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 Post subject: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 1:07 am 
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http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/05/10/ ... rally.html

Great news!

But there's drawbacks, too:

“I don’t know if you’re going to get a lot of sympathy for putting one of the most dangerous snakes in the world on an endangered species list,” said state Rep. Chris Murphy, a Lowcountry Republican and critic of government regulation.

What an a$$hole.

Service officials say their next step is to gather public comments over the next two months and launch a study to see if the snake species should be protected.

Public comments?? Since when does John Q. Public have the qualifications to decide on anything like that? I can see those "public comments" already.....


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 3:55 am 

Joined: January 31st, 2012, 4:19 am
Posts: 53
Ignorance abounds.....particularly with our elected officials. It doesn't matter what party they belong to.

On a side note it seems that EDB's are fairly abundant in some areas....based purely subjectively on the number of posts on this forum with EDB sightings. Could this be due to the protection that gopher tortoises already receive?


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 4:22 am 
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Public comments?? Since when does John Q. Public have the qualifications to decide on anything like that? I can see those "public comments" already.....


Most certainly don't, but it is a required part of the review process for the Endangered Species Act, regardless of the species.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 4:30 am 
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Stohlgren wrote:
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Public comments?? Since when does John Q. Public have the qualifications to decide on anything like that? I can see those "public comments" already.....


Most certainly don't, but it is a required part of the review process for the Endangered Species Act, regardless of the species.

That's very interesting. Why is it required?


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 5:04 am 
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Bullfrog wrote:
On a side note it seems that EDB's are fairly abundant in some areas....based purely subjectively on the number of posts on this forum with EDB sightings. Could this be due to the protection that gopher tortoises already receive?


I could probably make a lot of posts every spring with pictures of Blue Spotted Salamanders from Iowa, but they still only exist in two places in the whole state that we know of. Just because people know where to find something, doesn't mean they are widespread.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 5:53 am 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Stohlgren wrote:
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Public comments?? Since when does John Q. Public have the qualifications to decide on anything like that? I can see those "public comments" already.....

Most certainly don't, but it is a required part of the review process for the Endangered Species Act, regardless of the species.

That's very interesting. Why is it required?

To enable John Q. Public to feel as if he's a participant in his government's decision-making process. They're required to solicit and review public comments, but they're not required to be persuaded by them.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 6:14 am 
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gbin wrote:
They're required to solicit and review public comments, but they're not required to be persuaded by them.

Thank you, Gerry. Now it makes sense...and provides a ray of light.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 6:24 am 
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“I don’t know if you’re going to get a lot of sympathy for putting one of the most dangerous snakes in the world on an endangered species list,” said state Rep. Chris Murphy, a Lowcountry Republican and critic of government regulation.

Someone should write to them and let them know they misspelled "Lowlife".

And calling the EDB one of the most dangerous snakes in the world tells me this guy should spend more time working for his constituents and less time watching Animal Planet.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 6:39 am 

Joined: January 31st, 2012, 4:19 am
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psyon wrote:
Bullfrog wrote:
On a side note it seems that EDB's are fairly abundant in some areas....based purely subjectively on the number of posts on this forum with EDB sightings. Could this be due to the protection that gopher tortoises already receive?


I could probably make a lot of posts every spring with pictures of Blue Spotted Salamanders from Iowa, but they still only exist in two places in the whole state that we know of. Just because people know where to find something, doesn't mean they are widespread.



But can the same be said of EDB's? We know they exist in more than two locales in FLA and more than a couple people seem to know how to find them. Again, I said I was being subjective based on limited info from a single forum.

What are the latest population densities for EDB's in FLA/GA and has anyone made a correlation to their numbers compared to gopher toroise populations?


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 7:09 am 
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Bullfrog wrote:
But can the same be said of EDB's? We know they exist in more than two locales in FLA and more than a couple people seem to know how to find them. Again, I said I was being subjective based on limited info from a single forum.


I was just pointing out that you couldn't use a single forum, or even the total number of posts about them all over the internet, as any indicator. If they are locally common at any locations that herpers know about, they will be found and posted in great numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 7:21 am 
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chrish wrote:
“I don’t know if you’re going to get a lot of sympathy for putting one of the most dangerous snakes in the world on an endangered species list,” said state Rep. Chris Murphy, a Lowcountry Republican and critic of government regulation.

