Notes on Jim Beer's many hour long speech at Bozeman, May 16
Bozeman naturalist’s notes on the event-
There has been a lot of discussion on the blog of the speech Jim Beer’s gave Sunday May 16th, 2010 at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman, from 1 PM to 5 PM. The speech was sponsored by Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, which has been complaining about wolves since it was organized in 1999.
The approximate text of the speech was posted here
Norm Bishop of Bozeman attended. Bishop worked for the National park Service for 36 years. His last 17 years were at Yellowstone, 1980-1997. He is an expert on the Northern Range elk herd, wolves, and many other aspects of the area’s wildlife. He was a contributor to the 1994 environmental impact statement, “The Reintroduction of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho.” This is important because Beers was speaking to a crowd 15 years after the event and no doubt many who attended were children when the wolves were reintroduced and so they were open to anyone’s version of the history of the event. This version is a very strange one based on my experience which goes back to the event and the years leading up to ti.
The news media didn’t cover the event, which is probably one reason Lee Enterprises was condemned at the event, although judging from the political nature of event and a 3 hours plus speech, little coverage by major media is what you usually expect.
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Notes on the speech by Norm Bishop
Wolf Introduction is a criminal enterprise based on scientific fraud was the title of a talk I attended Sunday May 16th, 2010 at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman, from 1 PM to 5 PM. Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd (Friends) sponsored the presentation by (James M.) Jim Beers, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Biologist turned whistle blower and Congressional investigator. The talk was intended to prove that the U.S. FWS and state fish and game agencies broke the law in the implementation and administration of forced wolf introduction. Purpose: to unify those that have been harmed and to fund a lawsuit. The announcement of the talk appeared in April (Vol. 1 No. 7 of The All American Patriot, a paper whose editor is listed as Robert T. Fanning Jr. (founder and chairman of Friends). Its address is P.O. Box 16129, Big Sky, MT 59716.
Fanning said the paper has a distribution of 5,000. [I have seen it mainly in the entrances of convenience or grocery stores. Based on the attendees, I presume much of the circulation of the Patriot is to small towns in southwest Montana.]
[Content that is not attributed by quotation marks, but follows the words of the speaker, should be understood as coming from the speaker, as nearly as I could record it. Some lines are paraphrased as I recall them. If I make a comment, I will enclose it in brackets. Notes in parentheses are inserted for continuity and clarity. No doubt I missed, or mis-heard some things. I accept the blame for that. NB]
Bob Fanning opened the meeting at 1:20 PM with a prayer by Barry Coe about freedom from the ruling class, and ending with, “bless this assembly of patriots.” He said he founded Friends in August 1999 with Bill Hoppe (A fifth generation rancher and co-owner of North Yellowstone Outfitters). (Fanning cites former membership in the Chicago Board of Trade 1981-1994, and the New York Stock Exchange). He said he’d hired Park County Attorney Karl Knuchel to represent them. He said he and Bill Hoppe recruited 3,742 members for Friends.
In 2001, the Idaho legislature passed House Joint Memorandum 5 on the values of the Idaho hunting tradition. Friends(?) filed a petition to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies. Wyoming filed a similar petition. MT Senator Diane Rice and lawyer Karen Budd Fallon (asked for?) restitution, and had to sue that the USFWS had broken the law in writing the Final Rule of Nov. 22, 1994. He said Friends has now paid $20,000 in legal fees, plus $50,000 donated by himself. He referred to Montana’s (2003) HB 283, urging the MT Attorney General to sue the Secretary of Interior by January 1, 2004. The bill, he said, was gutted by NGO’s and MT (FWP?). He decried Lee Enterprises newspapers as pro-wolf propagandists. He called the audience’s attention to large envelopes of information that they could buy for $10.
He noted that the MT FWP is under the executive branch, where influence could be bought. He said he values 87-1-217 (Policy for management of large predators), under which hunting is protected. House Joint resolution 29, mailed to Congress, listed (those) values.
