Well, we finally pulled the plug on the old blog. We hope you like the new one.
A few comments might have been lost in the transition. Sorry!! No doubt there will also be some bugs that need to be corrected.
Ralph Maughan, Brian Ertz, Ken Cole
Well, we finally pulled the plug on the old blog. We hope you like the new one.
A few comments might have been lost in the transition. Sorry!! No doubt there will also be some bugs that need to be corrected.
Ralph Maughan, Brian Ertz, Ken Cole
Oil companies have colluded with the Idaho’s and Montana’s governors so they can make even more profits than if they built the machinery for the toxic Alberta tar sands mining in Canada.
20 most profitable companies. CNN Money.
Republican’s Climate Solution: Clear-Cut the Rain Forest. By John Collins Rudolf. New York Times.
If he is so stupid he doesn’t know trees suck up carbon dioxide, not emit it, what about his views on the economy, medicine, national defense?
Has there ever been a time in America when science was held back so much by politicians who are avaricious fools?
NRG Energy CEO David Crane, lead investor in the controversial Ivanpah Solar Thermal Energy Project, discusses why giant utility-scale renewable energy projects are economically viable and what the future might look like for renewables with a reduction of government subsidies:
NRG Energy’s CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha
[We] fully recognize that the current generation of utility-sized solar and wind projects in the United States is largely enabled by favorable government policies and financial assistance. It seems likely that much of that special assistance is going to be phased out over the next few years, leaving renewable technologies to fend for themselves in the open market. We do not believe that this will be the end of the flourishing market for solar generation. We do believe it will lead to a stronger and more accelerated transition from an industry that is currently biased towards utility-sized solar plants to one that’s focused more on distributed and even residential solar solutions on rooftops and in parking lots.
Carter Niemeyer’s memoir, Wolfer, has won the 2011 IPPY (Independent Publishers Book Awards) gold medal for regional nonfiction.
Since its release, I have run into quite a few folks who have read it. All of those I met commented on its evenhandedness. Many said their eyes were opened about the pressure that is applied to pin a “killed by a predator” report, especially by a wolf, on a rancher’s dead livestock.
Finally, after years, state and federal government agencies agreed to let bison begin to roam the Gardiner Basin just north of Yellowstone Park, but Park County district judge Nels Swandal sided with the Park County Stockgrowers Association to put the landmark agreement aside.
The stockgrowers were effective with their tired, but still effective arguments about spread of brucellosis and danger to people (the classic children at the bus stop argument). “Large numbers of bison now regularly congregate at school bus stops and other locations, interacting with children, elderly, and other individuals that live in the area to a degree not previously encountered,” Park County’s lawsuit stated.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and other agencies are asking for a new judge, but the existing judge (Swandal) gets to pick any replacement.
State wants new judge in bison case. By Carly Flandro. Bozeman Chronicle.
Meanwhile, we haven’t heard anything more about Park County prosecuting the man cited for shooting numerous .22 rounds among the houses to kill a bison.
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Regarding the views and actions of the Park County Commissioners, here is an interesting guest editorial. Guest column: We must rein in fears, attitudes over roaming bison. By Karrie Taggart (co-founder/coordinator of Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo in West Yellowstone — HOBNOB)
While there are several plants called “tumbleweed,” the one most commonly called that is prickly Russian Thistle. It has been around for almost 150 years and Hollywood probably convinced people it is an essential element of the “Old West.”
A couple of fungal blights from Asia Minor now show great promise in reducing its prevalence. Introduction of plant diseases, however, can be very dangerous and controversial. So far these look to be very host specific. I hope these work out if they are approved. To me the prickly tumbleweed of the West has no redeeming value.
High Noon for Tumbleweed? By Emiline Ostlind. WyoFile
Cougar hunting bill dies in Senate committee. Ashland Daily Tidings.
Cougar hunting interests say they will try again in 2012.
Story debates “magic number of wolves needed. By Rob Cheney. Missoulian.
Ok, so some scientists say 5000 wolves are needed to ensure the species’ survival in the Northern Rockies with good genetic diversity. Other say the delisting population of about 1700 was enough.
This article and far too many discussions ignore the plain fact that there are no longer 1700 wolves in the area and it is very unlikely the states will ever allow that number again. 1000 might be tops. It could be as low as 450. To me, the debate has become academic; and writers and decision makers should acknowledge the fact.
Okay, no carcasses this time. Just an old mule deer doe with the maze-running skills of a champion lab rat. We looked out the kitchen window one afternoon and she had worked her way past Bob’s gauntlet of fence panels toward the prize: the bird feeder. Once at the center of the puzzle, she has to avoid the guy wires that prevent the post from falling over. But the reward comes as she inhales the fallen millet and sunflower seeds. Problem is, it doesn’t stop there. She has been known to knock the bird feeder clear off and stomp on it.
We were careful not to go outside the house or let the dogs out while she was inside, lest she panic and hurt herself. Bob actually thought he had her outfoxed with this assembly, but no. Next day he had to improve it, which has finally done the trick. No soup for you, Muley! Bird food is for birds, chipmunks, Ratatosk the squirrel, voles and deer mice. I know, I know: we are already working on a better design so this doesn’t happen next winter. We need a taller, sturdier post that will put the feeder out of reach of a deer on its hind legs. Or something.
Next day: Outside and pissed off about it!
Earlier this month, a judge in Malheur County, Oregon, ordered a year’s probation for a grain farmer from Caldwell, Idaho. Wayne Carlson was convicted of harassing a rival tef grower. Tesfa Drar, the other farmer, is general manager of Teff Farms in Minnesota, and he says that “Carlson approached him and told him to go back to Ethiopia, where he came from.”
Teff is a grain, native to Ethiopia, which is acclimatized to high elevations and low precipitation. Sort of explains why it’s being tried out in Idaho and eastern Oregon, but I’m sure the short news stories aren’t telling us the whole story. Is the teff market really that cutthroat? Is teff cultivation just a niche market, or will it eventually take over some serious acreage? Any chance it will displace the water-sucking alfalfa that dewaters so many of the West’s streams? (Not holding my breath.)
It appears that Carlson, who founded The Teff Co. and has worked with many growers in the region, saw the Ethiopian from Minnesota as a rival poaching on “his” territory.
Carlson had worked in Ethiopia in the 1970s, and “was fascinated by the geological and climatic similarities of the Snake River region and the East African Rift.”
Tesfa Drar was in the area to talk to local farmers about partnerships. The altercation occurred in a restaurant in Vale.
The Teff Co.’s website tells us that “The Teff Company has been supplying the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities for nearly twenty years with American-grown Maskal Teff. With the fertile fields and ecologically sensitive farming methods some of the best quality teff in the world is produced in Idaho.”
I guess to Mr. Carlson, immigrants from east Africa are a good thing, as long as they buy their grain from a Swede from Caldwell, but not such a good thing if they threaten to actually compete with him. Ain’t free enterprise great?
Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/04/28/1627713/caldwell-man-sentenced-for-harassing.html#ixzz1L3E3bnBK
Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/11/09/1410632/caldwell-exotic-grain-producer.html#storylink=misearch#ixzz1L3EfxJBV
IDFG News Release
May 19, 2011
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, May 19, directed the Fish and Game Department to:
1. Manage wolves in a manner that will ensure wolves remain under responsible state management in conjunction with the rest of Idaho’s wildlife.
2. Manage wolves as big game animals consistent with the goals and objectives of the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves off the Endangered Species List.
3. Control wolves where they depredate on livestock and other domestic animals or threaten human safety.
4. Control the population of wolves and other predators as needed to address areas where elk or other prey populations are below management objectives.
5. Develop wolf hunting season recommendations for consideration at the Commission’s July 2011 meeting and develop trapping recommendations.
6. Conduct additional species management planning as appropriate.
Commissioners also agreed to support the state the of Idaho’s legal defense of challenges to state management, such as those lawsuits challenging the 2011 congressional action for wolf delisting, and urge Congress to continue to provide funding for monitoring, control and depredation compensation related to the wolf population introduced by the federal government into Idaho.