Someone should write to them and let them know they misspelled "Lowlife".

:lol:

On whether eastern diamondbacks deserve federal protection: Even a reasonably widespread and locally abundant species can be in serious trouble if its decline is pronounced enough and/or threats to it are great enough. I don't know the numbers for EDBs, but it wouldn't surprise me if they qualify as such. When was the last time anyone heard any good news with respect to the species' prospects?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 7:28 am 
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Well...that was well written. I'm glad all mistakes were caught by the HeroldOnline editor.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 8:03 am 
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Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
Quote:
Mitchell said it isn’t the job of the Fish and Wildlife Service to base endangered species decisions on whether animals are cuddly and fuzzy mammals or venomous reptiles.


I definately enjoyed that comment! hehe


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 1:23 am 
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Location: Austin, TX
EDBs could hardly be considered dangerous compared to the most deadly animal of all.....Homo sapiens. I'll bet that, in the entire history of this country, the total number of people killed by EDBs wouldn't fill a school bus. More people are probably killed by fish every year in the US than by snakes.

It seems that complete ignorance has become the one defining trademark of American politicians.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 5:43 am 
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Mark Brown wrote:
I'll bet that, in the entire history of this country, the total number of people killed by EDBs wouldn't fill a school bus. More people are probably killed by fish every year in the US than by snakes.


:lol: Well said, sir.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 5:49 am 
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The slightly less capable atrox, however, could fill a few buses up. I think EDBs just have a smaller range and aren't encountered as often.

Anyway, makes no bearing on whether they need this protection or not.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 5:56 am 
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M Wolverton wrote:
Anyway, makes no bearing on whether they need this protection or not.


But, with morons like Chris Murphy in Congress, it has everything to do with the likelihood of them receiving it.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 6:09 am 
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I suppose that is the folly of the whole program, politicians that aren't biologists or have little biological knowledge have the pull.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 6:22 am 
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That's the sad thing. And ironically, guys like Murphy have no skin in the game at all.....he couldn't care less if EDBs are protected or not. It's just a way for him to grandstand and get his name in the press without any political risk.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 7:47 am 
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
Mark Brown wrote:
That's the sad thing. And ironically, guys like Murphy have no skin in the game at all.....he couldn't care less if EDBs are protected or not. It's just a way for him to grandstand and get his name in the press without any political risk.


Not completely true. The skin they have in the game is that federal protection will put restrictions on what people can do with their land (supposedly, I see prime indigo snake habitat getting destroyed all the time). Guys like Murphy will never support anything that may potentially impose such restrictions. They feel protecting any species, let alone a "dangerous" one, is not more important than protecting a person's right to do what they want with their land. Emphasizing the potential danger of the species is just a way to try to keep this from passing. I guarantee Murphy (and other, like-minded politicians) would do away with the ESA all together if given the chance.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 12th, 2012, 7:56 am 
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Stohlgren wrote:
Not completely true. The skin they have in the game is that federal protection will put restrictions on what people can do with their land (supposedly, I see prime indigo snake habitat getting destroyed all the time). Guys like Murphy will never support anything that may potentially impose such restrictions. They feel protecting any species, let alone a "dangerous" one, is not more important than protecting a person's right to do what they want with their land. Emphasizing the potential danger of the species is just a way to try to keep this from passing. I guarantee Murphy (and other, like-minded politicians) would do away with the ESA all together if given the chance.


Excellent point.....I stand corrected. :thumb: I guess, for people like him, any new laws or restrictions are bad ones. The trademark of the TP.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 19th, 2012, 10:39 am 

Joined: May 2nd, 2012, 7:09 pm
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BullFrog...... Population studies on the EDB are limited, but Dr. Means has a lifetime of research supporting the listing to the ESA. The Roundup numbers alone are a strong enough indication of the species decline throughout most of its Native homerange...Just ask Louisiana, Alabama, and NC....The most populated parts are Northern florida and Southern Georgia so reading about sightings on here isnt really a good indicator of a species status....just saying


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 20th, 2012, 9:07 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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I'm gonna go "minority expressed opinion" here and suggest ESA "threatened" listing for EDB would not be very helpful for the snake or for conservation in particular or in general. ("Endangered" status just ain't happening, it's not worth any more discussion.) Let me toss out a few supporting points. Not saying I'm right, or anyone else is wrong, just saying there's a lot to consider:

At the species level, by way of comparison, look at the indigo snake. We've all seen plenty of occupied indigo habitat get developed since that snake was listed in...what? 1978 or so? Legal commercial trade in wild-caught snakes was halted, which helped a lot, but...it's loss and fragmentation of habitat that threatens them most now (and probably did in the 60s and 70s too...). Their recovery plan is now 30 years old (a travesty...). Progress on that plan has been minimal (see the 5-year review from 2008 http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/five_year_review/doc1910.pdf ). The snake is still declining. See the 5-factor analysis in the status review.

