Archives of Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country
Please be aware that not all articles and links will be working because some of the sources do not keep archives, buy it is surprising how long some of these links persist.
Articles from May - July 2003
7-31-2003. Environmentalists appeal plan to log in famed Rock Creek drainage. By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian. Rock Creek is Montana's most famous fly fishing stream. Probably the worst part of logging in this part of Montana is that the cut immediately fills up with knapweed, one of the most noxious invasive weeds in the West, so they pretty much have to spray herbicides, usually Tordon. Tordon is persistent and moderately harmful to fish. It is a mixture of picloram and 2,4-D.
7-31-2003. Numerous wildfires in or near Glacier NP. It should be noted that these fires (so far) are almost trivial compared to the Montana wildfires of 2000.
8-4. Crews try to keep Glacier fire from crossing into Canada. Billings Gazette. By Becky Bohrer.
8-4. Showers dampen Montana wildfires. Missoulian. The same is true in Idaho. By Sherry Devlin.
8-3. 1,000 people ordered out of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. Thousands flee B.C. fires. Raging fire forces evacuation from Hillcrest, Alta. Cnews Canada. This is about 80 miles north of Glacier NP.
8-2. Fire haze at Glacier turning away visitors. Missoulian. By Michael Jamison.
8-2. Weather could ruin progress against West Glacier fire. Associated Press.
8-1. Firefighters hold ground against Robert Fire in Glacier. By Cheryl Sabol. The Daily Inter Lake.
7-31. Fire near Crowsnest Pass continues to grow. CBC
7-30. Fire fight in Glacier. By Michael Jamison. The Missoulian.
7-30. Trying to save Glacier. Billings Gazette. An overwrought headline, but numerous structures could be burned.
'Burnout' Is Started to Fight Montana Fire. By Jim Robbins. New York Times. Backfires are in fact a very common way of fighting
large fires. Sometimes they consume large acreages. Last summer President Bush gave his speech on his "healthy forests" plan in Oregon with his podium located on a backfire burn. He pretended the blackened forest was burnt by the wildlife.
7-30-2003. Satellite image of Glacier NP fires (and a one north in Alberta threatening several towns).
7-29-2003. Yellowstone Park funding problems detailed. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
7-28-2003. After 100 years, wolf confirmed in Illinois. By Jeff Lampe. Copley News Service.
7-28-2003. Forest fire roundup (link to numerous stories and other links).
7-29-2003. Restrictions to prevent forest fires spread throughout Idaho. Idaho Statesman. Campfires on national forest lands in SW Montana have also been banned. Violation can result in a fine of up to $5000. Use of vehicles off road or off trail (ATVs, etc.) is also prohibited.
Plum Creek Timber, a very large logging company, has halted its logging in Montana and Idaho until fire danger lessens.
I have been away in central Idaho looking for wolves. So no news 7-23 - 27. Didn't see wolves, but elk and deer are everywhere and two big fires were burning in areas of wolf packs -- the Hot Creek Fire and the Crystal Creek Fire.
Plume of the Hot Creek Fire over the Sawtooth Mtns. July 22, 2003
Copyright © Ralph Maughan.
Story: Hot Creek Fire mushrooms to 14,000 acres Fire official: ‘We can’t fight it until the weather changes.' Idaho Statesman.
Story 8-1-03. Backfires set to protect Atlanta, Idaho from 21,000 acre Hot Creek Fire. Idaho Statesman. By Roger Phillips.
Story 8-2-03. Idaho Fire Roundup. Hot Creek fire is now 25,000 acres.
7-23-2003. Idaho Power Co. files to relicense its big hydro dams in upper Hells Canyon for another 30 years. By Ken Dey. Idaho Statesman. These three dams have provided Idahoans with cheap clean electricity, but at a high cost to spawning salmon and steelhead. Close to a thousand miles of river lost all their salmon and steelhead as a result of these dams.
7-22-2003. 'The Real World, Yellowstone': Wolves on View All the Time. By Jim Robbins. "For decades wolf biologists have had to make do with furtive and fleeting glimpses of the wild behavior of the animal they study, usually in remote and harsh corners of the world. But now they can watch packs of wolves here go about the full range of their lives . . . ."
7-21-2003. [Mexican] Wolves unscathed by half-dozen fires in E. Arizona. Arthur H. Rotstein. Associated Press.
7-21-2003. On the Front lines of controversy. By Jennifer McKee of the Missoulian State Bureau. The feds under Clinton moved to protect Montana's famous Rocky Mountain Front, but the opposite under Bush. If worst comes to worst the Front could end up almost totally trashed like the Front in Alberta where every canyon outside the national parks is full of natural gas wells and warnings to the visitor of poisonous hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) gas.
