Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
A VISIT TO NE OREGON
by Jim Beers, 5/15/07 - Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow...He testified three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority
On 5 May I spoke at a Symposium sponsored by the Oregon Freedom Alliance in Joseph, Oregon. While I spent all day and the evening with other participants and attendees discussing issues and problems facing this beautiful and remote corner of Oregon, the day before and the day after were spent driving through the valley, canyons and high forests meeting and talking to ranchers, an ex-logger, and local business men. It is a trip I think worth sharing with you.
The things I learned and saw gave me insights into topics I thought I knew before. The coming-together of so many government threats to freedom in NE Oregon reminded me of Nora Waln's famous book The Approaching Storm, One Woman's Story of Germany 1934-1938. Her simple narratives of everyday German citizens going about their business and those wondering where they could go to get away while property is seized and their lives are ordered and dictated by a far off central government came to mind while listening to stories of unresponsive state governments, Federal fiats, Nature Conservancy and Land Trust operations, Native American land claims and unexplained preferential roles in Federal land closures. Logging has all but disappeared on public lands in the Northern Rockies and the communities have suffered accordingly, ranchers are being forced out, grazing allotments are steadily reduced, dead (from disease and fire) timber that should be harvested rots on public lands waiting for the next lightning strike or spark, and the US Congress has just proposed taking 1.5 Million acres of National Forest in Oregon (where human uses and resource management have all but disappeared) and putting them in the National Park Service where the wastage of natural resources, lack of management, and elimination of access will be completed.
There are so many forces coming to bear on NE Oregon and I learned so much there that I don't know where to begin or how to keep this account understandable and in a readable length but I will try and I ask that you not be discouraged by its' length.
Coming Into the Country -
The Idaho paper (I flew in and out of Boise) featured a front-page article about how the US Forest Service, The Western Watershed Project, the Wilderness Society, and the Hell's Canyon Preservation Council are acting on recommendations of the Nez Perce Tribe to eliminate all sheep grazing in public lands on the Idaho side of Hell's Canyon because "domestic sheep transmit diseases" to bighorn sheep. This was in spite of "a 1997 agreement between the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, the Idaho Woolgrowers Association, and the Forest Service that allowed further reintroductions in exchange for an agreement that grazing would not be impaired". This is also in spite of a statement from the supervisor of the Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory in Reno that "Eliminating sheep grazing will probably have zero impact on the health status of bighorn sheep populations in the western United States." The fact that "27 percent of bighorn sheep are killed by cougars" went unaddressed in the article and was obviously of no concern to the Gang of Five cited above.
The Idaho paper also told us to "mark your calendar" because Robert F. Kennedy will speak on 28 May in Sun Valley, Idaho on "Our Environmental Destiny". Tickets are $45 and $100.
On the same day the paper ran an article about how "Alaska" can't "kill enough wolves". In spite of permitting aerial gunning and bounties and long hunting seasons only 175 of the targeted 664 were killed and only one of five areas met their goal. While all the "usual suspects" continue to sue to stop Alaska's wolf control efforts, there is no mention of the canard being circulated by bureaucrats, professors, and assorted ne'er-do-wells here in the lower 48 that "once wolves are delisted in the lower 48, they can be controlled in accordance with state plans". In Alaska, "trappers take most of the animals (sic, harvested wolves) for their hides" but all the pro-wolf folks are mostly anti-trap and anti-trapping advocates too. Methinks I smell a rat. Wolf "control" has always been an impossible task, with today's' land ownerships, all the anti-(kill, management, use, harvest, etc.) bureaucrats, politicians, radical lawsuit centers, and aerial hunt/poison prohibitions it is even more so as the wolves spread like the diseases and harms and dangers they carry with them. The wolf radicals and the old and new-type bureaucrats (that always think only of themselves) knew that it took posses, poisons, cooperative landowners and government and traps and access to wherever the wolves den or move and it still took years.
