Sarah Palin’s record on environment is abysmal

Sarah Palin’s record on environment is abysmal. By Rick Steiner. Seattle P-I. Guest Columnist.

Palin may have the worst record on the environment of any candidate for the president or vice presidency in history. She won’t even protect Bristol Bay from the huge Pebble Mine (her daughter is named Bristol), and so much of the family’s publicized fishing takes place there.

For those who haven’t heard about the Pebble Mine, check out this web site: Save Bristol Bay: salmon factory of the world.

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Her deadly wolf program. With a disdain for science that alarms wildlife experts, Sarah Palin continues to promote Alaska’s policy to gun down wolves from planes. By Mark Benjamin. Salon Magazine.





  1. John Avatar

    That was rather disheartening to read.

    Though more wolves are shot and trapped by land-based sport hunting than by aircraft.
    In 2007, the state of Alaska killed more than 1,700 wolves – no one ever seems to bring that into question when talking about Alaska’s appalling record with predators.

  2. Jon Way Avatar

    I agree with John…The funny (not really) thing about aerial wolf control in Alaska is that about 250 wolves are killed by private citizens (and sometimes the state) per year… While I absolutely don’t agree with that….
    Most folks don’t know that our federal gov’t aerial kills about 30,000 coyotes every year in the western US using our tax-payer dollars (and land kills another 50,000 or so). Why isn’t there more of a petition to stop that since we are paying for it (The good news is that Sinupu is working on that… but they are the 1st group to)…

  3. JB Avatar

    Take a look at the comments following the article. No discussion of the actual content of the piece, just partisan ranting.

    A USA Today poll released today found McCain leads Obama 50/46 +/-3 points, nationally. Some of that is do to the convention, and I’m sure some is due to the excitement that Palin is causing–though very few people know much about her. Hopefully, articles like this will cause people to actually to more than a passing glance at the ex-beauty queen.

  4. vicki Avatar

    THe policies and views she has are very frightening. Aerial gunning is an example of her blatant disregard for doing the right thing. If left to her devices and absence of common sense, we will all suffer very dire consequences. It sounds to me like she has taken every opportunity to push not only animals and environments to the brink, but in doing so will push humans as well.
    If she cannot see the actual effects of global warming, perhaps she needs a new prescription for those glasses she sports.

  5. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    Not a great way to start the day…..50% to 46% in favor of McCain. We’ve got alot of work to do to “get the word out”
    Think “Defenders” has the courage to put their video on national TV?

  6. Maska Avatar

    In addition to the litany of horrors cited in the article, it’s important to remember that at least two of the more moderate Supreme Court justices are elderly and in poor health. The next president will appoint their successors. If we elect a McCain/Palin administration, you can bet that the Supreme Court, as well as the many courts of appeals and district courts across the nation, will be packed with judges who support bogus “takings” claims.

    In recent years the courts have frequently been the last bastion for protecting the public interest in a healthy environment and well managed public lands against special interests. Eight–or even four–years of McCain/Palin could change all that.

  7. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    People, we don’t elect the President by a national vote – it is by states. While national pols are interesting, the real action is at the state level. Check out for daily updates on how the state-by-state races are shaping up. This is a very informative site, though not really related to this topic at all…

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Good point. The Republican social conservative base is fired up now. Does that merely make “red” states redder, or does it tip battleground states?

  9. Salle Avatar

    “It sounds to me like she has taken every opportunity to push not only animals and environments to the brink, but in doing so will push humans as well.”

    But she’s an evangelical! They believe that they are the supreme specie and that they are the ones to be protected against all of god’s other creations/species by demonization in the public view so that they can reap the benefits of exploitation, temporarily. And at the expense of all other living things.

    Nothing else matters to Palin but her own comforts, control over others’ lives and the ablility to insist that others do the same as she believes in… though I bet she’d get real tired of everybody being just like her after a while.

    As an educated woman, I’m thoroughly insulted by her in more ways than I can mention here.

  10. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Ralph – THAT is the big question!!! It certainly makes red states redder, but I’m not sure how she flies with the independents and thus how it will affect the swing states.

  11. vicki Avatar

    Colorado is one of the states being battled over with intensity. I see Colorado going Democrat. It could push things the right direction.

  12. vicki Avatar

    I just read about a bumper sticker that says:
    Jesus was a community organizer, Ponchus Pilot was a governor. I’d love one.
    As I read through numerous papers and blogs, women seem quite outraged about Palin. ANd you know what they say about voting…more people vote against someone than for someone.

  13. catbestland Avatar

    They have T-shirts too. I think you can get them through the Obama campaign website.

  14. catbestland Avatar

    McCain-Palin sounds painful. Like being impaled by a cain. Obama-Biden sounds like a South-Seas party. . a luau.

  15. dbaileyhill Avatar


    Thank you for the humor! a bright spot in my day!

  16. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Salle you hit it:
    “As an educated woman, I’m thoroughly insulted by her in more ways than I can mention here.”

    Can you imagine a first woman president and we get that one?
    She is living proof that all women are not created equally.

  17. Don Riley Avatar
    Don Riley

    This is a pretty revealing NYT piece on Mrs. Paulin. Seems, like most politicians, she says one thing but the record is another. I hope there is time to get information like this out.

    Maska, your point is perhaps the most important issue in this election in terms of our personal freedoms. The second is Biden’s pledge to investigate the actions of Bush/Cheney and both Obama & Biden has said that crimes will be prosecuted by an Obama Justice Department. Things at Interior cannot be as bad as they are now but, as usual, a Democratic Interior Department will have to work like hell to be heard. Maybe the spin off from climate change will help in that area. Get ready for huge areas of the Southwest to be covered with wind and solar projects.

  18. John Lasseter Avatar
    John Lasseter

    “Jesus was a community organizer, Ponchus Pilot was a governor.” Hilarious joke. Better if Pontius Pilate is spelled correctly.

  19. kim kaiser Avatar

    “This is a pretty revealing NYT piece on Mrs. Paulin. Seems, like most politicians, she says one thing but the record is another. I hope there is time to get information like this out.”

    NYT is always at the forefront of unbiased reporting,, !!

  20. kim kaiser Avatar

    oh and olberman and the blonde hair common tator on msnbc have both been removed from politcal reporting after there ratings were at the bottom of the toilet after “BOTH” conventions,, sounds like there socialistic ranting is not so well received by the public,

  21. Izabela Avatar

    Where is the press..the BIG press to talk about Palin’s RECORD in Alaska? Who gives SP right to say that I can’t have abortion even if I was raped?
    One thing comes to my mind..
    and please excuse me if it is too graphic..
    I am from Europe and my mother survived WWI as a child, and told me some stories.
    So I can ask:
    Have even seen the WWII movies where people run and run from Nazis planes shooting at them?
    Have you see the Vietnam movies where people run and run and run from planes shooting at them…
    I see wolevs running and running and being shot from planes and copters..

    Who gives us a right to kill in cruel way, not for food but for fun..
    Who gives us a right to say we are superior…
    Who are the people who claim Iraq war is God’s will?
    Is the killing spree of all jincluding animals a God’s will also? or is it interpretation of a human being who wants to feel the power and get to the power by all means…

  22. Izabela Avatar

    spelling ….I should use spelling checker…..grrrrrrrrrr I am sorry.
    World War II not I..

  23. JB Avatar

    “…sounds like there socialistic ranting is not so well received by the public.”


    Are you planning on making any substantive comments, or just ranting about the “liberal” media? It appears that you believe that, outside of Fox “News,” every major news media outlet has an extreme liberal bias. Have you considered that perhaps REALITY has a liberal bias? Just curious.

    My advice: Turn off the “shrieking midgets of AM radio” for awhile and get out some. A wonderful world of information awaits you!

  24. vicki Avatar

    Sorry, my spelling stinks. But Einstein once said that intellegent people have difficulty spelling the english language because it is not phonetically correct or logical. (Not a direct quote.) As for spell checker, well my pc skills are worse than my spelling and I am usually in a car when typing. (Typing on the laptop while typing and using my cell for work is hard work!!! Just kiddin’)

    People all over the web are beginning to panic over the polls. Hard core republicans are living it up.

  25. vicki Avatar

    Palin and Alaska’s legislators certainly know how to sell their bag of b.s. People are actually thinking she is saving the carabou from wolves-not climate change and habitat shrinkage. One twit even says it’s okay to aerial gun wolves because Alaska is five times bigger than Colorado-okay that logic works how????
    I encourage you all to blog on your local newspaper’s sites. Include mine if you will,, click on opinions and then letters to the editor.

  26. kim kaiser Avatar

    JB, fact is, cnn is the home page on my internet,, that is where all my info comes from,, sorry to dissappoint,

    also, if the NYT is the basis for good info,, then i guess i will just miss out,,

    I dont agree with Palin, i dont believe in her boast about all her accomplishments, i think limbaugh is full of shit as well and havent heard him in years,, but hussein obama scares me way worse that she does,,,

    liberal is one thing, socialism is another, and that is where hussein will take us,, mark it,,, so if you wish to be under socialist type government, then, move to france or germany or russia, or where ever the remnants of it are being practised and let those of us who work, think for ourselves and use our creative minds to make a good living get ahead and not let it be given away to the lazy and stupid,, i find it interesting that you bark the bark of welfare for the needy, but in the same breath, feel like ranchers are using public lands and you call it wellfare ranching,, well what the hell is the difference between “public” land and social welfare,, it the same thing, its the use of public money, or in ranchers case, public land, there is no difference between the two, yet you scream to the masses we should help our fellow man with money given by the public but hate ranchers for doing just the exact same thing,, there is NO consistancy in your thinking,, there is one consistency though, you do not like anyone with money, as long as its just a little but not a lot, your fine, but your rants arent about the government, you simply dont like people who have money,,

    So i will go on a get back to my 80 hour week so i can pay for the masses on welfare at the house watching oprah with 7 illegits, uder 17, no job and on crack,,

  27. vicki Avatar

    Wow, Kim,
    Do you really think that the average person works much less than you? I don’t. Do you think every unemployed or homeless person is that way by choice? I know better.

    Many Americans are forced to live with parents or have their children live with them, because they cannot afford to live any other way. Or because idiots like Palin don’t think using contaception is moral and push their religeous will upon others….so they have children the first time they have sex…which for the average caucasion female happens to be about age fourteen.

    Maybe you would like to be the one explaining to my sister in law that her baby won’t be able to have his heart surgery due to her inability to afford insurance.

    We use public money to defend murderers and rapists, to buy guns for people who despise us, to aid ranchers who damage our lands, buy bullets to shoot at wolves from helicopters and planes we all pay for, to do research that is not allowed to impact environmental policies….why are you so pissed at a man who would have children get health care, drilling limited, and contraception available to teens who are likely already sexually active?

    You call social responsibility “socialism” and act like we should run for our lives. Social responsibility and economic reform are not bad things….perhaps if more people had the previous we wouldn’t have over-flowing prisons and school shootings…or if we had more of the later you could get ahead without working those 80 hours.

    How do you feel about other ethnicities? It sure seems like you are seething with hate lately. You throw out a ton of stereotypical insults. I guess I won’t take my multi-ethnic children back to your restaurant again until I know where you really stand with this stuff. It’s pretty scarey to think of taking them there with such hostility being shown by you.

  28. Barb Avatar

    If Obama is a socialist, then he is a bad one. He is married to a capitalist woman, Michelle, who earns $400,000 as Vice President of Chicago Medical Center. Just because someone wants to help those who could use a hand up, not a hand out, that is socialism?

