Herd of wild bison living in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness

Their origin is not known-

The Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains is large and rugged. It’s in extreme NE Oregon near Washington and Idaho. This herd of 25 bison is of unknown origin. What a happy discovery!

The Eagle Cap Wilderness,  the nearby Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and areas in Oregon’s Blue Mountains are also where the state’s wolves live.

Wild herd of bison roams base of Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. Richard Cockle. The Oregonian

One of my photos of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Judge upholds ban on motorized travel in Badger-Two Medicine roadless area

Motorbikes, ATV interests rebuffed for large roadless area between Glacier N.P. and Bob Marshall Wildlerness-

Judge upholds ban on motorized travel in Badger-Two Med. By Karl Puckett.  Great Falls  Tribune Staff Writer.

I’ve only been there twice, and just into it a little way.  My impression is that it isn’t quite as rugged as the country to the north (Glacier N.P.) and the Great Bear and Bob Marshall Wildernesses to the south. It is very much full of wildlife.

The oil and gas industry has lusted after it for a long time. It has religious significance to the Blackfeet Nation (an issue in this failed lawsuit).

Idaho congressman addresses Governor Otter’s concerns about Boulder-White Clouds bill

Simpson writes Otter a letter-

Rocky Barker has an important column on this many-years-in-the-making-“wilderness” bill.

Simpson addresses Otter’s concerns about wilderness bill. Letters from the West. Idaho Statesman. By Rocky Barker.

It looks to be that Rep. Simpson mostly just reassures the governor and promises him no changes in the language of the bill.  After all Otter will not support a Wilderness bill anyway, regardless. The important people who have to go along are Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch and national conservation groups, especially the Sierra Club, who can probably have the bill killed if funny language shows up.

Kevin Richert: Otter writes his sorry wilderness legacy

Governor Otter intervenes at last minute to dim hopes of settling 37 year old Idaho Wilderness controversy-

Below a prominent Idaho Statesman political columnist weighs in to Otter’s sorry move. Considering Otter’s last minute actions to turn once supportive congressional Republicans against this fairly good and delicately balanced bill, I am reminded of Otter’s position on wolves.  We can certainty trace the change from partial compromise on the Idaho wolf issue to one of nasty divisiveness to one man — Butch Otter. Thinking of all the other non-outdoor related things he has done, I think he’s Idaho worst governor, even including legendary “dumb” Don Samuelson back in the day.

Kevin Richert: Otter writes his sorry wilderness legacy. By Kevin Richert. Idaho Statesman.

Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld

Judge denies an injunction request from off-roaders in a key wildlife area just south of Glacier National Park-

There have been a lot of battles fought over the use of the Badger/Two Medicine area on the national forest just south of Glacier National Park. A good portion of this is roadless, but vehicles use some trails and old roads. All of the area is important for wildlife, especially because it is more gentle than Glacier National Park (better habitat, at least in principle).

Recently the Forest Service adopted a new travel plan for the area. Like most travel plan revisions nowadays, the revision has been heated and the off-roaders went to court alleging violations of the law and the U.S. Constitution. The judge has now rejected some, but not all of the off-roaders’ claims and refused to give an injunction on the new travel plan.

Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld. By Karl Puckett. Tribune Staff Writer. Great Falls Tribune.

Posted in Forest Service, public lands, wilderness roadless, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: , . Comments Off on Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld

The battle over Mt. Jefferson in Tester’s Wilderness bill

Continuing fight by Idaho snowmobile interests to keep a small area in Montana out of Senator’s Tester’s Wilderness bill-

We have covered this battle before. Dec. 13, 2009. Idaho Senators try to pressure Tester to remove an area from his “wilderness bill”

Photo of Mt. Jefferson from the Montana side. It is the highest mountain in the Centennial Range. Photo of Lilian Lake at the top of Hellroaring Creek.

Mount Jefferson access rises to forefront of forest bill controversy. By Ben Pierce. Bozeman Chronicle “Out There” Editor

From the standpoint of wildlife, the Centennial Mountains have long been know for terrific elk hunting. They are also a key corridor of wildlife migration from the Greater Yellowstone area to central Idaho. The biggest problem is the Sheep Experiment Station, but very high snowmobile use causes damage too. See photo of how busy it is at high elevation.

Montana: Sled grooming to end in West Pioneers

Action was meant to protect wolverine and the wilderness quality of this wilderness study area-

The Forest Service has settled a lawsuit by Wildlands CPR of Missoula and Friends of the Bitterroot regarding the terms of the Montana Wilderness Study area act of 1977 regarding allowed uses of one of the study areas in the Act. Snowmobile grooming will end. Snowmobiles are still permitted.

Story in the Montana Standard. Sled grooming to end in West Pioneers. By Nick Gevock.