The local NE Oregon paper accuses "President Bush" of "cutting" the Forest Service budget while boosting "firefighting funding by 21 percent". There is no mention of the millions of acres closed to logging in recent years and all the Wilderness Areas (no-uses, no-management, and no roads to fight fires) and the 100's of millions of board feet of wood being added as standing and downed fire fuel each year. There is no mention of the role of grazing in minimizing fire-fuel build-up or the ruinous impacts of the elimination of these uses on the local communities and rural families. There is also no mention about how stopping logging and eliminating grazing and closing roads and letting game species decline has greatly reduced public land incomes available to manage the areas as well as all but eliminating revenue-sharing funds for local governments.
The local NE Oregon paper also informs us that, "70% of radio-collared elk calves are killed by cougars". (Oregon, actually the majority of Oregon voters in Portland and Eugene in a state referendum, has banned the use of dog packs, the only reliable and effective way to kill cougars. Since then cougar numbers and cougar depredations have skyrocketed, and hunter kills of cougars like elk and deer numbers have plummeted. As elsewhere, when dog hunting is banned the traditions and skills involved in training and managing a dog pack disappear like so many other useful skills and traditions like utilizing unwanted horses or trapping in New Jersey.) The article consoles us with "bull elk topped the old mark" "spotted last spring" because "regulations limit the number of bull elk that can be taken". How anyone can believe that protecting bull elk and bragging about their "abundance" while calves disappear and cow numbers go unmentioned, betokens elk hunting in the future is beyond me (same-sex tolerance doesn't betoken future population health here either in spite of government policies or tolerance). To add insult to this puff piece on elk, on the same page another article informs us that elk "Tags on the Starkey Experimental Forest Hunts will be cut" "in Area 252R from 86 to 25" and "in Area 252 D from 55 to 11". Elk and elk hunting are in serious trouble and it is just getting worse. Note that wolves are just entering here from Idaho and grizzly bears
(very efficient elk-calf killing machines) are being steered this way too by government and the radicals, but more on this later.
In the same section of the local paper on the same date there is a Fishing Report lauding the catching of small mouth bass, largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills, catfish, brook trout, brown trout, and yellow perch in various reservoirs, lakes, and streams. I hope no one is really enjoying this fishing because when the Federal government claims a mandate to "Eradicate Invasive Species" and "Restore Native Ecosystems" (just like they simply passed an unconstitutional law that outlawed cockfighting and the slaughter of horses) ALL THOSE FISH JUST MENTIONED WILL BE TARGETED FOR EXTINCTION IN OREGON SINCE THEY ARE ALL "INTRODUCED" OR "NON-NATIVE" SPECIES. Note further on in this report that the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
(among many other very harmful things) sets aside over a Million Acres and millions of dollars to "Rejuvenate" "NATIVE fisheries and wildlife populations". On the same page of the paper the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends "calling" cougars as a way to kill them (outside a
2-month closed season that is about as justifiable as planning to encourage grizzlies and wolves in this area). As much as I believe cougar populations are more than excessive and in need of trimming for human safety and their impacts on human lives, pets, stock, big-game, etc. and as much as I think of myself as having "nerve"; "calling" cougars is about as dangerous and ineffective a control method as I can imagine. But heck, even if some kid tries it and gets "nailed" by a cougar after listening to ODFW suggestions, will anyone at ODFW be held responsible? I don't think so. That is called having the best of both worlds (the imaginary one of animal rights and the real one of rural America). State and Federal bureaucrats are past masters at this.
And thus I arrived in Joseph, Oregon.
Touring The Country -
The valley is communities of ranches and farms cut by beautiful streams and ringed with spectacular peaks. The mountains are nearly all wooded public land and the Wallowa Valley is mostly private property checker boarded with farms and ranches and irrigation ditches and some delightful small towns supporting families working hard to make a living. The nearest Indian Reservation is many miles away from Joseph and Enterprise, Oregon where most of the Symposium attendees came from. Two days of driving around and speaking to people was an education in itself:
- The public lands are nearly all National Forests mostly encumbered with Wilderness Designated Areas.
- The Forest Service has stopped all logging and is eliminating grazing and closing some roads while simply abandoning others. Access, like uses, becomes more academic each year
- Forest Service campgrounds are being closed while "dispersed" camping is encouraged but only within 100 yards of the few remaining roads in certain areas.
