It is time for a new “wildlife news” thread.  Please put  your news, links and comments below in comments (“Leave a reply”)  

Here is the link to the old thread now being retired (June 24, 2013).

 
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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.

484 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? July 23, 2013 edition

  1. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Here is a repeat post of the past years MN wolf hunt and trapping season data. If anyone has WI,MT,ID,WY data, please post as I would like to start a small data base, based upon available statistics.

    http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/wolves/2013/wolfseasoninfo_2012.pdf

  2. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    US House Republicans have proposed some pretty draconian cuts to their favorite pet peeves, like the EPA, a lot of different environmental programs, and the federal arts & humanities funding streams. They even have the gall to cut back sharply on funding the Smithsonian.

    They are using the Sequester foofawraw as a blunt instrument or sharp axe. Story at Politico today.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/house-gop-spending-bill-targets-epa-94549.html

    • avatar zach says:

      They want to cut from these departments and shift $47 billion to the Pentagon. BS

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Cody, I just watched Gasland 2 and recommend it. On HBO now. EPA has not been doing their job regardless of repubs or dems.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Leslie- I watched ‘ Gasland 2 ‘ and would also recommend to everyone here to give it a hard look.
        Josh Fox picks up right where he left off, but he alsor eally sharpened his eye and shot straight at the heart of the fracking issue, which as it turns out is more political than environmental in the long run.

        For those that haven’t seen it, ‘ Gasland 2 ” shows undeniably how the federal EPA was steamrolled by both the states and ” higher ups” in their own agency to subvert their own scientific findings that fracking does in fact cause toxic releases into groundwater.The EPA was attacked by lobbyists for oil and gas industry to recant their findings or else, and the other prong of the attack was Congress itself . No wonder Lisa Jackson resigned.

        Without saying as much , it tells me that my own Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and his Merry Men were using the same tactic to steamroll the Pavilion WY situation with Encana. The science was subverted into lies.
        The real tragedy is that the EPA caved in to all this, voluntarily if not willingly, as in a gun to their heads and threats against their employment, I’m sure.

        “Gasland 2 ” should be widely seen. The entirety of the fracking phenom seen on a global stage is a freaking monster.

        I recorded it and transferred it and Gasland 1 to DVD which I loan out. Both movies. Our friend ” Scarbelly” Sean has a copy and will pass it around.

        • avatar Salle says:

          Coyote,

          Well put. I watched Gasland II this week and have been wondering when the vast majority of our voting public will stand up against this. I can imagine a bunch of scenarios about what’s coming down the pike so to speak and none of it looks good. I had figured that it was out of control and the fossil fuel cabal was driving our government but Fox presents a very clear picture of how big it really is and how hard it will be to fight it.

          Thanks for your insight and help in distributing the movie, I’m with you and agree with your review of the situation.

  3. avatar Salle says:

    Bears, humans coexist in Alaska park

    “That there have been only two minor mishaps in the last 63 years between the species is a testament to rules put in place by rangers to respect the bears’ right of way.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130723/us-travel-trip-alaska-katmai-bears-/?utm_hp_ref=homepage&ir=homepage

  4. avatar zach says:

    The water problems in Southern Oregon/Northern California are heading from the Klamath River to the Trinity River. This stuff is getting really bad.

    A court earlier this year awarded the Native American tribes senior water rights over the basin’s ranchers and they’re going to fully exercise their rights to protect salmon runs and some of the other native fish to the basin. I say give them hell.

    The Lower Klamath Lake NWR and Tule Lake NWR are unfortunately probably going to suffer whoever has the water rights. The marshes are pretty much non-existent at this point.

    http://earthfix.opb.org/water/article/klamath-basin-water-struggles-spread-to-trinity-ri/

  5. avatar Kevin Bixby says:

    How about some news from the Mexican border? The immigration bill passed by the Senate will be a disaster for jaguars, wolves, ocelots, pronghorn, and virtually any creature bigger than a lizard, thanks to the requirement to double the miles of “pedestrian” fencing that is impenetrable to most wildlife. Oh, and more than doubling the number of border patrol agents (to 38,000+, nearly all in vehicles) won’t help either. http://www.wildmesquite.org/news/senate-immigration-bill-will-harm-border-wildlife-and-environment/070513

    • avatar WM says:

      Kevin,

      Thinking of an increasing human population as also having an effect on the environment/wildlife, does it make sense that we not add another 10 million people (and the significant reproduction potential they represent) through a leaky border?

      I think that horse has already left the barn.

      • avatar Kevin Bixby says:

        Fences don’t stop people, just critters.

        • avatar WM says:

          Hmmmmm. Someone disagrees with you (about the people part anyway).

          Another thoughtful comment, expressed through the questionable voice of yet another narrow interest 501(c)(3) speaking to the complicated socio-economic and political issues of our time.

      • avatar JB says:

        Forgive me for budding in, but I got a kick out of a recent Forbes article that cites a report estimating the new border security and immigration program will cost 80 billion per year. Funny, that’s roughly what the food assistance programs cost in 2012–the one’s the House just completely cut out of the federal budget. Can’t afford food for the poor, but fences, walls and drones to secure the border from desperate people are just fine. Good grief.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/07/04/theyre-hiding-from-you-the-full-cost-of-immigration-reform/

        • avatar JB says:

          Sorry, should read: “…completely cut out of the Farm Bill…”

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            I probably should not take such a an unqualified position, but the House Republicans are just plain evil.

            • avatar jon says:

              The house republicans are indeed the worst, but the senate republicans aren’t much better. Republicans are extremists and obstructionists.

              • avatar CodyCoyote says:

                All bills having to do with money and funding necessarily start in the House. That’s why we need to double down on that Chamber. It is the People’s House and we have an opportunity every two years to change the membership, not that we’ve been real good about that. The Senate is just a Club. Much tougher to influence.

                The news today is that American’s approval rating of both houses of Congress has gone even lower than its already abyssmal rating. It’s like a limbo contest …how low can you go ? When it gets down to where the mortgage rate is higher than Congress’ approval rating, we will truely be in deep manure. Dunno about you but it’s already over the tops of my cowboy boots…

        • avatar WM says:

          JB,

          Why don’t we just open the US southern border and let in anyone who shows up? Released convicts, drug runners, the under-educated and those willing to work for nothing.

          I can see Carlos Slim and Mexico’s wealthy ruling class, and the drug cartels, and sex slave operators grinning ear to ear. Wait, they have been doing that for nearly two decades now! I read an article some weeks back about the US food assistance programs. Can’t say I know much about them. The article suggested it has become so liberal for some applicants (some illegals) that they were sending money and even food purchased from food stamps, etc., back to their home country. Go figure.

          This from the author of the Forbes article you cite:

          ++Whatever position you take on immigration reform, do not support it expecting an economic windfall. Right now, it looks possible that the federal politicians will get the credit for legalization while the state and local governments get the bill.++

          The states have been howling about the horrendous costs of illegal immigration for decades, and the feds have been ignoring it, even preventing states from taking action to reign it in. Still looks like they are.

          • avatar JB says:

            Don’t worry about, WM. If House Republicans have their way, we might not need border security much longer. We’ll have desperate US residents running to Mexico for the jobs we’ve let our country ship their for decades. (Maybe that’s been their plan all along?) I wonder who will do all that below minimum wage work that illegals do once the Rs are finished demolishing our social welfare system? Right, I forgot–they’re also systematically dismantling the middle class. Perhaps they can find a way to redistribute all of the former employees of the city of Detroit who will see their pensions vanish in a puff of smoke? Retired or not, it seems they will need jobs. 😉

            • avatar cobackcountry says:

              Holy smokes. Big issues to tackle fellas.

              There needs to be sensible immigration reform. Our system cannot support the load already strapped to it. But shipping everyone out will be expensive and too hard to regulate. We need to end incentives for people who can obtain them regardless f how they enter. But there needs to be a date, a dividing line. Going forward we need to enforce laws- with great diligence. To go back and try to correct all the screw ups is just a waste of time.

              JB,
              I see what you are saying. We utilize peon labor via immigrants. Perhaps what needs to b done is to implement and/or enforce wage and labor regs that facilitate a real living wage?

              I’d say tax the crap out of out sourced labor and imported goods that could be made here. (We satisfy the greedy at expense of truly needy in this home of ours.) Then, jail all business owners who hire people who are not legally here. We shouldn’t allow people to pick and choose which laws and taxes they deem fitting. There are processes to change things, so why allow them to defy the law?

              Regardless, there are environmental consequences for everything. More immigrants, more mouths to feed, more crops depleting soil content, more waste, more water consumption, more housing needed so more logs cut, more cars on the road so more smog, etc. But here, or elsewhere, there needs would still be causing the end result in one way or another.

              Promoting environmental health has to be global, and it has to consider poverty an offer help and greener solutions. It isn’t third world countries with poor who seek to escape their persecution or dismal futures that over consume—it is industrialized countries, and self-indulgent people.

              The poor consume what they need (although it could be don cheaper and with less impact if they received help ie: woody biomass stoves, water filtration system, composting facilities). The wealthy consume for their own comfort and satisfaction, regardless of real need.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                *self indulgent people who over use and abuse resources.

              • avatar WM says:

                cobackcountry,

                Two articles in the Seattle Times today:

                1. Illegals (half the workforce from Mexico) working on berry farms in Puget Sound are pissed about proposed LEGAL guest worker program, while they are on strike. They want to control labor supply – no self-interest there.

                2. Agricultural products -hot sauces and hot candies – from Mexico high in lead. Researchers urge greater oversight on imports. Where’s the Mexican government health authority in all this? ABSENT.
                —–

                And, if you have ever been deep into Mexico you know, for the most part, the government and the people don’t do so much to protect and respect wildlife in most places.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Out sourcing, in my opinion, is anti-American. I don’t support it. We need to keep up, put up, and own up.

                Totally agree, coback, with both of your posts on this issue.

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              Detroit auto workers made their own bed, which is finally taking them down. Sad, but true. We are beginning to witness the same thing here in the Puget Sound, with the aerospace industry. Boeing has been centered in Seattle. Unions kept driving up wages (pension, 401(k), medical/dental/vision), and making it front and center in the union negotiations even when the company was not profitable. Result: New non-union manufacturing plant in S. Carolina, which will make the second line of the new 787. Possible new manufacturing plant in Brazil. Engineering (always a sacred Seattle function with Boeing) moving to S. California. Boeing Wichita since before WWII – gone.

              Unions can be a good thing. On the other hand, they can get too greedy and kill their own golden goose. Poster Child Example: Detroit

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                WM,

                I don’t disagree. I also would NOT call them 3rd world workers.

                Mexico is a hot mess, and Lord knows what they do with the MBA monies we give them. I have spoken with wildlife officials from Mexico, and some miners…..no rhyme nor reason to most of what goes on, except corruption prevails and will continue to.

                I am anti-illegal immigration, but realism wins out….you cannot and will not get rid of all illegals. It is simply too hard and costly to find them, and to process and deport them. Now, keeping things tighter for coming IN or going OUT from this day forward should be an absolute priority.

                At least if we push for producing more good here, we’d have more over-sight in how they are being made.

                Out sourcing, in my opinion, Isanti-American. I don’t support it. We need to keep up, put up, and own up.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Unions can be good, an like all Americanized things, thy can be greedy.

                What would be better would be fair and non-greedy corporations that paid a decent wage and offered decent benefits without the need for a union. But then, they might not pay CEO’s (who make multi-million dollar salaries) multi-million dollar bonuses they earn from a desk while laborers ruin their backs. Human nature? Or the nature of business? Either way, there is no perfect solution.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                “Unions can be a good thing. On the other hand, they can get too greedy and kill their own golden goose. Poster Child Example: Detroit”

                A little bit of yes and no. A guy like Mitt Romney’s father was no angel, yet as he got rich, he helped spread prosperity below him, unlike Mitt and others like Mitt.

                Also, for quite some period of time, US auto makers rested on their laurels and made a shitty product and opened the doors of competition both here and abroad. The engineering of said autos cannot be pinned on those who put them together. I do remember a time when Toyota and Honda were ridiculed. Ain’t so any more.

                The yes part, always had a problem with unions who would bend over backwards that would protect people who did not know when to come to work. Construction unions here, don’t show up, don’t get paid, and out the door.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                I find it interesting that you always rush to blame the workers and the Unions who represent them. You’re a smart guy, smart enough to understand that the failure of the automakers was not brought about solely by the Unions. Remember, Asian car companies reverse engineered US technologies, then built their own versions with workers not protected by our labor laws. And our government, in the name of almighty commerce, allowed for their importation, putting our own companies at a competitive disadvantage. Our govt. threw Detroit under the bus.

                In any case, I wasn’t talking about the car companies, but municipal workers. The city of Detroit, like many of the car companies, recently filed for Ch.9 bankruptcy protections.

                —-

                Illegal immigrants:

                Illegal immigrants come to the US primarily because there are markets for their labor. Those markets exist because US businesses don’t want to pay minimum wage for work–they argue it puts them at a competitive disadvantage (see Detroit explanation above). We (our govt.) could fix the problem by placing heavy tariffs on goods imported from countries that don’t have the same protections (including a living wage) for their workers; but again, we fear retribution.

                Of course, many large corporations have circumvented the high labor costs by moving manufacturing to Mexico, further undermining labor protections for low income workers.

                It’s a hell of a mess, that’s for sure. But I don’t think that building a wall or fence is going to make any difference. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to go over or under a fence. 😉

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                The flight of white middle class folks to the suburbs is also a cause of Detroit’s decline – no tax base.

                And, the Japanese car manufacturers of which you speak have come to the US, to non-union, right to work states. It is amazing how many foreign made cars are now made here. Aerospace has followed. It is not so much about health and safety anymore, and fair wage that once gave unions clout and the moral high ground. It is about a sense of entitlement, regardless of economic climate for the private or public government sector, and piss poor quality of work. Engineers and techs have their own unions or obtain mostly get near the same benefits package as their negotiated labor union counterpart workers.

                I again submit that “entitlement” instead of letting market forces work, is in part what killed Detroit, while car manufacturing (and aerospace) which is now being done in select states in the South.

                Also relative to aerospace, McCain pushed an Airbus facility in Alabama, and had he become President five years ago, Airbus would be building the the new Air Force refueling tanker in Mobile, AL, the European government consortium that owns Airbus would be manufacturing and assembling commercial and military products on US soil (the reverse, by the way, would never EVER happen – with a US company doing the same in Toulouse or Hamburg).

                And for those Detroit city or government workers elsewhere, there is to some degree that continuing sense of “entitlement,” with cost of living clauses rivaling those of union folks in their pension plans. I expect it is the same for state college employees in Ohio. There is no risk sharing, and that in my opinion is a huge weight on the tax base. Nobody wants to have their benefits cut if they have the leverage. They would just as soon let the worker next to them lose a job. The WA Legislature recent bit the bullet and took a very unpopular (at least with some state employees) position and did a re-set on how pension benefits were determined. That will likely come back to bite some of those same legislators come the next election, even though it was the only fiscally responsible thing to do.
                _____

                Immigration: Guess we just have to disagree about a fence. I am going with the conventional view, believing it will stop quite a few. A longer fence and more border security puts a more intense spotlight on the need and commitment to fix things on both sides of the border. But, you are right it does come at a cost with cuts in other important programs.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                Not to belabor this discussion, but the following statement seems relevant regarding the Detroit bankruptcy. A stream of gold plated employee pensions that push 90% of their last years of work wages was financially irresponsible:

                ++The city’s revenue failed to keep pace with spending, leading to years of budget deficits and a dependence on borrowing to stay afloat. …. Detroit has more than $18 billion of debt and unfunded liabilities. That includes $5.7 billion in liabilities for healthcare and other retiree benefits and a $3.5 billion pension liability.++

                Much can be laid at the feet of the labor unions (United Autoworkers for the transportation employees is one) and irresponsible elected officials.

                Simply astounding, and one has to wonder how many other governments are waltzing with underfunded generous pension obligations! Stay tuned.

                http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/24/us-usa-detroit-idUSBRE96N05Z20130724

              • avatar JB says:

                The flight of white middle class folks to the suburbs is also a cause of Detroit’s decline – no tax base.

                Good point–again, more than just unions going on here. One might also note that Detroit automakers were at least partly to blame for such flight as they sought to undermine mass transit across the country (a bit of irony there).

                And, the Japanese car manufacturers of which you speak have come to the US, to non-union, right to work states.

                You’re oversimplifying things. Car manufacturers have come back to North America in part because oil prices have made manufacturing and assembly overseas less profitable (I suppose this is another benefit of high energy prices). I would also posit that ‘right to work’ has less to do with their choices than the localized cost of labor. It so happens that many ‘right to work’ states are deeply red, and also, extremely poor…hmm…something to ponder…

                It is about a sense of entitlement, regardless of economic climate for the private or public government sector, and piss poor quality of work.

                Re: the public sector. The US is still acknowledged as having the best system of higher education in the world. I look around and I see union people who do good work, and ununionized folks who do good work. I don’t claim to have any data, but I simply don’t see any correlation between unions and the quality of work people do?

                I again submit that “entitlement” instead of letting market forces work, is in part what killed Detroit, while car manufacturing (and aerospace) which is now being done in select states in the South.

                Note: Aerospace has a strong connection to DOD. They are unlikely to let those secrets go overseas. As for entitlement, who is more entitled, the union worker who demands fair pay, or the executives who could literally make 1,000 times as much money for sitting in an office bullshitting?

                And for those Detroit city or government workers elsewhere, there is to some degree that continuing sense of “entitlement,” with cost of living clauses rivaling those of union folks in their pension plans. I expect it is the same for state college employees in Ohio.

                Now you’re getting personal–and you’re dead wrong. No unions here for college professors, nor for other union employees. In fact, our governments doing it’s best to privatize OSU. Recently, the sold off the ‘rights’ to parking at the university to an outside vendor–for 50 years. I now pay a private entity $800 per year for the privilege of searching for a parking spot somewhere on campus. Our university president rammed this through despite a survey indicating more than 90% of faculty and staff opposed the plan–that’s how employees get treated when they don’t have a union.

                Immigration: Guess we just have to disagree about a fence. I am going with the conventional view, believing it will stop quite a few. A longer fence and more border security puts a more intense spotlight on the need and commitment to fix things on both sides of the border. But, you are right it does come at a cost with cuts in other important programs.

                Show me a 10′ fence, and I’ll find you a 12′ ladder. Show me a 15′ fence and…

              • avatar JB says:

                Sorry should read…

                “No unions here for college professors, nor for other university employees.”

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                I forgot one of the most relevant points regarding Detroit and its automakers. The greatest growth in their business followed WWII, and many young people were hired. Young people cost less both in terms of salaries and in terms of health care. Thirty years later, Asian car companies started to be competitive, and their employees started to retire (meaning less revenue, and more costs). Then (more recently) health care costs went up coincident with an aging work force. These events culminated in the ‘perfect storm’ for Detroit and its auto-industry. Did Unions play a role? Sure..somewhat. But blaming Detroit and its automakers failures solely on Unions is disingenuous at best.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          to JB, good grief is right…..
          “Can’t afford food for the poor, but fences, walls and drones to secure the border from desperate people are just fine. Good grief.” my sentiments exactly

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “The idea of killing barred owls to protect northern spotted owls underscores the fragile balance of nature that biologists have struggled with in recent years”

      Makes your head spin and sadly, when you realize just how badly we humans continue to wreak havoc on the natural world and then throw money around (like its growing on trees) killing species to “fix” our stupidity.

      • avatar zach says:

        Makes as much as much as shooting seals to save salmon.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, killing of sea lions is especially screwed up since humans and damming up the water supplies is the cause of salmon loss. The articles says the number 1 threat to the spotted owl is the loss of old growth forest, and the barred owls are the 2nd biggest threat. Not likely that we’ll reign in our needs any time soon I guess.

          Henson said the service has yet to work out details of how barred owls will be killed, whether by government hunters from the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services, or contract hunters.

          There they are again.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      I don’t think there is any position on this issue that is clearly correct. There are good arguments on both sides.

      Remember that saving the spotted owl had the side effect of transforming the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest, although there was really much more interest in conserving the old growth forests — the spotted owl was a tool to some degree. At any rate, given the decade long effort to protect the spotted owl, I guess I favor shooting the barred owl. At least give it a try.

      • avatar Bob Zybach says:

        Hi Ralph:

        In the PNW, the spotted owl and salmon brought logging on federal lands to a virtual halt. Interest may have started with saving old-growth, but the ESA, salmon and spotted owls did the work. Much of which, as predicted, has been lost to catastrophic wildfires the past 25 years.

        The owl did not “transform” the timber industry in the PNW so much as it neutered it. That’s a type of transformation I guess, but a lot closer to the facts.

        The efforts to save the spotted owls started four decades ago — not one. It has been listed for 20 years now. Please read my recent article/editorial on this topic that directly challenges your conclusion to “guess it’s all right to shoot barred owls — why not?”

        I’d be very interested in your thoughts — and the thoughts of any of this blog’s other readers — regarding the five specific questions (we can skip the first one; people seem to mostly miss the point)regarding these topics: https://ncfp.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/spotted-owls-the-spotty-sciences-that-spawned-them-5-questions-2/

        I think an independent scientific review of these birds and their “habitats” modeling methodology is long overdue. A few decades, at least.

        Your thoughts?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Don’t really have an iron in this fire. Most of the “old growth” has long since been logged in my neck of the woods, Superior National Forest in MN. Back in the BWCA there exists a trail named the Old Pines Loop, where a small area of enormous White Pine were left alone. In some areas of the BWCA, large white pines are beginning to flood the horizon. Much of this is to the consternation of the “old ways of thought”. Yet, with news papers, magazines, and books being supplanted by the electronic media, and a still very sluggish market for new homes, the demand for lumber is not what it used to be.

          Old Growth, what is it? Yes we have the sprinters and long distance runners as far as tree species go, but it is more than obvious that in terms of geological time, old growth fluctuates geographically. It’s only really been the past 3-4 hundred years or so that was is or isn’t old growth matters.

          Habitat, what’s wrong with trying to preserve habitat for the purpose of coexistence with the wildlife with which we continue to share the Earth?

          Spotted Owl/barred owl. Makes no sense to shoot barred owls. Apparently it’s the same game as the supposed indigenous wolf, Canadian monster wolf. With the exception of regional variation they are the same thing. Leave them alone.
          Do the Canadians/Alaskans begin shooting the more plentiful Brown bear because they are beginning to interbreed with the threatened Polar bear? I think not.

          Probably more philosophical meandering than direct answer to your questions.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Smart questions, tho. Good meanderings!

          • avatar Robert R says:

            Immer says:

            ISpotted Owl/barred owl. Makes no sense to shoot barred owls. Apparently it’s the same game as the supposed indigenous wolf, Canadian monster wolf. With the exception of regional variation they are the same thing. Leave them alone.
            Do the Canadians/Alaskans begin shooting the more plentiful Brown bear because they are beginning to interbreed with the threatened Polar bear? I think not.

            I just watch an a tv program that is similar to what your talking about. The jist of the program was about collecting DNA to show that the same species was not inter breading and that is was from that geographical region.
            I have talked about the wolf and DNA to prove the fact even though its a wolf it’s not from the NRM’S etc.
            I have seen the inter breeding between whitetail and muleteer.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          ‘You can always tell when a man’s well-informed. His views are pretty much like yours.’

          Bob Hope

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “The plan for saving spotted owls from extinction lists the barred owl as the No. 2 threat, after the loss of old growth forest habitat to logging and wildfire. But the Fish and Wildlife Service needs hard scientific evidence that killing barred owls will help before going forward with a long-term program.”

        I hate the idea of killing one species to “save” another I much favor additional research to determine what habitat improvements might be made and if the only option left is to eliminate some barred owls than I would expect that they would test this theory in a controlled study area not in such large tracts of land seeking to eliminate several thousand barred owls as the first round. and then how will monitoring be achieved. This kind of specious tinkering always seems to create a backlash and worse yet never seems to get at the root of the problem, in this case habitat loss.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          I worked for 3 years in the 90’s in CA on a spotted owl study. One thing we found is that these owls did not need ‘old growth’ forest, but did need mature forests. We were looking at 150 year old redwood forests after the Point Reyes fires, but we’d also find them in doug fir/oak forests, which seemed unusual at the time. At that time their biggest enemy (besides man) were Great Horned owls.

          I am not familiar with Barred Owls, but last year I saw a family of them around here in NW WY. They hoot completely different and are a lot bigger. I subsequently was told that any sightings of Barred Owls here should be reported, as they are out of their range.

          I am not familiar enough with the science to know if killing these birds that are out of range is the appropriate response; but certainly protecting habitat from excessive logging, as was going on in the 90’s, was the correct response–for a lot of creatures including the owls.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “Brodie is a 50-pound dog,” she said. “If two otters can drown him, what can they do to the toddlers that go out (and float)?”

      Would anyone really let a toddler float on a river? I doubt it. People seem shocked that these are wild places with wildlife in it. You either learn to deal with with the wildlife, or remove all wildlife everywhere except people and their dogs so that their is never any risk to people or their livestock and pets, ever. These are unusual stories.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Will otters become the next bus stop phantom?

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          🙂 These articles are rife with questionable information. For example, dogs running loose are going to be a threat to wild animals, if the dog(s) here were actually attacked. And why would you need to re-vaccinate a dog for rabies, unless he wasn’t up to date to begin with?

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            Ida,

            You revaccinate as a preventative measure. Rabies is not a life long vaccine and often requires a booster to keep titre levels at an immune status.

            I’, actually helping with a rabies study at present. It is always a case of airing on the side of caution.

            As for dogs running around, I would hope owners would have them on leads. However, the lead is not something that would help otters feel safer so they still appear as a threat.

            • avatar cobackcountry says:

              The stories are not truly unusual. They are just not as publicity worthy as bear attacks. Otters, beavers, martins, essentially all animals regardless of cute factor, are dangerous. Wild animals are not predictable, we have to respect them and give them their space.

              I’ve heard several reports of otters attacking people, including one last year in California where an otter bit a man’s face rather viciously when he took photos. Otters are very cunning.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, I have a pet but the ‘tone’ of the article seemed to imply that humans have a right to do anything they want without taking the necessary precautions, including vaccinating a dog for rabies. It’s something a responsible pet owner does as a routine, and not worthy of a newspaper article.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Ida,

                I 100 percent agree that humans, and most certainly responsible pet owners, must be precautious.

                I got a rabies vaccine in June, as a precaution while working with high risk animals. I had a reaction, and cannot get the last 2 shots. Let me just say….darn the rabies! (Slight chuckle-my reaction was actually quite terrifying).

                Of course, tubing with toddlers is a careful choice to consider. It is also one of those family things. Otters are just one factor to consider. Like with all things outdoors, you enter the territory of a number of critters when you get out of the car. So be aware and be prepared.

                I do think the article could be beneficial. At least it sheds light on pet owner responsibilities and possible ramifications of hiking with dogs (if not ramifications of hiking in general).

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                There are free rabies clinics in many areas, so you can’t get much more affordable than that. I agree, newspaper articles should remind and inform people of the dangers, but this one seemed to have a tone that suggested the otters, and any wildlife, are an inconvenience to human activity, and being Lords of the Earth, we don’t have to do anything and they pay the price either by being eliminated (method of choice) or being relocated.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Ida,

                Free is definitely a perk!

                I understand what you are saying. It is quite common to have an animal declared to be a danger portrayed as expendable. Sad, very sad.

                If only we could control the temperament of such articles, and render them educational and useful rather than inflammatory.

                Retort, reply, comment….I think I will write the editor. See, you have sparked some action. Progress!

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Thanks coback. I just get fed up at times, so maybe it’s just my own interpretation of what I read! 🙂

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Oops, that should read ‘so that there is never any risk to people, their livestock and pets anywhere, ever. Personally, I don’t want to live in a world like that.

        Usually, I find these types of articles are the precursors to and the rationale for a ‘cull’ of some kind. I have honestly never heard of otters attacking people. We’ve become a society that takes no responsibility for our own behavior or our own children. It is the parents’ responsibility to keep a ‘toddler’ out of danger, especially near, on or in a river or other body of water, and if there are wild animals. It isn’t a water park.

        • avatar SaveBears says:

          Ida,

          Actually over the years, there have been a few otter attacks, most instances involve parents with young, but it is not quite as uncommon as you might think. Weasels are quite a viscous group of predators, and like most other animals will defend food a babies to the death.

          • avatar jon says:

            sb, do you have any neat pictures of otters that you took?

            • avatar SaveBears says:

              Jon,

              I have quite a few I took in Yellowstone many years ago at Trout Lake and along the Lamar river, spent a couple of days watching them teaching their young how to fish at Trout Lake.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                I heard there was a family along the N. Fork a few days ago, have tried to find them, but not much luck yet, did find 3 fish heads the other day on the bank of the river that looked like they may have been left over from a group feeding.

          • avatar timz says:

            herein lies the answer

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I’ve seen one at a distance near where I live, at least I think it was one. They are know to frequent the ponds I live near. The ones I have seen don’t look like they’d come after anyone and aren’t big enough, unless as you say their young were threatened. Dogs unleashed aren’t a good idea anywhere – most animals do find them threatening. I don’t know how I feel about trapping and removing wildlife because people want to use the river and let their dogs run. Then it isn’t a wild place anymore.

            • avatar cobackcountry says:

              I’ve seen them be pretty large Ida, at least 3.5 t 4 feet log from tip to tail. I’ve also had them bark at me and cruise the shoe line back and forth while I fished. Maybe thy waned a free meal, or maybe they were warning me? Either way, I relocated to be respectful.

    • avatar cobackcountry says:

      IN deed, otters are mustelids. They are predators, so they have been given all the right tools.

      Considering that in Colorado otters’ primary hiller is the dog I’d be certain that interactions occur. They have no real predators here.

      I’ve read about other attacks, and some were just due to people getting too close. They are entertaining to watch, and are clever as all ge out. I watched as one stole a trout right from a man’s line. The man hadn’t even realized he had a fish on, and the otter too his line, bobber and all, to a rock where it commenced to chowing down. They typically eat tails first, it would seem so their prey cannot swim away. Sadly, problems arise when the otters ingest line and hooks.

      Wild I wild, no matter the species.

      I have a ton of photos of otters. I spend much of my free time on the water, so they have become a common fishing companion. I am unsure of how to share them here. I have a few nice shots of teeth ad claws in action.

  6. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Refuting myths about immigration and the environment

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/10/13/206859/immigration-the-environment-myths/

    Nativist organizations and hate groups are attempting to drive their political agenda using environmental concerns as a cover. And conservative lawmakers and opponents of clean energy and climate legislation who use phony environmental arguments as a political wedge are promoting these groups’ talking points.These arguments are a “green farce.” They’re supposedly presented out of concern for the environment but are intentionally misleading and dangerously misinformed. They present Americans with a false choice between achieving fair and humane immigration reform and climate legislation that will respect the environment and lead our country to a clean and prosperous energy future.

    The assumption that immigrant-driven population growth alone drives the U.S. carbon footprint is false. The 10 highest carbon-emitting cities have an average immigrant population below 5 percent, according to a 2008 Brookings Institution study.

    The cities with the lowest carbon footprint, on the other hand, have an average immigrant population of 26 percent.

    Immigrants, especially recent immigrants, tend to lead “greener” lifestyles than the native-born and are more likely to use public transportation and practice sustainable habits like compact living, conservation, and recycling.

    Immigrants, who are largely low income, are also more likely to have their lives disrupted by extreme weather events and other adverse effects of climate change.

    Addressing climate change and poverty on a global scale will help stabilize immigration flows from undeveloped countries.

    Immigrants are disproportionately hurt by the dirty energy economy and face unique environmental challenges.
    Consequently, they fight for greener solutions, including challenging the use of hazardous pesticides in the agricultural fields where many immigrants work. A successful campaign by immigrant farm workers during the 1960s led to the banning of the dangerous pesticide DDT.

    2010 polls of key electoral states find that immigrant-rich communities overwhelmingly favor policy that will create green jobs and tend to support congressional candidates who back efforts to fight global warming.

    Immigrants are integral to driving clean energy innovation. They accounted for 70 percent of men and women who entered the engineering and science fields from 1995 to 2006 and 40 percent of all high-tech venture-backed companies.

    • avatar WM says:

      Mareks,

      There is a big distinction between legal/documented immigrants entering and staying in the US (think of the skilled folks here on VISAs) and those who are not (the huge numbers coming up via the Mexico border, some from countries south of there – that number is pushing 10 million).

      There is a lot of truth to the statement that less discretionary income means living on a smaller carbon footprint. I believe it.

      Then there is LA, and more local to me in the agricultural areas of the Yakima Valley and Wenatchee, in WA. The undocumented workers and their progeny (now up to a generation+ old) are among those who poach game and fish – no licenses and no observance of limits, some growing dope illegally, with no regard to chemical disposal. The more economically successful, and indeed there are some, have the same consumer traits as others – kids in Pampers, the new big screen TV, iPod, case of beer and chips with salsa for the football game. A car could be a polluting guzzler or big pick-up, or an environmentally friendly sipper. The question is the added population growth and resulting impacts from those who are NOT HERE LEGALLY, and will not leave, to get in line for a legal entry.

      I just love it when some author, uses the term “haters,” or does not have the intellectual honesty to distinguish between legal and illegal (or documented and undocumented to use the PC term even the Associated Press has adopted).

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t know where to begin with this one. I’m not anti-immigration, but which groups are infallibly green? Where are the numbers about how much and who recycles?

      It isn’t immigrants but the general (over)population as a whole that is worsening climate change by using too much of our resources. A lot of it is only a matter of money not a deliberate choice; once people start to become upwardly mobile, they adopt the same lifestyles and measures of success as others e.g. big car(s), big house.

  7. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    WM,

    it’s funny that you are quick to defend rancher/farmer etc. economic interests and diligently point out benefits they provide to society but turn blind eye to benefits that immigrants (legal or illegal) provide

    +

    Chasing the Dream: Sorting Fact and Myth Is Biggest Obstacle to Immigration Reform

    http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/chasing_the_dream_sorting_fact_and_myth_is_biggest_obstacle_to_immigration_/

    there is a major flaw in that argument, says Williams of the American Immigration Lawyers Association: “The fact is that 99.9 percent of the people who come here illegally do so because there’s no path for them to come here legally.” … [follows a discourse on available legal options]

    ….The bottom line: “If you’re coming here to build a better life for your family, there’s really no way to come here legally,” Williams says. “Why don’t they just get in line? There’s no line to get into.”

    +

    from a different source:

    MYTH #8 “Many Immigrants are Criminals”
    THE FACTS:

    • Immigrants have the lowest crime rates of any other demographic group in the U.S. In California, male Mexican nationals ages 18 to 40–those more likely to have entered the country illegally–are more than eight times less likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to be imprisoned.

    • According to a 2008 report from the conservative Americas Majority Foundation, crime rates are lowest in states with the highest immigration growth rates. From 1999 to 2006, the total crime rate declined 13.6 percent in the 19 highest-immigration states, compared to a 7.1 percent decline in the other 32 states.

    +

    MYTH #4 “Enforcement and Border Security will solve the Problem”
    THE FACTS:

    • We all want to stop illegal immigration, but this costly strategy of deportation and enforcement without reform has failed over and over again and cost billions of taxpayers dollars. At the same time that spending on immigration enforcement has skyrocketed, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has roughly tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to 12 million in 2008. From 1986 to 2002, the budget for the Border Patrol increased tenfold from $151 million to $1.6 billion; yet during that same time, since 1990, more than 9 million undocumented immigrants were added to our population.

    • It is estimated to cost well over $200 billion–more than four times the total Homeland Security budget 2008–to deport today’s 12 million undocumented immigrants. This cost to taxpayers doesn’t begin to account for the resulting devastation of communities, small businesses and local economies.10

    • Trying to eliminate the undocumented workforce through “enforcement-only” policies would only force more workers into the underground economy and decrease tax revenue. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that mandating the employment verification program, E-Verify, would decrease federal revenues by $17.3 billion from 2009-1018 by pushing millions of workers further into the underground economy.

    +

    MYTH: Most immigrants are undocumented and have crossed the border illegally.

    FACT: Two thirds of immigrants are here lawfully—either as naturalized citizens or in some other lawful status. Moreover, almost half of all undocumented immigrants entered the United States legally.

    According to the Pew Hispanic Center, one third of all immigrants are undocumented, one third have some form of legal status and one third are naturalized citizens. This applies to immigrants from Latin America as well as others.

    Almost half of all undocumented immigrants entered the United States on visas that allowed them to reside here temporarily—either as tourists, students, or temporary workers. This means they were subject to inspection by immigration officials before entering the country, and
    became undocumented only when their visas expired and they didn’t leave the country

    • avatar rork says:

      “The Congressional Budget Office estimated that mandating the employment verification program, E-Verify, would decrease federal revenues by $17.3 billion from 2009-1018 by pushing millions of workers further into the underground economy. ”
      So are we against interdiction?
      Cause without it we are just putting up a big welcome sign.
      I also note that figure is just about revenues, and perhaps is ignoring the expenses, eh?

    • avatar WM says:

      Mareks,

      There are so many flaws, and outright lies in the quotes from that POSTED article in the ABA online Journal (not vetted or fact checked), I am not going to dignify them with a response. Posting from Latvia, it is likely you haven’t experienced our illegal immigration issues here in person.

      When I was in high school, years ago, I picked pruned, thinned, smudged (that refers to heating orchards at night during frosts when buds are present) and picked fruit, and bucked hay alongside many good people from Mexico. Many followed the fruit harvest with the seasons from Texas to Washington. Those folks worked hard, while they were here, then went back to their home country flush with cash, in the Fall. Their home country is broken now (actually countries are broken when you think of the ones further south of Mexico). The 10% ruling class of Mexico is more than happy to have the US take care of its marginal class, so they don’t have to. Remittances of up to $50 billion a year go out of the US. It is sort of a defacto foreign aid program that robs our economy of that much and more. To use a term, we are enablers, by continuing to act as a sink for Mexico’s underclass and its problems. They need a revolution there to fix the problem, IMHO. That won’t happen with the mass exodus, lack of enforcement of existing immigration laws, and failure to enact new ones. It’s complicated.

      And, again, in the myth statistics you quote, there is little distinguishing between who is legal and who is not, or geographic impacts. I would invite you to the communities in Eastern WA, where I grew up. I rarely go back, and don’t look forward to because it has changed, and not for the better – higher crime, drive-by shootings and knifings in the illegal community, drugs. In effect, a new dominant culture is replacing the old.

      I guess you (living in Latvia, of course) are in favor of the US letting anyone into the US for permanent residency just because they want in. Our government has laws that says that is not the case, but they are not being enforced because of some very complicated politics and our capitalist ways. And the fix is not so easy for a lot of reasons.

      So, let me just pull out a little JJ Cale for ya. How about “Breeze?” 😉

      • avatar zach says:

        On Mexico needing a revolution…I believe you hit the nail on the head with that. I think you also could’ve touched on that a revolution in Mexico probably would be hard to do because of their strange history with past revolutions.

        It seems to me either they failed or they just ended up where they started from.

        Like you also said, it’s very complicated…

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        WM,

        To set up policies is up to Americans but it wouldn’t hurt if they would be an informed ones .

        And those are not some ‘myth’ statistics but ‘just’ statistics – used to inform the public (and has more credibility than local anecdotes)

        You are hard at trying to depict the US as the one on the receiving end but to my ears that doesn’t sound credible and let me suggest to you to read smth about what NAFTA has done to Mexico (particularly heavily subsidized US agribusiness products over flushing Mexico’s market and forcing peasants out of business or forcing them to shift to narcotic-crop agriculture).

        OK, remittance money is not peanuts but so also is not the drug money laundered through the US banks.

        Also it’s nothing new that US politicians are using powerless groups (like undocumented immigrants)as scapegoats to divert attention from structural problems.

        I think, one can easily make up the case that it is the USA who needs some good ol’ revolution, IMHO.

        I will repay you in kind – how about CCR “Fortunate Son”? or some Joe Hill/T-Bone Slim/Woody Guthrie’s song?

        Cheers

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        WM,

        “in the myth statistics you quote, there is little distinguishing between who is legal and who is not, or geographic impacts”
        +++

        if you will also dismiss this very fine study as some bogus ‘myth statistics’ then you are a conservative populist, pure and simple:

        “Fear vs. Facts: Examining the Economic Impact of Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S” 2012

        http://www.wmich.edu/hhs/newsletters_journals/jssw_institutional/institutional_subscribers/39.4.Becerra.pdf

        “Opponents of undocumented immigration have argued that undocumented immigrants are a social and financial burden to the U.S. which has led to the passage of drastic and costly policies. This paper examined existing state and national data and found that undocumented immigrants do contribute to the economies of federal, state, and local governments through taxes and can stimulate job growth, but the cost of providing law enforcement, health care, and education impacts federal, state, and local governments differently. At the federal level, undocumented immigrants tend to contribute more money in taxes than they consume in services, however, the net economic costs or benefits to state and local governments varies throughout the U.S.”

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          Given that we cannot ascertain exact numbers due to a lack of documentation, I doubt we can truly estimate the impacts of illegal immigration.

          There are implications beyond environment and economics, such as social climate, learning environment, and the legal system’s ability to remain credible in the face of blatant defiance.

          You could toss statistics around for eons, and what you will still have is an ethical dilemma that must be dealt with to keep social order.

          While I truly commend immigration when done legally, it is a hot bed of controversy and a stimulus for a lot of conflict and even rage when done illegally.

          Studies cannot quantify the drain to morale and the effects on societies when illegal and condoned illegal behaviors occur.

          There needs to be a point of certainty, which has lacked for this issue for far too long. Give a date, grant a reprieve, allow people who are already here and can prove they have been for X amount of time a chance to apply for appropriate documentation. Then, enforce the law. Societies that are lawless, or deficient in equal application of the law, are doomed to collapse. Just sayin’….

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        WM,

        “Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke”
        By MATT TAIBBI

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

  8. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    “Cattle grazing and clean water are compatible on public lands, new study finds.”

    You might have seen the above in Science Daily. It was from a news release at UC Davis. Turns out the spin of the article was actually cooked up in the UC Davis News Office.

    Three UC Davis professors who have done similar research sent the News Office the letter below.

    July 21, 2013

    UC Davis News Office
    Strategic Communications
    Mrak Hall
    UC Davis

    Dear Ms. Kerlin,

    We are writing to address the errors written in the UC Davis News release of June 27, 2013 describing the study by Roche et el entitled “Water quality conditions associated with cattle grazing and recreation on National Forests Lands.”

    We disagree that the study shows clean water is compatible with high elevation watershed summer cattle grazing. The data within the report by Roche as well as other peer-reviewed studies demonstrate the dangers of cattle grazing in upland Sierra Nevada watersheds.

    We urge you to reexamine the data in the manuscript and point out some of the results that support our conclusions:

    1. The conclusion on “compatible usage” of grazing in watersheds is based on Federal EPA guidelines, and not some of the stricter California state rules for recreational waters. In section 2 of the discussion of the article the authors write, “This analysis, based on the best available science and USEPA guidance, clearly contrasts with the FC FIB-based interpretations currently in use by several regional regulatory programs, which suggest that as many as 83%
    of all sites in our study present potential human health risks.”

    We hope that UC supports overall stricter California standards for public health, including air as well as water safety. According to the authors, using more rigorous California standards, 83% of sites flunked the test for “safe water.”

    2. Data in the study included June and July water collections. Table S1 shows cattle were not present until late July or August 2011 in some tracts. Overall means and medians may have been affected by including water collections when cattle were not yet released for summer grazing and dilution effects from a heavy snow pack runoff in 2011. We call your attention to the data included in the month by month figures.

    3. Two studies by the Central Sierra Environmental Resources Center published in peer reviewed journals showed a dramatic change in water pollution when comparing water before and after release of cattle onto summer grazing tracts (Myers and Whited 2012, and Myers and Kane 2011).

    4. In contrast to the public news release, the study did show hot spots of high fecal indicator bacteria. Table 2S shows peak fecal coliform greater than 500 CFU/100ml in 10 of the 12 allotments. Three allotments exceeded 1,000: #6: 1,134, #7: 2,220, and #12: 3,460 CFU/100ml.

    5. The authors point out in two sections of the manuscript, “FIC were significantly greater in areas where cattle were actively observed at sampling.” FC were found to increase from 56 to 205 and E coli from 24 to 115 CFU/100ml when cattle were present.