7-18-2003. Wolves in Idaho: Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up. By Report by J.J. Johnson. Sierra Times. The Sierra Times is one of the most offensive anti-conservation newspapers in the country. I thought folks might want a sample of their mentality.
7-17-2003. Heating Up: New fires in Yellowstone, burning restrictions across region. By Scott McMillion Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Folks can see the Amethyst fire from the Mt. Washburn web cam. The fire is near the Druids' rendezvous site.
7-16-2003. Western Watersheds Project opens Wyoming office in Pinedale. Public land overgrazers and welfare ranchers have a new cause for worry. WWP is coming to the "Cowboy State" Note: actually it isn't a cowboy state, it is more of a coal, oil and gas state, although the largest single employer is WalMart ;-)
7-16-2003. A Done Deal: After 14 years and three near misses, Forest Service buys 3,400 acres in Taylor Fork of the Gallatin. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. Wonderful country immediately NW of Yellowstone Park.
Taylor Fork of the Gallatin. June 2003. Copyright © Ralph Maughan
7-15-2003. Archaeologists on the Block? Park Service May Ax Its Experts in 'Outsourcing' Initiative. Washington Post. Bush wants to contract out our national archeological treasures. Will Enron be allowed to bid? Will they be protected as well as the Baghdad museum? Or is protection not even the point?
7-18-2003. Firefighters Make Progress in Containing East Table Fire. News Release. Bridger-Teton National Forest.
7-15-2003. East Table Fire Grows to 2500 Acres, River Remains Closed. Highway opens. News Release. Bridger-Teton National Forest.
7-14-2003. Major route to Jackson Hole closed by the East Table fire in the Snake River Canyon. Billings Gazette. Travelers of this route know it has always been prone to landslides and falling rocks. If a substantial fire burns, the aftermath on travel, including local workers who live in Star Valley and drive to Jackson, will be substantial due to the erosion.
7-14-2003. Fire closes canyon, burns 750 acres. Jackson Home Zone. The fire was probably human caused because their have have been no thunderstorms (or rain) for about three weeks.
7-15-2003. Gallatin River is almost dry. Bozeman Chronicle. By Nick Gevock. The drought abated last this winter in much of Montana, but the ground is dry from 4 years of drought and soaks up the water. Note that here in southern Idaho, the drought has worsened. Everything is ready to burn. It will just take the beginning of the lightning season of August.
7-15-2003. The lynx still lives in Yellowstone Park. AP. Biologists had feared changing habitat (1988 fires) had wiped this rare medium sized cat out.
7-14-2003.Tourist numbers down in Yellowstone and Bozeman, MT area. Bozeman Chronicle. By Kayley Mendenhall. Despite excellent weather conditions, the summer tourist season in the Bozeman area has not started out with the bang many predicted.
7-14-2003. Subdivisions replacing farmland in Flathead Valley, Montana. By Michael Jamison of the Missoulian. More than this, the entire U.S. 93 corridor from the Idaho border north to Glacier National Park, hundreds of miles, is becoming one big piece of rural sprawl.
7-13-2003. Park to begin to implement snowmobile reservation plan this winter. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle.
7-12-2003. Wolves hang on in Glacier National Park with 2 packs, one of which has pups, the other maybe. Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.
7-12-2003. Campfire outside Park starts fire than burns 600 acres in Yellowstone Park. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Currently the "Bakers Hole" fire is 90% contained.
7-11-2003. Severe April storm reduced eagle chick survival in NW Wyoming. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Holes News and Guide.
7-10-2003. Wolf boss: Wyoming endangers federal plan. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Ed Bangs basically says Wyoming's insistence on having a wolf "predator" classification in their wolf plan (for almost all of the state) is a big headache, probably a headache that will kill the plan or kill the wolves. Text of Bang's letter to Wyoming Game and Fish Director.
7-9-2003. 'Action' Jackson back on the job. By Brodie Farquhar Casper Star-Tribune staff writer.
7-7-2003. Unruly Steamboat Geyser at Norris. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press
7-6-2003. Idaho Governor Kempthorne dumps Moulton, and appoints former state rep. to Idaho Fish and Game Commission. By Rocky Barker. Moulton was a continuing source of controversy as many previous links on this page indicate.
7-6-2003. Opinion: Wolves and lynx belong back in their ancestral home of Utah. By Trey Simmons in the Salt Lake Tribune.
