New Hampshire Fish and Game trying to document them after 4 kittens found-

Sightings have been increasing and New Hampshire Fish and Game is fundraising so it will have money to create a conservation plan for lynx.

Story. WMUR Television.

http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/support_nongame.htm

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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.

23 Responses to Lynx from Canada are moving into New Hampshire

  1. avatar Mike says:

    Great news.

  2. avatar Jdubya says:

    Wow. In Utah we have sightings of wolves but that does not lead to fund raising for conservation purposes but instead new laws to place them in a game status so we can kill them.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Jdubya,

      I can’t speak for Utah, but lynx are generally not seen as being like wolves except in the minds of some really ignorant stockgrowers.

      • avatar jdubya says:

        Ralph,

        I was being a bit tongue in cheek…..Although Utah used to have lynx…until the stockmen/trappers killed them all.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Wisconin and Michigan have largely been anti-big cat for quite some time. I believe Michigan sued to stop the listing for lynx.

        Their focus is 100% resource extraction, and support of non-game wildlife is laughed at, especially when they fear cougar and lynx would “disrupt” logging acreage.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Wisconin and Michigan have largely been anti-big cat for quite some time. I believe Michigan sued to stop the listing for lynx.

          Their focus is 100% resource extraction, and support of non-game wildlife is laughed at, especially when they fear cougar and lynx would “disrupt” logging acreage.”

          Your allegations are unfounded. Canada lynx are a state endangered species in Michigan, and a fully-protected species of special concern in Wisconsin.

          In addition, it’s evident that you’re ignorant of the benefits of managed logging and forest regeneration. Any forest ecologist worth his salt will tell you that the WGL northern forests are in need of more clear-cutting, not less.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            ma’iingan,

            Don’t let him get you riled, allot of what he says is unfounded, or let me rephrase, it is found, but only in his mind.

          • avatar Mike says:

            The “state endangered” species label in Michigan is meaningless and has no power behind it. It’s a platitude. No land has been set aside to protect lynx or possible denning sites. No buffers have been enacted, either.

            Speaking of ignorance, your comment on Great Lakes forests logging is so wrong, so misplaced that I don’t even know where to begin. Any ecologist who tells you the Northern Great Lakes forests need more clear-cuts, not less is a paper industry shill. It was the clear-cuts that ruined the rivers for coaster brookies. It was the clear-cuts that killed off the moose and brought in the white-tailed deer, which in turn gave brain worm to the remaining moose. It was the clear-cuts that drove out the caribou and the elk.

            As for “managed logging”, none of the Northwoods of Michigan and Wisconsin were ever properly managed, nor are they now. 99% of the old growth forest is gone, and there are little, if any concrete plans for restoring the native forest. That’s great if your goal is to manage the Northwoods for paper. That’s very bad if your goal is a balanced ecosystem managed for both people and wildlife.

            The Ottawa National Forest is an example of this poor balance, with less than 70,000 acres protected and 900,000+ acres hacked and slashed. The road density is through the roof, too.

            As someone who spent considerable time in the Northwoods, the balance is the worst I’ve seen for any “wildland” region. No part of any forest is safe up there unless it’s in one of the few wilderness areas, and even those were clearcut for the most part.

            If you want to see what the Michigan forest is supposed to look like, take a hike in the Sylvania Wilderness, the Porupine Mountains Wildermess, or the McCormick Wilderness. Quite a contrast with the other 99%.

            Here’s what the Michigan DNR thinks of endangered species.

            The Sad Tale of the Michigan Cougar:

            http://www.wilderness-sportsman.com/wsblog/2008/11/17/the-sad-tale-of-the-cougar-and-the-michigan-dnr/

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            Ma’iingan,

            And what would the forest ecologists you reference be using as a basis for recommending “more clear-cutting, not less”?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “The “state endangered” species label in Michigan is meaningless and has no power behind it. It’s a platitude. No land has been set aside to protect lynx or possible denning sites. No buffers have been enacted, either.”

            Wrong again – The USFS and MDNR are cooperating in lynx habitat modeling research, so that landscape planning and projects can incorporate lynx habitat considerations (Linden, et al., 2011).