    The Sierra Nevada provides over 50% of California’s surface fresh water. Since year 2000, over a dozen peer reviewed articles have been published describing threats to the high elevation Sierra Nevada watershed. We would look forward to sitting down with you and discussing the importance of these articles.

    In closing, we note that one reason that all of this matters is that the press release that was recently distributed ended up being highly publicized in newspapers and other news sources throughout California. Many recreational visitors who read those newspapers or online news reports may now strongly believe that they do not need to be cautious or fearful of drinking from forest streams where livestock grazing is taking place. The article assured that there is no evidence that livestock grazing is creating hotspots of human health risk. Yet as our points above clarify, in reality the study actually found that 83% of sites studied had excessive levels of fecal coliform. Given that cattle were not even present at some sites, the overall results clearly show that at the vast majority of sites with livestock present, water quality failed to meet the minimum health standards. [boldface mine]

    Accordingly, the press release incorrectly misled readers, especially with a headline that described cattle grazing as being compatible with clean water. We invite your feedback as to how, if possible, there may be a way to help to correct that misinformation.

    Kind regards,

    UC Davis Professors:
    Charles R. Goldman
    Robert W. Derlet
    John R. Richards

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      It appeared to me that the cattle grazing on the west side of the Steens in Oregon were detrimental to the water quality in Lily Lake; my cousin and I renamed it cow pie flat in the early 1990s. I can’t believe that the water quality in Yosemite is not degraded by cattle grazing.

  9. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Can’t blame wolves for this.

    http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/88-percent-idaho-moderate-severe-drought

    88% of Idaho in Moderate to Severe Drought.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Immer Treue and all

      Idaho forests are suddenly developing many wildfires too, like last year. I plan a story soon.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Ugh. What is it over there? Last year those huge fires just ruined Montana.

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          Drought, climate patterns, and age of forests. The recipe for disaster. historically the forests would have burned in phases. Now, we let it all build up.

          • avatar Bob Zybach says:

            These fires were predicted 20 years ago, by myself and others. They are a result of misguided and unprecedented passive management of our forests and grasslands. With these readily predictable results.

            Historically these forests would have been regularly burned and harvested by people, or isolated into much smaller groupings. Long-term drought seems to be a factor, but almost all of the literature I’ve seen trying to tie these events into Global Warming are based on federal funding and self-serving rationales. Notice how much “climate change” is affecting wildfires on private and industrial lands? Apparently only when adjacent to passively managed federal lands and fires..

            What is needed is a return to active management of our forests, fuels, and fires in order to put an end to these costly, destructive, and avoidable events:

            http://www.nwmapsco.com/ZybachB/Articles/Oregon_Wildfires_2012/index.html

            • avatar Mike says:

              No one’s buying that argument.

              That’s how we managed out forests for decades, leading to this current mess. There are 400,000 miles of roads in our national forests, and much of the old growth has been logged.

              Clearly, this is a result of drought-induced climate change.

              • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                Actually, “Mike” a lot of people — including scientists, knowledgeable resource managers, and influential politicians — are “buying” that argument; largely because it is based on factual information that can be readily documented.

                This is a political issue, not a (completely) scientific one. I’m guessing you’re a Democrat?

              • avatar Mike says:

                Those arguments have been sidelined for a long time, now.

                Grazing to help with fire prevention? Chemical applications? Clearcutting?

                This is antiquated 1960 and 1970’s forest management.

                I’m sure you don’t buy into man-made climate change, either. and let me guess, wolves and grizzlies are a pain in the rear, too.

            • avatar zach says:

              Would you say the wildfires in far Southeastern Oregon (I do not know the names, the ones near Frenchglen and the various ones along highway 95) could’ve been preventable or predictable with better grazing practices?

              Or would more prescribed burns stopped so much acreage from going up in flames?

              • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                Zach: My background was in reforestation before I returned to college. During that time my crews performed over 80,000 acres of reforestation (including about 18,000 acres of prescribed fires)work — much which has been subsequently logged, and none (so far as I know) has been subjected to wildfire in the past 45 years. My PhD is in the study of western Oregon wildfire history, with a specific focus on forest landscape-scale management methods and wildfire events.

                That is the background for my answers (which I’m guessing you likely agree with): yes and yes. Grazing and prescribed burns (and/or mowing and/or chemical treatments) would likely put a rapid halt to a lot of this unnecessary drama and expense. And be a lot better for wildlife, too. And cheaper for taxpayers and cheeseburger eaters.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Grazing and prescribed burns (and/or mowing and/or chemical treatments) would likely put a rapid halt to a lot of this unnecessary drama and expense. A++

                Chemical treatments? Thank God you aren’t running the USFS.

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  “Mike”: Water is a chemical, too. Same with carbon monoxide and CO2. And I used the word “or.” I guess you’d rather see planes and helicopters spewing chemicals on an advancing wildfire than take care of the fuels in the first place. A lot of alternatives to the judicious use of chemicals are far more dangerous to the people using them, and a lot more damaging to the environment. Plus, at some level, chemicals are probably involved no matter what tools are used. There are far better reasons to be glad I don’t run the USFS than your concern.

                  How old are you?

            • avatar cobackcountry says:

              Bob Zybach,

              While I agree that the natural process of fires has been greatly disrupted by humans, we cannot chalk it all up to a lack of logging, let alone presume grazing would be more beneficial than harmful.

              ++They are a result of misguided and unprecedented passive management of our forests and grasslands. With these readily predictable results. ++

              Yes, our passive management has contributed to the state of things, but so has our management in general, which was brought about by the fires of 1910 (largely effecting Idaho). We started fighting fires to begin with because of the cost to human life and property. So, now our existence and history of interference necessitates fire management. To what extent we should manage fires is debated continuously as fires effect people and people see how we affect forests and therefore effect fires. It also changes as we see how years after fires our actions are either beneficial or harmful. It is a slow moving process.

              Your argument supports human management now based on a diminished natural process. Cattle and sheep were never a historical part of the NATURAL process. While natives did use fires in a number of ways historically, I am unaware of grazing being a part of their methodology.

              Many would argue that grazing has contributed to the fuels and erosion that leaves forests depleted of green plants and results in a dryer forest.

              Cattle and sheep stomp out many native plants and change topography drastically, which is easily noted by looking at any stream bed where cattle have trampled through and eroded banks causing flooding in some areas and water depletion in others. Cheat grass is a huge fuel for fires, and it chokes out native plants which aid in keeping forest floors moist and cool, and we owe that invasive plants’ presence and spread to cattle.

              Climate pattern changes are relevant, (notice I did not call it global warming) and it doesn’t matter who is selling the book. We are seeing an acceleration of patterns changing. While they may have always occurred, they did not occur at a pace such as those we presently witness. Even if they had, as you point out human intervention is necessary. Why should that not include deceleration of our impact on climate? It would only seem logical that if we fight fires in the name of self-perseverance we should also decrease the heat we create and the oxygen we deplete and the water we pollute and displace for the very same reason. We already manage forests and other spaces to increase plants in effort to create more oxygen and decrease pollutants. Obviously someone acknowledges we need to supplement the O2’s.

              I agree that logging is a necessity. We have already tweaked the forests too much to stop now. Old growth forests are a vital part of ecosystems, even when they burn. However, we need to assure that a multi-generational forest plan is implemented through the states to facilitate further logging (needed for a multitude of reasons) and healthier trees that can resist the pressures and illnesses faced as a result of the issues listed above.

              Reforestation is now a need as well. While once nature would have used fires and floods to diversify landscapes, we now manage fire zones to guaranty safety from floods and cleaner watersheds. Fire caused flood zones may have been areas of succession in the past, but we manipulate them now. So, should we not leave much of the downed timbers in the area to aid in soil content necessary for plant growth? The carbon redistribution is greatly disturbed by the removal of the key historical source of regeneration of good soils.

              There is a lot involved, to be sure. None of the issue is as black or white as saying, grazing is good, global warming is a commercially propagated conspiracy, and logging fixes it all. (Not that this was your exact interpretation, but the arguments made do lean toward the speculation of such extreme views.)
              I understand you line of thinking. I also have a forestry back ground, though make no claim to expertise. I just don’t think playing party lines is scientific or productive.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++I agree that logging is a necessity. We have already tweaked the forests too much to stop now. Old growth forests are a vital part of ecosystems, even when they burn. However, we need to assure that a multi-generational forest plan is implemented through the states to facilitate further logging (needed for a multitude of reasons) and healthier trees that can resist the pressures and illnesses faced as a result of the issues listed above.++

                You do realize that most of the old growth is gone, right? And that most forests burn on managed land?

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike: Do you ever go out into the woods? Do you know anything at all about forest history (say the past 500 years)? Your outdated mythology has been refuted with archival research and thousands of documentary photographs by myself and many others over the past 30 years.

                  Somehow you think that most all of the “old-growth”(I’m using the 200-year old definition) has been killed by people (probably loggers, I’m guessing), and that all “chemicals” are bad. This sounds like some of the knee-jerk “environmental” claims that were being made in the 1980s.

                  I’m beginning to understand why you use a pseudonym.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Mike,

                Do YOU realize that by natural process, every thing burns or dies eventually?

                Nobody suppressed fires prior to economic and human demand for it to happen.

                I realize a lot of od growth is gone, do you realize it isn’t all human caused?

                I’m sorry I’m not hugging the tree that is burning through a human being. I do advocate for responsible processes. But I also don’t think humans should pay for bad practices with their lives if it can be prevented.

                And, before you jump on the defense about the reference to chemicals, you might want to know what is available and what those chemicals do.

                “Chemical” is not synonymous with harmful. Millions of dollars have been sent to find low impact treatments. By way of combining compounded ingredients (many are natural) those treatments are called chemicals. Many are used to prevent beetle infestation, and to retard fungus an fire.

                Any approach taken will have opposition. I don’t mind that. I just wish people were more thorough in their understanding before they take a stand.

                Now, I can’t say what chemicals are being referred to, but I can say it is inaccurate to assume they are all carcinogenic toxins.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike: Do you ever go out into the woods? Do you know anything at all about forest history (say the past 500 years)? Your outdated mythology has been refuted with archival research and thousands of documentary photographs by myself and many others over the past 30 years.

                Somehow you think that most all of the “old-growth”(I’m using the 200-year old definition) has been killed by people (probably loggers, I’m guessing), and that all “chemicals” are bad. This sounds like some of the knee-jerk “environmental” claims that were being made in the 1980s.

                I’m beginning to understand why you use a pseudonym.++

                I spend considerable time in the outdoors, especially in the wildest places in the lower 48 (grizzly country). Would you like to see my photos of grizzlies from last fall? I have over a thousand from the lower 48.

                Here’s a map of the last old growth which largely correlates with roadless, although obviously this varies to small degrees:

                http://scientopia.org/blogs/bridgeblog/files/2010/07/oldgrowth3.jpg

                In the Great Lakes, 99% of the old growth has been logged off. There are 400,000 miles of logging roads on USFS lands, and a majority of the old growth forests are now gone.

                Are you going to honestly come on this forum and tell people that logging has not reduced our old growth forest?

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  Mike: I am using my real name, you are hiding behind a pseudonym. Which one of us is really being most “honest” on this forum? And why does everyone use pseudonyms here? What are you hiding?

                  And which old-growth are you talking about? Yes, old-growth has been logged, along with second-growth and poles, for centuries. All three classifications have also been killed in large quantities during all of that time by bugs, fire, disease, competition, flooding, landslides, wind, volcanoes, glaciers, and old-age. Most logging has not taken place in old-growth because many species are too big at this age to be handled by most logging equipment, transportation equipment, and sawmills.

                  A great increase in the extent of old-growth in the Pacific Northwest correlates to the decimation of local Indian families via diseases in the years 1776 (Captain Cook) to 1843 (Oregon Trail). Much of it was lost to the “Great Fires” of 1849 to 1951, and more recently to catastrophic wildfires such as the B&B, Silver Complex, and Biscuit. Not sure where that 99% figure you’re using comes from, but I’m guessing it’s probably not accurate.

                  So how many grizzlies have you found living in old-growth?

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Do YOU realize that by natural process, every thing burns or dies eventually?++

                So what? This doesn’t mean that our old growth hasn’t been destroyed primarily by logging.

                ++“Chemical” is not synonymous with harmful. Millions of dollars have been sent to find low impact treatments. By way of combining compounded ingredients (many are natural) those treatments are called chemicals. Many are used to prevent beetle infestation, and to retard fungus an fire.++

                Yes, I am familiar with them. Ones like carbaryl, which are devastating to amphibians:

                http://training.fws.gov/EC/Resources/pesticides/Aquatic%20Effects/Predator%20Cues%20and%20Pesticides.pdf

                ++
                Now, I can’t say what chemicals are being referred to, but I can say it is inaccurate to assume they are all carcinogenic toxins.++

                Most pesticides/fire prevention chemicals are indeed toxic.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Answer the question, Bob.

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  Mike: No, YOU anser the questions:

                  1) Who are you?

                  2) How old are you?

                  3) Where did you get that 99% figure? I didn’t know there were any old-growth in the Great Lakes.

                  The only thing I know about you is that you sound like someone that presumes an expertise in a field in which they know very little. I guess that’s why Gore invented fake names.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++So how many grizzlies have you found living in old-growth?++

                All of them.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Here’s the map again, guys. Now please tell me again how logging is not the primary cause of the loss of old growth and roadless areas:

                http://scientopia.org/blogs/bridgeblog/files/2010/07/oldgrowth3.jpg

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  “Mike”: The maps are unsigned crap. Does “Virgin” mean before first being entered by a white man? I’m not sure anyone is using this term anymore, and I’ve always been a little suspicious of the people who did use it. If anyone is using those maps today, I’m guessing it is for propaganda purposes.

                  PS “Virgin” does NOT mean “200-year old trees.”

              • avatar Mike says:

                Bob, answer the question:

                What is the primary cause of the loss of old growth in the U.S.?

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++“Mike”: The maps are unsigned crap. Does “Virgin” mean before first being entered by a white man? I’m not sure anyone is using this term anymore, and I’ve always been a little suspicious of the people who did use it. If anyone is using those maps today, I’m guessing it is for propaganda purposes. ++

                So the maps are fakes?

                LOL!

                Are you saying that old growth forest was not depleted at extraordinary levels by logging and roadbuilding?

              • avatar Mike says:

                Really? So the core grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 don’t utilize roadless, old growth habitat?

                lol!

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  “Mike”: This is going to be my last post to you. I’ve already spent too much time responding to your trolling. “lol” all you want chucklehead, but you’re going to need to find a new target.

                  Despite your disclaimer and refusals to identify yourself, any credentials you might have, or even your age (which I am guessing is very young), I never came close to claiming that “core grizzly bear populations” in the “lower 48” (are you trolling from Alaska?) “don’t utilize roadless, old growth habitat?” I don’t even know if that statement is true or not (and don’t care much one way or the other), despite your putting those words into my mouth. lol.

                  Instead, I was responding to your undocumented boast of:

                  “I spend considerable time in the outdoors, especially in the wildest places in the lower 48 (grizzly country). Would you like to see my photos of grizzlies from last fall? I have over a thousand from the lower 48.”

                  Then I asked how many were in old-growth (in response to some of your earlier nonsense), and you said “all of them.” Really? You took a thousand pictures of grizzlies in old-growth “grizzly country” down here in “the wildest places” in “the lower 48” last fall? If that statement has even a grain of truth to it, I’m guessing you took 500 pictures each of two bears on a guided tour in Yellowstone. But they probably were not really taken in old-growth, as you claimed. lol.

                  That’s it from me, Mike. You’re just not that interesting, and you’re mostly full of crap. ‘Night! lol.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Mike
                Didn’t take Bob Zybach long to peg you to a capital T.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Bob –

                Since you are new here, perhaps you need to have this explained. This forum, for a long time has had anonymous posting due to the controversial nature of the subject matter. In fact, some mods even prefer it.

                We have enjoyed this for quite some time. Not once has it ever been deemed necessary for a good discussions. Some do not want their work to find out they were posting on company dime, others do not want to become the target of the violent right wing extreme that is dominating wildlife issues in the NRM, while others are public figures.

                With that out of the way, we need to address your failure to address the details of this conversation.

                1. What is the primary cause of loss of old growth in the U.S. over the last 200 years?

                2. Where does the core grizzly bear habitat reside in the lower 48?

                Since you seem incapable of answering a direction question, I’ll answer them for you:

                Logging is the primary cause of the severe reduction of old growth the last 200 years. This is indisputable fact.

                Grizzly bears in the lower 48 utilize roadless areas as their habitat. Since there are no roads, these area have minimal to no logging, and many still have their old growth forests, which the grizzlies use to full advantage.

      • A little pleasant reading if you’re hoping the fires and hay thefts of last year signaled a peak for drought in the 21st century. Most of three centuries during the medieval period were filled with severe drought in the western US.

        “Paleoclimatic evidence suggests drought in the mid-12th century far exceeded the severity, duration, and extent of subsequent droughts. The driest decade of this drought was anomalously warm, though not as warm as the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The convergence of prolonged warming and arid conditions suggests the mid-12th century may serve as a conservative analogue for severe droughts that might occur in the future.”

        http://www.pnas.org/content/107/50/21283.full

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Read your articles Bob and I’m curious about the point you’re trying to make with regard to posting them.

      • avatar Bob Zybach says:

        Hi Nancy: I thought my points were very clear. Not sure what you are asking. The post asked for “interesting wildlife news,” and I think this stuff is interesting. And it is wildlife news. Did I miss something?

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Was the spotted owl controversy/concern a fabrication to save what was left of old growth forests from logging?

          • avatar Bob Zybach says:

            Of course not. We’ve probably lost far more old-growth to bugs, fire, and competition in the past 15 years than we would have ever lost to logging. Who benefits most be removing competitive USFS timber and recreation from the market? That’s the real question, and probably where the actual answer lies. Spotted owl regulations have done far more economic and ecological damage — including to old-growth — than current (post-1970) logging practices would ever permit. Weyerhaeuser wins and the Enviros are used. At least that’s how I see it, and a key point of my articles.

            • avatar zach says:

              Idaho has to go back to the drawing board with some pollution limits, thanks to the EPA.

              http://idahostatejournal.com/news/state/article_179e8f21-ac6d-5480-9e3d-a37fdcdd3918.html

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Thanks Zach,

                This was a very important decision for Idaho waters. People should be wary of any decision by the state of Idaho. I am not saying they are all harmful to the environment, but a wise person will be initially skeptical.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Regarding Idaho’s loss on the case where Idaho wanted to be able to let polluters increase water pollution with no state or public review, what the state called the “de minimis” rule, Earth Justice has a longer story.

                Pristine Idaho Waters Get Protection with EPA Reversal. EPA rejects Idaho’s unacceptably weak water regulations.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                The rule allowed industries to pollute high-quality rivers and lakes without state or public review.

                Good God. Why would anyone allow this? Why do they want to turn their state into a cesspool? Thank goodness the EPA reversed their previous ruling. I am getting so fed up with this crap.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              That’s the problem…Was “competitive USFS timber” very competitive? Canada with their subsidized, and government price setting, floods the U.S. with cheaper lumber. Certainly the ESA, in regard to the Spotted Owl, had a localized affect on the industry in regard to public land harvests, but isn’t the glut of cheaper Canadian lumber the biggest culprit?

              My guess is that shareholders in these lumber corporations have done a pretty good job of casting blame on enviros and owls, when in reality they realized that the profitability of selling timber stateside is a loser and have shipped their product overseas, Weyerhaeuser certainly has a vested interest in overseas production.

              Public land timber harvesting is anything but cost effective and the owl and enviros are good scapegoats for an industry that has suffered from global economic reality.

              • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                Jeff: The “cheap lumber” we get from Canada is from Weyerhaeuser, which is the point I’ve been making. Spotted owl effects are regional and national, including the prices of newsprint, dimension lumber, and firewood.

                So far it has been the “greedy timber companies” that have been portrayed as the scapegoats in this controversy — which has only worked to their own financial advantage. The enviros, until recently, been portrayed as the heroic good guys, standing up to Big Timber in the name of the “environment.”

                And government timber was very profitable in actual timber growing forests, both for the US Treasury and for local logging, sawmilling, treeplanting, trucking and forestry jobs .

                Other than those points, I’m pretty much in agreement with you, Mr. N.

                Other than those points, I generally agree with what

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Edit: “Profitability of producing and selling timber”

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Mike,

                So what? So it evident that you make the assumption that logging has been the bad guy. You can only presume that logging s responsible for the majority of old growth loss.

                If you want to chalk loss up to logging, then you must also credit it with all of the new healthy forests.

                There are SOME toxicants. That doesn’t mean they are the ONLY chemicals available. Further, there are over-sights for such things.

                But, it is clear you don’t want to see another point of view. So, good day to you. I have grown exhausted of all the ‘fars’. Far right, far left, they act as opposition, but are particularly similar in their behavior…Inability to compromise will lead to a lack of any meaningful progress.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++So what? So it evident that you make the assumption that logging has been the bad guy. ++

                It’s not an assumption, but fact. Logging is by far the primary factor in the loss of old growth in the U.S.

                ++You can only presume that logging s responsible for the majority of old growth loss.++

                Uh, no. There is no presumption. This is fact.

                ++If you want to chalk loss up to logging, then you must also credit it with all of the new healthy forests.++

                Uh, no.

            • avatar MAD says:

              Dr Bob, I’m just curious…

              Obviously, you have the requisite PhD in the environmental field to comment on these issues, but have you published peer reviewed articles based on research you have personally conducted? Or has everything you’ve done been “advocacy” work that has been funded by interested parties like, oh I don’t know, say lumber companies, developers, etc?

              First, you’re questioning if the spotted owl is a distinct species. Ok, show me your research, field work and genetic evidence proving that it’s not, because shouting over and over doesn’t make it so. If you deliberately avoid the peer review scientific process to validate your “claims”, yet you continue to make unsupported assertions, you expose your weak arguments to be mainly politically driven and not truly science-based.

              • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                “MAD”: I’m just curious who you are and what your credentials are and why you expect me to take my time responding to an anonymous doubter.

