In the lesser known mountains of Wyoming -- Commissary Ridge north of Cokeville

In the lesser known mountains of Wyoming — Commissary Ridge north of Cokeville. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan 2011

Our readers find a lot of news, and they have many comments. Please post your news and comments below at “Leave a reply.” Here is the link to the old thread that’s now being retired — March 3, 2014.

 
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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.

314 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? March 26, 2014 edition

  1. avatar LM says:

    So far there are 0 comments to the Billings Gazette article.
    I was not able to post the link to the article by, KATHRYN QANNAYAHU on The Wildlife News, March 4, 2014

    http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/03/09/when-the-science-doesnt-validate-your-position-cherry-pick-your-own/

    Maybe someone else should try.

  2. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Setting the story straight about Margaret McDonald’s huge grizzly

    “No two storytellers will recount a tale the same.
    Such is the case with the story of Margaret McDonald and the grizzly bear she shot while she was alone one night at the Silver Tip Ranch, just north of Yellowstone National Park, in the spring of 1964.”

    Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/setting-the-story-straight-about-margaret-mcdonald-s-huge-grizzly/article_e9f6d0ca-0f24-58bc-97cb-4674270c6d75.html#ixzz2x9Tzc5q9

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Wonder what would of happened if she’d just fired a couple of warning shots over his head?

  3. avatar Nancy says:

    There is nothing worse than having 2-4 fighter jets come zinging over a hilltop when you least expect it. Can only imagine what these war games will do to the wildlife in that area, let alone the human population.

    “Bombers using the area would release missile-distracting flares and radar-fooling clouds of chaff on a regular basis. War games involving other aircraft could also take place overhead every three months. The proposal would also allow the Air Force to break the sound barrier over U.S. soil for the first time in decades”

    Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/montanans-not-getting-a-fair-chance-to-comment-on-bomber/article_34773971-28b7-558e-ae10-8252e7110dcd.html#ixzz2xA1Pu9yw

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      This is terrible – when are we going to stop with the oil spills and either making war or preparing for war? What is wrong with us? The Navy is banging around the ocean floor playing with sonar too.

  4. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Today is the last day to post comments to the USFWS regarding a national delisting of wolves
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073-43030

    On another note,
    I just noticed on the home page of USFWS
    A subtitle stating, Conserving the Nature of America… with a big text block below it that shows a duck hunter aiming a gun at a duck with a bold headline, Find Your Perfect Hunt. Surreal. I don’t remember that image or title in the recent past. it looks like new graphics more in keeping with Jewell’s policies and support that seem hell bent on ass kissing sportsmen and hunters while ignoring the “non consumptive” population.

    On yet another note, the expansion of hunting and fishing in wildlife refuges is now apparently official as well. I don’t remember seeing a comment period for that and i was looking too. if anyone can point me to that I’d appreciate it.

    What is it about the word refuge that Ashe and Jewell don’t understand. I thought it meant safe harbor. I think this sucks.

    Service Announces 2014 Expansion of Hunting, Fishing Opportunities in Refuge System

    “March 5, 2014
    Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the agency will expand hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System, opening up new hunting programs on six refuges and expanding existing hunting and fishing programs on another 20 refuges. The rule also modifies existing refuge-specific regulations for more than 75 additional refuges and wetland management districts. The Service manages its hunting and fishing programs on refuges to ensure sustainable wildlife populations, while offering traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands.”

    Finally this. Under Salazar and Jewell hunter participation increases. Imagine that. Jamming the idea that hunting is conservation at every opportunity down our throats. I felt like the last 8 years have been a continuous push by the USFWS to up hunter numbers instead of letting the trend continue in its downward motion.
    I’d sure like to see more wildlife and less guns on public lands and would have liked to have had the chance to comment!

    Wildlife agencies are out of whack

    Hunter, Angler Participation Sees Gains, According to Service Five-Year Survey

    March 5, 2014
    “Participation in hunting, angling and wildlife-associated recreation showed a 3-percent increase from 2006 to 2011, with the increase primarily among those who fished and hunted, according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The survey is conducted every five years by the Service and the Census Bureau. Hunters, anglers and many other people who enjoy wildlife-related outdoor recreation also contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, according to the survey, which noted that more than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011.”

    • avatar WM says:

      Louise,

      ++What is it about the word refuge that Ashe and Jewell don’t understand. I thought it meant safe harbor. I think this sucks. ++

      Ah, come on Louise. Guess you just need to look at the federal enabling legislation for “wildlife refuges.” Don’t blame them, blame Congress (of course reflecting the will of the people, just like the ESA).

      http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/nwracts.html

      Here is a very important provision:

      Section 7(a)(l) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 as amended September 28, 1976, by P.L. 94-422 (16 USC 4601-9; 90 Stat. 1318) provides authority to use LWCF money for acquisition of refuge areas under paragraph (5) of section 7(a) of the 1956 Act.

      It is focused on acquisition and conservation of habitat and habitat improvement, as well as administration of it to meet various objectives.

      States, of course, determine hunting and fishing seasons in conjunction with the purposes for which EACH refuge was created (and there are a fair number on which these activities are not allowed).

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        WM you leave out some important considerations 1) the uses of the land under the Refuge Act should be compatible with the purpose of the refuge as established. 2) nor did I see any conservation plans submitted for the new areas opened to hunting 3) to open up additional refuges without public comment does not follow the spirit or intent of the law that wildlife refuges retain a “a strong and singular wildlife conservation mission” 4) without a conservation plan or studies how does the Secretary of the Interior know that additional hunting will “maintain the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of the Refuge System” These were all components of the 1997 amendment to the original law. I don;t think a board sweeping decision to open additional refuges is fair without public input and studies as required by law nor do I think it follows the spirit of the law.

  5. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Can someone answer this for me – the Izembek National Forest road in Alaska – is there such a risk to wildlife for a road, especially with an exchange for more protected land? Is there a risk that someday it could become ATV and poacher-ridden, or that a ten-lane highway could be in the future? It just seems questionable that shooting the crap out of wolves and continued development for humans to recreate is the order of the day in the lower 48’s wildernesses, but not an emergency road for people?

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      It’s only a ten-mile road! Is there more than meets the eye here such as mineral rights?

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        This is what keeps the environmental movement in a bad light to the general public IMO – is a ten-mile, gravel road to get people to the hospital in an emergency such a bad thing? Especially since it is looking more and more likely that we are going to be delisting grizzlies in the lower 48, shooting the sh*t out our wolves and coyotes, nd exempting windfarms from protecting our iconic and endangered birds for 30 years? It really makes no sense. How do we expect children to get out and see wildlife and wilderness if it will only be in the most remote corners of Alaska?

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/26/alaskans-battle-for-survival-against-feds-protecti/

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Improvements on the airstrip next to the town would actaully be cheaper than the 10 mile gravel road. I side with Jewell on this one. There’s a tend of ‘traumatocracy’ here that bothers me…

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I don’t know about cheaper to medflight people – and it’s dependent upon weather. At any rate, why so protective in Alaska but careless about Frank Church? They are offering 60,000 acres in a land swap. Methinks it has more to do with oil and gas drilling than birds.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              At first glance, it does sound like a bad idea. But I wonder if putting aside 61,000 protected acres is the real problem:

              So the mayor of King Cove and the head of the regional government, the Aleutians East Borough, proposed that the state and native governments swap 61,000 undeveloped acres for the crucial right-of-way controlled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

              http://www.sfgate.com/green/article/Foes-say-hidden-agenda-behind-road-in-refuge-3262272.php

              Sally Jewell says she’s ‘listening to the animals’ on this decision. She sure as hell isn’t listening to the wolves in Idaho, or the wild horses in Nevada though.

              I doubt that keeping out a little 9 or 10 mile gravel road will deter energy companies if they want to get in there.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                And in more recent news, again, hunting interests trump all. Protecting wildlife so that hunters can kill them:

                http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1413in-battle-over-king-cove-road-both-sides

              • avatar WM says:

                Ida,

                Before you go any more bonkers on this “gravel road to life” issue, you really ought to look at the location of King Cove, AK, on Google Earth. It is way out in the middle of nowhere on the AK Peninsula, at the west flank of the Gulf of AK. And, if I recall there is a lot of opposition to “urbanization” in wild places. We talk about it all the time on this forum, and I think you are one of the biggest proponents of “let’s keep things wild.” Just what do you think putting a road through the middle of a wildlife refuge is (regardless of whether hunting is allowed)? Talk about hypocritical.

                Maybe an Environmental Assessment that looks comprehensively at the issue – including meaningful alternatives – would be in order. And, didn’t Congress already say no, once, reflecting the will of the people?

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        “Is there more than meets the eye.” DRINKING, yes, drinking. I the spent the summer of 74 in Cold Bay and flew over Izembek every day. King Cove is dry Cold ay is wet. Later, when I have more time I will explain more. I do know that area of Alaska well.

        • avatar Elk375 says:

          Ida and others: here is a link to the current discussion on 24 hour campfire about that road, many different opinions. My opinion if people want to live in the wilderness then they should except that lifestyle if the they want the benefits of a city move to a city.

          http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/8389196/Izembek_Refuge_Land_Swap_Road_#Post8389196

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Elk, 900 or so people and a gravel road hardly a city make.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Also, it is an ancestral homeland and a way of life for these people. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, Idaho!

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            Although I haven’t been out there in decades, the entire Alaska Peninsula is special to me. I remember my first trip out there at age 16, flying for hours with my face glued to the window of a Peninsula Airways Grumman Widgeon (piloted by Orin Seybert, who now has a big fleet of planes serving even the east coast of the US under the shortened name Penair). It really can be an uplifting experience for a young person with much of your life ahead just to lose yourself for an hour or two watching that much lush, pristine landscape roll by — hidden valleys with waterfalls, lakes, volcanoes, rivers, cinder blows, bands of caribou, brown bears gathered along streams like cattle down to water. We finally descended to a small, distant outpost where my older brother was waiting in his office by his sideband radio with a huge map of the Peninsula spread across the wall, as he commonly did for nearly 40 years. His first question was “Well, what do you think?” I couldn’t find words. There should always be a chance for a young mind to experience the peninsula that way. On the Alaska coast, our road is the ocean.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            well Elk we have agreed at least a couple of times despite all the times we do not! If there is anything that wrecks a place its a road. If these people choose to live out in the wilderness than they choose to do so and should not expect that wilderness areas be compromised. For once I agree with Jewell.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              The native Aleutians lived there before the Refuge was ever created. It is their right to live there. Some native peoples have been forced to live on reservations. It is only a ten- mile road, and why speculate on the ‘quality of the land’ in the land swap when you don’t know anything about it?

              Try that in the lower 48 and see how far you’d get, denying access to medical care. Maybe you’d have to have grown up in a remote, wintry fishing town to understand, instead of upper middle class white and liberal, whose idea of poverty (and the answer to it) is that fraud recently exposed on the Huffington Post!

              • avatar WM says:

                Well, Ida, if your idea of news reporting is the swill the Huffington Post produces, I think we have identified a problem source right there.

              • avatar wolf moderate says:

                What did they do in medical emergencies prior to roads and planes? If they want to live as there elders did have at it.

                I have lots of family that live in Alaska and know many natives up there. I will say that most like the lack of roads. Of course the lack of roads makes for some serious combat fishing on the Russian and kenai rivers. Its actually kind of fun.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Oh sure you do, WolfModerate. Who’s to know?

  6. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Just putting it out there for debate, WM, is all. Trying to compare it to what is going on in Idaho, in places like the Frank Church Wilderness, tars sands, megaloads, that sort of thing. If I’m wrong, I have no problem with that. Do you? I don’t see the problem with a 9 or 10 mile gravel road, when it will be a net gain for federal lands.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Ida its the quality of the land that will be sacrificed when a road goes through it. I don’t know the quality of the lands that are proposed as a swap but I’m betting the issue is more about retaining the qualities and conditions of the existing wilderness area. The land values amy be very different and despite the gain in acreage it may not make up for the loss or disruption of road going through as pristine a habitat as exists in a wilderness area. I’d be wary of anything to do with Murkowski as well one of my least favorite people.

  7. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    LOL, I’d back off on the insults, WM. Don’t assume I haven’t looked, read, researched, etc. Plus I admire Lisa Murkowski as a leader.

    • avatar WM says:

      Sorry, if you took my comment as an insult. It was not intended that way. I have not, however, seen you much in the role of a “throw it out there for debate” mode, absent your strong preferences.

      I am not so sure messing with this refuge with a foothold of access is not without its downside, once the issue is opened up – oil companies here they come?

      And, by the way, you do realize, Sally Jewell has nothing to do with the Frank Church wolf issue. The Frank Wilderness is part of the USDA National Forest system (that would be Vilsack and Sherman who oversee the FS Wilderness management policy). Currently we know the wolves in wilderness issue is in the court system for determination, so no policy decisions are likely in the interim.

      And, nobody in the FS wilderness issue is proposing land use changes (only policy over who manages wildlife there). Just thought I would point out a couple distinctions between the two. Again, not trying to insult, just provide some needed fact distinctions. 😉

      Also, Ida, regarding “native homelands” for indigineous peoples have a whole different context in AK after passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), creating huge, asset rich, native American corporations – the Aleuts in this instance – and by the way they are in the oil exploration business, among other things. http://aleutcorp.com/corporation/our-companies

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I didn’t realize ‘bonkers’ was benign complimentary. Silly me. Anyway, I’d trust native development over non-native any day of the week. We haven’t got the greatest track record.

        • avatar WM says:

          Oh, I don’t know Ida. There is a lot of middle ground between an insult and “benign complimentary.

