Western property owners, federal officials face off over public lands.
AP from the Billings Gazette (originally by Scott Sonner.
Las Vegas Sun). This article has appeared in about umpteen papers.
It is one-sided. The Billings Gazette headline is the worst yet,
"Western Property Owners. . " Are ranchers who don't want to obey the
rules the only property owners in the West? Here is the reply I wrote
and was published in the Idaho State Journal last week.
"City folk are westerners, too." By Ralph Maughan. 12-27-2001.
moon rising. The waning of Montana's once-mighty progressive coalition.
By Ray Ring. High Country News 12-17-01.
Commentary by Ralph Maughan.
This is an important and interesting article with a lot of truth in it.
However, it's not just true of Montana, it happened over most of the
rural interior west. Environmentalists could have done better
politically than they have, but I think the rise of the browns was
inevitable because the mythology of the rural West is so strong that it
prevents most rural areas and certain "hallowed" occupations from
reacting constructively to the changing economy. A powerful reactionary
political movement looking for scapegoats is the result of the conflict
between the Myth and economic reality.
Added 12-30-2001. The Myth wins . . . For example, read this
recent commentary by a Lemhi County (Salmon, ID) commissioner.
Robert Cope: Central Idaho residents need access to use abundant federal
lands. Idaho Statesman.
More of my commentary.
In fact, livestock from central Idaho can't compete because it is
high elevation, infertile soil, steep, and doesn't get very much
precipitation. Logging couldn't compete for the same reason. Someone
needs to take these central Idaho politicians to pinelands of the
southern U.S. or western Oregon or Washington to see what real
tree-growing country looks like. The gold mines mentioned by
Commissioner Cope closed because the economically recoverable deposits
were exhausted. The cobalt mine Cope talks about operated last during
World War II and left a legacy of heavy metal water pollution that
destroyed the salmon fishery in Panther Creek. None of this was shut
down by the Endangered Species Act. When it comes to extractable natural
resources, central Idaho is about as uncompetitive as a place can get in
the global economy. As long as this mythic natural resource mindset
prevails, Central Idaho will get poorer and poorer. A few more sheep and
cows, another mine or two that lasts for 2 years (Grouse Creek), or 8
(Bear Trap), won't bring prosperity.
Scientists' 'wild hair' really wasn't. Snowmobilers and timber groups
are wondering if government biologists have cried "lynx.
" By LISA STIFFLER. Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter. Was this an
attempt to test the system, or "salt the mine?"
Sec. Norton wants probe of biologists. Denver Post.
Statement from Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife
Chief Scientists Regarding the Submittal of False Data for Interagency
Lynx Study. This sounds like a plausible explanation.
Planted Lynx Fur In Habitat Survey Upsets Legislators
. Washington Post. Congressman McInnis and Hansen are two of
the most anti-environmental members of Congress. No doubt they will try
for a public lynching if possible.
12-29-2001. Story originally printed 12-18.
Sportsman miffed at cattle on Montana state game range. By Scott
McMillion Bozeman Daily Chronicle. I missed this story when it
first was published. It is important to show the bias and incompetence
of Montana's management of wildlife. In Montana, you buy ranch property
to benefit the wildlife and the ranchers still get to graze the land.
The only result I can see, is the ranchers got rich and now get to graze
as before but owe no property tax.
Giant silver/copper mine gets approval near Idaho-Montana border.
AP. The mine will tunnel under the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, and
has been fought for 15 years.
both ends . by Carlotta Grandstaff. Missoula Independent.
In the summer of 2000 the Bitterroot was on fire. Now the Bitterroot
National Forest is under fire from a federal judge and the USDA
Feds try to defend Bitterroot fire salvage in court. By Sherry
Devlin. Missoulian. One of the government's stupidest arguments
is that by delaying the "salvage" a catastrophic wild fire will result.
The "catastrophic wildlife" was in 2000. Burned timber can reburn, given
intense lightning and enough drought, but reburn fires spread slowly
because the burnt trees lack the needles necessary to carry a
tree-to-tree crown fire.
