Land And Water U.S.A.




Sunday, December 31, 2017

ALASKAN TUNDRA OPEN FOR BUSINESS

A little slice of Alaskan tundra is finally open for drilling
Tax bill provision opens ANWR, to bring more oil online and keep Alaska pipeline operating
Paul Driessen
Way back in 1980, Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, establishing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and making numerous other land use decisions for our 49th state. Section 1002 of the act postponed a decision on managing ANWR’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, which has enormous oil and gas potential and is important summertime wildlife habitat.
For four decades, environmentalists blocked legislation that would have opened the coastal plain to leasing and drilling. In 1995 President Clinton vetoed a pro-drilling bill that had passed both houses.
At long last, the tax-cut legislation just passed by Congress allows America to benefit from the petroleum resources that experts predict will be found in a small section of the plain, along Alaska’s northern coast. The legislation directs the Interior Department to hold at least two lease sales over the next 10 years, for a maximum of 2,000 acres opened to drilling. Analysts say the sales could fetch as much as $2.2 billion.
The area contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil, says Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Others put the petroleum potential even higher.
The U.S. Geological Survey and Congressional Research Service say it’s 95% likely that there are 15.6 billion barrels of oil beneath ANWR. With today’s exploration, drilling, fracking and other technology, up to 60% of that may ultimately be recoverable.
At $50 a barrel, that represents $460 billion that the USA would not have to send overseas; tens of billions in Alaskan and United States royalty and tax revenues; and thousands of jobs in oilfield, manufacturing and many other sectors.
After the IRS, oil company oil and gas royalty payments represent the single largest contribution to the U.S. treasury. Companies that produce from federal onshore and offshore leases pay royalties of up to 18% of wellhead prices, and then pay corporate taxes on profits and sales taxes at the pump. Workers pay income taxes, instead of receiving unemployment and welfare checks.
Every step in the leasing, drilling, production and pipeline process will require extensive environmental reviews. Unfortunately, each step will likely generate lawsuits and delays.
As they have since long before 1980, activists continue to claim that any drilling would destroy the entire ANWR area’s wilderness character and threaten its caribou, polar bears, birds and other wildlife. In all too typical hyperbole, League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski claimed the tax law provision will “turn one of our last remaining wild places into an industrial oilfield.” That’s absurd.
Alaska alone has 57 million acres (more than all of Utah) set aside as wilderness, plus tens of millions more wild acres off  limits to drilling in national park, wildlife refuge and similar designations. Nationwide, land several times the size of California is protected in these and other land use categories.
ANWR is the size of South Carolina: 19 million acres. Of this, far fewer than 2,000 coastal plain acres would actually be disturbed by drilling, roads and other development work. That’s 0.01% of ANWR; one-twentieth of Washington, DC; 20 of the buildings in which Boeing manufactured its 747 jetliners.
To claim this minimal impact will despoil the entire refuge is like saying a few farms and airports scattered along South Carolina’s northern border would kill wildlife and ruin scenery throughout the state.
The potentially oil-rich coastal plain is actually flat, treeless tundra, 3,500 miles from Washington, DC – and 50 miles from the beautiful Brooks Range mountains that feature so prominently and deceptively in Sierra Club and other anti-drilling campaigns.
Even more telling, the same environmentalists never object to forests of 400-foot-tall wind turbines installed in or next to forests, grasslands, wildlife sanctuaries, migratory bird flyways and other sensitive areas – where they slice and dice eagles, falcons, geese, bats and other magnificent flying creatures day after day, year after year.
During some eight months of winter, when drilling will take place, virtually no wildlife are present in the coastal plain. Food is buried under snow and ice, and temperatures plummet as low as minus 40 F. The tundra turns rock solid. Spit, and your saliva freezes before it hits the ground.
But the nasty conditions mean exploratory drilling can be done using roads, “drill pads” and even airstrips that are all constructed with ice and snow. Come spring, all of this will melt, leaving only puddles, little holes and a few permanent facilities. The caribou will return – just as they have for years at the nearby Prudhoe Bay and Alpine oilfields – and do what they always have: eat, hang out and make babies.
In fact, the Prudhoe Bay oilfield’s Central Arctic caribou herd is over 20,000 today, compared to 5,000 in 1975. Arctic fox, geese, shore birds and other wildlife also return each spring, along with the Alaska state bird: giant mosquitoes.
If oil is discovered, modern Arctic drilling technologies from small gravel pads will ensure minimal land impacts, as other North Slope operations have demonstrated. Each drill pad will support multiple wells, and modern directional and “extended reach” drilling technologies will allow companies to punch multiple holes a mile deep and five miles long in any direction, steering drill bits to penetrate multiple oil zones and hit distant targets far below the surface, without disturbing the tundra high above.
Coupled with the ability to fracture rock formations and stimulate them to produce far more oil and natural gas liquids than previously possible, this accuracy means a series of small sites totaling less than 2,000 acres could produce up to 15 billion gallons of petroleum annually.
That’s far better than producing 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually from corn grown on an area larger than Iowa: 36 million acres – via a process that also requires massive amounts of water, pesticides, fertilizers and fossil fuels, to create fuel that gets one-third less mileage per gallon than gasoline.
Inuit Eskimos who live in or near ANWR have supported drilling by an 8:1 margin. They no longer want to live in poverty – especially after having given up their traditional land claims for oil rights that Congress, greens, presidents and courts have repeatedly denied them.
Gwich’in Indians have opposed ANWR drilling, and some were paid by environmentalist groups to appear in anti-drilling commercials. However, they actually live hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Brooks Range. And they leased many of their own tribal lands to generate revenue. Their leased areas were close to a major caribou migratory route, where caribou often birth their calves before arriving in ANWR. Unfortunately for the Gwich’ins, no oil was found.
Drilling in ANWR will also ensure sufficient production to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in operation. Right now, declining North Slope production threatens to reduce oil in the pipeline to a point where it cannot stay sufficiently warm to flow under months-long winter conditions.
The pipeline needs between 250,000 and 350,000 barrels of oil per day to stay open. If there are inadequate supplies, because ANWR or other deposits are not developed, the pipeline will be shut down – leaving millions of barrels and billions of dollars behind. That makes ANWR oil doubly important.
Adding to the complexities, $50-per-barrel oil prices, shale development in the Lower 48, and decades-old seismic data mean relatively few oil companies may be interested in leasing acreage in the remote, frozen area. But America’s long-term strategic interests require a thorough look at ANWR’s potential.
Spending U.S. or Alaskan funds to pay an independent company to conduct high-tech modern seismic and other surveys of the coastal plain would ensure that energy companies and American citizens have the best possible information on which to base decisions on leasing and exploring those 2,000 scattered acres.
ANWR’s energy belongs to all Americans. It can and should be produced safely, to generate tremendous oil, gas, job, revenue and other bounties – in yet another huge benefit from this tax reform legislation.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of many books and reports on energy and environmental issues.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

