This replaces the 30th edition. That old edition is now in the archives at May 29, 2011-

A new beaver pond drowning graffiti defaced trees. Beaver can restore streams, and not just streams that have been overgrazed by livestock or grazing wildlife. Copyright Ralph Maughan


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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. 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.

537 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? July 2, 2011

  1. Elk275 says:

    Isn’t this a bunch of shit. My home town. Someone should be strip and whipped on the courthouse lawn. We are assured that things like this will never happen, but they do.

    • Phil says:

      Elk: “According to Zabrocki, when he called the state Disaster and Emergency Services, he was told the state Department of Environmental Quality was supposed to be calling the communities downriver.

      “I don’t know if that ever happened,” Zabrocki said.”

      Do you know if anyone ever found out if the Department of Environmental Quality notified the communities before or after the article was put out? If they did afterwards, what good would it have done when many people already (surprisingly) found out about the spill? A disaster like this occurred and it seems like people in the area were getting the run-around. I would be mad as hell to with this affecting the people and wildlife there.

      • Elk275 says:

        I only know what I have read. It should be at my little sister farm by evening. Currently they are flooded out and she is living with her in-laws on the farm, who’s homes are on higher ground. Now Exxon wants to move over sized loads saying that they can do it safely, makes you wonder. They have not proven anything to me.

        I lived for 4 years in Alaska in the 1970’s, in 1998 I took a lady friend of mine to Alaska and we took a tour of Prince William Sound. The boat captain pointed out where the Exxon Valdez should have been and where the tanker ran aground. Hazelwood and crew were 5 miles off course. When company is larger than most counties it becomes a law on to it self.

  2. jon says:

    Rammell Found Guilty and Sentenced in Poaching Case

    • jon says:

      He got if easy if you ask me.

    • Phil says:

      I am not concerned about the fees, but two years of a suspended hunting license is not enough. Poaching is a big issue and continues to grow in its affects on wildlife, and this is somewhat of minor punishment.

    • PointsWest says:

      It is probably a first offence, he had a license, and he had a tag. It was open season in the unit where he killed the elk.

      If it were a second offense, or if he didn’t have a license, or if he didn’t have a tag, or if the season had obviously been closed in the unit where he killed the elk, then it would have been a flagrant violation and more might have been done.

  3. Christopher says:

    “We are assured that things like this will never happen”
    Katrina, BP, Exxon Valdez… infinitum. They tell you what you want to here and then work there tails off to emasculate the EPA or any other protective agency all in the name of “jobs” and/or “prohibiting economic expansion”.

    If anyone ever says “this will never happen”, be assured that it VERY likely to occur. Greed and ignorance will be the death of this country.

  4. william huard says:

    This story appeared on June 26.

    I love “Republoman” with his total ideological immersion suit- impervious to reason, repels facts, resists any compromise……
    I include it here because the agenda includes an anti ESA mentality complete with “environmentalism is bad for business” logic

  5. william huard says:

    I don’t know if someone has already posted this…..

    Any science can be challenged if the price is right….How do these people live with themselves

  6. jon says:

    Easy, tiger! Incredible moment huge animal is released back into the wild after being rescued from a poacher’s snare

    Read more:

  7. Peter Kiermeir says:

    That´s what happens when a innocent bear goes to town. It took four shots because of thick bushes!

  8. Peter Kiermeir says:

    And you think you have already seen everything……’
    Italian politicians eat bear to protest against reintroduction of brown bears.
    At least they are not from a respected party but from a bunch of local troublemakers. I hope they got some diarrhea.

  9. JB says:

    A new paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management touches on a topic of MUCH debate on this blog–do wolf populations self-regulate? The author’s answer:

    “…the data suggested that wolf populations are self regulated rather than limited by prey biomass by at least a 3:1 margin.”

    What is the mechanism of population regulation? They suggest:

    “It is likely an intrinsic regulatory mechanism (e.g., social strife, territoriality, or some other mechanism) that leads to the limitation of wolf populations in a density-dependent fashion at high ungulate densities. At ungulate biomass indices <8, wolf populations are likely limited by ungulate availability, as previously posited (Fig. 1). The prey limitation dogma has led managers to believe that food availability is the only relevant limiting factor affecting wolves. Our analysis shows that intraspecific strife, territoriality, or some other regulatory mechanism is relevant and likely plays an important role in wolf population dynamics.

    Here is citation:

    Cariappa, C. A., J. K. Oakleaf, W. B. Ballard, and S. T. Breck. 2011. A Reappraisal of the Evidence for Regulation of Wolf Populations. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:726-730.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thank’s JB. That is an incredibly important article. It certainly shots a hole in much of the anti-wolf angst that wolves will kill all the game.

      I wish important articles like this were open to the public to read without a fee.

      • JB says:


        Since one of the authors is a federal employee (USDA NWRC), the article must be open access. I did a bit of checking and found it on the USDA’s website:

        • ma'iingan says:

          Unfortunately, directing diehard wolf haters to technical papers, or even synopsizing the results for them, is an exercise in frustration. The most common response I get is that the science and its reporting are suspect – liberal bias being the root cause.

          As far as the paper itself, the application for boots-on-the-ground wolf management is a little tenuous. I agree with the takeaway – “we can’t assume that wolf numbers are tied directly to prey base” – but the paper treats expanding and exploited wolf populations too casually. Nearly every distinct population of gray wolves in N.A. is expanding – and the ones that aren’t are either heavily exploited or struggling with a fragile reintroduction. I’d like to see a finer point on the status of each of the sample populations.

          • ma'iingan says:

            I should add that the upper threshold of human tolerance occurs far below the level at which wolf populations might become self-regulating – obvious when we consider recent events.

          • Phil says:

            So, your idea of conclusive evidence is a smaller sample size? If you get a “finer point” of each sample population you decrease the entire sample size and break it into smaller sample sizes.

            This article is based on the entire species, so your “finer point” for each sample group would be of no significance to the study. The data they collected from each sample population would give a conclusion to that population, but not the entire species. If you were to do this study on a handful of areas with packs of wolves and compare each areas data, then it would be justified.

          • JB says:

            “…the upper threshold of human tolerance occurs far below the level at which wolf populations might become self-regulating…”

            I think you are oversimplifying things a bit. Human tolerance is based on a number of factors (at the individual level, perceived benefits and costs, previous experience with wolves, whether one hunts or raises livestock, etc.) that, in turn, are likely to be affected by one’s exposure to wolves (which, in part, explains rural/urban differences). Within North America there also appears to be regional variation (for example, differences between the WGL and NRM populations).

            My experience that wildlife managers’ estimates of intolerance toward wolves are overblown and (in my opinion) are often so because the people who contact them are the one’s who don’t like wolves. A recent Harris poll found only 29% of Americans (n > 1,000) believed that “the gray wolf isn’t endangered anymore and protection under the endangered species act is no longer needed”.

            There are also problems with how people define “tolerance” or conversely, intolerance. In my view, negative attitudes don’t constitute intolerance–one becomes intolerant when they start expressing that attitude behavioral (e.g., by writing their congressperson, or calling their F&G agency to complain).

            Clearly there are some areas (e.g., national parks) where tolerance is high enough that populations self-regulate, or the authors would have found no evidence of self regulation of populations.

          • JB says:

            Sorry, I meant to say…

            “…expressing that attitude behaviorally“.

          • WM says:

            I found the study interesting in that it did not rely at all on any NRM data – only AK and the GL area.

            This is as much play as it got:

            ++The recently reintroduced wolves in the northern Rockies and the southwest were not included because these populations are still growing.++

            Maybe it was to keep the models simple. On the other hand, it seems that YNP with its initial population, dropped into an uber-rich prey environment quickly expanded, then dropped with outmigration and reduction in prey. Or the drop could have been a self-regulating in action.

            Maybe there were too many variables to account for. Nonetheless, it would have been nice if they had mentioned the NRM, because that is where all the action is, and those pesky state wildlife managers are actually making the harshest on the ground decisions based solely on prey.

            There will no doubt be follow-up studies that include the NRM.

          • JB says:

            WM: As I understand it, this is a re-analysis of data that was collected and analyzed in a prior study (published in 2003).

          • ma'iingan says:

            @Phil – I’m sorry, my comments apparently weren’t clear. I’m not in any way recommending that the sample size be reduced – if anything, this study begs a larger sample, evidenced by the adjustment the authors had to make to compensate for the small sample. What I’d like to see is the criteria used to include/ exclude samples based on expanding or stable subpopulations, since one could argue that nearly all N.A. subpopulations were expanding in 2003, and continue to do so. Since I posted my comments, I re-read the 2003 Fuller study, which favored the prey-limited hypothesis, and further refinesd the UBI by differentiating between “raw” UBI and “vulnerable” UBI. So there are still a lot of questions about what factors are actually most likely to limit wolf subpopulations.

            @JB, you’re right – I’m absolutely oversimplifying the threshold of human tolerance, since my perspective is the practical side of wolf management. Sure, the vast majority of the populace is either favorable or neutral towards wolves, but the polarization on the subject has never been uglier in our time. My criteria is the daily “noise” we deal with – for instance, at the beginning of last winter we had 10 wolves on the air in my region, and that number has been reduced to five due to illegal killing. This is an unprecedented rate of loss, and I know there are people actively hunting and quite possibly poisoning wolves in this area, even though we’re still under the highest level of ESA protection. That’s my gauge of human tolerance.

    • PointsWest says:

      Not really. No more than this one…

      • JEFF E says:

        What is your point. It applies too this blog as being a community that is concerned with much of the subject matter that will be directly affected by the outcome of this issue.
        That that point escapes you is of little suprise however.

    • JB says:

      It should apply to anyone who is paying attention. As a long-time listener to NPR and fan of PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, I have come to truly respect David Brooks as a moderate with a good sense of where the nation stands. I hope some folks on the right are listening…

    • Daniel Berg says:

      As someone who believes we need to decrease spending in earnest, I can’t support the republicans currently on economic matters. They are incredibly misguided in their approach so far. They are spineless when it comes to dealing with corporations, environmental issues, and taxes on wealthy individuals earning greater than $1 million/year.

    • PointsWest says:

      We could shut down the government and stop all the wasteful spending on education, regulation, infrastructure, and the environment. While we’re at it, we can shut down the other wasteful spending we Americans do. We can shut down cigarette manufacturing. Cigarettes are not doing anyone any good. We don’t need alcohol. Why not shut down distillers and brewers. Sports are a big waste of money and sports stars typically waste money on things like dog fighting. I think the porn industry should be shut down and we could go without most of the movie and TV industry as well since they too are largely about sexual titillation. Junk food manufacturers should be shut down. Doritos are not needed and are only making people fat and sick and they are way over priced. I think women wear way to many cosmetics. We spend twice the money on cosmetics in this country than on weapons research. Fashion too. We spend billions on crazy fashions that are mostly the product of French and Italian designers.

      I mean, there are many ways to save money in this country if only we could just get these damn liberals under control. Cutting half the spending I just mentioned, we could pay off our public debt and half of our private debt in just a few years.

      But no…the crazy liberals will continue to ruin this country.

      • PointsWest says:

        …and while we’re at it, we should shut down the National Parks. They contribute nothing to the economy and people are just burning up gas and driving up the cost of oil by visiting them. Resorts should be shut down. Most people could have just as much fun in their back yards as at the beach or on a ski mountain. We should consider shutting down fast food restaurants and cutting back on restaurants in general. People need to learn to cook and eat at home. I think pet ownership should be banned. Pets contribute nothing to our economy and only cost us money. The soft drink industry should be shut down. Soft drinks help no one and most are bad for health. We waste billions on soft drinks.

        A lot of our economy can just be shut down. It will help the economy recover, save taxes, and help us pay down the debt.

        • Daniel Berg says:

          I hope you don’t get TOO jaded over all this madness, Pointswest. I don’t want to come down there and find you ranting on the corner of Sunset and La Brea. 😉

          • PointsWest says:

            I tell you what, if conservatives do not manage to drive this country into another great depression or big war, we should count ourselves lucky.

            I watched a documentary the other night about what has happened since Reagan deregulated the pharmaceutical industry and allowed it to advertise pharmaceuticals. All the large pharmaceutical companies have been trying to get an “orgasm pill” approved by the FDA and have been trying to convince woman that they have a disease if they do not orgasm like men do. Several companies had an orgasm medication but could have never been able to get them approved because of too many bad side-effects.

            Did you know that nearly all leading “experts” on sexuality on TV are heavily supported by the pharmaceutical companies. For example, Berman & Berman, the darlings of Oprah and WE and the media, in general, are backed by the pharmaceutical industry. They invented new medical conditions that women can be diagnosed with. They constantly advocate the use of pharmaceuticals, including off-label use by women of Viagra? It has been proven that Viagra does nothing for women’s sexuality but Berman & Berman made millions for the pharmaceutical industry by advocating that women use Viagra.

            See small list…


            I wonder if anyone knows that females of other species have no orgasm at all.

            Do you ever wonder why so many children have come down with the new disease called ADS (Attention Deficit Syndrome). We can thank Reagan and the pharmaceutical industry for that. The pharmaceutical industry has made billions from its promotion and sales of sedatives prescribed to children which “cures” them of ADS. Never mind that they are largely vegetables by the time the graduate from high school. Someone got rich!

    • Bob says:

      Jeff E nailed it. If Blaine County / Hailey doesn’t get to slop at the federal trough then public employees won’t have time to blog “on the clock” here , ergo “Wildlife News” looses half its readership. What’s next ? Marvel & WWP gets EAJA funding wiped out?

      What’s next , no more studies that say that once the prey base is wiped out predators either disperse or kill each other off?

  10. PointsWest says:

    Canadian bison reintroduced to Siberia doing well…

    …they should do well in Siberia since they came from there.

