Recent 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.


8-31-2002. Minnesota 10th state with chronic wasting disease. Associated Press. This horrible disease seems to be spreading almost like West Nile.

8-30-2002. Pro-environment Republican group blasts uncontrolled off-road vehicles, Blue Ribbon Coalition. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune. Indeed! There's nothing conservative about destroying the landscape, trashing public and private property, and making America more dependent on the Saudi princes.

8-30-2002. Summer smog up 10% in 2001, may double this year. By Chris Baltimore. Reuters. Are Bush environmental roll-backs the reason?

8-30-2002. Cleanup of scenic Montana waterfalls approved. AP

8-30-2002. The Silence of the Crows. By Betsy Karasik. The Washington Post. The death of crows is regarded as a marker of the arrival of West Nile Virus to which crows seem to have no resistance, and so a worry for people. This is the first article I have seen that worries about the crows, . . . and what about the other hundred or so species of birds that fall ill to West Nile? Will crows, ravens, magpie, and jay disappear from our outdoors? They seem most susceptible, but so are some of our famed birds of prey.

8-29-2002. Climbers hit by lightning atop Grand Teton and Survive. Jackson Hole Guide. David Simpson. They got hit three times!

8-28-2002. Forest Thinning Challenged as Tactic to Control Fires. New York Times. By Jim Robbins. Here is a story I missed on Aug. 25 which certainly challenges the conventional wisdom about thinning the forests.

8-28-2002. Forest Service cracks down on ATV abuse in Wasatch Canyons at Salt Lake City. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune.

8-28-2002. Cody, WY horse infected with West Nile. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette
8-28-2002. Three Montana horses so far with West Nile. The infected horse in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem is at Absarokee, MT.
8-29-2002. 12 more West Nile infected horses in Wyoming. Four more in Montana. Billings Gazette

8-28-2002. Fighting Wildfires Where the Risks Are. Opinion by H. Tom Davis. Washington Post. Tom Davis was one of the founders of the Idaho Environmental Council.

8-27-2002. Coalition of small Utah businesses ask Bush not to drill scenic southern Utah canyons. ENN

8-26-2002. Bush on Fire. By Paul Krugman. Columnist. New York Times. "Round up the usual suspects! George W. Bush's new "Healthy Forests" plan reads like a parody of his administration's standard operating procedure. You see, environmentalists cause forest fires, and those nice corporations will solve the problem if we get out of their way."
8-26-2002 related. An Inflammatory Fire Strategy. Opinion of the New York Times. In this editorial the Times roundly criticizes the President's new wildlife policy.

8-26-2002. Pocatello newspapers says it's time for Governor Kempthore to fire Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Roy Moulton. Idaho State Journal editorial. Moulton has been a controversial commissioner ever since he was nominated. As a private citizen he was known for his practice of illegally riding snowmobiles in congressional designated Wilderness Areas such as the west slope of the Tetons.
Related 8-24-2002. John Watts replaces Don Clower on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Clower was the only commissioner with interest in wildlife beyond elk and deer and killing predators. He was usually at odds with the rest of commissioners. Watts has some conservation credentials and is probably a fairly good replacement.
Related 8-27-2002. Idaho Statesman. Our View: Watts has potential to add new voice to F&G panel.

8-26-2002. Volunteers repair important trail in the Gallatin Range that was damaged by ATV riders. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This is in a Wilderness Study area and the grizzly recovery zone. The area is also very scenic. Thanks to these volunteers

8-26-2002. Bridger-Teton National Forest Cracks down on Illegal Trails. AP. Recreationists, primarily motorized, are creating and often building trails on public lands where it is illegal to do so. It's good the Bridger-Teton is cracking down. I can envision an organization devoted entirely to closing and blocking illegal motorized trails.

8-25-2002. Forest Service Mislaid $215 Million. New York Times. It was money for wildlife management. I'll bet they wouldn't mislay money for logging.

8-24-2002. Arson suspected in about 20 wildfires.. By Linda Ashton. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

8-23-2002. West Nile virus arrives in Montana and New Mexico. Salt Lake Tribune.

8-23-2002. Rain helps to slow four fires in Salmon-Challis forest. Idaho Statesman. Idaho hasn't had nearly the forest fires it did in 2000 and 2001. What's the difference? Was the underbrush thinned out or all the trees logged? No. There were but few thunderstorms and the drought abated in part of central Idaho northward.

8-23-2002. Study reveals thinning forests costly. By Jeff Barnard. AP. Missoulian. One reason President Bush wants to log big trees in the guise of thinning out the brush is to foot the bill. But it won't even come close. The President seems unaware that one of the major critiques of national forest logging for 20 years now is that it losses money everywhere except coastal Oregon, Washington, California, northern Idaho and NW Montana. Some forests like the Custer in Montana made as little as 3 cents back on the dollar from green timber sales.
Related 8-23-2002. The policy: Thinning plan calls for cutting past the brush into big, old trees. The Oregonian. By Michael Milstein. Milstein says it pretty clearly, the big trees will be sacrificed to pay for the thinning of the little trees, but even that won't work because it will cost far more than liquidated the last of the giants will yield on dollars (see article by Jeff Bernard above).
Related. The latest drought map of the West.

