The eons-old Grand Canyon celebrates its 90th birthday as a national park.

Happy Birthday, Grand Canyon National Park! By Ray Stern. Phoenix New Times.

NW Montana hunters at local rally complain predators are wiping out elk

They’ve been saying the same thing for years. How many times can elk be wiped out and their numbers stay generally the same? 😉

Wolves in the sights: Hunters complain predators are wiping out elk. By Michael Jamison of the Missoulian

Call Idaho legislators about anti-bighorn sheep bills

Pete Zimowsky, of the Idaho Statesman, speaks out against the anti-bighorn sheep bills.

“In my 40 or so years of hunting and fishing in the West and covering wildlife issues, I have never seen such anti-wildlife bills. I think hunters, wildlife photographers, jet-boat and rafting outfitters and conservationists should be outraged by these bills and contact Idaho legislators.”

He’s not alone in feeling this way.

Call Idaho legislators about anti-bighorn sheep bills
Pete Zimowsky, Idaho Statesman.

Tamarack to close next week

West-central Idaho resort to close due to judges decision.

This resort was first conceived as Valbois then Westrock, and now Tamarack. From the beginning people questioned whether there was funding to back up the plans.

At the time it was being proposed Governor, and now former Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, along with other Republican politicians wanted it to be a success so they gave it the thumbs up to use state lands.

President George W. Bush visited the resort while on vacation days before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Presumably Kempthorne asked to become Secretary of Interior during his visit with him.

Marine One flew right by my home on the way to the resort. I presume they didn’t see my reaction.

Tamarack to close next week
Idaho Statesman

Bison relocation plan deemed ‘too risky’

Again, it’s not about disease, it’s about control over land, wildlife and people.

Buffalo with 2 ear tags.jpg
Bison in quarantine near Gardiner.
Photo © Kim Acheson, Buffalo Field Campaign
Used with permission.

While I think that the quarantine plan is misguided I do believe that those bison in the program should be allowed to roam freely as wildlife.

This bill would make it illegal to transport the bison over Montana’s highways which is done currently when bison are hauled to slaughter. Apparently the transfer of bison to the Eastern Shoshone Wind River Reservation in Wyoming would be permitted.

Another issue that is raised here is the fact that the bison currently at Fort Peck Reservation have been hybridized with another species, cattle. I don’t know what the plan is for managing any bison received from this program would be but I hope that they would be separated from any that are hybridized so that there is no further hybridization. Genetically pure bison are rare and they should be valued for their special nature.

The quarantine facility has other problems not raised in the article too. How does removing calves from the rest of their herd and raising them on alfalfa affect their behavior and social structure? Can that social structure be regained over time? Habituation to humans can cause severe problems in other species such as wolves, bears, and coyotes as well as other species.

What will happen to those bison that don’t get relocated? Will they be slaughtered too? These people seem to be pulling out every reason they can to be irrational about this issue.

Bison relocation plan deemed ‘too risky’
Helena Independent Record.