    Magdalenian bison on plaque, 17,000-9,000 BCE. We humans have had a relationship with bison for a long time…

    Magdalenian bison on plaque, 17,000-9,000 BCE

  11. Daniel Berg says:

    “New wolf pack confirmed — a short drive from Seattle”

    I guess it is called the “Teanaway Pack”.

    • Phil says:

      This continues to be a great story for wolves in Washington. To see them move back to their historic ranges using their natural instincts without any force from mankind shows just how intelligent the species is.

  12. Immer Treue says:

    White’s plead not guilty to killing wolves. Allowed to keep guns and hunt.

    Sorry, can’t post the site.

  13. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Rhino (poaching) in Africa, from crisis to tragedy?

  14. Harley says:

    Ok… question.
    Along with the armies of chipmunks in the neighborhood, we now have a few bold foxes and coyotes who do not seem very concerned with people. While it is very cool to see them, just like encountering someone’s unleashed running loose dog, this is a bit of concern for me and a tad bit unnerving as I am now walking in the earlier hours of the morning when I’ve seen these bold animals.Does pepper spray work to deter the overly curious? And, can I train them to eat some of our chipmunks? ok, I was just kidding about that last one.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      How “bold” are they? When I take my daily late evening walk with my dog we often meet the “local” fox. In the meantime we know each other. The fox takes note of our presence and quietly slips into the underbrushes. My dog also takes note of the fox but is also not much concerned.

      • Harley says:

        The fox walks past without slipping away, about the length of a one and a half car driveway from where I walk. The coyotes a little more shy, but I am not walking a dog. My neighbor has a dog and has had a few more encounters than I have.

    • cc says:

      Neighborhood coyotes shouldn’t be any danger to anything other than an outside cat or small dog. But yelling, clapping or throwing a rock or stick in their direction should spook them. That is unless somebody is feeding them (directly or indirectly).

      • Harley says:

        Ha! I should put up signs in the neighborhood.
        “Do not feed the coyotes dog food, cat food or the annoying Chihuahua down the road!”

        I’m thinking, this could be a theory, but I’m thinking we have such an explosion of chipmunks closer to the house because they are feeling safer there. I’ve seen a steady increase of foxes and coyotes in our neighborhood, which is interesting given they have suspended new development in the neighboring subdivision.

  15. Phil says:

    This article is 3 years old, but still pretty interesting.

    If no one on here knows where Novi, Michigan is at, it is about 10 miles east of Detroit. My opinion is that the cougar was once a pet to someone and either escaped or was let free. The black cougar is very interesting to learn about. If it was a pet for someone, then could the breeders who sold or gave away the cougar purposely have put two cougars together with the recessive gene that gives off the black coloration to produce the 1/4 chance of having a black cougar?

    • Harley says:

      I thought coal burning caused global warming… I’m really confused…

      • JB says:


        Burning coal releases greenhouse gases, which have caused (according to 97% of scientists) a rise in the earth’s mean temperature. According to this newspaper article, a new paper suggests that sulfur (also released when coal is burned) may counteract that effect. (I’m not a betting man, but I would wager there will be replies.) Regardless, emitting sulfur into the atmosphere has its own consequences; unlike C02, sulfur (and sulfur dioxide) are harmful to humans, are major air pollutants, and the primary cause of acid rain. Not a very elegant solution to the problem of global climate change.

  16. cc says:

    Nice op-ed from the Arizona Central on the need to fully address the lead bullet issue, especially for condors:

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      I wonder if eagles, ravens, crows and gulls are as sensitive? I went to solid copper bullets a number of years ago, but after butchering haul all the extra fat and bones not used for soup stock, etc. down on the beach for the birds and mink to pick clean and a day later sink the cleaned bones in the ocean, lest my dog get too interested in them. I figured it beats putting it in the land fill.

    • Elk275 says:

      Sunday, I was at a large gun store in Ennis, Montana, my favorite. There was about 1500 boxes of center fire ammunition on the shelves. I counted 54 boxes of Barnes Thriple Shock all copper bullets. It is going to be a very long time before hunters are using lead free bullets. Both Hornaday and Nosler are in the early stages of all copper bullet construction but it is going to be 5 top 10 years before there are available in all stores.

      Currently only Barnes Bullet Company is marketing loaded all copper bullets and then only in limited calipers and bullet weights.

      ++BARNES® VOR-TX® Ammunition – precision loaded with the deadliest bullets on the planet. The leader in bullet innovation offers hunters the ultimate in accuracy, terminal performance and handloaded precision in a factory loaded round. The whirling, destructive power™ of Barnes’ all-copper bullet’s PERformance leaves lead-core bullet DEformance in the dust.

      Offering double-diameter expansion, maximum weight retention and excellent accuracy, the TSX®, Tipped TSX™ and TSX FN™ provide maximum tissue and bone destruction, pass-through penetration and devastating energy transfer. Multiple grooves in the bullet’s shank reduce pressure and improve accuracy. Bullets open instantly on contact – no other bullet expands as quickly. Nose peels back into four sharp-edged copper petals destroying tissue, bone and vital organs for a quick, humane kill.++

      The above statement has been disputed by hunters using the above bullets. It has been found that TS bullets 30 caliber and under have not always given uniformed bullet expanison.

      A box of VOR-TS cost between $50 to $80 for 20 bullets. A hunter should practice 50 times before hunting season and lets say during hunting season he/she shoots 10 rounds, that is between $150 to $200 vs approximately $50 for lead bullets that come on sale in September for less than $20 a box. I think that it is going to be a hard nationwide.

      There is the cost, availability, selection and the a rifles ability to accurately shoots copper bullets. Things to think about.

      Copper bullets are the future.

      • william huard says:

        Gee whizz Elk, I hope the condors can hold on until it is worth it for hunters to make the switch….Until then it makes for mighty good fear mongerin for that assault on huntin rights claimed by your friends at SCI and NRA

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        Elk — yes the solid copper tripleshocks are more expensive but not compared with the other “premium” bullets one might choose for larger animals like elk or moose. I could get by very well for Sitka blacktails with cheap lead core bullets on a non-brown bear island, but am a handloader which reduces overall cost significantly and I don’t find the extra cost for Barnes copper bullets to be that significant. However, as you mentioned I did find a serious expansion problem with the straight 150 grain TSX — not because I was using it at long-range but because I was using reduced 30-06 loads with Alliant 2400 pistol powder (that I started using when my son started hunting at age 11, for their nearly non-existent recoil and reduced blast). I ended up going with a faster load with a lighter 130 grain tipped TSX (for which expansion problems have apparently not been reported) and that has worked fine. So I have about 80 reduced 150 TSX loads to donate to somebody whose kid needs practice with a 30-06.

  17. Cindy says:

    Any news on the fatal bear attack inside Yellowstone this morning?

    • Elk275 says:

      Updated at 4:22 p.m.: A Yellowstone National Park visitor was killed Wednesday morning after a grizzly bear attacked him on the Wapiti Lake Trail near Canyon Village.

      The man and his wife had traveled about a mile and a half on the trail, which is east of the Grand Loop Road south of Canyon Village, when they surprised a grizzly sow with cubs. The bear attacked and fatally wounded the man in what the National Park Service called “an apparent attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs.”

      Another group of hikers heard the man’s wife crying for help and called 911.

      “It is extremely unfortunate that this couple’s trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy,” Dan Wenk, the park superintendent, said in a prepared statement. “Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with their loss.”

      The name, age, and hometown of the man and his wife are not yet available. It’s also unclear if there is a search ongoing for the sow, or if there are any plans to kill her.

      “I don’t know those details,” said Al Nash, spokesman for the park. “This is a rapidly unfolding incident which is occurring in and focused in the backcountry of the park.”

      Backcountry users are being cleared from the area, and all trails and campsites in the area have been closed until further notice. The incident is under investigation.

      It is not yet known if the man or his wife were carrying pepper spray. A bear warning sign was posted at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead, but there hadn’t been any reports of bear encounters on or along the trail this season. There had also been no recent reports of animal carcasses on or along the trail.

      This is the first bear-caused human fatality since 1986. In that case, a Great Falls man was killed while trying to photograph a bear.

  18. Cindy says:

    It’s always a very sad time when our wildlife and our visitors end up on a such a tragic path. Prayers to the man’s family and peace to Mamma. I’m sure opinions will start flowing but let’s remember this is just plain sad!

  19. CodyCoyote says:

    Grief of tragedy aside, the comments at the Billings Gazette website that have appeared since the story was posted less than 2 hours ago are nothing short of wretched and vile.

    I also have read the trail where this occurred was posted for bear activity. We’ll know more tomorrow.

    • Phil says:

      I will not read the comments, but I have a pretty good idea from whom the majority of those comments are coming from. Just think of the anti-wolf side.

      Truly sad to read what happened to the man. I cannot imagine what his wife/girlfriend went through the entire time, and what she is still going through. As tragic as it is, it is the responsibility of all humans to understand what the environment holds that we are getting our selves into. I can’t blame the griz for acting instinctive in defending her cub(s), and to some degree can’t blame the man and woman, but they should have been properly prepared and aware of the area. I may be jumping to speculations here, but as Cody said, “we’ll know more tomorrow”.

    • Mike says:

      I’m convinced the Billings Gazette commenters are insane.

  20. PointsWest says:

    News Story reads: “This is the first bear-caused human fatality since 1986. In that case, a Great Falls man was killed while trying to photograph a bear.”

    That is true but weren’t there something like five attacks last year just outside the Park with two fatalities?

    Maybe they could allow the Shoshone-Bannock to hunt grizzlies in the Park(since it belonged to the Sheep-Eater Shoshone). It would not take a lot…maybe 5 permits per year in the beginning. …just to keep grizzlies on edge a little around humans.

    • mikarooni says:

      Maybe they could allow us to hunt white people in the Park (since it belonged to the Sheep-Eater Shoshone). It would not take a lot, maybe 5 permits per year in the beginning, just to keep you fake humans on edge a little around us real humans.

      • PointsWest says:

        …intentially killing humans is called “murder” in this universe mikarooni. Just in case you didn’t know. Did you know?

  21. PointsWest says:

    Yellowstone Tour Bus operator reporting a wolf pup hit by a car on 191 south of Black Butte Ranch. (Going toward Big Sky).

    No further info.

    • Elk275 says:

      The Black Butte Ranch, that is the part of the Gallatin River where I would take my clients when I was fishing guiding out of Big Sky. One of the best places on the Gallatin River to fish.

  22. Mike says:

    Lazy Alaska Fish and Game decides to blow away two bear cubs that were lounging in a tree:

    Who knows what would’ve happened to the bears. It’s not this idiot’s right to decide. They could’ve starved, sure. But at this moment they were doing fine, and maybe doing fine for a couple weeks is better than being blown out of a tree.

    It’s important to note that this problem was caused by some idiot who thought their mother was “damaging his property”.

    $10 a gallon gas, folks. Get this trash out of the backcountry and finally the animals can live in peace. I cannot wait until these 12 MPG pieces of garbage that these idiots use to drive around in rural America and shoot animals are forced off the roads.

    The world will be a better place without guns and fools who think it’s their right to kill things for no reason.

    • Ryan says:


      Once again its too bad you don’t know WTF you are talking about. The area where the bear was shot is within 2 miles of city limits in Anchorage, the biggest city in AK.

      Not exactly the back country smart guy.

      • Mike says:

        Wow, your a bad ass, riveroutlaw.

        Can I overcompensate like you do?

        • Ryan says:

          If you weren’t such an abrasive bigot, you wouldn’t get the reactions you do..

          “Can I overcompensate like you do?”

          I think you are a couple steps ahead of me already.

          • Mike says:

            Come on, Ryan. We all know what that photo really means.

          • Ryan says:

            To me its just a cool picture my buddy took last year on our hunting trip to the desert.

            I know guns are scary and all, but thats just a standard bolt action hunting rifle..

            What does it mean to you?

    • Harley says:

      I dunno, after reading the article, it looks to me like the Fish and Game people did try to find an alternative. It’s not like they said, oh hey, let’s blow a couple of orphan bear cubs out of a tree, cause we have nothing better to do…
      Don’t get me wrong, it sucks when baby wildlife dies, heck, I can’t even look at road kill, adult or young. But on the same hand, it did not appear that the Fish and Game were cold blooded killers.

      • I recently found out that Alaska is one of the states that doesn’t allow orphan bears to be raised to return them to the wild. . orphan bears must have a zoo or other organization that will give them a life long home in order to be saved. Some states allow rehabilitation centers to raise orphans and return them to the wild. There are so many orphan bears in Alaska that saving them is impossible with a law like that.

        • SEAK Mossback says:

          I believe places can be permitted to take them for educational or other purposes – there is one in Sitka. However, you are correct, unfortunately, that supply far outstrips demand for orphaned bears. The communities of Anchorage are and Juneau are next to a huge supply of bears. You can look around above Mt. Juneau with a spotting scope and pick out black bears almost anytime from downtown, particularly a month or two earlier. If you don’t keep human food away, they will just keep coming. I know the people who have to deal with it do not enjoy killing bears and get very frustrated and if it is a choice of catching habituated or orphaned bears and quietly taking them off to the same fate while letting the neighborhood imagine the best, or shooting them openly right where the problem was allowed at the risk of hurt feelings and outrage, well sometimes hurt feelings probably happen. Juneau got ahead of the curve with strict garbage laws, due mainly to some people deciding that facilitating and killing the never-ending stream of bears coming in affended their values. However, this summer there is a salmon berry failure so lots of bears are right in around town anyway . . .

  23. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I have heared but I can’t verify it yet,that the feds have agreed with the shoot on sight policy in Wyoming when dealing with the wolves.Is this it true?

    • william huard says:

      Yes Rita, I got an email alert from Defenders. We are following on gutting the ESA section

  24. jon says:

    Not good news for Idaho wolves. There will be a 10 week trapping season and hunters will be allowed to take 2 wolves each instead of 1.

  25. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

  26. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

  27. jon says:

    is this considered ethical hunter behavior?,79063.0.html

  28. PointsWest says:

    Kruman’s latest article in the NY Times. He has been very consistent and I will point out that every one of his predictions have come to pass. He predicted the financial crisis months before it materialized, by the way, when all of the conservative economists were admiring themselves with what they had created.

    It is becoming more and more evident to me that conservatism is more of a religion than a logical political philosopy where one actually uses the human ability reason to rationalize it tenents. 🙂

  29. Ralph Maughan says:


    You are right about Krugman. He has predicted almost every economic event in the last three or four years. I wish Obama had him as an economic adviser, though who knows what kind of economic advice he seeks or even what his goals are?

    I minored in economics and taught introductory economics courses at Idaho State University for about ten years. Emerging out of the Great Depression a standard model was developed how to deal with recessions and how to avoid another depression. The model had its faults in that it give little advice how to deal with “stagflation,” as the economic malady of the 1970s was called, but this is long gone. There was also persistent inflation, although that is largely gone too and certainly not coming back under current policies.

    From the end of World War II until the recent “great recession,” one way or another, the solution was simple — have government spend money to prop up demand until private spending took up the slack. It is absolutely impossible for the government deficit to be reduced during a recession by budget cuts alone because the cuts reduce demand and hence revenues, so feeding the downturn.

    Currently we face a classic failure of enough demand (aggregate demand) for goods and services in the marketplace to stimulate any reduction in unemployment. There is no private spending on the horizon that is going to end this. The current plans for more more federal budget cuts is going make things worse, probably a flat out depression.

    These counterproductive policies almost all have a political origin and a political solution. For some reason Obama and the Republicans can’t see this, don’t want to see it, maybe hope to benefit from vast misery. It is very hard to explain. You are right, the Republicans treat tax cuts like religious faith, although tax increases across the board won’t help stimulate demand either. Redistributive tax cuts — wealth transfer to those who will spend the money — are another matter.

    The cheering by the MSM pundits of the budget cuts shows another reason why these media are in such decline. They would have flunked introductory economics at a public university. How can we take seriously the other things they write about? They have failed to inform us.
    – – – –
    From Krugman. Political Insanity, In One Graph

    • vickif says:

      I agree. My father holds a master’s in International Econ, and Finance. He says we are on the verge of complete colapse. That is frightening on a number of levels, financial, security and otherwise.

      Our politicians miss the boat far too often. The recent increase in manufacturing revenue is evidence that out-sourcing to other countries has had a direct impact on our economy. It is exceeding the normal 7-10 year evidence of action. There needs to be reform, not a complete hack job done to the federal budget.

      Investing in local economies will surely aid in local tax bases. However, if we are to see federal results, we need to tax ( instead of giving tax breaks) those companies which out source jobs over seas. We also need to invest in alternative energy, which should keep local folks employed at local grids.

      Religeon being thrown into politics, and taxation without representation, is what drove the Brits to this country. Now- here we go again!

      God should not be the basis of an economy. He should guide your conscience. That would fix a whole lot.

    • PointsWest says:

      The older mansions here in Bel Air or Beverly Hill were hard to get rid of a few years ago. Millionaires and billionaires preferred to build new rather than buy even a famous mansion with a rich history. Why? Because the classical Bel Air mansion is so uneconomical. They generally required a staff of 20 to operate and the economics have changed since the 20’s and 30’s. There has been a great democratization of our economy since WWII. We have minimum wage. Employers are forced to pay insurance and benefits to employees. The middle class expanded and the lower class are better off.

      Believe it or not, there are people who are against this. The see this democratization of the economy as an evil. They want people desperately poor again so that they will do any back breaking labor for a few dollars an hour with no insurance and no benefits. They want to subjugate the populace and return to a two-class society of nobles and peasants. The rich can no longer afford a staff of 20 at their mansions to laugh at their jokes, to make them feel sexy, and wipe their butts anymore. Things need to change back to where they were before.

      Republicans want to:

      -obliterate all taxes for the aristocracy (nobility).
      -tax the middle class out of existence
      -destroy medicare
      -destroy social security
      -destroy any form of welfare
      -destroy public education
      -destroy any form of government that is for “public” benifit, i.e. environmental protection, national parks and other public lands, education, and consumer protection

      …and they are willing to hold the American economy hostage to do it.

      • william huard says:

        Republoman is really good at meaningless, pointless pieces of legislation like the recent light bulb bill. The Dems in the Senate have some serious senators like Levin and Conrad that could help with these fiscal issues like Tax havens etc- the question is simple- who is left on the Repub side that is reasonable enough to work on these issues?
        Republoman has turned into a bunch of partisan blowhards like Pence and cantor….Name me a person in the private sector with responsibilities that wouldn’t have been fired for lack of performance by now……

        • Redleg says:

          My understanidng is that there were a lot of people in the private sector who were not fired for running their companies into the ground, especially after they got the politicians to prop up their companies with taxpayer dollars, in fact I guess they gave themselves rather large bonuses for ripping us all off. I guess BP executives even got safety bonuses after their tragedy occurred. I realize you said to name them, but I will just feel more hopeless researching it, and rather not at this time.

    • PointsWest says:

      Vickif writes: “God should not be the basis of an economy. He should guide your conscience. That would fix a whole lot.”

      I believe conservatism is a religion but it does not have any kind of grassroots origin in peoples belief in God or doG or Zeus or the Easter Bunny. It was and is proselytised by a few very wealthy families in this country who have deep pockets and who control mass media companies. It is also ever-shifting and keeping the flock away from democratization.

      It seems like yesterday that Reagan was quoted as saying, “I am not worried about the deficit, it is big enough to take care of itself.” Deficits were strong, and powerful, and good under God during the Reagan years but now they are the work of Satan with Obama as President.

      I watched a carefully crafted 30 sec TV commercial on one of the Fox channels last night that subliminally portrayed deficits and the natinal debt as Satan that we need to protect our children from.

      • vickif says:

        Terrible stuff. As if kids don’t have enough to deal with these days.

        I think people play the “God” card in politics. It is obvious that the people who stand firm in the extreme realm of conervatism are just as full of sin and apt to walk an immoral line as the rest of us.

        So much could be accomplished if the government managed its’ bank accounts like a house wife on a budget.

        Money, especially tax dollars, should be spent with purpose and intention. It should be used for the highest priorities as they relate to the long term care of a country.

        I am all for people believing in God. But when the day ends, there are still far too many ways to interpret religeous views to have people meet in the effort of solving our economic perril, while agreeing on His place in life is a deal breaker.

        It paralells the plight of wolves, and indeed, conservation and the environment as a whole. There are far too many people who see that they are right and will not budge- let alone meet in the middle.

        Sigh, ….I wish I thought there was an end in sight.

        • PointsWest says:

          Do you know where and when the first national debt started?

          It was started where most things of the modern world start, in England. It started in the 16th century under Queen Elizabeth. After the Spanish Armada nearly destroyed England, Queen Elizabeth realized that England needed a large navy to compete with the Spanish and with the Portuguese and to protect growing British interests outside of the British Isles.

          The Royal government did not have the money to build a navy to match those of Spain or Portugal’s, however. Spain and Portugal had become rich nations by exploiting the New World, especially by enslaving Native Americans and forcing them to work in the silver mines of the Andes.

          In desperation, Queen Elizabeth created the Bank of England, the world’s first national bank and it was truly a “national bank” and was a new invention since it was owned by the Queen. Queen Elizabeth and her loyal yet rich and famous sea captain, Sir Walter Raleigh, were the first to invest. Soon most of the British aristocracy, most of the merchants, and most of the emerging middle class followed with investments in the Bank of England. Some investments were less than a British pound. With this huge investment from the populace, Queen Elizabeth created the Royal Navy that had a long and prosperous future ahead of it. The Royal Navy allowed England to build the vast British Empire on which, a century later, the sun would never set.

          I disagree that the government should, “manage its’ bank accounts like a house wife on a budget.” Nations are not like households. Nations are more like businesses and business do borrow money to build prosperous futures.

          • vickif says:

            True, businesses borrow. Other businesses profit from that. But a house-wife knows not to borrow from a loan shark. (China) She also knows how to borrow for what is a need, and not a want.(Health care for everyone, even those who don’t want it) She would borrow to buy an economical car, instead of spending more money on a pretty car that sucks gas, because that is a better investment.
            Governments are NOT businesses. That is the problem. Businesses don’t have the disadvantages of answering to people who don’t own stock in their company (illegal immigrants).
            Keeping the government afloat is one thing- trying to act like there is any hope in hell of it being profitable is another. Businesses run to earn a profit. The government should be run to govern a country based on the needs of the whole, not the few.(Like stock holders)
            Were in not for the huge tax breaks given to big oil, and the life sucking free ride given to public land ranchers,and the shameful tax breaks given to companies who basically recruit slave labor while out-sourcing work- we would have more revenues in the bank, and less debt.
            This is why there needs to be “home based budgeting”. A house-wife would not be sending money to Pakistan if she was unable to keep her kids fed and her roof squarely on her house.
            Give tax breaks to companies that employee people here (currently done if you hire a person who is collecting unemployment). That will increase the business’ motivation to keep jobs in country.
            I get what you are saying Points West. But businesses that are founded in debt, and have a negative prospectus that shows no sign of improvement in the near future- get denied loans. Most businesses are founded by people who still work full time for atleast a year after beginning the business to support the business until it can profit enough for them to maintain their standard of living.
            Like it or not, incurring huge debt, without a REASONABLE plan to repay it is bad business. The government has exceeded the capacity for which it was designed.They stopped governing people and started enabling a large population of entitled youth and selfish business aristocracy. (Like oil and health isnurance companies and CEO’s) Now, they are feeding a bad economy by taking money from my children’s future security.
            I could be wrong- hey it would not be the first time. But reform is a necessity if this country is to keep from collapsing.
            I manage a multi-million dollar a year business, and I am increasing revenue each year-even in a floundering economy. I have created two others that are now thriving. I am not rich because the capital needed to do this was not within my personal bank accounts- neither is it in the government’s. I can make other people’s money work wonders for them. But the old saying is definitely true=it takes money to make money.Our government simply does not have any more money.
            I run a thriving business because I keep it’s over-head low and feed the tax base that pays for my company’s services. There in, I keep resources available to the people who pay us.I buy local, in bulk, employ local, and I give back locally. I budget over-head to fit the model of the business. I don’t run the business while assuming the over-head is going to decrease—-I make it decrease to create a profitable business.
            I learned how to do this, as a single mother of four, by having to do this in real life.
            So even if you run the government like a business, atleast run it like one that you want to succeed. A business in the red for very long is lest costly if you sell it off….otherwise, it becomes a money pit… our country is quickly becoming.
            I can’t say I have all the answers….but I can clearly see our economy is in need of fixing, resources are in need of saving, and government is needing to figure it out, fast!
            BTW- this country was founded by people who fled England due to religeous persecution and taxes. They hoped for a better future fo rtheir families. Do you see that happening for ours? Because I cannot say I do.

          • PointsWest says:

            It is not going to help us to succeed by further shutting our economy down. Conservatives have done superb job of convincing Americans that Obama is a poor black man with a blank check who thinks he is going to spend he way out of a recession. The comparisons of our national economy to a household have become commonplace. All white people think they are smarter than Obama. So I think we will see conservative success in further shutting down of the economy and a deepening of the recession.

            I will finish by saying that a national economy is very different from a household economy in the following way. A national economy spends all sorts of money on things it does not need…tobacco, alcohol, sports, pornography, much of the entertainment business, fashion, art, gourmet food, etc., etc. We could do without much of these things and may be better off without some. But if you just shut these businesses down, it shuts a big part of the economy down and people are without jobs and the overall economy will suffer. Less is not always more in a national economy because any kind of business, even government business, gives people jobs.

            Conservatives are so negative. The answer to all problems, according to conservatives, is that someone needs to be punished and/or something needs to be destroyed. In the case of our feeble economy, destroying part of it and killing jobs is going to be very detrimental…more detrimental than almost anything else.

            Conservatives cannot help themselves. They are every bit as entrenched in this household thought-party as you are and they all think their common sense is what is needed as they dismiss intellectuals such as Obama and Krugman. We are probably in for long, long recession.

          • vickif says:

            Points West,
            Now, I do agree with much of what you just posted.

            Our current president is not the root of this problem. This problem has been more like a hundred years in the making.

            I certainly am far from a typical conservative. Yes, governments employee people. But let us not split hairs.

            In all honesty, I tend to be quite liberal. Even I have boundaries though. My tollerance for spending afar is gone. My tollerance for illegal imigrants show no regard for the laws that govern this country, is gone. My tollerance for people making millions while not paying a fair wage to the laborers that they profit off of, is gone. My tollerance for banks that still profit while taking bail-outs and car companies that don’t move toward a more ethical fuel consumption line, is gone.

            Democrats, republicans…they are ALL politicians. So my confidence in them is slipping away, along with my right to enjoy the outdoors, and see wild animals being wild, while breathing non-toxic air and drinking clean water.

            I have read, and heard one empty promise after another. I have to say, giving into a higher deficit, or not—I think we are in deep crapola.

            We seem to be primarily on the same page. I still disagree with how our country is being governed at this time (and for a while before this too). The government’s agenda should be based on home, not international needs. I don’t see other countries dishing out billions in aid to us to bail us out. There is certainly something to be said about charity begining at home.

  30. jon says:

    not good news. should make this in a new post ralph.