                1) Most of my work has been peer reviewed at some level, including my thesis, dissertation, Journal of Forestry, and EPA report on Global Warming:http://www.nwmapsco.com/ZybachB/Curriculum_Vitae.htm

                2) My last report was on the very topic of peer review methodology and was reviewed by 19 prominent scientists and resource managers: http://www.esipri.org/Guidelines/

                3) No advocacy work and I only wish timber companies would provide funding: http://www.orww.org/

                4) Do your own field work. I don’t even know who you are, other than somebody demanding more information from me. And read the article. I am asking questions — and supporting those questions — not making statements.

                If you want any more personal information from me you will have to stop hiding in the shadows.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++ Spotted owl regulations have done far more economic and ecological damage — including to old-growth — than current (post-1970) logging practices would ever permit++

              lol!

  10. avatar Salle says:

    More bummer environmental news… (I would imagine this is pertinent to all wildlife, flora and fauna).

    North Pole Now a Lake

    http://www.livescience.com/38347-north-pole-ice-melt-lake.html

    • avatar zach says:

      On the plus side, we can finally get to all that oil and natural gas under the arctic ice sheet now!(sarcasm)

  11. avatar Immer Treue says:

    The Ten Dumbest Things Ever Said About Global Warming.

    http://m.rollingstone.com/entry/view/id/39191?KSID=8cc5fed00ed2e8a3f329685c23cd01da

    Number 10 is a gem!

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, but there is a lot of truth to it. It’s been politically boiled down to the basic element to promote ‘climate change denial’ by the conservatives, but I worry that ‘climate change’ is becoming a catch-all phrase to blame every environmental problem but the kitchen sink on. IMO what it does is allow other more damaging human activity such as habitat destruction, overpopulation, and chemical usage to slip by under the radar, and provides no incentive to change our behavior. I believe it is true that we have become so dependent upon modern conveniences and technology that we are not prepared to deal with life without it. I worry that we are getting into the ‘put up a few wind turbines and everything will be ok’ mindset where we don’t have to change our behavior and conserve more. Rolls Royce is coming out with a new SUV, so apparently there is still a market for these vehicles despite climate change.

      Without air conditioning, we simply couldn’t live in certain parts of the country, but some people managed without it, and survived.

      • avatar cobackcountry says:

        Ida,

        I too worry that ‘Global Warming’ has been a term that is now defamed. It is much like the term ‘environmentalist’. The sad truth is, when the core meaning of a phrase is twisted beyond it’s sincerest definition- it becomes a slur or tag phrase for bashing.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Ida,

        “Yes, but there is a lot of truth to it.”

        Huh?

        10. “I have a theory about global warming and why people think it’s real. Go back 30, 40 years when there was much less air conditioning in the country. When you didn’t have air conditioning and you left the house, it may in fact have gotten a little cooler out there, because sometimes houses become hot boxes. Especially if you’re on the second or third floor of a house in the summer time and all you’ve got is open windows and maybe a window fan. Or you have some servant standing there fanning you with a piece of paper. When you walked outside, no big deal, it’s still hot as hell. Now, 30, 40 years later, all this air conditioning, and it’s a huge difference when you go outside. When you go outside now, my golly, is it hot. Oh. Global warming. It’s all about the baseline you’re using for comparison.”

        Oh, OK: All those scientists who have confirmed a pattern of long-term climate change were just getting confused by their air conditioning. Right. Thanks, Rush Limbaugh, for the low-hanging fruit.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          You’re taking it too literally. That’s what I meant by the RS article oversimplifying it for ultra liberal political reasons. What I believe is that we’ve become dependent upon technology.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            So yes, true climate change is documented by scientists, but now every change in weather, such as ‘normal’ summer heat waves or winter snowstorms, are being attributed to ‘global warming’. It would appear that we no longer can deal with ‘normal’ weather conditions. The term has been bastardized, like ‘environmentalist, as coback says.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              And I don’t agree with ultra anything, whether liberal or conservative – it’s all about politics and not the issues.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Ida,

                BS. Finding truth in that Limbaugh statement is like finding truth in Joseph Goebbels. An aquaintence up here said look at all the green. All the oxygen being produced and the CO2 being scrubbed out. “What do the econazis have to say about that? Didn’t occur to him that it’s only green up here for 3-4 months out of the year, and then were belching CO2 out with the best of them to stay warm for the remainder of the year.

                Most land masses are in the northern hemisphere. So when photosynthesis stops, the Southern Hemisphere can’t keep up with the CO2. The Keeling curve bears testament to this.

                Whether its part of a natural cycle, such as glacial retreat, humans are not helping the matter. No politics here, for when seas levels rise, and people are displaced as well as their ability to produce food, then politics will really take over.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I don’t disagree with you, and I’m not supporting Rush Limbaugh of all things. Some people haven’t experienced these cyclical weather changes in their lives. All I’m saying is that there’s not much we can do about it now, in any case – so all the rhetoric and newspaper reports in the world aren’t going to change anything. Do you really think if we haven’t changed our ways in over two centuries, just gotten worse – that we can change now? Change our way of transportation that belch CO2, poisoning the environment, and decrease population? More than global warming, overpopulation is the root of all of our problems – economy, environment, everything.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I keep my own carbon footprint very low, as I said, and I no longer care what anyone else says or does – it’s futile. I can only be responsible for my own behavior and activities, which I am, and I do the best I can. But I have no patience anymore for those who waste energy, take more than their share of resources, and then cry about climate change.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Well even a broken clock is right two times a day. 🙂

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Immer, I’m shocked! I really thought your were above that kind of stuff – calling anyone who doesn’t fall in line with liberal dogma a Nazi.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Change ways? Nope. Homo sapiens has experienced an inter-glacial Eden for the past 50 thousand years, the last 3-10 thousand or so at the expense of everything else. There’s just too many of us if something really goes wrong.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      But how much is naturally cyclical and how much is due to our activities – if we don’t change our ways, it’s only going to worsen, and it may already be too late.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I’m more of a ‘climate change accepter’ than a climate change denier. I keep my own carbon footprint very low, and I refuse to ruin my part of the environment to carry the energy wasters. They’re on their own as far as I’m concerned. It’s too late to mitigate our impacts since it has been compounding since the Industrial Revolution, and with a world population of between 11 and 13 billion people predicted by the year 2100, so it’s not a matter of giving up, it’s a matter of being realistic. We have many, many problems in addition to this one. Que sera, sera.

  12. avatar cobackcountry says:

    http://weather.yahoo.com/global-price-tag-arctic-thawing-60-trillion-184127580.html

    If you doubt global warming, you might want to convince the global economy that it is a farce.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      There is a slight possibility here that framing the Climate Change issue by dollar costs and exonomic disruption MIGHT get the attention of the corporations and political motivated climate deniers.

      $ 60 trillion certainly got my attention. Hard to deny a figure of that magnitude… ever.

      What say you , Exxon , Halliburton , Carlyle Group, JP Morgan Chase, Peabody Coal, Duke Energy , Koch Brothers (especially you !) , and your ilk ?

      Not enough space here to list the perps.

      • avatar cobackcountry says:

        Cody Coyote,

        Laughing as I type…good luck fitting the corporate names on here, let alone getting their attention.

        One (Haliburton) just plead guilty to obstruction/concealing evidence. No surprise they are guilty, but I’ll fall over if there is any major consequence.

        As much as eco-nomics is effecting the world, it is still beneficial to warm the globe, at least if you are a CEO without a conscience.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        its interesting to me that those with the most to loose, most money, most spare time/leisure, ability yo enjoy life without financial worries, and huge companies would not be interested in protecting natural resources or the future for their descendants who will inherit their wealth. what will it all matter if there is no clean water, a dead and dying planet? its like that old addage you have nothing if you don’t have your health and so it will be with this planet all the money on earth will not insulate even the wealthiest if there is a catastrophic crash. Who would want to leave a desolate, lifeless, largely single species planet to those they love?

  13. avatar Mike says:

    http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discover-whats-killing-the-bees-and-its-worse-than-you-thought/

    Researchers may have found an answer to the bee problem. It looks like a combination of pesticides and fungicides. Not at all shocking, as we never really seem to know what our pesticides complete array of side effects are until a long way down the road.

    I look forward to a widespread banning of numerous harsh, toxic pesticides. The first pesticides to go should be lawn products, as they are largely useless.

  14. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Minnesota Moose Study with video.

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/moose/index.html

  15. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    Divers almost swallowed by whales
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/07/23/bc-divers-almost-swallowed-whales-lunge-feeding.html
    Most people who have done much small boating around here know it is definitely time to move quickly when you see the little fish start to boil up and jump out of the water.

  16. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    I have not seen a second source to corroborate this yet, but it appears that a processing operation at the Alberta tar sands have had some kind of rupture event and at least 26,000 barrels of bitumen have escaped . Animals have perished. A large swath of vegetation is contaminated. It happened over 9 weeks ago .

    But here’s an ominous quote that underscores the situation : ” An anonymous government scientist told the Star that the leak was not going away, that no one understood the causes of the problem, and do not have any effective remediation measures in place.

    -brief story here:
    http://pipe-up.net/2013/07/25/alberta-tar-sands-have-been-leaking-for-nine-weeks-with-no-signs-of-stopping/

  17. avatar rork says:

    Today’s Michigan Trivia.
    DNR had press release saying 1200 wolf licenses to be sold over the counter and on-line (and at some DNR offices, a new one I think) starting noon Aug 3. I’m not sure why they wanted it to be a free-for-all rush. Perhaps to ovoid planning a complicated lottery like we have with elk. No press coverage yet.

    Second, some reporting about who contributed money to the anti-wolf-hunt ballot proposals:
    Doris Day Animal League: 200K
    HSUS: 155K +180K of “in-kind” help (staff).
    Total: nearly $568,000 in 2013.
    The Committee to Ban Fracking racked up 17K this reporting period, by comparison.

    Look for me in the blueberry bogs. Kids laughing, cries of hidden treasure being found, people acting like bears, baby cranes, fawns shooting all over the place, and yea, blueberries – atavistic ten-thousand-year-old pleasures.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Rork,

      Been starting with the blueberries up here just this week. Probably another week or so til the real “lunkers”.

  18. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Just an observation.
    We can probably kiss goodbye to the whole upper South Fork of the Shoshone River in the Washakie Wilderness of the Absaroka Range.

    The Hardluck Fire has been quadrupling in size every day recently. Went from 1200 acres to 5,000 acres yesterday, and my town of Cody is under a smoke blanket now ( fire is 70 miles from here).

    I postulating here that one of the most beautiful places in all the Absarokas is burning as I write…Bliss Creek Meadows. If not today , tomorrow then. Spent some of my best time ever in the backcountry up there.

    Hardluck will likely burn everything between the Thorofare and the Greybull Rivers if we don’t get a substantial precipitation event soon.

    Inci-Web is a couple days behind due to it being a weekend in a sequester, but here’s the link to the Hardluck Fire : http://inciweb.org/incident/3546/

    • avatar SAP says:

      It will be interesting to see where this one goes. If it manages to creep south, up the watershed, it could get into the Du Noir country — thousands of acres of unburned standing dead, from what I saw last summer.

      Moving east, it would have to top some big rocky ridges and tundra. I’m no expert, but I would expect a pretty low intensity fire if it lights up the alpine tundra. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of ember storms. Further east, it would run into yet more very high country, then into country that burned heavily in the 2007 Venus Fire. I think the result should be a diverse mosaic, similar to what you see after the Norton Point Fire to south (I think that was 2011??).

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Cody Coyote,

      Thanks for information. I had noticed the Hardluck Fire on infoweb.

      I’ve written two books on the Teton Wilderness, and one including the Washakie, where this is burning.

      The fire caused changes since I first began to explore these areas in 1974 have been enormous, but then, like so many other places, the beetle kill of lodgepole was enormous.

      I see from some of the photos of Hardluck, they it is also burning in green timber pretty hard.

  19. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.bearstudy.org/website/updates/daily-updates/2062-temporary-restraining-order-update-july-23-2013.html

    Immer thought you might be interested in this, along with others. Lynn Rogers seeking an injunction against the DNR removing his collars from the study bears. Jon Way has had some similar bad experiences in MA with wildlife agencies denying permits etc when the research conflicts with their traditional killing practices or worse yet the agency is challenged on its practices or policies verbally, in writing. These state agencies seem to consistently ignore independent scientists or try and silence them and thwart their research.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Louise,

      Been following this, and have met Lynn Rogers. His work and some of his actions have been somewhat controversial. He really got into hot water when one of his radio collared bears, Hope, was killed by hunters. She had been followed by school children for years, along with her cubs. A veritable shit storm of complaints swamped the MN DNR afterwards.

      When all said and done, his work with bears is all about their behavior, and attempting to counteract the aura of fear associated with black bears. A bit like wolves, eh?

      His meeting with Governor Dayton failed to sway the governor. A lawsuit has followed. Rogers has a large following, some with deep pockets. I think it is this type of activity that will eventually shift the whole mentality of the North American Model of WL conservation. All it is doing is uniting people.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Immer
        I’ll try and find more information on this, I’ve inly seen bits and pieces. I thought you would know more about it. I hope you are are right about the unifying aspect of the fall out

  20. avatar Louise Kane says:

    If anyone wants to read the brief that was submitted to the court as a challenge to the courts decision on allowing the DNR’s use of dogs in Wisconsin to hunt wolves, I ‘ll be glad to send it to you. I have no way to post the PDF. JB, WM and others may be interested. It’s a good argument and well written, I think it will be hard to for the court to ignore the arguments.

  21. avatar JEFF E says:

    “Polar bears, as opposed to many other species of bear, they are true carnivores,” Deering said. “They are predators. They hunt. They hunt things to eat. What precipitates a polar bear attack is you showing up on the landscape and them wanting something to eat.”

    http://www.kjonline.com/news/Maine-lawyer-recovering-from-polar-bear-attack-in-Canada.html?pagenum=full

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I didn’t realize polar bears came that far south, but apparently they do occasionally. I wonder if it has something to do with diminishing ice:

      http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/news-room/news/stray-polar-bear-shot-labrador

      • avatar cobackcountry says:

        Ida,

        That is a common belief. It is also speculated that as the ice melts more inbreeding may occur.

        • avatar MAD says:

          there are 29 identified sub-populations of polar bears in the world. Canada has the highest % of PBs, over half of the total known #s. I have worked with my spouse for 7 yrs who is doing research on the “Southern Hudson Bay” population, near Churchill, Manitoba. The bear on this attack, in Labrador is at roughly the same longitude as the Southern Hudson Bay pop. There are thousands of PBs that reside in this region in the sub-arctic. The lead researcher that works with my spouse has been going to Churchill for 40 years with field crews and has never had an attack, or even had to fire “live rounds” at bears. Although we’ve used plenty of cracker shells to scare them away. I would seriously question the safety measures of allowing a group of campers out in PB territory where several people are not carrying shotguns with both cracker shells and live rounds (12 gauge single-slug rounds).

          As far as hybridizing with grizzlies, it is extremely rare in the wild (very common in zoos). Grizzlies have to travel quite a ways to get up there, since the PBs are not coming down to meet them. But my spouse did publish a paper on it (http://research.amnh.org/~rfr/rockwelletal08.pdf)

          Unlike that troll, Dr. Bob, this was a peer-reviewed article in a recognized, professional Journal. I read thru his list of “publications”, he didn’t have one legitimate peer-reviewed article, not one!

          • avatar Bob Zybach says:

            MAD: Maybe you need to improve your reading skills. My most recent report (155 pp.) was on the very topic of “peer review” and was peer reviewed by 19 regionally- and nationally-recognized scientists and resource managers. I don’t print my findings in academic journals for lots of good reasons — mostly because I am trying to reach a particular audience with my writings, and those publications mostly circulate on very (very) small numbers.

            At least I’m not out making weird claims while hiding behind a pseudonym. That wouldn’t be very credible. And to be called a “troll” (!) in this discussion group sounds like some kind of badge of honor, so “thank you.”

            • avatar MAD says:

              First, I use a pseudonym because I currently am employed by the State of Montana as a Professor, and I do not enjoy unfettered First Amendments rights; I rather enjoy my job and would like to keep it.

              Second, I make no “weird” claims. All observations I’ve ever made have been included in over a dozen peer-reviewed, refereed articles published in academic journals.

              Third, the “report” that you so willingly brag about as being “peer-reviewed” is not scientific research. It was not published in a Journal, in fact it was not published anywhere except on your website (ESIPIRI.ORG). You wrote up “Guidelines” for your “organization” (Environmental Sciences Independent Peer Review Institute) on what the peer-review process is going to be for your “organization.” I would like to quote from one of the reviewers of your “report,” Dr. Dominique M. Bachelet. “This manual gives the overall feeling to the reader that what passes for a peer-review process today is gravely flawed and that this manual will shed much needed light on the right way to approach the issue. As a scientist, well aware of the limitations of the review process, I resent the tone of the manual to the extent that it assumes there is no such description of the peer review process outside the writings of Moghissi et al. and of this manual.

              You mislead people when you claim that a report, or more of a set of guidelines that was looked at by 19 reviewers is approved, peer-reviewed and publishable. It is nothing of the sort, it is drivel. Your organization, while it may be legitimate, is not a professionally or academically recognized organization that can “publish” scientific articles.

              You are the one who was making weird assertions about owls and grizzlies. Here are few professional journals that I’ve helped contribute on articles that were actually peer-reviewed and published. You are welcome to publish your “research” in any of them.

              Global Change Biology, the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Ecological Modeling, Northeast Naturalist, Journal of Animal Ecology, Auk, Polar Biology, Ecoscience, Canadian Field Naturalist. There are a few more being reviewed, so I won’t mention them. Which Journals have you published in again?

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Bob,
                I do not believe this blog has a rule to use “real” names.
                Don’t like it. Nobody is forcing you to be here.

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  Mr. E.: I don’t like it when people use pseudonyms to make ad hominem attacks on others, or to presume some level of accomplishment or credibility, yet aren’t willing to identify themselves (not you, necessarily, but others on this blog). For discussions or whatever, fine.

                  Thank you for your condescending suggestion, though. I was taught that lesson well as a child, and it has stuck, so no need for unsolicited reinforcement on your part.

                  But you’re right — I really don’t have much interest in sparring with you Shadow People, particularly in a public arena. I thought this might be a more open and dynamic forum because the manager uses his actual name and credentials. Instead, there seems to be an agenda here, and few actual people to hold discussions with.

              • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                MAD: Thank you for adding some insight as to why you are nameless. Odd they don’t practice the first amendment at your place of employment — particularly since your actual employers (“taxpayers”) get full benefit. However, you are the one being misleading when you say I claimed that my “report, or more of a set of guidelines that was looked at by 19 reviewers is approved, peer-reviewed and publishable.” I said nothing of the sort. Those are your words, not mine. I just said it was about “peer review,” was “peer reviewed,” and even included the complete text of all reviews and correspondence online for everyone to see (“transparency”). The danger, of course, in being so open is that you open yourself up to attack by nameless cherrypickers, among other minor problems.

                I have made no attempt to publish anything in the academic press for nearly 20 years, and for good reasons. Much of that stuff, as you know, is paid for by the writer, his university, or agency (“taxpayers”) to be printed in order to achieve tenure or justify a government grant. Most of it is hardly ever read by anyone, and of the tens of thousands of so-called “peer reviewed” articles that are ground out every year in the modern “publish or perish” community, there is a whole lot of useless dreck (pick up a few 10-20 year old issues of whatever to check this out.)

                I’m guessing — by your implied standards — that much of the peer -reviewed work I have done for EPA, NCASI, Coquelle Tribe, Douglas County, BLM, Forest Service and others through the years wasn’t “publishable,” either. In 1996 I made the conscious decision to do the majority of my work online, rather than follow the academic press model, in order to reach the actual audience I was working for — students, teachers, rural families, and rural workers. ORWW has had over 3 million unique visitors during its existence, and its YouTube Channel, ORWWmedia, has reached 100,000 viewers.

                How many people have read Auk or Ecological Monitoring the past 16 years? And why is it you somehow believe that “peer review” is only applicable to journal publications? That IS weird. The only time Einstein had anyone review his work before publication he got really pissed because he thought his credibility was being challenged. Government financing of scirntific journal publications is only a new game since WW II, but it’s certainly not the only game. Science is challenges, not “consensus.” It is based on facts and theories, not lists of journal publications.

                Maybe you should read the report I did for the Coquille Tribe. Much of that research is not subject to the FOIA, much less conducted for the purpose of repeating in a journal. And it was all peer reviewed, as is most of my work. And my reviewers are not anonymous; they’re all listed, often with their qualifications and/or contributions.

                So far as cherry-picking a single negative review out of a 155-page document, as a “professor” you should know better. Please read Appendix C (also peer reviewed, and also by me) to see how I addressed that specific concern; and all of the others that were raised regarding the DRAFT. And please note — it was a comment directed at an earlier draft, NOT in regards to the final document. Isn’t that why we do peer review? To correct errors and to make the final product better?

                Too bad you work in a place where your employment is so shaky they won’t let you use your real name. Are your dozen or so “peer reviewed” journal publications also written under your pseudonym? About 1/2 my publications are listed online, all with my own name attached. Nothing like a little academic arrogance to try and inform other scientists as to the true meaning of “peer review” and “publication.” Odd though that such a confident, accomplished researcher is forced to hide in the shadows in the name of “job security.” Just one more reason I publish in the popular press and online.

              • avatar JB says:

                Bob Zybach:

                I won’t comment on your debate with MAD, but would like to address your ongoing critique of pseudonyms, which has been the subject of numerous debates on this forum. Of particular interest to me is the implication that anonymity necessarily detracts from the quality of one’s comments. I don’t see any support for this assertion on this blog. Indeed, some long-time ‘nameless’ posters consistently offer very valuable insights. While a number of people who use their full name continue to post rubbish. Many do not use their real names because doing so could lead to retribution from the agencies they work for. As someone who has worked closely with the Forest Service, I’m sure you can understand the concern that offering an opinion that runs counter to the ‘party line’ can have long-term ramifications for one’s career? For my own part, I post under my full name when I am commenting as a scientist with expertise in a particular area. However, I often choose to engage in these debates as a member of society. In this context, I want people to provide honest, well-reasoned responses and not simply defer to my position because my name is followed by a few letters. So most posts are simply under the my initials.

