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Decades of Political Meddling Threaten GYE Grizzlies

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Sam Jojola, USFWS Special Agent (retired)

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Research Illuminates Historical Threats for Grizzlies in the GYE

The 23 years covert experience in federal wildlife law enforcement always reminds me to look deep behind the curtain of puppet master politics that often manipulate the strands of negative decisions that hamper long term protection of key wildlife species in our country and around the globe. Recent research has further illuminated past and present political threats of oil, gas, with alliances from SCI and the NRA that appear to be a multi-prong threat. This detailed 2014 report describes these alliances and how they can work to compromise key biological and wildlife resources:

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IndustryInfluenceReport.pdf

Foreign mining interests are looming over the GYE. Google “mining opportunities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem” and a host of articles appear. Gold mining interests have friends in “high places”. When states are left to take the lead in managing these interests, the “golden rule” will often apply. “He who hath the gold rules”, and ecosystems and wildlife will suffer by political meddling. Déjà vu all over again reminds me of my experience in the 1980’s in Nevada with foreign precious metal corporations and migratory bird deaths from cyanide heap leach operations.

Trophy hunting Grizzlies in the GYE could be the coup de gras with oil, gas and mining interests contributing to the “big picture” of multiple ongoing serious threats.

Recent court decision reveals flaws with delisting GYE Grizzly

The recent court decision based on a lawsuit by the Humane Society of the United States revealed serious flaws behind the Grizzly delisting in the GYE:

https://www.courthousenews.com/wolf-ruling-has-agency-wrestling-with-grizzlies/

I strongly believe the HSUS decision that affects the GYE grizzly bear final rule should require the Service to re-evaluate the delisting of the GYE grizzly bear population and examine this species as a whole across the remaining U.S. grizzly bear ecosystems. This court decision shows USFWS is acting in haste to separate listed species into distinct populations and delisting them. The GYE Grizzly delisting exposes the blatant hypocrisy of this bizarre and reckless strategy that goes against the long term protection of all grizzly bear populations. More

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Dynamics of Wildlife Conservation between Oppositions & Donations to Nonprofit Organizations

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Sam Jojola

USFWS Special Agent (retired)

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SCI the NRA and other alliances

These are very strong alliances that have had considerable historical and present influence over Congress regarding their unified agendas. Other lesser known organizations that support hunting and trophy hunting with SCI and the NRA are the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Wild Sheep Foundation.

These groups are completely unified in their focus and cause. Other opposition animal and wildlife conservation organizations could be more formidable and much more influential if they worked more closely together as a coalition if they followed the template that works for SCI, the NRA and other related entities.

It is an example of the “United we stand, divided we fall” philosophy that makes them so successful in their endeavors whether you support or don’t support these agendas.

Conservation NGOs should focus on coalition concept on key wildlife issues

It is often mentioned in articles over the years that SCI and the NRA are a very small special interest group and how can they be so successful in pushing through their unified agenda in support of trophy hunting across the globe. It appears they often advance ahead of those conservation groups that collectively have greater numbers.

Opposing conservation organizations could really learn from that concept to pursue long term protections for animals and wildlife across the globe. Some are working together on certain wildlife issues, but more need to unify collectively to make a difference if imperiled wildlife resources are going to have future protection, particularly in the legal arena. More

Trophy Hunting Threatened Species Travesty

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by: Sam Jojola

Post updated 11/18

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  1. “The proposal is a monumental waste of money due to Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) who has helped push five (5) bills from the Natural Resources Committee that would conceivably dismantle the Endangered Species Act over a period of time. The ESA plays a major part of wildlife conservation. It would make more sense to form a council to fight these destructive proposals that would destroy the ESA or have the Secretary of Interior request Rep. Rob Bishop to resign. If Rep. Rob Bishop has his way to “invalidate” the ESA, imagine trying to protect wildlife and regulate hunting. Dismantling the ESA in any form or fashion is destroying large fragile ecosystems at the expense of wildlife resources for future generations.”

 

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

On November 8, 2017, Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the creation of the International Wildlife Conservation Council. The devil is in the details and what will follow in days, weeks and months to come will shape this Council and their priorities. Since the Council involves aspects of conservation, hunting and law enforcement, I wonder if Council heads will be selected from recognized leading experts in those three areas of focus. I am particularly concerned how the Council will deal with the ESA’s foreign listed species and import permits that are mentioned in this press release: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-zinke-announces-creation-international-wildlife-conservation-council

I believe the creation of this Council comes at a very bad time given the recent news of Zimbabwe’s regime shakeup and the most recent proposal for the U.S. to lift the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe. I hope now that President Trump has moved to keep the ban in place, that he and Secretary Zinke will consider keeping the ban given the current developing instability of Zimbabwe over the past several days: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/trump-puts-decision-allow-elephant-hunting-trophy-imports-hold-022152590.html

Five illegal Leopard trophies entering U.S. in 2008 detail Zimbabwe’s corruption

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WAN Investigator Goes Indepth About Former Undercover Campaigns & Proposal Of Federal Wildlife Agency Name Change

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By Sam Jojola

Original article appears HERE

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Sam Jojola, former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement, on wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, poisoning of birds by the mining industry and kill permits for the wind energy industry (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 10/4/17)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 More

WAN Undercover Investigator Sam Jojola Talks Rhino Horn Trafficking, Irish Gang Under Investigation For Killing White Rhino In French Zoo & Solutions

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By Sam Jojola

Originally posted at WAN

 

In 1990, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent colleague and I worked in Nevada on a mid-west based suspect offering to sell a Black Rhino horn for $20,000.  In a covert capacity I secured his knowledge and agreed to meet him at a new casino in Las Vegas for the transaction. My colleague and Special Agents from Legacy U.S. Customs leased an adjacent room to the suspect and wired me up.

The horn was genuine and I agreed to purchase it for $20,000.  But only after debating the suspect’s friend who handed me a National Geographic Magazine with an article showing a single Black Rhino horn was worth $25,000 on the black market.  After paying a $1,000 deposit to hold the horn, I promised to return with the balance ($19,000 I never had). I opened the door and my colleague and U.S. Customs Agents entered to detain and fully identify the seller and his two colleagues and seize the horn and the $1,000 deposit.

 

Many weeks later after the suspect was indicted and later pled guilty, the end result was a federal judge assessing the suspect a meagerly fine plus court costs. After all that expenditure of effort, time, and money, not to mention the profit to be made. The judge just orders a fine and court costs for the life of an endangered rhino? They should be worth more alive than dead.

A colleague with another federal agency later quipped that his co-worker had several unpaid parking tickets in his government vehicle glove box that was more than the fine levied in this rhino horn case.

My colleague was shocked at the failure of justice and said it was impossible for the judge to be that stupid.

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