HERBICIDES versus DROP DEAD

UN agency to Congress: Drop dead

IARC takes US money, manipulates studies, colludes with activists – and snubs Congress
By Paul Driessen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France has received over $48 million from America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), to determine whether various chemicals cause cancer in humans. Of more than 900 chemicals it has reviewed, only one was ever found non-carcinogenic. The latest substance to face IARC scrutiny is glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp.
Not surprisingly, the agency branded glyphosate carcinogenic. But this time evidence is surfacing of collusion with anti-chemical activist groups and class action lawyers, serious conflicts of interest involving a key IARC glyphosate reviewer, and IARC manipulation of scientific reports along with deliberate withholding of studies that concluded the chemical is safe, so that the agency could get a guilty verdict.
Despite this disturbing evidence, and demonstrable proof of the chemical’s safety, the European Union barely extended its authorization for glyphosate use, and then by just five years, instead of the usual 15.
The House of Representatives Science Committee is deeply concerned about this corruption of science, its potential impacts on US regulatory decisions, and the use of IARC rulings by predatory lawyers who are suing glyphosate manufacturers. It sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan (who oversees the NIH and its agencies) and IARC director Chris Wild. The letters “request” all relevant documents and the names of IARC-affiliated people who could testify at Committee oversight hearings. Dr. Wild’s artful and legalistic response emphasized “scientific consensus” among all review panel members; said “deliberative” documents would not be made available; claimed there were no conflicts of interest among any IARC reviewers; said he and his staff would not be “pressured” by “vested interests,” the media or Congress; and said congressmen can come to France if they want answers to their questions.
In other words: Drop dead. Members of Congress who authorize taxpayer funding for IARC have no right to scrutinize its deliberations and decisions, to ensure sound science, transparency and accountability.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is vital to modern agriculture – and one of the most extensively tested chemicals in history: some 3,300 studies over four decades attest to its safety. Indeed, virtually every reputable regulatory agency and scientific body in the world has determined that it does not cause cancer – including the European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Institute for Risk Assessment and US Environmental Protection Agency.
Only IARC says glyphosate causes cancer. To help it reach that conclusion, the agency employed the services of Italy’s Ramazzini Institute, which also concocted studies claiming cell phones and artificial sweeteners cause cancer. It relies on Ramazzini even though regulatory bodies in Europe, the United States and New Zealand have investigated and criticized Ramazzini’s sloppy, suspect pseudo-science.
Dr. Wild’s agency has also worked closely with Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the $690-million-a-year National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences or NIEHS (an NIH agency in the HHS). Birnbaum is also a member of the Collegium Ramazzini and has directed over $90 million of US taxpayer funds to her Ramazzini colleagues, many of whom serve on numerous IARC “expert panels.”
Evidence is accumulating that Brinbaum has worked closely with anti-chemical pressure groups and even trial lawyers, thereby undermining the US regulatory and chemical review process and perhaps ultimately forcing glyphosate off the market. She has helped to coordinate and direct these activities, and has turned the United States into IARC’s biggest donor, earmarking $4.2 million to support IARC’s current effort to list more agricultural and industrial chemicals as carcinogens – including artificial sweeteners. Even GMO foods are on the agency’s hit list.
The well-funded, carefully coordinated effort to eradicate weed-eradicating glyphosate has also involved a number of devious, secretive, deceptive actions.
The 2014 advisory group that decided IARC would review glyphosate was led by activist statistician Dr. Christopher Portier, who worked for years for NIEHS and Birnbaum. In fact, investigative journalists David Zaruk (Risk-Monger) and Kate Kelland (Reuters) discovered, Portier drove the glyphosate review, while also working for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund and serving as the only “invited specialist” on the working group that labeled glyphosate carcinogenic.
At the same time, Portier was also advising trial lawyers suing over other chemicals that IARC had found carcinogenic – and shortly after serving on the advisory group signed with the same lawyers to work on their glyphsate suits, a gig for which he has so far been paid $160,000. No conflicts of interest? Even more outrageous, as Ms. Kelland explained in another article, IARC repeatedly ignored or altered studies that exonerated glyphosate. One report clearly said the researchers “unanimously” agreed that glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in mice they had studied. IARC deleted the sentence.
In other cases IARC panelists inserted new statistical analyses that reversed a study’s original finding; quietly changed critical language exonerating the chemical; and claimed they were “not able to evaluate” a study because it included insufficient experimental data, while excluding another study because “the amount of data in the tables was overwhelming.” These machinations helped to ensure a “consensus.” Equally questionable, NIH Cancer Research Institute scientist Aaron Blair conducted a years-long study that also found glyphosate was not carcinogenic. But he held off on publishing his results, and did not divulge his findings, knowing IARC would leave “unpublished” work out of its analysis.
This is not science. It is manipulation and deception – supported by our tax dollars, and used to drive safe, widely used chemicals off the market.
Other activists repeatedly claim “endocrine disrupting” chemicals which don’t cause cancer or other harm in high doses somehow do so at barely detectable levels. Another clever ploy claims no actual exposure is needed; kids get cancer because their parents or grandparents were exposed to something, perhaps years ago. It’s ridiculous. But convincing a jury there’s no cause-effect relationship is a Sisyphean task.
The end result, if not the goal, is to undermine public confidence in science-based risk assessments, lend credibility to agitator claims that countless chemicals contaminate our foods and imperil our health, endlessly frighten consumers, and set the stage for billion-dollar lawsuits to enrich class-action lawyers and organic food interests.
More than 1,000 US lawsuits already claim glyphosate causes cancer, and law firms are running ads saying anyone who has cancer and was ever exposed to glyphosate in any form or amount may be entitled to millions in compensation. Other lawyers are playing the same games with “manmade climate change.”
Ending legal predation will require major state and federal reforms. However, the American people elected this President and Congress to bring transparency and accountability back to Washington and international regulatory agencies. They need to use their oversight and funding powers to do so.
Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith told me he is reviewing Mr. Wild’s response. “Given the serious nature of our concerns related to IARC’s expenditures of taxpayer dollars, IARC should exercise due diligence and provide a complete response to my November 1 letter. The Science Committee will use all tools at our disposal to ensure the stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars are held accountable,” Smith said.
That is good news. Too many regulators and “scientific” panels have the attitude, “We are accountable only to ourselves. We will not have any member of Congress or the Trump Administration presume to tell us how to run our business, do science or be transparent.” That arrogance is intolerable.
Even if Dr. Wild is beyond the reach of US law, Drs. Birnbaum, Portier, Blair, et al. are not. They should be compelled to testify under oath, and funding for their agencies and work should be made contingent on their cooperation in rooting out the apparent secrecy, corruption, conflicts of interest and junk science.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