                Best,
                Jeremy Bruskotter, PhD

                • avatar Bob Zybach says:

                  Hi Jeremy:

                  Thank you for being candid and on topic! Yes, the topic of anonymity has been discussed on several blogs over the past few years, and it is an important consideration. Look at all of the “insider chit-chat” that is taking place within this discussion string by supposedly anonymous commenters that obviously know one another very well. Also, the tendency for more truly anonymous individuals to make ad hominem attacks on others, politicize their own agendas, and/or lecture others from some kind of assumed authority. A lot of wasted time, at least, wading through this stuff.

                  Although I understand the occasional blog needing anonymity, this blog — on the surface — seems to use it as a tool for furthering an agenda (including wolves?), while maybe being populated with government and university employees. Is that even close?

                  My preference (which I will continue to exercise elsewhere) is to know who I’m talking to so I can value the quality (and source) of their statements. Just like the local newspaper does. In the 1850s we had something called the “Oregon Style,” where newspapers featured anonymous writers that trashed each other with some impunity, while expressing their political preferences. “Insiders” knew who the “anonymous” writers were, but the reading public was often left to guess at who was saying what about which.

                  For my own part, I don’t see very much value — if any — of maintaining a false front to important discussions. And neither do the chit-chatters. The “1st Amendment” rationale was chilling.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Some interesting views/facts? Regarding “peer reviews” :0

              http://boingboing.net/2011/04/22/meet-science-what-is.html

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Nancy
                Not on subject, but you have mentioned small planes circling in your area several times. Montana FWP usually uses small planes to check collars and count wildlife. Montana WS almost always uses a helicopter for control work. Don’t worry about the small planes.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Nancy,

                I saw this 6 days late, but I want to say that I think a lot of folks should read this article on peer review.

                The article is not a technical slog.

                Thanks for posting it in the comments.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, I wonder about the wisdom of going to these remote areas, and its always the wildlife that pays the price. I fear that it will get even worse with oil exploration.

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/05/19/nl-stlewis-bear-519.html

    • “What precipitates a polar bear attack is you showing up on the landscape and them wanting something to eat.”

      Actually, while polar bears can seem bold and curious around humans, it is amazing how few fatal attacks have been documented. The report a few years ago on Alaska bear attacks listed hardly any documented fatal attacks by polar bears, relative to other species — despite them commonly wandering about arctic communities during night-time hours (with larger “wet” communities like Barrow offering easy night-time prey in the form of easy-to-catch inebriates). I wonder if it may in part be that none of their prey primary prey is long-legged and walks around upright. I remember reading about one attack by a hungry bear on a camp years ago in the Canadian Arctic, when somebody emerged from a tent and failed in distancing himself from the bear, which did not bite or strike him but pushed him over with its body before trying to crush his skull like it would a seal (unsuccessfully because his head was too large). Lying out horizontally while sleeping would seem riskier (although obviously necessary!) behavior.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      I made that quote from this paper due to the fact that it seemed to be a bit of sensationalism along the lines that are applied to other predators; myth and reality are not the same thing.
      Having said that I find a couple things interesting, that the bear went thru an electrified fence and apparently targeted just that one individual.
      Methinks there is more to the story.

  22. avatar cobackcountry says:

    Polar bear attacks are not commonly heard of down here. But there is a lot of similarity with other bear attacks.

    http://www.newser.com/story/171646/us-hiker-mauled-by-polar-bear.html?utm_source=part&utm_medium=united&utm_campaign=rss_top

  23. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Wildlife report:

    I just heard this racket outside my window, and I looked to see a male cardinal feeding his fledglings. To cute for words! 🙂

  24. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.easterncoyoteresearch.com/downloads/CoywolfTaxonomy&BodyMassCFN2013.pdf

    a newly published paper by Jon Way on the classification of coywolf…..

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Terrific! I’ll look forward to reading it.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        A big question I have is has the mass kill-off of wolves and other wildlife by settlers (talk about psychopathy!) caused irreparable harm to wolf genetics and other wildlife, and is that the main cause of hybridization or the cause of more of it than would occur naturally?

  25. avatar Leslie says:

    http://www.npr.org/2013/07/29/206476191/massive-solar-plant-a-stepping-stone-for-future-projects

    This is a massive solar project in the ‘useless’ Mohave desert. Having visited Coachella valley last winter, I was appalled at the wind and solar farms, let alone the enormous water consumption for homes and golf courses and the erosion of desert habitat from all this human interference.

    My question is: why solar farms instead of considering localized solar on rooftops etc. Areas in Europe have lined their concrete water courses with solar–why not do that with the California aqueduct? The idea of a massive grid structure that subsequently harms the environment is not forward thinking, just more of the same, putting money in the pockets of large corporations while no one needs to change their habits.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, totally agree, and that’s my biggest gripe too, about the so-called ‘green’ alternatives also. And as long as we continue to drill and frack, and SUVs and pickups continue to be the number one selling vehicles, I won’t believe it is being taken seriously by our country.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        The Ivanpah solar project in California’s Mojave Desert will be the largest solar power plant of its kind in the world.

        I believe we are concerned with this kind of this kind of thing ‘first, biggest, best’ and not real results. Where I am, they just tore down over 33 acres of woodland to put up a solar farm to power a water plant, when one or two wind turbines would have done the job better, more efficiently, and with less disruption to the environment. In New England, we don’t get much sun in the winter months, and not at night. We do have lots of wind (!) and the turbines work at night. One or two I don’t think would cause dramatic bird mortality as the larger wind farms do. I saw a gull flying between power lines the other day.

        On the other hand, 130 windfarms in the middle of a marine sancturary in Nantucket Sound is not good use either, I don’t think.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Sorry, that should be ‘wind turbines’ in my last line. I believe we are misguided in trying to create jobs first and defeat the purpose of green energy in doing so.

          The article posted here about allowing BP to continue to pollute Lake Michigan to save jobs leaves me smh – we’re putting money above even wholesome food and clean drinking water, and even our children’s health!

        • avatar zach says:

          They’ve been trying to get wind turbines on the Lake Erie for years. I grew up near the shore line in Pennsylvania for years, it’s such a beautiful place. However, the state is hell bent on trying to get energy production up there and I fear for the limited amount of open space that’s left up.

  26. avatar Nancy says:

    “Montana WS almost always uses a helicopter for control work. Don’t worry about the small planes”

    I’ve seen more than my share of planes, over the years – locally hired “sky jockeys” – doing the dirty work for WS, RB.

    Usually its shooting coyotes in the spring but I’m sure, small planes are more cost effective when it comes to “scouting out” the situation before calling in the $5 grand an hour helicopters….

    An interesting but dated article, RB:

    http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/the-exterminators/Content?oid=1137944

    ‘Take the case of a farmer whose sheep is killed, he says. It could prove more cost-effective to give him a few hundred dollars to replace the sheep, but “instead they hire a guy to fly around in an airplane for a couple of days and shoot out the window and they spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to do it. As a subsidy it’s dumb, and when you start to figure in the other impacts of the program, it gets even dumber.”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      In 2005, the most recent year for which agency data is available, Wildlife Services killed 1.7 million animals nationally, including 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. The year before that, it killed a record 2.7 million animals, including 10,304 in Montana.

      Shameful. 1.2 million starlings and 3 bald eagles? Even the domestic and feral cats can’t keep up with that enormous figure.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Nancy
      Thought I could ease your concern over small planes but you seem set on holding on to that concern. Your vast experience with WS must surpass mine so carry on like I never mentioned planes.

    • avatar WM says:

      Nancy,

      ++…before calling in the $5 grand an hour helicopters…. ++

      Just curious, where did you come up with that cost per hour?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        $5 grand a trip WM 🙂 Chances are they’re gonna be flying around for more than an hour or two.

        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/05/01/v-print/147245/wildlife-services-deadly-force.html

        “If you can remove the predators, you can reduce the losses,” Clay said.

        But Carter Niemeyer, a former Wildlife Services district manager who scheduled coyote-killing flights in Montana, said the cost exceeds the value of livestock protected.

        “It absolutely calls for a cost-benefit study,” said Niemeyer. “Aerial gunning is very, very expensive. You are talking $700 to $1,000 an hour to be hunting these coyotes.

        “If private landowners want every coyote on their property shot, you got no bone to pick with me. But go hire your own helicopter at 700 bucks an hour and do it yourself.”

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Overwhelmingly depressing.

        • avatar MAD says:

          just spoke with my spouse who is out in the field near Churchill (them darn SAT phones are really expensive). Their research team is getting their helicopter for $1200-1500 per hour, which includes fuel. Prices are higher in Canada that far north for jet fuel, so $700-$1000 seems fairly close.

  27. avatar Louise Kane says:

    HAMMER MICHIGAN FOR THE WOLVES !!!!

    When: Monday, July 22nd, 2013

    Time: 9:00am until 5:00pm

    Where: From your phone

    Contact Governor Rick Snyder & Dept of Tourism in Michigan. Politely inform both parties that you are appalled that they are allowing a wolf hunt this year and chose to ignore 255,000 of their residents and constituents who do not want wolves hunted.Inform them, emphatically, that you will not spend any tourist dollars in a state that practices fascism over democracy. The wolves of the Northern Peninsula will be BLINDSIDED by the violence — they have been living in harmony and protected from man’s assaults for many years.

    Governor Rick Snyder (517) 373-3400, MI residents call (517) 335-6863 for MI residents only — a form –http://somgovweb.state.mi.us/GovRelations/ShareOpinion.aspx

    Office Addresses for the Governor –234 West Baraga Ave, Marquette, MI 49855 & 444 N. Capitol Street, Northwest Hall of the States Suite 411 Washington, D.C. 20001 (202)624-5840

    Michigan Dept of Tourism toll free (888) 784-7328—-Monday thru Friday 9AM to 5PM est

    Issues: wildlife, wolves

  28. avatar Louise Kane says:

    date for the action has passed but the info is there to follow through this week. I was in NH and VT last week after the death of a family member and am catching up on some 900 e mails. Ugghhh

  29. avatar Real Nice Guy says:

    Saw this article from LiveScience on Yahoo News. I always like to see more mainstream sites picking this stuff up.
    http://news.yahoo.com/wolves-yellowstone-help-grizzly-bears-fatten-183116458.html
    I spent a week in Yellowstone last month and saw no wolves…

  30. avatar SaveBears says:

    And from the State of Washington:

    Otter bites Teens Swimming in Kalama River

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/jul/29/otter-bites-teens-swimming-in-kalama-river/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      This is going to be like Shark Week, I can tell. There’ll be a run on rogue otters for a while. 🙂

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      They otter naught do that. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        LOL 🙂

        It’s not that I’m not sympathetic, but have we become so insulated that we don’t expect there to be anything that happens negatively in life?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Damn Bushmills. Not, not naught. Alliteration intended.

        • avatar JB says:

          Bushmills, eh? I need to come visit you Immer. 🙂

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            JB,

            Door is open.

            • avatar JB says:

              Your door is open?! Are you crazy? You live in wolf country! 😉 More importantly, you live in mosquito country.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mosquitos are “beginning” to wind down. To borrow a bit of Churchill in regard to Mosquitos, “it may not be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.”

                Deer flies still obnoxious, but black flies are gone. Ticks aren’t bad. But when it comes right down to it, I do have a screened in porch, while the blueberries and raspberries are happening.

                Though not overdoing it with the aforementioned Bushmills, I wonder what happens to the Mosquitos that did feast upon me. Will they be careless fliers, picked off by dragon flies and bats, or will their erratic flight patterns afford them protection.
                🙂

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Sleeping it off on a bench?

              • avatar Harley says:

                That’s the only thing I don’t like, mosquitos. Well that and biting flies. But heck, who likes those things anyway? What I love are those early fall days and evenings when it’s cool enough for a hoodie or sweatshirt and you have a nice fire going. Actually, it’s been a bit like that here the past few days…

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            Funnest thread in a long while 🙂

          • avatar WM says:

            Immer,

            I figured you for a Jameson lad.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              WM,

              Was introduced to Bushmills a tad over 10 years ago. Fits the category of a good, inexpensive whiskey for sipping evening time. Jameson pretty similar.

              My brother has introduced me to single malt scotches and good bourbons. Drinks to be appreciated, but a bit too expensive for my pocket book. That said, occasional forays into Laphroaig or perhaps Ardbeg for the deep warmth of that heavy pear flavor, close to the wood stove on those cold Winter evenings is both warming and rewarding.

              • avatar WM says:

                Immer,

                I occasionally imbibe of the Jameson out of loyalty to a friend’s son, who is a single malt aficionado. Having not ventured into the exotic flavored stuff (pear sounds interesting), but on your recommendation, will do so when winter sets in. Now that we in WA can buy alcohol in big grocery stores, nearly 24-7, it seems the variety of hard alcohol has expanded, though prices have not gone down, even with supposed competition one year after passage of the citizen initiative. Some who favored it would like their vote back; I opposed.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                Can’t blame this one on the Bushmills, just my thumbs and the iPhone.

                Laphroaig and Ardbeg both have a heavy “peat” flavor, not pear.

  31. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Man uses assault rifle to kill charging bear near Anchorage
    http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/man-uses-assault-rifle-to-kill-charging-bear-near-anchorage/article_3470e44a-f8b3-11e2-b51b-001a4bcf6878.html
    Always amazing what you guys carry along when hiking! How about a bazooka?

    • avatar JB says:

      In his defense, the AK-74 is nearly 40-yr old technology (not that I want anyone roaming the woods with a 40-yr old bazooka, either, mind you).

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      You’ve got to wonder why he took that kind of a weapon (used in war) off on a hike with him. It isn’t appropriate.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s the most popular military and terrorist weapon worldwide.

        • avatar SaveBears says:

          Actually the AK47 not the 74 is the most popular military and terrorist weapon world wide, the 74 shoots a quite of bit smaller and less powerful round the 47 shoots a .30 caliber round and is a much larger round in powder capacity. The 74 is actually less powerful than the AR15 round. The bullet in the 74 is basically a .22 round.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Alaskadispatch says: Let´s the debate begin. There’s a little something here for everyone: gun rights, animals rights, public safety, personal safety, and the strange twists of fate.
      http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130731/another-hiker-shot-alaska-bear-dead-cue-pointless-debates

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I hate that people have the right to carry guns when they haven’t a clue about how to use them. Spray and pray. It’s a wonder someone wasn’t hurt.

        That said, my view on gun ownership has changed entirely in this crazy world. Between increases in robberies and murder and the other guy carrying, I think people should have the right to protect themselves. A case in point is in my area, a beautiful young woman just graduated from college was kidnapped, beaten, forced to drive to 5 ATMs to withdraw her money, and then killed and her body dumped in a city park! I’d like to be able to introduce guys like these to Mr. Glock.

  32. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    The European branch of pet food producer Royal Canin (owned by Mars Inc.) currently suffers a PR nightmare. It was caught sponsoring bear fights in the Ukraine. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380315/Food-giant-Mars-bear-baiting-event-Ukraine-sponsored-pet-food-subsidiary.html

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Glad to see you posting also, Peter. I hate these barbaric things. It’s not enough that the bear has no chance, they had to remove his claws too. Disgusting.

  33. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Minnesota wolf “harvest” number almost cut in half for 2013 seasons.

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/07/29/environment/wolf-hunt-quota

    DNR estimate of 2600 pups born this year seems somewhat exaggerated based on pack #’S x 6.

    • avatar WM says:

      Lake Lenore, where these a…holes were caught is a highly saline Lahonton cutthroat lake. 500 pounds of fish. Interesting names of the guys caught – Slavic immigrants perhaps, and are they here legally? Of course, WDFW law enforcement can’t ask those questions. Then there will be the defense against the citations – we didn’t know it was illegal. Prosecuted cases, with good evidence, have been thrown out on less with non-English speaking defendants in Eastern WA.

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry, these guys were sentenced, but wait for grounds of an appeal, if they choose that route.

        • avatar JB says:

          “The defendants pled guilty to unlawful recreational fishing and fishing with a net, Lee said.

          Each man was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 40 days of electronic home monitoring and fines or costs totaling $4,100, he said.”

          Sounds like this is pretty much wrapped up. In any case, it’s a stretch to assume they’re illegal immigrants simply based upon their names.

          • avatar WM says:

            JB,

            No assumption. Just making the query, and pointing out that law enforcement, including WDFW, in WA has for sometime not shared data bases with the feds to make the connection, if there is one. WA has no participation in the federal Safe Communities program that is supposed to weed these relationships out (very convenient for those who use illegal labor and those who find sanctuary an appealing argument).

            So, in effect, you can be here as an illegal, break laws unrelated to immigration status and not get your ass deported, AND importantly maybe not get prosecuted and convicted if you have a defense of not speaking or reading the language. This includes violations of wildlife laws US and WA citizens are expected to obey. Happens all the time here in WA, and some of these illegal know it. We don’t know all the facts of this violation and prosecution, other than it seems pretty damned egregious. Then there is the part where these guys fled from law enforcement. This violation was worth a heck of a lot more than $4K, so it was probably pleaded down.

            It appears these guys are Russians [again no assumption on immigration status] and selling their illegal taken bounty from Lake Lenore (also some of this has gone on in Banks Lake, a backwater of the Columbia River) exclusively in the Russian community, and immigration status is still not known. And, since these are misdemeanor charges mostly pushed aside so over-worked prosecutors can deal with real crimes involving people (still wildlife advocates should be outraged) we will likely never know:

            http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2013/jul/29/public-put-spotlight-lake-lenore-fish-poachers/

          • avatar WM says:

            JB,

            I did a little more checking on this fish incident at Lenore involving the Russians. This statement from the WDFW Captain of the Law Enforcement Program:

            ++…possessing or retaining two times or more than the bag limit or possession limit of fish allowed and illegally using nets are classified as gross misdemeanors. They carry a maximum penalty of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
            As you may or may not know, misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors crimes are handled in local county district courts. Judges have discretion about what kind of fine, if any, and how many days of jail, if any, to impose for a crime. Judges do not have a minimum/maximum table for misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors crimes, except in cases of DUI.++

            This is a one fish per fisherman, selective gear (barbless hook) lake. 242 very large fish/4 = 60 fish/fisherman. Or 59 over the limit for each, using illegal gear. These guys could have each been hit with a $5K fine, or more, and a year in jail, and maybe should have. That mighty fine truck and any gear with it could have been confiscated. And, ya gotta wonder how many poached deer or elk have been in the bed of that pick-up, and just not discovered.

            In regard to related incidents, a local sportsman group in Spokane had a fund raiser to post signs in Russian language on segments of the Spokane River subject to special take rules. Think it is already posted in Spanish, if you get what I suggest. Most of these guys aren’t cited and prosecuted, just told to follow the rules (LEO’s don’t even check for licenses, by the way). Different rules seem to apply. And, if one believes in conspiracy theories, it just wouldn’t do in the ranch/farm owner community to have your illegal [remember they can’t check for immigration status] or underpaid labor all in jail and or no way to get to work (if your vehicle is impounded). So, the judges in Grant or Spokane County and elsewhere just mete out the low end sentences (or dismiss cases where language is a problem), possibly without consideration of the need for greater deterrence within this segment of the community. This, of course, encourages continuation of the illegal conduct – because they know they can get away with it, repeatedly. And, they do. Except 242 Lahonton Cutthroat destined for a commercial market was just too big to ignore, sort of.

  34. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    This spring Yellowstone visitors had been able to watch (albeit with the help of large spotting scopes only) a sow grizzly with two cubs emerge from the den and live their life around the den site for about a week. The video here captures the day the serious side of life began for the cubs. Mom decided time to leave has come……
    https://de-de.facebook.com/BearmansYellowstoneOutdoorAdventures#!/photo.php?v=592478044096976&set=vb.158821070949199&type=2&theater

  35. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Bloodthirsty ‘factual’ TV shows demonise wildlife
    Major US TV channels are promoting hysterical and outdated ideas about wildlife in popular, blood-soaked shows
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/nature-up/2013/may/17/bloodthirtsty-wildlife-documentaries-reality-ethics#start-of-comments

    • avatar Nancy says:

      And to think less than a decade ago Peter, one of the top rated shows on TV (about Alaska) was a weekly series called Northern Exposure. I’ll take dry, goofy humor anyday to so called “factual” bloodlust 🙂

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Geeze, used to love that show, seems like it was a lot longer than a decade ago!

        Guess I am getting old!

  36. avatar Nancy says:

    Oops sorry SB! less than 2 decades ago! Think it ran for 5 seasons (got the complete DVD set around here somewhere) Let me know if you want to borrow it 🙂

    http://www.tv.com/shows/northern-exposure/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Got the complete set as well. This Winter. At times odd, surreal, down to Earth, entertaining.

  37. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    GLOBAL WARMING: I try not to use that term , rather use Global Climate Change instead. But a NASA map animation of temperature data going back 130 years to 1880 does in fact show how much the world has warmed as the Industrial Revolution ramped up. It’s remarkable to watch ( 52 seconds long )

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20130115/

    Courtesy of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies , whose Director lead scientist was the outspoken James Hansen , now retired having left government service.

  38. avatar Kathleen says:

    “The scourge of the West – cheatgrass – has become so ubiquitous that many have given up the fight to eradicate it.”

    This is the year I gave up (at least I think I have…), after a decade of fighting leafy spurge which was then replaced by a progression of expanding cheatgrass.

    “In addition to being invasive and prolific – which forced (sic) out native grasses – it provides little food value to wildlife and cattle but high fuel value for wildfire.”

    Many/most people don’t get too incited/concerned about weeds, but weeds have the ability to destroy ecosystems, driving away the native life (from tiny pollinators to large predators) that depends on native biodiversity. Now there appears to be a naturally-occurring bacteria that might be the answer…but it’s several years away yet.

    Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/07/30/2680898/a-new-weapon-against-an-invader.html#storylink=cpy

  39. avatar alf says:

    BAD IDEAS NEVER DIE DEPARTMENT :

    Montana’s two DINO senators, Baucus and Tester, have introduced/reintroduced legislation that, among other things, MANDATES certain levels of timber “harvest” (logging) on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Lolo, and Kootenai (or maybe it’s the Flathead) National Forests in Montana

  40. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    More extinction and it ain’t due to global warming:

    And Away We Go

  41. avatar Salle says:

    and now for something quite entertaining and totally wildlife..

    “What Goes On When You Are Not There”

    • avatar Rita k Sharpe says:

      Thank you, Salle, loved it.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      🙂 Very cute.

      Driving to work in the morning I saw up ahead what looked like three tawny-colored dogs crossing the road, but I had a feeling they were deer. When got up close, sure enough, there were at least two spotted fawns, getting very tall and long-legged.

