6.3 quake shakes Wells, Nevada area

This was a fairly strong quake.

I felt it for about 10 seconds at my home in Pocatello, Idaho. That is in SE Idaho

Northeastern Nevada Hit by 6.0 Quake. AP (with a photo of damage)

Update: Nevada earthquake ripples through Treasure Valley [Idaho]. More than a dozen aftershocks were reported Thursday from a 6.0-magnitude temblor. Wells, Nev., was hit the hardest. By Kathleen Kreller. Idaho Statesman.

Related. Experts: Utah’s big one inevitable. Salt Lake Tribune. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune 

Western Watersheds, allies win again. This time on Mono Basin sage grouse

Below is the news release. These folks seem to win or make a favorable settlement on a lawsuit almost every day. Ralph Maughan

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For Immediate Release, February 21, 2008Contacts:
Lisa Belenky, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 385-5694 (cell)
Katie Fite, Biodiversity Director, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 429-1679
Mark Salvo, Director, Sagebrush Sea Campaign, WildEarth Guardians, (503) 757-4221

Sage Grouse Protection to Be Revisited: Bush Administration Agrees to Reassess Endangered Species Act Protection for Mono Basin Population

San Francisco– Conservation groups today announced they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit challenging the Bush administration’s decision not to consider the groups’ petition to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. Under the settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to a voluntary remand of the earlier decision and must provide a new “90-day” finding by April 25, 2008.The Center for Biological Diversity, Sagebrush Sea Campaign, Western Watersheds Project, and Desert Survivors filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in federal court in August 2007, challenging the agency’s December 2006 decision not to consider listing the Mono Basin area sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Conservation organizations petitioned the government to recognize the Mono Basin area sage grouse as a distinct population segment and list the population as “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2005. In December 2006 the Fish and Wildlife Service denied the petition, acknowledging that Mono Basin area sage grouse are genetically distinct from other greater sage grouse but holding that the petition did not demonstrate sufficiently that the species was at risk of extinction. Conservation groups contend that the Service ignored or dismissed significant evidence of impacts from increasing habitat loss and fragmentation from development, livestock grazing, off-road vehicle use, increased fire frequency and intensity, the spread of invasive, nonnative plants, and drought.

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Final wolf delisting rule

Here is the link to the final delisting rule published today.

Rocky Barker: Wolf battle heats up in the next few weeks

Wolf battle heats up in the next few weeks. This is Rocky’s blog today in the Idaho Statesman. It summarizes the legal situation.

Posted in Delisting, politics, Wolves. Comments Off on Rocky Barker: Wolf battle heats up in the next few weeks

Montana approves wolf hunting season

This was expected, and it isn’t really the news.

Story in the Casper Star Tribune. Montana approves wolf hunting season. By Eve Byron. Lee News Service

The news is that Montana rejected things like trapping wolves (a grave danger to grizzly bears and dogs) and the use of artificial lures, baits, scents, electronic calls, aerial hunting, and night vision hunting. Moreover, the wolf hunting season does not go on for an extended period of time. Idaho’s proposed season goes on through the winter and will maximize the disruption of wolf packs and replacement of the wolves that packs loose due to the hunt.

Ed Bang’s statement, however, is as usual, superficial but popular crap public relations that “It’s time. It’s past time, and the sooner we just start treating wolves like any other animal — mountain lions, black bears, deer or elk — the better it will be for everyone, including the wolves.”

Each of the animals he names is different and in terms of hunting they are not treated the same. Moreover, there are far fewer wolves in Montana than cougar and bears.

Montana knows that they are the state that could most easily slip to an insufficient number of breeding pairs of wolves, and I think a hunt is premature on a statewide basis, so if they misjudge, emergency relisting of the wolf will quickly be on the agenda.

I think Idaho and Wyoming are going to be the real problem states when it comes to wolf killing.

HJR002: amending Idaho constitution to make hunting preferred means of wildlife management

It appears that the Big-Game interests are pushing hard in Idaho. House Joint Resolution No.2 (HJR002) would amend the state constitution to :

provide that the people have the right to hunt, fish, trap and harvest wild game

Fair enough, I mean, it’s not like the state doesn’t already exercise this ‘right’ as it is. People can hunt. But what’s this about ? :

Public hunting, fishing and trapping shall be the preferred means of managing and controlling species under state control.

This on the eve of wolf delisting…

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