This replaces the 30th edition. That old edition is now in the archives at May 29, 2011-

A new beaver pond drowning graffiti defaced trees. Beaver can restore streams, and not just streams that have been overgrazed by livestock or grazing wildlife. Copyright Ralph Maughan


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About The Author

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 past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

537 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? July 2, 2011

  1. avatar Elk275 says:

    Isn’t this a bunch of shit. My home town. Someone should be strip and whipped on the courthouse lawn. We are assured that things like this will never happen, but they do.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Elk: “According to Zabrocki, when he called the state Disaster and Emergency Services, he was told the state Department of Environmental Quality was supposed to be calling the communities downriver.

      “I don’t know if that ever happened,” Zabrocki said.”

      Do you know if anyone ever found out if the Department of Environmental Quality notified the communities before or after the article was put out? If they did afterwards, what good would it have done when many people already (surprisingly) found out about the spill? A disaster like this occurred and it seems like people in the area were getting the run-around. I would be mad as hell to with this affecting the people and wildlife there.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        I only know what I have read. It should be at my little sister farm by evening. Currently they are flooded out and she is living with her in-laws on the farm, who’s homes are on higher ground. Now Exxon wants to move over sized loads saying that they can do it safely, makes you wonder. They have not proven anything to me.

        I lived for 4 years in Alaska in the 1970’s, in 1998 I took a lady friend of mine to Alaska and we took a tour of Prince William Sound. The boat captain pointed out where the Exxon Valdez should have been and where the tanker ran aground. Hazelwood and crew were 5 miles off course. When company is larger than most counties it becomes a law on to it self.

  2. avatar jon says:

    Rammell Found Guilty and Sentenced in Poaching Case

    • avatar jon says:

      He got if easy if you ask me.

    • avatar Phil says:

      I am not concerned about the fees, but two years of a suspended hunting license is not enough. Poaching is a big issue and continues to grow in its affects on wildlife, and this is somewhat of minor punishment.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      It is probably a first offence, he had a license, and he had a tag. It was open season in the unit where he killed the elk.

      If it were a second offense, or if he didn’t have a license, or if he didn’t have a tag, or if the season had obviously been closed in the unit where he killed the elk, then it would have been a flagrant violation and more might have been done.

  3. avatar Christopher says:

    “We are assured that things like this will never happen”
    Katrina, BP, Exxon Valdez… infinitum. They tell you what you want to here and then work there tails off to emasculate the EPA or any other protective agency all in the name of “jobs” and/or “prohibiting economic expansion”.

    If anyone ever says “this will never happen”, be assured that it VERY likely to occur. Greed and ignorance will be the death of this country.

  4. avatar william huard says:

    This story appeared on June 26.

    I love “Republoman” with his total ideological immersion suit- impervious to reason, repels facts, resists any compromise……
    I include it here because the agenda includes an anti ESA mentality complete with “environmentalism is bad for business” logic

  5. avatar william huard says:

    I don’t know if someone has already posted this…..

    Any science can be challenged if the price is right….How do these people live with themselves

  6. avatar jon says:

    Easy, tiger! Incredible moment huge animal is released back into the wild after being rescued from a poacher’s snare

    Read more:

  7. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    That´s what happens when a innocent bear goes to town. It took four shots because of thick bushes!

  8. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    And you think you have already seen everything……’
    Italian politicians eat bear to protest against reintroduction of brown bears.
    At least they are not from a respected party but from a bunch of local troublemakers. I hope they got some diarrhea.

  9. avatar JB says:

    A new paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management touches on a topic of MUCH debate on this blog–do wolf populations self-regulate? The author’s answer:

    “…the data suggested that wolf populations are self regulated rather than limited by prey biomass by at least a 3:1 margin.”

    What is the mechanism of population regulation? They suggest:

    “It is likely an intrinsic regulatory mechanism (e.g., social strife, territoriality, or some other mechanism) that leads to the limitation of wolf populations in a density-dependent fashion at high ungulate densities. At ungulate biomass indices <8, wolf populations are likely limited by ungulate availability, as previously posited (Fig. 1). The prey limitation dogma has led managers to believe that food availability is the only relevant limiting factor affecting wolves. Our analysis shows that intraspecific strife, territoriality, or some other regulatory mechanism is relevant and likely plays an important role in wolf population dynamics.

    Here is citation:

    Cariappa, C. A., J. K. Oakleaf, W. B. Ballard, and S. T. Breck. 2011. A Reappraisal of the Evidence for Regulation of Wolf Populations. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:726-730.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Thank’s JB. That is an incredibly important article. It certainly shots a hole in much of the anti-wolf angst that wolves will kill all the game.

      I wish important articles like this were open to the public to read without a fee.

      • avatar JB says:


        Since one of the authors is a federal employee (USDA NWRC), the article must be open access. I did a bit of checking and found it on the USDA’s website:

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          Unfortunately, directing diehard wolf haters to technical papers, or even synopsizing the results for them, is an exercise in frustration. The most common response I get is that the science and its reporting are suspect – liberal bias being the root cause.

          As far as the paper itself, the application for boots-on-the-ground wolf management is a little tenuous. I agree with the takeaway – “we can’t assume that wolf numbers are tied directly to prey base” – but the paper treats expanding and exploited wolf populations too casually. Nearly every distinct population of gray wolves in N.A. is expanding – and the ones that aren’t are either heavily exploited or struggling with a fragile reintroduction. I’d like to see a finer point on the status of each of the sample populations.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            I should add that the upper threshold of human tolerance occurs far below the level at which wolf populations might become self-regulating – obvious when we consider recent events.

          • avatar Phil says:

            So, your idea of conclusive evidence is a smaller sample size? If you get a “finer point” of each sample population you decrease the entire sample size and break it into smaller sample sizes.

            This article is based on the entire species, so your “finer point” for each sample group would be of no significance to the study. The data they collected from each sample population would give a conclusion to that population, but not the entire species. If you were to do this study on a handful of areas with packs of wolves and compare each areas data, then it would be justified.

          • avatar JB says:

            “…the upper threshold of human tolerance occurs far below the level at which wolf populations might become self-regulating…”

            I think you are oversimplifying things a bit. Human tolerance is based on a number of factors (at the individual level, perceived benefits and costs, previous experience with wolves, whether one hunts or raises livestock, etc.) that, in turn, are likely to be affected by one’s exposure to wolves (which, in part, explains rural/urban differences). Within North America there also appears to be regional variation (for example, differences between the WGL and NRM populations).

            My experience that wildlife managers’ estimates of intolerance toward wolves are overblown and (in my opinion) are often so because the people who contact them are the one’s who don’t like wolves. A recent Harris poll found only 29% of Americans (n > 1,000) believed that “the gray wolf isn’t endangered anymore and protection under the endangered species act is no longer needed”.

            There are also problems with how people define “tolerance” or conversely, intolerance. In my view, negative attitudes don’t constitute intolerance–one becomes intolerant when they start expressing that attitude behavioral (e.g., by writing their congressperson, or calling their F&G agency to complain).

            Clearly there are some areas (e.g., national parks) where tolerance is high enough that populations self-regulate, or the authors would have found no evidence of self regulation of populations.

          • avatar JB says:

            Sorry, I meant to say…

            “…expressing that attitude behaviorally“.

          • avatar WM says:

            I found the study interesting in that it did not rely at all on any NRM data – only AK and the GL area.

            This is as much play as it got:

            ++The recently reintroduced wolves in the northern Rockies and the southwest were not included because these populations are still growing.++

            Maybe it was to keep the models simple. On the other hand, it seems that YNP with its initial population, dropped into an uber-rich prey environment quickly expanded, then dropped with outmigration and reduction in prey. Or the drop could have been a self-regulating in action.

            Maybe there were too many variables to account for. Nonetheless, it would have been nice if they had mentioned the NRM, because that is where all the action is, and those pesky state wildlife managers are actually making the harshest on the ground decisions based solely on prey.

            There will no doubt be follow-up studies that include the NRM.

          • avatar JB says:

            WM: As I understand it, this is a re-analysis of data that was collected and analyzed in a prior study (published in 2003).

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            @Phil – I’m sorry, my comments apparently weren’t clear. I’m not in any way recommending that the sample size be reduced – if anything, this study begs a larger sample, evidenced by the adjustment the authors had to make to compensate for the small sample. What I’d like to see is the criteria used to include/ exclude samples based on expanding or stable subpopulations, since one could argue that nearly all N.A. subpopulations were expanding in 2003, and continue to do so. Since I posted my comments, I re-read the 2003 Fuller study, which favored the prey-limited hypothesis, and further refinesd the UBI by differentiating between “raw” UBI and “vulnerable” UBI. So there are still a lot of questions about what factors are actually most likely to limit wolf subpopulations.

            @JB, you’re right – I’m absolutely oversimplifying the threshold of human tolerance, since my perspective is the practical side of wolf management. Sure, the vast majority of the populace is either favorable or neutral towards wolves, but the polarization on the subject has never been uglier in our time. My criteria is the daily “noise” we deal with – for instance, at the beginning of last winter we had 10 wolves on the air in my region, and that number has been reduced to five due to illegal killing. This is an unprecedented rate of loss, and I know there are people actively hunting and quite possibly poisoning wolves in this area, even though we’re still under the highest level of ESA protection. That’s my gauge of human tolerance.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        What is your point. It applies too this blog as being a community that is concerned with much of the subject matter that will be directly affected by the outcome of this issue.
        That that point escapes you is of little suprise however.

    • avatar JB says:

      It should apply to anyone who is paying attention. As a long-time listener to NPR and fan of PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, I have come to truly respect David Brooks as a moderate with a good sense of where the nation stands. I hope some folks on the right are listening…

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      As someone who believes we need to decrease spending in earnest, I can’t support the republicans currently on economic matters. They are incredibly misguided in their approach so far. They are spineless when it comes to dealing with corporations, environmental issues, and taxes on wealthy individuals earning greater than $1 million/year.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      We could shut down the government and stop all the wasteful spending on education, regulation, infrastructure, and the environment. While we’re at it, we can shut down the other wasteful spending we Americans do. We can shut down cigarette manufacturing. Cigarettes are not doing anyone any good. We don’t need alcohol. Why not shut down distillers and brewers. Sports are a big waste of money and sports stars typically waste money on things like dog fighting. I think the porn industry should be shut down and we could go without most of the movie and TV industry as well since they too are largely about sexual titillation. Junk food manufacturers should be shut down. Doritos are not needed and are only making people fat and sick and they are way over priced. I think women wear way to many cosmetics. We spend twice the money on cosmetics in this country than on weapons research. Fashion too. We spend billions on crazy fashions that are mostly the product of French and Italian designers.

      I mean, there are many ways to save money in this country if only we could just get these damn liberals under control. Cutting half the spending I just mentioned, we could pay off our public debt and half of our private debt in just a few years.

      But no…the crazy liberals will continue to ruin this country.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        …and while we’re at it, we should shut down the National Parks. They contribute nothing to the economy and people are just burning up gas and driving up the cost of oil by visiting them. Resorts should be shut down. Most people could have just as much fun in their back yards as at the beach or on a ski mountain. We should consider shutting down fast food restaurants and cutting back on restaurants in general. People need to learn to cook and eat at home. I think pet ownership should be banned. Pets contribute nothing to our economy and only cost us money. The soft drink industry should be shut down. Soft drinks help no one and most are bad for health. We waste billions on soft drinks.

        A lot of our economy can just be shut down. It will help the economy recover, save taxes, and help us pay down the debt.

        • avatar Daniel Berg says:

          I hope you don’t get TOO jaded over all this madness, Pointswest. I don’t want to come down there and find you ranting on the corner of Sunset and La Brea. 😉

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            I tell you what, if conservatives do not manage to drive this country into another great depression or big war, we should count ourselves lucky.

            I watched a documentary the other night about what has happened since Reagan deregulated the pharmaceutical industry and allowed it to advertise pharmaceuticals. All the large pharmaceutical companies have been trying to get an “orgasm pill” approved by the FDA and have been trying to convince woman that they have a disease if they do not orgasm like men do. Several companies had an orgasm medication but could have never been able to get them approved because of too many bad side-effects.

            Did you know that nearly all leading “experts” on sexuality on TV are heavily supported by the pharmaceutical companies. For example, Berman & Berman, the darlings of Oprah and WE and the media, in general, are backed by the pharmaceutical industry. They invented new medical conditions that women can be diagnosed with. They constantly advocate the use of pharmaceuticals, including off-label use by women of Viagra? It has been proven that Viagra does nothing for women’s sexuality but Berman & Berman made millions for the pharmaceutical industry by advocating that women use Viagra.

            See small list…


            I wonder if anyone knows that females of other species have no orgasm at all.

            Do you ever wonder why so many children have come down with the new disease called ADS (Attention Deficit Syndrome). We can thank Reagan and the pharmaceutical industry for that. The pharmaceutical industry has made billions from its promotion and sales of sedatives prescribed to children which “cures” them of ADS. Never mind that they are largely vegetables by the time the graduate from high school. Someone got rich!

    • avatar Bob says:

      Jeff E nailed it. If Blaine County / Hailey doesn’t get to slop at the federal trough then public employees won’t have time to blog “on the clock” here , ergo “Wildlife News” looses half its readership. What’s next ? Marvel & WWP gets EAJA funding wiped out?

      What’s next , no more studies that say that once the prey base is wiped out predators either disperse or kill each other off?

  10. avatar PointsWest says:

    Canadian bison reintroduced to Siberia doing well…

    …they should do well in Siberia since they came from there.

    Magdalenian bison on plaque, 17,000-9,000 BCE. We humans have had a relationship with bison for a long time…

    Magdalenian bison on plaque, 17,000-9,000 BCE

  11. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “New wolf pack confirmed — a short drive from Seattle”

    I guess it is called the “Teanaway Pack”.

    • avatar Phil says:

      This continues to be a great story for wolves in Washington. To see them move back to their historic ranges using their natural instincts without any force from mankind shows just how intelligent the species is.

  12. avatar Immer Treue says:

    White’s plead not guilty to killing wolves. Allowed to keep guns and hunt.

    Sorry, can’t post the site.

  13. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Rhino (poaching) in Africa, from crisis to tragedy?

  14. avatar Harley says:

    Ok… question.
    Along with the armies of chipmunks in the neighborhood, we now have a few bold foxes and coyotes who do not seem very concerned with people. While it is very cool to see them, just like encountering someone’s unleashed running loose dog, this is a bit of concern for me and a tad bit unnerving as I am now walking in the earlier hours of the morning when I’ve seen these bold animals.Does pepper spray work to deter the overly curious? And, can I train them to eat some of our chipmunks? ok, I was just kidding about that last one.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      How “bold” are they? When I take my daily late evening walk with my dog we often meet the “local” fox. In the meantime we know each other. The fox takes note of our presence and quietly slips into the underbrushes. My dog also takes note of the fox but is also not much concerned.

      • avatar Harley says:

        The fox walks past without slipping away, about the length of a one and a half car driveway from where I walk. The coyotes a little more shy, but I am not walking a dog. My neighbor has a dog and has had a few more encounters than I have.

    • avatar cc says:

      Neighborhood coyotes shouldn’t be any danger to anything other than an outside cat or small dog. But yelling, clapping or throwing a rock or stick in their direction should spook them. That is unless somebody is feeding them (directly or indirectly).

      • avatar Harley says:

        Ha! I should put up signs in the neighborhood.
        “Do not feed the coyotes dog food, cat food or the annoying Chihuahua down the road!”

        I’m thinking, this could be a theory, but I’m thinking we have such an explosion of chipmunks closer to the house because they are feeling safer there. I’ve seen a steady increase of foxes and coyotes in our neighborhood, which is interesting given they have suspended new development in the neighboring subdivision.

  15. avatar Phil says:

    This article is 3 years old, but still pretty interesting.

    If no one on here knows where Novi, Michigan is at, it is about 10 miles east of Detroit. My opinion is that the cougar was once a pet to someone and either escaped or was let free. The black cougar is very interesting to learn about. If it was a pet for someone, then could the breeders who sold or gave away the cougar purposely have put two cougars together with the recessive gene that gives off the black coloration to produce the 1/4 chance of having a black cougar?

    • avatar Harley says:

      I thought coal burning caused global warming… I’m really confused…

      • avatar JB says:


        Burning coal releases greenhouse gases, which have caused (according to 97% of scientists) a rise in the earth’s mean temperature. According to this newspaper article, a new paper suggests that sulfur (also released when coal is burned) may counteract that effect. (I’m not a betting man, but I would wager there will be replies.) Regardless, emitting sulfur into the atmosphere has its own consequences; unlike C02, sulfur (and sulfur dioxide) are harmful to humans, are major air pollutants, and the primary cause of acid rain. Not a very elegant solution to the problem of global climate change.

  16. avatar cc says:

    Nice op-ed from the Arizona Central on the need to fully address the lead bullet issue, especially for condors:

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      I wonder if eagles, ravens, crows and gulls are as sensitive? I went to solid copper bullets a number of years ago, but after butchering haul all the extra fat and bones not used for soup stock, etc. down on the beach for the birds and mink to pick clean and a day later sink the cleaned bones in the ocean, lest my dog get too interested in them. I figured it beats putting it in the land fill.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Sunday, I was at a large gun store in Ennis, Montana, my favorite. There was about 1500 boxes of center fire ammunition on the shelves. I counted 54 boxes of Barnes Thriple Shock all copper bullets. It is going to be a very long time before hunters are using lead free bullets. Both Hornaday and Nosler are in the early stages of all copper bullet construction but it is going to be 5 top 10 years before there are available in all stores.

      Currently only Barnes Bullet Company is marketing loaded all copper bullets and then only in limited calipers and bullet weights.

      ++BARNES® VOR-TX® Ammunition – precision loaded with the deadliest bullets on the planet. The leader in bullet innovation offers hunters the ultimate in accuracy, terminal performance and handloaded precision in a factory loaded round. The whirling, destructive power™ of Barnes’ all-copper bullet’s PERformance leaves lead-core bullet DEformance in the dust.

      Offering double-diameter expansion, maximum weight retention and excellent accuracy, the TSX®, Tipped TSX™ and TSX FN™ provide maximum tissue and bone destruction, pass-through penetration and devastating energy transfer. Multiple grooves in the bullet’s shank reduce pressure and improve accuracy. Bullets open instantly on contact – no other bullet expands as quickly. Nose peels back into four sharp-edged copper petals destroying tissue, bone and vital organs for a quick, humane kill.++

      The above statement has been disputed by hunters using the above bullets. It has been found that TS bullets 30 caliber and under have not always given uniformed bullet expanison.

      A box of VOR-TS cost between $50 to $80 for 20 bullets. A hunter should practice 50 times before hunting season and lets say during hunting season he/she shoots 10 rounds, that is between $150 to $200 vs approximately $50 for lead bullets that come on sale in September for less than $20 a box. I think that it is going to be a hard nationwide.

      There is the cost, availability, selection and the a rifles ability to accurately shoots copper bullets. Things to think about.

      Copper bullets are the future.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Gee whizz Elk, I hope the condors can hold on until it is worth it for hunters to make the switch….Until then it makes for mighty good fear mongerin for that assault on huntin rights claimed by your friends at SCI and NRA

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        Elk — yes the solid copper tripleshocks are more expensive but not compared with the other “premium” bullets one might choose for larger animals like elk or moose. I could get by very well for Sitka blacktails with cheap lead core bullets on a non-brown bear island, but am a handloader which reduces overall cost significantly and I don’t find the extra cost for Barnes copper bullets to be that significant. However, as you mentioned I did find a serious expansion problem with the straight 150 grain TSX — not because I was using it at long-range but because I was using reduced 30-06 loads with Alliant 2400 pistol powder (that I started using when my son started hunting at age 11, for their nearly non-existent recoil and reduced blast). I ended up going with a faster load with a lighter 130 grain tipped TSX (for which expansion problems have apparently not been reported) and that has worked fine. So I have about 80 reduced 150 TSX loads to donate to somebody whose kid needs practice with a 30-06.

  17. avatar Cindy says:

    Any news on the fatal bear attack inside Yellowstone this morning?

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Updated at 4:22 p.m.: A Yellowstone National Park visitor was killed Wednesday morning after a grizzly bear attacked him on the Wapiti Lake Trail near Canyon Village.

