Defending the West is virtue


At Potamogeton Park, Madison Range, Montana. Gallatin National Forest. Photo by Ralph Maughan

I believe that spending as much of your life as possible defending the Western lands, water, air and wildlife is an act of pure virtue.Your actions needs no other justification, but make sure you get plenty of time out on the land so that it doesn’t get to be an abstraction. Turning into a symbol rather than a presence is dangerous.whitepine9.jpg

White Pine Range, north central Nevada. Humboldt National Forest. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

Do supporters of wolf recovery hate elk?

This should be so obvious, but I has finally dawned on me that many elk hunters think that those who have supported the wolf restoration, hate elk, or at best are indifferent to elk.

Because wolves eat elk, deer, moose, etc. it should be obvious that wolf supporters have a great interest in the health and vitality of ungulate herds, but apparently not!

As for myself, I became interested in wolves after many years of concern how the livestock industry and timber industry made it so we had to exist with a poverty of elk, antelope, moose, and bighorn sheep. I, or groups I was an officer with, had signed onto many appeals and lawsuits against timber sales and range “improvement” projects.

It may be plain to most of us, but we would do well to pointedly to speak favorably about elk and other ungulates, and publicize it when you do something to help them and send the news release to hunting organizations.

Of course, much of the opposition to wolves is based on other matters and the misinformation is stirred up with malice, but this disinformation is picked up in routine conversation.

One again I want to remind folks of this website which is a good summary to what is know about wolves and elk, livestock, etc.

Ex-Forest Service chief backs most of Clinton-era `roadless rule’

Now that Dale Bosworth is a free man, but no longer a person with authority as when he was Bush’s Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, he tells us that he basically supported President’s Clinton’s national forest roadless area protection role, not Bush’s.

I can only hope he did his best to sabotage the Bush rule from within.

Read: Ex-Forest Service chief backs most of Clinton-era `roadless rule’. By Martin Griffith. AP in the Las Vegas Sun.

Bison on National Elk Refuge tops 1,000 animals

Bison on elk refuge top 1,000 animals. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

The bison growth is really out of hand with them having access to all this artificial winter feed. They will destroy the summer range of Jackson Hole. It looks like the growth rate remains about 100 a year despite the bison hunt in the margins of the Park on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, but few bison range there, relatively speaking, especially during the bison hunt.

Posted in Bison. 1 Comment »

South Africa bans hunting caged lions

This story is from the carnivore conservation blog.  It seems like shooting animals in an enclosure and calling it “hunting” is a growing problem all over the world, with ethically challenged entrepreneurs in South Africa just like in Idaho. Fortunately, people are taking action against this practice.

South Africa bans hunting caged lions. Carnivore Conservation 

Potential oil, gas development spreading across Montana

Alberta is an oil and gas development basket case. Wyoming is heading that way quickly. Will Montana soon follow?

Story about Montana’s growing oil and gas damage in the Bozeman Chronicle. By Scott McMillian

Posted in oil and gas, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Potential oil, gas development spreading across Montana

Ten year old cougar may have been North Dakota’s “Eve”

A ten year old female mountain lion was recently accidentally trapped in North Dakota. The mountain lion is now making a comeback in the state, and she might have played a very large role.

Story in the Bismark Tribune.

. . . More on the story. The cougar was trapped in a bobcat snare. There was a major effort to save the cougar’s life.

Effort to save cougar unsuccessful. by Blake Nicholson, Associated Press

Posted in wildcats. Comments Off on Ten year old cougar may have been North Dakota’s “Eve”