Trump’s sons opened a private hunting preserve in upstate New York and neighbors say it sounds like ‘a war zone’

 

February 14, 2018

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are enthusiastic hunters, although that does not explain why their 171-acre private hunting preserve in Wingdale, New York, sounds “like you’re in a war zone,” as one neighbor put it to The Associated Press.

It’s not just the regular deer hunting rifle fire residents are used to, though. Neighbors say they hear the deafening sounds of target practice as well as exploding targets and gunfire ringing out from a wooden tower on the property. “It’s bad,” said another neighbor. “It shakes the windows.”

The Trumps bought the property anonymously in 2013 after unsuccessfully attempting to get a discount by arguing it was haunted. The brothers used a limited liability company to scoop up the land, although paperwork traces back to Trump Jr. and Eric Trump directly.

Jeffrey Ferraro, who is listed as the LLC’s organizer and manages the land, told one neighbor who complained about the noise that his partners “have the Secret Service coming, and they shoot, too.” When confronted by the AP, Ferraro said: “Guns make noise. That’s all I can tell you.” Jeva Lange

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Tell the Trump Administration: Stop Promoting International Trophy Hunting!

https://act.nrdc.org/letter/trophy-hunting

In a new low, the Trump administration has created an advisory council dedicated exclusively to promoting the killing of imperiled wildlife species for sport.

Filled with trophy hunters and gun industry lobbyists, the International Wildlife Conservation Council now wields considerable influence over America’s international hunting policies, putting the future of vulnerable species like elephants, lions, and giraffes at grave risk.

Tell Interior President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop promoting international trophy hunting and immediately dismantle the IWCC.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
President Donald Trump

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Dismantle the International Wildlife Conservation Council

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Grizzly Bears Are Now the Victims of the Trump Administration’s Climate Denialism

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/06/we_can_t_trust_this_administration_s_climate_decisions.html

We can’t trust this administration to make science-based decisions.

A female Grizzly bear exits Pelican Creek October 8, 2012 in the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
A female grizzly bear exits Pelican Creek on Oct. 8, 2012, in Yellowstone National Park.

Karen Bleier/AFP/GettyImages

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday that the Yellowstone grizzly bear will no longer be listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act. The grizzly’s population has rebounded and it now “stands as one of America’s great conservation successes,” he crowed.

A species being removed from the ESA is rare and, in normal circumstances, should be celebrated. It means that a population has recovered enough to no longer require extra protections, which should be considered a good thing. And the grizzly bear has: When the species was listed in the 1970s, it was estimated that a mere 150 existed. Today, there are about 700 individuals.

This decision, however, seems unlikely to be met with applause. As the New York Times reports, environmental organizations are already lining up to sue to stop it. And 125 Native American tribes have banded together to oppose the delisting because they weren’t consulted in the decision-making. Also, any good feelings animal lovers get from the words “conservation success story” are likely to be squashed by the fact that the delisting means the bears could now be hunted. People really don’t like it when charismatic megafauna get killed.

Should the grizzly bear be delisted—or this just yet another awful environmental move by the Trump administration, divorced from science and decency? One political litmus test is to check what the Obama administration thought of the grizzly bear’s fate. In March 2016, Dan Ashe, then the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, defended the delisting. And the recovery numbers do look strong (700 sure sounds small, but Yellowstone grizzlies are a top-of-the-food-chain predator living in a small land mass—what matters more is the populations’ stability, not its size).

But scientists have dramatically different opinions about how to read those numbers. Luke Whelan over at Wired has a good rundown of how the two sides of the debate see the issue. One school of thought says that because the bears’ populations have plateaued, that means they’ve hit the carrying capacity, or the number of animals the habitat can sustain, and are in good shape. Under this logic, delisting makes sense. The counterargument suggests that the carrying capacity is lower than it should be because its habitat and food sources have changed since the bear was listed in the ’70s, primarily due to climate change—which means that the bear needs to stay protected. In fact, most of the environmental groups planning to sue over the move basically want to keep the bear listed because of the threat climate change will increasingly pose. And climate change does pose a threat—warmer temperatures are causing white pine beetles to move further and further into grizzly habitat, killing pine trees and hurting a critical food source.

Who’s right? It’s hard to say definitively—it depends on how you read the science, and how you think the ESA should be applied based on that science. Arguing that climate change is going to pose a threat to an animal and therefore warrants (somewhat) proactive listing is a tough sell—honestly, on a long enough scale, climate change and the cascading food chain and habitat problems could justify listing most animals on the ESA. That would be an interesting precedent to set. It’s also unclear how ESA protection could help address the pine beetle problem. The ESA has limited resources and offers limited protections—indeed, many conservationists think it is actually most successful when wielded as a stick to inspire (or coerce) proactive solutions before a species requires listing, rather than as a real way to solve environmental problems. And through that lens, it’s clear that what the grizzly bear really needs is for climate change to be taken seriously, and minimized. The ESA can’t force that—it’s not equipped to.

When the government is this bad at accepting basic truths, it makes it hard to have faith that their decisions are good ones—even decisions that seem positive or reasonable. It also creates a world in which we have to fight to keep species listed on the ESA because we know we’re not going to do much else to stop climate change from screwing them over in the long run. It is exhausting and demoralizing to live in a world like this.

DONALD TRUMP JR. SHOULD BE DEPORTED FOR HUNTING ELEPHANT, PETA BILLBOARD DEMANDS

President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. deserves to be deported for hunting and killing an elephant and other wildlife, animal rights activists demand.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Friday it plans to put up a billboard in towns bordering Mexico features an infamous image of Trump Jr. holding a knife and the tail of an elephant he apparently shot abroad.

“Deport callous cheating opportunists now! All nations have their undesirables. Kindness welcome,” the billboard slated for El Paso and Laredo, Texas, states

Can wildlife survive the Wall?

Some timely info about the Border Wall’s impact on wildlife from Defenders.org:

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Trump’s wall would seal off critical migration corridors and slice through essential habitat – fragmenting populations and isolating animals from each other and from resources that are critically important to their survival. In addition,

  • At least 89 endangered or threatened species and 108 migratory bird species will come under immediate threat from wall construction;
  • Recovery of two critically endangered species that regularly cross the border – jaguars and Mexican gray wolves – will be in serious jeopardy;
  • Migratory bird habitat will be destroyed and some species like the ferruginous pygmy owl – will be unable to fly across what could be 30-foot barriers; and
  • Pristine wildlife refuges and conservation lands, including the Lower Rio Grande and Buenos Aires national wildlife refuges and the Otay Mountain Wilderness, will be permanently marred as whole sections are destroyed and walled off forever.

On top of it all, the Trump administration could exempt the border wall’s construction from ever having to comply with environmental protections like the Endangered Species Act.

Building a massive, impenetrable barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border would wreak havoc on wildlife, critical habitat and communities. For many species, it would be the end of the road.

Act would dismantle marine mammal protection

There is distressing news on the front page of the Monday, April 2, Los Angeles Times, which is relevant to animals off coasts all over the US. The headline and subheading read: “Sea life at risk as U.S. seeks to ease oil rules; Bills would speed up permits for seismic blasts and dismantle safeguards for whales.”

Environmental reporter Rosanna Xia opens with:

“The search for offshore oil begins with a boom.

“Before the oil rigs arrive and the boring begins, operators need to fire intense seismic blasts repeatedly into the ocean to find oil deposits.

“For decades, environmental rules that protected whales and other marine life from this cacophony have limited the location and frequency of these blasts — preventing oil companies from exploring, and therefore operating, off much of the nation’s coasts.

“Now these safeguards are quietly being dismantled.

“The push to overhaul seismic survey rules has not attracted the same public attention as the Trump administration’s interest in opening coastal waters to dozens of new drilling leases or downsizing protected marine areas. But it too could have wide implications beyond enabling new oil operations.

“Winding their way through Congress are two bills that supporters say would create jobs, reduce permitting delays and clear the way for naval activities and coastal restoration.