SHARING OUR BLESSINGS

Sharing our blessings
This Thanksgiving we should give thanks for fossil fuels – and promote them for rest of world
Paul Driessen
This Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to express our gratitude for the jobs, living standards and life spans we enjoy today – largely because of abundant, reliable, affordable energy, 83% of it still because of fossil fuels. As my CFACT colleague Craig Rucker suggests, we should also be grateful that we live in a country that can provide hundreds of millions of turkey dinners, at a price anyone can afford, all on the same day, thanks to our free market economy (and fossil fuels).
Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to ponder why billions in our human family still do not enjoy those blessings, have electricity only sporadically or not at all, and try to survive on a few dollars a day or less. It’s a time to reflect on what we can do to help change policies that perpetuate that situation.
For thousands of years, humanity was mired in poverty, disease, malnutrition, misery, and average life expectancies of 40 years or less. Even nobility in their fancy homes had few of the luxuries we take for granted today. Then, in the late nineteenth century, a sudden surge in life expectancy, health and wealth transformed much of the world, as the growing use of coal and petroleum powered incredible advances in construction, sanitation, transportation, communication, medicine, agriculture and other technologies.
In 1882, Wisconsin’s Hearthstone House became the world’s first home lit by hydroelectricity. No one then could have foreseen how electricity would dominate, enhance and safeguard our lives in the myriad ways it does today – or envisioned the many ways we generate electricity today.
Today, Asian countries are roaring far beyond where they were just two decades ahead, as they adopt freer economies and use coal to generate electricity, create jobs, and bring hope, health, technology and prosperity to billions. Africa still lags behind, but here too coal and natural gas are providing electricity to a continent where more people than live in North and Central America’s still do not have access to it.
Pollution from coal-fired power plants remains a problem in countries where bringing electricity to billions has been deemed more important than eliminating unhealthy emissions. But that is changing, as electricity brings jobs, modernity and prosperity – and people demand cleaner air. Once scrubbers are installed, the only emissions will be what now comes out of US and EU “smoke” stacks: water vapor and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, which alarmists still claim is causing weather and climate chaos
A real irony in all this is that China is financing and building many of these power plants – instead of the United States and Europe, which pioneered electricity generation and pollution control technologies. This is largely the result of US and EU policies, driven by global warming ideology and politics.
Too many still-impoverished nations have been ruled by corrupt, self-centered leaders who care little about their people. But all too often in recent years, when countries wanted to build coal or gas-fueled power plants, a cabal of climate activists in every position of power and privilege told them to drop dead.
Literally. Certainly that has been the result of their policies. It is as though we have returned to the days when Mayans drowned children in cenotes to appease the gods and prevent droughts – and then saw a century-long drought end their civilization.
This 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution memorializes how Communist regimes starved and murdered over 100 million helpless, innocent Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, North Koreans and others unlucky enough to have been born in those places and times – to serve that savage ideology. Even now, Castro protégé Nicolas Maduro is sending countless Venezuelans to early graves.
Today, countless millions are sacrificed on the altar of Gaia, because callous environmentalists continue to tell the world’s most destitute, energy-deprived families they must be content with whatever living standards they can derive from wind and solar – and must never employ fossil fuels. Even in Britain, deaths have risen 40% in the past year among elderly people who cannot heat their homes properly, because renewable energy policies have made energy costs unaffordable for too many pensioners.
Those “fuels of the past” are not sustainable, green ideologues say. They’re running out. They cause dangerous climate change. We will tell you what living standards you may aspire to. Better that you die today from diseases of preventable poverty, than perish tomorrow from manmade climate cataclysms.
One source of these attitudes is Obama science adviser John Holdren. He wrote in 1974 that it was essential to “de-develop the United States,” bringing its economic system and consumption “into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” Once that is underway, he continued, the US should focus on de-developing other industrialized nations and on the “ecologically feasible development” of under-developed countries. These views strongly influenced President Obama.
In 2009, Mr. Obama told Ghanaians they should refrain from using “dirty” fossil fuels and utilize their “bountiful” renewable energy. In 2013, he told South Africans, if “everybody has got a car and … air conditioning and … a big house, the planet will boil over – unless we find new ways of producing energy.”
His Overseas Private Investment Corporation refused to support construction of a power plant that would provide clean, affordable electricity from natural gas that companies were just burning in Ghana’s oil fields. President Obama refused to support South Africa’s request for a World Bank loan to continue building a state-of-the-art, coal-fired power plant. In 2013 his Power Africa initiative for a “sustainable Africa” energy strategy emphasized wind, solar, biofuel and geothermal power – but not fossil fuels.
It’s all part of the “wrenching transformation of society” that Al Gore has said is absolutely necessary.
Today, climate claims increasingly reflect a desperate determination to remain relevant and keep the research gravy train on its shaky tracks. “Global warming might be especially dangerous for pregnant women,” says one new study. “Climate change may be making bearded dragons less intelligent,” wails another. (It’s a good thing deep fat fryers are cooling the planet down a bit.) Climate Crisis, Inc. doesn’t seem to care that its depraved ethics have lethal consequences.
Thankfully, developing countries are no longer listening. They have built hundreds of coal-fired generating units and have 1,600 more under construction or in planning. Most now realize industrialized nations will not contribute billions (much less trillions) of dollars to the Green Climate Fund. They are beginning to understand that, if they want health, wealth and jobs, they should not do what many rich nations are saying or doing now that they are rich; they should do what those nations did to become rich.
After 50 years of Nazi and Communist domination, Poland is charting its own destiny, catching up to Western Europe, thumbing its nose at the EU, using more coal to generate electricity, and importing coal from the USA. (The UN’s 2018 climate meeting in Katowice, Poland will be very interesting.)
The UK government says there will be no new renewable energy subsidies until 2025. Even Germany’s “utopian dream of transforming itself into the world’s green powerhouse is collapsing as its political and media establishment is mugged by reality,” says Euro climate and energy observer Benny Peiser.
Al Gore, Barack Obama, Tom Steyer, Nat Simons, George Soros and their elitist ultra-green comrades will never give up their jet travel, limos, mansions, wealth, perks and privileges – to “save the Earth” or for any other reason. How dare they lecture us “common folk” – and tell families in impoverished countries what kinds and amounts of energy, homes, cars and consumer goods they will be “permitted” to have. 
As we enjoy our turkey dinner leftovers, let us give thanks in the best, most humanitarian way possible: by promoting free market principles and selling, financing and building large-scale modern coal, gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power generation equipment, pollution control systems, and other technologies that will improve and save lives all over this wondrous planet.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.

