Of Wolves & Wilderness

Idaho Department of Fish & Game Moves to Collar Wolves in the Frank-Church Wilderness

A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.

On January 17, 2008 I attended an Idaho Department of Fish & Game Annual Commissioner Meeting in which Commissioner McDermott of Idaho’s Panhandle region expressed the commission’s desire to capture and collar wolves in the Frank-Church Wilderness.

Steve Nadeau explained to the commissioners that the IDFG had “beat that dog perty hard” but that the environmental analysis alone needed to land a helicopter in a wilderness area would cost as much as $250,000 to land once or twice.

McDermott expressed that the commission had an idea about how to deal with that, at which point Nadeau suggested the commission might not want that conversation on the public record.  The commissioners laughed, and the topic was dropped from the public record – until now.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest has announced scoping comments for its proposed NEPA analysis of the Idaho Department of Fish & Game’s requested permission to land a helicopter up to 20 times to support radio collaring of up to 12 wolves in the Frank-Church Wilderness :

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Utah: After 20 years, Red Rock Wilderness bill gets first hearing in Congress

Things are finally looking up a bit for the 9-million acre proposal to conserve some of Utah’s finest BLM canyonlands-

This bill has been wandering the wilderness for a long time, but now a supporter chairs the important House committee — Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. The finally got a hearing. Odds against are long because Congress rarely passes wilderness legislation against the wishes of a state’s congressional delegation. However, consider Utah’s delegation . . . 4 noisy Republicans against everything the majority party proposes and one bluedog Democrat.

Passing this bill would teach them the merits of comity and compromise. I think Utah political leaders need to relearn the virtues of moderation.

After 20 years, Red Rock bill gets first hearing in Congress. Wilderness » Legislation to get first committee hearing. By Matt Canham. The Salt Lake Tribune.

The primary moving force behind this bill for all these years has been the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA)