Yellowstone wolf watching has improved lately

Several weeks ago (Sept. 19) I posted that wolf watching in the Park was at about a seasonal low point, but since then it has picked up a lot with the Agates, Sloughs, Hellroaring Pack, and Leopolds often visible.

In addition people have been treated to a number of bears, grizzlies and black bears, feeding on Mt. Washburn well within safe, but good photographic distance. That road will close soon, however. The Park Service shutters the road with the first real snow, or maybe even after just an inch or two. Weather is expected to close it soon.

Posted in Wolves, Yellowstone wolves. Comments Off on Yellowstone wolf watching has improved lately

Potlatch Corp. to charge fees for access to its land in Idaho

Potlatch has joined a growing trend toward access fees. It is the largest private land owner in Idaho, with almost all of its land in the Idaho Panhandle and in North Central Idaho.

There is also a continuing battle over US Forest Service, BLM, and other public land management agencies charging access fees.

Story in the Post-Intelligencer.

Posted in privatization, public lands, Trees Forests. Comments Off on Potlatch Corp. to charge fees for access to its land in Idaho

The Boulder Chain Lakes, White Cloud Mountains

Here are two of the Boulder Chain Lakes in Idaho’s White Clouds Mountains. The chain contains 13 lakes in the drainage. Because of the scenery and the wildlife habitat, especially further to the east, Idaho conservationists have been struggling for a Wilderness designation since the late 1960s for these and the adjacent Boulder Mountains.

Whether the non-wilderness side payments in CIEDRA to anti-wilderness or wilderness indifferent groups are too much, or not enough, has become an issue that extends beyond Idaho.

Two of the Boulder Chain Lakes
Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

Posted in politics, public lands, wilderness roadless. Comments Off on The Boulder Chain Lakes, White Cloud Mountains

A breakdown of the Yellowstone Park wolf packs as of this fall

Here are the data on the Yellowstone “mid-year” wolf packs — the pack names and number of adults, pups, total pack size. Finally a numeric ID has been assigned to the pack.

Yellowstone National Park = 143 wolves; 14 packs (13 packs producing 76 pups) [at least 12 potential breeding pairs). Northern Range 1) Swan Lake- 2, 6, 8; 2) Leopold- 8, 11, 19; 3) 536F Group- 4, 8,12; Hellroaring- 4, 4, 4; 5) Agate- 7, 6, 13; 6) Slough- 8, 0, 8; 7) Druid- 4,11,15; Non- Northern Range 8 ) Mollie’s- 5, 6, 11; 9) Yellowstone Delta- 6, 5,11; 10) Bechler- 3, 5, 8; 11) Snake River Group- 2, 7, 9; 12) Gibbon Meadows- 7, 5,12; 13) Hayden Valley- 4, 2, 6; 14) Cougar Creek- 3, 0, 3; Total: 67, 76, 143.

I’m not sure why the “536F group” is not regarded as a pack because they have eight pups. There might be the belief that they will still rejoin the Leopold Pack from which they came. I don’t think they will. I am not sure why the new pack near the south entrance is called the Snake River group, rather than “pack.”

The Cougar Creek II Pack is regarded as a non-Park pack although it denned in Daly Creek at the extreme NW boundary of Yellowstone Park. There is also a new pack, the Eagle Creek Pack, just across the Yellowstone River between Gardiner and Jardine.

As I mentioned in an earlier story, the Park wolf population is up this year, after the huge decline of the last year, but there are still fewer wolves than in 2003 and 2004.

Elk or energy?

This is another article about the effect natural gas development is having on elk in the country SE of Jackson, WY. This story is through the eyes of outfitters in the Upper Green River Basin.

Article “elk or energy.” It’s from today’s Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Posted in Elk, oil and gas, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Elk or energy?

Salmon Farms Kill Wild Fish, Study Shows

Wild salmon are having a hard enough time without the menace of disease and parasite spreading salmon farms.

British Columbia is the number one offender, as the host of a large number of these farms in the ocean. A robust University of Alberta study on the effects of salmon farms and wild salmon spell out the awful effects of the salmon farms.

Story in Science Daily.

Posted in Fish, wildlife disease. Comments Off on Salmon Farms Kill Wild Fish, Study Shows

Editorial about Proposition 2 on Idaho’s ballot.

Idaho’s Proposition 2 is similar to that in many other states. It hasn’t got the publicity it deserves. Folks are slowly waking up.

A similar initiative passed in Oregon several years ago. Now taxpayers are stuck with $5.8 billion in so-called “takings” claims. Does this sound like protection of your property. Land isn’t the only property. Your money is your property. It’s not just developers and those who want to do troublesome things with their land that have rights. Why should you have to pay them off not to harm the you, your property, the public, the environment or your community?

Avoid the quicksand of Proposition 2. By Len Harlig in the Idaho Mountain Express.

Posted in politics. Comments Off on Editorial about Proposition 2 on Idaho’s ballot.