Historically, there have been countless occurrences of name confusion between federal and state wildlife enforcement agencies. The current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement (USFWS/OLE) was previously recognized as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Law Enforcement (USFWS/DLE) until the name change designation from late in the last century.
We are 17 years into the 21st century and it’s time for a revolutionary change.
The new film called “Wind River” identifies confusing name designation with key character roles
If you look up “Jeremy Renner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent,” a series of reviews of this thriller film that shows the key character Cory Lambert as a “U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent” on assignment as a “predator hunter” to find a “pack of mountain lions” that harasses local livestock. Lambert shoots a pack of wolves as the film unfolds. He then finds a dead body in a remote setting and Elizabeth Olsen, as an FBI agent enters the scene to investigate.
In my 23 years of covert field experience as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent, I never knew or met any similar type agent engaged in predator control of mountain lions or other “predators” such as wolves, as some branches of government refer to them. The duties of USFWS Special Agents are to enforce federal wildlife laws and not engage in predator control.
There are historical accounts of some predator control folks that were jokingly referred to as “rat chokers” back in the day that operated in the “gray area” of federal law and some who broke the laws and were caught red handed.
On the federal level, predator control is designated to the very controversial USDA “Wildlife Services” program that took a lot of heat back in 2004, and 2007 for predator control issues across the Western U.S.
Check out this website and search for “USDA Wildlife Services” to see behind the controversy https://www.peer.org/
You have some federal agencies spending millions to protect wildlife while one spends millions to eliminate some wildlife species. A 2016 Nat Geo article briefly details the different roles of the USFWS and USDA Wildlife Services.
I want to see this film and the details of Jeremy Renner’s background and character. This film further establishes the dire need to change USFWS/OLE to a 3-letter acronym like (WEB) Wildlife Enforcement Bureau, so there is no doubt who they are, what they do, and no confusion.
Globally recognized name change needed to address rampant global wildlife crime
A better idea may be to have an organized global task force called the (WEB) on international wildlife crime comprised of the FBI, IRS, ICE, DS (Bureau of Diplomatic Security). This task force would also include the CIA and NSA with some key military Special Ops personnel to deal with transnational global wildlife crime if we are truly serious about the issue. You can read my in-depth thoughts on this in the World Animal News November 17, 2015 article: http://www.worldanimalnews.com/content.php?content_ID=325
USFWS/OLE needs major updating to add recent investigations
There is a summary on Wikipedia of the USFWS/OLE requirements to become a Special Agent. There is only one notable case, Operation Chameleon, listed that I had the privilege of working on with my former colleagues with the legacy Branch of Special Operations. Sadly, there is no mention of the incredible cases that other fellow Special Agents worked on such as, Operation Central (trafficking in Sea Turtle products) Operation Crash (rhino horn trafficking) and the Branch investigation from Operation Crash known as Operation Preposterous (illegal rhino hunts with South Africa hunting guides involving some U.S. trophy hunters).
Other legacy investigations such as the first largest international investigation by the Branch of Special Ops in the early 1980’s titled Operation Falcon (international trafficking of falcons) is most noteworthy and not mentioned. Other major impacting forgotten investigations include Operation Whiteout (illegal marine mammal ivory trade in Alaska), Operation Botany (international trafficking of rare cycads) and others.
An example of a major name change with homeland security reorganization
Other agencies have experienced significant name changes in the last century. An example is the change from the U.S. Customs Service in March, 2003 that stemmed from the homeland security reorganization:
New International Attaché’ Program for Special Agents now in several key countries
With the recent expanding international role of USFWS/OLE, another major reason for a significant name change is quite evident. In 2004, the first USFWS/OLE Special Agent was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand that served as a platform to provide much needed support to geographical parts of the world where wildlife smuggling syndicates have plundered the planet of rare and endangered wildlife species of concern. This program expanded in 2015 with the assignment of individual Special Agents to U.S. Embassies in other countries, including Botswana, Tanzania, Peru and China. These new critical positions were provided with the assistance of the U.S. State Department.
To get a comprehensive overview of this program and other recent major wildlife smuggling investigations the following document chronicles the testimony of current Chief William Woody of the USFWS/OLE before the House of Representatives regarding “Stopping the Money Flow: The War on Terror Finance” (https://www.fws.gov/laws//Testimony/displaytestimony.cfm?ID=270)
If you do what you always do, you will have what you always have and nothing will be different.
W.E.B. is a fictional international U.S. based investigative organization that conducts complex global investigations on the exponentially expanding illegal wildlife trade that supports sophisticated criminal syndicate funding and terrorism around the world.
W.E.B. was created to assemble former federal investigators with prior military training from key federal law enforcement, spy and international investigative agencies to target clandestine criminal and terrorist organizations from around the world.
Help us continue to bring you the latest breaking animal news from around the world and consider making a Donation Here! www.peace4animals.net/donate
Please share our articles, follow us on social media, and sign up for our newsletter! Go Plant-Based!