Payette Forest bighorn sheep decision expected out soon

Rocky Barker blogs about the bighorn sheep issue in Idaho.  

Payette Forest bighorn sheep decision expected out soon – Letters from the West 

But the ranchers who still run sheep are a hardy and dedicated bunch. They don’t want to give up a long family tradition. In fact, they want to pass it down to their kids.

It sounds nice, and of course this narrative of “family rancher” remains the party-line in Western states – incessantly chimed at agency meetings, hearings, other official gatherings, among politicians and echoed with implicit tones of admiration in regional (and especially local) media outlets.  But when one digs deeper we find a much different “family tradition”  involved in the business of running sheep on federal public lands in Idaho (and other western states).  Avid outdoors-folk see it.  The sheepman affected by the Payette Forest’s draft environmental impact statement run their business hiring others, in large part immigrants who are exploited by way of pay woefully below minimum wage ~ at the very least

And the bighorn… Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon Cougar-Killing

Some are saying that Oregon’s strategy of killing cougars to reduce complaints about cougars (whether it be in urban interfaces, to increase elk calf survival, or for fear of loss of livestock) isn’t working… In fact, it may be counter-productive, destabilizing the cougar population by encouraging younger, less experienced cougars to move into areas formerly

Oregon lawmakers keeping tabs on cougar killingAP

Wielgus’ lab monitored the results, and in a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Wildlife Biology, concluded that, “increased hunting could actually result in increased cougar complaints because of the younger age structure of the cougar population and the higher proclivity of young animals to encounter humans and cause complaints.