8-23-2002. Analysts: Forest plan a battle Bush can win. Western fires melt opposition to logging. By Mike Soraghan. Denver Post Washington Bureau. My view: the administration is pretty cleaver. The key to their success is finding a scapegoat, deliberately confusing thinning and logging, and ignoring the incredible western drought. Enviros need to emphasize the drought, publicize specific examples of logging that increase forest fire risk, show that Bush plan as a federal "one method fits all policy," and tie this to the administration's blind eye to corporate corruption and its cronyism with anything corporate.

8-23-2002. Protesters greet Bush in Portland. President visits fires in southern Oregon and promotes plan for more logging. Seattle Post Intelligencer. It's too bad the President squandered the national unity we had after 9-11 and has chosen the divisive track. His hostility to environmental laws has been so intense that it has alienated America's allies and stopped much of the cooperation in the war on terror. See World Environmental Summit. Where is Bush? Christian Science Monitor.

8-23-2002. Idaho leaders applaud Bush’s plan to fight fire. Idaho Statesman.

8-23-2002. Bush Defends Logging Initiative as a Better Means of Management Against Forest Fires. By Adam Nagourney. New York Times. "If you invite the timber industry in to do more of this, but then take away the regulations that provide balance, it's no different than having an accounting firm act as a consultant to a company and its accountant, and we've been seeing what that has caused," said Jim Lyons, Clinton's head of the Forest Service. (This quote from the Washington Post)

8-22-2002. Bush, Citing Fires, Will Seek to Ease Laws on Logging. By Douglas Jehl. New York Times. The timber industry has been using every large forest fire since 1980 as a method to somehow extract more timber, and to get it for free, if possible. Now their efforts are close to bearing fruit.
Related 8-22. Fire Policies to Protect People, not Logging Corporations. Defenders of Wildlife.
Related 8-22. Bush Administration's Misappropriation of the Western Governors' Collaborative 10-Year Comprehensive Wildfire Strategy. Statement by Dr. Gregory Aplet, Forest Ecologist, The Wilderness Society.

8-21-2002. Crews put out 1,500-acre fire near Hailey. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Moore. Note that this was a brush fire, not a forest fire. Timber politicians will try to use even brush fires as an excuse to log off the the big trees.

8-20-2002. Off road vehicle starts dangerous fire near Hailey, Idaho. Idaho Statesman. Idaho has had a lot fewer wildfires this year than usual, but August has been very dry and the drought has returned to all of the state except northern Idaho (the "the Panhandle").

8-20-2002. Sawtooth National Recreation Area celebrates 30 years. Challis Messenger. By Anna Means.  The 30th anniversary of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area was recently celebrated at Redfish Lake near Stanley as the article above describes. Most environmentalists either did not attend, or found it a rather sad occasion because it was dominated by politicians who seemed to have forgotten the reason for its establishment, or who were not supporters then, or new ones who have done little for it since. In my view the only politicians who deserve credit are the late Senator Frank Church and former 4-term Idaho governor Cecil Andrus.
Here is the true story written by Jerry Jayne of Idaho Falls who was one of my mentors in the conservation movement, and is one of the great longtime stalwarts of Idaho conservation. Also helping me great grounded in Idaho issues was the late Dr. John Merriam (I miss him still after 25 years), Russ Brown, Carl Hocevar, Dennis Baird, and Tom Davis.
The story was in the most recent issue of the Idaho Environmental Council newsletter (not on-line).  Jerry consenting to me posting it on my web page. "Sawtooth NRA at 30 Years - Some History"

8-20-2002. Idaho State Journal. Editorial: Lessons from Yellowstone. Our View: It looks to us as though managers of forest lands should emulate some of the fire management practices used at our premier national park. Idaho Senator Larry Craig will hate this editorial, and I recall the Blue Ribbon Coalition testifying after the 1988 fires, that Yellowstone should have been logged off so there would not have been a fire.

8-19-2002. Phlox Fire grows in remote SE corner of Yellowstone. Yellowstone News Release. Although, "the lightning-caused fire, located on the Two Ocean Plateau (southeast) portion of the park, is being managed as a 'fire use management fire' with the primary purpose being fuel reduction," I do not think the fire is benign because it is burning much whitebark pine, the nuts of which are critical for grizzly bears. The high altitude whitebark pine is on the decline in the Rocky Mountain West, including Yellowstone due to the imported whitebark pine blister rust and the forest fires of 1988, which burned much of Yellowstone's whitebark pine. It is a very slow growing tree and can live to over one thousand years.

8-19-2002. Montana's 'Citizen Wilderness.' By Pat Williams. O'Conner Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Thirty years ago the Scapegoat Wilderness in Montana was established when  Congress passed and President Nixon signed the bill. It was the first time citizens had taken the procedure away from the Forest Service bureaucracy, and it deserves to be remembered.

8-19-2002. What Idaho learned — or should have learned — from the energy ‘crisis.' Guest Editorial Idaho Statesman. By Bill Sedivy of Idaho Rivers United. Oddly enough I sent email to Idaho's Senator Mike Crapo this morning saying almost exactly what is in this editorial. I was certainly surprised when I read Sedivy's piece in the Statesman, but perhaps I should not have been because the market manipulations of Enron, Dynergy, Duke Power and the like should be obvious to all by now as when as VP Cheney's efforts to use the fake energy crises to advance the interests of the energy industry.

8-19-2002. Boy Scouts could be in hot seat after a big fire in Uinta Mountains of Utah. Salt Lake Tribune. By Jim Woolf.

8-19-2002. Funds to continue removing lake trout from Yellowstone Lake may run out. Billings Gazette. The introduced lake trout, which eats the Yellowstone cutthroat trout, is one of the gravest threats to the Yellowstone ecosystem, Progress is being made, but funds will be gone at the end of the year unless Congress renews them.

8-18-2002. Terrific wildlife country in the Taylor Fork of the Gallatin purchased for addition to the Gallatin National Forest. News from the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. This remarkable country is just NW of Yellowstone National Park in the territory of the Chief Joseph wolf pack.

8-18-2002. West Nile Virus reaches Wyoming. Casper Star Tribune.
8-17-2002. West Nile Virus reaches Colorado. Denver Post. By Allison Sherry and George Merritt.
The rapid spread this year implies the virus will reach most of the Western states by 2003 and maybe even the Pacific Coast. Will the government do better than tell us we need not worry as long as we put on our DEET, wear long-sleeved shirts, and don't go outside at dawn or dusk? I was bitten by perhaps a hundred mosquitoes in the DuNoir (Wyoming) this week. I wore long-sleeved shirts, a hat, DEET, and at least half of the bites were at mid-day.

8-12-2002. Yellowstone Park fire news. News release.

8-12-2002. Administration making a quiet raid on public lands. LA Times editorial (free reg. required). Ronald Reagan's secretary of Interior James Watt tried to do it, but fortunately he was a lot noisier and clumsy compared to Gale Norton's stealth attack.

8-12-2002. Burned forests in Colorado spring back. Green sprouts begin to appear in areas blackened by fire. By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News

8-11-2002. Shooting wolves is a shortsighted approach to wildlife management. Guest Editorial .  By Deborah Slicer for the Missoulian. This editorial is in support of the Ninemile wolves.
8-9-2002. Wolves found dead in the Ninemile Valley. By Michael Moore. Missoulian.
The actress Andie MacDowell mentioned in the story, is a wolf supporter, I have been told. The Ninemile is the oldest continuous pack in Montana, far preceding the 1995 reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho.

8-11-2002. Park Service chief supports snowmobiles in Yellowstone. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. NPS superintendent Fran Maniella dismissed 350,000 comments received, with the overwhelming 80% against snowmobiles, "because many were just form letters." She ignores the fact that most in favor of snowmobiles were also form letters. I know they haven't even analyzed all the comments. There was recent job recruiting in Pocatello, Idaho to hire people to go over the comments. Thus, the pro-snowmobile decision was foreordained.

8-11-2002. Scientists study wasting disease link to people. Associated Press.
Related 8-10-2002
. Wyoming rethinks CWD as cases mount. Colorado fears disease spread. Denver Post. By Allison Sherry and Theo Stein.
Wyoming seems to lag in just about every wildlife matter. Will they eliminate the western Wyoming winter feedgrounds before this nightmare disease gets into the Yellowstone country?
Related 8-7-2002. Long deer disease fight seen. Wiping out disease, restoring herd may take 18 years. By Lee Bergquist. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

8-10-2002. This year's fireweed bloom in Yellowstone is outstanding. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. It's anything but a weed. I hope to go the the Park before school resumes and see. In our summer travels recently in B.C. we noted that the B.C. fireweed is much larger than that of the U.S. Rocky Mountains.

8-9-2002. Wyoming ATV rider found guilty of mutilating antelope. Billings Gazette.

8-8-2002. Why the West Is Burning. By Roger Kennedy. New York Times. While the timber industry and many politicians are using the fires to demagogue -- blaming the fires on too little logging -- here is a voice of reason from the New York Times.
Related, added 8-11-2002. Wildfire: The culprits are drought and buckets of bucks by Randal O'Toole. Writers on the Range. O'Toole is a market oriented environmental economist.
Related. 7-14-2002. Logging and wildfire: How to reduce fire risk in nation’s forests matter of intense debate. By Scott McMillion. Chronicle Staff Writer. This article is one of the few that actually looks at logged areas to see if they resisted recent fires, and they didn't. Even clearcuts burn when the summer is hotter and drier than normal. Thinning, which is not the same as logging, can help, but it is expensive and a never-ending task.

8-8-2002. Yellowstone in Peril. National Park Is Overcrowded, Overwhelmed and Out of Money. ABC News. Americans love their parks, but they are always way underfunded except when funding initiatives (direct democracy) make it on a state ballot. Does this say anything about the condition of our "representative" democracy?

8-8-2002. Central Idaho fire season remains cool. Challis Messenger.

8-8-02. Broad Fire Controlled at 9140 acres. Yellowstone Park News Release.
Late 7-13-2002. Broad fire at 7330 acres.
7-13-2002. Officials ponder how to fight the Broad Fire. Billings Gazette.
7-12-2002. Late afternoon YNP update on the Broad fire. Park news release. The fire 5500 acres.
7-12-2002. Broad fire in Yellowstone too perilous for firefighters. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
Record high temperatures, winds, rough country make fire perilous to fight.
7-10-2002. Broad Creek fire expands to 2500 acres and shows extreme behavior. Park news release. The intent this year has been to extinguish all fires in the Park immediately if possible. It wasn't possible on this one.
7-9-2002. Fire fighters make progress on the Broad Creek fire in Yellowstone. Billings Gazette.
7-7-2002. Yellowstone’s Broad Creek fire grows to 210 acres. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
This is the first Park fire of the year that was more than just a couple trees.

7-13-2002. Large turnout for Cody meeting on Wyoming wolf plan. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Generally speaking the meeting wasn't friendly to wolves. If you want to have your say on the Wyoming wolf plan, you have 2 more days. See my alerts page for a form to send in your comments (you can, and probably should, modify the wording of the form).

7-13-2002. Grazing amendment stirs up controversy. By Jon Kamman. The Arizona Republic. The appropriations bill rider would require federal land management agencies to re-issue ten year grazing permits even though the grazing plan is out of date and harmful to the environment. This has very serious ramifications for wildlife throughout the West, including wolves. It really makes it so the agency can do nothing about those abuse their grazing lease. The method of choice is a rider buried in a must-pass (appropriations)

7-12-2002. Reports conflict on West fires. Lawmakers seek to cast blame. By Mike Soraghan. Denver Post Washington Bureau. My suspicion is that when you look at these "thinning" projects, you will find most of them weren't thinning of small, flame prone trees, but in fact logging of large trees under the guise of thinning for fire reduction. Moreover, I'll bet most of them were not near homes, but in the backcountry -- really backdoor attempts to make it so roadless areas lose their roadless qualities

7-11-2002. Saving West from fires carries big tab. Cost of squelching wilderness blazes may soon exceed budget for the whole season. By Todd Wilkinson. Special to The Christian Science Monitor

7-11-2002. Living with Fire in Greater Yellowstone. A Report of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition

7-10-2002. Wolf recovery doesn't mean end of debate. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

7-9-2002. Op-ed. Idaho Statesman. Ranching’s historic decline should end public grazing. By Keith Raether of the Western Watersheds Project. Last week the Statesman did a number articles on an old refrain, the decline of ranching the West. This has been done so many times, I didn't bother to link to them. The op-ed is more relevant. Closely related is the fact that Idaho's economy is very sick, the product of a huge tax cut to special interests like ranching on the eve of the recession, coupled with the problem that the congressional delegation does little except help agri-business ranching, logging, and the national goals of their political party, leaving the other 99% of the Idahoans to fend for themselves.

7-8-2002. Timber group agrees to new protection rules. By the Associated Press. Boise Cascade (which recent dropped the "Cascade" from its name) has become increasing environment friendly.
Related 7-9-02.  Certifying forest products may heal forests more than government regulation. By Rocky Barker. Writers on the Range. In principle, this seems like a good idea, but when you increasingly can't trust corporations not to steal from their investors or give an honest account of their finances, how can you trust them on certification?

7-8-2002. Yellowstone Snow Job. Editorial LA Times. Says the decision on snowmobiles was rigged from the start.

7-9-2002. Pocatello fire contained. Idaho State Journal. By Sean Ellis. I drove up to look at the fire this morning. There are still hot spots, but the fire is over unless there are very strong winds. It was close call for many homes nestled among the junipers.

7-8-2002. Sleeper’ fire at Pocatello that began Saturday grows rapidly. Idaho State Journal. By Sean Ellis.

7-8-2002. Wildfire is the problem, not nature-lovers. Opinion of the Missoulian. "Blaming environmental groups for fire threat misstates the problem and alienates people we need at our side."

7-7-2002. Utah Cabin Dwellers Face Fiery Wrath. Salt Lake Tribune. By Brent Israelsen.

7-7-2002. Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners shows his true colors. This is a LTE by Roy Moulton, perhaps the worst of the Idaho Fish Game Commission. I don't care much or understand the controversy over the coyote, but everyone should read the last two paragraphs of his letter.

7-7-2002. New Yellowstone chief intent on education, not decision-making. By Chris Hunt. Idaho State Journal. Lewis will need all the help she can to stand up to the exploiters and plunderers that Gale Norton has let out of their cellar.

7-7-2002. Colorado higher than thought, but Denver's official "mile-high" spot less than a mile high. Denver Post.

7-5-2002. Heavy rains help quell some Wyoming wild fires. Rocky Mountain News.

7-3-2002. Federal judge issues injunction halting construction of the Canyon Club in Snake River south of Jackson, WY. Greater Yellowstone Coalition. This golf course/trophy home development could cause the loss of 18 bald eagle nests and require imposition of severe restrictions on river users. The hearing on the injunction is today, July 3.
7-5-2002. Judge hears arguments over Canyon Club development. Associated Press.

7-4-2002. Opponents of Yellowstone snowmobiling don't give up. Bipartisan bill introduced. Greater Yellowstone Coalition.  The Yellowstone Protection Act to uphold the snowmobile phase-out.

7-4-2002. The First 2 Wyoming Wolf Meetings Sparsely Attended. AP

7-2-2002. Wildfires Rage in Utah. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune.

7-1-2002. Texas man gored by Yellowstone Park bison. Billings Gazette.

7-1-2002. "A University of Idaho scientist is using catnip and cooperative hunters to estimate the size of the mountain lion population in the Clearwater River Basin." Idaho Statesman.

7-1-2002. Wildfires break out across Wyoming; Hunkins’ ranchlands burn. By Robert W. Black. Associated Press Writer. Hunkins is a candidate for governor of Wyoming.

7-1-2002. Part-time fire fighter charged with starting the nation's largest fire to generate fire fighting work. MSNBC. Leonard Gregg, a contract employee for the Bureau of Indian Affairs deliberately started the 450,000 acre Rodeo fire in Arizona. Two arsonists among the ranks of fire fighters now account for over half the acreage that have burned this summer in the West.

6-30-2002. Idea of Fighting Fire With Fire Wins Converts. By Tim Egan. New York Times. Controlled burns can be effective preventing bigger fires, as Egan points out. However, when there is already a drought, controlled burns are impossible. Thinning and logging are also next to impossible because sparks from the saws start fires in the flammable forest. It amazes me that so few put the blame on the extraordinary and expanding drought the West has suffered.
Related 6-30-2002. Despite all the western fires, fire season in Grand Teton, Yellowstone expected to be moderate this summer. AP. The drought has worsened in most of the West, but not NW Wyoming, Western Montana and northern Idaho, where things have improved.

6-30-2002. Yellowstone reports its first forest fires of the year. . . all of them small. News Release.

6-27-2002. CWD found in elk at ranch near Fort Collins. Owners had declined buyout; herd may now be used for research. By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

6-26-2002. Winter ban in parks eased. Snowmobiles still OK in Yellowstone, Teton. By Kit Miniclier. Denver Post Staff Writer.

6-24-2002. Federal court finds FBI and police violated Earth First activists' free speech. by Josh Richman. High Country News. ". . .a federal court jury found that FBI agents and Oakland police framed two Earth First! activists for a 1990 bombing in order to quash their political work..

6-24-2002. Idaho Statesman. Our View: Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Moulton’s coyote hunt insults Idaho’s sportsmen. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission just seems to be one embarrassment after another.
6-24-2002. Idaho State Journal. View of the ISJ. Get politics out of Fish and Game Commission. "The actions of commissioners have proven that special interests are more important than species." management."

6-20-2002. Bad News. N.M. officials baffled by first case of CWD. By Lou Kilzer, Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer. The ultimate deer/elk disease has appeared in New Mexico.
6-19-02. Game farms are the nexus of the disease. Headwaters News.

6-20-2002. Turf battle over coyote research in Yellowstone lands in court. By Jacob Goldstein Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

6-19-2002. Massive Wildlife Services anti-predator project in Idaho should stop. Opinion of the Post Register (Idaho Falls). This is no way to save the sage grouse says the Eastern Idaho paper.

6-18-2002. Inexhaustible resources still a popular myth. By Patricia Nelson Limerick. Center of the American West. Professor Limerick is the most prestigious western historian.

6-18-2002. Snowmobile comments were 4:1 in favor of a Park ban. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

6-16-2002. Look for those dollar signs in a wolf's eyes. by Tom Arrandale. Writers on the Range.

6-14-2002. Administration engineers massive rollback of clean air act. Washington Post. By Eric Pianin. Have you seen those TV ads about clean coal as an electricity source? What a lie this action makes them.

6-13-2002. Hayman fire on the doorstep of Denver forges on. Denver Post.
6-13-2002. Colo. Fires Redefine Life on the Edge. Growing 'Red Zones' Where Suburbs Meet Dry Forest Raises Risk Issues. Washington Post. By William Booth

6-12-02. Oregon groups spar over wolves. Oregonian. By Michael Milstein. The Oregon Farm Bureau, cattle association are in fact wrong when they say the wolf is effectively extinct in Oregon, otherwise why are they filing their petition against protecting the wolf, and why are wolves showing up in Oregon?

6-12-2002. Dumb ’n dumber rainbows studied by Idaho Fish and Game. Idaho Mountain Express. Now all they will need is a fish that will jump right out of the water onto a fat boy's ATV without spilling his 48 oz super size soda pop.

6-12-2002. Acting forest supervisor turns back district ranger's effort to control sheep grazing in Idaho's second highest mountain range. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express.

6-11-2002. A wild wolf was killed in South Dakota last year, tests reveal. Detroit Free Press.

6-11-2002. Monday one of the wettest in Great Falls, Montana in a century. Great Falls Tribune. Recent storms may be close to ending the long drought in Montana, NW Wyoming, and southern Idaho. I was in Yellowstone Friday through Monday, and there was a tremendous amount of rain and/or wet snow. While many of the normally full ponds are still empty or low, the growth of grass and flowers has had a strong restorative effect on the Park and nearby country. Unfortunately, as many readers know, the drought has moved into Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico with a vengeance.
Related 6-11. Downpour floods southern Alberta. Calgary Herald.
Related 6-11. 'We can't stop it' Hayman fire threatens Denver suburbs, then shifts course
By Michael Booth and Erin Emery. Denver Post Staff Writers.

6-7-2002. Users of Idaho's National Forests are leaving more trash. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express.

6-6-2002. Wyoming fire fighters except bad season due to the continuing drought. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
6-6-2002. Idaho fire fighters brace for a blazing summer. Idaho Statesman. The drought has finally left northern Idaho and northwest Montana, however.

6-5-2002. Republican Taylor to face Montana U.S. Senator Baucus in November. By Charles S. Johnson. If anyone has seen the Montana cult cowboy classic Rancho Deluxe, folks will immediate recognize "rancher" Taylor (Clifton James in the movie).

6-5-2002. Chronic Wasting disease spreads to the deer of suburban Denver. Reuters.

6-5-2002. Yellowstone snowmobile plan draws record number of comments. AP. 350,000 people responded to the plan, almost as many people as live in the state of Wyoming.

6-5-2002. Is the Teton National Forest finally getting the handle on Wilderness salt baiting sites? Jackson Hole Guide. By Deanna Darr.

6-2-2002. Mushroom pickers, and tensions, crowd Montana forests. AP. The conflict over post forest fire mushroom harvest might some puzzling, but a little-recognized industry has emerged to exploit the large crop of fungi, especially morels, that follow forest fires. The value of these mushrooms often far exceeds the high profile salvage logging, a fact the backwards looking politicians seem blissfully unaware.

6-1-2002. Snowmobiles stress wolves, MSU prof says. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

5-29-2002. Wolves rate special status inside Oregon. By Michael Milstein. The Oregonian. Turns out wolves have special state-given protection in Oregon even if the feds delist them.

5-28-2002. Wolf at the door. by Ray Ring. High Country News. "Now that the West's top predator has reached civilization's back porch, managers face some agonizing decisions."

5-28-2002. Grazing foes float a buyout. But will ranchers and Congress buy in? by Stephen Stuebner. High Country News. It's not whether ranchers will buy in, but whether livestock organizations will lobby against this benefit for them. The interest in keeping livestock on public land even if the rancher would rather accept this generous offer comes from the livestock organizations who depend on them for membership and the "conservative" western senators who like to have a few impoverished small ranches around for show and tell to the media.

5-27-2002. Mad Deer Epidemic? We’re watching. By James A. Swan. National Review Outdoor Writer. The leading conservative magazine has discovered chronic wasting disease, and a new hypothesis of its origins its floated.

5-27-2002. Defenders of Wildlife ponders whether to continue wolf payments. Post Register. Defenders program has been both lauded and criticized, but if wolves are delisted should Defenders continue it?

5-27-2002. Alberta has worst environmental record of any Canadian province. Oil, gas, forestry developments criticized. Ed Struzik. Calgary Herald.

5-25-2002. Guest Opinion: Park, towns will thrive without snowmobiles. By JULIA PAGE and JACKIE MATHEWS. Billings Gazette. Both Page and Mathews live off Yellowstone area tourism without engaging in polluting activities.

5-25-2002. Blatant conflict of interest cited in coal bed methane energy lobbyist turned Deputy Secretary of Interior. By Michael Grunwald. Washington Post Staff Writer.

5-23-2002. Wisconsin expands deer eradication zone to fight chronic wasting disease. Milwaukee Journal. By Meg Jones.

5-23-2002. Our kids face a lot of dangers besides wolves. By Norman A. Bishop. I want to add that I have been a father to 2-year olds too. Most parents realize you don't leave 2-year olds (or even 5-year olds) alone outdoors anywhere, much less near the Yellowstone River in an area frequented by wildlife. This controversy over the wolf that attacked to dogs in the sprawl NE of Livingston, MT is one of the more stupid ones.

5-22-2002. Congress sees lode of flaws in mining law. By Brad Knickerbocker. Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor. Incredibly hard rock mining in the United States is still governed by the General Mining law of 1872.

5-21-2002. Let's Not Turn our Back on Old Faithful. By Ray Ring. Writers on the Range. Ring describes how snowmobile travel diminishes the experience of Yellowstone.

5-17-2002. Montana state representative claims Park Service suppressed wolf-elk data, but state and federal officials say he has it wrong. The way I understand it is that Rep. Joe Balyeat didn't understand simple inductive statistics such as putting a confidence interval around  a statistic used to estimate a population. For example due to a  very small sample size, graduate student Schafer's  estimate of the number of calves per 100 elk cows had a 95 per cent confidence interval from 0-40 on an estimate of a mean 0-13 calves per 100  in areas near wolf packs.

5-15-2002. Laws Protecting Canada's Parks Earn Failing Grades. From Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

5-15-2002. "Can we live with wolves?" Wood River Valley newspaper says "yes". Idaho Mountain Express.

5-16-2002. States seeking federal aid for CWD. By Theo Stein. Denver Post Environment Writer.
5-15-2002. Rocky Mountain National  Park looks to fight CWD. Policy limits options for infected animals.
By Theo Stein Denver Post Environment Writer. Killing deer in a national park may seem appalling, but that what Yellowstone and Grand Teton may face if Wyoming doesn't do more to halt the spread of the disease by closing the elk winter feed lots.

5-14-2002. Central Idaho Wolf Coalition: Remove wolves from Idaho ... Anti-wolf group buys ad space, petitions President Bush for wolf removal. By Pat Murphy. Twin Falls-Times-News correspondent.

5-14-2002. President reluctantly signs massive pork barrel farm bill. New York Times. The only good to say about it is a couple billion dollars were squirreled away for farm conservation programs. 5-14. On the farm bill. Cringe for Mr. Bush. Editorial by the Washington Post.

5-12-2002. Rancher kills a wolf eating a calf. Associated Press. This is the best way it works when a wolf makes a livestock depredation. The correct wolf is killed, it doesn't cost the government, and the rancher probably feels empowered.

5-12-2002. State officials visit with Custer County commissioners on wolf management plan. By Todd Adams. The Challis Messenger. Is there any thing about this story that makes you think Idaho will do a good job managing the wolves?

5-12-2002. Officials at Boise conference urge blitz of funding for CWD. Wildlife supporters attend Idaho meeting. By Theo Stein Denver Post. It's good to hear the words "Chronic Wasting Disease" uttered in Idaho, where there a growing number of game farms and increasing amounts of winter feeding of wildlife. It also looks like Congress is finally getting interested in the matter.

5-11-2002. Wisconsin Governor" CWD most serious animal health crisis in our history." Capitol Times (Madison, WI)

5-11-2002. BLM approves well drilling near and in national monument. AP.

5-10-2002. How about true tax reform? Let's tax things we dislike such as pollution and depletion of our resources instead of what we like -- income and wealth. By Damon Franz. ENN

5-10-2002. Southwestern Wyoming winter deer losses about normal.

5-9-2002. Given the spread of CWD, the decision of Montana voters to clamp down on elk farms was visionary. Opinion of the Missoulian.
5-9-2002. New web site. Oregon Mad Elk Coalition. "A diverse coalition of hunting, animal welfare, environmental, conservation organizations and scientists along with concerned citizens, whose common goal is to protect Oregon's native elk and deer populations by eliminating cervid (elk and deer) game ranching in Oregon."

5-8-2002. Panel will study grazing lease buyouts. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. It looks like National Public Lands Grazing Campaign's proposal to have Congress buy out the public grazing permits of all willing-to-sell ranchers is gaining traction. The cost of 3.3-billion dollars is modest, especially compared to the $180-billion dollar farm bill Congress passed today.

5-8-2002. SE Idaho deer populations have a hard winter. By Kelton Hatch. Idaho State Journal. There wasn't all that much snow, but the winter was colder than seen for quite a while and it followed a 2 year drought. for the record, there are no wolves in SE Idaho.

