Plan to dewater SW Wyoming to fuel growth in Colorado a bad idea

NYT Times thinks so. It should be obvious to everyone-

That’s what we need, more urban sprawl on the front range of the Rockies in Colorado; and the water to fuel it will by pumped in from far away — SW Wyoming — the upper Green River. This kind of thinking is so pre-recession, and it is the kind of thinking that will lead to another bubble if we are lucky enough to ever get out of this economic crisis.

The developer, Aaron Million, deserves our opposition and our contempt.

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More on this-

Pipeline plan would divert water from Green. Some worry effects could be felt all the way to the headwaters of drainage. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

IDFG appropriation provision that includes depredation control falls victim to Idaho governor’s veto rampage

Governor “Butch” Otter is upset that the Idaho legislature won’t increase revenue for state highways and has reacted by vetoing 10 bills.  One of those bills on the chop block, Senate Bill No. 1177, would have slipped $200,000 into the Depredation Control Fund :

In accordance with the provisions of Section 36111(c), Idaho Code, the Department of Fish and Game shall transfer $200,000 from the Big Game Winter Feeding Setaside Fund to the Winter Depredation Control Setaside Fund as soon as practicable. Such moneys may be used for the control of depredation of private property by antelope, elk and deer and control of predators affecting antelope, elk and deer.

(Emphasis Added).

This while they’re cutting funding for education.  The Governor’s veto is a political move, and it is likely the money will be appropriated in the future anyway, but it sheds some light on one of the places where money to kill wolves and other wildlife comes from in the state of Idaho.

Yellowbells (Fritillaria pudica)

Yellowbells (Fritillaria pudica) © Brian Ertz, WWP

Yellowbells (Fritillaria pudica) © Brian Ertz, WWP

Fritillaria pudica are among the first flowers to bloom in sagebrush country following the receding snow.

Indigenous peoples used to eat their starchy bulbs.

They’re blooming now ~ this photo was taken yesterday north of Fish Creek Reservoir.  With the moisture remaining following the fresh recession of snow – sagebrush country all over the West is vibrant with unique plant-life – and if you can pry yourself out of bed early enough, take the time to check out sage-grouse strutting their stuff.

Interior staff’s top seats in limbo

Despite nominations by the President, only Ken Salazar has been approved by the U.S. Senate-

One reason we haven’t seen much change in the B.L.M., National Park Service, etc. is that Senate Republicans are holding up action on the nominations.

Interior staff’s top seats in limbo. Politics » Hatch and Bennett oppose nominee, adding to a slowdown in confirmations. By Thomas Burr. The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah’s two U.S. Senators — Hatch and Bennett are pissed that Salazar withdraw the oil and gas lease auction near the national parks in Utah.

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A similar problem exists in most agencies and departments of the government. This seems unique — almost every nomination is held up under threat of filibuster and every close election, e.g., Minnesota and New York, is endlessly contested because of the threat of filibuster if the majority tries to seat the apparent election winner.

Wyoming brucellosis group examines federal proposal

Zone outside Yellowstone declared “brucellosis free” with greater restrictions inside the affected Yellowstone area or eradication of infected elk and bison herds? Who pays? Who benefits?

Hazing bison inside Yellowstone National Park on Madison River ©Ken Cole

Hazing bison inside Yellowstone National Park on Madison River ©Ken Cole

USDA wants two zones to reduce costs.

Livestock interests say that it will put Yellowstone area ranchers out of business.

According to the article, Livestock interests and Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife want eradication of the disease which means killing of entire herds of bison and elk.  This apparently is not totally correct as you can see from Bob Wharff’s statement below.  It still appears that some livestock interests favor eradication.

The Park Service says that “the only certain solution – destroying entire infected elk herds in Yellowstone and elsewhere – was not politically or practically feasible”

Wildlife advocates who oppose eradication/wildlife slaughter efforts were not consulted for the article.

Wyoming brucellosis group examines federal proposal
Billings Gazette

Wyoming wolf news (and some from Oregon)

Mike Jimenez’s report on WY wolves and the situation in Oregon-

WYOMING/US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE WOLF PROGRAM

WEEKLY REPORT

To:                          Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado

From:                     USFWS Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, Jackson, WY

Subject:  Status of Gray Wolf Management in Wyoming and the NRM

WYOMING WOLF WEEKLY- April 13 through April 17, 2009

Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov . Weekly reports for Montana and Idaho are produced by those States and can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Idaho Department of Fish and Game websites. All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose.  Please distribute as you see fit.

Annual Reports

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov . Read the rest of this entry »

Business People Call for More Wilderness in Northwest Montana

But Montana’s congressional delegation refrains as they have for 26 years-

Bill Schneider believes the anti-wilderness attitude of Montana business is changing, but the view of Montana’s congressional delegation (which includes two Democratic senators) has not.

“JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
Business People Call for More Wilderness in Northwest Montana.
Another sincere call for Montana’s delegation to designate Wilderness; this time because it’s good for business. Will it finally prompt our elected officials into action?”  By Bill Schneider. New West.

On the other hand, Schneider doesn’t like the wilderness bill being pushed by the Montana Wilderness Association, Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation. It is another collaborationist “wilderness” bill. FIX IT OR KILL IT. Montana Delegation Wise to Avoid Current Beaverhead-Deerlodge Plan. By Bill Schneider. New West.

Note that the Beaverhead-Deerlodge is in Southwest Montana.