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Endangered species cleanup

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I'm surprised the press hasn't caught on to this. Maybe too many words to read through for the Twitter crowd?

The administration has completely changed the rules on endangered and threatened species as well as how critical habitat is defined. This is a really big deal. No more climate change or locking up land to protect extinct species. The "red wolf" is now just a backyard dog the coyotes bred for fun one night. Hopefully all those tree hugging, grizzly bear mating FWS will quit in frustration.

You've got 60 days to send in your comments - I'd suggest something like WooHooo!

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of Regulations for Interagency Cooperation

Them dam yellow legged froggies are gonna be tasty!  :droolin:

 

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Thanks for drawing attention to this "little kernel" Clay.  Quite a few words to read indeed.  Glad we are given 60 days!

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I used to think that the only species ever removed from the endangered species act was the bald eagle.  Turns out a couple of more species the Aleutian Canadian Goose and the Gray Wolf had been removed.  Turns out it has been even more successful.  Out of 1600 or 2100 species placed on it, 1.3% have been removed, so maybe 28 total have been removed.

You gotta have benchmarks for success and 1.3% isn't very good and it was getting no better as stricter controls were emplaced, so I'm happy to see some common sense prevail.

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1 hour ago, chrisski said:

I used to think that the only species ever removed from the endangered species act was the bald eagle.  Turns out a couple of more species the Aleutian Canadian Goose and the Gray Wolf had been removed.  Turns out it has been even more successful.  Out of 1600 or 2100 species placed on it, 1.3% have been removed, so maybe 28 total have been removed.

You gotta have benchmarks for success and 1.3% isn't very good and it was getting no better as stricter controls were emplaced, so I'm happy to see some common sense prevail.

Fake news. All lies. Witch hunt. So sad... :)

https://ballotpedia.org/Success_rate_of_the_Endangered_Species_Act

As long as you get to define the terms of "success" by a single metric then you can paint a bleak picture. If you consider how many of these species have been saved from extinction or where numbers are doing better then the terms of "success" look much different.

If you take a step back and accept that success is measured in many different ways when talking about declining populations then we have a discussion! Nature (and the management threof) is a very complex subject. One number based on a very narrow set of metrics is hardly a basis to determine success or failure of a law that is designed to protect endangered species.

I think the ESA can often be way too restrictive to the small miner and prospector. Maybe even the corporate extraction industries. But that does not mean I cannot see the larger picture nor does it mean I am automatically against it. I certainly don't want to see it gutted.

Small miners and recreational users get caught in the net that is meant to protect the environment from large operations. I have always said that if the recreationalist differentiated themselves from "miners" and demanded their minimal impact hobby be protected under "multiple use" rather than falling back on the mining act we would be better off. But since we insist we are "miners" and are protected by the act we are subject to closures and restrictions meant for industry. 

Our endangered and declining species need to be protected from the extraction industries. Not from the hobbyist. It really gives prospectors the gritty end of the burrito. Minimal impact activities should not be excluded in areas closed to mineral entry. They are because recreationalists seem reluctant to differentiate themselves from commercial miners. I have no problem limiting large scale mining in sensitive areas but I object to laws and policy that exclude a guy with a shovel or a metal detector. Especially in a low impact area. 

I think what is happening with the ESA is a really bad deal. In this political environment there can be no sound decisions made and this is very political. Yeah, it may get some ground open to legally prospect. But I think it will open the doors for extraction in sensitive areas that will cost us in the long run.

Could the ESA be better and make sense? Sure! But what they are doing here is political posturing. It is the result of corporate money influencing our government who is for sale to the highest bidder. This is not about trying to apply logic to a law that has gotten out of hand.

Just my two sheckles. Not meant to offend anyone with a differing point of view. It is just how I personally feel and why. 

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
because I like to change stuff around a bit. Sue me.
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Three years ago the FWS declared that global climate change would be a major consideration in whether a species was threatened or endangered. At that point all species were considered threatened for the foreseeable future. The bar for threatened was set so low your cat was headed for the list.

"Species" that had been genetically proven to not exist were being protected as threatened.

A pair of mating wolves that magically appeared in Washington State were declared to be a unique population and were on the fast track to be protected.

Large areas of California were withdrawn because a frog that had never lived there might find those areas useful in the future.

Portions of other countries were declared critical environments for endangered species.

That and a lot more was changed just by ordering the agencies to stop their nonsense. Nothing about the Federal or State laws governing endangered or threatened species was changed. No animals or plants will be in danger but a whole bunch of sleazy lawyers just lost a bunch of billings for wasting the court's time and our money. Sleazy lawyers might be the next endangered species?

Edited by clay
Because I care
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Before these administrative changes to enforcement of the ESA this animal could have been considered endangered. Now it's just another ass.

