1 Mar 2010, 2:43pm
Homo sapiens
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EPA Sociologist Plays Race-Sex-Age Card

Sabrina McCormick, EPA Sociologist and IPCC committee member has suggested on her blog [here] that “old white men” scientists should be “passed up because there are new views on critical subjects.”

It’s a bigotry triple play: racism, sexism, and ageism!!!

Questions abound. For instance:

* Why does the EPA hire sociologists? Is sociology a discipline that provides useful environmental science? What do sociologists know about climate science? Is sociology a “science” at all?

* Why does the EPA hire racist, sexist, ageist sociologists in particular?

* Is self-avowed bigotry and prejudice a job requirement at the EPA?

* What percentage of EPA employees are flaming bigots?

* Are expressions of  racism, sexism, and ageism now PC when spewed forth from the cake holes of idiot government functionaries?

* Is the entire Obama Administration racist, sexist, and ageist, or is the problem confined to the EPA?

* How much is self-avowed bigot Sabrina McCormick paid by taxpayers to promulgate racism, sexism, and ageism?

* Has this country gone to the dogs or what?

Hydatid Disease Medical Reports

Was it a conspiracy, a terrorist act or stupidity that introduced a diseased animal species to the Northwest?

By Harvey Neese, The Eagle & Boomerang, March 1, 2023 [here]

Was it some kind of a conspiracy involving various government agencies/organizations to introduce an animal species with potentially dangerous diseases to the Northwest area? After introduction of Canadian wolves to the Northwest area carrying the Hydatid disease, the government organizations and so-called expert biologists responsible for the introduction have kept very mum on the Hydatid malady introduced by them.

If the biologists in the various agencies responsible for importing this disease to the Northwest had strange sounding foreign names and long beards and taking into account the potential long term financial and health costs to livestock, wildlife and humans in a large sector of the U.S., this might be dubbed a “Terrorist Act” and U.S. security agencies would be actively involved.

It has been reported that a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who was previously employed in Alaska where the Hydatid disease had been known for many years, was transferred to this wolf dumping project in the Northwest. Really now, we are to believe he did not realize the potential undesirable ramifications of introducing this disease to the Northwest area with some 15 times more population than in prevalent areas in Alaska? Either he’s from another planet or this has to be stupidity at its height! Trying to cover up for this incompetence, the Idaho Fish and Game Dept. is now saying the disease was in the area several decades ago, so it is now okay to reintroduce it or a different strain to the Northwest. How much more idiotic thinking will this project lead to?

What are the ramifications of introducing a disease carrying animal species, as Canadian wolves infested with Hydatid tapeworm disease, to large public land areas, numerous farms and ranches with livestock and families throughout the area alongside some larger cities? This is an area that is inhabited by a high percentage of people who hunt, fish and recreate in the forest areas where wolves are now multiplying.

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22 Feb 2010, 8:50pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Echinococcosis Fact Sheet

Michigan DNRE

Echinococcosis (Cystic Hydatid Disease) [here]

DESCRIPTION

Echinococcosis (Cystic Hydatid Disease) is the result of an infection with the larval or adult form of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus (E. granulosus) and occurs in humans, wildlife species, and livestock.  The adult form of the parasite is present in canids, the larval form in wild cervids, livestock, and humans.  The disease is potentially dangerous for humans.

There are two biologically and ecologically distinct forms of E. granulosus in North America: a northern biotype found in the holarctic tundra and boreal forests that is an indigenous sylvatic or wild form that parasitizes free-ranging wolves, bison, and cervids (moose, elk, deer, and caribou); and a southern European biotype that is a pastoral or domestic form that is generally found in domestic ungulates and dogs, but in areas may involve wild canids and other carnivores, wild ungulates, macropodial marsupials, and rarely lagomorphs.  The domestic form was spread as Europeans migrated throughout the world with their livestock.

DISTRIBUTION

Echinococcosis (Cystic Hydatid Disease) is an emerging disease found in many parts of the world.  There are at least nine strains of E. granulosus that have adapted to different hosts and in most cases occupy a wide geographical area.  There are pastoral and sylvatic forms of the disease affecting domestic and wild animals, respectively.  The pastoral form has been reported in sheep and dogs from the Mediterranean region, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia, Mongolia, China, and Oceania.  A horse and dog cycle has been reported from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and possibly the United States (Maryland).  A cattle and dog cycle has been reported in Belgium, Germany, South Africa, and Switzerland; a swine and dog cycle has been reported in Poland; a reindeer and dog cycle has been reported in the subarctic regions of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Alaska; and a camel and dog cycle has been reported in Iran.  In Australia the pastoral form has spilled over into wildlife and has been reported in kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, feral dogs, dingoes, and foxes.  The sylvatic form has been reported in sheep, jackals, hyenas, warthogs, bushpigs, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, and lions in Africa and moose, elk, caribou, white-tailed deer, wolf, coyote, and feral dogs in North America and Eurasia.

In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a deer and coyote and a moose and wolf cycle has been observed.

TRANSMISSION AND DEVELOPMENT

In North America the life cycle of E. granulosus requires two hosts; a definitive carnivore (wolf, coyote, or dog) and an intermediate herbivore (moose, elk, deer, caribou).  Humans are a dead-end intermediate host.

The adult tapeworm is very small, usually consisting of only three proglottids and measuring 3 to 6 mm in total length and residing in the small intestine.  The eggs of the tapeworm are voided via gravid (mature) segments of the tapeworm in the fecal material of the definitive host.  The eggs can survive at least a year in the environment as they are highly resistant to environmental stress.  The eggs are vulnerable to high temperatures and desiccation however, dying in two hours under these conditions.  Egg survival time is increased in damp and cool (the eggs can survive freezing) conditions (for example near watering holes).  Once passed in the feces the eggs can be transported by the wind, water, and insects (flies).  Egg shedding in the definitive host may be cyclical and each worm can produce by sexual means up to 1000 eggs every 10 days for up to 2 years.  Each egg contains an embryo or onchosphere that serves as the infective stage.  When the eggs are voided from the canid definitive host they contaminate vegetation and are accidentally ingested by the cervid intermediate host.  Humans can be infected by ingestion of eggs acquired from contaminated food or water, from handling live canids or pelts from dead canids, or by handling canid fecal material.

