It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.” Please put your wildlife news in the comments below.
Do not post copyrighted material, and here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of August 5, 2015.

The bull elk of August in the Wallowa Mtns. of NE Oregon. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

The bull elk of August in the Wallowa Mtns. of NE Oregon. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

418 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Sept.15, 2015 edition

  1. Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    Texas TAHC Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in Lavaca County Captive White-tailed Deer; Linked to Index Herd

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2015/09/texas-detects-more-deer-positive-for.html

  2. Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    Deer-trafficking scheme nets record $1.6 million fine herds not certified to be free from chronic wasting disease, tuberculosis and brucellosis

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2015/09/deer-trafficking-scheme-nets-record-16.html

  3. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Killing Mountain Lions to Grow Mule Deer
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-bekoff/killing-mountain-lions-to_b_8128072.html
    “Colorado Parks and Wildlife is attempting to push through a controversial “study” that would involve killing significantly more numbers of mountain lions in hunting units in a portion of Colorado over a five-year span to see if they can increase the mule deer population for human hunters to kill.”

  4. avatar Pamela W says:

    Idaho governor has appointed a new Fish & Game Commissioner affiliated with filthy “Idaho for Wildlife,” which has established and runs the wolf & coyote killing derbies in Salmon, Idaho. This is per a press release issued by Idaho Fish & Game on Sept 11.

  5. avatar Professor Sweat says:

    Promising Fall Chinook returns passing Bonneville Dam:

    http://www.fpc.org/currentdaily/histfishtwo_7day-ytd_adults.htm

    • avatar rork says:

      I’ve been checking daily, since I’ll again be fishing Hanford Reach in a week. Even better: there are many more large fish (>20lb) than the last two years (just anecdotes from my brother). The freezers may be nearly full before I even get there.
      https://www.cbbulletin.com/ is good. New articles about sockeye returns on the Snake (Redfish lake and all), grumpy gill-net fishers (the sportsmen are not killing their quota – thus “wasting” salmon), and many others. The day-to-day decisions the fisheries managers make there create winners and losers all the time.

      • avatar Professor Sweat says:

        Thanks for the link, Rork. I’m tentatively moving to OR next March, so I’ll keep that bookmarked. Hopefully I’ll be stocking my freezer next year.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Good to hear!

  6. avatar don smith says:

    News story regarding existing gas leases and wilderness in Oregon/Idaho Owyhee desert.

    http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20150915/NEWS/150919737

  7. avatar Leslie says:

    Gotta love E.O.Wilson…his new book Half Earth.
    “a reimagined world in which humans retreat to areas comprising one half of the planet’s landmass. The rest is to be left to the 10 million species inhabiting Earth in a kind of giant national park. In human-free zones, Wilson believes, many endangered species would recover and their extinction would, most likely, be averted.”
    http://www.audubon.org/magazine/september-october-2015/eo-wilsons-wants-us-leave-half-earth

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      That was just wonderful to read.

      Also, more on the wolf killings. State police are attributing it to ‘unnatural’ poaching. Does that mean poisoning?

      http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/09/oregon_state_police_seek_answe.html

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Good article Leslie!

      Zeewolf, did you catch this paragraph?

      “By helping to preserve this piece of American wilderness, Wilson may well be making a down payment on some of the ideas in Half-Earth.

      **In encouraging communities to create preserves and parks, he is helping to save precious patches of remnant wilderness”

      • avatar Zeewolf says:

        Thanks, Nancy…

        I had read this link to E.O. Wilson’s forthcoming book. I was caught up in the audacity of his proposal (which I would off-hand support) and didn’t fully digest the two quotes you just referenced. The lesson here seems to be that small actions repeated can lead to big results.

        I need to put the professor’s books on my reading list, as I have heard him name-dropped repeatedly but am unfamiliar with his writings and all but scant few of his ideas, which generally seem to coincide with my views.

        Lately, I have been more lurking and reading than writing on this site. Recently went out for a three-night backpack locally in the excellent late summer weather, replenishing with nature what the civilized life sucks out. Ugh. Maybe I’m just another user extracting from the wild and taking that which would be better left in place.

        Did you read the comment section in Leslie’s link to the article? The comment from the person implying that reducing human population would involve mass starvation or otherwise megadeath seems typical of those whose only thoughts of bringing down the world’s population must involve apocalypse of some sort. Nonsense, says I, it might take multiple generations but it could be done compassionately and humanely.

        I’ll have a chance this weekend to interact with a group of old friends, one of whom is a founder of a local land trust and another who is an environmental lawyer with a smidgen of land use experience. This is a fine opportunity to gain some perspective on a regional western land trust.

  8. avatar rork says:

    http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/11a6288
    Gray wolf confirmed in lower MI by DNA analysis of scat. Two sets of tracks. Odawa tribal wildlife biologists are good.

  9. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    This man boldly attacked the wolf, without even the coyote excuse or livestock depredation, chasing it down in his car, but yet got only a slap on the wrist and just a paltry fine – the prosecutor might just as well have fined him $1. Is the man poverty stricken? It’s very different from a ‘first offense hunting misdemeanor’. Plus, if he stays out of trouble for only six months, even that charge will be dismissed. It really sends a deliberately bad message.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/state-game-officials-disappointed-with-deal-in-wolf-killing/

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Plus, the guy was not hunting – he was deliberately harassing wildlife, and yet nothing is done about it. Can’t the decision be appealed, or the Federal government step in for the deliberate killing an endangered animal?

  10. avatar Nancy says:

    “Murphy said, “Greed and ego are generally the driving forces behind those that commit multiple wildlife violations. That was especially evident in this case with Alwine boasting about his kills within the same day on his social media sites.”

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/-Trophy-State-of-Mind-host-sentenced-for-Montana-hunting-violations/35331956

  11. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    to continue from previous thread:
    http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2015/08/05/do-you-have-some-interesting-wildlife-news-aug-5-2015-edition/#comment-486530

    JB lamented about ‘the antis’ decimating / spoiling ‘ a more intelligent dialogue’

    good starting point to qualify this lament would be to clarify the position / point of view held by reasonable & pragmatic progressive mainstream hunters towards MSY (maximum sustainable yield) concept and it’s derivative – why it should NOT be applied to keystone predators (like wolves, for example)

    the reason / motivation / drive why JEFF E came back from his self-imposed exile (TWN-celibacy period)is because he wanted to give a voice to this ‘mythical mainstream reasonable hunter [in the NRM / Idaho]’, imo

    the same motivation applies to WM (WA , OR region) & rork /JB / Immer (from the Great Lakes area) – however, I must remind that the last two are not active hunters anymore

    in brief:

    WM stands for the NW Pacific (WA, OR)
    JEFF E for the NRM / ID (+ very rare/sporadic/occasional input from Elk 375, Tropher, Layton)
    rork from GLA / MI

    out of 5.6 K TWN followers on FB they qualify for ‘the vocal minority’ status (tongue-in-cheek)

    this of course explains anti-hunting vocal minority represented / embodied by Ida Lupines, Louise K, Nancy, Yvette etc – about whom,needless to remind, so often complain hunter vocal minority

    SO – what do you think about the MSY concept??? (to maintain ‘intelligent dialogue’)

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Mareks,

      I am preparing for deer season as we “speak”.
      The thing is, if I don’t get a deer, Es macht nicht. Got no problems with the wolves eating.

      No doubt, in the very least, I will assist at a friends in the butchering process, and receive a small amount of venison for my assistance.

      Always the irony, of those who blame wolves, yet forget the winters of 12/13, and 13/14. One of the problems of trying to maintain highest possible yield on the deer growth curve.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        Immer,

        yes I remember you used to mention that sometimes you would get some venison from your friends but I was not sure that you yourself still harvest some occasional deer.

    • avatar rork says:

      I’ll just say the obvious: MSY fails to capture all the costs and benefits, so it’s not even the right question. Wolf is an OK example: I doubt benefits of any hunting exceed costs near me. We could have some hunting of them, but not much, it brings little, and it has downsides. Black bear is perhaps the tougher issue in MI (for me).

    • avatar WM says:

      Mareks,

      I am not quite sure what your point is, but let me offer this. There are hundreds of thousands of hunters in the West, and most of them could care less about “wildlife blogs.” There are some good folks and some bad folks out there just like there are any population. I doubt many think much about “maximum sustainable yield,” as a concept we might discuss here. Most people like relatively successful hunts, for both recreation and sustaining a minor (as opposed to major) food source for the year.

      From my experiences over 40 years of hunting, the people I have hunted with are from a variety of professionals – lawyers, doctors, a dentist,a law enforcement SWAT team officer, machinists, business owners, fruit ranchers, a printer, government scientists, and senior military officers. Most just enjoy getting out. The hunt is better if they get something. They do see wolves as a potential threat to their opportunity for success -right or wrong- for any particular ecosystem. I think they would rightly call bullshit on most of this “effects of trophic cascade” in the presence of wolves. This is because, like me, they understand that wolves would NEVER be allowed in densities high enough to make that happen in managed environments with roads, agriculture and a variety of recreation opportunities including hunting elk and deer.

      And, as an aside, my geographic interests and knowledge include ID where I hunt elk every year. I also hunted elk and deer in CO, where I lived for many years, also spending substantial time in WY.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        WM,

        the point is: MSY rulllzz, even if hunters themselves will not admit it. The aim is ‘to score’ and the MSY is theoretical basis to secure that as many hunters as possible get their ‘fair share’.
        Money talks – on average hunter spends ~ $2.4K (equipment 50%, travel&lodging ~30%). If for the majority of hunters (mainstream, that is) the main drive would be ‘just to enjoy getting out’ then they:

        a) wouldn’t vehemently complain about wolves (who can impact only small ungulate populations / or slow-down ungulate pop. recovery after harsh winter);

        b) most hunters wouldn’t find it hard to object in public to those who talk nonsense about wolves.

        As we know nothing like it happens. Towards wolves [mainstream] hunter community is homogenous to continue to spread their hogwash. That’s a gospel and not-‘a few rotten apples’-thing.
        And they see wolves not as some ‘potential threat’ but as an existential threat judging by 1)the intensity and 2) content of their hype.

        Let’s look at Montana.
        MT has ~104 K hunters + 46 K non-residential ones.
        (I saw once that MT has 192 K resident hunters but for the sake of argument let’s stick to 104K)
        They usually get ~20-25K elk with 12-15% success rate.
        I guess that 100K male adults mean that 1/3 of MT’s adult males hunt. At the same time MT have 117K on food stamps. Don’t tell me that when 1 out of 3 households has one member of family who either hunts (and spends on average $2.4K) or collects food stamp that hunting is ‘just to enjoy getting out’ and ‘see wolves as some potential threat [to the enjoyment opportunity]’.

        Their basic motivation is to score and to prove to local community that they are ‘responsible providers’ of their families (not some posh hipsters/tree-huggers from some metropolitan area who buy up real estate in countryside and deny them access to public lands where the elk browse on those few spare weekends they can spend on the hunting trip).

        Therefore JB’s point about ‘the antis’ is irrelevant. There’s no middle ground for ‘intelligent & pragmatic folks’ on both sides. It’s take-no-prisoners thing and that’s why wolf groups strategy is based on lawsuits (and the ‘vocal hunter/rancher minority’ rely on the local corrupt decision-making process).

        To talk about rational/intelligent mainstream hunter community is wishful thinking and waste of time, imo.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          lawsuits are necessary, unfortunately because most humans are not capable of acting responsibly to conserve or protect natural resources. I don’t see them as an evil but an unfortunate necessity. Its illogical to argue that the lawsuit is the problem. Rogue agencies that ignore or interpret statutes inconsistently, resource extractors, officials with anti wildlife or predator agendas and our radicalized congress people that would develop every last acre for a dollar create the need for lawsuits. Those are the villians not the environmental or conservation agencies seeking to protect resources inanimate or live.

        • avatar JB says:

          Okay Mareks, how about we approach your questions with some actual data? The question–as I understand it–is whether it is useful (there is room) to engage in dialogue with hunters regarding wolf conservation and management. Your position, as you’ve succinctly stated (above) is: “to talk about rational/intelligent mainstream hunter community is wishful thinking and a waste of time…” The explicit premises are that (a) the hunting community is out of the mainstream (at least where predators are concerned), and (b) hunters aren’t capable or willing to engage in rational/intelligent dialogue.

          I have data from a 2014 survey of ~1270 adult U.S. residents that I believe addresses premise(a) quite well. Here are two data points for your consideration:

          We asked “Under what circumstances would someone be justified to shoot a wolf?” We also asked “Have you ever hunted at any point in your life?.

          Here’s what these data tell us:

          Among people who have hunted 9% under no conditions would it be justified to shoot a wolf; 23% say shooting a wolf would only be justified if they held a permit; while 68% say that it would be justified to shoot a wolf without a permit under some circumstances. Here are the comparisons with non-hunters:

          Group – Never – W/Permit – w/out perm.
          Hunters – 9% – 23% – 68%
          nonhunters – 19% – 21% – 60%
          Phi = .14; p < 0.001

          So do hunters and non-hunters differ? You bet! But the size of the effect is minimal–meaning they don't differ by much. Doesn't seem that hunters are far out of the mainstream? But lets examine another data point, shall we? Let's see if we can address your claim that hunters won't accept anything but a MSY approach.

          We asked people to agree or disagree to the item: "Allowing wolf populations to expand into other areas would lead to fewer deer, elk and moose available to hunters."

          Among hunters, a majority (51%) agreed with this statement; 22% were neutral, while 27% actually disagreed. So more than 1/4 of the hunting population does not even accept the idea that wolves will limit deer and elk populations, which is a logical prerequisite to the idea that removing wolves is necessary for MSY.

          And how do hunters compare with non-hunters? Well, our data show that, in fact, fewer non-hunters disagree with the idea that wolves will limit ungulate populations–16% to be precise, while a statistically identical number (52%) agreed with the statement. While these distributions differ significantly, the primary difference is in the proportion of folks that are neutral toward the statement –22% of hunters, 33% of non-hunters. The effect size (Phi = .196) is again quite small, suggesting hunters are not far out of the mainstream on this important question.

          So who is this group of hunters that seemingly dominates the conversation about wolves and demands populations be severely limited? Well, we asked people the extent to which they identified as hunters (choosing from Not at all, slightly, moderately, strongly and very strongly). Only about 19% of those who had ever identified “very strongly” as hunters. However, this identification had a strong effect on their beliefs about wolves. Again, mean levels of agreement with the item “allowing wolf populations to expand into other areas would lead to fewer deer, elk and moose available to hunters” did not differ significantly for hunters and non-hunters (x-bar = 4.62 (SD = 1.73); x-bar = 4.67 (SD = 1.41), respectively). In fact, mean agreement did not differ among those who indicated they identified as hunters not at all, slightly, moderately, or strongly (means ranged from 4.1 to 4.54). The only group that differed from the rest were those who “very strongly” identified as hunters–here mean agreement was much higher (x-bar = 5.75) than any of the other groups (meaning they very much agreed that wolves were going to limit their hunting opportunities).

          So finally, just how big a group is this? Well, among those who indicated that they had ever hunted, the those that “very strongly” identified as hunters constitute 19%–less than 1/5th.

          Okay, now you guys can go back to demonizing hunters–including the 4/5ths of hunters who don’t differ meaningfully from the general public in terms of their beliefs about wolves and wolf conservation.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            JB,
            Does the survey take into consideration geographic location of hunters/non hunters rural/suburban/urban; agricultural/non agricultural?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Add in wolf country/not wolf country

            • avatar Yvette says:

              I wonder how the cultural beliefs of a cross mix of tribes would affect the survey, especially those tribes that have traditionally viewed wolves as relatives? Or like the Ojibwa who believe the wolf is their brother and part of their creation story?

            • avatar JB says:

              Immer: It can. To be honest, I haven’t seen much of an effect associated with living in the GLs or NRMs; attitudes toward wolves, for example, did not differ across these regions. More fine-grained geographic analyses are planned, but for now, we’ve got our hands full working on other manuscripts.

          • avatar WM says:

            JB, Immer and all,

            I have been trying to figure out how to diplomatically approach this topic with folks here. I just returned from the annual elk hunt in North Central ID. Our hunts have been briefly summarized here in past years, including stories of wolves present in our area, and the perceived or actual effects as viewed from our knothole. Four seasoned hunters, essentially treating three days of scouting and eight days of hunting into a full time job. We hunt smart, hard and in areas where there have always been elk, and in more recent years wolves – lots of them. We have “adjusted” our hunting efforts in their presence, and success rates have still been lower. This part is important.

            To make a long story short – one of my partners saw 5-6 wolves and was passively watching them in the meadow through his rifle scope. This was about four days into our hunt. Only one elk seen to this point. He had no desire to shoot a wolf, though he later said he might have, given a more time to contemplate it.

            Incidentally, we all purchased wolf tags this year, though it would be highly unlikely I would use mine. I most reluctantly bought a non-resident tag for $31.75 (residents pay $11.50) two days before our elk hunt began, succumbing to peer pressure and the perceived need I should have one “just in case.” I should say, I did not see these wolves as I was in a different location about ¼ mile away.

