Former Controversial Yellowstone Backcountry Ranger Becomes Bison Rancher

Todd Wilkinson conducted a five-part interview of Bob “Action” Jackson, the former Yellowstone Park Ranger who patrolled “the Thorofare,” the most remote part of Yellowstone, which laps over into the equally remote Teton Wilderness area (managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest). In fact, here, near the Park boundary, is the spot most remote from a road in the lower 48 states of the United States.

As Park Ranger he was tough on poachers and outspoken about the way the Park boundary area was managed, creating friends and enemies within the Park Service, outfitters, and Wyoming politicians. Conservation groups tended to be highly favorable. On my old web page, I posted numerous stories about him.

Since he left the Park Service he has become a full time bison rancher and still has plenty to say, as this 5-part series indicates. He began bison ranching while still a seasonal ranger.

Here is the first interview, which is on-line at New West. Former Controversial Yellowstone Backcountry Ranger Becomes Bison Rancher. By Todd Wilkinson. New West. Here is the last interview. A Bare-Knuckled Poke At Public Bison Herds In the West. Once you go to this link, you will find the links to the rest of the interviews at New West.

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Note: along with Lee Mercer, I wrote a backpacking guide to the Teton Wilderness and the adjacent Washakie Wilderness. It was published in 2000, and is now out of print, but available on-line in places. Getting to the Thorofare is hard 2 days walk for the fittest, but it is plenty crowded during the elk hunt on Teton Wilderness side. . . Ralph Maughan.

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Study reveals details about Yellowstone, Teton bats

Study reveals details about Yellowstone, Teton bats. By Mark Stark. Billings Gazette.

Feral dogs attack livestock in southern Idaho

“Feral dog attacks in southern Idaho have killed or injured about 100 sheep, goats and chickens this month. . . ” Associated Press.

So far this year the 700 Idaho wolves have killed about 150 sheep. I don’t know the total for feral dogs in the whole state. This story is about one month in southern Idaho.

Rest of the story. Feral dogs attack livestock in southern Idaho. AP. Idaho Statesman.

Craig’s Fall May Benefit Salmon

Craig’s Fall May Benefit Salmon. By Matthew Daily. Associated Press.

Craig is the most hostile of any senator to conserving the salmon and steelhead runs, and with very little support he had held up many measures to assure these anadromous fish would continue to spawn in Idaho, migrate downstream as smolts to the ocean and return to Idaho to spawn.

The article describes many of Craig’s most recent actions against conserving these fish.

More. I found a column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about Washington state’s US Senator Maria Cantwell (Dem) working to undo Craig’s damage in the Senate Appropriations bill. Cantwell Works to erase Criag’s Folly [regarding salmon]. By Joel Connelly.

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But has Craig really fallen? In Sunday’s Idaho Statesman wrote Popkey: For Larry Craig, ‘for now’ might mean ‘until January 2009 Popkey is the Statesman’s reporter who was on leave last spring investigating Craig.

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Also. One Week: GOP leadership’s silence on Craig speaks volumes. By Kevin Richert. Idaho Statesman. Richert is the editor of their editorial page.

I should add that at the bottom of his opinion piece Richert shows he has accepted the wolf population-is-still-growing-fast theory. However, the increase recently reported by Ed Bangs was the number of wolves estimated in mid-2007 population after maybe 500 pups were born compared to the final population figures for 2006 after there had been 7 months for the 2006 pups and adult wolves to suffer mortality. A valid comparison only comes at the end of 2007.

Mining law may be overhauled to protect public lands

Mining law may be overhauled to protect public lands. By Jennifer Talhelm. Associated Press.

“The Bush administration opposes the House bill, arguing that it would hurt small Western communities that depend on mining.” Even the mining industry knows change is badly needed. This Administration uses the stupidest, most primitive arguments on issue after issue. IMO.

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A tale of two fires: Was Ketchum treated better?

This is from the Magic Valley Times-News. A tale of two fires: was Ketchum treated better?

Both fires had huge amount of resources poured on them, so I think this story sets up a false comparison. On one hand in the Murphy range fire, you had powerful ranchers to whom politicians bow and scrape. On the other hand with Castle Rock Fire, you had a community with some of the richest and best known people in the country.

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Female grizzly killed in fight with another bear in the Lamar Valley

Usually the news is another bear killed in conflict with people, but today news of a bear/bear conflict mortality . . . Grizzly killed in bear fight. By Gazette News Services