Livestock disease found in eastern Idaho cow

The infected animal had been vaccinated.

This has been a perennial issue in areas surrounding the elk feedlots in Wyoming. It now seems that brucellosis has once again infected cattle in Idaho but it is too early to say where the disease originated. If brucellosis is found in another cattle herd in Idaho within a year then Idaho, once again, will lose its brucellosis free status and all cattle that are exported will have to be tested for the disease.

For years this scenario was held over the heads of people who support free roaming bison in Montana yet, when it came to pass, it turned out to be more of a minor inconvenience rather than the catastrophe the livestock industry claimed it would be.

This issue has been used rather effectively against wildlife for years but the disease is much less of a threat to human health than it was before the pasteurization of milk became the standard. The only way to contract brucellosis is by coming into direct contact with infected fetal tissue or by drinking unpasteurized milk. You cannot become infected by eating cooked beef.

Livestock disease found in eastern Idaho cow
By REBECCA BOONE (AP)

The need to manage national forests as carbon sinks

Forest fire prevention? Thinning? Maximize size of individual tress? Leave it alone? It’s hard to say

The article below is related to the one posted about “Sen. Udall sponsors bill to attack pine beetles.”

It’s good to finally see some attention to the role of forests as carbon sinks, but it is not clear how to maximize their role as sinks, or even how to prevent them from becoming carbon sources.

On thing the article doesn’t discuss the the amount of carbon stored in forest soils. In the dry interior forests with shallow soils, it probably isn’t much. In the wet, big tree  forests west of the Cascades up into British Columbia and coastal Alaska , the kind of logging done in the past, clearcuts followed by burning slash, has a horrible effect on the carbon storage.

Every kind of forest probably needs to have a different carbon management plan.

Story in the New York Times by William Yardley. Note that the Times headline is misleading as a description of the article’s content.