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Recently some things have gone on with the listing of certain species by the US F&W that I noticed but didn't pay a whole lot of attention to. Most recently the Orca's in the Puget Sound. Something caught my eye in how they are determining this and led to conversation with several people that became very alarming on the trend.

First of all, the Orcas in general are not listed. The groups spend approximately 6 months there and then travel wherever they do after that point. The reasoning for listing them is they claim they talk by using different sounds and act differently than other orcas. Can you see where I'm going?

By getting this group listed it opens up the door to listing species that are not listed due to their geographical location that can be sized to whatever they're trying to accomplish. It also throws out any scientific genetic proof that the species is different. This is very troublesome. I can claim that blacktail in my region breed at a different time than the ones in the valley. They grunt differently and tend to act a bit different than yours do. Therefore, my numbers of animals are down significantly so they could qualify for an endangered list even though gentically they are exactly the same.

This is going to pave the way also to keep the snowy plover on the list here soon. A few years back the US F&W funded a genetic test by Oregon State to determine the validity of them being on the list. They proved that the inland birds are exactly the same as the ones on the coast and should not be listed at all. That was done in 2001. The feds have dragged thier feet since then because federal dollars comes with enlisted animals. By saying the ones on the coast only hang around the beaches, they can deem them as a different bird and bypass genetics that prove otherwise. Therefore keeping large portions of beaches closed to you and I and locking up more areas. Also, the funds keep rolling in to protect a species that is NOT endangered.

The scariest part of this, is that it can be applied to every region and species in your area. Just imagine what they could come up with to close your favorite river. It wouldn't be hard to prove one salmon is different from another because of the time of year it returns. Find a strain in one of the tributaries that has a low year for returns and classify it as endangered. You're shut down....... :bigshock:

Just something to think about..

tc
 

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They already do that with salmon. They are called ESUs (evolutionary significant unit). However, most listings are in the threatened status. Could be good for protecting fish, maybe bad for landowners or other stakeholders.
 

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I read about the Orca listing in the paper yesterday. Seems like a good thing to me. Whatever their rational for determining a species is endangered, it doesn't matter. This will help to finance the clean up of Puget Sound and will help salmon recover. How can that be a bad thing? Anything that can be done to provide money to restore and/or protect the environment will help fish and wildlife of all species and will benefit us as hunters and fishermen.
 

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ESU's are a very good thing! Are Keni River Kings the same as our Chinook? Are coastal Steelhead the same as Idaho Steelhead? Are Fall Chinook the same as Spring Chinook? Are Mule Deer the Same as Blacktails? (they are technically the same species) No none of these are the same and Ide hate to think of what would happen if they were all managed the same.

Lets use your quote,

"It also throws out any scientific genetic proof that the species is different. This is very troublesome. I can claim that blacktail in my region breed at a different time than the ones in the valley. They grunt differently and tend to act a bit different than yours do. Therefore, my numbers of animals are down significantly so they could qualify for an endangered list even though genetically they are exactly the same."


Basically yes they can, and do, but with less hassle. This is why there are different seasons and regulations for different units. It's even more extreme on the east side where we have a draw system. They can limit the number of tags and types of tags given out in each unit. And yes they can find genetic differences it just depends on how "hard" they look.

Another quote
“The scariest part of this, is that it can be applied to every region and species in your area. Just imagine what they could come up with to close your favorite river. It wouldn't be hard to prove one salmon is different from another because of the time of year it returns. Find a strain in one of the tributaries that has a low year for returns and classify it as endangered. You're shut down....... "


I guess the really scary part is this has already happened. On the Columbia you can keep wild fall Chinook but only hatchery springers and they structure the seasons to allow upriver escapement of endangered up river brights.

I would hardly call ESU’s a bad thing.