    If you want to see socialism, go to Finland, where they pay about 50% in taxes to the government. I don’t agree with socialism like that — but setting policy that helps all Americans is different than by government control or administered.

    Actually, if you really are listening to the candidates, they are saying much the same thing!

    By the way, Cindy McCain gots her millions from inheritances.

  29. timz Avatar

    “By the way, Cindy McCain gots her millions from inheritances”

    Yes but we’ll give her a pass because the money came from selling pretty good beer. 🙂

  30. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    About Kim Kaiser,

    My impression is that you are a strong economic conservative, right, Kim? And you are a businessman, probably highly disliking government forms, taxes, regulations?

    Are you a social conservative too?

  31. Barb Avatar

    I couldn’t understand a word kim said…. 🙂

  32. JB Avatar

    Kim said (among other things): “i find it interesting that you bark the bark of welfare for the needy, but in the same breath, feel like ranchers are using public lands and you call it wellfare ranching,, well what the hell is the difference between “public” land and social welfare,, it the same thing, its the use of public money”

    First, I won’t address the rest of what you’ve written–your own words do a better job of condemning your thinking than I ever could. However, as for the inconsistency you believe you’ve found in my logic, I’m happy to clear that up for you. You claim that the government providing welfare to ranchers (in the form of subsidies, public land use, etc.) is the “same” as other forms of social welfare because “its the use of public money” and my condemnation of “welfare ranching” and support for other types of social programs is hypocritical.

    You are wrong. By your logic every kind of spending should be judged the same, regardless of the costs and benefits associated with that spending. Fortunately, I am not bound by your logic. You see, the welfare provided to ranchers by the Federal government benefits them immensely; however, the costs to the rest of the country are fairly substantial with no net benefit to society–no greater good (the food produced is, in my view, insignificant). In contrast, unemployment, social security, Medicare and Medicaid provide benefits to a great number of people. Note, ONLY RANCHERS benefit from the subsidies they receive–only they qualify–whereas EVERYONE (when they are eligible) can collect unemployment, social security, etc. Moreover, by helping to keep its citizens healthy and financial solvent, these programs greatly benefit society in general. How? By helping reduce disease transmission, sick leave, bankruptcies, crime and a number of other social ills. The welfare provided ranchers has none of the same benefits. Its costs are shared by everyone, and its benefits accrued by a few individuals.

    That is how they are different. That is why I support many of the social programs you disdain and I do not support welfare for ranchers.

  33. Jim Avatar

    The only person I would have voted for is Clinton, or Gore if he had ran, and I was not planning on voting at all. I don’t want any of those for people to be president and an obama/biden administration will not put the country on the right track as obama is claiming. However, given palin’s support for killing wolves i have no choice but to vote for obama. so that makes me one person who is voting based upon a single issue.

    I can’t see why anyone is excited about obama. he is basically an al gore without the charisma and without the accomplishments and ideas. mccain/palin got a boost recently after palin became the only one of the four to have some kind of personality. obama/biden are boring, boring, boring. we should remember that it was gore’s “uppity”-ness and bush’s “folksy”-ness during their debates that swung the 2000 election into bush’s favor.

    I think kim does not like going off to work and having to work for things while other people do not. Very few “real” jobs exist in this country and i also see many people not appearing to work without having a crimp in their lifestyle. will a obama/biden adminstration bring the back the jobs lost because americans and american companies would rather employ lower paid foreigners? Not likely. will an obama/biden adminstration pay off debt owed to foreign countries and foreign banks? not likely. most likely is a surface correction of some of our problems while the problems continue to exist and get worse where they are blatantly obvious to people. it will fall to the american people to bring themselves and the country out the financial and environmental hole we are in.

  34. JB Avatar

    One more thing…

    As for your assertion that I don’t like people who have money…well, you’re wrong again. What I don’t like–or more appropriately what I fear–is a government that allows a few citizens to amass enough wealth and power that they can effectively control the actions of that government. What I don’t like is that the rich in this country keep getting richer, while fewer and fewer people can afford health insurance. What I want is a more even distribution of wealth in our society…and I’m not alone.

    You suggested that I might prefer living in a country with more socialized programs. You’re right! But, as tempting as Norway, Sweden, or France may be, I’d rather help fix my own country than give up and move to another.

  35. outsider Avatar

    JB don’t worry when the “welfare ranchers get sick and tired of all the “good” that you people are trying to do. They will find another way to support their families and make a living, it will be called charging access to people like you so you can go save the wild wild west. Or they might even decied to put in high game fence and sell deer, elk, wolf and other wild hunts. Maybe they decied to sell to a land developer, and we all know where that leads to, more homes scaring the landscape. I have several friends who have been ranchers and farmers for generations, remember their grandparents helped settle this land. They are part of the reason that you can go enjoy what you call degreaded land and see all the horrors that they have done. They built the roads that take you to the county, they homestead the best and choices peices of land and now a lot of these are where some of you live. Have their been a few bad apples that have caused problems with overgrazing and resoucre damage yes, but they are very few, and if they continue they will be out of business, due to their livestock won’t preform. Grazing on public lands is a reality, it is intermingled with some very key private so I would be more than happy to deal with a few cows so I can have accress to it. Alot of these “welfare” ranchers are the reason why the wildlife have expanding populations, due to water system, rotational grazing programs, improved habbitat, how many hunters aways go hunt in the alfalfa fields and medows.

  36. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Sorry to tell you, the public land rancher cannot build high fences, they can’t deny access to public lands and they can’t charge you to hunt or recreate of public lands, the only thing they can actually deny access to, is their own private holdings

  37. JB Avatar

    Outsider said: “I have several friends who have been ranchers and farmers for generations, remember their grandparents helped settle this land. They are part of the reason that you can go enjoy what you call degreaded land and see all the horrors that they have done.”

    First, I don’t need roads to enjoy an area; in fact, they often get in the way of my enjoyment! Second, some of the lands are degraded, some are not. But I’ll not be thanking ranchers/farmers/grandparents (or anyone else, for that matter) for their part in “degrading” (i.e. settling) public lands. My ancestors helped “settle” lands in southeastern Michigan, and none (at least as far as I know) has been given a medal, parade, or any other special privileges. I fail to see why Western ranchers should be treated differently?

    Look, I too have family that farms and used to raise livestock. Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair that, because they live in the Midwest, they had to raise their livestock on their own land and pay fair market value for feed while ranchers in the West used public lands at about 1/10th the going market rate. With that said, I have no problem with people continuing to raise livestock in the West (though I don’t think the climate is well suited for it); they just shouldn’t be provided a special subsidy to graze on PUBLIC land.

    Finally, if ranchers want to open up other types of businesses aimed at the tourism market (as you suggest), that’s great! I’d be happy to be one of their first customers.

  38. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    you will never get a reply to the fact that western livestock producers get special treatment compared to livestock producers as a whole. It seems to be beyond the comprehension of those who see no problem with the status quo .

  39. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Adding to what JB said about ranchers and farmers talking about their generations . . .

    Just for the record, the Maughans were one of the very earliest families to settle in the interior West (Utah).

    They came in the late 1840s, got a large number of wives (LDS polygamists) and soon there were Maughans all over northern Utah spreading into Idaho. All of my other relations were settled in northern Utah by the 1890s.

    So while I usually don’t say it, I get tired of hearing someone say they are a third generation whatever. If they think thats an issue, and I don’t think it should be, I say they’re a damned newcomer.

  40. JB Avatar

    Jeff E,

    You’re probably right, but I think it is still a worthwhile conversation to have. Personally, I would rather see a logical, rational debate about these issues than the kind of emotional, value-laden debate that seems to dominate these discussions. The latter type of rhetoric is only good for polarizing issues along “party” lines.

  41. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    One side of my family landed in what is now Maryland in 1620, six months before the Mayflower landed, and was in the forefront of the “westward expansion” for centuries, countless of which were engaged in farming and livestock and others participated in every war from the first to latest.
    So I really get a kick out of the “my family has “done/been for generations” polemic.

  42. jimbob Avatar

    JB—right on the money about a few people amassing enough wealth and power to control our government. Therein lies the problem and I believe it has already happened to a large extent.

    By the way as for political stances of the parties and taxes, Kim, I’ve worked through many administrations, both Democratic and Republican. My personal taxes have never changed significantly from either party. I do see however that my tax money goes to big business, corporations, defense, and and energy companies with the Republicans. With the Democrats those percentages at least go down. I believe oil companies deserve zero help making a buck!

  43. outsider Avatar

    Save bears, these fence will be put along the boarders of the private lands, they will not take into accout wildlife migration routs, tourits trails, access points, and many other things that we now take forgranted. I think that it would shock you of you really knew what was private and what was public. I never said that these people need medals for helping settle the west, but I also think that you should quit throwing them under the bus with the few bad apples.
    JB how much free space do your friends have back in the midwest without houses, and without having to ask or pay for access to hunt or even just camp.

    Ralph I know that your family has been here for a lot longer than most people, but you should also have seen some of the good that livestock operations have had for the wildlife and hunting opertunities. I don’t see many antelope blinds set up on natural water sources. I don’t see the sage chickens congragating out in the wide open brush, they are on the edges of medows, alfalfa fields, around overflows on man made pounds. If you people want the ranchers off so bad why don’t you just buy up their permits, and then you can do all the good you want to and no one can stop you. instead you want something for nothing. The only reason that there is any large blocks of BLM and Forest is because when they passed the Tailor Grazing act it did away with homesteading. This was supported by the evil ranching families of the day. This made it so that the western states had public land, unlike the midwest were it was all homesteaded or given to the railroads for their developement. Another issuse that you are forgeting about is water rights that are tied to the private lands, once there are no more livestock out there who will provide water to the desert areas were your wildlife really upon the ranchers for their water. If these ranchers are pushed off then they will sell their water to Las Vegas or any other place that they find benifcial to their pockbook. They will make their living one way or the other. A friend told me all a farmer or rancher needs to do to reitire is sell one good crop of houses. Well you just might get your wish.

  44. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Thank you for your comments. I would like to respond to more, but time doesn’t permit right now.

    One thing, though, you suggested is the purchase of grazing permits. This has been and is being done, but a public grazing lease is not really a property right.

    What this means is the BLM or Forest Service doesn’t have to honor the purchase and retirement of a lease. There have a number cases where a permit was purchased. When the conservation group then said they wouldn’t run cattle, sheep or whatever, other livestock operators applied for, and got the permit. So they lost their money.

    The law on this needs to be changed.

    There is also a proposal for a national grazing buyout. Under this idea, Congress would appropriate money to buy out grazing permits under very generous terms. Whether a permit holder took the offer would be strictly voluntary.

    The incentive to subdivide the base property would be reduced because of the large payout for the permit. Then there wouldn’t need to be “a crop of houses” unless the former permit holder liked seeing them there.

  45. bruskotter Avatar

    “JB how much free space do your friends have back in the midwest without houses, and without having to ask or pay for access to hunt or even just camp”

    None–or more correctly, very little–which is a damn shame. However, I don’t see how that is relevant at all to whether we should be providing Western ranchers (which are a tiny fraction of livestock producers) with highly subsidized grazing rights.

    You suggested that we “want something for nothing.” This simply isn’t true. The only thing I would receive is the satisfaction of knowing that my taxpayer dollars were not going to pay for the benefit of an tiny group of people that often cause detrimental effects to the land; a group of people that, after using the land for next to nothing have the audacity to call for the FREE killing of wolves, coyotes, cougars, and now, elk and bison. I don’t want something for nothing. I want to prevent public lands ranchers for getting something for nothing.

