Know this: In Montana, elk rule

 Ed. Note: this article was recently rediscovered by readers although it is a year old (2007 – not 2008 as I write this)

Here is an opinion from a Montana state senator, just dripping with hostility.

Although he says that in Montana, elk rule, and folks there are not going to allow wolves to reduce them, it doesn’t take much analysis to add this as further confirmation of my hypothesis that the wolf issue really isn’t about wolves at all. It is a way to express social hostility toward other people (those considered to be “outsiders”) whether they have lived in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, etc., for generations or whether they live in New York City where some folks like him seem to think all those who want a full complement of native wildlife restored, live.

Here is his piece in the Helena Independent Record

Read the rest of this entry »

High key Druids

Ray Laible of Pocatello, Idaho, an inveterate photographer and wolf watcher made this high key photo of the Druids. It was taken this month.

Thanks for sharing it, Ray.

highkey-druids.jpg

Bush budget aims to help western wildlife, especially Wyoming, but . . .

In part due to the impacts of energy development in the West, the new proposed budget by President Bush allocates $22 million to restore and protect wildlife habitat in seven Western states. Of that $11.5 million is to go to Wyoming where energy development impacts have been the greatest.

AP Story in the Billings Gazette. Bush’s wildlife habitat plan emphasizes Wyoming

However, buried in a separate Gazette story, this one about the Wyoming budget in-the-making, it is reported that governor Freudenthal has proposed to put $45 million into the state’s Wildlife Trust Fund, and that has been cut to $6 million under the state legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee’s recommendations. Budget Story.

It’s good to keep your eye on the entire political landscape.

Wyoming Wolf dispute could extend for years

This article is from the Casper Star Tribune. By Jared Miller.

Giving the standoff between the USFWS and Wyoming, the current wolf situation with the federal government continuing to do all the wolf management in most of NW Wyoming, and Wyoming yelling about wolves and the federal government, could go on indefinitely.

Wyoming’s political oligarchy will only benefit from its current stance.

Quoting from the Star-Tribune, “Vance Welsh, owner of an auto body shop in Afton, said state leaders were right to reject the federal offer. When it comes to wolves, Wyoming needs to stick to its guns, he said. ‘I think that the governor is doing the right thing,’ said Welsh, who has several outfitter friends and follows the issue closely. ‘We’ve been lied to enough from the feds, and there is no need in accepting whatever they decided they want to have shoved down our throats.’ ”

Folks like this are Governor Freuenthal’s ace-in-hole. He can play the big bad federal government issue for as many years as he wants to remain in office.

In fact, Wyoming got already got most of what it wanted — the delisting proposal in fact eliminates all wolf protection in Wyoming outside of a portion of NW Wyoming, where most, but not all of the wolves are, greatly reducing the likelihood they will migrate down to Eastern Idaho, nothern Utah, and Colorado.