Monday, November 20, 2017

WOLVES & CHAOS

      WOLVES & CHAOS

                          A Talk Given at the Annual Agri-Women Conference
                                                            Bloomington, Minnesota
18 November 2017
                                                                                         By
                                                           Jim Beers

It is an honor to be invited to speak to you about wolves in the Lower 48 States.

Your 2005 Veritas Award hangs in my office.  This talk, that I expect will have some far-reaching national impacts, has been composed with my appreciation for that Award in mind. What I say about wolves is equally true about federal grizzly bears, spotted owls, smelt, suckers and frogs that have evolved into tools destroying Rural America in so many ways.  This is the result of a federal law, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that has created unaccountable bureaucrats and their bureaucracies that work with extremist environmental and animal rights groups to enact a multitude of hidden agendas that deeply trouble Rural America today.  It is with this in mind that I hope what I say here about wolves and the remedy I propose will be of use to not only those with wolf problems but also to those that realize the need for reform of the ESA and several other environmental and animal rights laws that are eroding rural life, rural families and rural communities throughout our country.

I assume some, if not most, of you are troubled by wolves to some degree and it is to you that I am directing my observations. 

I.  History - After more than two decades of speaking and writing about wolves I have learned one sure thing.  That is that despite:
-       Wolves are ubiquitous and number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions considering the difficulty of counting them and the vastness of Asia and the tendencies of European and Lower 48 bureaucrats to manipulate unchallengeable numbers.
-       The millions of dollars stolen by federal bureaucrats, that were never even admonished, from Excise Taxes intended for state wildlife programs in order to trap, transport, introduce and protect initial wolf introductions (something that Congress had refused to authorize or fund) in the Upper Rockies.
-       The preposterous collusions between federal bureaucrats and radical NGO’s (one of which hired an agency Director as a top Manager after she had appointed them to “manage” livestock “compensation”) to create the illusion of “compensating” farmers and ranchers but not dog owners for animal property killed or maimed by wolves.
-       The impacts on sheep and cattle operations from higher costs (for protection), increased stress on agriculture families, animal losses, and lower land values as with a New Mexico rancher that could neither sell his ranch nor give into his son because of persistent wolf predation thereby making it a cheap target only for government purchase or easement.
-       The steady federal progress in claiming increasing authority over state wildlife jurisdictions that was enabled by federal exclusive ESA authority over the wolves and their interfaces with all manner of human activities from ranching and hunting, to dogs and human safety.
-       The official denials of human history with wolves from Plato to the present regarding wolf attacks and wolf impacts on humans, their property and their rural societies in general.
-       The denial of what is an increasingly common phenomenon; cross-breeding between wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs in North America and Europe.  Wolves also opportunistically breed with and produce viable offspring with dingoes and jackals.
-       The denial and cover-up of both recent human attacks by wolves and the dangers posed by over 30 deadly and debilitating diseases and infections from Rabies and Brucellosis to Foot-and-Mouth, Parvo, Distemper Mad Cow carried and spread by wolves.
-       The reduction of big game herds (Minnesota lost so many moose as wolves increased that moose hunting was suspended with no indication of ever being resumed) and the sizeable revenue losses supporting wildlife programs due to the losses of hunting opportunities and the myriad businesses they support in rural communities.
-       The losses of hunting (bear, cougar, rabbit, bird, etc.) dogs, watchdogs, pet dogs, tracking dogs and guard (livestock) dogs to wolves and the resulting further loss of hunters and the benefits (economic, social, traditional, cultural, etc.) of their hunting and things such as the availability of trained hounds for tracking problem bears, cougars and missing persons.
-       The fact that wolves are now present and spreading in over half the Lower 48 States; an area they find rich in food, space and low to non-existent human harassment; does not preclude the time when wolf densities will eventually exceed the available garbage, game and domestic animal food sources causing human attacks, livestock losses and disease problems to multiply to the annual levels sustained to great human life and property loss in Asia for centuries.
-       I could mention more such wolf impacts like diversion of millions from state wildlife managementcover-up of dollars spent, being spent and estimated to be spent both federally and state-wise on wolvescorruption of Universities and academics for grants, future academic recognition and resulting tenure for providing necessary justificationsappalling “nature” myth indoctrinations taught in schools such as the “necessity” of wolves in “the ecosystem”, the “necessity” of “restoring native wildlife”, and the “reasons” children and the elderly should not fear wolves in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States.

