Wolf predation in the summer: Yellowstone Park study

In the latest “wolf weekly” report from Ed Bangs at USFWS, Ed wrote: Yellowstone Park researchers report that the summer predation study is going well. Approx 31 kills have been found May-mid through mid-July and they are 20 bulls, 5 cows, 5 calves, 1 mule deer. These data support the results of research done by following tagged elk calves [wolves killed few] and generally, but less so, scat analyses (scat analyses show more mule deer used in summer). Collar locations decrease from one every 30 min now to 8/day starting Aug. 1.

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I should say a bit more about this study. It is very important because all the quantitative data on wolf prey comes from winter observations when wolves generally have more of an advantage, and the ungulate composition in the Park differs somewhat from the summer when a lot of mule deer enter the Park from the Gardiner and some other areas.

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Retiring [Wyoming] elk tender defends [winter elk] feeding

Retiring elk tender defends feeding. By Cat Urbigkit, Casper Star-Tribune correspondent.

One of the reasons Wyoming government officials want to all but wipe out Wyoming wolves is that they chase and kill elk on these unnatural feedlots. The feedlots were created so the elk would not compete with the “sacred cattle” of Wyoming during the winter.

If we want wolves in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, if we want brucellosis free elk and bison, if we don’t want chronic wasting disease to permanently pollute the deer and elk population of the area, if we want free ranging bison in Montana, these feedlots have got to go.

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Rocky Barker’s blog: Fire brings out the same old question: Is it man or is it nature?

Barker blogs about the history of the general area burned in the giant Murphy Fire complex and the personalities involved.

He has written a lot about fires, beginning with his coverage of 1988 Yellowstone Park fires and living through the firestorm that blew through Old Faithful that year.

In 2005 his book Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America (Island Press) came out. I used it as a text in Public Lands Politics class.

I wrote to him yesterday asking him to point out that no amount of grazing would contain cheatgrass, and a lot of other folks no doubt contacted him too, probably leading in part to today’s blog. Fire brings out the same old question: Is it man or is it nature? By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

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Surprising New Species Of Light-harvesting Bacterium Discovered In Yellowstone

I posted a story earlier about this energy generating bacteria that lives in Old Faithful and nearby thermal features. It was a short story.

I have deleted it in favor of this longer story. Surprising New Species Of Light-harvesting Bacterium Discovered In Yellowstone. Science Daily.

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States line up against Wyoming’s bid to overturn the reinstated roadless rule

To sum it up, President Clinton issued an executive order that the Forest Service would keep all the non-wilderness, but yet roadless areas on the national forests, free of new permanent roads.

There were a number of court challenges filled to this by states like Wyoming and Idaho. They had mixed success. Then, new President George W. Bush rescinded the roadless area protection rule. More court cases were filed, and eventually the Administration said the states could petition a special committee to adopt a state-created plan to manage the roadless area for various development and retention purposes. Idaho was the only state to do this. The plan was created and adopted by the committee. Most of the rest of the states, but not Wyoming, said “keep the roadless areas, roadless”.

Then a California district judge ruled the whole Bush enterprise invalid, restoring the Clinton rules, but Wyoming is going to its favorite judge, Clarence Brimmer of the Wyoming federal district, to try to invalidate the California judge, at least for Wyoming. The result could be a different “law” for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 10th Circuit Court.

California, Montana, New Mexico and Oregon have formally intervened in the case arguing that Wyoming’s case threatens them.

Here is the AP story: States line up against overturning roadless rule.

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In Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains roadless area. Fall creek canyon.