Ever heard the phrase, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it will be believed”?
Of course this doesn’t mean that a lie actually becomes the “truth”, but rather that the lie is believed to be “true” by brainwashed people who then turn it into an operational component of their worldview. When there are enough delusional people believing the same lie, a tipping point is reached that can transform (or destroy) an entire society.
Those living in relatively free western democracies have largely convinced themselves that they are somehow immune from the ravages of propaganda, yet these same folks have spent a lifetime being manipulated by commercial television or a broken down educational system, in other words- believing lies. For too many of our fellow citizens, the fact that deception is rampant among western cultures is a difficult concept to grasp, perhaps impossible. But those with eyes to see will appreciate the fact that this statement perfectly describes the tactics we see employed by a cadre of pretentious wolf “experts” and arm-chair environmentalists who walk in lock step promoting their own warped version of reality.
This little rant of mine will attempt to explain why these folks hate people who think differently from themselves. It may also explain why these people continue to promote the patently unscientific theory that a voracious predator such as the Gray Wolf causes beneficial ripple effects on a given habitat. It will explain why only “good” outcomes of wolf re-colonization are emphasized while “bad” outcomes are completely ignored or redefined. Wolf proponents constantly feed us “facts” about how the “beneficial” effects of wolves are “trophically cascading” down through the ecosystem. Yes, wolves do have a major impact on the ecosystem, but making value judgments about “good” or “bad” depend solely on one’s concept of reality.
We have to remember that the pro-wolf lobby is a community of like-minded individuals who have repeated their own lies so many times that they can no longer distinguish the truth. In fact, they no longer care about the truth. All they care about is winning the argument and imposing their views on the rest of society. These folks go round and round in circles quoting each other as if doing so provides evidence that their beliefs are true, when in fact all they are doing is providing proof of conformity. This illusion of unanimity provides them with the needed emotional support on which to base their false opinions.
This closed-minded community of self-deluded folks hang their hat on how many people they can fool into joining their cause. These folks excel at intimidating the opposition, a tactic meant to bolster themselves by capturing the adulation of their minions. Any lie is permitted, as long as everyone faithfully believes and continually repeats the same lie. Attacking “non-believers”, influence peddling, crafting policies and/or passing legislation that promotes their worldview provides them with all the proof they need of the “rightness” of their positions.
Now of course, everything I just said can be turned around by the eco-fanatics and applied as a weapon against those who oppose their warped worldview. They can say the exact same things about us, regardless of the lack of evidence to support their accusations. True, some of us react in anger and say things we shouldn’t when we are confronted by the lies of the enemy. This is why it is critical that we stick to the facts, stick to reality, and try to remain the adults in the room. We also have to understand that arguing with eco-fanatics is a futile endeavor because common sense reasoning and scientific evidence simply doesn’t matter to them. Many of them are simply too fearful of hearing the truth because doing so would undermine the shaky foundation their entire lives have been built upon.
In 1899, Gustave Le Bon provided keen insight into the role of propaganda on society. In The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (c. 1899), Le Bon explained how masses of people could be manipulated by forming a consensus of opinion. Le Bon proved that it simply did not matter if the opinion be true or false as long as people believed it. Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin all built a collectivist mindset among millions of followers by using Le Bon’s methods.
Many of us are alarmed that America appears to be edging towards the brink of self-destruction. We are angered that America’s demise is being helped along by the pseudo-scientific elitism of the radical environmentalists. We would do well to understand what Le Bon wrote over 200 years ago. Lies about global warming, fascist claims about the benefits of wolves, or the pressing need for global governance by an elite cadre of “superior” human beings, are no different than the lies told by the NAZI’s concerning Aryan racial superiority. To Hitler, “trophic cascade” made perfect sense and he intended to use it to dominate the world.
Here’s a few excerpts from Le Bon’s masterpiece on mass manipulation and collectivist thinking:
“Communal reinforcement is a social phenomenon in which a concept or idea is repeatedly asserted in a community, regardless of whether sufficient empirical evidence has been presented to support it. Over time, the concept or idea is reinforced to become a strong belief in many people’s minds, and may be regarded by the members of the community as fact.”