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There is certainly no argument that the ESA is overreaching and we can point out obvious flaws. We can point out hypotheticals that the ESA could allow. My point was not to defend the ESA on any of its many faults. 

My point was that what the administration is proposing is objectionable to me for the reasons stated. We are not trying to fix what is wrong. We are trying to make winners out of the extraction industry and oppose the "environmntalists". Not because the ESA is not working to protect endangered species. Not because it will be good for prospectors or create jobs. But because it is politically expedient as well as personally enriching for government officials and corporations. 

Politics and corporate influence got us into this mess. More politics and corporate influence is not going to fix it. More politics and corporate influence is the only thing I see at play here.

Just my two cents.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
because it just keeps getting better.
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I figured out what it was all about when they ordered the Killing of Barred Owls to make room for a hand full of Spotted Owls. 

I think One of the two Owls are a sub species of the other   https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140717-spotted-owls-barred-shooting-logging-endangered-species-science/

Edited by homefire
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My niece and also a friend of mine who worked for the USFS both admitted the spotted owl thing is a total hoax that never existed as an endangered specie ... My friend used to run around the woods doing her special spotted owl hoot and I started laughing at her ... I had a bunch of not spotted owls on my place and in the surrounding area and knew there were none anywhere nearby...When I laughed at her she said, "Do you know how much I get paid to hike around the woods?  It's a great job and one that won't end for many years ..." ... That was 30 years ago, and the last I heard she still gets paid to hike, but has never found a single spotted owl...Ha ... Finally the usfs admitted a few years ago it was a scam... (Not their lingo of course) ... But it cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in CA and OR!

Cheers, Unc

 

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I have never seen a spotted owl and I hope I never do as I might just do something that I might regret.  I had some land above Prescott in 'Highland Pines' and when I wanted to cut a couple of trees I was told that I would have to get permission as it would endanger the 'Spotted Owl' if I did.  Along came the 'Bark Beetle' and they killed around forty or more of my tallest Ponderosa Pines trees.  The County took me to court and said that I had to cut all the dead pines down by a certain date or be in contempt.  I thought that dead pine trees made a better home for the little devils anyway but apparently not so.  Never did see one of those varmints in that area and neither did anyone else.  Cost me a few thousand to get everything cut and hauled off and promptly sold the property at a handsome profit.  I bordered National Forest and they hadn't cut their dead ones as yet.  Bought me a RV and have been free from other peoples whims ever since.  I now just go and enjoy trees and land almost anywhere I want.  'Spotted Owl'...………….Horse crap.

    Old Tom  

   Why was my last comment edited????

Edited by Old Tom
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Well Ron, if she hasn't found one in 30 years, they must be endangered.... Did she work here on the Klamath N. F.? I might know her.

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4 minutes ago, LipCa said:

Well Ron, if she hasn't found one in 30 years, they must be endangered.... Did she work here on the Klamath N. F.? I might know her.

Can't remember her last name, but first name was Sue ... She lived downriver from Ft. Jones past Meamber bridge a good ways ... I think she was a lesbian ... Cheers, Unc

 

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34 minutes ago, Old Tom said:

I have never seen a spotted owl and I hope I never do as I might just do something that I might regret.  I had some land above Prescott in 'Highland Pines' and when I wanted to cut a couple of trees I was told that I would have to get permission as it would endanger the 'Spotted Owl' if I did.  Along came the 'Bark Beetle' and they killed around forty or more of my tallest Ponderosa Pines trees.  The County took me to court and said that I had to cut all the dead pines down by a certain date or be in contempt.  I thought that dead pine trees made a better home for the little devils anyway but apparently not so.  Never did see one of those varmints in that area and neither did anyone else.  Cost me a few thousand to get everything cut and hauled off and promptly sold the property at a handsome profit.  I bordered National Forest and they hadn't cut their dead ones as yet.  Bought me a RV and have been free from other peoples whims ever since.  I now just go and enjoy trees and land almost anywhere I want.  'Spotted Owl'...………….Horse crap.

    Old Tom  

   Why was my last comment edited????

Old Tom I owned a mining claim just south of where your talking about. I battled it out with the Forrest service for two years in court over a POO that they claimed I had to have before I finally gave up. They had better lawyers than I did and an seemingly unlimited bank account. I couldn't even run a small 3-4"dredge. They found a pile of 1930-60's rusty tin cans and said I could not get a poo without a complete investigation of the artifacts. I asked how long would that take? they said they are backed up 4-6 years? anyone want to buy a mining claim on Forrest service land?
 AzNuggetBob

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Au seeker I guess Im an artifact and Im still alive! Prescott forest service sucks. JMO delete this if you dare!

AzNuggetbob

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Oh really I guess you work for the Forrest service Jim?

Come on a>> H..es stand up! and say something.