- The Taj Mahal-like log cabin palace that sits on a high Valley hill and houses two Ranger District Offices and a big museum of stuffed critters did not know where two Forest Service employees were that I wanted to ask about getting a copy of the new Draft Forest Service Travel Management Plan. The big outdoor information/education board of pictures
(20-30?) as you approach the building shows all sorts of Forest scenes. There is NO picture of any USE whatsoever. No logging, no ranching, no sheep, no cattle, no hunting (not for grouse or hares or cougars or elk or deer -nothing), no fishing (I mistakenly thought one picture was about fishing but it was only a guy releasing a sturgeon that we were told was endangered and had to be released unharmed).
- We stopped at a remote Overlook high in the mountains that offered a spectacular view of many drainages and Idaho way off in the distance. There were hundreds of acres of dead trees visible nearby and no cattle or sheep or wildlife anywhere. A man sat in another pickup quietly glassing the areas with his binoculars when we pulled up. When we let the dogs out of our pickup to get some exercise, the man walked over and introduced himself. He was an ex-logger. His father and grandfather were loggers right here in these mountains. He pointed down to canyons and valleys that not so long ago had ranches and families and big game and logging. No more: the Forest Service (at the behest of Congress and radical organizations) had forced out and then purchased all the ranchers and grazers and stopped logging for no reason other than they "didn't have enough biological justification". Steadily in recent years Wilderness Areas have grown, Roadless Areas have sprouted, grazing allotments have been eliminated and hunting has declined as big game and access (both to get in and to haul out a carcass) has been restricted. Now that WOLVES ARE COMING INTO THE COUNTRY, BIRD DOGS AND RABBIT DOGS WILL DISAPPEAR AFTER A FEW ARE KILLED BY THE WOLVES and the hunting tradition, like the dog use and training tradition will wither. The anti-hunters will say it was Kismet while all along knowing it was their political influence and bureaucrat "partners" and the heavy hand of the Federal policies that did it. The Forest Service allows NO harvest of dead (from either disease or fire) timber in NE Oregon just like they did in Northern Minnesota after the big storm of rain and wind that killed and blew down millions of acres of trees in the late 90's and now is burning ferociously on the Canadian border near The Gunflint Trail. He told us that the Forest was growing about 140 Million Board Feet of timber a year. Only about 35 to 40 Million is still outside the Wilderness/Critical Habitat/Roadless, etc. designations and therefore available for management and harvest but it is also just building up as fire fuel and kept unavailable for harvest as lumber prices soar (like oil prices as we refuse to drill) and local communities shrivel. Logging is as opposed by today's Forest Service as hunting is opposed by the National Park Service ever since its inception. Attempts to authorize logging are resisted by the Federal bureaucrats, taken into Court by radical "ambulance chaser" environmental groups, and finally simply dropped because of "no funding to biologically determine the Ecosystem effects on every forbe, mouse, and invertebrate". This last quote is simply mine but you get the point. He went on to mention how his kids have left and how he sees no hope to remedy the insanity. The Federal bureaucrats are all tinker-belle tree huggers without the slightest bit of common sense or practical experience or understanding of managing renewable natural resources for the benefit of man. At the State level (like New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Washington et al) the urban dreamers and radicals (the urban majority) control the Oregon state legislature and the State and Federal politicians who cater to their imagined whims about predators, logging, ranching, dogs, rural life, etc. As we drove off it was as if we had just spoken to someone in church about how the culture is eroding all around with no remedy in sight but quiet prayer.
- A short while later we stopped and spoke with a rancher moving cattle to summer range on a prairie expanse of grass called the Zumwalt Prairie. He spoke of how the Nature Conservancy is buying up the Prairie and closing it to grazing and hunting. How the elk are crowding on to his pastures because they eat the grass stubble left after the cattle nub it down and do not use the thicker pastures growing up on The Nature Conservancy lands. We spoke about the likelihood of TNC reselling the land and the stupidity of selling TNC or one of the Land Trusts an easement on your land. There was mention of Indian (the Nez Perce Tribe far off in Idaho) Tribes being named in new Forest Service plans as having Federal cooperative "enforcement powers" with the Forest Service and how the Nez Perce are slated to manage a planned Federal fish hatchery as their claims and aggressiveness proliferate in the Valley. The likely purchase of the Zumwalt Prairie by the Federal government (Forest Service or Park Service) from TNC (at a hefty profit to tax-exempt TNC of course) and the mysterious Indian role with both TNC and with the Federal bureaucracies and the lack of any State role were all of concern.
