Bush Administration trying to charge fees to photo and film on the public lands.

Now the Bush Administration wants to charge fees and require permits for people who commercially take photos or film in the national parks, national forests, BLM lands and wildlife refuges.

This is another attempt to steal your rights to use your public land right out from under you, and also to prevent coverage of what is going on on the public lands. It is also a clear violation of your First Amendment Rights.

I can see a ranger asking you for your permit to photograph the pollution running out of oil well on the national forest.

– – – – –

Closely related to this new attempt to take away your natural rights as an American is the growing citizen movement to fight back against the RAT (Recreation Access Tax). Story: Turning Back the Clock to the Good Old Days. What the Baucus-Crapo Bill Does. New West by Bill Schneider.

Breaking story: Fees proposed by Bush Administration for filming and photography on public lands. By Les Blumenthal.

Salmon Farming May Doom Wild Populations, Study Says

Salmon Farming May Doom Wild Populations, Study Says. By Juliet Eilperin and Marc Kaufman. Washington Post Staff Writers.

Salmon farms spread disease and sea lice among wild populations.

ID Fish and Game: Don’t count on Idaho wolf hunts soon

John Miller of AP wrote this: ID Fish and Game: Don’t count on Idaho wolf hunts soon.

The federal government may lift protections from northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves by March, but a state wildlife manager said Thursday he expects environmentalists’ lawsuits over Idaho’s management plan will delay legal wolf hunts for the foreseeable future. [emphasis mine]

You can always file a lawsuit, but if you are wrong on the law or the facts, you will soon find you have your case dismissed and you are out of money. If Idaho Fish and Game is saying this in advance, it seems like evidence they know their wolf population management plan is defective. I’d argue the plan is arbitrary and capricious.

This is just a feeling. No one let me into a secret meeting, but I think most F & G folks know this is just a wolf killing plan, not a hunt similar to that of other game animals. They are saying what they have been directed to say from higher authorities such as certain entrenched lobbying groups and high state officials.

Reject Idaho state’s proposed wolf plan

Opinion by Kelly Weston.

Reject state’s proposed wolf plan. (Kelley Weston is a Hailey resident). Idaho Mountain Express.

News on Montana wolf management

News From Montana
by Salle Engelhardt, vice president
Wolf Recovery Foundation

On December 9, 2007 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reconvened the original wolf management plan citizen advisory council in order to discuss their views on parameters for a future season on wolves after delisting takes place.

The State of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks functions on a biennial calendar. Therefore, in order to establish all hunt regulations for all game animals for the next two years, sessions during the next several weeks will be held to accomplish this objective. Since wolves are, currently, anticipated to be delisted this coming February, the agency is mandated by the legislature to establish the regulations for them as well.

Ten of the original members attended two sessions held in Helena on Dec. 9 and 10. Public comment was allowed during the official all-day session on the tenth. The session on the ninth was an evening event during which the committee was briefed on the current status of wolves in Montana and some discussion concerning the other two states involved in the reintroduction of the specie, Idaho and Wyoming. Discussion and MTFWP presentation by Carolyn Sime, state wolf program director, included a comparison of what they thought would happen back when the state’s management plan was developed with what is known at present.
Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Redden tells feds to fix damage to salmon from dams or else

The federal judge pressing the government to remedy the damage Columbia River dams wreak on protected salmon warned Wednesday of “very harsh” consequences if federal agencies fail to find a solution.

This is from the story in the Oregonian by Michael Milstein on the federal judge’s views on the biological opinion that is emerging from the federal government on their latest plan (their 6th “BO”) to save the salmon protected by the endangered species act. We can do better’ for fish, judge says. Columbia salmon: A federal judge promises “very harsh” measures if a solution is not found The previous five haven’t done well.

Rocky Barker has a story on Redden’s warning too today. Get serious about salmon, judge says. Redden tells federal officials he can drain water if they don’t look at all the ways to save fish. Idaho Statesman. He has followed the issue for many years and has a blog entry on it. Redden still holds out hope region can bring him legal salmon plan.

For those who haven’t following this issue, this is the other long-standing wildlife controversy in Idaho (the first being wolves). Unlike the wolves, there is real money at stake here, not a couple million, but billions. Read the rest of this entry »