Agreement reached to let Yellowstone Park bison to roam outside Park at Gardiner

Some good news at a time of general craziness-

A “Bison conservation area” will be established in the Gardiner Basin, and for the first time it looks like migrating bison that cross the Yellowstone Park boundary on the north end will be allowed to roam rather than be shot or trucked off to slaughter.

Although the area is a large 75,000 acres almost all of it is steep mountainslope that bison rarely use. The basin itself is a couple thousand acres along both sides of the Yellowstone River until the mountains squeeze it shut at Yankee Jim Canyon on the north.

A hunt will be established and the annual bison slaughter ended. Apparently an average of 400 bison will need to be killed each year to keep the current population in the Park about stable. In mild years, few bison migrate north, so obviously in some years no hunt is possible.

Tea partiers and cattle cranks in the Montana legislature have passed a number of anti-bison bills, so this announcement assumes that Governor Schweitzer will veto them.

I think this is something to celebrate at a time when radicals have taken over many state legislatures and weird, dangerous and mean spirited laws emerge daily.

Agreement to let Yellowstone bison roam in [Gardiner area].
Associated Press.

Penned Yellowstone National Park bison eat a lot of hay

The 600 temporarily captured bison eat about 6 tons of hay a day-

For whatever the real reason Montana’s Governor Schweitzer spared the bison captured at the northern boundary of Yellowstone Park, most folks on this forum were pleased. The bison do eat a lot of hay and, of course, the feeding increases the chance they will return next year, although they don’t seem to like being penned.

It’s interesting that the Park Service has not ruled out killing the 40% of the bison who tested positive for brucellosis. The pointlessness of this harsh action has been pointed out many times.

Captive bison eating Yellowstone National Park’s stockpile of hay. By Brett French. ‌ The Billings Gazette |

Is Gardiner, Montana, the Selma, Alabama, of Wildlife Conservation?

“On bigotry and bison management at Yellowstone National Park”-

It think this is a fine opinion piece in New West. Is Gardiner, Montana, the Selma, Alabama, of Wildlife Conservation? By Michael Leach, Guest Writer.

I kind of feel the same way as Leach.

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Note that Leach, who used to work for the Park Service, but longer does, has started Yellowstone Country Guardians. It is in our blogroll. He seems to attract enthusiastic young people to learn about Yellowstone.

Kathie Lynch updates on Yellowstone northern range wolves. Jan. 7, 2011

Kathie Lynch reveals fascinating new landscape of the wolves of northern Yellowstone-

Kathie Lynch is now perhaps the only person writing publicly the details of the Yellowstone Park wolves.  With more change than continuity in the last year, her most recent report takes us into the wolf world of the Blacktails, Lamars, Agates, Canyon, and even a bit of Mollies and the Quadrant packs.  Ralph Maughan

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© Yellowstone wolf update. Jan. 7, 2011.  By Kathie Lynch, Copyright

Winter holiday time in Yellowstone glowed with magnificent mauve, apricot and pink sunrises. Hoar frost glittered on bare trees and bushes like bright, twinkling stars, while bitterly cold temperatures of -22F and mountains of sparkling snow guaranteed a white Christmas.

While finding wolves was sometimes challenging, fox watching was incredible. In the past, the hardest part of achieving a “Three Dog Day” (seeing a wolf, coyote and fox) was finding a fox. This time, foxes were everywhere.

The star of the show was a rare dark phase red fox, which looked almost black and is sometimes called a cross fox. It delighted everyone in the Lamar Valley with its careful listening for voles under the snow and head-first dives.

With only three wolf packs (Blacktail, Lamar, and Agate) as likely wolf watching possibilities in the Northern Range, I felt lucky to see wolves almost every day of my two week stay. One day I saw no wolves and one day we could only find one–a sleeping one, at that! Another day, dawn to dusk effort on the part of devoted wolf watchers only produced two black ears behind a bush. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Wolves, Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone wolves. Tags: . Comments Off on Kathie Lynch updates on Yellowstone northern range wolves. Jan. 7, 2011

What Good Are Wolves? Naturalist Norm Bishop recounts

It’s good to recall the reasons-

Norman A Bishop was a naturalist interpreter for many years at Yellowstone Park, and played a key role in the wolf restoration.  He is retired and continues a vigorous life, partly as an expert ski racer. He holds many positions including the board of the Wolf Recovery Foundation, of which I’m President.

He started circulating a version of “what good are wolves” about a month ago.  It’s good to see it up on-line because it seems that 10-15 years ago everyone interested knew the reasons restoring wolves was a good idea.  With the reality of them we learned some of the ideas were not so, and there were other good reasons no one had really predicted.

Over time the opposition distorted the reasons and just made things up.  The news media produced thoughtful stories, but also too many easy ones with headlines like “Rancher loses a dog and calf to wolves . . . heartsick.”  This is variation of a common type of journalism that is disparaged  — “fuzz and was.”  That means routine police stories and dead people, usually by accidents.  Ralph Maughan

From New West, ” ‘What Good Are Wolves?’ A growing body of scientific research shows wolves are key to the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies. Here’s a condensed version compiled by a long-time wolf advocate. By Norman A. Bishop, Guest Writer.”

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.

Montana elk hunters around Yellowstone Park have a generally successful season

Madison Valley most successful.  Number of deer killed down slightly-

Elk hunters successful in 2010. Bozeman Chronicle. By Daniel Person.

In addition hunting was good in Northwestern Montana. Here’s the story. Ideal conditions close hunt season. By JIM MAN. The Daily Inter Lake Daily.

Weather helps western Montana hunters close out big game season. Missoulian.

All the articles say it was the great weather for bringing the elk down where they could be more easily found.  However, I thought wolves had nearly destroyed the elk herds.  I guess good weather can actually perform a resurrection (or show what bullshit the wolves-have-killed-everything is).