 

AzNuggetBob

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22 minutes ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Au seeker I guess Im an artifact and Im still alive! Prescott forest service sucks. JMO delete this if you dare!

AzNuggetbob

Why would I delete your post?? :idunno:

My "irritated" reaction was for the FS' actions towards you!

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I will say, here in NV the Forest Circus is the worst government agency we have. The rent a cops they have are absolutely crazy and know nothing about the laws they try to enforce. My friend was elk hunting and a Forest ranger wanted to see his elk tag and hunting license and was feeding him a line of bs about hunting where he was. Well the only agency you "LEGALLY" have to produce your tags and licenses to here are Fish and Game. So he wouldnt give them to him. He tried to ticket him and eventually said he will arrest him. My buddy then called the Sheriff and the game warden. A few hours later they both arrived and finally told the Forest Circus feller he was in the wrong and what he was doing was illegal. He left a little angry lol. We have incidents like that all the time here. Im sure all the states that the Forest Service calls theirs has problems. They are a thorn in our side. Know the laws, dont just make them up as you go.

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The FS and BLM LEO's are a magnificent bunch of meatsickles. Every time I see one they come five miles across the flats to try and figure out what I am doing wrong. Then they lecture me on every law they can think of. Every single time they leave me with a stern warning that if they catch me out of line there will be hell to pay. It is rather comical. 

We have a couple of real winners in my neck of the woods. A rabid lesbian who desires nothing more than to wield her authority over anything with hair under their arms. And a couple of slippery kielbasas in body armor with leg holsters who are working on the medal of valor. 

The rest of the staff a the BLM here is pretty good. As well as the FS in most cases. The ones that you deal with in the office are polite, helpful and almost apologetic. The claims folks are downright good people. They are all western folks with an historical knowledge of what is going on.  The ONLY gripe I have with the agencies are the same gripes I have with most LEO organizations. A preponderance of swinging bratwurst all hopped up on steroids desperately looking to take down the bad guy... Even when there is none. I suppose the main problem is that "bad guys" are few and far between in the vast New Mexico expanses and every living soul out there must pass muster. Since I am often the only soul out there I must pass muster at least once a month. 

I have already trained the lesbian and she knows that face to face contact with me leaves a bad taste in her mouth. She simply watches me for hours with a telescopic lens. Rambo and Rambito still strut around like little roosters when they see my truck. Like moths to a flame they seem to think they are going to catch me doing something wrong. I am still unsure of what they think that may be.  They seem very focused on artifacts. I figure they assume that I am pot hunting. I would be happy to tell them what I am actually doing out there but in a half dozen encounters they have never asked. It seems their objective is to inform me of their authority and tell me what the laws are rather than determine what the hell I might be doing out there.

The laws may leave a lot to be desired but the LEO interface with public land users is a downright failure. People don't go 50 miles down a dirt road to be inspected by the law and lectured by a guy in body armor, a taser on one hip and a pistol on the other. I see a whole lot less wrong with the laws and the policy than I do with the enforcement style. You just can't treat hunters, hikers and rockhounds like drunks at a roadblock but that is often how it is handled. 

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I think maybe the FS hires college kids or gets free volunteer help from time to time.  The career FS rangers that I have had contact with all were and continue to be pretty much trying to be fair and sticking to standard operating procedure.  But on occasion Jill & I encountered youngish non-FS folks dressed in FS looking clothing.  This one time a group of four our five of them just hunkered down on a slope that overlooked what we were doing on the North Fork of the Salmon River east of Sawyers Bar.  They took photos, jotted down notes, but never once spoke to us.  There were some dredgers operating dredges a few hundred yards upstream using grip hoists attached to not-too-stout trees to roll boulders.  Maybe they thought we were about to do some of the same.  The difference was we only were using metal detectors and scraping out bedrock crevices.  Occasionally we retrieved a bucket or two of stream water to pour into a 7 gallon plastic concrete mixing tub.  I would pan out the dirt that we scraped out of the crevices in the tub of water.  I guess they just weren't sure what the heck we were doing.  After a half hour or so they wandered off.  We never heard anything more about it.  We had our "approved as modified" notices of intent signed by the lead FS ranger on hand just in case.  We wondered about that for a long time.  Anyone know whether FS hires part time help or takes on summer interns or has eco volunteers "helping" them who sport FS looking duds?

Edited by Micro Nugget
misspelling

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Not too fare off Subject but does it get up your nose when the Fish and Game guy ask you to produce your fishing license Four times on a single week end ?  Man that one Steams me. The third time he ask I ask him if he wanted a 5 x 7 glossy photo of me stapled with a  Photo Copy of it !!!!!

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There are three notices of regulation changes in this set. I gave you a link to the agency cooperation notice now here's a link to the Listing Species and Designating Critical Habitat notice.