In the cervid intermediate host, the eggs hatch and release tiny hooked embryos (oncospheres or larvae) once they reach the small intestine.  The embryo burrows through the wall of the intestine and enters the bloodstream, eventually lodging in an organ (liver, lungs, kidneys, brain, or bone marrow) with the lungs being the most common site. In humans the egg hatches in the duodenum, the hooked embryo penetrates the intestinal wall and is carried via the bloodstream to various organs (liver, lungs, brain, skeletal muscle, and eye) with the liver being the most common site.

In the intermediate host, once the larvae reach the organ of choice they form a metacestode or hydatid cyst.  This larval cyst is unilocular, subspherical in shape and fluid-filled, lined with an inner germinal membrane that produces brood capsules.  On the inner wall of the brood capsules, an asexual budding process which enhances infectivity and compensates for low sexual egg production occurs that produces thousands of larval tapeworms or protoscolices.  The cysts are thick walled, fluid-filled, and range in size from 2 to 30 cm in diameter.  Development of these cysts is slow as the parasite is adapted to the long-lived intermediate hosts with protoscolices developing in 1 to 2 years.

The canid definitive host is infected by eating the intermediate host organ that contains the hydatid cyst which contains the protoscolices which has the ability to grow into an adult worm.  One small cyst may contain hundreds of protoscolices and one large cyst may contain tens of thousands of protoscolices.  Following ingestion, the protoscolices develop into adult tapeworms which eventually produce eggs to complete the life cycle.

PATHOLOGY

Infections with the adult stage of E. granulosus are generally asymptomatic and non-pathogenic to the canid host.  Infections with the larval stage of E. granulosus can be pathogenic depending on the localization, size of the cyst, and intensity of the infection in the cervid or human intermediate host.  Most hydatid cysts reside in the lung parenchyma but they are also found in the liver parenchyma, just below the capsule.  Displacement of lung or liver tissue and fibrosis of the area surrounding the cyst, as well as pressure placed on organs as a result of the hydatid cyst(s) increasing in size during the life of the intermediate host, results in pathological tissue changes.  Occasionally larvae localize in kidney, spleen, or brain tissue where their effects are more severe and often fatal.  In cervids the hydatid cysts usually develop in the lungs where they are often superficial and may protrude into the pleural cavity.  In humans the hydatid cysts are large with numerous protoscolices with the cysts varying in size from 2 to 35 cm (1 to 14 inches) in diameter.  Usually humans are a dead end in the life cycle of this parasite but Cystic Hydatid Disease in humans remains a serious problem in humans because the disease can cause extensive pathological damage.

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis of E. granulosus in the definitive host is accomplished by demonstrating the presence of adult cestodes (usually less than 6 mm long and possessing 2 to 6 proglottids) in the feces or in the upper one-third of the small intestine and identifying them using morphological characteristics (position of the genital pore, the uterus or the testes).  Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) tests for detecting coproantigens in the feces of canids can be used to test for E. granulosus.  Coproantigens can be detected shortly after infection and prior to the release of eggs by the adult tapeworms.  Serological testing can also be performed to determine the presence of oncosphere, cyst fluid, and/or protoscolex antibodies in the serum.  This test however does not distinguish between current and previous infections and cross reactivity between Echinococcus sp. and Taenia sp.

Diagnosis of E. granulosus in the intermediate host is accomplished through necropsy examination of the animal and identifying the larval cyst in the organs, usually the liver or the lungs.  Formalin fixed tissue positive on periodic-acid-Schiff (PAS) staining demonstrates a positive acellular laminated layer with or without an internal cellular nucleated germinal membrane (a specific characteristic of the metacestodes of Echinococcus sp.).

Diagnosis of E. granulosus in humans is accomplished through an ELISA test which uses an antigen preparation (hydatid fluid) which detects antibodies.  Serological testing can also be performed to determine the presence of oncosphere, cyst fluid, and/or protoscolex antibodies in the serum.  The presence of hydatid cysts can be determined on autopsy examination.

TREATMENT

Treatment in definitive hosts can be accomplished by giving canids Praziquantel or Arecoline.  Arecoline is a parasympathetic agent and increases the tonus and the mobility of smooth muscle resulting in the purgation of E. granulosus adults from the intestinal tract and passing them from the body in the mucus that follows the formed fecal material.  The drug works by paralyzing the tapeworm, resulting in its relaxing its hold on the intestinal wall.  Dosage with Arecoline is 1 tablet/10 kg. body weight but pregnant bitches and animals with cardiac abnormalities should not be treated.

Treatment of cervid intermediate hosts is unnecessary as this parasite causes limited pathological damage and is not a significant mortality factor.

Treatment of human intermediate hosts consists of removal of the hydatid cyst(s).  Removal of the cyst(s) is recommended for pastoral infections but cysts of sylvatic origin may allow for a more conservative treatment.  If surgery is performed to remove the cyst(s), a course of drugs (the drug of choice is Albendazole) is prescribed to kill any remaining tapeworm larvae that might still be in the body.  The disease may not always be cured by surgery.

CONTROL

Control of the parasite in wild canids is not feasible.  Control in domestic canids can be accomplished by preventing the availability of hydatid-infected offal (do not feed dogs carcasses or allow them to scavenge) and a regular worming regiment with Praziquantel or Arecoline.  A vaccine has not been developed for canids

Control of the parasite in livestock is possible through the use of a vaccine that has been developed utilizing a protein contained within the parasite’s egg.  The vaccine has not been successful in cervids

Prevention of E. granulosus in humans can be accomplished primarily through education and proper hygiene.  Eggs can be ingested either from handling a canid (either alive or dead) that may have eggs on its fur or by handling canid fecal material.  Examination procedures of either animals or fecal material poses a risk of infection and potentially fatal disease to humans but this can be minimized by appropriate safety measures.  Laboratory materials should be frozen at -80 degrees C for 48 hours.  A disposable face mask, gloves, and coveralls should be worn whenever handling animals or fecal material.  Contaminated material must be destroyed by heat as chemical disinfection is not reliable.

