Invasive Species - A Means to an End

(Note: Jim's series of articles on Invasive Species may be enjoyed at

March 29, 2003

By Jim Beers

It was during the early 1900s that Federal and state governments began to
hire employees and organize concerted programs to actively manage fish,
wildlife, and plants.

Birds and fish were managed to provide sustainable, annual harvests for
recreational and commercial purposes.

Large mammals were managed to provide citizens with sport and meat year after

Small mammals were managed to provide fur or winter meals to rural families
and urban residents who enjoyed hunting or trapping.

Trees were managed to provide sustainable timber products, wildlife, erosion
control, grazing, and a pleasant landscape.

Streams were managed to provide fish, recreation, power, drinking water,
irrigation, and commercial transportation while minimizing the damage caused
by floods or droughts.

Songbirds, amphibians, and plants were studied and categorized by
Universities and groups of citizens like the Audubon Society influenced other
citizens to provide for these lesser-known species as citizens went about
their daily activities.

It was during the middle part of the century that the Federal government
hired more employees and began to purchase, proclaim, and "protect" land
units on a regular basis.

Wetlands were bought and made "National Wildlife Refuges." Battlefields and
places of beauty or wonder were bought and proclaimed "National Parks."
Woodlands were bought or reserved from the Federal landholdings in the West
and proclaimed "National Forests."

Western grasslands and what were fairly termed wastelands were not turned
over to the states as was done in other states and eventually were proclaimed
BLM (Bureau of Land Management) grazing lands. These last were leased
routinely for grazing, mining, and other uses while the others on a scale
from the Forests to the Parks allowed many (multiple) to limited uses.

Until the 1970s, Federal employees, Federal statutes (laws), Federal
regulations, and Federal and state programs all recognized that they existed
to manage the natural resources on these landholding for the wise and
sustainable uses of citizens.

The employees were trained by Universities to do this job and governments
hired and promoted based on proven performance to manage natural resources.

The plants and animals were termed renewable natural resources and oil, gas,
coal, and minerals were called non-renewable natural resources.

All were managed and harvested or extracted using the best management
practices known at the time.

When the public accepted the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare
Act in the early 1970s things changed dramatically.

The future for US Department of the Interior employees (where the Refuges,
Parks, and Grazing Lands were managed) moved away from managing resources for
people to managing plants and animals to protect them from any and all uses.

The Endangered Species Act (administered by the US Department of the
Interior) corrupted the sensible management of natural resources by the
employees of that period by being the growth part of employment and the basis
for most bonuses and promotions.

New employees whispered resentments at the way old programs managed for
sustainable uses and assured that new programs did not allow uses. Steadily
the old programs changed.

An example is the way the 20-year old, always unsuccessful attempt to get
millions of dollars by taxing binoculars, camping gear, etc., to buy
"non-game" lands was always intended to be lands without any sustainable uses
of resources.

During the last Administration persistent attempts were made to modify
policies and even regulations that would eliminate management or use of all
resources on the Refuges, Parks, and Grazing Lands. Some limited progress
was made by the illicit use of Executive Orders around election time and
Presidential Proclamations prohibiting certain uses on certain areas -- like
the coal under Southern Utah Grazing Lands or offshore oil development -- to
gain votes in states like California and Florida.

A parallel development took place in the US Department of Agriculture that
manages the National Forests and administers the Animal Welfare Act.

The future for employees left management and use programs and became focused
on eliminating uses and cooperating with the socialist-oriented, no-use
power-brokers like the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, the US Humane
Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Animal Protection

As happened at the Department of the Interior, promotions and bonuses were
given for eliminating management and uses and new employees hired from the
power-brokers assured that new and old programs reflected this change.

Again, Executive Orders and Proclamations imposed Roadless Areas, de facto
Wilderness', and prohibitions on natural gas extraction in the midst of power
shortages and Mideast terror.

The recent growth of the Federal government, the astronomical increases in
the Federal budget for these Departments, and the modifications of national
rights and jurisdictions from private property to states rights due to these
two laws and these two Departments is a matter of record known to all.