“The phrase ‘millions of people can’t all be wrong’ is indicative of the common tendency to accept a communally reinforced idea without question….”
“Affirmation pure and simple, kept free of all reasoning and all proof, is one of the surest means of making an idea enter the mind of crowds. The conciser an affirmation is, the more destitute of every appearance of proof and demonstration, the more weight it carries…. Statesmen called upon to defend a political cause, and commercial men pushing the sale of their products by means of advertising are acquainted with the value of affirmation. Affirmation, however, has no real influence unless it be constantly repeated, and so far as possible in the same terms.”
“The influence of repetition on crowds… This power is due to the fact that the repeated statement is embedded in the long run in those profound regions of our unconscious selves in which the motives of our actions are forged. At the end of a certain time we have forgotten who is the author of the repeated assertion, and we finish by believing it.”
“When an affirmation has been sufficiently repeated and there is unanimity in this repetition — as has occurred in the case of certain famous financial undertakings rich enough to purchase every assistance — what is called a current of opinion is formed and the powerful mechanism of contagion intervenes. Ideas, sentiments, emotions, and beliefs possess in crowds a contagious power as intense as that of microbes.” (Page 127)
Speaking of microbes, let’s take a look at one of the myths being promoted by the pro-wolf lobby. The life cycle of Echinococcus granulosus (hydatid disease) is well documented in the literature, including methods of transmission from one animal to another. It is a scientifically verifiable fact that wolves are spreading billions of parasitic eggs in their feces as they re-colonize large portions of our western landscapes. Eminent biologists from around the world who are intimately acquainted with the life cycle of wolves and ungulates have warned us that parasitic tapeworm (E.g.) disease poses a serious risk to our wild game herds, other canids, livestock, and humans.
Yet what does the “pro-wolf” lobby do? They lobby against legislation such as H.B. 1107 that would have expanded our knowledge of the risk of this and other wolf borne diseases on the grounds that it would have led to “less tolerance for wolf re-introduction.” Not only that, but the eco-fanatics then go out of their way to promote the idea that fear of hydatid disease is overblown and that echinococcus granulosus eggs deposited in wolf scat poses little or no risk to humans. They point out that some “veterinarian” did a study which determined that e. granulosus eggs do not survive heat, desiccation (extreme drying), or harsh chemical applications.
So lets see, wolf scat deposited on forested land in Idaho in late November is subjected to intense heat, extreme desiccation, and/or harsh chemicals when? How about in December after the first snow fall? Would wolf scat be safe to kick around then? Not much heat during the winter is there? How about extreme dryness? Exactly how long does it take for these highly contaminated scat piles to dry out? Will it dry out faster buried in the snow or on top of the snow? Will it dry out in April as the snow melts and the new wolf pups come out to play? No? How about in July? Yes, perhaps there’s a two or three week window where wolf scat could conceivably dry out sufficiently enough to kill the hydatid eggs, but again, maybe not. Maybe we just need to rely on a series of pro-longed droughts and/or catastrophic forest fires. We simply can’t have summer thunderstorms re-hydrating contaminated wolf scat now can we? Oh, but surely wolf scat will dry out after a year or two of exposure to the elements, won’t it? And of course all the while more and more fresh wolf scat is being deposited spreading the contamination across millions of acres. But not to worry, say the wolf lovers, there is little risk of infection.
The wolf advocates have taken a page right out of Le Bon, as did Adolf Hitler:
“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.” Adolf Hitler – Mein Kempf
According to the wolf advocates, an eminently qualified expert such as Val Geist is a liar, and anyone concerned about the spread of hydatid disease is engaged in fear mongering. Ironically, or perhaps typically, the pro-wolf lobby has conveniently promoted incomplete and inaccurate information that if analyzed in greater detail actually supports what their nemesis, Professor Geist, has determined to be true, which is that once wolves are removed from the landscape we may have to intentionally burn millions of acres in order to effectively destroy hydatid eggs.