Gravelly Pack goes to the Yaak. By Sherry Devlin of the
Missoulian. There is one mistake in the story. The Gravelly Pack was
not killing sheep on the Bridger-Teton National Forest of Wyoming, but
the Beaverhead National Forest of Montana.
New rules, old gripes: Snowmobile season under way in Yellowstone .Bozeman
Daily Chronicle Staff Writer
go to wealthiest U.S. farmers by Carlotta Grandstaff.
Missoula Independent. Things are no different in the Bitterroot
Valley of Montana.
Ever since the list of American farmers (by name) and the dollar amount
of their subsidies has been put on-line, there has been great
controversy whether this should have been done (privacy and all).
Methinks the complaints are really because the data show how unfairly
distributed and top heavy the subsidies are.
See how much farms near you did, or didn't get.
EWG Farm subsidy database.
Is, 1080, the
chemical used by illegal wolf poisoners in Idaho, a terrorist threat?
By Ursula Owre Masterson. MSNBC. After reading this story, it is
clear to me that 1080 could be a real menace. The EPA declined to ban
1080, and it said the agency had “placed a number of unique controls on
this compound in order to ensure its security and appropriate use.” This
is obviously untrue, or how did the wolf poisoners get it? No doubt
political pressure was applied to the EPA even though people's lives may
be at stake.
Judge halts Bitterroot timber salvage. Temporary order comes with stern
words for Forest Service . By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian.
This might be a good lesson to the timber lobbyist who now oversees the
Forest Service -- by-pass the public and you'll land in court. I do
think the argument about bull trout by the environmental attorneys might
be good legally, but it is weak politically. The real problem with the
salvage sale, is that the forest recovers from fire best without
disturbance by heavy machinery. Moreover, the Bitterroot Valley is the
"noxious weed capital" of the the West, and building logging roads, etc.
will spread the weed seeds from "hell to breakfast" into the
backcountry. If that happens, no more elk.
Judge lets Interior put their web sites back up . Denver
Post. Don't expect them immediately, however.
Groups welcome new Yellowstone NP superintendent. Billings
Gazette.By Clair Johnston. The new superintendent Suzanne Lewis will
succeed Mike Finley, who left to work for Turner Endangered Species Fund
Approves Timber Sale, Prompting Court Challenge. By Katharine Q.
Seelye. New York Times. One mistake, the article implies the
forests were in the summer of 2001. They were in 2000.
Move to log
fire-damaged trees ignites controversy. Agriculture Department may
decide the issue this week for Bitterroot Forest, possibly setting a
precedent. By Todd Wilkinson. Special to The Christian Science
Decision, lawsuit expected on salvage logging. Groups vow to sue over
huge Bitterroot fire "salvage" sale. By Sherry Devlin of the
Administration postpones Bitterroot logging decision. AP.
Dec. 14, 2001.
logging supporters threaten Bitterroot area enviro?
Missoula Independent. By Carlotta Grandstaff.
Dec. 7, 2001.
Bitterroot N. F. appeals rule may provoke federal suits and protest
marches from both sides. By Sherry Devlin of the Missoulian
Dec. 8, 2001.
Competing Demonstrations held in Missoula on Bitterroot Logging.
Missoulian. By Sherry Devlin.
Dec. 6, 2001.
plan for Bitterroot fire "salvage." By Carlotta Grandstaff.
Missoula Independent. The Bitterroot National Forest is gearing up
for one of the largest timber sales in its history -- "salvage" of the
huge forest fires that burned in the Bitterroots in the summer of
2000. I have been following fire salvage for a long time. Despite the
public relations tears shed by the timber industry about forest fires,
they just love fire salvage. 1. Much of the timber is usually just
fine -- perfectly sound -- especially if it is lodgepole pine;
2. they get it for next to nothing; and 3. they usually get to cut
much of the unburned green timber too and at the same low rates. The
only problem is this harms forest recovery and turns what might have
been a neutral or beneficial natural event into a catastrophe while
they fleece the taxpayers pocket.
discovered on Oregon elk farm. This is one of the most feared
diseases of wildlife and cattle. These elk farms seem to generate one
infectious menace after another. Even worse, this ranch also raises
Denver Post editorial. Interior's Bad Faith. About the Indian
trust fund scandal that has, as a by-product shut down Interior and
agency (such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) web pages.