The Federal and state bureaucrats who have witnessed the effect on their
employment, careers, and power know that this expansion can go on for a long
time but -- like the changes I mentioned during the last century -- there is
the "Mother of all Government Programs" on their horizon.

They plan to enlist all the "usual suspects" from the last thirty years to
help get them there: the University professors, the power-brokers, and the
reelection-obsessed politicians will all help willingly to get their piece of
the action.

This next and apparently unlimited guarantee of budget increases, employment
increases, promotions, bonuses, and most-importantly power increase is
something called the RESTORATION OF PRE-COLUMBIAN ECOSYSTEMS. Its greatest
features are that it is both impossible and immeasurable.

Never mind that it is also foolish and nonsensical.

However, if the "general public" et al, can be made to believe in or accept
the fallacies of the Endangered Species Act (like the "need" or desirability
of wolves or the wisdom of eliminating logging and entire rural communities
for imaginary effects on owls or lynx) they will believe anything.

Goebbels fed the Germans ever-greater lies, just like getting a dog to eat
more and more over time, and it apparently worked.

The bureaucratic "success" of the past thirty years has illuminated a darker
future for us all.

The American public accepts the lie that the plants and animals that were
"here" in 1492 AD were somehow designated (certainly not by God, but then, by
who?) as the best or highest or only such plant or animal to be at any given
location today.

Never mind that millions of us living incredibly different lives make that

Never mind that the pre-European US environment of 1492 AD is as different
from today's' environment in the US as the Mississippi is from the Amazon.

Never mind that thousands of plants and animals have arrived in hundreds of
different ways and their seeds, their crossbreeding, their uses, their
effects, and their superior abilities to compete (when they survive) mean
they are here to stay every bit as much as the oldest living species in the
middle of Nebraska.

Never mind that the bureaucrats whine about eradicating a grass that you have
never encountered but will eventually be eradicating plants in your
landscaping or garden.

Always remember that the Endangered Species Act was touted as "saving" bald
eagles (another lie) but never mentioned putting loggers out of business for
an owl or causing Southern California homes to burn up because of a rodent.

No, and you can take this to the bank per an old wildlife biologist, there is
nothing sacred, good, or desirable about Pre-Columbian Ecosystems or treating
any plants or animals differently based on their time here.

Sure, keep out new ones as best you can based on what we know.

Sure, eradicate or redistribute some plants or animals based on their effects
or on the needs of people.

Sure let the Federal government do their job regulating import, export, and
interstate commerce while states administer all the plants and animals within
their state as they see fit.

But don't, whatever they tell you, accept the notion that the Federal
government has any mandate for the silly, immeasurable, never-ending,
unimaginably expensive, and impossible task of restoring Pre-Columbian

That said, there is a big push to do just this today.

All of the proposed bills before Congress that have a Title or Section that
mentions INVASIVE SPECIES does just that.

If the Federal government proclaims a mandate to attack INVASIVE SPECIES it
automatically tells the Courts and every bureaucrat that ONLY NATIVE
(Pre-1492 AD) SPECIES are to remain everywhere in the USA.

Think of the money, the people, the land, the grants, the programs, the
bonuses, the permits, the land needed, the POWER "necessary" to begin and
continue this bureaucratic attack on everything from brown trout to all the

It can never be accomplished, it can never be measured, there will never be a
lack of new "problems" needing "more," and the power needed (like the species
identified) can only increase. It literally boggles the mind.

No bureaucrat since the mandarins in ancient China ever conceived of a
greater self-serving program for unlimited expansion over an unlimited number
of decades or even centuries.

All this and what was once the best-educated public in the history of man
stands ready to swallow it like a bass eyeing a hula popper overhead.

If you can, tell your Senator, tell your Congressman, and tell your state
representatives that you do not want the Federal government responsible for
anything except the import, export, or interstate commerce involving new
species that may harm the current natural or commercial environment of the
United States.

Tell them that you want the Constitutionally mandated responsibility for all
plants and animals (wild and domestic) to remain with the state governments.

This is already longer than I planned, but I will be writing more about the
current rush of activities here in Washington concerning INVASIVE SPECIES
over the next few months. I will try to make this all more understandable as
I try to sift the wheat from the chaff.


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