But facts don’t stop the pro-wolf lobby from trying to pull the wolf skin over the eyes of the public. The reason these people hate us so much is because we point out the fictions upon which their theoretical house of cards is built. We do this because God has given us the ability, the moral conscience, and the understanding to realize that even if you repeat a lie often enough….it is still a lie.
Sources and additional reading:
Gustave Le Bon- In The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (c. 1899), as quoted from an article entitled “Group Thinking and Collective Behavior” http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/brainwashing/crowd.htm
Dr. Valerius Geist – Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary. Dr. Geist is a specialist on the biology, behavior, and social dynamics of large North American mammals.
16 thoughts on “ECO-FANATICS – Why do they hate us?”
I thank you for another perfectly executed writing. I have been on the offensive to expose this very topic for many years now, and this is one of the best descriptive writings on the topic.
With regard to the Echinococcus granulosus, and the eco fanatics (Wolf cult) refusal to adhere to the strict laws surrounding infectious diseased imported by wolves, and the cult like refusal to recognize the ecological disaster brought to us by wolf “Introduction”, their actions border criminal.
I hold nearly all documents, both Federal and State, that explain, in detail, the criminal enterprise known as wolf introduction. Beginning with the permits required to import any animal into the U.S., which in this case would be wolves from Northern Canada, form 3-177 was not issued as required by law. Only a border inspection permit was issued by the USFWS. How did Ed Bangs side step Federal law, in clear violation of Congress? Ed Bangs utilized a permit issued by Idaho, more specifically, Jerry Conley of Idaho Fish and Game. Conley and Bangs colluded (Conspired) through a series of emails and correspondence, to bypass the legal means to introduce wolves from Canada. Conley issued the permit, violating the Idaho Legislatures written censure of his participation in wolf introduction. I have copies of all of these transactions, and copies of the signed illegal permit. (This is only a fraction of evidence I posses).
With regard to the many diseases wolves carry, but more specifically e.g. (Hydatid Disease), the Canadian Veterinarian did not check or treat any wolf captured for introduction purposes, even though Idaho sent their own Veterinarian to observe the process. From the time of capture to the time wolves were transported into the United States, no treatment or required quarantine took place. The Vet. records we obtained from the USFWS clearly show, in all 108 pages of Canadian documents, that the only treatment the wolves received was one rabies shot.
All of this information will soon hit the desks of many legislators and the states Attorney General. Crimes occurred to facilitate wolf introduction, and the Federal and State agencies lied. The eco fanatics, such as Defenders of Wildlife, have spent a great deal of effort to cover for the illegality of this wolf introduction and disease transport into the United States.
Another great article Steve!! And great comments from Scott.
I have a story about the wolves in Arizona/New Mexico too. The wildlife biologist that captured the first three wolves, in Mexico, that would become the seedstock for Services’ captive breeding program, Roy McBride, sent comments to the Service saying they shouldn’t allow hybrid wolf/dogs into their program. They did this when they included a pack of hybrid wolf/dogs from the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.
The Service’s wildlife biologist, Dave Parson, knew they were hybrids but figured out a way around the truth. He mustered a group of “scientists” together to certify the wolves were genuine wolves. The truth was once again stuck in the mud and the Service proceeded on down the road with all their lies and deception.
Parson works for the Rewilding Institute today and hob nobs with folks from the Defenders of Wildlife, Wildlands Project, Sky Island Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, et.al…! http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Parsons_David_12425455.aspx
So the lies continue!! Heaped on by a media that just loves to broadcasting thier lies to the ignorant folks too busy trying to make a living to give a hoot… sad story!!
Scott, do you have any documentation showing the safe handling procedures for state or federal employees when they are handling/collaring wolves? I would like to contrast that info with the lack of info being provided to hunters and trappers.
Thanks Judy, and could you repost the link to your early work on the Wildlands Project? I know you’ve been compiling this stuff for a long time too. Thanks.