There are no precautions that need to be taken when handling tissue of the intermediate hosts as the lung cysts are not infective to humans.

SIGNIFICANCE

Though common in both its definitive and intermediate hosts, the low virulence of E. granulosus in natural hosts reduces its potential as an important limiting factor on the population.  E. granulosus is not a significant parasite in the definitive canid host.  The cervid intermediate hosts are usually unaffected by an infection with E. granulosus but heavily infected animals may have reduced stamina and be predisposed to predation.  Meat from infected cervids is suitable for human consumption but tissues or organs containing the cysts should not be eaten.

Cystic Hydatid Disease in humans can be a significant disease because of the mechanical and toxic effects of the cyst(s).  The tremendous reproductive potential of the tapeworm as well as the sheer size of the hydatid cyst(s) can cause problems in the organs where they are lodged.  If the cyst(s) bursts, the resultant toxic (anaphylactic) shock would probably be fatal.  In Alaska and Canada most infections are benign, indicating humans are probably a less suitable host for the sylvatic form of E. granulosus than for the pastoral form.

22 Feb 2010, 4:04pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Maine Residents Are Told To Learn To Live With Coyotes

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, February 22, 2023 [here]

As citizens gathered in Otisfield, Maine, a small, quiet Western Maine community, authorities handled concerns from the town’s residents about as well as one might expect these days. They were told coyotes don’t bother people, that rabbit populations were low and that it was mating season. Combine that with the ever present blame that it’s the people’s fault for… for… for… well, living, and what did the people learn?

Here’s some short quips on what people were told:

“they can learn to coexist with the varmints.”

“Eradication of coyotes in Maine is impossible”

“keep the animal wild and to support the protection of coyotes”

“not feed coyotes”

“coyotes going after large animals was very unusual”

“there is little game wardens can do”

“I don’t believe there’s anything else we can do. It’s up to you folk,”

“safe to go out into the woods, despite the coyote population.”

“You don’t have to worry about coyotes chasing you out of the woods for a meal. It’s just not going to happen.”

Oh, my! Residents deserve to be told something better than that. The coyotes that are prevalent in Maine are larger than what most people picture in their minds when they think of coyotes. The cartoon Roadrunner comes to mind. The reason for that is that it has been readily established that Maine coyotes have wolf genes in them. The wolf gene doesn’t just add size to the animal. It creates in them a different killing instinct and thus Maine’s coyotes are readily taking on larger animals, i.e. deer, horses and cows.

Telling people to “keep the animal wild” is really kind of a silly notion that by not feeding, having pets outside, growing livestock, putting up bird feeders and doing what most Mainers do in the course of their lives will somehow keep a coyote “wild”. I’m not even sure what that means. A coyote is driven by instinct and the forces of nature. If a coyote gets hungry it goes and searches for food. Not unlike the couch potato watching a football game, when he heads to the kitchen looking for food, if he can’t find it, he may have to jump in his car and head for the nearest convenience store.

Talk about passing the buck! “There is little game wardens can do”? Seriously? Seems as though I was reading recently a story of how a couple wardens in far Northern Maine were shooting about every coyote they saw and were told to stop by their superiors. This is an anecdotal reference as I cannot confirm the story but stating there is nothing wardens can do is a cop out. Did someone not get the message to the Maine Warden Service that Maine has a serious deer management problem and coyotes are part of that problem?

As hunters and trappers began complaining to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife about coyotes, the response was quite similar. They were told if they didn’t like the coyotes go kill them. As didn’t happen in this meeting in Otisfield, it would have been nice had a spokesperson for MDIFW or the Maine Warden Service simply stated that they were fully aware of the problem and was working on remedies BUT in the meantime we would like your help. That would go a long ways instead of hiding behind half truths.

It is time to change up the repeated mantra that it is rare that coyotes attack large animals. It is not rare and residents should be told that it is increasing. Poorly managed wildlife creates situations where too many predators can destroy an ecosystem in short order. If an area becomes overrun with coyotes and they’ve cleaned up the turkeys, grouse, rabbits, mice, moles, birds, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, etc., it’s time they headed for the nearest convenience store, which might just be your back yard. Telling people it is rare is misinforming and does nothing to educate the people so they will know what needs to be done to protect themselves and their property.

And as always we hear the same claim that it is completely safe to go into the woods. I wonder if Taylor Mitchell’s family would agree with, “You don’t have to worry about coyotes chasing you out of the woods for a meal. It’s just not going to happen.” Taylor Mitchell was a very young girl and promising musician who was attacked and killed by coyotes while hiking in Nova Scotia this past fall. … [more]

9 Feb 2010, 11:10am
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Lynn Stuter: The truth about the wolves

Note: the following article is an excellent overview of wolf issues. Please click on the link below to read the full article.

The Truth About the Wolves

by Lynn Stuter, News With Views, February 9, 2024 [here]

There a secret, hiding in plain sight, that every American should know about.  Your life may depend on it.

In the mid-1990’s, wolves were “re-introduced” to areas of the West under the auspices of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in accordance with the “Endangered Species Act”.

I will digress here for a moment and explain why quotes are used around the word “re-introduced”.  The word re-introduced means to bring back a species indigenous to the area from which it has disappeared or is in danger of becoming extinct.

The wolf indigenous to most parts of the West is called the Timber Wolf or Gray Wolf (canis lupus irremotus).  The male of these species, on average, is about 75 lbs; the female is smaller as is usual with most species.