A 2007 bill, HB 343 proposed by Rep. Diane Rice, would have given $200,000 to Friends to sue (Interior?). He referred to Dave Mech and the International Wolf Center – “You’re afraid, you hate, not law.” HB 343 said that wolf recovery was done over the “unanimous objections of the three states.” Rep. Mike Phillips opposed it. Fanning then referred to Mike’s relationship to the “Turner Foundation established by Mike Finley” (The Yellowstone Park Foundation was actually created by Finley). HB 343 passed the House by a 2/3 majority. “Ted Turner’s Governor Schweitzer killed it.” The bottom line: How many wolves are the balance of nature?” Fanning looked at me, and said, Tom Bergerud, Norm Bishop, you know Tom Bergerud, told the Idaho Fish and Game Commission that the balance is 7 wolves per square “whatever.” (Fanning never enunciated what unit, miles, kilometers, hectares?). Montana FWP in 2000 said there were 3,000. We have 4,800 wolves in the three recovery areas. What do our ancestors have to say about the 1895-1945 population of wolves? He held up a ledger of Park County bounties paid. He said in that 50-year period, no more than 200 wolves were bountied. [I was thinking about Barry Lopez’s statement from Edward Curnow’s thesis on P. 181 of Of Wolves and Men: “The first wolf bounty law passed in Montana was in 1884. It offered one dollar for a dead wolf. The first year, 5,450 wolves were turned in for bounty; in 1885, 2,224…2,587 the next year.” On P. 183, he summarizes: “In Montana in the period from 1883 to 1918, 80,730 wolves were bountied for $342,764.”] Fanning ended by saying the country shouldn’t be run by looting your money, your safety, your health in the backcountry without coming down with Echinococcus granulosis. “Jim Beers will help you decide what corrupt means.”
Jim Beers said he’d be talking about illegal activities – “the kind of people and organizations you’re up against. My dismissal had a lot to do about wolf reintroduction.” He said his talk would be in three parts: 1)his career, 2)laws, and 3)details of criminal violations and cover-ups. He said he wrote out his presentation, and that copies would be at a basket by the door. [I picked up a copy from the basket. It was a USFWS news release of October 17, 2005, SERVICE CONCLUDES THAT DELISTING THE GRAY WOLF IN THE NORTHERN ROCKIES MAY BE WARRANTED …in response to two petitions – a 2001 petition from Friends…and a July 19, 2005, petition from the Governor of the State of Wyoming… Stapled to the news release was a copy of 2005 Montana Legislature House Joint Resolution No. 29 and a copy of 87-1-217, Policy for management of large predators – legislative intent.]
Beers then gave a history of his career with the USFWS, as ADC program coordinator, Chief of Refuge Operations, and Project Officer for Pittman-Robertson (P-R) money. He retired in 1999. He said the first Bush administration, then the Clinton administration got greener. Environmental and animal rights groups lobbied in Europe, saying Europe wouldn’t sell the furs of leghold-trapped animals. Clinton people in FWS encouraged conservation. Up to 1999, FWS supported state wildlife managers, saying they supported hunting and fishing, but were having secret meetings with GreenPeace, NRDC, and others. Beers said he was a target of foul language and anger re: trapping. He said a fellow worker told him about others in FWS: “They hate you. They are truly evil people.” An executive order to ban trapping was floated. The EU backed down in 1998. He was transferred to Boston. He refused to go. Next, he received a letter telling him he was not to come to work. During the time he stayed home, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources questioned why P-R fund collections dipped, in spite of an increase in arms and ammo sales that resulted from the apprehension that Clinton would enact gun controls. The law said that FWS is entitled to 8% of those funds to administer them, but they gave away a Colorado wildlife management area for a state prison, and gave money to the National Park Service to keep them in business.
An aspect of the Clinton Whitewater case was that they opened a Wildlife Management Area for a road. He looked into P-R expenditures files, and found that federal agencies never got audited. Federal aid money was going to FWS refuges, bonuses, regional offices. GAO [the General Accounting Office] couldn’t make heads or tails of it. He spent 2-1/2 weeks looking at files. The GAO found $45-$60 million taken by FWS over and above (the 8%) and was, Beers said “spent for introduction of wolves.” Opening of a California office of FWS was not funded by Congress. The third thing was bonuses for FWS employees. “I never saw expenditures for wolf reintroduction from Canada.”
