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Re: E-M:/ DNR TO HOST BEAR MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM



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Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>
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Folks,

A note:

I wrote:
"The concept of social carrying capacity is the worst type of black box
pseudoscience."

I now write:

I should clarify that I view social carrying capacity as a management issue,
not a scientific one.  I have no quarrel with, and indeed support, sound
investigation of the relationships between human attitudes and behaviors and
resource management.  More research on the many facets of human/wildlife
interactions is clearly desirable.

However, the issue of concern is when a so-called "carrying capacity", based
upon existing degradative conditions, including mis-informed individuals and
unnecessarily destructive human activities becomes the management target.
Nearly always, the wildlife species in questions must make the change in the
face of human economic activity. One of the best examples of where this has
occurred is in the grizzly bear issue in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
In this case, grizzly population targets are based upon politically
delineated geographic areas; outside of those areas, the bears would be
subject to control measures despite the fact that this was originally bear
habitat (until the very recent past when sprawl and industrial resource
extraction moved in).  The same is true for Michigan where sprawl, oil and
gas extraction, industrial logging, wetland drainage and mining and
recreational developments have fragmented nearly every square mile of the
Lower Peninsula.  Species such as bear are finding fewer and fewer suitable
locations with appropriate habitat.  Thankfully, the bear is not threatened
or endangered in the Upper Midwest.  The situation is not so bright for lynx
and red-shouldered hawks.

Understanding the beliefs and experiences of humans as they relate to
wildlife is furthered by scientific inquiry.  Determining the most
appropriate population target for wildlife species is a political decision,
however.  In Michigan and elsewhere, resource management activities too
often fall on the wildlife species involved in the human/wildlife conflict,
rather then on the human behaviors that create the physical interactions, or
excessive population levels of the species in the first place.  Seems that
social carrying capacities, or similar metrics that ostensibly model the
human/wildlife interaction are used inappropriately when they become the
primary basis for determining wildlife management targets that otherwise
should be ecologically-based.


