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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Biologist John Laundre has contributed frequently to this blog with penetrating commentary on wildlife restoration, Puma recovery, State Game Commission hi-jinks and the Public ownership of wildlife in America.............Today, he shares a finite and compelling statement on his opinion(which I now share after reading) about why the American people have a Constitutional right to participate in the rules and regulations regarding the management of wildlife species on Federal Lands----John, so well thought out your treatise is.................Now, all of us need to mobilize our National Enviro Organizations(Environmental Defense Fund, National Resources Defense Council, etc, etc,) to get John's premise onto the calendar of our Federal Courts

Why do the trees belong to all of us but not the wildlife?

According to the constitution, Article 4, section 3: "The congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States..."  As I read this, it means the Federal Government owns and has jurisdiction over ALL the" property" on federal lands. 

 It is obvious that this section applies to the trees on the national forests and the grass on BLM land.  This is why we have the Forest Service and the BLM.  They regulate the harvest of the trees, the use of grass on federal lands, because they belong to all Americans.  But what about the wildlife on federal lands?  Are they not property belonging to the United States? 

 I see nowhere in the Constitution where this property was ceded to the states.  If there is some obscure law that was passed that did this, it is obviously in violation of the Constitution.  And if wildlife are the property of the United States, why then are the states "making all needful rules and regulations" over them on Federal lands within their states. 

 Do the state forest departments have jurisdiction over the forests of federal forests?  Do the states set grazing fees and allotments? No they don't.  And the state wildlife agencies should also NOT have jurisdiction over wildlife, especially apex predators, on Federal lands.  They belong to ALL the people of the country.  As I see it, just as the Federal Forest Service has control the trees, so should the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service have jurisdiction and control over the wildlife on Federal lands.

Just as sure as the Second Amendment, protects our right to bear arms, Article 4, Section 3 of the ORIGINAL Constitution (not added afterthought amendments)  gives ALL Americans the right to participate in the rules and regulations regarding the management of wildlife species on Federal lands.  It is our constitutional right to demand that Congress take over this responsibility that has and is being abused by the states, especially regarding apex predators.

It is time that the rest of us (the other 77% who live in states with little or no federal land) exert our Constitutional rights and take over the management of predators in the West.  It is time to call for a national management plan for wildlife on National lands.  It is obvious that the states lack the integrity, ability, honesty, and legitimacy to do so.

John W. Laundre 

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