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Hidalgo County Herald
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February 5, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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February 5, 2010
 

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HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010 9 Prudent Decision for Jaguar: Best Available Science or Political Science? By JUDY KEELER AND SUE KRENTZ On January 13, 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pub- lished a notice in the federal reg- ister declaring the agency had "reconsidered its prudency deter- mination" regarding critical habi- tat for jaguars in the U.S. and found critical habitat was now "prudent". This determination reversal reverberated through the scientific community.  Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, leading jaguar authority, wrote an edito- rial opinion in the New York Times holding true to his convic- tions that "the 1997 decision, not to determine critical habitat .for the jaguar, was the right one, be- cause even though they cross the border from time to time, jaguars don't occupy any territory in our country". Sue Krentz and I have been serving on the Arizona/New Mexico Jaguar Conservation Team since its inception in 1997. We are not wildlife biologists, nor are we employees of a state or fed- eral agency; neither do we have any vested interest in jaguars. We're just interested individuals that happen to ranch in SW New Mexico and SE Arizona. Sue poured her life-blood intothe educational subcommit tee for the Team, while my sole purpose was to ensure whatever decisions we made to protect jag- uars in the U.S. was based on the best available science. Historically, fossil records indicate that jaguars have lived in North America since the mid- Pleistocene Era, about 1.5 mil- lion years ago. Known as the Holoarctic jaguar, these animals ranged as far north as Washing- ton, Nebraska, and Maryland. However, this jaguar was larger in size, with longer legs and more likely better adapted to the open country of that period than the jaguars of today. At one time jaguar may have also roamed from California to Louisiana. However, the Califor- nia Dept of Wildlife took excep- tion to the claims jaguars once roamed their state. Early on in this discussion they stated they had no historical records of jag- uars ever residing in their state. In an article "Jaguar Habitat Project Omits Historic Stalking Grounds in South Louisiana", the author wrote that the last "re- LE( ;AL NOTICE Proclamacibn De Elecci6n Primaria Conforme a la Ley de E!ecci6n del Estado de Nuevo Mexico, Yo, Carmen Acosta, Escribanfa del Estado de Nuevo Maxico, Condado de Hidalgo, en virtud de la autoridad que la ley me otorga, por la presente expido la proclamaci6n a continuaci6n: Que la Elecci6n es, y la misma por la presente se Ilevar. convocada para que'se Ileve a cabo en todas partes del Estado de Nuevo Mexico y el Condado de Hidalgo y recinto electoral del condado el dia primero de junio 2010. Que la Elecci6n ser, aplicable a los partidos politicos a continuaci6n, a saber: el Partido Dem6crata y el Parlido Republicano; y La Elecci6n tendra el fin de permitir que el Partido Dem6crata y el Partido Republicano nominen candidatos para los cargos a eontinuaci6n: CARGOS FEDERALES Un Representante Para El Congreso De Los Estados Unidos Distrito 2 PLAZO DE DOS AIIOS CARGOS DEL ESTADO, DISTRITO,Y METROPOLITANOS Un Gobernador Plazo De Cuatro Afios Un GobernadorTeniente Plazo De Cuatro Afios Un Secretaria Del Estado Plazo De Cuatro Afios Un Auditor Del Estado Plazo De Cuatro Afios UnTesorero Del Estado Plazo De Cuatro Afios Un Procurador General Plazo De Cuatro Afios Un Comisario DeTerrenos Pdblicos Plazo De Cuatr0 ARos Tres Jueces De La Corte De Apelaciones Plazo De Ocho Aos Un Miembro De La Cdmara De Representantes Del Estado Distrito 38 Plazo De Dos Afios Un Miembro De La Comisi6n Regulatoria Distrito 5 Plazo De Cuatro Aos Cinco Miembros De La Comisi6n De Educacibn, Distrito 6 Plazo De Cuatro Ahos CARGOS EN EL CONDADO Dos Comisionados De Condado Posici6n 1 Posici6n 2 Un Asesor De Condado Un Alguacil De Condado "Un Juez De SucesionesYTestamentos Un Juez Magistrado Las declaraciones de candidatura por designaci6n y peticiones'de nominaci6n por convenci6n pre-primaria elecci6n para los cargos de representante en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos ser.n presentadas en la Oficina de la Secretaria de Estado el martes, 9 de febrero 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaracioneS para que siga desempefiando dos cargos de Juez de la Corte Suprema y tres cargos de Jueces de la Corte de Apelaciones para la elecci6n sern presentadas en la oficina de la Secretaria de Estado el martes, 9 de febrero 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones de la intenciSn del candidato por escrito en la elecciSn primaria para el cargo de Representante en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos, miernbros de |a tegis|atura de distritos en rnttiples condados, la comisi6n regulatoria, Jueces de Distrito, comisi6n p0blica de educaci6n y cualquier cargo pfiblico para el cual voten todos los votantes del estado, seran presentadas en la Oficina de la Secretaria de Estado el mattes, 9 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones a la intenci6n