Owl hunting...WTF?

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Roper, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Yeah, we should shoot these guys on sight...look what a nuisance they are :rolleyes: . The wife took these a couple weeks ago -- some of the hundreds she's taken of those sharing our domain. I wonder if the agency has mitigation plans should their newest hypothesis be wrong as well and the Barred Owl population crashes as a result of their $3M experiment... I know, let's start thinning the population of the agency.
    Owl1 web.jpg Owl2 web.jpg Owl3 web.jpg Owl4 web.jpg Owl5 web.jpg Owl6 web.jpg
     
  2. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    Yes, but my opinion doesn't matter much.

    However, way back in spring of 1994 I was the lead writer on a scientific paper on the Spotted Owl in eastern Washington. The Wenatchee National Forest and the Forestry Sciences Lab in Wenatchee did NOT think that the President's Forest Plan and Recovery Plan was going to succeed in saving the Spotted Owl. So the Forest and the Lab put together an team to write a professional paper. I got to be the lead writer (author) simply because nobody else wanted to spend the time writing it!!

    Anyway the team had members from the Forest, the Sciences Lab, WDFW, NCASI and other scientific organizations.

    We did come up with a recommendation for the Barred Owl management. I need to find the paper and I will post the exact text, but the group did discuss shooting the Barred Owls. When an invasive species colonizes new habitat existing species are displaced. There are really very few options to removal of invasive species. They can out compete existing species in that habitat. We did discuss changing the habitat slightly to give the Spotted Owl an advantage, but really could not find what that would entail.

    The paper, however, is much more "proper" in its discussion of the issue and I believe the concept of lethal removal was never mentioned in the paper.

    Scientist are really poor at tolerating new opinions. The whole report was ignored by the "Gang of Four" and the Forest and Lab moved on to other issues. The Lead Scientist retired and spends his time surfing in Kona, some of the other Biologists finished up their research and retired or moved on to other jobs.

    However, they were right and the "Gang of Four" was wrong. But then I never did have much respect for the Gang of Four. John Gordon, excepted I never did meet him. Here is a link to a Yale Lovefest for the Gang of Four in 2001. It it worth reading in 2013. Jim Lyons was President Clinton's Under Secretary for Agriculture and a real good friend of Plum Creek!!

    Read the link a decade later: http://environment.yale.edu/gisf/files/pdfs/yff_reviews/05.02.pdf

    Like I said before the signature achievement of the "Gang of Four" was they destroyed 30,000 timber jobs in the Northwest AND the Spotted Owl !!! Good grief, chose one or the other....but BOTH??

    I wasted probably three or four professional years on the Spotted Owl. A waste of my time, taxpayer dollars, those families losing their means of financial support AND the Spotted Owl which is headed for extinction.
     
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  3. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    ESA listing is a tool. One that is not perfect, but a powerful one. There have been a number of fisheries changes as the result of federal listing, or the possibility of it happening. In my own area, the threat of action to save endangered bull trout lead (in part) to a very innovative basin wide water management group forming. Nobody got everything they wanted, but everyone came to the table and got something, and the process is ongoing. Irrigators, CTUIR, Cities, Fish. It ain't perfect, but it's pretty good. Without threats of Federal action, it would have never have happened. In that same vein, the flushing of water over dams, improved fish passage, etc. all flow (at least in part) from the use or threat of the hammer that is the ESA.

    The ESA (along with a slew of other federal programs) has been used to force the preservation of unique ecologies, defeating short term desires to monetize public natural resources. Like I said, not perfect but I fear what the world around me would look like without it.
     
  4. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    It is a hammer. And when you have a hammer the solution to every problem is to pound something. ESA has been stretched and misused, but that is the world we live today. The problem with ESA is that it shifts the focus to individual species rather than ecosystems. So we focus on bits and pieces while the ecosystems go down the toilet. But I am not sure that most resource professionals and the public can understand ecosystem concepts where individual creatures that go "hoot" are political dynamite.

    There is nothing wrong with "monetizing public natural resources". Way back, in 1996 just after the Soviet Union ceased to exist I was talking to a Russian Forester about their interest in the US Forest Service. The Forest Service in 1996 had long ceased being a model Federal agency in the eyes of the American politicians and public.

    His reply was that the Communists set-up a natural resource management system that consisted of Natural Resource Exploitation areas and Nature Reserves. It is easy to ripped apart a natural landscape and move on to the next patch of ground. And that is what the Communists did. So all those Nature Reserves were reclassified as economic zones and literally destroyed. A AID Forester told me about flying in a helicopter in the Russian Far East for six hours and never getting out of the single clear cut.

    We are currently a wealthy society. But it is starting to look like we are turning a corner on that. The pressure will someday build to "exploit" our natural resources to maintain our "standard of living".

    The only President to order the Forest Service to cut above the sustain yield level was Jimmy Carter. In today's prices, $15 for a two by four was enough for Jimmy to abandon his "environmental values".

    In 2000, President Clinton suspended ESA as it "relates to the recovery of the Pacific Salmon" so BPA could ship electricity to Seattle and California. No a peep in complaint was heard.

    The city of San Francisco and their national politicians refuse to remove Hetch Hetchy Dam in Yosemite National Park. It is THEIRS, not a American public treasure!! That is not far removed from what happened in the Soviet Union.

    A strong system of public lands that protects natural resources and provides for "economic monetizing" of resources is really the only sustainable model for resource management in the long run.

    Oh and somewhere along the line we better teach our children a land ethic. Not environmental nonsense, but a land ethic. You know Aldo Leopold stuff rather than recycling!!
     