          And, be careful giving out accolades to AK native corporations, they can be as bad as some of the others. Some of these corporations have gotten special treatment by the federal government for services ranging from high-tech security to mopping floors, all without competing against other businesses, in some instances (assuring profit to the shareholder/tribal members and their subcontractors). Many of these are not small contracts – hundreds of millions of $$$$. Here are a couple examples for you to chew on while you think about that statement (Google the terms “Alaska native corporation + fraud” and you will find more):

          http://www.adn.com/2013/07/12/2972964/contract-fraud-entangling-alaska.html

          http://www.propublica.org/article/rampant-fraud-self-dealing-alleged-in-alaska-native-corporation

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            But in all fairness, there really isn’t much there to develop – an island chain where the people subsist as they have for ages, and the main employer is a fish processing plant, so people would have every incentive to want to disturb it as little as possible. If oil companies are intent on it, there isn’t much to stop them, and this tiny little road isn’t going to help them much, just my opinion.

            But it is interesting, how Jewell and F&W would protect this area, but everywhere else is up for grabs.

            King Cove, located 600 nautical miles (1,000 km) SW of Anchorage at the end of the Alaska Peninsula is home to PeterPan Seafoods’ largest processing facility. King Crab, bairdi and opilio tanner crab, pollock, cod, salmon, halibut and black cod harvested in both the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska are processed throughout the year. The plant, with origins back to the early 1900s, has the largest salmon canning capacity of any plant in Alaska. All five species of salmon are abundant in the waters nearby King Cove. Salmon still remains a major part of the annual operation but in recent years the plant has expanded and streamlined whitefish operations. The plant produces several different product forms including pollock fillet block, shatterpack fillets, mince and surimi. Cod shatterpack fillets and salt cod are mainstays. At peak seasons, both winter and summer, nearly 500 employees man the operation. King Cove’s economy depends almost completely on the year-round commercial fishing and seafood processing industries. The PeterPan Seafoods’ facility is one of the largest cannery operations under one roof in Alaska. 76 residents hold commercial fishing permits. Income is supplemented by subsistence activities.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Cove,_Alaska

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          Really? You think Russians are corrupt? Check out Fort Bertold.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      OK now I am baffled Ida. Murkowski admired. She is no friend to wild lands or wildlife.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        ida check out the league of conservation voters assessment of Murkowski
        http://scorecard.lcv.org/moc/lisa-murkowski
        She consistently votes against regulations designed to protect wilderness, wildlife and natural resources and supports drilling, offshore drilling and opening up ANWAR etc. what do you admire about her? Just wondering

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Jewell is a complete and utter disappointment to me, as is President Obama, regarding the environment.

          In this case, a small gravel road linking people to better access to medical care and limited by law, is a bad way for Ms. Jewell to take an environmental stand when in the lower 48 anything goes. It’s this kind of thinking that gives environmentalists a bad name in my opinion, that perpetuates the myth that environmentalists don’t care about human welfare. It only discourages people who might want to protect wildlife from doing so, if they think we don’t care about people.

          What I admire about her is that while I don’t (usually) agree with her ideology, I do respect that she is a strong leader and not part of the boys club. In this case, I agree with her and stand with the Aleutian people. I hardly think this little road is going to harm the environment, and it is especially ludicrous when you consider what Obama and Jewell are doing to the environment in the lower 48. They are no friends to wilderness either. A moderate Republican can help. I don’t think ANWR should be opened up to drilling, but I hardly think this little road will do that.

          I don’t believe in strict party loyalty, although I have waxed and waned on it. But I don’t recognize the Democratic party lately and I’m disgusted with the Democrats at the moment. Jon Tester opened the door to this wolf mess, in case you have forgotten.

          I haven’t been to Alaska but my husband has been to remote areas. I’d love to go.

  8. avatar Rich says:

    Ida,

    With all due respect, regarding building roads, where will it end? Seems like there is always a reason to pave paradise.

    “To build a road is so much simpler than to think of what the country really needs.”
    Aldo Leopold, Marshland Elegy, 1937

  9. avatar Mark L says:

    Ida,
    You DO understand what’s at the end of that 9 mile gravel road, right? Why is 1 so much different from the other? If politicians wanted, they’d upgrade the one next to the village. Why haven’t they?
    Follow the money. Trust no one, apparently.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I do understand. I understand that the native people’s needs, as usual, don’t seem to count. We’ve got wilderness bisected, trisected, quadrisected, ad nauseam in this country, and this isn’t the only road there, no. But it is self-limiting not only by law, but by the landscape there. It’s similar silliness to the Keystone Pipeline – pipelines criss-crossing the nation, but this one everyone chooses to take a stand on. It won’t ever end, and we are foolish to think it will end. But don’t make a small, remote town the place to prove your point.

      • avatar WM says:

        Ida,

        I’ll back off after this comment, but you do realize a good portion of the Izembek Refuge is designated WILDERNESS (in 1980 under ANILCA), yes?

        I don’t know exactly where this road would go relative to the areas within Wilderness (300,000 of 315,000 acres is designated), but it certainly can’t help wilderness character, you know, that “untrodden by man” idea. How does a gravel road help wilderness character, Ida?

        http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=74520

        Even better yet heroes of some here, including former Secretary of Interior, Bruce Babbitt. wrote a letter opposing it.

        And, there was, in fact, an EIS on the road (which I wasn’t aware of when writing an earlier comment suggesting an EA/EIS would be useful).

        Ida, read this:

        http://refugeassociation.org/new-publications/Izembek.html

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          I read what Mr. Babbit wrote, and I disagree. The fishing company has no plans to use this road (even if they did, would it be so bad to make a living?), and it is strictly going to be used for transport to the airport, nothing more. It isn’t going to be paid for by federal tax dollars, but alternatives will be.

          A small gravel road is not going to harm the wilderness character, and is the most economical, ethical and simplest solution to getting people to and from. Ever tried to travel by boat on rough seas during winter? People in my town drowned and sometimes were never recovered. There were plenty of roads built during WWII before the Refuge was created, and which are now being used for hunters. Why can’t a few native people have one to get to an airport for medical care? I think you are right WM when you said Sally Jewell will have face time for native rights, but like many before her, will actually do nothing.

          I’m shocked that some callous people would say ‘move to a more developed area’. Native people have been ‘moved’ from their homes all over this nation ever since Europeans arrived. They have a right to live where they want to, to maintain their culture and values, and not to be further assimilated into ‘the Borg’.

          • avatar Yvette says:

            Ida, I’ve not had time to read about or follow this Alaska road in the wilderness issue. It sounds intriguing. I have a good friend that years ago gave me a little metaphor that I’ve used ever since: “They’ll choke on a gnat trying to swallow an elephant”.

            If I get a breather this weekend I’m going to read about this road.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              I hadn’t really looked into it either, except for headlines, until recently. Except now it seem a little disingenuous with all that’s been going on with wilderness and wildlife and oil transport in the Lower 48! So I took another look at it. It seems more about divisive party politics than anything else.

              WM, I’ve started to find HP mind-numbing.

          • avatar WM says:

            OK, so I will respond since you opened a new topic, “assimilation into the ‘Borg.'”

            You might read some about the Alaska native corporations formed under federal legislation (ANSCA and ANILCA). At least for AK natives/now shareholders and employees of their native corporations, just like the ones on Wall St. These are multi-million dollar corporations, with contracts with federal agencies like NASA, NSA, EPA and DOD. They have high tech subsidiaries that are as sophisticated as their contemporaries. These people haven’t been “moved” and are actually in a lot better economic place than many of their non-native contemporaries by acts of Congress. They could still be living ONLY subsistence lives, no jobs, no health care, no elder care, no electricity, no TV, no computer/internet, no ATV, no pick-up, no central heat of any sort except wood in their homes (but they aren’t). Living the rustic lifestyle at a subsistence level is a romantic notion, but not realistic in the face of a changing world. OK, culture destroyed, but part of that is by choice, and another part forced upon them by human progress.

            I don’t feel sorry for them so much (although there is this persistent guilt complex that pervades Congress, the media and Hollywood), and neither should you, except through ignorance and romanticism (sorry that WAS intended as an insult, just so ya know).

            http://www.ncai.org/tribal-directory/alaska-native-corporations

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              I don’t think for these particular people, that scenario is the case. For others, I say good on them if they are doing well.

              I don’t think any culture loss is by choice, when the dominant culture forbade speaking of their native language, and took them out of their homes and from their families to be raised. Today, the dominant culture and media overwhelms.

              I don’t feel I have any especially romantic notions. Where I am, for the native people who are left, only 5 people speak their native language.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Ida Im not exactly sure why this is such a bee in your bonnet but I think it would be a sin to add any roads here. As Wm pointed out, the character of a wilderness place will change irrevocably when a road is added. I don’t know the health of the eelgrass beds here but having spent a great deal of time working on restoration projects involving seagrass (zostera marina the species in this wilderness area and the type we have in the northeast), I can tell you that the biggest threat seagrass beds face is nutrification and or sedimentation caused by runoff. Roads cause run off. Sea grass beds act as nurseries for juvenile fish, shellfish and support wading and other birds as well as marine mammals. I’ve been really fortunate to do some drysuit snorkeling with a very prominent sea grass scientist, the crazy beauty of intact seagrass beds rivals any other habitat I’ve seen. The estuary here looks like its a vital productive nursery for Bering Sea species like cod, pollock and probably flatfish like halibut. You’ve got me intrigued to read more but I’d have to say that I can’t think of one instance I’d support a road into any public lands… wilderness or not. It’s actually a sore subject with me, as my husband can attest. There are so many beautiful areas nearby including the national seashore lands, a big state park with many lakes and lots of shutdown overgrown fire roads that criss cross with town conservation lands. Every so often a busy body town group led by a bored retiree gets together to create public access to some intact beautiful remote area, in palace that I have loved forever. The next thing you know, a big footbridge goes up or those goofy interpretive signs with a picture of an oak tree on it, or they cut a road and parking lot down to a great location so that people can reach the lake or hiking trail… and its wrecked. I make myself crazy bitching about it. These projects usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, ruin the character of the place and allow too many people to drive up to a special landing, beach or secluded wood that they would not have gone to because they would not walk in. I don’t want to see signs, roads or any sign of people when I go into an area to hike. In Alaska especially, I like to think that there are places that are remote enough that wild animals can have some respite from roads and people on them and that the people that enter are probably the kind that “tread lightly”.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            The reason it has bee in my bonnet is because of what’s been happening in the Frank Church Wilderness lately. WM doesn’t seem to mind the character change leaving lead bullets behind makes, or disturbing it to make it more convenient for hunting elk, or F&W’s ‘science’ about managing predator populations. That’s why I’m harping on this. In that particular instance, birds and other animals such as bear are hunted regularly, so they don’t get a respite, and it is hardly untrammeled. Even birdwatchers and hikers disturb the place.

            The refuge actively promotes the area’s world-class waterfowl hunting opportunities and has some of the highest daily sport hunting bag limits anywhere – six Canada geese, two black brant, eight puddle ducks, and 15 sea ducks. That’s 31 birds per day, per hunter. The ptarmigan limit is another 20 birds per day.

            Does a gravel road create as much runoff? I thought that was a better option.

            I don’t think that in the future there will be any place they have respite.

            So, I’ll say it again, that’s why I’m harping on this – our government’s double standard, and Democrats at that. There’s got to be a better answer somewhere and better leadership somewhere.

  10. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    What did they do prior to roads? They probably died. We don’t have to put up with that in our modern world, especially for the sake of a measly 11-mile, gravel road.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Ida – a blog on the subject (Glitch had some good comments)

      http://www.city-data.com/forum/alaska/1790470-feds-side-whackos-over-alaskans-lives-2.html

      I’m not for the road given the millions it will cost to build and maintain, especially in the winter months. Would rather see the money spent on a good trauma unit in the town for medical emergencies. As someone put it, if you can’t fly out or in because of the weather, is the road going to be a better route to Cold Bay where you STILL might not be able to fly out of, because of the weather? Work out something with the Coast Guard, they fly in all sorts of weater.

      Plus I think there’s more going on here than meets the eye.

      I live in a town of about 100 people, we have a volunteer fire dept. with EMS but I’m still 30 minutes away from a hospital, on good paved roads. Could be airlifted depending on the emergency but that wouldn’t be an option if the weather was bad. Most of the small towns in this area face the same situation when it comes to emergencies.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        The only pesky thing I can think of is that there was a road, or access, before the Refuge was created (and which was created without consulting the people of King Cove). An easement should have been built in? Driving in bad weather is more doable and safer than flying, IMO.

        People shouldn’t have the stress of waiting for the Coast Guard airlift, and the Coast Guard personnel shouldn’t be put at risk all the time either. Plus I imagine it is very expensive. I don’t think it is feasible to build a clinic in a town of 900. It’s as bad as building a home in a fire-prone area and expecting firefighters to risk their lives over and above the call of duty all the time, except that these people aren’t choosing to live in a dangerous area, just want a small, restricted access road that connects with other roads already in existence. I don’t think it will harm the birds or the eelgrass. Most islands have a causeway or access of some sort.

        I go birding at an island that is a big stopover for migrating birds (we have Atlantic brandts and it’s where I saw the Snowy Owl), and they don’t seem to be harmed by at least ten times the amount of people visiting. The island is now uninhabited and part of a sanctuary.

        Most of all, I worry that this is perpetuating the idea that ‘wildlife isn’t as important as people’ and turns people off to wildlife conservation. Both are important, and can’t a compromise be worked out?

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          I guess what I’m getting at with all of this is: why, when a resident of Salmon, ID say “Jump!” F&W asks “How High?” but yet they won’t consider helping out this little town in Alaska because dreaded special interests might be behind it all? We’ve heard that the reason is Idaho’s poverty, etc., but we know special interest drive these decisions in the Rocky Mountain West, such as ranching, hunting, gun lobby.