[In 1996, Senator Conrad Burns redirected $200,000 appropriated for translocation of wolves to research on Whirling Disease in Rainbow Trout. Suzanne Stone put out an emergency call to her supporters, and got $85,000, with which she paid for air fares, lodging and meals, veterinary supplies, helicopter time, and even the airplane that ferried the wolves to Butte, MT.]
Beers continues: Until the 1960s, FWS dealt with (migratory) birds. Earth Day 1970 (showed) rebellious roots, anti-war, and feminist rights. In 1966, the first Endangered Species Act passed. It took sloughs (for duck habitat) without compensation. Birds like bald eagles became charismatic species. “Mr. Hoppe, you can’t do anything within 150 feet of an eagle nest.” An old man wanted to build a room on his house next to a National Wildlife Refuge on the Potomac, within 150 yards of an eagle nest, but FWS told him he’d have to give $14,000-$15,000 to conservation organizations to mitigate the damage if he did.
Next, Beers noted that a duly signed treaty becomes the law of the land (Excluding States’ rights). During 1969-72, the Migratory Bird Treaty had excluded pelicans, cormorants, hawks, and owls, because they were seen as predators on fish and domestic fowl. Then a treaty with Japan on albatrosses, etc., slipped (other birds under protection). The 1972 Marine Animal Protection Act put manatees, which never enter international waters, sea otters, and polar bears under federal authority – like baby seals. The Act used the term, OSP – Optimal Sustained Population. Sea otters reintroduced to California from Alaska put abalone fishermen out of business.
Continuing, he said the EEO Act (Equal Employment Opportunity Act mandated that federal agencies) hire, promote, and transfer more women and minorities. The Federal Service Entrance Examination was done away with, so requirements of experience in wildlife management, forest management, were laid aside. Bonuses were tied to EEO (performance). In the 1970s and 1980s, they were given for support of the Secretary’s initiatives, and for assuring that 20% of hires, 15% of promotions are given to women and minorities. These women were hired not because they had an interest in wildlife, but because they attended minority colleges. They were like GEICO candidates. Now THEY are doing the hiring, etc. Now they’re saying there shouldn’t be small towns, timber harvest, or hunting.
Beers: In 1973, a UN convention was signed (CITES – Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species), written by those who were to write the U.S. Endangered Species Act – taking without compensation, subverting rights stated in the Constitution. A treaty on birds was signed with Russia. (President Richard) Nixon was extreme on the issues. In 1975, with the fall of Saigon, anti-war activists switched to Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife (DOW), and the National Wildlife Federation switched from hunters to enviros. (Under their influence,) we’ll all be researchers, etc. FWS will have to hire people to oversee it. Money is to come from FWS for habitat research, etc., not (to support) state hunters. He blamed NRDC, DOW, Sierra Club, etc. Navigable waters, (formerly describing waters upon which commerce could flow) under a proposed law means all waters, and watersheds – (This is the) “same stuff we’re dealing with on wolves.”
[I skipped two stories about a polluted stream and chemical weapons in Washington]
Beers, continuing: In 1980, the Reagan Years, when James Watt was Secretary of the Interior, there were “rumblings about wolf recovery.” [The first Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan was completed then. The team had begun work on it in 1974.] Mott (William Penn Mott) was appointed Director of the National Park Service by Reagan. ADC (Animal Damage Control) was moved to Agriculture, but FWS were the only ones who (understood the work?).
Stanley Young’s book (Young and Goldman,1944. Wolves of North America) told about rabid wolves, children carried off, smallpox spread by wolves from eating carcasses and carrying it village to village… [This is the book Aldo Leopold was reviewing when he called, in the December 1944 Journal of Forestry, for wolves to be returned to Yellowstone.]
Beers talked about FWS employees denying him access to a boat landing to hunt ducks. Then he went on to: Clinton was elected in 1992. Newt Gingrich was also elected. Republicans who took over Congress wouldn’t fund wolf reintroduction.
