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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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Grizzly Bear Delisting: Scientific Misconduct Corrupts Wildlife Management

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wan

bear

Sam Jojola, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent (retired)

WAN:  Contrary to what Washington D.C. wildlife bureaucrats have said for the past decades, politics have and will, in many cases, trump science.   Especially when it comes to the latter part of a political administration when, miraculously, some species have an amazing “recovery” and can either be delisted, or not listed at all.

The USFWS proposed the delisting of the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone Ecosystem as of March 3rd.  The world will be watching how this decision plays out in the months ahead, and any failures will be inherited by the new presidential administration.  Perfect! Impeccable timing!

The 50 or so grizzly bears in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem in Montana are not being considered by USFWS for greater protection, and will not be upgraded from a threatened to endangered status (http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/02/15/conservationists-sues-cabinet-yaak-grizzly-bears/).  The grizzlies in this ecosystem have been plagued by hunters mistaking them for black bears, but also are threatened by malicious kills and other man inflicted causes.

USFWS bureaucrats historically over several decades have completely lost the trust of the American public in numerous decisions involving delisting and listing procedures for a variety of species of concern.  Political meddling into science- based wildlife is a long-ongoing documented pattern within USFWS upper level management.

Just Google the words “scientific misconduct by USFWS”, and one can see a continuous pattern of political selling out of wildlife resources, scientific fraud, whistleblower retaliation, and many cases of cronyism (catering to special interest groups like the wind power industry, Safari Club International, and others).

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