Language of the “Wolf Disaster Declaration” published.

Language of the “Wolf Disaster Declaration” published.

Bill Status: H0343.

It is not the same language as contained in the legislation we posted in February.

It essentially provides for a disaster declaration if there are more than 100 wolves in Idaho.

“[T]he legislature finds that public safety has been compromised, economic activity has been disrupted and private and public property continue to be imperiled. The uncontrolled proliferation of imported wolves on private land has produced a clear and present danger to humans, their pets and livestock, and has altered and hindered historical uses of private and public land, dramatically inhibiting previously safe activities such as walking, picnicking, biking, berry picking, hunting and fishing. The continued uncontrolled presence of gray wolves represents an unfunded mandate, a federal commandeering of both state and private citizen resources and a government taking that makes private property unusable for the quiet enjoyment of property owners.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Wolf-fearing ID lawmakers want emergency declared

Outrageous Reactionary Politics – Lies – Need To Be Confronted Head-On

The outright absurdity of the extreme reactionism that continues to threaten wolves can often seem too outrageous to be real.  We hope that it’s just some marginal voice and that maybe by ignoring it, it will go away.

Wolf management in the Rockies is a very real culminating crisis prompted more from the imagination of zealots than from anything we can objectively quantify.  Born uniquely in the minds of men more than in the actual behavior of wolves.

Unfortunately, the crisis is real – bounties are being proposed in state legislatures, Wildlife Services considered gassing pups in dens, citizens are being encouraged to defy federal law and to kill wolves in both Idaho and Montana.

It’s lawless, it’s absurd, it’s anti-rational insofar as it’s a response to a real condition prompted by wolves’ actual behavior … But it’s perfectly rational politically – thus far it has been rewarded politically by both anti-wolfers and implicitly by some pro-wolfers’ capitulation alike – it’s a paradigm that will prevail under state management of wolves should wolf advocates lose the effort to keep wolves federally protected – because the sad truth is that in the halls of state legislatures, reason will have no voice.

Wolf-fearing ID lawmakers want emergency declaredAssociated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Wolf-fearing lawmakers want Idaho to declare a disaster emergency that could include enlisting local law enforcement officers to help eradicate packs of the predators.

Update 4/2/11: It turns out that the language being considered is none other than the legislation we posted in February.

Read it here: Final Draft of Idaho Wolf Legislation

Update 4/4/11: The wording of the legislation is posted here: Language of the “Wolf Disaster Declaration” published.

Pacific salmon run helps shape Canada’s ecosystems

Predators help disperse salmon, nutrient on streambanks

This article describes the results of a study suggesting another “trophic cascade” mechanism by which predators and salmon interact, enriching the diversity of plant-life in the world’s largest old-growth temperate rainforest:

Pacific salmon run helps shape Canada’s ecosystemsBBC News

The annual migration sees salmon return to western Canada to spawn, but many are caught by bears and wolves, which carry carcasses away from the streams.

This allows nutrient-rich plants to thrive in these areas.

Lawmakers try to lift wolf protection despite deal

Fail

I wish I could suggest this was a surprise:

Lawmakers try to lift wolf protection despite dealAssociated Press

Key lawmakers in the political skirmish over gray wolves in the West say they will continue their efforts to lift federal protections for the predators, despite a proposed settlement between environmentalists and the government.

When I watched the political process unfold in Idaho, I learned something:

A few conservationists’ attempted to appease the flagrant anti-wolf sentiment of the heavy-handed IDFG management plan by agreeing to sign off on everything in exchange for a sliver of a “wolf watching area” in the Wood River Valley.  One crumb was asked, where hunting would be off-limits.  Decision-makers scoffed and rejected the idea.

How did compensation work at increasing tolerance for wolves ?  It hasn’t.

Rational decision-making processes haven’t worked with anti-wolfers.  Political appeasement hasn’t worked.  In fact, it seems to be counterproductive, accomplishing little more than a demonstration of weakness – emboldening the anti-wolf effort.

Added 4/1/11 ~ a more lengthy rendition of the AP story :
Lawmakers to keep pressing wolf bills despite settlement between wolf advocates and government

~ be

Idaho Fish and Game Deputy Director Moore pegged to agency’s top job

Virgil Moore isn’t the candidate whom the anti-wolf crowd wanted to have directing the IDFG. I hope he does a good job but only time will tell. There are a lot of pressures on the IDFG to be very heavy handed with wolves if they get management authority.

He’s been with the IDFG for a long time.

Idaho Fish and Game Deputy Director Moore pegged to agency’s top job.
Idaho Statesman

Ivanpah solar project could displace 140 tortoises

Previous estimate was 32-38

The Bureau of Land Management has increased the estimate of how many desert tortoises will be displaced by the Ivanpah solar plant in southern California just southwest of Las Vegas. The previous estimate was that there would only be 32-38 tortoises displaced by the development. They now estimate that there will be 140 of the endangered tortoises displaced by the 5.6 square mile development. The new estimate has required the BLM to seek new consultations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Previous attempts at moving tortoises to new locations have resulted in half of the tortoises dying and similar number of resident tortoises dying at the relocation site due to displacement. If this relocation effort has similar results then it would result in 140 dead tortoises.

Tortoises are long living creatures that mature at age 15 and can live up to 80 years or more. They have declined by as much as 90% since the 1980’s due to habitat destruction and increased predation by ravens which thrive in areas where they previously didn’t because of human trash and livestock which die or leave birthing materials in the spring. They also are illegally collected by people who want them as pets. Land development, such as BrightSource’s Ivanpah solar plant, are also becoming threats to their survival.

Read more about Ivanpah

Ivanpah solar project could displace 140 tortoises.
The Press Enterprise

Bill to delist species that haven’t increased in population and impose economic hardship.

A bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives by Representative Joe Baca of California which would declare a species extinct if it hasn’t increased in population during the 15 years since it was listed and imposes an economic hardship on the communities located in the range of the species.

Below is the text of the language to be added to the ESA if the legislation is successful:

H.R.1042.
THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et sq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    `(4) Treatment of Certain Species as Extinct- (A) A limited listed species shall be treated as extinct for purposes of this Act upon the expiration of the 15-year period beginning on the date it is determined by the Secretary to be an endangered species, unless the Secretary publishes a finding that–
    • `(i) there has been a substantial increase in the population of the species during that period; or
    • `(ii) the continued listing of the species does not impose any economic hardship on communities located in the range of the species.
    `(B) In this paragraph the term `limited listed species’ means any species that is listed under subsection (c) as an endangered species for which it is not reasonably possible to determine whether the species has been extirpated from the range of the species that existed on the date the species was listed because not all individuals of the species were identified at the time of such listing.’.

Worm infests Wyoming Moose

May infect as many as 50% of Wyoming moose

In 2008 a moose was discovered in the Star Valley that suffered from both Chronic Wasting Disease and a carotid artery worm, Elaeophora schneideri. It now turns out that up to 50% of the population may have the worm but the true extent of the effects are unknown. The worm is transmitted by the bite of a horsefly which tend to do well under hot and dry conditions.

Worm infests area Moose
Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Hundreds of Scientists Denounce Congress’ Attempt to Undermine Endangered Species Act

Union of Concerned Scientists Weighs In

Attempted political assaults on the Endangered Species Act in Congress, as exist in recent budget bills, are being denounced by scientists all over the country.

Hundreds of Scientists Denounce Congress’ Attempt to Undermine Endangered Species ActUCSW Press Release 3/30/11

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2011) – Nearly 1,300 scientists today urged senators to oppose efforts to undermine the scientific authority of the Endangered Species Act, which they fear would threaten the long-term survival of all species protected by the law.

Read the letter to Congress signed by 1293 scientists

Poop Reveals an Immigrant in Isle Royale Wolves’ Gene Pool

The population of wolves on Isle Royale was formed when a pair of wolves crossed frozen Lake Superior in 1949 from Canada. Since 1958, one of the most important and longest studies of wolf/moose interactions has taken place there. The wolves and moose have fluctuated up and down due to many causes such as tick infestations, genetic inbreeding and fluctuations of forage for moose and prey for wolves. These interactions are seen as a microcosm of wolf prey interactions and demonstrate the many influences on populations.

In the course of this study researchers have found that another male wolf crossed the frozen lake and joined the population. His genes are now represented in 56%, or 9 wolves, of the population of 16 now present on the island.

Besides genetic inbreeding, there is another issue which could eliminate wolves from the island and that is the possible loss of the two remaining female wolves. That has prompted a proposal to bring a few new wolves from the mainland to supplement the population’s genetics and increase their fitness. This runs counter to the National Park Service’s policy to allow natural processes to take place so there will surely be debate about this in the future.