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  5. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Kids today have little interest in the land. It's not on their smart phone and they can't text it. Rural kids are moving to the cities to get jobs, what damned few there are. The urban tree huggers get in their Prius and visit the wilderness on the weekend. I sound like a doomsday prophet don't I? But look around and tell me if I'm wrong.

    The only "value" in land any more is for large corporations to rape and pollute. Pretty soon the "sheeple" will be in their little urban communities and few people will live "on the land". If one cares they might investigate Agenda 21 and see what the UN thinks "sustainable" means.
     
  6. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Does that include the human species? ;)

    My problem with us scientists is that we fail to recognize (more like flat don't understand or choose to ignore) that every action has some reaction in the form of intended or unintended consequence. If one wants to make the argument that the "genie is out of the bottle" and the balance of nature has already been tipped, justifying that actions like this need to be taken to restore balance...my question is "do we know what the balance point is? New species are discovered and existing species go extinct... has something changed?

    In the case of the Barred Owls, do we know with certainty the reasons they migrated...might it have been the culmination of other well intended policies? I happen to believe in a power greater than man and that our constant meddling with nature does more harm than good.
     
  7. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    Well, the problem with most scientist is their science education is way to specialized. So they are flying blind on effects outside their area of expertise.

    There is no balance point ecologically. That concept went out the window when I was graduating in the early 1970's. Existing species do go extinct....because of humans. I don't find that a good thing. I find that a very troubling sign.

    Yes, Barred Owl migrated with settlement. You know Robins use to be a very rare bird since so little natural habitat is in meadow. Robins like humans.

    We humans have dramatically changed ecosystems. There really are NO natural ecosystems left in the lower 48 and probably elsewhere. That's ok as long as we keep track of what we are dong.

    Population. When the Sierra Club decided that population was NOT an environmental issue. That really was the end for many species.
     
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  8. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    This world was a great place until we came along in hoards and started screwing it up. Fact is, now we're trying to fix what we broke, sometimes successfully . . . sometimes not . . . and sometimes via attempts that make no sense whatsoever.
     
  9. riseform

    riseform Active Member

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    Found this while walking a familiar stretch of woods recently. I suspect it is the owl I've been photographing for over a year now. It seems someone or something has already started the kill, only they got a Great Horned Owl in this case.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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  11. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    [quote="Really? How then do you explain species going extinct before modern man?[/quote]

    Sorry, for the delay in answering you. Just got back from a cruise to Alaska with the family.

    As a professional Forester, it is really sad to see ALL the invasive species and changes to our ecosystems. The changes predicted under global warming are MUCH, MUCH less than those that occurred over the past one hundred years. So when I see a landscape I see what has been lost.

    Species have gone extinct on a regular basis due to climate change and other disruptive forces for millions of years. In my eyes, there is something fundamentally different with a species going extinct due to man. I think we do have an obligation for a land ethic. It's that Forester thing.....you know "Sand County Almanac" stuff. Worth reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sand_County_Almanac

    Lots of folks think ESA has been a "pollitical" tool rather than a force for species preservation. I have my personal issues with ESA, but the goals of the legislation that we have an obligation to manage ecosystems with a land ethic I really do not have a problem with that.
     
  12. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    99% of all species that went extinct did so before the rise of humans, according to paleontologists. We've been witness to several new species going TU (passenger pigeons, for one), but not all that many when compared to the massive dieoffs the planet has experienced before. Vladimir, you're absolutely right when you mention a lack of land ethic, especially within city people. I constantly see clueless idiots wandering the forest behind my place, "communing" with nature, while their dogs run wild chasing anything that moves. For my money, it's the serious, dedicated fair-chase big game hunters who have the best forest ethics. I'm not talking about these morons who roar around on their ATV's, road-hunting, but the guys who shoulder a pack and head into the high country. The other side of this coin are the two "forest service" employees who, rumor has it, walked off from their campfire on the shore of Lake Wenatchee and left it to burn down three cabins!
     
  13. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

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    The ESA has also been used to try to recover native anadromous fish runs. Should that effort be stopped?"If all our wild anadromous fish vanished today, would the world stop spinning?" If native wild salmon/steelhead are worth saving, why not native spotted owls? Put another way, if it's okay for introduced (through human-caused environmental disruptions) barred owls to replace native spotted owls, what's wrong with introduced hatchery stocks replacing wild native stocks of salmon/steelhead?

    I'm not trying to be (overly) argumentative here, but I'm curious what makes one native species more worthy of public support than another.
     
  14. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Dan, it would appear that our human spread into all environments may have introduced competition between the two types of owls. Does that now give us the right to wipe out the ones we brought with us (unintentionally)?

    BTW, I'm not going to debate fish issues here, I'll stick to owls. No, actually I think I'll say this, if the fish went away it would never compare to the problems that would follow should honey bees disappear...and they are in serious trouble. That's another problem we (scientists and chemists) created. Can we shoot the scientists and chemists...?
     
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  15. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

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    On the owls, I'm of the opinion that yes, sometimes we do need to wipe out (or at least contain as much as possible) an introduced species. Barred owl populations should be curtailed in core spotted owl habitats, just as lake trout in Yellowstone Lake should be curtailed to help the native cutthroats survive.

    Regarding bees, I would agree with you. The threat facing our bee populations may be the greatest threat to our society today. Without our pollinators, agri-business -- and thus our core food channels -- is threatened. Those agri-chemists that seem to have helped create the severe decline in bee colonies have put us all at risk.