I readily concede indigo does not equal EDB. Other than EDB being far more reviled than the indigo, as a technical matter in-situ EDB conservation should be a bit easier - for example EDBs seem able to persist on smaller tracts of land, and they seem less vulnerable to roadkill, because they crawl around a lot less. But the basic qualitative habitat requirements are pretty similar - some frost-proof refugia, not too much shade, and a prey base.

Which takes me to the next point - a listing would add substantial impediments to active "conservation-management" of occupied EBD habitat - whether burning, mowing, bush-hogging, roller-chopping, logging, whatever. Hello more NEPA, hello bummer. More than anything else (protection from intentional killing, protection from harvest, protection from roadkill, etc etc) besides protection from land-use intensification, all xeric-upland wildlife needs active habitat management. I have been intimately engaged in xeric-uplands management for wildlife in Florida, and doing the NEPA can be a Royal pain in the ass. Pushing the paper sucks. It is a waste of time and money, and it does little or nothing for the species. The law that Congress wrote and has amended a number of times can be interpreted by FWS to require more attention be paid to accidentally killing one individual, than to maintaining or improving the habitat (thus survival prospects) for an entire population. Depending on which FWS Ecological Services Field Office (in FL there are 3 - Vero Beach, Jacksonville, and Panama City) has "lead" on the plant or animal in question, that interpretation can be the one a manager has to deal with. Vero has lead on indigo. Jax has lead on sand skink. I wonder who would have lead on EDB.

Now the last item - this is a delicate time in national politics. ESA does not need to keep being used as a hammer; it could be broken. Many many conservative policymakers would love to de-authorize ESA next time it comes up for review (happens every 5 years). Or they could just defund ESA implementation by bleeding that program of USFWS dry. Congress writes the check after all. I do not believe ESA does no good for conservation - quite the contrary. But it cannot do everything, and it is not the tool to deal with the sickness in this country & world that drives the ever-accelerating consumption & degradation of the geosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere.

So - I think a lot more could be done for EDB conservation without resorting to a tactic that wouldn't do much good, and would do much harm for EDB & associated species' habitat management, and could be catastrophic for conservation in general. Also, I just don't happen to believe a listing is warranted, and I suspect the FWS will find the same, and the whole thing will have taken time and money from higher priorities. I see so stinking much of that it (obviously...) drives me halfway frigging nuts.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 20th, 2012, 12:29 pm 
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Jimi, I agree with a great deal of what you say. I haven't worked on FL uplands management/conservation, but I'm very familiar with the rapidly disappearing habitat there and the largely ineffectual efforts to slow its destruction, and I've been professionally involved in other ESA issues.

As much as I understand the fear of breaking our most useful wildlife conservation tool through overuse (and as disgusted as I am with how corporate-sponsored politicians have already seriously degraded that tool), I'd like to see it be applied everywhere it reasonably can be. I'll let you in on a little secret, wildlife/wildlands conservation-wise: Our laws, regulations and policies are failing us, and terribly at that. Trying to apply them as lightly as possible to make them last as long as possible isn't really any kind of meaningful solution. I'm afraid I (and many others in the field with whom I've spoken) see the only real hope in the proverbial political pendulum finally swinging - hard - the other way, so I (and they) say let's use the ESA and every other tool we have at our disposal as vigorously as we can until they ultimately break, and John Q. Public finally notices in their breaking that something is dreadfully wrong with the way things are being done in America.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 12:10 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Well, yeah, everybody's national-sensibilities pendulum swings back and forth over time. Right now, in our country it seems to be at either extreme right or perhaps even beginning to come back. Assuming there's a mechanism for our national sensibilities to be injected into our delegations...hopefully less of these creation-hating whack jobs get hired next time around. I'm not going to hold my breath though; I'm in this for the long haul. Timing and pacing matter. There are good times and bad times to push anything. This is a very bad time to push ESA listings.