    Look, I’m not an unreasonable guy. I recognize that when done well, ranching can and does benefit certain wildlife species. From my perspective, ranching need not end in the West. It could be conducted on private lands and even public lands. What I want to see end is (1) highly subsidized $1.35 AUMs, and (2) the killing/removal/control of wildlife on public lands for the benefit of ranchers.

    If the “free market” is as great as conservatives are always telling me it is, then let Western ranchers compete on equal footing with people who raise livestock in the rest of the country. Let them pay fair market value for grazing leases and put an end to the subsidized killing of wildlife for their benefit. Is that so unreasonable?

  46. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    As a biologist that has worked in the field for many years now, I am pretty up to date on what is going on, the public leased land far outweighs the private land in the west, I actually did part of my studies on the effect of fenced off private lands, and guess what, we found out that wildlife adapts and will change migration routes based on what is presented to them..if the private owner wants to fence it off, I am okay with that, I know that the wildlife will adapt, same as if there was a fire, a flood or any other disaster…

  47. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    And to add, I feel that the rancher that holds public land grazing rights, is one of the worst disasters this country has ever faced..

  48. JB Avatar

    “JB how much free space do your friends have back in the midwest without houses, and without having to ask or pay for access to hunt or even just camp”

    None–or more correctly, very little–which is a damn shame. However, I don’t see how that is relevant at all to whether we should be providing Western ranchers (which are a tiny fraction of livestock producers) with highly subsidized grazing rights.

    You suggested that we “want something for nothing.” This simply isn’t true. The only thing I would receive is the satisfaction of knowing that my taxpayer dollars were not going to pay for the benefit of an tiny group of people that often cause detrimental effects to the land; a group of people that, after using the land for next to nothing have the audacity to call for the FREE killing of wolves, coyotes, cougars, and now, elk and bison. I don’t want something for nothing. I want to prevent public lands ranchers for getting something for nothing.

    Look, I’m not an unreasonable guy. I recognize that when done well, ranching can and does benefit certain wildlife species. From my perspective, ranching need not end in the West. It could be conducted on private lands and even public lands. What I want to see end is (1) highly subsidized $1.35 AUMs, and (2) the killing/removal/control of wildlife on public lands for the benefit of ranchers.

    If the “free market” is as great as conservatives are always telling me it is, then let Western ranchers compete on equal footing with people who raise livestock in the rest of the country. Let them pay fair market value for grazing leases and put an end to the subsidized killing of wildlife for their benefit. Is that so unreasonable?

  49. MP Avatar

    I grew on a farm in southeastern Idaho, and worked seasonally on the Caribou National Forest for 8 years.
    Ralph and I had a discussion the other day about the condition of the Bear Creek drainage, that drains into Tincup Creek. The Tincup Idaho Highway 34 runs along Tincup Creek through the Tincup Canyon on the Idaho-Wyoming border. The Bear Creek drainage has highly erodible soils, and is located the Caribou Range of mountains in southeastern Idaho. These soils and the watershed are severely impacted by excessive sheep grazing that has gone on for 30 years that I know of. The sheep have removed so much vegetative cover that cracks in the earth, land slumps, and landslides are moving down the mountainside toward the Tincup Highway and Tincup Creek. There are many large slumps-landslides in the Caribou Range. It is very possible that a large landslide of these highly erodible soils could come down the mountainside and close the Tincup Highway, and fill Tincup Creek full of silt. It will be an expensive road repair and environmental cleanup paid by Idaho taxpayers, if this happens. This destructive kind of public lands grazing is what turns me against these kind of reckless, uncaring public land ranchers.

  50. MP Avatar

    These same highly erodible red soils are also found in mountain ranges of western Wyoming. The state of Wyoming has spent a lot of money repairing highways in western
    Wyoming when mountainsides of these highly erodible red soils have come sliding down onto the highways.

  51. Barb Avatar

    JB you said: you will never get a reply to the fact that western livestock producers get special treatment compared to livestock producers as a whole. It seems to be beyond the comprehension of those who see no problem with the status quo .

    Yes, it’s like they think of it as an entitlement. Why can’t I set up my business then on BLM land? What’s the difference? It’s all for profit.

  52. kim kaiser Avatar

    “I want to prevent public lands ranchers for getting something for nothing.”

    WHy,, you dont have any problem with people NOT working for a living getting something for nothing,, same concept,different use of public resource,, you dont want people bumming on public property, but you want to give money away to large numbers of irresponsible people who continue to blow out illegimates, drug users, illegals bumming off our medical system, and to people WHO SIMPLY WONT STOP IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR THAT IS DETRIMENTAL TO SOCIETY<,,i dont want people bumming off public cash OR off public land, you are at odds with your belief,,, at least, at least ranchers are out doing someting, you cant have both ways there chief,, you either believe in welfare or you dont

  53. Barb Avatar

    Public lands belong to all of us to use — and are being ruined by cattle ranching. That simply isn’t a legitimate comparison.

    Are you a rancher?

  54. Barb Avatar

    Illegals “bumming” off our medical system? How about hard working families who can’t afford health insurance? Not asking for a handout but make health care accessible and affordable.

    the problem is the US govt takes in a lot of money from taxpayers; however, much of it is “wasted” on truly wasteful pork projects.

  55. Barb Avatar

    “Sorry to tell you, the public land rancher cannot build high fences, they can’t deny access to public lands and they can’t charge you to hunt or recreate of public lands, the only thing they can actually deny access to, is their own private holdings.”
    I thought that they CAN deny access and you can’t hunt on lands with cattle on them (seems kind of dangerous to the cattle..) So you are saying that I could actually camp out on someone’s public grazing land? Yuck, I wouldn’t want to, but seriously, is that allowed? I don’t think it is.

  56. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    You can camp anywhere without permission from the grazing permit holder on federal public lands.

    This is not true for some state lands, such as in Wyoming.

    There would be few places for open camping on the BLM and Forest Service lands of the interior West if camping on grazing allotments was prohibited. Most of these lands, about 300-million acres, I think, are divided up into grazing allotments.

  57. Barb Avatar

    I didn’t know that. Thanks. Why does Wyoming get special treatment this way?

  58. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    They are state lands, and it is a state law, reflecting I suppose the power of the livestock interests.

    I find it is a lot harder to access the federal lands in Wyoming as well because ranchers do block access to them using their private lands. Fortunately, Idaho has enough federal public land to make this more difficult.

  59. Barb Avatar

    Don’t mean to switch topics suddenly but not sure where to post this good article about Palin written by Gloria Steinem:,0,1290251.story

    Wonder if Obama meant to make fun of Palin — “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” 🙂 I hope so. 🙂

  60. JB Avatar


    You have an extremely warped view of society. Have you ever been out of the West? I’ve lived all over the country and I’m simply not familiar with the sorts of people you describe?

    I have a brother with Muscular Distrophe. He can’t lift his own arms without assistance or go to the bathroom by himself, but I suppose he’s just bumming off of you and the rest of society? I suppose he should pick his lazy ass up and do some work…oh right, he can’t.

    I worked (like you) 60-80 hours every week for several years until the dot com bust when I was laid off. There were no jobs where I was living, and I couldn’t move, as my wife was in school. We took loans out, but without the 4 months of unemployment I collected before I was able to find another job (with a 1:15 commute each way) we never would have made it.

    I could give you countless such examples. We have social welfare programs because THEY BENEFIT US ALL. Moreover, very few (if any) people get something for nothing, as WE ALL PAY INTO THE SYSTEM that provides the safety net, and WE ARE ALL ABLE TO COLLECT IF/WHEN WE QUALIFY. This differs from welfare ranching because all of us are paying into a system that supports the tiniest fraction of individuals. So you see, I can have it both ways…chief.

    The world you would set up would be a scary place indeed; where the wealthy and the powerful have access to everything and the rest are left to fend for themselves. By the way, what do you think happens when you take everything away from a person with a family? No job, can’t afford health care, what do you think they do? That’s right, they turn to crime. Oh wait, you say! We’ll catch them and lock them up. Do you know how much it costs to incarcerate a criminal? In 2005, the cost of incarceration was about $24K per year (though in some states it cost more than $40K). Boy those social programs you dislike so much are look cheap right about now, eh? Are you really so greedy that you can’t see the logic in providing a safety net for people who couldn’t otherwise make it on their own?
    – – – –
    JB, Kim owns some businesses in Gardiner, Montana. I stopped by and talked with him one day. Seems like a nice guy, but I’d disagree with his politics. RM

  61. JB Avatar


    What upsets me is not the fact that other people have divergent views about politics–I expect this–indeed, I believe disagreement and dialogue are essential to making sound policy decisions. What bothers me is the nasty, dismissive tone of these arguments and the utter failure of some people to attack the ideas rather than their proponents. What bothers me is that instead of supporting their views with information and logic they simply parrot the same, tired one-liners used by the pundits. What worries me is not that people listen to Fox News or CNN, but that some people ONLY listen to Fox News and CNN, and swallow their fear-mongering hook, line, and sinker. What I fear is that we’re becoming a nation too lazy to think for ourselves, too polarized to recognize when the other side has a legitimate point, and too cynical to care.

  62. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I’m concerned about this too, and I think this is going to be the most unpleasant election ever.

    So I ask people, please try to discuss and argue without undue emotion.
    – – – – – –

    How many people know that Canada just announced they will have a general election in October? The campaign will be 1 1/2 months in length. It might be a much better system than the campaign here which seems to last about 2 years and, increasingly, just stinks.

  63. Linda Hunter Avatar

    JB it has now been scientifically proven that people who watch one or two hours of television per day are turning their brains into mash potatoes and no longer have the ability to think for themselves. The scientist went on to say that twenty minutes of TV is like putting four twinkies in your brain. Don’t ask for a web reference or published research. . . as Stephen Colbert says “I can’t prove it but I can say it”.

  64. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I wonder how people on this blog feel about this article from across the pond. This was in todays issue of The First Post.

    “McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin is inexcusable

    In effect, an American president is Britain’s commander-in-chief, almost as much as he is America’s Commander-in-Chief. If he gets the West into a war, it is our boys who die, too. The same goes for the economy. A president’s decision can make or break us, as well as them. This has long been marginally the case. But now it is crying-out-loudly the case.

    From which it follows that some attention should be paid to Britain’s views, along with those of all America’s free world allies, when it comes to choosing an American president.

    The old idea that this would constitute foreign interference in America’s domestic affairs is utterly out of date. In the 21st century, their domestic affairs are also our affairs. If America expects us to follow their lead, the least they can do is to allow us to have some say in whom they choose as leader.

    That is why septuagenarian John McCain’s – whose health is dicey
    – choice for his vice-presidential running mate is so utterly inexcusable. For the reckless risk in appointing someone whom he had only met once before is not only America’s risk, but ours as well.

    Did he consult the allies? Of course not. For even with the little knowledge that was available to him he must have known all too well that her qualities and talents were strictly for local consumption, and almost provocatively off-putting for the rest of the free world.

    Clearly, we don’t count. Like Caligula, he could make a horse his running mate, and we, the free world, are expected to grin and bear it.

    Senator McCain has blundered. Choosing a right-wing wildcard as his running mate may be a smart move to get into the White House, but it won’t help him to lead the free world, should he ever get there.

  65. JB Avatar

    Jeff E,

    Sadly, I think there are many on the political right who will be heartened to read that Palin will not be well received in Europe.