In hearing about wolves invading Idaho, which has the largest contiguous wilderness area of any state in the lower 48, I kept hearing stories about huge animals.  One gent told me that a wolf crossed the road in front of his pickup and stood as tall as the hood.  I rather discounted it as the proverbial “fish story” where the fish gets bigger with each telling of the story.  What he was describing was one big animal considering his pickup was a 4×4.

I would learn that he wasn’t telling a “fish story”.  The wolf brought in and turned loose in the Yellowstone National Park and other parts of central Idaho is the Canadian Gray Wolf.  If this article is correct, the species of wolf imported is the canis lupus occidentallis or MacKenzie Valley Wolf, a large wolf from Western Canada.  One website states that this wolf was imported from Alberta.  In searching, there is the canis lupus columbianus, a large wolf found in Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta.  Another, canis lupus griseoalbus, is a large wolf found in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Whether one or more of these species, what is obvious is that they are not indigenous to the lower 48.

Males, on average, weigh 130 lbs, the females somewhat smaller.  These animals are huge, far outweighing any dog but the mastiff breeds.  Were they to stand on their hind legs, put their feet on the shoulders of most people, they would be looking down at them!

Let me be perfectly clear; the Canadian Gray Wolf is not indigenous to the lower 48 states.  To claim they are a “re-introduction” is not only misleading but purposely misleading.

That would not be the first or last problem with the “re-introduction” of wolves. … [more]

7 Feb 2010, 6:59pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Synopsis of Wolf-Borne Hydatid Disease

by Dr. Valerius Geist, PhD., Professional Biologist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science

Dear friends,

We can summarize matters pertaining to the presence of hydatid disease as follows. As expected, following some time after the spread of wolves, there was the entry of sylvatic hydatid Echinococcus granulosus disease into said wolf populations and associated prey. Earlier on fox tape worm, E. multilocularis had spread into the NW United States and I understand that it is still spreading. This dreaded parasite has been reported from foxes and coyotes. Since E. multilocularis has been reported from wolves in Europe, and since wolves may be avid “mousers”, opportunity permitting, it is likely that E. multulocularis will be reported in American wolves as well. As you are aware, E. multilocularis cycles primarily between canids and rodents (mainly voles). Moreover, since the pastoral type of E. granulosus is found cycling between domestic sheep and dogs further south, it is likely that, in time, stray wolves will pick up this variant of hydatid disease. Consequently, we expect wolves, eventually, to be carriers of sylvatic, pastoral and alveolar hydatid disease.

You may have noticed that there is some discrepancy in the accounts of hydatid disease emanating from wildlife agencies as opposed to accounts by clinicians. My understanding of hydatid disease, which I have carried with me ever since my student days over 40 years ago, matches that of the clinicians. It is a silent disease, difficult to diagnose, with little specificity in symptoms, gradually developing worse over 10-20 years, and, depending on the location and number of cysts, ranging in effects from benign to lethal. It is particularly dangerous to anyone engaged in an active, sporting lifestyle, since blows to the body can lead to rupture of cysts with dreadful consequences, and prolonged, costly treatment. Alveolar hydatid disease in particular is likely to be lethal.

It is well known that domestic dogs play a very large risk factor in hydatid disease. Unlike in Northern Canada or Alaska, in the West one is dealing with much greater densities of people, dogs and carrier species such as deer or elk. High incidents of the parasite in wolves and coyotes and a high infestation rate with cysts in lungs and liver of deer and elk, put at risk the ranching, farming and rural communities. In winter time deer and elk will frequently be found on ranches close to communities. Dogs from ranches, farms and hamlets will have access to winter killed carcasses of deer and elk as well as to offal left in the field during the hunting season. Once infected with dog tape worm, the ranch and house dogs will contaminate the yard, porches, living rooms etc with hydatid eggs. There is no escape from this! Ten to twenty years down the road, hydatid disease will raise its head, in particular in persons who as toddlers crawled over floors walked over by people and dogs carrying in hydatid eggs from the outside. Please inform yourself what this is likely to mean in terms of prognosis, suffering and costs!

We know that in the past there were attempts in Finland and in Russia to eliminate, or at least control hydatid disease. In Finland the eradication of hydatid disease was accomplished by diminishing wolf numbers and treating domestic dogs with anti-helmithic drugs. In Russia, controlling wolf density in spring and summer led to significant declines in the disease in the prey (see p. 83 of Will Graves 2007, Wolves in Russia. Detselig, Calgary [here, here]). I am suggesting that eliminating hydatid disease be discussed, and suggest the following approach.

1.) Assuming the number of wolf packs can be reduced so as to retain a vibrant, abundant prey base, that developmental studies proceed on how to create bait stations that are accepted by wolves, with bait containing anti-helminthic drugs that are readily eaten by wolves. I am aware that this will not be a quick project. Rather I expect that wolves will accept bait stations, let alone the bait, only very gradually. It will take time, experimentation and sophisticated know how to make bait stations operational. However, once accepted by wolves, the bait stations will break the hydatid cycle between wolves and ungulates. Over time, this will lead to diminished infections of deer and elk, and this with re-infection with the parasite by wolves and coyotes.

2.) Unfortunately, under moist and cold conditions hydatid eggs remain viable for months and may even infect after three and a half years. Under dry, hot conditions the eggs die quickly. Burning the understory in forests will not eliminate the dangers from hydatid eggs, but will certainly reduce such. It’s a policy worth looking at.

3.) Simultaneously, a thorough campaign must be initiated to regularly de-worm dogs in danger areas as well as encourage specific hygienic measures. Here it means winning the ears and the trust of the rural communities.

Finally we have to look to history. Wolves have been exterminated from lived in landscapes universally because they, or their diseases, posed a serious threat to affected people, livestock and wild life. The lessons from history are that we can at best live with wolves if such are relatively few, the abundance of natural prey is high, and the risk from diseases non existent. We have the means and intelligence to achieve such.