      And a sharpie hawk (I think!) outside my window too.

    • avatar Harley says:

      That was pretty funny!!

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        We should have a contest to find a better music track for this 2m 13 s video. As much as I detest Hip-hop and the likes of Kanye, Jay-Z, CeeLo et al, I’m thinking there’s a mashup of that music that could make these bears zing.

        Have you seen the vid from the Edelweiss Reataurant in Colorado Springs of the (brown) Black Bear that hauls off two dumpsters by standing up, grasping the things, and walking away just like a guy in a bear suit ? It’s hilarious. Did it two nights in a row before the restaurant got some chains and locks.

        http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/08/hungry-bear-pays-visit-to-colorado-restaurant-gets-meal-to-go/

  42. avatar Louise Kane says:

    MT Bison Comment Period Extended
    by Exposing the Big Game
    Dear Interested Citizen: July 2013

    Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock have extended the public comment period on a draft environmental assessment (EA) reviewing the potential for bison to occupy public lands adjacent to Yellowstone National Park on a year-round basis.

    Public comments on the EA will now be accepted until 5 p.m. September 13, 2013; the original deadline was August 13, 2013.

    Copies of the draft EA can be obtained at the FWP regional headquarters in Bozeman and FWP’s headquarters in Helena or at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalassessments/
    plans/pn_0014.html. Comments can be emailed to YearRoundBison-EA@mt.gov, or mailed to Bison Year-Round Habitat EA, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1400 S. 19th Ave. Bozeman, MT 59718.

  43. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Commentary: Sen. Griffin calls on feds to rescind jaguar designation
    http://www.svherald.com/content/guest-columnists/2013/07/31/357273

  44. avatar Salle says:

    Wow, this is a big thing… located in Norris geyser basin… sorry I had to miss it.

    Yellowstone’s Steamboat geyser sees rare eruption

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/yellowstones-steamboat-geyser-sees-rare-eruption

  45. avatar Salle says:

    And another something big, out of the blue and just wow, for a change of scenery… yikes.

    The 60 foot long jet powered animal you’ve probably never heard of

    http://deepseanews.com/2013/08/the-60-foot-long-jet-powered-animal-youve-probably-never-heard-of/

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      The neon flying squid is another abundant and very cool jet propelled invertebrate. It was the object of the huge high seas “curtains of death” driftnet fishery in the North Pacific that was finally closed in the early-90s, and is now taken only in a jig fishery closer to the Asian side.
      http://phys.org/news/2013-02-bird-plane-squid.html

  46. avatar Salle says:

    Okay, this is just messed up</strong? thinking and action in Wisconsin…


  47. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It sounds like a drug bust or something, all over a tiny baby fawn at an animal sanctuary. Evil, especially since there is a place that does take them.

    • avatar Mike says:

      “Evil” is the perfect word.

    • avatar Mike says:

      BTW, this is turning into a major shit storm, and rightly so. The Wisconsin DNR just deleted their FB page after tens of thousands of angry comments. More and more news outlets are picking the story up.

  48. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    “Gold drops below $1,300, heads for weekly decline”

    Great news for the outdoors and for most of us!!

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      ELKO — Newmont Mining Corp. reported a $2 billion loss Friday attributed to lower production, higher costs and a slump in gold prices.

      – – – –

      Ain’t it just awful 🙂

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Ralph remember the computer you use has gold and all electronics and medicine.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Ralph it’s a funny world we live in. We depend on the natural resources Mother Nature provides us with, from water,minerals,wood products and the natural energy it provides.

          • avatar CodyCoyote says:

            Robert- 83 percent of the new gold mined is first used for cosmetic jewelry ,especially in Asia. About ten percent is used for creating other things f value, including bullion and coin. The remainder—and this is a stretch —is actually used for something useful, like electronics or catalytics or instruments or teeth.

            Point being, if gold were not coveted for vain purposes as ” the shiny yellow metal that makes men crazy “, as one American Indian Chief so succinctly put it , we could EASILY take care of all our real need for Gold as coinage and technical uses by merely recycling the stuff. If gold were like aluminum or tin , we would need to mine very little of it anew.

            With regards to your assertions about natural resources, we need to recycle restore and reuse those, too. All the way all the time. It’s hard to argue against that , but the Devil is in the delegating.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Certainly great news for the Taku River watershed and many others — hopefully it will continue retreating and sulk around $300/oz for a few years, as in the early-2000’s.

  49. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Addendum to my comment above. If gold were actually mined and smelted ONLY for its technical purposes —to be used for something instead of being made into jewelry or hoarded —it’s likely selling price would be maybe at most $ 75.00 an ounce based on production. Blended with recycled gold it would be much less than that.

    That gold is selling for % 1500 a troy ounce is TOTALLY an artifical construct, a false value; a ploy ; speculation of the highest wretch factor.

    It is, in other words, human nature at its lowest. The metal that makes men crazy.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      CC

      Both comments,
      “It is, in other words, human nature at its lowest. The metal that makes men crazy.

      +1

    • avatar SaveBears says:

      You are something Cody, because it has no value to you(As you write on a computer) then it should have no value to others.

      • avatar JB says:

        SB: You’re perspective is as one-sided as Cody’s–it isn’t that gold has value to others that is the problem, it’s the lengths that people will go to get it that is problematic. People are free to worship gold all they like, but when they start tearing up our environment to get to it, then they impact all of us.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        SB-
        Gold has plenty of value to me. As a technical metal with wonderful properties. As ornamentaion ?—nada. I’m not alone there. Do you work in mining ?

        I was a prospector off and on for a few seasons across a few years, for Phelps-Dodge, AMAX, and some small companies you never heard of. Learned the gold business from the inside. Then worked against it from the outside as an environmentalist . You may recall that horrible Canadian gold mine proposed for the Yellowstone boundary above Cooke City. I gave 8 years to defeating that..

        Surpisingly , a web page I created 14 years ago and placed on an old server is still active.

        Here’s what I had to say on the topic of Gold while trekking in Southeast Asia for six months:

        http://w3.tribcsp.com/~deweyv/Gold/goldness.html

        • avatar WM says:

          Cody/SB,

          Not to interfere with your conversation, but I just wanted to interject that most folks haven’t actually seen the truly devastating long-term disruption gold and other mineral extraction does to the environment. When I first moved to Colorado, I saw some of this up close and personal. The remnants of nearly 140 years of coring out the earth’s shell in search of precious gold.

          Hillsides littered with piles of crushed ore, devoid of any vegetation and rivlets of toxic chemical runoff from those tailings working their way by gravity to stream channels also devoid of vegetation and aquatic life. Miles of this wasteland. Much can be seen even from I-70 west of Denver through an area called Idaho Springs. Further west and north is Leadville at something like an 13,000 feet elevation, shouldering the remnants of a once booming precious metal mining industry. Until about 20 years ago they still mined molyebdenum (used in alloy steel manufacture) at the nearby Climax mine (owned by AMAX), where an entire fricking mountain has been chewed away by big machinery.

          I had an opportunity to spend some time in California Gulch, which includes Leadville and the surrounding watershed, one of the nation’s very expensive Superfund sites. It is very slowly being restored at substantial cost, and still very ugly. All of this in the pursuit of gold and other precious minerals, some of which actually have value for purposes other than jewelry or an artificially created investment commodity. Read more here:

          http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/pdf/cal_gulch.pdf

          By the way, even with all the reclamation work, it is still a butt ugly piece of real estate and will be for many more decades. It will never recover, and these headwaters of the Upper Arkansas River watershed will near forever, at least in our lifetimes, be water quality impaired.

          • avatar JB says:

            Thanks, WM. Here’s a bit of an exercise for those interested in what mining does to a landscape:
            -Go to maps.google.com
            -Search “Utah”
            -Switch to the satellite view
            -Search (visually, not using he interface) for the town of Sandy–it’s just to the north of Provo
            -Now look just to the left of the “S” in sandy. You’ll see a whiteish-yellow blob in the midst of a lot of green
            -Zoom in on the blob and you’ll discover what open-pit mining does to a beautiful mountain landscape

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              Would that be the same blob at the south end of the Great Salt Lake in Bingham Canyon, aka the Kennecott Copper Mine?

              Then, those who are motivated can also plug in Walkerville, MT, then zoom in just north of the Berkeley Pit. By the way, when a flock of ducks or geese thinks something like that is a lake, to seek a resting spot at the end of the day, it can be a fatal decision.

              At least copper has industrial applications that justify mining for it and associated metals found with it. The consequences are still bad for everything living thing at the sites. Think about that every time you turn on your tap water (copper is still preferred piping to plastic).

        • avatar SaveBears says:

          “Do I work in Mining” Why would you ask such a stupid question, Cody?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Computers aside, I believe the only gold I possess is in my mouth. My dentist confided that if times ever got real tough, a good pair of pliers would get me along, at least for a while.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Yosemite Valley is insane. I couldn’t wait to get out of it, even though it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I found a remote drive-in campground about seven miles off the highway, about 4,000 feet above the valley, with insane views of the park. No one was there. I had Yosemite all to myself in the middle of summer. I spent the night in complete silence, watching the stars and having a nice fire. It’s amazing how people don’t even bother checking out the other areas.

  50. avatar jon says:

    http://www.kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=57394

    Hope fish and wildlife don’t listen to this Gary Watson guy.

  51. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://www.ktvb.com/home/Not-a-British-joke-Rabbits-plague-Idaho-town-218104891.html

    obviously these are bigger more vicious Canadian rabbits that were trucked in in the middle of the night, eating baby cabbages right out in the garden, all part of a shadowy world wide conspiracy.

  52. avatar Immer Treue says:

    About five months old, but MN man gets lifetime ban for involvement in illegal wolf kills.

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_22741371/man-guilty-killing-two-wolves-gets-month-halfway

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Ran them over? Disgusting. But these are the things you would expect to hear about after a delisting of such a ‘controversial’ animal, so I don’t blame them as much as I blame our stupid government, Federal and State.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I hate when people stand up in court and apologize and see the light, when you know they are full of crap and only sorry they got caught.

        I wonder how Jon Tester and friends can sleep at night, knowing they put all this in motion. (I’m sure he doesn’t lose any sleep over it.)

  53. avatar WM says:

    HSUS and the animal rights community continue their efforts to stop humane slaughter of horses in the US, in USDA inspected facilities as funded by Congress in 2011. The latest round includes an temporary injunction issued by a federal judge for not conducting an Environmental Assessment under NEPA. In the meantime horses will continue to be transported and slaughtered under even less humane conditions in Canada and Mexico, or just abandoned. And, the Native American Community can’t seem to agree among themselves what is to be done. Those with the wild and unwanted horse problem on their tribal lands want toward solving it. Those who don’t seem to have another view. Imagine that.

    http://www.agri-pulse.com/Judge-halts-domestic-horse-slaughter-08022013.asp

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      “Humane slaughter”? No such thing exists. Taking the life of one who values that life is never humane. But aside from the moral argument, horse slaughter is not humane even by other (in)humane standards. The article you linked to is from an ag site, which repeats the myth of “the abandonment and starvation of unwanted horses without domestic slaughter” (refuted here http://animallawcoalition.com/hay-prices-to-blame-for-equine-abuse-neglect/ ) and cites the Government Accountability Office report, which is disproved as fraudulent here http://animallawcoalition.com/evidence-shows-gao-horse-welfare-report-was-fraudulent/

      “Facts that refute the 7 most common myths about horse slaughter” here http://www.savingamericashorses.org/WFLF's_Facts_that_Refute_the_7_Most_Common_Myths_about_Horse_Slaughter.pdf

      For anyone who thinks slaughter is “humane,” I urge you to read “A tale of two horses” wherein you’ll learn why Valley Meat Co., the NM slaughterhouse hoping to kill horses, lost its license for failing to meet humane standards…and why the dirty business of slaughter goes even worse for horses, given their physiology and prey animal behavior.

      http://www.othernationsjustice.org/?p=7857

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        +1

      • avatar Harley says:

        http://www.grandin.com/humane/questions.answers.horse.slaughter.html

        An interesting perspective from someone who designed a more humane way to slaughter cattle.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          1. Management must care about having high standards of animal welfare.

          I only got this far before I quit reading.

          • avatar Kathleen says:

            Exactly, Ida. From Horsefund.org:

            “Undercover footage from inside horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. demonstrated how horrific these plants were.
            Many horses were conscious when they were shackled and hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut. Employees whipped horses in the face. Mares were allowed to give birth on the kill floors.
            The USDA recently released photos of horses with broken bones protruding from their bodies, eyeballs hanging by a thread of skin, and open wounds, all taken at former U.S. horse slaughter plants.”

            So much for USDA-inspected facilities.
            http://www.horsefund.org/horse-slaughter-fact-sheet.php All of this is standard operating procedure for slaughter assembly lines (for any species) where time is money.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Ugh. I can’t even imagine such barbaric treatment of another living thing. Disgusting.

      • avatar WM says:

        Kathleen,

        From what I understand, among the largest numbers of horses are on tribal lands, where they are increasing in number. Then, of course, there are the federal lands, primarily BLM, where there is the expensive and not always successful adoption and feeding programs, which also result in degraded range wherever these horses may be. And, lastly, there are horses in private hands which maybe subject to abuse or abandonment, and those that don’t sell at auction.

        And, if I understand correctly, and believe I do, the “ag site” is merely reciting the status of the law, and the lawsuit. That is all. I saw no value judgement from the author, just facts.

        The three sources you cite seem to be the real spin-master animal rights sites, if I understand correctly. “Equine Welfare Alliance” releases statistics – really?

        “Documented evidence” – from whom? Oh, yeah, its the savingamerica’s horses website.

        Can you SERIOUSLY suggest these as objective sources, with words of advocacy right in the organization names? The spin piece on Youtube criticizing the GAO report is a joke. And the folks who did the piece don’t understand regression analysis, either.

        On the other hand, five of the largest Northwest tribes with a very real horse problem want to deal with it. http://www.ynwildlife.org/Wildhorsecoalition.php

        And, here is the GAO report in full, rather than a spin piece from the horse welfare advocacy crowd. GAO has a pretty good grasp on the issue IMHO.

        http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/319926.pdf

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Horse-processing sites? Even with that euphemism, it’s still a slaughterhouse. This modern trend of renaming something that isn’t pleasant to something that sounds a little better is dishonest. Not off to a very good start.

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          WM: “Can you SERIOUSLY (condescension duly noted) suggest these as objective sources, with words of advocacy right in the organization names?”

          Yes. That’s what advocacy does…stands up to the exploiters (the status quo) who spin the “facts” for their own continuing profit. Perhaps you missed the fact that I cited the Animal Law Coalition? Or maybe lawyers for mere animals are also spin masters lacking credibility…?

          BTW, it’s not the tribes that are driving this push for horse slaughter, which is a purely profit-driven industry.
          http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/wyoming-state-rep-opposes-move-against-horse-slaughter-plants/article_1ba88dd8-2c92-597f-89e2-647c7030df63.html?comment_form=true

          Thanks, but I know how to find the GAO report. One of the advocacy groups you so condescendingly dismiss (white paper here for anyone else who’s interested http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/How_the_GAO_Deceived_Congress-final.pdf) filed a FOIA request for the data used by the GAO…and was denied. But by all means, let’s believe everything the government tells us and let’s dismiss the advocacy groups because they’re, tsk, advocacy groups. They have an “agenda”!
          http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/07/31/563362/10042643/en/EWA-and-ALC-Produce-Evidence-Showing-GAO-Horse-Welfare-Report-Was-Fraudulent.html

          • avatar WM says:

            Kathleen,

            The “Animal Law Coalition,” from their own website information is two lawyers with animal rights advocacy missions – spinmasters to be precise, by their own admission. They have no more higher ground than any other lawyers on any side of an issue. Ultimately the courts will determine what the law is or is not, and that is why this matter is currently before a federal judge to determine whether NEPA environmental review is necessary. It probably won’t affect the outcome, only delay it.

            Again, I think GAO has a pretty good handle on this, notwithstanding the animal welfare organization spin. And, again, the Northwest tribes with growing horse populations, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, BLM and states with horse/burro problems want to have them addressed.

            Why would you and those like you stand in the way of allowing Native Americans the right to solve a problem on their own sovereign tribal lands – a problem they cannot solve without processing facilities and USDA meat inspectors?

            And for the fate of the currently pending litigation, my prediction is that there may be a delay, but it will not stop implementation of the USDA rule and funding of inspections. Those plants on and off reservations will be built, horses will be processed (as opposed to sent to MX or CAN) and, maybe even some Native Americans will gain some jobs and equity in tribal businesses, while solving a problem that desperately needs attention.

            The real issue will be that by the delay from horse advocates, probably twice as many will have to be killed initially in the re-implementation stage. Afterall, this is just funding inspections for resuming an activity that has already been done, before being hi-jacked by a special interest advocacy group with very narrow vision that stopped funding in 2007.

          • avatar WM says:

            And Kathleen,

            ++BTW, it’s not the tribes that are driving this push for horse slaughter, which is a purely profit-driven industry.++

            May I suggest you read these:

            http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2013/04/yakama_nation_presses_federal.html

            http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2013798888_horses30m.html

            ——–

            And my purpose for linking to the GAO full report earlier was so others could find it.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              WM, if horse slaughtering facilities become legal again in the US, will this mean that they will *no longer* be shipped to Canada and Mexico to do the dirty work?

              • avatar WM says:

                Ida,

                From what I understand of the issue as it stands now, the only thing USDA can do is require that shippers to MX and CAN observe certain rules for transport, a distance that can be several hundred (thousand?) miles, over the course of several days. Shippers can pack animals tightly in truck trailers, but no double deckers like cows; no metal protrusions in the trailer, and a few other basic rules (which because USDA didn’t have funding since 2006 can’t even enforce very well). Query do these animals get water or feed for what might be two or more days of travel in the heat or bitter cold? I expect it would be likely there would be a few downers which get trampled to death or otherwise injured or fatigued over the course of a cross country trip of this nature. Afterall these are often animals in advanced age, injured or sick in the first place. What happens once they are off the trucks in a foreign country. USDA can’t regulate there. Should one believe livestock going to slaughter would be treated better in Mexico? This is the same country that exports hot sauces and candies which don’t meet minimum public health standards for lead (Pb) and other harmful compounds. Are regulators and those responsible for enforcement of “humane” practices even more likely to look the other way in exchange for a few pesos (or better yet, US dollars when speaking of temptation of corruption). And, of course some of that processed horse meat comes back to the US, frozen, where it is fed in zoos (some laden with veterinary medical chemicals used on the horses when they were alive), or maybe pet food.

                It strikes me these idiot animal rights folks would do better to look at these aspects when they pee all over the GAO report that doesn’t meet their agenda.

                And, yes, I do believe many fewer horses would be shipped out to MX or CAN once processing facilities are up and running. It all has to do with market prices, something these animal rights folks don’t seem to understand (and why the GAO report focuses on that aspect).

                And, as for Kathleen’s reference to Equine Welfare Alliance, it is my understanding the author of the GAO critique is a psychic, among his other vocations. I find it interesting, most psychic operations close due to unforeseen circumstances, which I would bet is why this guy, in the alternative runs a 501(c)(3), taking money for his “advocacy” services.:)

                And, by the way, I am a horse lover.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              “Several Northwest tribes have joined together in support of opening a horse slaughterhouse in the region to address booming wild horse populations on their reservations. The Yakama and Colville tribes in Washington, the Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes in Oregon, and Shoshone Bannock in Idaho say the horses destroy medicinal plants and damage habitat for other species”

              BOOMING wild horse populations. So how is it that these tribes haven’t declared “open season” yet? Set up cozy little blinds around the reservation for hunters who’ve yet to have the opportunity to “bag” a wild horse?

              It’s their land right? Or would there be little interest by “big game” hunters? Much, much easier to open “processing sites” to address the over populations created by our species 🙂

              • avatar Kathleen says:

                WM said: “…as for Kathleen’s reference to Equine Welfare Alliance, it is my understanding the author of the GAO critique is a psychic, among his other vocations.”

                So you think *this* man http://www.johnholland.com/aboutjohn
                and this one
                http://www.vickitobin.com/John_Holland.html
                are one and the same?!? HA! How many other things are you wrong about? Oh…maybe this? “Afterall these are often animals in advanced age, injured or sick in the first place.”

                “A USDA-commissioned study conducted by the Colorado State University in 1998 at the two horse slaughterhouses in Texas (Beltex Corp. and Dallas Crown, Inc.) showed that 92% of horses arriving at the plants are in good or excellent condition and are less than eight years old.”

                “It strikes me these idiot animal rights folks…” Wow, wrong again…and now we’re name-calling. Does that help bolster your position, WM?

              • avatar WM says:

                Kathleen,

                Thanks for the correction. Had the individual to whom you refer used his middle initial as author of the white paper it is unlikely the mistake would have been made. Nonetheless, my apologies. By the way, the other person also claims some animal rights pedigree. The criticism of the video and the white paper, however, remain.

                You fail to give the original source for the quote on the percent of horses in various states of age and health in the narrative you quote. Regardless that still leaves 8% of a different status, which I suspect will show significant injuries or infirmities. In any event, in case you didn’t know, the data comes from Dr. Temple Grandin at Colorado State University, et al., who, I believe based on the statistics you quote, did this study for USDA.
                http://www.grandin.com/references/horse.transport.html

                Interesting to note, the study does NOT identify distances traveled by the trucks and horse payload that was inspected, nor loading and transport times. Nor does not give the weather conditions though inspections were in July and August for the TX plant. From what can be gleaned these were mostly local transports of relatively short distance – dehydration, however, was a noted condition. And, significant numbers of these horses had bruising and bites identified in post-mortum of carcasses, but still were classified in the “good condition” category. It would seem reasonable the longer the trips and the more severe the weather, the more injuries and greater fatigue/stress to all animals transported. So, I really don’t think your assertion is all that valid.

                AND, I specifically call your attention to the following recommendation(there were 11 in Dr. Grandin’s report, including some subsequently adopted by USDA/APHIS in their transport rules):

                ++9) To prevent transport of slaughter horses to Mexico or underground markets, the four horse slaughter plants should be encouraged to remain open. A lack of slaughter facilities will increase the number of horses which will die from neglect, ++

                This is from Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the foremost and most respected equine/bovine behavior scientists in the US, on the topic of humane slaughter. And, that was 15 years ago.

          • avatar JB says:

            Kathleen:

            I’m (mostly) with WM on this one. Wild horse advocates have refused to acknowledge the incredible costs–paid by taxpayers–of their advocacy. In my opinion, rather than oppose the slaughter of horses, they would do more good to make sure that such slaughter happens here (in the US) and under as humane conditions as possible. Again, my opinion.

            To be clear, I’m not opposed to having (some) horses on federal lands; heck, it is beyond hypocritical to scream about the ‘destruction’ of public lands by horses, while allowing an order of magnitude greater cattle to occupy these lands. However, I don’t agree with the notion that horses’ welfare should be placed before the welfare of the lands and the other wild animals that inhabit them–especially given the cost.

            Something to ponder: Horses will die in any case; and most ‘wild’ deaths (e.g., starvation, disease, dehydration, predation) are likely to be far less ‘humane’…

            • avatar rork says:

              “heck, it is beyond hypocritical to scream about the ‘destruction’ of public lands by horses, while allowing an order of magnitude greater cattle to occupy these lands”
              A question: who said anything like that?
              Another: if there exist some such hypocrites, does that make wild horses good? That is, I think the logic fails. Perhaps false dichotomy is the name for it.

              • avatar JB says:

                Rork-

                Such ‘screaming’ absolutely does occur–often from the BLM, who complains about feral horses but supports livestock grazing (that is the hypocrisy that annoys me).

                “…does that make wild horses good.”

                Of course not. Though I would argue they are not necessarily “bad” either. Their presence modifies the ecosystems they inhabit–humans interpret such modificaitons as “good” or “bad” depending upon their perspective. Regardless, the logic is not that one should support wild horses because cattle can be more ‘destructive’, rather, I’m simply pointing out that the idea that we ‘need to’ exterminate horses while keeping cattle on public lands is akin to arguing that you should turn off your fan during a hurricane.

            • avatar Kathleen says:

              Again, slaughter is not humane. Has anyone bothered to look at *any* documentation (photos, videos) from slaughterhouses? Or read accounts from former slaughterhouse workers? Or bothered to understand why horses are even worse candidates for slaughter? Did anyone check out “A tale of two horses” to learn what one bull endured at Valley Meat Co. on his way to being “humanely” killed at this USDA-inspected facility? I’ve seen the pictures of captive bolts that missed the mark, has anyone else who’s reading/commenting here looked at this stuff?

              JB, as I know you know, American taxpayers are already subsidizing exotic cattle on our public lands at incredible cost. And now taxpayers will subsidize USDA inspectors in horse slaughter plants so greed-driven capitalists can send tainted meat to consumers in foreign countries…how is *that* OK?

              Perhaps you are more open-minded about advocacy groups and don’t automatically discount them because they are agenda-driven (or psychic-driven); if so,
              http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/horse_slaughter/facts/facts_horse_slaughter.html#owner

              Wild horses and tribal horses are only two facets of the horse slaughter industry, which allows irresponsible breeders to keep cranking out horses for rodeo, racing, showing, eventing, on and on. Rather than pretend that I’m an expert, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about wild horse birth control, but do know that it’s being used with success.
              http://www.powelltribune.com/news/item/11308-birth-control-effort-aims-to-maintain-mccullough-herd

              • avatar JB says:

                “Again, slaughter is not humane.”

                Kathleen- The fact that you can find instances of slaughter that is not humane does not, preclude humane slaughter. Euthanasia is defined by the American Vetrinary Association, and methods of slaughter that meet the definition of euthanasia are readily available. Slaughter absolutely CAN be humane–what is needed is adequate regulation and inspection to ensure slaughterhouses use appropriate techniques.

                You seem galled that taxpayer’s would subsidize regulators and inspectors, yet such regulation and inspection is absolutely needed for humane slaughter. Your opposition to government regulation makes me question your motives. Query- Do you object to the way that horses are being killed, or the fact that they are being killed at all?

              • avatar JB says:

                Kathleen:

                According to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

                “The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek terms eu meaning good and thanatos meaning death. A “good death” would be one that occurs with minimal pain and distress. In the context of these guidelines, euthanasia is the act of inducing humane death in an animal.”

                Here is what the American Veterinary Medical Association finds acceptable as forms of euthanasia for horses:

                Acceptable: Barbiturates, potassium chloride in conjunction with general anesthesia,penetrating captive bolt

                Conditionally acceptable: Chloral hydrate (IV, after sedation), gunshot, electrocution

                From the AVMA guidelines on euthanasia: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/reports_out/euthanasia.pdf

              • avatar JB says:

                Not to belabor the subject, but you might be interested in this paragraph (from the same report):

                “A second group of euthanatizing agents depress nerve cells of the brain, inducing loss of consciousness followed by death. Some of these agents release inhibition of motor activity during the first stage of anesthesia, resulting in a so-called excitement or delirium phase, during which there may be vocalization and some muscle contraction. These responses do not appear to be purposeful. Death follows loss of consciousness, and is attributable to cardiac arrest and/or hypoxemia following direct depression of respiratory centers.

                Physical disruption of brain activity, caused by concussion, direct destruction of the brain, or electrical depolarization of neurons, induces rapid loss of consciousness. Death occurs because of destruction of midbrain centers controlling cardiac and respiratory activity or as a result of adjunctive methods (eg, exsanguination) used to kill the animal. Exaggerated muscular activity can follow loss of consciousness and, although this may disturb some observers, the animal is not experiencing pain or distress.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,

                ” Exaggerated muscular activity can follow loss of consciousness and, although this may disturb some observers, the animal is not experiencing pain or distress.“

                Guess we’ll have to take that as Bible???

                I guess there are always exceptions to the rule. I’m not sure how true this is, but I’ve read in some circles that some wolves when snared, don’t simply pass out and suffocate. Blood keeps pumping to the brain, but venous return is restricted and the brain sort of explodes. Believe it’s referred to as brain jelly.

              • avatar JB says:

                Immer:

                I’m not asking that you take the AVMA’s guidelines as scripture, I’m just letting folks know that humane (as defined by the people to whom we trust our pets’ health and well-being) alternatives exist for horse slaughter. I also happen to know someone who served on the panel for these guidelines in the past, and he is a very vocal advocate of animal welfare (read: these guidelines weren’t written by the USDA).

                Funny story: When I was conducting my first study on wolves as a graduate student, the folks with WS wanted me to change a survey item to explicitly say that wildlife services ‘euthanizes’ wolves; I responded that I was familiar with the AVMA’s guidelines, and assured them that a shotgun blast from a helicopter was not euthanasia. We used the less ambiguous term “kill” as opposed to “dispatch”, “euthanize”, “control”, etc.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,

                With good intentions, just playing devil’s advocate. I guess it’s along the same ‘thin’ line do wolves learn from getting shot/trapped. Perhaps wildlife does not have our cognitive skills (for some open for interpretation), but are much more attuned to a sensual world, a world in which they live in the moment. Many puppies, the first time on a lead, go completely spastic. An animal accustomed to great degrees of freedom, that it is incapable of thinking its way through, is it just lights out, or indescribable discomfort?

              • avatar Kathleen says:

                Slaughter is not humane. “Humane slaughter” is an oxymoron. http://www.humanemyth.org/glossary/1033.htm

                And I do, of course, know the etymology of euthanasia. Cutting short the life of a being who has an interest in living to make a product that’s merely a dietary preference is not “good” or “humane.” The word euthanasia has been euphemistically co-opted to make mere slaughter more palatable to consumers (in the case of meat) and the general public (e.g., when bears are killed for habituation caused by humans). I’ve actually heard one horse slaughter proponent call slaughterhouses “horse harvest houses.” Now there’s a contortion for you!

                JB: “Query- Do you object to the way that horses are being killed, or the fact that they are being killed at all?” I object to animal slaughter. And yes, I’m vegan.

                Apologists for the status quo (speciesism) might argue for the humane treatment of animals without actually assigning any value to their lives–beyond how they benefit human economies and preferences. Others feel we owe sentient beings moral consideration, knowing that they want basically what we want–life, and the freedom to pursue their own interests. We’re discussing/arguing right past each other, on two entirely different planes.

                As for T. Grandin: “Using autism to make money killing animals” http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-temple.html
                and
                “Savant or professional killer?”
                http://www.care2.com/causes/temple-grandin-savant-or-professional-killer.html

              • avatar WM says:

                Kathleen,

                So, on the one hand you want to quote Dr. Grandin when it suits you, and then on the other hand be dismissive and critical of her profession and work, when she advocates keeping horse slaughter houses open in light of what would appear to be a growing number of neglected animals and an underground or foreign slaughter industry, which is unregulated for humane treatment of horses near the end of life for whatever reason.

                I see her work as pragmatic while solving real world problems that affect most of us.

                I am afraid I can’t keep up with you. Spinmaster animal rights folks, always on the critical side, while creating problems others must deal with, and offering no concrete and economically viable solutions in the alternative.

                Just wondering how you feel about rat or other health vector “euthanasia” or killing? From my experience they just want to get on with life too and pursue their interests (which is eating and procreation, it would seem), while destroying crops throughout the world, and spreading disease. Don’t worry, they would do it in the US, too if not for aggressive control.

              • avatar JB says:

                Kathleen:

                As I suspected, we disagree on a lot more than the specifics of how these animals die. You say, “Slaughter is not humane…“Humane slaughter” is an oxymoron.”

                I fundamentally disagree. Killing (whether for slaughter, the alleviation of pain, or other purposes) when it involves minimal pain and distress and the rapid loss of consciousness. Don’t you think it’s a tad disingenuous to boldly assert that the slaughter of wild horses is wrong because it is inhumane when in fact you’re really opposed to any and all forms of slaughter (and anyway, it’s a moot point because you don’t accept the clinical definition of “humane”)?

              • avatar JB says:

                Sorry, should read:

                “Killing is by definition humane (whether for slaughter, the alleviation of pain, or other purposes)…”

              • avatar rork says:

                A parallel: I got feral cat-lovers near me helping feral cats make more feral cats which are then the problem of some other people to kill, and they seem OK with this continuing forever and ever. They also talk about the value of the lives of the individual cats allot. It’s a nice half-theory. In statistical decision theory terms I think the loss function is miss-specified – it only considers the currently living population. (They also trivialize the damage done by the cats, another loss function failure.)
                I’m largely repeating some of WM I think.

              • avatar JB says:

                Re: Moral consideration–

                I think the ongoing efforts of the USDI to the conditions under which wild horses are captured, held and killed show that the species has been given tremendous moral consideration–arguably more than most other species. And that consideration has come at a substantial cost to taxpayers–a cost that is rising because of the interference of animal rights groups. Interference that means more wild horses will be born–and die (see Rork’s comments), humanely or otherwise.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          and lets not forget that horses are merely an invasive species in North America, no different than cows.

          having said that all animals should be treated as humanely as possible, whether the end goal is to eat them, or keep them as a pet, and all conditions in between.

  54. avatar Nancy says:

    Hey Robert R – you’ve been in my thoughts, doing okay?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/strong-winds-possible-tornado-uproot-trees-blow-shingles-off-roofs-in-twin-bridges/2013/08/02/0c836c0a-fb79-11e2-89f7-8599e3f77a67_story.html

    They hesitate to call it a tornado in my neck of the woods, even when the winds hit 104 miles per hour on my next door neighbor’s weather station. The damage your way looks a lot worse.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Nancy I was in the Centennial Valley and my wife called and said we got a hit by hail but we did not get the 90 to 104 mph winds but Twin Bridges did. Twin lost several roofs and numerous trees.
      We lucked out this time. There is a hail belt six miles north of us and that’s the one that hit Twin Briges directly.

  55. avatar Nancy says:

    Hmmm…….Seem to recall a rash of these events a few decades ago. Maybe the “government” is trying out a new type of drone.

    http://www.wptv.com/dpp/shared/lyn-mitchell-cattle-mystery-missouri-rancher-suspects-aliens-mutilated-her-cows#ixzz2amW2KzA3

  56. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Jill Fritz of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected & Adam Bump Michigan DNR were both guests on radio show
    http://wkqsfm.com/in-the-right-mind-dan-adamini/interview-archive/

  57. avatar David says:

    Here’s an article about California Tule Elk. The notion presented in the article, that there is no room to expand elk range is, of course, ludicrous. There’s plenty of land. What lacks is political will. For all the usual reasons, fear of liability, unwillingness to put resources into keeping wildlife and livestock separate – it’s the usual barriers to further restoration.

  58. avatar Atlas says:

    http://imgur.com/a/UnJ5n found this on reddit. It shows a Bighorn sheep and lion found dead on a closed road in Glacier National park. It seems they both fell to their deaths when the cougar attacked the goat far up on the cliffs out of sight and to the right.

    • avatar SaveBears says:

      That happened 2-3 years ago and was widely reported in this area.

      • avatar Harley says:

        SB, does that happen often?

        • avatar SaveBears says:

          Not in the front country, but no body knows how often it happens in the back country, where humans are not prevalent.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            and; then provides a food source for countless other organisms, both flora and fauna. the shit is, if it was a predator species that was involved, even peripherally, then it is a show stopper, to the lets turn it all into a pasture crowd.

            • avatar SaveBears says:

              ????

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                really?

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                Yes, really. If you are talking about the Ram and the Lion, there was a predator species directly involved. Of course, I can see, you might be talking about the Tule elk, it is hard to keep track in this format who is talking about what and responding to what.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Folks,

            Maybe this is the place to add that golden eagles try to knock bighorn and mountain goats off the edge of a cliff.

            It works for the eagles. Then too I don’t know how many times the eagles are successful.

            • avatar CodyCoyote says:

              In recent years, naturalists and some very dedicated film crews working in extreme conditions have finally been able to get some fabulous video of Snow Leopards in the Himalayan ranges.

              Among other incredible sequences of Snow Leopard life, they have several long range scenes of the big cats pursuing wild Sheep (the arkhor, tahrs, and arghali) straight down near vertical cliffs for many hundreds of feet at full speed … . The acrobatics of both predator and prey are astounding.

              It’s why I have the PBS Nature 1-hour video ” The Himalayas” in my permanent video collection. I think it’s viewable online at PBS / Nature.

              No reason to think our Rocky Mountain cougars and the big horns don’t also do Cirque du Soleil acts on rock faces…not always successfully for one or both.

      • avatar Salle says:

        A friend sent me that series of pics back about three years ago, said his brother took those pictures. Didn’t see any credits on that site though. Pretty gruesome scene to encounter.

  59. avatar zach says:

    This is really, really strange: apparently the mega-loads will be using US highway 12, after all…

    http://www.idahorivers.org/news/?id=367

    If they actually start driving these loads up the highway, is there anything anyone can actually do? Can any government agencies arrest the drivers? How effed up is this?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      zach,

      I think it is more than just strange, I think it has the potential for a dangerous confrontation.

      It is like the state of Idaho and the oil companies are forcing a confrontation on behalf of Canada against our national government.

      Worst case, it means America is falling apart.

      • avatar zach says:

        It is indeed a slap in the face.

        It is sad to me that these groups have no respect for tribal lands, very sad. The Nez Perce should have every right to arrest these people.

        Also, the longer I live in Idaho, the more I can’t help but to think that’s what a lot of people want. (To have America fall apart).

  60. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It’s not that humane euthanasia doesn’t exist (I’m sure it does in rare cases) and in theory, but the reason for using it at all. If an animal is at the end of life and very ill, yes. Inconvenience to the owner or human society? Not a good enough reason, especially when there are 7 billion humans on the planet, and everything it takes to feed that many, including killing off wildlife in order to raise domestic animals. Slaughterhouse conditions in reality can’t possibly be humane in practice, because with an assembly line environment, time constraints, human error, and profits first – many times animals haven’t been ‘rendered insensible’ before they are slaughtered. Yes, I have seen and read about some instances to the extent I can stomach. We humans are violent and barbaric at heart. We’ve made some progress in being compassionate and humane, but we’ve got a long way to go.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It’s not that humane euthanasia doesn’t exist (I’m sure it does in rare cases) and in theory.

      I’m talking about slaughterhouses here, not domestic pets.

    • avatar JB says:

      Ida:

      I think you’re talking about your own ideas as to what is ‘humane’, as opposed to the AVMA’s? Slaughterhouses actually can and do humanely kill livestock, including horses (though there are also egregious examples of horrific conditions). I believe one of Temple Grandin’s (discussed above) lasting contributions was to design corals that reduced stress on livestock in slaughterhouses.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Much as I admire Temple Grandin, JB and her efforts to humanely address how slaughterhouses go about the “daily” business of killing/processing other species for the benefit of mankind.

        IMHO, Ms Temple would not be where she is today if she’d not had a group of very strong supporters, who overlooked her handicap and recognized her insight and deep concerns regarding the treatment of other species….on their way to slaughter.

        Could be wrong but given the mentality a few decades ago, some probably would of locked Temple away in a closet, attic or rushed her off to a mental institution if she’d expressed those same concerns.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/19/books/everybody-is-peculiar.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

        https://bu.digication.com/cmrucci/Final_Draft2

        It’s complicated……..

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          From Forbes:
          “GAO Accused Of Fraud As Horse Slaughter Plants Fight To Open”

          Excerpt: “The artificial claim of slaughter as an antidote to abuse and neglect and a final destination for old, sick horses has raged on ever since. Ranchers, especially, and the Farm Bureau stand staunchly by the idea that if the public doesn’t put up funds to inspect horse meat plants, they are going to starve their trusty, old and infirm equine companions to death somewhere out on the range.

          “Going completely unheeded in all of this is the rather simple fact that old, sick, abused horses don’t go to slaughter in large numbers. They never have.”
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/08/08/gao-accused-of-fraud-as-horse-slaughter-plants-fight-to-open/

          “How many congressmen does it take to screw a horse?” A fascinating look at the political machinations behind the biased GAO report.
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2011/12/21/how-many-congressmen-does-it-take-to-screw-a-horse/

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Kathleen

            What do you have against horse Slaughter? I own and like mules and have dealt with several large mule brokers and outfitters. One outfitter I have dealt with goes to Ohio every year and brings back to Montana 15 to 20 selected mules. Out of that yearly mule group several mules will never be safe enough to pack or for guests to ride. Those mules are culled and sent to the kill buyer. An unsafe mule is a mule that must go.

            Another mule broker and mule trainer that I have purchased from got a problem mule from a women who did not want that mule put down. He spent 6 months at $40 an hour trying to gentle the mule. After 6 months he was able to ride the mule but he could never trust the animal with another rider. The mule was not trust worthy and never would be. He advise the women not to waste any more money and sent it to the kill buyer. She said “No” and he said “come and get your mule”.

            There is no place for a unsafe mule, an unsafe mule or horse needs to be put down. An unsafe mule can and will hurt you.

            If one owns a horse or mule and they want to sell it to a kill buyer that is their freedom.

            • avatar Kathleen says:

              Elk275: What do I have against horse slaughter? I think that was answered pretty thoroughly above. But the answer can also be found in your comment: “…several mules will never be safe enough to pack or for guests to ride. Those mules are culled and sent to the kill buyer.”

              Animals are not widgets to create and discard because they don’t measure up to human values and desires– can’t be ridden, won’t buck, have “faulty” conformation, aren’t fast enough, on and on. The place for a horse or mule who doesn’t want to be ridden is in the pasture of the person responsible for that animal.

              You’ve made the perfect case for why horse slaughter should not start up again: It’s just too damn convenient for irresponsible breeders, owners, and industries (rodeo, racing, etc.) to cull their “mistakes,” their excess, their all-used-up, their “junk” (as one pro-slaughter advocate so crassly put it)–and keep right on breeding ’em for ego, money, or both. Cuz hey, you can always call the kill buyer and even recover a buck or two!

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                We are much too cavalier about death and suffering of creatures other than ourselves, and it is offensive. Perhaps, if the mules won’t carry a rider safely or safe enough to pack, we should do away with the riding and packing, and not the mule. Maybe we don’t need that kind of “Old West” experience anymore.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Kathleen

                Animals are owned by people the same as a car or truck. I have a tile to my vehicles and a permanent registration for my mule which on the reverse side is a bill of sale. I have a right to sell that animal to anyone who I wish to sell. I do not have a right to mistreat that animal but I have a right to either sell that animal or put it down any time I want. Those are my rights as an owner.

                Horses and mules are beasts of burden they are bred to work they are not companion animals. A mule is a cross between a jack and a mare and the sole purpose for breeding the animal is either to ride, drive or pack, they are work animals.

                In the 70’s my parents had close to 50 quarter horses and draft horses. Every year several horses were sent to the kill buyers (including “Old Peg”, a gentle Belgium mare all of the grand kids would, but Peg got old and sick) or father on occasion would have to shoot a horse and the rendering plant would come out and pick the carcass up.

                Two days ago my father was 89 and I just called him and read both Ida and your response. The first thing he said was ‘Oh Shit,those women would not know the front from the back of a horse and it is always women. Hay at $200 a ton who can afford to kept non productive or dangerous animals around”.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Horses and mules are beasts of burden they are bred to work they are not companion animals.++

                That’s only your very narrow opinion.

            • avatar Mike says:

              What a jackass cowboy fantasy.

          • avatar WM says:

            Kathleen,

            Actually it isn’t so much “from Forbes,” but a blog contributor who is clearly an animal rights advocate. She offers nothing new, in the first piece you cite, just a rehash of the piece which John Holland from Animal Rights Alliance did. The blog author called it a “study.” Well, it isn’t in the first place; it is an opinion piece by one single guy representing an advocacy group with an agenda. Second, the blog author focuses on horse racing, OK, but entirely omits the horses on wildlands and reservations. She also fails to mention the “underground slaughter” industry, which is filling some of the void, as well as those horses that are just let loose to fend for themselves. Not real objective. I am kind of partial to two sides of a story. Clearly she is not. Spin on Kathleen, spin on!

  61. avatar Marcel Verwoerd says:

    Wolf found in Netherlands is no joke, scientists say

    http://phys.org/news/2013-08-wolf-netherlands-scientists.html

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      It is quite interesting that DNA tests showed that this wolf is not – as expected .- from the populations in Germany or West Poland, nor from Spain or Italy but from Russia, maybe even Greece! And, the carcass did not show the typical signs of a captive wolf on clasw and teeth.

  62. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A story about the continuing conflict between Grizzly Bears and livestock in the Upper Green River Basin in in Wyoming in the Jackson Hole news & Guide this week .

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=10148

    Union Pass has always been a battleground between grizzly recovery and cattle entitlement. The area was excluded from Wyoming’s Primary Conservation Zone for recovering grizzlies, but nobody told the bears. They love the place. 15,000 Slow Elk and meandering muttons are just too tempting for bears. Besides, the area is 100 % Grade A Choice USDA Prime Grizzly Habitat.

    The big takeaway here is they have been killing so many bears thereabouts for livestock depredation that the Forest Service keeps getting permission form other agenciues to raise the mortality limits for female bears. It went from 6 to 11. At the rate they are killing bears, next year will come a mandatory bureaucratic showdown on the efficacy of grizzly conservation in the face of cattlemen’s complaints. USFWS can only appease one side in this debate. Guess who usually wins those arguments in Wyoming ? —the side wearing the Stetson hat. The head of the cattleman’s association there is also a Wyoming legislator. His main argument seems to be ” my family has been grazing cattle there every summer since before there was a Forest Service”. I guess he conveniently ignores the fact that the Grizzlies have been living there since the last Ice Age glacier melted 12,000 years ago , at the least.

    Nobody knows how many bears actually frequent the area, only how many are taken out of it. Wyoming’s state run grizzly conservation program does little for any bears outside that artifical boundary drawn for the bears to stay behind and behave. The Wyoming bear managers and policy makers have a bad habit of ignoring bears until they get in trouble. Then the band strikes up the tune for a round of ” Musical Bears” and some relocations, or calls out the snipers for some wet work.

    Bear-u-cratically, the grizzly scat will be tossed into the ceiling fan , again …

  63. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Two dogs caught in traps meant for wolves. Happy ending for both.
    http://methowvalleynews.com/2013/08/07/dogs-caught-in-wolf-traps-set-on-forest-service-land/

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Immer
      I almost couldn’t look at the panic and pain that dog was suffering. Wait, wrong picture, they posted the happy trapped dog picture. Must of been staged or faked some how.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        RB,

        Dog certainly did look calm, yet I believe both bit one of the individuals helping to release them.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          He looks kinda worn out; I have every confidence that this problem will resolve itself, if something isn’t done first. The more our population expands out into wild areas, the more residents are going to complain about this. One day, it’ll stop completely.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Immer
          Been bit myself a couple times seems dogs don’t always know when your helping. There is a simple method of releasing once you know how.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            RB,

            Gotta know the dog, and the trap.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Immer
              Every time I’ve been bit it was my dog, I don’t think most dogs care about the who.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                RB,

                I’ve never had any of my dogs, 4 German Shepherds over 40 years bite me, and that includes wrestling with them at the vets.

                I will say that the one I have now, when he was younger, almost ripped one of my ears off with his paw when I was hiding under a blanket.

    • avatar cobackcountry says:

      A couple things:

      First, why were the dogs off of leashes? Is there not a regulation about unleashed dogs in a National Forest?

      Second, “an extension” of a back yard? Please, I’d like to sign up for that kind of real estate. It was in national forest, which is not a back yard. To the contrary, the term ‘yard’ would imply a degree of ownership or even an enclosure. Either way, no notification is warranted if you control your pets. Signs were posted.

      I’d be more interested in the close proximity of the traps to homes, and the reason why wolves would choose the area.

      As for dogs and biting, it is anyone’s guess how an animal will act after the trauma of being captured in a trap. It is an unpredictable situation. They operate instinctively. Breed and training may influence behavior, but ultimately instincts win out.

      • avatar SAP says:

        “Is there not a regulation about unleashed dogs in a National Forest?”

        There is not.

        Most USFS campgrounds have leash laws (more like “leash suggestions” due to lax enforcement). If you go to Jewell Basin on the Flathead NF, there is in fact a leash law to avoid clashes with grizzlies. But most anywhere else on National Forests, dogs can be off leash.

        Not saying it’s a good idea, unless your dogs are under good voice control and stay close. A lot can go wrong, in a lot of directions — porcupine run-in’s, wolves, mules, bears, moose, anti-social drunks with chainsaws . . .

        http://helenair.com/news/local/basin-man-gets–years-for-beheading-dog/article_b6a19ca4-c6d7-5e5b-bf41-f62cfbf8ffd7.html

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          “I am a good person and I have redeemable qualities,” said Howald, who lives with family members in Basin.

          And we say the highest form of life is human? I don’t think so. At least this one got jail time this time. A lot worse than a run-in with a grizzly is with a human. I hope the comments were eviscerating!

          • avatar SAP says:

            As long as we insist on having a death penalty, I’d prefer to see top priority given to those who hurt children, animals, or vulnerable adults. I wish they would have locked that guy up for the rest of his life.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes. I still have mixed feelings about capital punishment, but there are some real monsters out there.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                I Have no issues with capital punishment, in certain cases it is the only resolution, of course I have no problem with death.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          We’ve had this conversation before. If allowed, and dog is under voice control, and does not wander. A leash is not required. That said as SAP has mentioned, better be under control, as there are no Vets out there.

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          SAP,
          That is just nuts! Even so, a law does not negate responsible pet ownership. It is in the best interest of your dog to keep it leashed. Otherwise, how can you complain about the outcome of your own lax behavior?

          I’d have to say, dog at large laws would probably be a legal measure that could be enforced, to the tune of fines. While a dog may be allowed in a national forest, off of a leash…one that barks at anything could be considered to be harassing wildlife.

          No matter how it is sliced, you can’t blame the Forest Service or Wildlife employees for doing what is legal within the confines of the forest just because you can’t control your dog or read a sign.

  64. avatar Nancy says:

    “Hay at $200 a ton who can afford to kept non productive or dangerous animals around”

    Yet Elk, you and I both know ranchers who have the “stud” in the pasture 24/7 hoping for a good colt/filly out of their too many mares, lounging around the ranch. I’ve seen the same backward mentality when it comes to ranchers and their cow dogs. Beasts of burden.

    Kathleen’s right:

    “It’s just too damn convenient for irresponsible breeders, owners, and industries (rodeo, racing, etc.) to cull their “mistakes,” their excess, their all-used-up, their “junk” (as one pro-slaughter advocate so crassly put it)–and keep right on breeding ‘em for ego, money, or both. Cuz hey, you can always call the kill buyer and even recover a buck or two!”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Awwww…

      The other morning driving to work I saw a group, two fawns and a doe, and they were crossing a residential street. I slowed to a crawl, so they could get their bearings. But one was confused by a fence and seemed to be trying to to get under it! We’re always fencing things in, fighting off nature.

  65. avatar jon says:

    http://www.montanaoutdoor.com/2013/08/missoula-man-helps-provide-hunters-with-wolf-tags/

    These wolf hunters are extremists and not to mention that a lot of them are clueless about the facts about wolves. Usual wolf hating talking points from a wolf hunter in Montana. The non native canadian wolves are killing the elk I want to kill. It’s guys like this in the article that makes a lot of people hate wolf hunters.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      That Jason Maxwell clown gets eviscerated in the comments of that link.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        As he should!

        • avatar Nancy says:

          But unfortunately, SB, this sorry excuse for a human being, will still get attention, not to mention donations, from the “wolves are killers” and ” I love bagging any kind of wildlife crowd” of hunters out there.

          • avatar SaveBears says:

            Nancy, that is true, it just highlights that people are not doing a good enough job at counter acting this type of behavior, me included.

  66. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PFKtMzra7c

    I hope this is not a duplicate post
    excellent interview with J Vucetich on why he and others are being disallowed on the peer review for the delisting rule

    such BS
    a calm excellent interview that everyone can post and send

  67. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Nature Takes Care of Its Own
    Posted on August 3, 2012
    This letter is in answer to two articles about local wildlife….

    Dear Editor,

    On July 27th the Daily Astorian reported that residents were split over whether they liked having deer around or not (“Bambi or Bother“). Some were concerned there were too many. But then on July 30th the paper ran another article, “Cougar Spotted in Astoria.” It seems that nature is taking care of its own.

    All too often people are quick to see a population of wildlife as a “problem.” But as we’re seeing here, there’s nothing to worry about—just stay out of the way and let nature do its thing. After all, nature has been regulating itself far longer than all the self-appointed “game” managers put together. And the cougar is only there for the deer, she’s not interested in you or your pet (although it is always a good idea to keep your dog or cat indoors at night).

    If there’s any species whose population needs to be reined-in, it’s we humans. I would never suggest lethal measures for anyone, human or non-human, but there is such a thing as birth control, people.

    Jim Robertson

  68. avatar WM says:

    I don’t know whether anyone has brought this to the attention of those interested in wildlife. About 5 weeks ago was the Western Governor’s Conference where the governors of the 18 states get together to discuss common issues, and piss and moan about the federal government. They, as a group, believe their states are the most affected by the ESA. Out of that enclave came the following resolution regarding what they see as needed changes to the Endangered Species Act.

    You guessed it, the prime mover to get them going on this task was wolves, according to the author covering this matter. See subheading “The Staw That Broke the Camel’s Back: Gray Wolves(see first link):

    http://www.outdoorhub.com/opinions/western-governors-unite-on-need-to-update-the-endangered-species-act/

    Text of the Resolution:

    http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/esa_070113.pdf

    Now Doc Hastings has all the motivation he needs as Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resoures.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I wonder what the Eastern Governors will say.

      • avatar WM says:

        Don’t know about the Eastern Govs., Ida, but many of the Mid-western states and the deep R South, and maybe NH, ME, PA, are probably prepared to jump on board, including the 3 states with wolves. Whether the individual voters in each of those states are is an entirely different question.

        And, importantly, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (counterparts from each and every state, including the Eastern ones) have their annual meeting in Portland, OR in September. I bet wolves and the ESA will be topics somewhere on the agenda, and prominent around the watering hole after 5PM.

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          The whole thing stinks of greed. For a bunch of right winged anti-fed twerps, they sure do seem to love to suck the cash from the federal system. It is quite hypocritical to first bash the federal government’s authority, then attempt to manipulate it to bilk money from the very facet they are bitching about.

          It would seem to me that Western Governors are guilty of not buying a cow when they get milk, milk shakes, cheese, yogurt, hamburger, steaks, leather goods and fertilized lawns for free!

          While these very governors decry the “over reaching government” they have no trouble reaching right into the pockets of it!

  69. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Wildlife Watch:

    A pair of sandhill cranes on a migration stopover!

    Also, I noticed mounds of sand on my lawn recently, and I thought it might be voles or gophers. Well, imagine my surprise when it was a very large, winged insect crawling out of the burrows. Cicadas? I hear them singing at night.

  70. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I don’t doubt it!

    But why are people so fixated on wolves? There are issues of real importance that need addressing that get no or very little attention. It’s all wolves, all the time lately.

  71. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Wolf depredations upon dogs in Wisconsin and pretty comprehensive attempt at education about wolf territories and do’s and don’ts with dogs in wolf country by DNR.

    http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/wolf/dogdeps.html

  72. avatar Snaildarter says:

    Study suggests the Carolina dog may have arrived during Ice Age
    Published: August 11, 2013 Updated 5 hours ago

    Peony, a Carolina dog, in Bishopville, S.C.: Carolina dogs, like a few other breeds, are without certain genetic markers indicating European origins. This suggests they have been in America since the last Ice Age.
    JOHN W ADKISSON — NEW YORK TIMES

    By Jack Hitt — New York Times
    Inside a fenced acre on the swampy Lynches River flood plain in central South Carolina, seven of Don Anderson’s primitive dogs spring into high alert at approaching strangers.
    The medium-size dogs fan out amid Anderson’s junkyard of improvised habitat: a few large barrels to dig under, an abandoned camper shell from a pickup, segments of black plastic water pipe and backhoed dirt mounds overgrown with waist-high ragweed.
    These are Carolina dogs, and though they are friendly, one can instantly sense they are different from other dogs. Several rush to the gate, their whole bodies wagging eagerly. Others sprint off and take position – their jackal ears fully erect, their fishhook tails twitching like flags in a stiff wind. A black pup scrabbles away in crablike submission that eventually takes her into an underground den, dug deep enough that she is not seen again.
    Walking into the pen is dangerous for only one reason: One of the dogs’ defining habits is digging snout pits, or gallon-size holes in the ground, perhaps to root for grubs or munch the soil for nutrients.
    “It’s like a lunar landscape,” Anderson warned as we tread carefully into the underbrush.
    Some Carolina dogs still live in the wild, and local people have long thought they were one of the few breeds that predated the European arrival in the Americas.
    “Our native dog,” as Michael Ruano, another enthusiast who often works with Anderson, put it. “America’s natural dog.”
    Now, a study of canine DNA backs up the folklore. A team led by Peter Savolainen at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden has reported that several dog breeds in the Americas – among them the Peruvian hairless, the Chihuahua and the Carolina dog – are without some genetic markers indicative of European origin, suggesting they arrived in an earlier migration from Asia.
    The study also reawakens the long debate about where and how dogs were domesticated. Current theory speculates that they are descended from wolves that somehow became attached to humans perhaps 12,000 to 33,000 years ago.
    But where that may have happened is not entirely settled. Some say the earliest dogs emerged in the Middle East. Others point to an area south of the Yangtze River in China. Savolainen’s study provides more evidence for the China hypothesis and, as a result, lends support to the idea that the earliest domesticated dogs crossed the Ice Age land bridge known as Beringia about 12,000 years ago.
    Carolina dogs, then, could be camp followers that wandered from their Paleo-Indian masters and took up residence in swampy areas where they can easily hide from their natural predators.
    Encounter with a puppy
    Anderson, 79, is a Virginian who moved to South Carolina in 1961. He’s a garrulous man dressed in comfortable blue stretch pants, a pair of Crocs on his feet, and a headband to hold back shoulder-length hair that stubbornly retains some glints of blond.
    He remembers the day when he had his first encounter with these wild dogs. Down by a nearby water hole on his land, he spied a mother and three pups, and they immediately bolted.
    “Two of the puppies went east, and one puppy tried to get out west, and he got stuck,” he explained. He took the pup home and named him Tadpole.
    Not long afterward a stranger saw the dog and offered Anderson $300 for what his neighbors called a “Lynches River wild dog.” He refused the deal, thinking, he says now, “if he’s worth $300 to you, then he’s worth $300 to me.”
    Anderson soon learned that others called them Carolina dogs, a name given to them by I. Lehr Brisbin, a biologist with the Savannah River nuclear power plant, near Aiken, S.C., and the man most responsible for the current interest in the breed. In the early 1970s, Brisbin was employed checking out the wildlife on the periphery of the plant and often came upon these wild dogs in the swampier parts of his domain. He took a few in and today maintains an 18-acre enclosure where he has his own pack.
    Brisbin got the Carolina dog recognized by the United Kennel Club and was the first to describe some of the breed’s rare traits, including the fishhook tail; the pointed, somewhat lupine face; and the habit of digging snout pits. The dogs cooperate as a pack when they hunt a field mouse or a rabbit, possibly using their white hindquarters as signals.
    “That white fishhook can be hoisted like a white-tailed deer’s and can flash back and forth,” Brisbin explained. “I saw them do it, and I saw the rest of the pack honor it.”
    Carolina dogs typically go into heat once a year like wolves, instead of twice like domesticated dogs. They cover their scat by pushing dirt over it with their noses, not by using their hindquarters to scratch the ground.
    Most Carolina dogs are ginger-colored, like Australian dingoes, but they can also be black. Most, but not all, are short-haired.
    Some have tiny patches, right above their distinctive almond eyes, that look like a spare set of eyes, what Anderson calls “spirit eyes.” Some have an unusual white stripe at the shoulder. There are the noticeable ears and the tail, but also the athletic tucked-in stomach (like a Doberman). DNA studies may soon make it easier to assert the Carolina dogs’ distinctions from other dogs.
    Still, determining just what is and is not a Carolina dog requires a kind of gut instinct. The problem is that some of the wilder dogs have mated with other breeds – local dogs and even coyotes. Determining just what is a Carolina dog means becoming more finely tuned to the sense that anyone feels stepping into Anderson’s enclosed acre. Experiential knowledge is crucial, being able to sense the entirety of the animal and in that way recognize which dog is almost purely Carolina and which is more of a mix.
    Early sightings
    Awareness of this unusual dog has its own history. According to Mark Eden, another enthusiast working with Anderson, the journals of 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto include possible references to Carolina dogs.
    In the essential narrative of early U.S. natural history, William Bartram’s 1791 book “Bartram’s Travels,” the author runs across a Seminole Indian maintaining some horses and writes: “One occurrence, remarkable here, was a troop of horse under the control and care of a single black dog, which seemed to differ in no respect from the wolf of Florida, except his being able to bark as the common dog.”
    The occasional revival of interest in the Carolina dog happens this time just as enthusiasts make the case for its inclusion among the ancient dogs the world over. Brisbin also suggests that the Carolina dog fits in the niche of “pariah dogs” such as the dingo, appearing to survive in difficult habitats, such as Anderson’s swamps, typically on the outskirts of ancient human migration routes.
    There are many of these older dogs: the Canaan dog of Israel, the Santal hound of India, the Jindo of Korea, the Telomian of Malaysia, the New Guinea singing dog, the Kintamani dog of Bali, the African basenji – and the images that pop up in a Web search are oddly similar to those of the Carolina dog.

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/11/3090272/carolina-dog-dna-suggests-may.html#storylink=cpy

  73. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Praise be for pet cats.

    This is one of the strangest stories about wildlife and wilderness and really wacked out people I have heard in quite a while. I’m referring to the high profile case of the 40-year old guy named Dimaggio who kidnapped his 16 year old crush after killing her mother and brother, and took off to the wilds of Idaho. [ Following in his own dad’s footsteps and timeline from an incident years ago, but that is another wacked out story ].

    The girl didn’t know the guy had already killed her mom and bro, but he did let her bring her pet gray cat with them to ” go camping” a thousand miles away. Two couples on horseback including an ex-cop encounter the pair in the wild, and had a conversation. The girl was wearing pajamas and looked reallys cared, but she was composed and chatted right thru it. She had that cat with her….8 miles from the end of the road. The horsepeople thought this was all weird, but let it pass for a while, only to realize later that was the two whom searchers in several states were searching for. Amber Alert big time.

    When aerial spotters flew the area, they spotted—of all things —that gray cat . Law enforcement knew she had a grey cat back home and it , too , was missing. So they helo’d in a ground team of tactical types who hiked the last two miles and surrounded the abductor and his teen dream . The girl made it away , the abductor loses the parley , a gunfight erupts, which the abductor loses paying with his life.

    The teen girl was shaken but unharmed, and the coda is she was reunited with her cat. Only then did she find out about mom and little brother.
    *
    The sidebar about the cat was reported on CBS News tonight.

    Here’s the early summary story in the Idaho Statesman: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/08/12/2702028/rescued-hannah-anderson-gets-her.html

    I feel a movie coming…

    ( I also realize this isn’t exactly ” Wildlife News ” per se , but it is Idaho and oddballs and wilderness and animals… )

  74. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Not sure if there will be any takers, but I see the potential for confrontation and injury, if not worse. This could get interesting.

    http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/state-and-regional/article_786979ba-e81b-52fb-8b60-240273745626.html

  75. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=1351

    a most disturbing and heartbreaking piece of news
    645 wolf pelts from Greece being smuggled into China
    to see the pelts on the floor like trash is sickening
    no information on whether the wolves came from Greece’s endangered population

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Despicable. We all know where these pelts were going – for the clothing industry. According to the USHUS, clothing for sale in the US labeled faux fur is anything but. I wonder if just behind the surface of the change in our US wolf hunting laws is this. Sickening.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        I believe Italy has some dark colored wolves, other than that…N America.

      • avatar rork says:

        Why not Turkey, Romania, and such places?
        Not saying Canada doesn’t have plenty.

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          Not much is known currently where this shipment of pelts originated. I doubt that all of them came from Greece, just the plane shipping them to Beijing originated in Greece. 500 hides would make up the whole wolf population of Greece. Sure, the country is more ore less bankrupt currently but no significant raise in poaching is known. It is not sure if all of these are really wolf pelts, seems other canids, maybe even dogs could be among them. The article does not state how it has been determined that this pelts are wolf. Further, black or dark coloured wolves are extremely rare in Europe, indeed only the Italian population is known to have a few. Definitely not in northern Europe, Russia or other eastern European countries.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            I suspect they were imported to Greece from elsewhere as it is a major buyer of raw furs on the world market — not that Greeks are particularly big fur wearers but they have an industry buying furs and make clothing articles that they mostly export. Maybe a Greek furrier under financial pressure (or similar business incentive) decided instead to liquidate its inventory of raw furs to China cash? In other words, they could have come from almost anywhere.

  76. avatar cobackcountry says:

    Is this an attempt to swing votes? Or could it be a turning point? A game changer for green conservatives who feel they have no valid vote?

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/a-tea-party-leader-explains-why-shes-teaming-up-with-the-sierra-club-to-push-for-solar-power/

    • avatar Mike says:

      Good thing it wasn’t discovered here. The first thing states would do is enact a hunting/trapping season, because as we all know, the ultimate goal of any animal is to be shot by obese white guys over the age of 30.

  77. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Good news, Great Lakes wolf makes it to Kentucky.

    Bad news, It was shot and killed by a hunter.

    http://www.kyforward.com/2013/08/officials-confirm-that-animal-killed-by-ky-hunter-in-march-was-endangered-gray-wolf/

  78. avatar Mike says:

    Idiot hunter kills Kentucky wolf.

    Hunters strike again.

  79. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    An outbreak of Hemorrhagic Fever is starting to kill Whitetail deer in WYoming and Mpntana. Dozens of carcasses have been found recently . The virus(es) ca also affect Mule deer, Pronghorn, and Elk.

    Brief story from the AP via the Riverton WY Ranger:

    http://dailyranger.com/story.php?story_id=8681&headline=Disease-killing-dozens-of-white-tailed-deer

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Safe to assume this can’t be hung on those non-indigenous Canadian wolves.

      “… determine if epizootic hemorrhagic disease or bluetongue is responsible. Both viruses are endemic, or native, to the region and cause outbreaks in wildlife from time to time.”

  80. avatar Harley says:

    A very unusual story and twist to the whole lead in pellets discussion.

    http://news.yahoo.com/source-boys-mysterious-lead-poisoning-unlikely-place-121923407.html

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Quote

‎"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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