Pup count for Yellowstone Park

Dr. Douglas Smith provided me with a near complete pup count for the Park this year. He stressed that for the packs where all pups have been visually counted, this is a high count, meaning that already a few have disappeared, probably dead.

Most surprising to me was Oxbow with 12 pups, eleven still alive. This was an odd double liter — one female with eleven pups, one female with one (which has died). He believed that eleven pups is a record sized litter for a gray wolf.

Slough Creek Pack, which had multiple litters, had the high count in the Park with 13 pups.

The Agates had 9 pups.

Druids had 6. Delta had 6. The Hayden Valley Pack, for the first time had an average sized litter — 6 pups. That’s now down to five. In the past, their litters were very small.

The new Gardiner’s Hole Pack (which has replaced the Swan Lake Pack almost exactly in terriotory) had 5 pups.

Mollies Pack had 4 or 5 pups.

The Leopolds, who have often had large litters, had just 4 pups.

The Snake River Pack which formed last year and had about 5 pups, but then moved south of Yellowstone Park, returned to den in the Park and had 4 pups.

Cougar Creek has a count of only one, but that pack lives in the thick regenerating lodgepole pine and probably has more than one.

Still unknown is the Gibbon Pack (which acted as though it denned and probably did) and the Bechler Pack. The SW corner of the Pack is the home of the Bechler Pack, but they haven’t been located on the last two flights.

Rocky Barker’s blog: Forest health and pollution control clash at Tahoe

Barker writes about the recent controversy in Nevada/CA after the big forest fire that took out many houses with scenic views of Lake Tahoe. Fingers are being pointed at something to blame, and Senator Reid (Democratic leader in the US Senate) and governor Jim Gibbons (Republican) are condemning the Forest Service for not thinning the national forest land enough, but, on the other hand, they have forgotten (perhaps conveniently) that keeping sedimentation out of Lake Tahoe, once renowned for its clarity, has been a major state and federal goal.

Barker points out that the two goals seem incompatible, and further, many homeowners in such a fire prone place are still not “treating” their property, helping lead to the torching of those who did.

Barker’s blog. Forest health and pollution control clash at Tahoe. Idaho Statesman.

We will hear a lot more controversy on what wasn’t done right once that smoke settles from the many fires still to come this summer.

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