Central Idaho elk, pride of the state

A small part of a herd of 300 or so elk on Ayers Meadow in the Frank Church Wilderness in July, Central Idaho. This has always been great elk country, but several years ago cattle grazing in the drainage was bought out, so now these public lands have more elk than ever. Idaho –mule and white-tailed deer, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, lynx, wolverine, pronghorn antetope, wolves, cougar , bobcats, black and grizzly bears, and a state where the public owns more than 60% of the land.

Don’t let the privatizers, the political dividers, or the industrial interests ever take it away from you. Elk on Ayers Meadow-Frank Church Wilderness

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Column: Due West by Dan Whipple. The Wolf’s At the Door

This is a good column (published in New West). It doesn’t give any side of the issue a free pass, and is one of the first I have seen that looks carefully at Governor Freudenthal’s contradictory statements about wolves and big game.

Freudenthal’s fundamental view of wolves: “This raises the interesting question of whether any packs outside Yellowstone in Wyoming are even necessary.” In other words, “we don’t want ‘em.”  Here it is, the classic view of part of Wyoming that Yellowstone should be, as I interpret it, a “prison for wild country.”

The Wolf’s at the Door. New West. By Dan Whipple.

Feds move forward on delisting Idaho wolves (story from Wood River Valley newspaper)

This is from the Idaho Mountain Express. Hunting season specifics will not be nailed down for several months. By Steve Benson.

There is also a LTE by Lynne Stone in this issue of the Mountain Express. “Get Wolf Facts Straight.”

Idaho Legislators may tinker with elk ranching laws

Legislators may tinker with elk ranching laws. By Roger Phillips.

I was talking with a leader in a major sportsman organization the other night. He said the Idaho legislature was likely to do nothing of importance to restore fair chase hunting in Idaho, and he was talking ballot initiative to solve the problem the way sportsmen did in Montana about 6 years ago.

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New York Times editorial: Mixed News for Wolves

The country’s most influential newspaper has weighed in on the mixed message of the wolf delisting.  Mixed News for Wolves

Scientists Criticize White House Stance on Climate Change Findings

The Democrats have held their first of undoubtedly many oversight hearings on how the Bush Administration is, well, administering the laws. This is a basic role of Congress that was suppressed during the last 6 years of Republican congressional rule (the minority party in Congress can’t call hearings). Story in New York Times (you can google for many more accounts of what went on)

Republicans on the committee appear to also be distancing themselves from this increasing unpopular presidency.

Note: this is so odd. It is almost like the presidency was a separate government, rather than a separate part of the U.S. government.

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Utah wolves are in line to lose protection in the delisting

Technically there aren’t any wolves in Utah, although there really are probably a few in northern Utah. Nevertheless, Northern Utah was included in the Northern Rockies wolf delisting.

So was Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington. All these places would highly likely to see wolf in-migration.

I can see only one reason for this — it’s to prevent the recolonization of any adjacent Western States by wolves.

Article in the Salt Lake Tribune. Utah wolves are in line to lose protection. But technically there aren’t any. By Joe Baird