The Missoulian announced yesterday, July 19, 2012, that the Olaus Murie Family was pulling its award given annually to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). The reasons given for pulling the award were because of RMEF’s position on gray wolves.

“We must regretfully demand that unless you have a major change in policy regarding wolves that you cancel the Olaus Murie Award,” Donald Murie wrote. “The Murie name must never be associated with the unscientific and inhumane practices you are advancing.”

Jim Beers, a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, takes time out to respond to the actions of the Murie Family. Below is a copy of his letter appearing also in the Missoulian.

Dear “entire Murie family” & Cascadia Wildlands:

Your recent public denunciation of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for annually honoring Olaus Murie (not “the family” and certainly not a radical organization like Cascadia Wildlands) calls for a public response. While your sneering reference to Olaus & Aldo et al being replaced by Dale Earnhardt on some award makes a searing response very tempting, this response will adhere to the high ground.

The Murie family, the Leopold family, and all the wolf advocacy organizations in the world have no control of what free men and women decide about wolves in their presence. Using “science” and “the entire Murie family” as some sort of chiseled-in- stone commandments carried out of a wilderness somewhere as rules that must be obeyed to avoid an address in hades is just plain foolish. Despite the haughtiness of these would-be environmental mavens, free men and women always have and always will be the final arbiters of the animals encouraged, discouraged, and tolerated where such men and women live.

Olaus and Aldo were correct that any system of non-domestic plants and animals will change over time. Some species will increase, others will decrease. Weather, climate, fire, humans, and many other factors will affect change. Preservation of such systems is an admirable human goal and certainly predators are a “natural” part of such systems. That the United States, in the 1960’s and as a result of its affluence and human benevolence, established several “Wilderness Areas” to recognize Aldo and Olaus’ (families take note that I am not using “your” name) BELIEFS is a credit to us all.

Do you relatives and your environmental/animal rights “partners” really think Olaus and Aldo envisioned your nightmare? Wolves “endangered” and forced wherever federal overseers want on behalf of radicals? Government “taking” without compensation for plants or animals based on contrived “science” paid for by government? Federal ownership of 20-30-40-50-(?) percent of the Nation? Federal easement control of another 10-20 percent of the nations’ land with federal funds and radical “partners”? State governments that are increasingly subservient to federal bureaucrats spending federal money? State hunting management money STOLEN by federal bureaucrats that went unpunished to introduce wolves that Congress refused to condone? Dead dogs, livestock losses, and disease situations resulting from government- introduced wolves for which the government claims no responsibility? Human stress and worries in rural families as kids go to school buses or women go to mailboxes in wolf country? Disappearing elk and moose hunting (and the revenue and taxes and traditions and meat, etc.) where wolves are now established? Wolves and grizzly bears forced on rural Americans and private property at the threat of arrest, fines, imprisonment, and loss of voting and gun rights? Federal enclaves becoming little more than federal fortresses forcibly spreading radical federal dictates much like Russian military bases scattered all over Hungary, Poland, etc. during The Cold War? Of course not!

Finally, I would like to express a word of thanks to the current leadership of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Five to ten years ago I wrote often about how Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (and DU, PF, TU, and other nefarious outfits) were in bed with the environmental/animal rights agenda to the great expense of the hunters and fishermen that were mistakenly paying them to protect their hunting and fishing. Mr. Allen changed that in recent years. Instead of continuing to warble about how wonderful it is to hear wolf howls at night in your elk-hunting cabin, Mr. Allen and RMEF began acknowledging the drastic decline of elk and moose (despite all the twaddle from retired feds selling books and University “scientists” “Hoovering-up” every nickel of federal money to build graduate student brothels and obtain tenure) and trying to do something about it. As a hunter, all I can say is God (not Aldo or Olaus) Bless him and his efforts. Elk hunters have done a lot worse with other poseurs in their corner. The fact that the radicals demean his background instead of admitting to or offering alternatives to maintain elk hunting and all the other things wolves diminish in rural America; says volumes.

RMEF, Local governments and State governments working together are our best hope for determining the acceptable scope, control methods and distribution of wolves. Federal politicians, federal bureaucrats, and urban elites may dress-up like Aldo and Olaus and dance around singing “science” but we are no longer fooled like Goldilocks about what is really under their disguise.

As to a “Dale Earnhardt Award” I like the ring of it: it represents the American public and not the elites. One of my daughters is a NASCAR fan and she assured me long ago that Mr. Earnhardt was a great guy, a hard worker, and a good role model. It will take winners like Mr. Earnhardt if we are to win this battle to pass along hunting to our children and grandchildren. If Olaus and Aldo are to become caricatures of radical agendas; dropping such names from real wildlife achiever’s awards is a good thing.

Jim Beers

19 July 2012

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: [email protected]