I’m posting a link to an important document that will help folks understand the global REWILDING perspective.
While obviously written from the pro-REWILDING point of view, the articles in the source document more or less accurately portray the emerging conflicts between traditional land uses necessary for human survival and global conservation goals.
Unfortunately, the authors and contributors completely ignore the issue of PRIVATE PROPERTY and/or CITIZEN RIGHTS, which besides being purely an”American thing”, are concepts the radical environmental lobby hopes will go the way of the dodo bird.
Here are a few notable excerpts if you don’t have time to read the entire 56 pages….
“There are many potential mitigation measures that could be used, but all of these require a transition from free-ranging grazing to a more controlled form of husbandry, and so far the industry has shown a very limited will to change, preferring to accept compensation payments and lobby for a reduction in large carnivore numbers.” (Page 14-15)
“On top of these conflicts that have a material or economic basis are a whole range of social, cultural and political conflicts. Although issues like economic loss and fear for personal safety are often cited, a large part of the background lies with a fundamental disagreement between rural people and those living in cities, and between rural community leaders and more central authorities, about who should make decisions and about the fundamental right of large carnivores to exist in our modern landscapes.” (Page 15)
“Therefore the wolves threaten not only sheep, dogs and wild game. Their protection, widely seen as emblematic of a drive to change land use from production to protection, is threatening the whole idea of rural landscapes in the eyes of many local people. Conservation threatens traditional economic activities, and is viewed as part of a broader attack on rural communities and lifestyles, entailing centralisation, depopulation, and general economic drain in favor of urban areas. Changes in the physical landscape, such as spontaneous reforestation of farmland and abandoned homesteads, are seen as the onslaught of chaos, and not a return to a pristine wilderness state. Removing wolves was necessary for earlier generations in order to turn the land into a carefully managed production landscape, and the current protection of wolves therefore is an attack on the whole rural ethos and a mockery of the toil of the ancestors.” (Page 41)
“In both the instances, the groups have similar perceptions of the large carnivore, but their disagreements stem from their perception of the landscape and how it should be used. This insight adds an interesting twist to conservation practice, shifting its centre of gravity from conserving species to managing contested claims in multi use landscapes.” (Page 42)
Water and energy are intertwined. The production of energy requires water, and providing freshwater uses energy. Both of these essential resources face increasing demand and are a source of potential conflicts.
Proposed water and energy governance schemes affecting the citizens of Washington State, including the HIRST Decision [i] , are not the result of citizen initiatives or in-house political processes but have their origin in the UN-SDA Treaty and other international agreements.
Institutionalized global water governance standards are a necessary component of global energy governance as outlined in United Nations Sustainable Development Treaty goals. Both require a transformation of existing governance infrastructure to insure well regulated delivery systems while providing environmental protection and equity among all users.
In order to insure equity, transformation of this magnitude is dependent on a reduction in the per capita “water footprint” of developed countries while meeting the growing need for water development projects and new infrastructure in undeveloped countries. This level of control necessitates a change in governance structures and societal expectations.
UNESCO has established itself as the governing authority on global water issues with administrative centers throughout the world, including in the United States. It should be noted that U.N. mandated water governance and carbon reduction requirements pose a direct threat to the sovereignty and Constitutional rights of United States citizens. [ii]
“The International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) was established by the U.S. Army Institute for Water Resources (IWR) in 2007 in collaboration with U.S. institutions and organizations sharing an interest in the advancement of the science and practice of integrated water resources management (IWRM) around the globe. It was formalized as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) category 2 water center in October 2009 with the signing of an agreement between the U.S. Government and UNESCO. The designation greatly facilitates ICIWaRM’s ability to engage the UNESCO water family, serving as a focal point for increasing U.S. contributions to the [UNESCO] International Hydrological Programme (IHP).”
IWRM was formalized as the international standard for water management (read: governance) in a SIGNED agreement between the Obama administration and UNESCO in 2009.
UNESCO New York Office
New York City, New York
29 October 2009, 11:00 EDT
The signing ceremony is documented here as are the following remarks of Major General Don T. Riley, Deputy Commanding General, USACE:
Remarks by Major General Don T. Riley, Deputy Commanding General, USACE
“Mr. Matsuura, first let me congratulate you on your remarkable 10-year tenure as the Director-General of UNESCO. I am especially pleased that you will be signing the Memorandum of Agreement to formally designate our International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) as a Category 2 Centre in light of the encouragement and support you’ve provided us over the past five years as we pursued our candidacy.”