7-6-2003. Researchers hope to control wolves by shocking them. By Rick LaFrombois. Wausau Daily Herald. Folks will remember that a differing version of shock induced aversion was tried in Montana several years ago. This new strategy, however, is quite different.
6-27-2003. Idaho outfitters feel economic downturn. Spokane Spokesman Review. By Rich Landers Outdoors editor. "Overall, Idaho's elk herds are in great shape because of mild winters in the last three years, and past forest fires have created more elk feed in areas of Central Idaho." Interesting . . . quite a different story from the one outftters tell of how the wolves have devastated hunting in central Idaho.
6-26-2003. Conservation groups file appeal of the revised Caribou National Forest Plan (SE Idaho). Greater Yellowstone Coalition news release.
6-26-2003. Conservationists challenge Caribou plan. Idaho State Journal. By Chris Hunt - Assistant Managing Editor.
6-26-2003. Unwise Use: Gale Norton's New Environmentalism. By David Helvarg. The Progressive.
6-25-2003. Urban coyotes in Arizona are bold. Arizona Republic. By Kate Nolan.
6-25-2003. Federal scientists say politics distorts their work. High Country News. By Laura Paskus
6-25-2003. Interior official argues for gas drilling on public lands. By Christopher Smith. The Salt Lake Tribune.
6-25-2003. Idaho governor defends his environmental record. Idaho Statesman. Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho seems to be the front-runner to replace Christine Todd Whitman as director of the Environmental Protection Agency. It is misleading to add the toxic releases from the northern Idaho superfund site to Idaho "toxics releases" inventory. The area is being cleaned up after 80 years of abusive mining and (especially) smelting that ended about 15 years ago. Kempthorne should be judged on other matters.
6-25-2003. Flathead National Forest opens more land to snowmobiling, extends season. Missoulian by Michael Jamison. This is a violation of a deal made by snowmobile interests and those who want to protect grizzly habitat. Ironically the driving force seems to have been the right wing extremists that hang out in NW Montana.
6-24-2003. Utah canyon sub-divisions could be firetraps. Salt Lake Tribune. The Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City and Ogden and heavily covered with small and flammable gamble oak and mountain maple.
6-23-2003. Camenzind knows predators from first-hand experience. By Todd Wilkinson. Bozeman Chronicle. This is an article on the executive director of the Jackson Hole Alliance and one of the founders of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
6-22-2003. 300 sheep die from selenium poisoning near SE Idaho mine. U of I professor says researchers didn’t anticipate deaths. Idaho Statesman. These phosphate mines have been the indirect source of many sheep poisonings over the years. This is the largest, and folks should compare the 300 dead sheep in this single location to the 185 sheep killed by wolves in the Central Idaho wolf recovery area since their 1995 reintroduction.
6-22-2003. US 'censored' green report. BBC.
6-22-2003. Increase in hantavirus cases and invasion of spotted knapweed may be related. Missoulian. By Ginny Merriam. Hantavirus is one of the new "emerging diseases." Like all these new diseases it has an animal host or hosts. The cute deer mouse is the rodent most likely to be the host, and the deer mouse thrives on the gall fly, which, ironically, was introduced to control the massive invasion of spotted knapweed in the northern Rockies and SW Canada.
6-20-2003. EPA expects Yellowstone, Grand Teton snowmobile pollution may be greater than predicted. By Mike Stark. Montana Forum
6-20-2003. Trust for Public Land acquires key Wyoming ranch. Billings Gazette. By Beck Bohrer.
6-12-2003. Coal interests in B.C. are holding up Glacier-Waterton NP expansion favored on both sides of the border. Missoula Independent. By David Madison
6-12-2003. Horse tests positive for West Nile in Fremont County, Wyoming. Billings Gazette.
6-12-2003. Despite sighting, wolves are not likely to call Illinois home. By Jeff Lampe. PJ Star.
6-11-2003. Many Utah deer in peril. Sagebrush demise in part of state may bring on starvation. By Ray Grass Deseret Morning News.
6-11-2003. BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO LAUNCH ATTACK ON ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: Claiming poverty, proposal would gut critical habitat protections. Defenders of Wildlife alert.
6-10-2003. Don't Tug on That Buffalo's Tail, and Other Wilderness Wisdom. By James Gorman. New York Times. This is a lightheated look at two new books on avoiding injury or death by animals, something I think beginning wilderness visitors are overly concerned about. Nevertheless, Yellowstone Park visitors are more likely to run afoul or be killed by bison than by grizzly bears.
