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As wildfires Incinerate Four Million Acres, California Attempts to Protect Wildlife by Banning Rat Poison

As wildfires Incinerate Four Million Acres, California Attempts to Protect Wildlife by Banning Rat Poison

Sacramento’s pursuit of green justice fails to protect both mountain lions and humans effectively.

Wildfires continue to burn throughout California. Over 4 million acres have burnt so far, and one of the blazes now exceeds 1 million acres in size.

A wildfire that’s been burning in Northern California since the middle of August reached a new staggering record on Monday, becoming the first blaze in state history to scorch over 1 million acres.

The U.S. Forest Service said as of Monday morning the August Complex has grown to at least 1,002,097 acres and is 54% contained. The new mark came a day after the total area of land burned by California wildfires this year passed 4 million acres, more than double the previous record.

The blaze is burning through portions of Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, and Colusa counties.

Loss of so much acreage will surely have a devastating effect on the state’s ecosystems and the wildlife that depends upon them. However, instead of addressing more sensible land management policy, California’s legislators have decided to protect mountain lions and other apex predators from rat poison instead.

California became the first state in the nation to ban super-toxic rat poisons that end up killing endangered and protected wild animals like mountain lions, owls and hawks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

“Rodenticides are deadly for California’s mountain lions and other precious wildlife across the state,” Newsom said in a news release.

“My father was a naturalist and a strong advocate for the preservation of mountain lions, and I grew up loving these cats and caring about their well-being. He would be proud to know that California is taking action to protect mountain lion populations and other wildlife from the toxic effects of rodenticides.”

Furthermore, the rat populations have expanded with the homeless encampments. The new law means that rat-borne diseases are likely to become more common.

“By pulling these four highly toxic rat poisons from the hands of pest control operators, California is giving sensitive species like mountain lions a bit of a fighting chance,” Debra Chase, chief executive of the Mountain Lion Foundation, said in a written statement..

Pest control companies, the California Chamber of Commerce, apartment management associations and other business groups opposed the bill. They say the poisons are critical to controlling a rat and mouse population that has exploded in some major California cities, often in low-income areas and around homeless camps that have poor sanitation and piles of trash.

Legal Insurrection readers will recall the typhus outbreak in Los Angles and the concerns that bubonic plague cases could also arise in California.

The public health situation is so serious that one pharmaceutical company had to carve out an exemption for itself to keep its products free from rat contamination.

In an emailed statement, Amgen said it worked to secure the exemption because it simply couldn’t identify another method for sending rats to meet their maker—or one would meet the FDA’s standard, at least.

“While Amgen supports the intent of the bill, we have not yet found a reliable alternate technology that both satisfies the requirements of the bill and the [FDA’s] safety and sanitation requirements for our facilities,” a spokeswoman said in the email. “We will continue to pilot emerging pest control technologies in the hope of identifying alternatives that will also ensure our facilities remain compliant with FDA requirements.”

One final thought on Sacramento’s prioritizing mountain lions or humans. As the population grows from the implementation of ill-considered policies, the animals will expand their prey options.

Residents have reported a mountain lion roaming around Pacifica, California was shared online. It was also caught on video surveillance watching two kids riding their bikes in the streets.

Timothy Kerrisk, who initially thought it was someone’s German Shepherd, shared how the cougar was in his front yard as he screamed at the two children to run inside. The mountain lion then turned around, approached Timothy, then jumped over his gate towards a neighbor’s truck.

Timothy said that he chased off the creature until it returned towards the hill. He also shared that he was terrified when he saw the mountain lion and acted out of “pure adrenaline.

Sacramento’s pursuit of green justice fails to protect both mountain lions and humans effectively.


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2smartforlibs | October 6, 2020 at 9:05 am

If Liberalfonia would have got it together years ago rather than playing god this wouldn’t be an issue would it?

Emperor Nero (Newsome) fiddles as California burns.

    Ulysses in reply to dystopia. | October 6, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Didn’t the banning of household cats in the Middle Ages lead to an uptick in the rodent population. That in turn caused a Bubonic Plague outbreak.

