Conservation News Story Archive July-August 2000
seize on fires to argue for more cutting. They are wrong. USA Today.
Evacuation Lifted: Beaver Creek Fire no Longer Threatens Gallatin Canyon. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Rain is predicted this weekend. Is the fire season drawing to a close?
Moderate rainfall slows fires in western Wyoming. Billings Gazette.
Idaho Requests Federal Disaster Aid. Idaho Statesman by Rocky Barker. Montana was granted this status yesterday. Now Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne has made the request due to the wildfires.
Weird Fire Names have Some Logic Behind Them. Missoulian
Progress Made on Red Lodge [MT] Fires. Missoulian.
of rainfall offers hope: Montana's
governor asks Clinton to declare state a federal disaster area. By Becky
Bohrer. The Idaho Statesman. Note:
the President granted the request.
losing battle to save dwindling mountain caribou: Herd count is lowest since
1984 listing as endangered species. Spokane Spokesman Review.
It looks like the last herd of mountain caribou in the United States is
spiraling toward extinction. The Idaho/British Columbia herd is down to just
34 animals and the mountain caribou (not to be confused with the barren ground
caribou) is not doing well in British Columbia either.
Cooler Weather helps firefighters near Bozeman and in Yellowstone. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
261,000 acre Bitterroot Fire is the Biggest in the Nation. Missoulian. Big fires like this create their own weather.
new fires, a renaissance at Yellowstone by George Myers Jr. The Columbus
near Red Lodge, Mt Forces new Montana Evacuations. "Confronted
by a fast-moving wildfire, hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate their
homes in Red Lodge, a resort community in south-central Montana near the
Wyoming border. Officials are evaluating whether it will be necessary to clear
out the entire town of nearly 1,900."
Salmon [Idaho] under siege: Fire, smoke take their toll on town's future. By Tim Woodward The Idaho Statesman. This may strike some people as an odd comment, but I think the best thing that could be done in Salmon, and Bitterroot, Montana areas after the fires is to some how ensure that alien weeds, like yellow starthistle and spotted knapweed do not invade the burns as they have the lower elevations of these locales.. If not, the forest will probably not regrow well, the grass will not regrow, and there will be little recreation, wildlife, grazing, or timber.
Smoke begins to clear in Jackson, WY. Billings Gazette. Cool weather and rain-producing thunderstorms are finally helping get the Wyoming fires under control. The same is true in Eastern Idaho. This weekend Jackie and I encountered something we hadn't seen for a long time while we were backpacking in the Caribou Range of Eastern Idaho -- mud! and heavy, lasting rain, without much lightning in it. Sadly the same is not true in central Idaho or Montana.
Firestorm hits the famous Flying B Ranch on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Missoulian by Sherry Devilin. Amazingly no one was killed.
Cheney says Bush Administration could undue the national monuments. Salt Lake Tribune. This is of course true, but his statement reminded people of this and gives greater urgency to the election.
Monuments could be rescinded Candidate says Clinton acted without local input
By Joseph B. Frazier. Idaho Statesman. The word
"local input" of course is code meaning the nearest
T-storms help fire fighters, but also start 25 new fires. Idaho Statesman.
There were many thunderstorms in Idaho Thursday (and more today) Friday. They
left mixed results.
Creek, immediately adjacent to Yellowstone Park, is saved again. Greater
of Missoula. Missoula Independent by BLAKE de PASTINO & KEN PICARD.
This is satiric opinion. "Worst of Missoula:
For anyone who lives here, it’d be a breeze to come up with a quick list of
what makes western Montana great—what works, what’s smart, what we’re
thankful for. And it’s probably just as easy to tick off a litany of things
that we’d like to change—especially after this particularly difficult
summer. But what about the less obvious problems? What about the subtler
threats to our environment, our economy, our civic health? This week, the
Independent brings back its annual examination, the Worst of Missoula, to help
cull out some of the region’s most incorrigible dullards. Stupid ideas,
regrettable trends, dangerous places, unaccountable politicians—they’re
all here. Some of them you may have heard of; many of them you haven’t. Some
are unforgivable, others merely irritating. Together, they make up just a
small sampling of what keeps western Montana from being truly perfect. We’re
calling them out and sending them to sit in the corner. Try not to encourage
Yellowstone Park fires increase slightly. Park news release.