Look for “The Westerner” … February 24th issue that will come out late tonight early, early in the morning … pay particular attention to the statistics.
Steve W., What sort of stats? Is this available online? Can you post a link?
To the best of my knowledge, no documentation existed as a means to inform the Services employees of the safe handling of Canids. It took me three years of extensive pressure to force Idaho Fish and Game to issue a warning to hunters. I went as far as asking them to publish warnings to the general public, and those who were susceptible, due to their outdoor activities. I argued, Idaho should have ownership of the public dangers, as they were the entity that violated the public trust. Only one small paragraph exists in the hunting regulations of Idaho. Carter (The Wolfer) Neimeyer claims to have been tested for e.g. by means of a simple blood test, but we know he was lied to or he himself is stretching the truth.
Thanks for another excellent article Steve. I also appreciate the additional information provided by your readers in their comments.
Thanks Scott. I want to see some recent pics of IDFG or WDFW handling wolves. Gloves? No gloves? I wonder. Anyhow, I updated the CDC image I used to show the complete life cycle. I have seen this same diagram photo-shopped with an image of a wolf and an elk in the place of the generic “canid” and the sheep. It should be included in the hunting and trapping regs.
“It will be interesting to observe how important the wolf is to society when it starts competing for regional management priorities with affluent municipalities…. For the pragmatic among your ranks, the Canis lupus baileyi price now equates to $625,000 per cuddly piece. Does that make anybody mad?”
Stephen L. Wilmeth – New Mexico rancher.
“A great deal of misinformation surrounds predators, in general, and wolf recovery in particular,” Dr. Charles Kay told the audience at the WyFB wolf seminar. “Simply put, the government lied to minimize opposition to wolf recovery.”
It’s coming down to a choice…..”Do you want to commit a felony, or do you want to protect your livestock”. Rep. Joel Kretz describes the political reality facing ranchers in Washington State.
[audio src="http://stevenscountycattlemen.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/capitolreport-kretz-022713.mp3" /]
I will explain the benefits of wolfs in the ecosystem.
They prevent any species from over grazing the vegetation. This allows for vegetation growth in an area which allows for an increase in biodiversity, since other species call said vegetation their home.
In the UK deers have overgrazed large parts of Scotland, resulting in a massive decrease in biodiversity, Reintroducing the wolf will bring their numbers under control which will result in an increase in trees and hedges. More species will come and live in these trees, hence biodiversity increases.
In any case, who are we to say about a native species ‘They cannot live here, they inconvenience us.’ The world doesn’t revolve around our needs. If a species is native to an area, it has much right as humans to live there.
Thanks for commenting. I’d like to address your last statement first, “If a species is native to an area, it has much right as humans to live there.”
Are human beings “native” to N. America? Please define what it means to be “native American” very carefully. How about Barred Owls, are they a “native” species to N. America? What about horses or even tumbleweeds? Are these species all “native” to N. America,? (See my article- https://oldmanoftheski.com/2012/12/27/wild-horses-symbol-of-the-american-west-or-an-invasive-species/).
The term “native” is subjective and arbitrary, and usually refers to a species that was in a particular region first, or before another species. However, there is no scientific basis that says a species must remain in a particular region, or be preserved in a particular region, just because it was present in a particular region or ecosystem before some other species came along. For example, Barred Owls are not considered native to Oregon and Washington State, but have migrated NATURALLY to fill a niche that was available, thus interbreeding with and possibly saving, or replacing (depending on your viewpoint) the “native” Spotted Owl that was previously on the scene. The fact is, species move, migrate, invade new territory, and go extinct, for many reasons, but often because of the pressure from other species.
Regarding wolves- the presence of wolves drives down ungulate numbers. They do this by depredation and the spread of hundreds of diseases. Wolves reproduce exponentially and can wipe out non-migratory populations of elk, caribou, and moose. The loss of these grazers has serious repercussions on the land. More grazers actually improve range land conditions while fewer grazers can quickly degrade range land, or grass/forage based ecosystems.
