Moose

Here is a moose that was killed on Highway 28 just north of Leadore, late this winter. I stopped to take these pictures because I wondered whether the moose had actually been killed by a car, or had been murdered by some motorized nimrod. Moose are so big that they bring out the idiot – never far below the surface – in some of the male apes hereabouts. Moose don’t flee when a vehicle stops nearby. They don’t seem to realize that people are No Damn Good.

My suspicions were aroused because there were no skid marks on the pavement near the carcass. However, apparently this was yet another case of death by vehicle. You can see the moose’s broken hind leg. But that big hole in her head may indicate that someone shot the disabled animal “to put it out of its misery.”

I felt more than usually sorry about this because the same moose (or its twin) had spent some time ambling around our place; we found its tracks out in the old sheep corrals. And one day I looked out the upstairs windows and there she was, stepping over barbed wire fences in her ludicrously effortless way. I do wonder what killed her – tractor-trailer, diesel pickup? Probably not a hybrid, or we would have read about human casualties.

So a young, healthy moose, its best reproductive years still ahead of it, was killed not by the evil wolves [sarcasm alert], but by the only moving thing out there bigger than she was. When I look at the decomposing pile of hair and meat and bone, I think that $10 a gallon gasoline can’t come fast enough. And I wonder, does anyone know where to get some Buprestid (sp?) beetles? I covet that skull, hole or no hole.

Rammell trial delayed pending new investigation

I think that most people think that poaching should be punished. Rammell seems to think that most people feel just the opposite and that they might side with him. I doubt he’s right and I think that this will make thing much worse for him. He doesn’t seem to be getting much sympathy either.

Rammell trial delayed pending new investigation.
Associated Press

Northern Utah, the land of filthy air

Worst in the country in the winter-

“Oh ye mountains high and the clear blue sky . . .”  These are words from a Mormon hymn that isn’t sung in church much anymore. I don’t know the reason, but it is appropriate because northern Utah has slowly developed the dirtiest air the country in the winter. High emissions are one reason, but the biggest factor is the strong temperature inversions that form in the mountain valleys whenever high pressure builds. High pressure usually means good weather, but not in northern Utah.

Cache Valley is the best (or worst) example. In part, I grew up there. I still remember the dirty winter fogs and the cloud of black that hung over Logan, a large town, when I was in high school. The black is gone because coal isn’t burned any more for space heating, but the pollution is now more widespread and more toxic.

The population of Cache Valley has grown. This is in part because of its beauty 3 seasons of the year. This means more traffic. In the remaining agricultural parts of the valley, CAFOs have proliferated. The result is residents breathing sun-modified auto emissions and manure emissions throughout the winter.

Utah’s bad air. Opinion in the Salt Lake Tribune

http://www.airquality.utah.gov/aqp/  This URL gives real time pollution levels, and they are not bad in the springtime.

Ivanpah solar project would disturb thousands of desert tortoises

Desert Tortoise, Dr. Michael Connor

The Ivanpah solar thermal project consists of 5.4 square miles of high quality habitat for the Endangered Species Act protected desert tortoise, a fact that developers (and some investors) underestimated resulting in the temporary suspension of activities on phases 2 and 3 of the project site due to construction activities exceeding the incidental take limit (number of tortoises allowed to be disturbed) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set at 38 Endangered Species Act protected desert tortoises.

The temporary suspension of activities prompted the Bureau of Land Management to take a closer look, and issue a Revised Biological Assessment   () estimating the number of desert tortoise the project may impact given what we now know.  As it turns out, the initial incidental take limit of 38 was off the mark to the tune of thousands of desert tortoises:

More than 3,000 desert tortoises would be disturbed by a solar project in northeast San Bernardino County and as many as 700 young ones would be killed during three years of building, says a federal assessment issued Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Know Wolves Aren’t Running Through Downtown Leadore, Eating Little Children at the Bus Stop

This past winter a big fat doe was killed on the county road in front of our property; a couple of immature bald eagles soon appeared and we were worried about them perhaps getting struck by a car as they tried to feed on the narrow right-of-way. So we dragged the carcass into the field out behind our yard. Unfortunately, the result was that a couple of coyotes appeared in broad daylight and that was it for the eagles. “Bastards,” they said to us as they retreated to the cottonwoods along the creek. “Why couldn’t you leave well enough alone?” But the coyotes, one of whom had an injured or crippled foreleg, were happy. I walked right up on this fellow by moving when he had his head buried in the carcass. The moral of the story is that if we had a pack of wolves in the vicinity, this fellow wouldn’t still be alive to stand around and eat venison in the daylight with a bad foot.

BLM told by public not to develop western oil shale

It’s a dirty and marginal source of fossil fuel energy-

Oil sands of Alberta are bad enough, but they look good compared to Western oil shale. Its development will produce little, if any, net energy,  while leaving much waste and giant pits. It takes a lot of water too, and the deposits are in the driest part of the United States.

BLM hearing in Salt Lake City sees much opposition to oil shale. Salt Lake Tribune. By Brandon Loomis.

YNP snowplows encounter deepest snow in 13 years

Crews run into snow 22 feet deep on average at Sylvan Pass-

Yellowstone plow crews encounter deep snow at Sylvan. By Martin Kidston. Billings  Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

The north and the west entrances are currently open to the public.