“Thank you for your service to UNESCO and congratulations on your impressive accomplishments over the last 10 years. The expansion of the network of IHP Centres around the world, essentially establishing a global water family within the framework of UNESCO IHP, is one of the great accomplishments during your remarkable 10 years leading UNESCO.”
“I am honored to represent the United States at this ceremony today, and I am delighted that it is through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the U.S. is now formally joining your UNESCO water family by virtue of our signing of this agreement.”
“To an outsider, it may seem unusual for the United States to look to the Department of the Army to be the host of the Nation’s first centre associated with a United Nations organization promoting peace, science, education and culture. Yet, here I am, taking great pride in the fact that the first UNESCO Category 2 Centre in North America is being hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is the result of a remarkable collaboration between the U.S. State and Defense Departments, with the full endorsement by the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.”
“The U.S. has learned that the exercise of “power” must be applied intelligently, together with humanity and humility. The Corps of Engineers has a long history of involvement within the global water resources community of practice, including capacity development assistance to developing and emerging nations, providing public works infrastructure in support of peace and security, and being in the forefront of our nation’s response to natural disasters, both here in the U.S. and around the world, working in cooperation with other U.S. agencies and international institutions such as the United Nations.”
“The U.S. has a wealth of practical experience in water resources and natural resources management that will be conveyed through the new ICIWaRM centre. The centre is uniquely organized to capitalize on the complementary capabilities that are leveraged through our Institute for Water Resources, which has access to technical expertise throughout the Corps, as well as our sister Federal agencies, multiple U.S. universities, our wide circle of non-government organizational partners, such as The Nature Conservancy, and professional engineering societies such as ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), whose membership totals over a quarter of a million practitioners.”
“I am very pleased that through ICIWaRM, the U.S. will now be positioned to play a leading role in assisting UNESCO in the application of contemporary water resources management techniques as part of the IHP program. ICIWaRM has already helped to develop and launch UNESCO’s first practical guidebook for Integrated Water Resources Management at the River Basin Level and is continuing to support a broad number of UNESCO IHP initiatives, such as the International Flood Initiative and the HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) program.”
“This is especially critical as we work together towards achieving the elusive goal of “Sustainable Development” while at the same time adapting to global change. Although we’ve both greatly benefited from the past partnership between the Corps of Engineers and UNESCO IHP, this agreement will allow us to elevate our collaboration with UNESCO to a new level towards a future founded on the…” [End of recorded comment]
The DEEP DECARBONIZATION PATHWAYS PROJECT is yet another example of U.N. mandates being transformed into public policy. The DDPP is the brainchild of Jeffrey Sachs, senior U.N. advisor on “Sustainable Development”. Professor Sachs has advised numerous governments on the process of “sustainable development”, including a stint working in partnership with Maurice Strong as an advisor to the communist government in Beijing.[iii] Sachs served on numerous boards and was the president of Earth Justice for over a decade. He has been instrumental in developing “green” infrastructure projects and supporting organizations around the world including “America’s Water Initiative” (see video).
“The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative global initiative to explore how individual countries can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to levels consistent with limiting the anthropogenic increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Limiting warming to 2°C or less, an objective agreed upon by the international community, will require that global net GHG emissions approach zero by the second half of the 21st century.1 This, in turn, will require steep reductions in energy-related CO2 emissions through a transformation of energy systems, a transition referred to by the DDPP as “deep decarbonization.”” [iv]
Meeting deep decarbonization targets (reduction in GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050) “requires a transformation of the U.S. energy system”. [v]
Transformation of our energy system requires new methods of water governance. Changes in how resources are allocated are being instituted, not by the will of the people, or as a result of marketplace demands, but by the imposition of mandates devised by a consortium of self-appointed “experts” working at and through the United Nations[vi]. Such top-down government decrees are not in the best interest of the citizens of the United States, however, they are absolutely essential tools for those who see themselves as the saviors of the world.
My slide presentation “REWILDING AMERICA” is set up on Youtube as an “unlisted” video, which means you cannot find it by searching Youtube, you must use this link to access the video page. Once on the video page, you can copy and share the link. You can also watch the video by clicking the “play” button below.
In this presentation I cover the basic doctrines of REWILDING and demonstrate how it has become FEDERAL policy.
Basic definitions – “Cores, Corridors, and Carnivores”
Critical Habitat Designations and Species Recovery Zones (Frogs and toads, grizzly bears, jaguars, and gray wolves.)
GAP Analysis, PAD-US, UN-WDPA
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
Flaws in the Endangered Species Act
Bi-national, tri-national and international treaty obligations
Steps we must take in order to derail the REWILDING agenda.
Why the truth matters!
The soundtrack is not the best, so I will apologize ahead of time. However, the information is just too important, and too timely, to spend any more time editing.
Please note: This presentation is intended as a basic introduction to REWILDING. There is much more that can be said about each of the various topics presented in the video. When I share this presentation in person with a group, I provide handouts with additional information and bring with me numerous studies and thousands of pages of documentation in over a dozen notebooks.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them here, or on the Youtube video page.
The species (Ursus arctos) enjoys the second most extensive circum-polar range of any large terrestrial predator on the planet. Tens of thousands of grizzly (or “brown”) bears roam freely in North America and tens of thousands more across Europe and Asia. Grizzly bears were never an endangered species and continue to receive FEDERAL protections merely in order to fulfill REWILDING objectives.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated six core “Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones” in the United States south of the Canadian border. They claim that bears living in these “core” areas are subject to “genetic isolation” and therefore it is necessary to establish linkages to other grizzly bear “core” areas by well regulated “systems of connectivity” in order to facilitate bear movement and genetic diversity.
Their ultimate goal is to expand grizzly bear range out from all of these core areas in all directions until a significant portion of the bear’s historic range in the U.S. has been regained, or until public tolerance for the program has evaporated.
The North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Area (NCGBR) is one of the largest contiguous blocks of FEDERAL land in the lower 48 states, encompassing more than 9,000 square miles within north central Washington state. The NCGBR is already well connected with grizzly habitat on the Canadian side of the border.
The grizzly population in British Columbia is estimated at 15,000+
Grizzly populations in the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak zones have been “augmented” with surplus bears originating in other areas. And, just like the Continental Divide and Yellowstone grizzly populations, the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak bears are expanding their range in all directions. The Trans-boundary grizzly bear core areas are well connected to major bear populations in Canada. These not-so-isolated populations have already proven their willingness to share “genetic diversity”.
Connecting corridors between the NCGBR and the Selkirk/Cabinet-Yaak GBR’s in N. Idaho and W. Montana is a relatively simple process. It’s just a matter of removing a few obstacles, or “gaps” that pose barriers to species movement across Washington State. Obstacles such as private property, or grazing allotments, just have to be mitigated to enhance species movement.
The Nature Conservancy has completed an 8 year study using GAP Analysis to map where conservation easements, land purchases, and government regulations will be most effective in removing “gaps” in bio-connectivity across the Northwest. Their work has already been incorporated into the Department of Interior’s Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative planning process.
So what’s really going on? The truth is that grizzly bear “recovery” efforts are nothing more than a tool to attack private property rights and continue the process of REWILDING America.
Areas of Connectivity – Methods
Public / private land exchanges
Purchase of development rights (PDR)
Land use planning, zoning, and growth management
Voluntary agreements among stakeholders and landowners
For more information see the following websites and pdf’s. (Please note, if the link doesn’t work, copy and paste the document title into your web browser.)
“Conserving Nature’s Stage: Mapping Omnidirectional Connectivity for Resilient Terrestrial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest”
“Regional Connectivity – USDA Conservation Corridor Planning at the Landscape Level- Managing For Wildlife Habitat”
The 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) is in need of an overhaul. The Act was originally envisioned as a tool to protect species at serious risk of extinction. Unfortunately, over the last twenty-four years, the Endangered Species Act has been transformed into a weapon used to insure that the United States adheres to REWILDING commitments made under the U.N.- Convention on Biological Diversity Treaty, signed by Clinton in 1993, and the U.N.- 2030 Sustainable Development Treaty, signed by Obama in 2015. These UN treaties require huge swaths of land to be set aside in “ecologically representative and well CONNECTED systems of protected areas [CORES]… integrated into the wider [continental scale] landscapes.”
ESA provisions can regulate land use on private land. The Act requires formal Habitat Conservation Plans such as “Critical Habitat Designations” and species “Recovery Zones” which can impact both public and private land useage.
There are two main deficiencies in the Endangered Species Act as currently written.
The first flaw that needs correction is that the ESA allows for determining the status of a species based on “regionalism”. The ESA as currently written allows for estimates of “historic range” to be the determining factor in whether or not a species is considered “threatened” or “endangered”. Basing species protections on historic range ignores factors such as real population levels, sufficiency of current range, projected future trends, the requirements of other species, and compatibility with human activity, human settlement, and human values. Humanity should not have to take a back seat to frogs and toads, nor should lines on a map be allowed to carry more weight than basic biological and scientific facts.