            With only two animals verified in Michigan in the last twenty years, just what kind of “buffers” would you expect to be established?

            You may have spent “considerable” time in the northwoods – as an observer. But you lack the most academic understanding of northern forest succession and current management to promote that succession – for the benefit of the wildlife you value.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Wrong again – The USFS and MDNR are cooperating in lynx habitat modeling research, so that landscape planning and projects can incorporate lynx habitat considerations (Linden, et al., 2011).++

            I’ll believe Michigan when they actually implement these plans. I’ve interviewed a few top-level people in the DNR for various projects in the past, and they flat out told me that lynx and cougars are a thorn in their side, and would get in the way of resource extraction. An employee for the non-game/endangered portion of the DNR told me that, so you can imagine how the rest of them feel.

            ++With only two animals verified in Michigan in the last twenty years, just what kind of “buffers” would you expect to be established?++

            I’ve seen plenty of terrible logging projects in Michigan and Wisconsin in my time. Projects that violated all sorts of rules. I’ve seen trout streams simply wiped out from these projects. In one of them, cheap, plastic orange construction netting held back banks of sand from clearcuts on rivers. This was deep within the U.P., a place tourists don’t see.

            The sort of buffers I’d expect would be common sense use of mechanized equipment in possible lynx habitat, and a scrutiny of the area for dens and other sign before a logging project can commence.

            ++You may have spent “considerable” time in the northwoods – as an observer. But you lack the most academic understanding of northern forest succession and current management to promote that succession – for the benefit of the wildlife you value.
            ++

            See, this is whe’re you’re out of your mind. You’ve made no case in terms of ecology. You’ve simply stated what you hear at the local tavern. I understand how forest succesion works. I also understand that here’s virtually no ecological balance in the U.P. forests.

            The Northwoods are managed for paper and grouse. That’s great if that’s what you want to produce. But that’s not “good for the forest”.

            The Northwoods is severly unbalanced. Road densities are through the roof. Old growth is gone, and much of what tries to come back is hacked. The single best thing for the forest would be to close roads and create a massive logging-free conservation zone.

            The midwest is hurt by a very bizarre idea of conservation and parks. Their idea is to “improve” it by adding roads and pavement, until everything is a tree farm riddled with thousands of miles of road. That’s why there’s no real wilderness left, and you have to drive 20 hours to the Rockies to find it.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “You’ve simply stated what you hear at the local tavern. I understand how forest succesion works.”

            Very nice – and so characteristic of your contributions to this forum. Shall we discuss credentials?

            I’ll start – I’ve served over 30 years as a wildlife professional, beginning with six years at the USFS and nearly 25 with my current agency, where I’ve been assigned to wolf recovery for the last twelve years.

            Your turn.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Ma’iingan -

            Who are these ecologists that demand more clear-cutting in the northwoods?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “And what would the forest ecologists you reference be using as a basis for recommending “more clear-cutting, not less”?

            Daniel – Selective clearcutting is an important tool to promote forest succession – and the corresponding increase in biodiversity. Before fire suppression became possible, fires (both natural and intended) created disturbances – we now suppress fires to a great extent, so clearcuts are the modern tool to promote succession.

            I don’t know if you’re familiar with the “Northwoods” – the Laurentian Mixed Forest. It’s a transitional region, where mixed deciduous forest begins merging with boreal forest – far northern Wisconsin, the Minnesota “arrowhead”, and Michigan’s UP and the northern part of the “mitten”.

            The UP, which is what were discussing, has many overmature aspen, red pine, and jackpine stands. Red pine forest is characterized by very poor biodiversity, since mature red pine provide no ground cover and little in the way of forage.

            Aspen is the key to the biodiversity web in the region, but it is absolutely shade intolerant – it needs rotational clearcuts in order to survive in stands. Allowing it to overmature results in takeover by shade-tolerant species such as sugar maple.

            Young jack pine stands are important as cover, and they’re an absolute requirement for Kirtland’s warbler – overmature stands tend to be quite sterile, in terms of biodiversity. And the thick, pure stands that attract KW are also attractive to snowshoe hares – if lynx are ever to re-establish in the UP it’s absolutely essential to promote snowshoe recovery as well.

