Ron Gillett to stand trial Friday

Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more

Pay to play: Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

The editorial above is about Utah, but it uses California as the bad example (Utah is just as bad except that the population is smaller).

California’s current budget disaster is compounded by the costs of fighting the many fires — $13-million a day — with most of the high cost due to saving structures that never should have been built in wildlfire prone areas.

Why should others suffer monetarily because of obviously bad private decisions? In fact the bad decisions were made in part because the individuals and the developers understood that the costs of their decisions would not be borne by themselves alone.

Update (August 21) on the monetary effects of this on the Forest Service budget. Forest pinching pennies because of fire costs.  By Corey Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
One effect we have seen is no monitoring of grazing and the livestock operators are running amuck.

Still more (August 22)- Defending Homes from Wildfire Costs Montana Millions. By Matthew Frank. New West.

Fired Idaho Fish and Game Director should have his say

In July David Parrish who was the Director of Idaho Fish and Game for the Magic Valley region lost his job after he commented on the wildlife impacts of the proposed by wind farm on public and private land near Brown’s Bench.

We covered the story, but the Idaho media didn’t seem to find this outright political repression very exciting. Our story on Parrish’s firing. Finally the Idaho Press-Tribune has an editorial.

F&G official should be allowed to have his say. Idaho Press Tribune. I think it’s a good editorial.

Update. A person named “Dave” sent me an editorial that recently appeared in the Lewiston Tribune (subscription only) criticizing the politicization of Idaho Fish and Game by the Governor and state legislators. So, my statement that Idaho media almost ignored this travesty with a lack of commentary should be modified a bit. RM

Brackett Cattle Company sign near Three Creek, Idaho

Brackett Cattle Company sign near Three Creek, Idaho. Copyright Ralph Maughan. June 2008

The last days of Alaska’s kleptocracy

Alaska is a state governed by a politically corrupt elite, but the FBI is closing in.  It is a systemic problem and not surprisingly this extends to the state’s management of wildlife.

Today the New Republic has an article on what could be the end of the era. I think this article raises the question whether Alaska should have even been made a state.

“Out of the Wild.” By Charles Homans. “The last days of Alaska’s kleptocracy.”

Glacier National Park gears up to celebrate its 100th Anniversary

8-19. Change marks Glacier’s approach to centennial. Park positioning itself to deal with new realities, emerging as a leader. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

8-20. Glacier grabs hold of uncertain future. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

8-21. Glacier Park: The next century – Threats from all sides. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

The 100th year celebration of the creation of Glacier National Park in Montana on the U.S./Canada border is approaching. It’s in 2010. The Missoulian is doing a series. Here are parts I, II and III

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