            Another of our hunters came to the same spot as the first hunter glassing these wolves, just a few minutes later, near 8:30 AM. He is a younger guy in his mid 30’s, and a good hunter in his own right. He shot one of the 5 wolves without hesitation. His rationale was that they had made the elk hunting very hard, it was legal to shoot one (actually if he purchased all the tags allowed under ID law he could have shot all five), and he wanted a wolf pelt for his TV room. Apparently, it was tough to tell size at a distance when he shot the wolf. It turned out to be a younger female, about 80 pounds. I saw the dead wolf. It was no more smelly than a reasonably clean dog. It was light gray in color, and in excellent physical condition, like it had been eating well recently.

            By the way, nobody in our group was actively “wolf hunting.” It was incidental to hunting elk, and purely fortuitous that they saw them.

            I should also mention we had been hearing wolves at night both before and after the harvest of this one. I cannot be sure, but sincerely believe the death of this wolf was mourned, as the howling differed for a couple nights thereafter. We had wolves within 250 yards of our camp on several nights. I heard howling in mid-afternoon on two occasions. We may have heard more than one pack, as they were in entirely different drainages. There were pups, too, as there was quite a bit of barking by seemingly younger voices.

            Importantly, we did not tell the locals about our experience. Quite frankly I know the locals would have chastised us for not killing every wolf we saw. They, and we, fully understand that upwards of 20% of the current wolf population needs to be removed to just stay roughly even from year to year to maintain at a conservative number of about 800 wolves in ID. A number of these locals claim to be mostly subsistence hunters for elk and deer, so there is no love of wolves here.

            I don’t know how all this fits with JB’s statistics cited above, but thought I would share anyway. I am hoping folks aren’t too hard on the messenger here.

            A couple take-aways from this anecdotal evidence, mostly confirmed by similar experiences in past years. There was lots of fresher coyote scat around, which to me dispels pretty conclusively the assertion that wolves decrease coyote numbers appreciably. The wolves had been here all summer according to the locals, and that means elk calves are on the menu, possibly in large numbers early in the calving season. As for the oft asserted trophic cascade effects ala William Ripple @ Oregon State, I continue to remain very skeptical it is a big factor in much of wolf country, since suppression of elk browsed vegetation along streams in this steep ground has not been a problem, as these scientists report in Yellowstone NP.

            • avatar JB says:

              Thanks for sharing, WM. I don’t doubt you when you say that elk hunting has become harder over the years where you hunt. However, I question whether that change is attributable to wolves (or more appropriately, is solely attributable to wolves). As I’ve noted here in the past, the mechanisms by which trophic cascades work is through (a) limiting ungulate abundance, and (b) changing their behavior. As you’ve (rightly) noted many times in the past, mechanism (b) is highly questionable given the evidence, and mechanism (a) appears to be dependent upon a variety of conditions. This creates a conundrum for both wolf advocates and the “haters”. Specifically, if we accept that wolves are limiting elk abundance, then it follows that a TC is quite probable given the associated reduction in browsing. So, the “benefit” associated with wolves (to the ecologically-minded) can’t be separated from the cost to hunters–the two go hand-in-hand.

              On the other hand, if wolves are not impacting elk abundance or elk behavior, then they cannot have the beneficial impact on ecosystems that so many advocates like to claim (the TC). What a pickle! I’ve spoken with many ecologists about this issue and almost universally they will tell you that the issue is more complicated–wolves effect on ungulate abundance is conditional on other factors; thus, so is the TC. This was laid out quite well in a recent review article led by Rolf Peterson.

              In WM’s case, the ecological fallacy refers to the inappropriate assumption the outcome of a specific case can be deduced by statistical relationships established by looking across cases. In essence, the ecological fallacy is the scientific equivalent of stereotyping. Thus, I can’t say much about the particulars of WM’s experience. However, I do think it is important to contextualize what is happening in the NRs. Elk populations when wolves were reintroduced where at all time highs throughout much of the territory they have subsequently occupied. These populations were not sustainable, and likely, many of these units would have seen reductions in elk abundance with or without increased predation from wolves (i.e., we would have witnessed regression toward the mean). Again, I can’t assert that this explanation is appropriate in WM’s case any more than it would be appropriate to assert that wolves are solely responsible for the reduced success of his group.

              WM, I hope that you will share this explanation with your hunting group. I’d be happy to provide an even more detailed explanation if it helps?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Elk populations when wolves were reintroduced where at all time highs throughout much of the territory they have subsequently occupied. “These populations were not sustainable, and likely, many of these units would have seen reductions in elk abundance with or without increased predation from wolves (i.e., we would have witnessed regression toward the mean)”

                Game managers biggest headache, maintaining the sweet spot in sigmoid growth curves for surplus culled by hunting. So many variables at play.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                ++This was laid out quite well in a recent review article led by Rolf Peterson.++

                Do you have a cite for this article?

                As to your points, I am (was) a bit hesitant to even bring this recent event up here. But, I suspect it is to some degree representative of what is going on in the real world – even some hunting camps like mine – where not everyone agrees on what to do when seeing a wolf as they hunt elk (or deer). Personal choices do not always result in the same course of action. I don’t know what my younger friend will do next time he sees one. He now has his wolf skin. Will he want another? I doubt he would shoot one and not retrieve and process it, as we are pretty sure some of the locals would do, at least based on their bravado rants.

                The level of “enlightenment” among those who live, work and play in expanding wolf country is not present. These folks who work in the woods – loggers, fallers, choker-setters, truck drivers, foresters and techs, logging engineers, road crews, tree planters, fire suppression crews, and their families and those who provide goods and services to them in the communities they live – is different from somebody sitting at their computer in a big city in MA, NY, CA or FL pontificating about how these areas should be. Some of it is state and private forest, as well as federal lands. The locals view these lands as theirs because they use them every day, regardless of ownership, and they really don’t like the threshold set by the federal government (and the state) on how many wolves they must have on the landscape, no matter how compelling the science.

                Incidentally, it looks like some scientists and wolf advocacy groups have weighed in to oppose (per a CBD news relesas) the OR DFW apparent decision to state delist wolves in Eastern OR. I personally think such a delisting is premature.

                • avatar JB says:

                  Sure, WM. Here’s the citation.

                  Peterson, R. O., J. A. Vucetich, J. K. Bump, and D. W. Smith. 2014. Trophic Cascades in a Multicausal World: Isle Royale and Yellowstone. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 45:325-345.

                  Don’t know if you’ll have access, but here’s the link to the article: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091634

                  Unlike so many here, I don’t see the point of ridiculing folks for killing predators. I’ve never known anyone to change their mind after being insulted; indeed, this usually has the opposite effect. And shaming only works if the person feels s/he will be sanctioned by his peers. As you point out, in many of these small communities, shooting a wolf will get you a pat on the back and a beer at the bar–and pissing off ‘left-wing environmentalists’ is icing on the cake. I wish more people understood this.

                  The ‘ownership’ that locals feel over natural resources is sometimes a boon to conservationists (as when locals unit to oppose development). However, where wolves are concerned, local ownership seems to equate to ‘kill as many as possible.’ This is true for wolves whether gray, Mexican gray, or red. I’m not certain how we overcome this, but I am certain that calling these people names is doing more harm than good.

                • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                  JB, we do understand it – more than you know. But what’s the alternative? To shut up and ag-gag for fear of what they might do? We get the message that ‘we didn’t wanna do it, but the enviros are making us do this’. Ruling by fear and intimidation isn’t democratic. I try not to ridicule hunters and dump them all into one basket, but not all of them good and decent.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Thanks, JB,

                  I found the Peterson et al, article accessible on another site by doing a search for it. Haven’t read it yet for content, but do like the way it is organized… and importantly the paper begins with a disclaimer focusing on the definition of “trophic cascade.”

                  And, I think your earlier comment recognizes this distinction, as well. If wolves reduce elk population or change their behavior to the point that they occupy the land differently, there will be ecological effects. The question it seems to me is just how much and where, and in the overall scheme is it really significant? I submit that folks like Ripple overstate their case on universal applicability in a rather grand way. And, as we have discussed before that is an area of discord and disagreement with Dr. Mech.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              So I take it you all left empty-handed, and your petulant hunting partner decided to thump a wolf out of anger and frustration?

              Sorry, that’s as good about it as I can be. I hope you set him straight?

              • avatar WM says:

                Petulant is your word, Ida. The hunting partner is, in my view, a rational guy. He is college educated, bi-lingual, and holds a very responsible job. We got one elk, which is 50 to 75% less than our long term average before an increasing wolf presence. The small bull was a spike, weighing in at about 230 pounds at the meat processor. I know split 4 ways his share won’t feed his family for the winter.

                And, why would I “set him straight?” He fully understands the issues in play. All three of my partners’ eyes glass over with the mention of esoteric concepts like “trophic cascade,” especially where, here, there is considerable vegetation disturbance from logging, and road building, and there are no elk being kept from riparian areas where vegetation is now miraculously released due to wolf presence. They have a hard time keeping a straight face (as do I sometimes) when the topic of terrestrial tropic cascade is discussed.

                And, while Immer may be (is)correct about the pressure on game managers to keep ungulate production high in the face of lots of variables, the largest factor faced where we hunt in ID is increasing wolf presence – whether they kill lots of elk or change behavior. I can tell you, elk are not as vocal – little bugling by bulls, and much less calling by cows and calves. I miss that,…. a lot. Does that affect reproduction rate because the bulls and cows are not getting together as efficiently? Studies, I think, are mixed on those conclusions.

                • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                  If this is true, none of that speaks to his views on non-human life. The fact that you say he could ‘shoot a wolf without a moment’s hesitation’ speaks volumes, no matter what his credentials are. Some hunters are too entitled in their views, and no matter what we do or where we are in this country, our public lands and wildlife belong to all of us. Many of us don’t want to see it continue to be diminished for meaningless trophies or trying to show prowess, or foolishly trying to eliminate what we see in our minds as ‘competition’. The only reason I begrudgingly support a narrow view of ‘traditional’ hunting is that supposedly it helps spare wildlands from development.

                  I know that it’s the way the laws are written; in the Western states they are written so that wolves can be eliminated along with a deer hunt.

                  By setting him straight, I meant that if you didn’t agree with what he did, I would hope you would have spoken your mind. I don’t think it is anyone’s right to do things like this, regardless of what the majority thinks.

                  If you miss the sound of elk, that’s too bad. We have to realize that wildlife isn’t ours alone, and they have lives of their own that have nothing to do with us busybodies.

                  Not sure what to post about Ralph’s recent grizzly article. It’s wonderful that he’s had such a love of the wildlife and wild places for so long. I really do hope that we can count on the Interior Dept. to continue to protect them, but I don’t have a lot of faith in them at the moment. We seem to have no problem eliminating “problem” bears when we need to.

                  And that’s all I’ve got to say!

                • avatar JB says:

                  Ida:

                  USFWS has no interest in continuing to protect the GYE grizzly population. I got this direct from Dan Ashe’s lips only a few weeks ago. At that time, we were told that they are in the process of putting together a proposed rule that would removing ESA protections for the population. Ashe did say they feel they have more work to do on grizzlies in the lower 48; but we didn’t get specifics on where.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Ida, you said:

                  ++By setting him straight, I meant that if you didn’t agree with what he did, I would hope you would have spoken your mind. I don’t think it is anyone’s right to do things like this, regardless of what the majority thinks. ++

                  I think I have been crystal clear on this forum about the need to control numbers of wolves through hunting where concentrations are high (within legal limits set by states). I just choose at this point not to be among those legally shooting them – and that is my personal choice, though I did buy a tag this year. I expect there are many other hunters with similar views. Besides, my wife, an ardent member of Defenders of Wildlife, PETA and a couple other groups would not support it. However, at dinner with friends this past week-end she defended my hunter friend’s decision and action. I was very surprised at this!

                • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                  I do appreciate also the fact that you brought it up, and your contributions to the discussions here, don’t get me wrong. But I felt I had to say something also in defense of that innocent animal.

                  JB, I didn’t realize the grizzly delisting had progressed that far!

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  WM,

                  “I can tell you, elk are not as vocal – little bugling by bulls, and much less calling by cows and calves.”

                  (implicit)if one doesn’t brutally hunt down wolves, then one will not hear elk bull gugling & cows calling – now, what an esoteric holler/howler is this?

            • avatar Yvette says:

              Thank you for the honesty and candor, WM. I do remember your angry revelations from you hunt last year when you guys left empty handed.

              From your words, I think the following statements are a good summation of why there is such a strong division between those who are willing to hunt predators, especially wolves, and those who oppose it.

              “He shot one of the 5 wolves without hesitation. His rationale was that they had made the elk hunting very hard,

              If it’s supposed to not be difficult why is it called hunting?

              There is a lot of room for discussion on that topic alone. I could go on a rant of how it seems far too many in our society expect everything in life to be easy. When things in life, including hunting, aren’t as easy as we think it should be or as easy as we’ve come to expect it then we get our undies in a wad and whine. That is a sure sign of just how soft we have become. Got a problem? Take a pill. Something go wrong? Make a mistake? Point the finger to blame someone else. Elk hunting getting more difficult? Blame the wolves.

              “it was legal to shoot one (actually if he purchased all the tags allowed under ID law he could have shot all five),”

              Glad it was legal. Should it be? Even if it wasn’t, McKittrick has basically provided a legal out for anyone that kills a wolf ‘by mistake’. None of us will ever agree on this one.

              and he wanted a wolf pelt for his TV room.

              A physical trophy to confirm his virility, his masculinity, his bravado……..yet he is complaining that ‘elk hunting has become harder’.

              “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

            • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

              WM,

              4 seasoned(non-residents?)hunters killed 1 elk – so success rate is 25% compared to the average one of 12-15%. However, they still are complaining as it “is 50 to 75% less than our long term average”. So much for assertion that hunting is ‘just to enjoy getting out’ and ‘see wolves as some potential threat [to the enjoyment opportunity]’.

              +

              In March 2015, state officials announced they had killed 19 wolves in northern Idaho to help increase the elk population there. The number of elk had dropped from 16,000 to roughly 1,000 over the last 25 years.

              Of course, the culprit is wolf.

              +

              just to remind, I haven’t started reference to Trophic Cascade – WM did it. Just to let his steam off, I guess.

              I will just point out to Dan MacNulty’s et al research:

              Wolves will kill for more space,new USU study finds
              http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=29873051#bswTwvzzjAoUI93l.03

              This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area,” MacNulty said. “But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety.”

              For those concerned about wolf populations, even when you have super abundant prey like in Yellowstone, there are limits to wolf population growth. There is an intrinsic limit to the number of wolves that occupy a given space,” MacNulty said, adding that because rival packs will attack and kill rival wolf pups, their numbers are self-limiting.

              “What this paper does say is, though there is this notion that wolves will increase like a locust without any sort of natural limit, that idea is not supported by the data,” he said.

              MacNulty, who has been studying the wolves at Yellowstone for 19 years, said the rivalry among wolf families ramps up despite ample food when they are packed in too closely to one another.

              +

              Poachers Kill More Game Animals than Wolves, North Idaho Officials Say
              http://magicvalley.com/news/local/poachers-kill-more-game-animals-than-wolves-north-idaho-officials/article_fe659de6-c71a-11e3-bbde-001a4bcf887a.html

              • avatar WM says:

                Mareks,

                I suspect you understand that success in hunting is a combination of skill and opportunity, or in some cases just dumb luck. Not all hunters are skilled, or put in the time and the extra physical and mental effort to create opportunity.

                So, do consider if someone hunts for a just a couple days or they are not skilled and/or hunting in the right place at the right time, the success rate goes DOWN. Even phase of the moon and weather play important roles in rate of success. Then there is the marksmanship part involving the skills necessary to actually shoot an elk. Lots of reasons why the average might be in the 10-12 percent range. Sometimes there just aren’t any elk showing up.

                Incidentally, I have bought tags in past years in my home state of WA, and could not hunt because of unanticipated work commitments, so no doubt brought the average down there. I suspect I’m not the only one in that group. Sometimes critical thinking on such topics is in short supply.

                Or, are you just being snarky, and breezing on thoughtlessly about my hunting experiences because you can?

            • avatar Professor Sweat says:

              WM,

              Out of curiosity, which area in North Central ID do you and your pals hunt? We have some family friends just south of the Cabinets around Lake Pend Oreille that brought home two bulls (one was a 6-pointer) this year. I saw the pictures of the whole family working together to butcher the meat.

              I’m assuming you were in a more remote area with a higher wolf population. I doubt the wolf densities are as high where our friends took the bulls.

              “The level of “enlightenment” among those who live, work and play in expanding wolf country is not present. These folks who work in the woods – loggers, fallers, choker-setters, truck drivers, foresters and techs, logging engineers, road crews, tree planters, fire suppression crews, and their families and those who provide goods and services to them in the communities they live – is different from somebody sitting at their computer in a big city in MA, NY, CA or FL pontificating about how these areas should be.”

