Heavy snowfall sends elk onto the National Elk Refuge

Heavy snowfall sends elk to refuge. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily.

It is shaping up to be a snowy winter in southern Idaho and Western Wyoming.

Two new cases of brucellosis in Wyoming.

Park County bison tests positive for brucellosis
By BOB MOEN – Associated Press.

Herd tests positive for brucellosis
By BRENNA BRAATEN – Cody Enterprise.

Posted in Bison, brucellosis, cattle, Elk, Uncategorized, Wyoming. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Two new cases of brucellosis in Wyoming.

Tester To Chair Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus

Western Democrats want to gut the Endangered Species Act

Jon Tester, the Democratic Senator for Montana, is facing a tough re-election battle in 2012 which may hinge on the wolf issue. He is desperate to find a solution which allows the State of Montana to manage wolves and wants to get something passed in the Senate during the lame duck session before the next congress is sworn in.

His proposal, also supported by Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus who sold out on the health care bill, is to change the Endangered Species Act to allow distinct population segments (DPS) to be split along state lines to allow wolves to be delisted in Idaho and Montana and not Wyoming. While this may sound like an innocuous change to the ESA it could have devastating effects on the integrity of the ESA for other species. To use political boundaries rather than biological boundaries based on defensible science would allow the Interior Department to incrementally list or delist species based on politics rather than science, a goal of ESA opponents for many years. Essentially it would gut the Act and make it even an weaker tool for protecting endangered species.

But Tester said he thinks there is still a chance that the wolf issue could be dealt with this year. He favors some plan that puts management of the wolf back into state management in Montana and Idaho.

“That is one I would like to get done this lame duck session,” Tester said. “I think the state of Montana had a pretty good plan.”

Tester To Chair Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus – cbs4denver.com.

Otter meeting with Interior secretary, other governors on wolves

Salazar can’t just change the rules without an open, public process under NEPA.

The governors of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana are meeting with Ken Salazar in Denver on Monday to talk about wolves. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Really, there are very few options for the Department of Interior short of trying again but until Wyoming’s plan is accepted it is unlikely they would be successful. There may still be efforts to get a legislative change to the Endangered Species Act during the lame duck session but for some reason I find them unlikely to move forward.

Otter meeting with Interior secretary, other governors on wolves.
Idaho Reporter

Judge sides with Wyoming in wolf case

U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson Rules that USFWS was not justified in rejecting Wyoming’s woefully inadequate wolf management plan.

Recall that Judge Molloy ruled in 2008 that the USFWS arbitrarily accepted Wyoming’s wolf management plan without justification after initially rejecting it. Specifically Molloy said that the USFWS “acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it approved Wyoming’s 2007 plan despite the State’s failure to commit to managing for 15 breeding pairs and the plan’s malleable trophy game area”.

Updated: Judge sides with Wyoming in wolf case.
By JEREMY PELZER Casper Star-Tribune capital bureau

Bighorns transplanted to WY Seminoe Mountains doing well

. . . and another transplant to this obscure mountain range planned-

We’ve been following this for about a year now, and it’s good to hear good news on bighorn sheep because so much has been bad.

Article on the transplants. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star-Tribune in the Billings Gazette.

Seminoe Mountains BLM photo

Posted in Bighorn sheep, mountain ranges, Uncategorized, Wyoming. Tags: . Comments Off on Bighorns transplanted to WY Seminoe Mountains doing well

Wyoming Water Development Commission against proposed Green River dam

Commission calls it “too expensive, unnecessary and bad for recreation and the environment”-

This proposal is so obnoxious I couldn’t believe it was real the first time I heard about it. This is a world class fishing river and the reservoir would cut off the famed pronghorn migration route from the Red Desert to Grand Teton National Park that so many have worked on to keep open.

Nov. 10. Commission against Green dam. State legislators will make final decision on $750,000 proposal in December. By Cory Hatch.  Jackson Hole News and Guide.

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Recent background on this Nov. 4. Green River dam up for vote. By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.  Jackson Hole Daily.

Part of the Green River that would be impounded. Copyright Ralph Maughan. 2010