Here is another story touting the economic benefits of nearby public lands. Report touts wildlife refuges. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune.

These stories continually telling of the benefits of the public lands have in recent years help stave off the privatizers, but beware because their methods are getting more and more sneaky.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

6 Responses to Report touts wildlife refuges

  1. Robert Hoskins says:

    Imbedded in this story is an important discussion of the potential negative economic impacts in Jackson Hole and northwestern Wyoming of an outbreak of chronic wasting disease on the National Elk Refuge. There are some telling quotations here.

  2. Jon Way says:

    “O’Donoghue said the Jackson business community is very much aware of what could happen if chronic wasting ever hit the refuge — a massive die-off of animals”

    Do these people have the foresight to realize that wolves may help in reducing the disease threat by killing them ahead of time? Seems kind of funny that that isn’t ever mentioned.

  3. Mack P. Bray says:

    From the article: “…the report, compiled by Fish and Wildlife Service economists, said nearly 35 million people nationwide visited national wildlife refuges in 2006, supporting almost 27,000 private sector jobs and producing about $543 million in employment income. The national economic benefit is almost four times the $383 million appropriated to the National Wildlife Refuge System in fiscal year 2006. In addition, recreational spending on national wildlife refuges nationwide generated nearly $185.3 million in tax revenue at the local, county, state and federal level.”

    “Under an ongoing restructuring, the Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to cut 565 jobs from refuges by 2009 — a 20 percent reduction. The plan would leave more than 200 refuges unstaffed.”

    Let’s see, according to modern math, $383M X 4 = $1,532M or $1,532,000,000 (yes, that’s over a billion bucks) in national economic benefit.

    The fed’s attitude is let’s starve the beast? Brilliant.

    “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” ~ Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)

    Jon Way, many people realize that wolves may help in reducing the disease threat by killing elk suffering from CWD. But in Wyoming, the livestock producers don’t want any wolves in the state and some hunting groups, such as Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife are anti-predator and pro-artificial feeding of elk on Wyoming’s feed lots and the National Elk Refuge. It’s a political football with very little science involved.

    More about brucellosis and CWD here:

    Livestock producers have a stranglehold on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the Game and Fish Department.

    But it won’t last forever.

    Mack P. Bray

  4. Robert Hoskins says:


    It is unlikely that wolves will have a positive effect on the spread of CWD on the Refuge or any of the State feedgrounds, given the high densities of elk on them.

    I knew about the press conference with Dale Hall ahead of time and I asked Brodie Farquhar to inquire about the negative economic impacts of a CWD epidemic on the Refuge. The point was to boost public awareness of the fact that that CWD would have a serious negative economic impact in Jackson Hole, not to highlight the potential role of wolves in controlling disease. That point was made.


  5. kim kaiser says:

    “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” ~ Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)

    i think this characterization of government was Reagans description of a prior administration (Carter). Reagan dropped all tax rates substantially. Efforts to reverse his tax cuts have been attacked for years, and thankfully thwarted.

  6. The Republican coalition Reagan created in 1980 and afterward is collapsing, however, because it is impossible to engage in a military conflict that may cost as much as 6-trillion dollars and put it on a credit card (borrow it from other countries).

    The bills have to be paid. Most people say that bill should have never been rung up, but it has, and it continues. As a result the GOP coalition unravels as to how to deal with it and other issues. The Democrats wait in the wings, but do they have the ability to do much better (hard to be worse?)


November 2007


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

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: