Montana wilderness, jobs bill added to Senate appropriations bill

Senator Tester’s massive forest bill has been added to Senate omnibus appropriations bill-

Every year the U.S. Congress’ procedure becomes more and more unglued. The reason for this is mostly partisan gridlock. So few freestanding bills (called regular order) are allowed by the opposition to pass or fail on a straight vote that extraordinary measures are now being taken if there is to be any action at all, even on necessary bills.

This year is ending up worse than ever.  This is no comment on the merits of Senators Tester’s wilderness/jobs bill.  We have discussed that earlier. That bill, however, largely thought to be dead, has been added to the Senate’s omnibus appropriations bill, and could become law with no direct vote ever having been taken on it.

The way the process is emerging is that almost all legislation for a year will come up in one giant bill that contains every other bill that has somehow found its way through the new, arcane process. The only votes that can be said to count will mostly be those on the giant measure.  What is in the giant bill will be for everyone to discover after the Congress is over, not before the legislation is passed!

Montana wilderness, jobs bill added to Senate appropriations bill. By Rob Chaney Missoulian.

Oceans: Jellyfish replace fish in overfished waters

Booming Jellyfish in Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean-

Overfishing does not create waters with no fish.  The vaccum is replaced by billions of jellyfish.

Jellyfish story in Science Daily

Idaho governor says wolf delisting push stalled last Monday on population goal, other details

It shows that Otter never intended to follow IDFG’s management plan.

Otter once again shows us that the state never intended to manage wolves with an eye toward science. He always intended to manage for the minimum number identified in the legislative plan and that the IDFG plan was meaningless just as we have always maintained.

I haven’t seen the proposed legislation anywhere else except here. It was being passed around via email by those who opposed having any protections for wolves and supported bills like the one introduced by Orin Hatch of Utah which removes all wolves, even Mexican wolves, from the ESA. Groups such as the once moderate Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation were opposed to the Baucus/Tester bill because it provided even a modicum of protection.

As Brian Ertz has pointed out on another thread, it’s not that the Endangered Species Act doesn’t provide for a clear path to delist wolves, it is that the states don’t want to provide that regulatory framework to ensure that wolves won’t become endangered again once delisting occurs.

I really can’t imagine that this behavior will help them to resolve this issue if attempts to change the ESA or delist wolves through legislation are unsuccessful. They have certainly lifted the veil. This will all be seen by the judges during the appeal process and it surely demonstrates that they are unwilling to provide any level of protection to wolves once they become delisted. They seem to be playing a high stakes game of chicken and I don’t expect that wolf advocates are going to blink here.

Again though, wolf advocates are being blamed for this impasse and called extremists for insisting that wolves be managed using careful science rather than politics. It seems to me that those who want to bypass science and use only politics are the extremists.

Who is moving the goal posts now?

Idaho governor says wolf delisting push stalled last Monday on population goal, other details
Associated Press.
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Salazar: Sonoran desert tortoise is “Warranted, but precluded” from federal protection

Tortoise Takes Place in Line For Federal Listing

Sonoran Desert Tortoise

The Sonoran desert tortoise is the next in a long line of imperiled species that the Obama administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has determined is “Warranted, but precluded” from the comprehensive federal protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Sonoran desert tortoise now an endangered species candidate – KVOA.com

“Much like the Saguaro cactus, the Sonoran desert tortoise is symbolic of the rich Southwestern desert,” said Steve Spangle, the Service’s Arizona field supervisor. “A collection of various conservation partners have made great strides to better understand and protect the Sonoran desert tortoise, but our comprehensive analysis shows an increasing magnitude of threats is offsetting some conservation efforts. This candidate conservation status should increase opportunities for reversing this trend.”

It will be interesting to see how the alternative “candidate conservation status” measures will bring much needed protections to the tortoise, particularly given the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s acknowledgement that those conservation measures deployed have already fallen short.

Tortoise Takes Place in Line For Federal Listing News Release 12/13/10

In his finding, Secretary Salazar determined that the Sonoran desert tortoises may be threatened by all five factors the agency uses in deciding whether a species qualifies for Endangered Species Act protection: 1) habitat loss and destruction; 2) overutilization; 3) disease or predation; 4) inadequate legal protections; and 5) other factors. Under the Act, the tortoise needs only to qualify under one of these factors to warrant listing.

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Toby Bridges again busy talking about wolf poisoning, lord knows what other animals

Bridges tells us artificial sweetener will kill all canines, including dogs

Toby Bridges’ name has been out of the news a while after his ISP apparently revoked his old web site.  He has a new ISP now and web site, but he is also sending out his opinion to local newspapers. Read this in the Clark Fork Chronicle (Montana).

Artificial sweetener kills all canines, not just wolves
Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 01:14 PM MST
Contributed by: Admin
Opinion by Toby Bridges

He writes the “opinion” in the third person, thus probably avoiding prosecution, as he can claim he is only providing information about what is going on.

What shocks me is the lack of concern about poisoning dogs, and if Xylitol, the artificial sweetener, kills all canids, it is reasonable to expect that it probably kills a number of non-canids too, both wild and domestic.

My opinion is that you write to your elected officials, even the wolf-hating ones, to express your outrage that they seem to listen to people like Bridges. This is getting close to terrorism.

Whitebark Pine Trees Face Long Odds for Survival

But several million dollars a year for starting seedlings in nurseries might restore it-

This is perhaps the first article I have read that offers a glimmer of hope for this rapidly disappearing tree, so vital to grizzly bears and Clark’s nutcrackers.

Whitebark Pine Trees Face Long Odds for Survival. By Laura Petersen, E&E reporter in WyoFile.

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