Wolf class: Yellowstone Institute provides an incredible classroom.
By Kayley Mendenhall. Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer
religious leaders dislike Bush energy plan. Christian Science
Monitor. By Brad Knickerbocker. Soon the Senate begins the debate on the
Bush energy bill, one of the most backward and environmentally hostile
bills in many years. I will be posting articles about it.
Leave the elk counting to the pros. Letter to Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
By Barry Christianson. It is amusing that the anti-wolf "Friends of
the Northern Range Elk" should hire Dr. Charles Kay from Utah State, who
has argued throughout his career that there are far too many elk on the
northern range of Yellowstone.
Little drought relief foreseen for Montana. By Ericka Schenck
Smith Billings Gazette State Bureau. Montana is entering its
4th year of drought and folks should remember that when they hear people
claim that elk didn't have many calves because wolves killed all the elk
or that forest fires burn because the federal government doesn't spend
enough money putting them out or that because there wasn't enough logging.
Forest Service, motorized recreation group sign pact. By Scott
McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer. A lot of people think the
problem is hardly that the Forest Service is closing areas to off-road
vehicles, but that motorized off road recreation keeps stealing
non-motorized areas from self propelled users.
Dept. of Interior
official halts oil exploration adjacent to Arches N.P. By Brent
Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune. This is a happy follow-up to the
story below, but beware, the Bush energy bill is before the U.S. Senate
this week. While most of the focus is on Alaska, I am most concerned about
the provisions that affect the Rocky Mountains.
Chewing Up a Fragile Land. Op/ed New York Times by Terry Tempest
Williams. How the Bush Administration crushes the life out of red country
next to Utah national parks.
Massive slaughter of domestic elk begins under frigid conditions at
mad-elk infected Elk Echo Ranch in NE Colorado. By Theo Stein.
Yellowstone wolf kills feed many other animals: ‘Nothing is wasted’
By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
Park Service reproposes ban or limitations on snowmobiles in Yellowstone.
LA Times. Despite the early cave-in by the Bush Administration
to snowmobile interests, the new, revised, draft winter plan proposes
phasing out or limitations on snowmobiles, although one alternative is
only a slight change from the status quo.
U.S. weighs lifting ban on snowmobiles at Yellowstone. By Judith
Graham. Chicago Tribune.
Snowmobiles don't belong in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Opinion of the LA
End the Drone
in Yellowstone. Salt Lake Tribune. Editorial Opinion
The draft supplemental environmental impact statement [EIS] is on-line
A 60-day comment
period is now open! Go to the EIS for info.
Chapter 11 threatens the environment and democracy.
By Justin Gerdes. ENN. Not only that, but it threatens national
sovereignty with its private international "court" system.
Colorado cougar may be helping to control mad elk/mad deer disease. By
Theo Stein. Denver Post. Don't know if it's true, but if so,
wolves in Colorado would help too. I should point out that it may be
possible that mad deer disease could be transmitted to the predator, but
since the Division of Wildlife says it might be OK for people to eat mad
deer, I assume carnivores would be more resistant than people.
West Nile Virus in Wyoming by this summer? By Mark Stark.
West Nile Virus expected in Montana. Billings Gazette.
Montana forecast lists hot, fire-spreading winds Friday and cold front
Saturday. By James Hagengruber. Billings Gazette.
And sure enough there was a range fire near Choteau, Montana.!!
Predator politics gets ugly in Idaho. By Rocky Barker and Roger
Phillips. High Country News. This is another article, with a bit
more time perspective, on the forcing out of Rod Sando at Idaho Fish and
Workers don respirators to work in snowmobile pollution at West Entrance.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Scott McMillion. Despite the rhetoric about
cleaner snowmobiles this winter, it is horrible pollution as usual at West
Snowmobiling Abuses in Yellowstone Continue Despite Costly New Mitigation
Efforts. Park records reveal hundreds of violations while park
employees continue to suffer health problems from snowmobile exhaust.
Greater Yellowstone Coalition news.
Snowmobiles pollute Yellowstone. Park Service issues oxygen tanks for
2-17-2002. Editorial Denver Post.
The Racket is Back.
2-15-2002. Idaho has a new director of Fish and Game,
but many question whether it will be the Dept. of Fish and Game, or should
be called the "Cattle Growers Protective Bureau"
Editorial on the matter from Idaho Statesman.
Greater Yellowstone Coalition looks at the mess at Idaho Fish and Game.
Fiery rhetoric. There are no winners in Montana’s politics of hate.
by George Ochenski. Missoula Independent.
logging deal may prompt protests. By Dan Laidman. Missoula
Independent. Unhappiness on both sides after Bitterroot salvage logging
Second Verse." Bush Administration wastes money on a second study of
snowmobiles at Yellowstone
Opinion of the Idaho Falls Post Register.
Computer Shutdown Plays Havoc at Interior. By Tim Egan. New
York Times. The Park Service is back up, but meanwhile, most of the
rest of DOI is still down, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
National Park Service web sites are back up. AP. About 40 per cent
are back on-line.
Lynxgate. As lawmakers accuse seven government biologists of
fraud, the truth is drowned out by the headlines. By Daniel Glick. Outside
2-12-2002. There was an interesting dichotomy in
the Bozeman Daily Chronicle the last several days in letters to the editor
from local politician Montana Rep. Joe Balyeat, a supporter of Friends of
the Northern Range Elk Herd, and biologist Mike Phillips of the Turner
Endangered Species Fund (and former head of the Yellowstone Park wolf
team). Here they are:
Sometimes Crying "Wolf!" is a Good Thing. 2/10/02. By Joe Balyeat
Effort to get wolves delisted should be focused elsewhere. 2/10/02
By Mike Phillips
2-12-2002. Editorial Idaho Statesmen.Idaho
Fish and Game Commission fond of secret meetings.
wrong, from either side of environmental fence. By Todd Wilkinson
regional columnist and author. "Ecoterrorism" cuts both ways. The tiny,
secretive ELF burns things down, but mainstream environmentalists are
regularly threatened by politicians.
Continuing drought causes Cooke City, MT to nearly run out of water.
2-10-2002. Former foes team up to battle politics in Idaho Fish and Game
Commission. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
administration allows oil testing adjacent to Arches National Park.
New York Times. By Tim Egan.
Elk kill begins at ill-fated Colorado ranch. 1200 elk slated to die in
"mad-elk" tainted herd. By Theo Stein. Denver Post.
Developers use Olympics to grab Utah land. By Stephen R. Miller.
ENN. Link to
Service and Environmentalists Settle Bitterroot Logging Dispute.
By Jim Robbins. New York Times.
governor throws gasoline on Bitterroot fire controversy.
Missoula Independent. By Carlotta Grandstaff.
in lynx fur "scandal." News release from PEER. The scientists did
nothing wrong. The whole controversy was stirred up by the Washington
Times and the anti-environment media. In fact the Times recently offered
an environmentalist attacked in their paper a chance to buy an ad to
defend himself. The story in
An Advertising Department That's on Top of the News. Washington
Post. This is a new low in journalism and I think there may be a libel
case if a company attacks someone so they can sell them an ad to defend
Elk from Montana game farm, sick from tuberculosis, show up in Oregon.
Many elk and cattle to be slaughtered. Billings Gazette.
Just another nightmare from the game farms.
Norton says Native American trust reform to cost hundreds of millions.
By Bill McAllister. Denver Post Washington Bureau Chief. This
is the controversy that is keeping the Department of Interior web sites
No word on
Bitterroot National Forest court-ordered timber sale mediation talks.
By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian.
Let the locals run forests? Bush Administration proposes "charter forests"
By Katherine Pfleger. Associated Press Writer. It is claimed there is
paralysis by analysis on the national forests. The reason for this is that
various people who use the forests don't agree on the goals of forest
management, and this disagreement is expressed by lawsuits and appeals (on
all sides of the issues).
The problem with partially privatized forests run by "locals" is that
forests of regional or national importance will be run by people with only
parochial interests. Furthermore, if you live in the interior West, the
word "local" has a special meaning. It means you support preference for
the three Western hallowed occupations -- mining, logging, and grazing. It
means you don't live in a urban place (unless you own a logging company).
For example, a resident of Boise, Idaho would not be
considered "local" even for the adjacent Boise National Forest. A resident
of nearby Horseshoe Bend, small town about 20 miles from Boise would be
You have to live the West and experience the discrimination against urban
Western residents before this can be understood. Idaho US Senator Larry
Craig made that plain as day recently when he said he didn't consider
Blaine County, Idaho part of Idaho and wouldn't represent those folks, and
the reason is plain -- they have the wrong opinions about national
Two Montana Legislators claim wolves are wiping out Yellowstone northern
range herd. AP. I get a lot of email asking what can be done
politically to help wolves. In the case of Idaho, not much; but these 2
Montana legislators come from competitive districts, and I'd bet they have
substantial numbers of politically unorganized wolf supporters in their
districts. The answer to folks in this part of Montana is to get involved
in the campaigns of their opponents, and if they have no strong opponent
and the opponent is no good, why not run yourself?
Gray wolves heading to California. Defenders seek protections as ranchers
howl. By Michael McCabe, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer. Do
ranchers live in some parallel universe where word of the trivial effect
of wolves on livestock in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho can't get down the
galactic wormhole and into their universe?
Ranchers make the usual usual gloom and doom prediction if wolves come to
Oregon. AP. This story has appeared in a number of papers this
weekend. Those of us who favor all wildlife have faced winds more bitter
than those that blow around LeGrande, Oregon.
Western Watersheds Project makes its first effort in Colorado. By
Theo Stein. Denver Post.
Environmentalists accept some Bitterroot logging. Missoulian. By
'Tired' Bitterroot forest supervisor says goodbye. By Sherry
Emergency appeal filed on Bitterroot "salvage" logging. By Sherry
Devlin. Missoulian. Former timber lobbyist, now Agriculture Undersecretary
Mark Rey, has tried every trick in the book to prevent normal public
process on the biggest fire, so-called "salvage" logging, plan in history.
Bitterroot Logging Bane or Balm? Plan Stirs Debate. By Jim Robbins.
New York Times. The story on Bitterroot "salvage" has gone national
for a fairly well balanced analysis.
Last dance for the sage grouse? by Hal Clifford. High Country
News feature article. Although the sage grouse is a magnificent large
and colorful grouse, its demise heralds a vast new controversy over the
shrinking sagebrush of the West. Protection and restoration of sagebrush
affects many plants and animals including mule deer, whose declining
numbers might be due to the destruction and degradation of sagebrush. One
reader did not like this article and wrote: "I can't read this! They as
much as admit the herbaceous plants and topsoil are gone that the grouse
depend upon, then in typical style blame everything from fences to power
lines and avoid the livestock issue except to say it is ' contentious'.
Latest article on YNP wolf watching. Wolf watchers get front-row seat to
animal's comeback. Becky Bohrer. Associated Press.
Montana economy declines under GOP control. Opinion by Tom Judge (former
governor). Billings Gazette. One doesn't have agree with former
Democratic Governor Judge. It might be just coincidence but Montana has
become relatively much less prosperous since it started electing
Republicans in control of the state government.
Federal judge orders mediation over timber. Forest Service officials,
environmentalists will have two days to reach agreement on salvage
logging. By Sherry Devlin of the Missoulian.
Fish and Wildlife Service plans more releases of Mexican Wolves.
Eastern Arizona Courier.
Small quake in Jackson Hole Concerns Geologists. AP
Frustration sparks drive to give Idaho Fish and Game more freedom. Vote
could trim political control of commission. By Roger Phillips and
Rocky Barker. The Idaho Statesman. This initiative could remake Idaho
wildlife politics. While it is impossible to eliminate politics from
wildlife management, there is a difference between wildlife politics
dominated by groups like the cattle association and a politics dominated
by those who care for wildlife. In 1994 the legislature made it
essentially impossible to get an initiative on the ballot, but recently a
federal judge ruled their action unconstitutional. The old law is
therefore, reinstated, so getting the 44,000 signatures on the ballot has
Governor's staff told commissioners to 'fix' F&G problem. Meetings took
place in week before Sando quit By Rocky Barker and Roger Phillips The
Idaho Statesman. So maybe the sacking of Sando was not just the F & G
Building in the floodplain of the upper Yellowstone River shows big
increase. Billings Gazette. By Clair Johnson.
Purchase of Baca Ranch in Colorado paves the way for a Great Sand Dunes
National Park. Denver Post. By Mark H. Hunter.
Idaho Mountain Express suggests a puppet for the next Idaho Fish and Game
Director. See other stories on the resignation of another F & G
director about 12 stories down. Editorial Post Register:
ousted because he wouldn't bend his ethics at the demand of the cattle
Utah governor may
ask declaration of San Rafeal Swell a national monument. Salt Lake
Tribune. In what may appear to be a big switch Governor Leavit may ask
George W. Bush to declare this vast area of canyons and colorful rock a
national monument. This seems unexpected after the controversy in 1996
when President Clinton declared the Grand Staircase/Escalante National
Monument 100 miles to the south. We visited the Swell about 15 years ago
and found it very scenic, but off road vehicles were already scaring the
area. On my return 8 years ago, I found so much damage by all terrain
vehicles that I cut my vacation short and went home. The devil will be in
the details. Would it be a real national monument, or would it be the
first national ATV scenic hill climb monument?
photo of area.
environmentalists revel in the Irony. By Tom Kenworthy. USA Today.
Idaho's gold mines all shut. By Chuck Oxley. Idaho Statesman.
In a nutshell that tells what has happened to resource economy, formerly
prominent in rural Idaho. Global markets, not environmental regulations,
have put much of the logging, mining, and public land grazing below the
level of economic viability. To blame environmental regulations is to
suggest that competition requires a race to the bottom in environmental
protection (and one might add worker protection too. Wouldn't slave labor
much us more competitive?)
Interior Secretary Norton weathers stormy 1st year. Controversy swirls on
several fronts. By Mike Soraghan Denver Post Washington Bureau
Congressmen in West Yellowstone hearings stand up for snowmobiles. By
Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Congressional Committee Gets a Lesson from West Yellowstone. Greater
End of the massive cleanup of old mining area above Cooke City still years
The rough and gory road to Mexican wolf recovery. By Ben Ikenson.
ENN. This is an overview of the more difficult wolf recovery -- the
Mexican wolves. I have not covered this closely because, unlike
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, I don't know the land well.
Four options listed for snowmobilers in new Yellowstone draft.
Billings Gazette. Related.
Opinion: Natural beauty fuels Montana’s winter tourism. Billings
Gazette Editorial Montana must strike a careful balance between
quantity and quality to profit from winter visitors.
Defenders of Wildlife Pays $16,691 in grizzly bear compensation during
2001. News release. I am continually amazed how inexpensive it is to
compensate for the minor amount of livestock destruction due to grizzlies
Political flak marked Sando's tenure at F&G Director quits, but
controversies remain. By Rocky Barker and Roger Phillips The Idaho
Statesman. It is impossible to take politics out of wildlife
management, but it is possible to empower the public over small membership
interests like the cattle association. Now that Idahoans have re-grained
the power to write initiatives, I think one is needed to elect the Fish
and Game Commission members. It will still be political, but they won't be
chosen by a handful of ranchers and farmers. If the commission is good or
if it is rotten, the public will be responsible.
1-24. The story in the Pocatello paper.
Politics drives director from job Department in flux after Fish and Game
leader quits post. By Graham Garner - Idaho State Journal Writer
Editorial. 1-24. Idaho Statesman.
Our View: In this rigged rumble, sportsmen got blindsided.
Idaho Fish & Game director to resign. Rod Sando will quit after two years
with agency. By Roger Phillips and Rocky Barker The Idaho Statesman.
I predicted last October that Sando wouldn't last when he had the "gall"
to not fix a cougar-killing citation at the request of the Idaho Cattle
Association. The politics of this shows why Idaho should not be given
authority to manage wolves upon delisting.
The beginning of the end. No. 29, 2001.
F&G chief rebukes Cattle Association. Sando was asked to intervene in
lion-killing case By Rocky Barker. The Idaho Statesman. These
cattle boys really think they're above the law.
New rules: Park Service tests new snowmobile regulations at West Entrance
By Brett French Billings Gazette Outdoor Writer.
Sky told to bear-proof trash bins. By Nick Gevock Bozeman Daily
Chronicle Staff Writer. Almost all the communities in Yellowstone
grizzly bear habitat have bear-proofed their trash. Big Sky seems to have
been the big exception.
