Longtime Schweitzer friend tapped to run Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Schweitzer’s old roommate will run the state’s wildlife agency-

Maybe someone from Montana could tell us if this is a hopeful appointment.

Because the old head of the agency was appointed by the right wing Governor July Martz, I’d speculate that this will be an improvement.

Story: Longtime Schweitzer friend tapped to run FWP. By Jennifer McKee Of The Billings Gazette Staff

Green Old Party: What would a conservative environmentalist agenda look like?

Conservation and conservatism are not opposites, although the present day Republican Party has made them so-

Slate Magazine says that to come back the Republicans have to green up, and it spells out how.

I especially like the section of the article “Don’t cap, don’t trade—tax.:

Taxes on pollution and the depletion of non-renewable resources could be used to dramatically change the way business and personal decisions are made and yet not expand government regulations or increase the government’s share of the revenue pie, IF these new revenues go to replacing existing taxes.

Bark Beetles Kill Millions of Acres of [Pine] Trees in West

Beetle kill is hardly a local issue-

This is not the first I’ve posted articles about this, but it needs to repeated because of the continuing local perception that is an issue for a particular national forest or state without the recognition that pine trees (but not necessarily other kinds of conifers) are dying by the billions from the British Columbia and Alberta mountains southward to New Mexico.

Story in the New York Times. Nov. 17, 2008. Bark Beetles Killing . . . By Jim Robbins.

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Update. George Wuetherner has some important additions, clarifications, and corrections that need to be made to Robbins’ article above. Context and Perspective Needed in Bark Beetle Discussion. By George Wuetherner. Wuethner on the Environment (blog).

Bush political appointees burrow into permanent posts

Partisans moved from replaceable positions to unfireable career civil servants-

A number of these are in the Department of Interior. You can never get rid of these assholes.

Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees. Political Positions Shifted To Career Civil Service Jobs. By Juliet Eilperin and Carol D. Leonnig. Washington Post.

Conservation groups lose big-time on YNP snowmobiles for this winter

720 snowmobiles a day for Yellowstone Park this winter-

A month ago there was a question whether there would be any snowmobiling at all this winter in Yellowstone after a victory by conservation groups in DC Federal Court.

Then the groups agreed to a temporary plan for 318 snowmobiles a day. However, a ruling by Wyoming’s Federal Judge Clarence Brimmer allowed the Park Service to restore levels to 720 snowmobiles a day, a figure not seen since 2004.

Park to go with 720 sleds per day. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

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Update: you should read Jim McDonald’s comment on this post.

Here is another story on it from Wyoming File dot com. Wyoming Ruling Complicates Snowmobile Scene, Pro-Snowmobile Group Declares Victory. 11/17/2008. By Brodie Farquhar