- People in towns spoke of the increased aggressive behavior of Indian customers about how they "own" the area. People were trying to find out from Forest Service "how" and "why" Indian tribes were involved in all the land use changes and future regulation of the Valley and mountains but were not given answers.
- I happened to pick up a very fancy four-page (brochure? mini-booklet?) titled NEZ PERCE (Nee Me Poo) NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL - OREGON - IDAHO - MONTANA - WYOMING. It is published by: The Nez Perce Trail Foundation, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. I strongly recommend you get a copy of this government map and look at the circled "Nez Perce Homelands" that includes NE Oregon, SE Washington, and all of North central Idaho. Remember this is an Official government map outlining "Homelands" of formerly nomadic tribes. Think about what these Indian "claims" result in, in today's US. Think about how this overlaps "Corridors" on "Wildlands" Project maps and grizzly/wolf "corridors" from Yellowstone and areas of "Wilderness" and "Roadless Areas" and closed public lands. Think about all the TNC involvement and Land Trust involvement and Forest Service/Park Service/Fish and Wildlife Service machinations in these lands (public AND private). Read the anti-American accounts of settlement and the sanitizing of Indian actions and motivations and then think about buried Americans every bit as beloved and respected by their descendants as are the equally brave Indians buried in this "Homeland" and then consider the American "dream" of equality and then consider what is going on today. Consider all the US Senators and Congressmen that have Indians on their staffs today. It is either coincidence or conspiracy based on casino donations in the Millions but it indicates a silent and extensive influence in the highest halls of government far in excess of population or most of our understanding of current issues before government. Indian "Preference", Indian casino money and political influence, and their role with these bureaucracies and radical environmentalists and animal rights extremists and the tax-exempt NGO's and "Foundations" deserves far more attention that it has received to date.
- The day before our Symposium in the same building was an afternoon "dog and pony" show by a Land Trust (or was it a Rangeland Trust or whatever) about selling property rights to these groups. I sat through part of it and watched people being told their taxes would "probably" be lowered
(not true) and that they would only be occasionally visited by some young lady to see how things are going instead of how their land will really be monitored by government satellite and that court cases to prosecute Owner/Easement Holders will be eagerly sought as a "message" to all other easement holders that they better be very careful "in perpetuity". The next day (the day of our Symposium there was to be a free bus and caravan and lunch for an all day trip to The Nature Conservancy lands on the Zumwalt Prairie. Hmmm.
THE SYMPOSIUM -
- A lawyer from Idaho that had extensive experience with Indian land claims and Indian government actions.
- A long-serving Montana State Senator (and former Montana State Legislator) with a long and outstanding record of preserving Montana sovereignty and traditions against all manner of Federal and outside-Montana forces. She recently obtained passage (to everyone's surprise and by a wide margin) of a sense of the Montana Legislature being opposed to the recently proposed (in the US Congress) Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act.
- A lady from the Klamath Farm Area in Northern California that explained how Federal bureaucracies, and Indian Tribes, and Environmental extremism organizations, and urban constituencies, and pandering politicians, and "neutered" State bureaucracies, and lies about salmon and suckers, and insidious Acts like The Endangered Species Act have harmed and destroyed farmers and farming and families and communities in SW Oregon and N California. (She also gave me some delicious organic horseradish and horseradish mustard grown and bottled on her farm.)