Isleroyalewolf.org has an interesting graph showing the historical wolf and moose population fluctuations that you can see here: http://vicksta.com/wolf%20and%20moose%20graph7.html

Poop Reveals an Immigrant in Isle Royale Wolves’ Gene Pool
Michigan Tech News.

US Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments on Montana’s wolf reduction proposal in the Bitterroot Mountains

Blaming wolves for poor elk management?

Graph of information presented in Montana's Bitterroot 10(j) proposal. (Click for Larger View)

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has issued an Environmental Assessment for Montana Fish Wildlife and Park’s wolf reduction proposal for the Bitterroot hunting district HD250 just southeast of Hamilton, Montana.  In the proposal to kill all but 12 wolves in the district, they claim that wolves are responsible for declines that they have seen in the district and that they are causing “unacceptable impacts” elk population there such that they can no longer meet the objectives they have set there.

While the elk population has declined it should be noted that there was a sharp increase in harvest of all classes of elk in the area after wolves were documented even though as one of the peer reviewers says “[t]here is strong evidence that female harvests need to be reduced when wolves are present (for example, see Nilsen et al. 2005, Journal of Applied Ecology)”. The elk count objectives for the area were also drastically increased to levels far above what the area had previously supported and harvest levels remained high as well.

There is also very little information about the population of bears and mountain lions which also take elk.  Bears, in particular, take very young elk and can have a very large impact on elk populations.

Whether or not killing large numbers of wolves and other predators is effective in increasing elk populations is still debatable but it seems apparent to me that the FWP is blaming wolves for their poor management of elk and that their objectives were based on more wishful thinking rather than what was actually possible.

Here are the Criteria for Proposing Wolf Control Measures under the 2008 NRM Gray Wolf ESA Section 10(j) Rule

  1. The basis of ungulate population or herd management objectives
  2. What data indicate that the ungulate herd is below management objectives
  3. What data indicate that wolves are a major cause of the unacceptable impact to the ungulate population
  4. Why wolf removal is a warranted solution to help restore the ungulate herd to management objectives
  5. The level and duration of wolf removal being proposed
  6. How ungulate population response to wolf removal will be measured and control actions adjusted for effectiveness
  7. Demonstration that attempts were and are being made to address other identified major causes of ungulate herd or population declines or of State or Tribal government commitment to implement possible remedies or conservation measures in addition to wolf removal

Read the rest of this entry »

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism

Here are a couple of articles about the Buffalo Field Campaign and how they, and other groups are funded.  Contrary to popular belief BFC’s top paid people don’t make much money (trust me, I know this because I am on their Board of Directors).  BFC is also very efficient with its money and has very resourceful people working to maintain and improve its cars and property.  Most of its funds are spent on keeping people out in the field to document what happens to the buffalo and educating visitors to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park during the summer months.

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

The Donor Dance: How green groups stay funded.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

Oil industry demand for more drilling permits to lower oil prices is phoney

The argument that more drilling, fewer regulations will bring down oil price spikes is a tired old story-

The oil industry recycles it for every international crisis, nevertheless; and the media take it seriously (sort of). Once again they are exposed, although simple logic tells us that a strategy that takes years to implement will not impact a short term price jump.

Oil and Gas Industry sitting on 7,200 drilling permits. By Environment & Energy and Environment Daily on March 29, 2011

Montana Wildlife Federation is going to sue over the oil megaloads

Idaho landowners and conservationists to get help from Montana allies-

National Wildlife Federation Prepared to Sue Montana Over Mega-loads. By George Prentice. Boise Weekly.

Exxon is now getting ready to test taking the megaloads up Highway 12 and through Montana. There could be as many as 200 gigantic loads from Exxon sent to Alberta. Some, however, are being broken down into smaller loads so they don’t have to travel on beautiful Highway 12.

– – – – – –
Here is some good news on the struggle fighting the tar sand oil. Ottawa fights EU’s dirty fuel label on oil sands. Climate Connections. The EU is going to label it as a dirty fuel.

Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? March 28, 2011

Note that this replaces the 26th edition. That editionwill now move slowly into the depths of the blog. 

Cottonwood in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park. © Ken Cole

Cottonwood in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park. © Ken Cole

Please do not post entire articles here, just the link, the title, and your comments. Posting other people’s writing is a violation of copyright law and  takes up too much space.

Dozens protest wolves outside Missoula court hearing

Numbers were a big anti-wolf disappointment-

Disappointing small number of anti-wolf protesters show up at Molloy hearing. Missoulian. By Ken Briggeman.

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Bison Restoration in Montana

Buffalo Bull © Ken Cole

In February the National Wildlife Federation conducted a poll of 400 Montana voters and found that they are strongly in support of bison recovery in Montana.  Particularly, 70% say they support recovery in areas such as the Spotted Dog WMA near Deer Lodge and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge which covers 1.1 million acres in central Montana.

These results run contrary to the measures that the Montana Legislature has been to trying to push through which would make reintroduction of bison illegal or subject to the approval of county commissioners.

Among other findings, the poll showed that:

  • 63% of Montanans believe that it is possible to manage wild bison in much same ways as other wildlife species such as deer and elk.
  • 70% of Montanans favor having the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and parks investigate where wild bison populations could be restored.
  • 70% of Montanans favor allowing hunters to hunt wild bison
  • 72% s of Montanans support establishing a bison population at the 26,000 acre Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area, near Deerlodge
  • 70% of Montanans support establishing a population of wild bison in and around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Montana.

Press Release.

Poll Results.

Judge asked to lift federal protections on wolves

Judge Molloy will rule “soon” on whether to accept the settlement.

As described in the Missoulian article, there are three ways this could go. One, he could say that the settlement has no value. Two, he could recommend to the 9th Circuit that they accept the settlement. Three, he could say it needed more discussion and ask the 9th Circuit to let him take the case back.

Judge asked to lift federal protections on wolves.
By MATT VOLZ
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Update 3/25/11: Here is a better article about the hearing.
Judge Molloy hears sides on wolf settlement, hunts.
By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian

Wolf settlement hearing today.

The hearing on the “wolf settlement” begins in just a few minutes.  I won’t guess what the outcome will be but I think the case against the settlement is pretty strong. It also appears that the backlash against the settling parties has been strong among wolf supporters with many stating that they have removed their support.

What’s worse, letting the legislature gut the ESA or doing it yourself?

Wolf settlement puts ball in judge’s court.
By EVE BYRON – Helena Independent Record

Cows, What a many Splendored Thing

Click to view in Google Maps

Last week I went out with a co-worker to check out what was going on in the Jarbidge Field Office where Western Watersheds Project has won a court victory that ends corporate ranching on 450,000 acres of public land. When we arrived we found cattle on several of the allotments even though the injunction is in place.

The ranchers are asking the judge to stay the injunction and say that they have met all of the terms of the stipulated settlement agreement (SSA) which has expired. They argue that utilization monitoring has shown that they have not exceeded the terms and conditions of their permits or the SSA and, because of this, sage grouse habitat has improved. Even if they have met the terms and conditions of their permits and the SSA, which I won’t say one way or the other, the BLM’s Analysis of the Management Situation (AMS) notes that the Jarbidge suffered the cumulative loss of 800,000 acres of sagebrush-steppe habitat from 1982 through 2006, such that 46% of the JFO is no longer sage-steppe habitat. This doesn’t even account for the massive fires which have burned since 2007 such as the Murphy Complex of 2007 and the Long Butte Fire in 2010. Sage grouse and other sage steppe dependent species are in dire straits in the Jarbidge and as the WWP press release says:

“Recent data from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game shows that sage-grouse populations in the Jarbidge Field Office are in a free fall, with declines of over 90% since 2006 alone. For example, in the Browns Bench area of the Field Office, total male sage-grouse lek counts are down from 185 in 2006 to 29 in 2010, and some areas are in an even steeper decline.”

Jarbidge FO Pastures.  Click for larger view.

Jarbidge FO Pastures. Click for larger view.

While my biggest concerns lie with the plight of the wildlife there, I also find it startling that the Jarbidge Field Office has essentially turned into a livestock feedlot. Even recreation values have been totally eliminated here. The whole Field Office has been fenced into small pastures with what amounts to a weeping sore in each caused by cattle that congregate at water troughs surrounded by feeding tubs with some kind of molasses slurry, salt blocks, and even oat hay. On top of that is the droning of military jets overhead, some of them containing training pilots from Singapore.

I guess this is what they mean by “multiple use”.  I call it a cowpocalypse.

Wildlife Service’s aerial predator control is grounded

At least in South Dakota. Hopefully more generally-

With all the budget problems, finally here is a good one — USDA Wildlife Services is running out of funding for aerial predator control.

Aerial predator control is grounded. AP

Arguments Filed Asking Judge Molloy to Consider Wolf Settlement

Earlier we learned why Western Watersheds Project stands firm. Does not join wolf settlement. Now initial briefs have been filed before the Court, with the Settling Parties filing a motion for an indicative ruling, essentially asking the judge whether he would partially stay the August 2010 order vacating and setting aside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 Delisting Rule in the states of Idaho and Montana only.

I have attached links to several of the briefs, including Western Watersheds Project’s brief opposing the settlement, below the fold:

Introduction

Pursuant to the Court’s March 21, 2011 Order, Dkt. 193, Western Watersheds Project hereby objects to and opposes the Motion for Indicative Ruling filed jointly by several plaintiffs and defendants (collectively the “Settling Parties”) who attempt to settle the present case and a related case (No. cv-08-14-M-DWM). Dkt. 187.

The Settling Parties seek to strip Western Watersheds Project (“WWP”) and other non-settling plaintiffs of the legal ruling already rendered in their favor by this Court, without intervening or overriding legal authority, without all parties agreeing to the proposed settlement, and without ensuring adequate protection for wolves. The Court already held it improper for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) to base its Northern Rocky Mountain (“NRM”) wolves delisting decision on politics. Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar, 729 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 1228 (D. Mont. 2010)(“Even if the Service’s solution is pragmatic, or even practical, it is at its heart a political solution that does not comply with the ESA.”) Yet the Settling Parties now seek the Court’s blessing for the politically motivated decision to be reinstated, and they provide no basis for the ruling they seek and settlement they propose, other than altered political postures.

Read the rest of this entry »

WTF! What are they talking about here?

“NRA, SCI, and CSF Disavow Misleading Press Release-“

This news release/warning or whatever it is has been making the round. Can anyone figure it out? Ralph Maughan

– – – – – – – –
NRA, SCI, and CSF Disavow Misleading Press Release

Today the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation publicly disavowed a misleading press release distributed on Friday, March 11th to congressional offices and other outlets.  The press release blatantly misrepresents the position of these organizations regarding legislation to delist gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

The draft release was circulated by an individual representing Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and Big Game Forever.  The individual representing these two groups was immediately advised to remove the aforementioned organizations named in the release.  Unfortunately, he did not, and the release was transmitted without correcting the inaccurate information.

The release in question claimed that the NRA, SCI and CSF along with the other organizations listed below are opposed to language relating to the delisting of gray wolves in spending legislation currently pending before the U.S. Congress.  In fact, these organizations support that language, as well as every other measure that has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to date addressing this important issue.

Congressional offices and members of the media should exercise caution in accepting as fact, or repeating, any claims made by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Big Game Forever or any person claiming to represent them.   Due to the blatant misrepresentation contained in the press release circulated by these two groups, any claims they make in the future should be thoroughly investigated and independently confirmed.

If you would rather not receive future communications from National Rifle Association, let us know by clicking here.
National Rifle Association, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 United States

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.

Trial rescheduled in felony elk poaching case against anti-wolf activist

The saga continues of the case against anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer, who is accused of poaching a huge elk-

Judge doesn’t dismiss poaching charge. Trial rescheduled in felony case against anti-wolf activist. By Terry Smith. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

The issue seems not to be whether he poached an elk, but whether it actually met the legal definition of “trophy” elk.

We have done quite a few articles this case, which many are saying shows the blatant hypocrisy of anti-wolf, “elk loving,” activists.

The End of the Nuclear ‘Renaissance’?

FAIR Magazine deconstructs the latest proclaimation that a nuclear (power) renaissance is happening-

FAIR Magazine watches for media bias and censorship whether it comes from corporations, non-profits, the government or the institutional biases inherent to journalism.  In the past, FAIR took time to examine the bias now the media reports about the wolf restoration.

Below FAIR Magazine looks at the possible end to the latest round of the so-often proclaimed rebirth of nuclear power.

The End of the Nuclear ‘Renaissance’? 03/16/2011 by Peter Hart

Megaloads tread on Idaho values

A good op ed from Idaho Rivers United-

Megaloads tread on Idaho values. By Kevin Lewis. Idaho Mountain Express.

Western Watersheds Project stands firm. Does not join wolf settlement.

The groups that settled have not gained the assurance of anything-

Today’s announcement that a number of plaintiffs in the wolf delisting case are seeking a settlement with the Department of Interior they hope Judge Molloy will approve does represent a difference in strategy how to proceed in the current political environment.

Three groups, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds and Friends of the Clearwater are standing firm.

Western Watershed’s Executive Director, Jon Marvel, today told me the reasons for the group’s firm stance.

Western Watersheds stresses that this settlement is only with the Department of Interior.  No one, including Senator Jon Tester of Montana, has indicated that in response to the settlement they will withdraw or modify any legislation they have introduced to delist the wolves by law, nor do Secretary of Interior Salazar or President Obama make any promise or even say they oppose such legislation, much less veto it if it passes.

There is nothing in return from this settlement except the promise to keep the scant number of wolves in Utah, Oregon and Washington on the endangered species list.

Western Watersheds believes that having won the case in the first place, the groups should not then ask that the judge approve the violation of the law and his own decision (delisting the NRM wolf by state boundaries).

Read the rest of this entry »

Some groups settle on wolf delisting lawsuit; others don’t

Groups pursue different strategies for a variety of reasons-

I suppose there might be different statements from some of the groups. I think the differences were based on differing perceptions of what the future holds in terms of legislation and the worthiness of the Administration’s position of protecting the existing population of wolves.

Personally, I think the idea that there needs to be 5000 wolves is wrong as well as politically unpopular. The existing wolf population of about 1600 is robust and genetically healthy, but both could change.

Settlement offer splits wolves’ supporters; law firm withdraws.  By Eve Byron. Helena Independent Record.

Rift splits groups fighting to keep wolves on species list

We Won ! … Let’s Settle ?!?

“Among politicians and businessmen, *Pragmatism* is the current term for “To hell with our children.””
~ Edward Abbey

You win some, you lose some … but when a coalition of wolf advocates were successful in demonstrating that federal efforts to delist wolves were not based on science, i.e. unlawful, and won an injunction in federal court putting Northern Rocky Mountain wolves back on the Endangered Species List, the effort wasn’t over – not by a long shot.

Threat of political intervention, legislative delisting, hangs over this question thick – and it’s this pressure, or more appropriately wolf advocates’ response to it, that is being tested now.

Earthjustice has stepped down from representing wolf-advocates as Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Wildlands Network and Hells Canyon Preservation Council look to find cover from their own shadow :

Rift splits groups fighting to keep wolves on species listGreat Falls Tribune

The Alliance, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of the Clearwater refused to settle, Garrity told the Tribune Thursday.

“I believe these other groups will ask Judge Molloy for stay of his ruling which put wolves back on the Endangered Species List. This would mean that wolves could then be shot on sight and the states could have a hunting season on wolves before the wolf population is fully recovered,” Garrity said. “We are sticking to our original request that wolf management should be based on science and the law, not politics.”

Snow plowing starts at Yellowstone National Park

Goal is to have most entrances open by April 15-

All roads will probably not be open until Memorial Day, or even after. It was a heavy winter.

Snow plowing starts at Yellowstone National Park. KBZK 7

Japanese wind farms survive quake, tsunami

Despite predictions to the contrary, the wind farms did well-

Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan’s Trial by Fire. By Kelly Rigg. Huffington Post.

Posted in Wildlife Habitat, Wind. Tags: , , , , , , . Comments Off on Japanese wind farms survive quake, tsunami

In Pinedale, Wyo., Residents Adjust to Air Pollution

Just a generation ago . . . cleanest air the West set against the highest mountains in Wyoming-

It was wonderful to backpack, fish, and climb in the Wind River Mountains in the day when they did not overlook a miasma of gas field air pollution.

In Pinedale, Wyo., Residents Adjust to Air Pollution. By Kirk Johnson. New York Times.

Triumph of the flat-earth Republicans

It’s now official party dogma. There is no climate-change-

I was thinking of writing an essay on this yesterday after I read about this vote, but I see Andrew Leonard already wrote it, and it was published on-line at Salon.com.

Triumph of the flat-earth Republicans. Who cares what scientists believe? The House GOP is on the record, now and for all time: The earth isn’t warming. Salon Magazine. March 16, 2011

Clashing sheep cultures in Idaho

Domestic sheep versus bighorn sheep and cultural traditions-

Nice to have an article about Idaho’s tiny, but powerful sheep culture (and those who have cultural ties to bighorn).

These domestic sheep guys are Governor Clement Otter’s pals. I’d like to see an article about the planned demise of Idaho’s educational culture at the hands of these land barons and their ilk.