26 Jan 2010, 10:46am
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Interview With Will Graves: Author, “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through The Ages”

Black Bear Blog, January 26, 2024 [here]

Below is an interview, moderated by Jim Beers, with Will Graves, author. It took place on January 24, 2024 in response to reports of cystic Hydatid disease from worms that have been reported in wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.

Will Graves is author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages [here]

~~~~~

Q: Will, didn’t you work and travel extensively in Asia, Europe, and Africa during your career with the US government?

A: Yes. I was very fortunate to visit and work with a variety of people in places such as Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Siberia, the Karellian Peninsula, Iran, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italy to name a few.

Q: What did you learn about wolves based on your travels and work in these foreign lands?

A: First and foremost, that the management of wolves depends entirely on people and not on any so-called “balance of nature”. When management and control of wolf numbers and their distribution is absent, the damage to human life, livestock, domestic animals like dogs, and wildlife increases as wolf numbers and densities increase. Unlike other large predators, wolves are very adaptable, wide-ranging, pack animals that keep expanding their range both as individuals and as packs that expand as food and opportunities present themselves.

I was amazed at how little attention was being paid to both the visible danger of wolves and the hidden potential for the spread of diseases affecting people and other animals when wolves were being Re-introduced into Yellowstone Park in the 1990’s. The lack of discussion and preparation for controlling wolves and the absence of any candid description of historical and current wolf experiences and research worldwide struck me as a potential problem of great magnitude.

In addition to the substantiated deaths of many rural people especially in Russia, particularly children and women year around, outbreaks of wolf attacks on humans occur periodically in severe winters or when wolves become habituated to humans when they are not hunted as during World War II in Russia or when their numbers and densities increase with resulting losses of certain prey animals. They are particularly dangerous when they become increasingly bold around humans and human habitations. When wolves come into Russian villages or begin appearing at rural American school bus stops or when, as I was recently told by a Montana rancher, one came into his yard and actually looked in a window of his home, this is a very dangerous situation and almost certainly a prelude to an attack. While trying to chase off such animals is futile, removing such animals should be done immediately. However, this is merely a stopgap because other nearby wolves are likely to soon adopt similar behavior; when wolves exist routinely in such proximity to humans, history and research in Russia show this to be a dangerous situation requiring constant caution and constant control of the wolves.

Also in addition to the observable losses of cattle, sheep, domestic geese and turkeys, pet dogs, herding dogs, hunting dogs, watchdogs, and wildlife like deer, elk, and moose, there is the hidden damage from the stress of constant harassment of chasing and stalking all the surviving animals resulting in reduced physical capacities to survive and reproduce. This resulting stress leads to reduced resistance to disease and reduced weight and stamina that constitutes a significant loss to ranchers, farmers, hunters, rural residents and wildlife populations in my opinion. … [more]

On Predator-Prey Relations

We have recently posted two engaging “popular” articles by Dr. Charles E. Kay concerning predator-prey relations (or relationships or interactions).

Dr. Kay (of Utah State University) is one of our premier wildlife ecologists and is the author/editor of Wilderness and Political Ecology: Aboriginal Influences and the Original State of Nature [here], author of Are Lightning Fires Unnatural? A Comparison of Aboriginal and Lightning Ignition Rates in the United States [here], co-author of Native American influences on the development of forest ecosystems [here], and numerous other scientific papers.

In Wolf Predation: More Bad News [here], Dr Kay discusses apparent or predator meditated competition, using wolves, moose, caribou, and deer as examples.

Predator meditated competition is a tricky concept. Most people are aware that predators can reduce a prey population, and that the predator population can then fall due to a lack of prey. As the predators decline, the prey population rebounds. Then the predator population rebounds, and the cycle begins anew.

But this model of predator-prey relations is overly simplified. In the real world, predators often have alternative choices besides one type of prey. If the alternative prey is sufficiently numerous, the predator populations do not always decline so much. The primary prey is thus still subject to predation, and it can be driven to extinction.

In effect, the various prey populations are in competition with each other, not for food but for predator avoidance.

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18 Jan 2010, 10:59pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf Tapeworms Are a Serious Threat to Wildlife, Pets, and People

by Dr. Valerius Geist, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, University of Calgary
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Dear Friends,

When the news broke that hydatid disease had established itself in the NW of the United States, I quickly responded, stating some of the precautions hunters should take in the field. As a Canadian field biologist I was well instructed about hydatid disease in my training, which reinforced what I knew since childhood, because a relative of mine died of hydatid disease. Friendships during my career with medical people experienced with that disease reinforced what I knew. It’s nothing to fool around with!

I am consequently a bit concerned about recent statements that take a rather cavalier attitude towards the disease. The pro- and contra- machinations pertaining to wolves are of little concern here. What is important is that people living or recreating in areas with hydatid disease take precautions, and steps have to be undertaken to eradicate the disease.

To those supporting wolf conservation, let me make it clear: if wolves are going to survive in the NW, it will be wolves that are not infected with dog tapeworms. On this point, ludicrous as it may seem today to some, all parties can and should unite.

The more each party does its homework, the more likely this happy event will come to pass!

To reiterate briefly: because infected wolves, coyotes, dogs, and foxes (and also felines small and big, like house cats and mountain lions, and even raccoons) may carry dog tapeworm, or fox tapeworm or a number of related species of tapeworms, all of which are bad business, it is important that feces from carnivores is treated with great care –- as well as the handling of carcasses and skins of carnivores in affected areas.

