Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tales From the Over Regulated State # 22 - When Federal Agencies Ignore Federal Law

There was a complex case of Federal overreach in the last month, in which the US Fish and Wildlife Service seized control of 77 Million acres of Alaska to gain Federal control over Alaskan wildlife.  The president of the Sportsmen's Alliance, Evan Heusinkveld, said, “We’re talking about an area larger than 45 of our 50 states”.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and its appointed director, Dan Ashe, have issued new regulations closing 77 million acres of land in Alaska to state wildlife management, including effective predator control and other established means and methods of hunting and trapping.
Historically, control of the wildlife in every state has been left to the states; we buy our hunting and fishing licenses from our state, not the  It's a recognition that the wildlife doesn't belong to landowners, it belongs to the people closest to it, the state.  In this case, when Alaska was granted statehood in 1959, they were guaranteed ownership and control of game populations by Congress.  No other state is more legally entitled to manage its game populations, including on federal lands within its border, than Alaska.
It is spelled out in multiple laws and agreements, and was debated three times by Congress, ultimately resulting in giving Alaska precedence, including:
  • the Alaska Statehood Act (1959),
  • the Alaska Lands Act (1980) which created most of the 77-million-acres of refuges at the center of this unprecedented power grab, and
  • the Refuge Improvement Act (1997) which also made hunting and fishing priority public uses on all refuge lands
With the vested power of Congress, these acts were clearly approved.
So that's three separate Federal laws the FWS is violating.  You might ask why?  Why now?  It turns out it's the same sordid story as we find everywhere else with this administration: cronyism.  Undue influence by left wing groups; in this case the HSUS - the Humane Society of the United States.  Behind the scenes, the HSUS – the most powerful anti-hunting lobby in the world and a group that despises all forms of hunting and hunters – was thanked by FWS director Ashe in a tweet.

"For ... ALL Americans" except the public's voice has been systematically silenced.  This was pure, banana republic, bureaucratic power grab, backed by the HSUS, an organization the country almost completely disagrees with.  In my mind, I can hear the FWS director Ashe saying,  " So what if we broke three acts of Congress?  We're the Feds!  Who's gonna stop us?  You... punk?".
The stench gets stronger. The rule changes include provisions that abruptly deny American citizens of their collective voice relative to management of the National Wildlife Refuge through the following:
  • Doubling the length of emergency closures of refuge lands from 30 to 60 days
  • Removing requirements for public hearings on such closures
  • Complete elimination of the maximum length of a temporary closure
[emphasis added: SiG]
For the second point, they're saying the public has no voice whatsoever in how their wildlife refuge is managed.  Typical.  As for the third point, if there is no maximum length, then how can it be a temporary closure?  I'm sure you can envision a temporary closure that extends into years or decades just as easily as I can.  When has a federal regulation not been stretched to benefit those in control?
If Ashe and Pacelle were being honest with their Tweets and blogs, they’d say what these rule changes actually were: a successful usurpation of power by the federal government to advance an anti-hunting agenda in the bulwark state for hunters’ rights; an offensive move that will allow them to invade Western states and assume control of large swaths of federal public lands to eliminate hunting, trapping and other management methods with ease. 
Since this a violation of at least those three federal laws, in a sane world, this should be easily defeated.  It does, however, require going to court, which invokes the massive legal expenses that are incurred whenever anyone fights the infinite checkbook of the  The Sportsmen's Alliance has already filed protests about this ruling.  I don't know if this ruling is a "done deal" or if it's open for comments, but it appears to be a final ruling.  The FWS, like every other federal agency, is required to follow the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946 when they announce new rules.  I've been unable to find anything open for comment on Regulation.Gov, so it appears this may be too late to comment on.  Or they figure that since they just violated three other major federal laws, what's one more?
An Alaskan Grizzly (source


  1. See US Constitution, Article 1 Section 8 Paragraph 17. Enough said.

  2. There is no reason a President Trump could not have them designated a terrorist group and sent to Gitmo.

    1. What's that saying about killing one of the admirals every so often, "as a lesson to the others"? Same idea.

  3. The criminals in power don't care anymore. They aren't even TRYING to make their conduct appear legal. They have surmised that they can do whatever they wish with impunity. There is no peaceful solution to the problem 'we the people' face. Those in power refuse to listen to us...indeed they blatantly ban us from speaking out. The only option that remains is the only option the criminals in power understand and respect....raw blunt force.