- A lady that taught me more about the modern American/Native American interface than I could have ever imagined. Did you know that George Washington referred to Indians as "My Brothers" and that only after President Jefferson began referring to Indians as "My Children" did American explorers and soldiers and settlers begin telling the Indians about a "Great White Father" and treating them as simply dangerous "Children" (albeit often extremely dangerous ones)? Knowing this it becomes more understandable about how national expansion excluded Native Americans and resulted in the "reservations" where they were simply excluded in so many ways from the progress and equality and dreams being pursued all around them. I highly recommend her book, GOING TO PIECES, The Dismantling of the United States of America by Elaine Devary Willman. I believe the book is available from Elaine D. Williams, PO Box 1280, Toppenish, WA 98948. You won't be sorry.
I was asked to speak about the "New" "Draft" Forest Service Travel Management Plan, the recently introduced "Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act", and wolves.
- The Forest Service Travel Management Plan was recently mentioned in a news release. It is a (proposal? done deal?) to go way beyond the current Forest Service Wilderness Areas closures, Roadless Area declarations, and Critical Habitat claims AND CLOSE THOUSANDS OF MILES OF ROADS, TRAILS, PATHS, AND TRAVEL ENABLERS THROUGHOUT the National Forest System. I went online and found out it is NOT AVAILABLE online. I called a Washington, DC phone number that was supposed to make it available but I got a recording and a call-back three days later when I was gone. (NOTE: As I write this 9 days later upon returning from a South Carolina trip I just hung up on a call from Oregon. The Forest Service is going to have 3 sessions this week in 3 Oregon towns to "explain" the Travel Management Plan and "The People" will have 45 days to "comment" before it is implemented as designed.)
- The Democrats in the US House of Representatives and many Republicans and 3 Oregon Congresspersons have recently introduced The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act. This will declare 20.5 Million Acres of public lands in the "northern Rockies" as Wilderness. It will "designate 1,810 miles of Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers. It will "establish "a system of Biological Linkage CORRIDORS to connect the region's core WILDLANDS" (3.4 Million Acres). It will "establish a system of WILDLAND Restoration Areas" (1 Million Acres) where "NATIVE fisheries and wildlife populations will be REJUVENATED". It will designate a large area next to Glacier National Park "as the Blackfeet Wilderness where traditional NATIVE American USES and treaty rights are fully protected." ("Wilderness" & "USES"??) It will add two units to the National Park System. 285,000 Acres "adjacent to Glacier National Park" and "1.4 Million Acres, the Hell's Canyon - Chief Joseph National Park and Preserve Study Area." These last two purport to maintain "traditional uses such as hunting, fishing and firewood gathering and SOME motorized use". If this same ploy is the scam (Mojave "Preserve" under the Park Service in California) pulled a couple of years ago in California it is only a short matter of time until "plinking" is prohibited, hunting seasons (if the cougars, wolves, and approaching grizzly bears don't make it all academic first) will be found to be "insufficiently justified biologically", and in-holding land owners will find their land records missing and Park Service personnel will harass landowners they want to evict at 2 AM and just laugh at local law enforcement deputies that ask them to desist. This Hell's Canyon - Chief Joseph Park will engulf NE Oregon and be the final nail in its destruction as a usable and productive part of the United States of America. I ask EVERY CONCERNED AMERICAN to find out if your Congressman has "sponsored" (over 180 did) this Act or plans to vote for it. IF THEY SAY YES, PLEASE WORK TO DEFEAT THEM or your area will eventually suffer what they have in store for NE Oregon and "The Northern Rockies Ecosystem".
- Wolves are crossing the Snake River from Idaho and entering Oregon. They will add to the carnage being wrought on elk and deer by cougars. Grizzlies are being planned to follow through the "Corridors" and "Wildlands" and "Wilderness" mentioned in the above bill and in the increasingly closed areas in the "secret" and euphemistically-named "Travel Management Plan" (sounds like "Expedia-dot-com" don't you think?)
My talk covered a wide range of topics:
- How there are similarities between what is going on here and in Florida with Everglades "Restoration"; what is going on in Nebraska and Colorado with Federal land and water claims; what is going on in Maine with TNC; what is going on with Wisconsin wolves and Florida panthers and black bears.