The second major flaw in the Act is that it allows the Federal government, via Department of Interior agencies, to impose “Critical Habitat Designations”, species “Recovery Zones”, and other wildlife, resource, and land management plans, at will, arbitrarily, without any State, County, or legislative input or oversight. It allows the Department of Interior to conduct international negotiations and form bi-lateral and tri-national agreements without Congressional approval.
As a result of these flaws, the Act has been misused to expand the range of many large non-endangered carnivores such as the gray wolf, grizzly bear, and jaguar. The Act has been used to exterminate “non-native” trout and return hundreds of lakes and rivers in the Sierra Nevada mountains to their “natural, historic fishless condition”. The result is that a once vibrant backcountry fishery is being arbitrarily and systematically eliminated to allow for an increase in insect populations that benefit “native” frogs and toads.
There are a number of Congressional bills at various stages in the legislature. Here’s a partial list and brief synopsis of some of the proposed legislation designed to correct some of the flaws in the ESA. (Click on the highlighted text to read the bill.)
The Federal Land Freedom Act, designed to achieve domestic energy independence by empowering States to control the development and production of all forms of energy on all available Federal land.
The 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act, currently in the Senate, would require all scientific data the government uses to list a species as “endangered” or “threatened” to be made public. As it stands today, much of the so-called “science” put forth by environmentalists hell bent on getting a species listed as “threatened” or “endangered” is based on fraudulent “conservation biology” value-laden concepts that are wholly unsupported by sound scientific data. Restrictive regulations which accompany massive Federal land grabs such as “Critical Habitat Designations” and “Recovery Zones”, have been based on “Conservation Biology”, a.k.a. REWILDING nonsense instead of on scientifically verifiable biological facts.
The Listing Reform Act, currently in the House of Representatives, amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require a review of the projected economic costs of adding a species to the list of endangered species or threatened species, as well as the economic costs to local economies when the Federal government imposes such things as a “Critical Habitat Designation”, and requires a review of the cumulative effect such mandates and regulations have on local economies.
It’s time to call your elected representatives and ask them to get on board with these and other legislative measures designed to correct serious flaws in the ESA and stop the wholesale REWILDING of America.
The proposed USFWS North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone encompasses millions of acres in Washington State, including established National Parks and Wilderness Areas, National and State Forest land, municipalities and towns, recreational facilities such as ski areas and campgrounds, and tens of thousands of acres of private property. The designation will have serious long term impacts on natural resource and land management decisions in Washington State for generations to come.
Please keep the following definition in mind as your review the rest of this article…
gerund or present participle: REWILDING
restore an area of land to its natural uncultivated state (used especially with reference to the reintroduction of species of wild animal- usually a large carnivore, that has been driven out or exterminated from a particular region).
As a well informed, responsible, citizen, I felt obligated to submit my comment on the USFWS/NPS draft EIS. The following comment was entered into the official record on 2/26/17 at 12:03 PM Mountain Time:
Designating millions of acres as a “North Cascade Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone”, whose outline includes numerous towns and tens of thousands of acres of private property, is yet another example of how the Endangered Species Act has been misused to promote range expansion for a non-endangered species.
FACT: Ursus arctos (the North American Brown or common “Grizzly” bear) is listed as a “Species of Least Concern” by the IUCN. The species, which includes all of it’s recognized sub-species, already enjoy one of the largest [most extensive] circum-polar ranges of any large terrestrial predator on earth, (second only to the Gray Wolf).
For the USFWS, NPS, or any State wildlife agency to determine the legal status of any species by comparing current range with estimated historic range or somebody’s idea of “desired” range, ignores factors such as real population levels, actual and perceived threats, projected future trends, the requirements of and impacts on other species, compatibility with human activity, human settlement, and human values.
Whereas, the original intent of the Endangered Species Act was to insure the survival of specific species that faced a serious threat of extinction, there is no basis for using the law as a tool to promote range expansion for any non-threatened species, let alone a species as impactful as the Grizzly/Brown Bear.
FACT: The “North Cascades Recovery Zone” in Washington State is NOT essential for insuring the long term survival of Ursus arctos.
Designating millions of acres as a “core reserve” for this large non-endangered predator will have profound impacts on all current and future land management decisions, especially pertaining to timber management, fire suppression, road construction, water diversion, livestock grazing, hunting, and recreational activities.
The designation [listing] of the Grizzly bear (and the Gray Wolf for that matter) as “threatened” or “endangered” makes a mockery out of the intent of the Endangered Species Act.