  4. I am a hunter and I have hunted in Alaska. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that 99.999% of Americans will never be affected by this. But the government failing to comply with immigration laws affects all of us, 100% of us. Re; the recent bus accident in Louisiana. Just the tip of this iceberg.

    1. Taken as the narrow view; that is, just this takeover of land in Alaska by the US FWS, you're absolutely right.

      Taken as the broader view of regulatory overreach, an agency overruling laws passed by congress, and you have a classic "camel's nose in the tent". Every American can eventually be affected. Who says this stops in Alaska? Why can't they do the same thing across the entire Western US, where the Federal Government owns an average of 2/3 of the land? Who says it stops with national wildlife refuges, or national parks? Once an agency goes beyond its constitutional authority, what's to stop them? Maybe some agency head says, "no, that's too far", but you can bet your butt some successor in the future will do it.

      Who says this stops with the FWS? Arguably, the FCC's takeover of the internet, despite congress telling the FCC they couldn't, is the same sort of overreach. How about the EPA saying their justification for "navigational waterways" extends to mud puddles anywhere in the country, like they've been doing?

      Simply put, the constitution and the regulatory processes were put in place to protect us from an administration like this one.

  5. Blunt Force, angry blunt force, kick ass blunt force. That's what it's gonna take, so quit whining and get ready!!!!

  6. Civil War is coming folks - weather you want it or not, the Progs will BRING it to you... they mean to utterly destroy you and yours.

    You should be making a list and thinking about how you will start crossing off "things" on said list.

  7. When the Government breaks the very laws that it has written to protect the people from tyranny, then the people have a "right" to put an end to that lawlessness by any and all means necessary. We are beyond the point of actually voting our way out of this mess.Things are going to get sporty real quick in this country. After Hillary takes Office, no doubt the fix is in, things are going to start to accelerate. Keep your friends close and your powder dry it's going to get real.

  8. A big chunk of Maine was just designated as federal land, I forget what exactly it's taken as. We can thank ultra leftist Roxanne Quimby of Burts bees for this. Obama did this over the objections of the locals, and our state reps, as well as the congressional rep for the district, and both senators.

  9. They stand behind their Blue Wall and laugh, because they know the Only Ones will do WHATEVER they are told, as long as that paycheck keeps comin' in. And that includes the noble Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Brevard County pig sty.

  10. This is what they did in Maine...

    Thanks for this, I had not heard about another land grab.

    1. Interesting piece. It says that Roxanne Quimby from Burt's Bees owned the land and it sounds like she signed the title over to the US department of the interior.

      The proclamation came one day after Roxanne Quimby, founder of the Burt’s Bee line of personal care products, ceded ownership of the land to the U.S. Department of the Interior. She also furnished a $20 million endowment for the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, promising to raise an additional $20 million for the fund.

      I'll look into this some more.

  11. There is no constitutional authority for congress to own/control land just to do so. They can own land for military bases, government buildings, etc. but not just to prevent the people or the states from doing what they want to it. That's always been true, and they've been ignoring that since the first national park/forest was created.

    We need an amendment to the constitution that when anyone in the government does something that is eventually found unconstitutional, they lose their job for life, and can never reenter federal service (and can't vote in federal elections), and loses their pension/retirement fund (at least that part of it paid for by taxes). So if a congress critter votes to pass a bill that is later declared unconstitutional, he loses his position. Same with any employee (I'd limit that to those who "issue" the order, their names are on the title page).

  12. Question is where are they going to get the manpower to enforce it over 77 million acres?

  13. Question is where are they going to get the manpower to enforce it over 77 million acres?

  14. It is illegal to 'poach' the kings' game. The king just added 77M acres to his kingdom. The penalty for poaching is death, perhaps not physical death but economic certainly. Good luck to us all.