US Court of Appeals: US wrongly put water tanks in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Water tanks illegally constructed in Wilderness-

Back to the issue of construction of wildlife facilities in designated Wilderness areas, although there are many more issues here than the one before the court.  One must not lose sight of that.

US Court of Appeals: US wrongly put water tanks in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Tony Davis. Arizona Daily Star.

Mountain lion management plan angers conservationists

Rare lions are to be killed to protect rare bighorn sheep.

Ron Kearns, a frequent commentator on this site and retired wildlife biologist of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, was recently interviewed for a story about mountain lion management on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. The refuge has set a policy which requires mountain lions which have killed more than two bighorn sheep in a 6-month period be lethally removed. Meanwhile bighorn hunting is allowed on the refuge.

Mountain lion management plan angers conservationists.
YumaSun

Bighorns Shun Desert Water Tanks

This has been an ongoing controversy as wildlife managers have built giant water tanks within wilderness, allegedly to help Kofa bighorn sheep.  Instead, the bighorns avoid the water tanks.

The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge has also been planning to kill Kofa mountain lions to decrease predation on the bighorn sheep.  It’s a classic example of managers doing everything in their power to manipulate the natural world for a single-species – and getting it wrong anyway.

Bighorns Shun Desert Water TanksPEER News Release 9/15/09

(Tucson, AZ) Remote cameras installed to detect bighorn sheep use at two controversial man-made water developments constructed in the Kofa Wilderness in 2007 suggest the tanks have completely failed to provide water for bighorns. The cameras, installed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at the McPherson and Yaqui Tanks, captured photos of mule deer, hawks, doves, vultures, coyotes and bobcats, but not a single bighorn drinking from the tanks in the two years since their construction.

“Building these artificial water developments in an attempt to artificially inflate bighorn sheep numbers was contrary to preserving the area as wilderness,” stated George Nickas, Executive Director of Wilderness Watch. “We’ve felt all along that the project was wrong from both a legal and ecological standpoint. The camera data bear that out and they completely undermine the USFWS’ argument that the tanks are necessary in Wilderness.”

Posted in Bighorn sheep. Tags: . 18 Comments »

Arizona Game and Fish: confusing and error-filled statements about bighorn and desert cougars at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

If you are not familiar with Kofa, it is huge, almost 700,000 acres.

However, the bighorn have been struggling there, but their numbers are now increasing, a fact the AZ F & G ignored as they announced, but may not honor, a one-year moratorium on removal of desert cougars in the area (perhaps 3 are left).

Blog on the issue.

From PEER. Arizona Game Agency Scapegoats Cougars For Bighorn Travails