Boise has the hottest month ever in July

Boise has the hottest month ever in July. By Heath Druzin and Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. Do you think this might explain why the fires exploded in the country to the south of Boise?

Given this knowledge it’s fascinating to watch Larry Craig’s views on climate from video on the WWP blog. Craig walks tightrope to avoid Global Warming’s contribution to wildfire.

It’s time for sagebrush patriots to rally against the land stealing rebels

The winter before last, emboldened by their power, California’s Representative from the Tracy area area, Richard Pombo, teamed up with Jim Gibbons of Nevada and hatch a scheme to steal the public lands under the disguise of mining reform.

In a move surprising to many, Westerners rallied against them, and before long Western Republicans who’d long had little good to say about public lands such as Craig Thomas, Mike Enzi, and even Larry Craig were backpeddling, and pledging their fealty to our birthright of room to roam, our great public land heritage. Even Butch Otter, then a member of the House who was proposing to sell off 20% of the national forests, etc. to pay for Hurricane Katrina, was quickly forced to drop his bill lest he lose his race for governor.

Of course, their conversion was “lite.”Now they are back at it, using the fires as the latest weapon against the public lands. John Miller’s article on the fire’s stirring an “ember of the sagebrush rebellion” should be a wake-up call. This isn’t really about fire. The fires are their vehicle to attack the public land management agencies, the firefighters, policies designed to elevate the importance of wildlife, recreation, and the average citizen. They mean to take it away from you.

It’s got to be once again more into the breach for the public land patriots.

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Western fires stir embers of ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’

Western fires stir embers of ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’. By John Miller. AP

First of all, I have always been a sagebrush patriot, not one of these “rebels” with their hand out whining for federal money and complaining that they have to follow rules. One of reasons the sagebrush rebellion was defeated was that folks saw them as band of well-connected people out to steal the public’s land for their own purposes.

It’s interesting that when a wildfire fighter is killed in the line of duty, these same politicians are the first to demand in inquiry.

Last year when Montana’s now ex-senator Conrad Burns belittled a hot shot fire crew (because ranchers had complained), his rating in the polls plunged and from there on it looked like he could well lose the election. He did lose.

From a year ago about this time . . . Report: Burns called firefighters lazy. By Charles S. Johnson.

Larry Craig is up for reelection in 2008. He will have major primary election opposition. He will also face a Democrat.

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–The Idaho Statesman today came down hard on Idaho’s “armchair” fire-fighting policians. Our View: Don’t play blame game with fire management. Editorial view of the Idaho Statesman.

Kayaker fights off hungry wolf on B.C. coast

Here is story from heaven for anti-wolf folks.

Kayaker fights off hungry wolf on B.C. coast. By Larry Pynn, CanWest News Service

Fires tax crews to the limit

Managers say no teams have all the people or equipment they need to battle wildfires in today’s hotter, drier world. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

Rocky Barker has written a story that gives little support for the Craig/Crapo/Otter position that too many regulations on grazing and protection for the environmental have played a major role in this year’s very severe fire season.

Barker is also one of the first to mention the Bush policy of making agencies take fire-fighting costs from their other programs. My view is that if matters continue to deteriorate, the fact that so many national guard units are in Iraq will start to be an issue — they are off fighting in a hard-to-fathom civil war when their number priority in the past has been to protect the homeland.

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IDFG considering whether to kill off Phantom Hill wolf pack

This wolf pack has become a favorite for folks traveling up and down Idaho Highway 75 between Galena Summit and North Fork because they are seen near by the highway.

On one side of the road is the grazing allotment of Lava Lake Sheep and Livestock, run by Mike Stevens, a very progressive outfit that elected not to put sheep in the area this summer once the wolf pack was discovered. On the other side of the highway are the sheep of Gooding-based Faulkner Land and Livestock Co., who is beginning to see losses to the Phantom Hill wolf pack which was first discovered this year, but has apparently had pups before this year’s litter.

Volunteer Cindi Hillemeyer has been working for the Idaho Fish and Game Department trying to keep the sheep and wolves apart. Although the article doesn’t say it, Hillemeyer is about to return to school for the year.

There are some local efforts to find volunteers to replace her. Support from local elected officials (Sun Valley/Ketchum) could help save this pack which could probably be moved away from the sheep by a good hazing by several individuals.

Story by Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express.

Research: Good pine nut years help grizzly bears

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