©1999 Wolff Den Design - Lady Wolf - Ralph Maughans Wildlife Reports

 

 

Archives. Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country, Aug- Sept. 2001

Some of the links will be dead, but others work for a surprisingly long time.

Unless the commentary is in quotes, the commentary is my own.  Ralph Maughan


Sept. 30. 2001. 'Cow pie’ the culprit in range fire. Herald-Journal (Logan, Utah). Jason Bergreen. This is not just news from the weird. It shows how dry things are in northern Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. It also show how manipulative the debate is over logging versus thinning forests. When it's this dry, all forests will burn.

Sept. 30, 2001. Support for Native Cutthroats Growing.  By Chris Hunt - Idaho State Journal City Editor. Editor’s note: This marks the final installment in a nine-month series of reports examining the condition of the West’s native cutthroat trout.

Sept. 28, 2001. There was quite a cool spell in the Northern Rockies just before mid-September, and the wild fire season seemed to be near an end. Since then, the days have been dry, hot, and often windy, and old fires have continued, such as the giant Moose Fire in Glacier NP. There is  a new one in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a new fire in Jackson Hole, and even some smoldering fires reignited in Yellowstone. There are 5 new forest fires in Idaho, and a new fire is dropping ash on Bozeman, Montana (see below).. . . Ralph Maughan.
Sept 28, 2001. Forest fire causes evacuation near Gallatin Gateway. By Becky Shay. Billings Gazette.
Sept. 29, 2001.
More evacuated as Gallatin fire grows to 4000 acres. By Scott McMilion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The name of the fire is the Purdy Fire.
Sept. 30, 2001. Purdy Fire reaches 4500 acres. Bozeman Chronicle.
Oct. 1, 2001. Reinforcements arrive for Purdy Fire. By Joan Haines. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Hundreds jam fire information meeting. This story also by Joan Haines.
Oct. 2. 2001. Purdy wildfire slows. AP
Oct. 3, 2001. Purdy Fire 60% Contained. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Scott McMillion.
Oct. 4, 2002. Happy homecoming: Those forced to flee Purdy Fire return to homes. By Kayley Mendenhall. Bozeman Chronicle.

Sept. 26, 2001. Nature hits a home run for salmon. By Steve Stuebner. High Country News. "Record salmon, steelhead runs buy time for endangered stocks."

Sept. 26, 2001. Did the terrorist attacks inadvertently save the Endangered Species Act? High Country News. By Paul Larmer.

Sept. 25, 2001. Hank Fischer of Defenders of Wildlife quits. Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. "Hank Fischer, the man who developed programs that pay ranchers when wolves or grizzly bears kill their livestock, is leaving his job of 24 years with Defenders of Wildlife."

Sept. 23, 2001. Little fire, big bill: Fighting wildfire cost nearly twice property’s value. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer. The cost of fighting some fire compared to the value of the land is questioned in this article about fighting a fire last August just north of YNP.

Sept. 23, 2001. Panel cold to proposal for grazing domestic bison on national forest land. AP. Rancher Dan Ingalls wants to convert from cattle to bison on his grazing allotment southeast of Jackson Hole. Note: this area is full of grizzly bears and is in the territory of the Gros Ventre wolf pack, which might be one reason Ingalls wants a brawnier kind of livestock.

Sept. 22, 2001. Expert: Ban elk farming in state (Colorado). Captive herds faulted for disease's spread. By Theo Stein. Denver Post. Mad elk disease and mad deer disease are  spreading in Colorado. While the origin of the disease is unknown, elk farms in various states and in Saskatchewan have been found to harbor this terrifying ailment. Montana voters in 2000 wisely put an end to elk farming there.

Sept. 21, 2001. Insult to our Lands. Letter to the Editor. Jackson Hole Guide. By Richard Wright. 
Related. Sept. 10, 2001. Hanging up the spurs Rachel Odell. Jackson Hole Local.
Related Sept. 5, 2001. Move 'Em Out: Biggest Cattle Grazer in Grand Teton National Park Calls It Quits. From the Western Watersheds Project.

 Overgrazed Grand Teton National Park. 

Photo about 2 weeks after the cows left this "pasture". This is just east of Blacktail Butte in the southern part of GTNP. Grass is 1/2 inch high and a huge erosion scar in the foreground.  August 16, 2001. Photo Ralph Maughan. No copyright. Use this picture!

