This story emphasizes the human propensity to justify killing predators for the sake of ungulates.

Brainwashing, indoctrination, simple human differences of opinion, we are not sure what the basis is of the wide range of perspectives about predator hunting. It seems somewhat suspicious that even people who promote the pseudo-management reasons for killing wolves, cougars, and bears find it necessary to justify their decision by the almost altruistic claim that they are ‘protecting’ another species. This might be acceptable if it were not true that predators and prey have evolved together for much longer than man’s footprints have left devastation on the land. This story is a little different…it almost insinuates the machismo of hunting large carnivores by drawing attention to the paradox of the very pretty female teen being the killer in this case. “this is man’s work, but she was able to do it like a man” is an affirmation of some sort although, what exactly, eludes us.

A more honest assessment of the story would have left out the moose calves (a natural food source for the bear) as a reason to kill him. It would have been simply a grandchild providing meat for her grandmother in the most natural human predatory manner-for indeed we are omnivores-just like the bear. Any other justification sounds like an excuse or the need to positively reinforce a behavior you are  not quite sure about.

We cannot think of any redeeming benefits of this proposal…

The decision of the New Mexico Game Commission to agendize the possibility of trapping mountain lions is a serious threat to the democratic process. We should all be concerned that a Bill to allow similar pressure on lions failed in the recent 60 day legislative session. New Mexico is not the first state this year to tweak processes to achieve a foregone conclusion to legislation introduced by special interests. Montana also showed that politics has the ability to resurrect legislation that has died a democratic death.

Zombie Politics should concern us all. It is a proxy for consumptive heavyweights to get what they want in spite of the rules of law, it is the slippery slope to regressive management. To allow buy valtrex nz trapping of cougars in New Mexico is cruel, shortsighted and archaic.  Random culling of large carnivores will not help ranchers to protect their livestock. Conflict prevention and non-lethal deterrents are the solutions for depredation. Widespread removal is a bandaid that just delays further predation. Why not solve the problem and protect the stock? And if extirpating the cougar from the landscape for the sake of producers is the objective….that is NOT for the Commission to decide. The Public Trust Doctrine allows the states to manage animals for ALL people. Too many states are forgetting that, and are succumbing to the misinformed notion that they can set regulation in sync with the desires of a minority.






How different cultures define the grizzly bear. What that means to the future of this iconic animal.

The North American Brown Bear, ursus arctos–the grizzly. There are many names for this imposing, inspiring and iconic mammal, once proliferate across the continent, but now relegated to small islands of heavily invaded habitat in the Rocky Mountain West. And just as there are many names for the bear there are many perspectives about its value on the landscape.

The grizzly bear is a prime example of a creature defined by human beliefs, attitudes and values. If the perceptions that abound about grizzlies were each assigned a musical note, then we are in for a loud and discordant finale as the melody of recovery builds to the crescendo of the delisting process.

The story of the bear is a deeply embedded part of the cultures woven into our nation. Prior to human presence, the bear evolved as one of the most adaptable mammals on the landscape. Our earliest culture, that of the Native American, celebrated the bear, honoring his presence as an indication that they too could survive. The bears were treated with reverence and seen as a source of indefatigable power.  Thus the spiritual significance of the grizzly to a people that have shared its path for eons cannot be underestimated.

Looking in from the outside, history illustrates the parallels between the way decision makers have treated both the bear and the indigenous people.  Both once occupied broad swaths of the continent, both were regarded with fear, as threats to the immigrant white man and his interests, both were victims of widespread slaughter and both were eventually forced into arbitrary tracts of land to be preserved as artifacts of a bygone age. The eco-centric civilizations valued the bear not only for his physical body but also for his contribution to the rich lore that sustained them. The historical paradox extends to the fact that it was as late as the 1970’s that Indian Schools (the last was in Utah), which essentially whitewashed the richness of the native culture, were deemed redundant. No more cutting long lustrous Indian hair, no more cutting out the stories of animal totems and great spirits, no more cutting through the sensitive and beautiful belief systems that honored the earth and all who share it. The closure of the schools essentially marked the covert effort to ‘recover’ the right of the Native American to pursue and enjoy what little culture had been left to him, albeit on the islands of reservation land. It was also in the 1970’s that a partner emerged to walk the same path as the Indian…the Grizzly Bear!