5-8-2002. Montana efforts of change place names "squaw" proceed slowly. By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian.  It is moving slowly. Idaho refused to even pass a law ordering the change of this offensive word.

5-8-2002. Bush's California Energy Stance Faulted. By Don Van Natta Jr. New York Times.
5-7-2002. Smoking Gun found. Enron responsible for last year's CA energy crisis. San Francisco Chronicle. By Mark Martin.
It seemed to to work so well. CA electricity users sent billions of dollars to Enron in Texas, and the whole affair was used to justify the President's drill-and trash-the-environment policy to cure the phony energy crisis.

5-7-2002. Idaho Statesman. Our View: Bush should back EPA call for snowmobile ban.
5-5-2002. Time to end excuses and get on with banning snowmobiles in Yellowstone says Denver Post.
5-3-2002. E.P.A. Surprises Its Leader and Interior Chief on Snowmobiles. Katharine Q. Seelye. New York Times.
Most folks have heard (see article below) that the EPA stuck to its guns on banning snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and now there will be hell to pay because telling the truth about snowmobile pollution wasn't part of the Administration's script. Thank God, Max Dodson of the EPA, who signed the letter, has a sense of ethics! Will they disembowel him or merely break his kneecaps! <g>
5-3-2002. Reactions to EPA ruling on snowmobiles predictable. By Nick Gevock. Bozeman  Chronicle Staff Writer.
4-30-2002. EPA Pushes Yellowstone Snowmobile Ban.
By GARY POLAKOVIC. LA Times Staff Writer. Snowmobile pollution in Yellowstone Park is so bad even the Bush EPA is pushing for the proposed ban to be upheld.

5-7-2002. Wolf injures 2 Livingston dogs on a ranchette just NE of Livingston, MT. Billings Gazette.

5-6-2002. Montana State University study details changes in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Bozeman Chronicle.

5-5-2002. Influential Idaho conservationist dies at age 91. Bruce Bowler was ‘one of the original dam fighters.’  Idaho Statesman. We owe a lot to Bruce. Were it not him and a few others Hells Canyon today would have big dam in the middle of it, and Castle Peak in the White Clouds  would have a big pit in its side.. I still remember his name for sheep on public land -- "range maggots!"
It was a honor to know him. View of the Idaho Statesman. Bowler played vital role in Idaho preservation.

5-5-2002. CWD may prey on hunt season. Elk-deer malady could undercut $599 million industry, officials say. By Steve Raabe. Denver Post Business Writer. With this kind of economic threat it's hard to understand why Wyoming continues to risk infection with its elk feeding.

5-4-2002. Jack Trueblood: Idaho’s elk and deer herds are not on their way out. Idaho Statesman. The distribution of Idaho elk and deer is changing (as they have in the past). No evidence wolves are wiping out the deer and elk.

5-7-2002. More on the farm bill. The Pigs are Buying the Trough. The Plain Dealer.
5-4-2002. House Passes Bill Boosting Farmers' Subsidies by $31 Billion. Bush Backs Measure That Would End Drive to Reduce Government's Role in Farming; Senate Has Scheduled a Debate.
Washington Post. Congress has passed a huge farm bill ($180-billion) that does little to help the family farmer, tosses money to agri-business, creates massive new subsidies, and gives but a token for protecting the environment. Many Democrats and Republicans think they will be rewarded on election day for this budget buster. I have yet to read a newspaper editorial that says anything good about this bill. The President opposed the bill, but has now caved in. The only hope for Americas taxpayers is a Senate filibuster. See who's feeding at the trough in your area. Environmental Working Group's farm subsidy data base.

5-3-2002. Wisconsin plans to wipe out 25,000 deer. Huge area will be cleared to halt CWD. By Theo Stein. Denver Post. This horrible but necessary action should be a wake-up for Wyoming Game and Fish's sleepy attitude toward CWD  and the department's  many elk feedlots in Western Wyoming. Idaho Fish and Game Commission also seems to be unable to pronounce the phrase "chronic wasting disease." Hunting, wildlife watchers, and rural economies may well pay for this negligence.

5-2-2002. Fall of the Wild. By Ari LeVaux. Missoula Independent. This long article is mostly about the wolves of the Ninemile Valley and the people who live with them. It's good to see some balanced coverage. At first this year, newspapers mostly covered the Ninemile complainers.

5-2-2002. Wyoming governor prefers snowmobiles over snow coaches. AP. After reading this, I wonder if Gov. Geringer lives on another planet where snow coaches have the same design as snowmobiles on this planet and vice versa.

5-1-2002. Geologists issue earthquake warning for Jackson Hole.

5-1-2002. Chronic Wasting Disease may force new Colorado Hunting Rules. By Theo Stein. Denver Post. These would be to prevent infected carcasses being moved outside of the area of infection where they were shot.


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