del candidato p0r escrito en la elecci6n primaria para los cargos de magistrados o miembros de la legislatura Iocalizados totalmente dentro de un condado o que consisten 0nicamente de un condado, ser,n presentadas en la oficina del respectivo escribano de condado el martes 9 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones de candidatura y peticiones de nominaci6n para distritos legislativos en varios condados, jueces de distrito, fiscales de distrito, comisidn p0blica de educaci6n y la comisi6n regulatoria serin presentadas en la Oficina de la Secretaria de Estado el martes, 16 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones de candidatura y peticiones de nominaci6n para juez magistrado serdn presentadas en la oficina del respectivo escribano de condado el martes, 16 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones de candidatura y cuotas de presentaciSn, o en vez de cuotas de presentaci6n, declaraciones en forma pauperis para todos los otros cargos ser.n presentadas en la ofiCina del escribano de condado el mattes, 16 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Las declaraciones de candidatura y peticiones de nominaci6n para candidatos que aspiran a la designaci6n pre- primaria eleccidn para cargos p0blicos dentro del estado o para el cargo de Representante en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos pero no la reciben, seran presentadas en la Oficina de la Secretaria de Estado durante las horas hdbiles normales ya sea diez dias a partir de la fecha de la convenci6n pre-primaria elecciSn o el mi6rcoles, 31 de marzo 2010 entre las 9:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. Ninguna de las convencione para designar candidatos se Ilevarb. a cabo a mas tardar el domingo, 21 de marzo 2010. Los partidos politicos presentar,n los certificados para designaciones de candidatos en la pre-elecci6n en ta Oficina de la Secretaria de Estado, no mts tardar, alas 5:00 p.m. el primer martes despus de la convenci6n del estado. FORMALIZADA EN LA OFICINA DE LA ESCRIBANA DEL CONDADO DE HIDALGO ESTE SEGUNDO DIA DE FEBRERO 2010. ENTESTIMONIO DE LO CUAL FIRMOY PONGO EL SELLO DE LA ESCRIBANA DEL CONDADO DE HIDALGO, NUEVO MEXICO. CARMEN ACOSTA ESCRIBANA DEL CONDADO F5/12c PO # 10-1'78 Plazo De Cuatro Aos Plazo De Cuatro Aos Plazo De Cuatro Aos. Plazo De Cuatro Aos Plazo De Cuatro Aos Plazo De Cuatro Aos ported sighting of a jaguar in Louisiana was in June 1886." The Donaldsonville Chief news- paper reported that "two men had killed a 200 pound animal that had killed several colts, cattle and dogs. The big cat was 'said to have resembled the jaguar or American tiger, more than the  panther'." \\;..4 In the same article a spokesman for the Louisi- {,{'-" ana Department of Wildlife  & Fisheries, an expert on / endangered species said, "Such anecdotal  evidence does not prove the big cats ac-'" ''i tually lived in Louisi- r ana Historically, the only big cat we have is the .... each state to record historical sightings. Using existing books, theses and museum collections, the teams meticulously recorded animal and plant sightings. They also examined real estate records to locate where the species had been sighted, .an d L cougar, which is the Florida pan- ther." Although Michael Robin- son, Center for Biological Diver- sity, was intrigued by the report, he relented by saying that mov- ing the animals to Louisiana would be a stretch because "most recovery plans are usually based on connections between existing populations. In the case of the Southwest, our closeness to Mexico warrants trying to estab- lish 'new habitat' for the species. The broad Texas expanse would pose a formidable obstacle to in- troducing them into Louisiana." He did agree the size of the" Louisiana coastal wetlands sounded like a good "reason to investigate it as a part of a pos- sible jaguar recovery plan." "Also suggesting nothing involving the jaguar's historical range should be "taken off the table". Anecdotal accounts of a sighting often get recorded as his- torical sightings. Such is the case with jaguar sighting reports in Arizona. When the U.S. Fish and Wild- life declared the jaguar as endan- gered in the U.S. they cited 64 jaguars as being "killed" in Ari- zona. However, in a review of jag- uar sightings, Adele L. Girmendonk, AZ Game and Fish Department (1994), concluded there had been "81 jaguar reports and one in Sonora from 1848 to March 1994. Twenty-six (26) of the total reports were evaluated as credible accounts." In a review of jaguar reports for New Mexico, C. Gregory Schmitt, NM Dept of Game and Fish (1998), found there had been 20 sighting reports of jaguars in New Mexico. Eleven (1 l) of these reports occurred between 1540 and 1906. One report, in- volving several priests reportedly killed by a jaguar in Santa Fe during the 1.540s, was so far- fetched it was not even consid- ered in the review. So how do 'anecdotal sightings get logged as "credible sightings"? During the 80's there was a rush within the environmental movement to see which comput- erized database would become the data collection model. The Nature Conservancy won with its Natural IJeritage Program, The funding to develop the database came from a variety of sources, including state and federal grants, as well as foundational and private sources. This computerized database stored information on endan- gered and special status species