Meanwhile, in the woods and offices, there's conservation to be done, every single day, every single pay period, every single fiscal year. I'll let you in on a little secret - the public labor base for accomplishing conservation has been blown to shreds in the 2 decades. The destruction has accelerated in the last few years. South Carolina, the most extreme example I can cite, has laid off literally HALF their DNR staff due to budget cuts in the last 3 years. Another, longer-term example - 20 years ago the US Forest Service had about 50,000 employees. Now it's more like 35,000. What's left has been increasingly allocated to fire suppression - reaction - instead of productive, proactive work. There's a whole lot less land-management capacity now on the Francis Marion, the Osceola, the Conecuh, the Apalachicola, the Ocala, the De Soto. The conservation work I mentioned - who's going to do it? Sure, NGOs and consultants can pull a bit of the weight but in the end, and at the start, you're going to have government bottlenecks. It literally takes an army to accomplish landscape-scale conservation. And a lot of money. A lot of money. Right now there's not much of either.

So - if EDB got listed what creatures would you like to see receive less management? If making that choice was your responsibility, what would you decide? Because the days of doing "more with less" are long behind us. In conservation, we're doing quite a bit less, with a whole lot less. Oh yeah, conservation takes time too. Lots of time, because so much of it is relationship-based - something else that is not often appreciated. This is why I get so agitated at the prospect of more work getting stuffed into the shrinking pipe. We get forced to run around playing so very much dumbass whack-a-mole, and damaging working relationships, that we are dropping fragile balls all over the place. The floor is a slippery, bloody mess. What a damned waste.

So I'll just repeat myself - there's a whole lot of good that could be done for EDB conservation under existing plans and policies. If we managed adequately for (e.g.,) bobwhite quail, turkeys, red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises and indigo snakes there'd be tremendous security in it for EBDs. If we managed for fire-safe forests and sustained yield there'd be tremendous security in it for EDBs. That snake does not need listing. Listing would add nothing to, and would take away a lot from, actual practical on-the-ground conservation.

Or people can just give 20 bucks or sign a letter or whatever for this enviro group or that one, and falsely think they've done something good.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 2:27 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
... I'll let you in on a little secret - the public labor base for accomplishing conservation has been blown to shreds in the 2 decades...

I'm afraid I - and my wife, too - are already in on that secret, Jimi. We both lost our positions some time ago, when the wildlife institution we were working for decided to let go all eight of the staff in its science department and then hire back only the most junior one, and we're facing incredible competition for the slim postings that have appeared since. I'm one of those who believes the economy is actually improving (certainly from a corporate standpoint, anyway), but not so the prospects for wildlife/wildlands conservation; I'm afraid that pendulum is still swinging out away from us and will be for a while yet. I reckon you and I will simply have to agree to disagree on what it will take to get it swinging back.

We're on the same side, though, Amigo. Please don't forget that.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 3:07 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
People should be able to make a fair wage doing these kinds of important tasks. One thing I've noticed is many public recreation areas do not charge any fees at all. Wouldn't it be worthwhile to setup a season pass for people between say 18 and 65? Perhaps there could be 3 or 4 volunteer days where people who have more time than money could earn a pass by donating time and elbow grease. I would disagree that donating money to private organizations is a wasted effort. Private organizations do employ people, manage lands, provide educational services, conduct surveys, and carry out other important tasks.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 3:31 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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I'm mainly talking about giving money that'll just end up going to lawyers. That's wasted IMO, if what you're really after is actual conservation. On a personal note, my personal income peaked in 2000 and has been flat since. So yeah, I think a fair wage would be alright. Whatever fair means...I'd settle for just being able to do my job. That'd be fair enough for me.

And no, Gary, I'm not taking you for an enemy. I just think that to work better together it helps understand "the whole beast" (working from the 8 blind guys and an elephant gag). How about self employment?

The economy IS improving at present. Which is what is absolutely required for people to be able to think about other important things.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 7:55 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
... How about self employment?

Unfortunately, without national health care (not just national health insurance) it's awfully hard for families wholly dependent on self-employment to cover their health care costs and also pay for other necessities such as a mortgage/rent, food, etc. And then when you consider self-employment in wildlife science specifically, well, you were just talking about the kind of wages people earn in our field... (We obviously do it for love, not money. ;) )

Jimi wrote:
The economy IS improving at present. Which is what is absolutely required for people to be able to think about other important things.

