Collateral damage: Experts wonder what Tester’s bill may kill

More fallout on the costs to conservation Montana Senator Jon Tester’s new Logging Bill (couched in “W”ilderness designation) may have to Montana’s wildlife.

Collateral damage: Experts wonder what Tester’s bill may kill Missoula Independent

While much of the critique coming from conservationists focuses on the negative impact of the logging on other-than-wilderness public lands of which existing protections are traded away in the bill, Ralph Maughan previously leveraged a convincing repudiation of Tester’s logging bill pointing out that much of the Wilderness will be Cow-trashed Wilderness, “Wilderness” designated landscapes allowed to be grazed to the dirt as before.  How’s that for “untrammeled” ?

Posted in conservation, Grazing and livestock, Logging, wilderness roadless. Tags: . Comments Off on Collateral damage: Experts wonder what Tester’s bill may kill

Review: Carving Up the Commons

Ralph previously noted how the Western Lands Project monitors public land privatization, which let people know about a great book, Carving Up the Commons (pdf), freely available for download.  The book gives great history and analysis of.  Here’s a recent book review :

Required reading: How Congress crafts public land billsMissoula Independent

Perhaps the most succinct summary is provided by former congressional public lands committees staffer Erica Rosenberg in the introduction.

“Armed with insider know-how, Janine distills an astoundingly complex political process into an accessible manual. Although the process remains unwieldy, Janine’s illumination of the legal framework and political context makes it far less so. In Carving Up the Commons, Janine has provided a much needed window into a shady world of back-room deals, special interests and cronyism, while offering pragmatic information and a tactful approach to citizen involvement.”

Posted in conservation, politics, privatization, public lands, wilderness roadless. Tags: . Comments Off on Review: Carving Up the Commons

Heading out for West Nile Virus country?

Is cattle trough country West Nile virus country?

Well I’m going to spend the rest of the day over in the Sublette Range where there are a lot of cattle troughs. Nowadays you have to worry about West Nile virus.  Seems like these might harbor the dangerous mosquitoes that pass it. As August approaches the percentage of mosquitoes infected climbs.

The Idaho Statesman has a video about controlling mosquito larva in Ada County (Boise). Near the end of the video they show livestock water troughs as one thing they treat (to kill the larva).

– – – – – – – –

Report 8/1/2009

I took these in South Heglar Canyon 7-31-09 on the Sawtooth National Forest (Sublette Division).

The troughs look like ideal mosquito breeding vessels. The water in the photo is completely stagnant and sits for weeks. They should produce many waves of hatches. Photos by Ralph Maughan. Feel free to use them.

south-heglar-cattlesouth-heglar-troughs

Senators Grill Obama’s Nominee for National Park Service Director

Jarvis generally gives answers anti-conservation senators didn’t want to hear-

I think we will probably have a good Park Service Director. I suspect there may be Republican blocking tactics in the Senate like holds, but he will eventually become Park Service Director.

Senators Grill Obama’s Nominee for National Park Service Director. By Noell Straub of Greenwire in the New York Times.
A champion for national parks. The Boston Globe.
Nominee vows to protect ‘Crater Lake experience’. By John Sowell. The News-Review

Posted in national parks, politics. Tags: , . Comments Off on Senators Grill Obama’s Nominee for National Park Service Director

More on the problems with the recovery of the Mexican wolf

Benjamin Tuggle, the Southwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets a letter from Jon Marvel-

An article and a link to Marvel’s full letter is in a post on Demarcated Landscapes. This is a good illustration why cowpersons and cow politicians don’t like Marvel . . . . he tells Tuggle legal truths like . . .

“Ranchers have no legal right to keep cattle or sheep on public lands, they have a license or permit to graze livestock under very specific conditions through their ten year term grazing permit from the Forest Service or the BLM. Those permits are revocable at any time for cause, and can have their terms and conditions changed annually should the federal agencies involved choose to do so.”

. . . . . .

“Some conditions that would be very helpful include:

1. Requiring ranchers to remove all dead or injured cattle or sheep from public lands within three days of receiving knowledge of their presence to prevent wolves becoming accustomed to eating livestock.

2. Disallowing grazing of domestic livestock within five miles of a wolf pack den or rendezvous site.

3. Requiring a rider or herder to be present 7 days a week 24 hours a day with all livestock (human presence is a major deterrent to wolf predation on livestock).

4. Requiring calves turned out on public land to weigh at least 250 pounds.

5. Requiring that all calving or lambing of domestic livestock be carried out on private lands.

6. Requiring protective guard animals like dogs, lamas and burros to be present with all livestock.

7. Requiring all livestock losses to be documented accurately to prevent mendacious claims that wolves are predating.

8. Requiring electric fencing of all domestic sheep bands every night.”

Scenic BLM roadless area next to Mt. Borah draws Western Watersheds lawsuit

Western Watersheds Project sues BLM to protect the Burnt Creek roadless area from livestock abuse-

Ever since I returned to Idaho in 1971, one place I wanted to see was Burnt Creek in the high colorful foothills on the east side of the Lost River Range. It has been selected as a wilderness study area by the BLM long ago, and assumed must be at least somewhat protected.

The truth was revealed in 2007 when I went with “kt” to see if the BLM was complying with removal of an illegal turnout of cattle in the area.

The steep, low mountains composed of Challis volcanics were very pretty, but the stinking mess made by the cattle was not. Thanks to indefatigable “kt” who seems to know all the hidden pockets where livestock operators try to stash their cattle, they were removed. However, the BLM just seems determined to screw up, ignore the law, and cater to the cowpersons on the grazing allotment. So, the Western Watersheds Project has gone to court.

Story: WWP files suit to protect sage grouse, bull trout, and wilderness values on the Burnt Creek Allotment, Central Idaho. Overview of the Burnt Creek Allotment

Dem Senators Take On Palin, Offer Bill To Ban Aerial Wolf Hunting

Dem Senators Take On Palin, Offer Bill To Ban Aerial Wolf Hunting
Sam Stein. Huffington Post.
stein@huffingtonpost.com

On Wednesday, Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Ben Cardin of Maryland introduced legislation that would explicitly prohibit hunters from shooting and killing wildlife from aircraft. To ensure that anyone following the issue didn’t miss the political element, the senators noted in the press release announcing the legislation’s introduction that it would specifically end the targeting of “wolves.”

The bill, which is endorsed by, among other groups, the Defenders of Wildlife, closes a loophole in the Aerial Hunting Act of 1971. And in an accompanying statement, Feinstein didn’t hide her disdain for the practice that Palin now uses to illustrate the contrast between herself and the Hollywood crowd.

July 30, 2009 related. Palin’s Last Shot On Wolves & Ashley Judd; Congress Shoots Back. By Shannyn Moore . . . “Just a girl from Homer [AK]. Huffington Post.