The stories below are arranged in rough chronological order. Be sure to scroll down so you don't miss updated stories. Unless it is in quotes, the commentary is mine. . . Ralph Maughan
Please be aware that not all articles and links will be working because some of the sources do not keep archives, or if they do keep them, they charge for them.
Articles from January through March 2006 -
3-31-2006. America's national parks: no longer ad-free zones? Controversy erupts over a plan to let corporate donors display their names and logos at attractions like Yosemite. Christian Science Monitor. By Mark Clayton.
3-31-2006. Idaho Power prevails over groundwater irrigators. By Michelle Dunlop. Times-News. In a big turnaround, possibly heralding the transfer of political power from rural to urban Idaho, Idaho Power Co. has defeated the ground water irrigators over a plan to recharge the vast Snake River Plain aquifer. Good news for Idaho Power rate-payers. Hard to say on environmental impact. It does perhaps put off the day Idaho Power will want a polluting coal plant.
3-31-2006. Creature Feeds Conspiracies, Controversy. Part II. By Hal Herring. So, as it turns out, the great controversy over this "wolf" or whatever it is, is as usual really about something else.
3-30-2006. A Montana Wolf Mystery & the Fury it Breeds, Part I . By Hal Herring. New West. The first story on this was March 13. I still think it is a hybrid because of the small tracks and its inefficient, but widespread killing. At any rate, due to the paucity of true wolves in the area, anything that looks like a wolf near the kill sites should be shot. If it is really a wolf, fine. If not, fine.
3-31-2006. Gov. Freudenthal wants halt of planned oil and gas leasing of Forest Service land in the Wyoming Range. By Ben Neary. AP Writer. Folks in Wyoming of all stripes have been appalled that the Forest Service was going to offer 44,000 acres of the Wyoming Range for oil and gas leasing. Its too important for other uses. Its too beautiful. Its slopes are far too landslide prone.
3-30-2006. Mount Hood meltdown. By Michale Milstein. Oregonian.
3-30-2006. Wyoming spends $6 million to turn predators into prey. Jackson Hole Planet. By Jean Klobnak-Ball. Most people are running this story for the obvious threat it poses for wolves, cougars and grizzly bears, but a major effect of heavy predator control has been and will be further evolution and adaptation of a coyote that can avoid destruction by humans. The 150 year war against the coyote in the West has had a primary effect of making these medium-sized generalist predators even more prolific and helped them expand from the western U.S. to all of the United States, Canada and Mexico. If you kill about 70% of the coyotes a year, their population will decline, but each generation gets smarter with such heavy control. Jokingly, they may become smarter than your typical member of the Wyoming legislature because they don't engage in mythological thought. In terms of genetics, less than 100% removal of generalists like coyotes, is like treating bacteria with light doses of antibiotics -- rapid evolution to resistant strains. The coyote may be the most successful mammal of its size in history, largely because of past efforts like those in Wyoming.
3-30-3006. Jonah wells may add haze, ozone impacts. Conservationists say BLM decision has no regulatory teeth to protect air quality. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. The Jonah field is a whale and will severely degrade air quality in all of western Wyoming, including Yellowstone Park. Degradation of class I airsheds are illegal under the Clean Air Act, but there is no enforcement mechanism.
3-30-2006. Good riddance. Sempra won't build coal-fired electrical generation station in Idaho. I'm proud of the state legislature. Idaho will remain coal fired plant free.
3-30-2006. Meanwhile a neighboring county (Power County) is trying foist a huge coal gasification scheme on Pocatello, Idaho (Bannock County). Story. The untested technology would build a huge, 800 megawatt coal gasification plant, just yards inside Power County, Idaho. Power County would collect all the property tax. The pollution would blow east and south to Pocatello and the rest of Bannock County. In theory gasification plants are a "clean coal" technology, but the builder proposing the plant has never built one, so we can expect screw-ups because things never go right on complicated first time projects.
3-29-2006. Lice Infestations Plague Alaska Wolf Packs. AP/Forbes. Lice infestations are not the same as mange which has harmed Montana and Wyoming wolves, but stayed out of Idaho. Now, however, the first dog lice have showed up in wolves near McCall, Idaho. As the story indicates, lice can have a major effect on wolves, not so much killing them as making them unsightly and for trappers, useless for fur.
3-28-2006. Yellowstone winter visits rise despite the on-going debate over snowmobiles. By Becky Bohrer. AP. The rise was fueled by snowcoach users and snowmobiles weren't even close to the controversial limit on their numbers.
3-28-2006. Twenty-five year battle against the Rock Creek proposed mine continues with judge prohibiting the mine until they get a water quality permit to discharge more arsenic. Missoulian. By Susan Gallagher.
3-28-2006. Billings Gazette opinion: Congress must stop federal land sale scheme. What happens when ongoing expenses are funded with one-time revenue? Yet another editorial against the land sale which seemingly almost every politician in the West has come out against. Nevertheless, the Republican opponents of the Bush, Forest Service land sale proposal didn't get it taken out of the Senate budget resolution that passed the other day 51-49. So we have yet to see if their newly found enthusiasm for keeping our public lands amounts to any legislative success.
3-28-2006. Idaho State Senate will vote on aquifer, coal plant bills. Committee deals blows to Idaho Power, Sempra with votes on two measures. Idaho Statesman. By Gregory Hahn. The Idaho Legislature is likely to put a 2 year moratorium on coal-fired electrical generating stations, meant to delay or ban the Sempra plant proposal near Jerome. Idaho currently has none of coal fired polluters. The Sempra power is not meant to generate power for Idaho. It is for export. When Idaho needs more electricity, I would bet the Idaho Power Co. will propose a coal plant, and probably in Eastern Idaho.
3-27-2006. Be worried, be very worried The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame. Cover Story Time Magazine. The last couple months have produced a total rout for the remaining handful of global warming skeptics, with many scientists saying it is already too late to avoid massive change and harm to all the planet. The change is not in the future, it is now, and will only get worse.
3-27-2006. Endangered Species Act critic finds himself in crosshairs. By Erica Werner. AP. Congressman Richard Pombo, number one enemy of our public lands, and of rare wildlife, could well be defeated in this fall.
3-27-2006. Living with the Endangered Species Act [in Wyoming]. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. Various folks in Wyoming tell about their experiences with the ESA, which Congress may weaken.
3-27-2006. Interior Department Recruits Hunters, Anglers, Yea-Sayers. By Hal Herring, New West.
3-26-2006. Who pays for wolves once they are delisted? States don't want to: The government says wolves are a recovered species and wants to turn over the expense of tracking them to states where they live. By Becky Bohrer The Associated Press. " Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Helena, said the amount of money spent in the Northern Rockies is ridiculous. ''It isn't that wolves need this kind of management. It's people want this kind of management,'' Bangs said. ''Everybody wants to know everything. Everybody wants a radio collar on them. Everyone wants to know what they're doing every minute of the day. Expectations drive costs through the roof.''
