Alaska puts a bounty on wolves

Alan Gregory covers the $150 bounty put on wolves in Alaska. Historically, bounties have always been controversial, and almost never worked as intended, even if you grant the legitimacy of their intent.

 Alaska puts a bounty on wolves. Alan Gregory’s Conservation News.

Posted in Wolves. 7 Comments »

Wilkie v. Robbins

The Supreme Court heard a very important case the other day with profound implications for future public lands management of grazing.

Read about it in WWP blog. Wilkie v. Robbins.

Posted in Grazing and livestock, public lands management. Comments Off on Wilkie v. Robbins

Gore’s testimony before Congress greeted warmly by some members, coolly by others

Al Gore has just finishing testifying before Congress on global warming.  He got mixed, but generally warm reception with a few strong dissenters among Republicans. Story in The

Gore’s testimony greeted warmly by some members, coolly by others. By Kelly McCormack

Gore’s actual testimony (YouTube).

2006 Northern Rockies Wolf Report out. Media makes splash about wolf population growth

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2006 Interagency Annual Report is out and the mainstream media are playing the story as all about continued wolf population growth and more dead livestock than before.

I haven’t had time to read much of it yet, but some of the MSM statistics seem a bit suspicious to me, so I will need the weekend to read the report before writing extensively on it, but, for example, wolf  “depredations” were up only slightly in Idaho from 2005.  Cattle taken by wolves increased in Montana, but the number of sheep killed declined dramatically. All told only 42 domestic animals were killed wolves in Montana, including 4 dogs. In response 53 wolves were killed — 53 dead wolves for 42 dead domestic animals!

So read the the MSM story, here is one from the Billings Gazette/Casper Star Tribune, and read the report for yourself and decide.

Agenda for the North American wolf conference April 24-26

The draft agenda for the North American wolf conference in Flagstaff, Arizona has been released.

To sign up to attend the conference, go here. Discount rates at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff are available until April. 1.


Wednesday April 25th

8:00 – 8:30
Welcome: Introductions and Announcements

8:30 – 9:00 Mexican Wolf Conservation in the American Southwest
Terry Johnson, Endangered Species Coordinator, Arizona Game and Fish Department

9:00 – 9:30 Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Update
John Oakleaf, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

9:30 – 10:00 Modeling Potential Mexican Wolf Habitat in the Grand Canyon Ecoregion
Kurt Menke, Bird’s Eye View

10:00 – 10:30 ~ Break ~

10:30 – 11:00 Mexican Wolf Reintroduction: Put and Take Wolf Recovery
David R. Parsons, The Rewilding Institute

11:00 – 11:30 Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Outreach Efforts in the Southwest – Separating Myth from Reality
Shawna Nelson, Arizona Game and Fish Department

11:30 – 12:00 Predator Control and Scientific Chicanery Undermines Mexican Wolf Recovery
Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress Looks at Solutions to Yellowstone Bison Debate

Yesterday in Congress the first hearings in many years were held over bison management in and near Yellowstone Park. The hearing showed that pressure is building to -change the many years of bison harassment and slaughter by the state of Montana and stance of the federal government agency APHIS which uses the club of losing “brucellosis-free” status to keep the bison slaughter/bison confinement program going.

I was able to listen the part of the hearings via audio webcast on the Internet. Although I have been writing about the bison situation since 1996, the hearings told me I had underestimated one aspect of the long controversy — political partisanship. I had located core of opposition to a more rational and more humane bison management program to Montana livestock industry’s attempt to maintain cultural hegemony, but I underestimated the role of the Republican Party.

Testimony on all sides of the issue were given, but the hearing was quite friendly to change on the bison range. However, the most bison hostile testimony was made by Montana’s lone House member Republican Denny Rehberg. Rehberg used essentially every argument ever made against free ranging Yellowstone bison, including even such canards as brucellosis is a potential terrorist agent similar to anthrax.

Although he gave no formal testimony, the committee’s ranking minority member, Republican Rob Bishop of Utah, also struck a very hostile tone.

Montana’s popular Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer was most cleaver [oops 😉 While he made the traditional bows to things such as Montana’s brucellosis free status, he portrayed the current management was one that wasted taxpayer dollars. These monies could be used instead to vaccinate the several hundred cattle the remain in the Greater Yellowstone area where bison might roam and to buy out the cattle grazing.

One aspect that amused me was the continual reference to Idaho and Wyoming losing their brucellosis free status. Probably more was said at the hearing about Idaho losing its status, than has been written by the Idaho media about the matter over the entire history of its loss. It has been a non-story in Idaho, showing just how unimportant is brucellosis-free status.

As usual, there was little recognition of what keeps the brucellosis infection going. It has nothing to do with Yellowstone Park or Yellowstone bison. It is the winter feeding of elk south of the Park in Wyoming where brucellosis infection rates are much higher than inside Yellowstone Park, and where the bulk of the transmission takes place.

Here is the story in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune. How to manage park bison? By Noelle Struab. Jackson Hole Star-Tribune Washington bureau.