The Outdoor Hub commented in its Wednesday edition on President Obama's July 1 announcement, while in Tanzania, that by using an Executive Order he had established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, a multi-billion dollar business, according to the White House fact sheet. In addition, the U.S. Department of State will provide $10 million in regional and bilateral training and technical assistance in Africa to combat wildlife trafficking. This will include approximately $3 million in bilateral assistance to South Africa, $3 million in bilateral assistance to Kenya, and $4 million in regional assistance throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Executive Order is in addition to what is already being done by the U.S. to address the problem, said the report, by James Swan. While wildlife trafficking, especially involving the poaching of elephants and rhinos, is certainly a big problem abroad in Africa, what about wildlife trafficking and poaching here on U.S. soil?
Sequesters, budget cuts, hiring freezes, etc. have all resulted in less environmental police officers/game wardens in the field throughout this country. The report noted that there are no more than 1,000 federal game wardens in all agencies, and there are only about 7,000 game wardens for the entire U.S. landscape and coastline, from Canada to Mexico and from the East Coast to West Coast. It's not many. "This is about as many wardens in the woods for the entire nation as the NYPD puts out on the streets for New Year's Eve celebrations," the report said.
Massachusetts has its share of cowardly poachers who slaughter deer illegally at night with lights and run deer with dogs but there's also a shortage of environmental police in the field to bring them to justice. More....