- How the bureaucrats lie and mislead and co-opt State agencies like the NPS establishing the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area; and the USACoE & NPS & FWS & NMFS & DC government polluting the Potomac River and Endangered Sturgeon spawning beds for years by nighttime dumping of poisons; how the nonsense about grizzly bears and lynx "needing" Roadless Areas is pure propaganda spun later into partial justification for more takeovers like "Travel Management Plans" and new "Parks" and "Wilderness".
- How two retired guys in E Connecticut exposed lies in a recent attempt by FWS and State employees to gain control of a Connecticut River and a highway and "viewsheds" and how they made them go away at least for the present. I shared the document they created with others. There was also a casino and casino licensing claims and rumors swirling around during this fiasco too.
- How the Federal government no longer has ANY qualms about elbowing state and local government aside as well as American citizens. Recent Federal laws outlawing crossing state lines for a cockfight and outlawing the right of horse owners to slaughter their unwanted horses are two examples. These emotional laws are simple pandering by politicians to people who simply dislike what others and their "ancestors for generations and centuries" (like Indian "traditions and customs"??) and will vote for and send money to politicians that deny other Americans their property rights, traditions, and heritage. They are repugnant to anyone who cherishes freedom and understands the principles of Republics. But each of these things only affect "others" we all say. Like the dog owners and veterinarians who feel sanctimonious up until it is their turn in the barrel.
- I recommended filing Freedom of Information Requests about things like "Indian enforcement" or "Travel Management" planning, etc. I even showed them how to go about it and why, since you can no longer trust any political appointee or bureaucrat to file FOIAs simultaneously to the Secretaries of Ag and Interior and the Heads of each agency (FWS, FS, NPS, & BIA).
- The fact that I could not obtain a copy of the Travel Management Plan is a travesty indicative of the adversarial relationship between government and its "partners" versus the American public slated to be affected by government actions. This Plan will further importune rural communities and their economies as well as hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife management and rural life. The reason they get away with all this is because NO ONE ANY LONGER REPRESENTS US. Our politicians look away. Federal bureaucrats feather their own nests. "Our" organizations do not represent us (Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation supports wolves, Trout Unlimited support INVASIVE SPECIES eradication, National Beef Cattlemen's plant lobbyist is now a Public Affairs employee of FWS, State fish and wildlife agencies do WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ASSURE NEW AND INCREASED FEDERAL FUNDING ,THROUGH FWS OF COURSE, FOR SIMPLE ECOSYSTEM MONITORING AND "PRESERVATION" INSTEAD OF MEASURABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT GOALS.
- I spoke at length about the problems that will arrive with wolves and particularly the fact that the recent 100-page Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Management Plan (just like the Federal "Recovery" Plan) doesn't even mention all the deadly diseases that wolves carry and transmit. I talked about anthrax, and brucellosis, and rabies, and foot and mouth, and mad cow, and chronic wasting disease, and neosporosis caninum, and all the parasites wolves carry internally and transmit in their feces. I told them how I asked the Oregon State Veterinarian and the Oregon fish and wildlife Veterinarian about this two years ago at a meeting of the Oregon Cattlemen and how the Vets admitted there was no "research" but since they were "veterinarians, they knew" and how the two of them left that room after the meeting like two rabbits at a greyhound race. But still it goes unmentioned.
- I talked about all the abuse by NPS at a similar "Preserve" in California.'
- I warned them about the dangerous times we are in. Gargantuan Park and Wilderness Proposals in Congress. A President signing off on travesties like outlawing cockfighting travel and horse slaughter; and now "considering" the long-discredited and step-toward-world-government Law of the Sea Treaty. The rush to think the sky is falling over global warming so big government and more restrictions are the only answer is also ominous. The current Republican (and former Idaho Governor) Secretary of the Interior setting an incredibly unjust precedent that if ice is thinning in some spots temporarily we "must List" Polar Bears under the Endangered Species Act. Well, #1 the idea that an overly abundant critter (there are more than 5 or
6 times as many as there were 30 years ago and they were hunted and doing fine then) should be "Listed" because of a habitat change (maybe more seals as there are will go North with less ice and so feed the polar bears that they will be fat, dumb, happy, and prolific?) when bears are very adaptable critters is a dangerous legal precedent and #2 these bears have been fully "protected" for thirty five years by the absolute (and unconstitutional) Marine Mammal Protection Act: so this "listing is just political grandstanding.