There is much to be said for the statement, “Log it, graze it, or watch it burn”. (See the TED talk on Youtube or find the PDF version of “Cows can save the world” by renowned biologist/environmentalist, Allan Savory.)
There are many ways to solve a regional ungulate overpopulation problem without importing wolves. Wolves cannot be managed, they must be controlled, which is a difficult task, politically divisive, extremely time consuming, and expensive. The presence of wolves creates all sorts of additional problems, i,e, disease spread and depredation of livestock, pets, and the occasional person. One should also consider the dietary needs and habits of wolves. Wolves reproduce exponentially in the presence of abundant prey. When a preferred prey species becomes exhausted, wolves don’t just lie down and die, but seek alternative prey and alternative territory.
Is Scotland really ready for all that?
By Steve Busch
Jun 5, 2004 – 10:17:00 PM
All of us should care about the environment we live in. Our health depends upon the quality of the air we breathe and the purity of the water we drink. Human survival depends upon our ability to protect and nurture a sustainable food supply. Protecting the environment is not only the right thing to do, but a healthy environment increases our quality of life and insures the long term sustainability of our species.
God placed the animals and plants on this earth for man’s benefit and enjoyment. Mankind has all the renewable resources we need to sustain our lives indefinitely. Yet, we have often misused the environment due to ignorance or, in some cases, in an attempt to acquire short term economic gain. America has been blessed with the technological sophistication and governmental structure which has allowed us to gain unparalleled prosperity. Granted, our technologically sophisticated modern society is far removed from the natural world. Lumber is bought at Home Depot, toilet paper at Safeway. Most of our food comes prepackaged or frozen. Many children have never even seen a live chicken, let alone know how to butcher one.
Sometimes we find ourselves at odds with the very systems God designed to sustain us. But Western Civilization has learned that maintaining a clean environment is an important aspect of our quality of life. We put technology to good use by doing things like minimizing emissions and creating efficient automobiles. We no longer see pollution pouring out of factory smokestacks. We’ve learned a lot about how to protect our food and water supplies from contamination.
Environmental education has had a positive impact on our way of life. However, we still have vastly differing opinions when it comes to how to manage our resources. There are plenty of reasons to applaud the pioneers of the so-called “environmental movement”. Even during the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, men like John Muir were opening the eyes of the masses to the beauty of God’s creation. Great American leaders like Theodore Roosevelt made the protection of “wilderness” an executive priority. We owe a debt of gratitude to these historic visionaries. But today’s environmental movement bears little resemblance to the godly ideals of Muir or to the common sense practicalities of Roosevelt.
Today’s environmental movement has a darker side. In the traditional sense, the high school senior who turns vegetarian as a matter of conscience, or the concerned scientist who devotes his life to studying the effect of pollution on coral reefs, are true environmentalists. Yet, there is a darker, more sinister faction, that can be described as a self-serving cult which seeks power to control all human activities and merely uses the pretense of “environmental protection” as a means of accomplishing its goals.
When I was in High School, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was mandatory reading. It was the “Harry Potter” of the late 1960’s and early “70”s. We were fed movies depicting environmental degradation of the worst kind. Our minds were filled with scenes of foaming industrial outflows pouring into rivers, dead birds along trash strewn shorelines, smokestacks pumping millions of tons of poisons into the atmosphere. We were terrified into believing that mankind was the scourge of the earth. It was no coincidence that I chose environmental studies as my college major. “Natural Resource Management” became my official course of study.
My professors were experts in their fields and had written most of their own texts. I lived and breathed all of the so-called “earth sciences” under their guidance. A great deal of study took place in the field where we learned first hand about the many aspects of our inter-related ecosystem. On one of my field trips I became interested in the status of the desert bighorn sheep population in Death Valley, California. I wrote my term paper on the subject. I interviewed wildlife experts, read reports on habitat and life cycles, and visited the actual watering holes frequented by the animals. I submitted my paper to my wildlife professor, a moonlighting Fish and Game Department civil servant. Shortly afterwards, the Wilderness Society, (an environmental organization to which I paid dues), published an article which blasted the Bureau of Land Management’s policy of reducing the population of wild horses and burros on public lands. The native desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope were right in the middle of the controversy, yet the Wilderness Society article failed to mention anything about them.