          Is it simply party politics? Why was it OK to trade wolves for a Democratic Senate seat in Montana but not birds in Alaska? (Not that I would trade either one). These inconsistencies are nagging.

          It took President Obama four years to even say the words’climate change’ in public, and he’s delaying a Keystone pipeline decision. Thank God he and Jewell will be out in 2016.

  11. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    The best assessment yet I’ve read about the new view of the Interior’s responsibilities. Profiles in trammelling:

    Given the tenor of the times, getting funding from Congress means creating jobs, not serving the mission the jobs are supposed to carry out.

  12. avatar Louise Kane says:

    not exactly wildlife news but interesting movie project or I should say movie looking for funding for completion on Citizen’s United decision. I think Citizen’s United is perhaps one of the most dangerous judicial decisions ever made
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1849636481/citizens-united-the-movie-day-one-shoot

  13. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.indystar.com/longform/news/investigations/2014/03/27/buck-fever-intro/6865031/

    breeding deer for antlers and then hunting them in high fenced enclosures – all of this kind of hunting is unethical and usually entails cruelty

    • avatar Nancy says:

      This indepth article on factory farming of wildlife for heads, is depressing and scary Louise.

      I wonder if any of the big organizations like RMEF and Safari Club International are addressing it?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Nancy, at first I could not believe what I was reading, but then again things are so out of hand in every aspect of wildlife management it was not that surprising. George wrote that great story a short time ago questioning why hunters don’t call out the bad eggs. I think the bad egg is a much more odiferous presence than most people are comfortable believing. The never-ending stream of documents, websites, Facebook sites, and destructive legislation coming from the states illustrate how pervasive practices like penning, baiting, trapping, and now factory farming of wildlife for heads (as above)is. It’s mind blowing to to think about because states manage wildlife. That think is the biggest problem. The more I think about it, I believe that a federal scheme that protects wildlife is needed. The whole system is a mess. Its a patchwork of laws that does nothing to protect wildlife and whole ecosystems. Its disruptive and stupid not manage wild animals and their habitats as whole ecosystems. As has been stated her many times in the past, wildlife do not respect or understand borders. Anyhow, I liked Mareks comment, “that shit is epic”. If you look at how really corrupt wildlife management is and what happens out there it is epically corrupted. Why would an organization like Rocky Mountain Elk do anything? They already push for predator free “elk farms” on public lands and Safari Club International fights tooth and nail against any form of legislative interference in hunting rights, no matter how extreme, indefensible or inhumane. They are a group of powerful trophy hunters and when you get down to it trophy hunting is all about getting a head on your wall. The people in this story who are factory farming wildlife are helping those that want bigger heads on their walls to achieve that now that the biggest heads are not as readily available. The reluctance to criticize is probably based in a fear that criticizing bad practices will create a momentum that will tumble the whole house of cards. Then again who in this country dare question the second amendment right to use any means possible to kill wildlife. I mean really where would hunting be without semi automatic rifles, suppressors, baiting, hounding, trapping and snaring? Don’t F with American’s twisted version of the second amendment and the mindset of I’ll carry whatever I want whenever and whereever I want and kill whoever I want whenever I want. Sarcasm intended. The whole thing is sick

        • avatar JB says:

          Louise:

          I think you have a very distorted perspective of what wildlife managers believe. I travel to at least two wildlife conferences every year and regularly work with managers, and I have yet to hear anyone who works for a state or federal agency say anything positive about game farms. Most fear game farms as the first step toward privatization of wildlife. Here (below) is an article that attempts to detail perspectives on game farming and wildlife ranching (different endeavors). Despite their attempt at balance, the article is still relatively negative toward these practices. (I worry that you, Jon and Ida may be constructing beliefs about wildlife management that are simply factually inaccurate.)

          Commentary: Wildlife ranching in North America— arguments, issues, and perspectives

          Matthew J. Butler†,*, Andrew P. Teaschner‡,*, Warren B. Ballard§,* andBrady K.

          “Abstract: The term “wildlife ranching” has been used to describe many commercial activities associated with wildlife recreation and products. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of 2 of those activities: fee-hunting and wildlife farming and husbandry. Perhaps the greatest advantage of fee-hunting programs is economic return to the private landowner, which, in turn, provides the landowner incentive and resources to conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. The greatest drawback is privatization of the North American wildlife resource. Many individuals from the general public as well as professional wildlife biologists fear that commercial activities associated with wildlife recreation and products ultimately will allow a shift from public to private ownership of wildlife, resulting in diminished public interest in wildlife. The advantages of wildlife farming and husbandry include greater productivity of food animals, healthy alternative food sources, product diversification, and economic gains to private landowners. Because wildlife farming and husbandry activities typically focus on exotic big game, many drawbacks have been suggested. Drawbacks include disease introduction, competition and hybridization with native wildlife, range degradation, and pest problems. However, adequate research in many of those areas is lacking. Ultimately, wildlife is a product of the land, subsidized at the expense of the private landowner. Perhaps revenues from wildlife ranching can provide positive incentives to private landowners, resulting in increased wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation and preservation.”

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            JB not to be disrespectful, but providing one example of a published paper that examines the advantages and disadvantages of wildlife ranching within the familiar paradigm of wildlife management does not adequately address many of the issues that my post was concerned with.

            The summary of the paper you provided weighs the issue of wildlife ranching from a largely economic perspective which is one of the issues I have a problem with. Considerations in wildlife management are often centered on the economic outcome of a particular action or rule making or in response to heavy handed anti predator pressure.
            The authors argue, ” Perhaps revenues from wildlife ranching can provide positive incentives to private landowners, resulting in increased wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation and preservation.” This to me is akin to the idea that canned hunts for endangered species like the black rhino promote conservation. I don’t buy it. Canned hunting, penning and hounding often involve cruelty and suffering that i find intolerable. In any event, this article doesn’t provide persuasive evidence that wildlife management is not in need of an overhaul.

            I appreciate how experienced and knowledgable you are but to argue that your trips to conferences and discussions with wildlife managers exemplify the majority mindset is overly simplistic. You wrote that “I am constructing facts about wildlife management (era) that are simply not true.” I think you are ignoring some real and frightening trends in management as well as in practices that are now called hunting.
            Wildlife managers steadfastly claim that the North American Model of Conservation guides wildlife management practices. Yet that model has not proved to be a good one for managing predators and non-game animals. Still wildlife management agencies cling to this model resisting adaptive management strategies that might integrate nuanced predator prey and non lethal techniques into their management tools. Why is this so? I think there is good evidence that many agencies cling to outdated, archaic methods or prominently utilize financial considerations in their application of the law and rule making processes over and above considerations of the general public and or welfare of balanced ecosystems. The practices may make many hunters happy but are sorely lacking in other respects.

            The corruption of wildlife agencies I refer to is two part, corrupted meaning broken and corrupted also meaning dishonest. I do not mean any disrespect to individual wildlife specialists but speak more about the system as a whole.

            To get back to the idea that your evidence is more conclusive than mine, It would be nice if science, if proof were always conclusive yet, anecdotal evidence always drives individual beliefs to a certain extent. I can also argue that I have witnessed events firsthand that support my contention that wildlife management is corrupted. I recently led a volunteer effort to count and catalogue public comment in MI. We uncovered the Michigan DNR director directing his staff to trash thousands of “pro wolf” public comments. I have read several states’ catalogues of comments and seen that the preponderance of them do not support their wolf policies. I know of at least one scientist studying carnivores that has been blocked from receiving a research permit for years because of his pro-predator support and views. I routinely follow and comment on predator killing contests and find that wildlife managers provide inconsistent responses to the sponsors or these events even when BLM or other public lands have rules against commercial events. This information and my experience directs my perceptions just as your experiences and research direct yours.

            I suppose you could rightly argue that some of my thinking about wildlife management may be very divergent but I also have valid and direct evidence to support my beliefs. Penning, trapping, snaring, wildlife killing contests are all activities that are very disturbing to me and I don’t believe they are sustainable or defensible.

            I’d like to know whether you would label state wildlife management agencies that classify predators as vermin, obstruct scientists from research, permit killing contests, excessive trapping, snaring, hounding, baiting and calling and largely ignore public sentiment and science as broken?

            Please post some recent literature (“that would qualify as best available science” ) supporting these actions.

            • avatar JB says:

              Louise:

              I agree with you anecdotes are not enough. How about the official policy of The Wildlife Society–the professional society that certifies wildlife biologists?

              If you go to the TWS’s website, you’ll find a page with policy statements: http://www.wildlife.org/policy/position-statements. You’ll note that there is a statement on the “Confinement of Wild Ungulates within High Fences” which (in part) reads:

              “The policy of The Wildlife Society with respect to ungulate confinement is to:

              1. Recognize the serious biological (diseases, genetic effects, etc.) and social (public versus private ownership of wildlife, ethics) issues associated with confinement of wild ungulates.

              2. Oppose any additional conversion of the public’s native wildlife to private ownership via high-fenced enclosures.

              3. Oppose high-fenced enclosures, regardless of size, if they exclude free-ranging native wildlife from critical seasonal habitats or migration routes, or jeopardize the sustainability of free-ranging native wildlife.”

              You’ll also find position statements on this page that generally oppose oil and gas development in the Rockies and baiting and feeding of game animals (among others).

              Certified wildlife biologists (the folks who work for agencies) are the heart of the institution of wildlife management. However, the institution is ultimately a part of government, and so there is no way to separate politics from the process–indeed, decision makers are usually appointed directly by elected officials and answerable to those elected officials. The example you provide with the MI Director is a case-in-point. The people who make the decisions are politicians (or appointed by them). So rail against politics all you like, but your post (above) falsely accuses the whole institution of being corrupt–an accusation I know to be false.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            http://www.thisishopethebook.com/inevitable-persecution-wolves-wildlife-managers/

            I agree with most of what this blooger has written….most not all

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Louise,

              Wildlife managers MNDNR, are conducting “listening sessions” with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) throughout the state. In wolf country, they are turning into bitch sessions about wolves killing all the deer. This after two wolf hunting trapping seasons, last years prolonged Winter, and this years severe (WSI between 180 and 200). One about an hour away, I believe Tuesday evening, might go if roads not icy… DNR anticipating another wolves are killing… About the only thing David Mech has said/hoped that is proving completely false is that perhaps wolf seasons might serve as a pressure release. Seems the exact opposite has occurred.

              Around here, quite a few does with fawns of last year. No bucks. Got them coming to cabin almost everyday, and stressed maple I am taking down have deer on the few shoots with buds almost as soon as the tree falls.

              I have a breeding pair of wolves in the vicinity. Time of year is with us as I have observed blood in urine at spot wolves frequently post. They sure aren’t killing all the deer.

              A friend who works for the county forestry dept says about the only thing that will bring back deer and for that matter moose up here are some truly large fires. More deer, however, is not necessarily good for moose as deer do bring Brainworm, apparently liver flukes, and with their numbers buffer the wolf population.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                I agree that the exact opposite has happened since wolves have been hunted and I think its partly indicative of a changing set of mores and wildlife agencies that don’t want to upset the status quo and take a stand against or ban irresponsible policies. I hope MN turns out to be different and that the agency listens to public input. Most people in MN seem to be very tolerant of wolves. I hope you are able to make it to the meeting.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Just when you think you’ve seen how low people can sink, something lower is unearthed. What’s scary to me is that this unrestrained hunting and killing is not at all sustainable in the present or the future, we’ve got so many people and so few animals. For example, the bottom is going to fall out from wolf hunting very, very soon – but yet they’ll have made their ‘killing’ (those economic drivers of jobs and economic activity in communities across the country – but nevermind the ethics of how we do it) and move on to the next. We’re running into trouble already.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Just to answer Nancy’s question — not endorsing B&C — see this Facebook post:

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152741434194778&set=a.274628309777.187519.211465339777&type=1&theater

        (if you don’t do FB, it’s a photo of Theodore Roosevelt, with a message denouncing canned hunts.)

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Thanks for the link SAP. Thought this comment summed it up well:

          “There is heated passion on both sides of this debate – to hunt – pursue – as our ancestors did involved natural settings and things. Too often than not what is portrayed in hunting industry media by so called “pros” is simply not in a natural setting. BTW pro originated to mean “promotors” – not ego driven professional – as many self described media type use today. In the long term this type of “canned killing” will be to the detriment of the “hunter”

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Man,that shit is epic

  14. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/Grizzly-kill-014.html#cr

    canada, us, canada, us hmmm which country has the worst predator policies its a toss up maybe

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      It’s disappointing – I think it’s because Canada has been bitten by the oil profits bug.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      “A recent study by David K. Person, a wildlife scientist and expert on wolves and deer in southeast Alaska, says that continued old-growth logging on the island “will likely be the collapse of a sustainable and resilient predator-prey ecological community.”

      “That community includes deer, wolves, black bears and people,” the study says. “Because of pressures to sustain subsistence deer hunting as habitat is lost, there will be immense public and political pressure to kill wolves and bears.”

      I sure hope these wolves get protection
      look at that animal on the cover
      I can’t understand the desire to kill something like that. they are truly amazing creatures

  15. avatar Nancy says:

    Huh……and I thought there was an abundance of wolves the state of Alaska.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/webintra/wcnews/2014/releases/03-13-2014.pdf

    • avatar WM says:

      There is an “abundance” in AK, just not that one hunting unit. They hit their quote earlier than expected, apparently due to a mild winter. So, as with any good management program they closed it early. Often such closures, are labeled “emergency” which gets people’s attention, so they know of a closure. No big deal, and the remainder of AK is still open for wolf harvest as scheduled.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        wolf harvest I especially detest that term as applied to wolves with their close bonds to one another, cooperative hunting and living practices and intelligence. I wonder how well our families would do if members were randomly harvested. what an archaic response to stewardship of natural resources.

