Sportsmen have been at the forefront of the “environmental movement” in protecting and restoring habitat and the flora and fauna of our world long before there was even the word “environmentalist”appeared in our language-around 1915.

The false dichotomy that is being promoted for short sighted political reasons between the “hook and bullet club” and assumed moral superiority of those who won’t get blood on their hands reached a point of intolerability for me with the Delisting of the Louisiana Black Bear(LBB).

Just how I came to being a named party in a lawsuit with the Federal Government to overturn Louisiana’s effort to remove what is felt by most State Wildlife Department as onerous, dictatorial, bureaucratic regulations surrounding Listed species of the Endangered Species Act(ESA) is a rather long and convoluted story.

The success of sportsmen in first preserving the habitat of the big woods of the Tensas Region began over 40 years ago then was followed by sportsmen then working in a cooperative not confrontational manner to restore what was once a very rare animal-the Louisiana Black Bear(LBB).

These accomplishments are something that rose up from the hears of our regions sportsmen — not from the mount Olympus of Washington, D.C. The delisting by the previous federal government seemed to me to be an intentional move to use Louisiana’s desire to come out from under dictatorial federal requirements in the management of wildlife within a State to prepare a “victorious example of the success of the ESA” for the next President of the United States.

Everyone in Washington, D.C. just knew who that would be! The stated purpose of the ESA is to restore the habitat and species in which it live by using the “best science available”. I am 100% in favor of this concept. The ESA also allows for other actions besides as a Listed Species(i.e. Endangered or Threatened) to accomplish the restorative goals of the ESA.

The LBB was listed after years of controversy over the hybridization invalidation of the LBB as a valid subspecies covered by the ESA. Published reason for listing specifically state that the Feds had no idea what the genetic makeup of any bear in Louisiana was; yet the LBB was listed as “the only practical means available for protecting any possibly remaining unique genetic material”.

The Feds possessed in 2017the most comprehensive genetic information on all bears in the region; yet, had to employ out right lies and false science to call the delisting “best science available” Genetics is the very foundation of life itself.

The importance of genetic information is to be determined by science not by lawyers or politicians. Amazingly, the present Administration continues to spend resources continuing the False Science claims of the previous Administration; all the while as millions of suitable Federal lands in are region await the political will to fully restore this symbolic Game Animal.

All civil issues brought before a Court are capable of being resolved by cooperative agreement between the parties rather than by judicial determination.

We can do better the question is will our politicians allow us or will the fires of an uncivil war continued to be feed by polarized political agendas.

Dr. Michael Caire

West Monroe

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