’t be saved. By Laura Paskus. Sante Fe Reporter.

San Juan coal plant celebrates pollution control upgrades

New controls complete after more than 60,000 air quality violations-

New controls. Farmington (NM) Daily Times.

This has long been a major polluter of the air and water of the 4-Corners country of the southwest.

Posted in Coal, energy, politics, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: , . Comments Off on San Juan coal plant celebrates pollution control upgrades

Victory in Mexican wolf lawsuit

Legal success is only a first step, however-

Judge sides with environmentalists in wolf case.
By Susan Montoya Bryan. Associated Press Writer.

The victory was that the judge rejected the federal government’s motion to throw the case out.

2008 Mexican wolf count official — 52 wolves

2008 was a year of no growth. It ended with 2 breeding pairs of wolves-

Update (2/6/09) Feds: Killings hamper Mexican wolf populationAP

Update (2/6/09) CBD Press Release – Mexican Wolf Breeding Pairs Drop to Two in 2008: Federal Trapping and Shooting Brings Reintroduced Population of Endangered Species to Brink of Collapse

~ be

Here is the news release from USFWS

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Southwest Region (Arizona ● New Mexico ● Oklahoma ●Texas) http://southwest.fws.gov

Public Affairs Office; PO Box 1306

Albuquerque, NM 87103

505/248-6911

505/248-6915 (Fax)

News Release

For Release: February 6, 2009

Contacts: Jeff Humphrey, 505-248-6909 or 602-680-0853

2008 MEXICAN WOLF POPULATION SURVEY COMPLETE

A total of 52 Mexican wolves were counted in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2008, according to the annual survey conducted by the Interagency Field Team for wolf reintroduction. There were also 52 Mexican wolves recorded in the 2007 survey. Surveys are conducted in January of each year. Pups born in the summer must survive to December 31 to be counted as part of the Mexican wolf population. Fixed-wing aircraft and functional radio-telemetry were used to confirm five wolf packs on New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, five packs on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, and six lone wolves – two in Arizona and four in New Mexico. The survey indicated that there were only two pairs that met the federal definition of breeding pairs at year’s end.

Of the 52 wolves, 45 were born in the wild. One captive born female wolf (F836) was released to the wild in 2008. In 2008, one wolf was temporarily captured twice after dispersing outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, but the animal was translocated back into the recovery area on both occasions. In previous years, wolves were removed because of livestock depredation, for dispersing outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area or repeated nuisance behavior. No such wolves were removed in 2008. Illegal shooting was the leading cause of documented loss of wolves in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

Northern New Mexico rancher kills 39 pronghorn with shotgun and ATV

Northern New Mexico rancher kills 39 pronghorn with a shotgun and ATV. By Jeff Jones. ABQJournal.com

Note this newspaper will let you read one article for free.

A 1997 New Mexico law allows ranchers to shoot “crop-threatening game.”

There is too much of this going on in the West, and it is time for a backlash against this. It’s not just wolves as they would have us believe. As I wrote before, the livestock industry has no use for wildlife, although individual ranchers may show some appreciation, not in this case.