Yellowstone Wolves: Embattled Again

Time Magazine sounds the alarm!

The headline is misleading because Yellowstone National Park’s wolves are not embattled except indirectly by gradual deterioration of their genetics if adjacent non-Park wolf packs are eliminated.

Nevertheless, the article makes it clear the 1200 or so wolves outside the Park are probably threatened with a large reduction in their numbers. The effect of a Time Magazine article is on a national audience, not the local, and it’s good to see the alert go out.

Congressional legislative action is the very best way of preventing large wolf reduction.

Yellowstone Wolves: Embattled Again. By Pat Dawson. Time Magazine

Massive Wilderness Bill Inches Forward—13 Years Later

This is a report in New West on NREPA, which is getting its first ever hearing in Congress.

Opponents have always argued that the grand Northern Rockies Ecosystem Projection Act isn’t’ politically feasible, but bills that are commonly hailed as “feasible” have not been enacted either. There are a few exceptions in greener places like California, or where very unpleasant trade-offs were made like White Pine County, Nevada. There also some places where that nasty slug Richard Pombo (now oozing his way around D.C. as a lobbyist) held up bills despite support by the state’s congressional delegation (Oregon and Washington).

Bison advocate convicted of obstructing peace officer while filming hazing

Folks might recall when Dan Brister was injured and arrested last winter while videoing the Montana DOL haze bison north of West Yellowstone, Montana. He is project director for the Buffalo Field Campaign.

He had a jury trial and was convicted of obstructing a peace officer after a one-day trial in Gallatin County Justice Court. He was fined $585 and sentenced to six months probation after the jury found him guilty. I guess that will keep him safely away while the DOL does its dirty work this winter.

Story in the Bozeman Chronicle.

Senate Subcommittee considers Great Basin management

The Senate Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee is holding a hearing in Las Vegas today ~ Thursday, October 11 ~ to discuss threats to the Great Basin. From what I gather, fire and cheatgrass will be highlighted on the agenda. Subscription only article from E & E :

The Senate Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee looks at environmental threats facing rangelands and forests in the Great Basin at a field hearing Thursday in Las Vegas.

The Great Basin includes much of Nevada, western Utah, the lower third of Idaho, the southeastern corner of Oregon and a narrow strip of eastern California. It has been under assault recently by a combination of invasive species, wildfire, drought and climate change.

The hearing has the potential to alter the current momentum of the debate over how best to manage habitat in the West that continues to diminish ~ habitat that is critical to the almost listed pygmy rabbit, sage grouse, and a host of other species including pronghorn, a variety of beautiful birds, fish, and other wonderous plants and animals.

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Posted in Climate change, invasive species, Las Vegas, public lands, public lands management, wildfire, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: . Comments Off on Senate Subcommittee considers Great Basin management

Global Warming, Western Ranching, and the Bovine Curtain

Global Warming, Western Ranching, and the Bovine Curtain. This is from the WWP blog linking to an opinion by George Wuerthner as to how cattle contribute mightily to global climate change.

Just like the old Iron Curtain that squelched any critical discussion of Communism’s failures, we in the West live behind a “Bovine Curtain.” The Bovine Curtain is—like the Iron Curtain—operated by the state, using taxpayer dollars to continuously broadcast propaganda about the virtues of ranching in the West and suppressing any negative or critical information. . . . Wuerthner.

NCDE grizzly bear study deserves assured funding

The Northern Continental Divide ecosystem in northwest central Montana is the second largest grizzly population in the lower 48 states. It consists of Glacier National Park, the Great Bear, Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Mission Mountains wilderness areas and several million acres of adjacent roaded and unroaded, public and private land.

A sophisticated population size study has been underway in the area using DNA analysis of bear fur snagged on numerous scent posts in the NCDE. One conclusion has been that the population size is well over 500 (good news). It seems to be more accurate and less expensive than older methods of counting grizzly populationsl

Unfortunately the funds for continuing this are not assured, and for next year they were cobbled together at the last minute.

Grizzly research deserves funding. Daily InterLake. Opinion (you can comment on this in the InterLake).

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