Clashing sheep cultures in Idaho. As bighorn sheep numbers dwindle, efforts to keep them away from domestic sheep and disease are forcing a cost in the sheep industry — and could grow. By Rocky Barker.  Idaho Statesman.

If wolves are de-listed, Balyeat wants spring hunt

Right wing radical Montana state legislator wants to kill wolves during denning season-

Here’s the story. If wolves are de-listed, Balyeat wants spring hunt. Bozeman Chronicle.

About Balyeat . . . when this glassy-eyed extremist first showed up in the wolf news, I knew there was an element of the anti-wolf folks that had another agenda. Wolves were just a way of leading people down a path of ideological blindness.

Project Vote Smart. Senator Joe Balyeat (MT). More from Vote Smart.

The guy has a long time record of religious nuttery. Montana Profile. Joe Balyeat. Church, State & the Ayatollah

At California Nuclear Plant, Emergency Response Plans Don’t Include Earthquakes

Diablo Canyon plant is a mile from off-shore fault-

I recall there was a long fight against this plant a generation ago. It generated a case that went to the Supreme Court.

One of the chief arguments was that there was a fault nearby. The larger San Adreas fault is not far either. They say the maximum quake possible at Diablo Canyon is 7.5.  The plant is supposed to have been built to withstand that.

I thought everyone knew the San Andrews fault has produced many 8 + quakes over the last thousand years.

Diablo Canyon reactor. Huffington Post.

Related. Congress wants to cut tsunami warning centers? Really? By CNNPolitics.com.

GOP budget targets agency that warned of tsunami. By Matthew Daly. AP

Squirrel attacking residents of Vermont neighborhood

This is a small item of interest, but it is interesting that there are more squirrel attacks in the lower 48 states (one attack), then there are wolf attacks.

Squirrel attacking residents of Vt. neighborhood. AP in Yahoo.

Federal firefighting promotes building in the wildland interface

So then, maybe it should stop?

Economist Ray Rasker spoke the obvious at University of Montana’s Conservation and Climate Change lecture series. He also talked a little politics. If there is no guarantee of the feeds throwing money to the wind to save houses along the national forest boundaries the counties might be a lot less willing to grant building permits there because the costs would fall on them.

Speaker: Rethink who pays costs of fighting fires to protect homes in woods. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

It would be nice to see this building reduced because of its impact on water quality, scenery, wildlife habitat. A lot of the nasty “remove or shot the deer, elk, bears, cougars, wolves” complaints come from people who live in the woods and their pooch gets got or their shrubbery eaten.

Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? March 15, 2011

Note that this replaces the 25th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Sticky Geranium and a Crab Spider © Ken Cole

Sticky Geranium and a Crab Spider © Ken Cole

Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.

‘Republicans for Environmental Protection’ – Endangered Species?

The word “conservation” and conservative are closely related, but there seems no room for conservationists in today’s radicalized Republican Party-

So-called “conservative” Republican activists are bent on tearing down protections for the land, water, wildlife, and human safety from toxic elements. Below the New York Times blog interviews the head of the group Republicans for Environmental Protection, which has for a time a least lost all of its clout among  tea-partyized Republican activists and elected officials.

‘Republicans for Environmental Protection’ – Endangered Species? By Andrew C. Revkin. Dot Earth. New York Times.

Natural gas drilling proposal in Wyoming Range gets 40,000 comments!!

Wyoming folks love the Wyoming Range and fear fracking-

An unprecedented number of comments came in on the Plains Exploration & Production Co.’s (PXP) plan for up to 136 gas wells south of Bondurant near Noble Basin. Most of the Wyoming and adjacent Salt River Range has been withdrawn from oil and gas leasing/drilling by act of Congress, but the PXP leases slipped through before the leasing was shut down by the Wyoming Range Legacy Act.

My experience in the Noble Basin and adjacent area is of some of the finest elk and moose country in Wyoming.  A domestic sheep beleagered bighorn sheep herd is nearby. The huge number of comments seem to have strengthened the views of new Wyoming governor Matt Mead on the subject of drilling, after maybe fracking the area.

Wyoming Range drilling project garners 40,000 comments. By Environment & Energy Daily in WyoFile.

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 |

A chance to participate in a new study on carnivore conservation and management

We are posting this intriguing research effort by Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter. You are invited to participate.

Readers of the Wildlife News:

My colleagues and I are preparing a nationwide survey to help us better understand people’s preferences for large carnivore conservation and management.  In particular, we are interested in understanding the attitudes and policy preferences of people who are knowledgeable and/or care deeply about these issues (if you’re reading this, you fit that description).

The survey consists of questions designed to assess your attitudes and preferences concerning large carnivore conservation, endangered species restoration, and gray wolf management.  If this topic interests you, we could really use your help!  The questionnaire should take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

You can take the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XKZ8PCL
(More information is provided if you follow the link)

Thank you for your interest!

Jeremy Bruskotter, PhD
School of Environment & Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

Contact: 614/247-2118

Tester’s wolf rider is bad policy

Op ed. Tester’s ban on judicial review violates our First Amendment rights-

No doubt Senator Jon Tester faces stiff competition from one of most loathsome politicians of The West — a poser who claims to be a cattle and goat rancher but somehow became the 14th most wealthy member of Congress, Dennis Rehberg.

Keeping Tester in the Senate seems to trump all other concerns for Senate Democrats. Tester was the only senator who got a rider attached to the defeated Senate Democrat’s continuing resolution. His anti-wolf rider is now in temporary limbo, but will probably be back.

The author of the op-ed below argues that in addition to delisting wolves without so much as a hearing, by preventing any court from reviewing its legally, he is violating the First Amendment right that “Congress shall make no law” that restricts the right of American citizens “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

My view, if Rehberg gets elected, he will sell himself to the international corporations full time. We expect today’s Republicans to do that; but is Tester standing up? Is he speaking up for the teachers, fire fighters, unionized workers, the unemployed – people who Rehberg loves like he loves wolves?  What has Tester done besides crumble when a noisy band of right wingers tell us the elk are eaten and we will all soon have dog tapeworms?  In my view Montana, needs Democrats who will fight like they are in Wisconsin. I gave money to Tester in his last election, but now I send 5 or 10 dollars to the Wisconsin Democrats every day or so. It makes me feel much better.

Tester’s wolf rider is bad policy. By Michael Garrity. Helena Independent Record.

Grizzly’s threatened status heard before Ninth Circuit

Grizzly’s threatened status appealed in 9th Circuit court. Washington Post

Update added on March 14: Audio of hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

I listened to most of this. The government attorney seemed to perform weakly in response to questions, IMO. I didn’t think the National Wildlife Federation did well intervening on behalf of the government. They made a political rather than a legal or scientific argument.  RM

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for ESA… and Wolves

With all of the vitriol surrounding wolves in the Northern Rockies you would think that more and more people are opposed to wolf recovery and the Endangered Species Act. Not so fast according to a recent poll which found that Americans strongly support the Endangered Species Act and wolf recovery.  They also feel that scientists, rather than politicians should manage wildlife.

Endangered Species Act Summary

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for ESA… and Wolves.
Ag Weekly Online: Twin Falls, Idaho

2010 Northern Rockies Wolf Report released.

NRM population estimate down from 1731 to 1651. Minimum population estimate down significantly in Idaho from 870 to 705.

The 2010 Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Reports are out and they show a decrease in the overall wolf population. Wyoming and Montana saw slight increases while Idaho accounted the decline seen in the overall population.  It has long been predicted that wolf populations would level out and possibly decrease as seen in Yellowstone but it is hard to attribute the declines to any particular cause.  It could partly be attributable to last year’s hunt which occurred partially during the wolf breeding season and afterwards, a reduced elk population , increased poaching, difficulty in monitoring, and other factors could play a role as well.

Keep in mind that these estimates are minimum population estimates and that the actual population is higher.  All of the discussions I have had with the people who do these counts indicate that they feel that while these counts are not complete, they are within 20% of the actual counts and are probably accurate with regard to the trends that they show.

Wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountains: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Report: Wolf Pack Numbers Remain Steady, Livestock Losses Down
NBC Montana

And from this article:

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who blocked efforts to take wolves off the list in the last Congress, issued a statement this week to The Associated Press saying he remained opposed to a legislative solution to the issue.