Sept. 20, 2001. Moose fire in Glacier NP continues to burn. Great Falls Tribune. While most of the Western wildfires are now controlled, the Moose Fire in and near Glacier NP continues to burn. This article doesn't mention it, but the fire has reportedly ignited some coal beds in the area.
Related Sept. 22, 2001. The Moose Fire Won't Die. Hungry Horse News.

Sept. 19, 2001. Western Watersheds Project Wins again and eliminates yet another water diversion in Sawtooth Valley. Note: Lou Racine was former chair of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Sept. 18, 2001. Discovery of new Idaho wolf pack makes 2001 the second year toward delisting. By Jeff Toleffson. Billings Gazette. The USFWS decided retrospectively that there were enough wolves in 2000 (30 breeding pairs), and now that goal has probably been meet for 2002, which would make 2003 the third year in the delisting series. However, each state has to also have an acceptable wolf management plant as well, and that will be hard to come by in Idaho and Wyoming.
9-20-2001 Related. Environmentalists Rap Change in Wolf Rules regarding delisting. By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette.

Sept. 14, 2001. "Green extremist" site launched. Idaho U.S. Rep. Otter says environmental extremist groups must be monitored. Spokesman-Review. By Betsy Z. Russell. Congressman Butch Otter, who has filled the shoes of retired Rep. Helen Chenoweth, and who has  been repeatedly fined for his own environmental violations, has taken it upon himself to demonize all environmental groups, even the Nature Conservancy, at a time Americans are showing unprecedented unity.
Related: Sept 16, 2001. Otter touts Web site that tracks environmentalists. AP. Some Idaho groups are complaining that they aren't on the list. . . what have they failed to do not to earn the ire of the polluter congressman? 
9-17-2001. I took a look at this web site, and there isn't really much too it. Environmental Working Group has done the same in tracking anti-environmental groups since 1995. . . Ralph Maughan

Sept. 14, 2001. State, federal agencies warn Yellowstone Club. AP. The Yellowstone Club is a private village under construction just NW of Yellowstone Park. Those who can't prove they are worth millions will not be allowed to enter.

Sept. 5, 2001. Idaho Fish and Game Officer Retires after 29 years. Cites politicization of Fish and Game Commission. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Stahl. Conservation officer Lee Frost is right. Today's Idaho Fish and Game Commission has the kind of balance you expect in a one party state -- one-sided.
Related Sept. 12, 2001. Playing Politics at Idaho Fish and Game. Idaho Mountain Express.

Sept. 10, 2001. Scientists eye uncharted territory in Yellowstone. AP.

Sept. 10, 2001. Deregulation of state’s power supplier may be costly decision By Charles S. Johnson. Billings Gazette State Bureau

Sept. 10, 2001. Farm Aid Flows to the Big Farmers. By John Kelley. AP

Sept. 9, 2001. Farmers rely on fed giveaway. Ag subsidies balloon despite phase-out law. By Rocky Barker. The Idaho Statesman

Sept. 1, 2001. Large fire (the Moose Fire) hits Glacier National Park. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian. Map of fire area.

Sept. 2, 2001. Winds weaken. Rush of Glacier NP wildfire slows. Missoulian. By Michael Jamison. 
Sept. 4, 2001.
Strong winds stymie attack on burgeoning Moose fire in Glacier NP. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press. 
Sept. 6, 2001. Rain gives Glacier firefighters a rest
. The Associated Press
Sept. 9, 2001. Glacier NP fire exceeded estimated of acreage burned. AP

Sept. 8, 2001. Fugitives nabbed in Yellowstone Park. By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette.

Sept. 4, 2001. Conservation Groups may challenge continued livestock grazing in Grand Teton National Park. Casper Star Tribune. By Jason Marden. Folks can see how the Park was grazed down to nothing by looking at the photo. Now one of the grazers may have violated his lease terms.

Sept. 3, 2001. Tipping the scale in wildlife habitats. Human development causes disruption that favors some species. By Glen Martin, San Francisco Chronicle Environment Writer. This is an important article. The notion that human activity only hurts some species, but helps others, is often forgotten in debates over wildlife. Unfortunately, we often dislike the "weedy" animals and plants that benefit from human disturbance.

Sept. 1, 2001. Three die in helicopter crash fighting the Fridley Peak Fire. AP.

