The U.S. to Open More Wildlife Refuges to Hunters

Conservationists argue that the move will expose more animals to lead poisoning and other environmental threats.


An elk bugles in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. (Photo: Getty Image)
Jul 23, 2016
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service plans to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 13 national wildlife refuges across nine states, including opening up big game hunting in Colorado’s 92,000-acre Baca National Wildlife Refuge for the first time.

That’s good news for America’s hunters, who will have more chances to target big game species such as elk and deer, as well as prairie chickens, quail, pheasant, ducks, doves, and pigeons.

But conservationists fear the move will expose wildlife to lead poisoning and other threats.

“The best purpose for our national wildlife refuges is the original purpose: to provide an inviolate sanctuary for the protection of our native wild spaces and wildlife,” said Jennifer Place, program associate at Born Free USA in Washington, D.C.


Calling all animal lovers: Trump’s sons are proud murderers of endangered species.

View image on Twitter

Horrible people doing horrible things,

More Daily Beast:

The Trump boys were hunting in Zimbabwe—the same country where Cecil was killed—and though Zimbabwean animal conservation groups looked into the incident, the hunt was deemed perfectly legal. Once the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted (and then deleted


Climate Change is Causing Mt Rainier to Grumble


The volcanic Mt Rainier is grumbling. But it’s not what you think. At least not yet.

According to reports from the Seattle Times, the glaciers atop Rainier have melted to the point where they are becoming unstable. Particularly so with Tahoma Glacier which, all throughout July to mid August, has emitted large floods of muddy, ice-choked water. Tahoma sent its floods rumbling down the mountainsides, filling streams and rivers with roiling, brown outflows.

These glacier outburst floods issuing from Rainier have packed quite a punch. They’ve been strong enough to shake the earth, setting off seismographs in the region of Rainier. It’s a shaking and quaking that’s tumbled boulders down the mountainside, gouged out new flood channels and smashed great swaths of trees.

Mt Rainier Glaciers

(Over recent months, the Tahoma Glacier on the southwestern face of Mt. Rainier has been issuing large flows of glacial outburst material. Those familiar with…

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Climate Change’s ‘Waking Giant’ to Set off Rash of Volcanic Eruptions, Tsunamis, Earthquakes?


Calbuco Volcano 2

(Last week’s Calbuco eruption in Chile spews massive cloud of ash and sets off a fireworks display of volcanic lightning. Image source: IFLScience.)

If you look at the geological record of the end of the last ice age, there’s something that crops up that’s more than a little bit disturbing. The approximate 10,000 year period in which 4 degrees Celsius of warming took place was also punctuated by a rash of intense volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis.

It was a time of extraordinary geophysical changes that not only saw the, sometimes catastrophic, melting of massive ice sheets and extreme rises in sea level — it also saw severe geological upheaval. In one region alone — Iceland — instances of volcanic eruption increased 30-50 fold during a period starting about 12,000 years ago. Overall, global spikes in volcanism began near the start of major melt events at around 18,000…

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Climate Change, Drought Fan Massive Sand Fire, Forcing 20,000 Californians to Flee


On Friday, amidst temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and at a time when California is now entering its fifth year of drought in a decade when seven out of the last ten years have been drought years, a rapidly growing and dangerous wildfire erupted in the hills north of Los Angeles.

(Sand Fire looms over Santa Clarita, California. Video source: Sand Fire Time Lapse.)

The Sand Fire, which some firefighters are calling practically unprecedented, sparked before typical wildfire season peak and began a rapid spread that consumed 10,000 acres per day from Friday through early Monday. Nearly 3,000 firefighters scrambled to gain a foothold against the blaze, but were somewhat unprepared as contracted water-bomb aircraft from Canada won’t be available until next month, during what is usually the worst part of fire season. The aircraft assistance was planned as extra fire-suppression capability for Santa Clarita, but typical fire…

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A Sense of Entitlement is Not the Same as Environmental Ethic

Exposing the Big Game

A friend asked me how I would respond to someone who wrote this: “Hunters started the conservation movement in the early part of the last century, and in the United States are the largest financially contributing group to Wildlife Restoration and Conservation.”

My answer?: The only reason hunters got involved is that they’d overhunted so many species practically to extinction and they wanted to save their sport. John Muir and others were around in the 1800s, selflessly speaking for wildlife and against hunting.

And, as another commenter to this blog just pointed out: “The stark reality is this: National Wildlife “Refuges” were originally set up to serve as “duck factories” for the hunting & trapping industries, along with opportunities for livestock grazing.”

