Idaho’s domestic elk industry avoids all regulation as even weak bill fails.

Sportsmen, conservationists, and the average Idahoan seemed outraged at nearly unregulated proliferation of “elk farms” and “shooter bull” operations in Idaho. Many bills were introduced into the Legislature in January, but they all died.

Given the weak bill left, perhaps it is best that it was finally shot down by a bi-partisan coalition of Republicans who wanted no regulation the Democrats who wanted to tame and sweep back the flood of these “farms,” or whatever they are.

Story in the Idaho Statesman. Elk industry won’t face new regulations: Anti-regulation Republicans, Democrats seeking more oversight combine to bottle up measure in committee. By John Miller. Associated Press.

Next up. . . . probably a try at a ballot initiative.

Posted in Elk, politics, wildlife disease. Comments Off on Idaho’s domestic elk industry avoids all regulation as even weak bill fails.

Finally, a Congressional Oversight Hearing on Yellowstone National Park Bison

Now under new management, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee in Natural Resources is holding a hearing on the Yellowstone bison situation.

The House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a hearing at March 20, 10 AM EDT. It will be webcast. Go to http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=3 on Tuesday and look for the webcast. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bison, politics. Comments Off on Finally, a Congressional Oversight Hearing on Yellowstone National Park Bison

First signs of change at Montana Department of Livestock. Report by Buffalo Field Campaign

Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer has appointed four new members to the board that oversees this state agency that has been so hostile to bison. In the Buffalo Field Campaign’s report below, there finally be some signs the DOL might change. Should we get our hopes up? Read story. Read also about it in the Western Watersheds Project blog. The big news (see story elsewhere) is that House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is holding a hearing March 20 on the wild bison of Yellowstone, so persecuted by Montana and now the Bush Park Service.

Here is part of BFC’s latest report.

Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
March 15, 2007
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View BFC Video Footage:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
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Make a Secure Online Donation to BFC:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bisonmerchandise/bisonmerchandise.html
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Why are they killing the last wild buffalo?
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/issueinbrief.html
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Receive BFC’s updates or press releases.
Send your email address to bfc-media@wildrockies.org with “sub updates” or “sub press release” in the subject line.

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* BFC to Testify Before House Parks Subcommittee
* Earth in Motion: What the Buffalo are Teaching Us
* March 18: Drumming a Sacred Circle for Life!
* Last Words

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* Update from the Field

Dear Buffalo Friends,

Spring has snuck up on us, arriving nearly a month ahead of her usual time. Throughout the Yellowstone region temperatures are rising, melting the snow and soaking the earth. Warm sunshine, little green shoots and a chorus of bird song make evident the changing of the season.

In West Yellowstone, there are still no buffalo outside of the Park. The few far-away bulls we were monitoring are out of sight now, with portions of the Park closed to all human activities to protect waking grizzly bears. Anxious for the buffalo’s company, we await the annual spring migration of mamas heavy with calf, accompanied by yearlings, young bulls and cows, who will head to cattle-free Horse Butte to calve and enjoy the nutritious grasses this massive mound of south-facing earth has to offer. Mothers, grandmothers, brothers, sisters, aunts and young uncles will welcome new members to the herd in the next couple of months. Read the rest of this entry »

Flathead National Forest to crack down on scoflaw snowmobilers

Just weeks after a snowmobiler was almost killed by an avalanche in Jewel Basin in Montana’s Swan Range, closed to snowmobiles, the Forest Service wants stiff penalties for those riding illegally in Wilderness and other closed areas. The increasing number of rescues and fatalities of these illegal riders is both dangerous to rescuers and expensive.

Law-breaking snowmobilers face crackdown. Billings Gazette.

Earlier story about the incident in this blog.

Here is a current, March 18, related story. Flathead National Forest snowmobile use likely headed to courtroom. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

Posted in Motor vehicles wildlife, public lands management, wilderness roadless. Comments Off on Flathead National Forest to crack down on scoflaw snowmobilers