A spot on Editorial from the LA Times:
In the 2012 campaign, environmentalists don’t matter – LA Times Editorial
Shortly after his party’s “shellacking” in the midterm election, President Obama ordered government agencies to ensure that new regulations took economic growth into consideration and that old ones be revoked if they “stifle job creation or make our economy less competitive.” Five months later, it’s becoming pretty clear what he meant: The environment and public health will be thrown under a bus for the sake of his reelection in 2012.
Huffing and Puffing. By Kevin Taylor. The Pacific Northwest Inlander.
Among other things, I like the discussion of the snail darter from back in the 1970s when Congress decided to build a real white elephant of a dam and doom this tiny fish.* Congress has interfered with the ESA before. People should remember that.
* The snail darter inhabited only the area to be flooded by the Tellico Dam. If it was built, the darter was extinct (or so it was thought . . . more were found later elsewhere). This was the first time the cabinet level Endangered Species Committee or “God squad” was used. The God Squad, however, looked at the matter and decided the Tellico Dam was such a piece of rancid congressional pork that the country would be better off economically, not even to mention the snail darter, if the dam was never completed. This after the dam was 90% done!! Congress loved its pork though, and over-road the Committee and the ESA, and finished the damn dam, violating residents property rights in the process, in the opinion of many whose land was put permanently underwater.
Wild, rare and beautiful. Editorial in the Lincoln (NB) Journal-Star
Blaine County prosecutors agree to dismiss a felony charge in the elk poaching case against anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer.
Felony dismissed in poaching case – Idaho Mountain Express
Nonetheless, 59-year-old Tony Mayer, a resident of Twin Falls and the founder of the anti-wolf website SaveElk.com, still faces three misdemeanor game charges related to the case.
You may remember the lengths prosecutors went to in order to keep the felony charge alive. Apparently all that effort and tax-payer dollars were spent on little more than to keep leverage on a plea-bargain.
It’s only mid-May, and it still struggles to get much above 60 degrees here in Eastern Idaho, but forest fires are torching northern Alberta, not all that far from the Arctic Circle. A third of the town of 7000 at Slave Lake burned. In the general area, many of the giant tar sand pits have been evacuated. This is near Ft. McMurray. Temperatures have been in the high 70s and 80s.
Hundreds of homes now just smouldering rubble. Premier, mayor shaken by scope of devastation in Slave Lake. Edmonton Journal. By Mariam Ibrahim, Ryan Cormier and Ben Gelinas
Other fires continue to burn across northern Alberta. By Ryan Cormier, Edmonton Journal.
Raging fires stop oil and gas operations. Hundreds evacuated from facilities. By Dina O’Meara, Calgary Herald
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has delegated authority to kill wolves to county sheriff deputies in Idaho County. It is unclear what training or methods deputies will have at their disposal when killing wolves.
Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves – AP
Cadwallader believes this is the first time his agency has delegated authority to local law enforcement agents to kill wolves.
Two grizzlies were shot dead last weekend near the base of the bear-heavy Mission Mountains in NW Montana.
An elk antler gatherer stumbled into a griz on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife area and shot the bear. Not far away on the Flathead Indian Reservation a grizzly bear was shot near a chicken coop. Raising chickens in unprotected pens and sheds is a rapidly growing economic activity on the reservation.
These dead bears were number 3 and 4 for the year in general area.
Grizzlies killed on Flathead Reservation, at Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. By Rob Chaney and Vince Devlin of the Missoulian
Earlier, we took a look at a recent settlement struck between the Interior Department and WildEarth Guardians that seeks to clear the logjam with species listings under the Endangered Species Act.
The settlement would ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make up or down determinations on a host of species, either granting actual protections for warranted species and affording critical habitat to those that warrant protections or determining that they do not warrant protection.
At first glance, the settlement seems to have the potential to do a lot of good – assuming (big) that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does the right thing. However, groups like the Center for Biological Diversity objected, arguing that the agreement was too weak, too vague and ultimately unenforceable. The group also objected to the fact that the would-be settling parties went behind CBD’s back, despite its previous involvement in negotiations, pushing the group out of involvement and making unwise concessions despite CBD’s effort and strong legal interest on a vast majority of the species involved.