      The man and his wife had traveled about a mile and a half on the trail, which is east of the Grand Loop Road south of Canyon Village, when they surprised a grizzly sow with cubs. The bear attacked and fatally wounded the man in what the National Park Service called “an apparent attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs.”

      Another group of hikers heard the man’s wife crying for help and called 911.

      “It is extremely unfortunate that this couple’s trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy,” Dan Wenk, the park superintendent, said in a prepared statement. “Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with their loss.”

      The name, age, and hometown of the man and his wife are not yet available. It’s also unclear if there is a search ongoing for the sow, or if there are any plans to kill her.

      “I don’t know those details,” said Al Nash, spokesman for the park. “This is a rapidly unfolding incident which is occurring in and focused in the backcountry of the park.”

      Backcountry users are being cleared from the area, and all trails and campsites in the area have been closed until further notice. The incident is under investigation.

      It is not yet known if the man or his wife were carrying pepper spray. A bear warning sign was posted at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead, but there hadn’t been any reports of bear encounters on or along the trail this season. There had also been no recent reports of animal carcasses on or along the trail.

      This is the first bear-caused human fatality since 1986. In that case, a Great Falls man was killed while trying to photograph a bear.

  18. avatar Cindy says:

    It’s always a very sad time when our wildlife and our visitors end up on a such a tragic path. Prayers to the man’s family and peace to Mamma. I’m sure opinions will start flowing but let’s remember this is just plain sad!

  19. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Grief of tragedy aside, the comments at the Billings Gazette website that have appeared since the story was posted less than 2 hours ago are nothing short of wretched and vile.

    I also have read the trail where this occurred was posted for bear activity. We’ll know more tomorrow.

    • avatar Phil says:

      I will not read the comments, but I have a pretty good idea from whom the majority of those comments are coming from. Just think of the anti-wolf side.

      Truly sad to read what happened to the man. I cannot imagine what his wife/girlfriend went through the entire time, and what she is still going through. As tragic as it is, it is the responsibility of all humans to understand what the environment holds that we are getting our selves into. I can’t blame the griz for acting instinctive in defending her cub(s), and to some degree can’t blame the man and woman, but they should have been properly prepared and aware of the area. I may be jumping to speculations here, but as Cody said, “we’ll know more tomorrow”.

    • avatar Mike says:

      I’m convinced the Billings Gazette commenters are insane.

  20. avatar PointsWest says:

    News Story reads: “This is the first bear-caused human fatality since 1986. In that case, a Great Falls man was killed while trying to photograph a bear.”

    That is true but weren’t there something like five attacks last year just outside the Park with two fatalities?

    Maybe they could allow the Shoshone-Bannock to hunt grizzlies in the Park(since it belonged to the Sheep-Eater Shoshone). It would not take a lot…maybe 5 permits per year in the beginning. …just to keep grizzlies on edge a little around humans.

    • avatar mikarooni says:

      Maybe they could allow us to hunt white people in the Park (since it belonged to the Sheep-Eater Shoshone). It would not take a lot, maybe 5 permits per year in the beginning, just to keep you fake humans on edge a little around us real humans.

  21. avatar PointsWest says:

    Yellowstone Tour Bus operator reporting a wolf pup hit by a car on 191 south of Black Butte Ranch. (Going toward Big Sky).

    No further info.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      The Black Butte Ranch, that is the part of the Gallatin River where I would take my clients when I was fishing guiding out of Big Sky. One of the best places on the Gallatin River to fish.

  22. avatar Mike says:

    Lazy Alaska Fish and Game decides to blow away two bear cubs that were lounging in a tree:

    Who knows what would’ve happened to the bears. It’s not this idiot’s right to decide. They could’ve starved, sure. But at this moment they were doing fine, and maybe doing fine for a couple weeks is better than being blown out of a tree.

    It’s important to note that this problem was caused by some idiot who thought their mother was “damaging his property”.

    $10 a gallon gas, folks. Get this trash out of the backcountry and finally the animals can live in peace. I cannot wait until these 12 MPG pieces of garbage that these idiots use to drive around in rural America and shoot animals are forced off the roads.

    The world will be a better place without guns and fools who think it’s their right to kill things for no reason.

    • avatar Ryan says:


      Once again its too bad you don’t know WTF you are talking about. The area where the bear was shot is within 2 miles of city limits in Anchorage, the biggest city in AK.

      Not exactly the back country smart guy.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Wow, your a bad ass, riveroutlaw.

        Can I overcompensate like you do?

        • avatar Ryan says:

          If you weren’t such an abrasive bigot, you wouldn’t get the reactions you do..

          “Can I overcompensate like you do?”

          I think you are a couple steps ahead of me already.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Come on, Ryan. We all know what that photo really means.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            To me its just a cool picture my buddy took last year on our hunting trip to the desert.

            I know guns are scary and all, but thats just a standard bolt action hunting rifle..

            What does it mean to you?

    • avatar Harley says:

      I dunno, after reading the article, it looks to me like the Fish and Game people did try to find an alternative. It’s not like they said, oh hey, let’s blow a couple of orphan bear cubs out of a tree, cause we have nothing better to do…
      Don’t get me wrong, it sucks when baby wildlife dies, heck, I can’t even look at road kill, adult or young. But on the same hand, it did not appear that the Fish and Game were cold blooded killers.

      • I recently found out that Alaska is one of the states that doesn’t allow orphan bears to be raised to return them to the wild. . orphan bears must have a zoo or other organization that will give them a life long home in order to be saved. Some states allow rehabilitation centers to raise orphans and return them to the wild. There are so many orphan bears in Alaska that saving them is impossible with a law like that.

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          I believe places can be permitted to take them for educational or other purposes – there is one in Sitka. However, you are correct, unfortunately, that supply far outstrips demand for orphaned bears. The communities of Anchorage are and Juneau are next to a huge supply of bears. You can look around above Mt. Juneau with a spotting scope and pick out black bears almost anytime from downtown, particularly a month or two earlier. If you don’t keep human food away, they will just keep coming. I know the people who have to deal with it do not enjoy killing bears and get very frustrated and if it is a choice of catching habituated or orphaned bears and quietly taking them off to the same fate while letting the neighborhood imagine the best, or shooting them openly right where the problem was allowed at the risk of hurt feelings and outrage, well sometimes hurt feelings probably happen. Juneau got ahead of the curve with strict garbage laws, due mainly to some people deciding that facilitating and killing the never-ending stream of bears coming in affended their values. However, this summer there is a salmon berry failure so lots of bears are right in around town anyway . . .

  23. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I have heared but I can’t verify it yet,that the feds have agreed with the shoot on sight policy in Wyoming when dealing with the wolves.Is this it true?

    • avatar william huard says:

      Yes Rita, I got an email alert from Defenders. We are following on gutting the ESA section

  24. avatar jon says:

    Not good news for Idaho wolves. There will be a 10 week trapping season and hunters will be allowed to take 2 wolves each instead of 1.

  25. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

  26. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

  27. avatar jon says:

    is this considered ethical hunter behavior?,79063.0.html

  28. avatar PointsWest says:

    Kruman’s latest article in the NY Times. He has been very consistent and I will point out that every one of his predictions have come to pass. He predicted the financial crisis months before it materialized, by the way, when all of the conservative economists were admiring themselves with what they had created.

    It is becoming more and more evident to me that conservatism is more of a religion than a logical political philosopy where one actually uses the human ability reason to rationalize it tenents. 🙂

  29. avatar Ralph Maughan says:


    You are right about Krugman. He has predicted almost every economic event in the last three or four years. I wish Obama had him as an economic adviser, though who knows what kind of economic advice he seeks or even what his goals are?

    I minored in economics and taught introductory economics courses at Idaho State University for about ten years. Emerging out of the Great Depression a standard model was developed how to deal with recessions and how to avoid another depression. The model had its faults in that it give little advice how to deal with “stagflation,” as the economic malady of the 1970s was called, but this is long gone. There was also persistent inflation, although that is largely gone too and certainly not coming back under current policies.

    From the end of World War II until the recent “great recession,” one way or another, the solution was simple — have government spend money to prop up demand until private spending took up the slack. It is absolutely impossible for the government deficit to be reduced during a recession by budget cuts alone because the cuts reduce demand and hence revenues, so feeding the downturn.

    Currently we face a classic failure of enough demand (aggregate demand) for goods and services in the marketplace to stimulate any reduction in unemployment. There is no private spending on the horizon that is going to end this. The current plans for more more federal budget cuts is going make things worse, probably a flat out depression.

    These counterproductive policies almost all have a political origin and a political solution. For some reason Obama and the Republicans can’t see this, don’t want to see it, maybe hope to benefit from vast misery. It is very hard to explain. You are right, the Republicans treat tax cuts like religious faith, although tax increases across the board won’t help stimulate demand either. Redistributive tax cuts — wealth transfer to those who will spend the money — are another matter.

    The cheering by the MSM pundits of the budget cuts shows another reason why these media are in such decline. They would have flunked introductory economics at a public university. How can we take seriously the other things they write about? They have failed to inform us.
    – – – –
    From Krugman. Political Insanity, In One Graph

    • avatar vickif says:

      I agree. My father holds a master’s in International Econ, and Finance. He says we are on the verge of complete colapse. That is frightening on a number of levels, financial, security and otherwise.

      Our politicians miss the boat far too often. The recent increase in manufacturing revenue is evidence that out-sourcing to other countries has had a direct impact on our economy. It is exceeding the normal 7-10 year evidence of action. There needs to be reform, not a complete hack job done to the federal budget.

      Investing in local economies will surely aid in local tax bases. However, if we are to see federal results, we need to tax ( instead of giving tax breaks) those companies which out source jobs over seas. We also need to invest in alternative energy, which should keep local folks employed at local grids.

      Religeon being thrown into politics, and taxation without representation, is what drove the Brits to this country. Now- here we go again!

      God should not be the basis of an economy. He should guide your conscience. That would fix a whole lot.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      The older mansions here in Bel Air or Beverly Hill were hard to get rid of a few years ago. Millionaires and billionaires preferred to build new rather than buy even a famous mansion with a rich history. Why? Because the classical Bel Air mansion is so uneconomical. They generally required a staff of 20 to operate and the economics have changed since the 20’s and 30’s. There has been a great democratization of our economy since WWII. We have minimum wage. Employers are forced to pay insurance and benefits to employees. The middle class expanded and the lower class are better off.

      Believe it or not, there are people who are against this. The see this democratization of the economy as an evil. They want people desperately poor again so that they will do any back breaking labor for a few dollars an hour with no insurance and no benefits. They want to subjugate the populace and return to a two-class society of nobles and peasants. The rich can no longer afford a staff of 20 at their mansions to laugh at their jokes, to make them feel sexy, and wipe their butts anymore. Things need to change back to where they were before.

      Republicans want to:

      -obliterate all taxes for the aristocracy (nobility).
      -tax the middle class out of existence
      -destroy medicare
      -destroy social security
      -destroy any form of welfare
      -destroy public education
      -destroy any form of government that is for “public” benifit, i.e. environmental protection, national parks and other public lands, education, and consumer protection

      …and they are willing to hold the American economy hostage to do it.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Republoman is really good at meaningless, pointless pieces of legislation like the recent light bulb bill. The Dems in the Senate have some serious senators like Levin and Conrad that could help with these fiscal issues like Tax havens etc- the question is simple- who is left on the Repub side that is reasonable enough to work on these issues?
        Republoman has turned into a bunch of partisan blowhards like Pence and cantor….Name me a person in the private sector with responsibilities that wouldn’t have been fired for lack of performance by now……

        • avatar Redleg says:

          My understanidng is that there were a lot of people in the private sector who were not fired for running their companies into the ground, especially after they got the politicians to prop up their companies with taxpayer dollars, in fact I guess they gave themselves rather large bonuses for ripping us all off. I guess BP executives even got safety bonuses after their tragedy occurred. I realize you said to name them, but I will just feel more hopeless researching it, and rather not at this time.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Vickif writes: “God should not be the basis of an economy. He should guide your conscience. That would fix a whole lot.”

      I believe conservatism is a religion but it does not have any kind of grassroots origin in peoples belief in God or doG or Zeus or the Easter Bunny. It was and is proselytised by a few very wealthy families in this country who have deep pockets and who control mass media companies. It is also ever-shifting and keeping the flock away from democratization.

      It seems like yesterday that Reagan was quoted as saying, “I am not worried about the deficit, it is big enough to take care of itself.” Deficits were strong, and powerful, and good under God during the Reagan years but now they are the work of Satan with Obama as President.

      I watched a carefully crafted 30 sec TV commercial on one of the Fox channels last night that subliminally portrayed deficits and the natinal debt as Satan that we need to protect our children from.

      • avatar vickif says:

        Terrible stuff. As if kids don’t have enough to deal with these days.

        I think people play the “God” card in politics. It is obvious that the people who stand firm in the extreme realm of conervatism are just as full of sin and apt to walk an immoral line as the rest of us.

        So much could be accomplished if the government managed its’ bank accounts like a house wife on a budget.

        Money, especially tax dollars, should be spent with purpose and intention. It should be used for the highest priorities as they relate to the long term care of a country.

        I am all for people believing in God. But when the day ends, there are still far too many ways to interpret religeous views to have people meet in the effort of solving our economic perril, while agreeing on His place in life is a deal breaker.

        It paralells the plight of wolves, and indeed, conservation and the environment as a whole. There are far too many people who see that they are right and will not budge- let alone meet in the middle.

        Sigh, ….I wish I thought there was an end in sight.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          Do you know where and when the first national debt started?

          It was started where most things of the modern world start, in England. It started in the 16th century under Queen Elizabeth. After the Spanish Armada nearly destroyed England, Queen Elizabeth realized that England needed a large navy to compete with the Spanish and with the Portuguese and to protect growing British interests outside of the British Isles.

          The Royal government did not have the money to build a navy to match those of Spain or Portugal’s, however. Spain and Portugal had become rich nations by exploiting the New World, especially by enslaving Native Americans and forcing them to work in the silver mines of the Andes.

          In desperation, Queen Elizabeth created the Bank of England, the world’s first national bank and it was truly a “national bank” and was a new invention since it was owned by the Queen. Queen Elizabeth and her loyal yet rich and famous sea captain, Sir Walter Raleigh, were the first to invest. Soon most of the British aristocracy, most of the merchants, and most of the emerging middle class followed with investments in the Bank of England. Some investments were less than a British pound. With this huge investment from the populace, Queen Elizabeth created the Royal Navy that had a long and prosperous future ahead of it. The Royal Navy allowed England to build the vast British Empire on which, a century later, the sun would never set.

          I disagree that the government should, “manage its’ bank accounts like a house wife on a budget.” Nations are not like households. Nations are more like businesses and business do borrow money to build prosperous futures.

          • avatar vickif says:

            True, businesses borrow. Other businesses profit from that. But a house-wife knows not to borrow from a loan shark. (China) She also knows how to borrow for what is a need, and not a want.(Health care for everyone, even those who don’t want it) She would borrow to buy an economical car, instead of spending more money on a pretty car that sucks gas, because that is a better investment.
            Governments are NOT businesses. That is the problem. Businesses don’t have the disadvantages of answering to people who don’t own stock in their company (illegal immigrants).
            Keeping the government afloat is one thing- trying to act like there is any hope in hell of it being profitable is another. Businesses run to earn a profit. The government should be run to govern a country based on the needs of the whole, not the few.(Like stock holders)
            Were in not for the huge tax breaks given to big oil, and the life sucking free ride given to public land ranchers,and the shameful tax breaks given to companies who basically recruit slave labor while out-sourcing work- we would have more revenues in the bank, and less debt.
            This is why there needs to be “home based budgeting”. A house-wife would not be sending money to Pakistan if she was unable to keep her kids fed and her roof squarely on her house.
            Give tax breaks to companies that employee people here (currently done if you hire a person who is collecting unemployment). That will increase the business’ motivation to keep jobs in country.
            I get what you are saying Points West. But businesses that are founded in debt, and have a negative prospectus that shows no sign of improvement in the near future- get denied loans. Most businesses are founded by people who still work full time for atleast a year after beginning the business to support the business until it can profit enough for them to maintain their standard of living.
            Like it or not, incurring huge debt, without a REASONABLE plan to repay it is bad business. The government has exceeded the capacity for which it was designed.They stopped governing people and started enabling a large population of entitled youth and selfish business aristocracy. (Like oil and health isnurance companies and CEO’s) Now, they are feeding a bad economy by taking money from my children’s future security.
            I could be wrong- hey it would not be the first time. But reform is a necessity if this country is to keep from collapsing.
            I manage a multi-million dollar a year business, and I am increasing revenue each year-even in a floundering economy. I have created two others that are now thriving. I am not rich because the capital needed to do this was not within my personal bank accounts- neither is it in the government’s. I can make other people’s money work wonders for them. But the old saying is definitely true=it takes money to make money.Our government simply does not have any more money.
            I run a thriving business because I keep it’s over-head low and feed the tax base that pays for my company’s services. There in, I keep resources available to the people who pay us.I buy local, in bulk, employ local, and I give back locally. I budget over-head to fit the model of the business. I don’t run the business while assuming the over-head is going to decrease—-I make it decrease to create a profitable business.
            I learned how to do this, as a single mother of four, by having to do this in real life.
            So even if you run the government like a business, atleast run it like one that you want to succeed. A business in the red for very long is lest costly if you sell it off….otherwise, it becomes a money pit… our country is quickly becoming.
            I can’t say I have all the answers….but I can clearly see our economy is in need of fixing, resources are in need of saving, and government is needing to figure it out, fast!
            BTW- this country was founded by people who fled England due to religeous persecution and taxes. They hoped for a better future fo rtheir families. Do you see that happening for ours? Because I cannot say I do.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            It is not going to help us to succeed by further shutting our economy down. Conservatives have done superb job of convincing Americans that Obama is a poor black man with a blank check who thinks he is going to spend he way out of a recession. The comparisons of our national economy to a household have become commonplace. All white people think they are smarter than Obama. So I think we will see conservative success in further shutting down of the economy and a deepening of the recession.

            I will finish by saying that a national economy is very different from a household economy in the following way. A national economy spends all sorts of money on things it does not need…tobacco, alcohol, sports, pornography, much of the entertainment business, fashion, art, gourmet food, etc., etc. We could do without much of these things and may be better off without some. But if you just shut these businesses down, it shuts a big part of the economy down and people are without jobs and the overall economy will suffer. Less is not always more in a national economy because any kind of business, even government business, gives people jobs.

            Conservatives are so negative. The answer to all problems, according to conservatives, is that someone needs to be punished and/or something needs to be destroyed. In the case of our feeble economy, destroying part of it and killing jobs is going to be very detrimental…more detrimental than almost anything else.

            Conservatives cannot help themselves. They are every bit as entrenched in this household thought-party as you are and they all think their common sense is what is needed as they dismiss intellectuals such as Obama and Krugman. We are probably in for long, long recession.

          • avatar vickif says:

            Points West,
            Now, I do agree with much of what you just posted.

            Our current president is not the root of this problem. This problem has been more like a hundred years in the making.

            I certainly am far from a typical conservative. Yes, governments employee people. But let us not split hairs.

            In all honesty, I tend to be quite liberal. Even I have boundaries though. My tollerance for spending afar is gone. My tollerance for illegal imigrants show no regard for the laws that govern this country, is gone. My tollerance for people making millions while not paying a fair wage to the laborers that they profit off of, is gone. My tollerance for banks that still profit while taking bail-outs and car companies that don’t move toward a more ethical fuel consumption line, is gone.

            Democrats, republicans…they are ALL politicians. So my confidence in them is slipping away, along with my right to enjoy the outdoors, and see wild animals being wild, while breathing non-toxic air and drinking clean water.

            I have read, and heard one empty promise after another. I have to say, giving into a higher deficit, or not—I think we are in deep crapola.

            We seem to be primarily on the same page. I still disagree with how our country is being governed at this time (and for a while before this too). The government’s agenda should be based on home, not international needs. I don’t see other countries dishing out billions in aid to us to bail us out. There is certainly something to be said about charity begining at home.

    • avatar JB says:

      “I would like us to be a voice of reason in a larger community who can bring the community together around some of these divisive issues,” he said. “We would like to be a bridge between the environmental and fishing and hunting communities, a place where those communities can come together and not focus where we disagree.”

      This is exactly what we need.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      This is what Brian and Ken’s three part article posted the other day was about — Idaho’s (I am embarrassed to say “my” congressman) Mike Simpson gutting the budget for the endangered species act, the BLM, the Forest Service and the EPA. The parts he wants to cut are the parts the people (excluding the ranchers and the oil companies) like.

      Some say he is afraid of the Tea Party. There doesn’t seem to be a single Republican willing to risk his or her seat in Congress by standing up to this looney and intolerant minority of the minority political party in the country.

  30. avatar Cindy says:

    Oh dear, Bears being bears again..and in front of the camera!!

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Oh dear, “habituated bears” being “habituated bears” again…and in front of the camera!!

      Sorry but normal bears don’t confront humans for food in their backpacks.

      • avatar cc says:

        The bear didn’t confront anyone nor did it touch her backpack (which she foolishly left behind potentially leading the bear to associate people with food rewards). Kerry Gunther is seen in this video at
        1:05 retrieving the back which is clearly untouched.

        Could it be the bear just wanted a drink and a bath?

        Could it be that the presence of a CNN crew might have altered the people’s response so they were sure to get on tv?

        Could it be that the media dumbs everything down to a misleading fable which can easily be absorbed by a mostly ignorant, shallow public?

        Could it be that a person’s ideology can cause them to jump to conclusions, make things up, and render them incapable of witnessing bear behavior without shitting themselves in fear?

        No, it must have been a rabid bear determined to eat people. We must all take up arms to keep the bears off Yellowstone’s 800 miles of trails.

  31. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Don’t pee on trails or goats may attack, Olympic Nat’l Park warns”

  32. Article on Jakie Skaggs blaming photographer for bear jams:
    A photographers response:

    I sadly spend way too much time near bear jams for my job. While I wish they did not occur and the bears could just live their lives without people staring at them all day, if bears like 610 and 399 want to localize roadside to protect their cubs then they also have the consequence of dealing with people. The park has two choices, drive the bears back into the woods or improve roadside bear jams by shifting funding to cover the need. Lately photographer have been critical of the park and their management of the grizzlys now the park seems to be critical back.

    The volunteer wildlife brigade is doing its best in Grand Teton but I am so very tired of being told to move along when a bear is hundreds of yards away and there are places to park and view things safely for the bear and the public. Obviously if a bear is distressed/wants to cross a road/approaches a road then we need to give it space.

    I know there is a better way, I see it in the Lamar in Yellowstone, in all my years up there it is usually consistent safe and in the best interests of the bear. If you need to move because ranger tells you to then you know why, there are rules the rangers use to decide based on scientific study’s what is in the bears and peoples best interest.

    I have yet to see in my daily bear jams in GTNP a single photographer behaving badly this year near 399 and 610, so why is Jakie Skaggs blaming them for bears choosing to forage near main highways? I have seen many park visitors behaving badly mostly out of ignorance. In the past photographers who are not local have been unethical in other situations, but why blame local photographers now? I and they have been spending most of their time helping keep the bears happy and safe, often before the wildlife brigade arrives!
    I wish 610 would find a backroad to forage near like her mother has lately and avoid the crowds but if she she chooses not to, then the park needs to get better at controlling crowds for her in an ethical way that is in everyone’s best interest. I am heartsick over her potentially getting hurt. She has already lost the cubs a few times.

    Lately I had clients at a bear Jam with “Blondie”. The bear clearly smelled something good across the road but could not get across because of crowds, the wildlife brigade did nothing to help the bear cross the road and could have cared less. People were far closer than 100 yards and they did nothing. Just a few days later when 610 was far away rangers stopped letting cars park to see her (there were plenty of safe out of traffic spots) and made everyone get into their cars when she was making no move to approach the crowd- just so people would go away, where is the consistency? The bear never seemed uncomfortable or unhappy and she never got to an unsafe distance. I am only one person, I can leave and do when I feel watching the bear is not in the best interests of the bear but that does not fix a crowd.

    So all this is the photographers fault? Where are the salaried park rangers? Why do we have to rely on a non profit to fund a bunch of brigade volunteers? I know grand teton is broke- believe me I know, but why cant this be more of a priority to shift funding and rangers toward? There has to be a better way, and I hope we can find it before any bears or people get hurt.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      How true. if bees go away most of the rest of flora and fauna will quickly follow

      • avatar Harley says:

        This has been looming in the shadows for quite some time. I’ve been keeping some tabs on the situation, mainly because I’d rather use honey than sugar when at all possible! But yeah, it’s rather more than just what people like to eat. It’s scary, I really hope they figure it out.

  33. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Earth Firsters occupy Governor’s office….sometimes it takes acts of “civil disobedience” to bring about change. Good for these guys!!

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Another case of it’s the habitat,stupid(not you Harley!)

      • avatar Phil says:

        The government is not attacking the direct cause of problems to the caribou, but instead something they dislike. How dare the government blame the root-cause of problems the caribou are facing on the oil and gas industry when they have an easier target like the wolves.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Thank you for clarifying Immer! 😉

    • avatar vickif says:

      Or, maybe the government needs to legitimately deal with accelerated global warming, which is also creating issues for caribou? Mosquitos are thriving in the conditions which are changing at an alarming pace. And mosquitos directly impact the populations,their migrations…and their ability to stay healthy!

      But then wait, to deal with GW, they would need to tick off the oil and gas industries. What a huge joke.

      Wolves are no more the problem for caribou than my two dogs are for prairie dogs.

  34. avatar PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s Watergate? Carl Bernstein, Newsweek July 11, 2011

    “politicians[…] make it evident that the shuttering of News of the World, and the official inquiries announced by the British government, are the beginning, not the end, of the seismic event.

    Wow…is this the other dead conservative shoe dropping. First, Bush and Reaganomic crashed the economy and, now, the Rupert Murdoch mass manipulation media empire will be torn down?

    I hope so. Wouldn’t it be cool if the 81-year-old Rupert was put behind bars? …I wonder if his 30-year-Chinese-whore of a wife will cry.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Bernstein was on MSNBC tonight and is making the comparison to Watergate. He says, similar to Nixon, we will learn if Murdoch knew of the blatantly illegal conduct of his many subordinates but at the very least, we already know that Murdoch created the environment where such conduct could proliferate.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        I yearn for the days when Rupert owned just two dinky newspapers in Adelaide, AU. If only he had stayed put .

        Murdoch is to this day and age what William Randolph Hearst was to his own era , a man who could turn yellow journalism into gold but denigrate an entire culture in doing so.

        History will judge him. My present opinion of him is unprintable here. He’s all but destroyed the integrity of my profession ( journalism) by converting it to a massive For Profit industry.

        Bottom Line : Nobody—especially Rupert— owns the news.

  35. avatar PointsWest says:

    That was supposed to read: …I wonder if his 30-year-old Chinese-whore of a wife will cry.

    Here is a photo of the beautiful couple…

    and another…

    …such the happy and spiritually fulfilled couple.

  36. avatar PointsWest says:

    US Senator calling for investigation of Rupert Murdoch in the United States!

    Hooooooooray!!!! Whaaaaaahoooooo!!!

    I hope they find an incriminating relationship with the Koch’s too.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! I would love to see FUX news crash and burn!!!!Maybe Oreilly and Hannity could get reality shows. What would poor airhead Palin do?

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Another article Senator Rockefeller: “I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe.”

      It sounds to me like they already know something.

      Could this spell the end of the Fixed News Channel? God I hope so.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        I thought it was odd that the Democrats did not make more of the shooting attack on Gabriel Gifford several months back. I blamed Conservatives for it, especially the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Riely. Why didn’t Democratic politicians seize the occasion to lambaste conservative rage-speech. Democrats were unusually stoic and forgiving.

        These phone hacking investigation have been going on since 2007. I have a feeling now that the Democrats have known about it for months and have been biding their time until 2012 campaign that is getting underway in earnet. I also get the feeling they really have something and that this is going to be big…like Bernstein said, another Watergate.

        • avatar william huard says:

          For once I would like to see the Democrats go for the throat….Think of the different investigations that will happen in the House and Senate. We will wonder if they are investigating the same issue….

          • avatar Harley says:

            Then if that’s the case, we should muzzle every opinionated commentator out there…
            I’m sorry Points West, it works both ways. We can’t just lay this at the conservatives feet and say HA!
            My point is that both parties are a fault. Who is to say that this man wasn’t influenced by someone else if he was that mentally unstable? But because Palin is such an outspoken highly publicized individual, it’s very easy to blame her. Maybe we should blame the doctors who didn’t medicate the man properly? Perhaps we should blame his family for not keeping a closer eye on someone who is so mentally unstable?
            After such incidences, how many times do we hear, Oh, there were warning signs all over the place! All kins of red flags!

        • avatar Harley says:

          Points West
          “Why didn’t Democratic politicians seize the occasion to lambaste conservative rage-speech.”

          I believe there were several reasons. The first one is that this guy did not shoot Gabriel Gifford because of anything that was said or implied by conservatives. He shot her because he was crazy. Period. Really, let’s put the blame where it belongs. On the person. Way too many people want to blame someone else for their own actions.
          Second, as they point that finger there are 3 more pointing at them. Democrats are not innocent by any means and they know it. They start an issue over this and it opens them up to a rebuttal they don’t want.

          Politics can be broken down like this:
          Poly (man) tics (blood sucking parasites)
          Personally I think that sums up both Dems and Repubs. Many blood sucking parasites.

          • avatar Harley says:

            * (many) not (man)

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            When people are mentally unstable, they are easily influenced by any messages they my see or hear…


          • avatar PointsWest says:

            Harley…have you ever seen a liberal commentator or politician that tried to get their message across using imagery like bullet holes? If so, can you post an example.

            I think almost anyone who lives in America knows that right wing rhetoric and general communication has grown to be very hostile, very violent, and very hateful in recent years.

          • avatar Harley says:

            This is what I found. There are some comparisons in here that I’ve heard of, some that are new to me. I know, it’s a ‘conservative’ point of view but… try to struggle through it. I’d love to know your thoughts on the article. Please, as a liberal, don’t put blinders on ok? I’m trying not to as a conservative,well, mostly conservative, which is why I’ve been camped out here lately.
            I’m not defending any actions of the conservatives. I’m just showing you, it works both ways. I think both kids of politicians suck, you can’t trust any of them quite frankly.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Ha! I got so nervous about the link I forgot to add it! here it is lol


          • avatar timz says:

            try this from some of your favorite “liberals.”

          • avatar JB says:

            In all honesty, Harley, I think this is a giant waste of time. Obama says “hand to hand combat” in a speech and it is cause for uproar? Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face and told a U.S. Senator (Patrick Leahy) to “go f%ck yourself” on the floor of the senate. There’s plenty to be outraged about (no matter what your political views) right now, but not this.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            …I know the far left has its violent crackpots too. But most of these examples of violent liberals are from comedians and actors and are single line expressions of hate. The hate speech is more institutionalized and main stream on the right. None of these examples comes close to Rush Limbaugh’s bullet hole billboard. How many months did this symbol of violence against enemies of conservatives hang out there?

            A conservative congressman shouted “liar” at one of Obama’s speeches. Fox News broadcasts Glen Becks endless paranoid rantings about conspiracy by liberals and the end of the world. Televangelist Pat Robertson put out a call for someone to assassinate Hugo Chavez in a televised prayer. The Tea Party waves the “do not tread on me” flag of the rattlesnake at all their rallies. C’mon!

  37. avatar Nancy says:

    Harley says:
    July 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    Ha! I got so nervous about the link I forgot to add it! here it is lol

    I’ve got 3 very important words for you Harley………Follow The Money

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      I think that is number three so far killed by cars in the GYE this year that I have read about. Maybe four. One was killed in the Park. One was killed near West Yellowstone, and a cub was hit by a car near West Yellowstone.

  38. avatar PointsWest says:

    Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, says Japan must ditch nuclear energy.

    Boy…things do not look well for the future of the nuclear industry. I was semi-against nuclear for many years but thought the new generation of reactors sounded pretty good came around to being in favor of nuclear power. I don’t know now. Some ant-nuke types are predicting that over a million people will eventually die from air and water borne radiation from the Fukushima reactors. They also say that nearly 800,000 eventually died from Chernobyl reactor meltdown in 1986 and more are dying everyday.

    I wonder if the $3 billion Areva plant near Idaho Falls will be built next summer. Some are already saying there will not be any demand because all plans for new nuclear reactors in the US will be scrapped. They might be right. Germany, Italy, and Switzerland have all decided to move away from nuclear energy and it sounds like Japan will too. Anti-nukes are also claiming there is a massive coverup as to the extent of exposure and potential health risks. Japan’s Prime Minister becoming anti-nuke certainly adds to their credibility.

    There is still hope for Thorium Reactors. I do believe they are much safer. But it sounds like the public around the world may become very anti-nuke as the fallout from Fukushima finally all hits the ground.

  39. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Seldom do good news come from Afghanistan:
    Wonder how they can do wildlife research work over there -and survive.

    • Peter Kiermeir,

      I am happy to read this, and I am equally surprised that this would happen in Afghanistan.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Whenever I read a story like this I get this feelng in my stomach that sometimes things should be left unsaid…..

      • I beg to differ: the number one animal to fear in the woods is not the grizzly bear it is the man with a gun who can kill something a long ways away without really knowing what it is, or perhaps the mosquito who has been responsible for 3 million deaths worldwide, or maybe the tick and all it really horrible diseases it can pass on to man. Naw the grizzly bear is just a icon for late night horror films, but not at all the most dangerous thing.

        • avatar Elk275 says:


          ++I beg to differ: the number one animal to fear in the woods is not the grizzly bear it is the man with a gun who can kill something a long ways away without really knowing what it is++

          You are wrong Linda, it is drowning, there has been 8 drowning deaths in Montana since the ice went out and that was a couple of days ago. The tally is increasing daily and weekly.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I am not certain if this is true in recent years, but in the 80’s and 90’s, by far the most dangerous animal in the GYE was moose. Moose had been especially hard on X-country skiers. There were several attacks every year with many killed. Moose are very irritable in the winter and tended to use the same packed trails as X-country skiers. Moose were not much of a problem until X-contry skiing became popular near the end of the 70’s.

        • avatar Mike says:

          You have a better chance of shooting yourself with your own gun than being attacked by a wild animal. You have a better chance of being killed by someone else with a gun than by a wild animal.

          Some stats:

          Odds of dying by a grizzly in Yellowstone: 1 in 3 million
          Odds of dying by a cougar attack in California: 1 in 32 million
          Odds of dying via attack by any animal not a dog or pet: 1 in 4,200,000
          Odds of dying by accidental firearm discharge: 1 in 5134
          Odds of dying by firearm assault: 1 in 324
          Odds of dying from heart disease: 1 in 5

          You are absoltuely correct in noting that what we should be afraid of is idiots with guns, not wild animals. Throw fast food in the mix, too.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Too add to this, social scientists have done quite a bit of research on individual’s perception of risk. When it comes to risk of mortality, Americans (and probably all or most other cultures) make very poor judgments about risk, especially of newsmaking but relatively rare events like wild animal attacks.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            …but the odds of an American being seriously injured by falling off a roof is 1 in 10 million also. If you are a roofer, however, and are on roofs everyday for years on end, the odds are actually pretty good that you will eventually fall off a roof and sustain serious injuries.

          • avatar WM says:

            …so to carry PW’s point one step further, if you are in your car in Yellowstone, windows rolled up and all, driving through the Park during the day your chances are nil for being assaulted, much less killed by a grizzly (even less if winter).

            On the other hand, if you are on a back country trail, in summer, in an area known to be inhabited by grizzlies that time of year, your chances of being assaulted (notice distinction from being killed because that raises the risk level too), are much higher. It is all a matter of time, place and potential for the enounter to occur, so I call BS on Mike’s numbers being very meaningul – except the heart disease one.

            Actuaries think about this stuff all the time, and that is how insurance premiums are determined.

          • avatar Mike says:

            People who go to Yellowstone get out of their cars. Some of the dumbest incidents are caused by toursits who park their car and approach animals.

            Most of Yellowstone’s animals are seen near the roads (for obvious reasons), so one could argue that there’s a higher chance of getting into an incident there. This is similar to Florida shark attacks, which maintain a high rate because of high numbers of swimmers.

            The most recent attacks in/near Yellowstone occured close to the road, and in two car campgrounds.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        I too am more worried about grizzlies than wolves. Wolves are so prolific. They bounced back from a population of zero to a couple of thousand in just over a decade. Grizzlies were put on the endangered species list in (?) 1975 and after 35 years have only doubled their population from 300 to 600? …something like that. I also believe that Yellowstone grizzlies are probably distinct from those in BC and that transplants from BC may not do as well elsewhere in the US as would those from Yellowstone.

        I am very concerned about the Mexican wolf however. That one is really struggling.

  40. avatar Ryan says:

    The reparcussions of this could have nationwide impacts with regards to native american hunting rights. I hope the verdict sticks..

    • avatar vickif says:

      “Blansts” is a stretch. He will back off. He only threw that out there because his hyopcrtical arss would be transparent if he didn’t.
      Glad he is outta here soon.

      I just hope the senate says “no” to this crud.

      Taking away anyone’s right to litigate or ‘sue’ in order to assure their civil liberties and country are not turning to a pile of manure is one more foot in the grave of our country.

  41. avatar Harley says:

    Coyotes apparently seem to like Chicago…

  42. avatar PointsWest says:

    Chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper operations, announced her resignation on Friday in another stunning blow to Mr. Murdoch’s once all-powerful empire…

    I heard the other night that all of Murdoch’s licenses to broadcast in the US, including the license to broadcast Fixed News, come up for review each year by the FCC. One of the criteria the FCC reviews in renewing licenses is the character of the license holder. Murdoch is being dragged though the mud with this scandal and he may be unable to renew some or all of his FCC licenses in coming months.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      I’m sure his 30-year-old whore..errrr…30-year-old wife will defend his character.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        The HP came out yesterday reporting on the accusation that a News Corp business may have tapped into 9/11 victims’ phones. It’s going to be difficult to figure out what is smear and what is not for the next few months. How interesting that this all happened on the cusp of what would have been one of Murdoch’s greatest achievements.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          This scandal has a terrible two-pronged threat to Murdoch. His tapping into the privacy of ordinary citizens in their time of crisis is turning public opinion (and politicians) against him in a serious way. That is the first dangerous prong. The other is that bribing police officers is a serious offence approaching treason and could send many of Murdoch’s cronies to the slammer for the rest of their lives. You can bet some will start squealing like little tiny pigs and pointing the finger towards the top.

          • avatar WM says:

            This Murdock scandal goes even deeper. The CEO of Dow Jones & Co, publishing, which is now owned by Murdock (it also has the stock majority control of Wall St. Journal), just announced his resignation. He had been at Murdock’s other operation at the center of the hacking prior to 2007. The point: Murdock has his fingers into alot of places, and undue influence in the news business is the result. I hope a full blown investigation by the Brits and the FBI gets some dirt, and that he and everybody else in his operation goes down hard and stays down.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            These yahoos may be able to claim that the phone-hacking was confined to just a few employees but I thought I heard that one of the bribes to police was for over $100,000. It is not like the newspaper business is a cash business where $100,000 could disappear without upper management knowing about it.

            After the criminal prosecutions will come the civil class action lawsuits that may total in the billions in pain and suffering and in punitive damages. I hate Murdoch as I’m sure many others do too.

            And, as mentioned, he may loose his FCC licenses in the USA based simply on his bad character. We’ll see.

            It’s not like the ass does not deserve it.

  43. avatar PointsWest says:

    What Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers Have In Common

    Be sure and watch the little video about the Koch Brother’s Echo Chamber. I dismiss most conspiracy theories but in the case of the Koch brothers, I think their manipulations are far worse than what this small expose suggests…especially with Murdoch and Fixed News.

  44. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    This story from the Banff area leaves a lot of questions. They tried to guide the bear to the other side of the fence? How? And it was hit and killed by a car travelling at reduced speed? Why? Because they watched they spectacle?

  45. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Not sure if an article relating to Oregon HB3560 was posted already.

    “Oregon Passes Wolf Bill – MT Encouraged to Take a Look”

  46. avatar william huard says:

    Glad to see the airheads in the house of Representatives are working on job creation:

    They are so arrogant I bet they think they will keep the house in 2012

  47. avatar PointsWest says:

    Wall Street Journal Publisher Quits In Phone-Hacking Scandal

  48. avatar PointsWest says:

    From the SF Chronicle: “Hinton started at News Corp. 52 years ago, at the age of 15, fetching sandwiches for Murdoch.”