3-26-2006. Cody ranch eyed for elite resort similar to the Yellowstone Club. Billings Gazette. Is this going to be the future of West-- private cities for very rich?
3-24-2006. When it Comes to Our Public Lands, Call Me a Sagebrush Patriot By Ken Wright. New West. I have always felt that conserving America's public land was patriotism of a high order. When the sagebrush rebels emerged in the West in the late 1970s, I flat out thought they had an Un-American attitude.
3-23-2006. Idaho's senior senator, Larry Craig, says he will block Bush's proposed sale of national forest lands. Twin Falls (ID) Times News. And last week in a most unprecedented move, Idaho's state legislature has voted its objections to Bush's auctioning off some national forest lands. Two years ago, I would never have believed I would see Craig or the Idaho legislature stand up for keeping our public lands.
3-23-2006. Wild Bill. Kempthorne, What Happens Now? By Bill Schneider. New West. Schneider has great fears about Kempthorne as Secretary of Interior.
3-23-2006. Urban Jungle. By Jessie McQuillan. Missoula Independent. A large array of wildlife, including large animals, spend most of their life inside Missoula, Montana.
3-22-2006. Interior's new boss—same as the old boss. Editorial. Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Another newspaper holds little hope that Kempthorne will move Dept. of Interior away from its recent land plundering ways. Cheney's the real boss anyway.
3-22-2006. House passes coal-plant moratorium Measure moves to the Senate. By Michelle Dunlop Times-News writer. Chances are increasing that Idaho will remain the only state without a polluting coal-fired electrical generation plant.
3-21-2006. Wolves chase Gros Ventre elk from Wyoming Game and Fish Feedlots. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star Tribune. Wolves have chased the feedlot elk up the Gros Ventre Rivers a lot less than usual this year, but it looks like they are finally doing it. By reducing these artificial concentrations of elk, they are doing the elk, the ranchers, the hunters, and all who want to see healthy elk a great service. Hopefully the wolves persist in their work as natural herding "dogs" until the elk have dispersed to spring range.
3-21-2006. Wyoming ranchers point to threat of ravens." Billings Gazette/AP. Fortunately it was President Nixon who banned most poisons ranchers liked to use. The pre-1970s rancher view is plainly evident here. Some ranchers would kill everything. Kill the coyotes, bears, and wolves because they eat livestock. Kill the elk because they eat grass livestock might eat, kill all the scavengers like ravens, crows, and magpies they might harm a dying lamb, poison the rodents that have become abundant because the coyotes were killed. By banning poisons, Nixon probably did more for Western wildlife than almost any other President.
3-21-2006. Western Watersheds Project Reaches Settlement With Barrick Goldstrike and Ellison Ranching And The Elko BLM, Radically Reducing Livestock Grazing On Almost 500,000 Acres Of Public Land In Elko County, Nevada. News Release. Another big win for WWP! Earlier news releases on the progress of this case are scattered in the headlines below. Barrick is the world's largest mining company.
More on 3-23-2006. Mining company, Nevada ranch reduce grazing in deal with enviros. By Scott Sonner. Las Vegas Sun/AP. It really is a big victory.
3-21-2006. Deal removes the last domestic sheep from the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette/Casper Star Tribune. This closes a huge sheep allotment (70,000 acres) in a place long full of grizzlies, cougar and wolves. It's is just north of Yellowstone Park. Everyone seems happy and the rancher is taking the money and moving his operation to Canada.
3-20-2006. Idaho investigates wolf encounter. AP. There was a much longer story in the Pocatello paper. I talked with the reporter. I am convinced this story is all about the dog, not the owner of the dog and the wolves.
3-20-2006. Appeals Court Shoots Down Bush Attempt to Circumvent Clean Air Act. By J.R. Pegg. ENS/ENN. A big victory for the Clean Air Act against Bush attempts to weaken it for his industrial supporters.
More . . . Court rejects easing of rule on emissions California, S.F. among those appealing White House plan for coal-fired plants. Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post/San Francisco Chronicle.
3-20-2006. Rewriting the Science. CBS. I missed this "60 Minutes" program, but it made an impression on students. They were spontaneously talking about it today. Yes, it is time to get very serious about this. We have had 4 years wasted by the President's half-baked focus on terrorists. Terrorists are a danger, but this ultimate climate change is many times worse.
3-20-2006. Climate Change, Whistleblowers, and Politicizing Science. OMB Watch. This article announces the new web site Climate Science Watch— a nonprofit public interest education and advocacy project dedicated to holding public officials accountable for the integrity and effectiveness with which they use climate science and related research in government policymaking, toward the goal of enabling society to respond effectively to the challenges posed by global warming and climate change.
3-20-2006. Risky business. Critics say elk preserves will bring CWD to the Gem State. By Matthew Evans. Post Register. While I like to hold up Wyoming as the worst possible example of wildlife management, my home state of Idaho has its dark underbelly in form of a growing number of "elk ranches," where unnaturally large numbers of elk are confined as livestock for "hunting" by generally lazy, fat, incompetent, often corporate gunners. The ranches seem to be disproportionately owned by people who are connected to local state legislators. The article indicates, they seem to avoid paying the fines that frequently are assessed. True sportsmen and also wildlife enthusiasts need to get interested in this issue before dread chronic wasting disease shows up in Idaho as it has in many of these degrading compounds in other states. Montana voters took the lead several years ago when in an initiative they cracked down on these "ranches."
3-19-2006. Kempthorne, Idaho's retiring governor, nominated to be Secretary of Interior, to replace Gale Norton. By Shea Andersen. New West. I spent the last 5 days recreating on our public lands in southern Utah. They are tattered and torn, most by ATV abuse, but at least they are still public. While there I learned that my governor, Dirk Kempthorne has been nominated to replace Gale Norton. Politicians said all the standard stuff they always say about new nominees as Secretary of Interior. "He's a Westerner, close to the land," etc.—stuff recycled from news releases in times past. Having watched Kempthorne for many years, he has moderate instincts, but almost always comes down on the side of industry. He is conservative, but not a true believer. He really has no experience in the outdoors despite coming from a great public lands state. He is a pleasant person, a nice guy, but he is a team player, and it's a team with a awful coach, with assistant coaches who are worse.
On the departure of Gale Norton
3-14-2006. Farewell, Gale Norton. Editorial Washington Post
3-14-2006. Interior logic: Norton's departure a chance for a change. Editorial. Salt Lake Tribune.
3-16-2006. End of an error. By George Ochenski Saying good riddance to Gale Norton. Missoula Independent.
