Wolfwatching on Dunraven

Salle Englehart, WRF’s Vice President, was kind enough to email me this report from Aug. 27 (or 28?). People are seeing the Agates. Kathie Lynch told me the same.

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Wolfwatching on Dunraven
by Salle Engelhardt

Yesterday I was given the day off and decided to take my brand new 10×42 binoculars out and see how well they work for my needs in the Park. They were as good as any spotting scope I have used.

I originally wanted to go see the now famous grizzly sow with the four cubs again but was not able to catch up with her while I was on the mountain. There were also four black nears near the Dunraven Trailhead but I never saw them either. I concluded that it was a wolf watching day instead so I went down the northern slope and parked about halfway down.

Within minutes I spotted a big black wolf on the eastern edge of the floodplain on the valley floor. Moments later there was a large gray that emerged from the deep creek bed, wandered over to the shady spot where the black wolf lay, they “talked” a moment and the gray went off in a northwesterly direction.A few minutes later a French couple showed up and wondered at what I was watching. As we sat on the edge of the grass and talked about the wolves, sharing my bino’s, I decided that I didn’t really know enough about this pack so I cheated, I called Ralph from a cell phone and asked him about the pack. While I was speaking to Ralph, several other wolves emerged from the creek bed until there were seven of them visible. Three blacks, four grays. One gray is so light that its whiter parts look alabaster in the sunlight, another is so dark that it looks like it has light dappling on a dark, almost black, background. the other grays look silvery in the sun.

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Invasive weed (cheat grass) a fuel for West’s wildfires

Invasive weed a fuel for West’s wildfires. By Patrick O’Driscoll, USA Today.

This is a fine and an easy-to-understand article on the role cheatgrass plays in the range fires of today’s West.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way — conservationists were to be held to blame for the fires and Larry Craig was to roll onto an easy reelection victory. Instead we have USA Today explaining cheatgrass and fires to the masses, and Larry Craig not going to be reelected, and maybe gone from the Senate before the end of 2007.

Posted in invasive species, wildfire. Comments Off on Invasive weed (cheat grass) a fuel for West’s wildfires

Bears wandering into Jackson, WY

Scarcity of wild food and ample food in town, led 3 bears into Jackson on Aug. 28 (at least I guess because the story is written in an unusual tense).

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.  By Corey Hatch.

Posted in Bears. 3 Comments »

U.S. Senate Environment Committee Member Fined for Lewd Behavior

Senator Larry Craig’s predicament is hardly news, so most of this story is now old news. U.S. Senate Environment Committee Member Fined for Lewd Behavior. ENS. However, the story describes some of the recent actions the Senator has taken against protecting our environment. This and the WWP blog have also chronicled his attempt to use the big range fires to advance an agenda that would not heal the land, but continue old practices of grazing that have played a major role leading us to their extremely flammable condition.

The ENS story only mentions his recent assaults against good conservation practices, but the Senator has boosted welfare ranching, the timber industry, oil and gas, and numerous polluters for a generation and a half. The latest news is that he is now resigning from his Senate Committees, places where he plotted midnight riders to sweep aside laws that benefited wildlife, clean air, and regulation of natural resource industries.

Many suspected until just the other day that Craig would force through some measure to guarantee that the awful grazing status quo would remain in force in the area swept by the giant Murphy Fire. Now with his Republican colleagues telling him to step down, there is more hope for our native wildlife, vegetation and land.

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Note: more specifically, Craig was asked and agreed to temporarily step down as the ranking (top) Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests. The last two are critically important for management of our public lands.

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