Another hold on a Dept. of Interior nominee

Earlier I reported that Ken Salazar, Democratic Senator from Colorado, had put a hold on the nomination of Idahoan Jim Caswell to be the new national director of the Bureau of Land Management.

Today reading Randy Stapilus’ Blog (Ridenbaugh Press), I learned the Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has a hold on Lyle Laverty, whom Bush nominated to replaced the now notorious Julie MacDonald, the department’s former deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. MacDonald had rewritten the recommendations of USFWS biologists on endangered species.

In a related embarassment, Secretary Kempthorne had made Mark Limbaugh (another Idahoan and the assistant secretary for water and science), in charge the department’s new Conduct Accountability Board, formed in the wake of the many DOI ethical and criminal scandals.

However, within a week Limbaugh resigned to go work for a water development lobbying group. Senator Wyden was not amused by this and the hold on Laverty continues.

Story: Wyden, Kempthorne and endangered species. By Randy Stapilus

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Failure to produce lynx kittens this year in Colorado

After several years of rising success in the lynx restoration in Colorado, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said they haven’t found single kitten this year.

Nevertheless, it might part of the natural cycle of lynx. The cycle of abandance and then scarcity of snowshoe hare and lynx is well known by even those with most meager information about animal population dynamics.

However, it might not be natural.  That’s another possibility. Colorado’s not Canada and don’t recall the Colorado lynx rely so heavily on snowshoe hare.

Story in the Durango Herald Tribune.

Posted in wildcats. Comments Off on Failure to produce lynx kittens this year in Colorado

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves and salmon

In recent email Jim Robertson wrote the following (see below). It was so interesting I decided to post it (with his kind permission). My, but he has some great photographs!

Ralph Maughan

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Pattengail Creek Wildland Fire near Dillon, MT could be a bad one

This fire has been burning for over a week, but it looks like now it could really take off. It is in southwest Montana to the NW of Dillon. It is a forest fire, not a rangefire.

Inciweb page on Pattengail Creek.

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50 Dirtiest U.S. Power Plants Named

While coal-fired power plants are notoriusly dirity, some are a lot worse than others. They are usually the older plants.

One that has long galled me is the old, but big, 4-corners power plant near the Four Corners area of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It spews its pall over the scenic canyonlands country and the Grand Canyon, and as the article indicates, is a prime example of environmental racism because it was imposed on an area with a lot of poor Native Americans (along with still other coal plants, strip mines, and leaky natural gas wells).

Story. 50 Dirtiest Power Plants. ENS

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