August 31, 2001. Swift Foxes return from extinction in Montana. ENN.

August 31, 2001. Missoulian. Guest Opinion. President making a farce out of 'local control' issue by Glora Flora.

August 31, 2001. Yellowstone snowmobile discussions bog down By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

August 30, 2001. Snowshoe Fire Blows up in the Frank Church. By Anna Means. Challis Messenger. Last year Little Pistol Creek burned and the Postal Creel Ranch was burned down, now a fire is heading down Pistol Creek in the direction of the rebuilding.
Snowshoe Fire web page. Salmon-Challis National Forest. Snowshoe Fire photo gallery. 

August 30, 2001. Clearing up water issues on Klamath Basin. Oregonian. By Michael Milstein. I haven't posted any stories on this simmering controversy that may erupt in violence because it is far outside the wolf reintroduction area. However, the usual suspects are are work in the area trying to foment trouble. For example, former congressman Helen Chenoweth-Hage has been in the area rabble-rousing. In this article Michael Milstein tries to answer some questions about this issue.
Related August 30. Dozens trespass in irrigation protest Klamath farmers say they own headgates. Jeff Barnard - Associated Press

August 30, 2001. Bush Administrtion makes a deal to protect 29 endangered species. New York Times. By Katharine Q. Steely.

August. 30, 2001. Norton won’t alter plans for Missouri River Breaks Natioanl Monumment. By Jim Gransbery. Billings  Gazette Staff. Montana Governor Judy Martz had appointed a stacked committee to review the monument, and they had recommended its size be reduced by 75%.August 29, 2001.

  Scientists count record salmon run at Bonneville Dam. Oregonian. Most people don't realize it, but it has been a great year for salmon and steelhead trout in much of the Pacific Northwest. The drought, however, will probably decimate the runs of these fish two or three years in future because the low water will kill the smolts as they migrate downstream, but for now, good fishing. Note: Bonneville Dam is the lowest -- the first -- dam fish meet on the Columbia River. Related. On the other hand, Snake River sockeye holding at the brink Captive breeding may be only hope to avert extinction By Rocky Barker The Idaho Statesman. August 31, 2001.

August 29, 2001. Deaths of the Little Bighorns. A mysterious illness is weakening lambs in the Wind River Mountains, with many falling prey to predators. Researchers say pollution may be the cause. LA Times. By GARY POLAKOVIC. The Cheney/Bush energy plan, which will surround the mountains with natural gas wells, will only make the situation worse.

August 28, 2001.  Idaho cleared the air for Western governors. Governor Kempthorne asked farmers not to burn during Coeur d'Alene Western Governors Conference. Spokane Spokesman Review. This is hillarious. Why doesn't he do the same for the long suffering residents of Northern Idaho?

August 28, 2001. Fridley Fire is nation's number one priority wildfire. Little Joe Fire near Park north boundary grows. By Becky Bohrer. AP. Winds will fan fires on Tuesday. Little Joe Fire enters Park by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Aug. 29. High winds fail to materialize. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Scott McMillion. Photo of Fridley Peak Fire from the west. Photo from near Bozeman Pass on I-90.
Photo of the Little Joe Fire the day it started on August. 25. 

August 22, 2001. Winds blow up fire in the Gallatin Range, north of Yellowstone. Billings Gazette by Becky Shay and Becky Bohrer. This fire is burning in Fridley Creek SE of Bozeman. 240 residents of Paradise Valley foothills may be evacuated. It is called "the Fridley Fire." 

Aug. 23, 2001. Winds, dry forecast, to fan Fridley Fire. Billings Gazette. Fire now at 4000 acres. I can't help notice the weather in the forecast is like that which really fanned the fires of 1988  -- predicted continued dry weather with a series of dry cold fronts (meaning winds). The dry cold fronts of late August and early Sept. 1988, really caused the fires to explode. . . Ralph.

August 24, 2001. Fridley fire doubles in size; other fires burn in Beartooths, Jordan area By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press and BECKY SHAY, Of The Billings Gazette.

August 25, 2001. More firefighters, better weather arriving to help. By BECKY SHAY. Billings Gazette. and BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press. The size of the Fridley fire is now estimated at over 20,000 acres.