Indian Payments Stalled by Shutdown. By Robert Gehrke.
Associated Press Writer. The Indian Trust Fund mess generates still more
Watersheds Project and Partners Challenge BLM Land Use Plan on Vail,
Oregon District. News Release.
Forest chief vows to end project gridlock. Dale Bosworth explains goals
to Boiseans. By Rocky Barker. The Idaho Statesman.
Chief Bosworth said all the right things, but the problem isn't really
the Forest Service, it's the fact that local folks on the ground have
incompatible values and after years of intense, often personal conflict,
and can't stand each other.
Forest rejects domestic bison
grazing: Bridger-Teton forest officials say year-round grazing is not
allowed by forest plan. By Deanna Darr. Jackson Hole Guide.
Mad elk shipped from Colorado elk farm shows up in Kansas elk farm.
FWS investigates pair of wolf killings . By Perry Baucus. Of The
Montana Standard . These were probably members of the Freezeout
Pack, or the dead alpha female of the Taylor Peaks Pack who dispersed
Dec. 11, 2001.
Wyoming seeks funds for wolf management after delisting. AP
Dec. 10, 2001.
Yellowstone area needs unified forest leadership
. By Todd Wilkinson. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Dec. 8, 2001.
Fishing for a Solution: Yellowstone National Park Struggles to Avert an
Ecological Disaster . December Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Newsletter. Progress is being made against this grave threat to the
Dec. 8, 2001.
Closure of all Department of Interior Web Sites Ordered by Federal Judge
. LA Times. You won't be able to visit Yellowstone
National Park or learn about wolves from the Fish and Wildlife Service
on-line because all DOI web sites are down. This is related to the
incompetent and perhaps corrupt handling of Indian Affairs by Secretary
Gale Norton and her crew.
Dec. 8, 2001.
Interior Department Trying to Function after Judge orders Internet
. Las Vegas Sun. The shutdown includes email too.
Dec. 8, 2001.
Norton faces 5th contempt charge: Computer woes anger judge in Monday's
trial. By Bill McAllister.Denver Post Washington Bureau
See earlier story
. Nov. 29, 2001.
Secretary of Interior Gale Norton, top aide to stand trial. By
Bill McAllister Denver Post Washington Bureau Chief.
Related Dec. 11, 2001.
Trial starts over Indian trust funds. By Bill McAllister.
Denver Post Washington Bureau Chief
Dec. 6, 2001.
USFWS gears up for wolves in Oregon. By Michale Milstein. The
Dec. 6, 2001.
Boastful gray wolf poacher to spend time in U.S. prison. By
Clair Johnson of the Billings Gazette.
Related Dec. 7, 2001.
Man goes to prison for killing gray wolf in Idaho: Utah hunter saved
hide, skull to show his co-workers. By Rocky Barker. Idaho
Statesman. Barker also says that Tim Sundles isn't off the hook yet.
Dec. 5, 2001.
GOP attempt to open Arctic Refuge and pass the oil company energy bill
fails again. By Duncan Campbell. The Guardian (UK).
Dec. 4, 2001.
of Utah cougar and bobcats prove to be sheep rancher couple .
Salt Lake Tribune. The couple is being charged with a felony.
Dec. 3, 2001.
New Gallatin National Forest supervisor must see the forest through the
trees By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Dec. 2, 2001.
Coalition proposes buying up public land grazing permits Industry
leaders say ranchers' support would be minimal. By Scott Sonner.
AP. While "industry" says support would be minimal, I think many
ranchers (as opposed to interest groups who claim to represent ranchers)
would jump at the chance to sell there grazing privilege's as though
they were property rights. Where is that Western property rights
movement when there is a chance to help ranchers who want to retire?
Related Dec. 2, 2001.
A Showdown Over Western Range Rights. Reform of the vast grazing program
on federal lands is long overdue. By John Balzar. LA Times.
Related Dec. 4, 2001.
Arizona environmental groups want to outbid ranchers on over 200,000
acres. This free enterprise method was developed in Idaho by
the Western Watersheds Project. However, the Idaho state government uses
any excuse to turn down their high bids when they outbid ranchers.
Perhaps enviros will be more successful in Arizona. Ironically, many
Western politicians who rave on about the glories of free enterprise
suddenly revert to cow socialism when it comes to letting folks bid
against ranchers so as to pay to remove cattle from the land.
Nov. 30, 2001.
Idaho F&G chief rebukes Cattle Association. Sando was asked to intervene
in lion-killing case . Idaho Statesman. By Rocky Barker.
Nov. 30, 2001.
Illegally killed elk leads to major poaching arrest at Arco, Idaho .
Nov. 29, 2001.
Group of snowmobilers fined $230 each for trespassing after illegally
entering and getting stuck in the Teton Wilderness. Shoshone NP
new release. Wish they would have been fined a lot more.
Nov. 29, 2001.
Questions about the details of Ingalls' domestic bison proposal
. Jackson Hole Guide. The
view of Dr. Joel Berger, of Wildlife Conservation Society in Moose,
Wyoming, on Dan Ingalls' plans to covert his cattle grazing lease to
bison is the best summary I have seen in print of the pitfalls of the
Related. Nov. 27, 2001.
Bison ranchers in a pinch: Guided hunts bring in business in bleak
market. By Scott McMillion Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff
Writer. This story is relevant to the feasibility of the proposal to
convert a controversial cattle allotment in Wyoming's Gros Ventre area
to bison that I discussed in my
last wolf report.
Nov. 29, 2001.
Secretary Norton weakens protection for new national monuments.
News Release. Predator "control," powerlines, off-road vehicles.
Nov. 28, 2001.
Northern Idaho Rancher Jailed After failure to appear in court and
continued illegal grazing. Idaho Statesman.
Nov. 25, 2001.
The True Cost of Oil. By Jim Hoagland. Columnist.
Related Nov. 27, 2001.
Of Oil and Hot Air. Opinion of the LA Times.
Nov. 25, 2001.
2001 fires fought lavishly. Gallatin N. F. was more economical than
most. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Nov. 25, 2001.
Bush blunders on climate treaty. Editorial by the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer. I might add that the Administration is
going to need more international support to hold the coalition together
beyond Afghanistan. If it stopped offending our allies with its
environmental policies, it might get the needed support.
Nov. 23, 2001.
Attack: The Wolf came at Tim, then turned toward his wife and headed
straight for her. Range Magazine. By Heather Thomas Smith
(of Salmon, Idaho). Oh my god! Tim Sundles has got his wolf attack story
all prettied up now and published in a Range Magazine, a glossy true
fiction Western magazine.
Nov. 22, 2001.
callers. by Will Rizzo. Missoula Independent. "Meth labs
create toxic headaches in national forests." My view: eliminating these
toxic drug labs in yet another reason why dead end abandoned timber
roads should be obliterated.
Nov. 21, 2001.
the West. Mysterious disease threatens deer and elk By Cynthia
Sewell. Boise Weekly.An article on chronic wasting disease,
a.k.a., "mad elk" and "mad deer" disease, in the West .
Related on CWD. Nov. 18, 2001
Colorado Rancher: Elk will survive CWD crisis . By Theo Stein
Denver Post Environment Writer; also Nov. 18.
Colorado elk ranchers lock horns with Dept. of Wildlife . By
Theo Stein Denver Post Environment Writer
Nov. 21, 2001. Opinion of the Post Register.
Ground at Yellowstone. Post Register (Idaho Falls). Park
is $700-million behind in needed repairs.
Nov. 21, 2001.
Nevada rancher briefly jailed in grazing dispute . Las Vegas
Sun.If your average citizens played these kind of games in court,
they would stay in jail.
Nov. 21, 2001.
"Salvage" logging of Bitterroot burn area of 2000 is delayed.
