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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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BLM data appears to be falsified: Arial headcount shows most herds have been zeroed out

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By: Craig Downer

 

Report on Flight from Truckee Airport (CA) passing over various mountain ranges and valleys to the Owyhee Wild Horse Herd Management Area (whhma), Rock Creek whhma, and Little Humboldt whhma.  (Ill. w/ digital photos taken on flight.)

Elko District, Bureau of Land Management, North Central Nevada, ca. 80 miles NW of Elko. Note: wh is abbreviation for wild horse(s)

Flight realized on Monday, June 21, 2010, Summer solstice.

Dates of report preparation 6/24-25/2010. 

Background: Three whhma’s encompass > 482,000 acres of which 336,262 acres are in the Owyhee whhma, 102,638 acres in the Rock Creek whhma and 15,734 acres in the Little Humboldt whhma.  Northern portions of the Owyhee whhma occur in the Columbia Plateau physiographic region, but most are in the Great Basin physiographic region.  Drought and lack of forage due to fires are being cited by BLM officials as reasons for the drastic reduction of these wild horse herds. BLM plans to gather 1,548 wild horses (the currently estimated total population) and to put back only 399, or which 195 would be PZPed mares with 2-year sterilization effects.  This works out to leaving one wild horse per 1,200+ acres – an extreme marginalizing of this species by any standard and very contrary to the “principal” presence mandate of the Wild Horse Act.  More

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