              I admit visiting rural Idaho, speaking/drinking with locals help me to understand the issues with more clarity. Still heard some nonsense and I don’t (and will never) consider it proper to shoot an intelligent animal I don’t intend to eat. However, the attitudes I encountered weren’t as driven by hate as they were by practicality in most instances. I can’t condemn someone who needs an elk or deer (for the freezer) for wanting less wolves around. If you rely on seasonal income or you live somewhere snowplows don’t go, that meat can be crucial.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Immer asked some of these questions but how many surveyed and where

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              and also for wolves I think its important to eliminate and identify bias by adding other predators to the survey

            • avatar JB says:

              1270 or so surveyed, equally distributed over the NRMs, WGLs, and the rest of the country. These data were weighted to be representative of the U.S. public.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “Idaho Department of Fish and Game is forecasting better deer and elk hunting this year because of consecutive mild winters and excellent survival of deer and elk”

            http://www.idahocountyfreepress.com/news/2015/aug/26/time-running-out-discounted-second-general-season-/

          • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

            JB,

            1) if the MSY concept wouldn’t be on the average hunter’s mind in the NRM then they would adapt Jeff E’s stand:

            co-existence with large predators and if one is not capable to kill ungulate and complains about it, then he should buy his meat at local supermarket.

            Is this clear?

            and Jeff E used to tell that he got his annual elk late at the hunting season (shortly before Christmas time)when most hunters already had their try. And how he met fellow hunters sitting on their arses in car and bitching about the lack of elk.

            2)if people are asked about wolf hunting then they should have some basic understanding of ecology and relevant local background information.
            Hunters usually think that they are well versed in wolf ecology.

            Otherwise it reminds me of another poll’s question: ” Do you support wolf hunting?”
            well, the wolf quota can range from few percents to more than 35%. But as many urban dwellers would support ‘limited/reasonable wolf control’ then their answers can be lumped together with hunters who also support wolf hunting.

            3) in ID, MT wolf quota is ~ 250-350 wolves but ID sells about 30K wolf tags annually. Therefore if the majority of hunters don’t object to wolf killing then there’s always will be more than enough potential wolf killers among those 19% who ‘strongly identify’ themselves as hunters or those 51% who think that wolves reduce ungulate numbers.

            By the way, it’s not enough for a wolf range to expand that ungulate numbers go down. High wolf density + abiotic factors (winters / droughts / willdfires) colliding simultaneously is what’s necessary for ungulate numbers to go down.

            and those 27% of hunters who don’t think that wolves reduce ungulate numbers can relate to those who are successful hunters or who get some venison from their friends if they are unsuccessful in a given year.

            +

            68% of hunters think it’s ok to kill a wolf without a permit (under certain circumstances) – well, of course it’s ok for ranchers to kill wolf without permit near their livestock. Hunters know that.

            +

            Poll: Idaho Residents Don’t Want Protections for Wolves

            http://idahopoliticsweekly.com/politics/237-poll-idaho-residents-don-t-want-protections-for-wolves

            58 percent of Idahoans don’t want the wolf protected by the federal or state governments, 39 percent do want such protections, while only 3 percent didn’t have an opinion.

            Republicans oppose protecting wolves, 72-24 percent; Democrats favor protecting wolves, 71-28 percent; while political independents oppose wolf protections, 53-44 percent.

            • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

              and what about NRM Governors / Commissioners/ Senators & Congressmen who demand intense wolf hunting pressure? are they criticized by mainstream hunters?

              Idaho lawmakers vote to renew wolf-kill program funds
              http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/mar/11/idaho-lawmakers-vote-to-renew-wolf-kill-program/

              http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/oct/19/idaho-pulling-back-on-wolves/

              Idaho Gov. Butch Otter ordered state wildlife managers Monday to stop arresting poachers and investigating illegal killings of wolves, saying the state is getting out of wolf management.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mareks,

                Perhaps you will take a closer look at the date of the article to which you link for the last sentence of your post…2010.

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  WM,

                  I’ve noticed the date of article before I posted link – but what has changed? The party line is the same now as it was then. Maybe rhetoric is more restrained, that’s all.

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  and compare that Otter’s poacher policy with the link above (“Poachers Kill More Game Animals than Wolves, North Idaho Officials Say”)- cultural values are pretty clear

            • avatar JB says:

              Mareks:

              There is a substantial difference between maximum sustained yield, and increased yield via control of an ecological factor believed to impact harvest. I’m not at all surprised that polls show most Idahoans don’t want wolves protected; I suspect most don’t believe they need to be protected. Again, there is a big difference between federal protections (with no harvest) and the idea that hunters will relentlessly pursue a maximum sustained yield of elk.

              I believe our data are pretty conclusive; the state is not representing hunter interests (as a whole) in their management. Rather, they are representing a very vocal minority that doesn’t like wolves, nor the people wolves represent. When you criticize hunters on the whole, you risk alienating the majority–most of whom agree that wolves need greater (though not federal) protections.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                JB,

                in Idaho 23 out of 29 management units elk is at ‘ideal’numbers / level or above it. I suppose ‘ideal’ is more closer to MSY than ‘some increased yield’. In localities where elk numbers went down wolf wasn’t a single or most significant factor. So wolf killing will be to no avail.

                but ok, let’s accept that hunters will brutally hunt wolves to gain some increase in elk numbers in those few localities where their numbers went down. How will that increase improve 12-15% success rate?
                sorry, I don’t buy this reasoning.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Your post Mareks assumes that “anti” hunters are a vocal “minority”. I think instead we are a vocal majority frustrated by concepts like Maximimum sustainable yield that should not apply to any species (take a look at what it did for the richest fishing grounds in the world Stellwaggen Bank and the continental shelf areas off cape cod) never mind intelligent social mammals. Or consider that in 2015 we might have evolved past the inherent cruelty and suffering caused by the status quo traditional wildlife management paradigm.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “Of the 13.7 million hunters that took to the field in 2011, 11.6 million hunted big game, 4.5 million hunted small game, 2.6 million hunted migratory birds, and 2.2 million other animals.
        Of the 33.1 million anglers that fished, 27.5 million freshwater fished and 8.9 million saltwater fished.
        While 94% of the U.S. population 16 years of age and older resided in metropolitan areas (50,000 and over populations), 89% of all anglers and 80% of all hunters were metropolitan residents.
        73% (24.2 million) of all anglers were male and 27% (8.9 million) were female. 89% (12.2 million) of all hunters were males and 11% (1.5 million) were females.
        Wildlife Watching Highlights

        71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed birds and other wildlife in 2011. Almost 68.6 million people wildlife watched around their homes, and 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home to primarily wildlife watch.
        Of the 46.7 million people who observed wild birds, 88% did so around their homes and 38% on trips a mile or more from home.
        Other types of wildlife also were popular for trip takers: 13.7 million people enjoyed wildlife watching land mammals such as bear, squirrel, and buffalo. 4 million people wildlife watched marine mammals such as whales and dolphins; 6.4 million enjoyed watching fish; and 10.1 million enjoyed watching other wildlife such as butterflies.
        People spent $54.9 billion on their wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011. This amounted to $981 on average per spender ”

        This was from the 2015 USFW report
        hmm seems to me that wildlife watchers greatly exceed hunters even factoring in that some hunters may have claimed to be both watcher and hunter.

        maybe you can’t argue that all wildlife watchers are anti hunters but it would be logical to think that most people that want to continue to see wildlife aren’t that crazy about contemplating the animals they enjoy seeing will be shot or killed when encountered by the next hunter they see and are managed under extremely liberal pro killing regulations.

  12. avatar rork says:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/09/16/3987428_idaho-deer-and-elk-hunters-could.html was interesting. Last year there were more mule deer harvested than any year since 1992, but the wildlife manager somehow let himself talk about how much better things are than 2009 – trying to credit predator management. There is no model, just cherry picking.

  13. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Female snake living in captivity without a male companion gives birth – again

    For the second time in two years, a female yellow-bellied water snake in Missouri reproduced on her own, a rare occurence called parthenogenesis
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/17/female-snake-gives-birth-without-male

    Parthenogenesis is a type of asexual reproduction in which offspring develop from unfertilized eggs, meaning there is no genetic contribution by a male. It’s caused when cells known as polar bodies, which are produced with an animal’s egg and usually die, behave like sperm and fuse with the egg, triggering cell division.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      I have been reading that in some species parthenogenisis is more common because the animals are lacking contact with potential mates or are pressured by habitat loss or lowered populations due to hunting or fishing. Its incredible

  14. avatar WM says:

    Some might say EPA overstepped their authority with this enforcement action under the Clean Water Act in WY. This is the kind of regulatory stuff that really ticks off the locals in the West, and why they constantly seek federal regulatory reform. The story doesn’t mention whether the guy has water rights to a new pond he built on a small stream. Region X EPA in Denver is known to be a pain in the butt.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/%e2%80%98regulatory-war%e2%80%99-fought-over-a-wyoming-family%e2%80%99s-pond/ar-AAetO4r?li=AAa0dzB

    These are the same folks that breached the toxic sediment mining waste dam in Colorado on the Animas River outside Durango a couple weeks back. No wonder folks dislike (some would say incompetent) federal bureaucrats interpreting rules made in DC, or otherwise doing stupid field work. I saw this stuff in action years ago. Doesn’t look like much has changed.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/09/us/colorado-epa-mine-river-spill/

    • avatar Yvette says:

      from the link:

      But in the two years since Mr. Johnson dammed a small creek running through his front yard to create the pond, it has become an emblem for conservative groups and local governments that are fighting what Senator Michael B. Enzi called a “regulatory war” with the Obama administration over environmental issues ranging from water quality to gas drilling, coal power plants to sage grouse.

      “It makes no sense whatsoever,” Mr. Johnson said, pointing at the waving grasses and birds pinwheeling around the water. “We have wetlands now. I really think the E.P.A. should be coming in and saying, ‘Good job.’”

      First of all if you are going to drain, dredge, dam, fill, reroute or do anything with a navigable water system you must get a permit under section 404 of the CWA. You go to the ACOE to apply for the permit. EPA has enforcement authority. That has been in the CWA regulations since it was enacted in 1972. It is the law of the land. Yes, the ruling from the IL Cook county lawsuit, SWANCC vs. USACOE in 2001 and the SC ruling on what is navigable waters from the Rapanos case muddied the the interpretation of what is a navigable water, (imagine a lawyer doing that!) but anyone still must seek a permit to drain, dredge, fill or interrupt the flow of navigable waters of the U.S.

      The man is in violation and with your legal background, WM you should know this.

      Lastly, it matters not whether this man has water ‘rights’. He still must apply for a permit if he is going to drain, dredge, fill, a navigable waterway. So the water rights you mention is a moot point and it’s a strawman argument. He is in violation of section 404 CWA.

      Secondly, the landowner is yammering on about ‘regulatory fights with the Obama administration’. Oh whatever. These regulations were not enacted nor implemented by the Obama Administration.

      This is just more hyperbolic political BS. If I am downstream and anyone dams a stream (or pollutes or adversely affects WQ) of that stream flowing through my property consider the fight on. I will win. I will win because the regulations support it.

      As for the mining spill into the Animas R. Region 8 tried to get that area under Superfund designation, which would have opened up millions of dollars in funding for the clean-up. The community of Durango and surrounding areas did not want the stigma of ‘superfund’, so region 8 was left to do a major job without the necessary funds. No one can build a mansion on a row house budget. Was is a disaster? Damn straight it was but do not place 100% of the blame on Region 8 when the community is also at fault.

      “No wonder folks dislike (some would say incompetent) federal bureaucrats interpreting rules made in DC, or otherwise doing stupid field work.”

      Really? The CWA has been the law of the land since 1972. The largest slice of incompetence I’ve seen is the LEGAL interpretation from SC justices in the Rapanos case which left most of the scientists and engineers saying ‘WTH’ do we do with this?

      Just this year EPA (yes, that same dastardly federal agency that right wingers love to hate, and yes, it was a rule from the Head Agency in DC, egads!) passed the new clean water rule. The intent is an attempt to help regulators that are forced to interpret the result of SC lawyer’s interpretations of what is a navigable water. All the new water rule is doing it clarify that and they were far to nice to the agriculture industry that was screaming like a banshee.

      Frankly, I am tired of this constant attack on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by right wingers and their hyperbolic rhetoric.

      Unlike some wetland permits this case appears to be pretty damned simple, WM. Dam a stream without a permit and you will be in violation.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Yvette, some interesting images of Mr. Johnson’s “stock pond”

        https://www.google.com/search?q=pictures+of+johnson's+pond+epa+wyoming&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7TSNF&biw=2286&bih=1044&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CB8QsARqFQoTCPqolrephsgCFUeWiAodKCAOZQ&dpr=0.7#imgrc=ctaJcU43PxeLhM%3A

        Course not all the images are of his pond but gotta say, his pond looks more like a reservoir rather than a pond. The American flags all over are a nice touch….Another Bundy wanna be?

        • avatar Yvette says:

          That just blows my mind. Truly. If he wanted a farm pond why didn’t he go to the state or county NRCS and have them help him build one?

          What is it with these Bundy types that think they can do anything they want whenever they want? I looked at the Ft. Bridger, WY region on Google map and it looks weird since it’s an island of lush green surrounded by the drylands. I’ve driven that long stretch of hwy 80 many times over the last several decades and it’s a long stretch of drylands. In the old days there were many billboards for “Little America”. I suppose it’s all irrigated land.

          Considering how dry that ecosystem is in that region it’s likely a local turned him in to EPA. EPA certainly doesn’t go out and drive around to find these cheaters. The man is stealing someone’s water. Plus, he could well be in endangering habitat for aquatic flora and fauna in that stream and the riparian area.

          And he claimed wetlands? That does not look like a jurisdictional wetland to me and all I saw no emergent vegetation in the littoral zone. I saw rocks. That is what he has on the shore; rocks.

          Why don’t people start standing up for EPA? What do people want to return to? Rivers on fire again? No life in the water?

          • avatar Yvette says:

            “Irrigated land in the Fort Bridger region”, not all along hwy 80. The last time I drove it was at night and it looked like a spaceship from all the oil and gas operations. They ruined it.

            • avatar Wyo Native says:

              Since this is where I live, be mistaken in your memory since there is very little oil and gas production along this portion of I 80 and what there is lacks nighttime lighting. About the only thing you’ll see along this stretch of I 80 at night is the hundreds of blinking red lights from the Wind Turbines on Bridger Butte. Also this so called stream is nothing more than an irrigation ditch from the Blacks Fork River that only runs water during irrigation season. He also isn’t stealing someones water. He has water rights included with his property so that’s not the case.

              • avatar Yvette says:

                One article says he dug out Six Mile Creek, if that is indeed the steam which he damned then it is on maps. Wyo Native, Don’t know how much you know about hydrology, but if you look at the size of his ‘pond’ it’s far larger than what he would likely get from an irrigation ditch. Also, drainage and irrigation ditches don’t get named as streams on hydrography maps. This creek is named.

                If this was a nothing more than an irrigation ditch there is no way EPA would be wasting their time.

                If you really want to see just how big the lies are coming from right wing watch the video on this article. It will show how large of a ‘pond’ this little irrigation ditch is filling.

                The lies on this one are enough to make a sane person projectile vomit, but I did love that they show how large his little stock pond actually is. http://www.the-open-mind.com/epa-fines-man-16-million-for-building-a-pond-on-his-own-property/

                Good thing we’re not in Brooklyn or these cowboys would be trying to sell a bridge. I’m not buying their lies. Fine him or take him to court.

                How sad we’ve turned into a nation where people lie and steal; lie and steal and as long as you wear a big white hat and some cowboy boots you’ll likely get away with it.

      • avatar WM says:

        Yvette,
        Only have cryptic response on my phone. This guy argues size of creek he is impounding is the issue. The stories I could tell about 404 and the Corps.

        • avatar WM says:

          Omaha branch of Corps. Flatlanders that don’t I know squat!

        • avatar WM says:

          Dang this tiny type pad! Mostly not disagreeing w/ you on what regs say. Question is whether nav waters definition may be overreaching. Apparently this guy did all that was required under state law to get permission. What will federal court say??

          • avatar Yvette says:

            I agree. I loath typing on those tiny phone ‘keyboards’.

            In that video from the obvious patriot/right wing site, I noticed he said he got the go ahead from the state. That made me wonder why WY would do that since whoever does the permitting in WY should know he would need to apply for a permit from the ACOE. In the past, I noticed WY seemed to be way behind the mark on WQS and what what they have on their environmental/natural resources state site. What’s the deal with Wyoming and water?

            If Six Mile Creek is indeed a creek then he is in violation. If it’s an irrigation ditch as WY Native stated then it would not be listed on maps as a creek nor would it have a name. I wish I could get on the ground and see this creek for myself.

            I think this so called law abiding citizen is in the anti-Obama and I hate EPA crowd. Looks like he is just trying to stir the pot. I noticed one of the articles I read (don’t remember if it was from the patriot right wing site) was referring to this new oppressive water rule EPA is ‘shoving down’ their throats. I can do nothing but shake my head at this point. That new water rule works in their favor because it clarifies what is navigable and adds a distance to the nexus, (which I think may not be a good thing because distance isn’t what determines whether a wetland has a nexus (from a hydrologist standpoint). It’s sad to see how hatred just makes people blind and truly dumbed down. This new “oppresive” water rule has clarified that no federal agency is going to try and regulate drainage ditches, but these people are blinded by hate, I believe.

