Jaguar recovery efforts lack support from federal agency. By Staci Matlock. The New Mexican

More from National Geographic News. Added 1-23-2008. U.S. Jaguar Plan Foiled by Border Fence, Critics Say. H. Josef Hebert. Associated Press 

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

17 Responses to USFWS spurns any plans for jaguar recovery in the United States

  1. avatar swjags says:

    This is disgraceful and a sad reflection on the current state of affairs in this country. Kiss el tigre in the US goodbye!

  2. avatar Maska says:

    Falsifying and ignoring science in endangered species listings nationwide; ignoring and subverting science as applied to effects of global warming on biological diversity; ignoring science in mis-managing Mexican wolves; approving inadequate wolf management plans in the northern Rockies, allowing the Navy to deafen great whales, exempting their ridiculous border wall from environmental review, and now this…. The actions of this administration go far beyond simple biological malpractice. From Bush and Cheney on down, the major players seem actively hostile to the natural world.

    It’s a good thing my parents, who fought the good fight for conservation in the Southwest for over thirty years, aren’t alive to see this. It would break their hearts.

  3. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    this is an outrageous example of the consequences of the militarization of wildlife habitat/corridors right here in our country.

    to think – an animal as wonderful and rare as the jaguar is to be ignored like this. the USFWS is broken by politically motivated technocrats charged with obstruction of the public environmental interest.

  4. Until we come to grips with over-population by humans in this country and stop all immigration, legal or illegal, all of our wildlife is in danger. I have been to Arizona several times in the past three years and the huge subdivisions covering the desert are a far greater threat than a fence.

    Fences can be taken down or modified so that jaguars can climb over them, but if you add another 100 million additional residents to our country, the jaguars, mexican wolves, sonoran pronghorns and other desert dwellers don’t have a chance, fence or no fence.

  5. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Larry,

    You said it quite well. Quote from Edward Wilson: “The rampaging monster loose upon the land is over-population.”

    Every single problem we face ecologically has at it’s very root the growth of civilization and the number of humans inhabiting Earth.

    No matter how many acres you preserve, how many Parks are created, how long the Endangered Species List becomes…..in the end it will not matter as population pressures will overwhelm everything.

    And the subject of zero population growth is not even being discussed. Our natural resources will be used and extracted in the future decades, and it matters not at all whether they are in National Parks, wildlife refuges, in the desert or mountains, or swimming in the seas.

    Think about it: when oil hits $300 a barrel, do you think we will be drilling in the Florida Everglades and in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge?

    You betcha.

  6. avatar JB says:

    This is a travesty on so many fronts. Building a goddamn fence between the U.S. and Mexico has to be the single worst idea that I have heard in a very long time. It will cost a fortune, and it won’t keep anything out but the wildlife. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sensitive to the border issues we’re having. A good friend of mine (who was a park ranger) was killed in a shoot out with Mexican drug dealers along the Arizona border a few years back. But this fence idea will not help, and it’s given this administration another excuse to refuse to enforce the law.

    The only good news is this is more fodder for conservation groups attempt to enforce listings cases. I really hope we see Kempthorne held in contempt before Bush leaves office. Now that would make me smile!

  7. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    the wall is a wedge.

    i lived on the border for a few years. it is over-consumption at the root. Overpopulation is simply a peripheral consideration – the planet, our country and wildlife could be maintained at a vastly greater level should the american affluent reject material consumption as a standard of “success” – as a “standard of living”.

    funny how conversation concerning overpopulation is brought when the subject involved doesn’t share the pale skin-tone – or by those who force us to confront the injustice of economic poverty in this world – a condition which study after study demonstrates to spur procreation.

    i would urge those folk whose standard of living is defined by a collection of toys that surpasses the South’s (or East’s) to evaluate and address the impact of the purchase of their last toy (and such consumption) before directing their ire/criticism at a population that has relatively little impact in that regard – whose struggle involves the need for bread.

    take care of your own wasteful consumption before blaming a people that does not speak our language nor share our cultural prerogative – even though it may be easier to assault them – to blame them.

    walls between people – and wildlife – are wrong.

  8. avatar Maska says:

    There’s an old military maxim that says that if you’re going to build obstacles, you have to keep them covered at least by observation, if not by fire. Obstacles by themselves are worthless. Thus the Department of Homeland Security would do better to spend the money on more Border Patrol agents and more and better surveillance cameras and sensing devices than on this expensive boondoggle of a wall.

    There are only two species the wall WON’T keep out: Homo sapiens and Canis latrans (the four legged coyote). I include the latter, as I suspect they are smarter, on the whole, than the former. : )

  9. avatar Monty says:

    All of the above pretty much states what I believe & the big “one” is HUMAN POPULATION”. In Harpers magazine I read in the Index section where 49 percent of the people of New Jersey want to move out of the state. Why? Because it is a dirty over crowded crime ridden polluted parcel of land:”a urbanized human feedlot”. Why are so many people moving west: because of the space & quality of life that still exists– but not for long. Not one politician talks about this issue. America is about greed, over consumption without a sheard of ethics

  10. Brian-
    Notice that I said: Stop all immigration. I don’t care if they speak English or Chinese or Swedish or any other language.
    Did you notice at the Bighorn/Woolgrowers meeting that one of the woolgrowers said wool and lamb prices are way up? They want to double the number of domestic sheep they put on public lands! Bighorns and Wolves are getting in the way of more profits!
    If we get another 2 or 3 billion of us on this earth needing food, it won’t matter how many law suits WWP files to protect our wild places. They will all be gone.
    Our main exports should be free IUDs and certificates for free vasectomies.

