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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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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The current December 9 Issue of TIME MAGAZINE takes a very wrong and misguided turn with it's cover story entitled--AMERICA'S PEST PROBLEM-..............The theme and content of this story revolves around what the author deems as pests,,,,,,,,,,deer, bears, pumas, wolves and all of the native creatures that evolved in North America well before humans arrived on the scene ......It is the authors opinion that this menagerie of wildlife is spiraling out of control and in the way of humanity progress ................His solution is to bring on the hunters to eliminate the problem,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,This article is so full of half and mistruths about the health of our forests and the supposed abundance and cornucopia of wildlife living in our midst that it literally makes the informed reader want to "hurl"...............As I see it,.the problem here is that the vast majority of TIME'S dwindling readership are not experts on wildlife and woodlands and this article is going to cause all of these folks to be scared about the wild creatures in their midst, making them feel that we must reduce their numbers drastically..................I have written a letter to the author of the article(David Von Drehle) that attempts to set him straight on the real facts of life about America's wildlife and wild places with the hope that he may take a moment to read up on these subjects and at some point write a better informed commentary on WILD AMERICA and how Americans should embrace wildlife and take pride in setting aside more natural areas and connective corridors so that our land retains the wild character that set it apart from Europe and made it a wonderland for all who set foot upon our shores

America's Pest Problem: It's Time to Cull the Herd

After nearly wiping out many wildlife species 50 years ago, Americans are once again living close--sometimes uncomfortably so--to all kinds of feral creatures. Why wildlife in the U.S. needs stronger management

Photograph by Daniel J Cox / Getty Images

Faced with an outbreak of lyme disease and rising deer-related car accidents, the city council of Durham, N.C., authorized bow hunting inside city limits in November. Authorities in San Jose, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, voted to allow hunting wild pigs within that city in October. Rock Island, Ill., one of the five Quad Cities on the Mississippi River, recently approved bow hunting in town, provided that it occurs in green spaces — golf courses, parks, cemeteries — or on private land.
Across the country, hunting is poised for a comeback, and not just because the folks on Duck Dynasty make it look like so much fun. We have too many wild animals — from swine to swans. Whether you're a Walmart employee in Florida wondering what to do with the alligator at your door, a New Yorker with a hawk nesting on your high-rise or an Ohio golfer scattering a flock of Canada geese, you now live, work and play in closer proximity to untamed fauna than any other generation of Americans in more than a century.
Too many deer, wild pigs, raccoons and beavers can be almost as bad for the animals as too few. This is why communities across the country find themselves forced to grapple with a conundrum. The same environmental sensitivity that brought Bambi back from the brink over the last century now makes it painfully controversial to do what experts say must be done: a bunch of these critters need to be killed.

Read more: America's Pest Problem: It's Time to Cull the Herd - TIME,9171,2158676,00.html#ixzz2mIBEE8QJ


From: "Meril, Rick" 
Date: December 1, 2013, 12:59:27 PM EST
To: "''" <
Subject: America'sPest Problem

Mr. Von Drehle

I work in Media and completely understand your need(desperate at this point with so many not reading TIME any longer) to utilize provacative headlines on your Front Cover to lure readers to buy copies of uour magazine.

Let me caution you however that your headline--AMERICA'S PEST PROBLEM is truly self serving and does a terrible injustice to both the animals your are writing about and the human animals who are digesting the skewed and terribly off-based commentary you have put forth.

If there is a "animal pest" in the USA, it is the swelling 320 million plus human animals,,,,,having degraded all but about 1 percent of the land surface of our Country----
True, that NJ and New England have regrown their forest cover after it being razed several times by our ancestors over the past 400+ years,,,,,,,not true that it harbors biological diversity-----we have splintered it throughout, making it inhospitable to a host of native creatures(wwolves/pumas/lynx/wolverine, etc),,,,,,,making it extremely hospitable to "exotics"(like feral pigs, starlings, etc, etc)

Deer are more plentiful because their natural predators(wolves and pumas) are not east of the mississippi(save100 of them in Florida)--the occasional wandering puma does not make a breeding population---You need females to be on the ground and we are not letting them go into northern florida, let alone NJ et al. The breeding population of Pumas in Nebraska and South Dakota is being gunned down by liberal hunting seasons so that it makes it nearly impossible for "prospectors" out of those regions to come east and breed.

Coyotes will kill some fawns as will Black Bears in the first weeks after their birth in the Spring, but neither of these Carnivores are the deer eaters that wolves and pumas are.

Let us put Wolves and Pumas  back in our woodlands---that is the optimum way for us to have less deer,,,,, with the healthiest deer remaining alive because wolves and pumas are not seeking trophies(thus letting the largest and strongest deer remaining in the woods,,,,,,,Lyme disease will then begin to ease back and forest regeneration will increase with a larger array of native plants taking hold.

The human hunting of deer is never going to relieve the  proliferation of the hoofed browsers and other prey species-----The bottom line is that younger folks are not interested in hunting--and not reading TIME either-- They are video game and i-pad(ded) up and would rather shoot deer with their gameboys rather than with muzzel-loaders.

We human are the pests in the environment,,,,,,creating inbalance through our naïve and "me, me, me" humans come first ways............Let us do a better job of coexisting with returning native animals and find it in ourselves to internalize the fact that more is better when it comes to keeping all of the creators beings on the planet with us.


Rick Meril
Calabasas, California


Dave Messineo said...

Thank you for responding to Von Drehle's ludicrous treatise on wildlife management. Grizzlies are pushing black bears into our suburbs, wolves now have robust populations...nonsense!
I am very disappointed that Time magazine published such an uninformed and actually biased feature. To further exacerbate the setback to enlightened public opinion, they had to make it a cover article.
That article is so bad I wouldn't even know where to start to refute Von Drehle's assertions and I am sure his mind is pretty set.
There is little doubt that you are correct in your suggestion that he is trying to sell magazines with his outrageous headline but also his attitudes seems to reveal a connection to the pro hunting bunch .i.e. hunting as state of the art wildlife management

Rick Meril said...

Thanks Dave............we just have to keep pushing back against this ignorance and bias