Maughan: I’m back. Thank you Brian!

I just got home from nine days exploring the nearly empty backcountry of Nevada. It was time to get into the outdoors. Spring finally arrived for a week, and it was time to get away from the Dark Ages political regime that currently rules Idaho.

While in Nevada I didn’t have access to the Internet, although I took my laptop and one motel promised access, but couldn’t deliver. I didn’t bother to waste money for yet a another motel. It’s much better to wake up with deer standing around my pickup with coyotes howling nearby.

I thought Brian Ertz took over this blog and did an extraordinary job, and I want to publicly thank him for running this website during my absence. Of course, he will continue posting articles and comment.

Oil & Gas eyes your public lands

With increasing fuel prices, the oil and gas industry is chomping at the bit to get at vast oil and gas reserves on your public lands.

Oil and Gas on Public Lands Off-Limits to ExplorationENN

Report Offers Road Map for Energy Relief [Bush’s] BLM

With climate change, mining, livestock grazing, timber, exotic species and other uses and abuses of our public lands that wildlife and wildlife habitat has endured over the past century this industry may already have a problem… among others.

Are energy reserves that may or may not be accessible on your public lands worth the cost to wildlife, our environmental heritage, our children’s environmental trust ?  Is $4/gallon gas the problem ?  Is domestic extraction of fossil fuels on public lands the solution ?

It seems to me that all of these symptoms might be pointing to a deeper problem.

Update 5/24/08 – Cost of Drilling : Wells threaten tourism, hunting, and natural beauty – Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Idaho Fish and Game commissioners spite department biologist’s own recommendation – raise limit 100 over

It’s higher than the initial proposal, giving some indication of the commission’s temperament. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission has set the limit at what the Statesman claims might mean the killing of 500 wolves :

Fish and Game commissioners set limit for 2008 wolf huntIdaho Statesman

As is noted in the article, the commission went higher than Department biologists recommended – wanting to assure the goal of just over 500 wolves in Idaho is made – because the politically appointed commission, “did not believe that hunting would bring the wolf population numbers down to the levels they wanted to see.”

No word on Wolf Watching areas.

Added : Hunting Season Announced for Once Endangered Gray Wolf – LocalNews8

Coverage of Jerome IDFG Meeting & wolves as “terrorists”

The Times-News covers an Idaho Department of Fish & Game open house on the upcoming wolf hunt. Unlike the meeting in Boise, an area that enjoys wolf support, it appears that the Jerome meeting was attended by many of the commissioners themselves. Additionally, unlike in Boise, it appears that the public was given the opportunity to make comments in “hearing” format – a format which enjoys the attention of all in attendance – including the commissioners themselves. Blaine County residents did not enjoy the opportunity to attend any such meeting.

Who’s tired of the big, bad wolf? – Times-News

The coverage includes video in the top right corner in which members demand widespread removal of wolves and in which one likens wolves to “terrorists”.

The Idaho Statesman notes that hunters are pushing hard to reduce wolf numbers:

Hunters push Fish and Game commission to reduce wolf population to protect big game industry

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