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It’s always the ranchers

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Source:  The Wildlife Society

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A week ago, I was touring Montana public lands with my 13-year-old daughter. As we approached Yellowstone National Park, I explained how the slaughter of bison was largely to appease the livestock industry, pushed by a handful of ranchers who didn’t want bison migrating out of the Park. Bison, as it turns out, eat the same grass as cattle, and can carry the livestock disease brucellosis. Even though there has never been a documented case of cattle catching brucellosis from bison – not even one – in the Yellowstone ecosystem (all known cases were traced back to elk, according to the National Academy of Sciences), cattle producers fear losing “brucellosis-free” status which would make it harder for them to market their cattle. “It’s always the ranchers,” my daughter exclaimed.

She’s right.

Earlier in the week, we had visited the Thunder Basin National Grassland to see prairie dogs, a rare and sensitive native wildlife species and also the very linchpin of grassland wildlife diversity. Instead, we looked out on empty prairie dog colonies, decimated by lethal poisoning and sylvatic plague. The disease borne by fleas, was kept in check for years by conservation nonprofits who dusted the burrows with a flea-killing powder. But in 2017, the Forest Service started denying dusting permits to the conservationists, and stopped authorizing the non-lethal relocation of prairie dogs away from private land boundaries.

Recently, the Forest Service caved even further in to politically-connected ranchers with an anti-prairie dog plan amendment for the national grassland that includes expanded prairie dog poisoning programs and more recreational shooting of the animals. The livestock boosters want prairie dogs killed by plague, poisons, and bullets – so their non-native cattle would have more grass to eat.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Animal Advocates Radio “Voices Carry for Animals #264”-HSUS-Wildlife Trafficking- Nicole Rojas

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**Join Us**LIVE INTERVIEW**Animal Advocates Radio

“Voices Carry For Animals #264on May 21st@

7:00 pm EST

 

LISTEN LIVE Podcast >> HERE <<

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Animal Advocates Radio:”Voices Carry for Animals #230″- Rosemary Alles- Global March for Elephants & Rhinos

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**Tune In Thursday’s** On Aug 1st, 2019 at 7:00 pm EST**

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American bison facing extinction

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Source:  Buffalo Field Campaign

American bison a Species of Conservation Concern is a collaborative project dedicated to securing protection for the wild species and their habitat on National Forests.

June 6, 2019 is the final day to submit public comments for American bison on the Custer Gallatin Forest plan revision

CLICK TO COMMENT ONLINE

MAIL TO:
Custer Gallatin National Forest
Attn: Forest Plan Revision Team
P.O. Box 130 (10 E Babcock)
Bozeman, MT 59771

The Custer Gallatin National Forest is revising its’ forest plan that will determine how American bison and their habitat are managed for decades to come.

The agency released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement with a range of alternatives on American bison for public comment. (June 6, 2019 is the final day for commenting).

Please write comments in support of strengthening Alternative D (WordPDF) by setting strong standards to achieve the “desired condition” of viable, self-sustaining populations of American bison on the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

Listing American bison as a species of conservation concern, reintroducing fire as a natural force in expanding habitat, removing barriers to migration, securing habitat connectivity, are a sample of comments to advocate for.

We will post updates to Buffalo Field Campaign’s comments here (WordPDF).

Your comments – written in your own words – are invaluable! Tell them you support American bison’s freedom to roam National Forest habitat. Thank you!

bfc bison buffalo tracks transparent

Key Documents

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Animal Advocates Radio “Voices Carry for Animals #219”- Humane Society of the United States- Dave Pauli

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**Tune In Thursday’s** On May 9th, 2019 at 7:00 pm EST**

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Bastard Buffalo? The Gross Disrespect of USDA-APHIS

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Source:  Buffalo Field Campaign

Putting it mildly. A female buffalo expresses her people’s sentiment towards the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Buffalo Field Campaign’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit continues to divulge more evidence of how unfit the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is in having any role managing our National Mammal, the wild buffalo. Thank you to attorney Daniel Snyder and our legal team at the Charlie Tebbutt law firm who have been of tremendous help in disclosing the public’s business.

