Sage Grouse and the Bureau – Scientific Complex
Ralph R. Sacrison
The domestic lumber industry was devastated by policies to protect the Northern Spotted Owl. By 2004, the US Fish & Wildlife Service established that perhaps all along the larger barred owls simply were eating the spotted owls.
Despite implication in the lynx hoax, by which they intended to restrict public access to national forests, federal personnel received bonuses. Bull trout, salmon, and smelt protection campaigns have denied farms water for food production… while the matters are under further study. In 2010, EPA promulgated spill reports for milk, forcing surreal and costly regulations on farmers before public outrage forced the regulation to be rescinded.
Twenty-one Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are being established across the country by the USDI ‘to better integrate science and management to address climate change and related issues.’ The Great Basin LCC ‘will provide to a wide array of managers a range of scientific and technical support tools for landscape-scale conservation design.’ The steering committee will consist of twenty-four persons. Nineteen will be government or NGO employees, and five will be private representatives. Apparently those would be the five taxpayers who foot the bill for all the others.
The Secretary of the Interior issued Secretarial Order 3110 designating selected lands as ‘Wild Lands,’ allowing the BLM to administrate them as wilderness areas. Now defunded by Congress, the Order circumvents the 2003 Norton-Leavitt Settlement prohibiting new Wilderness Study Areas.
The preliminary issues being considered to protect sage grouse include habitat management, energy production, hardrock and industrial minerals, rights-of-way, renewable energy, wildfires, invasive weeds, grazing, off-highway vehicles and recreation. Many are the usual suspects as charged in the anti-logging, anti-development campaign to protect the spotted owl.
What part have the central planning agencies played in the decline of sheep ranching? Since they must consume soft-tissue foods, sage grouse used to thrive on sheep droppings. Fewer sage grouse, so apparently the central planners have to restrict mining. Ravens, perhaps the primary predator of sage grouse, are now on the protected species list. The surging raven population is further decimating sage grouse. An evident solution is restrictions on cattle ranching. With the subsequent fuel load buildup, fire years scorching hundreds of thousands of acres are now common. Sage grouse are lost in those infernos. So… restrict off-highway travel and recreation.
Is misplaced blame now an aspect of the scientific method? Recurrently, misplaced blame seems to guide public policy. The progression of sage grouse studies and solutions is troubling because previous central planning suggests the correct actions will not be taken by the bureaucracy.
The politically-correct scientists already have destroyed logging in communities across America. Who is next? Can we expect the bureaucracy to protect sage grouse any differently than the spotted owl? With the nation 16 trillion dollars in debt, will their true impact be to eliminate jobs and ruin communities while protecting the bureaucracy?
President Eisenhower warned us of the military-industrial complex. Perhaps now we should consider a bureau-scientific complex centralizing science and regulating our rights, opportunities, and liberties.
(For References and Notes, See the Print Edition, Part A, Page 21)