Beaten back, exploited and victimized for the viewing pleasure of the mostly white traveling public, the great bear and the Indian conjointly received tacit approval to once again ‘be’ according to their nature and history. No longer a sideshow at garbage dumps, the bear, that icon of America, spanning the symbolic glitz of the California flag to the profound depth of native spirituality, would also be ‘recovered’. Just as the native sons and daughters of the Americas received a social reprieve that saw a reduction in ‘Wild West Shows’ and voyeuristic representation, so the native bear received a biological pardon. Science and not sociology would become the vehicle to transport the bear from near extirpation in the lower 48. There are many differences between science and sociology. With science, ironically, the human takes the credit for discovery of natural laws and the recovery of the bear illustrates how important that is as a definition of success. In a type of statistical absolution from the predominantly patrician scientific community, the bear has been declared ‘recovered’! Sociology also has a place in the picture of recovery, a place very similar to the Native American, a place of isolation. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has become the Elba of the grizzly bear. Yet socially the value of the bear to ‘everyman’ has been played down. Even though our American God is money (Hence the reference on our currency-‘in God we trust’, refers not to a deity but to the green paper on which it is printed) the millions and millions of dollars generated by the social excitement of the now predictably visible bears have been played down to be almost buried in the magna, recently discovered below the home of the bears themselves. No, the social context is firmly centered on the desire of the state governments of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to reward the consumptive users that have so patiently waited out the hard-knock moratorium on the opportunity to kill the bear for pleasure.

Science is often cited as a method devoid of emotion, or bias, but there can never be a non-emotional human activity. That is our nature in the same way that wildness is the nature of the bear, and spirituality and eco-symbolism predominate autochthonous cultures.

The Tribal representatives deserve to be part of the decision to declare the grizzly bear recovered. They know the bear’s story and have ‘walked ten miles in his shoes’ on the dangerous and intolerant journey that searches for an authentic place in the McCulture of America today.


Possible cougar sighting in North San Diego county

California is a state which provides huge challenges to Mountain Lions in the form of rapid and seemingly endless human development that encroaches on habitat and fragments connectivity possibilities. However the people of California spoke up and limited the challenges from sport hunting (killing purely for recreation). The electorate realized that random culling of cougars was not a method of preventing conflict, just an opportunity for a minority to seek trophies in the form of rugs, wall hangings or mounts. This does not mean that mountain lions have free rein in California. The Department of Fish and Wildlife still has the discretion to ‘manage’ lions buy valtrex walmart that may pose a threat to humans, pets or livestock. This proactive and responsive attitude has led to cultural changes where even the media seems to respect the ‘lack of a story’ that now comes with sightings. It seems that most Californians are taking practical co-existence in their stride-modifying their own behaviors and taking responsibility for minimizing the risks of negative encounters. The words that accompany this news release about a cougar sighting in North San Diego county are understated and do not incite panic even though the picture of the cruisers implies a little more adrenalin based reaction than usually comes out of California.

Some good news passed along by a true friend of the planet!

It is always heartwarming to hear the story of an animal freed from a life of suffering. This is such a story. Thanks to dedicated humanitarian Daniel Lombardi for sharing this with us,

Wildlife Services! This is one way they can leave the negative behind…

Funnily enough the USDA’s Wildlife services seems to be content to live life in the shadow of a reputation that promotes widespread removal of animals-to the tune of millions and millions of wildlife deaths a year. Why do they allow themselves to be viewed with such contempt when they have strong academic investment in the field of non-lethal deterrents and conflict prevention? This is an area we can all get on board with and an area we should encourage them to focus their resources on.

To be fair, they only respond to removal requests at the invitation of landowners or on those occasions where public safety is at risk, such as the presence of rabid animals in residential areas or the threat of large flocks of birds around airports.

Things work according to ‘following the money’. How can we incentivize growers to invest in non-lethal deterrents rather than slaughter, which doesn’t actual solve the problem-it just delays it until the next carnivore has an opportunity to access an unprotected flock?

Funding Reform is the priority for better balanced game agencies.

As traditional interest in hunting is edged out by technology and ‘virtual’ pursuits, many states are facing crises of funding. They are increasingly looking at how to secure the contributions of a broader range of citizens than just those who conserve for the opportunity to hunt animals. This is a very positive step forward and one that will require identification of complex issues and established State/consumptive user relationships. This article illustrates the extent to which order valtrex overnight hunters willingly contribute towards their recreation. Many hunting groups are reluctant to share the interests of all the public in the management of wildlife. The system has worked well so far-for THEM. The challenge will come from the states and traditional users who would rather not see the Public Trust Doctrine extended to the entire public. Funding is the excuse for exclusiveness and also the solution for better balanced representation.

Colorado homeowner understands the concept of co-existance.

This short video helps us understand how we can learn to respect large carnivores and share our space safely when it intersects with wild-land that provides good habitat for cougars. Our families, pets and livestock depend on the decisions we make to keep them out of harms way. This story is better balanced than much of  ‘panic inducing’ media coverage associated with the presence of mountain lions.

Urban wildlife, can we accommodate it safely?

This is a thought provoking article, not only because it is published in the Oregonian, which serves a state that recently lost the battle to liberalize how mountain lions can be eliminated, but also because it draws seriously biased  conclusions about states that are doing their best to coexist with wildlife.

The problem is not the wildlife per se, but how human development and expansion has threatened their habitat and caused greater opportunity for overlap. There are some schools of thought that think utilization of any unaffected landscapes is going to be the way of the future for the survival of many species. That includes suitable land even within human development. There is a crisis-a crisis of habitat and many of the states or countries cited in this article are in fact proceeding in exploratory ways to address the crisis. No, they do not have the answer, but they also do not fall back on the gun as the only solution…