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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Native Carnivores are scared from Parks by even quiet human use

  1. avatar dave smith says:

    This is not exactly a shocker, but it makes the bubble-heads on what George Weurthner calls “thrill craft” look extra stupid.

    Ten or twenty years ago, Yellowstone National Park bear guru Kerry Gunther sat up on the Pelican Cone fire lookout and documented that more hikers in Pelican Valley = less grizzly bears. As more and more hikers entered the valley during the day, the bears retreated. This is a tiny part of the justification for seasonal closures of big chunks of Yellowstone’s backcountry.

    Meanwhile, bubbleheads on snowmobiles insist, “our obnoxious presence doesn’t scare grizzly bears away from prime riparian habitat along the Yellowstone and Firehole Rivers, nor does our presence stop grizzlies from feeding on elk and bison carcasses–and we can prove it. We don’t see any bears.”

    Duh!!!!

    4-wheelers and dolts on jet skis use the same “logic” to prove they don’t disturb wildlife.

  2. avatar Monty says:

    In Oregon there is a relatively healthy courgar population, and we are told by the Fish & Wildlife folks, that lions are dispersing–from the Cascade mountains– into rural-urban interface areas and, therefore, they need to be controlled. I do a lot of hiking year round, and in the winter (snow) when it is easier to locate tracks I find a lot of sign along trails & such. In the summer, along some of the popular trails, I find a lot of scat. I do not question the findings of this study but am curious as to how this will play out We also read about cougars expanding east into more populated regions and about courgars & coyotes in the LA area?????

  3. avatar Ed says:

    Do we have any idea to what degree of public use causes damage, and likewise to what degree taking pets, particularly dogs and/or horses causes more of an issue.

    The author of the article puts it well that these results are somewhat troublesome since most of us love to be in the back country. I’m not intimately familiar with Califoria parks, are these mostly near the San Fran population corridor, that might reflect more volume than an area such as Idaho or western Montana

    Dave Smith’s comment on snowmobiles is dead on. There are few scourges worse than these and other ATV’s on public land that disgust me. Anyone else ever tried to snowshoe or cross country ski when these nemesis are present? The air gags you and the pollutants are visible on the snow.

  4. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Ed, it is my understanding ~ someone correct me if I’m wrong ~ that deer and elk will *generally* avoid areas in which domestic dogs have defecated or urinated because they can’t distinguish between domestic dog waste and wolf waste.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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