“But environmentalists call them a thinly veiled oil industry wish list that would upend established protections and fast-track the permitting process for oil exploration off the Atlantic, much of Alaska and even California.”

We are told of the bills, which are called the Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act:

“They target core provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which regulates seismic blasts used to locate oil and gas. The noise, scientists say, can disorient and damage the hearing of whales and dolphins so badly that they lose their ability to navigate and reproduce.”

The lengthy article also lets us know:

“There has been little movement on the bills since the SEA Act passed committee in January. But opponents are concerned it could be folded last-minute into this year’s military reauthorization or another must-pass bill.”

Front page coverage helps make that at least a little bit less likely. You can comment right below the article, which you will find on line at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-marine-mammal-oil-drilling-20180402-story.html OR https://tinyurl.com/ydcal3v9 . And you can send appreciative letters to the editor that speak up for animals to letters@latimes.com
The article opens the door for them. Always include your full name, address and phone number when sending a letter to the editor.

 

Trophy Hunting: Pathetic and twisted

 FILE - In this Friday, March 2, 2018 file photo, keeper Zachariah Mutai attends to Fatu, one of only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, in the pen where she is kept for observation, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya. According to four new United Nations scientific reports on biodiversity released on Friday, March 23, 2018, Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

 FILE – In this Friday, March 2, 2018 file photo, keeper Zachariah Mutai attends to Fatu, one of only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, in the pen where she is kept for observation, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya. According to four new United Nations scientific reports on biodiversity released on Friday, March 23, 2018, Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

As a result of the Trump Administration recently announcing a decision to let trophy hunting imports into the United States on a case by case basis, many animal conservation organizations are suing to prevent this, arguing that the decision violates the Endangered Species Act. These conservation groups include the Humane Society International and the Center for Biological Diversity. By bringing these lawsuits against the decision, these groups are bringing more attention to the barbaric and cruel pastime known as trophy hunting. Thousands of animals are killed globally every year simply for sport or for “trophies,” such as ivory tusks from elephants. This practice is not only cruel and brutish but also cowardly and pathetic. America has been faced with popular news stories regarding trophy hunting over the past few years, one notable example being the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, and another being the pictures of Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. with trophy-hunted carcasses.

These stories have rightly caused outrage over the terrible practice.

Trophy hunting is often part of a business, often peddled by the Safari Club International (SCI). This organization encourages wealthy hunters to kill animals for rewards and import them back to America. Animals often targeted include lions, elephants and rhinos . This is a despicable practice that has no place in a civilized society. Killing animals is not a sport, and it does not make you a more interesting person, merely a smaller one. If you feel the need to spend a vacation targeting and shooting beautiful animals just to bring back a trophy that serves as a reminder of the kill, then it demonstrates that you are a person of abhorrent character. Much of the time, it is not even a challenge to bring these animals down; professional guides may bait animals with food so that hunters can more easily find and kill them, or traps may be used to trap the animal until the hunter can shoot them. It is truly despicable to see how far one will go in order to feel the false thrill of being a “hunter,” as Donald Trump Jr. calls himself. With the recent news of the death of the last male northern white rhino, animal conservation is back in the news cycle. Many argue that, ironically, trophy hunting can aid animal conservation efforts because wealthy people pay great sums in order to have the chance to hunt exotic animals, and these funds can be applied to conservation programs. However, this is assuming that the funds will actually be used for this purpose; in many regions where trophy hunting is rampant, so is corruption ( https://www.vox.com/2018/3/7/17091000/ban-lifted-elephant-trophy-hunting). For instance, Cecil the lion was killed in Zimbabwe, where there is much political unrest, making conservation efforts not a priority. We cannot trust that trophy hunting will help conservation efforts, especially if more animals are being hunted anyway. Instead, countries should focus on raising money for conservation efforts from other tourist activities such as safaris where the animals are appreciated for their beauty, not killed in order to satisfy someone’s fragile ego.