    Now are faced with a generation of Indolent Idolaters, utterly unprepared for adversity. Bunker Biden’s solution to cornonavirus is to hide in Mommy Jill’s basement.

California became the first state in the nation to ban super-toxic rat poisons that end up killing endangered and protected wild animals like mountain lions, owls and hawks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

There you go. Newsom is busy protecting himself again.

“Rodenticides are deadly for California’s mountain lions and other precious wildlife across the state,” Newsom said in a news release.

That’s not the relevant question. The question is are they deadly for rats? If so, are they likely to harm humans? If not, then few further questions need to be asked.

    DSHornet in reply to Milhouse. | October 6, 2020 at 10:03 am

    The problem comes in where the cougars eat rodents that are full of warfarin and dying so the cat now has the warfarin in its body. If the cat eats enough rats full of the anticoagulant, the cat is affected.

    The question then becomes, do you actually want vermin population increasing because you didn’t want to put out the rat poison?

      MajorWood in reply to DSHornet. | October 6, 2020 at 10:56 am

      The absence of mountain lions certainly explains Baltimore’s rat problem. /s

      We have Coyotes using the rails to trails paths as easy access into PDX for kitty snax. If only they would snack on the homeless then I think a better balance could be achieved.

      Geologist in reply to DSHornet. | October 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      I do not know about these super-powerful drugs, but the “standard” warfarin would be metabolized by the rat, and when the cat ate the rat, the cat would not be ingesting the warfarin. At least, that is what my vet told me, about 20 years ago.

        lichau in reply to Geologist. | October 6, 2020 at 8:50 pm

        As did mine. What kills a one pound rat doesn’t do much to a 100 lb cat.
        Hawks, eagles, owls — another matter.
        Just CA nuttiness. I live here.

Suppose California lost all its mountain lions. Worst case. Who exactly would be harmed?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Milhouse. | October 6, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Mountain lions are predators and help control the population of other animals. So, their disappearance would throw things out of balance. No, I am not some eco-freak or a PETA member. It’s just how nature works.

    freespeechfanatic in reply to Milhouse. | October 6, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    You would see a massive increase in population of mule deer and deer ticks.

    Dathurtz in reply to Milhouse. | October 6, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Check out some of the research on Top-Down Forcing in ecosystems.

UnCivilServant | October 6, 2020 at 10:10 am

Amgen, here’s a simple solution – move out of Commiefornia.

Bam, a lot of problems go away. Just remember to not vote for the same nonsense wherever you relocate to.

The cat in that top picture looks like he’s read this post and is thinking, “Are you littering me?”

Plus the Bobcat fire, very near me, is now suspected of having been started by a malfunctioning? defective? SoCal Edison facility. You can bet that the ones holding the bag will be the rate payers. Again.

Until power utilities are held accountable for their negligence, incompetence and maybe malfeasance, nothing will change. There are people who could be held personally accountable for this but…

Start arresting some company executives and making them pay big fines and imprisonment following very public trials. This has nothing to do with the climate but with human malfeasance and neglect.

    Tom Servo in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 6, 2020 at 11:30 am

    punishing PG&E is a fine emotional response, but not a very logical one. PG&E has already gone through bankruptcy. They’ve been totally controlled by the State for so long that no one except politicized idiots hold jobs anywhere in that company. So what does California do if everyone in PG&E just walks away and says “too hard, we quit, you take it!” PG&E has been begging the State to take it over for years, the State won’t because there’s probably $100 billion in liabilities that would come along as part of the deal.

    and regarding defective substations – what happens if PG&E says “well we just don’t have the money to fix them, so we’re shutting them all down.” That would be the “safe” thing to do – just shut down all power to rural CA completely.

California: Forever on the bleeding edge of screwing up royally.

I own property in the NM mountains, nice little town on the edge of BLM on one side, National Forrest on another and a reservation on a third side. Lots of wildlife activity, Super cool.