APHIS’s offensive statements (provided here, APHIS’s Bastard Bison, PDF, excerpted below) show a callous disregard for buffalo. At the same time APHIS sought Yellowstone National Park’s help in taking more buffalo for their birth control study using GonaCon, a chemical sterilant, they didn’t want any obligation placed on them to get rid of the “bastard” buffalo under their care.

APHIS’s GonaCon study was shut down by their higher ups in the bureaucracy for running afoul of agency rules (See our article Good news for wild buffalo in Gardiner basin.). The buffalo taken from the wild under permit from Yellowstone National Park were killed or shipped to Colorado for more “study.”

However, APHIS remains entrenched in buffalo management through the taxpayer moneys they annually dole out to the Montana Dept. of Livestock. APHIS Funding MDOL Bison Operations 2018 (PDF).

We can and must take action for the buffalo. Contact your representative in the U.S. House.

Ask them to cut-off taxpayer moneys and axe APHIS’s on-going cooperative agreement with the Montana Dept. of Livestock to fund their buffalo management scheme.

APHIS has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to the Montana Dept. of Livestock to remove all wild buffalo that migrate into the state. The spigot of American taxpayer funding has been running nonstop for two decades.

There’s an action we can take to stop it! The U.S. Congress has the power to cut-off the free taxpayer funding pipeline that is destroying our last wild buffalo in Montana. Please contact the U.S. Congress today!

Thank you for taking action on behalf of our National Mammal, the buffalo.

From: Rhyan, Jack C – APHIS
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 3:21 PM
To: Clarke, Patrick R. – APHIS
Subject: RE: Conference call about GonaCon (2nd rendition) ? Elk study at Brogan’s?
Off the top of my bald head:
I like the bastard question best. I think with those we donate their little bastard carcasses to the food bank, as they have no special value for conservation.
Jack 
PS: we might should delete these emails.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

 

 

Action alert to save Washington state wolves. WA basically killing wolves for one rancher

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A message from Brooks Fahy, Exec. Dir. of Predator Defense:

Tell Washington Gov. Inslee there is no need for his wolf slaughter.  There are simply places in Washington where cows should not be.

The picture above was taken in the core territory of the Profanity Peak wolf pack, which Washington wildlife managers destroyed in 2016 after a rancher dumped his cows to graze near the wolves’ den and rendezvous sites. As you can see, the terrain is essentially indefensible. It is rugged, forested and remote. It is no place for cows.

Seventeen of the 22 wolves killed to date in Washington State were killed on behalf of this one rancher, Len McIrvin, who refuses to follow science-based, common sense measures to protect his cattle. Other ranchers have had great success in preventing losses. For starters, they are not dumping them in the heart of wolf territory.

But McIrvin, who has been overheard expressing his hatred for wolves, apparently doesn’t believe they deserve a place to live in peace, except perhaps in zoos? He does believe his cattle should be able to graze on and destroy our public lands, lands for which he pays a fraction of market rate. And he obviously doesn’t care about healthy ecosystems, which require the presence of wolves, or the fact that thousands of people want to be able to see wolves in the wild and could bring tourism dollars to struggling rural economies.

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Testimony For SB-1487 Iconic African Species Protection Act

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By:  Sam Jojola

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Summary

In late June, I was humbled when asked to testify before the California State Assembly in Sacramento in support of the above critical legislation initially proposed by Senator Henry Stern.  I am very thankful for Judie Mancuso, Founder, CEO and President for Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL) who believed in me and asked me for my support in SB-1487.

Nicholaus Sackett, a Sacramento attorney who is instrumental in SCIL’s continued success with legislative issues also provided key testimony for SB-1487.

Two opponents who represented interests of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International (SCI) also testified.