Billings Gazette. 180 million board feet of timber is a lot to
throw on a depressed lumber market.
Nov. 19, 2001.
Group commits to preserve South Fork of the Snake River
. By Chris Hunt - Idaho State Journal City Editor
Nov. 18. 2001.
Idaho sheep growers coming to end of the trail Rising costs, foreign
competition spell doom for industry that fostered families for 100
years. By Tim Woodward. Idaho Statesman.
Nov. 17, 2001.
Federal court upholds Clinton's National Monuments. LA Times.It
is good for the outdoors that the court upheld the President, but it is
time to make a larger point. For years liberal judges have been accused
of judicial activism, imposing their personal preferences in the
interpretation of law. This may have been true in the 1950s-60s, but for
at least the last decade conservative judges and conservative
groups like the Mountain States Legal Foundation, who brought this case,
have indulged in conservative activism so intense even the Warren Court
would blush. Conservative activist lawyers like William Perry Pendley,
who brought the suit, seem to think judicial activism should only be a
Nov. 17, 2001.
Elk from Idaho game farm free of mad elk disease. AP. Idaho's
deer and elk may have escaped the menace of CWD "mad elk disease" for
Related Nov. 20, 2001.
Montana owner lets hunters kill elk for free . Missoulian.
Nov. 16, 2001.
Poaching: Southeast Idaho wildlife suffers illegal losses. Area officers
say this year one of busiest for violations
. By Kelton Hatch - Idaho State Journal Outdoors Editor
Related Nov. 21.
Poaching Problem can be traced to Idaho lawmakers. Idaho
State Journal. Readers Views.
Nov. 15, 2001.
Deer loses predicted this winter central and northeastern Montana due to
the continued drought. By Mark Henckel. Billings Gazette Outdoor
Nov. 15, 2001.
Supreme Court rejects suit by natural gas industry to open Montana's
Rocky Mountain Front. By Christopher Thorne. AP. Now hopefully
the Front will remain the pride of Montana and not end up plundered,
like Alberta's Rocky Mountains.
Nov. 15, 2001.
Many Montana state fisheries left devastated by lingering drought
By Mark Henckel. Billings Gazette Outdoor Editor "No water, no
fish." Ironically the drought has lifted in Washington state and now
there are now mudslides, but the intense storms are not going West due
to the lingering high pressure.
Nov. 15, 2001. View of the Post Register (Idaho
Rancher's Political Muscle by J. Robb Brady . While massive
numbers of average Idahoans lose their jobs, Idaho's congressional
delegation spends its time pampering ranchers and excusing their
Nov. 14, 2001.
sidelined by Sept. 11. How the tragedy changed the environmental
landscape . MSNBC.
Nov. 14, 2001.
Reserve. Bush Orders Increased Emergency Supply of Oil By Neela
Banerjee. New York Times. Finally a move that will
really increase American oil security. Now, a second petroleum reserve
should be authorized and developed.
Nov. 13, 2001.
Pacific Recycles Last Year's Winter. If you liked last winter, you'll
like this one. If not, you won't. Science Daily Magazine.
This is not good news for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where elk and
deer are already struggling with the poor summer growth of forage and
where cattle have devastated vast areas during the drought which is
heading into its 3rd year.
Nov. 12, 2001.
Grazing on public land target of conference. Spokane
2001. Prudhoe Bay oil field all but gone -- out the tailpipe. by
Randy Udall. Writers on the Range. High Country News.
Nov. 9, 2001.
Fish and Game's Green Field Hunt Policy Stirs Controversy. By
Anna Means. Challis Messenger.Regardless of how one feels about
whether archery season and rifle season should be mixed in "depredation
hunts", this whole controversy is over how to kill the "excessive number
of elk and deer eating crops" in the very place anti-wolfers say the
wolves have killed all the wildlife. Fortunately rural newspapers
like the Challis Messenger are online now so the whole world can
see the duplicity of these anti-wolf arguments.
Nov. 6, 2001.
Administration's praise for ex-forest chief hypocritical at best.
By Todd Wilkinson regional columnist and author. Headwaters News.
Nov. 5, 2001. '
60s study may be wasting disease culprit. DOW biologist: Mad elk and mad
deer may be result of contact with infected sheep . Rocky
Nov. 4, 2001.
ATVs Trash SE Idaho Backcountry. By Rob Thornberry. Post
Related Nov. 5, 2001.
Gate-crashing damage mounts in NW Montana. By Jim Mann. The
Nov. 1, 2001.
Deer hunt success up 600% in NW Montana. By Dave Reese. The
Daily Inter Lake. Clearly the wolves have not killed all the deer.
Oct. 30, 2001.
Grand Teton grazing is not environmentalists' fault. By Todd
Wilkinson regional columnist and author. Headwaters News.
Oct. 30, 2001.
Idaho outfitter charged with massive poaching . Spokane
Oct. 29, 2001. New York Times editorial.
More Environmental Rollbacks while the public isn't looking .
Oct. 29, 2001.
Off Strategic Petroleum Reserve Is Proposed.
New York Times. Oil from Alaska is
ten years away and the amount unsure. How about filling the Strategic
Oil Reserve with the abundant and low priced foreign oil for use in an
oil cutoff emergency?
Oct. 26, 2001.
Possible mad elk at Salmon, Idaho game farm being destroyed.
Oct. 25, 2001.
An Axle to Grind: The debate over all-terrain vehicle use and the
environment has ridden full-speed into some of the country's most remote
wilderness. By Deborah Schoch.
LA Times Environmental Writer.
Oct. 24, 2001.
Grand Teton: Driving cattle out ... for good?
By Jeff Tollefson.
Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau
Oct. 23, 2001.
Feds embark on landmark study of feeding elk on the National Elk Refuge;
enviros push to restore ‘wild patterns’
By Jeff Tollefson. Billings
Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
Experts: Snow vehicles In Yellowstone, Grand Teton harmful.
Oct. 21. Montanans continue
to suffer ill after effects from rapacious mining companies .
Pleasantview Hills are unpleasant. Western
Watersheds Project and ICL sue Pocatello Office of the BLM.
These low mountains are about 20 miles south of where I live in
Pocatello. The grazing there has been a horror story. It's hard to know
where to begin. Perhaps the WWP tells it best.
Link to Western Watersheds Project web page on the Pleasantview
Oct. 17, 2001.
Study to get to the bottom of wolf-elk controversy. By Scott
McMillion Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer. This was
published Oct. 9, but I missed the article. The wolf-elk study was
discussed last April at the Chico, MT interagency wolf meeting. It
could provide important information because it studies wolf-elk
interaction inside Yellowstone and also outside.
Oct. 16, 2001.
New round of public comments still support ban on snowmobiles in
Yellowstone Park. By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette.
"Presidential politics may have shifted, allowing snowmobiles a second
chance in Yellowstone National Park, but public opinion apparently has
not. According to the National Park Service, 82 percent of those who
submitted comments on the issue supported the Clinton administration’s
decision to phase out snowmobiles in Yellowstone. They oppose the
current supplemental environmental impact statement reviewing the
Oct. 16, 2001.
Farm policy fails Federal, state aid pours into Idaho agriculture
operations while small communities founder. Idaho Statesman.
"Every year, the millions of farm program dollars coming into rural
Idaho increase, but the rural communities continue to falter.
Unemployment is high, per capita incomes are low and Main Street
businesses are disappearing."
Oct. 15, 2001.
Idaho Statesman's View: Rural politics requires new ideas, less
rhetoric. Yesterday, all the major newspapers in Idaho ran a
series of stories about the economic decline and hurt in rural Idaho.
This editorial is a follow-up. I agree with it. As I wrote earlier, the
campaign by some rural leaders to fight wolf recovery in Idaho is the
sum of their economic development plans.
paper says outlaw elk farms in Idaho to head off mad elk disease
entering the state. Post-Register editorial. Like many
states, Idaho's economy is reeling. The last thing the state needs is
its elk and deer herds destroyed because some game farmer imported mad
Mad elk disease funding too little, Montana Wildlife Federation says.