  66. Salle Avatar

    Concerning the article from the UK, I agree with them. And given their position in all the ways mentioned, I would be concerned, greatly concerned about the election and resulting plight thereafter. As should all other nations in the world. We’ve shown them how blatantly callous and greedy we can be this past seven years, they have every reason to desire a say in this. Who could blame them? We throw a lot of cash into telling everybody else how to live and that we could make better use of their resources than they…

    Which reminds me of something over here in the US of A…

    Talk about “my family is third generation blahblahblahhhhh”

    Lest we forget the folks that were here before our ancestors decided to come here a few generations ago and tell those people how to live and that we can make better use of their resources than they can…

    Where did I hear that before…?…and that their religion is evil and that they can’t live according to their beliefs and that we know how to do everything better and they have to just go away. Then we killed most of them in the most horrible ways with torture, rape, disease and military attacks for decades. And placed them in camps so we could manipulate their existence… So that our ancestors, just a few generations ago, could “tame the land” and all that dimestore novel stuff. What they really did was come out here and exploit a fragile ecological landscape that is almost gone now and they want the rights and approval to trash the rest of it. Just listen to some of the (R) speeches that were made in Congress today…

    I saw them on C-SPAN. If you hurry, you can see the new (R) Gov. Alaska speak at home in her state in about an hour. 11pm(eastern). That should be…


  67. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Jeff E,

    I don’t think most Americans want hear input from other countries about U.S. elections.

    It will rebound to McCain’s favor. However, European anger about Bush and a continuation of his policies is strong and might start to manifest in direct actions against the U.S. economy, foreign policy, and traveling American citizens.

    They will be unwilling to send troops, will cooperate with Russia and other powers. Economic boycotts are even a possibility if McCain turns out to be another George Bush.

    I’m on my way out of town. I’ll probably end up in Canada for a while. It will be interesting to see how I’m treated.

  68. outsider Avatar

    I travel a fair bit and have only had one or two bad experiences because I’m american. On both those occasions the local people made it more than clear that the people who had problems with me were not from their country and had no support from them. They understand that we as individuals have no real say in what our leaders do or don’t do. As far as what other countries think about our elections I could care less. When they become citizens then they can vote. America is still that shining city on a hill where everyone wants to go. Last time I checked we are the reason that the whole world isn’t speaking german, even though it would have been nice to have a little more beer in our lives ;).

  69. Barb Avatar

    From many articles I’ve read, she is not knowledgeable about most issues outside of her own home state. She’s been insulated and isolated so long it’s not a surprise! It’s like taking someone out of a dark closet and saying “OK — are you ready to be VP?”

    And when Republicans try to say that she can relate “to the American people” so well, why is that? Most Americans do not live in small towns but in cities or near cities.

  70. Barb Avatar

    I got a kick out of this video of Cindy McCain explaining Sarah Palin’s expertise in foreign affairs:

  71. Kestrel Avatar

    The McCain/Palin team have a new ad out. remember the Bush/Cheney wolf ad in 2004? Well, those pesky wolves are back again. Check it out here:

  72. Salle Avatar

    all that imagery and no substance…

  73. catbestland Avatar

    How dare they portray lawyers as wolves. What did wolves ever do to deserve that.

  74. Maska Avatar

    Hey, Catbestland,

    I know several lawyers who are working their tails off trying to save our Northern Rockies and Mexican wolves from the tender mercies of the Bush administration. Don’t bash them, please!

  75. Barb Avatar

    All of that imagery does nothing to help an already unfairly persecuted animal.

    When will wolves ever be left alone just to live?

  76. Barb Avatar

    Yea, don’t bash the lawyers working to help the environment — just the ones who are working against it!

  77. Barb Avatar

    Most folks don’t know that our federal gov’t aerial kills about 30,000 coyotes every year in the western US using our tax-payer dollars (and land kills another 50,000 or so). Why isn’t there more of a petition to stop that since we are paying for it (The good news is that Sinupu is working on that… but they are the 1st group to)…

    God, is that true?? 30,000? Unbelievable!

    Sinapu is now WildEarth Guardians.

  78. kim kaiser Avatar

    “I got a kick out of this video of Cindy McCain explaining Sarah Palin’s expertise in foreign affairs”

    at least she has only the potential to be first lady and palin only VP,, and not to be president as hussiein obama has the unfortunate potential to be,, he has just about as much!!

    that is about none,,,so you need to find another point to press

  79. catbestland Avatar

    Sorry Maska, couldn’t resist the obvious pun.

  80. Barb Avatar


    If something happened to McCain, this woman would be dealing with foreign leaders from Iran to France. I don’t think she would come across in a very positive light, sorry, you disagree with me.

    I’d trust Biden to deal with foreign affairs long before I’d trust Palin. She’s too untested, too radical. She interviewed with Charles Gibson and said the War in Iraq is because God has determined that. She’s a nut.

  81. Barb Avatar

    The funny thing is — (not so funny actually) late night commedianes were joking about the Republicans using the fact that Alaska is physically close to Russia so that gives Sarah Palin “foreign policy experience.”

    And they’re actually using it as a strategy! It was satire!Unbelievable. Is this a bad nightmare or what?

  82. Barb Avatar

    I couldn’t resist — if this weren’t so sad, it would be really funny! So maybe I should be the Ambassador to Mexico because Colorado is physically within close proximity, so by osmosis, I am learning about Mexico’s political system.

    Is McCain and his blonde wife (Budweiser wants to oust her I’ve heard) for real?! I could make a lot of dumb blonde jokes here but I’ll spare you.

  83. Izabela Avatar

    I am not sure WHY we are not hearing anything about her environemtn and wildlife record. Am I missing anything?
    Is it a set deal?

  84. Barb Avatar

    Yes, thank you, good point — doesn’t it seem the news stations are not even discussing it — they are focusing on war, economy, other things. I guess animals to some people are way down the list of what’s important. I differ greatly on this. They probably don’t want to touch it but they should! Most of the news is conservative, contrary to the perception.

    Anyone know what George Will says about McCain and Palin?

  85. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    what is your point in using Obama’s’ middle name?
    Just curious.
    By the way did you know your last name, Kaiser, brings up memories of the rulers of Germany for a couple of centuries.
    Some of the most bloodthirsty, hated monarchs in history under which millions of people died.

  86. Barb Avatar

    If Obama is a “closet Muslim” then I don’t have a problem with Muslims.

    I don’t think for a minute that he is.

    That said, I have known many Muslims who are the nicest people you’d ever want to know.

    I grew up in a racially diverse environment which I think is a benefit — Obama grew up near Chicago — he has a wider breadth of experience with diverse people.

    I seriously wonder if Sarah Palin has ever seen a black man or a Muslim, or any ethnicities besides caucasian and American eskimo?

  87. Barb Avatar

    Palin’s record on diversity, civil rights, etc. This is interesting…

  88. vicki Avatar

    When I read different information, I am amazed atthe levels of ignornance people are displaying. Nit igonorance …like insult… but ignornace as they are completely oblivious to facts and to the science of so many things.
    Palin and McCain will try to influence these people by appealing to their emotions. They will attempt to touch on what makes these folks feel insecure-as they know no better- and then act as if they will defend them and can empathize with them. It is literally sickening to see how they manipulate rather than honestly educate.
    Hey, we could all do it, but most of us have scruples.

    You know all, Kim has probably had a bad experience, or suffered a loss because of some person of another skin tone. It is too bad that he saw the color instead of teh character. But he is no less intitled to his opinion. We should recognize that he sitson the same side of the fence as we do on some issues, like bison. SO although his opinions about who should be president and V.P. may differ from ours , he does share a concern for some key environmental issues.

    by the way, did you all know that aerial gunning of wolves is only done in a small part of Alaska where wolves are, because they eat all the carabou, and Palin the protector was simply trying to save the few remaining carabou…
    she is also responsible for making sure that no one in Alaska goes hungry! Oh, and she is making sure our youth have good values ….even if the environment isn’t valuable…what a bunch of crap that gets circulated. we really need to flood area paper’s blogs with info and links about her real ideas.

  89. Barb Avatar

    They “eat all the caribou.” Wow, they must be really fat wolves then!


    You should read up on this issue more. The aerial gunning was designed to boost hunting dollars in Alaska — even the “Safari Club,” which financially supported this brutality of magnificent creatures, admits that.

  90. vicki Avatar

    Oh no, hundreds and thousands Palin supporters say she was being merciful….we musn’t sully her good name and state she is at all monitarily motivated. lol
    Maybe she’ll consider weight watcher for wolves being federally funded….oh wait, maybe Predator Pilates by Palin.

  91. Izabela Avatar

    I like you.
    Where do you live?
    I am in Utah – Sandy.
    Your opinions are close to mine.

  92. Barb Avatar

    Denver area. Thanks — 🙂

    Anyone “justifying” aerial wolf killing — they have to be being paid by the McCain Palin campaign. (wink wink)

  93. Barb Avatar

    Somehow, “merciful” is the last thing that comes to my mind with this — abuse, torture, maiming, barbaric, brutality, even — yep — white trash — come to mind….

  94. kim kaiser Avatar

    my disdain for hussein doesnt have anything to do with color or race folks,,, i woudl vote for condi rice, or colin powell in a heartbeat, or Bobby jindahl, but i would not vote for them if they were a part of his ticket,,his signs say “HOPE” hope for what,,what do yall possibly think you will gain from this clown,,just because you dont like bush??? is that the only reason,, seriously, you hate bush so bad that you think “it cant get worse” with hussein, then you will be serioulsly mistaken,,, hussien obamas tax programs will do nothing but take more from those who make money and give to those to who dont, that is plain and simple socialism,,, go to russia if you like or want more of that,, it doest nothing to foster creativity, only mediocrity, and more laziness,,less social accountablity and responsiblity, i work very very hard for what i have and for the things i like to do, and dont feel it should be turned to those who wont do crap, take responsiblity for 7 illegits by the age of 20, druggies that sap our medical and social systems time and time again,,prisons overloaded with gangs and illegals,,, i am at least consistent,, i dont believe in ANY welfare,, not for ranchers who use public lands or for people who bum off the backs of who put in a lot of time and effort to enjoy there lives,,

    as for hussien,, have you read his memoirs,, and specifically the part where he discusses muslimism and when the chips are down which way he may lean,, it is a simple reminder that his background and upbringing and allegiance is the same as those who steered those planes into our country,, just a friendly reminder,

    as for my name, yes, it is a part of german heritage, and is also a derivitive of CAESAR from latin, roman times, which many parts of our govt run by as a republic,, and also, i am one of the few people here who dont run by a moniker, initials, nickname, as I am proud of my name and have no problems with it being displayed, How many of you can say the same?? please dont tell me you are afraid of retribution or some conspiracy theory that someone will get you. i spout off my disdain for the bison slauther, wolf slaugther just like you, and i live and have business n gardiner where the tensions on the subjects run high, so if you want to talk names, put up yours, otherwise, dont question my name or heritage,, mine is there loud and proud,, where is yours??

    someone on a prior quote said i must lead a sad life or lonely life, quite frankly, i dont have the time to lead either,,,i am working to hard to have the time. do i feel bad about it,, hell no, am i rich, hell no, but i am generous to those who i see need help, (people helping themselves) and its MY choice who to give to, not who the govt says needs help, or who i KNOW hussein is gonna send my sweat to,, so there you go,, i will stand with 99 % percent of you on the bison/wolves, but there is more to govt than that, and hussein does not have my interest in mind,,

  95. Barb Avatar


    Not to be rude, but could you please use punctuation and your dictionary before posting? Your postings are difficult to decipher.

  96. Barb Avatar


    You want to vote for the same party — yet you go on and on about how hard your life is. If GW Bush is so great, why is your life so hard?