Warning. Monica Plays with Matches. Writers on the Range by Ben Long. The forest fires are ripe for cynical political exploitation.
The Politics of Forest Fires
by Tom Power. Dr. Power is one of the most savy economists I have ever
dead, two burned in Yellowstone's worst hot spring tragedy. Bozeman
Daily Chronicle by Scott McMillion.
8-24-00 Park workers leaped into the hot pool by Michael Milstein. Billings Gazette.
8-24-00. Trio Jumped Into Spring Deliberately by KEVIN CANTERA and MICHAEL VIGH. Salt Lake Tribune.
Canadian Firefighters help on Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Missoulian by Sherry Devlin.
Experts Fear the Worst is Yet to Come by Ginny Merriam of the Missoulian. Indeed, the forecast for today is warmer with dry lightning, the first lightning in a week.
Idaho Panhandle Mostly Spared of Fires So Far. Spokane Spokesman-Review.
all Public Lands in Montana closed due fire danger. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle by Heidi Hagemeier. As of today folks will no longer be allowed
of enter most the national forests, BLM, or Montana state lands due to the
most extreme level of fire danger -- level V.
Millionaire's community near Big Sky vows to fight fires on its own, if necessary. Bozeman Daily Chronicle by Tom Lutey.
Wyoming: Many Vacation Plans go up in Smoke. Billings Gazette.
|8-21-00||This morning the South Entrance to
Yellowstone Park was reopened.
Slow burn: Beaver Creek blaze growing faster on maps than ground. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
|8-20-00||Will the 2000 fires end as they did in great
fires of 1910? More and more folks are talking about it. Here are three
Eureka, Montana (next to the B.C. border) evacuated as fires approach. Missoulian. Due to cooler weather this evacuation was put on hold Monday.
Yellowstone Park fire update 8-20. Park News Release.
silenced by low lumber prices. Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Maudlow-Toston fire does about-face. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This is a huge rangeland fire near Bozeman. Everyone needs to know that the fires are not just forest fires.The range fires can be bigger, faster, and more deadly.
Atlanta (Idaho) Residents Prepare for the worst as flames draw near. Idaho Statesman. This new and rapidly expanding fire is just SW of the famed Sawtooth Wilderness in south central Idaho. Atlanta is a small backcountry town.
Yellowstone Park fire update 8-19. Park News Release.
pondering significance of recent swarm of Yellowstone quakes. Billings
Montana fires have affected big game habits. By Perry Baucus The Montana Standard. Undoubtedly, the same is true in Idaho. I noticed an explosion of berries this year during the drought. I noticed the same in the doubt and fire year of 1988.
Yellowstone Park fire update 8-18. Park News Release.
close 2.4 million acre Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness to human
entry by Pete Zimowsky and Tim Woodward. The Idaho Statesman.
Yellowstone Park fire news. There wasn't much fire news, but things are heating up. Park New Release of 8-14-. The biggest Yellowstone fire is the 150 acre Unlucky fire in Bechler Area (SW Corner). The SW corner of the Park escaped the fires of 1988.
Sadly Beaver Creek and Sage Basin 10 miles NW of the Park have burned. This is very important grizzly bear country. As a result of this 3500 acre fire, the Taylor-Hilgard Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness is now closed to human entry.