It is a bit concerning that Trump has allowed some trophy animals to potentially be imported into the United States on a case-by-case basis. He has expressed disgust with the practice himself, calling trophy hunting a “horror show”; however, it is likely that he wants the case by case clause in order to satisfy his sons, who participate in trophy hunting. This is especially frustrating because this is not a complete condemnation of trophy hunting, which is what we need from the President of the United States. Trophy hunting is a vile activity, and Americans should not be encouraged to engage in it. The first step in finally changing the attitude towards it completely is banning the importation of carcasses into the United States; Trump should make a moral stand for once and make all cases illegal.

http://dailycampus.com/stories/2018/3/30/trophy-hunting-pathetic-and-twisted

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Hunting And Fishing Revival

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170912/interior-secretary-ryan-zinkes-hunting-and-fishing-revival

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Hunting And Fishing Revival

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is leading a revival. It’s not the kind that occurs under a big tent full of folding chairs, fiery sermons, and hallelujahs, but the kind that occurs when hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen in general feel liberated from the shackles of an overbearing federal government; when they experience anew the freedom to take their guns and gear into America’s wild places and fish and hunt the way their fathers and grandfathers fished and hunted before them.

Zinke set the tone for this revival on his first day as Interior Secretary. He did so by repealing the Obama administration’s lead ammunition ban—a ban which served as a last slap in the face to hunters and fishermen everywhere.

The Obama-era ban was contained in National Fish and Wildlife Service’s Director’s Order 219. The order came from Director Dan Ashe and required regional directors to work with state-level agencies to begin phasing out the use of lead ammunition on federal land. This included requiring the “Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, in consultation with National Flyway Councils and individual states, … [to] establish a process to phase in a requirement for the use of nontoxic ammunition for recreational hunting of mourning doves and other upland game birds.”

The Obama administration avoided calling the order an all-out ban by fashioning it so that its implementation occurred over a period of time rather than all at once.

On March 3, 2017, Breitbart News reported that Zinke had repealed the ban and that the repeal was one of his first actions as interior secretary.

The reason Zinke made this one of his top priorities upon taking office is that he understands that hunters and fishermen are a crucial part of wildlife conservation: They preserve a balance in nature whereby fish and wildlife are kept at sustainable levels, rather than being able to overpopulate and ruin food supplies and habitat. And he also understands that hunters and fishermen bring a tremendous amount of money into the U.S. economy annually.

On Sept. 1, 2017, Fox News published a column by NRA-ILA’s Chris W. Cox, in which Cox observed:

Zinke knows that America’s hunters and anglers are the backbone of successful fish and wildlife management in the United States. In 2016 alone, $1.1 billion in hunter and angler excise revenues was invested by the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies to fund wildlife projects benefiting all wildlife—game and non-game species alike.

Crucially, Zinke also acknowledges the role hunting and fishing play as traditions in America. For example, a childhood in a state like Kentucky is marked by the time a son and his father spend getting ready for hunting season. They plan the hunt, tend the food plot, build the tree stand, study the movement and habits of the deer, then go out on opening day intent on bringing home food the family can eat and stories the father and son will share for the rest of their lives.

Cox put it this way:

[Zinke] also understands … within our own local communities, hunting and angling is an important tradition that’s often passed down through the generations and enjoyed by the entire family, helping to forge lifelong support of wildlife conservation and the full appreciation of our fish and wildlife resources.

In short, Zinke’s convictions about the importance of hunting and fishing mean more opportunities for outdoorsmen. This is seen via announcements like the Department of the Interior’s Aug. 9, 2017, announcement that Secretary Zinke was expanding “hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife preserves.”

This expansion will result in responsible conservation practices, money for the U.S. economy and traditions that link generations together over time.

Wild horses escape the chopping block in spending bill

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/03/22/wild-horses-escape-the-chopping-block-in-spending-bill/?utm_term=.be701aadc7c2
 March 22 at 2:52 PM 

Wild horses run south of Garrison, Utah. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Among the winners in a $1.3 trillion spending bill congressional leaders agreed to Thursday: wild horses.