-blake
 

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I have to agree somewhat with Tail chaser here. Just take the logic of it and take it to humans. Only Norwegian blondes should breed with Norwegian blondes, and so on. I think we all know what in-breeding does. That is not to say that we should be considering all members of a gentic species as the same, but in the case of animals such as the Orcas, that do travel and interbreed, trying to seperate them soley by area makes no sense. Here in Pierce County they are Planning to build the cross base freeway through a section on Fort Lewis. Located there is a small number of squirrels (I am not sure of the exact species but it maybe the western red squirrel) that a isolated completely from all other squirrels of that species. These squirrels are abundant in oregon, but only found in this one area in Washington. The plan I heard was to spend $10,000,000.00 for squirrel bridges (this is about 10% of the entire project if I remember correctly) to protect these squirrels. No one questions that they are the exact genetic species as in Oregon and I have not heard of any different characteristics other than the place they live. I we truely think that they are different, then perhaps we should simply preserve there DNA. We need to get real. While there are differences in some river fishes, there are also a large number of rivers where the fish stray. Compare the number of Whitetail deer in Washington today to 50 years ago. Nature has itself appears to understand the need for diversity. I am not saying I know much about this subject, but common sense does come into play somewhere.
Enviormentalism does not always make sense. We label our Bald Eagles as Threatened, but the maps show almost a 100% coverage of nesting sites, meaning there was little to no room for expansion. When I asked the biologists about this I was told they didn't have the funding to so the necessary studies to de-list them. (think the fact that they wouldn't have a job any more might have something to do with this?) Because many people spend thousands of dollars on eviromental studies that are not needed. Somewhere out there is a middle ground. I am not sure exactly where it is, but I do know from experience we will probably not find it from government biologists. It is my personal opinion, sorry if I offend anyone, that most government biologists take their job because they want to protect the enviroment. They could make much more money in private industry, but take less money so they can make a difference. Some it seems, lean towards a form of enviromentalism that borders on religion. It is these people that we must watch out for. While it may seem good to stop the Makah's from whaling, for example, we should take care not to allow faulty enviromental thinking to dictate the manner in which we accomplish what we want done.
 

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Hey, TC, that'll teach you to open your mouth, won't it. But you're absolutely right in my book, and if I owned a boat in Puget Sound I would be shaking in my boots.

Did you read the part of the report that says those "endangered" Orcas have actually increased by ten, from 79 to 89, in the last decade, and are hovering at close to historic levels, i.e. the most they've ever known about (100)?

Boating and fishing in NW Washington is about to undergo an incredible upheaval, and I figure those folks are going to find out that the spotted owl is now black and white - and swims.

Might be a good place to pick up a used boat cheap though.

What was that little orca's name that got so much publicity because he just wanted to swim with the boats? I was up in Canada when they moved him up there and they asked everyone to curtail their whale-watching so that he wouldn't be tempted to interact with humans. 'Course that's a different story.

Skein - who also sees the trend
 

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So if you think this a bad thing are you also against protect indigionous (sp?) tribes? Screw the aborigionese and the indians in the rain forest! He!!, they are humans, if they can't protect themselves let them parish. I know that is extreme but come on! I am far from a bleeding heart but I will definitely fight to protect biological diversity. For all I know the Orca may be higher on the evolutionary ladder than me. He!!, they are smart enough that all they have to do is fish and [email protected] :jester:

I have not read the articles but have some knowledge of the Orca pods of the Sound. They have very well documented social structures and languages. Why not treat them as the unique animals that they are?

Yeti :cheers:
 

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Yeti,

I agree with you that both diversity and uniqueness (two sides of the same coin) are important. What I'm saying is that these orcas are INCREASING, which is not likely to happen if their environmental situation is as dire as is indicated.

Skein
 

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Sound's orcas put on endangered list

BY JOHN DODGE

THE OLYMPIAN

The animals at the top of the Puget Sound food chain landed on the federal Endangered Species Act list Tuesday.

Three families of Puget Sound orcas, totaling 89 individuals and collectively known as the southern residents, were listed as endangered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

It means without further measures to protect them, the orcas of Puget Sound could become extinct.

"By giving it protection under the ESA, we have a better chance of keeping this population alive for future generations," said NOAA Fisheries regional administrator Bob Lohn.

The listing comes more than four years after conservation groups first petitioned the federal government.

"It's long overdue," said Kathy Fletcher of People for Puget Sound. "Listing orca whales is kind of like listing Puget Sound as endangered. We have no more time to lose."

Fletcher said the orcas' status as an endangered species should add a sense of urgency to efforts to protect Puget Sound habitat, clean toxic contamination, prevent oil spills and recover salmon, which are a big part of the orcas' diet.

In the 2006 state Legislature, a coalition of 18 environmental groups will push for money and a cleanup plan with the goal of a healthy Puget Sound by 2020.

"The orca listing should give the Puget Sound legislation a huge push," said Susan Berta, a Whidbey Island resident and co-founder of the Orca Network, which keeps tabs on the J, K and L pods' whereabouts.

Tuesday's listing could help the killer whales on several fronts, said former Secretary of State Ralph Munro, a lifelong champion of whale conservation.

"It should mean lots more research, lots more protection for salmon and a special emphasis on cleaning up marine toxins," Munro said.

Killer whales suffer from an accumulation of toxic chemicals in the marine food chain, depleted salmon runs and a paucity of breeding adults to keep the families growing. Many of the family members were captured and hauled off to aquariums in the 1960s, a practice halted in the 1970s.

