Tag Archives: special interests

Letter to the Editor: Job interview questions for Tom Tiffany 

By Lisa MaKarral

September 27, 2016

To the editor:
1. Mr. Tiffany, you received $75,000 from Gogebic Taconite to push their mining bill through, gutting Wisconsin’s long- held environmental laws and regulations. Have you ever met a pristine wilderness or ecosystem that you didn’t want to strip mine or frack, a tree you didn’t want cut down, or a wetland you didn’t want to fill in, if the price is right?
2. You’ve received thousands of dollars from hunting lobbies. In exchange, you’ve pushed for Wisconsin to become the only state that allows hunting wolves with hounds, one of a very few states allowing harassment of bears and other wildlife with hounds (in training) and the only state that pays hounders for their dogs killed by wolves during the harassment of said wildlife. Wisconsin taxpayers pay hounders $2500.00 for each dog attacked and killed by wolves, regardless if that hounder runs his dogs through DNR-designated wolf areas. We also pay for the cost of veterinarian care if the dog manages to survive the attack. Heck, you don’t care if a hounder gets a dog from an animal shelter and deliberately arranges to get it killed for a check. We’ve had 40 dogs killed so far this year, or $100,000.00 in tax payer dollars, not including the vet bills of dogs injured. Mr. Tiffany, can you please tell me the difference between Michael Vick fighting and killing dogs and what you champion, besides Vick serving 18 months in prison for it and not sending you a check? 
3. Do you require hounders to take a drug test before receiving their blood payments?
4. You led the layoff of scientists at the DNR, since you don’t believe in climate change or much of anything in the way of science. CWD in deer has increased from 1.46 percent in 2008 to a record level of 9.4 percent today. How’s that anti-science thing working out for you and Wisconsin deer hunters?
5. How is it that a “small government” Republican like you has done everything possible to take local control away from our elected town and county boards in an attempt to fit the Northwoods into a one-size-fits-all puzzle, that includes Milwaukee and Madison?
6. Since 2010, you have voted to cut $24 million from public schools in the 12th district while supporting sending millions to private schools in Milwaukee, expanding voucher programs and giving a tax break to millionaires who already send their children to private schools. Is it a coincidence that an organization promoting voucher and religious schools has purchased $230,000 in ad time for you in this election year?
7. You stated you wear The League of Conservation Voters grade of an F as a badge of honor. How does your “badge of honor” fit into what we, living in our beautiful Northwoods, hold dear?
8. Besides questions 1 through 7, why else did you vote to gut Wisconsin open records laws?
I’m sorry Mr. Tiffany, you’re not a good fit for this position and we’ll have to go with the other candidate.

Featured image John E Marriott

Wolves, bats & dirty politics – the ESA was designed to protect species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Just what does dirty politics have to do with Wisconsin’s bats & wolves?  Ask Senator Ron Johnson (R) why he wants Wisconsin’s Northern Long-eared Bat & the wolf kept off of the Endandaged Species Lists. You’ll find the answer to that question buried deep within political agendas fueled by special interest’s money. It’s all tied to where the wolf and Northern Long-Eared bat live and the protections under the Endangered Species Act. 

The fate of bats and wolves 

Recent news in Wisconsin has Senator Ron Johnson (R) introduced an amendment that would remove wolves from federal Endangered Species Act protections in four states and no judicial review.  

This rider also contained an amendment submitted by Senator Ron Johnson as follows:

  “…submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2953 proposed by Ms. Murkowski to the bill S. 2012, to provide for the modernization of the energy policy of the United States, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as following: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service shall not list the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).” Source

The ESA was designed to protect species and the ecosystems on which they depend 

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) was signed on December 28, 1973, and provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend.” 

Northern Long-eared Bat Listed as Threatened  by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service according to a press release issued on January 13, 2016. 

This action to protect the Northern Long-Eared Bat is due to a disease called White-Nose Syndrome  that has killed millions of north America’s bats since 2006.   

According to U.S. fish & Wildlife Service the reason these bats need ESA protections is: “Unfortunately, this particular bat is one of the species hardest hit by the disease, white-nose syndrome. In forests of the Northeast, population declines have been dramatic in a very short time. Declines of up to 99 percent have been documented through hibernacula surveys and substantiated by summer surveys.”  Source


Northern long-eared bat with symptoms of white-nose syndrome. Photo by Steve Taylor; University of Illinois

What is White-Nose Syndrome?
“White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in North America. The disease is caused by a fungus from Eurasia, which was accidentally transported here by humans.” Cited from: Bat Conservation International

About the Northern Long-Eared Bat 

“Northern Long-Eared Bat, Myotis septentrionalis, The northern long-eared bat is federally listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Endangered species are animals and plants that are in danger of becoming extinct. Threatened species are animals and plants that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Identifying, protecting, and restoring endangered and threatened species is the primary objective of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species program.” Cited from: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Northern Long-eared bats summer in forests living under the bark of trees, and hibernate in caves during winter. Bats are essential for keeping disease ridden insects such as, the mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus in check. The Norther Long-Eared Bat eats moths, flies, leafhoppers, caddisflies, and beetles, which they catch while in flight using echolocation or by gleaning motionless insects from vegetation according to the the U.S. Fish & Wildlife FAQS on Northern Long-Eared Bats.

Wolves like the Northern Long-Eared Bat are essential for the health of our ecosystems 

When wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park after an absence of nearly 70 years the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. Watch the following video ‘How Wolves Change Rivers’ 

Wolves, bats and dirty politics 

The ESA protects the threatened or endangered species, and the ecosystems on which they depend. So why do politicians, like Senator Ron Johnson (WI-R) want to keep the Northern Long-Eared Bat from being listed as endangered and the wolf delisted from the ESA? 

The answer to that question lies deep within the motives of mineral, lumber, oil & gas and Big Agriculture companies that want this critical habitat for their own special interests. Are these companies lobbying politicians like, Senator Ron Johnson to keep the wolf & the Northern Long-Eared Bat off the ESA?  Shall we allow dirty politics to throw critically endangered species under the bus and undermine decades of environmental progress made under the ESA?  

Senator Ron Johnson (WI-R) is up for re-election this November. Check his record HERE.

We can’t leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world’s people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.  ~Jane Goodall


Featured image by John E Marriott Photography

Letter to the editor: Wolves belong here despite governors’ resistance

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune January 19, 2016

Whose interests are the Four Corners governors looking after in signing a compact stating they don’t want wolves in their states? Certainly not the interests of wildlife, watersheds or the majority of their human constituents.
Most ranchers believe that wolves and humans can’t live together, but wild wolves don’t attack humans (unlike grizzlies, cougars, dogs and bulls). Many organizations compensate for calf losses to wildlife.
Wilderness is the true home of wolves. Utah has a lot. Elk are overrunning ranges in southern Utah. Wolves would bring this into balance. Ecosystems long suffering from predator/prey imbalances are getting healthy again where wolves have returned, most notably along waterways, where willow, cottonwood and aspen forests are regrowing and banks are stabilizing. Wolves are a major missing biological component in our Mountain West ecosystems. We all benefit by their return.
With the governors of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico apparently in the pocket of paranoid ranchers and other public lands users and abusers, scientists will not be allowed to orchestrate the wolf’s comeback. The guvs want more political and industry appointees to call the shots and want to dismantle the current team of world experts recommending more wolves for the Four Corners states.
Our America?
Dan Kent