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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Simpson takes another shot at CIEDRA

The Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act is reintroduced into Congress

Simpson takes another shot at CIEDRA
By KATHERINE WUTZ – Idaho Mountain Express

Posted in politics, wilderness. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Simpson takes another shot at CIEDRA

Kevin Richert: This year’s fight with the feds: Otter vs. BLM | Kevin Richert’s columns | Idaho Statesman

When I heard about the Interior Department’s decision to reverse the changes that the Bush Administration made to the policy on wild lands protection I was pleased. However, I remain skeptical at how the policy will be implemented by the current bunch running BLM who I don’t really trust. There is no doubt, however, how Idaho Governor Butch Otter feels about it.

The new policy reverses what the Bush Administration changed and allows the BLM inventory its lands to determine whether they meet the criteria for wilderness. The BLM would then go through a public process whereby lands could be designated as “wild lands”.

For Butch, and his buddies, complete domination over the landscape is not enough. It is unacceptable that anyone, other than the chosen few who maintain control, have any say in how the public’s landscapes are managed. It seems as if their motto is “one cow, one vote”.

Kevin Richert: This year’s fight with the feds: Otter vs. BLM.
Kevin Richert – Idaho Statesman

S.D. ranchers fear wilderness act steals control

Ranchers complain about losing control while accepting government handouts.

The Buffalo Gap National Grassland of South Dakota doesn’t have buffalo any more but it certainly has a handful of ranchers with a strong sense of entitlement. They are worrying that wilderness designation will “steal” control that they seem to believe they should have over these publicly owned lands. Amazingly, the new wilderness designation leaves their control in place and allows them to continue grazing.

In the article ranchers bring up the tired old argument that Easterners are telling them what to do with “their” land but it’s not their land and the idea to designate it as wilderness, as the article points out, came from people who live there too.

“These outsiders from New York and New Jersey are telling us what to do, all these special interests,” Hermosa rancher Denise Baker said. “They’ll get the designation, pat themselves on the back and leave. And us? We’re stuck with it.”

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Boulder-White Clouds bill still needs work, Idaho lawmakers tell Senate panel

Idaho Delegation supports the bill but Governor opposes it

The Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CEIDRA), the bill which would create a Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness, had its hearing yesterday in the U.S. Senate. There are some good and bad things about the bill but the land swaps to Custer County, except for very small exchanges, have been removed.

Additions by Ralph Maughan.  This bill seemed to be well under way to passage, shepherded by Idaho Republicans. Now it sounds to me they are looking for a excuse to kill it.

Boulder-White Clouds bill still needs work, Idaho lawmakers tell Senate panel.
BY LAUREN FRENCH – MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

Update. Risch: Wouldn’t bet on Idaho wilderness in 2010. AP

For those who haven’t followed this closely, efforts to protect the area as Wilderness have been underway for over 30 years. The bill before the Senate Committee was essentially written by Idaho’s Republican Representative Mike Simpson. Since Governor Butch Otter says he opposes the bill even if his suggestions for changes are adopted and “now Simpson now says addressing Otter’s concerns is his top priority,” it sounds like Simpson may be abandoning his bill.

This bill was developed by the much hailed “collaborative process” championed by Simpson and Idaho senator Mike Crapo. I have always been skeptical of such a process because it takes so long and requires everyone’s agreement. If the bill is taken back now for more collaboration, there will never be a bill.

It is also notable that Otter’s objections are largely related to already existing Wilderness areas, not the Boulder-White Clouds area itself. The off-road vehicle people quoted opposing the bill have always opposed any bill at all.

June 19. See the latest post in this forum. Butch Otter . . . a sorry piece

Gov. Otter takes on feds over wilderness filming

This shows the hypocrisy of allowing helicopter darting of wolves in the Wilderness

The USFS won’t allow Idaho Public Television to film in the Wilderness of Idaho because they claim that they are a commercial operation but the station is funded and operated by the State of Idaho.

It kind of puts the helicopter darting of wolves into perspective doesn’t it? FYI, that issue is still being litigated in Federal Court.

Gov. Otter takes on feds over wilderness filming.
John Miller – Associated Press

Cougar shot after killing Utah family’s dog

This should so much not be news!

Park City, Utah (up in the mountains). Cougar shot after killing Utah family’s dog. AP.

This event is so common. People build in cougar habitat and stock their yards with tasty morsels.

There is a similar story in the Bitterroot Valley (actually foothills) of Montana. It seems a cougar killed a pooch on a porch in a Bear Creek dispersed subdivision that is (I looked on Google Earth) hard up against the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, which with the Frank Church Wilderness, is the largest (save one dirt road) Wilderness area in the lower 48 states. That story full of twists and turns and neighborly conflict.