Palin’s departure not likely to change Alaska’s anti-wolf programs

Unrepresentative Board of Game and science-free biologists said to be the problem-

Alaska biologists may be to blame for bad predator control policies. By Cathy Taibbi.  National Examiner.

I missed this earlier. This lengthy article is actually part 2 of Exploring Alaska’s wolf-control controversy. Government favors trophy hunting dollars over ecology.

Open Letter to Gov. Brian Schweitzer:

Take Back Our Public Lands

Bison on Horse Butte © Ken Cole

Bison on Horse Butte © Ken Cole

By Tom Woodbury, Western Watersheds Project,

Addition by Ralph Maughan. This is also in New West. You can comment there as well as on this blog.

2008 should be remembered as the year of the buffalo. Over 1600 bison were slaughtered in Montana that year, about half of the last wild bison left in the world. This liquidation of wild bison is totally at odds with Montana’s strong conservation ethic, and is against our economic interest as well. In spite of this massive slaughter, Montana lost its “brucellosis-free” status due to repeated transmissions from wild elk to cattle. Also in 2008, the Government Accountability Office released a blistering report on bison management, finding no increased tolerance for bison, as intended by the management plan, and no accountability to those with a stake in how bison are managed, including Montana citizens and the many tribes that hold bison sacred.

The Bison Management Plan was adopted in 2000 “to ensure domestic cattle in portions of Montana adjacent to Yellowstone National Park are protected from brucellosis… and to ensure the wild and free-ranging nature of the bison herd.” It has failed on both counts. Read the rest of this entry »

Moscow, Idaho man reports fighting with mountain lion near Elk River, Idaho

Idaho Sockeye Returning at Record Numbers

As of 7/13/09 914 sockeye salmon have crossed Lower Granite Dam.

Sockeye Salmon in Sawtooth Hatchery trap 2008 © Ken Cole

Sockeye Salmon in Sawtooth Hatchery Trap 2008 © Ken Cole

Last year was a record for modern times when 909 Sockeye Salmon passed over Lower Granite Dam and 450 plus 650 returned to the Sawtooth Valley. This year there have been 914 so far and the run is not over. There was a year when only one male made the 900-mile journey. He was dubbed Lonesome Larry.  In 1990 there were none.

To put this year’s and last year’s returns into perspective I grabbed this from the IDFG Fact Sheet on Sockeye:

“Between 1991 and 1998, only 16 wild sockeye salmon returned to Idaho. All of these adults were incorporated into the captive breeding program and spawned at the Eagle Fish Hatchery.

The program releases eggs and fish back to the habitat in a variety of ways. Eyed-eggs are planted in egg boxes and placed in lakes in the fall, presmolts are released directly to lakes in the fall, smolts are released to outlet streams in the spring, and prespawn adults are released to lakes in the fall. A monitoring and evaluation effort is in place to document the success of the different reintroduction strategies.

Over the eight years between 1999 and 2007, 355 hatchery-produced adult, sockeye salmon returned to the Sawtooth Valley. For comparison, in the 14 years from 1985 through 1998, 77 natural-origin sockeye salmon returned to Idaho.”

Idaho Sockeye Numbers Beating Last Year’s Record
NW Fishletter

Jon Jarvis: A new voice for the national parks

New York Times very positive on the new Director of the National Park Service-

When President Obama nominated Jon Jarvis to head the Park Service, I was not familiar with him.

However, the New York Times thinks Jarvis is the “best news [they] have heard in the past nine years about the national parks”

New York Times editorial. A New Voice for the National Parks.

More! 7/15/09. Parks nominee called “tops.” Jarvis, who worked through ranks, is said to value resources, understand visitor needs. Jackson Hole News and Guide. By Cory Hatch.