          • avatar JB says:

            I will add that the lack of early successional habitat also hurts numerous species here in Ohio. It is due, in part, to some interest groups holding up any and all timber cuts, but we’re also losing edge habitat as farmers remove fence rows, and we’re about to lose a ton of CRP land to boot. Biodiversity requires a diversity of habitats; clearcutting is just one “tool” that can be used to promote early successional habitat and the species that depend upon it.

          • avatar WM says:

            Mike,

            I agree with JB and ma’iingan. I spent two summers doing silvicultural surveys on plant succession and diversity in post harvest clearcuts and partial/selective cut forests in WA and OR. That, of course, was preceeded by, or concurrent with college courses in forest ecology, silviculture (you might want to look up that word), soils and fire science, where plant succession is a heavily covered topic. The processes are mostly the same whether the upper Midwest, Northwest or the Southeast.

            There has been alot of research about this (beginning in the 1970′s when it became a hot topic), and it is written up in scientific journals and the text books. Ever read any of these?

  3. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    Mike,

    It seems like every state has its own somewhat unique policies on certain kinds of wildlife, policies that are not scientific but based on some aspects of the state’s culture which in turn was created by its history, economy and politics.

    California is very tolerant of cougars compared to other states. Montana has its weird bison unfriendly policies, and fear of brucellosis, but happily enough it outlaws game farms as does Wyoming. Wyoming feeds elk and subordinates all wildlife to the desires of ranchers. Utah is paranoid about black bears after a child was killed in the a Forest Service campground. Idaho subordinates all wildlife to cattle and sheep south of the Salmon River, and formerly to timber north of there. Idaho is also just about spilling over with elk farms and shooting pens.

    Books have been written about the political cultures of the various states (witness Iowa and its first of the presidential nomination contests), It is time to see one on the wildlife management cultures of the states.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Excellent point, Ralph. I guess you could call these “island viewpoints”, each affected by a variety of local influences.

      The tale of the cougar in Michigan is both bizarre and sad. Illinois seems to be anti-cougar as well. You can shoot one that wanders into the state, and it seems any cougar that does is immediately killed. With no protection of any kind, people line up to take shots at them.

      The people in Chicago, when that cougar came into the city were pissed off when it was killed. But I can tell you that the mindset of Chicago is far different from the close-minded mentality of the farm country in the rest of the state. They seem to suffer from the same anti-wildlife viewpoints of western ranchers. Chicago has the attitude of “if it’s not bothering me, I’m not going to bother it.”

      This bizarre exchange explains a lot:

      http://web.extension.illinois.edu/askextension/thisQuestion.cfm?ThreadID=13853&catID=220&AskSiteID=90

      *shudders*

  4. avatar Immer Treue says:

    On a hand held, so forgive the mistakes. To join the fray. Clear citing has it’s costs and benefits. In terms of succession here in Northrn MN, Aspen and Balsam are the sprinters in terms of trees. Balsam, as pretty as they appear with snow on them are an outright fire hazard, and I’ll be spending the remainder of my life cutting them down. Young white pines are popping up all over, but even if blister rust does not get them, I’ll not see mature pines, except for the few that were not harvested.

    White-tailed deer abound due to the clear cuts. So a positive for hunters and for that matter wolves, but not all that good for moose. With more deer, there have been more reports of Mt lions inthe Ely area. Some look at that as good. Others not.

    The Great blowdown of 99 also has it’s pros and cons. Some say it was a waste not extracting fallen trees for both utility and fire suppression, yet it’s rather beneficial to have that organic enrichment left behind fo new growth.

    I recall my terrestrial ecosystem prof posing the question, what is a real climax forest? Sure there is succession, but during our short life spans, we expect to see the entire process. The extractive process of clear-cutting of the old days was horrible. But forests will and have returned and they will be different, for a long time. Clear cutting today is different than in the past with both the good and the bad.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “White-tailed deer abound due to the clear cuts. So a positive for hunters and for that matter wolves, but not all that good for moose.”

      Immer -

      Moose do quite well with selective clearcuts. They need high-quality browse, and it’s most abundant in early successional forests.

      The Michigan UP is one of the only regions I know of where moose numbers have been increasing – the population (although small) has tripled since the late ’90s. This is possibly due in part to wolf predation on white-tailed deer – not only reducing deer herbivory but also slowing the spread of brainworm to the moose.

      Going forward, it would serve UP moose well to accelerate clearcutting of the overmature aspen stands in the region – increased forage, along with continued wolf predation on deer, might create a window for significant growth in the moose population.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      I’ll just point out a difference in this particular region where clear-cutting is only bad for wildlife, with very few exceptions (perhaps red squirrels). Without fire, the forest develops over several centuries to the point where the canopy is very uneven with big trees falling and leaving holes that let in light through an uneven canopy, supporting a diverse understory. When an area is clear-cut, there is temporarily a lot of forage, but even then it is not used as much by deer as what is nearby under the mature forest, apparently for nutritional reasons. The edge effect has been studied after clear-cutting old-growth — there is none. Deer use is no higher at the very edge of a clear-cut than in the adjacent mature forest, and decreases as you move into the clear-cut. Then after about 25 years, at the beginning of the centuries-long “stem exclusion” stage, the dense new evergreen stands begin to shade out everything and the understory disappears, beginning to recover after about 150 years as a few trees begin to fall and leave holes and approaching full recovery in about 300 years. That’s a lot of lost deer hunting opportunity (deer use over time declines about 90% in clear-cut drainages), wildlife viewing opportunity for old growth-dependent species, even trapping opportunity for marten — one of the species that disappears when the voles that need understory disappear. So, once you are in the seemingly endless stem-exclusion stage, modern foresters deploying state-of-the-art clear-cutting methodology are eventually able to take off their black hats as destroyers of grand functional beauty and put on white hats by producing temporary openings that let at least some temporary, localized light into the cellulose cemetery. And from then on, we have forests much like you have in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the lodgepole pine expanses in the Yellowstone region, where periodic wide-scale disturbance is considered good and man through his forestry is forever after an improver of nature, not a destroyer. The question is, is it worth all that loss to make that first indiscriminate cut?

  5. avatar Mike says:

    ++On a hand held, so forgive the mistakes. To join the fray. Clear citing has it’s costs and benefits. In terms of succession here in Northrn MN, Aspen and Balsam are the sprinters in terms of trees. Balsam, as pretty as they appear with snow on them are an outright fire hazard, and I’ll be spending the remainder of my life cutting them down. Young white pines are popping up all over, but even if blister rust does not get them, I’ll not see mature pines, except for the few that were not harvested.++

    That’s a serious problem. Luckily, Northern Minnesota has a much better balance than Michigan and Wisconsin. Large tracts of old growth forest remain in the BWCAW, and a third of the forst is protected wilderness.

    ++White-tailed deer abound due to the clear cuts. So a positive for hunters and for that matter wolves, but not all that good for moose. With more deer, there have been more reports of Mt lions inthe Ely area. Some look at that as good. Others not.++

    Yes, bad news for moose and caribou.

    ++The Great blowdown of 99 also has it’s pros and cons. Some say it was a waste not extracting fallen trees for both utility and fire suppression, yet it’s rather beneficial to have that organic enrichment left behind fo new growth.++

    I remember the big controversy about not going in and retrieving that timber. A few folks didn’t seem to understand how the Wilderness Act works.

    ++I recall my terrestrial ecosystem prof posing the question, what is a real climax forest? Sure there is succession, but during our short life spans, we expect to see the entire process. The extractive process of clear-cutting of the old days was horrible. But forests will and have returned and they will be different, for a long time. Clear cutting today is different than in the past with both the good and the bad.++

    True, it’s not as bad as it was, but once you get beyond the pleasant “tourist strips” (IE the tall trees they leave along the road as a disguise) it’s still pretty bad. As said before, at least Minnesota has real balance, so clear cuts aren’t as much of a problem.

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

~ Edward Abbey