Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's Put a Bounty on Stupid

The Range Blog

Ben Long | Apr 04, 2012 12:00 PM
What is more stupid than bailing the ocean? Paying someone to bail the ocean.
Yet it seems the Utah Legislature thinks that’s a good idea. Worse yet, Utah lawmakers are co-opting the state’s sportsmen to pay for this folly. If you are a sportsman anywhere between Alaska and Arizona, watch your wallet. This trend ain’t contained to the Beehive State.
burning money imageA pseudo-conservation group, Sportsmen For Fish and Wildlife, is spearheading biologically bankrupt anti-predator schemes that are guaranteed to waste millions of dollars and undermine legitimate wildlife management.

A hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt demonstrated the idea of good sportsmanship by refusing to kill a bear caught in a Mississippi trap. Roosevelt’s Legacy, called the North American Wildlife Model, has several provisions. Among those, wildlife belongs to everyone, not a privileged class; wildlife management is based in science; wildlife is not squandered wantonly.
Today, SFW is making a mockery of the Roosevelt Legacy, bankrupting America’s wildlife management in more ways than one.

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  1. Eric, be careful with this one. Ben may be well intentioned, and he may be right about coyote culling in UT, but he is absolutely wrong about predator control in AK. For that matter, he may be wrong about coyote culling in UT - I don't know enough about it to have an opinion. The antis have even leaked into TWS journals regarding AK's predator control program. AK knows better than any state how to do it right - they have studied it to death. Don't believe the criticisms that you hear/read about that state's programs - they start in Hollywood and spread from there - people have some innate affinity for bears, so the majority can be easily swayed. Don't worry about bears or wolves in AK - they're here to stay regardless of predator control that can increase moose and caribou numbers when executed strategically. Shawn

  2. Shawn - Thanks for your remarks. I was in Fairbanks back in 2003 and had some good conversations with the State Biologists. They expressed some of the same frustrations as you mention. They told me that bears killed half of the calf moose in the summer, the wolves killed another half in the winter. Along with other mortality that left 6 calves per 100 cows going into the fall season. Then all the folks in the cities demanded that they be able to take a moose for subsistence. that alone was not sustainable but the politicians would not stand up and do the right thing. This left predator control which was never going to be enough but it was the only option left.
    I've never heard of any state where bounties have controlled coyotes enough to make any difference to the pray population.