FS Digging Its Own Grave (with the recreation tax)

Wild Bill has another insightful article on the ill effects of the “RAT.” FS Digging Its Own Grave. By Bill Schneider. New West.

Being from SE Idaho, I don’t get hit with the RAT as much as most folks, but recently in Arizona I really felt its sting.

I wanted to explore Oak Creek Canyon. I expected to pay a RAT. At the rim it said $5 for a one-day “Red Rocks country” recreation pass, so I pulled into the “Call of the Canyon” parking lot and bought a day’s pass (the $5 had recently been replaced by $8). I walked a couple miles up the West Fork of Oak Creek (a Wilderness area) and came back and drove down the canyon.

There was another interesting looking place close to the mouth of the canyon, so I pulled in, pointed to my purchased sticker and began to pull off, when the angry fee collector told be I had to pay another $8! It seems every stop costs you another $8.

Irritated, I drove through Sedona and didn’t buy anything. I drove up into the less scenic, but free, ponderosa pine forest country near Happy Camp.

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Grizzly conflicts likely to rise: States take over management as bears, humans share same spaces

Rocky Barker has another story on the recent mauling near Tetonia, Idaho. He places it in the larger context of delisting, and the lack of preparation by Idaho to manage the Yellowstone area grizzlies, which, nevertheless, they are slated to do beginning May 1.

Grizzly conflicts likely to rise: States take over management as bears, humans share same spaces. Idaho Statesman. By Rocky Barker.

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Grizzlies in the Yellowstone area to lose ESA protection on Tuesday

On May 1, the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone will lose their status as a “threatened species” protected by the Endangered Species Act.

They were one of the first animals listed — way back in 1975. Conservation groups have already given the USFWS a 60-day notice that they will be sued if they delist.

Story in the Casper Star Tribune. Grizzlies lose ‘threatened’ status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.

Much progress has been made in recovering the grizzly, but all habitat trends (food and space to roam) have turned negative. I won’t recount these threats again here. I have done it so many times already.

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Colony collapse disorder

Perhaps you’ve heard – the bees are missing… Being among other things a horticulturist, I am acutely aware of the implications. Entomologists, biologists, ecologists, and a host of other disciplines take note: The bees are missing ~ and no one knows why ~

Buzz Off
The Economist

Colony collapse disorder, as the phenomenon has become known as, was first reported in America in mid-November 2006. It spread rapidly, with beekeepers reporting heavy losses of between 30% and 90% of bees. Some 24 American states have now reported cases of colony collapse disorder. It has also been seen in Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

No bees? Not just strange, but scary
by Dave Lindorff
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Die-off of bees an ominous sign – Canada

Researchers ponder where the bees be Minneapolis

Letters from the West: Owyhee coalition still standing

Rocky Barker has written about the Owyhee Initiative in the Idaho Statesman:

Letters from the West: Owyhee coalition still standing

Bold fight for control of rural West countryside

The Salt Lake Tribune has published an interesting story about public land disputes in Utah. Local authorities there are thumbing their noses at federal regulation of federal public land. The result of such localized insistance of authority is sadly predictable:

State Rep. Mike Noel, a Republican from the southern community of Kanab, said: It gets down to “sovereignty and autonomy. It’s Western independence. We own the water, we have the right to graze, the minerals are still available, and the roads belong to us. By dang, we are not going to give them up.”

It kind of makes me wonder whether these folk ever learned past the civil war.

Bold fight for control of rural West countryside
By Julie Cart
Los Angeles Times

Fluvial grayling denied species protection

FWS keeps on keeping on… purging ESA protections. Not surprising given the previous post. Wolves, Grizzlies, Slickspot peppergrass, Fluvial graylings, the list goes on and on – We are witnessing the political dismemberment of what is supposed to be an agency guided by science – instead plundered by political obstructionists and public land profiteers.

Link restored. Arctic grayling kept off endangered list. By Nick Gevock. The Montana Standard.

This is an outrage that irritates conservationists, ranchers (who support listing the fluvial grayling), and fishers. It is part of the Bush Administration’s new illegal interpretation of the ESA that if a species exists somewhere there is no reason to protect it elsewhere in its range. Ralph Maughan

New link April 29. Good, Bad Day for Grayling. From the Trout Underground.

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