Finally, upon the de-listing of the species, Ursus arctos (including all sub-species), I urge that a well regulated hunting season be implemented to control Grizzly Bear population densities and help insure that human/bear conflicts and impacts on other wildlife species are mitigated.
Comment ID: 1090841-77025/1611
I based my comment on verifiable scientific and biological facts. The USFWS map pictured below shows all of the core Grizzly Bear recovery areas (dark green), potential habitat (light green), and historic range/migration corridors (grey) that the USFWS, working in partnership with REWILDING proponents, claim are necessary to insure that Ursus arctos survives south of the 49th Parallel. However, even the USFWS and the NPS readily admit that Grizzly Bear numbers are increasing and their range is already expanding south of the Canadian border without very many restrictions.
This IUCN map pictured below, shows the extensive circum-polar range (mustard color) of the “Grizzly” or “Brown Bear”, (Ursus arctos). Granted, the species has been extirpated or exterminated from some portions of their historic range, however, according to the IUCN, the species is not even close to being threatened or endangered.
Non-endangered species such as the Grizzly Bear and the Gray Wolf are being used to control and restrict how our western lands are utilized. In view of all the scientifically verifiable facts regarding the health of Ursus arctos as a species, the sufficiency of their current range, and actual population trends, there is no scientific rationale for expanding Grizzly Bear range into Washington State.
The public comment period on the draft EIS is open until March 14, 2017. If you wish to leave a comment, click here, or go to
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 requires the development of plans to protect listed threatened or endangered species and their habitats. In fulfilling this mandate, the USFWS has designated millions of acres as “Critical Habitat” for a number of target species.
In my previous post I discussed the recent “USFWS Critical Habitat Designation for Frogs and Toads” which encompasses 3000 sq. miles in California. Such a designation sets in motion special requirements and/or restrictions on all sorts of traditional “multiple use” activities. “Mitigation strategies” must be developed and submitted for any activity that might negatively impact the target species.
In the case of the Frog/Toad designation, activities such as livestock grazing, timber management, water storage and diversion, and recreational activities, including fish stocking programs must be evaluated and steps taken to mitigate or REVERSE impacts. To date, hundreds of lakes and waterways in the Sierra Nevada range have been rendered “fishless” by National Park and CDFW biologists in order to protect frog habitat. [See my post on “trout eradication” projects here.]
In 2014, the USFWS designated six critical habitat units, as defined under the ESA, for the jaguar (Panthera onca). The total U.S. land area in the Jaguar Critical Habitat designation encompass approximately 309,263 hectares (764,207 acres) in Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise Counties, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico (USFWS 2014).
According to the latest USFWS information released during the waning days of the Obama administration, “CONNECTIVITY with MEXICO” is a critical feature of the Jaguar Critical Habitat Designation:
There are seven primary constituent elements of critical habitat that make up the habitat features included in the physical and biological feature that meets the physiological, behavioral, and ecological needs of the species. This physical and biological feature, including these seven elements, is:
1) PROVIDE CONNECTIVITY WITH MEXICO;
2) Contain adequate levels of native prey species, including deer and javelina, as well as medium-sized prey such as coatis, skunks, raccoons, or jackrabbits;
3) Include surface water sources available within 20 km (12.4 mi) of each other;
4) Contain from greater than 1 to 50 percent canopy cover within Madrean evergreen woodland, generally recognized by a mixture of oak (Quercusspp.), juniper (Juniperus spp.), and pine (Pinus spp.) trees, on the landscape, or semidesert grassland vegetation communities, usually characterized by Pleuraphis mutica (tobosagrass) or Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama) along with other grasses;
5) Are characterized by intermediately, moderately, or highly rugged terrain;
6) Are below 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) in elevation; and
7) Are characterized by minimal to no human population density, no major roads, or no stable nighttime lighting over any 1-km2(0.4-mi2) area.
Wolves, grizzly bears, and now Jaguars, are the tip of the REWILDING spear in North America. Building a “large, physical barrier”, or wall, on the border with Mexico could be considered a direct violation of the ESA as well as several international treaties because it prevents “connectivity” with jaguar and wolf habitat in Mexico.
The construction of “Trump’s Wall” will not only face a tremendous battle in Congress, but also a landslide of lawsuits filed in FEDERAL court by a coalition of environmental groups that may tie up construction for decades.
The bottom line is this: If the Trump administration wants to build a “wall” on the border with Mexico, it will FIRST have to take steps to repeal, or rewrite the ESA. It will also have to get Congress to repeal the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) which allows environmental groups to recoup their legal expenses with taxpayer money.