The environmentalists’ argument against the BLM horse reduction program was based on the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1971. According to the Wilderness Society, horses and burros “had become as much a part of the natural desert landscape of Nevada and California as the cougar and the grizzly bear.” Prior to the act, wild horses, whose populations were given to exploding across the west, were often rounded up and shot. Their carcasses supposedly ended up on supermarket shelves disguised as cat food. The WHBP Act was passed to prevent the slaughter of these animals. The BLM adoption program, which is quite popular and continues to this day, was a more humane and politically correct way of controlling the horse and burro population. But the Wilderness Society, motivated by its own agenda, condemned the BLM action.
I used my research on desert bighorn sheep as the basis for a contrary opinion letter that was published in the Wilderness Society’s highly touted environmental science magazine, The Living Wilderness. I presented the Wilderness Society with documentary evidence on the negative impact feral burros and horses, both of which are introduced non-native species, had on native populations of both pronghorn antelope in Nevada and the desert bighorn sheep in California.
Numerous studies had shown that burros and horses have a much larger impact on the environment than the native bighorn sheep. Unlike the bighorns, horses and burros linger near water holes until the water or food source is depleted. Horses and burros can strip all vegetation for several miles around a watering hole. They tend to be much more aggressive and can keep smaller animals like antelope and sheep away from water sources. When a source is depleted, horses and burros easily cover vast distances over arid land seeking an alternative source. The more timid desert bighorns and pronghorn antelope are at a distinct disadvantage. The decline in the desert bighorn sheep population was clearly linked to the introduction and subsequent “over-population” of the “wild” horse and burro.
The BLM’s intervention was designed to “even the playing field” for the native bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope. The BLM was not”anti-horse” as depicted by the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups. Land managers were simply trying to create a balance, albeit an “artificial” one, between horse, burro, native bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and grazing livestock. In response to my letter, the Wilderness Society offered a “qualified” retraction of their criticism of the BLM horse reduction policy. In fact, as soon as they recognized the implications of the “native species” point of view, they launched a concerted campaign that ultimately hopes to return most of North America to its “pristine” native condition. Selecting a “native” species over a “non-native” species is an arbitrary process, and it is a policy that could have devastating implications for public land use policy. Having at first written to defend this philosophy, I am now strongly opposed to it. It will, if carried to its extreme, threaten our very way of life.
Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has chosen to promote certain species over others. We farm chickens, breed livestock, genetically alter corn, and change our environment to enhance our own survival. Historically, we have followed the same logic when it comes to wildlife and other natural resources. We promoted predator control when it seemed to make sense to hunters and ranchers, and we stocked lakes and rivers with hatchery born non-native species to enhance fisheries. These things were all done for our own benefit. The difference today is that environmental radicals are promoting practices and policies which are not in man’s best interest. Ironically, some of the ecocentric policies currently being promoted by the environmental hierarchy could be considered destructive to the environment.
Let me illustrate this point by shedding some light on the practice of lake sterilization. Back in the 1930’s, during the “Great Depression”, the Civilian Conservation Corps built most of the campgrounds and trails in the high Sierra Nevada mountains of Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and vast reaches of the Rockies. Many of the glaciated lakes in these remote areas were sterile, which means they contained no fish. Barrels full of trout were packed in on mule trains by the CCC. These high alpine lakes proved to be ideal habitat for rainbows, browns, cutthroats, goldens, brook trout, and even arctic grayling. The legendary Finis Mitchell single handedly created the best and most diverse trout fishery in the world in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.
During the 1980s so-called wilderness land managers began chemically re-sterilizing many of our alpine lakes. Civil servants on government payrolls are killing healthy populations of “non- native” trout under the pretense of returning waterways to their pristine, and in many cases, barren condition. The chemicals of choice include several commercial formulations of rotenone and an antibiotic called antimycin A. The later is used as a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide. Man-made barriers have also been constructed to stop the migration and breeding of certain trout species in streams and rivers, but chemical sterilization continues to be the method of choice.
