Kathie Lynch on Yellowstone wolf mating season

Wolfish romance on the Northern Range of Yellowstone Park-

Kathie Lynch has a detailed report on amorous adventures of Yellowstone wolves observed during her recent trip to the Park.
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By Kathie Lynch. Copyright 2011

Yellowstone’s February wolf breeding season gave us have high hopes for the arrival of new pups this April.  Although only six ties (matings) were actually observed this year, they included the alphas of all three packs which are most often seen in the Northern Range (Lamar Canyon, Blacktail, and Agate)–a very good sign for wolf watching this spring and summer!

February weather ran the gamut from unusually warm, sunny afternoons of 45F temperatures and snow-free roads to biting winds and bitterly cold days when the thermometer never got above 7 degrees. Low visibility and ground blizzards sometimes made driving a white knuckle experience, with unplowed turnouts and deep, drifted snow across roads in the Lamar Valley and on the Blacktail

Despite the wintry weather and fewer than 100 wolves in Yellowstone, we still managed to see wolves, or at least one wolf, almost every day. The Lamar wolves proved to be the most reliable, although even they frequently disappeared from view for several days at a time, no doubt hunting or doing boundary checks throughout their large territory.

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American Sheep Industry: President’s budget cuts impact area Wildlife Services

Want to take action to cut funding for this agency that kills so much of our wildlife-

This story is from Tri-state Livestock News. It is from trade publications like this that agencies often get cuts restored unbeknown to the public.

American Sheep Industry: President’s budget cuts impact area Wildlife Services. Tri-state Livestock News.

Tim DeChristopher Goes on Trial for Disrupting Oil Lease Auction

DeChristopher may get 10 years for unconventional method of protecting Utah’s beautiful canyonlands from oi companies-

We have had many stories on this, but not for quite a while. Tim DeChristopher could be punished far more than the Wall Street investment bankers who stole billions. He bid against oil speculators at a Department of Interior (BLM) oil and gas lease auction in 2008. He had no money, however.

Trial of eco-activist who punk’d BLM begins. Greenspace in the New York Times.

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Note. He was quickly convicted. Webmaster.

Climate Change Takes Toll on Lodgepole Pine

The most abundant of all Western pine falls at astounding rate-

Every Western pine from the Yukon to New Mexico is suffering high mortality from unusually severe attack by native insects, diseases and direct mortality from drought and heat. Lodgepole pine, which often grows in vast almost monocultural stands, is dying too.  Almost anyone who lives in the West knows this. In many places the beauty of the forest has been greatly marred for many miles.

Climate Change Takes Toll on the Lodgepole Pine. By John Collins Rudolf. New York Times.

When lodgepole pine dies, the needles first turn red for a year before they fall off.  While red, they burn with remarkable explosive force.  After they are dead, however, lodgepole and other dead conifers do not burn as fiercely as a green forest.  A common misconception is that they do, a mistake this New York Times article perpetuates. Lodgepole are shallow rooted.  When dead they are easily blown over in windstorms.  If they pile up in large “jackstrawed” heaps, these can burn very hot.  Miles of downed lodgepole also form barriers to wildlife migration.

I took this photo of red lodgepole pine near Stanley, Idaho about 5 years ago. Since then, they have almost all died and many fallen over or cut down. They didn’t burn.