Despite all of the above; the “one sure thing” I learned is, no one except those being directly impacted really cares.  The politicians get votes from urban dreamers; the NGO’s get donations and subscriptions to accomplish their hidden agendas from free-roaming buffalo in agricultural areas to transferring rural private property to government land control; academic grants and tenure; and the bureaucrat raises, promotions, bonuses, and larger retirements.  It is fair to say that increasing areas of rural America and numbers of rural Americans find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place regarding wolves.

II. Today - Wolves are present today in over half of the Lower 48 States.  There is really only one wolf but federal bureaucrats proliferate imaginary “breeds” (like dog breeds) by declaring “red” wolves in the Carolinas and “Mexican” wolves in Arizona and New Mexico over strenuous local opposition for decades.  Wolves in MN, WI and MI are now called “Great Lakes” Wolves. Wolves in the NW, though descended from wolves trapped at undisclosed locations in N Canada are simply called grey wolves.  Promised low wolf levels in “restorations” were blown through by bureaucrats and NGO’s like Bonnie and Clyde blowing through a roadblock and there is still no agreement about either “too high” or “too low” populations and distributions; tolerable methods (if any) of controlling or managing wolves; or the losses sustained or stresses endured by rural residents forced to live with wolves..


Wolves are federally “Listed” under the ESA in nearly all Lower 48 States.  Urban-controlled states like CA, IL and WA also protect them under strict state laws while rural states like UT and ND try to keep them out. Other states like MN remain quiescent explaining moose declines as due to climate change and an attack on a sleeping camper in a USFS campground as due to a wolf with a “deformed brain”.  The majority of all states with wolves publish questionable data, cover-up attacks and damages, and generally divert funds and manpower clandestinely as they attempt to navigate these political rapids with their feet in two canoes – one belonging to powerful urban political pro-wolf lobby groups; the other belonging to those rural residents putting up with one wolf outrage after another as wolves (like dogs and coyotes) learn to evade controls, expand their territories and find new food sources in the “food-rich” and “unused-to-wolves” settled landscapes of the Lower 48.  I have met rural mothers that no longer let their sons go camping or on Scout overnights where wolves have been seen or have killed dogs, especially where federal government-introduced and protected grizzlies are also now present in the Lower 48 States.

Some states like ID, MT, and WY have exerted political pressure to have “Wolf Management Returned to the State” and others like WI are pursuing similar relief as politicians play with them by offering “proposed” legislation passed in a Congressional Committee as a sign of progress or “Management Agreements” that are little more than dictates from federal overseers to be maintained and paid for by state agencies with money from wherever they can find it.  Wolf-advocate-NGO’s, bureaucrats and certain Congressional staffers then undermine it, using money and political lobby machines in Washington with varying intensity that is no more than a reflection of the Administration and Congressional temperature du jour.  But as appealing as that sounds to those dealing with wolves, “Returning Management” whether by an “Agreement” or a legislative exception is merely a placebo with no lasting effect meant only to quiet anti-wolf complaints and currently keep the wolf issue low on the radar as the complaints of the last few years die down and now as the Trump phenomenon tears at the federal establishment. 

Those states “gifted” “their” wolf management by federal bureaucrats and politicians must:
-       Maintain federally-dictated levels and distributions of wolves.
-       Pay millions annually with wildlife program revenues and resources such as facilities, equipment and manpower to control, census, administer, enforce, study, defend (in court), compensate owners, justify wolves as they impact hunting, ranching, farming, rural life, rural economies, etc.
-       Publicly depend on initially high wolf “license” sales that are inadequate to begin with for managing wolves.  Over time the sales of wolf licenses decline as the combination of low harvest numbers (wolves are difficult to hunt or trap) and large numbers of license buyers that become discouraged.  This causes a fallback to looser regulations for rural people to kill wolves whenever problematic that is intolerable to federal overseers and a steady clandestine diversion of state funding from wherever it can be grabbed without complaint. 
-       The costs of “managing” wolves in accord with federal mandates are truly astronomical and divert current state wildlife program efforts to degrees and cost levels hidden by state and federal bureaucrats.  Not too far into the future, a backward glance by taxpayers and (former) state wildlife program beneficiaries will expose a diminishment of wildlife funding and effort from license sale revenue declines due to increased hunter declines; a tax burden increase on state general revenues for wildlife annual and specific control demands to “compensation” claims for livestock and dogs that will be unsustainable. Increases in wildlife problems from livestock depredation increases to sustained human safety and health concerns alone will be well beyond state or federal sustained attention given the loss of hunters, trappers, trained dogs and both the usefulness and benefits from revenue and animal controls they once provided rural America


Keep in mind that these things, after the past two decades, are currently relatively quiet where wolves are expanding.  Relatively quiet federal bureaucrats are watching the hustling and dissembling state bureaucrats’ striving to please the powerful NGO’s while misleading rural Americans simultaneously.  The NGO’s are ready to pounce with lawsuits about killing too many wolves, humane law violations, poor documentation, and government land closure claims.  New laws, amendments and regulatory tweaks are always being discussed behind closed doors but there is a prevalent note of caution as the danger of overreaching in this period of political reform and turbulence calls for bureaucratic patience.

IIIThe Problem - State wildlife agencies, like their federal counterparts, are now majority employees that cannot (because they are “educated” in Universities that oppose it) “manage” wildlife or plant environments: they can and will only “save” and close an unending procession of lands and human activities as they build a Brave New World of “saving” everything in Rural America except human society.  Wildlife biologists no longer manage wildlife for human benefit just like today’s “forester” no longer manages timber for human benefit and the “range manager” no longer manages “the range” for human benefit.  Both the bureaucracies and the Universities that formerly taught these sciences have become islands of ideologues arrayed against and not with the Rural America that they intend to vacate and then claim.  Behind the carefully-designed persona of USFS, BLM, USFWS, EPA, et al lays bureaucrats with the power of Soviet Commissars and agendas that are truly dangerous to Rural America.

What applies to wolves, applies to grizzly bears, spotted owls, Delta smelt, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and a host of similar select wildlife species.  They are grist for a myriad of hidden agendas not least of which is the personal and organizational enrichment of bureaucrats; politicians; academics, environmental extremists; and allied conservation and human use organizations like those representing hunters, dog owners and animal husbandry businesses.

I will state here unequivocally that if you think you have trouble with wolves, you are mistaken.  Your basic problem is not with wolves: your basic problem is with government. Unless and until you resolve this government aspect of the wolf problems; you are doing only what Neville Chamberlain did when waving a piece of paper and saying that his meeting with “Mr. Hitler” had brought “peace in our time”. Unless and until you limit the authority being exercised by federal bureaucrats under the ESA; things with wolves and other wildlife will only get worse to degrees and in ways I hesitate to mention because of the disbelief it would engender.

If you think I exaggerate, consider how far this bureaucrat empowerment has come in the last two decades:
-       Federal bureaucrats can steal millions from state programs with no consequences.
-       Federal bureaucrats can introduce wolves despite Congressional refusal to authorize it, again with no consequences.
-       Federal bureaucrats can name and rename “species” and “populations” in ways that further extremist agendas without challenge.
-       Federal bureaucrats can “take” (with “Habitat” claims) Private Property; decimate rural economies; destroy rural communities, local governments and rural tax revenue without any responsibility.
-       Federal bureaucrats can get “secret” appropriations for clandestine operations as USFWS did over a decade ago with $14M to find a bird extinct for 70 years, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
-       Federal bureaucrat appointees head up multi-million dollar organizations when Administrations change and they resign.  It is so common and routine in today’s world of transferring retirement accounts to new jobs that the “musical chairs” between Federal, State, NGO and Academic players in these issues for full-time, part-time and after-retirement grants and positions that business card stores are keeping busy.
-       Federal bureaucrats exercise discretion such that oil companies with modest sludge pits that kill a few grebes are publicly prosecuted, fined and pilloried while wind turbine farms killed millions of protected birds for decades with impunity free from prosecution and publicity only to be granted future carte blanche bird kill permits even including hundreds of eagles.

A government problem, i.e. unfettered bureaucratic power, can only be resolved by a government solution as was learned by Americans fed up with the effects of Prohibition in the early 1930’s.  All the “ecosystem” arguments and all the denial of history and all the faux science about willows along streams and “Alpha” wolves, etc. are simply window dressing to make you feel good and to encourage urban voters to ever-greater oppression of rural residents and their communities in the name of “biodiversity” and “native species”.

IV. The Solution - As a retired wildlife biologist with 30+ years of federal bureaucracy; a year as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill; and as a writer and speaker on these matters for over 15 years: I believe there are only two solutions that hold any hope and we must choose one of them if there is to be any hope for rural America.  Unless and until the arbitrary and unfettered power of federal bureaucrats to manipulate animals like wolves (deadly, destructive, ubiquitous and not even a species) and other wild animals as they wish; and unless the unjust and ruinous aspects of the authority and jurisdiction of federal power simply absorbing State and Local government roles and Constitutional responsibilities under the shadow of the ESA (and other such federal laws (not just regulations) like – The Airborne Hunting Act;Animal Welfare ActMarine Mammal Protection ActNational Forest Management ActNational Park Service ActNational Wildlife Refuge Administration ActWild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros ActWilderness Act; the broadened and abused Executive Order aspects of the Antiquities Act, and the federal drafting and use of UN Convention Mandates to manufacture increased federal authority over everything from takings and guns to wildlife, rural land use and state and local government roles in general.

Choose one:
1.    Amend the Endangered Species Act to redirect federal authority back into line with Constitutional precedence and understanding.  This would require that all ongoing and future federal Endangered Species activity in every state (planning, funding, land acquisition, property easement, public land use changes, compensation, wildlife control, introductions, habitat modifications, human activity regulation, private property controls, etc.) must have the participation and a signed approval on a five-year basis from the Governor of the State.  I would recommend that State laws be simultaneously amended or drafted to give those Counties directly affected by any proposed Endangered Species activity preferential status in any state approval process.  For instance require that the Governor MUST have the agreement of 50(?), 75(?) percent of the Counties DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED FEDERAL ENDANGERED  ACTIONS and that there must be at least three public hearings on the proposed actions before the Counties affected are asked to approve or oppose the action.  It is no more right for federal bureaucrats to oppress rural communities with lesser political clout than it is for the Madison/Milwaukee, Wisconsins or the Portland/Eugene, Oregons of the USA to oppress their less numerous rural neighbors, their economies and their “ways-of-life”.  Assuring state approval and involvement in any federal endangered species activity returns a very real check on currently unchecked federal bureaucratic power.  Assuring a serious rural voice in any and all state approval action brings a balance to those voiceless rural Americans often harmed unknowingly by urban neighbors with “no real dog in the fight”.  Making the point that, unlike the supporters of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States, those of us harmed by and opposing effects of an onerous federal law believe in changing that law to eliminate the harms while providing for achieving the original intent of the law.

Or:

2.    Repeal the Endangered Species Act and restore the historic American jurisdictional roles regarding wild animals.  This might well be the best solution for wildlife as well as rural Americans.  Let those noticing and concerned about the diminishment of a wild species or population first look to their own funding and conclusions.  Let them hire academic specialists to confirm the status and make recommendations, if necessary.  Let them raise money and if private funding or voluntary modifications cannot be generated, let them turn to state government for funding or to ask the state DNR/F&G for help.  Absent sufficient support, let those concerned seek to build a partnership between their counterparts in nearby states to institute beneficial activities.  Absent success in that regard, let them appeal to their federal representatives through a planning process like that outlined under #1 above complete with state approval for presentation to the Appropriate Congressional Committees.  That is the American way and a recent example of the success of this approach is the discovery of and application of biological controls to limit the national expansion of Purple Loosestrife by several state wildlife agencies utilizing the Excise Taxes collected on arms and ammunition for state wildlife programs.

Neither solution requires pages of complex gibberish or defies understanding by the general public.  Each is simple, saves money and enhances Rural American life in more ways than we have time to list here.  Only when one is accomplished can any state, through its local governments take the pulse of those living with wolves and begin to implement:
1.    If, and if so where, wolves will be tolerated?
2.    What state legislation, if any, is required?
3.    Are capable employees available, trained and willing to carry out these tasks?
4.    How many wolves will be tolerated?
5.    When and how wolves will be controlled and by whom, at what cost?
6.    How will tolerable wolf levels be achieved and how will they be maintained?
7.    What methods and circumstances will be tolerated or banned?
8.    How much is the cost; where does it come from; and who pays it?
These are all fertile subjects for a talk when next you invite me to speak.

IV. Chaos as Opportunity - I sense an exasperation and hopelessness that I have encountered for many years, in many locations.  If this is even possible and the two answers could fit on a postcard; how come it has not been done already?  The answer is, your level of frustration and hopelessness has never been so high, so widespread, and your level of understanding about where all this is leading has never been as thorough.

Something else has changed that makes what has been believed to be impossible, possible.  It is called Chaos and it may be our chance to make the unmentionable, mentionable and to reverse the rule of bureaucrat commissars to restore the Constitutional rule of free men and women by a limited government as envisioned in the Constitution.

Consider the following historic results from Chaos.  Remember that some are good, some are bad, but all were unforeseen and significant thanks to the advantages presented by chaos and the ability of supporters to capitalize on that chaos:
-       From 1773 (Boston Tea Party) to 1781(Yorktown) we fought a hard and divisive Revolutionary War.  Six years later in 1787 we united under a bitterly-argued Constitution no one really anticipated and that has been uniquely functional to this day.  Absent the tumult and chaos of those years, it is unlikely that any such document and nation would have ever existed.

-       In 1865 Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.  From 1864 to January 1959 14 states were admitted to the Union, of those, 12 (Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, etc.) were admitted with large percentages of the state (unlike MN, IL, MI, MS, etc.) withheld by federal fiat in defiance of existing federal legislation and precedence under the Property Clause of the US Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance.  This reserved land formed the nucleus of today’s “federal” estate and the land managing agencies roaming out of control today.  Much of the motivation for withholding was the residue of a federal victory over the states and the feeling that states should not be so powerful again.  That federal hegemonic view has become an ideal for modern environmentalists and federal bureaucrats that ignore Local governments and simply corrupt State governments.  I submit this would have not been possible but for the chaos of the Civil War.


-       During 1913 to 1921 Woodrow Wilson was President and the 16th Amendment (Federal Income Tax) & 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators) were passed; Federal Reserve was founded; US Military and Civil Service were segregated; World War I; invasion of Mexico and Haiti; Russian Revolution; collapse of European Monarchies, and finally, the 18th Amendment (Prohibition)passed.  I suggest that the chaos of those years made the passage of this latter very bad CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (not a law) possible and advocates took advantage of that chaos to gain passage.

-       The period 1929 to 1933 saw a Stock Market Crash, Bank failures, inflation, Depression and the beginnings of the Dust Bowl and the collapse of US agriculture and much of rural America.  One of the key platforms that elected Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933 was Repeal of the 18th Amendment (i.e. Prohibition) that then took place when he was elected.  Would Repeal of a 15 year-old Constitutional Amendment (a much higher bar than a “law”) have been possible without all the chaos of that period?  I think not.


-       The chaotic 1960’s and 70’s consisted of Free Love, open drug use, Vietnam, anti-War riots and the Watergate fiasco.  As President Nixon navigated the Vietnam withdrawal, Watergate and Resignation: and as President Ford sought election in his own right, there was an orgy of federal environmental/animal rights legislation and an explosion of bureaucracies and bureaucrats to “save” fill-in-the-blank and gain sympathetic votes.  This included the ESA, AWA, MMPA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Coastal Zone Mgt. Act, Estuarine Act, Noxious Weed Act, F&W Coordination Act, USFS Organic Act, Fisheries Conservation Act, Fur Seal Act, NEPA, NPS Act, RF Recreation Act, River and Harbor Act, Water Bank, Wilderness Act, Wild Horse & Burro Act to name but a few.  Add in new Bird Treaties entered into to expand US federal authority over more bird species like pelicans, certain hawks and owls, and cormorants; plus UN Conventions on everything from Culture and Heritage Declarations to International ES Trade and Polar Bears and all the federal offices, agencies and their costs exerting all these new authorities and one wonders how any private property, state environmental responsibility or especially rural communities still exists. I strongly believe that this environmental “awakening” would not look anything like it is were it not for the 60’s and two desperate Presidents in search of those big voter blocs in US cities to save their Administrations by giving unaffected voters imaginary benefits “out there”.

-       Finally we have the Chaos of today.  I speak here not of the chaotic sharpening of Party animosities; the turbulent and unexpected-by-many election results; the politicizing of sports; or the knock-down drag-out issues before Congress.  Let us focus on two things. 

First, there is the proliferation of “Sanctuary Cities” and even “Sanctuary States”.  These cities and states vowing to give no cooperation to federal Immigration Laws and personnel are, almost without exception, the very vote-rich Cities and States Nixon and Ford looked to for support.  They are the hotbeds of the “more wolves”, “more smelt”, “more grizzly bears”, “more government land control authority” and “more rural-oriented federal regulation” coalitions.  Consider the irony here.  They are enamored of using their federal voting majorities to oppress rural Americans and rural communities while simultaneously justifying their defiance of federal laws they don’t happen to like such as immigration. 

Second, consider the outrage in high-tax states like NY, CA & NJ against the potential loss of the federal tax write-off of State taxes as federal taxes are being “reformed”.  These high-tax states’ political representatives might be amenable to rural and low-tax states’ cooperation in return for cooperation in resolving the Endangered Species “problem” as tax reform, debt control and American businesses are front-and-center politically.

I suggest these two issues, among others, might be used to our advantage.

V.  Taking Advantage - We are entering into a contentious political period where incumbents, upstart challengers and extreme political philosophies will be vying for your vote with great intensity.  If we were to form alliances with like-minded groups and lobby for something simple, straightforward and understandable such as either of the two proposals I have mentioned; is it not possible that chaotic circumstances might invite in a Repeal or Amendment movement as an issue much like FDR’s Repeal of Prohibition emerged in the midst of complex turbulences and political opportunity?

Would not urban candidates and incumbents be able to explain their support for Repeal or Amendment of the ESA (and other such harmful laws?) necessitated by the corruption, economic and other impacts from human safety to ecosystem diversification losses it has spawned, as comparable to the way city dwellers have reacted to and view Immigration enforcement issues?   Could not a wide, national coalition support one of these straightforward proposals when they understand what the alternatives are in light of what we know today?  Would not most Americans support a change that empowers their state government’s authority and revenue, while reinvigorating Local government revenue and authority?  Wouldn’t such change enhance the power of State and Local governments to protect and enhance rural communities, their businesses, and their “domestic Tranquility” and “general Welfare” to quote the Preamble to the Constitution?  You might even learn some things about “your” representative lobby group as you seek to make changes that really matter.

Imagine, if all the hunting, trapping and fishing “Forever’s”, “Unlimited’ s”, “Associations” and “Foundations” allied themselves with the Cattlemen, the Timber industry, the Farm Bureau and Farm organizations, the many Dog organizations, Agriculture businesses and many rural society organizations from churches and community groups to local political organizations and Scout groups to advocate a simple message.  If they were to begin telling the media; the school teachers; their Local, State and Federal politicians; their Political Party; their friends and relatives; their Universities; and the entire world that they demand change.  Not that they request change or that something like it would be nice and we would be so grateful. 

That change is simply that we in Rural America, like many of our urban counterparts, will no longer tolerate a federal law (the ESA) that harms our families and communities like several States and many large Cities perceive current immigration laws.  Unlike those States and Cities, we want to either Amend or Repeal the onerous Endangered Species Act.  Either we:
1.    Amend the ESA to provide for public input by requiring that any and all ESA activity must be done under a species specific 5-year Plan with the participation of the Counties directly affected and Approved by the Governor of the State; or
2.    Repeal the ESA and allow species-specific concerns for wild plants and animals to receive attention first by grass-roots advocates and then only when failing to resolve the problem through a progression of appeals and proposals through Universities, national organizations of all stripes, local governments, and State governments; as a last resort appeal to the US Congress with a specific proposal that, like the Amendment proposed above, can be developed with Local participation and Governor approval on a 5-year basis.

This is a truly American solution to a problem vexing a particular segment of society and would be good not only for rural communities but better for the wildlife since locally-supported wildlife communities are good for both people and wildlife in the long run.  Depending on which (1 or 2) tack is chosen, at an opportune time demand a State law that states the Governor must have the approval of 51% or 60% of the County governments in those Counties directly affected by any federal Endangered Species activity before approving such federal actions.

Who can oppose Local participation?  Who can oppose a voice for the rural communities faced with often onerous federal actions not necessitated by national defense?  What could be more simple and understandable to the general public or even politicians?  If not now, when?

The next three, and possibly seven, years are our best chance to correct the anti-rural government problems we face. The upcoming (in one year) mid-term elections will be important opportunities but the next Presidential election in three years is a golden opportunity complete with plenty of time for preparation.  Depending on 2020, the following 2-year and 4-year elections may well be the greatest and perhaps even last golden opportunity presenting itself to us to straighten out these problems. Problems everyone tells us are settled and unchangeable (where have we heard that before?) but that are suddenly open to change and potentially resolvable.

Just as the Founding Fathers emerged from Colonial status into the most powerful nation in the world; and corruption-fighters emerged successfully from the nightmare of Prohibition thanks in large measure to a chaotic period involving unrelated issues: we can take advantage of this chaos we find ourselves in to improve a wide array of government environmental abuses in order to make a better Nation for ourselves, our environment and our descendants.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about what I believe is the paramount issue facing Rural America today.

We have time for a few questions.

Jim Beers
18 November 2017

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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 is an advocate for a Rural American Renewal that benefits rather than ruins the culture, economy and surroundings of rural communities and families.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.
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