The new Glade Creek fire between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks has caused evacuation of Flagg Ranch and closure of the Grassy Lake Road. There is a 2000 acre fire burning near Enos Creek in the middle of the Teton Wilderness -- part of the area my new Falconguide covers. 8-18. The Glade Fire has grown from 200 acres to 2000 acres and is now burning northward into Yellowstone Park. The South entrance road is still closed. The Star-Tribune reported the fire was close to "getting out of hand."
Latest: South Entrance to Yellowstone closed due to fire danger. Apparently dry lightning is making fires in the SW corner and just south of Yellowstone take off.
Check out the Idaho visible satellite map. The bright white are clouds. The dimmer white from central Idaho and northeastward into Montana is the pervasive smoke in Idaho and Montana.
Montana Governor Declares Millions of Acres Near
Wildfires off Limits CNN
President to stop in Idaho today to see fires. Idaho Statesman
by Gregory Hahn
Smoke but no wildfire; popular drainage closed. Billings Gazette
Bridger-Teton fires mostly under control. Billings Gazette
Utah Fires Straining Resources Nesreen Kahshan Salt Lake Tribune.
threaten drinking water, wildlife habitat. CNN
Service chief gets look at Idaho fires. Dombeck calls U.S. firefighters 'best in
world' Idaho Statesman. By Rocky Barker and
Rain barely slows wildfire near Jackson. Billings Gazette.
Hundreds evacuated as fires rage over thousands of acres of Montana. Billings Gazette. US 93 between Darby, MT and the Idaho border is closed. US 12 into Idaho is also closed.
Utah Wildfires Keep Crews On the Move Friday by Nesreen Kahshan and Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune.
evacuated as fire burns in Gros Ventre Mountains SE of Jackson, WY. Billlings
Gazette. This fire is on the southwest side of the
Gros Ventre Range (not in the territory of the Gros Ventre wolf pack). It
is still burning as of Aug. 17.
Evacuations ordered in Bitterroot Valley as 92 fires scorch area. Missoulian. Update: due to fires the Anaconda-Pintlar wilderness has just been closed.
Dry weather fuels record wildfires in U.S. CNN 8-2-2000
national guard called up to fight Canyon Ferry Fire east of Helena. Bozeman
Daily Chronicle by Joan Haines. 8-3-2000 This fire has calmed down a bit.
spend summer tracking wolves [in Sunlight Basin area east of Yellowstone].
Billings Gazette by Michael Milstein.
bill (CARA) passes key Senate Committee. Billings Gazette. The bill has
passed the House. Maybe it can beat the inevitable Senate filibuster from Conrad
Burns, Larry Craig, and the like. Idaho's two US Senators are opposing CARA
despite CARA's support from Idaho's Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne. Even
Montana Governor Racicot supports it.
Cheney a plus for the West? Billings Gazette.
shows up in the St. Joe Valley of northern Idaho. The usual alarm is reported. Spokane Spokesman Review.
This is now the most
northerly known wolf in Idaho. July 29. Story
on the new wolf pack in the Oregonian. Wolf B48M is part of
the new pack. He dispersed from the Kelly Creek Pack.
Club backs Gore for President. New York Times.
halts logging of old growth Western red cedar on the North Fork of the
Clearwater in northern Idaho. Spokane Spokesman Review. This is
good news of an area of outstanding beauty, and also good news for anglers. I
have also just learned there is probably a new wolf pack in the area.
Basin wolves leave cattle herds alone By Michael Milstein. Gazette Wyoming
Bureau. There perhaps 20 wolves in the mountains
between Yellowstone Park and Cody now, including famous no. 9F. So far the
wolves have left the numerous cattle alone.
Senator Harry Reid Saves National Parks from Snowmobiles. Las Vegas
Sun. 7-20 New
York Times editorial
suggests snowmobile senators will try again using undemocratic methods--adding
snowmobile language in the conference report even though both chambers in
Congress rejected it.
Sad News: Snake River Dams to Stay.
means Idaho salmon and steelhead runs will limp along with some additional runs
probably becoming extinct while the government spends billions on additional
marginal efforts to help the fish. The dead hand of past pork barrel politicians
will prevail for at least another decade.