Wolf population dips in Northern Rockies
By MATTHEW BROWN – Associated Press

Read the rest of this entry »

When Elk Fly

Idaho bill to protect CAFOs from family farms, residents, local officials

Idaho bill would protect farms CAFOs from nuisance suits-

There hardly worse news for a small farm, village, residential, or wildlife area than a giant confined animal feeding operation is coming in. Can it be stopped? In almost every state, but Idaho especially, this happens again and again. Usually the CAFO, flush with money and support from its crony’s in the state legislature plows over local opposition, including local elected officials and everyone’s property rights
Occasionally local people win. That is too much for Idaho’s plutocracy. Now they have a “right to farm bill,” which is really just the opposite. Notice how the Idaho Statesman got the headline wrong in the article below? . . .  just as the CAFO’s supporters hoped it would. The AP writer told what is really going on, but the Statesman wrote the headline.

Idaho bill would protect farms from nuisance suits. By Mitchell Schmidt. Associated Press

Note that this bill is being pushed in other states too, indicating it is a multi-state campaign supported by some rich interest like maybe the Koch Brothers.

Update. Editorial of the Idaho State Journal. March 14, 2011

Proponents are wrapping their arguments for passage around Idaho’s rich agricultural history. “Agriculture is a shining star in Idaho,” attorney Dan Steenson told lawmakers during a recent committee hearing on Denney’s bill. “Expansion is necessary for businesses to grow.”
It’s nice to hear these mega-operations called businesses and not farms. They are in fact industrial in scope, although they enjoy the benefits of being agricultural in nature. And they come with a price to nature, neighbors and taxpayers. Read the rest . . . New CAFO bills carry a stench.

Montana, feds negotiating areas for buffalo to roam

If these negotiations are successful and result in the goals outlined then this would be a significant milestone in the buffalo wars that have raged since the mid 1990’s.

The arbitrary nature of the hazing and slaughter that has taken place over the years has taken a large toll on bison and cost millions of tax dollars with absolutely no positive results to show for it.  Allowing bison to use the Hebgen Lake Basin by moving the tolerance zone out to Quake Lake and allowing bison to use the Gardiner area by moving the tolerance zone out to Yankee Jim Canyon would give bison much needed winter habitat.

This is a step in the right direction.

Montana, feds negotiating areas for buffalo to roam.
Associated Press

Budget bills rejected in the Senate.

Wolves still protected under the Endangered Species Act

Both of the budget bills which contained language which would have delisted wolves were defeated in the Senate this afternoon. It appears that another short term continuing resolution will be brought up to fund the government once the current CR expires on March 18th.

Senate rejects rival GOP, Democratic budgets.
By ANDREW TAYLOR – The Associated Press

House GOP budget bill aims to slash environmental regulation

It’s not really about cutting federal expenditures by $60-billion-

The argument over these particular budget cuts is not about reigning in big costs. It is almost entirely about eliminating or gutting entire programs, many of them very popular, without a hearing or even a separate vote on each (most of which they would lose).

House GOP budget bill aims to slash environmental regulation. By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times. This is undemocratic process at its worst. The method used allows members to avoid any responsibility for the cuts made. In my opinion, it is certainly worth shutting the government down so that people will put required to pay attention.

Update on the oil megaloads on Highway 12

One megaload reaches Lolo; one stuck on Highway 12-

We haven’t covered this for a while, but as many predicted the movement is not going smoothly.

1 megaload reaches Lolo; 1 stuck on Highway 12. By Jamie Kelly. Missoulian.

Plate buyers unknowingly paying to test private livestock so that they won’t infect public wildlife.

Another subsidy to private Ag interests at the public expense.

Idaho Elk License Plate

Idaho Elk License Plate

Other states require testing of 100% of each private elk herd but the Idaho Legislature is requiring much less from Idaho’s elk growers and slipping money away from funds intended for the enhancement of wildlife. Idaho Senate Bill 1085 would require testing of “not more than twenty percent (20%) of testable animals” leaving elk, deer, moose, and other ungulates at risk of contracting chronic wasting disease, brucellosis or other diseases.

In Montana, citizens even passed an initiative making private elk operations illegal out of the well-founded fear that these operations would transmit chronic wasting disease to wild elk and deer.

S1085

Proceeds from elk license plates pay for testing private elk herds
Rocky Barker Voices.IdahoStatesman.com.

Lords of Nature presented by WWP at the Idaho Outdoor Association

Tonight, March 8 · 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Location
Idaho Outdoor Association
3401 Brazil Street
Boise, ID

Wolves and cougars, once driven to the edge of existence, are finding their way back — from the Yellowstone plateau to the canyons of Zion, from the farm country of northern Minnesota to the rugged open range of the West. This is the story of a science now discovering top carnivores as revitalizing forces of nature, and of a society now learning tolerance for beasts they once banished. Narrated by Peter Coyote.

After the film Ken Cole and Brian Ertz of Western Watersheds Project will present their views of wolf management, the agencies that manage them, and the present political climate in which wolf management exists.

The event is FREE.

Visit the Idaho Outdoor Association website

To find out more information about the film visit: Lords of Nature

Visit the Western Watersheds Project website:

View on Google Maps

‘The Wildlife News’ Site Update

Friends,

The Wildlife News is undergoing some changes.  We’ve been migrating the site over to a ‘self-hosted’ webpage which we hope will better accommodate the rich conversation/debate about western public land and wildlife issues you’ve grown to expect over on our corner of the inter-tubes.

By migrating the site from wordpress.com over to our own server we won’t need to pay to keep the site ad-free, we’ll be able to better illustrate many of the western wildlife issues of interest to you – as well as utilize many more ways for visitors to contribute.

Soon, the layout/look of the site will be slightly different.  The site will also have a different web address.  Don’t worry !  All those links to ‘wolves.wordpress.com’ will still work (redirect) and it’s the same community of folk it’s always been …

Thanks to The Wolf Recovery Foundation and Western Watersheds Project for their support of these much-needed changes !

Tester amends federal budget bill to declare wolves recovered in Montana, Idaho

7-month spending bill likely to reach the floor of the Senate tomorrow

Need help finding your congressional representative?
US Senators
The Honorable _____________
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515
Write your Senator 

 

US Representatives
The Honorable _____________
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
Write your Representative
Or call Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121, Toll free 1-800-839-5276

Tester amends federal budget bill to declare wolves recovered in Montana, Idaho.
By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian

Human Activity Displaces Predators more than their Prey

Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? March 7, 2011

Note that this replaces the 24th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Tundra Swans and greater white-fronted geese.  Near Burns, Oregon © Ken Cole

Tundra Swans and greater white-fronted geese. Near Burns, Oregon © Ken Cole

Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.

Herds of desperate ungulates dying on Montana railroads, highways

Severe winter in Eastern Montana is taking huge toll on pronghorn, other ungulates-

In deep snow, antelope often seek out railroad tracks and highways so they can move.  When a train comes, and fences on both sides, hundreds can die; and they are, right now.

Herds of desperate ungulates dying on Montana railroads, highways.Written by Kim Skornogoski. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer.

Update: Trains kill more than 800 antelope and deer on Montana tracks this winter. AP

Call of the cougar long gone from the East

A followup article to the one about the Eastern cougar declared extinct-

Call of the cougar long gone from the East. Big cats extinct despite reports of sightings, federal officials say. By Brian Nearing. Times Union Staff Writer, OR not

The Eastern Cougar: Dead or Alive? By Felicity Barringer. New York Times.
Eastern catamount may be extinct, but they’re still very much with us. By Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press Staff Writer

For those who want to track the restoration of the cougar The Cougar Network is a website with a sightings map right on the front page. The Cougar Network shows one confirmed sighting that is clearly in the East. (note, after checking this site more carefully, it looks like it is no longer current. . . RM). There is some useful information.

Posted in wildcats. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Call of the cougar long gone from the East

Former wolf hit man Carter Niemeyer an unlikely advocate

This is one of the best reviews and interviews of Carter Niemeyer since his book, Wolfer, came out early this year.

Former wolf hit man Carter Niemeyer an unlikely advocate. By Julie Sullivan. Oregonian.

 

Why is Obama prosecuting Tim DeChristopher, the gas-lease pranker?

A good question, given all the unprosecuted, indeed celebrated, criminals at high levels-

Tim DeChristopher was convicted at his trial after not being allowed to explain the motives for his prank. Do Motives Matter? The DeChristopher Verdict. The New York Times. By Kirk Johnson.

Inside traders, coal and oil company disaster creators, military contractors break the law with no fear. Two Justices of the Supreme Court plot openly with the Koch Brothers, but who gets convicted? As climate crime continues, who are we sending to jail? Tim DeChristopher? By Bill McKibben. Grist Magazine.

Some people are outraged. Read below (written shortly before his trial).

Why is Obama prosecuting Tim DeChristopher, the gas-lease pranker? Jeremy Bloom. Red, Green, and Blue.

