Bear vs. bike: Montana teacher riding to school runs into bruin

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Boise State Univ forum on Idaho’s environmental politics is Sept. 18

Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept.

So, is this what “drill, baby drill” means? 😉

As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.”

“Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept. By Charlie Savage. New York Times.

more Allred responds to Interior ethics scandal. Boise Weekly.

Stephen Allred is the former Idaho Department of Environmental Quality director. Kempthorne took him to Washington and made him head of the Land, Minerals and Management Bureau

Gold pit mine planned at Elk City, Idaho. Alert

Elk City is a very remote small town in north central, Idaho. It is 40 miles up the South Fork of the Clearwater River Canyon from Grangeville (no facilities between them). Despite its remote location, the local streams were badly damaged by placer mining years ago.

Mining companies don’t placer mine much any more. They have moved to pit mines and cyanide heap leaching.


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A Canadian mining company is proposing an open-pit cyanide heap leach mine in the headwaters of the South Fork of the Clearwater River. The Buffalo Gulch mine would be on Bureau of Land Management land just west of Elk City.

The Canadian mining company is using a flawed mine plan from the 1980s. Every major open-pit cyanide leach mine in Montana that used this same design ended up contaminating water supplies with cyanide or other toxins.

Main Points

  • This project is a threat to one of Idaho’s most precious resources: clean drinking water.
  • The mine would be only a few hundred feet from local drinking water wells and tributaries to the South Fork of the Clearwater River, an important salmon and steelhead stream.
  • If cyanide or diesel fuel were to leak into a stream or spill in a truck accident along the river, it could have devastating impacts on clean water and fisheries. The Bureau of Land Management must address transportation of hazardous chemicals.
  • The mining company must update its outdated mine plan in response to recent accidents at other mines.

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Idaho Statesman: Politicians blow smoke when talking wildfires

Idaho Statesman’s view: Politicians blow smoke when talking wildfires

This editorial is about the giant Murphy range fire of 2007 and the attempt by leading Idaho politicians to say it was so hard to control because too much native vegetation had been uneaten by cows.

A recent report by the BLM and other government agencies said that was not so (despite what must have been enormous political pressure on them).

The Wildlife News recently reported on the study’s release.

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Wyoming brucellosis. Another cow may test positive

If a cow from a second herd tests positive, Wyoming will again lose its brucellosis free status, and it looks like one will.

It’s important to remember that the recent brucellosis infection near Danial, WY came from one of the state’s elk feedlots that conservation groups are trying to shut down because they are breeding grounds for disease and transmission.

The same was true when Wyoming first lost its brucellosis free status about 4 years ago.

The news article merely says the new case is in Sublette County. It doesn’t say if it is near an elk winter feedlot.

Wyoming brucellosis. Another cow may test positive. By Matt Joyce. Casper Star Tribune.

This whole matter is especially important for wildlife conservation because some livestock groups want to have a general extermination of elk over a huge area so they won’t have the inconvenience of vaccinating their livestock and/or the moderate burdens imposed by not having a class A brucellosis status for the state.

Note that Montana recently lost is brucellosis free status.

As Campaign Heats Up, Untruths Can Become Facts Before They’re Undone

Do I need to preface this by saying it’s unfortunate?

As Campaign Heats Up, Untruths Can Become Facts Before They’re Undone. By Jonathan Weisman. Washington Post Staff Writer.

This year is hardly unique, but I do think it is getting worse because lies can be generated and disseminated so quickly.