    Regardless, whether the Dems or Repubs get in, they are not going to personally help you. If you have job skills in a field that is growing you should be able to get a good job.

    It sounds like you work several jobs?

  97. Salle Avatar

    Maureen Dowd had a great oped in the NYT day before yesterday. In it she asked some interesting questions like;

    What kind of fiscal conservative auctions off the state jet and then bills the state far more in transportation costs for herself and her family. She also receives a per diem for staying home, not sure if that was in the article.

  98. vicki Avatar

    Have you seen or read Palin’s interview with ABC? The woman is caught lying about her previous statements on man’s part in gloabl warming and her absolutely clueless statements about foreign affairs are frightening. This woman is no more up to date on foreign affairs than Big Bird. When pressed to give an actual answer she ducked the questions or used her beauty queen training and smiled while anwering mumbo-jumbo.
    She even stated she feels that McCain and she disagreed on artic drilling but thinks she’ll change his stand.
    The woman was asked how being from Alaska makes her more preparred to deal with Russia, and the only answer she had was that they are Alaska’s neighbors and you can see them from one island. (The last, I think, in the chain and is not inhabited by any population other than posted military observers.) SHe gave absolutely no other legitimate answer.
    People, this woman has spent her miniscual political life detatched from the U.S., isolated by distance and reality. She has never spent time dealing with or even being near large homeless populations, gangs, multiple religous groups, influxing foreign populations, areas of land in her near by forests being decimated by encroachment and mining/drilling. She has the PRIVLEDGE of lving in an area that has pristine wilderness abounding, because of it’s disconnected location. She not only lacks experience, but from this interview, it is easy to see she lacks knowledge, wisdom, worldliness, and common sense.
    She contradicts herself, saying man may not cause global warming, but she and McCain agree they have to do something about it. Like What? If man doesn’t cause it, how would we stop it? Why would even need to? Come on, first she says we have nothing to do with, suddenly we need to change it, and we could possibly be attributed to some of it. This woman is freakin’ off the mark….off the page…off her rocker!

  99. catbestland Avatar

    This is the ad that Defenders is going to run on Palin’s wolf policy

  100. Barb Avatar

    You summarized it to near perfection here…….

    this woman has spent her miniscual political life detatched from the U.S., isolated by distance and reality.

    She has never spent time dealing with or even being near large homeless populations, gangs, multiple religous groups, influxing foreign populations, areas of land in her near by forests being decimated by encroachment and mining/drilling. She has the PRIVILEGE of living in an area that has pristine wilderness abounding, because of it’s disconnected location. She not only lacks experience, but from this interview, it is easy to see she lacks knowledge, wisdom, worldliness, and common sense.

    Obama grew up in “real America: — Chicago — you can’t get more connected than that.

    Sarah Palin is a really quite an oddity — she views the world through a very strange and distorted lens because of her detachment from the rest of the U.S.

    That, combined with a president that can’t even use computers, I guess some people want to take a big step backwards.

    McCain said Palin is his “soul mate.” They share OUT OF TOUCH views for sure.

  101. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    That may very well be, but one key fact…

    Palin, is not running against Obama!

    Look at McCain’s stance on issues and look at Obama’s and vote accordingly, we are electing a president, not a Vice-President..

    If you don’t like McCain, don’t vote for him, if you don’t like Obama, Don’t vote for him.

    Somehow, this election has become a race between Obama and Palin, which it is not!

  102. catbestland Avatar

    You have to wait a couple of minutes for the television ad to load but it’s worth it.

  103. Barb Avatar

    Actually, SavesBears, I have to disagree. In a very real sense, Palin (and her worldviews) is absolutely running against Obama (and his worldviews). She has actually gotten more media attention than McCain himself.

    Dan Quayle had a definite affect on who voters would choose for the election. Vice presidents always tip the voters one way or the other.

    Voters will choose who they can identify more with their own worldviews.

  104. Barb Avatar


    As far as people needing to just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” that’s fine, for those that can. We also live in a society where extended families are NO LONGER A REALITY.

    When we lived in extended families, or at least physically close to our relatives, what you suggest makes sense, rather than getting the government involved.

    In case you haven’t noticed, though, John Wayne is dead. We live in a transient society where people move all over the country (and sometimes the world) for jobs.

    Stubbornly clinging to the past doesn’t solve issues of today.

    That said, however, I am not for big socialistic programs, where a huge chunk of my check will be gone. I am however for limited social programs that are truly needed. If private business can administer them more effectively than government, that should always be encouraged. I’m not for government taking over health care. I think it would ruin the quality. I am for government ensuring and creating laws where everyone, regardless of their income, can get health insurance — that no one — no one — has to fall through the cracks.

    If that’s “socialism” then I am for it — in an intelligent and limited way.

  105. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I agree, She has got more media attention, I believe that was the idea, McCain is not stupid, he has taken the spotlight off himself, and placed it on Palin, in the meantime, he is gaining in the polls, as of today, he is leading in many of them, and the democrats are in disarray trying to figure out how to combat against his rising numbers..

    In any election, strategy is all important and I think he made a good strategy choice..

    As I said, think that was the whole point of his choice…

  106. Barb Avatar

    So why did McCain feel it necessary to take the attention off of himself — is he trying to hide something?

    Their campaign ads are still using that palin voted down the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s a lie yet they continue to use it. I would think that would hurt his credibility, but I guess people voting for McCain aren’t actually researching any of the issues — they just listen to whatever Fox News tells them to believe.

  107. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Does it really matter Barb? The majority will be what matters! perfect strategy, I have no other explanation for his choice, but I do know it has taken the spotlight off him and allowed him to go town to town and talk to people with very little fan fair..

    I have not come out in support of one side or another, but after working in a government agency for 10 years, I have a pretty good understanding of politics, and unless the democrats get back on point, and start putting Obama up against McCain, they could very well loose this election…especially after the sweeping wins a couple of years ago in congress that is perceived as doing nothing and has less than a 10% approval rating…

    Get back to the issues the actual presidential candidates are talking about…

  108. Barb Avatar

    It absolutely matters — it smacks of his character.

    Please don’t order another poster to “get back to the issues” as you see it — as I see it, this is an issue — trying to deflect attention away from oneself!

  109. kim kaiser Avatar

    Obama grew up in “real America: — Chicago — you can’t get more connected than that.

    Chk your facts, Hussein NEVER grew up in chicago,, he grew up in jakarta, high schllin in hawaii, and moved to LA after that,, not till 85 after law school did he go to chicago as a orgainzer of basketball games at community centers,,, so dont give the impression he had some miserable chicago slum up bringing and pulled himself out of despair to get somewhere,,,

    his current Karl Rove clone, Axelrod has been the chief politcal consultant to the current chicago mayorial administration,

    do you know what kind of chaos chicago stays in and these guys are his mentors,, some of the highest property taxes and gas prices in the nation.. crime rampant in the the city,

    you want him to be like the current chicago administration??? really,, he supports them as mentors, corruption rampant city county government and you want to turn the reins to him,,,,

    We also live in a society where extended families are NO LONGER A REALITY.

    i disagree, more and more people in the late 50 adn 60s, mostly lower income people are haveing to raise the kids of there kids,, there retirements gone by the wayside to raise another generation, many the results of unwanted pregnancies, drug problems, and on and on,, you know it and i know it,, no responsibilty by those who create these problems,, they simply know someone will take care of it and they dont have to,, that is unacceptable behaviour that produces huge burdens on our societal programs,

    I am for government ensuring and creating laws where everyone, regardless of their income, can get health insurance — that no one — no one — has to fall through the cracks.

    that will never happen from mcain, hussien, or willy wonka,, who you think has to pay that burden, i pay mine but why the heck should i cover 16 year old mothers with 4 kids and three fathers on drugs, constant visits ot drug rehab units by druggies, illegals who cross borders to have babies so they can be citizens, and lob onto our health care for free,,DO YOU REALLY THAT EITHER ONE OF THESE GUYS CAN DO THAT!!! Who is gonna pay for that,, if you tax companies, they jsut lay off people, then you even more deadbeats who need a ck.. this give away mentality simply has to be reined in,,

    forget palin, she has merely shown that being a rock star is like a fart in the wind, and husseins smell is thinning, people are beginning to see, he is hot air, and hers will too, but the demoC mantra has always been high taxes, give away, and goventment regulation to tell you what hand to use when you go to the can,, i dont want that, or need that, and an sort of socialism is bad socialism

    where in all his credits does or so called change legisation does his name appear next a Republican as bipartisan legistation,, where???? while i dont think mccain is a world beater either,,, there is MCCAIN?FEINGOLD CAMPAIGN REFORM MCCAIN?KENNDY (Ted no less) EDUCATION REFORM, MCCAIN?EVAN BAYH ON ANOTHER BILL,, these are hard left liberals who mccain has worked with and sponsered major legislation with, did it work, who knows, but the fact is, he has his name on legislation with hard core liberals, WHERE IS A HUSSEIN/ DELAY BILL OR A HUSSEIN/ MCCONNELL BILL, its not there, he has done nothing to indicate any effort to cross any lines and yet he is a god of change,!!!!!!

    Barb, i never said my life it hard, i said i work long and hard and i have to travel all over the country to make my living, staying in hotels months at a time, so i can do the things i want to do, I enjoy life, but i put in the hard time to do that, that is why i dont have any sympathy for deadbeats who get there check off my labor,

    i am willing to concede that we will always disagree on politics, i dont always agree with what is presently there, but i will not concede hussein is the answer, his background lends only to the things that make jimmy carter look more conservative than rush limbaugh,, and than can only be socialism,,

    i will spout off about the bison and the elk and wolves along with all of you, but this other thing is just too important to compromise

  110. vicki Avatar

    Save Bears,
    It is valid to compare Palin to Obama and McCaid to Biden, because they are being elected to an office thatwould make them president in an event that warrants it. You cannot vote just for president, you have to vote for a ticket/team that you can believe will be the best choice. You cannot say “Palin is just Vice President, she doesn’t matter.” Because if McCain, who is quite aged, has a stroke or heart attack, guess who sits in the white house???? You are in fact voting for president, and your second choice. Be prepared to use the second choice if the first one fails.

    I am done addressing Kim’s statements because I am personally finding the slang terms used offensive and I choose not to dignify them with my time.

    People who throw the word “socialsim” around like it is a nuclear weapon are just afraid. Socialists are not all evil. I know many Canadians that are very content and happy with their government. I also know that there are many countries that are not socialisms that have a more socialistic practice of medicine and education…and they are much more at peace in the world than we could hope to be soon.
    I would say that I lean toward the middle. But I do not fear socialists, or communists, I fear ignorance, intollerance and extremism.
    I could use that to refer to many different places, people and cultures…or just Sarah Palin. McCain’s indifference and lack of forward momentum serves to set us on hold, Palin would set us back in time.

    Save Bears,
    I always appreciate your input. I hope you continue to try to act on behalf of science.

  111. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    It was not an order, but it was a suggestion, we need to get back to issues that will control our lives for at least the next 4 years…I know McCain could die, but what is to say, that Obama won’t get shot? This is a very controversial election, as it was when Kennedy ran, and I am VERY sorry to say, look what happened! Palin is not the presidential candidate, she is the second and she was picked with a very particular strategy in mind..I just wish people could see that..but the hate and anger, seems to be overtaking both sides…

    People, we need to understand the Presidential candidates position, because, come November, one of them is going to be in office, we need to keep calm and cool heads and evaluate these two men, who say they can lead our country

    Thanks Vicky, I really do try to stay in the world of science, but sometimes it is hard to watch hate, control peoples lives, which unfortunately, is what I am seeing in this election..