August 26, 2001. Cooler weather, calm winds allow firefighters to keep Fridley Fire at just over 23,000 acres. AP. 1500 more firefighters have been requested. Forecast is for rising temperatures and dry for the next week. This fire could burn into many rural subdivisions and/or southward into Yellowstone.

August 27, 2001. Fires burn on the boundaries of Yellowstone. AP. The Little Joe Fire is burning near Electric Peak. 

August 28, 2001. Owyhee fire blooms to 6,500 acres. Crews ready as blaze flares near Silver City, Idaho. Idaho Statesman. Since the article was written, the blaze has grown to over 11,000 acres. Aug. 29. Firefighters help stave off evacuation of Silver City 11,000 acres burn 3 miles north of town By Patrick Orr. The Idaho StatesmanA

August 28, 2001. Utahan Kathleen Clarke nominated by Bush as new BLM Director. Salt Lake Tribune. By Brent Israelsen. "I'm tickled," said Jim Peacock, director of the Utah Petroleum Association.. 

August 27, 2001. Bush Energy Plan helps unite feuding environmental groups. Washington Post. By Ben White.

August 26, 2001. Bush Energy Plan Showcases Clout of Power Industry. Cheney-led task force consulted extensively with corporate executives, and its final report boosted their interests. Environmental groups had little voice. Special Report. LA Times. By July Pasternak

August 22, 2001. Sec. Norton has a lot of "foxes guarding the hen house." Editorial. Idaho Mountain Express.

August 21, 2001. 'Beast' Is Alive in Wyoming. It's been more than 600,000 years since the last huge eruption, but scientists say Yellowstone sits atop one of the world's largest active volcanoes. LA Times. By Usha Lee McFarling.

August 21, 2001. Now is this time to call your member of Congress about public land recreational use fees. This decision will be made after Labor Day whether to make them permanent. By Penelope Purdy. Denver Post columnist. Related:  August 21, 2001. In the great outdoors, resistance to rising fees Opposition builds as more federal lands ask visitors to pay. By Hal Clifford. Christian Science Monitor. My view is the fees, while often put to good use, were primarily instituted by Congress so as to alienate Americans from their public lands and build support for auctioning them off to the highest bidder.

August 20, 2001. 130 forest fires burning in British Columbia. Vancouver Sun. Most of Canada is in a terrible drought (like the U.S. Pacific Northwest). Can anyone say "global warming? Or has B.C., like the U.S. West, not logged enough?

August 20, 2001. Major fire near Alpine, Wyoming. Billings Gazette. Most folks who have been to Jackson know where Alpine is on the Idaho-Wyoming border.
August 21, 2001. Elite crew takes over at Alpine ID-WY. Fire bosses hope for some moisture by midweek. Idaho Statesman. Idaho fire activity has picked up recently, but so far is far less than last year.
August 22, 2001. Alpine Fire near Containment. AP

Aug. 19, 2001. Was Labor Duped by Dubious Job Numbers? 700,000 Jobs from Oil Drilling in Alaska? Says Who? By Connie Harvey. Tom Paine.com.

Aug. 19, 2001. Norton Charts a Different Course for the Interior Department By Timothy Egan. New York Times. Wolves, grizzly bears out; energy development in.

Aug. 18, 2001. Crews battle fierce flames across the West. CNN.

Aug. 18, 2001. Three small fires start in Yellowstone. 

Aug. 16, 2001. Opinion. Burning Bush. Republican wildfire plan is the same old song and dance. George Ochenski. Missoula Independent.

Aug. 16. Gold Miners Eager for Bush to Roll Back Clinton Rules By Douglas Jehl. New York Times. 

Aug. 16. Highest fire alert declared in West Next step is deploying the military By Ken Miller The Idaho Statesman

Update Aug. 15. GTNP may extend the grazing season due to political pressure. Make sure you look at the photos. August 8, 2001. Cattle ousted from Grand Teton National Park due to dry conditions. AP. This is great news, but way late. To see what the pasture looks like in GTNP near Uhl Hill (near Spread Creek), see photos. These cows were also menacing the Teton Wolf Pack.

July 22, 2001. A number of people have forwarded this article to me and asked that a link be forged. Grazing will be studied for grouse effects on the Beaverhead National Forest. The Montana Standard

August 15, 2001. Montana Governor's task force recommends new Missouri Breaks National Monument be dramatically reduced By Sona Lee. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

August 15, 2001. No new info on quieter snowmobiles By Jeff Tollefson Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. As expected the flap about the "green snowmachine" was probably just a ruse to get Bush to rescind the forthcoming ban on on the machines in Yellowstone.

