By:  Pat Laughlin

I attended the Wildlife Damage Management Committee meeting and the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting in Reno this past weekend and would like to share with the sportsmen and citizens of Elko County the insanity that continues to take place at the expense of wildlife and our way of life in Nevada.

The Wildlife Damage Management Committee was chaired by Mike McBeath, an attorney from Las Vegas.  This was the first Wildlife Damage Management Committee meeting Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has had for almost two years under McBeath's chairmanship  This committee leads the way as to how sportsmen's 3-dollar predator fee on big game tags is spent.  Mr. McBeath began the meeting by going into a 15-minute dissertation about how he was against any predator control.  In his "expert" opinion, predator control for the protection of wildlife doesn't work, costs too much, is too controversial, and he also saw a TV program that was against predator control. Now, I am sure Mr. McBeath is an educated man and I'm sure he can spell predator, but I am also sure this would be the extent of his knowledge on the subject...TV show aside, of course.

Next, the committee at the suggestion of Mike McBeath spent almost an hour discussing the subject of changing the committee's name.  After considerable discussion, the name remained unchanged.  Finally the fourth revised predator management plan from NDOW was presented and lengthy discussion took place including opposition of parts of the plan by several parties including current legislators, Assemblymen John Ellison and Ira Hansen and past Assemblyman John Carpenter.

Chairman McBeath did not give a report to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners on the Wildlife Damage Management Committee proceedings and their decisions to approve the three sage grouse projects and no decisions on the other projects. Instead he went into his same rhetoric as in the committee on how predator control will not help wildlife populations. All the projects then had to be explained to the Commission but the legislators and other interested parties were not in attendance thinking they had fulfilled their objective of stopping the study by Pat Jackson.  Why do we even have a committee meeting and take up the time of legislators and other interested parties and then ignore everything that took place?  This game was rigged from the start.

The full Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners, who, I might add, is stacked with Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU) members and controlled by NBU, approved an ongoing study of coyote ecology in the Monitor, Toiyabe, and Toquima ranges in central Nevada by Pat Jackson, a graduate student from Utah State University (USU) to the tune of $100,000 a year for five more years.  In the previous three years of this ongoing study, this out-of-state student has successfully caught and radio-collared FIVE coyotes.  Two have been shot.  Three remain active.  This is at a cost of $193,463 for the past three years or $38,692.60 per coyote.  Now NDOW is planning on using a helicopter and net gun to collar coyotes for the researcher to help him reach his goal of 30-40 coyotes which would be a representative study group. Think of the costs.  I for one do not think this is what the sportsmen's 3$ predator fee money was meant for.

Another item on the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners agenda was to award the prestigious Wayne Kirch award.  This is a Wildlife Commission pick and once again it was presented to another NBU member.  If you look at past winners of this award, the list is like the who's who of NBU.  NBU official Larry Johnson even recommended it for himself two years in a row a few years ago.

But it gets better...Shawn Espinosa is a former game warden, who was promoted from law enforcement to sage grouse expert for NDOW and is the main biologist that stopped the China Mountain Wind Project and closed over a million acres of gas and oil exploration leases.  Working hand in hand with the BLM, he supported numerous cuts in AUMs on grazing allotments throughout Nevada on the assumption that grazing could hurt a bird that isn't even listed on the endangered species list yet.  One particular grazing allotment south of Eureka on the Snowball Ranch was cut in half without evidence of a single sage grouse being present.  NDOW's defense of this action is that the area is good sage grouse habitat and someday sage grouse might move into the area.  Well, Mr. Espinoza was awarded the NDOW agency's Employee of the Year Award.

In closing, it is important to point out the US Forest Service and BLM have long been thought of as major threats to our way of life in Elko County but, in our eyes, NDOW, our own state agency, working behind the scenes with USFS and BLM is a bigger threat to the sage grouse than fires or the raven, not to mention the war on mining and ranching. NDOW and the current commission are the enemies!! It was simply unbelievable what I witnessed during these two days of meeting!!

Thank you for your time.

Pat Laughlin

President N4W

Published in Syndicated Articles

In 1867, D.C. Wheeler trailed a band of domestic sheep from Oregon to western Nevada. Since that time, there has been some type of predator control conducted in and around sheep herds in Nevada. In 1927, there were reported to be 1,200,000 sheep and 400,000 beef cattle in the state. Each stockman or groups of stockmen fought their own predator problems. After World War One, the federal government took over the predator program. Under the Biological Survey, professional hunters were hired to pursue coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lion. In 1939, 93,000 coyotes were reported killed throughout the state of Nevada. Counties also paid bounties on coyotes and lions. The longhair fur industry became important and private fur trappers harvested many coyotes and bobcats.

