The Showerbath Fire

This fire has been burning deep in the Frank Church Wilderness NW of Challis and has received little attention. Some days it has put up very large plumes as this story from the Challis Newspaper indicates, and it has a big impact on wilderness recreation, air quality, and the future ecology of the area.

Shower Bath and Red Bluff fires increase substantially in size. By Todd Adams. Challis Messenger.

Shower Bath plume. Challis Messenger.

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Otter appoints former Forest Supervisor an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner

Appointment of these commissioners is one of the most important actions of a governor regarding wildlife.

News story from Idaho Fish and Game about the appointment of Fred Trevey.

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Kempthorne’s New Interior? Mountaintop removal mining and expanded stream dumping

Western Watersheds Blog has located the news the Secretary Dirk Kempthone and his “new honest” Department of Interior has just approved regulations that make the stip mining in Appalachia even worse.

Judge Orders Bush to Report on Global Warming

This dovetails nicely with the story previous about Mark Rey.

The Associated Press reports “The Bush administration violated federal law by missing deadlines to produce a study on the impact of global warming, now as much as two years overdue, and must issue a summary by March, a federal judge ruled. Judge Saundra B. Armstrong of Federal District Court in Oakland, Calif., said the United States government “unlawfully withheld action” required under the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to update a research plan and scientific assessment of climate change.”

Here is the story as told in Wired. Judge to Bush: Cough Up the Climate Change Reports.  By Brandon Klein.

Once again, they believe obeying the law is purely optional. . .  America’s lawless presidency.

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Bush top forestry official could be jailed for contempt of court

I am reposting this because there were a lot of technical defects in my original post several days ago.

Judge: Bush Official Faces Contempt of Court. By Jeff Bernard. Washington Post.
“If found in contempt, Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, could go to jail until the Forest Service complies with the court order to do the environmental review.

Rey, a former timber lobbyist, is the boss over the Chief of the Forest Service. He failed to produce a report U.S. District Judge Donald W. Malloy in Missoula had ordered about impacts of dropping ammonium phosphate on streams. This fertilizer is the main ingredient in fire retardants. Many fish have been killed.

A stint in jail for Rey is being requested because the Forest Service is legally immune to fines. There has to be some penalty to make Bush officials obey the courts. They just seem to think laws, orders from judges, orders from Congress, etc. are all optional. There’s the US Government and then there is the Bush Government.

– – – –
The Sierra Club had plenty to say about Rey.

August 23, 2007
Firestorm at the Fire Service
By Josh Dorner

The Bush administration seems to have mastered the dark art of making the cure worse than the disease. Take people who were the victims of natural disasters and put them in trailers that will make them sick and even possibly kill them; send people to Ground Zero and the surrounding area without proper protection after 9/11 and then lie about the health consequences (and then later lie to cover up the your first lies); or maybe, you know, take away our civil rights in order to “protect” us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are prey hard-wired to fear predators?

Preliminary data about predators and large ungulates indicates that fear is learned rather than inherent, although not all scientists agree.

Story: Are prey hard-wired to fear predators? By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune

Governor Freudenthal to industry: Back wildlife efforts.

Gov to [gas and oil] industry: Back wildlife efforts. By Dustin Bleizeffer. Casper Star-Tribune energy reporter.

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Castle Rock Fire managers rush to establish lines of defense before weekend weather blows in

Firefighters face race against weather. Castle Rock Fire managers rush to establish lines of defense. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

They have been setting many backfires in preparation for predicted high winds this weekend. The backfires burned a lot of country themselves as well as produced towering smoke columns.

Added later on 8/24. Shields of flame. Blaze near Ketchum grows to more than 16,000 acres; only 9 percent contained. By Cass Friedman. Times-News writer

Added on 8/25. Blaze battle continues. Today’s weather will determine how fire goes. Times-News.

Backfire burns up Adams Gulch, a popular hiking and mountain biking area just north of Ketchum. Photo by Lynne Stone

As night falls, wind drives flames to the Fox Creek ridge north of Ketchum. Photo was taken from the Boulder
Mountains. Ketchum was smothered in smoke. Copyright Lynne Stone.

Castle Rock fire near Ketchum, Idaho as seen from Stanley, Idaho (about 60 miles away).
Copyright Lynne Stone

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