Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy
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Endangered Species: Bison Bears and Wolves-the Science and the Policy. Matthew A. Cronin, Ph.D. University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences 11February 2013. ESA impacts on resource use Timber, mining, oil, fishing, farming, livestock .

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Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Endangered Species: Bison Bears and Wolves-the Science and the Policy

Matthew A. Cronin, Ph.D.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences

11February 2013


Esa impacts on resource use timber mining oil fishing farming livestock

ESA impacts on resource useTimber, mining, oil, fishing, farming, livestock

Northern Spotted Owl-Timber

Polar Bear-Oil

Steller Sea Lion-Fishing

Klamath salmon-Farming

Coastal California gnatcatcher-Building

Grizzly bear-Livestock

Wolf-Livestock Hunting

Sage Grouse-Oil, Livestock


Sullivan vs haskett

Sullivan vs Haskett

  • D. Sullivan Alaska Attorney General: “…in the coming months as environmental groups attempt to list more species under the ESA and shut down resource development in the OCS and Tongass National Forest…” ADN 12/13/09


Sullivan vs haskett1

Sullivan vs Haskett

  • G. Haskett U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska Director:

  • “Many people fear that ESA listings will curtail development in Alaska, but there is no evidence that this ever has been or will be the case”

  • ADN 12/26/09


Amazing

Amazing

  • No evidence ESA might affect resource development?

  • Sullivan’s point was also made by anyone ever dealing with the ESA


Caribou on the north slope

Caribou on the North Slope

  • Not ESA, but similar use of selective science to stop resource development

  • National Research Council report 2003 concluded decline between 1992 and 1995 was due to oil field impacts

  • Didn’t note the large increases in the herd in other periods


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Caribou 6000 to 67000 during North Slope oilfield operations


Wildlife in the tongass national forest

Wildlife in the Tongass National Forest

  • No ESA listings but threat of listing goshawk and wolf subspecies influence TLM Plan

  • Creation of OGR and move to exclusive second growth harvest

  • Identification of nebulous “Endemics”


Esa in alaska

ESA in Alaska

Polar bearsGoshawk

Beluga whalesWolf

Other WhalesMurrelet

Steller sea lionsLoons

Sea ottersSeals

Walrus


Are polar bears threatened with extinction

Are Polar Bears Threatened with Extinction?

No: Polar bears are not currently

threatened and has healthy populations


Alaska grizzly bear

Alaska Grizzly Bear


Montana grizzly bear

Montana Grizzly Bear


Fws concludes they are threatened with extinction

FWS concludes they are threatened with extinction

Using Models of global warming and SUMMER sea ice disappearance led to models that polar bears will decline across their entire range to the point of near extinction


The impact

The impact

Polar bears are threatened by arctic sea ice loss, which is attributed to climate change, which is attributed to human greenhouse gas emissions, so greenhouse gas emissions are to be regulated.

This will affect many parts of the American and Alaskan economies


Best available science data quality

Best Available Science:Data Quality

Number populations declining = 5

Number populations stable = 5

Number populations increasing = 2

Number population unknown = 7

Total number of worldwide populations =19.


Worldwide population number has increased 2 3x in last 40 years

Worldwide population number has increased 2-3X in last 40 years

20,000-25,000 in 2006,

21,500-25,000 in 2002,

21,000-28,000 in 1995,

25,000 in 1984-1989,

8,000-10,000 in 1965-1970


Population predictions with models

Population predictions with Models

Decline in the size of the total population of more than 30% within the next 35 to 50 years.

30% decline is not a threat of extinction


Polar bears have survived several previous warming periods with no summer arctic sea ice

Polar bears have survived several previous warming periods with no summer Arctic Sea Ice


State of alaska

State of Alaska

  • Lawsuit to challenge the Polar Bear ESA Listing

  • Reviewing Recent Critical Habitat Designation

  • Attempting to Work Cooperatively on the Relevant Science


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Alaska Wood Bison


Plains bison

Plains Bison


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Does it matter?Plains bison survive in Alaska and plains X wood bison herd survives in Canada


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Wood bison subspecies on the ESA list is preventing (re) introduction of wood bison to interior Alaska