  112. kim kaiser Avatar

    come on guys, two responses that have said nothing but they dont like the way i talk,, give me some facts on husseins “wiilingness to reach across the aisle” show some legislation where he has teamed up and authored something with a republican with the same heavy conservative beliefs that mccain has with heavy handed liberal beliefs,, he has not,,, so how do you suppose suddenly he is the harbinger of great change and wonder,, show some evidence of such things over his LOOONNNGG record of senate/congressional leadership,

    its not there, his campaign has let the VP candidate become more important that his,, why should anyone step in on the republican side, he is imploding himself. You want him to run the country, but he has let a little ole gal from insignificant state like alaska take away his steam,, now how much weaker do you want a presidential candidate or worse yet, president,

    Yes Vicky, give up addressing me and my quips, because you cant answer the central questions i have given you to address.. Yall are betting our countries future on a weak stick with no record but a consisitent record of give away,,, and that never solved any problems,

  113. Izabela Avatar

    I work hard..
    I work very hard. My husband worked very hard all his life. Now, he is disabled. I work 10-11 hours. Yes, I use my brain ..maybe not physical work..BUT..we all work..we all work…so I am not so sure what so special about your work…sorry…I came to this country and I started as a housekeeper…
    Kim, this country was built on labor and hard work of all people…
    Kim , you said:
    “Yall are betting our countries future on a weak stick with no record but a consisitent record of give away,,, and that never solved any problems”
    Well , with SP we have of consistent record of killing, and earmarks..yes…230 millions in earmarks..and money taken for highway to knowhere..and well.she needs to back to school to learn about dinasours…her kids probably know better…
    What else…killing..more killing..
    who do you think is going to visit Alaska if all animals are gone…hey..who is going to stop in Gardiner if wolves are gone, buffalos are dead…..I see elk in Utah…would I drive to Gardiner to see dying Mammoth Hot Springs… you know that climate change has influence on Mammoth Hot Springs…
    SP does not belive in global warming…
    She is in telling me I can not have choice..she wants to be a hero to raise DS baby. Will she have a babysitter for her baby and grand baby…
    Talk about the regular mom who has 3 kids and one is with they have help?
    So, who is she to tell me what my choices should be…
    Anyway, are you ready for discussion eye to eye…?
    You live in Gardiner.
    I will be there on 9/30. I promise I stop and talk to you if you tell me how to find you.
    Maybe even buy you a beer.
    Maybe you can find me a nice elk to shoot….
    pictures.. 🙂

  114. JB Avatar


    Personally, I could care less about Obama’s willingness to reach across the aisle. He graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law, and served as president of the Harvard Law Review, one of the most prestigious law journals. Additionally, he actually taught constitutional law for over a decade at–if memory serves–the University of Chicago. John McCain got shot down flying over Vietnam, stayed in the military, and then entered politics. So who do I think is more qualified to run the country? The guy that taught constitutional law, thank you.

    You criticized Vicky for not addressing “the central questions [you] have given [her] to address.” (I didn’t realize you were holding class.) I note that short of employing some nasty stereotypes about the poor and insisting on referring to Barack Obama by his middle name, Hussein, you have also failed to address any of the criticisms I’ve made of the Republican party. Again, I’ll reiterate: The Republicans have become the party of war, unfettered spending, debt, and tax breaks and subsidies for big businesses. I have made may case, prove me wrong.

    From my perspective no one is talking about the most important issues: (1) if we elect a Republican they will have the potential to replace 2-3 Supreme Court and numerous other Federal judges over the next 4 years. Our country simply cannot afford another Alito or Scalia. (2) McCain will appoint the same type hard-core conservatives to his cabinet that Bush has appointed. We don’t need another fox in the hen house at Interior. We can’t afford more cuts to the Budget of FWS, more attempts to kill the Endangered Species Act, and more effort to slow the progress of science. Mark my words, that is what a McCain Administration will bring.

    By the way, I believe our taxes will be raised no matter who is President. Bush’s “war on terror” and the Republican’s out-of-control pork for have all but ensured it. The question is who will pay the lion’s share? Expect more tax breaks for big businesses under McCain and more of the Republican’s failed “trickle down” approach to the distribution of wealth.

    Yes, you guessed it. I’ll take Obama.

  115. Izabela Avatar

    I am with you.
    I will debate Kim in Gardiner.
    Tax breaks not for you Kim, for big boys..
    Read my lipstic red lips…and try to remember the good times …when you had business in Gardiner..
    my offer of beer..still standing..

  116. vicki Avatar


    I have answered, and others have answered and addressed what you have said. You simply don’t acknowledge the responses.

    You say things in such a way that it comes across as bitter. You can address an issue with teens having too many kids without calling them crack addicted “illiegits.” No one is truly illegitimate…everyone has a father, it is a biological necessity.

    So if you have a non-hate ridden question, have at it. But referring to someone as Hussein because you don’t like his politics is addressing his race…not his politics. So let it go, or call him by his full name or his first name….but throwing out “socialism, communism, hussein, illegit, crack addicts, kids with different das” is insulting and rude. It also has nothing to do with Obama, and everything to do with your personal prejudices and resentment for having to work a difficult job.

    Like it or not Kim,we all have choices. you will never agree with everyone else’s, and likewise. But the only person who is responsible for what you choose at the end of the day is you. You choose to work so much, you choose to do it to maintain your standard of living. No one is forcing you to own a business, or to work eithy hours, but you.

    Now, if your issue with Obama is his lack of applicable experience, fine. But know that would be a very hypocritical arguement for anyone supporting the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain argues inexperience but chooses Palin…contradictory action.

    If you want to say you disapprove of socialized healthcare, fine. But Medicare in it’s conception was a socialized plan. Do you plan to use it when you are of age to?

    Argue that you think we should close the borders? Crack down on illegal immigration? Okay, fine again….but pay to do it how? We already ended funding for medicaid for anyone who is not a legal citizen. We have tightened requirements and raised fees to become a citizen. What else do you have in mind? Halting all imigration completely? Perhaps we should have done that a couple hundred years ago. At any rate, how many caucasions do you see in fields planting and harvesting lettuce? You wanna do it? You will complain about paying ten bucks for lettuce too. Immigrants do the work most American people feel is beneath them. So short of building a replicated Berlin Wall across all borders…what else can we do?

    If you want to end teen pregnancy, why elect McCain and Palin who favor ending funding for contraception for teens?

    Want to end drug use???? Why support people who would lower funding for special education programs that would allow people to have alternatives and get good jobs…keeping them off the streets and from dealing?

    You contradict your own reasoning for supporting McCain and Palin.

    I’m not saying I can’t go rounds with you…justthat I won’t do it about things I feel are hatefully motivated.

  117. vicki Avatar

    Honestly, this string is about Palin’s stand on wildlife. Not one thing anyone has said would prove that record less than catastrophic. She would be the voice in McCain’s ear, the potential president, and she is a person who will effect world views. I would like that person to be someone who tells the world that Americans are not all hateful, they don’t all use a ram rod to force Christianity down people’s throats, that the U.S. has values other than oil….and that the environment, global warming, and conservation really do matter and are worthy of discussion on an international level.

  118. Barb Avatar

    Vicki, I agree with much of what you say but socialism doesn’t always work out the way it was meant to. There is very high unemployment in certain countries in Europe (much higher than ours) and it is very difficult to start one’s own business in a more socialistic society. It limits people. I don’t think people should be limited and I don’t think people who earn a lot of money should be ‘punished’ but they should pay taxes as everyone else and not get special privileges. The U.S. has always been more entrepreneurial than many other countries and needs to remain that way if we are to stay economically on top. Right now we’re suffering due to the “war on terror” and people buying homes that they can’t afford (foreclosures).

    Entrepreneurship is critical to a thriving economy– small business is where big businesses that employ a lot of people come from.

    There is a lot of blaming the oil companies for “greed.” The interesting thing about this is that most of them are public companies — their profits are easily accessible to all and anyone can buy their stock. They are like any other big company. Their executives are paid a lot of money (too much, yes, in my opinion…) just like any other big business. They’re really not different. However, I do believe they have a social responsibility to develop renewable fuels — not a legal one — but a social one — and it’s their stockholders should be the ones pushing for that. There is a lot of greed everywhere you go in every large business; doesn’t make it right but just explaining…. Oil companies are always being targeted for “evil” but really they are no more “evil” than any other large public company. The oil companies that do start to invest in renewable energies will end up to be the market leaders. And McCain and Palin’s mantra of drill drill drill does not sit well as it is irresponsible. We need a presidential team that will FOCUS ON and emphasis tax incentives for sustainable energy. I am very much for tax incentives to act as a catalyst for desirable change.
    The federal government’s major power is in collecting taxes. That power should never be taken lightly.

  119. vicki Avatar

    You are correct. I agree. I am not promoting socialism, but I have no issue with social responsibility. They are not the same thing.
    We need certain social programs, and we have an ethical responsibility to have them. We are a country that has long boasted itself on being the country that helps those who cannot help themselves. We should live up to that at home.

    I don’t think socialism is anyone’s idea of Eutopia…unless you are a socialist. But I don’t think evey socialist nation is failing either. They have thei short comings just as we do. But that doesn’t justify the use ofthe word “socialism” as a scare tactic or slam.

    Industry is a powerful thing, and capitalism combined with it is what drives the global economy. In the USA, we often forget that these things drive the economy, but they do not sustain the soul or the earth. Happiness should not be your bank balance, but it usually is equated with it here.

    For anyone to assume that greed doesn’t exist among oil execs would be naive, but it is no more prevalent there than anywhere else. It is all about leveling the field. Make everyone pay what they should and stop letting industry dictate laws…laws should govern industry…not the other way around.

    Taxes should reflect income…the curve that taxes are paid on needs to be more like a straight line.

    As far as the housing crisis, not that is the model to argue greed runneth over….people in this country, like no other, live at an unsustainable level. Our standard of livingis quite artificial. People’s standard of living should be about need basis, and less about want basis. In fact, I oppose the bail out of the housing market as it stands. It basically rewards irresponsible spending, and promotes more of it. I pay my mortgage, and I am never late…yet the person who is behind will be refinanced and have some of their debt excused. This is astonishing, because they have not done without anything…yet most of us on time payers do without the luxuries the other guy affords himself instead of paying his mortgage. None of these people canplead ignorance about their mortgages. They new eventually they would have to pay….they signed on the line anyhow. They should be accountable for that. Instead, people like you and I will pay higher taxes to fund the bailout needed due to these people’s greedy habits. Such hypocracy…shame on oil..well shame on materialism leading our lives period.

    I think, lke Barb, that if we have incentives, they should come as a result of good behavior. I just say not to give any to help people make bad choices okay. It’s like giving heroin to an addict and saying “here ya go…now go shoot up and come back clean and addiction free.” We are too enabling of bad behavior and not very good about compelling people to have good habits.

  120. Barb Avatar

    Yes I know you weren’t “promoting” socialism….. and yes, some try to scare people about it — almost advocating for no social programs and that just isn’t realistic or desirable.

    I totally agree with you on the housing industry. A lot of people were also speculating on homes; buying homes far beyond their means, expecting to make a windfall profit, and sell quickly (within a few years). Those people expect us to bail them out and claim ignorance. They are adults; they should have known better. But the entire lending industry wasn’t regulated like it should have been. I’ve been in real estate (still am partially) and I can say that lenders were lending people with average wages or even below average wages FAR above what they “should” be lending them because they get a commission out of it! Or they’d give them a “zero down” loan and postpone the first few payments. I mean what is that?