Today, the Court agreed with CBD’s challenge of the settlement arguing that the way that WildEarth Guardians and the Interior Department went about its settlement was inappropriate, and ordered all parties back into negotiations:
Judge Halts Settlement Over Hundreds of Endangered Species, Orders Parties Back to Negotiations – Center for Biological Diversity Press Release 5/17/2011 Read the rest of this entry »
Previous efforts to recovery pygmy rabbits to habitat in central Washington state have been conducted without success. Now, biologists hope that releasing more captive rabbits into the wild will mean greater success:
Pygmy Rabbits Face Possible Last Stand In Washington – OPB News
In north central Washington, scientists are trying once again to reintroduce a tiny endangered rabbit species into a big, predator-ridden landscape.
You may remember a previous post in which we reported Dr. Steve Herman’s experience of efforts to restore pygmy rabbits in Washington.
Ah, some credit to two average folks fighting the international oil companies to try to save the economy, scenery, fish and wildlife of the area around U.S. Highway 12.
Idaho megaload foes win Dalton Open Government Award. By Dan Popkey. Idaho Statesman
“The Max Dalton Open Government Award has been given each year since 1999 to a citizen or group judged to be an outspoken advocate of openness in either public records or public meetings on the state or local level.”
Among many other activities trying to kill the megaload shipments across the scenic, narrow, north central Idaho highway, the Daltons exposed Butch Otter’s secret deal with the oil companies to turn Highway 12 into an industrial corridor on the way to the Alberta tar sand pits.
Idaho F&G kills Lolo wolves from helicopter. Lewiston Tribune.
“. . . the hunting has been halted because it hasn’t been as successful as expected, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official says.”
After about decade, Idaho Fish and Game began their reduction of the number of wolves in the Lolo area in north central Idaho along the Montana border. They got five wolves. Their operation is already over for now. Too expensive!!! They say they will rely on outfitters to kill wolves and a long and generous quota of wolves in the Lolo for the hunting season.
I have been writing about this plan, and it has been discussed on the blog for a long time. My position for a number of years has been that there are not as many wolves in the Lolo as commonly thought, and they are a minor reason at best why the elk herds in the area remain far below their previous numbers (prior to the 1990s).
Biologists, except one, who were part of the no longer required “peer review” by the ESA were very skeptical whether this action would increase elk numbers. This included a biologist who clearly did not like wolves. I suspect this will have little long term effect on wolves in the larger area because there are not many wolves, just like there are not many elk. Of course, the two logically go together, don’t they?
I see the wolf reduction as a blood ritual with the intent to satisfy politicians in the local area and in Boise. Performance of ritual is vital to perpetuation of a myth — the myth being that wolves are holding back a return to halcyon elk hunting days of the 1950s.
Montana’s wildlife commissioners have tentatively approved a wolf hunt this fall of 220 wolves, compared to their 2009 hunt of 79. There was no hunt in 210. At the end of 2010, the official wolf population estimate for Montana was 566 wolves. This quota, if filled, is predicted to drop the state’s wolf population by 25% at the end of 2011, although there are competing computer models.
Idaho has an estimated 705 wolves, well down from its peak in 2009. Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a big hunt quota, although their quota in 2009 was not reached.
Montana FWP tentatively approves 220-wolf quota for fall hunt. By Matt Volz. AP
Although anti-wolf people try to scare us with the seldom caught Hydatid disease which is almost entirely spread, by dogs, fox, and coyotes, here is the latest on a very important threat from scat — domestic cat scat — toxoplasmosis gondii.
I have mentioned T. gondii a number of times. The latest research (from the Journal of Wildlife Diseases) show cats sicken many kinds of small wildlife, as well as 25 per cent !! of the human race. Cats Pass Disease to Wildlife, Even in Remote Areas. Science Daily.
One of the most creepy things about T. gondii is that directs the brain of the host animal (what about people?) in some cases. For example, it makes rats and mice love the smell of cat. How excellent for the cat! How Different Strains of Parasite Infection Affect Behavior Differently. Science Daily. On the basis of sheer statistics, a number of folks reading this post are infected with this parasite.
This means trouble for the bison just released from the pens on the north boundary of Yellowstone Park. I see they are still playing the brucellosis card and the new Old West favorite, We’re scared of the animals!!
