Hayden Pack finally dens; Druids get bumped from their den site.

The wandering Hayden Pack finally denned. They went back to their traditional den near the Hayden Valley, which is also near the busy Canyon area in the Park.

People and wolf wise, this has never been a good den site because there is a lot of traffic nearby. The pack has always produced small crops of pups, although that doesn’t mean small numbers were necessarily born. It is possible, but just speculation, that all the human disturbance is the cause of the small number of pups seen come each June.

A Hayden pack member. I think it is the alpha male. Photo copyright by Jennifer Porter. April 2007

The Druids denned up towards (or maybe it was in) the Lamar River. That is well away from the highway. Unfortunately, human campers inadvertently camped too close and bumped them off their den. Doug Smith told me he has identified a new den they have dug. It isn’t known if the move caused pup mortality.

In other park news, Mollies 497M was hit on the highway near LeHardy’s Rapids and died.

There is a new wolf pack denned at one of the old Swan Lake Pack’s den sites, but it is not the Swan Lake Pack. They left the Park, probably for good. The new pack is 4 black wolves and 2 gray wolves.

It looks like every pack inside the Park denned this year. A few pups have been seen so far, but no good counts.

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Small-town Utahns fight proposed large coal-fired power plant

If all goes according to plan, Utah will expand electrical production in the next several years by more than 2,000 megawatts. Almost all of it will come from coal-burning power plants, according to the DAQ. Three of the state’s largest plants are slated to expand: Hunter in Emery County, Bonanza in Uintah and IPP in Millard County will add 1,720 megawatts to the state’s electrical production. Sevier County’s is the only new plant planned. If these expansions are realized, more than 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide will enter the air yearly and the state’s carbon footprint will increase by thousands of tons, according to the DAQ.This spate of coal-plant proposals is part of national trend, says Ananth Chikkatur, a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In the Rockies alone, more than 12 new coal plants are proposed. Energy companies want to get in under the wire before the George W. Bush Administration’s free-wheeling regulatory atmosphere disappears, said Chikkatur. From Killer Coal: proposed power plant in Sevier County threatens a local lifestyle and the air all of us breathe. By Jonah Owen Lamb. Salt Lake City Weekly

This is really a story about all of the rural West, not just Sevier County, whose clear skies have been targeted as wonderful places to add legal amounts of pollution from new coal-fired power plants to generate electricity for far away places.

Coal plants spew out not just sulfur, nitrogen oxides, and small particles (particulates, they also are the source of mercury pollution and they often emit more radioactivity than nuclear power plants (due to uranium ore traces in the coal that is burned). Already many stream in Utah have mercury in the trout that is above the safety limits.

Residents near Horse Butte (NW of West Yellowstone) tell MT governor that Montana DOL trashes their property rights

Note. This was posted to Yellowstone.net. I modified it a bit.

Private landowners near Horse Butte, a peninsula of public land a few miles west of Yellowstone Park, have had to band together to protect their property to try to stop the thuggish tactics of the Montana Department of Livestock. The created HOBNOB–Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo. Bison love to use the Butte in the spring because grasses and forbs sprout early on the south side of the butte.

HOBNOB wrote this letter to Governor Schweitzer of Montana, and Montana’s two US Senators Max Baucus (up for reelection in 2008) and John Tester:

We are very angry about the lies, deception, and cruel treatment of the bison during hazing operations.

We, the residents of Horse Butte, have been watching this everyday for the last two weeks, and it continues. Bison, who have naturally migrated out of Yellowstone National Park to feed on grass and give birth to calfs, are repeatedly being run and chased. This includes, obviously, pregnant cows and newborn calves. Some construction workers watched in horror as two hours-old calves were repeatedly run into the barbed-wire fence by two hazers who were obviously enjoying watching the calfs bawl as they were being poked by the barbs. So much for “hazing the bison humanely and safely”.

The agencies, who carry out the IBMP especially the DOL, DO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORDS “HUMANE” OR “SAFE”. The interesting thing is, the minute these hazers (members of the IBMP) realize they are being watched or photographed, their inhumane and unsafe demeanor changes. They no longer run the bison. They start walking them, and the hazers back off their harassing and cruel behavior. Tourists have been watching this too. They tell us our state looks “stupid”. We have encouraged them to call, write, and complain. It’s time for all this to stop.

There are no CATTLE OUT HERE!!!! The grazing allotment was lost. The land is in contract to be sold to a conservation-minded private developer. THIS IS A PENNINSULA!!!! Where are the bison going to go? Of course, we did watch in horror a year ago in the winter as the IBMP hazers ran bison out onto the ice, the ice broke, and several drowned. BISON ARE NOT LIVESTOCK!!!!!! Yet, the DOL, repeatedly strong arms their way into controlling these wild bison.

Letter in the West Yellowstone News: http://westyellowstonenews.com/articles/2007/05/04/opinions/letter1.prt

Posted in Bison, politics. Comments Off on Residents near Horse Butte (NW of West Yellowstone) tell MT governor that Montana DOL trashes their property rights

Julie MacDonald’s actions face House Natural Resources Committee probe today

Folks will recall that MacDonald was, until May 1, a high-ranking Interior Department political appointee who has been implicated in rewriting scientists’ reports about endangered species, changing their substantive content.

I think the whole point of her job was to make sure species didn’t get listed as threatened or endangered.

Legacy of Scientific Fraud Honed by Bush Administration. Julie MacDonald Scandal Symptomatic of Broad Pattern of Mendacity. By Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

. . . more. Bush official’s meddling could backfire, benefit prairie dog protection. By James W. Brosnan. Albuquerque Tribune.

. . . still more. [MacDonald’s] Resignation casts doubts on lynx, boreal toad rulings. By Bob Berwyn. The Aspen Times.

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Posted in endangered species act, politics. Comments Off on Julie MacDonald’s actions face House Natural Resources Committee probe today

Guest Opinion: How best to manage wolves in Wyoming

This is by Dr. Franz Camenzind, executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. It appears in today’s Billings Gazette.

His summation reads:

We can either come together and manage wolves like other wildlife species, or we can continue to argue and waste time and money in court and get nowhere. For now, I urge everyone to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to NOT delist wolves until Wyoming has a management plan that incorporates the points mentioned above.

The deadline to comment on wolf delisting is at 5 p.m. today. Please visit www.jhalliance.org/whatsnew.html for information.

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