Utah offers bounty for dead coyote ears

“In an effort to help increase the deer population and also protect grazing sheep in Utah, the state provides money to eight Utah counties to pay bounties for killing coyotes.”

Read the story in in Tooele Transcript Bulletin. Tooele is pronounced (TA will a).

Offering bounties on coyotes is a long discredited program, nevertheless it continues for political purposes.

It does not decrease the number of coyotes except in rare instances. Instead the coyote population increases unless 40 to 50% of the population is killed a year. Bounties and the many other efforts to kill coyotes are one of the reasons coyotes have spread from the West to the entire North American continent.

Replacement of existing coyotes with new coyotes, tends to increase predation on sheep if sheep predation was at a background level to begin with. The way to reduce sheep predation is to kill the coyote pairs or packs that kill the sheep, not a general assault on coyotes.

Coyotes are not primary predators on big game (except in harsh winters). Coyotes do reduce rodent populations and fox populations.

Even you don’t mind lots of “killin,” this is not cost/effective.

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Coyote Bounties

“During the early years of game management, many states relied on massive killing efforts (bounties) to
reduce predator numbers (e.g., wolves, coyotes, foxes) which were competing with man for game animals (e.g., white-tailed deer). Bounties are not used by most wildlife agencies nor are they supported by WS for predator control because:

• Bounties are not effective in reducing damage.
• Circumstances surrounding take of animals is largely unregulated.
• No process exists to prohibit taking animals from outside the damage management area for
compensation purposes.
• Bounty hunters may mistake dogs and foxes as coyotes.

Coyote bounties have a long history (>100 years in the U.S.) of use in many states without ever achieving the intended result of reducing damage and population levels (Parker 1995).

The overwhelming disadvantage of coyote bounties is the misdirection of funds meant to, but not effectively and economically able to, reduce coyote damage to livestock.”

This was taken from http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/nepa/WVcoyoteFONSI.pdf

Reality in WY shows lie in oil and gas industry propaganda

We’ve all seen on TV and printed ads how sensitive about the land the oil industry is. They drill many wells from just one pad, avoiding surfance disturbance. If the land cannot bear any suface occupancy, they drill at an angle under it (called “directional drilling”).

Yes, they can do these things, just like it shows on the TV, but the reality in Wyoming and throughout the Rocky Mountain West, is that they don’t do it that way because it is cheaper not to, except for few showcase examples where they can take the media and politicians.

themesa-drillpads-wy.jpg
Drill pads on The Mesa (Pinedale Anticline). This is a new gas field, north of Jonah. The town of Pinedale, WY is in the lower left corner. View is to the SE. The deer population on The Mesa is way down.

Where are the animals going? By Whitney Royster, Casper Star Tribune.

Somehow, I don’t think it is drought per se. This decline was also predicted last year in a major study.

More folks in WY realize how much their wildlife and land heritage will pay for oil and gas

There has been a sudden realization that the massive industrialization of Wyoming’s open spaces by the natural gas industry is making a wrenching change to the state’s outdoor heritage — its clean air, vistas, wildlife.

Today there were numerous newspaper stories on the seemingly unstoppable conquest of Wyoming by the petroleum industry.

We’re going to feel it.‘ By Whitney Royster. Jackson Hole Star-Tribune.

Wyo drilling rig count climbs. By Dustine Bleizeffer. Star-Tribune energy reporter.

Jonah [gas field] office floats reclamation plan. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune.

This might sound good, but in fact restoration of the natural vegetation of the high desert to its original form may take more than a hundreds years, if ever. The drillers will have to keep about 55% of the Jonah field land area “undisturbed,” but this is very misleading as the Google Earth photo of part of the field below shows. Most of the land in the image is undisturbed, but as you can see the effect of all the roads and drilling pads is almost total disturbance.

jonah-field-google.jpg
Part of the Jonah gas field. Most of the land is physically “undisturbed,” but you can see that in reality, it is totally disturbed.

USFWS say Rock Creek mine will benefit grizzly bears

Folks have been fighting the proposed Rock Creek mine in the Cabinet Mountains of NW Montana for about 20 years now. It has been stalled.

Now the USFWS has rewritten its earlier objection to the mine saying that with all the money for mitigation work planned, the grizzly will actually benefit. This may be so. One thing about predictions like that, however, is that the plans are often never, or are only partially implemented.

The other objections to the mine have been from downriver water users in Idaho.

AP Story.