They’ll Come for Your Big Game Species Next: a 2-Year-Old Warning Coming True

In 2016 CAES Board Member Val Cecama-Hogsett Warned That Big Game Species Would be the “next” Targets of the Livestock Industry.


Image result for Mountain goat and Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep, public domain photo



It seems by this article “Grand Teton plan would trap or kill goats to help bighorns
by Mead Gruver at the Associated Press on December 04, 2018 that mountain goats are now facing a grim fate because they are the new scapegoats for the livestock industry and the habitat damage and loss for bighorn sheep.

The article states that “The problem, according to the park, is Grand Teton’s 100 or so mountain goats threaten a herd of about 80 bighorn sheep.” The park is approximately 310,000 acres, 485 square miles, hardly too small of a space for less than 200 animals.

As with our wild horses who are blamed for damage done by commercial livestock, these mountain goats will be the next victims of corporate greed.

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

The Excuses

From the article you can see the story being built:

1. “The thriving goats spread disease and compete with the bighorns for food.”
However the article lightly glosses over a much more serious threat to bighorn sheep in the United States: “Pneumonia, which also can be carried by herds of domestic sheep in the backcountry, is an especially severe threat for bighorn sheep populations in Wyoming and elsewhere.”
2. “Mountain goats and bighorn sheep are both native to the Rocky Mountain region. Grand Teton’s mountain goats aren’t native to the park, however. They descended from mountain goats introduced southwest of the park in the 1960s and 1970s.”

So, native, but not native because they have migrated, or were a native species of this country moved for hunting and have naturally adapted? Were they ever there? YES, they were and they are not a different species that was historically found there.

This is again the similar argument made against our wild horses. They are native to North American, but if they went extinct for a short period at the end of the Pleistocene Era, and ones that had moved to Europe via the Bering Land Bridge were then brought back to this continent…does that mean they lose their native species?
3. “The goats are reproducing rapidly. Now might be the best time to reduce or eliminate the animals before they’re too numerous to bring under control, according to the Park Service.”

Ah yes, the very familiar ‘breeding like rabbits’ theory to create a myth of overpopulation. What the article does not discuss, which is the same thing we see when the livestock industry screams 60, 70, 80 thousands of wild horses (There has NEVER been an actual census done), is the number of livestock that depend on the habitat, of effect the species of concern.

There are 94 million livestock wandering these lands,  and the damage done to land must be wild horses, the forage eaten and needed for bighorn must have been taken by mountain goats, not because of pneumonia, the habitat loss for sage grouse is wild horses, not livestock or other corporate uses such as mining, roads etc, the destruction of apex predators, because they are a danger to humans….not because they eat corporate livestock profits.
Two years ago Val Cecama-Hogsett, a Citizens Against Equine Slaughter board member and avid wild horse advocate said she was sitting back and looking at a bigger picture. She asked herself “What happens if we can’t save them?” Speaking of the wild horses. The answer was clear to her then and she tried to reach out to other wildlife groups and hunters. She warned, “they will come after your animals next.”
The article seems to be a foreboding example of how the livestock industry is now pitting themselves against the hunters of the west by stating “Unfortunately, state wildlife agencies sell nonnative wildlife viewing opportunities to the public,” Ramey said. “This is not a zoo in the wilderness. It should really be for native wildlife.”
We have to wonder how far the rest of the advocates for wildlife, environment and now even the hunters will allow the livestock industry to continue to run the show, making decisions, designing studies with their bought and paid scientists, educated in corrupt universities funded by the likes of the Koch Brothers, and voted on by “collaborative” good old boy groups all behind closed doors.
The biggest problem for wild horse advocates is that we are the poor cousins of many causes who oppose the livestock industry. But Cecama-Hogsett warns, “waging war with the hunters of this country might be biting off even more than they (the livestock producers in the west) can chew. They might get a backlash they have never seen or expected”