For years I have felt like a voice in the wilderness echoing concerns based on my professional expertise and opinion of the illicit wildlife trade’s continuous and unabated expansion across the globe. More

Update from the Field: Largest Buffalo Safe Zone Sold, Zinke Aims to Drive Down Buffalo Population

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Source: Buffalo Field Campaign

Buffalo Safe Zone Sold

Montana’s largest Buffalo Safe Zone has been sold. The former Galanis property, about 700 acres of lush green grass and rolling hills, was recently bought, and while we don’t know exactly how the new owners feel about the buffalo, the large “Bison Safe Zone” sign has been removed. The caretaker has contacted us to say that we are no longer welcome there, and we fear that this may mean the same for the buffalo. This is *critical* habitat that the buffalo from the imperiled Central herd use winter and spring, one place they are safe from any harm, and they are devoted to this land which is part of their calving grounds. The Galanis family — incredible champions of the buffalo — are devastated that they have had to let this land go. It’s a heavy blow to all of us. But, we still don’t know for sure how things may or may not change. Perhaps the new owners will understand the tremendous support and fierce loyalty the buffalo have from all the surrounding neighbors and others throughout the West Yellowstone community, and keep things as they are.

Wenk Forced out by Secretary of Interior Zinke

On the federal level, Yellowstone’s superintendent, Dan Wenk, has been ousted by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Though wrongfully touted by some “green” groups as a “bison protector”, Wenk had, apparently, been in dispute with Zinke over the number of wild buffalo — the country’s national mammal — who should exist in the Park. The controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan, crafted in the interests of ranchers, places a political cap of 3,000 on the buffalo population. A number not supported by science, ecology, or any form of logic. Yellowstone National Park alone can sustain upwards of 6,500 buffalo, while the surrounding lands of the Greater Yellowstone country could support at least 20,000. For a population who once existed in the tens of millions, this is still a minuscule population size. Yet, Zinke — a Montana cattleman — wants to drive the endangered population down to a mere 2,000.

Zinke, a corrupt Trump appointee, is a known enemy of the earth, a strong champion of industry and corporations who has oil & gas, timber, mining, and ranching advocates salivating. It’s no surprise that, being from Montana, his attention would turn to the wild buffalo of Yellowstone with an aim to cause them greater harm.

For nearly 30 years Park Superintendents have played a lead role in slaughtering buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park. Some have expressed regret, like Mike Finley. Wenk is just the most recent of several superintendents behind the National Park Service’s ongoing slaughter of our last wild buffalo.

That being said, the reality is, Wenk has hardly been a champion of the buffalo. Thousands of the country’s last wild buffalo — the beloved Yellowstone herds — have been shipped to slaughter from within Yellowstone, brutally treated, hazed, domesticated, and otherwise harmed with Wenk standing as Yellowstone’s superintendent. For all the years he’s been in office, he has bent over backwards to serve Montana’s livestock industry, destroying imperiled wild buffalo. It has only been in recent months — after Yellowstone’s trap was attacked four times — and public pressure against the buffalo slaughter has been mounting — that he has started to come out advocating for wild buffalo to be managed as wildlife, and that the livestock industry should not be the ones to dictate how buffalo live or die.

Too little, too late. Actions speak much louder than words, and Wenk’s hands are covered in buffalo blood no different than Zinke’s aim to be. Not only that, but a 50-year wild buffalo domestication / commercialization program has been approved under Wenk’s “protective” leadership, which has already resulted in dozens of buffalo being slaughtered or confined for life.

Will it be worse without him as Superintendent? We simply need to grasp that this whole system is broken and we must stand in solidarity and fight back harder. Zinke has made it clear that the war against the country’s last wild buffalo — our national mammal — is escalating. With our sites aimed straight and true, we stand up even stronger for the wild.

WILD IS THE WAY ~ ROAM FREE!

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bfc-news/updates-2017-2018/update-from-the-field-largest-buffalo-safe-zone-sold-zinke-aims-to-drive-down-buffalo-population

John Horning, Exec Dir. of WildEarth Guardians, on the war on wildlife and the environment (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 6/13/18)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator for Buffalo Field Campaign, on the fight to protect the last, genetically pure wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 3/28/18)

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Join us March 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm CST!