    This crony has been stuck to Murdoch for 52 years…wow! I wonder if he even has an education if he got his start fetching sandwiches. It tells me that many in Murdoch’s organizations are just placeholders and/or puppets where Murdoch pulls the strings. The single qualification was unbending loyalty to Murdoch. I’ll bet this crony has cut a lot of throats for Murdoch.

    It will be interesting to find out why he has resigned. Was he threatened by politicians? …is he unable to do his job for some reason? …or is he going to get a lawyer and barricade himself up until the prosecutions start?

  49. avatar Gepardo Lento says:

    A summary of the proposed riders attached to the The Interior and Environment Bill, from NRDC site:

    • avatar Phil says:

      R-Simpson’s stance on the environment and wildlife is horrible. Besides the wolf delisting ryder, not punishing polluters (the likes of livestock producers) just to satisfy these ranchers serves as a selfish motion on his part. It seems like the only thing on his mind is the money raking in.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Simpson should go to jail for even proposing some these riders. How can even everyday conservatives support a politician who would willingly destroy the environment for the benefit of a few? Some of these guys make you believe that they won’t be satisfied until every log is felled, every hillside is carved with roads, every environmental law that so much as inconveniences an individual or corporation is eliminated, or every suitable acre is mined, blasted, developed, or polluted beyond recognition?

  50. avatar PointsWest says:

    Rupert Murdoch scandal deepens… Christian Science Monitor: “It’s been reported (although without proof) that a private investigator and former New York City police officer was offered payment for information about 9/11 victims.”

    I have some experience with the FBI. In one case, they were on our side. In another case, they were investigating our company because this yahoo had embezzled money on a federal project we were working on.

    You do not ever want the FBI to investigate you. They show up at your office, they come in carrying guns, they wrap up all your file cabinets, they grab all of your computers, and they take everything away.

    • avatar WM says:

      We can only hope anyone touching the Murdock organization and any alleged hacking, particiaption, cooperation, looking the other way while this crap went down gets the FBI treatment. Keep shaking this bucket of crap, and see what else falls out, on top of what has already hit the dust, voluntarily or otherwise.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        Maybe after realizing what a crook Murdoch is, some of the rednecks in the interior West will realize how brainwashed they’ve become by the daily programing coming out of Fixed News and some sanity will be brought back to public policy in the West.

        I think media people and most politicians in the US have really had it with Murdoch and his Fixed News. This last elections were the most ugly and racist I’ve ever seen. In England, it sounds like they want to behead him.

        He has certainly set himself up for it. In addition to legal prosecutions, the celebrities are lining up to sue him for hacking their cell phones. They hate the press to begin with and they hate a conservative fear-monger and brain-washer like Murdoch especially bad. The idiot has probably hacked hundreds of celebrities. Celebrities will get the best lawyers in the world and will come after him one by one. He will die before he sees the end of the hundreds of lawsuits.

        I am behind them. I hate Murdoch. I watched ‘Outfoxed’ and understand the tricks they use to manipulate their audience and make social suicide (aka conservatism) sound like the wisdom of the gods. I think the only reason he does it is because he wants to keep his own taxes low and being a champion of low-taxes endeared him to aristocracy who have rallied behind him and have given him delusions of grandeur and a belief in his own invincibility. The damn fool looks absolutely stunned…like he’s not in Kansan no more.

        He is the tyrant who has usurped power and his society is going to destroy him as a tyrant. England has a long history of this. Something like 1 in 5 English Kings were killed while still on the throne. I’m certain many people hate him as badly as I do. I think he is evil. I see this as a long overdue triumph of good over evil and I think many also see it this way or will see it this way. It makes me feel good.

  51. avatar jon says:

    Ancestory of dogs traced back to gray wolves

  52. avatar PointsWest says:

    Rupert Murdoch’s Chief Executive in London, Rebeka Brooks, Arressted on Sunday. Now it’s getting serious. Do you think she will finger Rupert? …or spend most of the rest of her life in women’s prison?

    Rupert does have lots of influence being such a chick magnet.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      One can only speculate as to what the “tone at the top” was regarding this type news-gathering.

      If I were to venture a guess, I would guess that none of the senior level managers explicitly endorsed these methods, but were at least somewhat aware of them and played the game of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. You can easily apply pressure to a group of people to obtain certain information that might require them to resort to unsavory methods, without explicitly asking them to do so. “We REALLY need this story to stand out, John”.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        My take is Murdoch knew every detail of the bribes and the phone hacking. He liked it and gave direction to carry it out. A clue is that this Hinton, a Chief Executive, who resigned from Dow Jones was an uneducated crony who had worked for Murdoch for 52 years. He was part of the “family” sort of like Corlione family in the Godfather. Another top executive is his son…again Murdoch relies on people who would be nothing without him and who would be afraid to make a decision on their own. This Rebbecca Brookes who was arrested today was only 32 when Murdoch promoted her to Chief Editor at The Sun…the youngest Chief Editor in newspaper history. She then quickly went up into corporate…again, someone not really qualified to make decisions and who would be afraid to make decisions, especially any ethical decisions without Murdoch.

        My experience in construction contracting is that so called “family” companies are usually the most corrupt and they do promote cronies to support their family members and their corruption. I worked for a family company once as an engineer but I did not last long because they had me working under a crony named Jeret Garcia who was only 24 and could barely spell his own name. I was an Engineer and was honestly offended. They fixed that problem swiftly by kicking my ass out onto the street. Jeret’s most important attribute was that he liked to bully, threaten, and to fire people. They loved him like a son because he was soooo good at cutting throats. He worshipped power and worshiped the family who owned the company. I still hate them.

        Also, the way the arrests have sequenced…they first got several reporters and editors on hard technical evidence. They then have started working up the ladder later time. This tells me that investigators and prosecutors are making deals with defendants to testify against “higher-ups.” That is why they scheduled Rebbecca and Rupert to testify in public on Tuesday but then arrested Rebbecca today (Sunday). The police and/or politicians did not know themselves that they would be arresting Rebecca. Someone decided to squeal on her and they suddenly realized they needed to arrest her. Hinton probably resigned because he knows someone is intending to make a deal with prosecutors and will squeal on him too. He will be arrested. So now they have Murdoch’s senior corporate people charged with serious crimes and the question is will they squeal on Murdoch. Of course they will.

        • avatar Daniel Berg says:


          Wow, what a hearing. Did you see the fellow run in and dump paint or pie all over Rupert Murdoch? His wife is definitely a spitfire!

  53. avatar PointsWest says:

    I like it. This was not even her first arrest. From post Guardian article: “Her one previous arrest, in 2005, was under very different circumstances. She was picked up by police after allegedly assaulting her then husband, the EastEnders actor Ross Kemp. The TV hardman sustained a cut to the mouth but no charges were brought.”

    She slugged her BF in the mouth! Sounds like many of the conservative career women I know.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Ooops…that should be” She slugged her husband in the mouth! It only get better and better.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        Do you think Glen schmuck, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the puppets will slam on Murdoch? Can you imagine if this was happening at a competing news network to Fox? They would be howling for years!

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          …not as long an Murdoch writes their paychecks, but as in England, once the tyrant has lost his grip on power, the floodgates will open and wash Murdoch towards the executioner’s axe and Hannity, Beck, O’Riely, and the other Fixed News jesters will all be jeering him along with the gleeful crowd.

  54. avatar Elk275 says:

    Regardless of what side of the fence one sits on, pro or anti wolf, public grazing, or wilderness, sometimes things do not make any sense. Where are those who make common sense decisions when a decision has to be made. Some things never cease to amaze me and stupidity is one of them.

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal regulators knew potentially contaminated bark and wood chips were being sold from a Superfund site in the asbestos-tainted town of Libby, Mont., for three years before they stopped the practice.

    That revelation comes in a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.

    The EPA found asbestos in the piles in 2007 but never quantified how much. The wood chips and bark were used in landscaping by local residents until sales were halted in March.

    The EPA previously said it learned the material was being sold last fall. But in a July 14 letter to Baucus, the agency acknowledges it knew of the sales since at least October 2007.

    Asbestos from a W.R. Grace mine in Libby has killed an estimated 400 people.

  55. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Looks like “The Man” is going to start keeping a closer eye on ONP mountain goats.

    “Biologists to use chopper to count mountain goats in Olympic National Park”

  56. avatar PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s ‘Other’ hacking scandal…

  57. avatar PointsWest says:

    Murdoch Biographer Wolff On News Corp. Hacking Scandal: “This Is What They Do, This Is What They’ve Always Done

  58. avatar PointsWest says:

    Trump Falsely Claims “Half Of The People [In The U.S.] Don’t Pay Any Tax”

    Do the poor really pay no taxes?

    Watch the Jon Stuart segment. He makes a funny joke about Exxon creating jobs for Americans scubbing oil off otters.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      I would like to add to the Ezra Klein article that most people who have salaries or real incomes above $200k have many tax deductions and tax loopholes available to them. The can reduce their “taxable income” to a fraction of what their real income is. That is, their wealth may increase by several million in a few years while reporting a taxable income of only $150k per year. They can grow a business they own without paying themselves an income that would be taxable. In fact, one argument of why increasing taxes on the wealthy in a recession is good is because it forces the wealthy to reinvest income back into their businesses or business interests -thereby creating jobs – rather than declaring income as “taxable income” and hording it or spending it on luxury items such as art, traveling overseas, or on gourmet food.

  59. avatar PointsWest says:

    News of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found dead

    This is probably better than if he had testified. Now the conspiracy buffs have some meat to sink there teeth into. I can’t wait for the movie.

  60. avatar PointsWest says:

    News Corp faces global investigation into bribery

    This is better than even I could have hoped for. They can investigate documents protected by lawyer-client privilege. I’ll bet they find stinking rich conservative rats by the hundreds…maybe even Koch-heads and presidential candidates.

    From above article: “With pressure mounting in the US for the launch of a full-blooded inquiry into News Corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the daunting consequences of such a move are becoming evident. Mike Koehler, a law professor at Butler University who is an expert in the act, said a costly and expensive worldwide investigation into possible bribery activities on the part of the company’s subsidiaries in America, Australia, Europe, India and China was now almost inevitable.

    “Once the US authorities have started investigating the UK phone scandal, their next question is where else?” he said.

    A full-scale FCPA investigation could also see News Corporation forced to hand over to US authorities its most sensitive legal documents, even those covered by lawyer-client privilege. US investigators have the right to call for a waiver to the privilege in order to obtain key documents including witness statements and all legal advice given to the company.”

  61. avatar WM says:

    It is official now: FWS believes Whitebark Pine is threatened by extinction due to climate change.

    BUT, its not on the ESA yet, due to lack of funding and other priorities. (Well I sure as hell hope wolves are not one of those priorities. This has been one of my biggest peaves with the whole wolf reintroduction/repopulation issue. Other species of animals and plants in need of more publicity and attention get pushed aside while wolves continue to take front and center stage.

    • avatar Phil says:

      That video was amazing. It looked like the cub cougar wanted to get in there and scrap with the grizzly bear to. Can you imagine someone trying to get in between the two and breaking it up?

    • avatar Harley says:

      That was an awesome video!

  62. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    WM,Who keeps putting them there for it is not just the environmentalists,as everyone claims,but ranchers,hunters,and the cult groups like the BBB.I don’t think everyone believes there is such a thing as global warming and if there is,it’s just a phase the earth is going threw and all will be right as rain in the future.It is a shame what is happening to Whitebark Pine and all the rest that are vanishing in front of our eyes.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Exactly Rita. Maybe if the anti’s would leave wolves to be then there can be causes targeted for those species who are in critical need of it.

    • avatar WM says:


      My frustrations about wolf delisting is not just about the NRM, where we know the case is more complicated, as you suggest. The states of MN, WI and MI have been trying to get the Great Lakes wolves delisted for at least the last 10-11 years. There is simply no biological or social carrying capacity basis for them not to be delisted. It has been the obstructionist acts of groups like HSUS, using esoteric legal theories to keep them on the list forever if they could. The litigation and continuing efforts of FWS and the government defense of litigation has been costly and diverted resources that could have been used elsewhere. To a lesser extent the same case can be made in the NRM – these wolves should have been off the list in 2008. The Mexican wolf reintroduction is, a sad story, and that needs more effort/resources if restoration/reintroduction is ever to happen. We have talked about other species taking the back seat – wolverines, bat eared foxes, black footed ferrets, sage grouse and other species of animals and plants that have been pushed aside as the focus has remained on the wolf (and even the grizzly to some extent).

      I have long been for doing alot more for those other species, even recognizing that there is an argument suggesting what is good for wolves, habitat-wise, is good for other endangered species. I just think the focus should change some. The national environmental groups and the regional ones like WWP have the ability to do that, but do not do so for obvious and not so obvious reasons.

      So, when something like this Whitebark Pine acknowledgement is made (with many other candidate species waiting in the wings)and there is a qualifying statement by FWS that it would like to do more, but can’t because of other priorities and a lack of resources it is in a word – annoying.

  63. avatar Phil says:

    What a joke! 2 wolves per hunter, and 3 per trapper? Ya, management is the only thing on their minds. I bet that throughout the interview all these two gentlemen were thinking about was ($).

  64. avatar Harley says:

    This question goes out to those of you in Idaho, well actually anywhere in general I guess. I’ve been reading some unsettling comments about the lack of song birds returning this spring/summer to Idaho. Has anyone else noticed this?
    Where I live, I have not seen a significant decline, we still have plenty of finches visiting the feeder along with all of our other birds. Not as many squirrels this year though. Of course with the recent heat, the poor wildlife is probably just trying to stay cool.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Migrating Neo-Tropical birds returning to the Rockies from their winter homes south of here have been falling off sharply for many years. They are also being replaced by opportunistic birds like crows, grackels, starlings, even robins ( who never used to winter in Wyoming but now do ).

      All populations rise and fall in numbers for lots of reasons , but the steady decline in neotropical birds is sad.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Hey, thanks Cody!
        Any idea what the reason is behind the drop off in numbers?

        • avatar Woody says:

          Most declines are caused by loss of habitat including here and in their wintering areas.

  65. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Western sheep ranchers aren’t going to like this story at all…

    ” Eating Lamb is worst for the environment ”

  66. avatar JEFF E says:

    My estimate is that only ~50% of Idaho is suitable wolf habitate. (keep in mind 47% of Idaho is federal land)

    • avatar Harley says:


    • avatar Phil says:

      I agree with Harley, AWESOME!

      • avatar jon says:

        This is a old one, but still a goody.

        Some believe that megaladon is still around. This great white shark was 70 to 100 feet in length. Easily the most terrifying sea predator you’d ever meet. Just thinking about what he may have looked like terrifies me a bit.

        • avatar jon says:

          oh my mistake 60 feet long and weighed as much as 70 tons. This shark wouldn’t have had much problem eating a full grown t-rex.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            jon is out on the sea surfing when he notices a 10 foot dorsal fin headed his way. A megalodon approached his surfboard until its 20 foot wide snout is just in front of his board.

            jon (using body language and with a small wave of his hand): “You do not want to eat me.”

            megalodon (using body language): “I do not want to eat him.”

            jon: “I am too small and wouldn’t begin to fill your belly.”

            megalodon: “You are too small and wouldn’t begin to fill my belly.”

            jon: “You should find yourself a nice fat T-Rex.”

            megalodon: “I should find myself a nice fat T-Rex.”

            jon: “Move along now.”

            megalodon: “Moving along now.”

            jon thinks to himself that the Force has a powerful influence on those with week minds.

            May the Force be with you.

          • avatar WM says:

            …continuing the story:

            ++jon thinks to himself that the Force has a powerful influence on those with week minds.

            May the Force be with you.++

            [A swirl of foamy water and the sound of styofoam, bone and flesh being crunched, the water turning red, but only for a few moments.]

            remora (the size of a torpedo and clinging to megalodon): “I thought you said you wouldn’t eat him [jon].”

            megalodon: “I know, but it’s my nature to do so. Afterall, I only have a brain the size of a pea. The force be with you.”

            remora: “…and also with you.”

          • avatar Harley says:

            PW, WM, (lol Abbreviations
            , gotta love em!)

            Thanks for the laugh this morning!

          • avatar mikarooni says:

            Jon, do you really think the Force has a powerful influence on those with “week” minds?

  67. avatar WM says:

    Not so much wildlife news, but important for the fact that visitors to NP’s simply don’t follow the rules and the consequences can be fatal, when you don’t. Three hikers go over the falls at Yosemite:

    • avatar Salle says:

      Can’t argue with yer point there, WM. I wholeheartedly agree. Sad, but that’s the way it is.

      I once knew a person, whose philosophy rings true from time to time, that told me, “When people don’t have to suffer the consequences of their own actions they don’t have any respect for the choices they ultimately make.”

      I have come to see where that can be a sound theory in many cases during my travels.

  68. avatar PointsWest says:

    10 Questions From The Guardian to Downing Street

    The Guardian, by the way, is Britain’s most objective and respected newspaper. It is owned by a trust that manages it to maintain high levels of ethics in journalism.

    I happen to be up early enough to watch live to watch part of Parliaments inquiry of Murdoch on Monday. Murdoch acted exactly like Reagan did the two times Reagan was on the hot-seat. Some may recall that a large controversy erupted when it was reported that Nancy Reagan used the services of an astrologer in the White House to help her make decision and even to schedule our President’s travels…that is, presidential discourse was being influenced by an astrologer. The Reagan PR response was for Reagan to act as if he knew little, if anything, about it and like he hardly paid attention to his wife’s activities.

    The other larger scandal was the Iran-Contra scandal. The crafted PR response was very similar. Reagan acted like the lovable but senile old man of the house that did not know or care what all of his mischievous children were up to. It worked. The scandal largely went away in the face of hard evidence that a secret group of military and cia officials traded arms for hostages to help get Reagan elected.

    Murdoch acted confident that the dumb-grandpa act will work for him too. We’ll see. Reagan had the advantage that people did not want to believe they had been duped by thier own president…again, just after Nixon. Murdoch has no such advantage. People will not care if he is destroyed.

    We’ll see what the many investigations turn up in comming weeks.

  69. avatar Elk275 says:

    Oil company propaganda has told the public that the oil industry can safely transport giant oil field modules up the Lochsa River and over Lolo Pass. If a trucker can not transport toilet paper up the Lochsa River and over Lolo Pass, can oil field equipment be safely transported.

  70. avatar PointsWest says:

    This is big news: The Justice Department has begun its investigation of News Corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Investigators under this law have many powers of investigation including the power to see documents normally protected by attorney-client privilege. We’ll see if Rupert Murdoch is really the senile yet lovable old grandfather (with a wife/bodyguard half his age) he made himself out to be before Parliament on Tuesday.

  71. avatar PointsWest says:

    Leopard Mauls 11 In India

    You’d think that after it mauled the first five, or so, they would have just shot it. It ended dying anyway. They must be very afraid of law enforcement there.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Same story on YouTube but this story says the leopard was taken back into the forest. What a circus!

  72. avatar PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s News Corporation Hires Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Expert

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      So the first thing ol’ grandpa fuddy-duddy did after assuring Parliament of his ignorance, innocence, and extremely high ethical standards was to fly back to New York and start hiring lawyers to fight the FCPA investigation.

  73. avatar WM says:

    Very disturbing development – inbreeding of killer whales in Puget Sound raises issues that resident species are more fragile than previously believed.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      I find killer whales fascinating in many ways, particularly how specific they can be in what they eat, like Puget Sound animals eating mostly Chinook salmon (which being slow growing, long-lived, coastal feeding salmon unfortunately gather the highest level of toxins for the whales to bioaccumulate). Then there are the pods that eat only marine mammals while others specialize in fish, with the fish eaters being highly vocal and the mammal eaters quiet (as is needed to approach their prey). One wonders if there is ever any genetic exchange between those types of pods or if they are examples of divergent evolution. One would think that any particular pod would go after anything nutritious they came across. However, while tending to be specific, killer whales are intelligent animals and when times get tough show they have shown an ability to make major shifts in prey as needed. They made a huge dent (something close to 90%) in Aleutian sea otter populations (except for one group in a shallow barriered lagoon) when other target species declined. In fact a hypothesis has been floated that the last great bout of commercial whaling by the Soviets in the 1960s precipitated a sequential megafaunal decline as killer whales switched target prey to harbor seals, fur seals, sea lions and finally sea otters. One of the authors is James Estes, also an author on the Science paper on the importance of large predators recently posted on this site.

      Although it they presented it as only a hypothesis, it was heavily and almost emotionally (in the news) contested by an opposing group of scientists who engaged in “piling on” with 24 authors. Who in science does that to somebody who presents a new hypothesis? Welcome to the world of charismatic megafauna!

      There has been considerable back and forth in the literature about it since. It is interesting that very recently there have been increasing observations of major killer whale attacks on large whales in the area, with rebounding whale numbers, that are casting increasing doubt on the rebutters’ point that killer whales were never major predators on great whales in high latitudes.

  74. avatar cc says:

    Wind farms are poised to spring up at an alarming rate all along the whooping crane’s migration corridor. The power companies are now asking for a permit allowing the incidental take of whooping cranes, piping plovers, and other endangered birds.

    “Wind power vs. whooping cranes”:

    The announcement in the federal registrar:

    Comments are needed to help save these critically endangered birds.

  75. avatar Elk275 says:

    In today’s Bozeman Daily chronicle (7/21/11) there is an article about research on grizzly bears in Tom Miner Basin, which is about 10 north of Yellowstone Park. The researcher in 2008 found between 1 to 5 grizzlies in the basin, now the population is between 20 to 23 grizzlies. Their new research is about grizzly bear populations north Tom Miner Basin in the Gallatin Range and they are finding a number of bears. I have a friend the other day who was driving from Livingston to Bozeman and claims that he saw a grizzly on the north side of the Interstate.

    Also, there is an article about retroducing Mountain Sheep to the Bridger Mountains.

    I’m having a touble finding the article on Bozeman Daily Chronicle’s web site. Their web site is different than the Gazette’s or Missoulian. Maybe someone else can find it or it could be in part of the pay addition.

  76. avatar PointsWest says:

    News Corp.’s The Sun Fires Editor Over Phone-Hacking Connections

    …another one bites the dust.

  77. avatar Tim says:

    Looks like sturgeon are spawning in the kootenai river this year.

  78. avatar PointsWest says:

    The Murdoch’s answers to Parliment on Tueday are already being called into question by key figures in the phone hacking scandal.

    Senior Editors Colin Myler and Tom Crone are, in effect, accusing James Murdoch of being part of the phone-hacking cover-up. One friend of the two men said: “To contradict James will be as good as coming out and calling him a liar.”

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Another similar story:

      James Murdoch misled MPs, say former NoW editor and lawyer:

      The made for TV ‘Murdoch Family Hour’ is coming unravelled rather quickly…hardly made it past the pilot.

      Something very interesting is that in the Rexburg Standard Journal today was an article from a British newspaper called The Telegraph that defended the Murdoch’s calling them “family” and mentioning how well they pulled together in defending themselves against their evil accusers.

      Murdoch has conservatives, especially the uneducated rural variety, wrapped around his finger. He has them totally brainwashed and defending him to the very end. It goes to show how much people in the media understand about human behavior and how skilled and sophisticated they have become at manipulating human behavior to their own agenda.

  79. avatar PointsWest says:

    News Corp and the Hacked Climategate Emails: Time for an Independent Investigation. Did Rupert Murdoch’s New Corp. create climategate by hacking scientists emails and then putting his special spin on them? Many are calling for an investigation.

    This story may become hotter than Minneapolis, Minnesota in the summer of 2011.

  80. avatar Woody says:

    Somes success with pygmy rabbits in Washington north of Euphrata; Some kits seen. Portland Zoo is helping with several restoration projects.

  81. avatar Jerry Black says:

    “Have Raptors Met Their Match”……..worried about lead poisoning our wildlife and our kids? ….Jon Tester doesn’t give a damn.

  82. avatar jon says:

    “Archibald Ngakayagae says they will be using recent research findings by wildlife conservationist, Dr Mike Chase, that shows that some wildlife species have dwindled by as high as 90 percent due to hunting, poaching and veldt fires over the last decade. The policy to promote photographic safari against hunting is now advanced, Ngakayagae says, adding that in future they will not be issuing any hunting quotas. Lion hunting in Botswana was suspended in 2007, to allow the cats’ population to swell. The Wildlife Department has been worried by the dwindling number of lions in places like the Khutse Game Reserve, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) and the Kgalagadi Trans-Frontier Park, where conflict between humans and predators is on the rise. In the Kgatleng District the hunting of wildlife of all kinds has remained suspended since 1981, according to Molepolole-based regional wildlife officer, Dorothy Thite.”

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Jon do some more research. Maybe Mike Chase does not know everything. The safari camps are out there everyday and the PH’s have spent the entire lives in the bush. There knowledge of the game populations is better than Mike’s Knowledge.

      They are not going to shut down hunting.



      PRIVATE BAG BO 199
      FAX: 3951092
      REFERENCE EWT 1/6/4 III ()


      20th July 2011



      We refer to the above article carried on Mmegi issue of Friday 15th July, 2011.

      It was said that; the Botswana government is in advanced legal process to ban the hunting of wildlife in favour of photographic safari.

      The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism would like to clarify that there is no decision made to ban wildlife hunting. Instead, what is being done is to encourage photographic tourism and gradually limit but not ban wildlife hunting. It must be known that species with declining numbers will be considered for limited hunting while those with increasing numbers like elephants, will continue to be hunted within CITES framework.

      On the 13th and 14th July 2011, the Ministry and other stakeholders organized two days training workshop for local Media Practitioners on Poverty and Environmental Reporting. It was at this workshop that the Ministry spokesperson highlighted the benefits of photographic tourism to Community Trusts in the country as compared to just issuing hunting quotes during a discussion on Community Based Resource National Management (CBNRM). But there was no reference to hunting ban. Unfortunately, he was quoted out of context.

      In conclusion, the Ministry states that the Botswana Government has no plan to ban hunting in this country and we would like to assure all hunting safari companies and affected communities that live near wildlife management areas who continues to benefit from hunting. The Mmegi story does not reflect current government thinking on the subject of wildlife hunting.

      Yours Faithfully

      Mable Bolele
      Coordinator, Communications, Research and Development

      • avatar jon says:

        “In other words, the trend among African countries continues, not in small part due to recent revelations by LionAid about the misuse of wildlife resources by hunters. Botswana is perfectly capable of making up its own mind given that trophy hunting was part of the “conservation” formula. Unfortunately, such hunting has not convinced the authorities that it conserves wildlife and is beneficial to communities. Hence the upcoming decision not to allow any more hunting permits to be issued. Botswana has considered the past formula and has come to a new decision that the hunter’s rhetoric is just not going to work. If the hunters had been convincing in their argument, then the wildlife authorities might have listened. But at the end of the day they failed. Because it is all just hot air and empty promises that support their bank accounts at the expense of wildlife populations.”

        • avatar Elk275 says:


          Please read again and again and again.

          In conclusion, the Ministry states that the Botswana Government has no plan to ban hunting in this country and we would like to assure all hunting safari companies and affected communities that live near wildlife management areas who continues to benefit from hunting. The Mmegi story does not reflect current government thinking on the subject of wildlife hunting.

          Yours Faithfully

          Mable Bolele
          Coordinator, Communications, Research and Development

          The person your post refers to was “Unfortunately, he was quoted out of context.”

          Most hunting in Botswana is done on 4 or 5 private ranches combined which have millions and millions of arces.

          • avatar william huard says:

            It’s coming but not in the short term. Trophy hunters like elk 275 will still be able to “hunt” lion. I use the term loosely because when you bait a lion with a slab of meat and shoot it at 75 yards that is not hunting to the majority of reasonable people in the world…. How would these people be able to sleep at night if they couldn’t compete with the trophy collection next door…..

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            ++Trophy hunters like elk 275 will still be able to “hunt” lion. ++

            Sorry, but Elk275 does not have $60,000 to hunt lion which is the going rate for a free range lion. If I did, I would not go lion hunting as it does not interest me and it is not a good use of limited funs. I would hunt the ibex of the world.

            It is not as simple as hanging a piece of meat in a tree, lion comes to eat and bang. Lion hunters have been known to spend up to 40 days hunting before getting a lion. Times that at a daily rate of $1800 to $2400, plus trophy fees transportation, time off of work and tips. It is a lot of money. Plus while you are waiting in the blind the bugs are hunting and eating you. It takes real skill to select the proper tree to hang the bait and build the blind and patience of Job to sit in the blind for up to 12 hours a day. Have you ever been bitten by a tesse fly? It hurts. Also, lions can not be killed if they are 6 years or younger. The older lions have been chased out of the pride by the younger and stronger males. If a client kills a young male lion then the PH is find. Lion hunting is control as much as it can be.

            The economics of both hunting and photographic safaris. If a 20 day lion hunt cost $60,000 and one may or may not get a lion verus a photographic safari. Photographic safaris range in price from $100 a day to $1000 a day. An average basic photo safari should run about $1500 per person per week or lets say $200 a day. If you divide $200 into $60,000 that is 300 photographic client days verus 20 hunting days. Three hundred use days have a greater impact on the environment than 20 days.

            One of my best friends in Bozeman is an Rhodesian/Zimbabwean who worked for 4 years in the Rhodesian National Parks and after independence went to Botswana and worked in photo camps. Both have there place. Photo camp involve more clients and more problems but they are not as exciting or fun as a hunting. Both will continue and both will have more and more restrictions and cost will increase each year.

            I have been on both a hunting safari and a photo/canoe trip down the Zambezi. The trip down the Zambezi was more fun that hunting. Today those canoe trips are to dangerous; the hippo and crocs populations have double in size. I will never forget either trip.

            Now if would not spend as much time on the stupid Internet, and this and several other sites, I may make enough money to enjoy more trips in the future.

        • avatar Phil says:

          Elk: So, if you had the money would a hunting trip to Africa for lions be in store? My sister’s boss and his wife recently went on a safari tour to Tanzania and Kenya with a cost of $10,000 per person for an entire week. The photos he brought back were amazing consisting of gazelle, impalas, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards (which are very rare for visitors to see) elephants, zebras, rhinos, hippos, wildebeast, crocodiles and a number of aviary species. Do American hunters get bored with the species in North America that they have to travel to an entire different continent and kill their species? I find it truly sad that someone would spend $60,000 (or whatever it is) in expense just to hunt a species not native to their resident country.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Is a hunting trip to Africa for lions be in store? ++

            The answer is no, I do not have $60,000. But, if I had the money I would hunt ibex, with very careful planning $60,000 would allow one 7 to 9 trips into the central Asia countries plus some fishing. Also, I have not caught a taimen. By the way what is the difference between going to Africa hunting and going to Mongolia to fish for taimen or Central America for bonefish, permit, etc or Mexico for billfish or Chile/New Zealand for Rainbows and Browns.

            ++My sister’s boss and his wife recently went on a safari tour to Tanzania and Kenya with a cost of $10,000 per person for an entire week++

            Why is your sister’s wife and boss so bored that they went to Africa to take pictures of wildlife? There is plenty of wildlife in America to take pictures of. Within a 1 1/2 hour drive from my house without going to Yellowstone Park I could show them mule and whitetail deer, antelope, mountain sheep and goat, black bear and maybe a grizzly from my friend’s land in Tom Miner Basin. Moose might take some looking but I can find them, too. Do American wildlife photographers get bored with American animals.

            Why do mountain climbers go the Himalayans to climb mountains when there are mountains in the USA to Climb?. Why do surfers go to South Africa, Australia or Bali to Surf?

            Now why would I go to Asia hunting ibex. I want to go to those mountains and hunt, I love mountain hunting and I love the mountains that I hunt in. This is from a Internet forum called Accurate Reloading. Here is some information about both ibex hunting and the mountains that they live in.

            If one was not going hunting it would be very difficult to access those mountains. The infrastructure to get into those mountains is not there unless one is hunting with a guide, maybe there could be a trekking company or two. When I was in Nepal there was infrastructure to do anything. Try Tibet or Mongolia, one can spend days organizing a half as$ trip.

          • avatar Phil says:

            Elk: I believe it is completely different traveling to another country and observing their wildlife that are not present in ones own country in comparison to visiting another country and killing their species just for a sport. What you are supporting is nothing more than the art of “sport” hunting and not hunting for survival. Wouldn’t an American hunter traveling to another country in Africa and killing their wildlife be considered an invasive threat?

            You traveling to Asia to hunt ibex tells me nothing more than that you hunt not to feed your family, but because you hunt for a recreational thrill. That ibex could have benefited as a food source for endangered snow leopards in the Karakorum, Mongolian and Russian regions, but then again, isn’t that one (of many) major problem Amur tigers are facing in eastern Russia?

  83. Here is an audio pod cast of a recent interview with Stephen Herrero which has some very important points about safety with bears, one is that bear who have never seen humans may be MORE dangerous than those that are familiar with us and the second is that the most dangerous bear is . . . who would have guessed? the male black bear!! Listen to it:

  84. avatar jburnham says:

    Koch, Exxon Mobil Among Corporations Helping Write State Laws

    “The opportunity for corporations to become co-authors of state laws legally through ALEC covers a wide range of issues from energy to taxes to agriculture. The price for participation is an ALEC membership fee of as much as $25,000 — and the few extra thousands to join one of the group’s legislative-writing task forces. Once the “model legislation” is complete, it’s up to ALEC’s legislator members to shepherd it into law.”

  85. avatar jburnham says:

    Parasites Help Reveal New Ecological Rules: Animal Species Large and Small Follow Same Rule for How Common They Are in Ecosystems

    • avatar Phil says:

      Oh yes, idiots like these are sure hunting for important reasons, aren’t they!

    • avatar william huard says:

      Read the july 17, hunters jargon conceals cruelty……these South Africans would sell their grandmother for a dollar…. what a bunch of scumbags, clearly the worst our species has to offer…
      I’m amazed that Zimbabwe allows these degnerates to shoot elephants with a bow- nice going…..They exploit the corrupt government to get away with their unethical thrill kill

      • avatar Phil says:

        william: That is no shock. Back when the slave trade was at its peek African tribes would sell their family members to the United States in exchange for goods (not consisting of money) from Britian in a 3 country trade off (United States, Britian and whatever country in Africa).

        As much as Africa has tried to protect their species from poachers it makes no significant importance when you sell those species to westerners to be hunted. Some people will excuse their huntings in Africa as them feeding the local tribes, but I am sure the tribes are well suited to hunting their own food as they have done successfully for thousands of years.

  86. avatar Harley says:

    Kinda awesome and scary all at the same time. Whale Sharks are beautiful.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Those are amazing photos. Whale sharks are beautiful, and Smokey’s comment is hilarious.

  87. avatar PointsWest says:

    US authorities preparing to subpoena News Corp

    Sorry for all the Rupert Mudoch posts but I think getting Murdoch and people like him out of the news media would be the best thing that could happen for wildlife in this decade.

  88. avatar Virginia says:

    If you want to read a good explanation of the Tea Party and what they would like to do to endangered animals and the environment, you need to read “Bonfire of the Manotees” by Hunter on DailyKos. It is well worth a few minutes’ reading.

  89. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Four teens mauled in Alsaka.
    Something went terribly wrong with that survival camp:

  90. avatar WM says:

    Earlier this month the natural resource community – those who are interested in the West, its heritage, water, public lands and Indian civil rights – lost a near larger than life personality in the legal and natural resource policy field. David Getches, recently retiring Dean of the U of Colorado Law School and a founder of NARF (Native American Rights Fund located in Boulder) succumbed quickly to pancreatic cancer.

    Words on David’s legacy are in this interview with Professor Charles Wilkinson and John Echohawk (NARF Director) by Colorado Public Radio. Professor Getches was the legal muscle behind the Boldt decision that enforced Indian treaty rights to salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

    Click on the “Listen” link:

    • avatar Harley says:

      Hope the kids the kids are ok. That should be the first concern, not the bear…

      • avatar jon says:

        Looks like the bear is not going to be killed. This is great news. Bears have a right to protect themselves from people who they see as a threat to them and their cubs.

        • avatar Harley says:

          I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be controversial here but what if this group of people had a gun and had shot the bear. Would the conversation be about how the group had a right to protect themselves against bears who they see as a threat to them or would they have been condemned because it was their fault for wandering into the bear’s territory?

          • avatar jon says:

            Humans know better, bears don’t. If someone you didn’t know came into your home, would you say that that person has a right to defend him/herself when they are entering your home? No, you would see them as a trespasser and most likely a threat to yourself and your family. Same situation with the bear and humans. The wilderness is the bear’s home, not humans.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Jon, that would make all the outdoors off limits, wouldn’t it? If I’m out walking my dog in my subdivision and a coyote attacked my dog, would I not be in my right to defend my dog? Would that right extend to the forest preserve?

          • avatar Harley says:

            I do realize here that you said wilderness, not a backyard. Honestly, I see kind of a two edged sword here. If someone wanders into the wilderness and they are attacked or heaven forbid killed by a wild animal, it was due to their ignorance. If they happen to kill an animal defending themselves, they would have to go a long way to explain it. The causes would come under heavy scrutiny and even then many would wonder why the animal was killed when there are more ‘humane’ ways of handling a situation like pepper spray or something along those lines.

            Sorry, I just kinda see a double standard. I noticed the first thing you worried about was the bear, not if the people attacked were going to be ok. Again I’ll state, I’m glad the bear wasn’t killed but it bothers when it seems as if very little value is placed upon human life.

        • avatar Harley says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they aren’t going to kill the bear either. She was acting on instinct. I don’t think she’s a ‘man killer’ and was only protecting her cubs. I’m just offering another point of view.

          • avatar Elk275 says:


            ++they happen to kill an animal defending themselves, they would have to go a long way to explain it. ++

            If one has to kill a bear in this situation, one must skin the bear and fill out a Defence of Property and Life (DPL), no big deal. The hide is surrended to the state, The troopper investigates the situation and in this case young people and a charging bear the investigation should not be a big deal. Every year there are many, many bears killed in Alaska for defense of property and life.

          • avatar Harley says:


            But I don’t know how to skin a stinkin bear! ok j/k

            Thanks for that info. I’m glad it’s not such a huge thing. But there will still be those who debate in the manner I was speaking of. There are still those who do not place as high a value on human life as they do on the wildlife that was ‘invaded’. I’ve seen it and it’s that which disturbs me most.

    • avatar Alan says:

      These kids were being instructed in outdoor survival skills, and apparently they learned some things very well. Caring for injuries, setting off the emergency beacon, remaining calm while waiting for help. Yet the one thing they either did not learn, or where not taught: bear safety. In listening to the interviews it is very clear that they made the same mistake that the couple in Yellowstone made, they ran. The one boy talked about how he was dragged down from behind as he tried to run from the bear. I would say that their instructors deserve an F.

      • avatar WM says:

        These kids were part of a NOLS leadership program. NOLS, founded by Paul Petzoldt, has been around for at least thirty or forty years. Very well respected national program, that began in the Rockies, maybe around the Tetons (at least that is where I have run into them years ago). Petsoldt was a 10th Mountain Division soldier (ran around with some of the guys that started Aspen Ski Corp like Freidl Pfeiffer), and involved with Outward Bound in the early years.

        It will be interesting to see whether bear safety was discussed and followed or not. This is not some namby pamby summer camp hike; these kids get put through the ringer, so to speak. Very high standards, including solo time for something like 24 or 48 hours without food and adequate shelter to graduate the program, at least that is the way it used to be. So you would think bear safety would have been on the agenda, especially in AK.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          They were instructed to not run, but instinct overrode their training and they scattered. Those of you who would criticize their reactions or training, think of yourself in that situation – if you see your companions break ranks and bolt, will you have the fortitude to drop and play dead? They were equipped with bear spray but the attack happened so quickly that there was no chance to deploy it.

          • avatar Alan says:

            “They were instructed to not run, but instinct overrode their training and they scattered.”
            Are you surmising or do you have a link or other source that states this?
            After seeing over and over how running triggers the predatory instinct I would hope that I would drop and play dead; but you are absolutely correct, no one knows what they would do until it happens. Panic in a group is different from what you would do if alone as well. I have had many close encounters with bears, but never a charge.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            @Alan – I read an interview with one of the most-severely injured boys in my local newspaper, so I’m sorry I can’t provide a link. I’m sure that more information will become available on the Internet.

          • avatar WM says:

            The kids were bear trained and had spray, just not enough time to use it. You might find this well written article of interest:


          • avatar Alan says:

            Well, the training did them little good. Especially considering the top-notch training they were supposed to get with this program. Many everyday people without training have managed to stay cool and do the right thing in similar situations. Once again, not saying that I could or would; but with the type of world class survival training that this outfit supposedly offers, I really would think that they would.

          • avatar Alan says:

            BTW, in the interview I saw on TV from the hospital, the kid they were talking to clearly said out of his own mouth, “Someone yelled ‘bear!’ and we started to run. I could feel the breath of the bear on my neck as it dragged me down from behind.” (Paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact words.) There was no mention of anyone playing dead. If this account is even partly true (maybe some ran, some played dead?), then they certainly did not, “ everything right..”; just as clearly the couple in Yellowstone did not do everything right despite the Park Service assertion that they did. Also, if they surprised the bear at such a close distance, they obviously were not making sufficient noise, as they should have been in a “narrow, brushy streambed”.
            Not trying to blame anyone, but I do find comfort in knowing why things happen.

  91. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Shrinking habitat? Some commenters over at the YNET of course say no, it´s too many predators and shrinking prey base instead.

  92. avatar V.C. Wald says:

    I have to admit, whenever I have visited the Tetons since #399 showed up with her first brood of three back in 2006, I’ve been very concerned about her and her family’s welfare. She’s a road bear, and so is her fecund daughter, #610.
    However, the article linked above raises many important questions, the most significant of which is, “Will these rule changes actually benefit the bears?”
    It will be interesting to learn (if we ever do) whether tightening of the screws in what seem to be illogical ways was in reaction to someone offering the bears food from a car window.
    But until we learn more, what the author reports at this stage is still uncodified rumor. Until clarification follows, my heartfelt sympathies to all the photographers and wildlife-watchers who observe established rules who now find the rug pulled out from under them.

    • Thanks, its been a rough few months. All we can do is do our best by the bears and hope the park calms down but this storm is just heating up. This seems to happen every few years in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Not much I can say here but things are getting difficult for those who make their living in the park. Luckily most rangers seem to remember who has been ethical for years and who has not and have treated me mostly well. The new rangers/ wildlife brigade volunteers who don’t know me are more of a problem. I wish 610 would find a home farther from the roads like her mother but she has the right to be where she wants and we should do our best to do well by her. The park is just trying to do their best but its not helping, its really making everything worse- they need the funding to have rangers deal with crowds full time.

  93. avatar jon says:

    dr. charles kay speaks in salmon idaho about wolves

  94. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Elwha River reborn as landscape transforms”

    Must be an interesting project to be involved with.

  95. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Conservation bill not expected to go far”

    “It’s touted as a model private-public solution for conservation: allow nonprofit groups to tap tax-exempt revenue bonds to buy working forests and keep them out of developers’ hands.”

    Anybody willing to share an opinion on this bill?

  96. FYI- update from the Grand Teton Grizzly scene:

    Bear 399 lost one of her cubs, its still not clear how and her daughter 610 has “adopted” it. So now 610 has triplets and 399 twins. After a week of watching the cub has not returned to 399 so it seems a permanent switch. 610 treats the cub just like the others and it seems happy with its new mom.

    The media (who adores these bears) has not repeated on this so I don’t have a link but I am glad to provide pictures for anyone interested in “proof”. The park service has also confirmed it with me. 610 is a lot smaller than her mother being only 6 years old so its simple to tell them apart despite them both having double ear tags and using nearly the same territory.

    I had of course heard of this happening (the famous “quadruplets” a few years ago in Yellowstone) but never seen it, how commonly does cub switching actually happen?

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      You can send photos to me and I will put them up on my website and post the links.

  97. avatar jon says:

    Ihope some idahoans will be going to this as this is your chance to meet carter niemeyer if you haven’t already. If you do go, please report back what he said about wolves.

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will record this and post it on here.

  98. avatar Elk275 says:


    I personally met Carter Niemeyer several months ago at the County Bookstore in Bozeman; I was sitting next to Doug Smith and family. The first thing that he said to the audience was that he was a gun owner, hunter and trapper. There was immediately some unspoken audience displeasure. I purchased his book and went home and finished reading it at 1 am. In the first half of the book he worked as a “free trapper” in 1973 in Northeast Montana making a living trapping foxes and coyotes.

    He stood about six foot five and weighted 250 pounds, the man who you imagine he is, is different than the one who he is. He is a very kind and nice man.

    • avatar Harley says:

      I am reading his book now and I’m a bit puzzled as to why he is often pointed to by people who admire the wolf but are rabidly against trapping. I admit, I’ve just started the book so I haven’t gotten to the point where he has worked directly with wolves. I have read quite a bit about his trapping expertise though.

      • avatar jon says:

        Harley, some people mainly wolf advocates are not happy about Carter’s past history with wolves. He did trap and kill wolves. That was a part of his job that I’m sure he didn’t like doing, but had to do to please ranchers and anti-wolf forces alike. Yes, he was a trapper and yes he killed wolves, but that is in the past. You look at Carter’s background, you’d say to yourself this is a v ery unlike wolf advocate. He defends wolves and speaks the truth about them and counters the misinformation being put out there on purpose by anti-wolf forces. From what I read about carter in an interview, he is a big guy. I think he said he’s 6’6. Anti wolf forces do not like carter and speak bad about him simply because he doesn’t hate and despise wolves like they do. They tend to discredit and belittle people like carter because he knows more about wolves than they do.

        • avatar Harley says:

          I’m not so sure that he didn’t like doing it, at least not in the beginning. He certainly liked the profits he made from the furs he got from fox and coyote. I don’t think he was a cruel man. The book is fascinating so far and I wish I had time to just sit down and read it start to finish without being interrupted! You’ve read it right? Did you like the book?

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Elk275 —
      Sounds from your reading interest (Niemeyer’s Book, The Final Frontiersman, etc.) that you would really enjoy the book about Frank Glaser by Jim Rearden: “Alaska’s Wolf Man: The 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser” — if you haven’t already read it.

  99. avatar jon says:

    Idaho fish and game misleading the public

    Hunters can buy up to FOUR tags for the seven-month 2011-2012 hunt (two tags in 2011 and two tags in 2012). A resident wolf tag costs $11.75. The hunt goes from August 30 to March 31.

    – Trappers can buy up to SIX trapping/snaring tags (three per calendar year) plus the FOUR regular tags for the 2011-2012 hunt = TEN Tags.

  100. avatar william huard says:

    What a pleasant video to watch. How many tigers will be left before the politicians in Indonesia stop taking bribes and protect this animal?

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      In Thailand fathers have been known to sell their 12 to 16 old daughters into the sex trade for a TV. The father gets a TV, and the daughter gets HIV. Eventually the TV dies and needs replacing, then the daughter dies and can not be replaced. If a man’s daughter doesn’t have a chance, what chance to Sumatran Tigers have, none.

      • avatar william huard says:

        I don’t agree Elk. These companies like APP are money grubbers, and if you put pressure on App’s customers, you can hit them where it hurts….. Luckily I have the time to circulate this video to companies like DISNEY that still do business with APP and shame them into changing suppliers……

  101. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A different breed of ” Megaload” trucking issue on the scenic US 12 Lochsa-Clearwater highway. A Texas driver crashed his semi and dumped mega-rolls of unprocessed toilet paper into the pristine waters The rolls weigh 8,000 pounds each , dry , but swell to 30,000 lbs. when soaked. The inattentive driver was trying to sneak his loaded truck up and over the Lochsa highway at 4 AM without an oversize permit , but his truck took a big dump on a tight curve.

    If it isn’t one thing, it’s another….

    ( Sorry…I couldn’t resist )

  102. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    OMG! —a Cougar born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota made it all the way to CONNECTICUT! –before it was struck and killed on a highway near Milford CT , sadly so. It was the first Cougar seen in Connecticut in over a century , and had previously been tracked thru Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      That’s amazing. I would never have guessed a mountain lion would “disperse” that far. It makes you wonder how subspecies ever develop. It would need good habitat all along the way. I wonder if it went north or south of the Great Lakes.

    • avatar Kropotkin Man says:

      Just finished reading this article, wow! Sad that it was killed. What a story it could have told.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      If it went north of the Great Lakes, then how did it get to Connecticut? Did it swim the St. Larence Seaway?

  103. avatar jon says:

    Suckling responds: Cashing in? Nope, just saving species every day

  104. avatar John Glowa says:

    As I predicted, the mountain lion killed on a Connecticut highway in June was a wild animal. A mountain lion was seen some 30-40 miles away in Greenwich, CT a day or two before. The DNA testing has not confirmed that it was the same animal. Based on photos, the Greenwich animal was larger, heavier and darker than the animal killed in Milford.

  105. avatar John Glowa says:

    Sorry. I didn’t see the previous posting about this animal. The link I posted apparently doesn’t work so I encourage folks to go directly to the Connecticut DEEP website for the unfiltered press release. Connecticut DEEP maintains that there are no more mountain lions in CT, even though the DNA test results on another lion seen a day or two before in Greenwich do not definitively match this animal.

    • avatar jon says:

      That’s a very sad story and I feel very vad for the dog. Goldens are AWESOME ANIMALS. Why didn’t the owner who they say was a hunter of the golden know the difference between a grizzly and black bear?

      • avatar Evan says:

        Based on the article, it seems that he assumed it was a grizzly due to size and color.

      • avatar Elk275 says:


        Can you tell the difference between a golden colored black bear or a grizzly. I doubt it. If you have never seen a wolf in the wild, then I doubt that you have ever seen a grizzly. More than once, it has taken me several minutes to distinguish between the two bears. I have seen hundreds of grizzlies and black bears in my life, Years ago, I saw a large bear just south of Haines Junction, YK that I was never able to determine whether it was a grizzly or black bear, in those days my optics were minimal. I still wonder today.

        You should go the Montana Fish Wildlife and Park’s web site and take the bear identification test, I doubt that you could pass it on the first try. All black bear hunters must pass that test before purchasing a black bear license. It can be difficult to quickly identify a black bear or grizzly bear.

    • Reading this story made me think there was more to the story than the news reported. The fact that this was not the first encounter with this bear was interesting as well as the man’s attitude that the bear was coming to attack them, doing what bears do. . if he were wise to the nature of bears he would know that bears do not target humans as prey, except for the occasional male black bear, and those rare bears are most often ones that have not had much experience with humans.
      Listen to the latest from Stephan Herrero on this subject:

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:


        Some male brown bears are not completely above it either. There was a Juneau deer hunter taken as prey by one on south Baranof. Granted, he was making like prey — sitting blowing his deer call on the margin of a muskeg late in the evening, but the bear didn’t seem to mind that he wasn’t a deer and hauled him off hundreds of feet up the mountainside and made a meal of him.

        There was another case in Glacier Bay where a male brown bear killed and ate a guy after another group in the area earlier narrowly escaped by taking high rocky ground and keeping up a steady barrage of rocks and coordinated defiance, until they were nearly worn out.

        Not to mention Treadwell.

        A couple of guys I work with had a close call with one a few years ago when they were on a stream with no salmon, tracking down a few old radio tags (with fish long gone) from the fall before. A very large, skinny, scarred fellow with a huge head and porcupine quills in one foot blasted unannounced out of the foliage only 65 feet away and came on the run, not full-out or with ears back, but with head up and very interested and excited. He zeroed on the shorter guy — we later referred to jokingly as the “Calf”, who failed to effectively deploy his issued safety equipment and was mentally beginning to accept his fate when the other guy managed to shed the radio antenna into the creek and intervened at the last second, tipping the old guy over at about 8 feet away. I helped skin him and his skull, the largest recorded on the Southeast Alaska mainland in records back to the mid-1970s, ended up in a display case. That was in June and we assumed the remains would be flushed out by freshets, but were surprised in late October to discover all the cleaned bones together about 100 feet back in the alders. Looking them over, it was clear he had somehow survived an unspeakable back injury sometime in his past. Three or four vertebrate were fused in a huge calcified mass and the rib insertions in that area were detached — broken away from the spine. So yes, he had “issues” but from the circumstances we were pretty sure he was seeing food, not defending himself or territory.

        Granted attacks by male brown bears are rare compared with sows, either with or without cubs, but those that happen seem more often predatory like male black bears. Black bears are an awful lot more abundant and in contact with more people in North America, but I’m not sure the odds of any one male brown bear having predatory leanings toward humans would be any lower.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          I have mentioned before on this forum of meeting and having a beer with Jay Reeves in the Cold Bay, AK bar in 1974. Several days later his partially eaten remains were in a plastice bag laying on the Cold Bay Runway.

          Jay was not the smartest person and certainly did several things wrong when camping and photographing bears. Never the less he was partially eaten by a brown bear.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            Elk –
            I thought of the incident in Cold Bay, but was just listing ones I knew were male brown bears and wasn’t sure on that one. I remember you mentioning meeting him in the bar at Cold Bay. Did you fly out there on Reeve Aleutians Airlines? Flying in and out of Cold Bay on “Reeve’s Illusions” to Dutch Harbor in a virtual typhoon in September 1979 (for a 3 month stint with the Soviet fishing fleet in the Bering Sea) was the probably the wildest aviation experience I’ve ever had — and on a commercial airlines no less. The return flight over the Aleutians on a stormy December night was reasonably epic as well.

            Linda –
            I haven’t read that book yet, but our local “Perseverance Theater” put on great production last winter of “The Blue Bear” based on Lynn’s story of his friendship with Michio Hoshino, a Japanese photographer. Lynn was at every production and it was very well done and received. Makes me want to read his books and I might start with that one, thanks! Speaking of that, if you’ve read “The Blue Bear” you know Michio sadly was killed by a brown bear while sleeping outside the cabin at Ozero Kurilskoye. I shared a dining table with him a time or two in the UAF commons, but didn’t really get to know him — he was terrific with a camera.

        • avatar WM says:

          Adding to SEAK’s comments, and another AK grizzly that seemed to want to have a human meal. About two years ago a fellow was charged by an undernourished old boar near Soldotna (Kenai Peninsula)
          that had mostly been feeding on grass because that was all he seemed to be fast enough or able to get….until this slow human shows up.

          • Good stores all but I was just pointing out the study done by Herrero that shows that statistically the most dangerous bear appears to be the black bear male who has not had a lot of experience with humans. This is a new study result and doesn’t take into account specific stories but refutes the general notion that mother bears are the most dangerous.
            If you can’t open the MP3 clip I will listen to it again so I can quote it to you. It is important, I think, to keep up to date on what the statistics show. Lynn Schooler writes a very good account of being stalked for days by a grizzly in his book “Waling Home” if you want a good story that he lived to tell about. . but I was talking about statistics.

  106. avatar Evan says:

    Feds say silver mine is good for grizzly bears. How can that be?

    • That is a sad sad article. From a bear’s point of view they will make a huge mess and then after the bears and other wildlife have died or abandoned the area, they will try and buy up some land to replace it, land that is already being used by humans and already not as suitable as the mine. Then they will say they did all they could for the wildlife and it is not their fault if the bears don’t want to use it. . what bears? Oh yeah the ones that used to be here I wonder where they have gone. . well since they are gone we don’t really need to do this land acquisition anymore huh? Just like cutting down an important tree and then saying oh sorry I didn’t see the owls nest up there. Oh well I can’t put it back now.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      They will buy bear proof trash cans for residents to mitigate the mine’s damage?

    • avatar Elk275 says:


      If you caught a 35 pound rainbow, would you realease it the law allowed its pocession. I spent several years as a river guide and all fish were released. I never kept fish except salmon and halibut. But, I think that I would have kept that fish besides a fish that size is a non breeder.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        That fish I would have released. Would have taken pics for sure and the little jab about it being legal to posses, if you read what i said had nothing to do with that. Was simply stating MY opinion.

      • avatar WM says:

        Maybe its a triploid (sterile genetically altered hatchery fish) rainbow. If so they get huge compared to wild or other hatchery fish, because they put all their calories into growing rather than reproduction. If so, it would make no genetic contribution, only make some fisher happy, as it appears it did here.

        They have been growing and planting them in waters in WA for about twelve years or so. Don’t know what the program is in ID.

        Maybe Mark Gamblin will offer some thoughts on the fish, where it came from and whether it is a new state record of some sort.

        Largest WA triploid is in the twenty five pound range. This is near 35.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Yeah, no doubt. That’s one you put back.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Much of hunting and trophy fishing stems from this desire to “show” others and have them pat you on the back. It’s not inherently evil, but it is a lack of growth from our youth and our “show and tell” mentality which is a big part of it, such as “look what I caught, dad!” You’re proud and you want to show your father the fish, or the deer you shot, etc.

      The difference is most people reliaze by the time they hit their twenties that you don’t need to seek approval from your peers by killing wild animals, and that you can enjoy wildlife just as much from a pair of binoculars or camera lens. Unfortunately, the woods are filled with these man-children.

      The urge to keep a fish of that size is simply for bragging rights and a “look at me, look at what I did” mentality that sadly, many people have never outgrown.

  107. avatar Immer Treue says:

    ~1987 flew with a friend to Cold Bay on Reeve Aleutian Airway. He worked for them, and at the time I worked for a now defunct airline…for two days of salmon fishing. I believe the chum salmon were running then. My arms were tired from reeling them in as they were so thick. Remember as we were going out we were told to keep an eye open for bears. Cold Bay, from what I remember was a wind scoured almost treeless landscape, at least the area in which we were in.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Immer –
      The Alaska Peninsula is certainly not for everybody — it’s one place I don’t think I’ve heard of anybody ever moving to retire.

      Bob Reeve was quite a character – started out in the 1930s flying miners to glaciers up in the mountains using a ski plane operating off mud and water at Valdez.

      His safety record with Reeve Aleutian was pretty amazing, one of the very best in the industry under appalling operating conditions. His ticket prices were pretty steep – he refused to take government subsidies during the days of heavy airline regulation – but he paid his air crews very well. I think their only fatal accident (16 people) was in 1959. In later years, one of the Lockheed Electras threw a prop which chopped into the side of the plane and cut the line going to the elevator control (i.e. up and down – very important). They somehow managed to land it in Anchorage using just the trim control to move the elevators up and down.

      I flew in an Electra out to Cold Bay, where it was necessary to transfer to a smaller YS-11 to land on the then dirt strip carved into the mountainside at Dutch. Reeve got a deal on the YS-11s when a Latin American airline defaulted on an order — all the wording inside was in Spanish. The weather seemed pretty extreme, looking down at huge surf on the north side of the Peninsula and got worse, blowing a base 50 knots with much higher gusts and horizontal rain in Cold Bay — fortunately straight down the long runway. We ran soaked into the terminal, a WWII Quonset hut that stood shaking and straining in the wind. I sat around for a few minutes waiting to hear about the next leg of the flight, before realizing I had a brother in town. He came over and opined that they wouldn’t be going anywhere — trying to land in the mountains at Dutch would be suicide. But then, remarkably, they called us up for the flight. He said “I wouldn’t go”. I said, “If the plane goes, I have to — there are 90 Russians waiting for me on a ship”.

      It was so windy that the steps couldn’t be used to access the YS-11, so they led us five at a time into the garage area behind the waiting room and had us crouch down in a steel box on a fork lift that they drove out into the storm. They had us scramble from the box into the cargo compartment where we had to crawl on our hands and knees through an access port into the cabin. The passengers on the pitching parked plane were 100% young men – headed to work on Bering Sea crabbers or ashore in the processing plants. The only woman was the typically bullet-proof, amazingly calm Reeve flight attendant. There was wide-eyed uproarious laughter, and somebody yelled out “We’re all gonna die!” Then we practically hovered off the runway and headed out the chain. They hadn’t bothered to tell us the storm would break well short of Dutch, and the weather was actually fairly nice when we landed and disembarked past the welcome sign in the terminal — a king crab mounted on a plaque with the words “The reason why we’re here”.