The provision for chemical sterilization of waterways is part of the “Wild Trout Program” established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1971. The stated goal of the program is to protect populations of “native” species like the paiute trout and the California golden trout. But not all of the waterways that are being sterilized are being restocked with native species. Some waterways are left barren because, according to Senior Fisheries Biologist Dennis P. Lee, “trout were not native to these systems.”
Additional rationalizations for exterminating “exotic” trout varieties such as the rainbow, brook, and brown trout can be found in the National Park Service Natural Resource Implementation Plan (1980). The report states that,
“The introduction of fish has had many unintended effects – the most dramatic being the resulting decline in the mountain yellow-legged frog populations (under consideration for listing as federally endangered) due to predation. Scientists have investigated the role of other causative factors in their decline, such as acid deposition, UV-B radiation, and disease, but predation is clearly the main problem. When fish are present, they eat frogs, force frogs into marginal habitat, and fragment the population, the latter of which hinders recolonization. Wildlife management staff hope to remove exotic fish from some naturally barren lakes to help restore the native frog population.”
The wording in the report is intentionally misleading. The word “remove” really means “exterminate”. The word “exotic” refers to any “non-native” variety of trout, including rainbow, brook and brown.
Ironically, one could use the environmentalist’s own logic against the policy. Populations of rainbow, brown, and brook trout have indeed become as much a part of the mountain landscape as the granite peaks themselves. Maybe government agencies should try to be consistent and spare the fish by implementing a trout version of the BLM’s horse adoption program! The entire policy is arbitrary and patently absurd. The argument that certain trout species are not desirable is simply a ruse. Taken to its extreme, the opossum, the horse, the cow, indeed all introduced plants and animals, including all non-native American people, should also be eradicated in an attempt to protect so-called “native” flora and fauna.
Resource management priorities have shifted away from uses which benefit man, to policies which overly inhibit and control man. The official USDA “Multiple Use” policy mandates that range (grazing), timber, recreation, wildlife, and water are all of equal importance. But that’s just for public consumption. The current crop of land managers have a profoundly different mindset than the men of the 1930’s. Increasingly restrictive rules are being enforced to limit human access to public land. Government agencies are exercising control over individual citizens and our natural resources using regulations that, for the most part, have not been subjected to public scrutiny or tested as to their Constitutionality. As a backcountry ranger in Wyoming’s Bridger Wilderness, (Finis Mitchell’s old stomping grounds), I issued “citations” for a wide range of infractions that had nothing to do with State or Federal law or with environmental protection.
Working for the U.S. Forest Service in the 1980’s also gave me an insight into practical anthropocentric aspects of land use management. The list of projects I worked on might surprise you, and at first glance, might even seem horrifying. For example, on the Kemmerer District in the Wyoming Range, work crews sprayed chemical defoliants on certain plants growing along stream banks. Forest Service crews used one half of the chemical combination that was known as “agent orange” of Viet Nam fame. (We called it “agent purple” because the boots and clothing of the crews who sprayed it turned purple.) This practice was instituted to control the spread of Canadian Thistle, a “non-native” plant which makes cattle sick when they eat it. The spray killed the thistle, but also temporarily contaminated water drainages wherever it was used. I suspect it may have contributed to serious health problems later in life for the people who sprayed it.
