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 FIRE 'EM ALL  (about culling elk in Rocky Mt Nat. Park, and introducing wolves)

And don't even save one to sound cadence

by Jim Beers, 4/27/06

(From the 26 April 2006 Washington Times, "Park backs shooters to cull elk"
on page 2.)

The Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has 3,000 elk and must reduce
them by half because they have "severely overgrazed the park" according to a
"two-year study by park biologists".  The "park biologists" recommend "five
alternatives: dramatic use of sharpshooters to reduce the herds by 50
percent or more; no management; fertility control; limited use of
sharpshooters; and reintroduction of wolves."

The "biologists" recommended "sharpshooters from the National Park Service,
other government agencies, and private contractors would remove 200 to 700
elk a year for four years.  For the next 16 years shooters would cull 25 to
160 elk each year".  A Miss Johnson says "the herds would be kept at 1200 to
1600 animals".  She goes on to say "Wolves might be used if the
sharpshooters and redistribution aren't effective".  She continues, "the
wolves would be managed intensively and animals that cause problems outside
the park could be shot or trapped."  Oh, really?

What unadulterated feces laced with lies. But since it is presented as a
biological study, the papers run it like some papyrus found in jars in a
cave in the Holy land and urban commuters are tempted to send money to
someone or to vote for whoever gets more money for the National Park

1.      Run the math.  Kill "200 to 700" elk one year in a herd of 3,000 and
next year's recruitment (baby elk) replaces them with ease.

2.      Killing "25 to 160 elk each year" is about as effective as upping
the speed limit in the Park in hopes that more elk (forget about people in
these animal rights crusades) will die from auto crashes.  In other words it
amounts to nothing.

3.      The two items above are perfect evidence that we are not dealing
with "biologists" but government activists with agendas.  The mention of
"1200 to 1700" elk in 20 (4+16) years is pure farce.

4.      "Miss Johnson" should be sent up to Yellowstone so this Park Service
employee can tell all the Montana/Wyoming/Idaho hunters, ranchers, dog
owners, and other rural bumpkins that wolves "that cause problems outside
the park could be shot or trapped."  It would probably be advisable to tell
the Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers about this too.  What
a whopper that is run in a national newspaper as if it were true!

5.      Does anyone with a head think that the Park that is now announced as
"severely overgrazed" will endure a 20-year, expensive, and ineffective elk
control program?

6.      What is this about wolves being introduced to control elk?  Doesn't
the Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and increasingly state
fish and wildlife agencies (those that look to the US Fish and Wildlife
service for their future funding) protest that the wolves "don't cause" or
"aren't responsible for" the collapse of elk herds in the Northern Rockies?
Are these different wolves or perhaps different elk?  Our bureaucrats wouldn't
lie to us, would they?  When convenient "wolves don't depress game animal
populations" and when convenient "wolves will control game animal

Setting aside the propaganda above, the underlying facts are apparent to
anyone with eyes and a smidgeon of common sense.  They want to introduce
wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park to quicken and increase the spread of
the wolves throughout the West.  This will more quickly collapse big game
hunting, ranching, grazing allotments, logging, and increase the cry for
more government land and more "closed" land to spread things like
"wilderness", "roadless", and "native ecosystem" nonsense that will be
justified as wolves discourage all manner of rural life and economies.  The
problem is that Yellowstone National Park is an island of Exclusive Federal
Jurisdiction (no state has any say there about anything) like the Mall in
Washington, DC but unlike Rocky Mountain National Park where Colorado has
jurisdiction over nearly all Federal property in the state.  Unless the Park
Service and all their fellow travelers want to dump their next pack of
wolves on the Mall (and the chances of that are?), they have to either let
the wolves keep spreading on paw power or get permission from state
government (the elected government that may or may not delegate that
authority to the state fish and wildlife agency).

But wait, the final irony hidden away in this affair is hunting.  Hunting
(animal killing by authorized and licensed citizens as opposed
"sharpshooter" Federal employees and "contractors') is prohibited in
National Parks.  Why?  Because there is a law is the answer.  Can't a law be
amended or repealed?

Think about this current emergency of an overgrazed Park.  It is like the
recent Park Service and Fish & Wildlife Service whining to Congress for
Invasive Species authority and money because the Parks and Refuges are
"under attack" and "native species are imperiled".   For years, actually
decades, the Parks have been overgrazed dramatically by elk and deer and the
plant communities in the Parks have been a disgrace to anyone realizing what
they should be like.  Did the Park Service care?  Nope.  Did the US Fish and
Wildlife Service say anything?  Nope.  Now that they want to jump-start
wolves in Colorado (or get lots of new "Invasive Species money during a
manufactured hysteria [think "tree snakes", "killer bees", "snakeheads",
"kudzu", et al]) we are treated to these propaganda pieces in the newspapers
on a daily basis.

Why, if this is such a dire emergency, don't we change the law and authorize
hunting in the Park?  Hunters PAY the PARK and the State to hunt.  They take
tests.  They hunt where you want (Zone 3, Beers' Peak, from a stand 12'
above the ground, etc.), with what you want (bolt action, shotgun, bow,
crossbow, muzzleloader, etc.) and when you want (sunrise to noon, the 3rd
through the 8th).  You can forecast their success rate so you can distribute
them in numbers sufficient to get the harvest (RIGHT NOW) that you say you
need.  The hunters use the meat and hides with minimal or no waste.  Hunters
contribute millions to the local economy.  Hunter fees can be and are used
to manage fish and wildlife and to pay for Operations and Maintenance on
public lands.  Instead of a hit and miss (but eventual extermination of elk
by wolves) or fairy-land, Rube Goldberg scheme ("25 to 160 elk per year",
etc) hunting could get the elk herd to the desired level in no time (not
twenty years or someday).  Government "sharpshooters" and "contractors" cost
all of us lots of money.  Why would anyone (in their right mind) recommend
such expense when a quicker and more predictably efficient method THAT
GENERATES INCOME is available?

You can answer these questions whether or not you have a "biologist" degree
or ever worked for government.  These are questions for all of us and they
are decisions that are made ultimately by the officials WE ELECT.  Our
elected officials condone this tripe.  Don't let this stuff slip by in
papers or on the radio or anywhere else.  The officials and bureaucrats
perpetrating this stuff should be fired and as I said, don't even keep one
to sound cadence.

Jim Beers
27 April 2006

- If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

- This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at
http://jimbeers.blogster.com   (Jim Beers Common Sense) or at

- Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak.  Contact:

- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist,
Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.
He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and
Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western
Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the
Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security
Supervisor in Washington, DC.  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.  He resides in Centreville,
Virginia with his wife of many decades.




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