“Bio-bullets” for vaccinating Yellowstone bison. How many ways is this a bad idea?

Draft environmental statement for this brucellosis vaccine finds many negatives, few benefits-

It (RB-51 vaccine) barely works as a vaccine. If it does work at all, it will take generations to make a difference. It might make the brucellosis bacteria more robust instead.  Bison will soon become wary of people. It is expensive. Vaccinated bison will be painted. That won’t look good in a national park.

The benefit is it might increase tolerance to bison outside Yellowstone Park, although based on many years of past experience  there is not one bit of empirical evidence that this is so. The great battle over bison and brucellosis is not really even about brucellosis, but about who has the political and cultural power to dominate wildlife in the Yellowstone area.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.
Bison vaccine no magic bullet, Park Service says. Inoculating some in Yellowstone herd to protect cattle could make brucellosis bacteria stronger
.
By Cory Hatch.

Here is a link to the actual draft environmental impact statement. You can comment on it until July 26, 2010

They’re baaaack!

Washington Cattlemen want to try an “experiment” on your wildlife management areas

It seems that bad ideas just never go away. Even after they’ve been spanked in court, the Washington Cattlemen still want to waste tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of taxpayer dollars on this ridiculous exercise which is damaging to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife owned and managed, wildlife management areas in Washington State. More welfare grazing disguised as an “experiment”.

Do you want to help WWP stop this again?

Cattlemen work to restart pilot project.
By DAN WHEAT – Capital Press

S.D. ranchers fear wilderness act steals control

Ranchers complain about losing control while accepting government handouts.

The Buffalo Gap National Grassland of South Dakota doesn’t have buffalo any more but it certainly has a handful of ranchers with a strong sense of entitlement. They are worrying that wilderness designation will “steal” control that they seem to believe they should have over these publicly owned lands. Amazingly, the new wilderness designation leaves their control in place and allows them to continue grazing.

In the article ranchers bring up the tired old argument that Easterners are telling them what to do with “their” land but it’s not their land and the idea to designate it as wilderness, as the article points out, came from people who live there too.

“These outsiders from New York and New Jersey are telling us what to do, all these special interests,” Hermosa rancher Denise Baker said. “They’ll get the designation, pat themselves on the back and leave. And us? We’re stuck with it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The latest on oil and gas atrocities in the Gulf of Mexico

27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells, many probably leaking and more capable-
Gov’t and oil companies ignore them-

Gulf Awash In 27,000 Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells. By Jeff Donn and Mitch Weiss. Associated Press (reproduced in the Huffington Post)

I think many Americans are trying to ignore this ongoing disaster, but it will continue.  Findings like this say hundreds or thousands of smaller leaks are likely.

This didn’t just begin in the Bush Administration, but the Bush/Cheney Administration thoroughly corrupted the leasing and oversight of oil and gas. Then Obama’s Salazar didn’t fix it, though he promised when speaking on his first day as Secretary of Interior.

Idaho congressman addresses Governor Otter’s concerns about Boulder-White Clouds bill

Simpson writes Otter a letter-

Rocky Barker has an important column on this many-years-in-the-making-“wilderness” bill.

Simpson addresses Otter’s concerns about wilderness bill. Letters from the West. Idaho Statesman. By Rocky Barker.

It looks to be that Rep. Simpson mostly just reassures the governor and promises him no changes in the language of the bill.  After all Otter will not support a Wilderness bill anyway, regardless. The important people who have to go along are Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch and national conservation groups, especially the Sierra Club, who can probably have the bill killed if funny language shows up.