[See references cited] He said, “A FWS employee was put in charge (of wolf reintroduction?) and then went to March, 1995: “Wolves were suddenly released.” 1996 – Mollie Beattie resigned, and died. 1997 – replaced by Jamie R. Clark. Federal excise money – federal aid money put aside for director of the FWS furniture, a trip to Egypt, etc. If Clinton administration didn’t do the reintroduction in 1995, they…(couldn’t, because Republicans gained majority in Congress?). Animal rights people didn’t like Beers’ work on trapping. (They were) in the process of taking $70 million – stole it – from hunters and fishermen, from Wildlife Management Areas, boat landings.
[At 3:10, an audience member asked for a 5-minute break. At 3:20, we got one.]
Beers said he’d talked with Jamie Clark (about the misused or stolen money). Her Solicitor said it was all a bookkeeping mistake. Later, (she said) the Solicitor told us we could do it. Next, he outlined a number of “Illegal activities.”
Theft, appropriation and mis-use of $60-$70 million of P-R funds (testimony?) made before (Congressional) committee, but no one wanted to push it. Senator Ted Stevens’s daughter was hired, and put in charge of California office.
Supplemental appropriations with other money (was used for) bonuses.
“Introducing wolves to Yellowstone was not funded by Congress.” [This is demonstrably false. See Wolves for Yellowstone? Vol’s. II and IV, the 1994 EIS, all annual reports, and, for example, Fritts et al. 1995. Restoring the wolf to the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. Pages 107-125 in Carbyn, Fritts, and Seip, eds. Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world. Canadian Circumpolar Institute. Also, Bangs et al. 1998. Status of gray wolf restoration in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. WL Soc. Bull. 26(4):786-798.] “In 1997, at coffee, I heard something about, ‘Once they’ve trimmed down the elk…’” Then, “(Did FWS) file a 3177 to bring them in? FWS didn’t. Was Defenders of Wildlife with them? How many wolves?” He said he checked , and the clerk he talked to couldn’t find the numbers or a record of the permits for wolves imported in 1995. “They just slung them in the cage, and taught them to eat (something amusing).”
(He went to point 5.)
Failure of FWS to list dangers – failed to note wolves killing people, soldiers, etc. Smallpox spread by wolves – rabid wolves – boldness in winter – international records – Graves’s book denied. He cited Saskatchewan, recent Alaskan fatalities ascribed to wolves. He said 30 diseases and infections wolves carry were all ignored; rabies, anthrax, mad cow, CWD – where do they go to feed – all ignored. Wildlife and big game losses were underestimated purposely. [All those issues were addressed in the 1994 EIS.] How can the federal government reimburse owners of livestock? -Kid gets attacked at the school bus. -Livestock owners given a bone (DOW compensation program). It’s “Anti-American.” Promises re: quotas – the whole shady business… State and local opportunities (economics) not dealt with (In EIS). [Again, see EIS.] (They told us) “wolves are just like dogs.” If FWS is so incompetent, they are worse. It was deliberately done. (Audience: “Yeah!”) “Lies, lies, lies.” (They) don’t think of themselves as crooks. DOW/FWS (worked together to defeat) Richard Pombo, CA. “Defenders gets tax money – authorized by Director (of FWS) to compensate – in effect, they became implementors of federal policy.” [Actually, ADC made determination as to whether a loss was compensable.] “Alberta trappers, helicopter pilots – how were they paid?” [From 1995 appropriated funds. In 1996, those funds were exhausted, and about $85,000 in private funds were used to supplement them. Congress had appropriated $200,000 for translocation costs, but Sen. Conrad Burns redirected the money for Whirling Disease in Rainbow Trout.]
“Conspiracy? If FWS can authorize Defenders to pay for livestock lost, is that equal protection under the law? A State must assure that the dog owner be paid, too.” (That was just) “greasing the skids for further advancement.” “We’re gonna have free-roaming buffalo. Too bad.”
“Violation of the law: Cover up. FWS had stopped auditing fish and game departments for 15 years. FWS was getting greener and greener, taking down dams, meeting with Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and Cabela’s. FWS stole money, and states never asked for it to be replaced. -$60 million. Fish and wildlife agencies were subverted by FWS, repositioned to depend on FWS.” (FWS in WMA?) was burning pheasant habitat to restore prairie. [He took every opportunity to vilify FWS.] The DCAA(?) began to audit states – $130 million worth of discrepancies found in 2-1/2 years. DNRs sliding it to parks, administrators. The auditor was fired because they were behind schedule. An Inspector General was hired by FWS to audit state agencies. -What kind of corruption that breeds? (Former IG?) Earl Devaney is now the czar for stimulus funding. State lobby group (State F & G directors)… Ex-director (Chief Forester) of Forest Service now a lobbyist. The wolf, Yellowstone, little towns, bad laws, the UN…[I’m not sure what this was all about. Just a diatribe.]
Last violation: Beers was at home for ten months. His lawyer said he’d be paid a settlement, but for three years he couldn’t say anything about his (claim of wrongdoing on the part of FWS?). “How can anyone in government bribe someone else to keep quiet, to silence a witness.” (It’s like) “global warming – all this substantial lying…” (We need to) put the right people in office, and assert States’ Rights.
“What’s the chances of Ed Bangs and Jerry Conley ever being punished?” To politicians: “If every wolf is here as a result of felony theft, bribery of officials for 15 years, bring them to justice for game herds and children. To every person in this room, you know you’re victims of a crime.” Beers noted that a filmmaker was going to do a documentary of him and Bill Hoppe. He noted that Kurt Alt was here, and that, “People have been victims of conspiracies – legislatures and courts must be brought into this. They’ll try to dismiss the case. If we can get money, we’ll take this to the Supreme Court. First, prove FWS broke the law criminal conspiracy and felonies. Get the word out. Defenders of Wildlife got $3 million/year; abused 501(3)(c). Most vile and corrupt – non-essential… Moose in Yellowstone have all been killed. You know that, don’t you, Norm Bishop?” All the laws are in an envelope, available for $10. He called attention to copies of the American Patriot, on a table by the door, of which he said 7,000 copies were distributed. Then he vilified Montana FWP, who testified that Echinococcus granulosis was not a serious threat. He said, (We’ve got to) “take our country back.” Then Beers introduced the Western Tradition Partnership, whose number one political issue, he said, is wolves. (www.westerntradition.org, email@example.com, represented at the meeting by Don Ferguson) He also referred to Scott Rockholm’s web site. “They’re gonna bust these vile criminals, it it’s the last thing I ever do.” -Christian Lefer (sp?) -formed to fight green groups. Defenders defeated… -Marilyn Musgrave… Radicals will appoint people to all commissions – environmentalists. Donny Ferguson… Gallatin County zoning – CBU… Western Tradition is sending out a questionnaire to every candidate. Its first four questions are on wolves.
Candidate Terry Bannan, HD 68, said, “We have to challenge the science.” Rachel Roberts of Butte said she was on the side of ranchers. Beers mentioned Ted Washburn. Mark French, Livingston, said he was the constitutional candidate for Congress. He gave out flyers, listing what he believes. One of 11 items was, “Wolf management must be under State Control.” (HD 62 candidate?) said, “Back to basics,” and that he was a long-time hunter.
Bob Fanning said, “Criminal conspiracies and felonies brought wolves here.” (The candidate against Mike Phillips was mentioned, but not present.) Dan Happle of Madison County said something about “stealing our country by the UN…”
At 4:40 PM, Beers introduced Bill Hoppe, who “orchestrated this with Bob Fanning for ten years.” Hoppe: “I was there at the Arch (North entrance to YNP). That night on TV, “Babbitt said, ‘We beat ‘em.’ Who? We’re who.” Hoppe went on, saying that, when you call, “demand that Congress respond.” He had two wolves near his house (fussing with his dogs through the fence). He called Pat Flowers (MT FWP R3). Pat responded that there was a one in a million chance of him or his family catching Echinococcus granulosis. When Hoppe told Dr. Valerius Geist that, Dr. Geist said, “That’s the most irresponsible thing he he’d ever heard.” Hoppe wrote the MT EQC in Helena, and expressed his fears. He called Pat Flowers, and asked for the wolves to be killed. He said he’d kill them next time they show up. Hoppe concluded, “It’s time to take our State back.” (Applause.)