  16. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2014/03/nebraska-governor-stands-up-for-sportsmen-vetos-hunting-ban-2516300.html

    24 cougars in Nebraska and the Fish and Game dept. opens season on them. A bill makes it through to an hunting and the governor vetoes it. 24 cougars! what a mess the wildlife agencies are.

  17. avatar Yvette says:

    Finally. I finally hear some Natives from the region speaking out. He raises a good point, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, as the reason why the delisting of wolves was illegal. I’m not an attorney and don’t know if it was or wasn’t, but it is worth exploring. If the AIRFA has provisions that could stand the test of law to protect the wolves, and challenge the delisting isn’t it worth exploring? It would take a group of Native Americans to raise the legal challenge, but if there was collaboration with like minded NGOs maybe it could get somewhere. This could be done by individual Natives and wouldn’t take the support of a tribe and its leaders.

    Do you think support or collaboration with any of the NGOs could happen?

    http://www.kpax.com/videoplayer/?video_id=43155&categories=180%2C209%2C240%2C249%2C642%2C649

  18. avatar aves says:

    “Wild Predator Invasion” airs this week on PBS:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/wild-predator-invasion.html

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It should read ‘can we return apex predators to their natural environments without humans endangering them’. I do plan to watch – but even the coyote program had them in the prejudicial ‘schoolyard’ setting.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for posting Aves
      Its a shame the producer titled it Wild Predator Invasion. That word invasion shrieks yellow journalism. I suppose they have to capture attention any way they can. It would not have been good enough to use something more accurate like Returning Predators to the Wild.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Related is the fact that Oklahoma (a very seismically stable place) has more and more earthquakes every year now due to fracking.

      A swarm of quakes is occurring right now.

      http://www.wunderground.com/news/oklahoma-earthquake-swarm-felt-kansas-missouri-20140330

      “Earlier this month, a study confirmed that Oklahoma’s strongest recent earthquake, a damaging magnitude-5.7 quake in 2011 near Prague, was caused by wastewater injection related to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, a method of gas and oil extraction.”

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Ralph,
        I have friends who are dealing with this in their neighborhood in FL. A state with year round sunshine but little if any progress when it comes to making individual solar use affordable.

        http://www.gainesville.com/article/20131024/articles/131029743?p=1&tc=pg

        Thought this comment put it into perspective::

        “Who approves this stuff? The people have no voice in this country anymore. Energy companies are killing this state and the planet”

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Ugh. Plus wastewater disposal potentially could contaminate aquifers and drinking water. How foolhardy is this process? What happened in WA re ignoring potential disasters should be a wakeup call for everyone. I wish Sunbelt states and the West would take more advantage of rooftop and parking lot solar. It is HOT in a Southern CA parking lot at noontime.

          It reminds me of the famous line from the move There Will Be Blood (via the Teapot Dome scandal).

      • avatar Yvette says:

        Oh yeah, I felt several of those earthquakes and I live over 100 miles from the epicenter. One felt quite significant. It was strange to feel that wobble in your house and hear windows and dishes rattle. Then the cats started jumping and flying across the room. The 5.7 one freaked all of us. I felt one a few months ago, but it was little. One of my cats turned and looked at me like, ‘well, that was weird’, but no jumping and flying across the room.

  19. avatar Nancy says:

    Would “venture” a guess that Artic Cat, Ski-doo or Polaris, are backing this:

    http://www.newsdaily.com/article/c98b204896da4fb456d8a8f5bb3698a5/ventures-sees-alaska-from-difference-perspective

  20. avatar WM says:

    An interesting and almost counterintuitive view of D’s in Congress – who represents the wealthiest districts?

    http://news.msn.com/us/party-of-the-rich-in-congress-its-the-democrats

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Yeah, that is an eye opener. At first I wondered if they included middle America and the South, but as I kept reading I see they did. It does seem counterintuitive, and I wonder how they collected their data.

      However, let’s not forget that it was a democrat that attached the wolf delisting rider. Plus, it seems to me that the Obama administration has been awful for conservation and wildlife issues.

      I have almost zero faith or belief in any politician, regardless of what color his tie. But, at least the Democrats tend to not attract the far-out religiouscrats. This is cliche, but most of them are crooks, so I’d rather have a heretic crook than a crook that wants to legislate his religious beliefs. (can’t tell I’m in Oklahoma, ey?)

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I can’t stand either party. I feel that those who are turning a blind eye to what these pseudo-Democrats are doing are just hanging on to a sinking ship. I’m bailing. I wish we had an alternative. I can’t in good conscience stay with the Democratic party, and I live in the bluest-of-the blue states, where the criminals have more rights than the victims. There’s a convicted murderer fighting for his ‘right’ to a taxpayer funded sex change procedure, which a judge has ruled in favor of, because not to do it would be considered ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ under the 8th amendment of the Constutition!

  21. avatar Nancy says:

    “Please stop making our state look like backwards hillbillies who believe in fairy tales,” Alex Davis commented on Bryant’s website. “Keep your religious views out of the government.”

    http://www.newsdaily.com/article/c522d488d8296880885a011ab20c9ab2/south-carolina-legislator-seeks-to-give-god-credit-for-state-fossil

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read this stuff.

  22. avatar Harley says:

    Don’t know if anyone follows the wolves at the international Wolf Center. They lost one of the arctics. 14 years old, a respectable age for a wolf.

    http://www.wolf.org/wolf/malik/

    If you poke around the site, they have a nice video on his life there at the center. Some really cool stuff over all.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Yep, old Malik made both newspapers up here.

      • avatar Harley says:

        I kinda miss that exhibit pack. Shadow was really a very good leader. I started following them shortly after the first exhibit pack was retired. Lakota was one of my favorites. 🙂

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          The two young ones are neat. Luna is a bit of a bitch, but very striking. Boltz is a good looking wolf, and just a real goof.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      This is wonderful, thanks Harley! On one of the videos it said that Luna likes to watch television. 🙂

      • avatar Harley says:

        Yeah, those two youngsters are characters, that’s for certain! It’s been so cool watching them through the years.

    • avatar timz says:

      I took the a great photo of Malik standing on the welcome rock in 2003. Got licked in the face by him thru the fence, he forgot his mouthwash that day.

      • avatar Harley says:

        I admit, Grizzer was always my favorite but the arctics were always so beautiful, graceful. Some day I may actually get up to the Wolf Center, that would be pretty cool.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Awwwwww….:)

  23. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Just received this via email. The photographer is lucky he doesn’t have some injuries. http://m.koreus.com/video/wapiti-vs-photographe.html

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Quite the video Barb. Gentle head butting, looks like he really wanted to play with this human 🙂

      • avatar WM says:

        Nancy,

        It is possible though not real probable his antlers itched, and he was doing a little rubbing as they do to relieve it even after the blood rich velvet has gone off and they begin to harden.

        Much more probable (this was October), his testosterone level was on its way up, because this is breeding season – the rut- and he was looking to spar with another young bull, testing his strength against potential rivals in years to come. These youngsters don’t breed; only the big boys, but they are trying to find where they fit in the social hierarchy. I have seen the horned up big guys totally shred a two inch sapling in less than a minute.

        The very important thing most folks miss is that the antler tips are sharp, and with maybe a .25 square inch tip (the size of a small shirt button), is capable of delivering a thrust generating a force of several hundred pounds per square inch that would easily pierce that guy’s chest between ribs or abdominal cavity, or other vulnerable body part (mouth, nose or eye socket)with just a quick step or two forward with those powerful rear legs – had he wanted to. This guy was damn lucky! And the young bull was only doing what young bulls do that time of year.

        Look at this video at about 1:35 minutes in, and you will see some of the same behavior, and a representation of what these young spikes usually do. And this is very gentle compared to a lot of what occurs.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “Willfully approaching within 50 yards (150 feet), or any distance that disturbs or displaces elk, is illegal in the park. Violation of this federal regulation can result in fines and arrest. Do not enter fields to view elk—remain by the roadside and use binoculars, telephoto lens, or a spotting scope to view the animals”

          http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/elk.htm

          Perhaps a picture of this dead elk (and the reason why he had to die) should of been placed on the website or on a billboard at the entrance to the park, so people understand why its not a good idea to approach or allow elk to approach you.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, I remembered this story too. This photographer is very selfish, and obviously didn’t keep a safe distance, encouraging the animal.

            And of course, human nature being what it is, he rationalized away any responsibility for it – I think I read where he said he didn’t feel responsible. The Parks should really come down harder on this type of thing, not the animals behaving as they normally do. People are idiots, sometimes.

    • avatar Harley says:

      That… would not be my idea of a good time!

    • avatar timz says:

      They ended up killing that elk for aggressive behaviour

  24. avatar Salle says:

    First eagle chick starting to hatch! It’s very windy and the parent on the nest is rather agitated and getting up every five minutes or so and rolling the eggs around. One has an opening in the shell.

    • avatar Harley says:

      The wind in the midwest has been pretty strong the past 2 days. What a day to come into the world!

  25. avatar WM says:

    Further to a topic from the last thread, here is an update on a conflict involving WA state elk, a private landowner and her attempts to have some pesky ones removed by Yakama tribal members pursuant to asserted treaty rights on ceded lands (but now in private ownership). Misdemeanor charges dropped and criminal charges filed against landowner and the tribal members who shot the elk on private land, as the state of WA says elk on private land must be taken according to state regulated seasons – even by indigenous people with treaty rights. Another twist on this complicated inter-jurisdictional skirmish by sovereign nations.

    http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/yhr/tuesday/2061067-8/charges-refiled-against-kittitas-landowner-tribal-hunters

    • avatar Mark L says:

      “The Wildlife Department offers to help landowners with similar problems, but it requires an agreement to open up the property to some level of public hunting access, which McMeans does not want to do.”

      That should be interesting…

  26. avatar WM says:

    Correction: “… Misdemeanor charges dropped and FELONY charges filed…”

  27. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I think we are still heavy-handed in our dealings with Native people. Would this have happened with poaching? Usually it’s a light jail term if that, or a slap on the wrist and a ‘don’t do that again!” This is her private land. It almost as if we feel that if we ease up even the slightest, we’ll lose control. JMO. It is interesting.

    • avatar topher says:

      Apparently this was poaching.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      My opinion is they appear to be coming down with a heavy hand. It will be interesting to see how this progresses given there is also a lawsuit against the state in tribal court. It sounds like the state has a case since this happened outside of the tribe’s jurisdiction.

      The problem for the landowner is it’s the wrong species. If this were wolves, coyotes, cougars, or any other predator, the state of WA would have brought out the top guns, and would have spent whatever it takes to kill every last one of them. Just ask the Wedge pack. Oh, we can’t. Never mind.

  28. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    The latest predator control proposal — before gritting your teeth, understand that this one is not that cute but reasonably tasty. Pink salmon versus birds — the latest paper on the effect of burgeoning pink salmon numbers on the North Pacific ecosystem. The record (by far) 2013 North American pink return wasn’t included in their analysis.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140331-salmon-seabirds-pacific-fish-animals-science/

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/03/28/1319089111.abstract

  29. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Eat wild salmon to save the ocean? A seafood marketing dream may be the wave of the future.

    Some good news for a change!

  30. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Yesterday was April Fools Day.
    Just by coincidence, I collected a few wolf related 1st of April jokes from Europe and America.
    First, Flagstaff Az.: Alpha wolf pack sighted in Flagstaff. The city of Flagstaff has signed a federal agreement to become the first Wolf Sanctuary City in Arizona.
    http://azdailysun.com/news/local/alpha-wolf-pack-sighted-in-flagstaff/article_d5932aca-b95d-11e3-88cb-0019bb2963f4.html

    Next one from the UK: 9 Wolves from Norway released in Scotland. Farmers however need not worry, they will receive twice the market value for their losses and they need only to cut off the ears of the lost cow and sent it in to receive the money!
    http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/howling-in-the-cairngorms.23845206

    Last, from the press in Eastern Germany.
    A hunters organization known to be anti-wolf, admits, that they are of course pro-wolf and needs to polish its negative image somehow. Indeed, they had favourable experience with the wolves and therefore plan to release some brown bears in the area.
    http://www.mdr.de/sachsen/jaeger-wollen-braunbaeren-ansiedeln100_zc-f1f179a7_zs-9f2fcd56.html

    It´s amazing that these wolf trouble hotsports more and more find themselves victim of satire. Maye that´s the way to deal with them.

  31. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Council seals wolf/cow accord
    http://www.wmicentral.com/sports/recreation/council-seals-wolf-cow-accord/article_5b820448-b932-11e3-80a7-0019bb2963f4.html
    “The intent of the Coexistence Plan is to recognize that there are real economic consequences to livestock producers coexisting with wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to losses from livestock depredations, livestock producers incur costs from undetected depredations and changes in livestock behavior in response to wolf presence, which result in a reduction of livestock weight gain, reproductive rates, and meat quality, as well as increased costs tied to managing wolf/livestock interactions. The Coexistence Plan creates incentives for ranching in ways that promote self-sustaining Mexican wolf populations, viable ranching operations, and healthy western landscapes.”

  32. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    B.C. Grizzly Bear Hunt Opens With Highest Number Of Tags In Decades
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/01/bc-grizzly-bear-hunt_n_5072029.html

  33. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    The most trafficked mammal you´ve never heard of
    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/04/opinion/sutter-change-the-list-pangolin-trafficking/index.html?hpt=hp_c4
    It could go extinct before most people realize it exists.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      That is an incredible story Peter, thanks for posting. Sadly the description of the reasons for trafficking being played out in so many countries, health, aphrodisiacs, greed, poverty and ignorance. Interesting that this mammal may be a carnivore…wonder what evolutionary advantage it had in curling up. I guess if Pangolins actually eat ants and silk worm cocoons they don’t need many defense mechanisms and curling up could work. I hope the honey badger type video helps it to gain some recognition and perhaps more efforts and money to protect it.