My timber crew was charged with removing all the trees, except for one species, from hundreds of acres of forest land. We cut down tens of thousands of healthy pine, fir, cedar and hemlock, in order to reduce the competition for the more lucrative and marketable Englemann Spruce. We also planted seedlings in areas that had been previously logged. Since the tender roots of tree seedlings are a favorite food for gophers, the U.S. Forest Service embarked on a gopher killing program in order to protect the newly planted trees. My crew was given the distasteful task of spreading tons of strychnine laced oats in recently planted areas. Some of the strychnine undoubtedly ended up polluting water drainages already contaminated with herbicides. I refused to take part in this extermination and chose to pursue another career. It wasn’t that I minded killing rodents, but I knew that the poison would have unintended victims as well. I understood, but did not always agree with, the reasoning behind much of the Forest Service’s environmental manipulation. All of the practices I just described, with the notable exception of the fish killing program, were done with the idea that they were of some benefit to man. Shocking as some of these activities may sound, none of them have been shown to have had any lasting negative impact on the environment
As a society, we need to take another look at the apocalyptic Silent Spring claims of the radical environmental movement. The earth is a lot more resilient than we have been led to believe. In one example, taken from chapter six of Rachel Carson’s book, the author purports to describe an area that had been “destroyed” by an experimental project to improve rangeland. In 1959 the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming sprayed chemical defoliants over 10,000 acres in an attempt to eradicate sagebrush and promote grass growth. Ms. Carson describes the irreversible devastation on the land and wildlife which this experimental spraying allegedly precipitated. Ms. Carson concludes her diatribe by saying, “The living world was shattered”. Ironically, Ms. Carson admits that she never personally visited the area.
Not many people could find the area on a map, including Carson herself. It lies in a high valley on the Pinedale District where the Gros Ventre mountains meet the Wind River Range. When I worked in the area during the summer of 1978 and 1979, it was one of the most beautiful and productive rangeland areas in the world. For forty years the public has been eating cattle fattened off of the lush grasses growing on this land. Trout are literally jumping out of the streams. Moose, bear, and elk are plentiful. Even the lowly sagebrush, being one of the world’s most tenacious plants, still threads its merry way across the range.
The point that needs to be made is this: our perceptions are colored by how our environmental manipulations are understood and depicted. What Rachel Carson calls “destruction”, others call scientific management. The truth is that we are still learning from our attempts at manipulating our environment. What may be perceived as good or harmful in the short run may turn out to be just the opposite over the long term.
If Rachel Carson were alive today, I wonder what she would say about the chemical sterilization of high alpine lakes? Would she call it “environmental destruction” even though this particular policy has the full backing of the environmental establishment? Personally, I find it disgusting and disturbing that trout are being killed under the guise of returning a particular body of water to its natural, “pristine” and sterile condition. The trout extermination program is certainly not aimed at benefiting man, and it certainly doesn’t benefit the trout. Just imagine driving to a trailhead, lacing up your boots, strapping on a backpack, hiking ten miles and climbing thousands of feet in elevation to a High Sierra lake that had contained a healthy population of rainbow trout for the past seventy years. It is now “sterile” thanks to a taxpayer supported government program.
The public has a choice to make. Either we work to implement strategies that manipulate the environment for our own long term best interests, based on experience and the most up to date environmental science, or we sit back as those who seek power and control put us all into a box. The environmental movement has prescribed an ecocentric approach to natural resource management that does not have man’s best interest at heart. They are trying to create an “Eden” only they are competent to define.
The proposed Wildlands Project covers all of the United States. Based on the United Nations Biological Diversity Treaty, the Wildlands Project outlines an America where islands of highly controlled “villages” are surrounded by millions of acres of inaccessible wilderness. The environmental elites believe that it is man himself who should be caged in a zoo-like environment. Public statements from environmental leaders call for an eighty-five percent reduction in global human population. I will leave it to the conspiracy theorists to postulate how such a scenario could be accomplished.
Perhaps the ultimate question that needs to be answered is this: If we believe that God created mankind, that He put us on this earth and told us to have dominion over it, then the land rightfully belongs to us. It is a gift to be enjoyed. It is our responsibility to take good care of it. We certainly have the right to use it to meet our needs. But if the earth itself is some sort of supreme deity, and we belong to “her” as the environmental elites like to claim, then we should bow our heads and take our place as her subjects with no greater rights than the lowly amoeba.
The author was a member of the Wilderness Society from 1974 to about 1980. This article was first published in The eco-logic Powerhouse.
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