            • avatar Wyo Native says:

              I don’t need to watch any video to know the truth about this story. I literally grew up and my parents still live less than a mile from these people. It is true that the drainage in question is called Six Mile Creek, but the reason for it is the so called creek us only six miles long. I don’t know why it recieved the designation as a creek, but it has no source and only flows water from irrigation runoff from upstream fields that are supplied irrigation water from the Blacks Fork river that flows from the North Slope of the Uinta mountain range. Hell even when it is flowing the discharge of the so called creek ends up in another man made irrigation corridor that delivers water to users along the east side of the Bridger Butte during irrigation season.

              The problem with the EPA is their designation of this bring “navigable” waters of the U.S. In no way should this foot wide “creek” that does not flow into a tributary of the Green River when it does flow water receive this designation.

              • avatar Yvette says:

                Six Mile Creek is on the National Hydrography maps and is designated as a stream. These maps also have canals mapped but they are differentiated as canals and some are even named, such as the Pine Grove Canal. There are two different streams named Six Mile Creek. One is 1st order stream west of the Pine Grove Canal and drains into that canal, which looks to drain into a stream called Three Mile Creek. The Six Mile Creek on the east side of Pine Grove Canal looks to be a 2nd order stream that flows into an unnamed canal which flows into the Blacks Fork.

                Bottom line is if you drain, dredge, fill or dam up a creek you will need a permit from the ACOE. The state does not have that authority unless that state has assumed 401 authority, which I believe WY has not. Applying for a permit simply means approval is needed prior to any work being done, and it can be denied if the work is not justified. This has been the federal law since 1972. It has nothing to do with the Black man in the White House or his administration. If these people want to point fingers and blame the feds they need to blame the right one, which would be Nixon. He is the one who signed the CWA into law and started the EPA.

                The man may very well have thought he acted within the law but it appears he did not, regardless of what he has been told or what he believes, or whether he agrees with the law. He now just needs to correct the situation. If he chooses not to attempt to work with EPA enforcement and ACOE and anyone else willing to help him correct the situation then he has to face the legal consequences. But what he has done is gather all the people that oppose the federal agencies, federal laws, a Black man in the White house and any media sources of the same ilk to act like he is the poor victimized hard working man. He and his ilk are full of crap. He seems to have plenty of government hating like minded politicians and pro bono lawyers working for him, so take it through the court systems and see how it works out.

                I’m just sick and tired of the slant, the twists, and the outright lies. I don’t give a dam how many flags they fly or bibles they thump, their words are slanted, twisted and often, outright lies. It’s disgusting and I’ll speak out against the liars.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Yvette,
                  You assume the navigable waters definition and the national map are not subject to legal challenge. Again, maybe there is another out outcome on the facts.

                • avatar Wyo Native says:

                  Yvette,

                  The section of Six Mile Creek is the second one you described. This section when flowing discharges into the Bridger Butte Canal. The Bridger Butte Canal is fed from the Blacks Fork River just upstream of where Six Mile Creek enters the canal. Bridger Butte canal does not discharge back into any navigable water of the US.

                • avatar Yvette says:

                  Not really, WM. It looks like that is the route they are going to take. They are within their right to challenge it.

                • avatar Yvette says:

                  Thanks WY Native. From looking at those maps earlier, what you describe makes sense and jives with the hydrography map. That’s as far as I can take it since I’m not there on the ground. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

            • avatar Jake Jenson says:

              -1 I can do nothing but shake my head as well because you’re just as full of bull as that right wing patriot site is.

              • avatar Barb Rupers says:

                Shaking your head in a discussion is not very useful. Perhaps you could add some comments about the “bull” you mention.

                • avatar Jake Jenson says:

                  Sorry I do not see any political bigotry, racism, or lying at all. I see a family threatened with complete financial ruin based on the EPA being unclear, unscientific and unreasonable. This man is speaking and acting responsibly and taking his right of redress of grievances into the court system seeking a just conclusion of this matter. Your “side” sues the federal government quite often. Why is it when the other “side” seeks redress of grievances against the government they’re liars cheaters and Obama haters? Unsubstantiated false accusations against this man and the law firm representing him have no value in the discussion because those falsehoods are BS. I have an interest in this issue because i also have an acre sized pond. Do you have a pond? If so is your pond illegal?

  15. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    But, but, but …

    If a Superfund site hadn’t also had opposition from the locals, perhaps the disaster might have been averted or be less severe, and the ongoing inferior measures to control it would not have been necessary?

    As it is, the river is already lifeless due to leaching chemical, the Inanimas River.

    There are many other old mine sites that will probably be in the same state some day, so this ought to be a wakeup call. And just imagine what could happen with something like the Pebble Mine! I think DC’s state of inertia is because they don’t want to be seen as overstepping their authority, and now err on the side of too little. The states are part of a Nation, and water doesn’t contain itself to only their individual areas, it affects many people, flora and fauna.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Jeff E,

      I think this is an important development. More insects and disease have been predicted, but this puts flesh on the generality of it.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Ralph,
        As any of us know that has been to Alaska, the last thing you want is a longer skeeter season.
        Couple that with the biting flies and it must get preety miserable for the calves.

  16. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=afe7d7387151def1a9ab883cf&id=5cc7e7b920&e=d6bef13159

    for those of you as repulsed by trapping as I am, this is a good commentary to post and share

  17. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article26995669.html

    excellent commentary on the USFWS red wolf debacle. I would argue that the agency is lacking more than a spine. They need an overhaul and to do their jobs to protect endangered species and to promote conservation of public trust resources. To have killed the lactating red wolf because a landowner would not comply with their requests to remove the wolf non lethally was a criminally illegal interpretation of the law. That was indeed Cliven Bundy politics, allow a loudmouth complaining predator hating landowner to kill a wolf that had not depredated or committed any other sin than living on the landowner’s land. I am shocked this has not received more negative attention. Having just spent some time in Asheville and Charlotte and speaking to friends, many were not aware of the kill, but they were outraged. The issue needs attention.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      This story is sad. I have been to these beaches with scientists on a carefully monitored trip. Tourists en masse, like those on cruise ships are usually clueless. Once after a hurricane we were shooting a photography fashion job on vacant beach in Virgin Gorda. The hotel was shut down and so they leased it for the shoot. In teh middle of the shoot, hundreds of turtles hatched and started to make their way to the water, unmolested. The whole crew was very respectful. It was one of the most amazing sights I’ve seen, also the birds were not present and as far as I could tell most of the turtles made it out past the breakers. I remember wondering what would have happened had the hotel been full.

  18. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlwGZ8emGo4

    although a fund raising venture this short film covers all of the important messages of why killing contests need to be banned.

  19. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://www.facebook.com/810718095613660/photos/a.810720732280063.1073741827.810718095613660/1023814097637391/?type=1&theater

    the face of trophy hunting, sick, twisted and demented
    Giraffes are now also diminishing as people like to kill them, this one felled by the torturous cross bow.

    • avatar rork says:

      That’s not a cross bow. It’s a compound bow or more properly Allen bow (after the inventor, 1966, who patented both pulleys and cams).
      I shot my first deer with a bullet ever on Sunday. It ran 40 meters – about the same result as expected with an arrow in the same location (lungs). Broadheads are pretty scary stuff.
      None of this intended to advocate for giraffe hunting.

  20. avatar Nancy says:

    Something to be concerned about in the Bozeman area if you have pets that roam and aren’t vaccinated:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-animal-control-euthanizes-dozens-of-sick-raccoons/35381244

    http://www.raccoonworld.com/raccoondistemper.html

  21. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/sea-wolves/mcgrath-text

    I spent a week traveling by kayak in this area of BC once. It was spectacular, I did not get to see any of the coastal wolves. This is well written and fascinating. Hard to read the concept of the coastal wolves as being relic populations. Hard to know the Alaskan wolves are under so much pressure, especially the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Jeff E.

      The whole array of Republican clowns sound evil to me, but Walker has had the opportunity as governor of Wisconsin to actually demonstrate his ability to harm people and wildlife.

      He was planning for the same for all of us. I am so glad he has hit rock bottom (0.5% in the latest poll) and suspended his campaign.

  22. avatar Nancy says:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Montana-senator-to-escort-Pope-Francis-into-Congress-session/3543288

    OMG, the same guy who attached a rider, delisting wolves

    http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=news&id=171

    “They just tallied the vote — it was 81 to 19 — and we’ll be looking forward to some common-sense measures in dealing with the budget and how we manage wolves …” Tester said during a late-afternoon conference call with reporters. “This is a responsible step, and a step I think needed to happen. I have seen first-hand and heard about the impacts going on within our ecosystem, with domestic livestock and with wildlife, and I can tell you that even though there are some people out there who don’t think you have to manage wildlife species, you do.”

    Tester’s measure now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law”

    escorting the guy who believes “The Lord Jesus Christ warned His followers, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).

    Wonder if they will compare notes? 🙂

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “My objection and the objection of many California Indians is that he is being honored for in fact dishonoring many of our California ancestors. The missions ended up killing about 90% of the California Indians present at the time of missionization, creating all kinds of cultural and emotional baggage that we still carry to this day,” Miranda said. “It’s not a question of attacking the Catholic Church or attacking Pope Francis. It’s about making sure that the truth is heard and that injustices are not continued on into the 21st century.”

      http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/pope-canonizes-controversial-saint/35445194

      And so it goes –

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      you scared me Nancy,
      Right now there is a bill in congress being debated with another rider attached. I thought you might have been referring to that bill at first glance. A reminder to all please call your Congressmen this week and object to the delisting riders.

  23. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/we-need-to-stop-eating-the-oceans/

    This is a sad commentary on the state of the oceans, fish and mammals malnourished because of overfishing. Of the many frightening activities, krill fishing ranks right up there. Paul Watson nails it here. Hard for the daughter of a commercial fisherman, a former fisherman and mother of a fisherman to ponder. I too believe all fishing should stop now immediately.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      look in the comments Immer, reality 22 as usual still finding some way to spread online hate about wolves….

  24. avatar Kathleen says:

    A sweet little story about the kindness of a wilderness ranger: http://www.kval.com/news/local/Smokey-Seal-Wilderness-ranger-deputizes-boys-lost-toy-320193391.html

    U.S. & China agree to ban ivory — This story kinda got lost in the frenzy of the Papal visit and Boehnner’s resignation yesterday: http://www.wildaid.org/news/us-and-china-agree-ban-ivory-trade

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “The United States and China commit to enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant and timely restrictions on the import of ivory as hunting trophies, and to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory”

      Note worthy news Kathleen but you have to question words like “Nearly complete, timely restrictions, steps” given the huge, too complex picture, now surrounding the trade in ivory.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=world&src=me&pagewanted=all

      The killing of elephants isn’t going away anytime soon because the “pipeline” is too well established and supported by a new “middle class” society in a land of a billion people.

      Politicians, heads of states, leaders of countries, do love it though, when they can appear to be waving their “magic wands” 🙂

  25. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/09/25/lions-tigers-and-bears-attract-state-scrutiny?utm_campaign=2015-09-25%20Stateline%20Daily%20%20&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

    would be great to see captive wildlife banned – with grandfathering allowances allowed with checks to ensure the animals are being cared for.

  26. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    The BLM is planning to modify the Northwest Forest Plan which was initiated in the 1990s by the Clinton administration in order to protect endangered species in the old growth forests of the Northwest including spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and numerous coastal salmon species. They plan on relaxing many of the regulations to facilitate more logging on BLM timberlands in the Coast Range.

    Here is a summary of what the Coast Range Alliance is doing to meet this challenge and some links to other sources.
    http://www.coastrange.org/Sept_Update.htm

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Your response in July and August was generous, and we raised over $8,000 dollars. However, our
      federal lands conservation fund currently has a negative balance. Your support today will make possible
      a huge remaining agenda of work as we face the BLM’s final plans–due out this winter. Please make
      a generous donation to keep the most effective conservation work in motion. In the final analysis,
      our work is about defending the last remaining native forest, the best remaining watersheds
      and recovering all endangered salmon”

      Sadly ironic Barb, that all taxpayers fund these government agencies to “care take” our public lands, wildlife etc. and organizations, hoping to address the tide of abuse by these agencies, have to ask for help from many of the same taxpayers.

      Some insight:

      http://www.ti.org/blmintro.html

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      Barb, as a BLM forester on the Salem District, one of my tasks was to identify where streams originated so that we could properly locate the boundaries of Riparian Reserves (which the link you provided responds to). This meant going out during the wettest time of the year and especially during rain on snow or after high rainfall storms. Many of these streams only flowed for one or two weeks but because there was active ground water, they were identified as “intermittent streams”. As you are probably well aware, in the Northern Oregon Coast Range with its high rainfall, there are a lot of intermittent streams which means there is a extensive system of Riparian Reserves.

      Considering the above, IMO the NWFP Riparian Reserve classification went too far in protecting every water source as it reduced the amount of timber available for harvest while providing little to no protection of aquatic species. All perennial streams with fish (i.e sculpin, trout or salmonid) are afforded a 420 feet protection buffer on each side (840 total) and intermittent streams 210 feet when regeneration harvesting occurs and there were many instances where intermittent streams would be buffered even though culverts would never allow fish passage. It became so ludicrous that it was laughable.

      Hopefully the BLM will coordinate with NMFS and the USFWS to make sure their updated plans are consistent with the ESA (unlike their political 2008 plans that wasted millions of taxpayer money and were never implemented).

      • avatar Professor Sweat says:

        “All perennial streams with fish (i.e sculpin, trout or salmonid) are afforded a 420 feet protection buffer on each side (840 total) and intermittent streams 210 feet when regeneration harvesting occurs and there were many instances where intermittent streams would be buffered even though culverts would never allow fish passage. It became so ludicrous that it was laughable.”

        Gary,

        Please explain how it is “laughable” or “ludicrous” to leave a network of older trees intact while harvesting occurs around them.

        • avatar Gary Humbard says:

          Professor Sweat,

          I was not referring to the buffer distances when regeneration harvest was planned but the requirement to buffer intermittent and ephemeral (flow only during very high precipitation events) streams with no fish presence and which are typically located on steep terrain and above small (18″) culverts (I’m not referring to “headwall areas” which are typically located on steep, unstable areas and which must always be protected).

          Among the purposes of the NWFP Riparian Reserves are the following:

          1. To provide future wood recruitment for fish habitat and maintain habitat for other aquatic species.
          2. Provide connectivity from riparian areas to the uplands.
          3. Maintain hydrologic processes and clean water with the end result for streams to be in a “properly functioning condition”.

          Even NMFS employees would comment off the record these intermittent streams that only flow during high rainfall events essentially do not provide aquatic habitat, but when it’s in writing (NWFP) it must be adhered to.

          If the public knew how difficult and complex the NWFP is to implement and actually sell timber sales, I have no doubt they would be very surprised.

          • avatar Professor Sweat says:

            Gary,

            Thanks for the clarification.

          • avatar WM says:

            I am always encouraged when learned professionals, with training and on the ground experience, are involved in a discussion on a complicated topic.

            In the end, are some of the Coast Range Alliance arguments regarding revisions to the NWFP fact deficient, invalid or misdirected here?

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        Thanks, Gary, I was hoping you would respond.

  27. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Please see the post from Wolf Awareness and share widely

    Wolf Awareness posted this note (below) on the urgency of contacting your senators now! Congress is about to vote on the riders attached to the bill that could strip ESA protections for wolves and prevent judicial review/legal challenges of their delisting.

    Once protections are removed wolves will face liberal slaughter from the states that “manage” them.

    Please read and take a few moments to help wolves. Calls must be made this week!! Instructions on how to call your congress members are posted on the Wolf Awareness Facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/272970539569543/photos/a.275591449307452.1073741827.272970539569543/440746146125314/?type=3&fref=nf

  28. avatar Elk375 says:

    So Idaho wants to lease there state lands for exclusive use. No hunters, fishers, wildlife watchers, hikers, nature lovers or the general public.

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/sep/20/idaho-weighs-private-leases-of-public-land/

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Elk375

      From the link article, “. . .the Idaho Constitution requires the state Land Board, which consists of the state’s five top elected officials, to manage state endowment lands for “maximum long-term financial return,” with the money going to the endowment’s beneficiaries, the largest of which is the state’s public school system.”

      Despite this constitutional mandate, the state of Idaho clearly does not try to maximum revenue from the grazing leases on state lands.

  29. avatar Leslie says:

    Emma Marris is out there again. This time with reviews of two new books. I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts, especially George W.

    http://www.hcn.org/issues/47.16/how-to-redefine-and-defend-wilderness

  30. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Last days of Alaska’s most famous wolf biologist:

    https://www.adn.com/article/20150927/gordon-habers-final-days

    if every state had one biologist willing to fight for predators as Haber did, would things change? I think so it might be slow but I think it would. Haber was willing to document the cruelty and to describe wolves as families, which they are. Reading this reminded me of the terrible loss for wolves and people that care about them, on Haber’s death.