6-8-2003. DOI official urges Wyoming more space for "trophy wolves." By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. DOI's assistant secretary Paul Hoffman is one of the good old boys from Cody back in Wyoming taking to his cronies. Even Hoffman, truly a retrograde Wyoming thinker, understands the Wyoming wolf plan can not be approved until wolves are protected outside the 2 national parks and 2 adjacent designated wilderness areas.
6-8-2003. Wolf pack expansion begins to slow. AP. This I have been predicting for some time now. It would be nice for the feds to hang onto wolf management until the incipient decline actually begins. Then people could see that naturally controlled wolves are like other animals -- their population grows, peaks, declines, and cycles. Their population does not just grew forever.
6-7-2003. Get ready for wolves, wildlife officials told. Denver Post. Indeed a wolf like canid has been spotted near Baggs, Wyoming. This is on the Colorado side of Interstate 80 and very near the NW Colorado border.
6-6-2003. Colorado officials prepare for in-migration of wolves. Rocky Mountain News. By Gary Gerhardt.
6-6-2003. Missing moose mystery. As Jackson Hole population shrinks, a researcher braves bears and the elements to find out why. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. Starvation, aging female moose population most likely cause of decline.
6-6-2003. Pocatello man will not be prosecuted for killing wolf on Idaho/Utah border. Idaho State Journal. By Chris Hunt. It turns out the wolf was the offspring of reintroductions.
6-3-2003. Atop the volcano: Park sits atop dangerous geothermal engine. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Not really new news, but fun to read about.
5-27-2003. "Wolves return to Sawtooth Valley. SNRA, Clayton [Buffalo Ridge] packs bring new hope, tensions." Idaho Mountain Express. "We are very excited to have wolves back in the SNRA. But we need to make sure they’re here to stay." — Lynne Stone, executive director, Boulder-White Clouds Council. Defenders of Wildlife and us (Wolf Recovery Foundation) are purchasing hay to feed to cows so they won't have to be put out at the mouth of Squaw Creek in June. The steelhead smolt problem is solved. The large steelhead smolts have been released into the Salmon River, and now the pond just has tiny ones. We saw plenty of deer and elk for the Buffalo Ridge pack to eat a week ago. In just a month they should head for the generally cow free high country. See more about these south central Idaho wolves on my wolf page.
5-27-2003. Defenders complete carnivore protection projects in Wyoming. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star-Tribune.
5-27-2003. American forests now better conserved, while Canada pillages it's boreal forests. By Tom Knudsen. Sacramento Bee.
5-21-2003. Destroying national parks. Former national park managers rightly oppose Bush's ill treatment of the parks system. Editorial from the Arizona Daily Star.
5-21-2003. Former Montana congressman declares victory for conservation. Gregory Hahn. The Idaho Statesman. This was actually published May 8, but it is an important statement. While I wish it were true, I cannot be so optimistic. It is true that there are hardly any loggers, miners, or independent ranchers left in West for the Republican anti-environment congressional crew to protect, but it really hasn't been about that for a long time. Protecting the livelihoods of miners and loggers was never a Western Republican cause -- it was protecting the profits of their employers that counted. Today the livelihoods of these people are a rhetorical device used to prop up Old West mythology so people will not think rationally about the economy they really live in -- an economy that is in horrible shape and should be blamed on these Western Republicans. The irony is that the fewer miners, loggers and true ranchers there are, they more important they become as a symbol, especially because there is little reality with which to compare this politically useful symbol.
5-21-2003. Wolves kill some sheep in western Idaho near Riggins. Idaho Statesman. This would seem to be a new pack. The sheep owner was quoted, "In the wilderness you might expect it, . . “but right here by the main highway you really don't expect them to come down in here.” In fact wolves are not much disturbed by roads. Witness the long-established Chief Joseph Pack in YNP which is very often hunting and eating road kill from busy US 191. It's just that wolves get killed more often and tend to get into more trouble near highways.
5-19-2003. Elk feedgrounds in Wyoming are breeding grounds for brucellosis. Meredith Taylor "Perspective." Casper Star-Tribune.
5-19-2003. Bush Shows No Fear in Grizzly Territory. White House Takes On Popular Icon With Mining Plan. By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer.
Previously. 5-16-2003. Rock Creek Mine approval expected. USFWS changes its tune on mine's effects on grizzlies. By Shery Devlin. Missoulian. Environmentalists and downstreamers in Idaho have fought this obnoxious proposal for 20 years. The mine would drill under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness of NW Montana.
