Loss on helicopters in Wilderness

Judges buys Idaho Fish and Game argument that agency only wants valuable data-

It’s a high bar to get a judge to rule against an agency that claims expertise and say “this is ridiculous.” That is my first take.

I think, the U.S. Forest Service needs to be told to revise their general regulations for Wilderness Areas. The last revision was a Bush update giving more leeway for machines for this kind of thing.

helicopters-wilderness-court-order

The judge did warn the Forest Service to make sure Idaho Fish and Game does not run amuck.

“The Forest Service must proceed very cautiously here because the law is not on their side if they intend to proceed with further helicopter projects in the Frank Church Wilderness. The Court is free to examine the cumulative impacts of the projects, and the context of the use. Given that this project is allowed to proceed, the next project will be extraordinarily difficult to justify.”

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ

REINTRODUCTION PLANNED AS EARLY AS THIS MONTH

This story appeared last week while I was gone and there was a little discussion about it on the open thread but I think it deserves its own thread.

The significance of this story is not so much that wolves are being released into the wild but that it is happening in Mexico close to the border and that if any of these wolves or their progeny enter into the U.S. they will have full protection under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be legally killed even if they are preying on livestock.

This would have significant implications for the floundering Mexican wolf recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico which announced that there are only 42 wolves in the wild, down from the 52 last year. These wolves are considered an experimental, non-essential population.

One of the main hinderances of the current recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico is that there are arbitrary boundaries inside which the wolves must stay. Wolves reintroduced into Mexico would not have these boundaries because they wouldn’t be considered an experimental, non-essential population under the Endangered Species Act.

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ
Tim Steller – Arizona Daily Star

Idaho Wolf Management update Jan. 2010

This is the official state report on wolf management for January-

This report has a fair amount of news — numbers for 2009, etc.  It is the first time I have seen any real description of their Lolo wolf/elk study with numbers and a bit about methods. I think it’s worthwhile read.

Idaho-wolf-news-Jan2010

Judge finds fault with federal salmon plan

Are we one step closer to removal of the Snake River Dams?

Judge finds fault with federal salmon plan. Conservation groups optimistic about order. By Jon Duval. Idaho Mountain Express.

These dams are on the lower Snake River. That’s in the state of Washington, but they greatly harm salmon and steelhead migration to and from Idaho to the ocean. For years, steelheaders and other conservationists have wanted these nagivation dams breeched and the government has opposed it. Judge Redden (see article) has been monitoring  government efforts to comply with the Endangered Species Act on the matter, and he is not pleased.

Entire books have been writing about the issue.