Published in HA Newsletter 27
Sunday, 31 October 1999 17:00

Wilderness Study Areas in Nevada (WSA)

  • - 112 WSAs, 5.1 million acres
  • - Most WSAs and largest acreage in BLM
  • - All or portions of 52 WSAs recommended "suitable" for wilderness designation.
  • - Nevada manages 112 WSAs totaling about 5.1 million acres.
  • - All or portions of 52 WSAs recommended "suitable" for wilderness designation totaling about 1.9 million acres.
  • - All or portions of 60 WSAs totaling about 3.2 million acres recommended to be released from further wilderness consideration.
Published in HA Newsletter 18
Wednesday, 30 September 1998 17:00

Did you know?

Prior to the November 1992 election, HUNTER'S ALERT sent Harry Reid a letter asking the following: The Bureau of Land Management has a proposal for wilderness in Nevada. Are you going to favor their proposal or ask for an increase or decrease in their proposal? Senator Harry Reid failed to respond to our inquiry. This should send a very clear message that Harry wants to hurt not only the hunters but the fishermen, rock hounds and all multiple land users including the handicapped.

Published in HA Newsletter 17

According to environmental extremist Marjorie Sill of the Sierra Club, U.S. Senator Harry Reid is "anxious" to lock up even more Nevada public lands from Nevada citizens and keep it in the federal government's hands.

The Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club and "Friends of Nevada Wilderness". (both of which combined have about a dozen active members) are calling for Congress to take away seven million acres of the choicest pieces of Nevada's public lands. And Harry Reid is supportive.

Published in HA Newsletter 17
Wednesday, 30 September 1998 17:00

HARRY REID, LAWBREAKER??

On May 31, 1996 the Las Vegas Review Journal printed a story (with three pictures) about Harry Reid and his wilderness proposals. HUNTER'S ALERT wants to show you how a double set of standards exists when it comes to Senator Harry Reid.

Published in HA Newsletter 17
Wednesday, 30 September 1998 17:00

CRISIS FOR HUNTERS!

It is just about as simple as it can be. Take away your land and you lose the opportunity to go hunting. This is exactly what is going to happen if Harry Reid is re-elected to the U.S. Senate. You see. Harry Reid is a wilderness freak. In 1989. Harry Reid was instrumental in assuring that Nevada had 733. 400 acres of Forest Service wilderness crammed down then throats He is not going to stop there

Published in HA Newsletter 17
Monday, 30 September 1996 17:00

LIVING LEGENDS

(A Pitiful Tale of Waste and Deception)

Nevada's wild horses are descendants of domestic horses that either escaped or someone turned loose. Contrary to popular and misguided belief, wild horses arc not native to Nevada. However, in a fit of divine intervention, our infinitely wise congress declared these feral creatures to be wild. Congress also required the bureaucrats to manage horses as an integral part of the natural system. Here are some interesting tidbits obtained from BLM (Bureau of Land Management) records. From 1973 to 1995, BLM spent over $214.000.000 (yes. million) administering the wild horse and burro program. From 1973 to 1993, BLM spent 58% ($93,500,000) of the wild horse budget on un-adoptable horses housed in feedlots. Most disturbing is BLM's overhead cost rose from 11% in 1985 to 32% in 1995.

Published in HA Newsletter 13
Friday, 30 September 1994 17:00

FEAR OF REPRISAL

Many guides have come forth acknowledging what a serious predator problem we have in our state but they were reluctant to put it in writing because of fear of reprisal from NDOW. Doesn't that bring to mind visions of World War II Nazi SS troops who persecuted people for speaking out against their government? We have secured statements from some of these guides with the promise that we will not use their names for fear of reprisal. We will call them Guides A, B and C. Below are their stories.

Published in HA Newsletter 08
Sunday, 31 October 1993 17:00

TOO MANY PREDATORS

Newell, "Newt" Bundy has been a cowboy all his Me. Most of this fife has been spent in Nevada and Southern Utah. With so much time spent outdoors, Newt has seen the changes. Here are excerpts from his testimony given about the desert tortoise.

Published in HA Newsletter 05
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