Reps. Young and Miller in Dog Fight Over Wolves

Don Young of Alaska is one of the most unpleasant and disliked members of the House, much like his cranky Senate counterpart, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens.

His tactics on this issue are like his tactics on all issues — mean. Fortunately, polls shows voters in Alaska might be ready to finally defeat him.

The dog issue is a phoney. A handful to maybe a dozen dogs are killed by wolves in the wolf states each year. Almost all are hunting hounds that intrude into wolf territories while chasing bears or cougars. Think of how many dogs there are!

Young is angry for another reason, George Miller is sponsoring a bill to ban hunting wolves from aircraft over federal lands in Alaska.

Reps. Young and Miller in Dog Fight Over Wolves. Washington Post. The Sleuth (a column by Mary Ann Akers)

Idaho’s increasing wolf population doesn’t appear to be hurting other wildlife.

Elk, deer survival high despite prowling wolves. Idaho’s increasing wolf population doesn’t appear to be hurting other wildlife. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

“Elk and deer survival remains high despite the growing wolf population in Idaho.’

Barker’s story is old news. This has been reported time after time, but it is in the Idaho Statesman (Idaho largest newspaper), and some hunters and groups will continue to say elk, deer, whatever have “been decimated.”

Are wolves or climate change bringing back the willows [in Yellowstone]?

This is from Rocky Barker’s blog today. Idaho Statesman.

I’ve been aware for some time that not everyone believes the now readily apparant (and predicted) spurt of growth of willows, aspen, and cottonwood on the Northern Range of Yellowstone is not a wolf upon elk effect.

I think it could be both wolves and a warming climate, not just one or the other. However, research on willow growth changes outside the Park needs to be done. It needs to be done in areas without wolves and finally in areas with wolves that are not inside Yellowstone Park or directly adjacent.

Battle over Bighorn

Battle over Bighorn. By Sven Berg. South Idaho Press. The first in a 2 part series.

These bighorn issue should be noted by all those who write about predators and hunting because it shows the ranchers are not just anti-wolf, but against any wildlife they think hurts their bottom line.

I recall an old bumper sticker. . . . “hunters, did a cow get your elk?”  In this case it is sheep and bighorn.

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Notice how people who work for the state of Idaho will not comment on this issue or must, in one instance, take questions only in writing and approved by their department (this is what is supposed to be academic setting).

Wolf tracks found in Rocky Mountain National Park

Wolf tracks found in RMNP. By Pamela Dickman. Longmont Times-Call.

Recall that about a month ago there was a sighting of what was thought to be a wolf in the Park. These tracks are NOT really proof of a

US Forest Service is considering a massive restructuring

Forest Service looks at changes. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune correspondent.

This proposal would greatly change this old line public lands agency. It will further deplete the number of employees actually on the ground.

Here is the view of PEER. It’s a new release.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Forest Service To Pull Its Scientists And Planners From Field. Massive Consolidation of NEPA Functions Will Take Thousands Out of Forests.

Part of this may be due to the fact that they lose NEPA lawsuit after lawsuit to conservation groups, but the problem is not inability to prepare a proper environmental impact statements, but under the Bush Administration the failure to obey the laws of the land.