  31. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://democrats-naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Sept.%2028%20Letter%20to%20President%20Obama%20on%20Vetoing%20Bad%20ESA%20Provisions1.pdf

    impressive letter signed by 90 congressmen and women asking President Obama to reject any appropriations bill that undermine the ESA, in particular asking for protection of wolves. A big thank you to Congressman Grijalva

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      Again, bears will die for the folly of humans. Excerpt:

      “An elderly woman who authorities said was feeding bears at her home west of Kalispell was attacked by one inside her residence Sunday. …

      “FWP officials said bears had been “extensively” fed with bird seed and other food at the residence.”

      http://missoulian.com/news/local/woman-who-fed-bears-attacked-inside-home-west-of-kalispell/article_24715b7a-7559-510a-8d55-718f4994be34.html

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Again, how are they going to know which bear was lured by and became habituated to food this woman? It’s not an attack.

        She’s not only responsible for her own injuries, but the death of a bear who might not have had anything to do with her, and put other people in jeopardy as well. And, since we make the rules, she won’t have to be held accountable. The bears are somebody’s mother, child, relative too.

        I loved some of the comments:

        “Some people should be tagged and relocated.”

        “I don’t think that will work. Tagged and relocated people almost always just wander back to their home range and resume the same behaviors that got them into trouble in the first place.”

    • avatar rork says:

      In the watershed of the Salmon River, where I’ve caught bull trout in Idaho, I think the decline of pacific salmon runs (includes steelhead) might not be helping, since bull trout are smolt-eating machines (formerly hated for that reason). PS: That 6 to 12 inches part made me laugh cause perhaps I’ve never caught one that small.

      • avatar Rich says:

        Rork,

        What is your point? Bull trout and salmon/steelhead have co-existed quite well in North American streams for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. If bull trout are “smolt-eating machines” as you contend, how did salmon ever survive in the Salmon River? Perhaps you’ve overlooked a few variables in your search for the culprit responsible for the reduction and and in some cases near extinction of certain species of salmon in the Salmon River watershed. A good read regarding the issue is “King of Fish” by David A. Montgomery.

        • avatar rork says:

          My point is that decreased pacific salmon may be bad for bull trout (and that is bad). That the locals did not like them eating smolts (and cutthroat) was just stating a fact. I find them magnificent, and have never killed one.

  32. avatar Cody Coyote says:

    Wyoming’s new and uiusually egregious Data Tresspass law has been formally challenged in court. In addition to some of the usual suspects in environmental and resource blowback lawsuits, we can now add the National Media Photographers Association to the official list of ” Activist Liberal Monkeywrenchers”.

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/09/wyoming-data-trespass-laws-challenged-in-federal-court/

    – so as soon as can, I’m heading out to take as many new photographs of Wyoming’s outdoor spaces and wild places , before some high minded lowbrow Legislator writes up a bill making me and my Nikons illegal if we are drawing a bead on a cow or a creek.

  33. avatar Nancy says:

    Appears the little bird (that once numbered in the millions) and its habitat, has few friends in the halls of Congress:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Sage-grouse-provision-left-out-of-defense-bill/35577472

  34. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Kinda interesting (or sad) depending on your point of view:

    While it seems like today all that’s there are rats and pigeons, at one point, Manhattan had 55 different ecosystem types — “You can think of them as neighborhoods as distinctive as Tribeca and the Upper East Side and Inwood,” Sanderson said, pointing out that Manhattan had more ecological communities per acre than Yosemite or Yellowstone.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/welikia-project-map-manahatta-project_560bf409e4b0af3706deb948?ir=Green&section=green&utm_hp_ref=green

  35. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150929/NEWS/150929718

    good thing for the cougar this was not Idaho, Montana, or Wyo.

    • avatar WM says:

      So inquiring minds want to know if the big kitty went down the same way it got up there, or the local fire department was dispatched to rescue it (now wouldn’t that be interesting?)? Does it go down head first or back down? And, you can bet if this cat touched its long and magnificent tail on one line, while grounded or touching another it would be a very bad day.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        I think the article just said it disappeared overnight and I would assume it did a running leap down the pole as the distance is well within the leaping ability of a full grown cat.

        http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150930/NEWS/150939983.

        but it looks like it had the school bus stop staked out. just like a watering hole.
        /s

        • avatar WM says:

          Maybe, but a 35 foot pole says to me there has to be some down climbing of some sort before the forward leap to ground or gravity catches up.

          Anyway, I’m off to chase elk in ID wolf country for a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see what has changed or remained the same.

  36. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-roots-of-my-misanthropy/

    wouldn’t it be nice if humans were just a little less murderous, rapacious and usurious toward the rest of teh animal kingdom.

  37. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0929/We-assumed-fish-didn-t-care-about-each-other.-We-were-wrong

    the more humans look, the more they will discover intelligence, sentience, and the capacity for pain, fear, grief, joy all emotions that humans feel.

  38. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    http://www.kxlh.com/story/30167665/kalispell-woman-dies-after-being-attacked-by-a-bear

    Sadly, the woman has succumbed to her injuries. It’s a strange story – apparently they could not find how the bear entered the house, only that he left through a window. The woman must have been feeding these bears (and there are several according to the story) through the window? But this was brought on by her or others. It’s a shame that non-lethal measures can’t be taken.

    One of the ‘food conditioned’ bears they say was 99 lbs. I guess they don’t want to come out and plainly say it was a cub? They had been eating birdseed.

    We’ve supposedly had a little black bear around our area. He’s ‘not native to Massachusetts’ (yeah right). Maybe not in modern times, but historically they were. 🙁

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Sadly, the woman has succumbed to her injuries. It’s a strange story – apparently they could not find how the bear entered the house, only that he left through a window”

      Sounds far fetched but maybe she invited the bear into the house, Ida? My Dad loved to feed the birds and squirrels around their house. One squirrel use to hang on the screen door looking for treats, so Dad stated leaving it open a crack. The squirrel got to where it would come in and take peanuts out of a bowl on the end table. It even got comfortable enough to sit, peel and eat a peanut, before scampering off.

      This woman was 85 years old. She might of considered the bears her friends.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I know, it’s so sad. Maybe she was alone, and definitely maybe fragile. You can understand why people would want to feed them, it is kinda the same way with other animals – they are cute. But it is too dangerous for both person and animal.

        I often wonder about my bird feeder, because black bears have been seen around the area, and of course it was their former home. I no longer treat my lawn with chemicals, and it is growing in very lush, and I’ve had deer the past few days.

  39. avatar rork says:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/10/wooly_mammoth_bones_found_sout.html
    Some pretty good pictures of people digging up mammoth remains down the road from me. It’s not that uncommon around here but usually it’s mastodon, which is less exciting.

  40. avatar Nancy says:

    What appears to be “late, breaking news” in Wisconsin. A friend sent the link to me earlier today and I kept getting an error message up when I tried to bring the link up.

    The first wolf came in from the right, mouth open, fangs ready to rip into Nellesen’s leg. A swift kick from the man’s boot landed square on the wolf’s face and deflected the bite.

    “That first wolf missed my leg by 8-10 inches,” he said”

    “The other two wolves weren’t far behind. As the next wolf leapt toward Nellessen, the man jumped back and was able to fire a single round into the animal. Nellessen was unsure of the lethality of the hit, but two wolves immediately retreated for the bush at the sound of the gunshot and the third limped away “like a gut-shot deer,” said Nellessen”

    Hmmm…..

    http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2015/9/30/worldwide-exclusive-wisconsin-deer-hunter-fends-off-wolves-with-walther-pk-380/

    Some thoughts from another hunting site:

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_21/589301_.html

    Not related but Interesting to note the videos of a “bait site” that attracted not only wolves but bears.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      And, along the same, very “scary” vein, just a few years ago here in Montana:

      http://flatheadbeacon.com/2010/11/05/hunters-say-they-shot-wolf-after-pack-threatened-them/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Nancy,

      Rather odd that this occurred well over a week ago, and it is not deemed news worthy anywhere else, other than this NRA supported hunting sight. Gosh, but one would think reporters would be gnashing their incisors to get at this story, if indeed it is true.

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        I sent in a comment twice to the NRA hunting site but it was not posted.

        This is my second offering: “Where did it go? Edited out?
        “Do wolves ever threaten mushroom pickers or do they only attack people with guns?”

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Barb,
          “Do wolves ever threaten mushroom pickers or do they only attack people with guns?”

          Great! Add berry pickers to that, Oooops those are the ones who get E granulosis.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “Do wolves ever threaten mushroom pickers or do they only attack people with guns?”

          Love that question Barb!!

          Wolves have been back in Yellowstone for 20 years and while there are thousands of hikers who frequent the area, not one has been picked off yet by a pack of wolves 🙂

          Can just imagine the reaction from wolves (given their curious nature) stumbling upon a hunter, who’s no doubt religiously washed themselves in some product like Scent Away, before heading out into the great outdoors

          “Criminy! it’s one of those damn humans again, pretending to be a tree”

  41. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone is making a significant success story in developing bear resistant products, thus reducing the potential for bear-human conflicts regarding human food.

    I believe MFWP has an employee strictly dedicated to working with and educating residents to reduce conflicts such as the lady who died from the black bear attack, but unfortunately he or she cannot be everywhere. Now if we ALL just truly respected wildlife and nature, these kind of attacks would not be in the news.

    http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_6db2c87a-6870-11e5-89d0-33d7abed6af0.html

  42. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/opposition-to-trophy-hunting-overwhelming-poll-finds-amid-grizzly-debate/article26640089/

    91% of British Columbians against trophy hunting, yet the provincial government keeps right on greenlighting the killing grizzlies, wolves and fur bearing animals. Similar results for killing animals for fur. I am confident that if polls were taken here in the US we would see similar results. The other interesting part of the story is that the it repudiated the claim that the bunny hugger, urban couch dwellers are responsible for the crazy notion that killing for sport is unpopular. The poll was given to those in the remote rural provinces as well, the results were similarly opposed to trophy hunting and fur harvesting in the rural areas as they were in the urban. Why are wildlife agencies and government officials so pro killing? Who the hell do they think they work for?

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Industry rules, I guess. It reminds me of a comment I read somewhere about trophy hunting, where the person said something to the effect of ‘Canada is listening too much to or influenced too much by its southern neighbors’.

      We do not have the wildlife populations to continue to hunt them like this, and it must stop.

  43. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    We.just.refuse.to.get.it. Refuse to address the cause of the problem and just continue to throw poisons at everything. You notice that the risks are not none or non-existent. And then of course there’s always that meaningless phrase ‘science-based’. It ain’t gonna be cheap either. Tahoe is very deep, so they usually say sunlight assists in the breakdown of these chemicals in the environment? But as long as homeowners and recreational boaters are placated I suppose:

    http://www.freenewspos.com/news/article/c/4658150/today/can-herbicides-keep-tahoe-blue

    Though the Keys has yet to decide on a chemical, the draft management plan mentions five polysyllabic options, such as imazamox and penoxsulam. Trumbo, one of five independent experts who reviewed the plan, attests to its safety. “Herbicides are directed at plant physiological processes,” he says. “The potential herbicides they’d be using on this project run from slightly toxic to fish down to practically non-toxic — the two lowest categories. When it comes to mammals, it’s largely the same thing.”

    Trumbo adds that herbicide concentrations will be low enough, and dilution rapid enough, to keep the odds of dangerous human exposure vanishingly small. And if monitoring suggests that herbicides may escape the Keys’ canals and enter the rest of the lake, giant curtains can be lowered to contain the chemicals’ flow.

    I don’t treat my lawn anymore with chemicals as I think I have mentioned, and it looks very green and lush, so a few weeds and actually welcome wildflowers is a small price to pay. I don’t (seem to) have grubs, the birds and wildlife can eat them or the grass to their heart’s content. I think in order to have a sterilized environment, you end up wit anemic grass and bodies of water as a result.

    I remember it being so beautiful there, and now I am afraid that it is in danger of becoming another overdeveloped and tacky craphole like everywhere else in this country, between kicking out the bears and poisoning everything in favor of human interests. Does anyone know what those beautiful pine trees are with the huge pincones?

    • avatar rork says:

      I’ve never been there, but let me guess Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa), named after the fictitious ranch on the shore, shown on a burning map. (A “Bonanza” joke.)

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Ha! 🙂

        I thought so too, but there are others, so I wasn’t sure. What a beautiful place.

        Wildlife report: Walking at a state park near the beach today, saw so many Monarch butterflies I lost count, I guess on their last wave of migration for the year. yay!

  44. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.endangered.org/science-endangered-at-the-fish-and-wildlife-service/

    disturbing but not surprising report on political interference in decision and policy making at USFWS

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      Louise, I’m well aware that too many federal regulatory agency decisions are made for political reasons, but I notice that only 18.5% of the polled scientists responded to the survey. Does it not seem reasonable to presume that those responding would be more likely to be dis-enfranchised and answer with “too many decisions are made based on political reasons”.

      IMO, the biggest problem for the USFWS and ultimately the American public, is the lack of funding and not the decision making for listed species. Furry and feathered species (i.e. wolves, grizzly, wolverine, bald eagle, whooping crane, greater sage grouse, black footed ferret and Florida Panther) eat up most of the budget while species such as snails, mollusks and plants are going extinct before they can be listed.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        “. Does it not seem reasonable to presume that those responding would be more likely to be dis-enfranchised and answer with “too many decisions are made based on political reasons”.

        A bit like Jim Beers

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Gary, not arguing that lack of funding is an issue but how does one explain the recent decision by the USFWS to kill a lactating female red wolf (one of less than 70+-) because the land owner did not want the red wolf on his property. The land owner also refused access to the USFWS so the USFWS killed the non offending wolf, that had done nothing. Or how do you explain the service’s decision not to challenge New Mexico or Montana on the Mexican wolf releases or the Wolverine listing (respectively)? Certainly there is a lack of proper funding but each of those actions or lack of cost funds to execute (word choice deliberate). The agency is afoul of its mission, as many agencies are because politics and minority loud mouths dictate. I’ve seen it in action at NOAA.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Interesting article Jeff E. No mention though of human encroachment over the years there on wildlife habitat. Which we already know is becoming a serious problem here in many parts of the US.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/humans-are-worse-radiation-chernobyl-animals-study-finds

      “But some experts insist the debate is not over. Anders Møller, an ecologist at University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, says he has found “strong effects” of radiation on animals at Chernobyl, such as a smaller brain size in birds. And working in the Ukraine side of the exclusion zone in 2009, Møller found that the abundance of mammals decreased as radiation levels increased. Møller also questions the reliability of the Belarusian data. “Quite a lot of my colleagues there were put in home confinement for several years because they published negative results,” he says. “I’d have been at ease with these findings if [they] could be independently verified.”

      But you do have to wonder when the real estate signs will start popping around Chernobyl.

      The movie Jaws, comes to mind 🙂

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        I wish they’d stop talking about Chernobyl and its wildlife…maybe these are the only un hunted animals in the world. Its only a matter of time before someone proposes guided trophy hunts.

  45. avatar Professor Sweat says:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151005-desventuradas-islands-marine-protected-area-conservation-science/

    “The new area, called the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, constitutes about eight percent of the ocean areas worldwide that have been declared off-limits to fishing and governed by no-take protections, says Russell Moffitt, a conservation analyst with the Marine Conservation Institute in Seattle, Washington. (Read about the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean.)

    The Pac-Man-shaped marine protected area (MPA) encompasses roughly 115,000 square miles (297,000 square kilometers) of ocean around San Ambrosio and San Felix islands. Together, they’re known as the Desventuradas (or Unfortunate in Spanish) Islands, which are part of the underwater Nazca Ridge, which runs southwest from Peru to Easter Island.”

    • avatar rork says:

      Tester has backed Senate bill 890, which is said to not just reauthorize, but protect the fund from raiding. It’s hard to find articles where people are against the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but it taxes fossil fuel drilling and buys land for the public sometimes, which might be evils for some politicians. More expert opinion appreciated.

      • avatar MAD says:

        Jon Tester is a jackass of epic proportions. Have people forgotten his lovely rider to delist wolves from a few years ago?

        He loves to tout that he’s just an ordinary guy from Big Ssndy, MT and a common farmer/rancher. But the guy is a political hack, thru and thru. And every time I drive thru Big Sandy I want to run over that stupid sign that proclaims it as the “home” of Senator Jon Tester.

        • avatar rork says:

          I’ve not forgotten and did not say I like him, but that does not mean he’s wrong every time. I was addressing the issue.

  46. avatar Nancy says:

    Don’t know the thoughts of those that post here but personally, I find it exhausting, especially at my age (64) trying to keep up with this kind of BS:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/06/18/defense-authorization-but-not-funding-advances-in-senate

  47. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    I never did like trying to keep up with this type of political BS. Guess that’s why I majored in Forestry – not one of the social “sciences”.

    You do an excellent job of keeping your finger pointing in the right direction, IMO.

  48. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2015/10/share-act-markup-in-house-committee.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=humanenation

    start calling your congress men and women if you want them to hear your thoughts against SHARE – heinous bill

    • avatar rork says:

      HS’s “and to grant bow hunters access to our national parks” is twisted words – it would allow you to transport a bow in a national park, just like you can transport a gun, was my understanding. One of the few provisions that made sense, so why are they picking on it? (Rhetorical question.)