Before hunters go around tooting their own horns, they should consider the motives behind their actions. If they’re ultimately self-serving, they are not necessarily all that praiseworthy. Don’t let hunters ‘shit you, an overblown sense of entitlement…

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Case Closed

Exposing the Big Game

You’ll never catch me making compromises by condoning the lesser of two evils or playing one type of wildlife killer off another.  I used to fish, but I don’t go around defending fishing while attacking hunting.

At the same time, I don’t hate myself for having gone along with a locally popular activity before finally seeing that fishing is not a victimless sport. “Hate” is not a word I use lightly; I reserve my hatred for those who get off on the killing and will never see the light or change their ways.

Farley Mowat used to be a hunter, I don’t “hate” him. My uncle and my wife’s father were hunters, but I didn’t hate them. I live where the vast majority of my neighbors and coworkers are hunters, but not all of them are rabid, Ted Nugent-types with lifetime subscriptions to wildlife snuff magazines. They just do it for the same stupid reasons I…

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Cool Cat: The Nine Lives of Christopher Walken, Movie Star and Feline Fan



(Lori Fusaro/Best Friends Animal Society)

Christopher Walken likes to watch.

If that gives you the willies, you’re probably thinking of the Oscar-winning actor’s more unsettling roles—he’s played sadists, murderers, madmen, mobsters, mercenaries, psychopaths, evil masterminds and extremely messed-up Vietnam vets in the course of a career that began in the early 1950s.

“I have played a lot of villains,” he admits.

But what Walken likes to watch is just outside the windows of his home in rural Connecticut, on the cusp of a nature preserve, where he’s lived with his wife, Georgianne, a Hollywood casting director, for nearly 40 years.

“There were four deer in the driveway this morning,” he says. “There were turkeys here yesterday. My wife saw a snake in the driveway the other day. Hummingbirds come every day almost to the minute. They come right up the window and stare at me. It’s almost as though they know I’m there.

“I was born in the city and grew up in Manhattan. But when I got the chance, I moved out to a nice, quiet, green place.”

Now, that doesn’t sound so chilling and creepy, does it?

His Nine Lives

“My background is really in musical theater,” Walken says. “I did a lot of musicals when I was young. I got a job in a play, and then I got a movie, kind of accidentally, and my first parts where I got noticed were things like The Deer Hunter and Annie Hall, where I played troubled people, suicidal sometimes. I think I kind of got something going on there.”


“Beast Feast” etc., from AR News…

Big Win for Animal Rights: Navy Sonars Are Killing Whales, US Court Rules
“Blue whales can now live in peace and relative quiet after the Ninth
U.S. Circuit Court of San Francisco ruled out the U.S. Navy’s request
to use low-frequency sonar due to its potential harm to marine
“The U.S. Navy sought the approval from the National Marine Fisheries
Service to use the said sonar under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
However, groups urged the Service to reassess, which led to their
decision not to give the go signal to the Navy’s request.”

Judge will allow animal rights’ vet to examine Cricket Hollow Zoo lions
“Animal Legal Defense Fund granted part of injunction”
“CEDAR RAPIDS — A federal judge Friday ordered owners of the Cricket
Hollow Zoo in Manchester to let a veterinarian examine two African
lions they are being sued over.”

A/w local OKC outdoor news:

Crossing Community Church, located in OKC, is having its annual “Beast
Feast” on Tuesday night.
Tickets are $15 each and there is a smoked pork dinner.
The guest speaker is a co-host of Inside Outdoors TV, based in Tulsa.
This show began their 10th season this month.
The “Beast Feast” includes a hunting and fishing expo with numerous
prizes to be given away.
This includes hunting trips, fishing trips, guns, rod and reels, knives and
gift cards.

Facing an uphill court fight, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced
last week it was formally
removing the lesser prairie chicken from a federal protection list under
the Endangered Species Act.
This move follows recent court rulings in Texas that stripped the lesser
prairie chicken of federal
protection. However, federal officials say the removal doesn’t mean
authorities had concluded the
lesser prairie chicken didn’t warrant protection for biological reasons.
The agency stated “The service is undertaking a thorough re-evaluation
of the bird’s status and
the threats it faces using the best available scientific information to
determine anew whether listing
under the ESA is warranted.”
The previous rulings found that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to
make a proper evaluation
of a multi-state conservation plan when it listed the lesser prairie
chicken as threatened.
Oil and gas groups had strongly opposed the threatened listing and
ranchers also opposed the
The lesser prairie chicken’s Great Plains habitat has shrunk by more
than 80 percent since
the 1800s and its population by 99 percent.
It lives primarily in Kansas. However, it also lives in Texas, New
Mexico, Okla. and Colorado.
To keep the birds off the endangered species list, these five states
organized their own
conservation program. It offers economic incentives to landowners and
companies who set
aside land to protect the birds.




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