Plains bison are petitioned for ESA listing in lower 48 States


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Wolf

  • Wolf DPS on ESA list in northern Rocky Mt States until recently

  • Wolf DPS in Great Lakes States on ESA list until recently

  • Mexican wolves subspecies on ESA list

  • Wolf subspecies in southeast Alaska petitioned for ESA listing

  • “Eastern Wolf” proposed by FWS as a SPECIES


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

ESA Problems

  • The review system of ESA documents within the federal agencies is closed

  • Government agencies frequently use science selectively for the ESA, but Recent examples of Balanced Science from Gov’t

  • The ESA has been dramatically expanded because it includes subjective subspecies and populations

  • ESA now allows predicting with models future “Endangerment”


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

The Wildlife SocietyADVOCACYSTATE AND FEDERAL WILDLIFE AGENCIES Partner with Environmental groupsCBD


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

The entire system of review of science in the ESA process is closed. FWS or National Marine Fisheries Service-NMFS creates a petition or receives a petition from environmental groups to consider a species for ESA listing.


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

FWS reviews the petition, decides if it’s warranted, prepares a Status Review and a Proposed Rule and selects peer reviewers of them. FWS then reviews the peer reviews and produces a final Status Assessment and Proposed Rule.


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

FWS then selects peer reviewers of Proposed Rule and solicits public comment. FWS then reviews the peer reviews and public comments and produces a final rule. FWS can dismiss or ignore public comments and peer review comments without accountability.


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

FWS or NMFS has the role of author, editor, and reviewer for their own documents.


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

The potential for litigation challenges to FWS decisions in this process is slanted because courts give deference to agencies in assessing science and management information.


Federal deference

Federal Deference

“Although plaintiffs have proposed many alternative conclusions that the agency could have drawn with respect to the status of the polar bear, the Court cannot substitute either the plaintiffs’ or its own judgment for that of the agency. Instead, this Court is bound to uphold the agency’s determination that the polar bear is a threatened species as long as it is reasonable, regardless of whether there may be other reasonable, or even more reasonable, views. : “Although plaintiffs have proposed many alternative conclusions that the agency could have drawn with respect to the status of the polar bear, the Court cannot substitute either the plaintiffs’ or its own judgment for that of the agency. Instead, this Court is bound to uphold the agency’s determination that the polar bear is a threatened species as long as it is reasonable, regardless of whether there may be other reasonable, or even more reasonable, views.


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Subspecies and Populations are not well-defined and Designations for ESA Listings are often Arbitrary


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Current ESA Defines “Species” as a Species, Subspecies, or Distinct Population SegmentAgencies also invented the TermEvolutionarily Significant Unit(ESU)


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

ExamplesSubspeciesNorthern Spotted OwlWolf in Southeast AlaskaMexican WolfGoshawk in Southeast AlaskaWood bison


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

ExamplesPopulationsSalmon Stocks in Washington, Oregon, California (e.g. Klamath)Grizzly and Wolf in Lower 48 StatesSouthwestern Alaska Stock Sea OtterWestern Alaska Stock Steller Sea LionBeluga Whales in Cook Inlet


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • The Current ESA is Deceptive Because it Includes Undefined Subspecies and Populations and now Allows Predictions

  • Pro-ESA listing bias in the government agencies is a serious problem

  • Use of Models to predict Endangered Species is becoming common and not good science


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

Different Industries, agriculture and citizens need to work together to make ESA consistent with American principles

“We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”Benjamin Franklinremark to John Hancock at the signing of the Declaration of Independence 4 July 1776


State or federal authority

State or Federal Authority?

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,

nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)


Endangered species bison bears and wolves the science and the policy

5thAmendment to the U. S. Constitution“…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”


Anticipating esa

Anticipating ESA?

  • “I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”

  • Ulysses S. Grant, Inaugural Address, 4 March 1869


Proposed action

Proposed Action

  • Multi-state University-Agency-Industry project to address science issues for the ESA

  • Land Grant University Agriculture Departments can help with science and management

  • Include non-wildlife scientists, foresters, range managers, engineers in private and public sectors

  • Insist on return to Multiple-use management


Change esa

Change ESA

  • 1. Federal Endangered Species Act only applies to entire species. Subspecies and populations are managed by States

  • 2. The Federal Endangered Species Act does not apply on Private or State Land

  • 3. States have the authority to list and delist Endangered Species.


Sage grouse

Sage Grouse

  • Currently designated “Warranted but precluded” by higher priorities as an endangered species


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