Quite a bit more is required than only that. Politicians' and the public's current corporate-sponsored disdain for wildlife/wildlands conservation (or any other environmental cause, really, even including those directly affecting human health) has been worsening for a long time now, much longer than our recent or even not-so-recent economic downturns. People have been encouraged not to care about anything but short-term self-interests. I'm afraid that things are going to have to get a lot worse yet for conservation before they can get much better; some tools are going to have to get broken, as I said, and tragically likely even some American species/habitats lost before enough people remember that there's more to life than what's in it for them and theirs. But as I also said, we can agree to disagree.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 3:48 am 
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Many thoughtful comments here. Jimi, I especially enjoyed reading yours. Clearly, democracy as it exits here in the US, has its drawbacks, especially in such a large, diverse population, such as ours. If people are not properly informed and educated (much less do they have the time, energy and desire to participate) they will never be able to vote properly or even comment adequately in public forums.

However, beyond that is the reality that has been mentioned here of our politicians and what they decide to vote for. For example, most of the politicians are concernced with getting elected again. So, they have to build up huge war chests to run commercials. So, they have to raise money. The money is not in conservation; it is in exploitation and land development. So, rich, greedy, unprincipled land developers, with lots of money, give that money to the politicians who they know will help them.

The unwritten understanding is quid pro quo. Later, after being elected, the developers get what they want. New highways, roads, bridges, sewers, are put in near the developer's land, using public funds to help those "friends" who so generously contributed. Zoning is changed. Any obstacle to development is removed. Development is not only allowed but tax payer dollars are spent to make it happen.

The developers get even richer and now have more money to invest in exploiting and developing new land. How many new shopping centers do we need with huge parking lots (no bike trails or even sidewalks to walk on) and the same sick chain stores in them? I could see perhaps putting in a hospital, school or university, but no, we get more McDonalds, Wendy's, Popeye's. More stuff that we not only don't need but crap which is not even good for our people and which is killing us and making us fat and stupid.

Until we put a control on what people can give in campaign contributions this will continue. Our politicians will give us not what is good for us or right for our country, but that which gives them large donations. Then there is the problem of lobbying. However, I will not even get into that now.

Did I rant too much?


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 5:57 am 
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Well, we've gotten pretty political by this point ;) , but... I wholeheartedly agree, Peter. A big part of America's soul died the day the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, and money is speech.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 8:21 am 

Joined: August 17th, 2011, 12:11 pm
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Location: The Herping Holy Land (Arizona)
First of all, I do not want to or intend to personally attack the individual who made the below comment. My comments that follow are why I disagree strongly with this type of thinking, so please do not take them personally, I am attacking the idea, not the person.


Quote:
"Public comments?? Since when does John Q. Public have the qualifications to decide on anything like that? I can see those "public comments" already....."


Wow! I can't believe that this comment has not already been jumped on!?!?! This type of thought process is one of the leading obstacles to making good political and regulatory changes. John Q. Public does not need to meet someone else's qualifications in order to decide what happens to their resources! Should I not get to voice my opinion and vote politicians out of office if I do not have a wildlife science degree? It is ludicrous that anyone would think that way. If you step back and think about it, why should wildlife scientists, zoologists, and biologists even get to vote or comment anyway...I mean, 'hello'....they don't even have a political science degree! What if elevating the protection status of a species has economic impact to landowners? Wildlife scientists shouldn't have a right to voice their comments in this case either. Why, do you ask? Well....simple, they do not own the land and they do not have a degree in economics, of course! DUH! I hope you can clearly see that this type of thinking really makes no sense at all.

The problem is that John Q Public needs to be listened to and not treated like they are meaningless or 'unqualified'. Everyone who participates on these forums is in fact a representative of John Q Public in one way or another. John Q Public needs to understand, however, and to value wildlife and its habitats in order to find appropriate ways to deal with the pressures that are placed on them. If John Q Public does not see value in and understand wildlife and habitats, then no amount of science or protection will be able to solve the problems that our wildlife and wildlands are facing. Laws will be passed, of course, even in the absense of good solutions that benefit all stakeholders.