Negotiators said nay to a House proposal to allow the culling of tens of thousands of horses and burros that roam the West or are held in government-funded corrals and ranches. Proponents of the idea, including its sponsor, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), described “humane euthanization” as a last-ditch tool for controlling an escalating equine population that is degrading public land and causing horses to starve.

But the proposal was vigorously opposed by wild horse advocacy groups, which have long resisted efforts to limit the federally protected animals that have become symbols of the American West. The groups accuse the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the wild horse and burro populations, of bowing to demands from cattle ranchers who view equine herds as competitors on grazing land.

“We are thrilled that Congress has rejected this sick horse slaughter plan,” Marilyn Kroplick, president of the animal rights group In Defense of Animals, said in a statement that claimed horse lovers had “jammed Congressional phone lines with calls and sent tens of thousands of emails” to make their case.

The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act gave the animals federal protections, and it also permitted the interior secretary to sell or euthanize older and unadoptable animals. But for much of the past three decades, Congress has used annual appropriations bill riders to prohibit the killing of healthy animals and any “sale that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”

In July, however, the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove Interior Department budget language banning culls. Stewart said at the time that the proposal would not permit horse sales for commercial processing — including for meat. The last U.S. horse slaughterhouse closed in 2007, but meat-processing plants in Mexico and Canada slaughter tens of thousands of domestic American horses each year for export to Europe and Asia. A Senate proposal retained the protections.

Although the spending bill negotiated this week keeps horses off the chopping block, it does not put forward solutions to what people on all sides of this heated issue agree is a problem. About 46,000 wild horses and burros are in corrals that cost the BLM nearly $50 million to maintain each year, and 73,000 others run free in western states. That’s nearly three times the 27,000 animals the bureau says the land can sustain. Horse advocacy groups say that reducing the free-roaming herds to that figure would risk their extinction.

Adoptions, which have been the bureau’s primary tool for shrinking the population, totaled just 3,517 in 2017. Among other proposals, horse activists have called for wider use of contraception, which skeptics say would be impractical for large-scale reductions.

Neither the BLM nor Stewart’s office responded to requests for comment on the spending bill. In a New York Times column in December, the lawmaker described himself as a horse lover but lamented the funding for corralled horses, saying it would total $1 billion over the animals’ lifetimes.

“That’s $1 billion we could otherwise spend on defense, education, job training or any other worthy cause,” Stewart said. “But the alternative for these horses is starving in the wild.”

The House passed the spending bill Thursday, and the Senate has until midnight Friday to give its approval and avoid another government shutdown. But the battle over the nation’s wild horses will continue. The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget calls for doing away with the usual rider that prevents their sale or killing in favor of allowing the bureau to use a “full suite of tools” to manage the herds.

Read more: 

Wild horses could be sold for slaughter or euthanized under Trump budget

Rumor has it the government is going to kill 45,000 horses. Here’s the reality.

This gorilla doesn’t like getting his hands muddy, so he walks like a human, zoo says

Could a bear break into that cooler? Watch these grizzlies try.

Conservation groups sue to overturn trophy hunting decision

(CNN)Several animal conservation groups are challenging in court the Trump administration’s recent decision to consider big game trophy import applications on a case-by-case basis.

The groups — which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International and Humane Society of the United States — said Tuesday that they are asking a federal court in Washington, DC, to rule that the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not follow the proper process to make its March 1 decision, which withdrew a series of Endangered Species Act findings that apply to some African elephants, lions and bontebok, a type of antelope.
The groups also say the decision violates the Endangered Species Act.
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told CNN that the department is reviewing the amendment complaint.
Tuesday’s filing amends a lawsuit the conservation groups filed in November, when the FWS, under Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, announced it would accept applications on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
In November, President Donald Trump then ordered that decision be blocked and called trophy hunting a “horror show.”
In December, a federal appeals court ruled in a separate trophy hunting case brought by proponents of the practice, including Safari Club International, ordering FWS and the Department of Interior to reconsider past decisions on trophy imports.
And a few days after the March 1 decision, Zinke told Congress no applications have been approved under the case-by-case guidelines.