Because the tiny eggs, liberated by the millions in carnivore feces, are dispersed even by tiny air currents, it is important for reasons of personal health not to poke or kick such feces. They will usually be dry. Disturbance can liberate clouds of tapeworm eggs, and these clouds of eggs will settle on your clothing, your exposed skin, in your sinuses and wind pipe, on your lips, and if you inhale through the mouth, in your oral cavity. If you lick your lips, the eggs will get into your oral cavity. When sinuses and windpipe clear themselves of inhaled particles with your sputum, the eggs will get into your mouth and be swallowed. If you touch the feces or even poke at them, chances are the cloud of tine eggs will also settle on your hands and may contaminate the food you handle or eat.

People with dogs are at risk because their dogs may feed (unbeknown to the owners) on carcasses or gut piles of big game infected with that disease, infecting themselves with dog tapeworm. These dogs will defecate in kennel and yards, spreading these tiny eggs. They will also lick their anus and fur, spreading the eggs into their fur. The eggs will cling to boots and and be carried indoors, where they float about until they settle down as dust. Now everybody is at risk of infection, especially toddlers crawling around on the floor. House cats can also be involved.

Hunters and ranching folks who keep or hunt with dogs in areas infected with hydatid disease are thus much more at risk than urban populations. The disease is silent, difficult to detect until very late, innocuous when the infection is light, provided the cysts that form are not interfering with vital functions, but lethal if they do, especially if cysts develop in the brain. Fox tapeworm infections are worse. Some new drugs can help contain the disease, but in many cases surgery is required. Unfortunately, the surgery can be very tricky.

To control the disease, we may have to undertake controlled burning of big game winter ranges to burn off the eggs. We should also consider targeting known wolf packs with medicated bait to purge them of tapeworms.

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Are Mainstream Environmentalists Racist?

Racism is the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior. It is generally accompanied by animosity toward other races fueled by prejudice.

But what shall we call the type of “scientific” racism that a) denies the historical existence of non-white peoples, and/or b) denies the humanity of other races. Super racism?

One common belief (discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, xenophobia, bias) held by super racists is that throughout history brown-skinned people have been little more than nomadic savages, packs of wildmen with no more impact on the environment than butterflies that flit from bush to bush.

That’s a common belief of “ecologists” at any rate, especially BINGO ecologists.

For those of you new to the terminology, BINGO’s are big, international, non-governmental organizations, such as the Humane Society (HS), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Nature Conservancy (TNC), among others.

BINGO ecologists hold to the notion that despite 150,000 years of human occupation of Africa, that continent today is mostly wilderness: pristine, untrammeled, wild, untouched by the hand of man. Whomever lived there, they were inept and stupid. They could not alter their environment due to their extreme primitiveness — so backward as to be sub or even sub-sub human. Homo erectus had fire, and used it, but Homo sapiens forgot how — at least, the Homo sapiens in Africa (and the Americas) somehow lost the ability to make and use fire.

It must have been their skin color that made brown humans so stupid, right?

Further, BINGO’s routinely interfere with governments in Africa to promote the ethnic cleansing of brown-skinned people in order to dehumanize large “parks” in Africa [here] to “save the animals”.

Those darn brownies finally picked up on white ways and are endangering the elephants, rhinos, and elephinos that were doing fine, unaffected by the brownies for 150,000 years, until superior white people taught the primitives how to kill and eat wild game.

Sound familiar? There’s no need to go as far away as Africa to see the actions and effects of super racism — we have plenty of it here.

Super racism leads to poverty, deprivation, and death of the indigenous residents. Super racist “science” is turned into super racist actions that inflict genocide. And it is paid for by white people in the First World.

Have you ever donated money to the WWF, TNC, IFAW, etc.? Are you aware that that your government does so, to the tune of hundreds of $millions per year? Do you know how that money is spent?

Maybe you were simply unaware (a kind word for “ignorant”) of the malevolent activities of BINGO’s and their “scientists”. Or maybe you are a super racist, too. It’s been a popular bent for hundreds of years, and there seems to be no let up.

All the above is an introduction, an invitation if you will, to examine the latest addition to the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Wildlife Sciences [here]:

Charles E. Kay. 2009. Two Views of the Serengeti: One True, One Myth. Conservation and Society 7(2): 145-147, 2009

Dr. Kay’s essay is a book review of two books, one a compendium of super racist “science” and the other a condemnation of such.

Read and learn.

10 Jan 2010, 2:19pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Two-Thirds of Idaho Wolf Carcasses Examined Have Thousands of Hydatid Disease Tapeworms

By George Dovel, The Outdoorsman, No. 36, Dec. 2009 [full text here]

NOTE: see also [here]

Hydatid cysts infect lungs, liver, and other internal organs of big game animals. Michigan DNR Wildlife Disease Lab photo

Hydatid cysts infecting moose or caribou lungs. Photo courtesy of NW Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

My first Outdoorsman article on hydatid disease caused by the tiny Echinococcosis granulosus tapeworm was published nearly 40 years ago. Back then we had many readers in Alaska and northern Canada where the cysts were present in moose and caribou and my article included statistics on the number of reported human deaths from these cysts over a 50-year period, and the decline in deaths once outdoorsmen learned what precautions were necessary to prevent humans from being infected.

In Alaska alone, over 300 cases of hydatid disease in humans had been reported since 1950 as a result of canids (dog family), primarily wolves, contaminating the landscape with billions of E. granulosus eggs in their feces (called “scat” by biologists). These invisible eggs are ingested by grazing animals, both wild and domestic, and occasionally by humans who release clouds of the eggs into the air by kicking the scat or picking it up to see what the wolf had been eating.

As with many other parasites, the eggs are very hardy and reportedly exist in extremes of weather for long periods, virtually blanketing patches of habitat where some are swallowed or inhaled. As Dr. Valerius Geist explained in his Feb-Mar 2006 Outdoorsman article entitled Information for Outdoorsmen in Areas Where Wolves Have Become Common, “(once they are ingested by animals or humans) the larvae move into major capillary beds – liver, lung, brain – where they develop into large cysts full of tiny tapeworm heads.”

He continued, “These cysts can kill infected persons unless they are diagnosed and removed surgically. It consequently behooves us (a) to insure that this disease does not become widespread, and (b) that hunters and other outdoorsmen know that wolf scats and coyote scats should never be touched or kicked.”

[NOTE: moisture around waterholes reportedly preserves the eggs in high temperatures that might otherwise destroy them. Ingestion of E. granulosus eggs by drinking the water is also possible. - ED]

