For news on the Mexican wolf

I try to cover the struggling Mexican wolf reintroduction project, but I am very spotty in my knowledge of countryside there. I don’t know the politics or the people, although I have read a lot about Catron County, New Mexico.

Here are two government sites that will help those interested-

“Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News” (from Arizona Game and Fish). These linked here as pdf files.

“Blue Range Wolf Reintroduction Area (BRWRA). Monthly Project Updates.” This is the site of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Go to the web site and browse down to find the monthly updates.

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Oct. 6. As the post below indicates the Southwest Environmental Center is a non-governmental site that has a lot of Mexican wolf news.

Farmers/ranchers and the blight of industrial corn

I recently ran across the book Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.

I was at a meeting so I only had time to read a couple chapters, but the one on “Industrial corn” had a profound effect on me. I have ordered a copy, and yet it already leads me to post.

Pollan cited an old quote that goes something like this. “there’s money to be made in food, but not if you are a grower.” He then goes on describe how corn by the billions of tons grown with huge inputs of petroleum have transformed the farm and farmer (much for the worse), led to huge contained animal feeding operations, and transformed the food we eat.

Industrial corn in particular lies behind the fast food industry and the plague of obesity.

It occurs to me that livestock growers could make a much better case if they raised their livestock on grass, didn’t sent them for finishing on corn and without the chemicals. A market would have to be created.

Of course, we all know about organic food. Grass fed organic beef is a great selling point if you can buy it. I should note that Pollan has some harsh words for big organic ag, and it is clear that agri-business is trying to subvert the organic grower so that the consumer has no real choice.

For reference here is a link to Amazon.com, which, of course, includes reviews of the book.

Now for Laird and others, is this a worthwhile thread? 

As Wolf Population Thrives, Livestock Predation Doesn’t Follow Suit

I missed this article in the Billings Gazette. Fortunately the Western Watersheds Project picked it up.

The facts are important because almost everyone, including some of the wolf project managers, had predicted that livestock predation would increase faster than the wolf population as wolves moved to less desirable habitat.

Read WWP story.

Posted in Wolves, Wolves and Livestock. Comments Off on As Wolf Population Thrives, Livestock Predation Doesn’t Follow Suit

Fire salvage logging in Oregon lost money

After almost every forest fire, there is a push for salvage logging based on the idea that the forest is destroyed, so some of its former value needs to be captured.

Folks who have watched salvage logging know that instead, the practice often introduces weed seeds, actually sets back forest regrowth and loses money too.

So far the controversial Biscuit fire salvage logging has fit this pattern, at least in terms of losing money. Part of the loss stems from the the Administration decison to greatly increase the logging after plans for a less ambitious project were underway. See news article. Here is the actual General Accounting Office Report (pdf file).
Note that the Biscuit fire was 500,000 acres, the largest in Oregon in many years, and maybe in the history of the state.

The Democratic side of the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee has a news release up this. See their news release.

Posted in Logging, Trees Forests, wildfire. Comments Off on Fire salvage logging in Oregon lost money

Idaho wolf kill shot down, anyone suprised?

This is from Wild Bill (Bill Schneider) over at New West. Read column.

Posted in Idaho wolves, Montana wolves, politics, Wolves. Comments Off on Idaho wolf kill shot down, anyone suprised?