A chance to finally get rid of tumbleweed?

Russian thistle is not a native of the West and importing fungus blights from its homeland can kill it-

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

Russian Thistle in detail. Copyright Salle Engelhardt

Quagga mussels escape Colorado River/Lake Mead

Invasive pests are now in northern Nevada-

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.

Oregon and Washington will also take on feral pigs

Idaho’s feral hog population has been reduced to 20. OR, WA hope to duplicate that success-

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

Wild pigs becoming a problem in Southern Idaho

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

Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho

Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife

There has been a growing problem in central Oregon from wild pigs and now they are showing up in Idaho. This is a real threat to the ecology of Idaho and should be taken very seriously by the Idaho Fish and Game.

Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho | Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife.
by Deanna Darr – Boise Weekly

Oregon ranchers hit by rustlers finding a surprise this winter: returning cows

One of the problems with Christopher Columbus style ranching.

Good animal husbandry by the "original stewards of the land" © Ken Cole

Good animal husbandry by the "original stewards of the land" © Ken Cole

You put them out in the spring then “discover” them in the winter.

Poor animal husbandry in remote areas can lead to all kinds of problems for ranchers, cattle, wildlife, and habitat alike. It’s just one reason that these Great Basin desert areas are unsuitable for cattle grazing in the first place. It’s a desert and cattle grazing requires a huge amount of land just to support one cow. There often isn’t enough water for the cattle and the plants and landscape of the Great Basin did not evolve with large ungulates like bison or cattle so they are easily damaged by the presence of cattle.

Here, the ranchers are complaining about rustlers. This is probably a widespread problem throughout the arid West but, as you can see from the article, the ranchers are reporting sightings of wolves in the area. I’m sure that once any sighting is confirmed the hysteria will quickly focus on wolves rather than rustlers as a cause for their woes.

Oregon ranchers hit by rustlers finding a surprise this winter: returning cows.
By Richard Cockle – The Oregonian

A “carp rodeo”