Two Idaho “wilderness” bills before the U.S. Senate this week.

I have written a lot about CIEDRA (Wilderness, with side payments in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains). I have written less about the Owyhee Initiative (Wilderness, with side payments in a huge region of arid, unpopulated steppe and canyon country in SW Idaho).

CIEDRA has already passed the House. This is the first legislative test of the Owyhee Initiative.

These bills are the product of years of negotiations. There is plenty for conservationists to dislike (and like) in both.

Rocky Barker has a feature in the Idaho Statesman today about several female activistis who both hate the legislation, but are on opposite sides of the fence. Article.

Of course, many other women, women in favor of the legislation could have been featured too.

I know a lot of the conservationists who are currently taking different sides on the bills.

Posted in politics, privatization, public lands, public lands management, wilderness roadless. Comments Off on Two Idaho “wilderness” bills before the U.S. Senate this week.

Helena climate conference says warming changes in Pacific Northwest are already huge

There was a gathering of climate experts this week in Helena, MT. The effects of global warming in Montana were described with more and greater wildfires being just one of the most obvious.

There has been a furious debate in recent years whether the increase in forest fires is due to bad forest practices, not enough logging, too much logging, the wrong kind of logging, etc. No doubt these questions are relevant, but trees in the Rocky Mountains are having to endure longer summers almost everywhere. Regardless of the size of the winter snowpack, the period of summer drying is longer and the warmer winters allow endemic tree killing insects to build to greater levels.

Seminar: Effects of warming are huge. AP. Billings Gazette article.

Related to this is an article on forest thinning in the Taylor Fork of the Gallatin River. This is immediately adjacent to the NW corner of Yellowstone NP. Article.

Added on Sept. 25. Public Doesn’t Understand Global Warming — By Dr. David Suzuki, David Suzuki Foundation. This is part of the problem in addition to deliberate efforts to confuse the public. I know that among my students it takes about a half hour lecture to explain the difference between the ozone hole and the the greenhouse effect. The average person doesn’t get a note-taking required explanation.