Orca numbers are so low they're vulnerable to disease or a catastrophic event, such as a major oil spill, the federal agency said in its decision to list them.

From 1996 to 2001, the Puget Sound population fell from 97 to 79, but has rebounded of late to 89.

A year ago, NOAA Fisheries was poised to list them as threatened, which is a step short of endangered. Under better conditions, the Puget Sound orcas could number 200, federal scientists estimated last year.

"I think they started to realize how fragile this population is: small and such a small number of breeding males," Berta said.

The biggest benefit of an ESA listing will be the review of Puget Sound water-related projects to make sure they won't harm orcas, said John Calambokidis, a marine mammal researcher with Olympia- based Cascadia Research.

"I'm glad to see the population increasing," Calambokidis said. "It makes me much more hopeful about the future."

NOAA Fisheries officials said the federal agency will focus its orca recovery efforts on restoring salmon runs, cleaning up toxic chemicals and reducing the effect of vessel traffic on the meandering whales, which spend much of their time in the San Juans, but occasionally venture into South Sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well as usual some things were taken a little off of what I meant, but that's ok. My concern is that bisecting nonendangered species into small geographic areas will enable groups everywhere to disect our outdoor activities. The squirrel thing is a perfect example of how far out of hand it can get. Imagine if they sectioned off a piece of land after the point that you can't walk anymore because it would intrude on thier livelyhood to reproduce? Sounds stupid, but underestimating the people who push these issues is a grave mistake on how far they'll take things.

As of cleaning up the sound, your state government is failing you drastically if it takes listing of an animal to start picking up the trash that it's throwing in the water. I'm glad my federal taxes can support it. :hoboy:

ESA's may be a useful tool in management as long as it's not taken too far. The problem I see is simple in regards to the orcas. They are a migratory species that spend some time in your backyard. What happens when an alleutian goose lands on your property and someone sees it? Your land could come under specific rules laid out by the federal F&G. All I'm saying is they're treading on a real gray area as far as I'm concerned.

tc
 

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I don't know how on earth we made it this far, or how the birds and beasts made it also, without our help. :whazzup:
Kinda makes me want to shoot myself. But if I did, that would be one less in the fight for humanity. :bigshock:
Good luck with the Orca/big fishy, thingy! :smash:
Glad, I sit at the top of the food chain...........IMHO :smile: :eek:
I think I will just keep working with Common Waters of Oregon issues for now so we can all just be allowed our river rights! www.oregonriverrights.com
 

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Did you guys see this in the newspaper article: "NOAA Fisheries officials said the federal agency will focus its orca recovery efforts on restoring salmon runs..."???

I don't know about you but I think that's a good use of government money. I've seen it spent on a lot worse things.
 

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I agree 100 % with you tailchaser. I see it as a divide and conquer tactic, and it has already diminished my oportunities in the field.
You bring up a good point Snapset

We diminish our resources and are opportunities are diminished along with them. Plane and simple...it's the consequences from our past "divide and conquer" tactics.

-blake
 

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what happens when they follow the orca packs and deem everywhere they possiblly could go as endangered areas?? I worry about the food chain in the areas being deemed protected for the orcas. I have read from others oh they eat seal pups etc. I am concerned with closures like the spotted owl caused.


from above:" NOAA Fisheries officials said the federal agency will focus its orca recovery efforts on restoring salmon runs. "


Does this mean no fishing ?? where, when and how?? Hunting effects????????/ Just give the env. extremists, peta and all the rest this type of abiguity(sp) with their resources and fanatical past to look at be scared.
 

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As the Kinks sang, "Paranoia the destroyer."

First of all there could be a couple of things that are going on that some are not thinking about. First, There are people who love marine mamals and spend huge amounts of time and money on them. They could give a [petunias!] one way or the other about hunters and sport fishermen. Maybe they are the ones pushing for this protection. Maybe they don't think everyone should be banned from an area 100 miles around the pods. Maybe they are just trying to help these animals. I almost married one of these people and she fit this catagory. She had no problem with my outdoor pursuits, nor did here friends.

Second, maybe the anti-hunting coalitions have nothing to do with this. Wow, what a concept!

Just a thought.

Yeti
 

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TC - Where have you been hiding young man? Is being self employed all it is cracked up to be? Will be in your back yard shortly breaking in the new boat. Maybe you can join us.

Now you have gone and done it. Taking logic to its fullist conculsion and than coming up with a more than believeable outcome. I happen to be in your boat on this one.
 
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