DATA OR IDEOLOGY – What drives the REWILDING agenda?

Undoing the damage caused by REWILDING propaganda films such as “How Wolves Change Rivers”, (which has now reached over 80 million views through multiple postings on Youtube), has proven to be a daunting and perhaps futile endeavor.  Millions of people are now convinced that wolves are “good” and “necessary” for the environment because of their savior-like abilities to “restore” damaged ecosystems.

While there have been numerous attempts to show how irrevocably flawed such outcome based films are,  changing the initial perceptions once they have become ingrained in people’s minds requires a Herculean effort.   Those who have the biggest microphones always seem to have a disproportionate influence on those who largely derive their understanding of the world from five minute sound bytes incorporated into slick production videos. Correcting false assumptions is never easy, but it is a necessary part of being a responsible citizen or respected scientist.

Fortunately, even some die hard “conservation biologists” are now (finally) acknowledging not just the shame, but the inherent danger in promoting fraudulent narratives derived from incomplete data analysis presented in such a way as to achieve a desired outcome.

A growing number of  REWILDING advocates are no longer content to achieve their goals through deception and biased agenda driven “science”.   There is a movement afoot, perhaps one could even call it a “rebellion”, among some conservation biologists to clean up their act and prove themselves worthy of the label “scientist”.

contentIn a collection of essays and extensively well researched papers published in a volume entitled,  “Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma”, editors Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman have mounted an attack on the agenda driven biases and sloppy research of their conservation biologist peers.  Topics addressed and myths exposed include the positive aspects of habitat fragmentation, the devaluation of non-native species,  the myth of trophic cascades and the dubious nature of some of the more outlandish climate change assertions.

For far too long, pre-conceived REWILDING agenda driven conclusions have been allowed to pass as factual “science” in order to influence policy decisions in wildlife conservation and land management.  The radical environmental cartel has always been okay with lying as long as their value laden agenda makes progress.  For such folks, “the ends ALWAYS justify the means”.   Finding a few brave editors and researchers among the activist breed of REWILDING advocates who actually value truth and promote an unbiased interpretation of the data was refreshing.

That said, the editors and authors of the various papers included in “Data not Dogma”, remain die-hard REWILDING advocates.  But unlike their peers, these folks take their role as “scientists” seriously.  They are not content with covering up the facts or skewing the data in order to achieve an objective.   I wonder, if these folks realize that by their own admission they may have unwittingly risked exposing the wicked anti-human underbelly of the very agenda they hope to preserve.

Time will tell.

10 thoughts on “DATA OR IDEOLOGY – What drives the REWILDING agenda?

  1. settermannh

    I always thought rewilding was methodologies designed by the NWO technocrats to hinder ranching and survivalists!Keep up the good work!

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  2. Chapter 5 really caught my attention. It is a synopsis of a research paper called “Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research” by Lenore Fahrig.

    A few years ago I provided written and oral comments to the WA State Parks Commission in support of the Mt. Spokane Ski Area Expansion. In those comments I cited the benefits of cutting some new ski runs through the insect-infested-ready-to-burn-over-crowded “old growth” timber stands on Mt. Spokane. I used the State Parks own massive nearly 400 page forest health study as the basis for my comments. My comments received a lot of attention, and may have swayed some committee members to approve the plan.

    In those comments I cited the benefits of the present ski runs on the mountain, including increased plant diversity, more huckleberries and other browse important for large animals such as bear and moose, as well as increased hunting grounds for raptors, increased sunlight and important new wildlife habitat along the forest “meadow” interface, plus the creation of fire and disease breaks vitally important to isolate what are essentially un-managed “natural” timber stands. And then there was the benefit of longer lasting snow pack and slower melt rates due to grooming and compaction of the snowfall, etc. In short, I refuted every single “disaster and destruction” concept pushed by the Sierra Club and the Land’s Council propaganda machines.

    So when I came across this book, which includes research that demonstrates, despite pre-conceived beliefs to the contrary, that habitat “fragmentation” actually has a 76% POSITIVE result on biodiversity, I found it noteworthy. This particular researcher goes on to state that PAST ASSUMPTIONS equating fragmentation with “destruction of habitat” are not just biased, they are flat out wrong!

    The ramifications of just this one chapter which admits bias by those pushing habitat “connectivity” at every turn in order to implement restrictive new land use policies are huge!

    Click to access Fahrig-Chapter-5-Kareiva-Marvier-2017-in-press.pdf

  3. James

    I was reading the link in your comment and the writer was trying to make a difference between habitat fragmentation and habitat loss. Can someone explain the difference? To me the sound similar, if not exactly the same. Honest question.

    PS: George Monbiot, who provided the narration for the video ‘How wolves change rivers’ is a strong rewilding proponent. His website, and Twitter is constantly making the case that the entire world has been damaged by mankind.

  4. Excellent question James! And it is the kind of question that will be answered differently depending on who you ask. I start with the definition of the word “habitat”, which is defined as the “home” or environment of specific biological organisms. Obviously, if you pave over any habitat, and turn it into a highway for example, or flood a river canyon behind a dam, you’ve lost a certain amount of habitat for certain species, but enlarged the habitat of other species, specifically modern humans, or lake trout. Those are extreme examples, but forest ecology is similar. Even without man’s intervention, forest ecology is cyclic in nature and subject to change. A mature forest is composed of a few species of dominant trees, those that have found conditions suitable to their nature and have been able to compete for sunlight and water to successfully grow to maturity. When you fly over these forests, the canopy looks pretty much the same. Often these forests will become infested with insects, or disease and parasites, biological organisms that find conditions suitable for proliferation, and eventually the forest succumbs to fire, which changes the conditions and opens up the forest floor to additional sunlight. Those new conditions are to the advantage of other species and allows MANY other species space that they did not have before. Same with clear cutting. While some argue that clear cutting is habitat destruction or “loss”, in reality the practice creates diversity much in the same way that a fire does. Different species thrive in clear cuts than do in a mature forest. Elk and bison proliferated following the big fires in YNP in 1988. Their numbers declined just as rapidly as they rose following wolf introduction in 1995-6. While some species (insects and Doug fir for example) loose habitat to fire or logging, other species gain, i.e. huckleberries, strawberries, fire weed, and other browse plants essential for big animals. It is my contention that habitat cannot be lost, only changed to the advantage or disadvantage of certain species.

  5. more….

    Habitat changes are usually divided into two categories….either “natural” or man caused. To say that man is always destroying habitat is patently unscientific. Man is a biological organism, and clearly not the only one that makes changes to the surrounding habitat to create self advantagous conditions.(Think of beavers for example.) To say that natural changes are “good” and any changes made by man are “bad” is a value judgment that is often not supported by the data. My example is a man made ski run, which requires cutting trees. The ski run increases biodiversity and actually protects the surrounding forest habitat. That is a fact supported by the data, which is what this whole book is about! We need to stop making management policy decisions based on dogma or ideology that says an unbroken forest canopy is BETTER than a broken one and start making decisions based on sound ecological science.

  6. I’d love to have copies of this article to pin up or leave in my area (SW New Mexico). I will do any small thing I can do to debunk the outright lies and distortion that goes with wolf introduction.

  7. Dawn, there are many people in your area who have been involved in this issue for a long time. Networking is key. On Facebook, go to “Wolves, cattle, and the people who live between them” . My blog is a public page. Anyone can post a link to the article on social media or print out the page. If you re-blog the article over the internet, I do ask that a link is included to the original source, which is this page. Thanks.

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