August 15, 2001. Fire crews scramble to control blazes Hot spots stretch from Idaho Panhandle to South Idaho. Idaho Statesman. After a surprisingly subdued forest fire seasonin Idaho, a number of fires have broken out.

August. 15, 2001. Ranchers appeal grazing closure on Little Wood River. Idaho, U.S. Rep. Simpson spurs Forest Service to reconsider. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Stahl. After reading this, one might get the impression there is a bit of an incestuous relationship among Idaho elected public officials.

August 11, 2001. Cattle grazing threatens Arizona pronghorn antelope. Arizona Daily Sun.

From August 8, 2001. Idaho Land Board OKs rule changes to thwart Western Watersheds Project. By Bob Fick. AP. Aug. 14. In response to the Land Board's action, the Idaho Mountain Express opines: [The Idaho Land Board shows] Contempt for Idaho’s Constitution.

August 14, 2001. Bush Backs 10-Year Plan to Fight Wildfires By Michael Janofsky. New York Times. The real test of this will be whether the plan is used to thin unnaturally thick forests and clear brush, or will it soon evolve into logging the big fire resistant trees and leaving the brush as often done with commercial logging in the past? Aug. 14. Governors, Bush accept wildfire plan; But debate over logging expected as details are set in coming months By Jim Hughes Denver Post Staff Writer

August 13, 2001. Logging again controversial on Bitterroot National Forest. By Sherry Devlin. The timber industry just loves forest fires, no matter what they may say. After they fires they get to log many perfectly good trees (included unburned green trees)  for next to nothing because they have been classified as "salvage." Logging after a fire is one of the worst things you can do because it disturbs the soil and makes it subject to erosion and the spread of weeds, and weeds are something the Bitterroot Valley has in abundance. It is the world capital of spotted knapweed. The weeds will remain in the forest long after the scars of the fires have healed.

August 10, 2001. Federal Judge blocks land trade at for Grand Targhee ski resort The Associated Press. This is a great victory for the American tax payer and the vast majority of local residents who didn't want real estate development on the West Slope of the Tetons.

August 10, 2001. YNP East Entrance open as fire is contained. AP.
August 10, 2001. Did you know about grazing fees?

August 9, 2001. Hantavirus researchers concerned about Montana's deer mice populations. AP. Deer mice are the major host for this killer virus.

August 9, 2001. BLM fears same result, unlikely to try auction seized cattle again in Fallon, Nevada. AP. This is another update on the confiscation of the cattle from the ranchers who for years stole grass from the government despite the incredibly low grazing fees charged. Related story about Nevada ranchers. Wildlife board to declare Ruby Mountains elk-free zone. AP. What a bunch! Kill all the predators, steal the public's  grass, and no competition from other grazing animals, like elk, will be tolerated.

Aug. 8, 2001. Groups sue to protect wolves. Sawtooth National Recreation Area grazing restrictions requested. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Moore. "Grazing did get second shrift in the passage of the SNRA statute—that’s because it’s such an incredible place" — William Eddie, Attorney for Land and Water Fund of the Rockies.
Note: 16 U.S.C. § 460aa (Public Law 92-400; 86 Stat. 612). The Sswtooth National Recreation Area  organic statute states that activity such as timber, grazing, and mining may only proceed “insofar as their utilization will not substantially impair the purposes for which the recreation area is established.” 
Background on this Lawsuit.

Aug. 7, 2001. Arthur fire will yield benefits, biologist says By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Link to Park Service web site on the Arthur Fire. 

Aug. 6, 2001. Scientists studying whirling disease in Yellowstone lake’s tributaries By Jeff Tollefson Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Will Yellowstone Lake's unique chemistry and temperature contrasts yield useful information on this devastating parasite of trout?

Park blaze almost contained. AP.
Snowshoe Fire is in the Frank Church Wilderness. Challis Messenger. By Anna Means.
Salmon return quietly to central Idaho amid political debate.  By Greg Stahl.  Idaho Mountain Express.

Aug. 5, 2001. Firefighters gain ground on blaze [Arthur Fire] near Yellowstone's East Entrance. AP.


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