      On the trip back in heavy turbulence I watched the Reeve stewardess go airborne and land squarely in a guys lap, just like a bride headed across the threshold. As the rest of us sat quietly with pale knuckles, she laughed, gave him a quick squeeze with a joke and bounced right back up and went about her business. I seem to remember John McPhee interviewing some of those women for his classic book “Coming into the Country” — some real stories there.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        I remember in 1978 in the Anchorage Airport Bob Reeves stepping out of the Reeve’s Aleutian Airlines office in the Anchorage Airport, an old man with a patch over one eye.

        One of the must reads in Alaskan Lore is “Glacier Pilot” the story of Bob Reeves.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Seak – Gotta ask, are you keeping a journal?

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          Nancy —
          Unfortunately, I don’t have that much diligence to keep a regular journal, except for field work and very rare opportunities like mentioned above —some months behind the Iron Curtain in a very different culture and industry amidst the awesome natural abundance and formidible forces of the Bering Sea.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:


            Did you make it over to Russia for while you were doing your work?

            I wasn’t aware that you could actually fly from Nome to Provideniya until I read about it in a book called “Travels in Siberia” I picked up at an airport recently while waiting for a flight to Ottawa.

            I’d like to check out Siberia somewhere along the coast at some point. I’m just not sure what areas would be the most interesting to see. Kamchatka Peninsula is place that I hear mentioned the most, but all I know about it really is there are geysers and great fishing.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            Daniel –
            I was supposed to remain in the US 200 mile zone at all times but was at one point taken across into an uninhabited fiord just north of Kamchatka and south of the Gulf of Anadyr — Bukhta Natalya, was the name (Bukhta meaning Bay). It was very rugged and pretty wintry in late November with fresh snow on very jagged mountains right down to the water – no trees. I have a very scenic shot of the several 273 foot Soviet factory trawlers anchored and rafted up in small groups in there, transferring cargo with a larger ship sent up from Vladivostok. The Soviet trawlers, most called BMRT’s and a newer version called SRT’s, were actually fairly picturesque with nice lines, compared with the Japanese and Korean vessels.

            It was during a fairly brief snapshot in time after the 200 mile EEZ was established in 1976 (Magnusson-Stevens Act), necessitating some observer coverage to sample and monitor foreign catches in that area for fish stocks not yet used to any extent by Americans. It was pretty light coverage — I was the first observer on all of the 5 vessels I was on. There were several other nationalities fishing in the US EEZ but I was keen to work with Soviets, having taken a year and a half of Russian in college. The crew were not all Russians, but included a number of nationalities including central Asia, and far east. The Soviets were expelled from fishing in US waters by President Carter right after I returned, as they had just started on their decade-long stint in Afghanistan. Other distant water fleets including Japanese, Poles, Koreans, and West Germans continued on, but the first American factory trawler (the “American Number 1”) was launched the following year, followed by many more. Within about 5 years, the entire fishery was Americanized, and I think there are now 62 factory trawlers fishing off all of Alaska in addition to a substantial shore-based groundfish fleet.

            At one point, I could count 23 other Soviet trawlers, each with 90–100 people, working within sight of my vessel on the shelf west of the Pribilofs, all dragging the bottom at 70 meters for an extremely abundant little flatfish called yellowfin sole, the second most abundance fish in Alaska after pollock. The eastern Bering Sea, particularly in the upwelling area along the shelf break may be the richest fish producing area in the world, one of just a handful of super-productive hotspots on the planet associated upwelling of nutrient-rich water. The Soviet side is not as rich. A friend who was in Petropavlovsk a few years ago told me the trawl fleet is sitting there rusting away. I often wonder what has become of all the people I met out there.

    • avatar jon says:

      Let’s Hope Molloy puts the wolves back on the endangered species list.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      Now all we need for our enjoyment is a 12 paragraph rant defending the rules by Fish and Game boy

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +Officials say Idaho will manage wolves and the hunt so that their population remains above 150 animals and 15 breeding pairs+

      Yeah, right….

      Talked to a guy this morning from Texas who stopped into a local feed store (here in southwest Montana) to buy a fishing license.

      He mentioned he’d like to come back to the area to hunt someday and during the conversation, wolves came up. The guy told him that wolves were a BIG nuisance around here and the best thing you could do was to “shoot em” if you ran across them while out hunting and if you do manage to kill one or two……. don’t tell anyone.

      That was depressing to hear until he said, I happpen to like wolves, always have but I didn’t feel I could say much, as an out of stater, so I just stood there and listened to this yahoo go on and on about “them”

      My gosh………when you think about it, what other species are suffering because of “local yahoo influence?”

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        Lots of other species are suffering and the carcasses are never even found or counted for the most part. The rural right doesn’t believe in rules or laws or authority. The honorable hunting tradition still exists, but only as an echo amidst the roar of today’s new poaching anything you want tradition.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Yes, I do not see how Idaho and the Fish and Game can maintain a population above 150 when there is no quotas in 3/4 of the hunting areas. They are using words to try to ease the entire situation, but the actions will work against their words. I am increasing my belief that conservation groups will work even harder to relist wolves and will never depend on the “words” of the three NRM region states, and especially the Fish and Game’s.

  108. avatar Nota says:

    Now them folks in Grangeville and Potlatch won’t have to clean up their yards of dead animal parts!

  109. avatar Virginia says:

    I just returned from listening to Doug Chadwick talk about his book “The Wolverine Way.” Held at the BBHC here in Cody, the discussion focused on his experiences as a volunteer with a wolverine study group tracking and radio collaring wolverines in Glacier National Park. It was a fascinating and informative talk and I was able to meet Doug and visit with him about many issues. He is a very friendly, unassuming person who told me to call him if I am ever in Whitefish, where he lives. The wolverine is another predator that has been acknowledged to be threatened, but “precluded.” Evidently, another lawsuit has been filed and a decision must be made by 2013 (meanwhile wolverines can be trapped in Montana – a disgusting travesty) by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Meanwhile, the wolverines’ habitat is disappearing due to climate warming. This animal, too, is dependent on the white bark pine.


    Arctic Scientist that observed polar bears swimming long distances between melting ice sheets because of climate change is in hot water with Obama Administration…. glad to see PEER is speaking up in his defense.

    • avatar Nota says:

      We just cancelled our vacation plans/lodging reservations to Red River Hot Springs. I have no interest in spending any money in Idaho County. No more day trips to St. Maries as well. Let those poor local losers eat wolf.

    • avatar Paul says:

      My wife and I cancelled our vacation to Wyoming for September. I sent their tourism department an email informing them why and this is the response I got:

      Thank you for your recent email regarding the wolf management plan in Wyoming. I appreciate your concern but regret that you have chosen to bypass Wyoming for your upcoming vacation.
      The role of our office is to promote tourism in the state of Wyoming and to provide assistance and information to our visitors. Current federal laws and wolf management plans are beyond the control of the state Office of Tourism. The wolf is still protected in Wyoming’s national parks, and wolf watching is an exciting part of the visitor experience.
      As the administrating agency, Wyoming Game & Fish offers information on the wolf management plan and any updates on their website. I encourage you to visit
      It is unfortunate that a select law has drastically impacted your travel decisions. Perhaps, in the future you will reconsider. I wish you the best in your vacation endeavors.

      Diane Shober
      Wyoming Office of Tourism

      Apparently “wolf watching” isn’t too important for Wyoming tourism or they wouldn’t want to slaughter most of them. I hope others follow my path and not spend tourism money in these three states.

      • avatar willam huard says:

        I received the same exact response from the Wyoming tourism office….. I sent her some of the real facts concerning wolves instead of the wolf hater talking points…

        • avatar jon says:

          Wyoming would be a very boring place if yellowstone wasn’t there. Wyoming should be thanking those who bother going to their state because of the chance to see wolves and grizzlies.

          • avatar willam huard says:

            Grizzlies and wolves at least contributed in part to rancher boy mead’s governor salary

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            In the State of Wyoming a 24 hour oil well pumping or a coal giant shovel working 8 hours an shift or a day royalties on high pressure gas well in the Green River county equate more money to the states economy than a hundred or a thousand wolf lovers boycotting the state. This year’s attendance in Yellowstone /Grand Teton is up and at or above all time records. The State of Wyoming does not care about those who are going to boycott coming to Wyoming because of the treatment of wolves. Get use to it; it may be sad but it is the truth.

          • avatar willam huard says:

            What was that noise- stegosaurus or cultosaurus erectus

        • avatar Paul says:

          I just hope that these insane proposals come back to hit these states right in the pocketbook. I am sure that people like us contribute a significant amount of tourism dollars to these states. I know that in my case they will not get a cent from me until they change their anti-predator policies.

          • avatar timz says:

            Some big corporation needs to get involved and make the state take a major hit. For example McDonalds could quit buying their fries from Simplot. That would be huge.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Wyoming is a fiefdom of the livestock industry and they could care less if you go to Wyoming or Mars for your vacation

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Their response was ‘you should have said something sooner cause the deal is done’, but this was a closed door deal. Catch-22

  111. avatar Mal Adapted says:

    (I hope I have these html tags figured out)

    Jon Huntsman touts environmental credentials

    At least, in front of the Republicans for Environmental Protection.

    Outside the Capitol Hill hotel where he was speaking, a truck with an animated anti-Huntsman billboard circled the block. Apparently the work of climate-change criticdenier Steve Milloy, it derided him as “Utah’s Al Gore” and a “climate whiner.”

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Mal Adapted,

      I know that a number of Republican moderate conservatives who take the side of reality rather than ideology are backing Huntsman. He was well liked when he was governor of Utah.

  112. avatar Mal Adapted says:

    I may consider posting more carefully, although not for the first time in my life 8^}!

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Mal Adapted,

      That’s OK. You don’t need to know HTML to put in a link. WordPress does it for you. Just type the URL in.

  113. avatar jon says:

    New Mexico Congressman Relies on Misinformation to Halt Protection for Endangered Species

    New Website Compiles Truths, Lies Behind Pearce’s Rhetoric

    • avatar willam huard says:

      The oil and gas industry needs a congressional bit*% to do their dirty work, and Pearce is their guy. He is a disgusting human being. I’m hoping he gets what he deserves

      • avatar jon says:

        You got that right. There are many more like Pearce. Lummis of Wyoming is one.

        ” everyone agrees that we need to cut spending by the federal government, yet why does Rep. Lummis continue to support and fight for fat-cat tax breaks for the wealthy while dumping all the burden on the poor, the elderly, the disadvantaged and the least represented segments of our great country? We elected her to represent the people of Wyoming, not the billionaires with home offices in Dubai.”

  114. avatar jon says:

    This is very concerning.

    “Moore promised the department would shut down the hunt if the wolf population approaches 150.”

    Read more:

    Let’s hope Molloy does the right thing.

    • avatar mikarooni says:

      All he meant was that, if the wolf population approaches 150, they’ll stop using the cluster bombs.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      “This season will run from Aug. 30 until March 31, 2012. However, it will be extended in the Lolo and Selway zones until June 30 to coincide with black bear season.”

      My God, is 10 months a ‘hunting season’ or just a ‘shoot on sight with a $15 tag’ season? I guess the IG&F figure that those wolf hunters want to take July and August off to be on their family vacations.

    • avatar bret says:

      Wolf advocates believe the 15 BP is to low and is a political compromise with stockman and hunters, looking at decisions involving wolves in the west over the last year most have been political decisions and Washington State will be no different.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Everything that this Mr. Hover says about the wolves in the county are exactly what the anti-wolfers use as arguments. Honestly, it is becoming more of a cliche than anything else.

      • avatar willam huard says:

        I don’t know from which rock Mr Hover crawled out from under, but he is a loon. He’s got all the talking points down…. Canadian wolves (planted by environmental groups to undermine hunters and put ranchers out of business) a danger to pets, children, and of course democracy in general……

    • avatar Phil says:

      “Nevertheless, Hover said WDFW “does not have the best record or reputation” and said the lynx episode left him with reservations.” Yes, but people like him who do what they do to protect the ranchers are credible in what they say against predators, right? The lynx example proved his “speculations” to be wrong then and certainly does not give off valid credibility on his part.

  115. avatar wolfsong says:

    Interesting article on Native American treaty grazing rights.

    81-year-old Nevada tribal leader sues for $30M in decade-old grazing battle with BLM–Tribal-Elder-BLM-Lawsuit/

  116. avatar Elk275 says:

    Here is an interesting article about a women jogger in Missoula and a black bear attack.

    • avatar Alan says:

      Is this another example of how running and bears don’t mix? It might be real pretty out there, but I think if I were going to go for a run I would do it in town; certainly not in an area where there might be bears or predators such as mountain lions. Just me.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Quick note: to a predator, a moving animal says ” possible prey ” and may activate the predator response. I can’t always say standing still is a good idea—and probably wasn’t possible in this case— especially , but staying motionless and averting your eyes provides much less of a stimulus trigger to the beast.

  117. avatar Phil says:

    This is an unusual situation. Black bears are pretty tolerant of humans compared to grizzly bears. But, with cubs around I am not surprised that the bear’s protective instincts kicked in and she attacked the woman. Thompson says that he is shocked these types of situations do not occur more often? So, why jinx it? I guess it shows a positive symbol of the bears in the area as being tolerant of human presence more so than bears in other areas.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      My experience has given me the opposite view when wondering which species of bear is more likely to interact with humans , negatively or otherwise, by choice. I have never had a bad encounter with a grizzly in more than 200 occasions, although I’ve had plenty of grizz stand their ground and/or remain on ” Yellow Alert”. In nearly all cases they move off, preferring nothing to do with us smelly humans unless a disputed elk carcass, a gut pile, ill-placed food , or cubs are involved. Grizzlies are smart.

      However, nearly all close encounters with Black Bears have resulted in that bear being more than curious , in fact intrusive. Black bears outside some ill defined boundary > 40 yards or so will likely go away , too. But too many black bears move towards, not away from humans, and show little fear or respect IMO. They can also be really really sneaky. Several I detected by smelling them first , before laying eyes on them. Black bears are not that smart. Which makes them more dangerous.

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        I agree with most of your points. Grizz are clearly more intelligent than black bears and, if you’re saying that the relative stupidity of black bears make them more dangerous than they might be if they were just a little smarter, then I agree with that too. But, if your overall contention is that black bears are more dangerous than grizz, I can’t agree and I’m not sure that’s a good message to send to the uninformed tourist out in grizz country.

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          Rare is the negative Grizzly-Human conflict that wasn’t started by the human.

          Rare is the negative Black bear-Human conflict that wasn’t started by the bear…

          Best to avoid the “conflict” at all , if possible, if you have any apprehensions.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            I tend to agree. Brown/grizzly bears seem to generally steer away from trouble when they can. If you live close with them, it is much easier to come to a peaceful and relatively enduring understanding whereas black bears tend to require unrelenting vigilance to keep order. We are losing our crew that has been on a brown bear weir for 21 seasons, so have been grilling them on many small things including tips on how to get along with the bears. In recent years, they’ve found they have to do relatively little. It‘s imperative that nobody be challenged on the work site. Occasionally a younger male will do that, acting sullen and refusing to move when they try to walk out to the trap. Then, they pour on everything at once — yelling, banging, flare fired directly at him and then (the fun part) trying to drop a cracker shell on him while he’s running away. That usually does it, but measures used half-way and too-often risk becoming ineffective.

            However, they found that by allowing sows to have pretty much free-range of the weir (except inside the trap that’s blocked by heavy panels when unattended) at all times, the sows took care of the young toughs so that they seldom had need for those deterents. The regular sows themselves are very responsive to subtle signals and voice commands almost like a trained dog and show absolutely no interest in contesting the crew about anything, and that lasts for many years (although eventually as I’ve mentioned before, the old sows for some reason seem to eventually become more reclusive – – – as of course do males at a much younger age). They do show interest in work in the trap later in the season when the less abundant and harder-to-catch cohos are all that’s left, but still respond right away to a voice signal like “uh-uh-uh!” if they start trying guard the exit slot to nab a recovering coho. While working in the trap, one of the sows will occasionally slip by you 5 feet away on the catwalk to get from one side of the weir to the other — close enough to take your breath away. It gets more interesting when they have cubs, but they usually don’t come quite as close then. I have a photo of Karen bent over mounting a fish scale on a gum card on her clipboard with a sow on the catwalk 6 feet away sitting on her haunches and looking down at the water like a big dog. The instinct of most people who see it in this post-Treadwell era is say “Wow, that’s just wrong!” Maybe it is . . . but then they got away with it with no serious issues for a couple of decades, and she could get that bear to move away very quickly just by clearing her throat. And then there’s the fun of watching the very different side of the bear when she launches after a young intruder of dubious character . . . .

            I notice at another (black bear) weir on the mainland near Ketchikan that the crew, while recognizing individual animals, has never developed much individual affection for them. They are a “live-and-let-live couple” who greatly enjoy wildlife, so it’s amusing watching them take up rocks or plot dirty tricks to keep the bears unbalanced and somewhat at bay. While acting predictably seems generally a good thing with the brown bears, being unpredictable seems necessary just to maintain an uneasy stalemate with the black bears. They’re sort of like the bum that, shown any kindness, starts picking your pockets and follows you home.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            There are many more black bear than grizzly, at least in the continental US. I would guess the ratio to be something like 20 to 1 in Wyoming or Montana. In Oregon or California or New Jersey, there are no grizzlies. You have to expect more injuries from black bears because of the numbers. In the continental US, I would guess something like 300 black bears for every grizzly. Black bear maulings are very rare and deaths are extemely rare. Where both grizzlies and human live, there are maulings every year and deaths every few years.

  118. avatar WM says:

    It is raining bug poop in the West! Insects invade the trees.

  119. avatar Virginia says:

    RL Miller writes a great article on DailyKos, entitled, “Those Poor, Disabled Hunters.” This article explains how the republicans are using disabled veteran hunters testifying before Congress as a front to pass a bill that will open up hundreds of thousands of acres to coal mines, fracking gas wells and drilling of oil wells. Frightening – didn’t know republicans were so concerned about these people from whom they are trying to take their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Read it!

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Virginia, you have it.

      One of the things Republican political consultants have gotten very good at is helping people to see and act on behalf of their unenlightened self-interest. By this I mean their self-interest without considering their friends, family, colleagues. In addition, unenlightened self interest does not think of secondary effects or effects that occur later in time of the policy.

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        It’s truly amazing how they can convince so many people to believe and argue against their own interest. The middle class is all but blown away and they have been able to re-define the 20% of people in this country who own 93% of all financial assets as “job creators” , whose income and assets must be guarded and protected at all costs, rather than their traditional label of “wealthy”. At the same time, one Republican leader arguing against taxes complained that the upper 20% are already bearing too much burden, paying 83% of federal tax while about 40% of the country pays a net zero (hard to believe but I’ve seen the figure several places). If you look closely, the upper 20% in net wealth now actually contains most of what is left of the middle class as well as the super-rich, while about half the nation either does not have or hardly has a pot to piss in. I agree the vast new lower class should pay “some” taxes, but like squeezing blood out of a turnip, they are not going to be the much of the solution. Those of us who have been able to escape their plight by investing where their jobs went — in multi-national companies that have exported those jobs and are creating all kinds of jobs in developing nations (and repatriating growing profits back to our brokerage accounts at favored tax rates) may be helping create jobs somewhere, but not here.

        The whole debt debate was depressing, a near complete substitution of ideology for economics with little positive outcome. Here’s a Canadian perspective. As I’ve mentioned before, Canadians sometimes seem quirky in their endearing tolerance of bureaucratic excesses and over-bearing regulations, but at least they have some maturity and sanity:

          • avatar WM says:

            Interesting read, Jerry. First we invite (by default) a new population to our country (in migrating Hispanics both those legally and illegally here and who are procreating at a phenomenal rate) then lament how poor they are compared to the average US population.

            Noam Chomsky, civil libertarian and anarchist, has long said the workers of the US need open rebellion against authority for things to change with respect to the gap between the rich and the poor to close, to once again restore a middle class in America.

            I suspect the need is heightening with the overt influence of the likes of the Uber-rich like the Koch brothers, the disparity between CEO and worker pay. It is underscored with the antics of Congress over this budget fight. And, the real problem, in my view, is that the Republicans and the Tea Party ranks are filled with ignorant rednecks and R’s in the deep South (and the Mid-West) who do not realize their interests are compromised by the very folks with whom they relate politically and have recently elected in large numbers.

