Dad makes stunningly-inaccurate statement, in defending his trophy-hunting daughter

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The Texas Tech cheerleader who drew a lot of attention recently after posing with animals she had killed on big-game trophy hunts, appeared recently at an outdoors show.

Recall that supporters of the woman used the excuses that killing endangered animals somehow helps to protect them. I guess if there isn’t a reasonable excuse for doing something wrong, people will try to fill the void with some sort of nonsense.

But now the nonsense has been taken to a new level, by the cheerleader’s father. In a CNN video, he says, “There’s never been an animal go extinct because of hunters. There’s been animals go extinct because of poachers.”

That is unbelievably, stunningly inaccurate. Just go to the Wikipedia link highlighted here and go from the 18th Century forward. Between hunting and habitat destruction, humans have been wiping out species for a long, long time. And hunting only becomes poaching when the hunting and habitat destruction reaches critical levels.

And the father’s statement is only made worse by the fact that if not for protections, such as those put into effect by the Endangered Species Act, even more animal species would have been wiped out by hunting. Take for example the Bald Eagle.

But it is important to note that this case also reflects on the state of journalism in the US. I have no problem with news outlets presenting statements from both sides within a story like this. But facts matter. What the dad said was grossly inaccurate. Journalists and news outlets have a responsibility to report facts.

Sure, present the opinions from both sides. But when a statement is made by either side that steps way beyond the scope of fact, the media should the take the extra step to report the facts. To let the extreme inaccuracy go is just lazy.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: Endangered Species Act is 40 years old

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The Endangered Species Act has reached its 40th year. Hopefully, the effort will continue in 2014 and far beyond. We need this level of protection for animals to be strengthened – not weakened.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

USFWS puts the brakes on wolf delisting proposal

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At least for now, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has halted a peer-review process for removing wolves from the Endangered Species List.

Defenders of Wildlife reports 16 respected scientists were barred from advising on the proposal. An email I received today includes a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

 “While we still disagree on the merits of this premature delisting proposal, at least the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service understands the magnitude of the issue. It’s a relief that the Service has listened to the voices of wildlife supporters nationwide who have called the integrity of their peer review process into question. Cherry-picking scientists is not a good way to do business. To ensure impartiality and scientific integrity, we recommend that the Service turn the peer review over to the National Academy of Sciences instead of trying to manage the process itself. Either way, we look forward to a fair peer review of the science behind this ill-advised delisting proposal, and we hope the Service turns to the best experts in the field regardless of whether they have written letters about the use of their science in the proposal.”

How in the world is it that scientists were going to be banned from a panel that was set to evaluate the delisting of gray wolves nationwide? It is a growing problem in this country, where a growing effort is working against science education and science in general.

Too often, pure greed is behind the movement to block science and the movement to block protections for animals.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animal welfare and the environment – two steps forward, two steps back

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Just where are we as a society in 2013, where animal welfare and environmental issues are concerned? I’m seeing some progress in some areas and a troubling trend of decline in other areas.

I like classic TV shows and movies. My viewing tends to drift to films from the 1930s to the 1970s – or so – and TV from the 60s to 70s and at times more recent stuff. I find it interesting when a reference to protecting air and water appears in a movie or TV episode from say, 1972. Or maybe a primary character is speaking about protections for animals. I was watching a show recently from the early 70s, where a character was distressed about pollution.

Fast forward to 2013 and elected officials in my home state are actually debating about opening the land up to natural gas fracking. And a push is underway to allow for the injection of polluted fracking fluid waste into deep wells in the coastal regions. We have a decades-old ban on injecting pollutants such as this into wells in the state. But now, with powerful entities pushing for it, the state legislature might open the door to full-scale pollution.

We’ve seen the very recent destruction of the Appalachian Mountain Range, by the coal industry. Mountaintops are completely blown up and the material has been dumped into mountain streams below. We would never have even seen that happen in the 1970s.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Bill in US Congress could weaken Endangered Species Act and more

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Defenders of Wildlife is opposing HR 2578, a bill in the US House of Representatives that could weaken important protections for wildlife and allow for clear-cutting in the Tongass National Forest.

Defenders of Wildlife posted the following on website

“” “”

This anti-wildlife bill would…

  • Waive Endangered Species Act protections within 100 miles of our borders — leaving jaguars, ocelots and other rare wildlife without a lifeline;
  • Overturn hard-fought, sensible rules that protect endangered sea turtles and shorebirds from being crushed by vehicles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
  • Hand over tens of thousands of acres of old-growth forest in the Tongass National Forest to be clearcut by a private corporation. These ancient forests are home to rare pine martens, grizzly bears and other wildlife — and provide clean water that salmon need to survive.

“” “”

Can’t we even protect endangered sea turtles?

Gray wolf to be removed from Endangered Species List in Great Lake states

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Early this afternoon, I received a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, indicating the gray wolf will be removed from “the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants” in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and in portions of adjoining states.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the wolf populations have recovered in the region enough to prompt this move.

The news of the recovery of the populations is great, but I always worry when a formerly endangered species is removed from the list. I want to make sure these animals maintain some degree of protection, otherwise it is too easy for them to return to the list.

The Associated Press story included the following troubling paragraphs –

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AM Pack-Line Headlines: Topics – Endangered Species, animal welfare, seals

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ONE – I have not been alone in treehugger circles in criticizing the Obama Administration for previous stands on wildlife issues, for example the removal of important protections for wolves. But some good news out of the administration was being reported over the weekend.

A host of new species could soon gain new protections under the Endangered Species Act. Of course, there are still budget problems that could spell trouble for acting on the protections for all of the animals in need of protection.

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Video: Wolves in peril after Endangered Species protections removed

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Wolves must be placed back on the Endangered Species List.

Friends of Animals and other groups are pushing back against the Interior Department and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who should be fired – TODAY.

Thank goodness TV host like Jane Valez-Mitchell are fighting for animals.

Go to FriendsOfAnimals.org for more information.

 

US House votes to preserve new listings on the Endangered Species Act

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Thankfully, calmer heads have prevailed on at least one issue in Congress today. The US House voted 224-202 to allow the US Fish and Wildlife Service to continue to list to new species on the Endangered Species List.

Some Republicans had sought to block new listings with a budget bill rider, but this vote slammed that door, thankfully. But both Republicans and Democrats were among the 224 who did the right thing.

Wyoming representative wants to strip protections for wolves

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A special PACK OF PUTRID PUNDITRY AWARD tonight goes to U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).

She is pushing hard to remove Endangered Species protections for wolves in the state of Wyoming. And she will try any trick in the book (or out of the book) to do so.

Her latest bit of trickery is to legislate protection for any agreement the state and federal government might make to delist the state’s roughly 300 wolves. She wants to make sure any such agreement cannot be challenged in court.

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