    Discourage bad behavior, reward good — if someone’s actions are negatively affecting someone else, that’s not OK —

    I do believe in capitalism to a great degree but on the flip side, it comes with greed, and that’s where the problems always begin. That’s when we need a good watchdog government. D.C. is full of corruption; will McCain or even Obama get rid of it — no. I really would like to see a 3rd party get in and turn both parties on their ears for a while. While we’re talking of that, which 3rd party, truly cares most for the environment? Do any???

  121. vicki Avatar

    Would you run???
    I think it would take some real original. No political agenda before the campaign, and no real monitary gain.

    Maybe someone should begin to run a few years before the election and spread their politcal seed via the web, and grass roots…t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.

  122. Barb Avatar

    whoops… to clarify…. Vicki you said: “the curve that taxes are paid on needs to be more like a straight line.”

    That would mean everyone would pay the same percentage, which conceivably, wealthier people would actually pay a lot less.

    The curve right now actually benefits low to middle class as it goes up (higher percentage) as income rises to a certain level, then it flattens out. I believe highest rate is about 32%.

  123. vicki Avatar

    We could invent a party before the next election. We could call it the Progressive Party. Or the Middle Majority party.

  124. Barb Avatar

    🙂 My brother jokingly tells me I can’t be a tree hugger (he’s Liberal) and a fiscal conservative…. but I am! I am a member of so many animal and wildlife organizations it’s ridiculous — not really, I love animals. And then, the next question “Do you care more about animals than people?” No, but most people can speak up for themselves; animals cannot.

  125. vicki Avatar

    Right Barb, but we’d need to slope the line upward. Increments would have to enable people to still see a profit and pay those taxes.

  126. vicki Avatar

    My family teases me too. I’m like” Rambo for the animals and the forests.”
    I’m a tree hugger, but I also tend to be a bit radical in my other views. I firmly believe we have terrorist cells in the USA, and I am prepared to live with my hubby and kids for up to three months in my camp trailer before going full on Man vs. Wild. Ha!
    So we demonstrate that there is a need for a “some place in between” party.

  127. vicki Avatar

    Any thoughts on local elections in Colorado? I live in the Greeley area.

  128. Barb Avatar

    I know this is really bad, but I don’t get involved and sometimes don’t even pay much attention. Isn’t that terrible? I justget so p’d off about it — especially our senators who never vote for good animal bills — Salazar and Allard — but Allard is leaving. Do you get involved?

  129. vicki Avatar

    I actually see a few ads run here and there about candidates with environmental savvy, so I thought about it this time around. There may actually be a few good guys to vote for, instead of the usual lesser of two evils. But I was going to research it a bit more this weekend. I have some time between moose viewing and elk photos. (Do you visit RMNP often? I’m headed up Sunday. I am told there are far fewer elk this fall.)
    I have thought about getting involved with kids an conservation. I may start a non-profit to help educate them more on what is going on and how to help. But that would be the extent of my ambition to “rock the vote”. I am far too abrassive to ever actually run for office.

  130. Barb Avatar

    I’m pretty busy with my family first (kids, dogs, etc.). I don’t go to RMNP too much, but we go to Mt. Evans often. I am also outspoken — and can definitely abrasive too! I actually had someone on another forum harrass me for my views on wolves to the extent that I ended up calling the sherrif to file a report. I also had some information that he may have been arrested for threatening one of the parents of one of the Columbine students who was killed who was advocating for gun control.

    Are you familiar with Wild Earth Guardians? They used to be Sinapu. They’re having a fund raiser Oct 2 at a brewery in downtown Denver. If you’re interested, you should go!

    I made the dumb mistake of revealing where I lived….and they knew my entire name… so he looked up my address… no one ever came over to the house but I got calls, letters, etc. in the mail, threatening e-mail messages.

  131. dbaileyhill Avatar

    In today’s Oregonian there was an article in the “How We Live” section that takes a different approach in presenting how everyone can implement different approaches to living more sustainably and simply. The information comes in a pamphlet/small booklet which was created by Oregon State University. There is a section about nature/environment, but all the info relates to everything we discuss on this site. It is also relevant to Palin’s stance on wildlife, environment, etc. It is a quick read, and can be found at; . This could be a great approach in teaching kids, teens etc. I really like that it is non-partisan and non-denominational. (In a perfect world this could be a way to determine which candidate to vote for. But then the trust/honesty issue comes into play again.)

    I think you will be very interested. Miss ya, email soon!

  132. vicki Avatar

    It is not suprising that someone would be so brazenly hostile. I see people on the edge at work a lot. They are some scarey creatures. Try to be safe, you are far too much to go anywhere!
    I am familiar and would love to attend. Maybe we’ll meet there. I know about busy. My kids are really a lesson in time management, all four of them! But I usually drag about half to three fourths of them along. Hee, keeping them close to nature and to mama.

    I will check it out. Talk to you soon!

  133. vicki Avatar

    Barb, I meant to say you are far too much fun….oops.

  134. Barb Avatar

    Vicki — please try to attend! If you do, let me know beforehand! Are you a member of WildEarth Guardians (used to be Sinapu before they merged)

  135. vicki Avatar

    NO, not a member, but might become one. I will let you know for sure before hand.

  136. Barb Avatar

    Sure — OK~!

  137. Barb Avatar

    Another issue that hasn’t been brought up much this election is doing business with China. Heck, there are constant recalls of toys filled with lead and pet food that is recalled because of contamination!

    Didn’t China’s pet food kill a bunch of our pets here?

    And we boycott Cuba? Why? It makes no sense. China’s government is worse than Cuba in my opinion, and they are far more powerful and influential. I don’t understand why we support a communist regime.

    China (and India) are one of the world’s worst polluters too — not Cuba.

  138. TimothyB Avatar

    Barb: Maybe you don’t understand how economically powerful China really has become. But if you truly want the US to reduce its carbon footprint, boycotting China will accomplish this goal in less than 3 years. Of course, inflations will be an issue if there are enough people still employed in the US.

    In short, the US would become a Third World Nation almost overnight when/if we stop supporting “that communist regime”.

  139. Barb Avatar

    Yep, I am aware of that. Still, there has to be a solution, as right now, China is more powerful than we are.

    Military might does not make a country powerful; economic superiority does.

  140. Salle Avatar

    I think the issue with the boycott of Cuba, which has learned to do without the glut of petrochemicals in food production for many years now, is that the Cubans will talk to us. What would they say? They would likely tell us how healthy they are thanks to their socialized health care. And then they might have some real ideas for renewable energy that we can’t be allowed to know about for fear we might employ them individually. And that maybe Castro isn’t the demon many have made him out to be.

    That would just be unacceptable.

  141. Barb Avatar

    Health care doesn’t need to be socialized to be available to all Americans with proper legislation. Why have the government run and adminster something so gigantic for such a huge country like the U.S.? The way I see it, there is plenty of other countries out there practicing socialism — why make the U.S. that way too>?

  142. Barb Avatar

    And I say that as having no health insurance at the moment — COBRA benefits ran out and I’m shopping for new health insurance — it’s a real scam — they consider any pre-existing conditions, no matter how minor — and up the rate and for even people with somewhat high cholesterol, they up the rate for that too.

    Still, socialized health care is not the answer. If Hillary hadn’t gone quite so far, her plan would have passed.

    All we need to do is have legislation that favors individuals rather than the insurance companies and ensure no one falls through the cracks. There are ways to do this without taking about the free enterprise system in health care completely as the U.S. brings more new drugs to market per year and has better R & D than any other nation. Socializing it would ruin that. I mean, really, what does the government really run well besides our post offices, roads, basic things like that? You don’t want to have them actually administering a gigantic healthcare bureaucracy. Remember, Canada and the other socialized countries have much smaller populations and most people around the world want to come HERE to have surgery, etc. We keep the good parts of our system (good doctors, etc.) and legislate the bad (insurance co’s.) Doctors right now are very frustrated due to insurance companies calling all the shots! They don’t want the government calling all the shots either. Common sense is what’s needed.

  143. Barb Avatar

    Let’s not go that far though! 🙂 Castro has his citizens executed without even a trial that tried to escape Cuba. China is just as bad. Their parents literally leave baby girls on the streets — believe me, I know. My friend just adopted one who was left in the street.

  144. Barb Avatar

    Salle, but as far as your comments about healthy citizens, that is true — and they are almost 100% literate. The way it’s done, however – the price they pay however is too high for a democratic country.

    As far as sustainable/renewable fuels, that would be interesting to find out.

    Have you looked at this website:

  145. Eve Avatar

    First, it is not my intent to belittle or insult anyone, but I’d like to share something that has really bothered me about this blog for some time, typified by the response to the article on Sarah Palin. I can’t help but feel that some of you readers, while well meaning and conscientious, spend an inordinate amount of time:

    1) Preaching to the choir.
    2) Attempting to change the minds of folks who are obviously on the other side of the fence (the brick wall?) politically, and are as committed to their viewpoint as you are, and aren’t going to agree with you no matter how skillfully you write.
    3) Attempting to rationally address ignorant troublemakers who deliberately post inflammatory and outrageous comments just to provoke negative attention.
    4) Writing about subjects that have nothing whatsoever to do with the original article.

    Occasionally the discussions among folks with differing points of view can be interesting, but more often to someone like me, who’s looking for real information, it’s just redundant and annoying trying to glean some informed insight from opinion that is sometimes completely off topic.

    I think we all agree habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation from livestock grazing, climate change, energy policy etc are the main issues (the big picture) facing the lands we love. I mean no disrespect to the people who read this blog, but I’d like some of you who seem a tad hyper-focused on posting (like the Sarah Palin or Druid 253 threads) to spend more time considering the big picture vs. the small picture.

    For instance, back in April, I asked Ralph to post a notice regarding the extension of the comment period on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest (BDNF) plan revision, in hopes that a few visitors of this blog (since it gets many readers) might care to comment, as the BDNF represents a huge amount of critical habitat for many of the species of wildlife most of you are concerned with. It’s one of the largest national forests in the lower 48, and contains the largest areas of unprotected roadless land. Unfortunately, the request for comments was buried by the avalanche of posts regarding Druid 253, who was shot in Wyoming at the same time.

    While I was sad to hear of this wolf’s unjust demise, I couldn’t help shaking my head over the energy poured into the death of one 8-year old (elderly by Yellowstone standards) wolf, while my post asking for comments regarding the fate of millions of acres of wildlife habitat in the GYA did not get even generate one response. FYI, DOZENS of wolves (none of them with cute names like Limpy) have died in SW Montana on public and private lands, shot over conflicts with livestock, most of them on or near BDNF lands.

    Your letters on land use decisions can make a difference, especially if they are well-written and well thought out. I know, as friends of mine in the FS described having to read many thousands of comments on the BDNF plan revision, and well-informed comments making good points were pulled out for additional consideration and analysis.

    Every time I read a blog and get sucked into reading the comments following a post, I wonder about about the motivation of folks who troll blogs like this and expend precious mental energy making post after post on the same subjects to be read by the same people day after day. What good does this do, really? Don’t get mad at me, please just think about it! Don’t I have a pretty good point? I know the time it takes me to compose anything for public consumption, and frankly, I can’t imagine doing it multiple times a day as some folks do. To me, it seems a terrible waste of letter-writing talent that would be much better spent elsewhere, particularly so close to the election. –I hasten to apologize to those of you who DO write such letters.