AP. Secretary Veneman has released 2.6 million dollars to stamp
out mad elk disease on "elk farms."
Oct. 16. 2001 Related.
Tighter elk ranch controls pushed By Theo Stein Denver Post
Oct. 2, 2001.
63 elk Colorado game farm elk exposed to mad elk disease were sold.
Officials track shipments to Colo. ranches, 5 states. By Theo
Stein Denver Post Environment Writer. For the first time
and Idaho game may have received elk with this deadly disease.
Oct. 4. Related.Disease forcing
Salmon, Idaho rancher to kill elk. Animals were exposed to mad elk
disease in Colorado before shipment to Idaho.Idaho Statesman.
By Mark Warbis
Oct. 3. Related.
Denver Post says Colorado legislature to blame for spread of mad elk
disease. Denver Post. "Colorado's cherished wildlife
faces more risk than ever from a deadly nervous-system disease, partly
because the Colorado Legislature put dubious, narrow agricultural
interests ahead of legitimate, statewide wildlife needs."
Oct. 1. Related.
Mad cow-like disease spreads rapidly in wild deer . ENN.
Sept. 29. Related.
Montana Game farm owners risk arrest if they allow hunting
Oct. 13, 2001.
Senator Craig calls for drilling in refuge National Homeland Energy
Security Act backs more dams, generating plants, conservation.
By Amy Sieckmann. Spokane Spokesman-Review Staff writer. This is
a cynical attempt to cash in on the current situation behalf of the
energy companies. Alaska oil provides no security. Did the senator and
his co-sponsors miss the big story that the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline
was shut down for a couple days this week by a single stray rifle bullet
that blew a big leak in the pipeline? How would an equally vulnerable
pipeline from the Refuge 10 years from now be any more secure?
America has an ample, but vulnerable petroleum supply. From 55 to 60% of
it is imported. All the U.S. drilling possible would only reduce this by
perhaps 5 %. The United States accounts for about 25 percent of global
oil consumption but has only 3 percent of proven global oil reserves.
The U.S. needs a big fix, not a little here and a little there because
it still adds up to just a little. Fortunately today the U.S. gets only
13% of its oil from Middle East sources, down from almost 25% ten years
There are two answers. One short and one long. We have a Strategic
Petroleum Reserve in Louisiana. It consists of mostly foreign oil bought
and put back in the ground (in a salt dome) for use if there is an oil
cut-off. Storage of one billion barrels is authorized. Currently about
500-million are in storage and for years, congressionals have refused to
buy cheap foreign oil and fill it up. The price of oil right now is
volatile, but generally low. Clearly this is a more ready and secure
source of oil than dabbles of domestic oil here and there from wells
that are yet to be drilled.
Secondly, in the longer run we can use technology to make much more
efficient use of petroleum. Terrorists could blow up pipelines and
refineries, but they would not sneak into a factory or your garage and
replace an efficient burner or engine with a gas guzzler.
We are getting up to speed on many security matters, but it looks like a
lot of politicians can't think "out of the box" when it comes to oil.
Let's hope their blindness on the matter is does not lead to our ruin.
As far the so-called "electricity crisis" of this year, it is amazing
how quickly it disappeared with a little conservation and governmental
crack-down on price-gouging. Bulk energy suppliers are not giving back,
under government order, the excess profits they took. An electricity
problem remains in the Pacific Northwest because it relies on
hydropower. River flows are 50% of normal or less. If rain comes, the
Pacific Northwest electricity problem will disappear. Meanwhile, how
would building hydro-dams when there is not any extra hydro to run
through them generate any electricity?
Related Oct. 8, 2001.
Cleanup massive on Alaska Pipeline oil spill. A drunken local was the
source of the bullet . New York Times.
Related Oct. 14, 2001.
Fears, Again, of Oil Supplies at Risk By Neela Banerjee.New
York Times. This is a good article on America's vulnerable oil
supply. There is one error, however. The author says that early on
America made a choice whether to rely on higher priced domestic oil or
cheaper imported oil and chose the imported oil. This is totally
wrong. The oil companies lobbied strenuously to use higher priced
domestic oil first. Imports of oil were purposely limited by law in 1959
until the late Nixon Administration. Oil companies were also given a
27.5 % oil depletion allowance to stimulate domestic production. There
was a 20 year fight in Congress to repeal the oil depletion allowance.
