6 Aug 2008, 12:51pm
by admin

Junk Wolf Science/Politics Sets Bad Legal Precedent

by Dr. Charles Kay, Utah State Univ.

To Mike:

I finally had a chance to read through the judge’s granting of a preliminary injunction in the wolf delisting case, and it is just as I predicted. The feds set the lawsuit up to lose, and the 30 breeding packs/300 wolf figures upon which the entire EIS was based and upon which wolf recovery was sold to the public are MEANINGLESS , if not an outright scientific fraud!

Why anyone believes the feds is beyond my comprehension. Please see the Wolf Recovery:Is Delisting Rigged? by Dr. Charles Kay [here].

According to the judge, the more wolves you have, the greater the probability of genetic interchange. So if 1,500 wolves have not provided the necessary genetic connectivity, perhaps 3,000 or 6,000 will?

The bottom line is that the judge thinks that more wolves are better and that killing even a few wolves constitutes irreparable harm to the species. I KID YOU NOT, read the judge’s opinion. Whatever it is, it is not science.

The judge really disliked WY’s state wolf management plan, and get this, the state is going to be mandated to keeping at least 15 wolf packs outside Yellowstone NP, while according to the law, there is no mandate for the feds to keep any wolves in YNP at all! Basically, the judge has said that the state cannot count the wolves in YNP as being in Wyoming!

Not only is the judge’s ruling bad enough in itself, but if not overturned, it will establish EXTREMELY BAD legal precedent through out the country. Based on the Judge’s insistent on “genetic connectivity” — whatever the hell that is, something that is not even mentioned in the ESA — it will be a simple matter for a judge to rule likewise in the Yellowstone grizzly delisting lawsuit, since those bears are not connected to any other population, as well as every other ESA lawsuit in the entire country.

This is surely a huge gift to the Wildlands Project!

As to “Genetic Connectivity,” that term has never been defined. How much is enough? One wolf every 10 years? Ten wolves every year? And who is to decide? Another federal judge who has no scientific training either in genetics or statistics?

Undoubtedly, this will provide fertile ground for more lawsuits.  In addition, you need to consider the level of sampling that would be required to document “genetic connectivity.” Even if 1% of the wolves in YNP contained ID genes, you would have to geneticly test 95% of the wolves in the park to have a high probability of picking up the ID genes. The study cited by the Greens, and on which the judge hung his hat, only tested around 30% of the wolves. Thus, even if ID genes have made it into YNP, the cited study was NOT properly designed to determine that fact. This was pointed out to the judge by the federal defendants, but the judge ignored the declarations of the federal experts and instead relied on his “Expert Opinion”. Then too, I assume “genetic connectivity” is a two way street, and no one has tested the ID wolves to see if they carry any YNP genes. If the latter in fact has been done, it was not mentioned by the judge nor cited in any of the federal declarations.

Also be advised that there is one way and only one way to get the “genetic connectivity” mandated by the judge’s ruling. Wolves that kill livestock MUST NO LONGER BE KILLED OR OTHERWISE REMOVED.

Why do you think the wolves in ID have never hooked up with the wolves from YNP? It is because once the wolves leave the ID wilderness and head east, they move on to ranchlands where they INVARIABLY turn to killing livestock and have, to date, been controlled, i.e.,killed. The same is true of wolves going west from YNP. Then too there is that thing called the Continental Divide between the two areas. When wolves disperse in late winter or early spring, what does the area along the CD look like? Try 8 to 10 feet of snow!

That is to say, east-west dispersal and “genetic exchange” as mandated by the judge, is highly unlikely. Then too if a wolf from one of the areas would make it to one of the other areas, what would happen to that dispersing wolf? Why in all probability it would be killed by the wolves whose territory it has entered! Recall that wolves in established packs in AK kill each other at a rate of 36% per year! Also note that NPS has reported increased killing of wolves by wolves in YNP, as ungulate numbers have fallen. Of course, the judge touched on none of this.

Similar problems exist in providing “genetic connectivity” with the wolves in northwest Montana, which I assume is also required under the judge’s ruling.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg in what will be a never ending string of wolf delisting lawsuits. Recall, that there are also pending pro-wolf lawsuits in NM-AZ and CO. THIS IS NOT JUST MT’s,ID’s, and WY’S PROBLEM!

So, who is going to appeal the judge’s ruling? And more importantly, on what grounds? I CERTAINLY would not trust this to the feds.

The bottom line, however, is that unless the ESA is changed, this type of litigation will only multiply. So how do you reform the ESA? Simple. It can be done in as little as three paragraphs WITH SCIENCE.

First,the scope of the ESA should be limited ONLY to SPECIES. Subspecies and distinct population segments, or ESU’s, should be left to the states as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Second, taking a page from the Greens and Conservation Biology — recall the Y to Y, Yukon to Yucatan. In deciding whether or not to list a species, the ENTIRE RANGE of the species must be considered irrespective of state or national boundaries.

Third, again taking a page from Conservation Biology regarding population viability analysis and minimum viable population size, if there are more than 7,000 of a particular species, that species can not be listed under the ESA as that species is not in imminent danger of extinction. Species with more than 3,000 individuals but less than 7,000 can be listed as threatened, and only those species with less than 3,000 individuals should be listed as endangered.

All this is in keeping with the best available science. Moreover, limited federal funds should be spent on species that are truly biologically endangered, such as whooping cranes, instead of common species, like wolves, that are not even remotely biologically endangered.

The focus should be on saving truly endangered SPECIES, not on social engineering by activist federal judges or those who want to depopulate large portions of the United States.

Sincerely, Charles

7 Aug 2008, 3:05pm
by Marion D.

No surprise whatsoever when the judge announced his decision prior to getting the case presented.

Your ideas of ESA changes are so sensible, however the greens will fight tooth and toenail to keep that from happening. They are full of hatred now for anyone who dares even complain about their rule. They will not yield one iota of control over other people. Unfortunately they have the judges doing as they wish.

8 Feb 2009, 12:58pm
by Flu-Bird

Time has come to ether amend or repeal the ESA. It hasn’t worked and has failed repeatedly. It is time to tell the greens to go jump in a swimming pool full of rapid skuas and quit bothering us with stupid letters, wealthy Hollywood jerks, Robt. Kennedy Jr, and other liberal idiots.

11 Feb 2009, 9:11pm
by Flu-Bird

For all you ignorant flatlanders who want wolves reintroduced these animals should be introduced into your own suburban urban neighborhood where you live in your big city surroundings and your close encounter with wildlife come every time you put your DVD of BAMBI, OPEN SEASON, BROTHER BEAR into your DVD player YOU REALLY NEED TO GET OUT INTO REAL NATURE NOT THE MADE UP KIND GET REAL FLATLANDERS

11 Feb 2009, 9:37pm
by Mike


Easy big guy. Keep your cool. Check out this site.

We are pursuing scientific wildlife stewardship with rational discourse. I feel your pain, but shouting won’t solve the problems. Some of the top wildlife experts in the country read and contribute articles, papers, and essays. Respect that, so we can respect you. We’re all on the same team.



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