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 use the PolicyTimber, 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 the Policy

  • 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 the Policy

  • 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 the Policy

  • 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 the Policy

  • 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



Wildlife in the tongass national forest
Wildlife in the Tongass National Forest the Policy

  • 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 the Policy

Polar bears Goshawk

Beluga whales Wolf

Other Whales Murrelet

Steller sea lions Loons

Sea otters Seals

Walrus


Are polar bears threatened with extinction
Are Polar Bears Threatened with Extinction? the Policy

No: Polar bears are not currently

threatened and has healthy populations




Fws concludes they are threatened with extinction
FWS concludes they are threatened with extinction the Policy

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 the Policy

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: the PolicyData 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 years

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



State of alaska
State of Alaska with no summer Arctic Sea Ice

  • Lawsuit to challenge the Polar Bear ESA Listing

  • Reviewing Recent Critical Habitat Designation

  • Attempting to Work Cooperatively on the Relevant Science


Alaska Wood Bison with no summer Arctic Sea Ice


Plains bison
Plains Bison with no summer Arctic Sea Ice


Does it matter? with no summer Arctic Sea IcePlains bison survive in Alaska and plains X wood bison herd survives in Canada


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


Wolf introduction of wood bison to interior Alaska

  • 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


ESA Problems introduction of wood bison to interior Alaska

  • 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”


The Wildlife Society introduction of wood bison to interior AlaskaADVOCACYSTATE AND FEDERAL WILDLIFE AGENCIES Partner with Environmental groupsCBD


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.


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.


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.



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 this process is slanted because courts give deference to agencies in assessing science and management information.

“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.


Subspecies and Populations are not well-defined and this process is slanted because courts give deference to agencies in assessing science and management information. Designations for ESA Listings are often Arbitrary


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


Examples or Distinct Population SegmentSubspeciesNorthern Spotted OwlWolf in Southeast AlaskaMexican WolfGoshawk in Southeast AlaskaWood bison


Examples or Distinct Population SegmentPopulationsSalmon 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 or Distinct Population Segment

  • 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


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? together to make ESA consistent with American principles

“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)


5th together to make ESA consistent with American principlesAmendment to the U. S. Constitution“…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”


Anticipating esa
Anticipating ESA? together to make ESA consistent with American principles

  • “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 together to make ESA consistent with American principles

  • 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 together to make ESA consistent with American principles

  • 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 together to make ESA consistent with American principles

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


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