I do not have enough information to know whether or not Eastern Diamondbacks should be protected. If I were a legislator or rulemaker involved in making that decision, however, I would want to have information from wildlife scientists that both support and do not support the proposal, input from economists, landowners, and every other person or organization that has any interest in the proposed changes.

I really don't see any reason why a Federal agency would be doing the protection either. The Eastern Diamondback is restricted to a handful of States, those States should be able to make their own decisions on how to best deal with the situation. The Federal Government probably shouldn't be involved at all and if so only in a supportive role rather than an authoritative one.


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 9:27 am 
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Our opinions differ on these things, JDM. As I see it, the protection of communal resources/the common good such as clean air and water, wildlife, etc., much like civil rights, should not be left up to majority rule. Nor should such matters be ruled by the parochial interests of a particular region (be it a state, municipality, landowner's holdings or whatever). One of the most wonderful differences between America and jolly old England is that, kings though we may be in some respects concerning the properties we own, the wild creatures inhabiting our properties aren't treated as the King's wildlife; they all belong to all of us and can (and should) be managed as such. Indeed, I'd say that's one of the most important jobs of our federal government.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 11:05 am 

Joined: August 17th, 2011, 12:11 pm
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Location: The Herping Holy Land (Arizona)
Gerry,

I applaud you for seeing this as a difference of opinion. I also hold wildlife and habitat conservation as things that are very important to me, but disagree as to how it should be managed and by whom.

There are problems with aspects of both my view as well as yours. An interesting read if you have the time to spare:

http://www.cites.org/eng/prog/economics/CITES-draft6-final.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 12:19 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Quote:
the wild creatures inhabiting our properties aren't treated as the King's wildlife; they all belong to all of us and can (and should) be managed as such. Indeed, I'd say that's one of the most important jobs of our federal government.


Right, right, wrong. The principal "echelon" for wildlife management in the US is the state level. Fundamental civics. It is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of statutory, constitutional, and common law dating back to at least the Magna Carta and probably a millennium earlier. We can & should have & express opinions about the law, so that we may collectively determine why and how to change it when improvement is needed, but...opinion is no substitute. And there is nothing as inherently conservative - as resistant to change - as the law.

Thanks for that economics link - very interesting. In the context of this conversation - a problem with ESA (and our model of wildlife management in general) is that it "commonizes" the benefits and "privatizes" the costs. John Q Landowner pays a heavy price for harboring wildlife (regardless of listing status), whereas John Q Public pays very, very little for the pleasure of knowing it still exists. A better, fairer situation would be to commonize more of the costs and/or privatize more of the benefits. As the link describes, without clear and protected allocation of private property rights, all sorts of perverse incentives and unintended consequences follow (e.g. preventive habitat destruction; shoot-shovel-shut up; etc). What the link didn't treat adequately for our purposes here, was how badly things can get screwed up when public property rights are inadequately protected, which is what I think Gerry is getting at, and which concern I share.

The ESA problem I cited is actually the reverse of so many other public-resources problems - benefits are usually privatized, and costs are commonized. E.g. air and water pollution, mining, etc. Same problem with the creative-banking bailouts. Profits were private, expenses have been made public. A policy-driven market failure.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: EDBs might get federal protection!
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 12:56 pm 
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Thanks for the read, JDM. I'm afraid that from my viewpoint their analysis isn't entirely relevant, though. To paraphrase their opening statement to clarify my point: "[Civil rights] involve various costs and benefits..." It's true that wildlife conservation, like civil rights, can be put to a cost/benefit analysis (the South at one time even argued for slavery on the basis of its importance to their economy), and such an analysis can have useful things to tell us. But there's a fundamental importance to such matters that overrules whatever a consideration of costs and benefits might have to say. As I mentioned, our views differ. ;)

Likewise with you, Jimi. Your view of the relative un/importance of the federal and state governments in wildlife conservation is in fact just your view. Federal law indeed can, should be able to and at various times has overruled more regional decision-making when it comes to such matters. So far as change is concerned, I view it as a major mistake that federal concerns have increasingly bowed to state or more local (not to mention purely corporate) concerns, and would very much welcome strengthening of the federal position in the laws of the land in this regard. All relevant levels of government should have a say, but the level of government with the broadest view - i.e. the federal government - should speak with the loudest voice when it comes to communal resources/the common good, including wildlife conservation.

Our differences don't really preclude us from working together, anyway. ;)

Gerry


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