3-13-2006. In search of the wide-ranging rare wolverine in the Teton Wilderness. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News & Guide (in the Casper Star Tribune)
3-13-2006. Animal killing, mutilating sheep in Eastern Montana. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. This is way out on the plains, but it is very sparsely populated country; so obscure the Freemen choose it to hang out in years back. My guess is this is a wolf hybrid due to small paw size even though it may look like a wolf from the distance. While a curly tail means "hybrid," a straight tail does not mean "wolf." It should be assumed to be a hybrid and shot if they can find it again. If it's a wolf, then it was just a technicality. Lone wolves usually eat what they kill because they have a hard time getting nutrition anyway, but there have some lone wolves that have killed a lot of sheep.
3-12-2006. National Park Service works to make parks relevant to more people. By Becky Bohfer. Associated Press Writer. As always the Park Service needs to respond to changing technology and culture. We must prevent, however, the national parks from being turned into theme parks. Natural beauty has always been a retreat from civilization and presently from the corrupt and manipulative political regime.
3-12-2006. Editorial by the Denver Post. Oil and gas leasing moving too quickly. The rush to issue drilling rights that won't be used anytime soon threatens to leave a conflicted legacy on our landscapes and wildlife for decades.
3-11-200. Land deal will protect 1,500 acres in upper Madison Valley near Quake Lake (MT). AP. This isn't a big chuck, but it is a most critical area for wildlife and scenery. In recent years I have been saddened to see some vacations homes starting to break up the scenery in the area.
3-11-2006. Contest to design a new symbol for Department of Interior. PEER. Because the true policy of the DOI toward bison is one of unremitting hostility, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is holding a contest to replace the current logo that has a bison with one more appropriate to what DOI actually does. I think some possibilities are a strip mine, and an oil well spurting like Old Faithful. Another could be dollar signs and a Native American gambling casino.
3-10-2006. Gale Norton resigns from Cabinet. By Mike Soraghan Denver Post Staff Writer. After five years pummeling our public lands, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton is resigning, probably to go to the "private sector" for her payoff, but, of course, it could be that her connections to Jack Abramoff are catching up to her. Her upper echelons have been rife with ethics scandals.
3-10-2006. Region's gray wolf population tops 1000 wolves. By Becky Bohrer. AP. The official 2005 report on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) is finally out. The official population estimate is up again, finally passing 1000--1020 wolves. continued growth in Idaho, and renewed growth in Montana (after decline) more than making up the well publicized drop in Yellowstone Park wolf population. While the Wyoming state total outside YNP was up too, the total for Wyoming, including Yellowstone, is down due to the big Park decrease. Part of the increase is on paper rather than on the land. It is the result of finding packs that were already in existence.
In a report that should, but won't, make everyone happy, the number of livestock killed by wolves in the three state area declined despite the wolf population growth.
There is a gold mine of data in the 155 page report, and groups will be mining it to advance their agendas. Hopefully, my efforts will be more objective than most.
3-10-2005. First wolverine trapped inside Yellowstone National Park in 4-year study. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
3-9-2006. Conservationists back ranchers in Northern Utah gate dispute. The Salt Lake Tribune. Oddly enough I was looking at this area just last night on Google Earth, thinking "wow, the off-road vehicle crowd has certainly made a mess in that place!" Although off-road vehicle pressure groups say it's only a minority who do this, it hardly matters what the percentage is. There are enough of these machine riders who disrespect both private and public property that its time for stern measures. Hopefully, some of the Cache County and Box Elder County Commissioners who are in the off roaders' pocket will be defeated. One thing politicians understand is a new coalition organizing and booting them out of office. Conservationists and land owners of all types need to unite against these massive loop trail projects off roaders are proposing and have built with gasoline tax dollars.
3-9-2006. Gray wolves gaining ground up north [Maine]. By From staff and news. Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
3-9-2006. Bill for coal-fired plants moratorium draws wide support. By Rebecca Meany. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer. Idaho has no coal-fired power plants and increasing it looks like one planned by California energy speculators may be faced with a moratorium from the legislature. Sempra Energy says if there is a moratorium enacted, they may just go home. Is that a threat or a promise?
3-8-2006. Sacred Cows. Grazing on public lands yields less than five percent of the nation's beef but monopolizes 252 million of its acres. Even so, ranchers are gunning for the one law that can save fish, wildlife, and their own industry. By Ted Williams. Audubon Magazine.
3-7-2006. Bush's sell-off of America continues. View of the Idaho Mountain Express. Our national forests, our government agencies like the Forest Service, our ports, our jobs, they are all for sale under Bush.
3-7-2006. Wyoming's appeal of USFWS' rejection of their state wolf plan is heard in Circuit Court. Billings Gazette. AP Just to recap. Wyoming's wolf plan would allow anyone in Wyoming to kill a wolf for any reason anywhere by any method except inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and several federal wilderness areas. Because most of the wolves leave both Parks and no pack really lives totally inside a wilderness area, every wolf in Wyoming would be at risk if Wyoming got management authority. On the other hand, rejection of Wyoming's plan by this higher court would continue to keep both Montana and Idaho honest with their current state wolf management because they can't get full state control until Wyoming produces an "acceptable" wolf plan.
Wyoming A.G. Crank is badly mistaken (euphemism for lying) when he says the problem is the feds don't like the word "predator" in the state plan. The problem with the plan is the nearly unrestricted killing of wolves regardless what they are called.
3-7-2006. U.S. fleet of climate satellites is shrinking ‘The system ... is at risk of collapse’ due to budget cuts, expert says. By Matt Crenson. AP. Last year the President said, how were we supposed to know the levees might fail? Soon he might have the excuse, how should we know there was a hurricane out there?
3-6-2006. Mercury from Nevada gold mines is poisoning neighboring states. Las Vegas Sun. By Launce Rake. Nevada should be paying citizens of Idaho damages, IMO.
3-5-2006. Wyoming Wolves: Worth the Watching by Meredith Taylor. Meredith and Tory Taylor are outfitters based near Dubois, Wyoming.
3-5-2006. Idaho's congressman Simpson rips Bush's land sale plan. U.S. Forest Service accepting public comments until end of month. By Steve Benson. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer. It's good sign the Republicans are trashing the land sale proposal too. Idaho Democrats are trying to make it a big issue in Idaho for the fall campaign, and, speaking optimistically, the end result could be that Bush Administration public land privatizers will get their "clocks cleaned."
3-4-2006. Video of "wolf." Colorado Division of Wildlife. It certainly looks and travels like a wolf.
3-3-2006. Possible wolf spotted in North Park, Colorado. By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News. Has another wolf finally made it to Colorado?
3-3-2006. Arizona's mountains are snowless at the end of winter for the first time in 80 years. Shaun McKinnon The Arizona Republic. Arizona is entering a tremendous drought. Wildlife is already suffering the first will soon be raging. Meanwhile, here in Idaho the 5-year drought has ended with all site with normal to well above normal winter snowpack.
3-3-2006. Idaho F&G delay means wolves won't be killed this winter. By Roger Philips. Idaho Statesman.
3-3-2006. Idahoans pack legislative hearing to consider moratorium on coal-fired power plants. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
3-2-2006. Western Watersheds Project Wins Another Major Grazing Victory. This Time In Nevada. News release.
3-1-2006. Idaho needs to give itself time to study coal power plants. Editorial in the Twin Falls Times-News. Conservative Idaho may enact a moratorium on construction of coal-fired power plants in the State. Proposals are being made, with a big power plant at Jerome the farthest along--the Sempra plant. This power is not for Idaho, but will be mostly bound for Las Vegas. We will see if the conservatives are willing to sacrifice Idaho's air and water to fuel the growth what they consider iniquity in the southern Nevada capital of hedonism.
3-1-2006. Growing Dome in YNP may explain some of the increased geothermal activity in recent years. Billings Gazette. By Mike Stark. The ground rose just south of Norris Geyser Basin, but recently began to drop. Meanwhile the rest of the caldera is still rising.
3-2-2006. Magma On The Move Beneath Yellowstone. Scientific American.
3-1-2006. Find way to raise funds without selling national forest land, lawmakers say. Some Idaho areas on list are popular for recreation. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
3-1-2006. Warming facilitates spread of lodgepole pine bark beetle throughout British Columbia. Washington Post. The size of outbreak, which kills essentially all of the lodgepole is mind-boggling.
2-28-2006. Losing ground. Opinion in the Baltimore Sun. I have wanted to write my Cheney hunting accident story--what it signifies. I haven't had time. Fortunately, the Baltimore Sun got my thoughts almost exactly. It's not really about hunting, it's about a privileged elite with no need or desire to protect our public land heritage.
2-28-2006. Wyoming Ag Department breaks impartiality rule. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune capital bureau. They're sorry for their improper lobbying, of course, but Wyoming predator control funds are going to be increased by 600% as the result of their actions.
2-28-2006. More powerful machines, more users, requires more regulation of off-road vehicles. Editorial Missoulian.
2-28-2006. Influential panel of scientists says that past estimates of global made be too optimistic. It might be much worse than predicted. Guardian Unlimited (UK).
2-27-2005. Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park: An ecosystem wanting wolves. By Joshua Zaffos. High Country News. Reprinted in the Summit Daily News.
2-27-2006. Bush's effort to destroy the US Forest Service continues. Plans afoot to outsource 2/3 of their workforce. PEER news release.
Just so you know who will replace American Forest Service employees, the Sacramento Bee has an excellent series on the exploitation of Latino guest workers in the forests.
2-27-2006. In Fire's Wake, Logging Study Inflames Debate. University Study Challenges Cutting Of Burnt Timber. By Blaine Harden. Washington Post Staff Writer. As an academic myself this is an amazing story where a brave graduate student and his university stood up for academic freedom against the Bush Administration, timber industry beholden congressmen, and the school's forestry department which might have been wallowing in timber money.
Earlier on this story.
1-20-2006. Profs Ask Science to Reject Student's Forestry Paper. By Dan Richardson. New West.
1-14-2006. Feds lost millions fire salvage logging the Biscuit Burn in Oregon. By Jeff Barnard. AP environmental writer. The fire salvage logging that so many newspapers gave editorial support to is now really taking it on the chin. Do you think folks will learn? For those who can remember, this is a repeat of the same process that followed the giant Oregon fires in the mid-1980s --insistence on salvage logging followed by remorse over the logging damage.
1-13-2006. New rumbling over salvage logging: Debate revives over managing burned forests, as a report on '02 'Biscuit' fire casts doubt on benefits of salvage work. By Brad Knickerbocker. Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Earlier 1-6-2006. Wildfire-Ravaged Forests Hurt by Post-Blaze Logging, Study Says. Brian Handwerk for National Geographic News . You hear it so often after a forest fire. It goes like this ?"well the forest is ruined, so we might as well try to get some value out of it by doing some fire salvage logging — "crazy environmentalists" who stand in the way are ridiculed or worse. In fact, logging after a burn might do more damage to the forest than the fire, and it can hinder recovery.
2-26-2006. Cracking down on poachers. Montana is getting tough on people 'stealing from the rest of us'. Billings Gazette. By The Associated Press. The social class of poachers is different today. It's higher, and these people require higher penalties for deterrence.
2-26-2006. USFS proposes fuel reduction projects; one on Yellowstone Park's doorstep. By Scott McMillion, Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
2-24-2006. Feds won't list Yellowstone cutthroat. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. It's a sad day regardless. I never thought I would see day when this once most abundant cutthroat had fallen to such a sorry state.
2-24-2006. Montana US Senator makes "call to arms" in defending public lands from sale by Bush Administration. By Perry Backus. Missoulian. I'm beginning to think the ideologically induced blindness and cluelessness of Bush Administration about the public lands may be the thing that moves the Rocky Mountains out of their 20 year romance with the Republican Party.
2-23-2006. Famous long-migration bison died near Yellowstone Park South Boundary. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
2-22-2006. Federal Wildlife Monitors Oversee a Boom in Drilling. Energy Programs Trump Conservation. By Blaine Harden. Washington Post Staff Writer. Despite laws passed to protect the environment while energy development takes place on public lands, the reality is they are being ignored. If you want to see any part of southern Wyoming in a relatively untorn up condition, this summer might be your last chance. I took a look at Wyoming's Red Desert in the summer of 2004. Glad I spend more time there rather than Yellowstone, which will be harmed by the energy development (mostly air pollution), but not destroyed.
I don't think any Western state has a future more sad than Wyoming with its massive energy development and spreading wildlife diseases.
As far as the BLM goes, it is a tough decision for federal employees whether to be forced to whore for the energy industry or lose their jobs trying to obey the law.
2-21-2006. Senator Burns calls federal land-sale idea 'dead'. By Perry Backus. The Missoulian.
2-20-2006. Roundup of cattle marks near death of grazing in Las Vegas area. Las Vegas Sun. AP. And when the grazing of cows on the unsuitable hot desert dies, other things live.
2-17-2006. Bald eagles faring well along river corridors in East Central Idaho. The Challis Messenger. And, in fact, bald eagles are being removed from Endangered Species Act protection -- a great success story!
2-17-2006. Yellowstone visitors choose coach. By Tom Kenworthy, USA TODAY. Although politicians as diverse as Secretary of Interior Gale Norton and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer have recently come to Yellowstone to hype snowmobiles, the American public, now that they have a choice, is increasingly choosing the personal and environmentally advantageous snowcoach. Get out of the way, politicians, and let the public make its choice!
2-16-2006. Greenhouse effects are increasingly rapid. Scientists say the now melting glaciers could create a runaway effect. ABC News.
2-16-2006. Company wants to dig a 5-square mile copper pit next to , By Dan Richardson, New West. More on this. 3,000 Acre Copper Mine Proposed Near Mount St. Helens. Blue Oregon. By Ryan Hunter.
2-16-2006. Wyoming ag industry seeks vast expansion of predator control. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune capital bureau. It's still 1890 in Cheyenne. They want a $10,000,000 expansion in predator control programs for the state, probably enough money to spend thousands of dollars to kill every cougar, bear, wolf and coyote in Wyoming. This shows why Wyoming should never get authority to manage wolves or grizzly bears. Wyoming's game and fish program is totally dominated by the ag industry, and that's ultimately why the elk have brucellosis, chronic wasting disease is spreading around the state, and every predatory animal and those they eat grass take second fiddle behind cows and sheep.
2-15-2006. Bush sale of Forest Service land plan earns derision in Teton County, Wyoming. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. The Teton National Forest land to be sold is critical moose winter habitat, and Wyoming moose are on the decline, probably due to lack of forage. For more stories on the land grab.
2-14-2006. Foe of Endangered Species [Pombo] Act on Defensive Over Abramoff. By Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer. Should it surprise us that the guy who wants to sell off our public lands and gut the ESA is crooked?
2-14-2006. Gunning Coyotes From The Sky. Predator Control Once Again Comes Within The Crosshairs Of Critics. By Todd Wilkinson. New West.
2-13-2006.Volunteers help reclaim Moab, Utah park. Back to nature: The Nature Conservancy has taken over the former off-road playground. By Lisa J. Church. Salt Lake Tribune. Nice to see some cooperation. We liked the red rock country of southern Utah better in the 1980s before the motor crowd discovered it.
2-12-2006. Governor Schweitzer blasts Bush's public land sale proposal. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle."[Schweitzer] compared it to a rancher who keeps selling land to buy new pickups and tractors, a man who lives well until he eventually finds himself broke."
2-11-2006. California environmentalists oppose Bush plan to sell National Forest land. Gillian Flaccus. Associated Press. The Mercury News.
2-11-2006. Bush calls for sell-off of Western public land. Critics question the budget proposal, which would put some proceeds toward reducing the federal deficit. By Mike Soraghan. Denver Post Staff Writer. Having beaten back Representative Pombo and Gibbon's attempt to sell off our public lands, now the Administration comes forward with a proposal to sell off "surplus" land annually to meet its obligations to western counties. Bush simply doesn't understand how folks in the West love the public lands because as a Texas he knows nothing about the West. There was overwhelming opposition to the Pombo bid to let real estate developers, posing as miners, grab the public lands, and I expect the same on this. The penchant for some powerful Republicans to sell off our Western birthright may be the issue that finally moves the Rockies out of Republican column. I will be putting most of these stories on my "land grabber" web page.
2-11-2006 Bush budget calls for sale of BLM, national forest land. By Brodie Farquhar. Billings Gazette Staff. Rather than being surplus lands, it indeed looks like these include some prime wildlife habitat and lands where ugly rural subdivisions will be built.
2-7-2006. Western Watersheds Project wins court victory against sheep grazers in Sawtooth National Recreation area. News Release. Despite the increasingly hostile political environment, the WWP and Advocates for the West continue to win. I would urge all those who oppose the out of control grazing the takes place on many of our public lands to join this fine organization.
More on 2-11-2006. Judge rules against Forest Service in local grazing allotment case. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.
2-10-2006. Grand Junction, CO loses bid to keep city watershed from oil and gas leasing by outbidding the drillers. By Ellen Miller. Rocky Mountain News. It's appalling enough that the federal government would lease a city watershed for oil and gas, and a sad statement that the city would have to bid hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to save its water supply. The public lands, both BLM and Forest Service are supposed to many managed for multiple uses, that is, coordinated uses, meaning grazing and timber here, maybe wilderness there, mining over here, and watershed where the city gets its water. This shows how subordinated we have become to the oil industry under Bush.
2-10-2006. Proposed Sale of Prime Utah Recreational Areas to Oil and Gas Draws Fire from Outfitters. Upcoming BLM oil and gas lease sale to include Labyrinth Canyon, lands adjacent to Dinosaur National Monument, and huge swaths of Citizen Proposed Wilderness in the San Rafael River Region. News Release from the Wilderness Society.
2-10-2006. Back from the brink. by Jessie McQuillan. Missoula Independent. This is a good and a long story about the current status of wolves in the northern Rockies, 11 years after reintroduction as delisting has been proposed.
2-10-2006. Wolverine Watch. Wyoming Researchers go far afield to capture elusive Gulo gulo. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
2-10-2006. Politics vs. climate reality. Editorial by USA Today. USA Today ties Bush Administration muzzling of climate scientists and the young GOP operative with the fraudulent academic credentials (see story on 2-8) into one package.
2-9-2006. Canada signs deal with loggers to save ancient rainforest [the Great Bear rainforest]. By Rupert Cornwell in Washington. The (U.K.) Independent. A similar story is also posted under by bears stories web page. This seems like a very bright light of victory in the current dismal ocean of environmental degradation.
2-8-2006. 86 Evangelical Leaders Join to Fight Global Warming. By Laurie Goodstein. New York Times (in the on-line Ledger). Nevertheless, it appears that a number of evangelical leaders (like Dobson) are urging their fellow Christians to support the White House instead of humanity -- perhaps a bit of render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and also render to Caesar a tithe from the Lord too.
2-8-2006. Bill Sedivy: Survey shows Idahoans back dam removal to save salmon. Opinion in the Idaho Statesman. Folks in Lewiston, ID should face it. These dams are white elephants. Salmon are worth a lot more money and benefit the environment as well.
2-8-2006. Bureau of Land Management Piles On & Shuts Down Salvage Logging Study at Oregon State University. By Shea Andersen. New West. I have put up several articles how OSU research showed salvage logging hurt rather than helped forest recover after a fire, and now more politicization of science. It's ironic that you can get into more political trouble in U.S. trying to objectively study natural resource policy than you can by flat out studying politics (I'm a political science professor). Studying climate, forestry, stem cells, evolution, pollution control, rangeland ecology, disease transmission, pharmacy, these have all become politically dangerous subjects.
2-8-2006. Schweitzer backs snowmobiling in park. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. Snowmobiles are much less of a problem in Yellowstone now because not only are they now quieter, the snowmobilers have to have guides. Since that innovation, which is so George Bush (benefiting business and wealthy), it nevertheless, has ended the snowmobilers taking off cross country and the drunken snowmobile demolition derbies that were common in the news. Governor Schweitzer is reputed to be quick to see trends, but he apparently missed this one at the end of the article, "When compared to 2004, snowcoach visits park wide are up 28 percent and snowmobile visits are up 4 percent." With snowmobiles no longer driving everyone else away, people are choosing the cleaner, more efficient, less disruptive snow coach.
2-8-2006. Young ideologue with fake academic credentials was bossing scientists around at NASA. Gets caught. New York Times (the NY Times is link unfriendly. You will have to go to their web site and look for the story). Another scary story about the oppression of scientists under the Bush Administration.
2-8-2006. The political, science test. By Mark Thompson and Karen Tumulty. CNN/Time. On the administration's strong tendency to ignore scientific findings they find inconvenient and to retaliate against scientists who won't shut up. In defense of the Administration, "Bush's science adviser and respected physicist John Marburger told TIME. 'The President wants us to do it right, and doesn't want us to do things that contradict the laws of nature.' " This very statement shows what a toady or a fool this Marburger is. The "laws" of science are not legislative laws. They can't be violated. Some deity doesn't give you a ticket. If a law of science appears to be violated, there is something wrong with the observation or with the law. Scientific laws are but abstract generalizations. They are not prescriptive. While this is not common knowledge, because the average person has not studied scientific methodology, the fact that Marbuger doesn't appear to know this makes him flat out unqualified to have his job. Let me say it plainly. He is unfit and he should resign to be tossed. "Respected" my ass!
2-4-2006. [Rocky Mountain National Park area] An ecosystem wanting for wolves. Joshua Zaffos. High Country News Writer.
2-4-2006. Opinion; Stop the gag on global warming. Yahoo News. By Peter Rothberg.
2-3-2006. Gale Norton announces delisting of wolves in Northern Rockies with one hitch--Wyoming. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Wolf supporters grew more leery of final wolf delisting after Idaho immediately announced a plan to kill 75% of the wolves in a large area as soon as they obtained management authority. On Thursday, Secretary of Interior Norton announced a proposed rule delisting wolves in the Northern Rockies to take effect, except wait . . . Wyoming . . . the most wolf-hating state is holding things up. Their state wolf management plan has been repeatedly rejected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Delisting can't go forward without Wyoming. That's not bad. Moreover, Governor Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming is digging his feet in deeper. So keep digging governor! Please say you're going to kill them all, damn the feds, and help save the wolf.
More on delisting. 2-7-2006. Wyoming Continues to Hold up Wolf Delisting. KIFI TV.
US Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Intent To Remove The Rocky Mountain Population Of Gray Wolves From Endangered Species List. News release.
2-2-2006. Nez Perce Tribe opposes Idaho's plan to kill wolves to help elk. By John Miller. Associated Press. The tribe restored the wolf to Idaho and they don't want to see the state, now managing the wolf, reverse things. Idaho still lacks final authority to kill the wolves, which they now regard as in excess. They have to show that their plan is based on proper science, with the wolf still listed under the ESA. If they don't, US Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to reject wolf reduction plans.
2-2-2006. Elk researchers look at dynamics in Yellowstone Park. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
2-1-2006. Activists win fight on rights to grazing. Sensitive areas: The environmentalist group buys permits, then seeks to retire them. By Joe Baird. The Salt Lake Tribune. That people ought to be able to buy a ranch for a fair price and not use their grazing permit on federal lands seems self evident, but a court case had to be fought on the issue of "undergrazing" near the Grand Canyon.
2-1-2006. Score One for the Right Not to Own Cows. By Bill Schneider. New West.
2-3-2006. Southern Utah counties misguided on opposition to the Grand Canyon Trust buying land to conserve it. Editorial of the Salt Lake Tribune.
1-30-2006. BLM underestimating Jonah natural gas field's impact on air quality, some say. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. The Jonah gas field is more like the whale, than Jonah. The air quality impacts are already evident, and as "in-fill" of 3000 gas wells at the base of the Wind River Range progress, the impacts on this scenic country's air are in dispute, but admittedly large.
1-30-2006. Montana is wolverine country. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian. Idaho has quite few too, although their density is never great. Oddly their greatest threat is high altitude snowmobiles which crush the snow dens of their kits.
1-30-2006. Coalition for Idaho Healthy Communities (web site). "Coal plant opponents organize resistance." By Matt Furber, Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer. Idaho has no coal, but various kinds of coal plants and a giant transmission lion are being plotting to take advantage of Idaho's weak regulatory system to use the state's clean air to generate and deliver power outside of the state. The web site above only deals with one coal plant, but Pocatello has been targeted for a coal gasification plant, in principle a less dirty type of coal plant, but its promoters have never built such a plant.
1-29-2005. After 17 years pioneering wolf recovery, Joe Fontaine takes a new job with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. AP. We are going to miss Joe. He did a great job!
1-28-2006. Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him. By Andrew C. Revkin. New York Times. Read the defense NASA made of the gagging -- it's basically "we gag all our scientists. Dr. Hansen was not singled out."
1-29-2006. Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change. Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post Staff Writer. While the Administration is still trying to gag government scientists, more and more, scientists not under its thumb, and some who are, are asking is it already too late?
1-27-2006. Wild to Be Born. Montana's landscape is changing -- will America's be next? By Rick Bass. There are those promoting Governor Brian Schweitzer as next President of the United States, a fresh new face to replace the fraud and spin of Bush Jr's years.
1-27-2006. It's humans vs. wildlife in booming American West. By Laura Zuckerman. Reuters. "SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Mary Smith used to consider it charming when she saw the occasional mule deer traipsing through this small Idaho town. That was before herds of the long-eared animals native to this remote mountain region began camping out in her yard, eating everything in sight"
This is hilarious because Salmon, Idaho is one of those towns where a lot of people will complain about all the wildlife on their property and without batting an eye, say 'and wolves have killed all the wildlife."
1-27-2006. Alaskan "wolf control" is restored after judge's decision shutting it down. By Tim Mowry. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Earlier. 1-19-2006. Alaska aerial hunt of wolves declared illegal. Alaska judge says rules weren’t followed, Governor hopes to restart program. MSNBC.
1-27-2006. U.S. Fish and Wildlife will not have Mexican wolf reintroduction moratorium because population falls for the third year. By Evelyn Cronce. El Defensor Chieftain Reporter. The Mexican wolf program is really struggling with failure in sight. The silly proposal to stop reintroducing the Mexican wolf, former extinct in the wild, is now dropped for the year.
1-27-2006. Bush Administration trying to open up huge loopholes in public comments/environmental analysis. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune. A "categorical exclusion" is a class of project regard as so trivial that environmental analysis and little public comment is required. Reissuing grazing permits and seismic exploration for oil and gas have tremendous environmental impacts, and the public is usually very concerned about these things. This is just a way to close the door in the fact of the public, another of our fast disappearing freedoms.