Dr. Geist’s article also warned, “If we generate dense wolf populations it is inevitable that such lethal diseases as Hydatid disease become established.” Because wolves and other canines perpetuate the disease by eating the organs of animals containing the cysts, and the tapeworms live and lay millions of eggs in their lower intestines, the logical way to insure the disease did not develop was not to import Canadian wolves that were already infected with the parasites.

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New The Outdoorsman Is Excellent

The previous two posts were extracted (with generous permission) from articles appearing in the new issue of The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]. The Outdoorsman is written and edited by Mr. George Dovel [here].

The new issue is excellent, as usual. Looking back, we have posted excerpts from six? previous issues [here, here, here, here, here, here] at least. We highly value and appreciate Mr. Dovel’s work and voice.

Another article (beside the two we posted) printed in the new The Outdoorsman is “When Biologists Stocked Alaska with Wolves” by Ned Rozell of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rozell discusses the “predator pit” that resulted from the 1960 release of a mating pair of wolves onto Coronation Island, a remote 45-square-mile island exposed to the open Pacific. Prior to the release, Coronation Island had a high density of blacktailed deer and no wolves. By 1965 at least 13 wolves lived on the island and three litters of young had been born since the first wolves had arrived. Few deer remained. By 1966 only signs were found of 3 deer and one wolf. By 1983 researchers found no evidence of wolves, and the deer were once again plentiful.

Another article is “Let’s Get Real” by Dr. Valerius Geist, about the myth of the “harmless wolf”. Dr. Geist is the undisputed authority on North American big game species, and many of his essays have also been posted at Wildlife and People [here].

Another article is “The Rest of the Story” by George Dovel in which he discusses predator-prey relationships and the myth of the “balance of nature”.

… In his article “Vancouver Island Wolves,” (see April-May 2006 Outdoorsman) Dr. Geist described how, when wolves entered Vancouver Island during the 1970s, the annual deer kill by hunters plummeted from about 25,000 to less than 4,000. Are we to believe that Vancouver Island’s 12,076 square-mile area is, like Alaska’s Coronation Island, also supposedly “too small for both deer and wolves?”

In both cases, with an abundance of deer to kill and eat, the wolves multiplied much faster than the deer and soon depleted their numbers. When the wolves on Coronation Island killed off most of the black-tailed deer and exhausted the supply of other prey they starved and the deer eventually recovered.

But, as Dr. Geist explained in “Vancouver Island Wolves,” after the wolves killed off most of the black-tailed deer and smaller prey, they survived on alternate prey, including elk, livestock and domestic animals and pets. These wolves also continue to kill pockets of deer thereby preventing recovery of the deer population. …

In geographically “closed” ecosystems such as Coronation Island and Isle Royale, a single large carnivore species decimates its single wild ungulate prey and ultimately destroys itself, allowing the prey to repopulate over time. But in the vast majority of ecosystems such as Vancouver Island and Interior Alaska, where alternate prey species allow predators to survive after the primary prey is decimated, the primary prey may not recover without a dramatic reduction in predator numbers. …

That is the situation throughout much of Alaska today and it resulted from pandering to propagandists who were allowed to promote the myth that predators and their prey will seek and maintain a “natural” balance. …

In the lower 48 States, pretending to manage ecosystems rather than actively manage wildlife populations can only result in decades of starvation, disease and scarcity in between the occasional rare “balance” that may appear to exist briefly. At a time when our federal government is promoting sustainable communities and the use of renewable natural resources, promoting the wanton destruction of our renewable timber and wildlife resources is inexcusable.

Please read the (free online) newest issue of The Outdoorsman [here]. You may also wish to send George Dovel a donation for his important and valuable efforts (see the last page of The Outdoorsman).

3 Dec 2009, 12:04pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
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What is Conservation? Who are conservationists?

By Hunter’s Alert [here]

There are many words that have double meanings, like “gay”, “coke” and “conservation”. Most people would argue that conservation only has one meaning. Through language deception perfected by government agencies and environmentalists (which has been so skillfully brought to our attention by Julie Smithson of Property Rights Research) words are of monumental importance in our perception of the way we view things and make decisions.

Government agents (bureaucrats) and news media (journalists) like to refer to anti-hunting groups such as Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and many others as “conservationists”. These anti organizations (environmentalists) spend much of their time and their money on lawsuits, suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the government) thus establishing their agendas and imposing their will on the American people.

Hunters were the first conservationists practicing sound conservation in America and they are still the best, spending their money for all forms of wildlife.

These two words today, “conservation” and “conservationists”, have been usurped by anti organizations, agencies, and journalists, ignoring the true conservationist — none other than the HUNTER — and by so doing making the hunter appear to be the problem while they are the saviors.

Now think it through — who gave us all the abundant wildlife we have known up to this day that we rapidly see disappearing all around us? Hunters did it with their dedication to wildlife and their money without having to sue the very government agencies that these hunters pay to represent them in ALL wildlife management. Then the late entrance of these environmentalist organizations, paying virtually nothing, infiltrating our government agencies, and you can see who and where the problem is.

Now — who are the real conservationists?

10 Nov 2009, 12:20pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Humans, as predators, have duty to control coyotes

By Dick Dekker, PhD, Edmonton wildlife ecologist, The Edmonton Journal, November 9, 2023 [here]

“Coyotes Kill Young Singer Hiking on Nova Scotia Trail” was a headline in The Edmonton Journal of October 29.

This shocking news story was followed by an almost equally shocking headline, but then in a very different sense: Victim Wouldn’t Want Coyotes Killed

The bereaved mother was quoted to say: “We take a calculated risk when spending time in nature’s fold … in the coyote’s space.” By this, she probably meant that the coyote was here first, and its rights should take precedence over those of humans.

Unfortunately, her soft-hearted reaction appears to be based on the fallacious belief that Nova Scotia is the coyote’s original habitat. This is not the case at all — quite the opposite. The coyote arrived after humans exterminated its natural control, the wolf.