These are the essence of the new changes and they are huge. One of the biggest items is where they throw out the regulation put in effect just before Trump took office that declared that climate change had to be considered as a factor in threatening species. The fools had taken that as a reason that all animals and plants were endangered into the foreseeable future. Fake science.

Here's the important part that throws out climate change as a reason to consider a species as endangered in the "foreseeable future".

Quote

The foreseeable future can extend only as far as the Services can reasonably depend on the available data to formulate a reliable prediction and avoid speculation and preconception. Regardless of the type of data available underlying the Service's analysis, the key to any analysis is a clear articulation of the facts, the rationale, and conclusions regarding foreseeability. Ultimately, to determine that a species is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future, the Services must be able to determine that the conditions potentially posing a danger of extinction in the future are probable. The Services will avoid speculating as to what is hypothetically possible.

 

Another change addresses the fact that when a species is extinct it should be taken off the list. Seems like common sense that if there is no critter to protect there should be no more critical habitat designation or restrictions on land use right? These idiots have continued to "protect" species that are extinct! This will stop that nonsense.

Quote

We are proposing to replace the current section 424.11(d)(1) with a new section 424.11(e)(1) that simply states the first reason for delisting a species as, “The species is extinct.”

 

The FWS has been protecting "species" that never existed. A prime example is the eastern "red wolf" which has been shown genetically to be nothing but a dog that was mated with a coyote. The FWS has spent years and millions of dollars trying to "save" these hybrids as if they were a species despite the genetics saying they are not a separate species. Lately the FWS has taken to threatening landowners around the area where they have been maintaining a "non essential" population of dogs they have been calling red wolves. That stuff ain't going to fly anymore.

Quote

We are proposing to add a new provision, section 424.11(e)(3), clarifying that listed entities will be delisted if they do not meet the definition of “species” as set forth in the Act.

 

Here's a biggie in the changes to critical habitat designation. In the past animals like the yellow legged frog have caused huge areas of land to be designated "critical habitat" even though the reason the frog is threatened is because of introduced fish species that eat frogs. The conservation of the frogs habitat will not change the inevitable outcome that the fish the State stocks in the streams will eat the froggies until they are all gone. Since the habitat itself is not the cause of the froggies demise and protecting habitat outside of the riparian area wouldn't contribute to the froggies well being there is no reason to withdraw the non-riparian areas and possibly no reason to withdraw the streams either. It's definitely man's actions that are threatening the frogs but that activity could be stopped tomorrow just by no longer stocking non-native fish for anglers.

Quote

We propose to further clarify when the Secretary may determine that an unoccupied area may be essential for the conservation of the species. In order for an unoccupied area to be considered essential, the Secretary must determine that there is a reasonable likelihood that the area will contribute to the conservation of the species.

 


This change in the rules also throws out "critical habitat" designation where there is no way to protect the species through habitat designation. Weather and natural processes can not be changed so if the species is threatened by natural processes designating critical habitat would be useless. This may be a subtle point but it will open up more land than any other regulation change.

Quote

We have encountered situations in which threats to the species' habitat stem solely from causes that cannot be addressed by management actions that may be identified through consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. In those situations, a designation could create a regulatory burden without providing any conservation value to the species concerned. Examples would include species experiencing threats stemming from melting glaciers, sea level rise, or reduced snowpack but no other habitat-based threats. In such cases, a critical habitat designation and any resulting section 7(a)(2) consultation, or conservation effort identified through such consultation, could not prevent glaciers from melting, sea levels from rising, or increase the snowpack. Thus, we propose in section 424.12(a)(1)(ii) that designation of critical habitat in these cases may not be prudent because it would not serve its intended function to conserve the species.

 

That just touches on some of the changes in one of these notices. There is a lot of slippery language in these notices. These changes are required by presidential orders but the agencies are clearly unhappy with their new job. A lot of the language is designed to preserve their nonsense while giving an ineffective nod to their bosses orders. It's important to understand that none of this changes the laws on endangered species - they just change the way the agencies have been determining their process to implement the ESA.

Notice that each of these are "proposals" and your comments are encouraged. Believe me when I tell you every effort will be made to remove the teeth from these new regulations over the next 60 days. A lot of you make comments when there are new regulations you don't like but it's just as important to support new regulations you do like. Now would be a good time to let your feelings pro or con be known. This is where the rubber meets the road ... the rest is up to you.

Edited by clay
Cause' my primo likes it.

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We have until 24 Sep 18 to make comments. I will put what I am going to comment on this post prior to submitting.

Here's the instructions for electronically:

(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0009, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

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Thanks for carrying the initial oar on these important issues Clay.  I for one will be mulling the listed proposals and sharing responses where I deem it helpful.

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