Bob Fanning: “We get to counting elk and wolves. We have to hold them accountable re: age and composition of herds. He asked a statistician, “What is the ability of FWP to count animals?” “Plus or minus 100%.” “Why should we obey game laws?” “Trapping” is the fearful…(?) -4,800 licenses. “We should get active and trap wolves.”
A pretty young blonde woman stood up, and said, “I just want to go out and stand between elk cows and wolves, and blow away any wolf that threatens me.” (Applause, shouts of, “Shoot ‘em!) Bob Fanning said, “The maximum fine for shooting a wolf out of season is $185. He challenged any local judge to convict anyone.
Question: “I’m aware of Echinococcus granulosis. A much bigger (issue) – end game is – the true purpose of wolf reintroduction? Jim Beers answered, “Expansion of forests, parks, and State lands being brought under federal control – to vacate land to make it easier to pick up.” Then he talked about $14 million appropriated to look for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (I lost his point about how the money was missspent). “The kind of people in Washington…”
Terry Bannan said that Social Security made each of us a corporate constitution, not a human being. “You are all owned property.”
Beers said, “Before 1913 there was no federal income tax. Before then, State legislatures appointed Senators. Now they are elected in popular elections, then they get support from corporations (who then control them).
Comment: Someone stood and pointed out that Beers was engaged in a Hegelian dialectic, [Used to relate specific entities and events to the absolute idea, in which some assertible proposition is necessarily opposed by an equally assertible and apparently contradictory proposition], and Agenda 21 by the UN, mentioning buzz phrases such as sustainability. [I didn’t get where he was headed, and I don’t think others did.]
Terry Bannan said he’d been talking with Rob Natelson (Libertarian) about the 17th Amendment, which said members of Congress still had to support the legislature of the State. He thought the legislature should call them back and demand an accounting…
5:02 PM. I left.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
19 Responses to Notes on Jim Beer's many hour long speech at Bozeman, May 16
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Reading through Beer’s speech is quite a task.
Bishop said he spent a good part of 4 days writing his notes.
Just now, reading Bishop, I caught that Beers was USFWS program coordinator with ADC. That is Animal Damage Control (now disguised as Wildlife Services). ADC is the federal government’s “problem wildlife” killing agency which exterminated wolves originally, back in the day (way back, 1920s).
So Beer’s background is pretty clear. It was with an agency that kills wolves, fox, bears, cougars, and many other kinds of wildlife.
My sincere thanks to Norm for having the patience to sit through this delusional drivel and provide an account.
By the way, if you look up Western Traditions Partnership and start digging around, you’ll see it’s pure astroturf. Donny Ferguson is a right wing Republican propaganda hack, long associated with the libertarian, private property rights movement. No evidence of any “membership” at all.
Yes, I visited their website. The website is far too sophisticated a job, right out of the blue, to be anything but the product of some large right wing outfit with a lot of money and few, if any members. Another tip-off is their connection to somewhat related news all over country from a consistent organizational viewpoint. These folks are not folks because they aren’t real.
I suspect we will find big right wing money behind these astroturf groups.
Rolling Stone has a good article how Karl Rove and friends have decided they can direct things like the tea party movement from behind the scenes with groups like this and more traditional groups that don’t like government regulation such as the Chamber of Commerce.
The Republican Party is not even necessary to them anymore (in their view).
They may not be real folks but they can do and are doing a lot of real damage. That’s why I’m taking this stuff so seriously.
By the way, the folks at the Bad Bear Blog have picked up on why I linked to Beers’ 1999 Congressional testimony about PR problems–the word “wolf” doesn’t show up once in the testimony. Explanation from St. Ignatius for Beers’ failure to speak the “truth” that he is now so passionately speaking? Beers was afraid to talk about it–in front of Don Young’s committee, no less. Right.
It was interesting that there was no account of this meeting in both the Billings Gazette and Bozeman Daily Chronicle, which I read both cover to cover.
If I remember correctly, the news papers refused to cover, of course the Billing paper is owned by the company that is a target of Beer’s crusade..I do know the press release was sent out to quite a few people and news outlets, because I received it..
Actually, the papers did a real disservice by not covering the meeting. These guys deserve all the exposure that can be given to them. It’s like giving Rand Paul the opportunity to publicly discuss civil rights.
“He said in that 50-year period, no more than 200 wolves were bountied.”
That’s interesting, because a recent analysis of bounty records in the state of Montana found that 4,116 wolves were turned in for bounty in 1903.
Here is the abstract and citation:
Abstract: “Bounty records from Montana (1902–1930) were used to better understand spatial and temporal response of wolves (Canis lupus) and cougars (Puma concolor) to an eradication program. Number of payments for wolves declined from a high of 4116 in 1903 to 0 by 1928. Numbers of cougar pelts fluctuated, but generally declined from 177 in 1908 to 2 in 1930. An inverse spatial relationship existed between density of payments for wolves and cougars. Payments for wolves were greatest in the Prairie ecoregion, while payments for cougars were greatest in the Montane. The ratio of pup to adult wolves also was greatest in the Prairie ecoregion and least in the montane. If distribution and frequency of bounty payments were a reflection of the distribution and abundance of wolves, populations were highest and most productive in areas where they currently do not occur.”
Riley, SJ. “Dynamics of early wolf and cougar eradication efforts in Montana: Implications for conservation.” Biological Conservation, v. 119 issue 4, 2004, p. 575.
In “Wolve of Yellowstone” the number of wolves killed between 1914 and 1926 was 136; the last den was destroyed in 1923.
Scholarship–it’s a wonderful thing.
Do you have a pdf of this you could send me? Thanks.
Actually, turns out the paper is available to the public: http://www.fw.msu.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/~rileysh2/Wolf-cougar%20bounties.pdf
– – – –
I’m aware of the issues with bounties. It’s always hard to know about the reliability of historical data. However, it is important to note that although MT began bounties for wolves in the mid 1880s, this paper does not look at the first two decades of this data (it begins in 1903). My understanding is that many of the “loopholes” were worked out in the bounty system–still, one always needs to look at such records with caution.
Jeremy B, interesting I will have get the book for a good read. I am not sure how well versed you are in bounties, but I’ve found that in some cases even in modern day they are suspect. In fact I am in the process of looking into 2 questionalbe cases that happened quite recently.
Here’s the problem especially back when records were kept in a note book on a top shelf. Colusion/brother in law affect. When the records are just an entry in a book, with little or no oversight the funds seem to disappear and disappear quick, example: the agent dispensing the funds family are the local bounty hunters, a 10$ bounty = 5$ for the hunter and 5 for the dispenser, only requiring a date and an X. Also I’ve found that in most cases the funds have been used up, no surplus’s. And the funds are usually gone long before the program has timed out. If you have the right political clout then there are more funds allocated the next year(who knows how far up the graff would go). We all know that goverment funds get mismanaged, consider how easy it would be to send a receipt to an auditor in DC who’s only choice to actually verify would be to drive from DC to Mt. @ 15 mph or spend a week on a train. My point, I am not sure I could hang my hat on this info. Again the book should be interesting. I believe Mr. Beers comments were with regards to 1 county in Mt.
Some articles from Beers on his blog.
Jeremy B, one other thing I know about bounties. Back around 1966 the bounty on magpie eggs was 2 cents. Never try to transport a milk bucket full of magpie eggs to the county extension lady’s office, riding on the handle bars of your buddy’s bike.
After reading several of Jim’s blog screeds, I have to wonder whether he even likes wildlife. This guy has WAY too much time on his hands.
Jim Beers is very much anti-predator. His articles on his blog prove that.
His entire philosophy seems to be utilitarian. We should use forests for logging, grazing, and harvesting of game. He mentions that animals used to be called “dumb” animals, implying that he thinks that’s what they are. If an animal has no value to man, he finds no use for it. It’s a very radical view.
The man needs psychiatric detention and treatment; he is a genuine lunatic.
Aldo Leopold, whose wisdom is beyond compare, response to Jim Beer is: “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. By land is meant all the things on, over or in the Earth. Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend: you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate the predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and and mine the farm. The land is one organism”.