Forest Service rubberstamps grazing in Mexican wolf territory

The Mexican wolf has many strikes against is restoration. The was allowed to become extinct in the wild, so every sucessfully “rewilded” wolf is very valuable. It’s territory has been artificially limited to “the box,” a relatively small area bestride the Arizona-New Mexico border. It’s restoration area, some of which is designated wilderness, is mostly full of cattle, many of them poorly attended to with dead cows allowed to fester and attract scavengers, including wolves.

Wild Again has a disturbing article how the US Forest Service is rubberstamping grazing permits on the Gila National Forest. Well, In the midst of New Mexico’s Wolf Awareness Week, Forest Guardians and Sinapu filed suit in federal district court . . . to overturn all decisions in which the Forest Service allowed livestock grazing on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico without public participation or consideration of impacts to endangered species.

Full Story at Wild Again (Sinapu)

New record number of visits today!

I guess going to a moderated blog pleased those who are likely to visit this blog.

Everyday WordPress tallies the number of visits to each blog and each post on the blog. That happens at 6 PM mountain time. It is now 3:46 PM mountain time and a new daily record of visits has been set.

I think the acrimonious comments were driving people away.

“Canid” shot a year ago in Vermont was a wolf, genetic tests say

One of the most viewed articles on this blog has been the post of a year ago about what seemed to be a wolf, the first in over 100 years, shot in Vermont. Story from Oct. 2006.

Finally, genetic tests are in and indicate it was a wolf.

Genetic test confirms wolf shot in Vermont. By Peter Hirschfeld. Times Argus Staff

It’s “National Wolf Awareness Week”

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson went to far as to declare this unofficial week.

“Wolf Awareness Week” declared in New Mexico .

Wild Bill: Should new Wilderness areas allow mountain bikes as a way of gathering political support?

This is a pretty controversial topic. When the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, there were not really any mountain bikes. The Act clearly bans motorized recreation, but it is somewhatunclear about muscle powered mechanical. I think it is clear enough that the judgment is against bikes.

The regulations written to flesh out the Act prohibited mountain bikes. The government’s interpretation has been very purist. Some really like that; others don’t; but it surely makes it harder to pass a Wilderness Bill.

Some mountain bike organizations have supported Wilderness anyway, but others have teamed up politically with the real target of the Wilderness Act, motorcycles, ATVs (although they didn’t exist in 1964), 4 x 4s, aircraft (except for some grandfathered backcountry airstrips), motorboats.

Allowing mountain bikes will probably require an explicit statement that they are allowed in future legislation.

Wild Bill: Are We Ready for Wilderness Lite? By Bill Schneider. New West.

Here is the text of the Act regarding “prohibited uses,”

(c) Except as specifically provided for in this chapter, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.

Montana bird hunter mauled by grizzly bear

This was not a greater Yellowstone grizzly, but a NCDE griz.

He apparently came across the grizzly who was in a “day bed.”

Story. Billings Gazette News Services.

Posted in Bears. Comments Off on Montana bird hunter mauled by grizzly bear

Gill-netting culls 73,000 lake trout from Yellowstone Lake

Gill-netting culls 73K lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. By Mike Stark.Billings Gazette. The more nets they throw into Yellowstone Lake, the more pesky lake trout they seem to catch.

Despite the increase haul of this introduced cutthroat trout-eating predator, the Yellowstone cutthroat are just barely holding their own, if that.

Announcement: all posts must now be approved.

Because too many comments are now contributing little new about wildlife, etc., that is, there is little information, analysis, or reasonable discussion. There are too many personal attacks. This is becoming a moderated forum, at least for a while.

If you send a comment, I will have to approve it before it appears. That might be quickly or take several days because I do enjoy the outdoors and I am involved with two conservation organizations.

I am also thinking of some other devices WordPress allows that might return the blog to a more reasoned discussion of these matters.

Ralph Maughan, webmaster