THE PREDATOR CARD

(Note: This fine article continues to shine light on the actions of those that profess to be 'saving' predators, all the while and with malice aforethought, putting people and their children and pets and livestock IN HARMS WAY.)

January 6, 2003

By Jim Beers

jimbeers7@earthlink.net

In their relentless campaign to destroy the American way of life, the environmentalists and animal rights radicals are steadily throwing new logs on the fire. One of their favorite ploys is the victimization of predators. The common sense reality that people in the United States wisely and purposely eliminated dangerous predators from large areas of human habitation is touted as not only immoral but also somehow bad for "the environment."

In the past thirty years we have seen the Federal government, at the behest of radical organizations, vote-seeking politicians, and career-enhancing bureaucrats, use laws and regulations to force wolves into the upper Midwest and the West. Likewise grizzly bears have been forcefully expanded throughout the upper Rockies.

In the past week the likes of Jane 'living with chimpanzees' Goodall and a hodgepodge of radicals have called for "protection" and "listing" -- under the Endangered Species Act -- of mountain lions.

No doubt millions of urbanites, children, and Animal Planet producers will send money and ask their Federal Representative to "do something."

Mountain lions (or cougar, puma or catamount) are ubiquitous throughout the Western US and Canadian Rockies south to the tip of South America. They are historically notorious killers of livestock, pets, and people.

When California stopped all management and hunting of cougars a few years ago, the incidence of attacks on people -- from joggers and hikers to homeowners, both deadly and gravely injurious -- increased dramatically.

Bighorn sheep in the Sierras were listed as "Endangered" and their Federal Endangered Species Recovery Plan cited predation by cougars as THE reason.

By the way, the Federal animal damage control people (whose salary all of us pay) then began "controlling" (i.e., killing) California's cougars which its' good residents had "saved" only a few short years before. This was justified to "save" the bighorn sheep.

As more and more western urban areas and environmentalists and animal rights activists have limited cougar hunting, cougar hunting methods, and hunting areas the cougar numbers in and around towns and cities have increased.

There has been a concomitant increase in deadly attacks on everyone from high school athletes to little children hiking with Church groups.

Cougars kill and eat people.

They severely injure women stepping out on their deck.

They kill pets as well as livestock.

The longer they are "protected," the more (like deer in a National Park) they become bold around people.

In this instance however, they don't beg for candy as you drive by -- they kill your pet and eat your child in the backyard.

When they kill a person, they drag them off a long way and consume most, if not all, while covering up the rest.

More often than not, finding the evidence of the incident is next to impossible to document (especially today when more and more cougar-hunting dog packs are being put out of business by these same activists and their uneducated and ignorant urban supporters).

As a retired wildlife biologist, I will state unequivocally that a lack of cougars throughout much of the US is good for the "ecosystem" and a blessing to hundreds of millions who live near or recreate in currently occupied cougar territory WHERE THEY ARE HUNTED and managed to minimize their dangers and damage to people.

The tired propaganda and nostrums to eliminate cougar management and cougar hunting are as follows:

It shocks the sensibilities of Jane Goodall and her activist friends. These same folks are no doubt equally shocked by hooked fish, trapped muskrats, logged trees, pheasant dinners, circuses, and many other etceteras.

It is conducted when young cougars may still need their mother. The fact that cougars have done well for years under such regimes is forgotten.

It is "unfair" and not "sporting." This from folks that are committed to eliminating all such "sport."

We "don't know enough" about cougars. We never know enough about anything touted for "listing" or "saving."

We don't need to manage them. This from increasingly unethical biologists in Universities and natural resource agencies. These are the folks who want to feather their careers if and when these radicals succeed in changing the management of natural resources into the Animal Planet nirvana so beloved of urban children and advertisers.

No one needs to kill a cougar. Remember this one because everything you do can be characterized this way. These same radical folks, through an all-powerful central government, are ready, willing, and able to write the laws and regulations to proscribe every phase of your life and your property rights in just these terms.

There is more but you get the point. Cougars are the responsibility of state governments and should stay that way. If West Virginia wants to have some around to hunt or run with dogs, their state politicians should answer for whatever does or does not result. If Idaho wants six cougars in every Township or indeed wants no cougars in certain areas, their state government will answer to Idaho voters for such policies. In fact, if California voters want 4 or 5 people killed each year; and a hundred serious maulings each year; unlimited pet losses; constant danger to unattended children; and seriously depleted populations of whatever wild and domestic animals the cougars find tasty then so be it. Only don't expect the rest of the country to pay for it!

Cougars kill people just as do wolves, grizzly bears, and sharks. How formerly intelligent populations of Americans came to accept these silly and deadly concepts of predators is something I cannot understand. Predators such as these should be managed such that their behavior, their numbers, and their distribution pose the least threat to human beings of all stripes. The next time one of these bozos tell you about wearing bells in bear country, or puffing up or not looking into the eyes of one of these predators poke them in the eye and explain about big bore handguns and 00 buck shot as better alternatives. When they tell you about how wolves don't kill people, remind them of the 30 to 40 killed annually in India alone. When they spout those socialist droppings about you being in the animals habitat and how the government should own the area, tell them about how happy they would be in China or North Korea where government owns the people instead of the other way around. When they mention bears tell them about all the hushed up campers and hikers killed in Montana National Parks in particular. When they say Black bears aren't managed in National Parks tell them that for years Park managers live trapped black bears in Parks, drove them miles away and kicked them out on National forests while bear season was open! When they start whining about the "poor cougar" tell them to get a life and worry about the poor children endangered by such nonsense.

Finally, never forget that if this is successful, more land will be off limits to more human activities. Rural residents will have yet another reason to sell out to the government or their surrogates such as the Nature Conservancy. More land will become devoid of human activity and presence thereby furthering the agenda that would have us all living where they tell us and only doing what they permit. I don't know about you, but I think this is worth fighting for.