and the type of habitat where they were usually found. Once established as the best program, TNC sent a team, consisting of a botanist, zoologist, ecologist and data-processing specialist, into entered this information into the database. According to Ron Arnold's book, "Trashing the Economy", this database was "so fine-grained that in some states it records the precise location of individual eagle nests and clumps of glo- bally endangered plants." Once the database was es- tablished and fine-tuned, it was transferred to the individual states, along with employees who were trained by TNC to run the program. TNC documents state: "The Conservancy hires and trains at its national office a pro- gram coordinator and other pro- fessionals who then become the staff of the program in the capital of the state or nation where the program will be housed. The Conservancy supervises the staff under contract. The goal is for this staff to transfer to government employment (or otherwise perma- nently establish themselves) af- ter the initial phase, which is gen- erally two years. This transfer en- sures that expertise is not lost and is a pivotal part of the way in which the network functions." The information contained in this database is often used in land-use "planning and regula- tory functions." Available to state and federal agencies, this data has become a source of information for identifying endangered and special status species, their habi- tat requirements, and their distri- bution during the development of Environmental Assessments (EAs), or Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). This information is also available to the public, includ- ing the environmental commu- nity that uses this information t decide if adequate federal protec- tion has been provided for a spe- cies. Married to the National Bio- logical Survey (NBS) in the early 1990's, during.Bruce Babbitt's term as Secretary of the Interior, the National Heritage Program has grown by leaps and bounds during the last few decades. Although initially touted by Secretary Babbitt as a system that would provide more and better data, and an "understanding of a properly functioning ecosystem" that would enable federal "land managers to recognize ecosys- tems in trouble before the elev- enth- hour crisis", the NBS has done little to halt any lawsuits or "ecological train wrecks" this data system was supposed to pre- vent. One wildlife biologist once opined that species data con- tained in the Heritage Data Sys- tem is not always the most cur- ,/i rent science. If the employees ,J that are charged with keeping f! j the system updated are not en- I////tj tering the best available sci-  ence then this could prove to XY be a flaw in the system.  The U.S. Fish and Wild-  life Service anticipates pub- " '': lishing a proposed critical habitat designation for jaguar in the U.S. by January of 2011. In the meantime they will be taking comments on the proposed des- ignation until March 15, 2010. Will they use the "best avail- able science" on jaguars? Let's be honest folks, the agenda be- hind the Service's "prudent" de- cision for the jaguar is based on "historical information" which fits snuggling into a plan called the Wildlands Network. All the lawsuits by the Cen- ter for Biological Diversity are not meant to protect jaguars. This species is just another of its surrogates to implement their "plan" and the Heritage Data Base is used to come up, with this "historical science". As Dr. Rabonowitz so elo- quently stated; "The recent move by the Fish and Wildlife Service means that the sparse federal funds devoted to protecting wild animals will be wasted on efforts that cannot help save jaguars. It also stands to weaken the Endan- gered Species Act, because if criti- cal habitat is redefined as any place where a species might ever have existed, and where you or I might want it to exist again, then the door i open for many other senseless efforts to bring back long-lost creatures." The Endangered Species Act is their tool, the citizen's lawsuit provision is their means and the Service is playing into their hand. These radical organizations will Continue to hammer the econo- mies of the small, rural commu- nities that must live under their "Rewilding" scheme and our fed- eral agencies will continue to ca- pitulate to this agenda as ex- ampled by their declaration that critical habitat for jaguars is now prudent. Sue Krentz and her husband Rob ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeast Arizona. The family has ranched in Ari- zona for more than I00 years. Judy Reeler and her hus- band Murray ranch in the Peloncillo Mountains in South- west New Mexico. The family has ranched in New Mexico for more than 100 years. Both ladies are dedicated members of the Jaguar Conser- vation Team. For additional information call: Judy Reeler: 575-548-2520 {00AMoalit & PAINTY Insurance Claims * Expert Color Match Fiberglass Repair Buffing Detailing All Makes, All Models (including motorcycles) IREE Estimates Lou Montenegro Wabash Street (across from McDonald's) L0rdsburg, NM 88045 Call 575-741-0791 PrOBLeM: 214 E. MO[EL DRIVE IN LORDSBURG I We Will Be Saturday, February 13 9AM-6P M sunday, February 14 9 00,lVI - 6 PM = We will be making workplace deliveries on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 11-12). Special Sale Rates on' Thurs & Fri will apply! Free 542.8