  34. avatar W.Hong says:

    I wanted to thank the person who put the link up for thee eagles, I have been having fun watching this.

    • avatar Harley says:

      The eagle watching can be rather addictive! Kinda cool that they had the first egg hatch. A bit of triumph after such a difficult winter.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        W. Hong,
        I’d venture a guess that our species still has little knowledge available with regard to what other species go thru – in this day and age where we dominate too much of the landscape – to start and raise a family 🙂

  35. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Did anyone see the SC ruling that just came out. Anyone as freaked out by it as I am? Energy magnate Sean McCutcheon sued because he was limited to donating 123,000 per election to candidates, he sued to lift the cap and won. The Supreme Court decision on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission adds to the damage done by Citizen’s United. Now wealthy donors can spend up to $5.9 million on elections

    wow this is bad news.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      if I’m reading right now you can give as much in aggregate but are still limited to 2600 per candidate. Perhaps only silver lining is that instead of being funneled through PACs you can more easily see whats being donated. But what a tremendously bad decision.

  36. avatar timz says:

    According to today’s Idaho Statesman the US Fish & Wildlife Service is looking into the law creating the new Wolf Control Board in Idaho as a violation of the Pittman-Robertson and the Dingell-Johnson Acts. If found to be so Idaho would stand to lose millions from the feds.

  37. avatar Louise Kane says:

    lip

  38. avatar Harley says:

    The final entry for the winter study.

    http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/node/144

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      No hunting in the Park. Let the bison roam the way they always have. This is just more opposition to letting bison out of the park under the pretext of brucellosis.

      Lots of things were different long ago, but in today’s world adaptations and changes need to be made by humanity too.

      Also no guns at all in the park, is my feeling.

      The biggest threat I see is fracking and drilling. I wish that hunters, environmentalists, native tribes and ranchers would get together to keep these destroyers out, and restrict their access to beautiful lands and their inhabitants of every kind, that will never be the same again.

      How these ‘frackers’ got around the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and put the onus on the landowner to test water quality is beyond me. Must have twisted the arms of the favorite politicians?

  39. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Here’s some somewhart alraming news from Down Under via The Guardian in the UK. Australian government ministers and their bedfellows in industry are trying to legitimize the means to outlaw environmental boycotts and actions that encourage them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/02/coalition-review-of-consumer-laws-may-ban-environmental-boycotts

  40. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Any story behind the bighorn sheep shown in the heading for TWN? He looks ice covered.

    • avatar WM says:

      The letter from the Iron County Commissioners in UT, uses the BLM’s long overdue removal of Cliven Bundy’s private cattle in Bunkerville, Clark CO., NV. See letter included in the article. They say, if you are going to spend so much money remove them, then you ought to do the same for YOUR excess horses and burros in BLM care (good point, even if the Iron Co Commissioners meant it as a sort of backhanded slap in the face).

      This ought to give horse advocates or anti horse folks a continuing lesson in just how piss-poor the feds are as wildlife (or protected horse/burro) managers. They can’t manage range,or the cattle grazing on it, and they can’t manage bison or other wildlife. And, some here want them to manage even more species, including large carnivores even if they come off the ESA. My stomach turns every time I think of the national politics and shear lack of accountability (or budget resources to match statutory mandates) at the federal level which rivals what some folks think of certain Western states.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          WM – some interesting thoughts (facts?) on Iron County, Utah 😉

          http://badassconlawchick.blogspot.com/2014_01_01_archive.html

          • avatar WM says:

            Nancy,

            A verified fact (unless the Utah Bar registration website lies) on the author of this piece -she has been suspended from the practice of law. I also found her writing to be a bit dizzying to read, even if some might be factual. Indeed Southern UT, and Northern NV along I-15 attract some interesting personalities of various types – must be something in the water, or more likely the lack of it.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I think Jewell is cutting their budget too, and not one word about what to do about the horses.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Sorry, there were a few words, but only about population control.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Ida, I doubt it’s Jewell working alone. All the federal agencies are (at least the ones that do conservation, environmental, and science programs, which is what I’m familiar with, are being cut). The federal cuts trickle down to state and tribal funds that we apply for via grants.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I know, but she is the face of the Interior Department.

            Regarding that gravel road in Alaska, I noticed that she’s using the Pacific Brant as a unique subspecies to back up her argument – sort of like the wolf subspecies argument – there’s not scientific consensus on this. But I wouldn’t mind except that why doesn’t she apply this same reasoning to unique reserves and animals in the lower 48? Too many special interests to placate in the lower 48, but yet looks like she’s protecting the environment in Alaska. Typical politics as usual.

      • avatar Yvette says:

        This ought to give horse advocates or anti horse folks a continuing lesson in just how piss-poor the feds are as wildlife (or protected horse/burro) managers. They can’t manage range,or the cattle grazing on it, and they can’t manage bison or other wildlife. And, some here want them to manage even more species, including large carnivores even if they come off the ESA. My stomach turns every time I think of the national politics and shear lack of accountability (or budget resources to match statutory mandates) at the federal level which rivals what some folks think of certain Western states.

        WM, what do you propose for a solution? Who should manage the public and/or federal lands? Who should manage the wildlife, endangered species, habitat? Who should set the policy? Who implements that policy and enforces the law?

      • avatar JB says:

        “This ought to give horse advocates or anti horse folks a continuing lesson in just how piss-poor the feds are as wildlife (or protected horse/burro) managers. They can’t manage range,or the cattle grazing on it, and they can’t manage bison or other wildlife. And, some here want them to manage even more species, including large carnivores even if they come off the ESA.”

        Overgeneralize much? Seriously, you’ve taken one example (feral horses) which are manged by one agency (BLM) and assumed that because BLM hasn’t managed horses well, that the federal government can’t manage wildlife well. And you know damn well that the BLM certainly COULD (i.e., is capable) manage feral horses just fine, but its ‘hands’ have been tied by legislation. Query: When the agency overspends because of congressional mandates, who is at fault, the agency or Congress? Or both?

        • avatar JB says:

          And states agencies are just as susceptible to political meddling by legislators as federal agencies–sometimes more so.

        • avatar WM says:

          JB,

          ++…BLM certainly COULD (i.e., is capable) manage feral horses just fine,++

          Sorry, not buying it. I have been to their adoption facilities. Have you?

          There is also that recently released NSF study that seemed to say they really botched it – spent too much money, and will continue to do so in the future and not get good results for the taxpayer.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/us/report-criticizes-us-stewardship-of-wild-horses.html?_r=0

          Congress that mettles too much (with failing to fund USDA meat inspections to appease wild horse advocates), and BLM that screws up nearly every thing they touch, even after Congress passed FLMPA in 1976 to give them the road map forward. Now FLMPA is likely to be changed to relax grazing reviews and NEPA compliance (a little more federal political meddling).

          • avatar JB says:

            I’m curious, WM–when your child fails at a task for the first time, do you tell him: that’s alright, Timmy, you’re just not capable of doing arithmetic. Or perhaps, do you ask him to apply himself a bit harder and attempt to teach him how to learn from his mistakes?

            “I have been to their adoption facilities. Have you?”

            Nope. Never been to Antarctica either, but I’m pretty sure there is ice down there.

            “There is also that recently released NSF study that seemed to say they really botched it…”

            Hmm…I think you mean that there was a Review by the National Academies. Interestingly enough, the review is entitled, “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program:
            A Way Forward.” The title at least implies that the National Academies think the BLM is capable of managing wild horses. And by the way, I may not have seen their adoption facilities, but I did attend the panel presented by the National Academies review team at the Wildlife Societies annual meeting last year.

            • avatar WM says:

              Sorry about the typo, JB. Yes it was NAS and that was pretty evident by the link to the article, wasn’t it (cheap shot, eh)? 😉

              As for substance, if my child was doing a task- the same one for 43 years as it turns out per request/instruction of the parent- and getting it wrong, after many, many attempts at correction, I might think there was a very real problem. So, BLM underestimated the number of wild horses by as much as 50 percent – risk of doubling every 4 years? Then they stockpile the ones they have in what some might suggest are deplorable conditions in some places (where is PETA on that one – oh yeah, the alternative is worse send them to the slaughter house out of the country) That is quite a range on the high end. We need a bigger budget to feed them and then they get some of it. OK, some bad parenting to go along with the poor child learning skills.

              Since we are talking about parenting, and parent-child relationships, let’s remember this parent (Congress) has spawned a lot of children that don’t seem to get it right in so many areas. The last one I want to experiment with is a hands-on national bureaucratic wildlife management agency – something more than BLM or USFWS who some here criticize on a daily basis.

              And, by the way, whenever Congress and its combined 535 voices (changing all the time) comes up with a solution it seems not to work so well. Last thing I want is a combined Diane Feinstein – Charlie Schummer/ Orin Hatch – Mike Crapo conceived and parented child. And, BLM from what I can tell in watching its operations for close to 40 years is kind of black sheep sibling to other resource agencies and string of Federal Court ordered behavioral changes (ask WWP for verification).

              • avatar JB says:

                “And, by the way, whenever Congress and its combined 535 voices (changing all the time) comes up with a solution it seems not to work so well.”

                I don’t know, the Clean Water Act turned Lake Erie from a cess poll that literally burned from time to time, to the most productive of the Great Lake’s fisheries. And none of us are choking on our air any more (thanks to Congress and the Clean Air Act). And I’ve heard you say lots of positive things about Wildlife Services in the past, right? Seems the federal government does get things right from time to time, eh?

              • avatar WM says:

                Yes, Congress sometimes does get it right, but mostly not since the 1970’s, JB. Some good folks in Congress then, and a lot of good came of it, but the CWA had a lot of glitches in it, too. Hundreds of millions/billions(?)were pissed away on really dumb capital projects that produced absolutely nothing in the way of water quality improvement, enhanced aquatic life or recreational opportunities in the West and on both coasts. That was, in part, why the act was changed in 1977 (called mid-course corrections). A little before your time, I gather. The Clean Air Act and Superfund had their false starts as well.

                That is why I mentioned the goofy personalities I did in Congress now. Key positions and seniority. Today there are not great statesmen for environment, like Scoop Jackson, Ed Muskie, Warren Magnuson, Lee Metcalf, George McGovern, Bob Dole, Alan Cranston, maybe even Malcomb Wallup, and a bunch of “good guy visionaries” in either the Senate or the House. I bet if they were still there you would see some ESA changes too (but maybe not too drastic, just practical).

                Sorry for being pessimistic, but I remember better times than today (I think Ralph does too).

                And even though the Wild Horse and Burro Act was from that era, I think the folks who passed it would be looking for some corrections today and some common sense, along with FLPMA in a more reasonable light than what the House wants to do with BLM and FS review of grazing for environmental impacts.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                I agree with nearly all of your last post–however, that post is a long way from you original blanket condemnation of the federal government. I look at the federal government and I see triumphs everywhere–disease eradication, safe food, cleaner air and water, etc. I agree with your post (below) about the BLM. Actually, I would like to see one federal agency (though preferably within Interior) in charge of federal lands that range from multiple use to wilderness designations. In reality, the NPS, FS, BLM and (to a lesser extent) FWS, all administer such lands already. I would rather my money go to pay the salaries of wildlife biologists and foresters than over-paid, agency administers. But no government is perfect.

              • avatar WM says:

                Context, JB, context. My belief still rests in the view that states are GENERALLY, the best to manage wildlife on federal land. I think the state- federal relationship and philosophy is best reflected in 43 CFR 24.2 (interesting to see a policy statement in a federal regulation), which sort of sets the tone for how federal bureaucrats are to work with states. I bet its been pulled out of somebody’s brief case a time or two when feds might be tempted to cross the “neighborly” line.

                http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title43-vol1/pdf/CFR-2011-title43-vol1-sec24-4.pdf

              • avatar JB says:

                “My belief still rests in the view that states are GENERALLY, the best to manage wildlife on federal land.”

                That statement is a long ways from the blanket condemnation of federal management you initially issued. Indeed, it’s one I GENERALLY agree with. However, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference when it comes to the failures/successes of states vs. feds; nor their susceptibility to political meddling, for that matter (I’ll tell you a few stories over a beer sometime). Indeed, when one looks at the organizational structure of state and federal agencies as well as the types of people they employee, there is a great deal of similarity.

                So what is it that makes states and feds different (and apparently gets your hackles up)? I think you’ve provided the answer in your response to Yvette that details why you dislike the BLM–essentially, it is that their management doesn’t agree with you values. Thus, you admitted that you’d rather see BLM in DOA, which has more of a use orientation. The difference in mission of the federal agencies reflects the same disagreements we see at the state and national level regarding how resources should be managed (i.e., federal lands are managed with different levels of protection vs. use) and ensures that–to some extent–everyone’s values are represented. State F&G agencies could learn a thing or two from this structure about representing diverse stakeholders, IMO.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      There appears to be a broader interagency report out on wolf status in the Northern Rockies.

      http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/253912271.html

      “A minimum of 1,691 wolves roamed the six-state region at the end of 2013, according to figures released Friday by state and federal agencies.”

      “Wolf numbers are down just 6 percent since the animals lost federal protections in 2011.”

      “Wolves are very tenacious, they’re very prolific,” said Mike Jimenez, federal wolf recovery coordinator for the Rockies and a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The population is very secure, but it doesn’t remove the controversy.”

      True – it seems to be a species that is very difficult to reduce, but also with little and very fleeting if any benefit to trying (for trying’s sake – which seems to be the policy momentum for the time being, particularly when you are talking about influencing the wolf population in a place like the central Idaho wilderness). But, humans have been playing that game with coyotes for over a century and still seem game to keep throwing resources at it.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        SEAK Mossback,

        Yes, all of them were released today. We hope to do each state a story. Washington was easy. The rest will take more time.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “True – it seems to be a species that is very difficult to reduce”

        and who do we believe about population numbers, the state agencies? Where is the accurate data? so many smokescreens thrown up by the state agencies on all fronts. Are wolf populations really that difficult to reduce? Seems like an awful lot of guns trained on them, traps and snares set and even hounds chasing them. Jay Malonnee has been asking the question, where is the data?

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          I am speaking in general terms, not questioning or supporting the official numbers. I think when they are trying to drive the populations down, there will not be much change in wolves’ predation effect (not only because of the wolf’s high reproductive rate but also other compensating factors such as the tendency for substantially more kills per capita in smaller packs, etc.), up until the point where they will suddenly be eliminated entirely, at least from isolated habitats. A lot depends on habitat connectivity with other wolves and the extent of human access to their habitat. In an area like interior Alaska, with a tremendous amount of trapping effort concentrated around a major community like Fairbanks that also has lots of moose prey, it becomes a major population sink — but sustainable because trapping effort and access is substantially less and not uniform in other directions and young wolves are always looking for food and territory. The same may not be true in some of the isolated small mountain ranges in Montana, or even less so in the more open terrain in much of Wyoming, where there is motorized access from all directions plus increased visibility. In trying to control wolves (and coyotes), humans show some of the same judgmental weaknesses they display when getting sucked into counter-insurgency military campaigns. Then when results to date are not satisfactory, you start thinking if you ramp it up and bomb Hanoi, talley up a high enough body count, or push the Taliban out of a particular stronghold — you can win this thing. Similar — the thinking behind increasing liberalization or abolishment of seasons and harvest restrictions, allocating $100,000s to a wolf control fund, sending a paid trapper into the Idaho backcountry, etc.

  41. avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks for the link Tim.

    A few things worth mentioning:

    1) Most wolf packs reside on public lands. Lands that are (and have been) leased out, at unbelievable – as in cheap (compared to private land) rates, to ranchers for close to what, half a century?

    2) No one really has any idea how hunting & trapping effects wolf packs. But, we are seeing more and more evidence that shows the war on coyotes has done nothing to curb their populations.

    Part of Idaho is swamped with elk damaging agriculture and another part of the state, can’t kill enough wolves to save elk populations. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Keeping it “white & tidy” would be my guess:

    neat, orderly, or trim, as in appearance or dress: a tidy room; a tidy person. 2.
    clearly organized and systematic: a tidy mind; a tidy way of working. 3. tolerably

  42. avatar aves says:

    Rescued grizzly treated for broken elbows @ Colorado State:

    http://www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx?id=9688

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Yesterday, we saw a guinea pig, a rat and a of couple ferrets. Today we get to see a grizzly bear,” third-year vet student Katherine Alley said. “This week is definitely turning out to be pretty cool and heightens my interest in pursuing a future working with exotic animals.”

      Exotic animals? Does this dear girl not realize that Grizzlies once roamed most of the west?

      • avatar SAP says:

        Well, it says the bear is partly out of Syrian Ursus arctos stock, so technically, you could say she’s half-right! 😉

        More likely, the vet student doesn’t know what “exotic” means. For someone who probably mostly works on horses and cattle, a grizzly would be pretty unusual.

  43. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Talk about a false equivalency. The BLM is not a child who is not applying his or herself hard enough to their studies. This is a so-called group of professionals, not neophytes, breaking the law, with their permission coming from the top down, and doing it with taxpayer funds. Continuing along that theme, it’s time Congress took away their allowance then.

    A better analogy would be the latest of poor performance reviews. And I agree, without seeing how these horses are inhumanely treated by handlers, cruelly run down by helicopters and separated from their young as if they were not sentient beings, and left outside to the elements during winter and summer heat, you really can’t comment.

    Also, notice how the Atlantic interprets the NAS’ report as taking a ‘dim’ view of the BLM’s handling of wild horses. With the list of suggestions that could use improvement, it doesn’t look like they think the BLM is very capable. I believe there’s a link to the report in the article.

    After Wild Horse Report, Jewell Faces First Moment of Truth at the Interior

    • avatar JB says:

      Now this is rich. The two critics of the BLM’s management are (a) the guy who would be happy to have all of the non-native, feral horses killed or otherwise removed from federal land before they do any more damage, and (b) the woman who can’t stand to see any sentient being stressed for any reason. Gosh, I wonder how it is we got into this mess in the first place…?

      Tell you what, Ida? I’ll be happy to eat my words and retract my analogy when you and WM come to agreement on how we should move forward with wild horses, how’s that sound?

      By the way, if go back and look at my original objection, it was to WM’s assumption that because the BLM has had a hard time managing feral horses, that therefore no agency of the federal government can manage wildlife. How do you feel about those sentiments, Ida? Can you guess what would happen to wild horses if the BLM suddenly were to step aside and let the states manage them… [Can’t wait for your reply.]

      • avatar Yvette says:

        I’m like Ida in respect to sentient beings abused, killed, stressed and hurt. I hate it. But, I also have to continually try to ground myself in reality, and swallow the icky tasting medicine. It’s not easy, but I try. I also know I tolerate less than the status quo, like trapping.

        I’m not familiar with the burro/mustang issue other than the BLM has a round-up and adoption program. We have many of them come to Oklahoma, and there is a land owner in Osage County that has a large herd of the Mustangs. It’s pretty fabulous when you see them. 🙂

        The issue I take with WM’s initial comment is the blanket statement pointing out the failures of all federal wildlife management.

        Something I’ve noticed is that it is much easier to find problems and assign blame, but rarely do the people pointing out the failures offer a reasonable solution, or even any potential solutions. We’ve all been guilty of it.

        WM’s initial comment alluded that the states could do a better job if all wildlife management was taken from federal agencies and turned over to the states. There are many potential problems with having only state wildlife managers. I mentioned a few in my first response.

        Maybe we do need a different approach; a new paradigm. Perhaps a coalescence of state/federal/tribal management? There are legal issues dealing with land jurisdictions and status, (tribal lands and reservations? How will the states deal with sovereign nations within a nation when they do not have jurisdiction over tribal lands?), collections and price setting for grazing on federal lands? What about political boundaries (funny how wildlife pay no attention to our maps). Maybe we should consider managing wildlife based on Level II or Level III ecosystems rather than state, federal and tribal legal boundaries. Everyone within that ecosystem has a stake in the management, policy, and laws pertaining to the management of the wildlife within that ecosystem. It might be better than everyone grabbing their basket of eggs and heading to their state, federal or tribal corner.

        • avatar WM says:

          Yvette,

          Your request from an earlier post regarding change is a pretty tall order. Here is a little free form brain-storming to go along with your own.

          All the institutional pieces are mostly(?) in place. The feds should manage their land and states should manage wildlife on federal lands. That is mostly the way it already is, unless there is a Congressional mandate as reflected in well formulated statutes to assert a temporary or permaant federal interest, like the ESA or other protective statute -WHBA, for example.

          By the way, the Wild Horse and Burro Act ought to be significantly rewritten to get the feds out of actively managing them because they have proven for over forty years that they can’t! Things just haven’t improved. I have never thought much of the BLM as an agency (except for some of their work in Alaska, where they act more like the US Forest Service).

          Where I get wrapped around the axle is why BLM continues to remain in the Department of Interior. The Western state ranching interests like it that way, I guess. There would be benefit in putting the lands they manage (land surface matters, anyway) under the Department of Agriculture, and maybe merging the USFS and BLM into a Renewable Resource Agency, where the focus is on stewardship of grass and tree ecosystems. There is wisdom in paring back over time the reliance on public grazing lands, staged over a 15-20 year period, retiring some immediately, then gradually much of what remains, and maybe even buying out some private land that is in marginal ranching.

          I would also like to see a few national parks expanded or enlarged by hands-off buffers even though not actually in a NP, including Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain, so that they represent near complete ecosystems in which migratory ungulates can move seasonally back and forth freely, as can their predators (with some qualification).

          States should continue in their role as the wildlife managers of ALL lands in their respective states including federal lands, except in national parks or work jointly with the feds in other hands-off reserves/refuges, including Indian reservations (some anyway). Congress needs to revisit whether states should manage wildlife in designated wilderness consistent with the Wilderness Act (Yeah, I know I’ll piss somebody off with those statements).

          And, last, just to button things up, Interior still has a lot to do even if it were to relinquish BLM surface land resource management (including habitat and livestock grazing) and duties.

          After abolishing BLM, make an independent oil/gas agency in Interior and have them face off with the newly created federal Renewable Resource Agency folks in areas of surface land/habitat/water conflicts.

          Consolidate and expand LEO duties within the new Renewable Resource Agency (and abolish BLM law enforcement – there are only about 300 of them anyway, spread so thin its a joke). Give the RRA agency LEOs broad powers to enforce all laws, including mineral/mining/oil & gas leasing, as well as whatever occurs on the surface of the land.

          I think it is important to have dedicated law enforcement folks in the field, and reduce administrative inefficiencies. Most natural resource crimes involve theft or destruction of vegetation (merchantable trees) or minerals (valuable or even gravel). I wouldn’t go so far as to say BLM law enforcement is unnecessary, but most of their time is spent on writing up ATV/vehicle violations, vandalism/ marijuana grows or dealing with a few horse/burro matters – mostly theft of the animals they are supposed to reduce in number anyway (is there some irony in that?). Seems to me consolidation with USDA/FS would be a good thing. They already have 3X as many LEOs.

          http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Law_Enforcement/law_enforcement.Par.9472.File.dat/FY2012_YearEndReview.pdf

          Did I already say, I didn’t much like the way BLM does business, and it is way too influenced by national and local politics. Gotta break the cycle somehow. When that’s done go to work on the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Districts (used to be called Soil and Water Conservation Districts). There are some conflicts in that relationship, too, and some impact wildlife.

          • avatar Yvette says:

            Worthwhile ideas, WM. You know much more about the BLM than I do, but we need to overhaul (or just get rid of) the BIA, too. I personally don’t deal with the BIA much, but when I do…….I end up banging my head against the wall.

            The point being is if something isn’t working why keep doing it the same way?

            After my last comment, I thought about the FWS’s Landscape Conservation Cooperatives dealing with climate change. Maybe a test run with wildlife management could be done based off that conceptual framework.

            All I’d like is for something work as efficiently as possible, and have habitat and wildlife as the priority….even wildhorses and burros.

          • avatar Lyn McCormick says:

            WM, What is your opinion on what will come out of the Bundy/BLM conflict ? The media is making it sound like its a personal property / private property dispute !
            It is amazing to me how ill informed the rest of the country is re:PL land use and the livestock grazing program. The whole reason BLM came about in the first place was because the ranchers were killing each other over forage use.

    • avatar Elk375 says:

      Ida

      “and left outside to the elements during winter and summer heat, you really can’t comment.”

      Wild horses are wild horses. Do you think that doing a cold winter wild horses should be rounded up and put in a heated barn and feed? Or,in the summer heat be put in a air conditioned barn.

  44. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    The Wyoming Wolf annual report was released Friday April 4 by the Wyoming Game and Fish department.

    The 43 page PDF file can be found at :

    http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/imgs/QRDocs/WYWOLF_ANNUALREPORT_2013.pdf

  45. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/74yxyf/donors-unchained?xrs=synd_facebook_040414_tds_45

    Jon Stewart on McCutcheon decision
    not wildlife news but another game changer

  46. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I’m looking for some help
    My friend is a beekeeper for many years
    but she can’t answer the question of whether or not the bees that she uses (Italian) are considered to be non native species that might outcompete native bees. My husband is setting up a bee colony and I am concerned about this and curious. There seem to be conflicting attitudes about the non native status of bees

    anyone here practice bee keeping that could comment

    • avatar Leslie says:

      All honeybees are non-native. Imported here around 1620. I assume when you say ‘Italian’ she has carnalian bees which are considered more docile strain.

      I’ve raised honeybees and of course we are dependent on them for our food crops. But all honeybees outcompete our native bees. They just overwhelm them. Honeybees are out early and of course over-collect nectar, which is one of the reasons we raise them–for their honey. Most native bees are either solitary or have small broods and only the queen survives the winter as compared to the entire hive with non-natives.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Louise, here is a story I wrote about some beekeeping experiences on my blog http://thehumanfootprint.wordpress.com/longer-true-life-stories/some-beekeeping-lessons/

        Beekeeping is cool and fascinating. You can also encourage other types of bees, native bees, by building different easy structures for solitary bees. There’s plenty of info about native bees online and the USDA even has a good brochure. You do best to encourage native bees by planting plants native to your area in your yard. I think you live back east. A great book is called Noah’s Garden which talks about the decline of open areas and encourages easterners to return to planting hedgerows.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Hi Leslie,

        thanks so much. what you are telling me is what I have been reading and hearing but it seemed unusual to think that there were no native honeybees or that the issue of honeybees outcompeting native bees never seems to come up. I’m going to read your blog and thanks so much for posting. I also did not know that with the natives the queen was the only one to survive. They are so fascinating. My friend has a big raspberry path and she said last year that part of the honey the bees produced was a deep red color. We live in the summer in a big barn on the edge of a cranberry bog, it will be fun to see if the honey takes on the color or taste of the cranberries.

  47. avatar Leslie says:

    Louise, there are so many species of native bees. Some are ground nesters, some are hole nesters like mason bees,some are tiny, some are big like bumblebees. I’m not saying only the queen survives in all these species, but what is unusual about European honeybees is the massive size of their colonies (a good functioning colony has over 50,000 bees) and that they are generalists.