            What will this next national election produce in the way of leadership for America? I truly fear for our Country’s future without forward looking leadership that embraces a stewardship role. We certainly do not have in now and there is little hope in view at present on the horizon.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        Anyone read Krugman’s latest article…

        The President Surrenders

        Of the new “debt deal” he says, “it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.”

        He also says, “make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.”

        I honestly thought we would not get a debt deal. As I have mentioned before, the Tea Party is very similar to the NAZI party in the late 20’s. They made a mockery of the German parliament and they too held the entire country hostage to get their demands met. The German government caved in to them also but it was never enough. As the country plunged into a serious depression, more people turn to the NAZI’s as they seemed so sure of themselves and people tapped into their anger and outrage at government.

        I saw in interesting poll the other day. God’s approval rating has dipped below 50% by the American people.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


          I’m afraid you are right. Although the tea party is not a Nazi group, the Nazis did take over Germany by winning only about 30% of the vote in the German Parliament, the Reichstag. Once in power (1933) they quickly burned down the Reichstag, and blamed it on leftists. They used the resulting public sentiment to abolish elections and democracy.

          The tea party is much less organized than the Nazis. They will probably disappear as a distinct group in the near future, but given a weak opposition President and their willingness to actually hold the country hostage, their small percentage of public support was leveraged into a big victory for them.

          The American system is not a parliamentary system. Two party systems are supposedly bulwarks against extremism, but recent events have shown that isn’t necessary so if other conditions are right such as timid President, timid MSM, large sources of money from extremist individuals.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            Politically correct historians like to make the NAZI rise to power seem like a power grab by a few NAZI leaders or, in particular, by Adolf Hitler. In many ways it was. It is true that Nazi’s only held 30% of seats in the German parliament when Hitler was made Chancellor. It was a deal made by Hindenburg to appease the Nazi’s and to restore order to the parliament and to the German government…strangely familiar to the deals just made. It is a mistake, however, to believe that Hitler and the Nazi’s did not have broad political support from the German people. The reason other leaders, such as Hindenburg, capitulated to Hitler was because, as Germany sank into economic depression and social chaos, the appeal of the Nazi’s grew and established leaders did not dare oppose the Nazi’s or Hitler.

            By the time the Reichstag was burned, it was a forgone conclusion as to which party would be in power. The burning of the Reichstag only accelerated the NAZI agenda.

            Who knows what could happen if our current recession takes a sudden turn downward. Hopefully our system would prevent some extreme leader from taking power, but we already have some very extreme personalities, such as Michelle Bachmann, running for president in 2012.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


              There has also been a historical debate about the role rich industrialists played in the Nazi march to power. The same is true of the tea partiers, but already the danger to right wing corporate elites from the tea party extremists is evident — they cannot be controlled. The tea party and the Republicans almost brought the world economy to its knees with their attempt to stop the raising of the debt limit. This catastrophic action would, of course, have destroyed their patrons. Fortunately, for them in the short run anyway, they won when Obama refused to take decisive action (by that I mean the “constitutional option” permitted under the 14th Amendment).

              To me, now it looks like near depression conditions as far as I can see. This will breed more extremism, although not necessarily only on the right.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            Well…I believe as Germany descended into political chaos, both the nobility (rich industrialists) and the church (both Lutheran and Catholic) got behind Hitler because they feared communism. Some nobility in Germany were refugees from the Russian Revolution that had had family and colleagues executed by the communists. It was very personal to them. Recall that one of the problems that the Russian Army had in their war with Germany was that Stalin had purged the the Russian military of most of its experienced officers. He mostly killed officers from noble families…to give you an idea of what the German military had to look forward to if Germany went left.

            The church feared the communists for very similar reasons. They firmly threw their support behind Hitler because he was pro-christian and anti-communist. They did not want communists taking control of Germany either. Church officials did not fare much better than Russian nobility under the communists.

            American too had a choice of left or right as we sank into the Great Depression. We went soft left. The government grew dramatically and gave people jobs and security. America was largely rural during the Great Depression, however, and people lived off the land with some dignity without jobs or money. The depression was not so severe in America. It was more severe in more industrialized nations with larger cities such as those in Europe.

            A depression in America today could be very severe.

      • avatar Virginia says:

        Not only self interest, but people seem to be blind to (or do not care – what is up with that?)what these policies are doing to other people (ex. the FAA), to the environment including, clean water, clean air, safe food and our precious wildlife. I have never seen such a sad and pessimistic cloud over this country and I blame it directly on george bush and his republican followers and their policies that brought us to this point.

  120. avatar willam huard says:

    “The fate of the Tasmanian Tylacines is all too familiar. Despite scant evidence of any real threat to livestock, the settlers placed bounties on tylacines and their pups, and hunted their natural prey…..

    Now where have we heard this before?
    Anyone wanting to read about the thylacine- the Paddle and Owen texts are very good. The best is probably Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasamanian Tiger by Eric Guiler… His book is very rare and pricey…..

  121. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Back to the Third Reich, rich industrialists such as Krupp and others believed they would be able to control Hitler, and reap the profits accordingly. Krupp/Koch … Any coincidence? The entire Palin thing, in my way of thinking, is/was nothing but neonationalism. Why did we really invade Iraq? I got into a bit of an argument with a friend about that one because I believe it was neocolonialism. Do we we really have forces all over the world because we require a world police force, or is our economy so dependent on the military industrial complex, that we have no work, for these otherwise empaled people?

  122. avatar JB says:

    Recently a number of people on this blog have begun to question the value of radio-collaring animals for wildlife research. Here is an article that demonstrates the value of some of this research:

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      I saw a yearling wolf and a small (therefore, probably young) grizzly bear play together for about a half hour near Round Prairie. That was 7-8 years ago. I took photos, but my lens was way too short to record anything useful.

  123. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    I drove under this bald eagle dozens of times on the 520 floating bridge heading out of Seattle. So wierd to see a bald eagle consistently perched on a light pole on one of the busiest bridges in Washington State during rush hour about two minutes away from Seattle proper. I wondered whether this would end up being it’s fate:

    “Bald eagle hit, killed by bus on 520 bridge”

  124. avatar PointsWest says:

    News Corp. phone hacking scandal in Britain marks 11th arrest…,0,6390428.story

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Teton County (WY) voted for Obama too.

      They are the richest county in the USA…or, at least they were a couple of years ago. The median income is something like $370k per year.

      • avatar WM says:

        Not only lots of very rich folks, but nearly half of Teton County’s population lives in Jackson. Some of these folks are only part-timers, and claim residency here, while they do their dirty deeds making a living on Wall St. the rest of the year, then come back to the raw beauty as well increasingly refined tastes of Jackson (polo anyone?). Hardly representative of WY or the NRM.

        • avatar WM says:

          And even Teton County is not immune from the devastating effects of an economy in the toilet.

          Here is the list of real estate parcels that will be sold at the County tax lien sale, today, as it turns out!

          Gotta wonder how many well heeled folks that have cash reserves will suck these properties up for pennies on the dollar, and become even richer when the economy turns around. This will be done on the backs of common folk who have lost everything, filed bankruptcy, and will have poor credit histories that will prevent them from getting mortgages for a very long time. Take a look. It is 11 pages long, with a 174 properties (unless some of these got paid off after list publication).

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            You don’t necessarily have to be rich to get into that game. It all depends on the area. You can buy 3 bed 2 bath homes out of foreclosure in certain suburbs of Phoenix for well under $100,000. I’m not rich and I may throw my hat in that ring this fall with a couple of partners.

            I agree though that it’s mostly a rich man’s game, and this economic downturn will only transfer more wealth higher up the ladder. Unfortunately, too many voters are incapable of supporting policies that would reverse that trend.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            My mother just sold her 8-year-old home on a golf course in Casa Grande, AZ for $90k. It cost $110k new and I mean they purchased from the builder before it was built. She traded up. She bought another fairly new home in Sun City for about $120k that had been worth $200k. Since interest rates are so low, her monthly payment is the same. I think it was a safe investment for her but only because she has a secure retirement income and will own it and use it for at least five years and because it is in the established retirement community of Sun City.

            Arizona is a little scary for real estate. Some homes are in subdivisions in the middle of nowhere and labor is so cheap in AZ (cheap labor of the wetbacks that they despise) that new homes can be thrown up for less than $80k. I wouldn’t advise investing there unless you plan on owning it for 5 to 10 years and it is in a great neigborhood.

            I am contemplating selling out here in California. If I buy back into real estate, it will be either in rentals in Idaho Falls (if the $3 billion enrichment facility goes in) or in land in Fremont or Teton counties in Idaho.

          • avatar WM says:


            You are a couple hours late for this year’s tax sale today at the Teton Courthouse. Maybe next year. LOL.

            We had been thinking of building a house on the Olympic Peninsula, on land purchased years ago (which has lost at least 20% of its purchase value). The problem – one which many folks in our situation have encountered – is that putting up a new structure on rural land involves water well, septic, electrical, as well as excavation services. None, except the excavation cost, has gone down, in fact these costs have gone up by 15% over the last three years. Labor for construction of the structure has, of course, gone down, but materials costs have gone up (think Tsunami/earthquake in Japan).

            So, once constructed the structure and all costs which support its use would be about 60 or even as low as 50 percent of an equivalent existing property (if one could find it on the market). Little incentive to want to lose more money, even if you finance it yourself (because no bank is going to loan under that scenario).

            If one would have to sell that property in the next 5 years, you would be unlikely to net 50 percent of the investment (not even figuring lost time value of the money or loan costs). So, there is simply no economic incentive to build. There is no market for the raw land to sell it. That is a likely thought model that is going through many people’s and developers’ minds for new construction, further holding down job growth.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            I remember reading an article a few years ago on the crazy building going on around Phoenix. They actually did overflights to keep track of what was happening — even though you’d think they could get it from building permits. It must have been a challenge extending viable utilities that much.

            Oddly, housing here hardly dipped. We got the inflationary updraft in the mid-2000s but the average asking price dropped all of 3% at the bottom, although there were plenty for sale — and it is pretty much a seller’s market now. The town has scarcely grown in many years — seems like its been roughly 30,000 as long as I can remember. About 20% of our population cycles in and out from the Lower 48 and unemployment is low and average wages fairly high. However, we never got the subprime lending in Alaska — most all mortgages were done under the same standards used for many years. In Juneau, there is somewhat limited level land but one of the big things is development costs are very high. The city has high standards for streets and utilities before approving subdivisions and our soil is pretty difficult to work with — it doesn’t want to come off the shovel when you scoop it up.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Hard to apply Median Income to Teton County with a straight face.

        Most of the income and wealth in Teton County is by transfer, not made there. Annuities in lieu of a real job ; a trust funds vs. weekly wages .

        Being from elsewhere in Wyoming, we consider Teton County to be ” Lichtenstein-on-the-Snake “

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        Construction material prices are way down from their high just before the Beijing Olympics. The project I was on at the time had to redesign their rebar for structural wall because No. 4 rebar was not even available. It had all gone to China.

        And you can bet that wetbacks in AZ are working for $5 an hour these days. It might be $4 an hour next year.

        • avatar WM says:

          My lumber supplier says prices are up to near 2008 levels for some basic products, including a seesaw on OSB and plywood, because some mills stopped producttion when the housing boom went bust, and have not reopened even in light of Japan’s needs, preferring to use up inventory, triggering the old supply and demand relationship that allows prices to rise, while supply dwindles.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            In looking at the indexes, material prices are up over the last year but, in general, they are still way off their highs in 2007.

            Also, in general, the cost of construction, excluding land, can be divided into 1/3 for materials and 2/3 for labor depending on design. In areas, such as AZ, where labor is especially cheap, they use labor intensive building methods such as CMU, stucco, and CIP concrete that use inexpensive building materials but require additional labor. So new home prices in AZ are more closely tied to labor rates than in other areas. AZ is also very lax on safety, building code, and inspection.

          • avatar WM says:


            We looked into green technology. Our home size was modest (2,000-2,300 sq. ft. including basement), and the design was simple, which compliments the developing technology.

            We looked at SIP (structural insulated panels – large foam sandwiched between two layers of OSB, and placed by crane) in combination with an ICF (foam insulated concrete forms that fit together like Lego blocks then are filled with concrete) foundation for a daylight basement. There is even a national supplier of SIP’s near Tacoma.

            This is actually less labor intensive, has less waste, and is about 10% higher on net construction costs, but more cost-effective when looking at long term costs for heating/cooling because of thermal efficiency and reduced size for things like heat pumps which work well in our temporate climate. So, even with dropping labor prices, but using a reputable contractor with legal labor, the construction cost did not drop enough to account for woefully depressed housing prices.

            End result: We likely will not build, as we sit on a piece of property we cannot cost-effectively improve, or sell without taking a hefty loss, unless looking to a time horizon of five to seven years. Even that requires a leap of faith given what seems to be going on. Who ever thought a 3 year CD would have a yield of at about 1%, and one should feel lucky to get it?

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            If you want my advice, I would steer you away from SIP. The reason SIP has never caught on is because SIP is not economical. For custom homes, wood framing is still your most economical option unless you are in some warm and humid climate such as Hawaii where termites and wood rot pose serious problems. In Washington state, just make sure your roofer, you window/door installer, and your siding contractor know what they are doing…I mean really know what they are doing. Water intrusion will destroy all but CMU and/or concrete structures.

            The main problem with SIP is that they add labor for electrical and plumbing wall rough-ins and restrict it. Homes have lots of in-wall rough-ins these days. SIP also greatly restrict your design. There are only so many ways you can build a house with SIP as where the sky is the limit with wood framing.

            You can get plenty of wall insulation with wood framing. You can use 2X6 walls on the exterior and have higher R values than with SIP. You should make sure they put a building wrap under the exterior siding and a vapor barrier under the sheetrock on the interior. Most heat is lost through the ceiling so you want vapor barriers and deep insulation there.

            SIP great if you are building a box on a mountainside only accessible by helicopter but if you are building any kind of home that has investment value, I would stick with traditional building methods.

            A good archiect is recomended also. Archtectual fees may add 7% to your overall building costs but might increase the value of your home by 50% or more since their artistic skills can add so much value to your investment.

  125. avatar jdubya says:

    Judge Redden tossed the Feds on the ESA salmon recovery on the Columbia River. Basically will let the current plan stay until 2013, but then they need to come up with something that actually works, such as removing salmon killing dams.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      The Nevada DNR was going to hand out silver platters with every hunting tag but due to the tough economic situation they will use tin instead of silver. These policies to pander to such a small minority of people, maximizing hunter success with dogs and showing the irresponsible nature of this hunt will further erode and isolate the hunting community from regular people that do not hunt…..They will continue to do these things at their own peril

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        It will be interesting to watch how quickly the salmon runs return to the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula after the two damns are removed.

  126. avatar PointsWest says:

    Bill O’Reilly and Rupert Murdoch are Thugs

  127. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Governor Matt Mead’s office just now put out a press release saying that Wyoming and the fedeeral government have agreed to a wolf management proposal. It also came with a map of the so-called ” Flex Zone ” which extends from the Jackson Hole area almost to Afton up against the Idaho border…a LOT smaller than I expected.

    Here is the text of the Governor’s release, in full :

    ( quote)

    Governor Mead and US Fish and Wildlife finalize a Wolf Management Proposal

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead and representatives from the US Fish and Wildlife Service have finalized the elements of a proposed plan that will ensure a stable and sustainable population of wolves in Wyoming. This plan is the culmination of many years of work between Wyoming stakeholders and federal officials.

    “This is far from the end of this process, but I think we have come up with something that fits with Wyoming’s values and economy,” Governor Mead said. “For years ranchers and sheep producers have been asked to sacrifice and they have. We have lost significant numbers of elk and moose, and we have not had a say in the management of an animal inside Wyoming. It is time for that to change and I appreciate Secretary Salazar and the US Fish and Wildlife Service working with us. Wolves are recovered in Wyoming; let’s get them off the Endangered Species List.”

    Under the proposed plan Wyoming will maintain at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park. The Trophy Game Management Area would extend about 50 miles to the south from its current location near the Wyoming/Idaho border. The expansion area would be managed as a Trophy Game Management Area from October 15th to the end of February. For all other months wolves would be managed as predators in the extension area.

    The proposed plan requires approval of the State Legislature. Governor Mead has said he wants Congressional approval of this plan. “For too long wolf management has been run by the courts, we need Wyoming people to have a say in what happens in our state and a congressionally approved plan is the best way to ensure that we advance this effort.

    “This is an important step towards removing wolves from the Endangered Species List, but there are many more steps to come. We appreciate the work of stakeholders in Wyoming, and we appreciate the work of Senator Barrasso, Congressman Lummis and Senator Enzi,” Governor Mead said.

    ( endquote)

    • avatar JB says:

      “The expansion area would be managed as a Trophy Game Management Area from October 15th to the end of February. For all other months wolves would be managed as predators in the extension area.”

      Am I reading this right? So you can shoot a wolf on site during denning and pup-rearing, but then you’ll have to pay for a license to hunt them in the same area October-Feb? Hmm…how many licenses do you think they will sell?

      Query: Anyone know what restrictions on are placed on the killing of “predators” in Wyoming?

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        It is a bit odd. It appears they’re saying they see value in managing for a viable number (or at least controlled, equitable hunting opportunity on whatever number exists) during the months when their pelts are prime — but during the other months: “We don’t want em”. It’s a bit like having game wardens in the field and at check stations, monitoring elk & deer hunting, collecting data and checking licenses, tags and kills and enforcing limits during the fall hunting season but removing all wildlife enforcement from western Wyoming during the other months — basically telling poachers “We’re out of here, they’re yours now”.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Joni had it right years ago CC:

      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot
      With a pink hotel, a boutique
      and a swinging hot spot
      Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      Till it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot

      They took all the trees
      And put them in a tree museum
      And they charged all the people
      A dollar and a half to see ’em
      Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      Till it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And they put up a parking lot

      Hey farmer farmer
      Put away that D.D.T. now
      Give me spots on my apples
      But leave me the birds and the bees
      Dont it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      Till it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot

      Late last night
      I heard the screen door slam
      And a big yellow taxi
      Took away my old man
      Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      Till it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot

  128. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Presently suppressing a sudden urge to projectile vomit… ( see above)

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      I’m pretty sure even Russia during the cold war would have been easier to negotiate with than Wyoming at any time.

      The politicians almost take pride in their complete subjugation to ranching & mining interests.

  129. avatar PointsWest says:

    Outfoxed, part 3/5

  130. avatar PointsWest says:

    Tom Watson: ‘Phone hacking is only the start. There’s a lot more to come out’ …from the Guardian yesterday.

  131. avatar bret says:

    Judge reluctantly upholds law stripping Northern Rockies wolves of endangered species status–Gray-Wolves-Congress/

    • avatar IzabelaM says:

      so what next..number will be very low so willthey put wolves back on the list? is it possible?

  132. avatar JEFF E says:

    “By the way, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has no plans to set aside no-hunting, wolf-watching zones.”

    Of course not.
    As Mark G. will be bragging about, F&G is all about the killing, not the preserving.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      JEFF E –
      I hope I’m never perceived to be “bragging”. Explaining IDFG/Idaho Fish and Game Commission policy and decisions; wildlife managment actions; correcting misinformation or mischaracterizations of the former or basic wildlife management principles – but never my intent to boast.
      Wolf viewing areas have been considered by the Fish and Game Commission and will be in the future. Whether viewing areas as a management option will be accepted and implemented as part of the Idaho wolf management plan will depend on future circumstances. The most important factor being what Idahoans want for management of Idaho wolves.

      • avatar jon says:

        Mark, few questions. Is it possible at all that hunters/trappers can bring the wolf population down to 150 animals? How effective is hunting/trapping on wolf populations?

      • avatar timz says:

        I don’t see your posts as bragging but I do see them as pure bullshit. Like the following statement — “The most important factor being what Idahoans want for management of Idaho wolves.”

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Bigotry seems widespread in the American society. It is mostly harmless and often funny to observe in it´s naivety but becomes dangerous when it drifts towards the “Right” side. I´m sure this guy goes to church every Sunday and praises the Lord…..

      • avatar jon says:

        Remember that religious group that wanted the killer whale from seaworld stoned to death because it killed a woman? These people are nuts in their thinking.

  133. avatar jon says:

    These are the type of nuts we are dealing with in idaho, Montana, wyoming, etc.

  134. avatar Nancy says:

    Just in case you misssed the latest news on global power…..


July 2011


‎"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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