    • JB says:

      “I would like us to be a voice of reason in a larger community who can bring the community together around some of these divisive issues,” he said. “We would like to be a bridge between the environmental and fishing and hunting communities, a place where those communities can come together and not focus where we disagree.”

      This is exactly what we need.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      This is what Brian and Ken’s three part article posted the other day was about — Idaho’s (I am embarrassed to say “my” congressman) Mike Simpson gutting the budget for the endangered species act, the BLM, the Forest Service and the EPA. The parts he wants to cut are the parts the people (excluding the ranchers and the oil companies) like.

      Some say he is afraid of the Tea Party. There doesn’t seem to be a single Republican willing to risk his or her seat in Congress by standing up to this looney and intolerant minority of the minority political party in the country.

  31. Cindy says:

    Oh dear, Bears being bears again..and in front of the camera!!

    • PointsWest says:

      Oh dear, “habituated bears” being “habituated bears” again…and in front of the camera!!

      Sorry but normal bears don’t confront humans for food in their backpacks.

      • cc says:

        The bear didn’t confront anyone nor did it touch her backpack (which she foolishly left behind potentially leading the bear to associate people with food rewards). Kerry Gunther is seen in this video at
        1:05 retrieving the back which is clearly untouched.

        Could it be the bear just wanted a drink and a bath?

        Could it be that the presence of a CNN crew might have altered the people’s response so they were sure to get on tv?

        Could it be that the media dumbs everything down to a misleading fable which can easily be absorbed by a mostly ignorant, shallow public?

        Could it be that a person’s ideology can cause them to jump to conclusions, make things up, and render them incapable of witnessing bear behavior without shitting themselves in fear?

        No, it must have been a rabid bear determined to eat people. We must all take up arms to keep the bears off Yellowstone’s 800 miles of trails.

  32. Daniel Berg says:

    “Don’t pee on trails or goats may attack, Olympic Nat’l Park warns”

  33. Article on Jakie Skaggs blaming photographer for bear jams:
    A photographers response:

    I sadly spend way too much time near bear jams for my job. While I wish they did not occur and the bears could just live their lives without people staring at them all day, if bears like 610 and 399 want to localize roadside to protect their cubs then they also have the consequence of dealing with people. The park has two choices, drive the bears back into the woods or improve roadside bear jams by shifting funding to cover the need. Lately photographer have been critical of the park and their management of the grizzlys now the park seems to be critical back.

    The volunteer wildlife brigade is doing its best in Grand Teton but I am so very tired of being told to move along when a bear is hundreds of yards away and there are places to park and view things safely for the bear and the public. Obviously if a bear is distressed/wants to cross a road/approaches a road then we need to give it space.

    I know there is a better way, I see it in the Lamar in Yellowstone, in all my years up there it is usually consistent safe and in the best interests of the bear. If you need to move because ranger tells you to then you know why, there are rules the rangers use to decide based on scientific study’s what is in the bears and peoples best interest.

    I have yet to see in my daily bear jams in GTNP a single photographer behaving badly this year near 399 and 610, so why is Jakie Skaggs blaming them for bears choosing to forage near main highways? I have seen many park visitors behaving badly mostly out of ignorance. In the past photographers who are not local have been unethical in other situations, but why blame local photographers now? I and they have been spending most of their time helping keep the bears happy and safe, often before the wildlife brigade arrives!
    I wish 610 would find a backroad to forage near like her mother has lately and avoid the crowds but if she she chooses not to, then the park needs to get better at controlling crowds for her in an ethical way that is in everyone’s best interest. I am heartsick over her potentially getting hurt. She has already lost the cubs a few times.

    Lately I had clients at a bear Jam with “Blondie”. The bear clearly smelled something good across the road but could not get across because of crowds, the wildlife brigade did nothing to help the bear cross the road and could have cared less. People were far closer than 100 yards and they did nothing. Just a few days later when 610 was far away rangers stopped letting cars park to see her (there were plenty of safe out of traffic spots) and made everyone get into their cars when she was making no move to approach the crowd- just so people would go away, where is the consistency? The bear never seemed uncomfortable or unhappy and she never got to an unsafe distance. I am only one person, I can leave and do when I feel watching the bear is not in the best interests of the bear but that does not fix a crowd.

    So all this is the photographers fault? Where are the salaried park rangers? Why do we have to rely on a non profit to fund a bunch of brigade volunteers? I know grand teton is broke- believe me I know, but why cant this be more of a priority to shift funding and rangers toward? There has to be a better way, and I hope we can find it before any bears or people get hurt.

    • JEFF E says:

      How true. if bees go away most of the rest of flora and fauna will quickly follow

      • Harley says:

        This has been looming in the shadows for quite some time. I’ve been keeping some tabs on the situation, mainly because I’d rather use honey than sugar when at all possible! But yeah, it’s rather more than just what people like to eat. It’s scary, I really hope they figure it out.

  34. Jerry Black says:

    Earth Firsters occupy Governor’s office….sometimes it takes acts of “civil disobedience” to bring about change. Good for these guys!!

  35. Harley says:

    Found this on the International Wolf Center FB page.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Another case of it’s the habitat,stupid(not you Harley!)

      • Phil says:

        The government is not attacking the direct cause of problems to the caribou, but instead something they dislike. How dare the government blame the root-cause of problems the caribou are facing on the oil and gas industry when they have an easier target like the wolves.

      • Harley says:

        Thank you for clarifying Immer! 😉

    • vickif says:

      Or, maybe the government needs to legitimately deal with accelerated global warming, which is also creating issues for caribou? Mosquitos are thriving in the conditions which are changing at an alarming pace. And mosquitos directly impact the populations,their migrations…and their ability to stay healthy!

      But then wait, to deal with GW, they would need to tick off the oil and gas industries. What a huge joke.

      Wolves are no more the problem for caribou than my two dogs are for prairie dogs.

  36. PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s Watergate? Carl Bernstein, Newsweek July 11, 2011

    “politicians[…] make it evident that the shuttering of News of the World, and the official inquiries announced by the British government, are the beginning, not the end, of the seismic event.

    Wow…is this the other dead conservative shoe dropping. First, Bush and Reaganomic crashed the economy and, now, the Rupert Murdoch mass manipulation media empire will be torn down?

    I hope so. Wouldn’t it be cool if the 81-year-old Rupert was put behind bars? …I wonder if his 30-year-Chinese-whore of a wife will cry.

    • PointsWest says:

      Bernstein was on MSNBC tonight and is making the comparison to Watergate. He says, similar to Nixon, we will learn if Murdoch knew of the blatantly illegal conduct of his many subordinates but at the very least, we already know that Murdoch created the environment where such conduct could proliferate.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        I yearn for the days when Rupert owned just two dinky newspapers in Adelaide, AU. If only he had stayed put .

        Murdoch is to this day and age what William Randolph Hearst was to his own era , a man who could turn yellow journalism into gold but denigrate an entire culture in doing so.

        History will judge him. My present opinion of him is unprintable here. He’s all but destroyed the integrity of my profession ( journalism) by converting it to a massive For Profit industry.

        Bottom Line : Nobody—especially Rupert— owns the news.

  37. PointsWest says:

    That was supposed to read: …I wonder if his 30-year-old Chinese-whore of a wife will cry.

    Here is a photo of the beautiful couple…

    and another…

    …such the happy and spiritually fulfilled couple.

  38. Jerry Black says:

    Restore the Elwha Without Hatchery Fish

  39. PointsWest says:

    US Senator calling for investigation of Rupert Murdoch in the United States!

    Hooooooooray!!!! Whaaaaaahoooooo!!!

    I hope they find an incriminating relationship with the Koch’s too.

    • william huard says:

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! I would love to see FUX news crash and burn!!!!Maybe Oreilly and Hannity could get reality shows. What would poor airhead Palin do?

    • PointsWest says:

      Another article Senator Rockefeller: “I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe.”

      It sounds to me like they already know something.

      Could this spell the end of the Fixed News Channel? God I hope so.

      • PointsWest says:

        I thought it was odd that the Democrats did not make more of the shooting attack on Gabriel Gifford several months back. I blamed Conservatives for it, especially the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Riely. Why didn’t Democratic politicians seize the occasion to lambaste conservative rage-speech. Democrats were unusually stoic and forgiving.

        These phone hacking investigation have been going on since 2007. I have a feeling now that the Democrats have known about it for months and have been biding their time until 2012 campaign that is getting underway in earnet. I also get the feeling they really have something and that this is going to be big…like Bernstein said, another Watergate.

        • william huard says:

          For once I would like to see the Democrats go for the throat….Think of the different investigations that will happen in the House and Senate. We will wonder if they are investigating the same issue….

          • Harley says:

            Then if that’s the case, we should muzzle every opinionated commentator out there…
            I’m sorry Points West, it works both ways. We can’t just lay this at the conservatives feet and say HA!
            My point is that both parties are a fault. Who is to say that this man wasn’t influenced by someone else if he was that mentally unstable? But because Palin is such an outspoken highly publicized individual, it’s very easy to blame her. Maybe we should blame the doctors who didn’t medicate the man properly? Perhaps we should blame his family for not keeping a closer eye on someone who is so mentally unstable?
            After such incidences, how many times do we hear, Oh, there were warning signs all over the place! All kins of red flags!

        • Harley says:

          Points West
          “Why didn’t Democratic politicians seize the occasion to lambaste conservative rage-speech.”

          I believe there were several reasons. The first one is that this guy did not shoot Gabriel Gifford because of anything that was said or implied by conservatives. He shot her because he was crazy. Period. Really, let’s put the blame where it belongs. On the person. Way too many people want to blame someone else for their own actions.
          Second, as they point that finger there are 3 more pointing at them. Democrats are not innocent by any means and they know it. They start an issue over this and it opens them up to a rebuttal they don’t want.

          Politics can be broken down like this:
          Poly (man) tics (blood sucking parasites)
          Personally I think that sums up both Dems and Repubs. Many blood sucking parasites.

          • Harley says:

            * (many) not (man)

          • PointsWest says:

            When people are mentally unstable, they are easily influenced by any messages they my see or hear…


          • PointsWest says:

            Harley…have you ever seen a liberal commentator or politician that tried to get their message across using imagery like bullet holes? If so, can you post an example.

            I think almost anyone who lives in America knows that right wing rhetoric and general communication has grown to be very hostile, very violent, and very hateful in recent years.

          • Harley says:

            This is what I found. There are some comparisons in here that I’ve heard of, some that are new to me. I know, it’s a ‘conservative’ point of view but… try to struggle through it. I’d love to know your thoughts on the article. Please, as a liberal, don’t put blinders on ok? I’m trying not to as a conservative,well, mostly conservative, which is why I’ve been camped out here lately.
            I’m not defending any actions of the conservatives. I’m just showing you, it works both ways. I think both kids of politicians suck, you can’t trust any of them quite frankly.

          • Harley says:

            Ha! I got so nervous about the link I forgot to add it! here it is lol


          • timz says:

            try this from some of your favorite “liberals.”

          • JB says:

            In all honesty, Harley, I think this is a giant waste of time. Obama says “hand to hand combat” in a speech and it is cause for uproar? Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face and told a U.S. Senator (Patrick Leahy) to “go f%ck yourself” on the floor of the senate. There’s plenty to be outraged about (no matter what your political views) right now, but not this.

          • PointsWest says:

            …I know the far left has its violent crackpots too. But most of these examples of violent liberals are from comedians and actors and are single line expressions of hate. The hate speech is more institutionalized and main stream on the right. None of these examples comes close to Rush Limbaugh’s bullet hole billboard. How many months did this symbol of violence against enemies of conservatives hang out there?

            A conservative congressman shouted “liar” at one of Obama’s speeches. Fox News broadcasts Glen Becks endless paranoid rantings about conspiracy by liberals and the end of the world. Televangelist Pat Robertson put out a call for someone to assassinate Hugo Chavez in a televised prayer. The Tea Party waves the “do not tread on me” flag of the rattlesnake at all their rallies. C’mon!

  40. Nancy says:

    Harley says:
    July 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    Ha! I got so nervous about the link I forgot to add it! here it is lol

    I’ve got 3 very important words for you Harley………Follow The Money

    • PointsWest says:

      I think that is number three so far killed by cars in the GYE this year that I have read about. Maybe four. One was killed in the Park. One was killed near West Yellowstone, and a cub was hit by a car near West Yellowstone.

  41. PointsWest says:

    Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, says Japan must ditch nuclear energy.

    Boy…things do not look well for the future of the nuclear industry. I was semi-against nuclear for many years but thought the new generation of reactors sounded pretty good came around to being in favor of nuclear power. I don’t know now. Some ant-nuke types are predicting that over a million people will eventually die from air and water borne radiation from the Fukushima reactors. They also say that nearly 800,000 eventually died from Chernobyl reactor meltdown in 1986 and more are dying everyday.

    I wonder if the $3 billion Areva plant near Idaho Falls will be built next summer. Some are already saying there will not be any demand because all plans for new nuclear reactors in the US will be scrapped. They might be right. Germany, Italy, and Switzerland have all decided to move away from nuclear energy and it sounds like Japan will too. Anti-nukes are also claiming there is a massive coverup as to the extent of exposure and potential health risks. Japan’s Prime Minister becoming anti-nuke certainly adds to their credibility.

    There is still hope for Thorium Reactors. I do believe they are much safer. But it sounds like the public around the world may become very anti-nuke as the fallout from Fukushima finally all hits the ground.

  42. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Seldom do good news come from Afghanistan:
    Wonder how they can do wildlife research work over there -and survive.

    • Peter Kiermeir,

      I am happy to read this, and I am equally surprised that this would happen in Afghanistan.

    • william huard says:

      Whenever I read a story like this I get this feelng in my stomach that sometimes things should be left unsaid…..

      • I beg to differ: the number one animal to fear in the woods is not the grizzly bear it is the man with a gun who can kill something a long ways away without really knowing what it is, or perhaps the mosquito who has been responsible for 3 million deaths worldwide, or maybe the tick and all it really horrible diseases it can pass on to man. Naw the grizzly bear is just a icon for late night horror films, but not at all the most dangerous thing.

        • Elk275 says:


          ++I beg to differ: the number one animal to fear in the woods is not the grizzly bear it is the man with a gun who can kill something a long ways away without really knowing what it is++

          You are wrong Linda, it is drowning, there has been 8 drowning deaths in Montana since the ice went out and that was a couple of days ago. The tally is increasing daily and weekly.

        • PointsWest says:

          I am not certain if this is true in recent years, but in the 80’s and 90’s, by far the most dangerous animal in the GYE was moose. Moose had been especially hard on X-country skiers. There were several attacks every year with many killed. Moose are very irritable in the winter and tended to use the same packed trails as X-country skiers. Moose were not much of a problem until X-contry skiing became popular near the end of the 70’s.

        • Mike says:

          You have a better chance of shooting yourself with your own gun than being attacked by a wild animal. You have a better chance of being killed by someone else with a gun than by a wild animal.

          Some stats:

          Odds of dying by a grizzly in Yellowstone: 1 in 3 million
          Odds of dying by a cougar attack in California: 1 in 32 million
          Odds of dying via attack by any animal not a dog or pet: 1 in 4,200,000
          Odds of dying by accidental firearm discharge: 1 in 5134
          Odds of dying by firearm assault: 1 in 324
          Odds of dying from heart disease: 1 in 5

          You are absoltuely correct in noting that what we should be afraid of is idiots with guns, not wild animals. Throw fast food in the mix, too.

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            Too add to this, social scientists have done quite a bit of research on individual’s perception of risk. When it comes to risk of mortality, Americans (and probably all or most other cultures) make very poor judgments about risk, especially of newsmaking but relatively rare events like wild animal attacks.

          • PointsWest says:

            …but the odds of an American being seriously injured by falling off a roof is 1 in 10 million also. If you are a roofer, however, and are on roofs everyday for years on end, the odds are actually pretty good that you will eventually fall off a roof and sustain serious injuries.

          • WM says:

            …so to carry PW’s point one step further, if you are in your car in Yellowstone, windows rolled up and all, driving through the Park during the day your chances are nil for being assaulted, much less killed by a grizzly (even less if winter).

            On the other hand, if you are on a back country trail, in summer, in an area known to be inhabited by grizzlies that time of year, your chances of being assaulted (notice distinction from being killed because that raises the risk level too), are much higher. It is all a matter of time, place and potential for the enounter to occur, so I call BS on Mike’s numbers being very meaningul – except the heart disease one.

            Actuaries think about this stuff all the time, and that is how insurance premiums are determined.

          • Mike says:

            People who go to Yellowstone get out of their cars. Some of the dumbest incidents are caused by toursits who park their car and approach animals.

            Most of Yellowstone’s animals are seen near the roads (for obvious reasons), so one could argue that there’s a higher chance of getting into an incident there. This is similar to Florida shark attacks, which maintain a high rate because of high numbers of swimmers.

            The most recent attacks in/near Yellowstone occured close to the road, and in two car campgrounds.

      • PointsWest says:

        I too am more worried about grizzlies than wolves. Wolves are so prolific. They bounced back from a population of zero to a couple of thousand in just over a decade. Grizzlies were put on the endangered species list in (?) 1975 and after 35 years have only doubled their population from 300 to 600? …something like that. I also believe that Yellowstone grizzlies are probably distinct from those in BC and that transplants from BC may not do as well elsewhere in the US as would those from Yellowstone.

        I am very concerned about the Mexican wolf however. That one is really struggling.

  43. Ryan says:

    The reparcussions of this could have nationwide impacts with regards to native american hunting rights. I hope the verdict sticks..

  44. jon says:

    Salazar blasts Wyoming U.S. Rep. Lummis’ no-sue rider on wolf deal

    Read more:

    • vickif says:

      “Blansts” is a stretch. He will back off. He only threw that out there because his hyopcrtical arss would be transparent if he didn’t.
      Glad he is outta here soon.

      I just hope the senate says “no” to this crud.

      Taking away anyone’s right to litigate or ‘sue’ in order to assure their civil liberties and country are not turning to a pile of manure is one more foot in the grave of our country.

  45. Harley says:

    Coyotes apparently seem to like Chicago…

  46. PointsWest says:

    Chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper operations, announced her resignation on Friday in another stunning blow to Mr. Murdoch’s once all-powerful empire…

    I heard the other night that all of Murdoch’s licenses to broadcast in the US, including the license to broadcast Fixed News, come up for review each year by the FCC. One of the criteria the FCC reviews in renewing licenses is the character of the license holder. Murdoch is being dragged though the mud with this scandal and he may be unable to renew some or all of his FCC licenses in coming months.

    • PointsWest says:

      I’m sure his 30-year-old whore..errrr…30-year-old wife will defend his character.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        The HP came out yesterday reporting on the accusation that a News Corp business may have tapped into 9/11 victims’ phones. It’s going to be difficult to figure out what is smear and what is not for the next few months. How interesting that this all happened on the cusp of what would have been one of Murdoch’s greatest achievements.

        • PointsWest says:

          This scandal has a terrible two-pronged threat to Murdoch. His tapping into the privacy of ordinary citizens in their time of crisis is turning public opinion (and politicians) against him in a serious way. That is the first dangerous prong. The other is that bribing police officers is a serious offence approaching treason and could send many of Murdoch’s cronies to the slammer for the rest of their lives. You can bet some will start squealing like little tiny pigs and pointing the finger towards the top.

          • WM says:

            This Murdock scandal goes even deeper. The CEO of Dow Jones & Co, publishing, which is now owned by Murdock (it also has the stock majority control of Wall St. Journal), just announced his resignation. He had been at Murdock’s other operation at the center of the hacking prior to 2007. The point: Murdock has his fingers into alot of places, and undue influence in the news business is the result. I hope a full blown investigation by the Brits and the FBI gets some dirt, and that he and everybody else in his operation goes down hard and stays down.

          • PointsWest says:

            These yahoos may be able to claim that the phone-hacking was confined to just a few employees but I thought I heard that one of the bribes to police was for over $100,000. It is not like the newspaper business is a cash business where $100,000 could disappear without upper management knowing about it.

            After the criminal prosecutions will come the civil class action lawsuits that may total in the billions in pain and suffering and in punitive damages. I hate Murdoch as I’m sure many others do too.

            And, as mentioned, he may loose his FCC licenses in the USA based simply on his bad character. We’ll see.

            It’s not like the ass does not deserve it.

  47. PointsWest says:

    What Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers Have In Common

    Be sure and watch the little video about the Koch Brother’s Echo Chamber. I dismiss most conspiracy theories but in the case of the Koch brothers, I think their manipulations are far worse than what this small expose suggests…especially with Murdoch and Fixed News.

  48. Peter Kiermeir says:

    This story from the Banff area leaves a lot of questions. They tried to guide the bear to the other side of the fence? How? And it was hit and killed by a car travelling at reduced speed? Why? Because they watched they spectacle?

  49. cc says:

    Cell phone images help catch tiger poachers:

  50. Daniel Berg says:

    Not sure if an article relating to Oregon HB3560 was posted already.

    “Oregon Passes Wolf Bill – MT Encouraged to Take a Look”

  51. william huard says:

    Glad to see the airheads in the house of Representatives are working on job creation:

    They are so arrogant I bet they think they will keep the house in 2012

  52. PointsWest says:

    Wall Street Journal Publisher Quits In Phone-Hacking Scandal

  53. PointsWest says:

    From the SF Chronicle: “Hinton started at News Corp. 52 years ago, at the age of 15, fetching sandwiches for Murdoch.”

    This crony has been stuck to Murdoch for 52 years…wow! I wonder if he even has an education if he got his start fetching sandwiches. It tells me that many in Murdoch’s organizations are just placeholders and/or puppets where Murdoch pulls the strings. The single qualification was unbending loyalty to Murdoch. I’ll bet this crony has cut a lot of throats for Murdoch.

    It will be interesting to find out why he has resigned. Was he threatened by politicians? …is he unable to do his job for some reason? …or is he going to get a lawyer and barricade himself up until the prosecutions start?

  54. Gepardo Lento says:

    A summary of the proposed riders attached to the The Interior and Environment Bill, from NRDC site:

    • Phil says:

      R-Simpson’s stance on the environment and wildlife is horrible. Besides the wolf delisting ryder, not punishing polluters (the likes of livestock producers) just to satisfy these ranchers serves as a selfish motion on his part. It seems like the only thing on his mind is the money raking in.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Simpson should go to jail for even proposing some these riders. How can even everyday conservatives support a politician who would willingly destroy the environment for the benefit of a few? Some of these guys make you believe that they won’t be satisfied until every log is felled, every hillside is carved with roads, every environmental law that so much as inconveniences an individual or corporation is eliminated, or every suitable acre is mined, blasted, developed, or polluted beyond recognition?

  55. PointsWest says:

    Rupert Murdoch scandal deepens… Christian Science Monitor: “It’s been reported (although without proof) that a private investigator and former New York City police officer was offered payment for information about 9/11 victims.”

    I have some experience with the FBI. In one case, they were on our side. In another case, they were investigating our company because this yahoo had embezzled money on a federal project we were working on.

    You do not ever want the FBI to investigate you. They show up at your office, they come in carrying guns, they wrap up all your file cabinets, they grab all of your computers, and they take everything away.

    • WM says:

      We can only hope anyone touching the Murdock organization and any alleged hacking, particiaption, cooperation, looking the other way while this crap went down gets the FBI treatment. Keep shaking this bucket of crap, and see what else falls out, on top of what has already hit the dust, voluntarily or otherwise.

      • PointsWest says:

        Maybe after realizing what a crook Murdoch is, some of the rednecks in the interior West will realize how brainwashed they’ve become by the daily programing coming out of Fixed News and some sanity will be brought back to public policy in the West.

        I think media people and most politicians in the US have really had it with Murdoch and his Fixed News. This last elections were the most ugly and racist I’ve ever seen. In England, it sounds like they want to behead him.

        He has certainly set himself up for it. In addition to legal prosecutions, the celebrities are lining up to sue him for hacking their cell phones. They hate the press to begin with and they hate a conservative fear-monger and brain-washer like Murdoch especially bad. The idiot has probably hacked hundreds of celebrities. Celebrities will get the best lawyers in the world and will come after him one by one. He will die before he sees the end of the hundreds of lawsuits.

        I am behind them. I hate Murdoch. I watched ‘Outfoxed’ and understand the tricks they use to manipulate their audience and make social suicide (aka conservatism) sound like the wisdom of the gods. I think the only reason he does it is because he wants to keep his own taxes low and being a champion of low-taxes endeared him to aristocracy who have rallied behind him and have given him delusions of grandeur and a belief in his own invincibility. The damn fool looks absolutely stunned…like he’s not in Kansan no more.

        He is the tyrant who has usurped power and his society is going to destroy him as a tyrant. England has a long history of this. Something like 1 in 5 English Kings were killed while still on the throne. I’m certain many people hate him as badly as I do. I think he is evil. I see this as a long overdue triumph of good over evil and I think many also see it this way or will see it this way. It makes me feel good.

  56. jon says:

    Ancestory of dogs traced back to gray wolves

  57. PointsWest says:

    Rupert Murdoch’s Chief Executive in London, Rebeka Brooks, Arressted on Sunday. Now it’s getting serious. Do you think she will finger Rupert? …or spend most of the rest of her life in women’s prison?

    Rupert does have lots of influence being such a chick magnet.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      One can only speculate as to what the “tone at the top” was regarding this type news-gathering.

      If I were to venture a guess, I would guess that none of the senior level managers explicitly endorsed these methods, but were at least somewhat aware of them and played the game of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. You can easily apply pressure to a group of people to obtain certain information that might require them to resort to unsavory methods, without explicitly asking them to do so. “We REALLY need this story to stand out, John”.

      • PointsWest says:

        My take is Murdoch knew every detail of the bribes and the phone hacking. He liked it and gave direction to carry it out. A clue is that this Hinton, a Chief Executive, who resigned from Dow Jones was an uneducated crony who had worked for Murdoch for 52 years. He was part of the “family” sort of like Corlione family in the Godfather. Another top executive is his son…again Murdoch relies on people who would be nothing without him and who would be afraid to make a decision on their own. This Rebbecca Brookes who was arrested today was only 32 when Murdoch promoted her to Chief Editor at The Sun…the youngest Chief Editor in newspaper history. She then quickly went up into corporate…again, someone not really qualified to make decisions and who would be afraid to make decisions, especially any ethical decisions without Murdoch.

        My experience in construction contracting is that so called “family” companies are usually the most corrupt and they do promote cronies to support their family members and their corruption. I worked for a family company once as an engineer but I did not last long because they had me working under a crony named Jeret Garcia who was only 24 and could barely spell his own name. I was an Engineer and was honestly offended. They fixed that problem swiftly by kicking my ass out onto the street. Jeret’s most important attribute was that he liked to bully, threaten, and to fire people. They loved him like a son because he was soooo good at cutting throats. He worshipped power and worshiped the family who owned the company. I still hate them.

        Also, the way the arrests have sequenced…they first got several reporters and editors on hard technical evidence. They then have started working up the ladder later time. This tells me that investigators and prosecutors are making deals with defendants to testify against “higher-ups.” That is why they scheduled Rebbecca and Rupert to testify in public on Tuesday but then arrested Rebbecca today (Sunday). The police and/or politicians did not know themselves that they would be arresting Rebecca. Someone decided to squeal on her and they suddenly realized they needed to arrest her. Hinton probably resigned because he knows someone is intending to make a deal with prosecutors and will squeal on him too. He will be arrested. So now they have Murdoch’s senior corporate people charged with serious crimes and the question is will they squeal on Murdoch. Of course they will.

        • Daniel Berg says:


          Wow, what a hearing. Did you see the fellow run in and dump paint or pie all over Rupert Murdoch? His wife is definitely a spitfire!

  58. PointsWest says:

    I like it. This was not even her first arrest. From post Guardian article: “Her one previous arrest, in 2005, was under very different circumstances. She was picked up by police after allegedly assaulting her then husband, the EastEnders actor Ross Kemp. The TV hardman sustained a cut to the mouth but no charges were brought.”

    She slugged her BF in the mouth! Sounds like many of the conservative career women I know.

    • PointsWest says:

      Ooops…that should be” She slugged her husband in the mouth! It only get better and better.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        Do you think Glen schmuck, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the puppets will slam on Murdoch? Can you imagine if this was happening at a competing news network to Fox? They would be howling for years!

        • PointsWest says:

          …not as long an Murdoch writes their paychecks, but as in England, once the tyrant has lost his grip on power, the floodgates will open and wash Murdoch towards the executioner’s axe and Hannity, Beck, O’Riely, and the other Fixed News jesters will all be jeering him along with the gleeful crowd.

  59. Elk275 says:

    Regardless of what side of the fence one sits on, pro or anti wolf, public grazing, or wilderness, sometimes things do not make any sense. Where are those who make common sense decisions when a decision has to be made. Some things never cease to amaze me and stupidity is one of them.

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal regulators knew potentially contaminated bark and wood chips were being sold from a Superfund site in the asbestos-tainted town of Libby, Mont., for three years before they stopped the practice.

    That revelation comes in a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.

    The EPA found asbestos in the piles in 2007 but never quantified how much. The wood chips and bark were used in landscaping by local residents until sales were halted in March.

    The EPA previously said it learned the material was being sold last fall. But in a July 14 letter to Baucus, the agency acknowledges it knew of the sales since at least October 2007.

    Asbestos from a W.R. Grace mine in Libby has killed an estimated 400 people.

  60. Daniel Berg says:

    Looks like “The Man” is going to start keeping a closer eye on ONP mountain goats.

    “Biologists to use chopper to count mountain goats in Olympic National Park”

  61. PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s ‘Other’ hacking scandal…

  62. PointsWest says:

    Murdoch Biographer Wolff On News Corp. Hacking Scandal: “This Is What They Do, This Is What They’ve Always Done

  63. PointsWest says:

    Trump Falsely Claims “Half Of The People [In The U.S.] Don’t Pay Any Tax”

    Do the poor really pay no taxes?

    Watch the Jon Stuart segment. He makes a funny joke about Exxon creating jobs for Americans scubbing oil off otters.

    • PointsWest says:

      I would like to add to the Ezra Klein article that most people who have salaries or real incomes above $200k have many tax deductions and tax loopholes available to them. The can reduce their “taxable income” to a fraction of what their real income is. That is, their wealth may increase by several million in a few years while reporting a taxable income of only $150k per year. They can grow a business they own without paying themselves an income that would be taxable. In fact, one argument of why increasing taxes on the wealthy in a recession is good is because it forces the wealthy to reinvest income back into their businesses or business interests -thereby creating jobs – rather than declaring income as “taxable income” and hording it or spending it on luxury items such as art, traveling overseas, or on gourmet food.

  64. PointsWest says:

    News of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found dead

    This is probably better than if he had testified. Now the conspiracy buffs have some meat to sink there teeth into. I can’t wait for the movie.

  65. PointsWest says:

    News Corp faces global investigation into bribery

    This is better than even I could have hoped for. They can investigate documents protected by lawyer-client privilege. I’ll bet they find stinking rich conservative rats by the hundreds…maybe even Koch-heads and presidential candidates.

    From above article: “With pressure mounting in the US for the launch of a full-blooded inquiry into News Corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the daunting consequences of such a move are becoming evident. Mike Koehler, a law professor at Butler University who is an expert in the act, said a costly and expensive worldwide investigation into possible bribery activities on the part of the company’s subsidiaries in America, Australia, Europe, India and China was now almost inevitable.

    “Once the US authorities have started investigating the UK phone scandal, their next question is where else?” he said.

    A full-scale FCPA investigation could also see News Corporation forced to hand over to US authorities its most sensitive legal documents, even those covered by lawyer-client privilege. US investigators have the right to call for a waiver to the privilege in order to obtain key documents including witness statements and all legal advice given to the company.”

  66. WM says:

    It is official now: FWS believes Whitebark Pine is threatened by extinction due to climate change.

    BUT, its not on the ESA yet, due to lack of funding and other priorities. (Well I sure as hell hope wolves are not one of those priorities. This has been one of my biggest peaves with the whole wolf reintroduction/repopulation issue. Other species of animals and plants in need of more publicity and attention get pushed aside while wolves continue to take front and center stage.

  67. timz says:

    This is an amazing video

    • Phil says:

      That video was amazing. It looked like the cub cougar wanted to get in there and scrap with the grizzly bear to. Can you imagine someone trying to get in between the two and breaking it up?

    • Harley says:

      That was an awesome video!

      • Woody says:

        The grizzly kept its head down; out of the way of the cougar’s claws?

  68. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    WM,Who keeps putting them there for it is not just the environmentalists,as everyone claims,but ranchers,hunters,and the cult groups like the BBB.I don’t think everyone believes there is such a thing as global warming and if there is,it’s just a phase the earth is going threw and all will be right as rain in the future.It is a shame what is happening to Whitebark Pine and all the rest that are vanishing in front of our eyes.

    • Phil says:

      Exactly Rita. Maybe if the anti’s would leave wolves to be then there can be causes targeted for those species who are in critical need of it.

    • WM says:


      My frustrations about wolf delisting is not just about the NRM, where we know the case is more complicated, as you suggest. The states of MN, WI and MI have been trying to get the Great Lakes wolves delisted for at least the last 10-11 years. There is simply no biological or social carrying capacity basis for them not to be delisted. It has been the obstructionist acts of groups like HSUS, using esoteric legal theories to keep them on the list forever if they could. The litigation and continuing efforts of FWS and the government defense of litigation has been costly and diverted resources that could have been used elsewhere. To a lesser extent the same case can be made in the NRM – these wolves should have been off the list in 2008. The Mexican wolf reintroduction is, a sad story, and that needs more effort/resources if restoration/reintroduction is ever to happen. We have talked about other species taking the back seat – wolverines, bat eared foxes, black footed ferrets, sage grouse and other species of animals and plants that have been pushed aside as the focus has remained on the wolf (and even the grizzly to some extent).

      I have long been for doing alot more for those other species, even recognizing that there is an argument suggesting what is good for wolves, habitat-wise, is good for other endangered species. I just think the focus should change some. The national environmental groups and the regional ones like WWP have the ability to do that, but do not do so for obvious and not so obvious reasons.

      So, when something like this Whitebark Pine acknowledgement is made (with many other candidate species waiting in the wings)and there is a qualifying statement by FWS that it would like to do more, but can’t because of other priorities and a lack of resources it is in a word – annoying.

  69. jon says:

  70. Phil says:

    What a joke! 2 wolves per hunter, and 3 per trapper? Ya, management is the only thing on their minds. I bet that throughout the interview all these two gentlemen were thinking about was ($).

  71. Harley says:

    This question goes out to those of you in Idaho, well actually anywhere in general I guess. I’ve been reading some unsettling comments about the lack of song birds returning this spring/summer to Idaho. Has anyone else noticed this?
    Where I live, I have not seen a significant decline, we still have plenty of finches visiting the feeder along with all of our other birds. Not as many squirrels this year though. Of course with the recent heat, the poor wildlife is probably just trying to stay cool.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Migrating Neo-Tropical birds returning to the Rockies from their winter homes south of here have been falling off sharply for many years. They are also being replaced by opportunistic birds like crows, grackels, starlings, even robins ( who never used to winter in Wyoming but now do ).

      All populations rise and fall in numbers for lots of reasons , but the steady decline in neotropical birds is sad.

      • Harley says:

        Hey, thanks Cody!
        Any idea what the reason is behind the drop off in numbers?

        • Woody says:

          Most declines are caused by loss of habitat including here and in their wintering areas.

  72. CodyCoyote says:

    Western sheep ranchers aren’t going to like this story at all…

    ” Eating Lamb is worst for the environment ”

  73. JEFF E says:

    My estimate is that only ~50% of Idaho is suitable wolf habitate. (keep in mind 47% of Idaho is federal land)

    • Harley says:


    • Phil says:

      I agree with Harley, AWESOME!

      • jon says:

        This is a old one, but still a goody.

        Some believe that megaladon is still around. This great white shark was 70 to 100 feet in length. Easily the most terrifying sea predator you’d ever meet. Just thinking about what he may have looked like terrifies me a bit.

        • jon says:

          oh my mistake 60 feet long and weighed as much as 70 tons. This shark wouldn’t have had much problem eating a full grown t-rex.

          • PointsWest says:

            jon is out on the sea surfing when he notices a 10 foot dorsal fin headed his way. A megalodon approached his surfboard until its 20 foot wide snout is just in front of his board.

            jon (using body language and with a small wave of his hand): “You do not want to eat me.”

            megalodon (using body language): “I do not want to eat him.”

            jon: “I am too small and wouldn’t begin to fill your belly.”

            megalodon: “You are too small and wouldn’t begin to fill my belly.”

            jon: “You should find yourself a nice fat T-Rex.”

            megalodon: “I should find myself a nice fat T-Rex.”

            jon: “Move along now.”

            megalodon: “Moving along now.”

            jon thinks to himself that the Force has a powerful influence on those with week minds.

            May the Force be with you.

          • WM says:

            …continuing the story:

            ++jon thinks to himself that the Force has a powerful influence on those with week minds.

            May the Force be with you.++

            [A swirl of foamy water and the sound of styofoam, bone and flesh being crunched, the water turning red, but only for a few moments.]

            remora (the size of a torpedo and clinging to megalodon): “I thought you said you wouldn’t eat him [jon].”

            megalodon: “I know, but it’s my nature to do so. Afterall, I only have a brain the size of a pea. The force be with you.”

            remora: “…and also with you.”

          • Harley says:

            PW, WM, (lol Abbreviations
            , gotta love em!)

            Thanks for the laugh this morning!

          • mikarooni says:

            Jon, do you really think the Force has a powerful influence on those with “week” minds?

  74. WM says:

    Not so much wildlife news, but important for the fact that visitors to NP’s simply don’t follow the rules and the consequences can be fatal, when you don’t. Three hikers go over the falls at Yosemite:

    • Salle says:

      Can’t argue with yer point there, WM. I wholeheartedly agree. Sad, but that’s the way it is.

      I once knew a person, whose philosophy rings true from time to time, that told me, “When people don’t have to suffer the consequences of their own actions they don’t have any respect for the choices they ultimately make.”

      I have come to see where that can be a sound theory in many cases during my travels.

  75. PointsWest says:

    10 Questions From The Guardian to Downing Street

    The Guardian, by the way, is Britain’s most objective and respected newspaper. It is owned by a trust that manages it to maintain high levels of ethics in journalism.

    I happen to be up early enough to watch live to watch part of Parliaments inquiry of Murdoch on Monday. Murdoch acted exactly like Reagan did the two times Reagan was on the hot-seat. Some may recall that a large controversy erupted when it was reported that Nancy Reagan used the services of an astrologer in the White House to help her make decision and even to schedule our President’s travels…that is, presidential discourse was being influenced by an astrologer. The Reagan PR response was for Reagan to act as if he knew little, if anything, about it and like he hardly paid attention to his wife’s activities.

    The other larger scandal was the Iran-Contra scandal. The crafted PR response was very similar. Reagan acted like the lovable but senile old man of the house that did not know or care what all of his mischievous children were up to. It worked. The scandal largely went away in the face of hard evidence that a secret group of military and cia officials traded arms for hostages to help get Reagan elected.

    Murdoch acted confident that the dumb-grandpa act will work for him too. We’ll see. Reagan had the advantage that people did not want to believe they had been duped by thier own president…again, just after Nixon. Murdoch has no such advantage. People will not care if he is destroyed.

    We’ll see what the many investigations turn up in comming weeks.

  76. Elk275 says:

    Oil company propaganda has told the public that the oil industry can safely transport giant oil field modules up the Lochsa River and over Lolo Pass. If a trucker can not transport toilet paper up the Lochsa River and over Lolo Pass, can oil field equipment be safely transported.

  77. PointsWest says:

    This is big news: The Justice Department has begun its investigation of News Corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Investigators under this law have many powers of investigation including the power to see documents normally protected by attorney-client privilege. We’ll see if Rupert Murdoch is really the senile yet lovable old grandfather (with a wife/bodyguard half his age) he made himself out to be before Parliament on Tuesday.

  78. PointsWest says:

    Leopard Mauls 11 In India

    You’d think that after it mauled the first five, or so, they would have just shot it. It ended dying anyway. They must be very afraid of law enforcement there.

    • PointsWest says:

      Same story on YouTube but this story says the leopard was taken back into the forest. What a circus!

  79. PointsWest says:

    Adult female wolf struck and killed along Highway 191

  80. PointsWest says:

    Murdoch’s News Corporation Hires Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Expert

    • PointsWest says:

      So the first thing ol’ grandpa fuddy-duddy did after assuring Parliament of his ignorance, innocence, and extremely high ethical standards was to fly back to New York and start hiring lawyers to fight the FCPA investigation.

