Rejecting Propaganda
Killer Whales, Wolves, & Forest Fires

The 29 July 2007 edition of The Washington Post tells us much about the
current issue concerning ocean fishery resources.  The Post does this by
giving us two articles that not only tell us little but, indeed, tell us
more by what they do not say.

The first is a book review of some length lauding a new book about the
hopelessness of ever having another "seafood" dinner.  This doom and gloom
tome is the current environmental/animal rights forecast of oceanic
Armageddon.  According to the author, over-fishing and technology are
leading to "Extinction" and "global catastrophe.  The answer (of course) is
"Marine Reserves" that "give Endangered Species breathing room".  In fact he
calls for "fifty times more reserve areas".

In the Arts section of the same edition, we are treated to an explanation of
all the "Cuddly-Wuddly Documentaries" deluging our TV's and movie theaters.
In fact the author of this article discusses all the anthropomorphisms
(giving animals human qualities) in Disney and National Geographic and
Discovery productions from the Penguin "March" to Meerkat "Manor".  The
economic spin-offs include video games, stuffed toys, and even a "week of
ecological awareness (in conjunction with Starbucks)". A famous documentary
producer then tells us that, "As for the harsh realities of predation, 'we
had to consider that on the big screen, that can be very graphic. so we
purposely stayed away from that'".

And so, the connection between these two "puff pieces" is?  These two
articles are perfect examples of the dumbing-down of American citizens and
the propagandizing of environmental and animal rights lies.

First, the oceans, just like forests and animal populations and the worldly
environment are ever-changing.  They are overused periodically and they
change as man's needs and abilities change and weather and other factors
like plants and even the animals themselves change in numbers, distributions
and habits.  This has always been the case and the irony is that at no other
time in the history of the world have we had the knowledge and wherewithal
to manage the plants and animals around us as we have today yet we throw up
our hands and say "stop it all, there is no hope".  Regarding the ocean's
"bounty" past over fishing and current fishing methods have never been as
widely understood and amenable to management as they are today and yet we
reject management and use to push environmental and animal rights soft soap
of pernicious notions.

Commercial and sport ocean fishing, like logging and hunting and ranching
and trapping and animal control and animal ownership, animal use, and human
safety in rural communities are all things to be eradicated by the
environmental and animal rights organizations and their members.  So how is
this accomplished? By whining that the (fill-in-the-blank) is on the verge
of "collapse" and that only by shutting it down and closing it off and
excluding all human activity can it be saved.  When someone questions this
we are all supposed to remember the "Marching" Penguins and those cuddly
polar bear cubs and those cute seal pups and shout "Yes, save them all!"
Only thing is that is the worst thing you can do.

Like forest fires that get worse each year, the cure being conducted IS THE
DISEASE.  As government closes down vast areas and roads and reduces grazing
and stops logging and protects predators (that kill wild grazing animals)
the fire fuel builds up and access to fight fires is lost.  The result is
more fires and more devastating fires that elicit more calls for government
land to replace "people and homes that shouldn't be there" that means more
and hotter fires in even larger Roadless and Wilderness tracts.  So next
year they "need more" (dollars, people, land, authority, etc.) and the
problem they present themselves as the solution to just gets worse and the
cycle becomes an annual cyclone.

Like wolves and grizzly bears being spread and protected by government
across the nation.  Wolves and grizzly bears and cougars kill wild grazing
animals and thereby decrease their numbers and distribution.  They kill dogs
at every opportunity.  They kill people, especially the young and the
elderly.  They kill livestock and make ranching more problematic.  Their
impact on rural residents and hunting and rural communities and ranching and
rural economies in general is injurious to rural Americans and fertilizer to
Federal agencies seeking more land control and more land acquisition.  But
consider their impact on elk and deer and moose et al.  They kill the young
of these animals and they kill many adults in the winter.  They depress and
all but eliminate healthy herds of these animals such that hunting is harmed
and even eliminated.  When these prey animals are depressed, what do you
think the wolves and bears and cougars do?  They will then try to shift to
other critters (like llamas and kids waiting for school buses or family
campers in sleeping bags or bicyclists or joggers et al) but rest assured
THEY WILL NOT ALLOW THE ELK AND DEER AND MOOSE TO INCREASE IN NUMBERS AND DISTRIBUTION UNLESS THE WOLVES AND BEARS DECREASE IN NUMBERS AND DISTRIBUTION FIRST.  When and if the elk and deer and moose "recover" unless the wolves and bears and cougars are "managed" or "controlled" such that their numbers and distribution are kept at "acceptable" (to humans) levels:


Ocean natural resources are just like forest fires and the elk and deer and
moose.  That is to say that they may be periodically decimated but, as with
all RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES, they are fully capable of recovery WITH
COMMON SENSE MANAGEMENT.  Instead of common sense we are fed malarkey that
the "Marine Reserves" are the answer.  They are nothing but Wilderness and
Roadless Areas that are similarly all wet.  They are simply growth hormones
for central governments and the UN to declare and exercise more control over
each of us. They do not offer "recovery" any more than eliminating logging
and grazing  do anything other than make forest fires bigger, hotter, and
more difficult to contain.  Why?  Well for one thing, there is the "Wolf &
Bear Syndrome".

Just as wolves and bears and cougars depress big game herds and then keep
them depressed, so too do the 90 species of whales and 31 species of seals
et al keep commercial fisheries depressed worldwide.  The toothed whales
(like Minkes that inhabit both polar seas and number in the millions) eat
fish.  The toothed whales eat the plankton that would otherwise feed fish.
The seals eat both commercial fish and the fish they feed on from salmon
running up west coast rivers to Newfoundland cod to Namibian rock lobsters.
All the whales and all the seals are uncounted (purposely) and unmanaged by
law and international "agreement".  They not only number in the hundreds of
millions, many are enormous in size and therefore voracious in their impacts
on their environment.  But the UN opposes any management or use.  The
International Whaling Commission has been "stacked" to unbelievably prohibit
any whaling.  US law (Endangered Species Act and the egregious Marine Mammal
Protection Act) enshrines the complete protection of and prohibits any
management or use of any of these species.  All this while we churn out
books about the end of the oceans and goofy "documentaries" that make it
easy to believe that wolves eat berries and whales eat kelp.

No wolves "never attack people" and they "don't decrease big game and
hunting": just like whales and seals don't keep depressed ocean fisheries
depressed or even depress them when the whales and seal populations are very
high and widely distributed as they are today.  "Marine Reserves" are "the
answer" like more government land and no human use or management are "the
answer" to forest fires.  Hello.  Is there any intelligent life out there?

"The answer" to forest fires and ocean fish recovery lies in maintaining and
increasing HUMAN USE AND MANAGEMENT: this is done by utilizing all we know
today about numbers and distributions and life requirements and then
negotiating harvests and methods and reporting worldwide.  Enforcement and
proactive agreements are necessary but the main reason for expecting success
is the HUMAN VALUE that such use engenders and maintains.  Am I saying
predation is the only or major reason for the current situation?  No, but it
was a contributing factor and the longer we delay getting a handle on AND
DISCUSSING OPENLY the real world impact of these animals, the worse things
will get and the more difficult will recovery be to achieve.

Ten wolves will kill at least 10 times as much as one wolf. The reason being
that a pack has a collective behavior and impacts that are greater than the
sum of isolated individuals.  Likewise; pods, herds, and schools of these
marine mammal predators have impacts that far exceed what their tonnage and
distribution would indicate.

The time to reject these doom and gloom "only government control can save
us" set pieces is long past.  The time to stop looking on whales, seals,
and every other one of these "Cuddly-Wuddly" critters du jour as sacrosanct
has come and gone.  The time to agree to population levels and distributions
of both the marine and land predators that would make their presence
consistent with HUMAN NEEDS has arrived.  The time to understand that
KILLING whales and seals and wolves and bears and cougars IS THE ONLY WAY TO
CONSISTENTLY ACHIEVE THE NUMBERS AND DISTRIBUTIONS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH HUMAN NEEDS.  The annual (sustainable, renewable, whatever you want to call it) control of these numbers is best done by individuals paying a fee or
license in approved ways, in approved areas, and in approved numbers.  The
best disposition of harvested animals is markets and human uses from
medicine and food to trinkets and clothing.  This is best for government (it
pays for management of all harvested species while minimizing tax demands)
and best for individuals, local economies, and businesses.

Until we refute these propaganda documentaries and speak out against the
laws and bureaucracies that are manipulating these crises OF THEIR OWN
MAKING things will only get worse.  Burying our heads in sand will merely
result in a severe pain in the derriere that will be but a momentary warning
of far worse to come.

Jim Beers
28 July 2007

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- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist,
Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.
He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and
Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western
Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the
Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security
Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60
Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to
expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Centreville,
Virginia with his wife of many decades.