Our Western economy is changing, and it's for the better. by Thomas
Michael Power. Writers on the Range. I have read Professor Power's new
book "Post-cowboy economics." It comes up with insightful, non-intuitive
conclusions that Western reactionaries will hate. I agree with much of
what he writes, but I think the real story is the entire country suffered
a decline in wages from the days of Reaganomics until 1998, when real
wages finally regained the level of the 1970s. A slightly different
hypothesis is that the fall in wages was taken harder in West, due to the
highly mythologized culture; and a provoked stronger, but totally
ineffective, political response.
Conservation Groups Oppose Use of M-44 cyanide gun scheme to protect sage
grouse from predators. News Release.
Senator Craig's astonishing statement. He represents all of Idaho except
Blaine County. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express. We all
know that many of our elected "representatives" don't represent us. They
represent some other part of whatever state, or maybe Enron or other big
interest; but they at least pretend. Would it be the rest of Idaho was
more like Blaine County -- generally well educated, affluent, not on
government welfare, and concerned about the environment instead of
jobless, poor, unable to afford education, and in a recession.
1-23-2002. Mountain Express editorial on Craig's disavowal.
"Looking for a senator."
Science, politics uneasy partners in northwest environmental issues.
By Michael Milstein. Oregonian. Whenever you read the words "sound
science" or "junk science" it's a tip-off the speaker is politically
inspired. These words don't come from scientists. There is proper
scientific method or there is not.
Polluters get off easy in Idaho, report says DEQ struggles to enforce air
quality laws. By Rocky Barker The Idaho Statesman
Protect Colorado's elk and deer from chronic wasting disease. Opinion
of the Denver Post.
puts kibosh on logging plan by Mark Matthews and Ray Ring. High
Country News. More on the Bitterroot timber "salvage" controversy.
Drought holds on in Montana. Billings Gazette.
Yellowstone elk herd down 11%. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle Staff Writer I think the 3 years of drought is the cause.
Montana prepares its draft wolf management plan. Missoulian.
The plan will be available for public comments in November 2002.
Here is the plan <http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/wildlife/wolf/wolfmanagement.asp>
Henckel Column: FWP releases planning tool for wolf management. Mark
Henckel Montana Outdoors. Billings Gazette.
Primitive Idaho microbes could be the model for life on Mars or Europa.
San Francisco Chronicle. By David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor
Group growls over lynx flap. By Mike Soraghan Denver Post Washington
Bureau. PEER, the same group that defended "Action Jackson" (see my
grizzly report) is saying threats on lynx researchers by
anti-environmental Western congressionals violates the Hatch Act.
New fungus threatens Pacific Northwest trees, including the mighty
redwoods? Oregonian. By Michael Milstein.
Norton Getting Worse? Interior's Silence on Corps Plan Questioned Norton
Never Submitted Fish and Wildlife Critique of Controversial Proposal to
Relax Wetlands Rules. Washington Post.
Colorado Division of Wildlife to slash Front Range deer numbers to try and
stem "mad deer" disease. Denver Post. By Theo Stein. This is a
warning to other states as to what can happen to wildlife if they let
chronic wasting disease ("mad elk," "mad deer" get started).
National Elk Refuge at Jackson Hole begins supplemental elk feeding for
Anti-wolf, anti-griz, pro-snowmobile, Cody man nominated for key Interior
post. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Scott McMillion. Paul
Hoffman is nominated for a position where he can do great damage to our
out federal grazing permits and end the damage by Andy Kerr and Mark
Salvo. Writers on the Range. Related:
National Public Lands
Grazing Campaign web site.
Overrules Decision Allowing Logging of Burned Bitterroot N. F. Trees.
New York Times. By Katherane Q. Seeley.
1-9-2002. Drought may have ended in Idaho, but it
continues with a vengeance in Montana and Wyoming. Several stories.
Temperatures climbs to record levels in Montana and Wyoming .
Billings Gazette. By James Hagengruber.
year could be even worse in Montana, forecasters say . AP.
Snowpack may signal drought is at an end. Idaho gets 'off to good start,'
but reserves are low. By Ken Day. Idaho Statesman.
Wyoming still in Drought. Billings Gazette.
Continuing Court-ordered Computer Shutdown rattles Dept. of Interior.
Turner wants to recovery the rare swift fox on his SD ranch
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Related:
Turner Endangered Species
Fund: Swift Fox.
[Can] Market forces foster sustainable forestry? Government rules become
less relevant. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.