Prior to European settlement in North America, the original range of the coyote was restricted to the arid southwest, whereas all lands to the east and north were the domain of its bigger cousin. However, after wolves were shot and poisoned in most of the continent, the coyote took advantage of the opportunity by expanding its range.

This adaptable canid is now common from coast to coast and in all suitable habitats, as far north as Alaska.

According to various experts commenting on the Nova Scotia tragedy, coyotes rarely attack people, and the pair of animals involved in killing the 19-year old woman may not have been pure coyotes, but hybrids of coyotes and dogs (The Journal, October 29).

Eastern coyotes are somewhat larger than the western kind, and the differences may involve more than just physical size. In the Maritime provinces, coyotes have, in fact, become wolflike and now prey on deer as well as mice and rabbits.

“Eastern Coyotes May Be More Aggressive, Expert Says.” (The Journal, October 30). This opinion, however, is contradicted by the facts. Based on the known record, attacks on humans by western coyotes are by no means rare. Several dozen serious and potentially lethal cases have been reported from western national parks — including Jasper, Banff and Yellowstone — as well as from provincial recreation sites in British Columbia.

Nor is coyote aggression toward people uncommon in large cities, including Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto. In all of these areas, there was no hunting. Coyotes lose their fear of people, scavenge on food scraps and are sometimes fed.

Most of the woundings have involved children, which were grabbed and dragged into bushes. Luckily, in nearly all of these horrifying incidents, the timely intervention of parents saved the screaming victims from certain death.

Some well-meaning defenders of wild predators argue that attacks on humans by coyotes are very few compared with those by dogs. This is indeed a very sad fact. Serious bites and even lethal maulings by “man’s best friend” average five million reported cases per year in North America.

The difference is that some coyotes consider humans as potential food, on par with deer or bighorn sheep. The coyote’s ferociousness in attacking animals larger than itself is not a pretty sight.

In cities, the fearless coyote is a growing problem, and what to do about it is locally under review. In the opinion of Edmonton park rangers, only proven culprits should be killed, because, for every coyote removed, another one will take its place.

This realistic management option shows a surprising level of tolerance for a potentially dangerous predator in a city where people think little of destroying other wildlife, such as magpies and squirrels, just because they are noisy or a nuisance.

In wilderness habitats, the opportunistic coyote is kept in its place by the wolf. I can speak from personal experience.

During my 30 years of mammal surveys in Jasper Park’s lower Athabasca valley, where wolves have been the apex predator, coyote sightings per day have gradually declined by a factor of 10 to one.

In large cities, in the absence of wolves, humans are now the dominant predator and should take the responsibility for keeping aggressive coyotes at bay.

Copyright 2009, The Edmonton Journal.

7 Oct 2009, 11:32am
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
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Lawsuit Against USFS Allotment Ranchers Dismissed

From the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association

For Immediate Release / October 2, 2009    [here]

Ranchers Claim Victory in District Court Ruling

Yesterday’s ruling by United States District Court Judge James O. Browning dismissing a challenge to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) grazing permit renewal from the WildEarth Guardians is welcome news for New Mexico ranchers and will help ranchers across the west.

“Livestock producers across the West are breathing a sigh of relief today,” said Alisa Ogden, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) President, Loving.  “The claims made by the WildEarth Guardians in this case regarding grazing, the livestock industry and the Forest Service were totally without merit, and Judge Browning reinforced that fact with his ruling.  This is a huge victory.”

In 2007, the WildEarth Guardians, then known as the Forest Guardians, challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS’s) use of categorical exclusions (CEs) to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for grazing permit renewal in Federal District Court.  The case focused on 26 grazing allotments in the Gila National Forest.  The NMCGA, the New Mexico Federal Lands Council and the Arizona/New Mexico Coalition of Counties intervened in the case on behalf of the 26 named allotment owners.

“This case was just one more attempt by a radical activist group to eliminate livestock grazing,” Ogden said. “Had it been successful, it would have devastated the livelihoods of the named allotment owners, and the economy of rural Southwestern New Mexico.  We are so pleased that the court saw through the claims made by the WildEarth Guardians and ruled on the side of common sense and the will of Congress.

NEPA analysis is typically required for major federal actions, but due to policy decisions by the USFS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is now required for the renewal of 10-year USFS grazing permits, Ogden explained.  Now, the agency has a tremendous backlog of analysis and paperwork, because they simply are not equipped to conduct such detailed review on every grazing permit that comes up for renewal. Additionally, the WildEarth Guardians and other such groups tie up the agencies with appeals and lawsuits.

“This has created a lot of uncertainty for ranchers who depend on grazing allotments as part of their operations, and for the institutions, like banks, that they work with on a daily basis,” Ogden noted.  “Fortunately, we have had strong Congressional support on this issue.”
Starting in 1995, and most recently in March of 2009, language was included in several appropriations bills by former Senator Pete Domenici directing the USFS to use categorical exclusions to keep the current terms and conditions of grazing permits in effect until the agency is able to complete the environmental analysis required for renewal.

“Through no fault of their own, these ranchers were placed in jeopardy, and we appreciate the court’s ruling.  The ironic thing is, every lawsuit filed against the agency by groups like the WildEarth Guardians takes more and more time and resources away from environmental analysis and on-the-ground resource management –- making the situation even worse.”  Although this ruling pertained to these 26 allotments in New Mexico, it will also have a direct influence on the court challenge that Western Watershed Project has mounted to the remaining 138 Forest Service grazing permit renewal decisions on 386 allotments across the remainder of the Western states.  That case is now pending in the Northern District Court of California.

“We are extremely pleased that the USFS chose to defend itself and the ranchers on these allotments in the face of this frivolous litigation. We are also extremely proud of the representation that Karen Budd-Falen and the Budd-Falen Law Office, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming, protected the industry through participation in the case on behalf of the livestock industry,” she concluded.

-30-

 
  
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