It was a "drain American first" policy . Finally when domestic
supplies were largely depleted in 1973, the caps on oil imports were
lifted and then America's dependence on OPEC emerged. The lack of
knowledge of this history (even from a NYT writer) is appalling.
The oil companies of days past and their cronies in Congress (both
political parties) are to blame for our state of dependence now.
American energy policy tied to the interests of the oil companies will
be an insecure America.
Oct. 12, 2001.
champion is elected to number 2 Democrat post in U. S. House.
Representative Nancy Pelosi
Elected House Minority Whip. Her GOP counterpart is former pesticide
pusher Tom DeLay. Pelosi's election as minority whip is the highest
congressional rank a woman has achieved.
Oct. 10. 2001.
Park Service muzzles heroic Yellowstone south boundary ranger.
By Todd Wilkinson.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Perhaps they don't want the public to know
the truth how outfitters conduct unsporting hunts along the south
boundary of the Park.
Jackson won the Greater Yellowstone Coalition's "government employee of
the year award" a couple years ago. He has faced much danger from
grizzlies and outfitters while trying to enforce the law in this most
remote location. Look at the thanks he gets. American wants heroes, and
let's hope the Park Service gets sued for not backing up a hero.
Yes he does tell things that politicians don't want to hear, such as how
outfitters tried to destroy the Yellowstone Delta pack by repeatedly
riding over its den site in the year 2000.
Oct. 11, 2001. Related.
Watchdog group questions Yellowstone ‘gag order’ By Jeff
Tollefson. By Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
Oct. 10, 2001.
Ag secretary declares mad elk disease
emergency. It is
surprising this did not get more public notice. The order was published
in late September. Significantly the secretary does say mad elk and mad
deer may cause BSE variant (mad cow-like disease) in humans. I guess the
media overlooked this with all the concern about an anthrax, smallpox,
or plague attack by terrorists.
Oct. 9, 2001.
Watersheds Receives Bullitt Foundation Grant To Protect Caribou National
Forest. From Western
Watersheds Project. The Caribou National Forest of SE Idaho is not well
known nationally, although I live within a mile of it. It is scenic, has
large deer and elk herds and some moose, but it could be much better if
livestock grazing was better controlled, especially in the riparian
areas. This grant will help.
Oct. 7, 2001.
Rifle bullet causes big leak in Alaska oil pipeline.
By Yereth Rosen. Yahoo News.
Although Congress just turned back an excuse to tie oil drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the defense authorization bill, some
are still arguing that drilling ANWAR is vital to national security. Now
we see the truth -- one rifle can cause a big leak. Disrupting any
Alaska oil "national security" would be child's play for a terrorist.
Oct. 11, 2001.
Trout Moved in the Wake of the Purdy Fire. By Scott McMillion.
Oct. 7, 2001.
Purdy Fire is finally out
. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. After burning 5000 acres in the
backyard of Bozeman, and employing 1000 fire fighters, it's finally out.
Oct. 6, 2001.
New Idaho State Park in the Hagerman Valley.
Spokane Spokesman Review.
Oct. 5, 2001.
Federal Judge rejects timber industry lawsuit challenging President
Clinton's creation of Giant Sequoia National Monument in California.
By John Heilprin,
Oct. 2, 2001.
Foes say U.S. farm bill too costly, not 'green' enough. Reuters.
Related Oct. 2.
Sierra Club info on the farm bill.
Related Oct. 4.
Bush Administration says House GOP farm bill not green enough.
New York Times.
By Elizabeth Becker.Administration support against this giant welfare
bill for the big farmers is welcome. The bill would even re-establish
long dead subsidies for sheep and honey.
A lot of the new benefits will go to livestock. So ranchers get paid
when a wolf kills a calf, they also get paid welfare from the
government, and we pay through environmental degradation.
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