Skyland and Ahorn Fires Explode in Montana

These two fires to the south of Glacier NP (Ahorn mostly in the Bob Marshall Wilderness) exploded Monday. In the Great Falls News it said flames up to 500 feet high were reported to have been seen! Highway 2, which follows the southern boundary of Glacier NP is closed.
Skyland fire rages into wall of flames. Eric Newhouse. Great Falls News (MT)

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Senators Craig, Crapo, and Governor Otter blow hot air about the Murphy Fire

This is about the news conference these three had yesterday. It’s on the WWP blog with a short video of an especially revealing segment.

Story in the Idaho Statesman. Idaho politicians blast federal fire management. By Heath Druzin. The dynamic trio didn’t get quite the spin they may have expected in the Statesman.

Update. LTE by Bert Brackett (rancher often mentioned in these stories). Times-News. Fire Fueled by Failed Range Management.

Reply to Brackett. Sent to Times-News by Max Hatfield

Bert Brackett’s Readers Comment Slandering Jon Marvel today was just about the most contrived self serving pile of rhetorical cow manure I have ever read. I sent the following letter to the editor in response.

Bert “Einstein” Brackett’s Rhetorical Cow Manure

Is your neck red enough and are you stupid enough to buy Rep. Bert “Einstein” Brackett’s slander about Jon Marvel? Brackett has attributed the 2007 range fires to Marvel and recommended naming them the “John Marvel Watershed Memorial Fire.” Maybe Brackett has another motivation for this tripe? Read the rest of this entry »

Gila Mothers are Not Afraid of Wolves

Gila mothers not afraid of wolves. Article Launched: 07/29/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT. By Denise Blake, Jennifer Bjornstad, Juniper Bowers, Jane Bruemmer, Dulcie Clarkson, Jamie Crockett, Teleah Dabbs, Carol Fugagli, Melanie Gasparich, Samira Johnson and Jennifer Sprague. SilverCity Sun-News.

These local women are responding to a fear-mongering ag lobbying who is using the standard, the wolves are going to a child or someone.

It’s my impression that if someone is afraid of wolves, the probability is it will be a man living in a rural area. Women in these areas are often made of more solid stuff.

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Rumor: Craig, Kempthorne, Otter to showboat about fire tomorrow

In contrast to the sensible position of Utah’s governor, rumor is Idaho’s three will show up tomorrow to talk about how the big rangefire was caused by not enough grazing and too many government regulations (on their buddies).

Note: as you can see from the comments below, they had their session today.

The cheatgrass menace: Utah’s governor willing to spend the money, but can hated plant truly be eradicated?

Finally an article in a major newspaper that almost gets it right about rangefires — it’s the cheatgrass! . . . the cheatgrass was

The Cheatgrass Menace. By Christopher Smart. Salt Lake Tribune.

A couple things that next to be emphasized. . . . larger seed banks need to be created and soon because the demand for reseeding outstrips supply, given all the fires.

In the article it says, “Of the more successful strategies, Pellant explained, is to introduce non-native grasses that can outcompete cheat and then seed with native grasses to restore the environment. But once new grasses have been planted, they must be allowed to take root over several years before they can be grazed, or the cheat will return. And there is always pressure to get livestock back on the range.” [emphasis mine]

In addition, they usually do not get around to seeding with native grasses a few years after they have planted these “non-natives that can outcompete cheatgrass.”

If this menace is to be curbed, more than money is needed. There also needs to be the political will to say “no” to ranchers who want start grazing again the second year after a reseeded burn, and there has to be the will to provide money to do a second seeding with the native plants. It is critical we don’t lot politicians use burns to as an excuse for even more abusive grazing practices.

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Idaho Fish and Game may curb hunting in burned areas

Wildlife took a beating in the Murphy Complex and other rangefires. The article says it may take 30 years to restore the sage grouse habitat. Giving the increasing incidence or rangefires, however, it is hard to imagine 30 years will pass before it burns again.

Unlike forest fires the flames moved so fast that a number of elk, deer and even antelope might have perished when they could not escape. Story in the Times News. Fish and Game may curb hunting in burned areas. By Matt Christensen
Times-News writer.

Note that the Murphy Complex is now about contained at just short of 700,000 acres

New fire briefly closes Highway 2 along southern boundary of Glacier NP

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