5-19-2003. In Yellowstone, It's a Carnivore Competition. By Guy Gugliotta. Washington Post Staff Writer. Actually it's carnivore competition in most places in the northern Rockies where there are wolves, and that's one reason wolves usually do not decrease the number of their prey very much -- wolves compete with other wolves and other predators, keeping the number of all in rough check.
5-18-2003. Colorado soon to have wolves at the door: Is state ready? By Theo Stein, Denver Post Environment Writer. Would wolves help Colorado deal with its chronic wasting ("mad elk") disease problem?
5-18-2003. Wyo. rancher struggles to co-exist with wolves, but pays heavy price. By Theo Stein, Denver Post Environment Writer. This article is about the ranch where the Washakie wolf pack lives. Although the article is about the ranch manager Jon Robinette, the owner, Steve Gordon took his case against the wolves all the way to the 10th Circuit but lost. On one hand there is room for sympathy. On the other, one has to question the wisdom of trying to raise livestock in a high mountain valley that has every major predator in North American except polar bears and jaguar.
5-16-2003. Blaine County may ban Jet Skis on Petit and Alturus Lakes in the Sawtooth Valley. Idaho Statesman.
5-16-2003. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes want to take over management of the National Bison Refuge. By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian.
5-16-2003. Court releases names of illegal backcountry snowmobilers in Yellowstone. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.
5-16-2003. Forest Service wants more rangers in Montana to patrol motorized users
5-15-2003. Montana gears up for summer of West Nile and newly discovered tick-borne disease. By Jennifer McKee. Billings Gazette.
5-14-2003. Forest Service sniffs at spam. Editorial. Idaho Mountain Express. The Forest Service doesn't want to read your email anymore. I guess it makes it too easy for citizens to express their views. If the volume is too great for personal inspection, no doubt the Service could purchase software to analyze the email, and sort out the unique comments and tabulate the rest. This is another effort to exclude all the public except the oil companies and the new right wing political elite with their pipeline to the politicians.
5-14-2003. Saving wolves by saving cattle. Idaho Wolf guardians enter third year. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express. A good article with one important error -- Stahl wrote "However, as Idaho’s wolf population climbs upward each year, conflicts with livestock and ranchers are also on the rise." In fact the conflicts with livestock in Idaho have not risen, perhaps in part due to programs like the Guardians. Moreover, the wolf population in Idaho only grew by 8% last year and I think it may have stopped growing altogether.
5-13-2003. Utah Wildlife Jobs Hit by Drought. By Brett Prettyman. The Salt Lake Tribune.
5-12-2003. ORVs Make Mincemeat of East Davis Hills [Wasatch Mountains in Davis County, Utah]. By Skip Knowles. Salt Lake Tribune. Public officials need to really crack down on these people who have no respect for public, private property, or our natural environment. Barriers don't work. Perhaps junior should spend a week in jail, or perhaps these riders should get a bill for damages.
5-12-2003. Costs of Wyoming ranchettes exceed new revenues. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer. Ironic, isn't it, especially when the same commissioners complain about the newcomers, the burden they cause, and yet they approve subdivision after subdivision?
5-12-2003. Idaho's US Senator Craig working hard to give utilities more power over dams, less concern for fish, citizens, and Native Americans. Idaho Statesman. The article says Craig, utilities close to victory with pro utility provision carefully tucked away in the Energy bill.
5-11-2003. European method might effectively keep livestock safe. Idaho Statesman. Use in real situations over the last few years in Idaho and Montana clearly show that fladry deters wolves from crossing into livestock pastures. However, it only works for a couple of weeks to maybe a couple months, and it is very time consuming to erect.
5-8-2003. National Public Radio on Yellowstone Park's refusal to rehire Thorofare ranger Bob Jackson. Yellowstone Whistleblower Fights Park Service (real audio).
5-8-2003. More the Eastern Cougar Network. Cougar Reports on the Rise in Eastern U.S. By Cameron Walker for National Geographic News
5-3-2003. Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission calls for nominations to Wolf Advisory Committee. This news release has link to a nomination form.
5-1-2003. Minnesota wolf compensation to end due to state budgetary problems. Ironwood Daily Globe. By Ralph Ansami. Globe News Editor.
5-1-2003. How wildlife bills fared in the Montana legislature. BY Walt Williams. Bozeman Chronicle.
5-1-2003. Call of the wild echoes in West as wolf recovery succeeds. The predator is no longer listed as endangered, but its future in Yellowstone remains in dispute. By Todd Wilkinson | Special to The Christian Science Monitor. It should be noted that the swath of public land that would available to wolves in Colorado is larger than in the Greater Yellowstone and the prey base even larger.
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