Budgetary reprieve for wolves short-lived

Senator Tester gets delisting added to Senate version of the budget-

Tester amends federal budget bill to declare wolves recovered in Montana, Idaho. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

The recent CR (Continuing Resolution) that passed Congress avoiding a government shutdown for two weeks provided short term relief on wolf delisting by Congress, but it is just a short term measure while the Senate and the House argue over the budget.

As he said he would, Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester got language added to the Senate’s final budget bill.  It seems to match the language on the House side that was inserted by Mike Simpson of Idaho. It delists the” wolf in Idaho and Montana, but not Wyoming. It prevents legal challenges to the delisting.

Here is the language, “SEC. 1709. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such re-issuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Provision of this on both chambers of Congress pretty much guarantees the wolf will be delisted in Idaho and Montana. In Idaho, Governor Otter seems determined to have a wolf killing spree as soon as he and the GOP Tea Partiers are  done gutting the state’s education system, busting unions, and cutting Medicaid for those who are sick and poor.

You can contact U.S. Senators about this, asking that it be removed. We are still an uncertain distance from a budget because to the extreme differences between Republicans and Democrats on many parts of the budget. I expect sniping, possible government shutdowns, and unstable budgets to continue for quite a while.

 

Write to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to cut USDA Wildlife Services Funding

American Sheep Industry Association asks key U.S. Senator not to cut funding for notorious wildlife killing agency-

The President has proposed cutting the budget of USDA Wildlife Services by 10-million dollars. President Obama said there needs to be shared sacrifice although so far it seems to be teachers, police, sick people, students, science, reproductive health, food inspection, and pollution control that is doing all the sacrifice under GOP pressure.

The sheep and cattle industry certainly doesn’t want to be cut, and they are working their classic strategy of contacting a key U.S. Senator asking for a quiet restoration of funds. In this case they are contacting U.S. Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. He heads the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies on the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Senate.

If you want to fight back effectively for once, contact Senator Kohl, asking for deeper cuts, especially for aerial gunning of wildlife. bigger cuts for so-called “livestock protection,” and no funding for the use of poisons like the poison 1080. Kohl’s web site only accepts Wisconsin email contacts, but here are the telephone and fax numbers for his Washington office (202) 224-5653; Fax: (202) 224-9787

Read the rest of this entry »

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s wilderness math doesn’t add up

Idaho’s fact free governor testifies about Idaho Wilderness-

Clement “Butch” Otter has always made his way catering to most backward power groups in his unequal, economically poor, but wilderness rich state.  The poorly paid teachers, educationally deprived students, overflowing prisons, and dispirited population are fine by him, but he has never liked wild backcountry, and especially designated Wilderness, and there is a lot of it in Idaho.  Some of it was protected by Act of Congress during Idaho’s brief green period, 1969-1980.  The rest has been protected by rugged topography and dedicated Idahoans and their allies who have fought long odds ever since.

Otter recently shared his ignorance about Idaho’s Wilderness with a committee in the new Tea Party U. S. House of Representatives. Rocky Barker has a good article on his testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee in today’s Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s wilderness math doesn’t add up. “In a fight against more wilderness, Otter may have vastly underestimated the economic impact of what the state already has.” By Rocky Barker. rbarker@idahostatesman.com. Idaho Statesman

Eastern cougar is officially extinct, government says

However, turns out there never was such an animal distinct from the Western cougar-

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week said  the eastern cougar was extinct, and said it should be taken off the endangered species.

However, it turns out most think the Eastern cougar was a distinction that made no difference because there never was a kind of cougar or mountain lion in the East any different from the increasingly common cougar of the Western United States which is reclaiming its territory in the Midwest and the East at a pretty good rate.

The debate between “lumpers” and “splitters” has been common among biologists studying species and sub-species.  A lumper would say the so-called “eastern cougar never did differ significantly from other cougar in the United States.  A similar controversy has of course been part of the restoration of the gray wolf to the Western United States, the Great Lakes and the red wolf of the Carolinas. The latter is very similar to the wolves of eastern Canada in Quebec Province.

U.S. Declares Eastern Cougar Extinct, With an Asterisk. By Felicity Barringer. New York Times.

Court Victory Stops Corporate Ranching on 450,000 Acres of Public Land in Southern Idaho

Click to view in Google Maps

On February 28, 2011 Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for Idaho agreed with Western Watersheds Project and reimposed an injunction stopping livestock grazing on 17 grazing allotments covering over 450,000 acres of public land in the Jarbidge Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management in southern Idaho.

The allotments closed under this injunction contain some of the most important remaining habitat for sage grouse, California bighorn sheep, the threatened plant species slickspot peppergrass as well as native redband trout, pygmy rabbits and pronghorn antelope.

March 4 news story added. Federal judge shuts down some Jarbidge grazing allotments. By Laura Lundquist. Magic Valley Times News

Here is Western Watersheds Project’s News Release on this important victory:

Western Watersheds Project Wins A Federal Court Injunction Stopping Livestock Grazing on over 450,000 Acres of Public Land in Southern Idaho

Greater sage grouse, pygmy rabbit and Slickspot peppergrass have won a reprieve from livestock grazing which has decimated their populations and destroyed their habitat. Late yesterday, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the federal District for Idaho held BLM, various Simplot corporate entities, and other corporate ranching operations to the terms of an earlier agreement, and again enjoined livestock grazing on 17 livestock grazing allotments in southern Idaho. Read the rest of this entry »

Kathie Lynch on Yellowstone wolf mating season

Wolfish romance on the Northern Range of Yellowstone Park-

Kathie Lynch has a detailed report on amorous adventures of Yellowstone wolves observed during her recent trip to the Park.
_____________________
By Kathie Lynch. Copyright 2011

Yellowstone’s February wolf breeding season gave us have high hopes for the arrival of new pups this April.  Although only six ties (matings) were actually observed this year, they included the alphas of all three packs which are most often seen in the Northern Range (Lamar Canyon, Blacktail, and Agate)–a very good sign for wolf watching this spring and summer!

February weather ran the gamut from unusually warm, sunny afternoons of 45F temperatures and snow-free roads to biting winds and bitterly cold days when the thermometer never got above 7 degrees. Low visibility and ground blizzards sometimes made driving a white knuckle experience, with unplowed turnouts and deep, drifted snow across roads in the Lamar Valley and on the Blacktail

Despite the wintry weather and fewer than 100 wolves in Yellowstone, we still managed to see wolves, or at least one wolf, almost every day. The Lamar wolves proved to be the most reliable, although even they frequently disappeared from view for several days at a time, no doubt hunting or doing boundary checks throughout their large territory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Wolves, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone wolves. Tags: . Comments Off on Kathie Lynch on Yellowstone wolf mating season

American Sheep Industry: President’s budget cuts impact area Wildlife Services

Want to take action to cut funding for this agency that kills so much of our wildlife-

This story is from Tri-state Livestock News. It is from trade publications like this that agencies often get cuts restored unbeknown to the public.

American Sheep Industry: President’s budget cuts impact area Wildlife Services. Tri-state Livestock News.

Tim DeChristopher Goes on Trial for Disrupting Oil Lease Auction

DeChristopher may get 10 years for unconventional method of protecting Utah’s beautiful canyonlands from oi companies-

We have had many stories on this, but not for quite a while. Tim DeChristopher could be punished far more than the Wall Street investment bankers who stole billions. He bid against oil speculators at a Department of Interior (BLM) oil and gas lease auction in 2008. He had no money, however.

Trial of eco-activist who punk’d BLM begins. Greenspace in the New York Times.

– – – – – – –

Note. He was quickly convicted. Webmaster.

Climate Change Takes Toll on Lodgepole Pine

The most abundant of all Western pine falls at astounding rate-

Every Western pine from the Yukon to New Mexico is suffering high mortality from unusually severe attack by native insects, diseases and direct mortality from drought and heat. Lodgepole pine, which often grows in vast almost monocultural stands, is dying too.  Almost anyone who lives in the West knows this. In many places the beauty of the forest has been greatly marred for many miles.

Climate Change Takes Toll on the Lodgepole Pine. By John Collins Rudolf. New York Times.

When lodgepole pine dies, the needles first turn red for a year before they fall off.  While red, they burn with remarkable explosive force.  After they are dead, however, lodgepole and other dead conifers do not burn as fiercely as a green forest.  A common misconception is that they do, a mistake this New York Times article perpetuates. Lodgepole are shallow rooted.  When dead they are easily blown over in windstorms.  If they pile up in large “jackstrawed” heaps, these can burn very hot.  Miles of downed lodgepole also form barriers to wildlife migration.

I took this photo of red lodgepole pine near Stanley, Idaho about 5 years ago. Since then, they have almost all died and many fallen over or cut down. They didn’t burn.