      • avatar Professor Sweat says:

        I keep my compound bow in the trunk of my car, because I have no storage space in my apartment and I use this car to visit national parks regularly. Upon reading the text of the bill, yes, that is ONE provision that makes sense and I would like changed. Also excluding crop fields from the definition of baited area when taking game birds makes sense. Still, hardly worth the effort so many other provisions for bad wildlife policy attached. Hopefully my man Rep. Grivjala can add some common sense all of the sponsoring white guys/gal left out of this bill.

  49. avatar Nancy says:

    Lummis is at it again. What doesn’t she get about preserving the solitude and wildness of the parks’ waterways?

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/House-committee-to-consider-bill-opening-parks-to-paddling/35721814

  50. avatar Kathleen says:

    According to the Boone & Crockett Club, we need harsher penalties to deter poaching “and more severely punish those who steal valuable conservation resources.”

    Ha, “valuable conservation resources”–otherwise known as sentient nonhumans who value their lives.

    “A fine for poaching a trophy should be higher. An elk is not an elk is not an elk. Poaching is bad, but here is this majestic 6-by-6 elk. It should sting a little bit harder as a deterrent.” Right. That elk should have been killed “legitimately” and entered into the record book! (Yes, this would have made ALL the difference to the elk.) It’s not that animals are being robbed of their lives, but that hunters are being robbed of their trophy.

    How about imposing stiffer penalties–wait, how about imposing ANY penalty–for habituating bears and/or outright feeding them? No, we’ll just kill the bears as dangerous nuisances. (Wouldn’t want to inconvenience the humans.) Grizzlies aren’t hunting trophies…not yet, anyhow…so they don’t have the same value.

    http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/outdoors/stealing-wildlife-boone-and-crockett-club-researches-harsher-deterrents-for/article_1d02b50d-b14a-5efc-8392-df92d8c88401.html

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      “Poaching pisses people off,” said Keith Balfourd, director of marketing for the Boone and Crockett Club, a Missoula-based organization that is dedicated to preserving hunter heritage, maintaining ethics and furthering conservation efforts.

      Well, they got that part right anyway!

      I give them credit for trying to address the problem.

    • avatar rork says:

      We have stronger penalties for poaching large-racked male deer than for other deer in MI. It’s a pretty new law, and it seems good to me – you’re sarcasm notwithstanding. When some glory seeker poaches a large male, it’s probably not about the meat or not having money to buy a tag. Also, our usual fines just were not anything like large enough. Last case here cost the person over 10K, finally. We had a recent case of a poacher killing a giant elk and realized we hadn’t covered that situation though – our law only applied to white-tails. We are fixing that.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      +1 Kathleen

  51. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Re: Shifty Approach to Wildlife Management, NYT Article:

    Does anyone else find this galling? As in Noah’s Ark, it should be all species that (try) to exist with us, not under our dominion. As it stands now, it’s only going to be humans and their cattle, and possibly deer and elk if they can keep up with habitat encroachment, pollution, lack of water, and environmental warming.

    It’s also not true that the ESA and other such laws did not envision what the future would hold. They were created for precisely that reason, that animals could become extinct or lands and waters left in ruins, etc in the future because of human activities! We’ve been warned for decades about overpopulation and unsustainable growth, fossil fuels affecting climate, overfishing, etc etc ad infinitum and we’ve chosen to ignore the warnings:

    In that future, he and other environmental experts said, humans will take up more and more space on the planet, their need for food, energy and material goods swallowing up the available land, leaving less for other species. And society will ultimately have to set priorities and make difficult decisions.

    In some cases, scientists said, that might mean moving species whose habitats have disappeared to other regions or preserving them in limited numbers. Or it might mean devoting the majority of recovery efforts to species that play crucial ecosystem or evolutionary roles, and accepting that by doing so, others may go extinct.

    “We have to prepare ourselves to make better choices about what is going to come along for the ride with us and where and in what numbers,” said Mr. Ashe, of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    There is no biological or ethical framework for making such decisions, Mr. Ashe said. And as he has learned from experience, it is a topic that few environmentalists want to discuss. “They either close their ears or they criticize you,” he said.

    One environmental advocate called even the idea of making choices among species “the height of biological arrogance.” Another said that to do so was immoral.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I noticed that humans curtailing their activities even a little bit isn’t even on the table. Dan Ashe made one of the most awful statements I have ever heard. Going along for the ride?

      Thank goodness this administration’s only got another year of wreaking environmental havoc. The environment will breathe a sigh of relief. Hopefully it won’t be a short lived sigh, and the situation will improve.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      perhaps Ashe ought to think about whose eyes are closed. Its certainly not the environmentalists. what galls me the most is the lack of consideration about limiting human population. That whole statement reeks, it ignores the idea of maximum biological capacity and that humans have exceeded ours. Its not other species that are the problem. I wonder what he has in mind for moving other species and what does he mean by preserving them in limited numbers? which ones will be preserved in limited numbers? what a screwed up philosophy

  52. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0445-police-save-smuggled-amur-tiger-cub-in-western-siberia/

    China- the biggest single reason for poaching wildlife world wide, ivory,bear parts tiger parts, rhino parts,
    on and on and on

  53. avatar Kathleen says:

    Greenhouse gasses…ocean dead zones…habitat destruction…species extinction…pollution…what’s the cause? Find it here in under 2 minutes:

    https://www.facebook.com/uniladmag/videos/1810388692317515/

  54. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    I don’t know, I think there must be a better way than more tinkering with the environment by messing around with another introduced organism! (or changing the balance of one that may be naturally occurring so that it too grows out of control) Our track record isn’t very good. There’s no substitute for getting out there and either tearing the cheatgrass all out by hand, a controlled burn, or limited chemical treatment – have prisoners do it or something (pulling weeds isn’t cruel and unusual punishment, but by today’s standards, you never know). There’s no easy way out sometimes.

    I think I read somewhere (NYT) that so much of this bacteria would be needed that it would not be practical. I also don’t think enough research as been done, and why are our Wildlife Reserves always the playgrounds and laboratories of universities and government? First GMOs and now this. I don’t think there’s enough information yet to declare this a miracle cure, and it could have other, detrimental effects in the environment.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/science/researcher-finds-way-to-fight-cheatgrass-a-western-scourge.html

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      ^^sorry, ‘universities, industry and government’.

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      Hi Ida… the West is *covered* (literally) with acres upon acres of cheatgrass–tearing it out by hand is simply not an option, not even on the approx. 8 acres or so of our 41 acres that we consider our “yard.” (I mean, hand-pulling isn’t an option!: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=32653669 ) As for controlled burning, if there’s already a well-stocked seed bank in the soil (virtually always the case), burning only releases nutrients and clears the way for an even healthier crop of cheatgrass. After disturbing the cheatgrass regime (burning or chemical), we’ve not been successful getting an annual cover crop like rye grass established as a “placeholder” until natives can germinate. Even limited chemical treatment isn’t always successful–timing is so critical, weather factors in, moisture, application rate, etc. Cheatgrass in the West is really a different and, so far, unbeatable problem. I understand the wariness about introducing bacteria and fungus as treatments…so far, though, the bio-controls used for weeds like knapweed and spurge have worked with some success and without unforeseen disaster, so fingers crossed, I guess…it’s a terrible dilemma. But losing native biodiversity is a tragedy we can’t afford.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Believe me, I have some idea how cheatgrass has taken over. I believe planting it was one of our bright ideas too, wasn’t it? Before modern technology this country created farmland from woodlands, and without today’s equipment and chemicals, moving rocks and tearing up trees. I’ve seen backhoes and mulchers tearing up and making short work of sage and juniper I think, to make way for solar farms. So it can be done the old fashioned way to some extent?

        If it works great, but I always am wary when we arrogantly think we know what’s best, because our track record with introducing species to prey on other invasives has been a disaster.

        I still don’t know why we have to use wildlife ‘refuges’ as our personal laboratories, when there is so much cheatgrass out there.

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          We don’t have to take the rap for this one–it wasn’t intentional–but still, another gift-that-keeps-on-giving from Eurasia:

          “How did cheatgrass get here?
          Cheatgrass was introduced to North America through contaminated grain seed, straw packing material, and soil used as ballast in ships sailing from Eurasia. This first occurred between 1850 and the late 1890’s. During this time, abusive use of rangelands, coupled with drought, left many Great Basin rangelands in poor condition. Cheatgrass was able to occupy areas where the native vegetation had been reduced, beginning its persistent march across the landscape. It can now be found across the landscape from the bottoms of desert valleys to mountain peaks as high as 13,000 feet. The plant communities most affected by cheatgrass invasion are those below 6000 feet in elevation. These include the pinyon/juniper woodland, sagebrush, and salt-desert shrub community types.”
          http://www.usu.edu/weeds/plant_species/weedspecies/cheatgrass.html

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Oh, I thought I had read that ranchers deliberately chose it for grazing due to its drought-resistant properties(from Africa), and it got out of control. I must be thinking of another grass.

            and another college experiment from Washington:

            “and at least 1 deliberate introduction for a college experiment in Pullman, Washington, in 1898.”

            http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/brotec/all.html

            Thanks Kathleen and bret for responding.

  55. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Early test results have been impressive. In long-term field trials at Hanford Reach National Monument/Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Washington, single applications of ACK55 dramatically reduced cheatgrass in three to five years while not hurting other plants or animals. Another field trial is in progress at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. In December 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service committed $200,000 to scale up ACK55 tests to meet Environmental Protection Agency biopesticide registration requirements.

    http://www.fws.gov/refuges/news/ManagingCheatgrass.html

    Is there a reason why wildlife refuges are the ‘go to’ places for testing? It sounds like there are enough places choked with cheatgrass to test? As they say, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

    • avatar bret says:

      Ida my guess is it is not a registered compound with EPA so using it in or around cropland is not an option at this time. Also I would think that wildlife areas would have least external disruption during research?

  56. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-bekoff/saving-wolves-with-compas_b_8271088.html

    one of the best written essays I have read on why killing wolves is wrong. Thanks Sadie Parr and Marc Bekoff

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      We’d be better off concentrating all that effort on cheatgrass. 🙂 That’s human logic for ya. Hey Wildlife Services, can you go after cheatgrass – the real scourge of the West?

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      How awful. And of course, we insist the time is right for delisting. It would appear their food supply isn’t adequate, despite studies? Are they grizzlies?

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Ida, it’s been a bad food year for GYE bears as well as NCDE bears. Low berry production, dead white bark pines and low pine production, poor moth year–pretty much all the foods they depend on in both ecosystems. Berry production low because of unusual climate.

  57. avatar Leslie says:

    Sorry if this was already posted. Here is Dr. David Mattson’s recent talk in Jackson scientifically outlining why grizzlies should not be delisted. Totally worth watching the whole talk as David takes you through his consideration of decreasing food sources equates with more hunter conflicts as well as why bears are dispersing to the outskirts of GYE, eating more meat and getting into rising conflicts with cattle
    https://youtu.be/VqgRHZr0bNQ

  58. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://wiwildlifeethic.org/2015/10/12/11251/

    new legislation to stop hunting in state parks in Wisconsin, please forward and support

  59. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34510869

    a chilling article about France employing wolf trackers to kill wolves threatening sheep farmers. They have seen three wolves and three pups. The idea of sending out trackers to kill the unsuspecting wolves is unbearably sad. The farmer complains he has had to employ Great Pyrenees and use fencing. One of his sheep was attacked by wolves and had to be killed. Prematurely as the sheep are killed by the farmer at some point. I’ve come to despise ranching, no tolerance for other beings.

  60. avatar greentangle says:

    Here’s a woman with the right attitude about being attacked by a bear. “I hope they don’t do anything about it,” Cholewa said. “I don’t think the bear was taking out jihad on the human species or anything. I think it was a bear being a bear and it let us off easy, both of us.”

    http://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/emigrant-woman-attacked-bear-along-yellowstone-river

    The Livingston paper usually takes all but the beginning of stories off their website quickly, but it’s up at the moment.

  61. avatar Kathleen says:

    Has this been posted already? It is PRICELESS. Don’t miss the small print!

  62. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the action between land owners and the BLM in the dispute over land along the Red River border between Oklahoma and Texas.
    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140727-hearing-set-on-bill-to-help-resolve-red-river-land-dispute.ece

    Yvette?

  63. avatar Professor Sweat says:

    Not sure if anyone has seen these yet. Amazing examples of wildlife photography. The harsh reality of the winning picture, “A Tale of Two Foxes” really starts to feel like a punch in the gut after some reflection.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/wpy2015-1.3270298

  64. avatar Professor Sweat says:

    A new “Ag-gag” style bill is in the works in WI that would “protect” bear hunters and hound “hunters” from being filmed and photographed while out doing what they do.

    http://www.wpr.org/new-bill-would-prevent-harassment-wisconsins-hunters

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Looks like Wolf Patrol has stirred some stew. If this law passes people may need to consider a legal challenge in the manner that the ID ag-gag law was challenged.

      The more that our population shifts to being urbanized the more disconnected we are to the natural world. Urban folks need to become more aware of what is involved in the modern version of hunting as ‘sport’ and ‘entertainment’. At the same time, those same people need to understand that humans have always hunted and always will hunt. Hunting isn’t going away, yet we need to thoroughly reexamine the ideology that has driven the ‘hunting as a sport’ philosophy that began only a little over 100 years ago. The ‘fair game’ philosophy of the Shikar Club (UK) and the Boon and Crockett Club here in the states, is an early 20th century model. Our world is not the same. Many ecosystems have had significantly adverse effects since that time period and we now have 7.3 billion people on this planet. Why should we follow the same ‘sport hunting philosophy that was designed in the early part of the 20th century in a world that now has 6 billion people that have already moved into and taken over many species habitats?

      If that law is passed it needs to be challenged.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        +1 adaptive management strategies never account for increased population of humans the worst problem our planet faces. And agencies ignore the impact of overpopulation on species and refuse to adopt precautionary principles and adapt to the impacts even as text books push for adaptive management as the gold standard. Its gross negligence and willful stupidity

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Sitting on the porch this past Sunday morning (waiting for the temperature to soar into the mid 80’s, what a difference a few days make as it’s ~ 25° now)reading the Star Tribune, I came across this interesting opinion piece.

        http://m.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/331835711.html

        Has High Tech Ruined Hunting

        Ties in a bit with Yvette’s comment and echoes my past opinion of how hunting and fishing have become “Nascarized”.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          That was an excellent commentary piece, Immer. We humans have become the most successful species due to technology and, technology continues to help us save human lives. I wonder when or if we will restrain our choices in the use of that technology. If we have the technological capability to eliminate other species, or even, drive them to a point where they lack genetic diversity, it will eventually lead to our own demise. Both our technology and our intelligence may be a double edged sword.

          That was an excellent read.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          +1

  65. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201510/florida-bear-hunt-ignores-conservation-psychology-science?#_=_

    excellent commentary on the black bear hunt in Florida after a 21 year hiatus. These poor bears. 75% of people commenting were against a hunt. That kind of resistance is routinely ignored and wildlife commissions push forward with killing as their management strategies.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      That is why our entire hunting/wildlife management paradigm needs overhauled, Louise. It ain’t working anymore.

  66. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Article in the Capital Press about a trapper in Nevada that was given a light sentences for not tending his traps within the alloted 4 days and causing the death of a mule deer fawn, elk calf, and three coyotes. Other illegal acts had also occurred but were dismissed.
    http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20150615/nevada-trapper-fined-for-violations-that-damaged-wildlife

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “It was shot on October 8 in a private hunting concession bordering Gonarezhou by a hunter who paid $60,000 (£39,000) for a permit to land a large bull elephant and was accompanied by a local, experienced professional hunter celebrated by the hunting community for finding his clients large elephants”

      To “land” a large bull elephant……….

      Would guess the description of this sick individual Timz, falls somewhere between informal and synonyms.

      Interesting to note that no one seems to know where this elephant came from despite the fact that this hunter’s, professional hunter, is so celebrated in the “head” hunting community. But what really matters to this sick individual (and his circle of friends) is “The kill was celebrated in hunting forums around the world”

      Because after all:
      “We hunters have thick skins and we know what the greenies will say. This elephant was probably 60 years old and had spread its seed many many times over.”

      And I would venture a guess, that’s the same excuse, every time some trophy hunter “lands” a big game animal. No thought, what so ever, to the genes these animals are capable of passing on to future generations, regardless of age, when hunting season rolls around.

      verb: land; 3rd person present: lands; past tense: landed; past participle: landed; gerund or present participle: landing

      1. put (someone or something) on land from a boat.
      “the lifeboat landed the survivors safely ashore”

      •go ashore; disembark.
      “the marines landed at a small fishing jetty”

      synonyms: disembark, go ashore, debark, alight, get off
      “Canadian troops landed at Juno Beach”

      antonyms: embark •bring (a fish) to land, especially with a net or hook.
      “I landed a scrappy three-pound walleye”

      •informal
      succeed in obtaining or achieving (something desirable), especially in the face of strong competition.
      “she landed the starring role in a new film”

      synonyms: obtain, get, acquire, secure, be appointed to, gain, net, win, achieve, attain, carry off; informalbag

      2.

      come down through the air and alight on the ground.
      “planes landing at the rate of two a minute”

      synonyms: touch down, make a landing, come in to land, come down

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      It’s all about $$$, as Alaskan oil revenues are down. Without oil money, Alaska returns to the beautiful backwater territory it was in the past, and a poster child for what happens to the economy of jurisdictions dependent upon the boom and bust nature of extractive industries.

      “Dad, does it kick?”

  67. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Ten Mexican wolves are going to be released by USFWS despite New Mexico Game and Fish objection and free to roam in the Gila National Forest. Check out the comment by Grace on the bottom of the link, that about sums it up.

    http://www.taosnews.com/news/article_9b54f2d4-734d-11e5-bf87-dfc40d6180ff.html

  68. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://tribelive.ning.com/forum/mind-blowing-die-off-of-seabirds-underway-from-california-to-alas

    If this is not an apocalyptic warning i don’t know what is
    but hey the less birds there are the more fish for people killing those 10,000 cormorants will help too. Keep on killing. we humans need every last being on earth damn those pesky fish eating birds!

  69. avatar Yvette says:

    This one is just beyond my realm of thinking. Has this scientist not learned anything form the mistakes made in the name of western science in the couple hundred years? Not only is it disgusting but he is talking out his arse. The male birds have never been seen and this Filardi guy has been searching for this bird for 20 years.

    “It was like finding a unicorn,” he told Slate. “It’s unimaginable. You dream about it. You can almost taste it. And all of a sudden, there it is.”

    “Filardi contended that the bird is rare as in rarely seen, not as in, hardly any of them left, despite the fact that it is on the Red List of endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In fact, Filardi implied in an op-ed on Audubon magazine’s website, it’s so common that locals have been known to eat it like chicken.”

    “Filardi wrote. “As I wrote from the field, this is a bird that is poorly known and elusive to western science—not rare or in imminent danger of extinction.”

    “Filardi said his decision was based on the fact that the species would still thrive, even if the single bird did not. The underlying assumption being that the surrounding birds would have no consciousness of having lost a companion, because they are, well, animals. ”

    This biologist is full of it. If he has been searching for this bird for 20 years then he doesn’t know jack squat about the bird. He doesn’t know if it’s rare or rarely seen; he doesn’t know about the behavior and ecology of this species so he doesn’t know whether the surrounding birds have no consciousness or having lost a companion or not.

    Marc Bekoff hit the nail on the head when he stated far too much research is too bloody and doesn’t need to be.

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/10/17/biologist-kills-rare-kingfisher-study-invokes-local-tribe-defense-162123

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Filardi said his decision was based on the fact that the species would still thrive, even if the single bird did not. The underlying assumption being that the surrounding birds would have no consciousness of having lost a companion, because they are, well, animals.

      ?????? Just because a creature doesn’t ‘know’ or is ‘aware’ of loss of others (debatable) means it’s ok to kill it? That unique human quality, rationalization, knows no bounds, does it. Some birds do mourn the loss of a companion (swans). It’s still wrong because we would know it.

      This is no different than trophy hunting. This one bird isn’t going to be the font of all knowledge this guy justifies. The guy acted like a trophy hunter when he saw it. Killing them to save them. Then, the reflex to kill it mystifies me.

      Why can’t we, if the largest elephant in 50 years or rare bird exists, can’t we just leave it alone, and admire it from afar.

      Nowhere do I see bolstering for this behavior from indigenous people in the article. Only that in times past, it is mentioned that the bird was eaten for food (shades of Anthropocene boosters). Times are very different now. We have a very precarious present and future to think of now.

      Thanks, Yvette, for this article.

    • avatar rork says:

      Small point: try to avoid the phrase “western science”. It is an insult to thousands of outstanding scientists and their homelands, and makes it sound like there is more than one flavor of science. In science there is no east or west, in it no south or north, but one great fellowship and quest, throughout the whole wide earth. (Even got an extra rhyme in there.)
      Likewise with western medicine, where we can say science-based medicine or perhaps evidence-based medicine. “Science-based science” doesn’t sound as good or I’d go with that.

  70. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    This idea is so great you wonder why it isn’t being done elsewhere more:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reno-works-homeless-program_56213d3de4b02f6a900c2025?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green&section=green

    And this, to clear our minds of all the awful stuff we have to read about, these gorgeous illustrations:

    “For some people, these creatures were the work of the Devil, and those who were interested in them were surely up to no good — why, they might even be witches, who must be put to death,” Boris Friedewald writes in A Butterfly Journey, a brief history of a woman who dared to devote her entire life to them.

    Jeez, is everything the ‘work of the Devil’? Also, the articles say women then were ‘forbidden’ from working with oil paints!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/maria-sibylla-merian-butterflies_561ecd62e4b028dd7ea68a84?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green&section=green

  71. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    “One of the things that contributed to less depredation on Anderson’s cowherd this year is that they no longer have a certain female wolf”. Once again it’s those pesky females that are the trouble makers. Just kidding!

    http://beefmagazine.com/pasture-range/do-non-lethal-control-methods-reduce-wolf-depredation-ranchers-say-no

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      Casey is no friend of the wolf. He has given out incorrect information in the past regarding the wolf and tape worms. The article says the ranch is in a mix of private and public land; look up Bear, Idaho, it is surrounded by Payette National Forest. Quoting Valerius Geist doesn’t change my mind either.

  72. avatar rork says:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/sports/recreation/outdoors/patrick-durkin-don-t-discount-millennials-impact-on-wisconsin-deer/article_370a89ac-bd36-5b02-8d77-4c7da512bd6f.html was a bit interesting cause of the gender stats. 26% of 12-year-old WI deer hunters with guns are female. I read a few articles trying to learn about why, and they often point at media (e.g. movies with female bow users) or industry (camo that fits, pink gun stocks), which seems off. How about smaller family size and altered ideas of gender roles? Some do mention local, healthy, and “natural” food rise, which might be some. But I think that the generation older than those kids (like me) more detest gender saying what you can or cannot do, which is different from our older men who probably didn’t want women around so they could be crude, lewd, and misogynistic the whole time.

  73. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Read at the WWP site:

    How on earth can anyone hesitate in declaring this wolf endangered? There are only 50 or less left!!!!! But no doubt, the current Inferior Dept. won’t list them as endangered and bar them from ‘joining us on the Ark’.

    A ‘concerted effort’ will be announced by the logging company and the hunters, and will be applauded by Sally Jewell. The article says there is one wolf for each employee – hug a wolf today! At least stop the hunting of them.

    Just two decades ago, Prince of Wales was home to about 300 wolves. Now, state officials estimate that as few as 50 remain — about one wolf for every person working in the sawmill.

    By the end of this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a final decision on whether the wolf should be listed as an endangered species. While that decision is pending, logging continues, as does hunting — of both wolves and the deer that are their food supply.

  74. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Hunter gunfire — that ends the lives of about 10 bears a year in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    A 2008 Journal of Conservation Management study on the use of bear spray in Alaska found that 92 percent of the time spray stopped “undesirable behavior” in grizzly bears. Out of 61 incidents in which bear spray was used, there were only three grizzly-inflicted injuries and none required a trip to the hospital. Parallel research on the use of firearms during Alaskan black, grizzly and polar bear encounters found that human injuries occurred 56 percent of the time.

    Bartlebaugh said he reviews the “getting ready for your hunt” checklists published in hunting journals and in state wildlife publications, and has noticed that bear spray is frequently omitted.

    “I never see bear spray,” he said. “In the preparation lists, I don’t see it. And some of those are done by the agencies, the very agencies that want to see more people carrying bear spray.”

    It’s not brain in a can but it sure is pain in a can. Even though I’m not in grizzly country, every time I go hiking I always have my bear spray on my hip just in case I run across a cougar, attack dog or the most dangerous animal, a violent human.

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/what-happens-when-hunters-and-grizzlies-collide/article_93c82e66-96d1-527c-8b41-1c98743605be.html

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Good article, Gary.

      Since there seems to little if any consequences for not having bear spray, at hand (and a bear is shot) bears will continue to die.

  75. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/33309-fukushima-radiation-in-pacific-reaches-west-coast

    the continued assault by humans on the earth makes apocalyptic movies seem Jules Verne like unavoidable previews of upcoming, well….apocalypse

    wtf

  76. avatar Nancy says:

    Even if this moron couldn’t tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf, it had a collar on. How many coyotes are running around Oregon, with collars on??!!

    “The wolf was a male originally from the Umatilla River pack in northeast Oregon. He wore a radio collar from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which tracked him under the name OR22”

    http://newsdaily.com/2015/10/prosecutor-to-review-killing-of-endangered-wolf-in-oregon/#6Zkm8pcWUeByiLGY.99

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Not that I would perform the act. But what would happen if someone up here in NE MN shot a moose (illegal to do so the past few years) and their excuse was “gosh, I thought it was just a really big deer”. Slap on the wrist or a really bi fine? McKittrick was and is farcical.

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      My bet is because the hunter “self-reported” his mistake, the prosecutor will ask for a fairly small fine, lose his hunting privileges for a year or two and require him to attend hunter safety classes.

      • avatar Yvette says:

        All of these hunters surely know when they ‘self-report’ they will receive no consequences.

        McKittrick must be undone.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Pretty sad Timz. Be willing to bet this outraged bull was hung and quartered before the day was over.

      You can only hope that someday this whole mentality of “beast verses man” played out here for pure entertainment (did I see some matadors scrambling?) will go away in these countries and elsewhere.

  77. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/2015/10/21/idaho-grazing-rates/74344882/

    there will be much mutual anuses sniffing with the result of no fee increase

  78. avatar Nancy says:

    Forgive me but…. RIP Cory

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Okay I’ll stop but the man had a great range 🙂

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        greetings also to Yvette’s late neighbor – Mr Cool JJ Cale who also left this planet:

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Oh wow! Johnny Cale. The story is that back in the late 60’s, early 70’s he lived in a house a few blocks from where I am now and did a lot of songwriting in that house…..told to me from someone that use to play with him. Cain’s Ballroom is an absolute icon and it is near me, too. I’d say Cain’s is one of the best of the really old venues in the United States. Guaranteed you wont’ get lip syncing from the musicians that play at Cains. Tulsa had a rich music scene back in the 70’s when Leon Russell had his recording studio here. Great song writer. I was too young to experience that scene. At one time in the mid-70’s he lived in a mansion off 21st street so we high school kids use to hang out at his iron gate hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Never did.

      • avatar skyrim says:

        A helluva vocalist indeed. Hard to believe he was 74. I guess that ages us, huh Nancy? ^..^

  79. avatar Yvette says:

    Beavers are lowering nitrate in streams that flow to estuaries in the NE. Cool article.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151021144706.htm

  80. avatar Rich says:

    The WDFW will now have a 5 member panel of good ole boys determine if a rancher’s cattle have lost weight because the cows may be stressed by wolves living somewhere in Washington State. Other factors like weather, disease, forage/feed quality, genetics, husbandry, and the rancher’s poor decisions will of course be ignored when determining how much subsidy will be paid. Since its impossible to divine the real effect, lets just keep it simple: $s available / # of ranchers = payout. Perhaps the “scapewolves” will become an important factor in a welfare rancher’s bottom line along with virtually free public land grazing and other subsidies.

    http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20151016/wdfw-seeks-panel-to-review-wolf-caused-losses

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Despite evidence to support lower body weight in cattle where wolves are present, as with all systems of compensation, this one will also be abused by those it would mean to assist.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Replace those with some

      • avatar Nancy says:

        And when will these weigh ins take place? In the fall after cattle are walked for miles back to a ranch from public lands. Will the lack of forage on these public lands in the fall, be taken into account?

        After weaning? When mother cows spend days walking a fence line looking for their babies. (the babies doing the same thing in another pasture)

        Is each cow (or calf) going to be weighed individually? Ruling out the possibility of health issues, the effect of parasites, injuries, etc. Will inspectors be on hand to document weigh ins before and after?

        We had a pack of wolves up on public lands this past summer and from what I could tell, the cattle that came down looked ready to pop, even though they have 5 months to go before calving.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      This is the most ridiculous compensation fund of which I am aware. Is there any question about what group came up with this one?

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Somehow, seeing what humans do when hunting, such as with wolves and grizzlies, I find it hard to take seriously any outrage about dog attacks. More propaganda – dogs are close to people’s hearts, and what better way to try to keep vilifying wolves than to keep hammering about dog attacks.

      If you take your dog into wilderness, you put your own dog at risk, be it pet or hunting dog. End of.

      Animal traps set out by humans are indiscriminate and can seriously harm and kill dogs too. Nothing to say about that, do we. This propaganda has to stop, but it hasn’t changed in as long as this country has been in existence, and I doubt it ever will. This is why wildlife, and especially predators, will always need federal protection.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Remember also that although there are people in Sweden who do want wolves and support protecting them, the government policy is one of hatred and destruction of them. Coincidentally, so is ours. These European attitudes were brought to this country.

        A little off-topic, but recently the wonderful writer Henning Mankel passed away, and I absolutely loved his book the Man from Beijing. I think on the first page or so a wolf is shot just for being there! (realism) A lot of authors out of Sweden and the Scandinavian countries don’t paint such a nice picture of their countries.

        • avatar Barb Rupers says:

          I was only bringing this incident to the attention of the readers here. I am not condoning the hunting or killing of wolves, on the otherhand I don’t like to see any animal, including a dog, injured because of the actions of their owner. I am glad that I asked what happened to the dog and got a response.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Of course not. Nobody wants to see a dog injured either. My point was I do not like to see dogs injured to further an anti-wolf agenda, and I am not swayed by those kinds of dramatics. Especially when human behavior is exponentially much worse.

            It’s dismaying that even in the 21st century, humans still have a medieval mindset about wolves. It’s in our DNA; it’s programmed into our brains to be anti-predator. I don’t think that we should hold out any hope that people will change – and that predators are always going to need protection from the more vile and vulgar among us.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Wow Barb! What a bizarre and disturbing video and sadly, so typical of hound hunters – setting their cherished “hey, part of the family” dogs up for what too often is a bad outcome for not only their dogs but the wildlife/predators they encounter.

            A long but interesting read re: moose hunting in Sweden and here in the US:

            “Even when they are alone in the woods, the Swedish hunters stay in touch using walkie-talkies. Moose sightings are reported to the dog handlers, and when a moose is killed all are notified. Using the dog, each hunt is a driven hunt—a certain piece of land is covered with the dog handler and moose are supposed to move past standing hunters at specific locations. After each hunt, the team usually gathers around a fire to drink coffee, discuss the hunt and plan the next one. Often there are two hunts during a day, sometimes three. The typical hunt takes between one and three hours”

            http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/traditions/784/

            Course the population of Sweden is around 10 million.

            • avatar rork says:

              Thanks. Some extra notes:
              First, in some states you are allowed to track deer (and other ungulates) with dogs, you just can’t carry the typical weapons, the idea being that you are just trying to recover the dead body. That’s true in MI, and becoming a famous new thing to do. I figure pigs could be trained to do it so as to get around laws banning dogs, but it’s not the most convenient. Second, it’s not always individuals alone that hunt in North America – bear licenses often belong to groups (true in MI and possibly so cause of hound-hunting traditions), and in Canada I’m used to one license for as many as a group of 4 (not sure about US states about moose though). Why moose was rated at $6/lb while deer were just $2/lb was mysterious.
              PS: In Germany I am used to it being unthinkable to not have a tracking dog, but you would never use the dog to “push” game to hunters. In US, pushing (driving) deer is legal in some states, but it’s people without dogs doing it, and the size of the group is often regulated, cause people think it’s ethical for small groups (not that different than 2 of us walking through the forest 200 yards apart), but not fair chase when it’s allot of people (20 people pushing a swamp toward posted hunters).

  81. avatar Kathleen says:

    A segment from the PBS Newshour last night: “Wind farm works to reduce eagle deaths from old turbines”

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#160374

  82. avatar Nancy says:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Roadkill-finding-its-way-to-dinner-tables-across-Montana/36028988

    Huh. IMHO, its just another way to ” give license to the killing wildlife” because way too many people anymore, just can’t seem slow down enough to recognize areas where wildlife might be present and may be crossing, especially to water.

    • avatar rork says:

      I believe you have identified a problem only in theory, not in actual practice. The meat is not enough inducement to overcome your fear of getting killed or destroying your vehicle. We have a new law in MI where you just have to make a phone call or file electronically, cause for the last 20 year the local officials have just told you not to bother them with such trivial things as filling out road-kill “red tags” – just take it home, nobody will bother you, in fact thanks.

  83. avatar Immer Treue says:

    A friend, who knows of my interest in wolves,sent me a hard copy of this article, What Do Animals Think?

    http://theweek.com/articles/577618/what-animals-think

    which is excerpted from Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina. Henry Holt & Co., 2015.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Immer, a good friend dropped a copy of the book Beyond Words, off at my cabin yesterday. The photograph on the dust jacket is worth a thousand words 🙂

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Wonderful excerpt – humans are a bunch of bullies, aren’t we? Thinking that we are so exceptional, and acting accordingly. Nice to know we are not exceptional.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      a couple of articles about other famous wolves with whom Wolf 21 shared his life:

      https://www.hcn.org/wotr/14583
      The passing of a Yellowstone Cinderella

      https://www.yellowstonereports.com/report.php?date=2015&cid=585
      Decoding 302M

      Obtaining genetic insight into one of Yellowstone’s most unique wolves

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        Juneau’s black wolf Romeo also was born on 2003 (like wolf 302M) and lived through 2009 and was one of the kind – who was more ‘a lover, not fighter’ and had plenty of human contacts & their pets

        2003 seems special year for black wolf ambassadors

  84. avatar Nancy says:

    “It’s the fourth such plan approved by the commission. This year, the plan would allow landowners to pick a portion of the hunters authorized to remove elk from their property”

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Montana-wildlife-managers-make-progress-on-elk-brucellosis/36040136

    “Pick a portion” Which means what… in layman’s terms?