-1-27-2006. Federal agents kill 2 wolves near East Fork of Salmon. First lethal action under state control. By Steve Benson. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer. Idaho now has control over the wolves, but this shows how little has changed. Last year the USFWS in Boise authorized the federal agency, Wildlife Services, to control wolves from this pack. This year Idaho Fish and Game authorized the same federal agency to control wolves from the same wolf pack.
1-25-2006. Colorado legislation set to require energy companies to compensate landowners from damages. Denver Post. The energy industry is flush with money and they are tearing up private property. Why should there even be controversy that they pay?
1-25-2005. Moose populations exploding across the West. Migration south puzzles experts. By Steve Benson. Idaho Mountain Express. To read the newspapers around Yellowstone you would think moose about to go extinct, and it's true they have been declining in Wyoming, but not in Idaho and most western states. The population is also moving south and west. The article's suggestion that moose are moving to avoid wolves is just plain silly because Idaho's moose population has doubled to 20,000 and yet Idaho, not Wyoming is the state with the most wolves. Improved moose habitat is the likely answer (the fires of '88 decimated moose habitat in and around Yellowstone Park)
1-24-2006. Very large private donation given to Yellowstone wolf project. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Thanks to an anonymous donor in Colorado.
1-24-2006. 2005 warmest year on record, data indicates. ‘Notable’ that temperatures high even without El Niño, NASA analysis says. Newsweek.
1-22-2006. The talk about cleaner snowmobiles in Yellowstone is hype. Cleanest snowmobile pollutes 41 times more than snowcoach on per visitor basis. Casper Star Tribune. By Brodie Farquhar.
1-20-2006. Environmentalists, others rip BLM oil-shale plan at Colorado meeting. By Greg Griffin. Denver Post Staff Writer. Oil shale is not just hard on the environment, but it will probably take more than a barrel of oil's worth of energy to produce a barrel of shale oil.
1-19-2006. Not a Smooth Move, Idaho. By Bill Schneider. New West. "Wild Bill" (Schneider) thanks Idaho was a bit too quick in proposing killing wolves once they gained management authority. A couple of months grace would have been nice. ;-)
1-19-2006. 6 EPA ex-chiefs urge Bush to limit carbon emissions. Michael Janofsky, New York Times in San Francisco Chronicle.
1-17-2006. Idaho Lawmaker wants moratorium on coal-fired plants in state. Idaho Statesman. AP. Idaho is the only state not marred by the most polluting kind of power generation -- coal-fired electrical generation. Idaho's rivers have paid the price, however, with many hydro dams. Nevertheless, Idaho has been targeted by utilities who want to built a lot of coal plants, not because Idaho needs lots of new energy, but because of the perception that Idaho has a lot of clean air "going to waste." There are a number of proposals to build these smokers in Idaho, a state that has no coal resources. The power would be transmitted elsewhere. All Idaho would get is the pollution and a little bit of local tax revenue. Hopefully, the Idaho legislature will wake up and pass this bill?and in fact Idahttp://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2006/02/26/news/state/55-poachers.txt.jacksonholenews.com/Environmental.htmlacksonholenews.com/Environmental.htmlacksonholenews.com/Environmental.htmlksonholenews.com/Environmental.htmlacksonholenews.com/Environmental.htmlhas clean air in the mountains and in spring and summer, Pollution due to intense temperature inversions are often severe in the winter. Filthy air slops back and forth above the 300 hundred mile long Snake River Plain.
1-16-2006. Climate Change Will Kill Billions, Scientist [James Lovelock] Says. The Independent (UK). Lovelock is the author of the "Gaia hypothesis" that the Earth is a self-regulating system, keeping conditions suitable for life. Some took this idea further, to mean the Earth is an organism -- Gaia. At any rate, one hypothesis would predict that Gaia would destroy the offending organism like our bodies repel microrganisms that have become too abundant. Seems like a severe pandemic would do the trick, reducing human population maybe a hundred fold or so. If a great reduction takes place, Gaia nor not, the effect would be the same -- a slow return to equilibrium.
1-16-2006. Volume of salvage of B.C. mountain pine beetle infestation my bury US timber industry. AP. The epidemic's effects, probably the indirect result of warming climate, are rapidly changing the central B.C. countryside. The economic impact will also be great.
1-15-2006. Why did NASA kill a climate change project? Robert L. Park The New York Times. The answer seems to be they don't want to learn just how much the Earth is warming, and it is also a bit of typical Bush Administration payback -- the project began as an idea of Al Gore's.
1-15-2006. Polar Warming. What a difference a few degrees makes. Jane Kay, San Francisco Chronicle Environment Writer
1-15-2006. Bird count shows plenty of eagles in Glacier NP. By Chris Peterson. Hungry Horse News.
1-15-2006. More snowmobilers "buy the farm." This time just west of Glacier NP. Kalispell Daily InterLake.
1-14-2006. Bush Administration opens wildlife area as important as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. Seattle Times. By Craig Welch. Seattle Times staff reporter. A Google News search will show many more articles on this sad development.
1-13-2006. Idaho wants to kill more than 50 wolves to help elk. By John Miller. AP. This will have to pass scientific review by the US Fish and Wildlife Service "?In a good proposal, a person should see why (state Fish and Game officials) reached this conclusion that control actions are needed," Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for Fish and Wildlife Service in Helena, Mont., said Wednesday. "If they try to give us some political garbage that's just a ploy, we're going to give them the thumbs down."
I await the data, but I am skeptical about what it will show because the wolf killing proposal has been promoted in north central Idaho long before they even began to collect data that may or may not justify it. and in fact the elk population crash had been predicted 30 years ago as folks watched the forest (which had burned in a tremendous 1910 forest fire) gradually grow tall, shady, and poor habitat for elk.
1-11-2006. High fuel prices and snowless Alaska winter makes annual wolf hunt slow. News-Miner. Kind of ironic that high fuel prices make killing wolves too expensive. The demise of Arctic winter also makes "great sport of shooting wolves from the air" difficult because their tracks can't be seen. Related. Efforts to end Alaska hunting by initiative don't get enough signatures to get on 2006 ballot. News-Miner. Two times before before Alaskans passed initiatives to halt the practice of the Alaska government killing wolves, but the state legislature got around the people by tricky wording of a new law that allowed the government to designate private party gunners to carry out the Game Board's wolf control plans. Initiative sponsors says they are optimistic for 2008. Only about 400 wolves have been killed out of a state population of about 5000. So the program has not decimated the wolf population and this year so far very few wolves have been killed.
1-9-2006. Don't Blame The Big Bad Wolf for elk population decline on the northern range of Yellowstone. Science Daily. Story based on a study by John Vucetich, Douglas Smith and Daniel R. Stahler. National Park Service's Yellowstone Center for Resources. Published in Oikos, an international journal of ecological research. Yellowstone elk were primed for a population drop about the time wolves were reintroduced, and it would have happened regardless. Human hunting outside the Park and drought played the major role. A predicted drop of 50% can be obtained statistically without any reference to wolves.
1-9-2005. Climate change taking root. Research finds trees adapting as world gets warmer, moister. By Kenneth Aaron, Staff writer. Times-Union.com. The notion promoted by coal utilities that increased carbon dioxide means "a greening world" which will be more biologically productive, with trees using the excess CO2, incorporating it into their roots and wood fiber is not proving out, at least in the vast forests of Russia.
1-8-2005. Interior secretary Norton backs Endangered Species Act revamp. By John Miller. Associated Press writer. "Norton said the landmark Endangered Species Act has failed because only a handful of the 1,268 listed species have been declared recovered. The goal of the Endangered Species Act is to recover to the point where (endangered animals) no longer need the protections," Norton said. "It's the same as hospital. The purpose of a hospital is not to keep people there."
Her analogy falls apart. For what if the hospital had no funds and an epidemic was raging? She also fails to note that many of the species on endangered and threatened list do not exist in the United States. It is rarely pointed out that the ESA applies to the entire world, although all the U.S. can do with non-American wildlife is work through the international endangered wildlife trade treaty, CITES.
1-8-2006. Gale Norton: Lobbyist carried no sway. The interior secretary says the scrutinized dealings of Jack Abramoff had no effect on her agency's tribal gambling decisions. By Mike Soraghan. Denver Post Staff Writer. Gale Norton was all smiles in Boise last Thursday as she handed the highly successful Idaho wolf program over all but completely to the state of Idaho, but is she yet another D.C. Republican sweating things out as "Casino Jack" Abramoff spills the beans? They way she has favored polluters, land grabbers, and anti-wildlife interests has got to arose suspicion of corruption.
1-8-2006. Snowmobilers: Two killed by Cooke City, MT area avalanches in 2 days. AP.
1-8-2006. Review of Mexican wolf program recommends expansion of range. Casper Star Tribune. A 6-agency committee has offered 37 recommendations to the USFWS on the beleaguered Mexican wolf program which currently has only about half as many wolves expected from the date the reintroductions began -- essentially the reverse of the successful reintroduction of the gray wolf to Idaho and Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park. Only about 50 Mexican wolves roam the Blue Range in Arizona, the White Mountain Apache Reservation and the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Given this area, which both artificial and small, it is doubtful the wolf population will ever grow very much more. Nevertheless, this small area was part of the reintroduction deal. On the other hand, the gray wolves reintroduced to the Northern Rockies had all of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming (and legally speaking, all of the west to expand into).
More on 1-7. Snowmobile survivors could face charges. By Dustin Lemmon. Quad City Times.
1-4-2006. Riders hit restricted area. A companion snowmobiler says the area was not marked as off-limits wilderness. The Forest Service is investigating and could file charges. By Kirk Mitchell. Denver Post Staff Writer. This is hardly the first time illegal Wilderness snowmobiles' actions have led to death. Apparently dead friends are not enough. I say give them the maximum punishment.
Original story. 1-3-2006. Colorado snowmobile deaths. Rocky Mountain News. "Avalanche victims were trying to ride highest on hillside." By Stuart Steers and Charlie Brennan. "Highmarking" is one of the stupidest snowmobile maneuvers. It's just asking for death. This group also had no poles, no beacons. It now appears they also traveled illegally through a designated Wilderness area to reach to place where they died.
1-7-2006. Livestock kills by wolves, grizzlies in Wyo drop in '05. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune.
1-6-2006. Butch Otter eats crow on his bill to sell 15% of the public lands to pay for Katrina.
1-5-2006. Wolf shot legally dead on ranch near Big Timber, MT. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. A 2 year old black female wolf from the Mission Creek or Moccasin Lake pack was legally shot on a ranch for harassing livestock. Ranchers in Idaho and Montana were granted the power to do this about 8 months ago without a permit if wolves are harassing, in addition to actually attacking livestock. Since the program began, fewer wolves have been killed than before when control was by special permit or done solely by the government. Allowing ranchers to do this probably has psychological benefits for ranchers (although not wolves). It should be noted, however, the government wolf control has not been ended, not replaced by private control.
1-4-2006. Defenders Of Wildlife Denounces Secretary Norton's Move To Hand Over Wolf Control To Idaho. News Release. So far hybrid federal/state of Idaho wolf management has worked well. We will have to see if Idaho going it alone will do a good job. Yes the politicians' expressed views are just awful. The average Idaho legislator is a 70 year old retired farmer and the average Idaho person is a 35 year old woman working at a bad job. The word "representative" is a bad joke. Nevertheless, the folks managing wolves for Idaho Department of Fish and Game are competent and professional and will do fine unless the politicians interfere. Will they interfere . . . the big question?
1-4-2006. Bald eagles soaring high over Montana. By Perry Backus. The Missoulian. The endangered species act saved the national bird in Montana and all over the America.
1-3-2006. Is drilling chasing deer? Debate surfaces on the effect the surge in well sites has on wildlife. By Kim McGuire. Denver Post Staff Writer. Of course it is hurting deer. Those cartoons with all the wildlife standing around the drilling rig, are, after cartoons--oil company fantasy propaganda.
1-3-2006. Defenders of Wildlife compensates Montana ranchers. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Defenders gave $18,089 compensation for 18 cows, 10 sheep and 53 chickens killed by Montana grizzly bears in 2005. Considering the number of bears and the size of the state, this is trivial damage.
1-3-2006. Proposed Wyoming legislation ties public access to qualification for wildlife damage payments. By Ben Neary. Associated Press. It would seem like a no-brainer that Wyoming landowners who now get payment from sportsmen for damage caused by elk and other wildlife and should have to provide access in return, but they don't.
1-2-2006. Wilderness debate makes news in 2005. By Todd Adams. The Challis Messenger. "Wilderness, mining, water, trails and wolves made headlines in Custer County this year." Happenings in sparsely populated Custer Country, Idaho, a large area with much precious public land, is important to anyone concerned with Idaho's wildlife, backcountry and scenery.
1-2-2006. Stanley; Idaho's icebox. Idaho Statesman. By Tim Woodward. . . . a piece about a small town in the area many of Idaho's wolf stories take place. It's true and it can freeze any day of the year. Despite its cold, Stanley, like most other places, is not as cold as it used to be.
1-1-2006. Special report on Arctic takes broad view of ecological change. By Mike Fancher. Seattle Times executive editor. 2005 marked the year when climate change really began to be noticed, except of course, by George W. Bush. Maybe we could sell him on the importance of this if we said the weather is like a terrorist and the NSA can monitor weather's nefarious plans by spying on weather reports and archives of climatological data. 1-2-2006. Photo essay. Seattle Times. "Arctic Out of Balance."
1-1-2006. Sweeping change reshapes Arctic. By Craig Welch. Seattle Times staff reporter.
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