  81. WM says:

    Very disturbing development – inbreeding of killer whales in Puget Sound raises issues that resident species are more fragile than previously believed.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      I find killer whales fascinating in many ways, particularly how specific they can be in what they eat, like Puget Sound animals eating mostly Chinook salmon (which being slow growing, long-lived, coastal feeding salmon unfortunately gather the highest level of toxins for the whales to bioaccumulate). Then there are the pods that eat only marine mammals while others specialize in fish, with the fish eaters being highly vocal and the mammal eaters quiet (as is needed to approach their prey). One wonders if there is ever any genetic exchange between those types of pods or if they are examples of divergent evolution. One would think that any particular pod would go after anything nutritious they came across. However, while tending to be specific, killer whales are intelligent animals and when times get tough show they have shown an ability to make major shifts in prey as needed. They made a huge dent (something close to 90%) in Aleutian sea otter populations (except for one group in a shallow barriered lagoon) when other target species declined. In fact a hypothesis has been floated that the last great bout of commercial whaling by the Soviets in the 1960s precipitated a sequential megafaunal decline as killer whales switched target prey to harbor seals, fur seals, sea lions and finally sea otters. One of the authors is James Estes, also an author on the Science paper on the importance of large predators recently posted on this site.

      Although it they presented it as only a hypothesis, it was heavily and almost emotionally (in the news) contested by an opposing group of scientists who engaged in “piling on” with 24 authors. Who in science does that to somebody who presents a new hypothesis? Welcome to the world of charismatic megafauna!

      There has been considerable back and forth in the literature about it since. It is interesting that very recently there have been increasing observations of major killer whale attacks on large whales in the area, with rebounding whale numbers, that are casting increasing doubt on the rebutters’ point that killer whales were never major predators on great whales in high latitudes.

  82. cc says:

    Wind farms are poised to spring up at an alarming rate all along the whooping crane’s migration corridor. The power companies are now asking for a permit allowing the incidental take of whooping cranes, piping plovers, and other endangered birds.

    “Wind power vs. whooping cranes”:

    The announcement in the federal registrar:

    Comments are needed to help save these critically endangered birds.

  83. jon says:

    carolyn sime leaving Montana fish and wild parks to pursue law degree

  84. Elk275 says:

    In today’s Bozeman Daily chronicle (7/21/11) there is an article about research on grizzly bears in Tom Miner Basin, which is about 10 north of Yellowstone Park. The researcher in 2008 found between 1 to 5 grizzlies in the basin, now the population is between 20 to 23 grizzlies. Their new research is about grizzly bear populations north Tom Miner Basin in the Gallatin Range and they are finding a number of bears. I have a friend the other day who was driving from Livingston to Bozeman and claims that he saw a grizzly on the north side of the Interstate.

    Also, there is an article about retroducing Mountain Sheep to the Bridger Mountains.

    I’m having a touble finding the article on Bozeman Daily Chronicle’s web site. Their web site is different than the Gazette’s or Missoulian. Maybe someone else can find it or it could be in part of the pay addition.

  85. PointsWest says:

    News Corp.’s The Sun Fires Editor Over Phone-Hacking Connections

    …another one bites the dust.

  86. Tim says:

    Looks like sturgeon are spawning in the kootenai river this year.

  87. PointsWest says:

    The Murdoch’s answers to Parliment on Tueday are already being called into question by key figures in the phone hacking scandal.

    Senior Editors Colin Myler and Tom Crone are, in effect, accusing James Murdoch of being part of the phone-hacking cover-up. One friend of the two men said: “To contradict James will be as good as coming out and calling him a liar.”

    • PointsWest says:

      Another similar story:

      James Murdoch misled MPs, say former NoW editor and lawyer:

      The made for TV ‘Murdoch Family Hour’ is coming unravelled rather quickly…hardly made it past the pilot.

      Something very interesting is that in the Rexburg Standard Journal today was an article from a British newspaper called The Telegraph that defended the Murdoch’s calling them “family” and mentioning how well they pulled together in defending themselves against their evil accusers.

      Murdoch has conservatives, especially the uneducated rural variety, wrapped around his finger. He has them totally brainwashed and defending him to the very end. It goes to show how much people in the media understand about human behavior and how skilled and sophisticated they have become at manipulating human behavior to their own agenda.

  88. PointsWest says:

    News Corp and the Hacked Climategate Emails: Time for an Independent Investigation. Did Rupert Murdoch’s New Corp. create climategate by hacking scientists emails and then putting his special spin on them? Many are calling for an investigation.

    This story may become hotter than Minneapolis, Minnesota in the summer of 2011.

  89. Woody says:

    Somes success with pygmy rabbits in Washington north of Euphrata; Some kits seen. Portland Zoo is helping with several restoration projects.

  90. Jerry Black says:

    “Have Raptors Met Their Match”……..worried about lead poisoning our wildlife and our kids? ….Jon Tester doesn’t give a damn.

  91. jon says:

    “Archibald Ngakayagae says they will be using recent research findings by wildlife conservationist, Dr Mike Chase, that shows that some wildlife species have dwindled by as high as 90 percent due to hunting, poaching and veldt fires over the last decade. The policy to promote photographic safari against hunting is now advanced, Ngakayagae says, adding that in future they will not be issuing any hunting quotas. Lion hunting in Botswana was suspended in 2007, to allow the cats’ population to swell. The Wildlife Department has been worried by the dwindling number of lions in places like the Khutse Game Reserve, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) and the Kgalagadi Trans-Frontier Park, where conflict between humans and predators is on the rise. In the Kgatleng District the hunting of wildlife of all kinds has remained suspended since 1981, according to Molepolole-based regional wildlife officer, Dorothy Thite.”

    • Elk275 says:

      Jon do some more research. Maybe Mike Chase does not know everything. The safari camps are out there everyday and the PH’s have spent the entire lives in the bush. There knowledge of the game populations is better than Mike’s Knowledge.

      They are not going to shut down hunting.



      PRIVATE BAG BO 199
      FAX: 3951092
      REFERENCE EWT 1/6/4 III ()


      20th July 2011



      We refer to the above article carried on Mmegi issue of Friday 15th July, 2011.

      It was said that; the Botswana government is in advanced legal process to ban the hunting of wildlife in favour of photographic safari.

      The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism would like to clarify that there is no decision made to ban wildlife hunting. Instead, what is being done is to encourage photographic tourism and gradually limit but not ban wildlife hunting. It must be known that species with declining numbers will be considered for limited hunting while those with increasing numbers like elephants, will continue to be hunted within CITES framework.

      On the 13th and 14th July 2011, the Ministry and other stakeholders organized two days training workshop for local Media Practitioners on Poverty and Environmental Reporting. It was at this workshop that the Ministry spokesperson highlighted the benefits of photographic tourism to Community Trusts in the country as compared to just issuing hunting quotes during a discussion on Community Based Resource National Management (CBNRM). But there was no reference to hunting ban. Unfortunately, he was quoted out of context.

      In conclusion, the Ministry states that the Botswana Government has no plan to ban hunting in this country and we would like to assure all hunting safari companies and affected communities that live near wildlife management areas who continues to benefit from hunting. The Mmegi story does not reflect current government thinking on the subject of wildlife hunting.

      Yours Faithfully

      Mable Bolele
      Coordinator, Communications, Research and Development

      • jon says:

        “In other words, the trend among African countries continues, not in small part due to recent revelations by LionAid about the misuse of wildlife resources by hunters. Botswana is perfectly capable of making up its own mind given that trophy hunting was part of the “conservation” formula. Unfortunately, such hunting has not convinced the authorities that it conserves wildlife and is beneficial to communities. Hence the upcoming decision not to allow any more hunting permits to be issued. Botswana has considered the past formula and has come to a new decision that the hunter’s rhetoric is just not going to work. If the hunters had been convincing in their argument, then the wildlife authorities might have listened. But at the end of the day they failed. Because it is all just hot air and empty promises that support their bank accounts at the expense of wildlife populations.”

        • Elk275 says:


          Please read again and again and again.

          In conclusion, the Ministry states that the Botswana Government has no plan to ban hunting in this country and we would like to assure all hunting safari companies and affected communities that live near wildlife management areas who continues to benefit from hunting. The Mmegi story does not reflect current government thinking on the subject of wildlife hunting.

          Yours Faithfully

          Mable Bolele
          Coordinator, Communications, Research and Development

          The person your post refers to was “Unfortunately, he was quoted out of context.”

          Most hunting in Botswana is done on 4 or 5 private ranches combined which have millions and millions of arces.

          • william huard says:

            It’s coming but not in the short term. Trophy hunters like elk 275 will still be able to “hunt” lion. I use the term loosely because when you bait a lion with a slab of meat and shoot it at 75 yards that is not hunting to the majority of reasonable people in the world…. How would these people be able to sleep at night if they couldn’t compete with the trophy collection next door…..

          • Elk275 says:

            ++Trophy hunters like elk 275 will still be able to “hunt” lion. ++

            Sorry, but Elk275 does not have $60,000 to hunt lion which is the going rate for a free range lion. If I did, I would not go lion hunting as it does not interest me and it is not a good use of limited funs. I would hunt the ibex of the world.

            It is not as simple as hanging a piece of meat in a tree, lion comes to eat and bang. Lion hunters have been known to spend up to 40 days hunting before getting a lion. Times that at a daily rate of $1800 to $2400, plus trophy fees transportation, time off of work and tips. It is a lot of money. Plus while you are waiting in the blind the bugs are hunting and eating you. It takes real skill to select the proper tree to hang the bait and build the blind and patience of Job to sit in the blind for up to 12 hours a day. Have you ever been bitten by a tesse fly? It hurts. Also, lions can not be killed if they are 6 years or younger. The older lions have been chased out of the pride by the younger and stronger males. If a client kills a young male lion then the PH is find. Lion hunting is control as much as it can be.

            The economics of both hunting and photographic safaris. If a 20 day lion hunt cost $60,000 and one may or may not get a lion verus a photographic safari. Photographic safaris range in price from $100 a day to $1000 a day. An average basic photo safari should run about $1500 per person per week or lets say $200 a day. If you divide $200 into $60,000 that is 300 photographic client days verus 20 hunting days. Three hundred use days have a greater impact on the environment than 20 days.

            One of my best friends in Bozeman is an Rhodesian/Zimbabwean who worked for 4 years in the Rhodesian National Parks and after independence went to Botswana and worked in photo camps. Both have there place. Photo camp involve more clients and more problems but they are not as exciting or fun as a hunting. Both will continue and both will have more and more restrictions and cost will increase each year.

            I have been on both a hunting safari and a photo/canoe trip down the Zambezi. The trip down the Zambezi was more fun that hunting. Today those canoe trips are to dangerous; the hippo and crocs populations have double in size. I will never forget either trip.

            Now if would not spend as much time on the stupid Internet, and this and several other sites, I may make enough money to enjoy more trips in the future.

        • Phil says:

          Elk: So, if you had the money would a hunting trip to Africa for lions be in store? My sister’s boss and his wife recently went on a safari tour to Tanzania and Kenya with a cost of $10,000 per person for an entire week. The photos he brought back were amazing consisting of gazelle, impalas, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards (which are very rare for visitors to see) elephants, zebras, rhinos, hippos, wildebeast, crocodiles and a number of aviary species. Do American hunters get bored with the species in North America that they have to travel to an entire different continent and kill their species? I find it truly sad that someone would spend $60,000 (or whatever it is) in expense just to hunt a species not native to their resident country.

          • Elk275 says:

            Is a hunting trip to Africa for lions be in store? ++

            The answer is no, I do not have $60,000. But, if I had the money I would hunt ibex, with very careful planning $60,000 would allow one 7 to 9 trips into the central Asia countries plus some fishing. Also, I have not caught a taimen. By the way what is the difference between going to Africa hunting and going to Mongolia to fish for taimen or Central America for bonefish, permit, etc or Mexico for billfish or Chile/New Zealand for Rainbows and Browns.

            ++My sister’s boss and his wife recently went on a safari tour to Tanzania and Kenya with a cost of $10,000 per person for an entire week++

            Why is your sister’s wife and boss so bored that they went to Africa to take pictures of wildlife? There is plenty of wildlife in America to take pictures of. Within a 1 1/2 hour drive from my house without going to Yellowstone Park I could show them mule and whitetail deer, antelope, mountain sheep and goat, black bear and maybe a grizzly from my friend’s land in Tom Miner Basin. Moose might take some looking but I can find them, too. Do American wildlife photographers get bored with American animals.

            Why do mountain climbers go the Himalayans to climb mountains when there are mountains in the USA to Climb?. Why do surfers go to South Africa, Australia or Bali to Surf?

            Now why would I go to Asia hunting ibex. I want to go to those mountains and hunt, I love mountain hunting and I love the mountains that I hunt in. This is from a Internet forum called Accurate Reloading. Here is some information about both ibex hunting and the mountains that they live in.

            If one was not going hunting it would be very difficult to access those mountains. The infrastructure to get into those mountains is not there unless one is hunting with a guide, maybe there could be a trekking company or two. When I was in Nepal there was infrastructure to do anything. Try Tibet or Mongolia, one can spend days organizing a half as$ trip.

          • Phil says:

            Elk: I believe it is completely different traveling to another country and observing their wildlife that are not present in ones own country in comparison to visiting another country and killing their species just for a sport. What you are supporting is nothing more than the art of “sport” hunting and not hunting for survival. Wouldn’t an American hunter traveling to another country in Africa and killing their wildlife be considered an invasive threat?

            You traveling to Asia to hunt ibex tells me nothing more than that you hunt not to feed your family, but because you hunt for a recreational thrill. That ibex could have benefited as a food source for endangered snow leopards in the Karakorum, Mongolian and Russian regions, but then again, isn’t that one (of many) major problem Amur tigers are facing in eastern Russia?