  85. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Of Dogs, Wolves, Coyotes, and McKittrick.
    As the tamaracks are now bedecked in their autumn gold, and all other trees have shed their colorful badges of warm weather past, an incident occurred up here that scratched the scab of the McKittrick ruling. I have two German Shepherds, one ancient at 13.5 years who’s happy with food, a warm place to sleep, and walks not to long in nature. The other is a 10 month old, painfully and perhaps fatally bonded to me who is a maelstrom of activity. Two days ago, he took off after a wolf. I only saw the wolf for a second or two, but it’s size, and the means in which it moved made the ID easy. Fortunately for my pup, the wolf all but vaporized as it vanished into the woods.

    Now the McKittrick rule/excuse. The recent shooting of the collared Oregon wolf, I thought it was a coyote incident, addles one’s mind to the continual use of this excuse. Sure, there are similarities, but size, structure, and movement all together yield two distinctly different canines. If the hunter was using open sites, he had to be close enough to distinguish between the two. If he had a scope, it should have been clear as day that it was not a coyote, radio collar to boot. Just another case of trigger itch, and not proper identification of his target.

    The McKittrick Rule must go.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      +
      And thanks for the link to the moving Yellowstone wolf excerpt. It is on my list for reading during this rainy season.

  86. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Lion Heads Arrive in Record Numbers as U.S. Considers Crackdown
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-26/lion-heads-arrive-in-record-numbers-as-u-s-considers-crackdown
    Big-game hunters are killing African lions in record numbers as U.S. regulators threaten to curtail one of world’s most exclusive, expensive and controversial pursuits.

  87. avatar Nancy says:

    “They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome,” said Betsy Booren, vice president of scientific affairs at the North American Meat Institute”

    Got to love that comment. Tortured the data verses torturing the animal, for the meat.

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/money/world-health-body-says-processed-meat-causes-cancer/36048592

    • avatar rork says:

      About the actual science: Booren is dead wrong in that quote. Big studies have appeared very frequently on this topic, and get widely discussed in some venues, and behold, the larger and better designed ones have been finding about the same results, and in the same direction, for a very long time. Every time U.S. studies come out, people like me are astonished at the average level of consumption – and that some people must be eating incredible amounts to let us achieve that average. Anyway this is not about one data-set or one analysis. In fact, WHO has been extremely slow in stating the obvious.
      The conclusion however may not be to eat no mammals – the dose makes the poison, and one semi-good counter by the mammal-industry was that there are some health benefits (that benefits exceed risks is what they want you to think, but that might only be true at doses about 25% of what average American eats – guess who is really attempting statistical lies).

      • avatar rork says:

        PS: epidemiology joke.
        When we simply ask, we learn that Americans eat 4 times more broccoli than is grown in North America or imported, and must be feeding pets half the bacon they buy.

  88. avatar Yvette says:

    The black bear hunt in Florida ended after two days and over 300 bears killed. That included lactating females. It also included cubs, which were not supposed to be killed/”harvested”.

    “The more bears you have, the more likely you are to succeed,” she said.”

    A while I asked about or read somewhere about the quotas that South Dakota had set for mountain lions. My question was the success rate for the kill/harvest of those mountain lions was going down and did that mean the wildlife managers should reevaluate what they think was the population. Maybe there weren’t as many as they believed. I know it’s been a while and it’s a different species with different behavior but the response I got was something along the line of “just because a quota is set doesn’t mean they have to ‘meet’ that quota”. My train of thought was if it’s getting more difficult to kill/”harvest” then the population may not be as robust as the wildlife managers believe or say it is.

    Now, on the Nokose Lvste (black bear in our language) massacre that just happened in Florida, here is a quote in the Orlando Sentinal, “Diane Eggeman, FWC’s hunting director, admitted Sunday the wildlife agency had underestimated the rate of hunter success but pointed out the high harvest total also may suggest that the black bear population is larger than the current estimate of 3,500.

    “The more bears you have, the more likely you are to succeed,” she said.” (I added the bold). I think I agree with her. It makes sense with black bears in FL and it makes sense with mountain lions in SD.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-florida-bear-hunt-ends-aftermath-20151025-story.html

    The Florida black bear hadn’t been hunted in 24 years and STILL some people baited them, which was illegal. They also killed lactating females and they killed cubs. How stupid are these hunters? I think awfully stupid if you have to bait the bear.

    The ethics of this black bear hunt is being questioned, as it should be.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1026/Is-Florida-s-black-bear-hunt-ethical

    “I think there are two strong strains here that get confused in our society. There are people who are really committed to wildlife conservation,” conservation expert Will James tells the National Geographic last year. “And then there are animal rights advocates, who believe that every animal is ethically considerable and should have the right to live.”

    The latter group, James explains, doesn’t take into account that nature has its own way of culling when a specific region is overpopulated by a certain animal, and that the ways animals die under these circumstances may entail more suffering.

    “If wildlife managers don’t cull, then nature culls, and we will see animals starving [and] habitat types that used to be vibrant and beautiful consisting of highly reduced numbers of species.”

    One of the problems with James’ statement is he didn’t address the loss of habitat or the conflict of humans being encouraged to pick and harvest palmetto berries.

    How good is the science and what good is it good for if the only resolution is a bullet and the thrill to kill?

  89. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/killer-heat-expected-persian-gulf-end-century-180957039/?no-ist

    But,but,but it’s not real I tells ya, not real.
    I knows because I saw some snow last winter.
    /s

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Climate Change and the World’s “Sacred Sea”—Lake Baikal, Siberia
      http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/5/405.full
      Lake Baikal—the world’s largest, oldest, and most biotically diverse lake—is responding strongly to climate change

      Russians are strongly attached emotionally to Lake Baikal, in part because it represents the natural unspoiled beauty of the Russian motherland. Indeed, this natural phenomenon was the birthplace of the Russian environmental movement in the mid-1960s (Weiner 1999), a movement that endures today.

      Lake Baikal is a treasure trove for biologists. In part because of its great antiquity (it is approximately 25 million years old) and its deep, oxygenated water, this lake harbors more species than any other lake in the world, and many of them are endemic (Martin 1994). More than half of the approximately 2500 animal species (Timoshkin 1995) and 30% of the 1000 plant species are endemic (Bondarenko et al. 2006a); 40% of the lake’s species are still undescribed (Timoshkin 1995). The presence of oxygen down to its deepest depths (1642 m), a trait shared with the ocean but unique among deep lakes (> 800 m), explains the presence of multicellular life and the evolution of an extensive, mostly endemic fauna in the lake’s profundal depths. For example, hydrothermal vent communities dependent on access to oxygen for chemoautotrophy occur on the lake floor (Crane et al. 1991). In recognition of its biodiversity and endemism, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared Lake Baikal a World Heritage site in 1996. The lake’s biotic richness is matched by physical distinctions: it is the largest lake in the world by depth and volume. Reaching oceanic depths, Lake Baikal holds 20% of Earth’s liquid freshwater (equivalent to all of the North American Great Lakes combined).

      Unfortunately, multiple and diverse anthropogenic stressors threaten this extraordinary lake, as the recent protests in Siberia illustrate. Among these stressors, climate change is arguably the most insidious

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        The 21st century climate change effects on the forests and primary conifers in central Siberia
        http://mingaonline.uach.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0717-92002012000300004&script=sci_arttext

        In the 2080 drier climate conditions, Siberian forests are simulated to decrease significantly and shift northwards while forest-steppe and steppe would come to dominate 50 % of central Siberia. Permafrost is not predicted to thaw deep enough to sustain dark (Pinus sibirica, Abies sibirica, and Picea obovata) taiga. Dahurian larch (L. gmelinii+cajanderi), which is able to withstand permafrost, would remain the dominant tree species. Light conifers (Larix spp. and Pinus sylvestris) may gain an advantage over dark conifers in a predicted dry climate due to their resistance to water stress and wildfire. Habitats for new temperate broadleaf forests, non-existent in Siberia at present, are predicted by 2080.

  90. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.care2.com/causes/an-island-the-size-of-nyc-is-protecting-193000-square-miles-of-ocean.html

    Palau creates marine reserve excluding fishing in 80% of the reserve. That’s smart
    to save the oceans this should become international policy

  91. avatar timz says:

    Just returned from Yellowstone, great wolf viewing a couple packs are very active.

  92. avatar Nancy says:

    Wildlife moments – Looked out my front window yesterday afternoon and found about a dozen Mulie does & fawns, browsing in my side yard. Stepped out on the side porch and watched them for awhile. My little mixed breed dog was excited about them being so close but soon snuggled up and just watched.

    They headed out back and settled down for a late afternoon nap. Came home this afternoon and from what I could guess, the same bunch of Mulies were still enjoying the landscape out back.

    This evening, does and fawns all over my side yard again. And as I watched, one doe, fawn, after another, sunk down into the side yard (covered in sagebrush) for yet another brief nap.

    I’m sure there are some here that can appreciate the joy I experienced, knowing these deer were quite comfortable just hanging out 🙂 on a landscape that wasn’t being rummaged over right now by two legged predators. Hunting season started last weekend.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Yes. 🙂

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        The white tails I see don’t really bother my plants too much, they eat both the desirable and undesirable plants. I don’t care if they mow my lawn a little. I have a Kousa dogwood that produces ‘apples’ in the fall, and the sweetest thing ever is to watch the deer eat them.

        We’ve had a lot more development and nearly identical cookie cutter houses going up all around, fencing everything out and probably treated lawns, so I haven’t seen as many as I used to.

        It’s deer season around here too, I remember hearing shots and seeing hunters walking, but nowadays with more development I don’t as much.

        They are, for the first time ever, opening up an urban park for deer hunting. So people who want to use the park have to take a backseat to hunters for two weekends. 🙁

        http://www.wbur.org/2015/10/15/deer-hunting-blue-hills-reservation

    • avatar Rita k.Sharpe says:

      Thank you, Nancy, for sharing the moment.

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      Nancy, I agree that you cannot put a price on seeing and even smelling (if you get close enough) wildlife in their natural environment. When I moved to central Oregon two months ago the very first thing I did was remove some farm fence so Mulies could walk next to my house and know they would not be bothered.

      The next thing I did was plant some shrubs which they immediately ate all of the leaves (buffet time) but instead of getting upset, I remembered this is their home and I’m the visitor. Deer must have good noses because they found those shrubs the same day I planted them.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        + 1 Gary, for addressing the fence line!

        Had to address (move) a fence line between my place and the big ranch next door (they run lease cattle) I put up 3 stands of barb wire instead of the usual 5 strands. Open range sucks!

        I get the occasional beef calf thru the fence line but glad that the deer and elk, young and old, can negotiate less strands of barb wire when passing thru.

        Good luck with the shrubs. Planted a couple of shrubs, can’t recall the name but it has tiny yellow flowers in the spring, nice green color most of the summer, long seed pods and the deer don’t find it worth chowing down on come fall.

        If you are doing a flower garden, Columbines are great to plant, hummingbirds and butterflies love them, deer don’t seem to care much about them until later in the fall, munch on the seed pods.

        Maltese Cross, Monk Head, nice pop of color, they re-seed but don’t go wild.

        Oh and Rork, brought some tiny lilac bush cuttings down from a lodge in the Bob Marshall a few years ago. These lilac bushes were growing wild there. 8 feet tall would be a modest estimate.

        Spent years babying them, little growth though until I fenced them off for a couple years,from the deer who frequent my yard in the fall. Might help with your “buck bashing?”

        Same with some natural aspens I transplanted, little fencing keeps deer at bay until the trees get to a decent height.

    • avatar rork says:

      I finally got to see the white-tail buck that’s been debarking one of my lilacs, about 9 AM, when I’m hardly ever home. It’s not rubbing to remove velvet – this is the beating it to pieces type behavior. He refreshed the scrape and peed in it, as expected. Actual sex is about 10-15 days away here though. My freezer holds two doe now (enough), and I don’t hunt my place ever anyway, but he’s at high risk from neighbors come Nov 15 (gun opener).

    • avatar Professor Sweat says:

      I had an unexpected wildlife encounter just now. In the alleyway behind the office I work for in Beverly Hills, I was on my cell when a juvenile Cooper’s hawk landed on a fence post ten feet to my right. He or she stared at me quizzically for a good twenty seconds before deciding I was boring and took off, vanishing over the neighboring CVS.

      In the depressing confusion of multi-million dollar homes, BMW’s, and spray-tanned housewives, it was humbling and empowering to still have a rare/up-close encounter with one our beautiful raptor species.

      Something I needed very much.

  93. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Everything up here in NE MN is moving. Early Rut has already began, wolf activity all over. Two days ago, walking one of my dogs down the gravel road off whic my cabin sets, I spotted a couple gray jays, which have become increasingly rare to see. Got of to the end of the road and turned around, and about 150 yards back up the road was a fresh pile of wolf scat, ie, it wasn’t there 4-5 minutes before. Evidently wolf came out into road, did it’s business, and back into the woods it went, the dog and I with our backs to the event, or would it be called a non-event. Guess it depends on ones attitude toward this creature. So much for the “Big Bad Wolf”.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Immer, do you ever get the feeling that you are a non threatening part of their territory?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Nancy,
        Perhaps. Only once am I aware of 3-4 coming through together based upon a howl fest. Pictures I have are one or two at the most.
        Obvious they don’t breed very close by, or maintain rendezvous sites close by, although I have observed signs of estrus in scent posts on my propert and nearby in mid to late Febraury. With my old dog, I’ve had one walk about 30-40 feet in front of me, look, And amble back into the woods. Got to respect them for what they are, but never felt the least bit of threat.

    • avatar jon says:

      immer, just curious, have you and your dogs ever actually encountered wolves in the wild? If so, what happened in the encounter?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        jon,
        At least a dozen times, no issues. That said, my ancient 13.5 year old GS has never went chasing after wolves, nor the GS before him. About 15 years ago on a winter camping trip had a pack of 8 wolves approach from around the bend of an island while dog and i were both strapped into sleds. Wolves got less than 100 yards away, stopped, looked us over and retraced their steps around the island. That night they killed a moose calf across from where I was camped. Spent three days there with the wolves. I watched and left them alone, and vice versa.

        Another time, winter again, when my old shepherd was very young, I was on a lake where Jim Brandenburg was photographing a pack of 19 wolves. I came into the inlet of the lake and stopped, as i did not want to interfere with Brandenburg if he was up in his yurt observing at the time. All of a sudden he howled and after a pause, the pack howled in response. What a glorious racket.

        Periodically around the cabin I see one while out with the dog(s) and they see me/us. Got to wonder how many times while out in the woods around the cabin, or at night they see me and dog(s) and I’ve got no idea they’re there.

        My 10mos old GS is a different story. He’s taken off after wolves that I have seen twice recently. He is fortunate that wolf was either not hungry, or just did not want any part of me and dog. in most cases I’ve been able to observe, wolves take off, and sometimes show a passing curiosity.

  94. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Congress looking to get rid of federal lands by transfer to states? Keep an eye on this one.
    http://www.wyofile.com/critic-starving-federal-agencies-fuels-land-transfer-push/
    I got the lead from the Spokesman Review.
    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/oct/29/congresss-budget-cutting-promotes-federal-land-transfer-states/

  95. avatar Cody Coyote says:

    A short but insightful article on the rise of the Coywolf in eastern North America , in of all places The Economist Magazine.

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21677188-it-rare-new-animal-species-emerge-front-scientists-eyes

    Some takeaways:
    The Economist article says the number of Coywolves now numbers in the millions . ( not a typo )
    DNA pie chart analogy says Coywolves are 10 percent Dog, 25 percent Wolf, and the rest Coyote. The result is a genetically prolific animal that is nearly twice the size/weight of coyotes.
    Calling the Coywolf a distinct species is a fierce debate, which some say is moot, based on the notion that ” species” is entirely a human descriptor , and nature does not follow the genetic script to the letter.

    Fascinating.

    My question: will we ever see the rise of a Western Coywolf ?

  96. avatar Salle says:

    I just saw this and wondered how this formation occurred and no earthquakes were recorded. Hasn’t been that much precip around lately so..?

    Massive crack in earth mysteriously opens up in Bighorn Mountains

    http://www.grindtv.com/nature/massive-crack-in-earth-mysteriously-opens-up-in-bighorn-mountains/#5c4TJZFBhFrZpZFk.99

    (I hope the picture comes out)
    http://cdn.grindtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/randy-becker-near-casper-wy-.jpg

    “An engineer from Riverton, WY came out to shed a little light on this giant crack in the earth. Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock. Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out.”

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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."

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