Montana FWP wants local anti-bison judge replaced on Gardiner Basin bison case

Judge who singlehandedly stopped years-in-making decision to let bison roam, not acceptable, says FWP-

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)

Local judge stifles free roaming bison reforms

Park County, Montana judge issues a temporary restraining order to prevent bison from roaming Gardiner Basin

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!!

Park County judge halts bison changes. AP

Kathie Lynch on Yellowstone wolves: Cold April in Yellowstone

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!

Ralph Maughan

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized, Wolves, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone wolves. Comments Off on Kathie Lynch on Yellowstone wolves: Cold April in Yellowstone

Yellowstone’s east gate opens. Southern on Friday

There is a lot of deep snow-

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.

Bison ‘managers’ kill calf

Montana Bison ‘managers’ kill calf north of West Yellowstone-

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.


Darwin Award Averted. Webcam catches tourists walking on Old Faithful

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

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.