David J. Zaber
dzaber@chorus.net

----- Original Message -----
From: David Zaber <dzaber@chorus.net>
To: <anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org>; <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2000 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ DNR TO HOST BEAR MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> What about Social Carrying Capacity for anti-environmental politicians?
> Have we reached that yet?
>
> I'd suggest that in Michigan, we are WAY beyond the point where the
> Engler/Barcia/Knollenberg/Smith et al. subspecies (sub sub sub species)
> needs to be "managed" to retirement.
>
> The concept of social carrying capacity is the worst type of black box
> pseudoscience.
>
> Thanks Anne, for daylighting this silliness.
>
> David J. Zaber
> dzaber@chorus.net
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org>
> To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
> Sent: Friday, February 18, 2000 11:02 AM
> Subject: E-M:/ DNR TO HOST BEAR MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM
>
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Enviro-Mich folks:
> >
> > Here is a press release from DNR on a Bear Management Symposium
> > -- I call it to your attention in part because it may be of
> > interest, but also because one of the topics is one that makes my
> > skin crawl -- the concept of "Social Carrying Capacity for
> > Bears".  I have a lot of respect for Ben Peyton who is doing this
> > presentation and don't mean to take anything away from the
> > quality of his work.
> >
> > What I am focussing on, however, is that this concept has been
> > out there for a long time in our DNR with regard to bears in
> > particular.  "Social Carrying Capacity" showed up in the Pere
> > Marquette State  Forest Plan in 1994 with this description (page
> > 95):
> >
> > "Black Bear - Bear populations should be maintained at a level
> > where they are tolerated and appreciated by humans. This social
> > carrying capacity is lower than the biological capacity of the
> > land to support them.  Thus, different scare techniques, fencing,
> > trap and translocation, and hunting are valuable management
> > techniques to keep populations in check and to keep bear from
> > losing their fear of humans."
> >
> > I know of no other creature for which this set of criteria are
> > raised. Michiganders have invaded the home territories of bear in
> > increasing numbers (and the symposium raises land use as well)
> > with our garbage cans and dumps and bird feeders and other bear
> > attractions, and when the bears react the way anyone should
> > expect, the BEAR is the problem.  Yet we have somewhere around
> > 67,000 deer/car collisions every year in Michigan with deer
> > causing more human fatalities than any other animal, we have deer
> > eating farmers crops and spreading bovine TB, we have deer
> > invading homes and wreaking havoc, and NOBODY talks about a
> > "Social Carrying Capacity" for deer!
> >
> > For that matter, what about the "Social Carrying Capacity" for
> > ORVs or jet skis -- most non-users of these vehicles absolutely
> > despise them, but somehow those who use them assert that they
> > have rights to make pollution and noise.  Heck, the bears don't
> > even spill oil into waterways, they're just looking for food in
> > places where people have taken away their habitat!
> >
> > Just thought I would share my ranting and raving -- Anne Woiwode
> >
> > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 17 FEB 00 CONTACT:
> > Tim Reis, 517-373-1263
> >
> > DNR TO HOST BEAR MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM
> >
> > LANSING--The Michigan Department of  Natural Resources will
> > host a bear management symposium, "People, Bears and
> > Challenges for the 21st Century," Friday, March 10, 2000, at
> > the Northfield Hilton Hotel in Troy.
> > A very distinguished panel of bear managers and research
> > biologists will discuss the various human cultures and
> > beliefs, economic factors and land use trends that will
> > influence future bear management in North America and other
> > parts of the world.
> > "This is an excellent opportunity for bear hunters,
> > interested citizens and wildlife professionals to learn
> > about the future of bear management," said Tim Reis, DNR
> > Bear Management Specialist. "The entire one-day program is
> > free to the public."
> > In addition to hearing a presentation by Dr. Dave Garselis
> > about his research of five of the world's eight bear
> > species, participants will learn about bear research and
> > management activities in eastern Canada, the Great Lakes
> > region and the southeastern U.S. The concept of managing
> > bears at a level determined by public attitudes also will be
> > examined.
> > The presentations will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until
> > the lunch break at 11:30. The afternoon session begins at 1
> > p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions
> > during a panel discussion from 4:30 to 5 p.m.
> > "The Michigan Bear Hunters Association deserves a lot
> > of credit for helping us organize the symposium," said Reis.
> > "They made it possible for some of the most knowledgeable
> > people in the world about bear to come to Michigan for this
> > special event."
> >
> > Tentative Program Agenda
> > People, Bears and Challenges for the 21st Century
> > Friday, March 10, 2000
> > Northfield Hilton Hotel
> > 5500 Crooks Road at I-75
> > Troy, Michigan
> >
> > 10:00 - 10:45   Bears of the World--Dr. Dave Garshelis,
> > Minnesota DNR
> >
> > 10:45 - 11:30   Black Bear Management Issues in
> > Southeastern U.S.--Dr. Frank T. van Manen, U.S. Geological
> > Survey, Appalachian Field Lab
> >
> > 11:30 - 1:00    Lunch
> >
> > 1:00 - 1:45     Bear Research and Management in Eastern Canada--Dr.
Martyn
> Obard
> > , Ontario MNR
> >
> > 1:45 - 2:30     Black Bear Population Dynamics in the Great
> > Lakes and Northeastern U.S.--Dr. Larry Visser, Michigan DNR
> >
> > 2:30 - 3:00     Break
> >
> > 3:00 - 3:45     Land Use Trends in Michigan--Mr. Bill Rustem, Public
> Sector Cons
> > ultants, Lansing
> >
> > 3:45 - 4:30     A Social Carrying Capacity for Bears--Dr. Ben
> > Peyton, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU
> >
> > 4:30 - 5:00     Panel Discussion
> >
> > ###
> >
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