Montana probes killing of Yellowstone buffalo

Park bison killed by small arms fire-

It is redundant to call this sad and dangerous. Small arms are used not primarily to cause suffering, but to avoid a loud report from the gun attracting attention. Rural neighbors who are out to settle scores kill each others livestock this way.

Montana probes killing of Yellowstone buffalo. Laura Zuckerman. Reuters US Online Report Domestic News

Addition. Here is the story in the Island Park, Idaho newspaper. Bison haters attack roam-free policy.

4/23. More. Story makes it the U. K. Hunt for the Yellowstone bison serial killer after beasts shot in protected national park. The Daily Mail.

Montana judge halts the building of megaload turnouts in Western Montana

Another roadblock to the use of Idaho Highway 12 and Montana highways as corridors for moving Alberta bound tar sand equipment-

This is good news, although likely temporary.

The turnouts constructed on the Montana side of Lolo Pass appear to be larger than the oil giant said and closer to Lolo Creek which already suffers from highway runoff.

Judge stops construction of big-rig turnouts in western Montana
.  By Kim Briggeman of the Missoulian

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.

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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.

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.

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

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

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.