7-20-2000 White House to Delay a Decision on Breaching Dams in Northwest to Save Fish By Douglas Jehl. New York Times. The decision is likely to hurt Gore and boost Nader in critical northwest states. G.W. Bush is strongly against breaching the dams. Gore has remained silent.
wins again on national monuments. Deseret News. After easily
being sustained in the House, the President's power to declare national
monuments remained intact in the Senate by ju
st one vote. Proponents of allowing snowmobiles in national parks also lost.
receive stiff fine for egregious violations of Beartooth Wilderness area. Missoulian.
Original story from last spring (April 8). Missoulian. Accused
snowmobilers to appear in Missoula: Wyoming snowmobilers allegedly removed
wilderness boundary signs.
WY area rancher takes "non-use" on grazing allotment due to forest
fire and the Gros Ventre wolf pack. Billings Gazette. Last summer the
5-member Gros Ventre wolf pack summered on this allotment, and killed no cattle
despite a large number of cows present. It did feed on two dead cows. This
summer, the pack, now numbering ten, is in the area again. Moreover, a June
forest fire burned part of the allotment. The rancher is taking
"non-use" of the allotment. This is a good temporary solution, but
Forest Service rules actually require that non-use can't be taken more than two
years in a row or the rancher's allotment is given to another grazer, a real
Cattle must be moved: BLM order that ranchers must remove cattle from rangeland
stands up in court. Spokane Spokesman Review. These ranchers actually
tried to argue that cattle trampling stream banks made the streams narrower and
of electricity deregulation in Montana. Missoulian. It is interesting
how Montanans got the shaft in this, and more amazing still how the politicians
responsible are getting away with it. I would trust the word of Public Service
Commissioner Bob Anderson, who helped found the Greater Yellowstone Coalition,
far more than Montana politicians who sold out to industry or who are angling for
a job with George W., like bison-killer governor Marc Racicot.
Added 7-18-2000. A Shock to the System: How utility deregulation became a statewide disaster. by GEORGE OCHENSKI. Missoula Independent. Another view of the fast one Montana legislators pulled on the public.
Senator Craig's Plan to Quash the Roadless Initiative to come Before US Senate next week. Oregonian. Please contact your Senator and ask him or her to oppose Craig's efforts to stop the conservation opportunity of a generation.
7-18-2000. Thanks for your messages. Craig withdrew his proposed amendment saying he didn't want to mess up to litigation against the roadless initiative that is in the works. Others say he just didn't have the votes, thanks to outraged Americans.
June 22, 2000. Has
the great Jarbidge, NV dirt road controversy been defused? Las Vegas Sun. The Fourth of July road improvement rally may or may not still be on. A
deal has been announced. 10,000 people with shovels are supposed to show up at
Jarbidge, NV to rebuild a dirt road that washed out and the Forest Service won't
let confrontational Elko County fix. There are many past stories on this on the
being used in the Dunoir in a new way to disturb wildlife and rip up the land.
|7-1-2000||Idaho's Two US Senators help Stall popular CARA bill in the U.S. Senate. Idaho Statesman. Senators Craig and Crapo think there is too much federal land in Idaho so they are holding this bill up that would provide vast amounts of conservation money for the entire nation. I just got back from 8 days in central Idaho. On my way back to Pocatello I encountered incredible Fourth of July traffic. Almost all of it seemed to be bound for those "awful" federal lands -- that part of Idaho that will never be subdivided -- those lands Crapo and Craig think are so awful. No one seemed to be looking for private land to camp, hike, or ride on. No one was looking for those forlorn sections of Idaho state school lands either. Idaho is 62% U.S. public land as compared, for example, to about 36% in Montana. In my view that makes Idaho about twice as nice as Montana.|
Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country
July - August 2000
Please be aware that not all articles and links will be working as some of the sources do not keep archives.