    Instead of writing yet another another post in this thread about Sarah Palin to be read by the usual audience (which is definitely not going to further any environmental agendas), you could open the home page of your local BLM district or FS ranger district to find out about projects like mineral and energy leases or timber sales. You could take a moment and comment on those instead. Or you could write a quick note to one of your elected officials and express your concern about any land-use or political issue that bothers you. If you’re so upset about Sarah Palin, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and lay out exactly what you think of her hypocrisy regarding the environment or earmarks or just step outside and have a discussion with your unenlightened neighbor. Some people don’t have access to the internet, and have to depend on the pathetic mainstream media for their political news. My elderly female neighbor was genuinely surprised to hear that Sarah Palin is not the ethics crusader she claims to be when we were visiting earlier today.

    By the way….I made a post this morning related to a story Ralph tried to bring to your attention last December. I doubt even one of you read it, though it’s rather a big deal. All you Idahoans need to sit up and take notice along with Montanans before this energy corridor is shoved down our throats with all of the access ramifications that go along with it. Of course, if you think the possibility of a mega-powerline/pipeline corridor being built through some of the most beautiful and remote country in Idaho and Montana is less important than continuing this Sarah Palin discussion…….??

    If you do get around to reading the post and looking at the maps, notice in particular the “alternative routes” that would bisect lands managed as wilderness in Montana and skirt the edge of Craters of the Moon National Monument. Right now, they are called alternative, but from what I am understanding, they may not exactly be alternative…

    Sorry if I sound unduly harsh or if I’ve offended anyone. I admit I’m extremely fed-up and cynical about our political system in general and reading posts to these blogs is really not making me feel any better.


  146. Barb Avatar

    While I was sad to hear of this wolf’s unjust demise, I couldn’t help shaking my head over the energy poured into the death of one 8-year old (elderly by Yellowstone standards) wolf, while my post asking for comments regarding the fate of millions of acres of wildlife habitat in the GYA did not get even generate one response. FYI, DOZENS of wolves (none of them with cute names like Limpy) have died in SW Montana on public and private lands, shot over conflicts with livestock, most of them on or near BDNF lands.

    Just wondering… how do you know readers didn’t write letters on behalf of your posting but didn’t comment to you?

    Incidentally, I have a file filled with letters on behalf of predator conservation and feral horses that have been published over a period of about 5 years — published in major newspapers, local newspapers, magazines, and more.

  147. kim kaiser Avatar

    Anyway, are you ready for discussion eye to eye…?
    You live in Gardiner.
    I will be there on 9/30. I promise I stop and talk to you if you tell me how to find you.
    Maybe even buy you a beer.
    Maybe you can find me a nice elk to shoot….

    i will be in bozeman on 930 but will be here the weekend before, i wil be in mammoth watchting the elk rut or whats left of it

    jb, not holding class,, just lookign for answers, which none have come, husseins says he :will reach across the aisle” where the history of such,, its a simple questtion requiring a simple answer,,

    as for consitutional law, as in all law, it subject to interpretation, you have provided nothing there, military commitment from Mccain,, are you suggestiing miliatry careers are unworthly, fact is, they have provided many educations to those who served, why do you hate money and the military,,

    there were numerous comments on nothing but palins hair and glasses, and you have the gall to question me on whether i trust hussein to run our country, when he has said himself, that when it comes to muslims and his choices, that is where he will lean,,,, READ HIS MEMOIRS.. its spelled out for you in black in white,

    i dont hate him, i dont think he is useful, as for race, i said earlier, give me powell or rice even over mcccain,, as for whether i am a stanch republican, i have said it before, i do not follow the line party line on all there calling points, but the points i do follow are not those of socialism, which is the obama mantra,

    yes, we have choices, i work hard, i play hard, i dont choose to just muddle away in this life, i want to see, and experience everything the world has to offer, and you dont do that sittin on your ass,, lazing around, i dont complain about work, I just do the job, , and enjoy the fruits,,,

    i do apologize to the vast majority of you, i know you are sincere about your beliefs, but so am i about who is best capable, i have weighed the options of everything that they promote, and i have come to a different conclusion than the most of you, am i wrong, who knows, but you cant say the same that your option is the right way, my work and travels around this country have given me great exposure to many people places and things, and those experiences form those beliefs, they are not rooted in the triangular region of mt, wy id and co,, cows and sheep and wildlife

    do i agree with palin, i have said previous, NO, but i dont like th e alternative at all, so i have made my calculations,

  148. kim kaiser Avatar

    Oh Isabella

    my place here is called THE SILVERTIP, on Scott street,, next to the book store,

    feel free to come by, as i stated, i will be here the sat and sunday before the 30th, red f250 out front, i am there,,

    least you have the nerve to face to face, i would welcome your visit

  149. Eve Avatar

    Barb, I know because I have been reading this blog for a long time. It would be totally out of character for people to read Ralph’s letter, be motivated to comment on the plan and not leave any sort of post on the blog.

    If you have files filled with letters advocating for environmental causes, you are to be commended. However, as a resource specialist with 19 years of working in the west, I will tell you it is misguided to advocate for feral horses on public lands. Due to the manner of their grazing because of the plants they evolved with in Asia, they are much more damaging to western rangelands in far smaller numbers than cattle (which also damage the resource). In fact, we in the natural resource field refer to a certain instantly recognizable range condition left in the wake of horse grazing as “horse pavement”. You’ve probably seen this to a smaller extent where you live locally. Now try to imagine it on large areas in WY, MT and NV. Horses look beautiful (like some noxious weeds), but that does not mean they are not extremely harmful to western ecosystems. I replied for the sake of education, but I am not going to debate further, especially in this thread.

  150. Barb Avatar

    I won’t debate it either on this thread (maybe another one) but I won’t stop advocating for it either.

  151. Izabela Avatar

    I leave from SLC on 9/30 . Stay in Island Park. Get my husband and friend to Gardiner maybe on 10/1 or 10/2 I will check the palce and if you are not there, I will leave a note saying hello…:)

  152. Barb Avatar

    Oh my God — how do you guys know that you’re not talking to some weirdo pervert? 🙂

  153. Barb Avatar

    Eve — I agree with your good points in your posting above.

  154. Barb Avatar


    I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a special section somewhere on your blog for “action requested” for requests for needed environemental advocacy letters — like a summary and links? Just an idea….

  155. vicki Avatar


    You made a few very relavent points above. But you posting about issues other than the one this thread is about could also lead to something. That is exactly the small gleam of hope most of us are looking for.

    I don’t really see this as preaching to the choir, more like communing with friends who have similar values. And maybe, just maybe, every once in a while someone new comes along who we can help to influence.

    As far as asking for help, well ask away. But no one topic here is any more important than another. Some people just probably feel more comfortable posting on one issue as opposed to another. I can also tell you that sometimes I get tired of feeling like I am stuck in a whirlpool, spinning around and around with no progress, until you finally get pulled under. It can be down right depressing.

    Like Barb, I often write letter to various offices, people, and papers. I often get heated replies by jerks who can be threatening and beyond rationale, but primarily, I get no response or a form letter.

    As far as trying to influence people who are obviously on the other side of the fence, well, who else do we need to influence more? Yes, I agree some of them are buttheads, and some are to iron rigged to bend….but here are a few moments when we get someone to meet us in the middle. However small those moments are, they are the moments that will eventually move mountains.

    As for Sarah Palin, don’t be fooled by the directness of disapproval for her here. It is not simply about Palin, but about the leverage that she would have if elected, and the irreversable severity of what her line of thinking could create.

    I love knowing that you are proactive. If you would like to contact me outside of this blog, you can go through Ralph. Let me know what your needs are, and I will try to write or advocate however I can.

    I try not to be abbrasive when I post here, because i know this is a forum created in hopes of informing and collaborating. But occasioanlly I tick people off (Okay, maybe frequently). I still make an effort to see where others come from. And I feel that often, I am far more middle ground, like JB and a few others, than most who post here. There are extremes on every subject, but extreme is rarely rational or acheivable without violence or revolution. So, middle is much more easily obtained.

    I wasn’t offended by your comments, but rather moved by your passionate opinions and desire to actually help.


    I’ve been to your place. Ate there, it was a nice change from beans and franks while camping. I respect your opinions on many issues, and am fine with you disagreeing on Obama. I just worry that ou are inviting the fire to attend the meeting of the matchsticks. Eventually someone will get burned.


    The issues with healthcare are far more vast than we could summarize here. Cobra is a stretch for most people to afford when they have change employment. And regulating insurance any more than it is will be an undertaking that could and will rival oil reform in it’s opposition and scale.

    There are many problems with our healthcare system, like oil, it largely rests on the shoulders of CEO’s and stockholders. Bottom line, money talks.

    I manage a clinic. I meet people al the time who are from socialist countries who areoutraged at how commercialized and capitalistic healthcare is. They are often of the opinion that doctors are only in it for the money and have no regard for their patients needs.

    Yet, doctors who are not a part of a free/low income clinic often lose money when seeing patients who are uninsured, or under insured or have Medicare/Medicaid. They would go out of business if they based their services on seeing the patients in this demographic. We would all suffer if they raised our fees, or stopped accepting commercial plans that didn’t give higher reimbursements to compensate for this type of loss. It would create a hugely inflated market.

    The problem is about to get worse, as more and more doctors are “Opting Out” of accepting Medicare this December. So these patients will either have to go to a free/low income clinic, or the hospitals when they need care. This will cause insurance comapnies to raise prices, because as hospitals renew their contracts with insurance comapnies, they will have to stipulate higher reimbursements from insurances just to help recoup losses from seeing Medicare and indigent care patients.

    A huge contributory factor is serving illegal citizens. They don’t contribute to the tax base so they are taking away from funds available to people who do. That needs to stop. The only way to do that is to crack down on ilegal imigration. (That is a whole other issue.)

    In other countries students who are going to become doctors receive much help. And, since they are reimbursed uniformally, they have an abundance of primary care docs, and not enough specialists. People don’t opt to come here because we have a better system, they come here simply because of the wait time for non-essential surgeries. We see a ton of patients opting to go across the pond to receive care that is not yet available here. That is another issue, the wait time for the FDA to approve treatments and the length of time before insurance companies begin reimbursing at all for new meds and procedures. This is alla result of capitalism and overly litigation happy Americans.

    Here, there is a rapidly growing shortage of family medicine docs, due to the low reimbursement of insurances, people ducking their bills, Medicare’s short comings, and the astronomical cost of education.

    As a person who deals with the financial issues of healthcare for a living, I think thatthere needs to be both socialized medicine, and better insurance.

    How? Well, we have some programs in place to help doctors out of their education debt. We need to expand on that. Make free healthcare available by getting rid of medicaid and medicare. Reform. Create clinics where students are providing care under supervision of a well paid staff doctor(s). (Like many university hospitals throughout the country.) Pay the students for their services during residency by waiving their debt on an hour for dollar basis. Then you have provided care for patients and allowed students seeking to become doctors the ability to do so without starving when they enter private practice.

    If we keep medicare around, we will have to pay doctors more to see these patients, they are often difficult and have complex health issues that take very long to treat. The doctors deserve more than they get paid right now, believe me. We will also have to make medicare more affordable for the patient…increase what it pays for meds…etc. How?????Tax reform. Complicated.

    Then you need to figure out how to make commercial insurance more affordable, and regulate who and what the can refuse to insure….like diabetics and cancer patients, those with bad family histories, etc.

    But this is all just evidence of a bigger issue…people’s values and ethics. Change those, and the world is instantly better.

  156. vicki Avatar

    p.s. that was an extreme over simplification of a very non-simple issue.


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.

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Ralph Maughan