Kathie Lynch has written her latest Yellowstone wolf report. It is always a cheer when Kathie writes about this place where wolves can live, wild and free. Wolf watching in April this year sounds very cold, but the wolves love it!
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April 2011 wolf notes by © Kathie Lynch-
In Yellowstone, “spring” break in April is not necessarily synonymous with springtime! Days of granular corn snow flurries (or worse), biting wind and morning temperatures in the teens often ended with the drip, drip, drip of water melting off the edge of receding snow banks. Even though it seemed like winter would never end, the Wicked Witch of the West was doomed.
Of course, as soil and sage replaced the diminishing blanket of snow, the wolves became even harder to spot. Considering that only three packs (Blacktail Plateau, Lamar Canyon, and Agate Creek) are likely possibilities for watching in the Northern Range these days, I felt lucky to see a wolf most days–although my first day was a “one dog day,” and that “dog” was a coyote!
The Blacktail pack provided some excellent viewing for a couple of days as they fed on a bison carcass at Blacktail Lakes. The wolves had to share the treasure with a big, dark grizzly boar who had awakened to a mother lode of winter-killed carcasses. Thanks to the extremely severe winter, the bears will have plenty to eat for a while and won’t have to usurp the wolves’ kills, as they often do.
When quagga mussels were found in Lake Mead, that was the unfortunate first infestation west of the Mississippi, but now some anglers or boaters accidentally spread them to two northern Nevada reservioirs.
Quagga mussel infestation hits reservoirs in Northern Nevada. By Henry Brean. Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The list of species the federal government has been more or less forced to consider for ESA protection has been growing longer and longer over the years, and yet it acts very slowly, complaining that species are being added at too fast a rate. Much of the agency’s tiny budget was eaten up responding to new petitions and defending itself from lawsuits trying to force it to consider various species for ESA protection.
Yesterday, however, it was announced the Department of Interior had made a deal with WildEarth Guardians to analyze 251 species in the backlog over the next 6 years. Officials say this will help clear the backlog. In the last four years WildEarth Guardians was filed about 700 petitions to list species. With this deal, Guardians will be allowed to file only up to ten new ESA petitions a year. Guardians will also ask to have all its pending lawsuits in the matter dismissed.
There is no assurance the government will list any species in the agreement, although it is likely quite a few will end being listed. Some, such as the greater sage grouse, are much more controversial than others. The sage grouse is controversial because it has been heavily impacted by the politically potent livestock sector as well as oil, gas, and wind development.
This is an agreement only with Guardians and does not prevent any other group from filing petitions.
Under the ESA, it was not supposed to work this way. The law’s supporters expected the environment-conscious government would discover and list species on its own accord with citizen petititions to list a species serving only as backup. The reality has been much to the opposite, however.
This deal has yet to be approved by a federal judge.
Interior Dept. strikes deal to clear backlog on endangered species listings. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post.
Wild Earth Guardians web site on the agreement
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More on 5-12-2011. The deal includes the sage grouse. Felicity Barringer at the New York Times tells how the sage grouse got to where it is. A Bird’s Convoluted Conservation Odyssey
The west entrance has been open for some time, but the East Entrance opened May 6 to five feet of snow. The southern gate of the Park from Jackson Hole and the Tetons will open May 13. There is deep snow here too, especially at Lewis River Divide.
The penned bison at the north boundary have been released. Hopefully they will go into the Park where grass is greening in the small lower elevation portion near the Yellowstone and Gardner Rivers.
The suspected source of the pigs is California where they are an invasive species causing some significant damage.
Oregon and Washington to reduce, hopefully eradicate, feral pigs. Seattle Times. AP
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department is firm that wolves remain protected under state law in all of the state-
Wolves are federally delisted in much of Eastern Washington now, but the state’s own endangered species act protects them all throughout the state. Officials recently reminded folks.
The state only has a half dozen to a dozen or so wolves. The original pack discovered now seems heavily chopped apart from illegal killing, but other wolves roam parts of the state, probably in at least one pack. The Lookout Pack, the original pack, was not a reintroduction or part of the Idaho wolves drifting westward. It came out of coastal Canada on its own.
Wolves remain on Washington state’s endangered list. AP in the Seattle Times.
