Feature on Idaho wolves tonight on Nightline

Wolves Running Wild in the West. Resurgence of Once-Endangered Species Means Renewed Tension With Ranchers. By Chris Bury and Ely Brow. June 20, 2008.

I’ve got to laugh at the first paragraph . . . “In Idaho’s rugged ranch country, a young calf killed by predators is every rancher’s worst nightmare.”

The worst nightmare?  It must be a placid life. No, this is a bunch of TV reporters trying to make a dead calf into an atrocity, far more interesting to viewers than dead soldiers in Iraq.

You can comment on-line right now on this piece that apparently runs tonight. Check for the time.

Studies conflict on National Elk Refuge elk

The important lawsuit to rid the National Elk Refuge of artificial winter feeding of elk is underway. This article in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune touches on the testimony of two experts, one on each side.

If as the interest group, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife claims, closing feedgrounds will cause elk to transmit brucellosis to cattle, why does brucellosis keep showing up in the spring next to the elk feedgrounds rather than elsewhere?

This happened most recently near Daniel, putting Wyoming’s class A status in jeopardy once again. Several years ago cows caught brucellosis from elk at the feedground near Pinedale, Wyoming. Story on the Daniel infection Brucellosis now confirmed in cows near Sublette County, WY elk feedlot. June 17, 2008.

Posted in Elk, politics, wildlife disease. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Studies conflict on National Elk Refuge elk

Dead Nevada rancher wins property rights award

After a long battle the late Wayne Hage has won in the U.S. Court of Claims. Judge Loren A. Smith awarded $4.2 million to Hage’s estate. The defendant was the U.S. Forest Service.

Rancher Hage was a “sagebrush rebel” with a ranch in a remote Nevada Valley. He eventually married Helen Chenoweth, a controversial far right-wing Idaho congresswoman. Chenoweth-Hage was killed in an auto accident not long after Hage died.

The case was a high priority for right wing property rights advocates. I haven’t heard much of an analysis from conservationists as to what the decision really means. I do think it makes it more necessary, and could add momentum, to the proposal to have a voluntary paid retirement of the grazing leases on U.S. public lands — the national grazing buyout.

Hage had a grazing lease to 700,000 acres of your public land on the basis of his 7000 acres of private property. The Forest Service confiscated his cattle after repeated tresspass and bad management. The judge did not rule in Hage’s favor by saying that a grazing lease is a property right. The case revolved the meaning of the 1866 Ditch Act and property rights in water.

Nevada rancher wins property rights award. Forest Service took his water rights, judge says. LA Times from Associated Press.

Norway’s wolf population reduced by half to 8 -15 wolves

Wolf population cut in half. Illegal hunting and the apparent lack of any new breeding in the past year has cut Norway’s wolf population in half and seriously set back efforts against extinction.” Aftenposten.no

Wolves have faced a great political struggle in Norway.

Posted in Wolves. Tags: . 25 Comments »