Group seeks halt to big phosphate mine expansion

Group seeks halt to phosphate mine expansion in SE Idaho. By Gene Johnson. AP legal affairs writer

A lawyer for a group of environmentalists, landowners and outdoor enthusiasts asked a federal appeals court April 7 to at least temporarily block the expansion of a phosphate mine in southeastern Idaho…

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Note that on April 10, there was a big legal victory in the 9th Circuit court for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and conservationists fighting this mine. I haven’t seen any media on it yet. Ralph Maughan

IDFG’s plans to manage wolves includes killing 26 packs as well as 80% or 100 wolves in the Lolo

250 to 300 Idaho wolves could be killed if delisting occurs.

On May 2nd wolves will be delisted leaving a window of at least 30 days before the decision could be enjoined by a judge. During this time, assuming an injunction, a number of things could happen at the hands of the Idaho Fish and Game Department and Wildlife Services.

Based on what is in the written record it appears that anywhere from 250 to 300 wolves could be killed in a very short period of time through means other than hunting by individual hunters. Earlier I reported that Wildlife Services was seeking the flexibility to kill 26 packs for “chronic” depredations and now it appears that Idaho Fish and Game is on board with this plan. In the event of delisting, these plans will likely go forward and the result will be the death of 30% to 35% of Idaho’s 846 wolves.

From: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/about/commission/2009/jan27.pdf

To develop and aggressively utilize all available tools and methods to control wolf-caused depredation of domestic livestock.

• Staff have worked with Wildlife Services to identify 25 wolf pack territories with chronic livestock conflicts (>3 occurrences in 2008)

• Staff will implement aggressive and efficient control measures, including entire pack removal, for wolf packs with chronic histories of livestock depredation

• Staff will work with the Office of Species Conservation to request a Department of Interior Solicitor’s opinion on the 45-day window

Idaho Fish and Game Department commonly states that it will manage wolves in the same way that it manages bears and mountain lions but this seems to be a falsehood. There are no plans underway to reduce the number of Idaho’s 3000 mountain lions or 20,000 bears by a third nor is there the hysteria surrounding those species. The State legislature has not stepped in with crazy legislation regarding bears and mountain lions either, and the director of the Idaho Fish and Game has not attended meetings where illegal activities are promoted to exterminate wolves from the state as happened this weekend.

The Idaho Fish and Game also continues to perpetuate false information. In this video you will see that IDFG claims that the growth rate of the wolf population in Idaho is 20%. This is incorrect. Their own report shows that the rate is actually 16%, which is higher than last year’s 9%, but in line with trends showing that the growth rate is declining. This is a strong indication that wolves have filled the available habitat and natural regulation is taking place as anyone with a biology background would expect.

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Wolf controversy spurs a House bill that makes introducing non-native species a felony

Wolf controversy spurs a House bill that makes introducing non-native species a felony. By Day Popkey. Idahostatesman.com

The Idaho House voted 46-24 on Tuesday for House Bill 138, which applies to species threatening the safety of people, livestock, pets or property [and now wildlife too!]. The measure also allows civil lawsuits should such an animal injure or kill a person.

Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, acknowledged the bill is flawed but said it is a worthwhile effort to protest the damage wolves have done to wildlife and livestock.
“The wolf is a decimating, destroying machine,” she said.

Here is the text of the engrossed bill. I thought it had become more moderate as it went through the House, but instead it became very strange. I don’t think I need to explain why, just read it. House Bill 138 (as amended) Ralph Maughan

Hunters vent wolf concerns

Mountain Express story on the Hailey ID wolf meeting the other night-

“Hunters vent wolf concerns. Foes of Canis lupus threaten ‘grassroots uprising’ if delisting delayed.” By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer

Old line extractive occupations dominate key Idaho legislative committee

No committee of the Idaho state legislature have more influence over wildife than than the Senate and the House Resource and Conservation Committees. A look at the occupations of those on the committees show they represent an Idaho of days gone by.

This kind of occupational, and so viewpoint unrepresentativeness, is fairly common in legislatures, but many would say the figures below are dramatic. You should also notice the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Here is the rooster of the committees:

Idaho House Resource and Conservation Committee

Republicans

Chair John A. Stevenson (semi-retired farmer)
Vice Chair Paul E. Shepherd (Partner/Manager, Shepherd Sawmill & Log Homes)
JoAn E. Wood (Partner farm/ranch)
Maxine T. Bell (Retired Farmer/Retired School Librarian)
Lenore Hardy Barrett (mining, investments)
Mike Moyle (Agribusiness)
George E. Eskridge (Real Estate)
Dell Raybould (Farmer/Businessman)
Scott Bedke (Rancher)
Ken Andrus (Cattle and sheep rancher)

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