Here is the story on the coming third week of testimony, from the Spokesman-Review.
It seems to me that local folks willing to testify are mostly unhappy. Here is a detailed story about past testimony in New West. New Idaho Megaloads Hearings Address More Than 200 Shipments. By Steve Bunk.
Despite efforts by the Idaho legislature to prevent people from suing over the plans of the lovable oil companies, two new lawsuits on the issue were recently filed. One is by the National Wildlife Federation, the Montana Environmental Information Center, the Montana chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Missoula County Commission against the Montana State Department of Transportation. The other is by Idaho Rivers United. IRU is against the Forest Service. The Lochsa River and a corridor 1/4 mile on either side is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and most of it is public national forest land. In fact the Lochsa was one of very first rivers protected, but the Forest Services is just standing by while the road right-of-way is being heavily chopped up for the wide and long loads.
Rebel, rebel. Black Wolf yields a wild hero. By Erika Frederickson. Missoula Independent.
Bison are now allowed to leave the Park to the west in the winter at Horse Butte, but they are supposed to be back in the Park at an abnormally early time.
This year the Park is still under snow. The brutal Montana Department of Livestock hazed the bison toward the Park until the calf died. From the Island Park [Idaho] News- Bison ‘managers’ kill calf
Hundreds of bison were also held at the North Entrance of the Park. They have/had no grass to eat. There was talk about slaughtering a hundred of them, but that was forestalled. Many of them were released in early May, but they went north out of the Park instead of back into it. They were recaptured. Yellowstone hopes to release bison back into park for summer. by Adam Bell. KBZK
Meanwhile, cold and rain/snowy days continue well into May. The Park will be green when the snow finally melts and it finally warms.
Last November Richard Kendall of Craig shot a black bear that was a state record, but the bear was in its den. A lot of folks didn’t like they way he got the record bear. As a result, the Colorado Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a new rule last week to restore fair chase by banning hunting or harassment of black bears in their dens.
Colorado officials unanimously approve regulation banning the hunting of denned bears. LA Times.
This is a space where we’ll post the various documents that wolf advocates will be filing in federal district court of their challenge of the recent wolf delisting rider that was attached to the 2011 budget bill.
Different parties raced to file, with Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians in one camp, the Center for Biological Diversity in another having already filed. Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well.
It is likely that the cases will be consolidated in the Montana District Court.
We’ll post the filings as they become available.
Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
Center for Biological Diversity
I hope they can eliminate every last one of these exotic pests. Until recently Idaho was free of them. I wonder about the history. How did they get into Idaho?
Wild pigs becoming a problem in S. Idaho. KTVB. By Scott Evans
Already reeling from the massive Jonah gas field, now a new field covering 4 times as much area is planned. The “Normally Pressured Lance” natural gas field” (Son of Jonah, as some call it) comes at a time when the formerly pristine air of the Green River Basin has wintertime air so dirty it violates the standards.
Encana project could add 3,500 gas wells in Wyo. Mead Gruver, Associated Press
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management needs to asked how new drilling of this huge magnitude can be done until the agency can be sure the residents are being protected from the activities that are already underway.
The Wyoming Outdoor Council has a story on the project too (and a map). Agency needs to protect the residents of the Upper Green River Valley. By Bruce Pendery
Fish and Game looking for culprit who shot lion. Rexburg Standard Journal. By Joyce Edlefsen.
Salazar announces wolves delisted in Rockies and hunting can begin – Idaho Statesman
Wolves will be delisted in the Northern Rockies except Wyoming on Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
The rule would reinstate the 2009 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and northern Utah.
Download NR Wolf Delisting Reissuance
Western Watersheds Project expects to file litigation in U.S. District court challenging the delisting rider.
George Wuerthner critiques the assumption that cougar hunting will decrease conflict with humans.
Oregon’s assumptions on cougar hunting misplaced – George Wuerthner, NewWest.net
Oregon, like many western states, allows cougar hunting. Part of the justification for hunting is the assumption that killing cougars will reduce livestock losses and increase public safety. There is, however, growing scientific evidence that suggests that sport hunting is more likely to increase cougar predation on livestock and may even increase the likelihood of cougar attacks on humans.