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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

Please sign petition to rectify the heavy impact of livestock grazing on public lands

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photo: Western Watersheds Project

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION HERE.

SOURCE: Petitions.whitehouse.gov

We the people ask the federal government to Call on Congress to act on an issue:

Livestock Grazing on Public Lands Rectify the Heavy Impact

Created by T.B. on November 23, 2017

Reductions will address ecological problems caused by commercial livestock grazing such as:

● displacement of wildlife, reduction of wildlife populations;
● degradation is occurring to the land;
● transmission of pathogens;
● degradation is occurring to plant communities;
● native wildlife are killed to advance the interests of public lands ranchers;
● livestock are damaging to sensitive wetlands or riparian areas; or
● Ruminant grazing contributes to the nitrogen load in streams as well as nitrous oxide gasses also
a greenhouse gas.

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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Livestock grazing extremists obscure real-world solutions

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by Debbie Coffey

In my opinion…

We need to find a fix for the unhealthy populations of non-native, domestic cattle and sheep on public lands.

Imagine a proposal to introduce privately owned livestock onto the public lands of the American West. The owners of the privately owned livestock would successfully gain use of 229 million acres of public lands in the West. The livestock would be owned by a politically powerful industry that attracted a passionate following — people who love using public lands for their private profit so much that they influence the federal management of their privately owned animals so that they would rarely, if ever, be restricted by law. Some of them would be so passionate that they would take over and occupy government buildings for 41 days, and end up costing taxpayers at least $9 million, including $2.3 million on federal law enforcement and $1.7 million to replace damaged or stolen property.

The downside of these privately owned livestock would be that they destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste. After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats; overgrazing of native fire-carrying grasses has starved some western forests of fire, making them overly dense and prone to unnaturally severe fires. Not to mention that predators like the grizzly and Mexican gray wolf were driven extinct in southwestern ecosystems by “predator control” programs designed to protect the livestock industry. More

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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George Wuerthner, author & Exec. Dir. of Public Lands Media, to talk about the impacts of the livestock industry on the West (Wed., 11/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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painy

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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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Cathy Liss (Pres.) and D.J. Schubert (Wildlife Biologist) of Animal Welfare Institute, on the USDA’s Wildlife Services program that kills 5 million animals a year, and other wildlife issues. On Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 9/20/17)

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Fighting Wildlife Crime amid Bureaucracy and Solutions

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Sam Jojola

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Background

“This article was originally published for World Animal News in November, 2015 and titled “Wildlife Crimes: Why Is It So Difficult to Enforce Laws”. This is an updated version that includes reference to a 2016 GAO report detailing the shortcomings and successes of combating wildlife trafficking. It often seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. There are some positive changes, but they are slow.”

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Global Anti-Poaching Act of 2015

The passage of the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494) through the House on June 25, 2015 was long overdue and very encouraging news for wildlife law enforcement. It will greatly assist in addressing the rapid expansion of wildlife criminal syndicates and terrorist groups globally. Finally, after decades of “paralysis by analysis” there is some political motivation in the U.S. to deal with the exponential growth of wildlife crime here and around the world. Why has it taken so long?

The most recent GAO report dated September, 2016 titled Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies are taking a range of actions but the task force lacks performance targets for assessing progress: http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/679968.pdf

Perhaps there will be another GAO report this year to show measurable progress.

Layers of bureaucracy and political meddling

When one examines the primary agency responsible for investigating wildlife crimes on the federal level, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement (USFWS/OLE) has been and is the lead entity to do so. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is primarily a biological entity under the umbrella of the Department of the Interior that oversees a host of at least nine (9) agencies, like the U.S. Park Service (USPS), the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to name a few. The USFWS/OLE is just one of fifteen (15) National programs managed by USFWS. In essence many layers of government within the Department of the Interior which is not a law enforcement entity like the Department of Justice. Other law enforcement agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, and the Secret Service, are not under the umbrella of a non-law enforcement entity that can sometimes run political interference and impede wildlife investigations and protection. More

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