Second wolf pack in Washington State.

Genetic tests indicate wolves are from Alberta/Montana.

WDFW wolf

Wolf: photo Washington Department of Wildlife

Yet another pack of wolves may be present in Washington State. They are protected by Washington’s endangered species laws however they are not protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act in the eastern third of Washington.

Signs of wolf pack found in Pend Oreille County

Update 7/13/09:

King5 has a slideshow of the wolves photographed and another article about the wolves.

Possible resident gray wolves in Pend Orielle Co.

The new article indicates that WDFW is also investigating reports of wolves from the Blue Mountains in southeast portion of the state.

Update 7/14/09:

Second wolf pack confirmed in Washington
Associated Press

Read the rest of this entry »

PacifiCorp Settles In Wyoming Raptor Electrocutions

$1.4 million dollar fine and retribution to be paid-

$9.1 million will be paid to retrofit power poles. Over 200 eagles died and many other raptors.

PacifiCorp Settles In Bird Electrocutions. By Mead Gruver. Associated Press Writer

Exxon-Mobil was involved too. Earlier story. Companies charged in bird deaths. By Tom Morton. Casper Star Tribune.

WWP Files Suit to Protect 250,000 acres of Colorado Rangelands, Canada Lynx, and Endangered Uncompahgre Butterfly

WWP expands action into Colorado

Western Watersheds Project filed suit in Federal Court in Denver, Colorado to stop a 250,000 acre grazing project located on Colorado’s Pike-San Isabel National Forest.

[…]The grazing has been so severe that the Forest Service’s wildlife specialists stated that if it didn’t change, the Forest Service was risking a widespread elk die-off.

The entire News Release …
Suit targets grazing on Pike, San Isabel forestsAP (thanks Jeff E)

Hopelessness for the Uncompahgre butterfly ?

The Uncompahgre butterfly (Boloria improba acrocnemay) has an interesting history with some arguing about whether the butterfly should be left to go (extinct) given percieved hopelessness about how to conserve it.   After all, confronting seemingly insurmountable obstacles like public land livestock grazing and climate change in Colorado for a butterfly could be an uphill battle.  All known populations are on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land.  Uncompahgre fritillary butterfly via Living on Earth :

The Uncompahgre fritillary butterfly was discovered in 1978 by biologists working in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado. The species was probably left behind on mountain tops when glaciers retreated during the last Ice Age. Researchers say it has been threatened by livestock grazing in mountain meadows, butterfly collectors, and a warming climate. But there is no clear consensus on how to save it, and researchers say that might not even be possible. Biologists argue time and money may be better spent on preservation efforts elsewhere. The hands-off attitude has stirred debate in the conservation field. Some advocates fear letting the Uncompahgre butterfly die out may set a bad precedent for other species.

Cross your fingers for the Uncompahgre fritillary butterfly …

10th Circuit Court rules in favor of WY state elk feedgrounds on U.S. public lands

More marching ahead down the road to elk disaster-

Court rules for feedlots. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole Daily

Federal officials vow to seize California state parks if they are closed by state

Broke California’s governor wants to close the state’s parks. Feds say this breaks the rules for six of them-

6 California parks could revert to federal control. LA Times. By Julie Cart.

Closing the State Parks will probably do more economic damage than the management money saved, but then nothing about California’s self-made budget crisis is rational. The federal government will step in and take over 6 or so of the several hundred parks.

Climate Change Bill: Disillusioned Environmentalists Turn on Obama as Compromiser

Is the bill, compromised as it is, better than nothing?

The Climate Bill has passed the House. It still must clear the Senate where the coal, gas and oil lobbyists hope to make still better for them. There are those who blame Obama for not spending more of his still considerable political capital on this. This permitted enough of the House Democrats to cave to the lobbyists to make the opening for the traditional polluters possible. As usual, the Republicans were with coal, oil, gas and nuclear from the start.

Getting the bill through the Senate is very tough because 60 votes are needed to beat the inevitable filibuster. The Democrats don’t really have 60 votes although they now have 60 seats. Due to illness, Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd are almost never there to vote.

One idea is that getting a bill on the books is a start. It can be strengthened later. Perhaps. This has happened with many other bills, but often as not Congress just moves on figuring they have dealt with that issue. There are so many more on their plate.

Story in the New York Times. Disillusioned Environmentalists Turn on Obama as Compromiser. By Leslie Kaufman.
Additional. Senate Democrats Begin Drawing Road Map to 60 Votes on Climate Bill. By Darren Samuelsohn of ClimateWire in the New York Times.