Oregon Hunters Association alert on a lousy land exchange

There is a bad land exchange, harmful to wildlife, in the works in eastern Oregon. It would be nice to get 1000 acres on Steens Mountain but not at the cost of 11,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat in and near the Silvies Valley.

This alert is from the Oregon Hunters Association. RM

Who: OHA needs your help in stopping a land exchange.

What: Land Exchange of 1000 acres in Steens Mt area for approximately 10,000 to 11,000 acres of BLM ground in and around the Silvies Valley west to within a couple of miles of Yellow Jacket Reservoir.

When: Currently On-Going

Why OHA Is Against: The portion of the Silvies River plus certain tributaries and access roads that would be affected by this proposed land exchange constitutes an important part of the Silvies Wildlife Management Unit. The Silvies Unit is well known for its premium big game hunting, offering about 1,000 deer tags and 2,100 elk rifle tags per year. The Steens Wildlife Management Unit also is well known for its fine hunting, but opportunity in Steens is limited to about 250 deer rifle tags and 600 elk rifle tags per year. Read the rest of this entry »

Three “wildland use” fires get out of control

Aug. 29, 2008. I have added some new updates (in red text)

The idea of letting fires in remote areas burn in order to save money and provide ecological benefits is one of growing popularity, especially given the toll fires are taking on the Forest Service budget (the later most a crisis manufactured by the Bush Administration in order to defund the Forest Service, in my opinion).

Due to high winds, 3 fires in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming have escaped confinement — Gunbarrel in Wyoming, South Barker in Idaho, and East Sliderock.

There are stories in the newspaper today about two of them. First Gunbarrel. This is a fire we have been following for more than a week due to its proximity to Yellowstone and its size.


Gunbarrel managers drop beneficial use policy in favor of aggressive suppression. Casper Star Tribune.

‘It’s in our backyard’. By Chris Merrill. Casper Star-Tribune environment reporter. Note I have no idea why the dateline of this story is Lander, WY because the fire is no where near Lander.
8-28. Inciweb. Latest release on Gunbarrel fire.
8-28 update. Ash falls on Cody. By Ruffin Prevost. Billings Gazette.
8-29 update. Crews intensify efforts to fight month-old Gunbarrel fire. By Ruffin Prevost. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau

East Sliderock

Conditions hamper firefighters near NV wilderness. By Sandra Chereb.  Associated Press Writer. This fire burned for a long time in the Jarbidge Wilderness just south of the Idaho border. Now it is threatening Murphy Hot Springs (a remote resort area), the town of Jarbidge, and it is also burning valuable (and rare)  sage grouse country.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gillett walks for now. Jury trial ends without a verdict

Finally some details about the trial in which Ron Gillett escaped being convicted (or exonerated) in his altercation with Lynne Stone.

Gillett walks for now. Jury trial ends without a verdict
. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.