Natural gas extraction keeps getting dirtier

“Fracking” is the latest assault on our land, water, wildlife and health-

Hydrofracking injects water and toxic chemicals deep into the rock to create pockets of volatile hydrocarbons (natural gas of a variety). Unfortunately, the toxic mess underground often doesn’t stay there.  It comes out into surface waters, often carrying the original chemicals plus new pollutants, such as radioactivity, picked up underground.  These new fracking wells are poorly regulated, and, of course, the budget battle is being used to make sure they stay barely regulated.

Drilling Down. Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers. New York Times.

What the frack is the matter with the gas industry? By Matt Marusiak. Tainted Green

They’ve made a mess of Pennsylvania and they are spreading out.

Top House Democrats launch investigation into ‘fracking’ on public lands. By Andrew Restuccia. The Hill. This would seem to be good news, but in the new U.S. House the Koch Brothers pretty much run this committe.

Earthjustice’s lawyers chastise Schweitzer for comments on wolf management

Where do wolves stand?

Also, a discussion about wolf delisting

Here is an article that reasonably sums up where wolves are in the political landscape. Contrary to what I’ve read in other articles, it appears that Carter Niemeyer supports delisting only conditionally. He will likely be marginalized for it.

Niemeyer said that while he agrees wolves should be off the endangered species list, Simpson’s path to get there is inadvisable. “It sets a terrible precedent to delist them outside the normal delisting procedures,” he said. He worries that if the ESA is bypassed, slow and cumbersome as it may be, the results could open a Pandora’s box.

“Reasonable people need to prevail right now, otherwise we’re going to get a political fix that is going to be unacceptable.”

As debate rages, Wood River Valley sees less of predators.
By Ariel Hansen – Magic Valley Times-News

This mirrors my sentiment but I would add that I don’t think that the states or the USFWS have been negotiating in good faith. The states, particularly Idaho and Wyoming, and increasingly Montana, have a toxic view towards wolves. With the new draft legislation it appears that they don’t want to even consider managing wolves using science and rational thought. The legislatures seem to perpetuate every anti-wolf myth and made up tale that the anti side can come up with. The USFWS, despite contrary assertions by the extreme anti-wolf crowd, hasn’t budged from it’s stance that a sustainable wolf population only requires 10-15 breeding pairs per state even though those estimates were made at a time when understanding of wolves and population ecology was in its infancy. Now the science indicates that a much higher population is required.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Draft of Idaho Wolf Legislation

Legislation rescinds the 2002 Wolf Management Plan and calls for $500 per head bounty on wolves.

The draft bill appears to have been written by Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC in Boise, Idaho and was distributed to a group of politically connected people.

The bill is radical and shows that anti-wolf forces will seek eradication of wolves in Idaho if national legislation to remove all protections from wolves is or isn’t successful. Obviously eradication of wolves in Idaho is far more important than educational funding which, as you know is being cut. Of course the funding for the bounty program, if the bill is passed unchanged, “will be paid by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game from its General Operating Budget”.

There are several more provisions in the bill which remove all protections for wolves and rescinds all cooperation with federal agencies.

The bill is available for download and pasted below. Read the rest of this entry »

Yellowstone National Park Finally Has a New Superintendent. Tell him to STOP Slaughtering Yellowstone’s Buffalo! Now!

This is from Paul Richard’s blog at Alternet.

Other articles by Richards can be found at http://blogs.alternet.org/paulrichards/.

Richards is a journalist with more than 43 years’ experience in Western politics and resource issues. He has served as editor or co-editor of three newspapers, newsman and editor for The Associated Press, and elections manager for The AP, UPI, ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC.

Posted in Bison, Yellowstone National Park. Comments Off on Yellowstone National Park Finally Has a New Superintendent. Tell him to STOP Slaughtering Yellowstone’s Buffalo! Now!

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

Will dryup of Lake Mead prompt Western conservatives to think of climate change?

Secretary of Interior Salazar thinks so-

I don’t think it will, not as the so-called conservatives in office today look at the world.  However, back in the world of facts where Lake Mead isn’t far from the level of “dead pool,” there will be enormous consequences for all the Colorado River Basin states: Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California.

Salazar: Colorado River issue could push conservatives to face climate change. By Karoun Demirjian. Las Vegas Sun

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego places Lake Mead at a 50% chance to run dry by 2020, with its enormous power production inoperative by 2017.  They gave a 10% chance it would be  inoperable by 2014.

Larry Craig lobbies on wolf legislation

Hired by “Sportsmen” for Fish and Wildlife

Could Larry Craig be a closet wolf lover?

Could Larry Craig be a closet wolf lover? This one doesn't seem to be pleased by his advances 😉

Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a group who is turning out to be more for livestock than for wildlife, has hired former Senator Larry Craig to lobby for legislation which would remove protections from all wolves nationwide.  This would leave the doors open for states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to eradicate as many wolves as they please.

It amazes me that this manly man hunting group would hire a coward who is too scared to admit that he is gay.  It highlights the hypocrisy of these groups who use hyperbole and fear against wolves and any other predator that they fear.

Maybe a little hyperbole and satire is in order 😉

Clarification and a note about the danger of satire:  Larry Craig feeds the homophobia present in this society by hiding his sexual preference. While homophobia is no laughing matter, it should be noted that Larry proudly fought against the rights of people to love who they choose to love.  I find that particularly disgusting and in particular need of satire of the ruthless variety.

-Ken

Larry Craig lobbies on wolf legislation.
By John Miller – Associated Press

Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? February 24, 2011

Note that this replaces the 23rd edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Bighorn Ram © Ken Cole

Bighorn Ram © Ken Cole

 

Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.

Western Montana: Biologists hunt for fisher hair in Fish Creek

They must be nearby. Ken Cole saw one cross Highway 12 about 40 miles SW just the other day-

Biologists hunt for fisher hair in Fish Creek. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian. “The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness appears to be such good fisher habitat that it may hold the last original Montana and Idaho species – unrelated to the transplants that populate the Panhandle and Cabinet Mountains.”

In fact it was immediately north of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness that Ken saw the fisher on Highway 12. Fish Creek in Montana is in the Bitterroot Mountains, west of Missoula.

Feds, environmental groups file arguments on wolf recovery with Molloy

Molloy asked whether the 10(j) rule is even applicable

Parties to the lawsuit challenging the changes made to the 10(j) rule for the experimental, non-essential populations of wolves in Central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone filed their arguments yesterday. At issue now are not the changes made to the 10(j) rule in 2008 which ease restrictions for killing wolves, but whether or not the 10(j) rule even applies anymore. Judge Molloy questioned the litigants about whether a 10(j) rule was justified because wolves from both the Central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone populations have essentially become one population with those of Northwest Montana and Northern Idaho north of I-90 which are nonexperimental.

The ESA makes it clear that the 10(j) provisions only apply to populations that are “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species”.

(j) EXPERIMENTAL POPULATIONS.—(1) For purposes of this subsection, the term “experimental population” means any population (including any offspring arising solely therefrom) authorized by the Secretary for release under paragraph (2), but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.

Feds, environmental groups file arguments on wolf recovery with Molloy.
By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian

Added – Copies of the Briefs ~ be :

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Idaho lawmaker hopes to make justice on Megaloads unaffordable

Idaho lawmakers hope to dissuade public access to judicial review of state megaload approvals by forcing them to post huge sums of money before access to court is granted.

Idaho bill targets anti-megaload lawsuitsSpokesman Review

BOISE – Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, has introduced legislation requiring anyone who files a lawsuit against a transportation project on state highways to post a bond equal to 5 percent of the value of the items being hauled, and if the plaintiffs lose the lawsuit, the whole bond would go to the Idaho Transportation Department.

Requiring potential litigants to post bonds jams up the gears of justice, making those with financial resources ‘more equal’ in their access to justice than those without wealth.  Whatever one thinks about the merits of the megaload controversy, state laws that have the effect of erecting economic prohibitions on justice are not a good idea.

Three Men vs. Fifteen Hungry Lions. [VIDEO]

Over the years we have heard so many times from manly-men hunters who go out into the back country with their high powered rifles, handguns, and what have you, to then come back home with tales of being scared by wolves.

A recent story comes to mind but there are many others as well.

Maybe these manly-men should take some advice from these manlier-men in Africa. 😉

Three Men vs. Fifteen Hungry Lions. [VIDEO].
BBC One – Human Planet

Idaho Fish and Game feeding wildife in SE Idaho

Elk, deer, and pronghorn being fed since January 1-

Idaho Fish and Game doesn’t like to feed, but deep snow and frozen snow after a melt has prompted off and on feeding.  Some of it is to keep the wild animals away from farms.

Idaho Fish and Game news release.

Posted in Deer, Elk, pronghorn. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Idaho Fish and Game feeding wildife in SE Idaho

Supreme Court rebuffs ranchers on Mexican Spotted Owl

A welcome surprise-

High court rejects appeal in spotted owl dispute. “The Supreme Court has decided to let stand a Bush administration designation of 8.6 million acres in four Western states as critical habitat for an endangered owl.” Associated Press.

Western Fish and Game (Wildlife) Comissions on the chopping block

High Country News reports on moves to abolish or modify the traditional Fish and Game Commission-

Western wildlife commissions on the chopping block. By Jodi Peterson.  High Country News

This form of wildlife governance has come up for discussion many times on this blog.

Posted in politics. Tags: . 21 Comments »

House Votes to Stop ‘Equal Access to Justice’ Fees

To screw environmentalists, they also screw grandma and small business

In an overzealous act against environmentalist organizations who successfully sue government agencies, the Republican lead House of Representatives has removed the ability for individuals, small businesses, non-profits and others to collect attorney’s fees when they prevail against the government and can meet other requirements.  By adding an amendment to the Continuing Resolution to fund the government they have effectively gutted the Equal Access to Justice Act….. for everyone.

In essence they have taken away your right to sue the government for things like Social Security payments, improper use of laws and regulations, and not even following their own laws or regulations.

It gives the government cart blanche to conduct their business in any way they want without any public oversight.  This even effects the ranchers who may want to sue the government for changing or revoking their grazing permits.

It leaves only those with deep pockets the ability to sue their own government if it acts arbitrarily.

House Votes to Stop ‘Equal Access to Justice’ Fees.
The Blog of Legal Times

Dangerous snow: Is foot rot taking hold at the National Elk Refuge?

Rot is caused by freeze-thaw cycles in unsanitary snow-

We just have to keep pointing out that persistant winter feeding of elk breeds disease. Now 23 elk have been put down for what is thought to be foot rot. No doubt more will die.

Foot rot suspected in elk deaths on refuge. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily.

Bighorn get safe highway passage near Hoover Dam

Former bighorn death zone, now safe?

If you have tried to visit Hoover Dam the last decade, you know it has been one huge traffic jam. However, the dam by-pass and a widened U.S. 93 is now complete and with what looks like great benefits to the desert bighorn sheep the inhabit the very rugged Black Mountains near the dam. Of course, the traffic will now increase.

Project gives bighorn sheep safe passage over busy highway. Las Vegas Sun. By Dylan Scott

With Whaling Ships Under Attack, Japan Will Recall Fleet

Victory !!

“Japan will cut short this year’s annual whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean after obstruction by an environmental group largely prevented its ships from killing whales, the government said Friday.” Read about in in the New York Times. By Martin Fackler.

– – – – –

Earlier in this blog. 11/30/10.  Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered? By Ken Cole.

Nevada Views: Energy development poses challenge to [Nevada] wildlife habitat

Wind and solar development could be very destructive to Nevada’s wildlife-

Energy development poses challenge to wildlife habitat. By Larry Johnson. Las Vegas Review-Journal.

And unsaid is the continuing bad idea of centralized energy generation, even if it is said to be renewable.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on Washington state game trail

Unusual proximity of so many mountain lions probably possible because of familial relationships-

Several factors probably explain how 8 cougars, very territorial animals, came together to feed on a dead cow on a cliff near Soap Lake, Washington.  The first is that it is winter. Prey are concentrated into a small area and in this case most of the cougars were probably closlely related (both indicated in the article).  It isn’t know how often this happens, but it is probably uncommon.

We saw these photos about 2 weeks ago.  Wish we had permission to be the first to post them.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on game trail. “Using a camera triggered by a motion-sensor device, a hunter captured a rare sight: eight cougars huddled together on an Eastern Washington trail as if attending some big-cat block party.” By Craig Welch. Seattle Times environment reporter

Judge overturns BLM grazing decision

This is what WWP calls “low hanging fruit”

Ely Sheep Grazing Allotments. The orange polygons represent bighorn sheep distribution and the red polygon represents the Warm Springs sheep trail. Click for larger view.

For the last several years I have been appealing grazing decision issued by the Ely District of the BLM and, over and over again, the District only considers alternatives which maintain the status quo even when they have identified problems on the allotments that are either caused by or exacerbated by livestock grazing.

The decision that was overturned and remanded back to the Ely District was for sheep grazing on 8 allotments encompassing 1.3 million acres of the Egan Field Office.  In their decision the BLM only considered two alternatives, one which would have renewed the previous 10-year decision without any changes; and one which would have renewed the permit with very minor changes in seasonal use, and placed very weak utilization standards on different components of the vegetation but kept the exact same number of grazing AUMs.  They didn’t consider a no grazing alternative or an alternative which would have reduced grazing levels at all.

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Jim Beer’s speech in Boise. Anti-wolf, tea party, nullificationist

Notes on his speech-

I guess by now Beers needs no introduction, but the themes he expresses show the anti-wolf folks are really just part of tea party eruption with their efforts to nullify the laws of the United States. He would make the Southern Confederates of Civil War days proud, IMO.

The notes below were taken by someone very familiar with wild wolves who prefers not to have their name released as they don’t want to be “hassled.”

_____________

These are hand written notes taken directly from the Jim Beers presentation last night, February 16, 2011 at Boise State University. If they don’t make sense, you are right. If you try and apply common sense and logic to what was stated, you probably can’t. In any event, people like this are walking around the streets of the United States presenting information like this as fact. If you believe it, well, I can’t help you. If you don’t, you are in my camp. Please feel free to share this with others. Kindly remove our name and this lead in from the notes since I don’t need the hassle. (written by the notetaker)
Here are my notes from the talk Jim Beers gave at BSU on Feb. 16:

There were about 150 people in the crowd, including many couples. The average age was 50. More men than women. No kids or teens. There were at least 6 members of the Idaho legislature present, and several members of Crapo’s staff.

In the lobby beforehand was a raffle that included items such as an Alaskan wolf pelt ($900) and the thing most people were standing in line for, an engraved “SSS” rifle.

Sponsored by Idaho Freedom Foundation, BSU Political Science Department, Idaho for Wildlife, Rocky Mtn Elk Foundation, Idaho Outfitters and Guides Assn, and Maurice Clements

Beers was introduced by Maurice Clements as a great American who has been relentlessly harassed by the USFWS.

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Skinned corpse of wolf discovered in Washington State

State won’t say from which pack

This is bad news for Washington’s small wolf population but it sounds like the the case of a previous poaching incident from 2009 is still open and progressing. We’ve heard rumors that charges may be filed soon in the poaching of wolves from the Lookout Pack in north central Washington. The Lookout Pack is very important genetically because it came on its own from southwestern British Columbia, far from where the wolves reintroduced to Central Idaho and Yellowstone came from. They are also fully protected under the Endangered Species Act and the sentence for anyone convicted of killing them could be pretty severe.

Skinned corpse of wolf discovered, but state won’t say from which pack.
Conservation Northwest

Lawmakers vote to keep wild bison off Montana land

…..and do it with a boatload of arrogance

John Brenden R-MT

Not surprisingly, the Montana Senate voted on a bill that would keep Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from relocating bison anywhere in the state except for the National Bison Range in northwest Montana for the next two years. The Montana House has yet to pass any similar bill but there are many being considered.

Governor Brian Schwietzer has promised to veto any bills of this nature.

Senator Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, D-Crow Agency summed up what could result from this action.

“If the attack on buffalo continues, they will be listed as an endangered species. I don’t think you want to do that.”

To rub it all in with a strong note of arrogance, Sen. John Brenden sang a couple of bars of “Home on the Range” to the protests of Democrats.

If anyone thinks that western states aren’t run by the landed nobility you might want to think again.

– – – – – –

Update. Ralph Maughan on the teabagging Republican Brenden. Brenden Farms got almost $500,000 in farm subsidy payments from 1995-2009. That is about $34,000 a year.
http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A09372868

Over 15 years that would be an average of $33,152/Year.  Some might call this federal government hater a hypocrite, and a mean one at that.

Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism

Guest editorial by Dr. Brian L. Horejsi-

Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism

Harsh criticism is increasingly justified in todays world of National Park and public land management, a world in which regulatory retreat from principles and regulation is the new norm and “gut and grab” politics seem to be an every day threat. One such issue deserving of harsh review is the continuous persecution of bison in the Yellowstone ecosystem. What is happening on Yellowstone’s borders is no less offensive than the corralling and clubbing of dolphins in Japan, the clubbing of seal pups off Canada’s coast, or the indiscriminate slaughter of African elephants that eventually led to massive population declines barely a decade ago.

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