Montana’s wolf hunt is expected to be easier on the state’s wolf population than Idaho’s. With the congressional delisting of the wolf in the Northern Rockies, Montana and Idaho can pretty do what they want in terms of wolf quotas.
State wildlife officials propose 220-wolf quota for 2011 season. By Eve Byron Helena Independent Record.
Also, Obama administration takes wolves off endangered species list. AP. They are also delisting the Great Lakes population, which is certainly ready. Unfortunately, all three states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have fallen to tea party governors. Michigan’s seems as bad as Wisconsin’s notorious Scott Walker.
While not as amusing as the two who tried to urinate into the geyser a few years ago, this was still just as stupid.
You can watch the web cam here: Old Faithful web cam
Webcam catches tourists walking on Old Faithful.
The Associated Press
Because there are not many wolves in Oregon, this is a big deal. The pack has 10-14 members. There was one other wolf pack known on the Oregon/Washington state border in 2010 — the Wenaha Pack. It might have 6 members. USFWS has ordered capturing and “euthanizing two un-collared sub-adults from the Imnaha pack.” That wolf pack has killed some cow calves every once and a while over the last year.
Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild said in a statement, “This kill order randomly targets any two wolves of Oregon’s Imnaha Pack. That is not wildlife management, it is retribution.”
My view is that, of course, it is retribution. After watching and writing about wolf depredations of cattle for over 15 years now, I’d say “wolf control” is almost always retribution of a kind. Wolves rarely kill enough livestock in any place to make the dead calf or sheep an economic issue, but it is always a political issue. Wolves killing livestock are treated with the same gravity as human homicides and political assassinations, reflecting the values of those who rule in western rural areas.
Here is the story in Sneak Cat. USFWS issues kill order for 2 Imnaha Pack wolves. May 3, 2011.
Update on Oregon wolf packs (taken from a news story). “Oregon currently has three wolf packs: the Imnaha (10 wolves at latest count), Wenaha (six wolves) and Walla Walla (three wolves). The Walla Walla pack is new and wildlife managers are still trying to determine their range, which could primarily be in Washington State.”
This is big news for all who float or boat the main fork of the Salmon River below the Corn Creek put-in. I’d like to know more about what caused this blowout on April 1.
White water created on Salmon River by blowout. By Eric Barker. The Lewiston Tribune as reported in the Idaho Statesman.
A new study is confirming what many have been suggesting all along; We don’t need to sacrifice wild-lands and pristine wildlife habitat to facilitate renewable energy, it’s all about proper siting.
Win-Win for Wind and Wildlife: A Vision to Facilitate Sustainable Development – Kiesecker JM, Evans JS, Fargione J, Doherty K, Foresman KR, et al. 2011 – PLoS ONE
We estimate there are ~7,700 GW of potential wind energy available across the U.S., with ~3,500 GW on disturbed lands. In addition, a disturbance-focused development strategy would avert the development of ~2.3 million hectares of undisturbed lands while generating the same amount of energy as development based solely on maximizing wind potential.
During the winter, I made a number of posts about the hard conditions for ungulates in the Northern Rockies. The failure of spring to arrive is causing deaths to continue and grow.
Record wildlife die-offs reported in Northern Rockies. Reuters. By Laura Zuckerman.
Politics and reality clash in New Mexico. Posted on May 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn. Summit County Citizens Voice.
Although he was out of office for a couple years, newly elected Pearce (R-US Rep) is up to his old tricks, made meaner for these lean times.
Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says protecting the lizard will cost no jobs, Pearce says it will have a big effect.
My view is these people (Republican office-holders like Pearce) can play around with causing a default on the national debt without worrying about jobs, but they won’t let this get past them — a lizard versus oil jobs is just too good for rabble rousing to let it pass.
Kiren Suckling executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity called, “Congressman Pearce’s campaign of misinformation and hysteria is a threat to democracy.” A healthy democracy requires good information and trustworthy politicians. When people like Pearce abuse their positions of power and promote hysteria with fear mongering, they undermine the foundation of democracy and civil society.” This is from “Group Calls on New Mexico Congressman to Recant False Statements About Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. News Release.