    Honeybees are great at pollinating flowers that are disc shaped, but lousy when it comes to flowers shaped like blueberries or the sage family. I’ve watched honeybees ‘steal’ the nectar from an Agastache (which has a funnel shaped flower) by going underneath, thereby not even pollinating it!

    And yes, overwhelming the native bees is part of the problem with them.

    My botany teacher who was an expert on California natives told me that scientists do not know who or what pollinates most of the California’s native plants. And native pollinators include beetles and flies. So how can we protect when we don’t even have a clue?

    Here is the expert and I recommend his books. Stephen Buchmann http://www.cincopuntos.com/authors_detail.sstg?id=76

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Thanks Leslie – this is something I’ve wanted to try also. I’m shocked that bumblebees are also decreasing dramatically, and I look forward to seeing (and hearing!) them around my first spring flowers. I’d like to try to do something to protect native bees in my garden?

    • avatar rork says:

      I’ve often wondered how many native pollinators have been made extinct by the white man’s fly. I have no idea.
      Bogs near me have had poor blueberry yields since about mid-1990’s. I had at first thought water levels were to blame, but now think it is lack of European honey bees. They used to occupy trees in the area, and farmers placed boxes in special places near large bogs too, but those sights are not to be seen anymore.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Leslie just seeing this last post – thanks again I’ll look at this book. My husband seems very deeply addicted to his new bee keeping hobby. The bees arrive soon… the native pollinator issues are not resolved properly for me to be totally on board.

  48. avatar Leslie says:

    Some things you can do:
    1. Plant a pollinator garden
    2. Avoid pesticides
    3. Provide a source of pesticide-free water and mud like a dripping faucet/birdbath etc.
    4. Provide a variety of native flowering trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that bloom successively throughout the seasons
    5. Provide nesting habitat. Such as leaving a dead stump on your yard. Drilling holes 3/32″ to 3/8″ in diameter 4-5″ deep in posts, tree trunks or on just a piece of wood.
    There are other bee houses for no cost you can create such as a bunch of hollow twigs packed into a small milk carton, place them horizontally facing south or southeast (they should be closed at one end).

  49. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Leslie,
    I very much enjoyed looking through your blog and thank you again for responding. My husband is very excited to get started. I think we will have a good spot for a hive and perhaps some native bees will come. Our site is in a very naturalized area and borders town conservation land that edges to a marsh and salt pond that lead out to a big estuary called Pleasant Bay. Lots of wildflowers, a cranberry bog, and good deadwood. We already see deer, coyote, foxes, bats and snakes. I hope the bees make a good addition.

  50. avatar Dawn Rehill says:

    Hey Peeps, just read in the Jackson Hole Paper that Idaho is
    planning to poison Ravens to save the Sage Grouse, lotta feedback that loss of habitat is the problem, not Ravens or birds of prey, could be wrong, BUT could not ! Tax paying money will be spent on this, Mmm can”t keep the schools heated, but lets kill the ravens . WTF !

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Dawn, that’s exactly what I say whenever I read anything about Idaho lately – WTF? Thanks!

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      It’s been said over and over and over to the point of tears, it’s habitat. It’s anthropogenic disruption of habitat. Predation, not mentioned in the article has always been part of the evolutionary interaction.

  51. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Elk backers lobbying to increase herd in Minnesota

    http://m.startribune.com/?id=253842141

    Farmers and ranchers not too excited about it.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Awwww, I love that the last one finally made it over the fence and caught up with the rest of the herd.

      My favorite comment: “Since Yellowstone has lost about 80 percent of its elk since wolf introduction, I wonder what that herd would have looked like prior to that horrific event.”

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        I see that herd of elk every day. It is a small herd of approximately 200 elk.

      • avatar WM says:

        And this time of year, actually from December thru April mostly, the problem is lack of winter range in so many places where elk otherwise have adequate habitat for their numbers.

        There is the competition with the cattle, too. Elk can be tough on fences, as well as some fences being cruel injurious devices on elk.

  52. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    The one horse-power circular saw! Russian woodsman runs his tool by getting animal to walk on a treadmill

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2568371/The-one-horse-power-circular-saw-Russian-woodsman-runs-tool-getting-animal-walk-treadmill.html

  53. avatar rork says:

    PNAS paper about abundant deer advantaging invasive plants rocked the garlic-mustard killing world a few weeks back:

    “In a long-term experimental demography study, excluding ungulates reversed invader’s explosive population growth rate and restored natives”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/03/05/1310121111
    I’m not sure if everyone can see the paper. It’s hardly the first paper to have such findings, but they measure better than past efforts.

    Mostly they see changes in populations of red trillium and garlic mustard if deer are excluded. “We conclusively demonstrate that deer are required for garlic mustard success; its local extinction is projected where deer are absent.” That last part is over-stated or deceptively stated: Yes, mustard population declines with exclusion in areas they measured, and so they can “project” (mathematically, in a simpleminded model), but they didn’t demonstrate that population declines even where mustard is low-density. For example, they surprisingly get growth of trillium even in deer presence (4% per year) – perhaps a relic effect of “there were even more deer before our study began”.

    This is even with fairly intense hunting pressure. We cannot sustain this. Imagine our problems if we managed them like feral horses.

  54. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Here’s something you don’t see every day… 50 Elk swimming in the surf of the Pacific ocean on the Oregon Coast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e5REuWIILo

    Elk seem to be everywhere of late…

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      That is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever watched. The person that shot that seems to have known what they are doing. Amateurs usually want to to jerk the camera back and forth. This footage was steady, and tracked the herd nicely. I never knew elk were interested in salt water habitats. My husband once shot a beautiful piece of footage of a herd running around the Reyes point light from a helicopter. But I’ve never seen them close to salt water before this. It was hard to tell whether they started out in the lagoon like portion of the estuary or if that was a separate location. I wondered when they were out by the barrier flat if they were going to panic as it was hard to see the distance they had to swim to land. But they remained calm and unhurried. It was magnificent. Does anyone know if the behavior of the elk at the end of the video was play or dominance. Wow that was fantastic thanks for posting that!

  55. avatar topher says:

    http://mvprogress.com/2014/04/06/one-of-bundy%E2%80%99s-sons-arrested-in-roundup-incident/
    Looks like one arrest during the cattle roundup. Does anyone else have a problem with designated free speech areas?

  56. avatar Immer Treue says:

    PBS News Hour: What’s devastating the moose population in New England? –

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=BVWbVUXGGJo

    Serendipitous, that during MNDNR presentation on their moose study, the same concern was pronounced about what is happening along the southern boundary of moose range.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Thanks Immer – I must have missed this. They can’t blame wolves for it either.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Something is causing the tick population to explode – lack of predators? Concentration into smaller habitats due to human encroachment? I’m afraid hell will freeze over before people start caring about climate change, and make a real effort to stop using fossil fuels.

        What little is being done is more of an effort to create a ‘green industry’ to employ people, and is done on too large of a scale. Rooftop solar isn’t being explored as it should be, and home and bldg. owners subsidized for the cost. Where I am, they’ll certainly be helping Europe’s economy by sending what little jobs are created over there.

  57. avatar WM says:

    Preserving history, advancing “wilderness” values, or making common sense decisions?

    Congress votes to save a reconstructed CCC lookout in designated Wilderness, while Wilderness Watch Director Nickass objects.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023324612_greenmountainlookoutxml.html

    Again, I will submit “wilderness” is what Congress says it is, under the Wilderness Act. In this instance “wilderness” is not a natural thing, and I think that is a good decision.

    • avatar WM says:

      Ooops. “….”wilderness is not a natural STATE, and I think that is a good decision.”

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Some things fall under historic preservation, I think.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        This lookout is important, and not much will meet the kind of criteria this does, that would be in violation of the Wilderness Act. New construction would, for obvious reasons.

  58. avatar Evan Davis says:

    Photo of young bear and wolf together. An odd couple.

  59. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Police investigation traps wolf hunters

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/04/08/charges-laid-over-wolf-hunting/

    Twelve people were arrested in Hedmark on Tuesday for illegal wolf hunting, under a huge sting involving 70 officers. For years police had suspected organized hunting was going on, and finally got the evidence they needed after Hedmark police and the economic crime unit Økokrim collaborated to investigate the poachers over winter.

    ++++

    70 officers + economic crime unit harassing wolf poachers – try to imagine that in Idaho

  60. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Wolf pack cut to two
    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/wolf-pack-cut-to-two/article_470cbe97-cc61-52cf-aa59-f44d4be72f1e.html

    “The near-elimination of one of the four wolf packs with home ranges in Grand Teton National Park was kept secret. It wasn’t known within Jackson Hole’s robust wildlife-watching community.”

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      “It’s kind of a natural thing,” Mills said. “Some packs break up and others form. Whether they make it or not depends on a lot of different factors.”

      Odd how they call lethal removal and the disappearance of two wolf packs as a natural thing.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s all just to put a positive spin on what they assume are people who don’t know what’s going on. I take it all with a grain of salt, and wonder about this ‘trend’ lately to vagueness and secrecy about gov’t goings-on. nd no, I do not trust the BLM. At all.

  61. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    forget about Idaho wolf policy – I just have dug up a report where is stated that:

    “Of the 949 hunters surveyed throughout the
    country, almost 40 percent (321) claim to hunt wolves. Extrapolated out to the entire population of
    hunters in the country (245,000), this means potentially 75,000 hunters actively harvest the animal. The
    adjusted mean take for these hunters was 3.4 animals with the highest harvest being 100 animals for a
    single hunter. Looking only at the hunter respondents in the survey, at least 1,777 wolves were killed in
    2004. Total harvest volumes were difficult to estimate and are likely the result of exaggeration on the
    part of respondents. Without absolute certainty, we believe it is possible that Mongolian hunters may
    have taken at least 20,000- 30,000 wolves in 2004 with a potential market value of approximately $7
    million.”

    see Appendix A: Species Case Studies
    Wolf starts at page 97-100

    “Silent Steppe: The Illegal Wildlife Trade Crisis in Mongolia”

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/silent_steppe.pdf

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      In Mongolia, an ‘Extinction Crisis’ Looms

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/06/science/06WILD.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      A new study of wildlife, one of the country’s most distinctive resources, has revealed alarming declines in most species, especially in the last 15 years. By some estimates, the populations of endangered species – marmots, argali sheep, antelope, red deer, bears, Asiatic wild asses – have plummeted by 50 to 90 percent.

      +

      The investigators determined that more than 250,000 Mongolians, out of a population of 2.6 million, are active hunters. The wildlife trade is conservatively estimated to exceed $100 million a year, which does not include sales of game meat and traditional medicinal products derived from animals. Nearly all the trade is illegal.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        That is very dismal news Mareks
        I think hunting of wild animals is going to have to be reassessed everywhere as humans number in the billions now. If even a small percentage of a population are hunters how much pressure can populations of wild animals sustain? Trophy hunting is especially troubling.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “And the problem is not confined to Mongolia. In “The Silent Steppe,” Elizabeth L. Bennett, director of the conservation society’s hunting and wildlife program, wrote, “The single greatest threat facing many species of wildlife across the world today is hunting for commercial wildlife trade.”

        I think that trapping is a big issue. Trapping for fur and the demand for fur and “medicinal” products cause a great deal of these problems. National and International bans of trapping and trophy hunting are going to be necessary to help curb global extinctions. The article you posted argued that in Mongolia habitat fragmentation was not the issue but that overhunting was causing the looming extinction crisis. It also pointed out that wildlife viewing and tourism directed at wildlife viewing could be a huge asset to Mongolia. This is a terribly sad story.

      • avatar WM says:

        Mareks,

        Not sure the study is new, exactly. Just think, this article is more than 8 years old (December 2005).

        So, has the situation gotten worse or some action in the interim?

        • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

          WM & Louise,

          Mongolia is not monitoring wildlife because they don’t have money for such a ‘luxury’ – that’s the reason why that guy from Missoula,MT (co-author of a study) used hunter poll as one way how to estimate the scale of wolf killing in Mongolia.

          To my knowledge there isn’t newer study but that information at pages 97-100 is very valuable.

          I would guess that one must take into account local culture / mentality – maybe it’s ok for them to boast in front of a foreigner (American) that they are hunting wolves and have killed 10, when actually they’ve killed none?

          I’d suspect that the number of killed wolves is within range of 5 000 (that was the average number before Soviet Union disappeared).

          Compare what Mongol hunters are claiming with Soviet Union’s wolf killing record – I can’t believe that they are killing as many wolves as Soviets had during 50-ties when they killed on average ~50K (using poisons!!!).

          The same goes if one compares Mongolia with Kazakhstan (2 times bigger in size and has 5 times bigger rural population) – Kazakhs manage to kill 1-2000 wolves out of 40K wolf population. How Mongol hunters can kill 20,30 or even 50K wolves annually is a mystery to me. Remember there’s 245K Mongol hunters covering 1,56M km2 vastness!!! and they don’t have light aircraft at their disposal and can’t use poisons

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Mareks its hard to know what to say to these numbers. I thought the Monolian wolf was an endangered species. Its hard to imagine 20-30,000 wolves existed to be killed. What more do you know of the population.

      Idaho and other states issue thousands of licenses. I thought I read that 40,000 licenses were issued! Licensing that many hunters is bizarre.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      http://www.lionaid.org/blog/2014/04/the-long-reach-of-the-hunters.htm

      Mareks this is some commentary about the collusion of wildlife conservation NGOs and trophy hunting organizations that promote the myth that trophy hunting is synonymous with conservation. One of the most obvious problems being that there is no monitoring, as this piece points out. I think its also very dangerous for conservation institutes to promote trophy hunting and or encourage the idea that wanting to kill wild animals for fun is sustainable, especially when some of these animals are already endangered. Trophy hunters are very careful to consistently and persistently use conservation as a reason to trophy hunt and to and promote trophy hunting as a sustainable tool for wildlife management. When I learned about conserving species I thought of people working to prevent wild animal deaths, not people playing the highest price to kill them. These are incongruous philosophies no matter how you spin it. While it may be true that hunting fees can buy wildlife habitat that habitat is almost always used to expand hunting. Perhaps someone here can tell me of a true wildlife refuge where no hunting is allowed that has been purchased by hunters.

  62. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Are National Parks now competing with amusement parks for thrill rides in order to attract visitors? And people are worried about the damage the restoration of an historic lookout tower will do…

    http://www.examiner.com/article/jasper-national-park-adds-glacier-skywalk-attraction

    http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/04/skywalk-glass-floor-attractions

  63. avatar Elk375 says:

    Here is an article in today’s Bozeman Daily Chronicle about a grizzle being killed in the Gravelly Mountains by a non English speaking sheep herder.

    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/wildlife/article_2087248a-c1d0-11e3-adce-0019bb2963f4.html

  64. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Cougar estimates criticized by NW Montana hunters
    http://helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/cougar-estimates-criticized-by-nw-montana-hunters/article_a110208b-2b92-5421-931b-23c7b5d5d4f8.html
    Mountain lion hunters in northwestern Montana say state Fish, Wildlife and Parks estimates of the lion population in the Bitterrott Valley are too high.

  65. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Panel backs delisting grizzly bear
    http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_2948bb98-c035-11e3-b03f-001a4bcf887a.html
    “At a recent county commission meeting, commissioner Loren Grosskopf reported on the March 26-27 meeting of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee in Jackson. YES has recommended proceeding with delisting grizzlies from the endangered species list.”

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Was there ever any doubt?

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Oh joy. Now next month or so we’ll get to see fools grinning over dead grizzlies too.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        No, not really!

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          I meant: No doubts about the outcome, not rally!

          • avatar LM says:

            What kind of fees does a grizzly bear tag (license) generate these days ? 500 bears doesn’t seem like very many. What is this – a let’s recover species so we can hunt them again game ?

            • avatar CodyCoyote says:

              There is currently no hunting license for Grizzly Bears in Wyoming, should they become delisted and huntable. But the price for any future licenses is known , roughly , even before that occurs. A Resident grizzly bear tag will cost either $ 600 or 750. Nonresident would pay ten times that …$ 6,000 or maybe $ 7250.

              By comparison , a Brown Bear license in Alaska currently goes for $ 85.00 for Residents, and $ 300 for Nonresident.

              I do not foresee Wyoming hunting more than maybe 10 grizzlies a year, and they will be ” escorted” hunts for known problem bears or bears in conflict zones if I can believe the banter going around.

              The licenses would have to sell for $ 50,000 or $ 100,000 each to even come close to paying for the state grizzly bear management costs. THen again , only one big game species covers its own costs with hunting license revenue in Wyoming, tha being Pronghorn. All the others…Mule Deer, Whitetail, Elk, Bighorn sheep, Moose, Rocky Mountain goat, Black bear…they all require subsidies and external funding to pay for their respective program costs ( sayeth Wyo G & F latest budget info )

  66. avatar Peter Kiermeier says:

    Opinion: B.C. government wants grizzly bears dead
    Province could buy out hunting tenures and create world’s largest reserve

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Opinion+government+wants+grizzly+bears+dead/9737955/story.html

  67. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Fla. wildlife officials kill 5 bears after woman attacked
    http://www.local10.com/news/fla-wildlife-officials-kill-5-bears-after-woman-attacked/25468906

    • avatar Mark L says:

      5? Kind of like what ‘ole hickory’ did when an indian attacked a white settler in the south…kill a bunch and hope you got the right one.

      Sounds like someone was feeding bears in the neighborhood, wonder if they’ll test their guts for digested human food.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Did they really need to kill five of them?

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Peter – listening to the husband’s account of the events, my guess is they’ve often left garage doors open to the point where these bears have become regular vistors.

          Why wasn’t Fish & Game called in to deal with the problem since it was obvious that they had had close encounters before? (had to stand with their garbage til the trash man arrived?)

          • avatar Yvette says:

            7 bears killed. This makes me ill. I read the other night where this is a fairly new development, which means humans have destroyed the bears’ habitat to build a subdivision. So we humans encroach into bear habitat, which means they have less food. Probably, the subdivision inhabitants are not diligent in removing their trash and other attractants, so this lady gets attacked causing the 7 bears to be killed.

            Frustrating.

  68. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Cattle farmer John Koski, divisive symbol in Michigan wolf hunt, to plead in animal neglect case
    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/cattle_farmer_john_koski_divis.html
    “John Koski, 69, is also selling his controversial farm – the site of more attacks on cattle than anywhere in Michigan.”

  69. avatar Jerry Black says:

    The “American Dream” Turns Into a Global Nightmare
    Back to HeadlinesStory Saved
    UPDATE: The American Dream turns into a Global Nightmare
    10:51 AM ET, 04/16/2014 – MarketWatch

    By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — The American Dream? Now a Global Nightmare? A ticking time bomb, a lethal virus spreading worldwide, could destroy the entire world, backfire, take down America and capitalism? Yes.

    But, first, a little history: Five years ago Bill Gates and his Billionaires Club asked that question. But gave up. Here’s why.

    Gates’ billionaires essentially asked: What do you think is the single, biggest ticking time bomb that will eventually take down global economies? The absolutely biggest one with a trigger mechanism that can ignite, set off a nuclear chain reaction that will throw a permanent wrench in global economic growth, ending capitalism, potentially destroying modern civilization as we know it.

    Yes, that one. The one that — if not solved soon — renders all efforts to solve all other problems in the world irrelevant, futile and virtually impossible ever to solve. Yes, that one. What is the “big one?” Several alternative predictions have also been reported:

    * Global wars? Pentagon warns warfare will define human life by 2020.

    * Big Oil? Bill McKibben’s “End of Nature” prediction could ignite soon.

    * Capitalism? Many progressives see capitalism destroying democracy.

    * Inequality? Pope says inequality is the root of all social problems.

    * Climate warming? 2,000 UN scientists warn humans are killing Earth.

    * Technology? Robert Gordon says we can’t stop GDP falling to 1%.

    Biggest risk? Guess again: Not warfare … not the inequality… not energy resource depletion … not global warming … not out-of-control capitalists … yes, all are important, all part of the domino effect, the chain reaction as the global clock winds down to zero.

    Yes, five years ago the one-percenters thought they knew. Bill Gates and his Billionaires Club were certain, unanimous. Gates had brought together billionaire philanthropists in a supersecret meeting in Manhattan about the time the market last bottomed. Included: Buffett, Rockefeller, Soros, Bloomberg, Turner, Oprah and others. The London Times Online reported that during the afternoon session each spoke about their favorite charities.

    Then, the big question: What was the underlying, core problem driving all their interests? The world’s biggest time-bomb?

    Overpopulation said the billionaires. Too many people on Planet Earth.

    True, the United Nations predicts that by 2050 global population will explode by as much as 40%, from more than 7 billion today to 10 billion. Overcrowding. Demanding. But as Scientific American repeatedly warns in special issues, population is “the most overlooked and essential strategy for achieving long-term balance with the environment.” The “third-rail” for politicians, ignored by the world’s political leaders.

    Three delusions: the American Dream mutates into Global Nightmare

    But there’s an even bigger problem that will peak and backfire as the American Dream goes viral. For a couple generations, spread by the economics of globalization, the American Dream has been exported, spreading the capitalism virus worldwide, accelerating global GDP growth, infecting every nation and individual with their own mind-set imbedded in the promise of the “perpetual prosperity” inherent in the American Dream.

    The effect? Today capitalism, globalization, the new Global Dream, the virus is rapidly spreading, mesmerizing the brains of everyone … mass-producing new billionaires … global lists on Forbes, Bloomberg and CNBC report an explosion from 322 billionaires in 2000 to 1,847 in 2014… China now has 358 billionaires … Africa has 29, adding nine last year … today, 85 of the world’s richest billionaires make more that the 3.5 billion in the bottom half … Credit Suisse predicts 11 trillionaire families in the world by 2100.

    But three self-destructive delusions dominate today’s billionaires:

    1. Delusion 1: Perpetual economic growth on planet of limited resources

    The Super Rich are trapped a classic delusion now ingrained in the collective unconscious of the world. They have ingested a self-destructive gene. They believe the same capitalism ideology that made them superrich will continue indefinitely, that economic growth is perpetual, even on a planet of clearly limited resources. This delusion is rampant in Exxon Mobil and the energy industries as they race ahead with an unsustainable business model that’s rapidly depleting nonreplaceable natural resources.

    2. Delusion 2: New technologies will replace disappearing resources

    The club of billionaires believes technology will overcome the limitations of resources and thus fuel the perpetual economic growth essential to create more and more billionaires, that some of this eternal prosperity will also trickle down to the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people. Economist Robert Gordon refutes that assumption in his rhetorical National Business Research Institute piece “Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?” Silicon Valley technology will never overcome all the headwinds reflected by today’s raging self-destructive political, economic and religious conflicts.

    3. Delusion 3: Mutant Capitalists do not need to share the future

    The new billionaires in America and worldwide have forgotten that the same capitalism that fueled the American Dream since 1776, that created the democracy supporting their accumulated billions, was a legacy that, in the past, also meant hope for the masses of Americans and all nations, that everyone, no matter how poor, had equal opportunities.

    Unfortunately, as Jack Bogle warns, while spreading the American Dream we’re also a spreading a new Mutant Capitalism, a virus infecting superrich billionaires: Further widening the inequality gap, stifling opportunities for most Americans and people worldwide, hoarding the power, wealth and opportunities for those already in the top one percent, already listed among global billionaires.

    Billions are in denial of their self-destructive delusions: “One of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse,” warns Jared Diamond, an evolutionary biologist, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” Many “civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society’s demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power.”

    Harvard financial historian Niall Ferguson, author of “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire,” was more dramatic, hard-hitting, immediate: The world will be caught by surprise, unprepared. The coming collapse will “accelerate suddenly, like a sports car … like a thief in the night.” Crashing. Shocking us wide awake.

    Paradox of Prosperity: the Global Dream will also peak, collapse

    Today we’re all being misled by these three delusions. As Diamond warns: “There are ‘optimists’ who argue that the world could support double its human population.” But he adds, they “consider only the increase in human numbers and not average increase in per-capita impact. But I have not heard anyone who seriously argues that the world could support 12 times it’s current impact.” But that’s exactly what happens with “all Third World inhabitants adopting First World standards.”

    Every nation in the world has its own version of the American Dream, the new Global Dream. Everyone wants prosperity, success, opportunity. More is never enough, either individually or nationally. Not just 310 million Americans, but 7.3 billion people worldwide are demanding more, more … on a finite planet with dwindling natural resources, as economist Michael Klare warns in his book “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for World’s Last Resources.”

    Bottom line: As the world population explodes 40% in the next generation, “what really counts,” says Diamond, “is not the number of people alone, but their impact on the environment, the per-capita impact.” First World citizens “consume 32 times more resources such as fossil fuels, and put out 32 times more waste, than do the inhabitants of the Third World.” \

    And it’s delusional to think this trend will disappear. It will get worse because billionaires are in massive denial about their delusions … the self-destructive Global Dream will continue … until a catastrophic black swan shocks us awake.
    -Paul B. Farrell; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

  70. avatar Salle says:

    State (MT) approves reintroduction of rare fish to Madison drainage

    http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_ed3d7534-c111-11e3-a208-001a4bcf887a.html

  71. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Jardine man shoots bull bison
    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/wildlife/article_8aae5ce0-c4f8-11e3-9656-001a4bcf887a.html
    “On Friday, Hoppe’s wife saw three bison in the yard and was worried for the safety of her dog, which was chained to the side of the house.
    She called Hoppe, who came home and tried to disperse the bison, Jones said.
    Hoppe said one of the bison charged him so he shot it, Jones said.”

    • avatar Mark L says:

      “Last spring, Hoppe shot one of two wolves that were suspected of killing sheep that he placed on a pasture he leased a few weeks before near Corwin Springs.”

      Ah…picture is getting clearer.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        the image of the chained dog to the side of the house also adds to the picture. People that chain dogs to the side of a house don’t know how to treat animals.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      This guy is an ass. Why doesn’t anyone stop him for leaving gut piles around? It’s his MO, isn’t it?

  72. avatar Louise Kane says:

    WildEarth Guardians just posted that over 1.5 million comments were received by the USFWS in response to their proposal to delist wolves. Th epos indicated that these comments were against delisting. Does anyone know how the Service compiles the comments? Are they catalogued to document according to for or against delisting? I’m very interested in this as it seems that public input should at least be part of the decision making process. I used to work on compiling comments for the NMFS as a team member of the Essential Fish Habitat proposed rule making after the Magnuson Act was revised and we compiled by categories. I have not seen any information on how to determine what number of comments were for or against.

    “Nearly 1.5 million Americans stated their opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to strip endangered species protections from gray wolves. This is the largest number of comments ever submitted on a federal decision involving endangered species and reflects broad dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s politically driven move to turn wolf management over to states across most of the lower 48. A decision is expected from the Service this year.”

  73. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    I’m always interested in the northern Yellowstone elk count, but it sounds like it was washed out by weather this year — best information is that the population is likely similar to last year when 3,915 were counted.
    http://www.localnews8.com/news/Yellowstone-elk-count-marred-by-weather/25487536

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      This “inability” to complete the count has already created speculation by the usual suspects that the “truth” about elk numbers in the Northern Yellowstone herd is being kept secret…

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

~ Edward Abbey

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