  11. We might do best on this blog not to discuss immigration because it is so divisive, but I will anyway.

    My view is that I don’t like the immigration one bit, but rather than a border fence what is needed to stem the flow is economic opportunity in Mexico, and that will never appear unless there is a revolution there that redistributes the wealth.

  12. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I hate to wade into this too but I think that the economic policies that Mexico and many other south and central American countries have been forced into by U.S. corporations has made economic opportunities for the average person in those countries dismal. If those countries were given the self-determination that they started to have in the late 60’s and early 70’s the people wouldn’t be leaving them en masse like they are now. Essentially I think that democratization was not the goal of U.S. corporations or the C.I.A. rather it was corporate profits with no regard for the welfare of the people in those countries. I highly recommend reading Naomi Klein’s great book The Shock Doctrine so that you can fully understand that the U.S. is not an innocent bystander in the history of our southern neighbors. I believe that the U.S. bears great responsibility for the degree of illegal immigration that is taking place now.

    I agree with Ralph that economic opportunities in the southern countries will reduce the immigration into this country but I would go a step further in saying that the increased economic opportunities will also reduce the population growth and the environmental degradation that is occurring in those countries as well.

    The Chicago School of Economics and the Milton Freidmans of the world have done great harm to freedom, the environment and democracy and it will take great fights to bring those things back into balance. Those things are going to cause this country hardship until they are.

  13. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    my insinuation of race/language has more to do with my experience on the border than your comment here Larry. my apologies – i don’t mean to have you think i meant that in your regard.

    i spent some time walking the trails with water & blankets. i also own some acres smack in the middle of jaguar habitat.

    mexico needs help – no doubt about that. and population is a problem that will exist until income disparity is addressed. unfortunately immigration is a release valve in that regard.

    i’ve also seen the development out there – sierra vista as one example near the border – it’s out of control. but i would continue to purport that whether it be gated communities or a wall on the border – these are more the result of excessive consumption — the intrepid little feeling which would have us buy a house a little bit bigger, new, or that toy that isn’t needed.

    in this light i agree with those concerns with overpopulation – especially when that means more people who want more shit to consume. but whether this country has 300M or 100M won’t matter if those 100M consume 3 times that of the 100M ~ and right now we live in that economic volition.

    so in my view – those of us up here have a problem to deal with too, and as i have mentioned i believe that given our wealth and shear efficiency at consumption, it constitutes a larger problem – and the wall is our release valve – a way to project onto other people and issues blame for the consequences of an economic system that is not sustainable – and that at its base is premised on alienation from one another – more toys, bigger plot, bigger bank-book, more distance from view of poverty, – the wall – to be better than, apart from. it’s the same alienation and fear that has us kill wolves, bighorn, jaguar, and destroy the natural world that we are hell-bent on not understanding or extending compassion & humility toward.

    it’s the same compassion and humility involved between people that is extended to the natural world. when communities exist unobstructed by class, walls, etc. – that way of being is strengthened and more easily extended even between species and ecosystems.

    the jaguar looks to be falling victim to the same mentality of alienation this administration has been coddling for the past 7 years.

    just my take …

    the story of stuff

  14. avatar Salle says:

    Buffaloed and Brian are right, and so is Naomi Klein.

    Until the folks in the good old US of A are literally forced to change their ways, they/we won’t.

  15. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    i’d probably just add that as divisive as this issue is, i think it’s important to pound out in the open – because in doing so i think we found that we’re concerned about the same things – just from different angles . this issue ain’t going away, to have it festering underneath is more divisive than anything.

  16. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    To those of you that say increased economic conditions and opportunity lead to improved environment degradation:

    The U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world, and I ask you this: are our wildlands in better shape now? Is the Endangered Species List decreasing in size? Are Americans using less resources per capita? Are the problems and threats facing our National Parks decreasing? Are our fresh water sources getting cleaner and more plentiful?

    The answer to all of those questions is NO.

    The wealthier a population becomes, the more energy, wood, fresh water, metals, etc are consumed PER PERSON.

    It is a simple fallacy that a country can economically grow out of it’s environmental problems. The opposite is true, and this should be obvious to all of you.

  17. avatar jerry b says:

    I’ll take a shot at this also….I’m torn between immigration and not. I grew up in New Mexico, attended the U of A,. and spent way too much time bumming around Baja and the Gulf. I agree that more economic opportunity in these southern countries will reduce immigration. This won’t happen as long as the wealthiest Mexicans continue to invest throughout the world and invest nothing in their own country. All their money flows to banks and investments ouside Mexico. There’s basically no middle class,and there won’t be unless there are fundamental changes in their government.

    Of course it benefits their government to export workers otherwise they would be forced to deal with an angry majority which they know would be a recipe for a revolution. Maybe that’s what ultimately needs to happen, but so long as there’s an outlet(immigration to the U.S.), it won’t, because we’re inabling a disfunctional government, controlled by the wealthy and happy with the status quo.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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