- Speaking of political grandstanding and 35 years brought me to my gravest warning of all. 35 plus years ago a Democratic House of Representatives was obsessed with what they held was the unjust reelection of President Nixon. We were involved with the withdrawal from and betrayal of South Vietnam. There was sex and drugs everywhere and demonstrations that exposed acidic hatreds amongst many Americans. As tough decisions about Vietnam were made publicly and secretly and as Watergate emerged and Democrats smelled blood in the water and Republicans sought to appear as being as "caring" as their political opponents: something funny happened. The environmental radicals, and animal rights extremists, and cultural socialists suddenly were being catered to by politicians worried about hanging on to power. In short order, Roe v Wade and The Endangered Species Act and The Marine Mammal Protection Act and The Animal Welfare Act emerged to rule the land. The United States plunged ever deeper into the UN and adapted policies like opposing whaling by other nations and forcing Third World Countries to tolerate and forgo development while overpopulated elephants and crocodiles killed people and destroyed crops and fisheries and untreated mosquitoes (mustn't use DDT) were shameful and reprehensible policies for any nation to adopt. Today we have a Democrat Congress assaulting a Republican president with awful venom. Iraq is very similar to Vietnam. The same-sex controversies and erosion of marriage occupies the attention of many Americans. Wilderness and Parks and the spread of deadly and harmful animals proliferate. The US is rushing to the Law of the Sea and Kyoto Treaties in spite of their clear and debilitating effects on this country and our sovereignty. We moan about gas prices as we refuse to allow refinery construction or expansion or to drill for the oil we know we have in many locations. We simply use an outgoing President's "Executive Order" to keep the second largest deposit of low-sulfur coal in the world in the ground as nearby states whine for more and cheaper power. We support bird-killing wind propellers that produce little power when it is needed and imagine (foolishly like the environmental and animal rights imaginings driving the harms all around NE Oregon) that simply legislating higher mileage for new cars will "solve" our "energy crisis" and reduce the flow of millions of dollars to nations full of terrorists that want to kill us all. These are not only dangerous times: they are the sort of political times where politicians want all kinds of "feel-good" diversions of our attention while they connive and care for themselves rather than us just like 35 to 40 years ago. The kind of times when the forces arrayed around NE Oregon feel empowered. The kind of times when "all good men must come to the aid of their country".
- I concluded with some suggestions like reforming University curriculums in the natural resource areas. Repealing or amending bad laws. Forcing elected state and Federal politicians to exercise their responsibility to oversee and manage instead of manipulate bureaucracies. Reversing the slide into a Federal dictatorship by reasserting States Rights by electing tough State politicians and only hiring loyal (to the State) employees. Eliminating "Preferences" from sex and race to Native, this will allow qualifications and performance to reassert themselves (this is badly needed). Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence often: you will be pleasantly surprised by the vision and insights and ideas they can spur.
So there you have it. Not exactly the bureaucrats' vision or the view seen by The Nature Conservancy or the Indian Tribes. Not what the hunting organizations or state fish and wildlife agencies want said. Not what the Federal politicians want known and not what the universities will admit is the truth. Not what the urban (blue) voters want to hear and not what the rural (red) voters want to address nationally. Not what dog owners want to know is the future (none) of bird-hunting dogs or rabbit dogs or watchdogs or even pets other than to be torn apart by a cougar or wolf or grizzly that bureaucrats and radicals protect yet have not one ounce of responsibility for.
It IS what the families and communities of NE Oregon need to understand and plan to stand up to or be swept away from their homes and way of life and the places of THEIR "ancestors". It "ain't" pretty and it "ain't" going to be easy but it must be done. If the residents get swept away without a fight, shame on them: if they get swept away in spite of doing their best shame on the government and all its "partners". If the residents win; like Alexander's conquest of the mighty and larger Babylonian army, "Men will speak of it for Ages".
15 May 2007
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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