Unfortunately folks keep feeding the mule deer. This increases their population as they will breed to the level of available food. Of course the deer have predators; mountain lions.

No one would countenance an ordinance banning feeding wildlife….until the mountain lions came and started eating easier prey within the town limits.

They are majestic animals but dangerous as heck, Can’t blame them for doing their job. If we want to coexist with nature we have to humble ourselves and remember that these creatures are not in a Disney cartoon, we can’t ‘alter’ their instincts so we must alter our own behaviors.

This is so irritating. You know who is a big user of rat poisons? Pot growers. ILLEGAL pot growers. They care nothing for the impact on wildlife. Where do you think these animals get exposed to the rats who died by poison? Predators don’t hang out a lot in suburban areas – they spend most of their time in the wilderness, where the pot growers are.

My source is a personal conversation with a Dept of Fish and Wildlife agent (friend of a relative.) His job was studying the reason for Spotted Owl deaths, and that’s what he discovered through necropsies. Logging and loss of habitats weren’t primarily killing the owls, rat poison was. The Cartels run a lot of pot operations and do whatever is necessary to make and keep their profit.

I’m not saying predators can’t be exposed to a suburban source for the poisons. I just never see the MOST LIKELY source ever addressed. Not a popular reason with the state government.

    CKYoung in reply to B Buchanan. | October 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    B Buchanan, if the general public knew what happened in/with these illegal pot grows, there would be more of a call to shut them down. Instead of tackling illegal grows, California government would rather legalize cannabis, increasing demand and decreasing any interest in shutting them down. The downstream effects go all the way to rat poison and mountain lions along with many other detrimental outcomes. There is competition among illegal growers, resulting in conflict and violence. Some of the devastating fires are the direct result of illegal grows, whether carelessness or arson. gavin newsome and his ilk deal with problems the same way the old lady who swallowed a fly did.

      B Buchanan in reply to CKYoung. | October 6, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      My son-in-law was an LEO in Humboldt county for years (they just moved out of state!) and the pot grows are an open secret. They water their grows by pumping directly from streams and rivers and during drought years they will dry up the smaller waterways and greatly reduce the rivers. Never mentioned publicly though because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Funny, millions and millions in product has been lost due to the fires this year.

Democrats banning rat poison is a simple matter of self-preservation.

Large predators and human habitation so not mix. We have millenia of evidence to prove that. Humans and large predators simply can not live in the same habitat without problems.

Now, the relevant question here is where the cougars when they encountered the poisoned rodents? Unless the rodents traveled miles from human habitation, after ingesting the poison, then the cats were in areas of human habitation. When wild predators become comfortable in areas of relatively concentrated human habitation, then people have to mount armed over-watches when their children play outdoors. Of course, that will not protect against rodent borne disease and other rodent destruction. There is simply NO positive upside for human beings in this policy.

amatuerwrangler | October 6, 2020 at 3:21 pm

I would be surprised if there is one actual documented example of a lion dying due to an overdose of warfarin via ingested rat (or other rodent). I live among lions, there is one, maybe two who visit the property on a regular basis; the neighbors have found them on their security video so often that not it is not of interest to them any more. I have one of the last remaining ponds this year and thus get nightly visits from all kinds of wildlife (4-leg variety). They seem to realize that jumping weight class to bother the horses is a bad idea, but those with sheep and goats have found that bringing them in for the night keeps the herd at full strength.

My problem is ground squirrels. The burrows are a real hazard to the horses, and they go underground at night, when the lion feeds. I poison the hell out of the squirrels.

I guess I am going to have to stop for squirrel bait on my trips to NV for ammunition.

I don’t understand, California already banned rat poison. It’s easier to buy a handgun than rat poison in the state. It can only be purchased and applied by a state-licensed professional under tightly-controlled circumstances.

Mountain Lions are indigenous to California. Leftists are not. Sooo, teach the lions to eat rich lefties. Sell tickets, free during domestic unrest.
CA already gives out free bread.

How to teach the little lions to roar in Latin is not yet known.

This should work out as well as banning logging and clearing underbrush.