  92. Here is an audio pod cast of a recent interview with Stephen Herrero which has some very important points about safety with bears, one is that bear who have never seen humans may be MORE dangerous than those that are familiar with us and the second is that the most dangerous bear is . . . who would have guessed? the male black bear!! Listen to it:

  93. jburnham says:

    Koch, Exxon Mobil Among Corporations Helping Write State Laws

    “The opportunity for corporations to become co-authors of state laws legally through ALEC covers a wide range of issues from energy to taxes to agriculture. The price for participation is an ALEC membership fee of as much as $25,000 — and the few extra thousands to join one of the group’s legislative-writing task forces. Once the “model legislation” is complete, it’s up to ALEC’s legislator members to shepherd it into law.”

  94. jburnham says:

    Parasites Help Reveal New Ecological Rules: Animal Species Large and Small Follow Same Rule for How Common They Are in Ecosystems

    • Phil says:

      Oh yes, idiots like these are sure hunting for important reasons, aren’t they!

    • william huard says:

      Read the july 17, hunters jargon conceals cruelty……these South Africans would sell their grandmother for a dollar…. what a bunch of scumbags, clearly the worst our species has to offer…
      I’m amazed that Zimbabwe allows these degnerates to shoot elephants with a bow- nice going…..They exploit the corrupt government to get away with their unethical thrill kill

      • Phil says:

        william: That is no shock. Back when the slave trade was at its peek African tribes would sell their family members to the United States in exchange for goods (not consisting of money) from Britian in a 3 country trade off (United States, Britian and whatever country in Africa).

        As much as Africa has tried to protect their species from poachers it makes no significant importance when you sell those species to westerners to be hunted. Some people will excuse their huntings in Africa as them feeding the local tribes, but I am sure the tribes are well suited to hunting their own food as they have done successfully for thousands of years.

  95. Harley says:

    Kinda awesome and scary all at the same time. Whale Sharks are beautiful.

    • Phil says:

      Those are amazing photos. Whale sharks are beautiful, and Smokey’s comment is hilarious.

  96. PointsWest says:

    US authorities preparing to subpoena News Corp

    Sorry for all the Rupert Mudoch posts but I think getting Murdoch and people like him out of the news media would be the best thing that could happen for wildlife in this decade.

  97. Virginia says:

    If you want to read a good explanation of the Tea Party and what they would like to do to endangered animals and the environment, you need to read “Bonfire of the Manotees” by Hunter on DailyKos. It is well worth a few minutes’ reading.

  98. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Four teens mauled in Alsaka.
    Something went terribly wrong with that survival camp:

  99. WM says:

    Earlier this month the natural resource community – those who are interested in the West, its heritage, water, public lands and Indian civil rights – lost a near larger than life personality in the legal and natural resource policy field. David Getches, recently retiring Dean of the U of Colorado Law School and a founder of NARF (Native American Rights Fund located in Boulder) succumbed quickly to pancreatic cancer.

    Words on David’s legacy are in this interview with Professor Charles Wilkinson and John Echohawk (NARF Director) by Colorado Public Radio. Professor Getches was the legal muscle behind the Boldt decision that enforced Indian treaty rights to salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

    Click on the “Listen” link:

    • Harley says:

      Hope the kids the kids are ok. That should be the first concern, not the bear…

      • jon says:

        Looks like the bear is not going to be killed. This is great news. Bears have a right to protect themselves from people who they see as a threat to them and their cubs.

        • Harley says:

          I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be controversial here but what if this group of people had a gun and had shot the bear. Would the conversation be about how the group had a right to protect themselves against bears who they see as a threat to them or would they have been condemned because it was their fault for wandering into the bear’s territory?

          • jon says:

            Humans know better, bears don’t. If someone you didn’t know came into your home, would you say that that person has a right to defend him/herself when they are entering your home? No, you would see them as a trespasser and most likely a threat to yourself and your family. Same situation with the bear and humans. The wilderness is the bear’s home, not humans.

          • Harley says:

            Jon, that would make all the outdoors off limits, wouldn’t it? If I’m out walking my dog in my subdivision and a coyote attacked my dog, would I not be in my right to defend my dog? Would that right extend to the forest preserve?

          • Harley says:

            I do realize here that you said wilderness, not a backyard. Honestly, I see kind of a two edged sword here. If someone wanders into the wilderness and they are attacked or heaven forbid killed by a wild animal, it was due to their ignorance. If they happen to kill an animal defending themselves, they would have to go a long way to explain it. The causes would come under heavy scrutiny and even then many would wonder why the animal was killed when there are more ‘humane’ ways of handling a situation like pepper spray or something along those lines.

            Sorry, I just kinda see a double standard. I noticed the first thing you worried about was the bear, not if the people attacked were going to be ok. Again I’ll state, I’m glad the bear wasn’t killed but it bothers when it seems as if very little value is placed upon human life.

        • Harley says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they aren’t going to kill the bear either. She was acting on instinct. I don’t think she’s a ‘man killer’ and was only protecting her cubs. I’m just offering another point of view.

          • Elk275 says:


            ++they happen to kill an animal defending themselves, they would have to go a long way to explain it. ++

            If one has to kill a bear in this situation, one must skin the bear and fill out a Defence of Property and Life (DPL), no big deal. The hide is surrended to the state, The troopper investigates the situation and in this case young people and a charging bear the investigation should not be a big deal. Every year there are many, many bears killed in Alaska for defense of property and life.

          • Harley says:


            But I don’t know how to skin a stinkin bear! ok j/k

            Thanks for that info. I’m glad it’s not such a huge thing. But there will still be those who debate in the manner I was speaking of. There are still those who do not place as high a value on human life as they do on the wildlife that was ‘invaded’. I’ve seen it and it’s that which disturbs me most.

    • Alan says:

      These kids were being instructed in outdoor survival skills, and apparently they learned some things very well. Caring for injuries, setting off the emergency beacon, remaining calm while waiting for help. Yet the one thing they either did not learn, or where not taught: bear safety. In listening to the interviews it is very clear that they made the same mistake that the couple in Yellowstone made, they ran. The one boy talked about how he was dragged down from behind as he tried to run from the bear. I would say that their instructors deserve an F.

      • WM says:

        These kids were part of a NOLS leadership program. NOLS, founded by Paul Petzoldt, has been around for at least thirty or forty years. Very well respected national program, that began in the Rockies, maybe around the Tetons (at least that is where I have run into them years ago). Petsoldt was a 10th Mountain Division soldier (ran around with some of the guys that started Aspen Ski Corp like Freidl Pfeiffer), and involved with Outward Bound in the early years.

        It will be interesting to see whether bear safety was discussed and followed or not. This is not some namby pamby summer camp hike; these kids get put through the ringer, so to speak. Very high standards, including solo time for something like 24 or 48 hours without food and adequate shelter to graduate the program, at least that is the way it used to be. So you would think bear safety would have been on the agenda, especially in AK.

        • ma'iingan says:

          They were instructed to not run, but instinct overrode their training and they scattered. Those of you who would criticize their reactions or training, think of yourself in that situation – if you see your companions break ranks and bolt, will you have the fortitude to drop and play dead? They were equipped with bear spray but the attack happened so quickly that there was no chance to deploy it.

          • Alan says:

            “They were instructed to not run, but instinct overrode their training and they scattered.”
            Are you surmising or do you have a link or other source that states this?
            After seeing over and over how running triggers the predatory instinct I would hope that I would drop and play dead; but you are absolutely correct, no one knows what they would do until it happens. Panic in a group is different from what you would do if alone as well. I have had many close encounters with bears, but never a charge.

          • ma'iingan says:

            @Alan – I read an interview with one of the most-severely injured boys in my local newspaper, so I’m sorry I can’t provide a link. I’m sure that more information will become available on the Internet.

          • WM says:

            The kids were bear trained and had spray, just not enough time to use it. You might find this well written article of interest:


          • Alan says:

            Well, the training did them little good. Especially considering the top-notch training they were supposed to get with this program. Many everyday people without training have managed to stay cool and do the right thing in similar situations. Once again, not saying that I could or would; but with the type of world class survival training that this outfit supposedly offers, I really would think that they would.

          • Alan says:

            BTW, in the interview I saw on TV from the hospital, the kid they were talking to clearly said out of his own mouth, “Someone yelled ‘bear!’ and we started to run. I could feel the breath of the bear on my neck as it dragged me down from behind.” (Paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact words.) There was no mention of anyone playing dead. If this account is even partly true (maybe some ran, some played dead?), then they certainly did not, “ everything right..”; just as clearly the couple in Yellowstone did not do everything right despite the Park Service assertion that they did. Also, if they surprised the bear at such a close distance, they obviously were not making sufficient noise, as they should have been in a “narrow, brushy streambed”.
            Not trying to blame anyone, but I do find comfort in knowing why things happen.

  100. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Shrinking habitat? Some commenters over at the YNET of course say no, it´s too many predators and shrinking prey base instead.

  101. V.C. Wald says:

    I have to admit, whenever I have visited the Tetons since #399 showed up with her first brood of three back in 2006, I’ve been very concerned about her and her family’s welfare. She’s a road bear, and so is her fecund daughter, #610.
    However, the article linked above raises many important questions, the most significant of which is, “Will these rule changes actually benefit the bears?”
    It will be interesting to learn (if we ever do) whether tightening of the screws in what seem to be illogical ways was in reaction to someone offering the bears food from a car window.
    But until we learn more, what the author reports at this stage is still uncodified rumor. Until clarification follows, my heartfelt sympathies to all the photographers and wildlife-watchers who observe established rules who now find the rug pulled out from under them.

    • Thanks, its been a rough few months. All we can do is do our best by the bears and hope the park calms down but this storm is just heating up. This seems to happen every few years in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Not much I can say here but things are getting difficult for those who make their living in the park. Luckily most rangers seem to remember who has been ethical for years and who has not and have treated me mostly well. The new rangers/ wildlife brigade volunteers who don’t know me are more of a problem. I wish 610 would find a home farther from the roads like her mother but she has the right to be where she wants and we should do our best to do well by her. The park is just trying to do their best but its not helping, its really making everything worse- they need the funding to have rangers deal with crowds full time.

  102. jon says:

    dr. charles kay speaks in salmon idaho about wolves

  103. Daniel Berg says:

    “Elwha River reborn as landscape transforms”

    Must be an interesting project to be involved with.

  104. Daniel Berg says:

    “Conservation bill not expected to go far”

    “It’s touted as a model private-public solution for conservation: allow nonprofit groups to tap tax-exempt revenue bonds to buy working forests and keep them out of developers’ hands.”

    Anybody willing to share an opinion on this bill?

  105. FYI- update from the Grand Teton Grizzly scene:

    Bear 399 lost one of her cubs, its still not clear how and her daughter 610 has “adopted” it. So now 610 has triplets and 399 twins. After a week of watching the cub has not returned to 399 so it seems a permanent switch. 610 treats the cub just like the others and it seems happy with its new mom.

    The media (who adores these bears) has not repeated on this so I don’t have a link but I am glad to provide pictures for anyone interested in “proof”. The park service has also confirmed it with me. 610 is a lot smaller than her mother being only 6 years old so its simple to tell them apart despite them both having double ear tags and using nearly the same territory.

    I had of course heard of this happening (the famous “quadruplets” a few years ago in Yellowstone) but never seen it, how commonly does cub switching actually happen?

    • PointsWest says:

      You can send photos to me and I will put them up on my website and post the links.

  106. jon says:

    Ihope some idahoans will be going to this as this is your chance to meet carter niemeyer if you haven’t already. If you do go, please report back what he said about wolves.

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will record this and post it on here.

  107. Elk275 says:


    I personally met Carter Niemeyer several months ago at the County Bookstore in Bozeman; I was sitting next to Doug Smith and family. The first thing that he said to the audience was that he was a gun owner, hunter and trapper. There was immediately some unspoken audience displeasure. I purchased his book and went home and finished reading it at 1 am. In the first half of the book he worked as a “free trapper” in 1973 in Northeast Montana making a living trapping foxes and coyotes.

    He stood about six foot five and weighted 250 pounds, the man who you imagine he is, is different than the one who he is. He is a very kind and nice man.

    • Harley says:

      I am reading his book now and I’m a bit puzzled as to why he is often pointed to by people who admire the wolf but are rabidly against trapping. I admit, I’ve just started the book so I haven’t gotten to the point where he has worked directly with wolves. I have read quite a bit about his trapping expertise though.

      • jon says:

        Harley, some people mainly wolf advocates are not happy about Carter’s past history with wolves. He did trap and kill wolves. That was a part of his job that I’m sure he didn’t like doing, but had to do to please ranchers and anti-wolf forces alike. Yes, he was a trapper and yes he killed wolves, but that is in the past. You look at Carter’s background, you’d say to yourself this is a v ery unlike wolf advocate. He defends wolves and speaks the truth about them and counters the misinformation being put out there on purpose by anti-wolf forces. From what I read about carter in an interview, he is a big guy. I think he said he’s 6’6. Anti wolf forces do not like carter and speak bad about him simply because he doesn’t hate and despise wolves like they do. They tend to discredit and belittle people like carter because he knows more about wolves than they do.

        • Harley says:

          I’m not so sure that he didn’t like doing it, at least not in the beginning. He certainly liked the profits he made from the furs he got from fox and coyote. I don’t think he was a cruel man. The book is fascinating so far and I wish I had time to just sit down and read it start to finish without being interrupted! You’ve read it right? Did you like the book?

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Elk275 —
      Sounds from your reading interest (Niemeyer’s Book, The Final Frontiersman, etc.) that you would really enjoy the book about Frank Glaser by Jim Rearden: “Alaska’s Wolf Man: The 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser” — if you haven’t already read it.

  108. jon says:

    Idaho fish and game misleading the public

    Hunters can buy up to FOUR tags for the seven-month 2011-2012 hunt (two tags in 2011 and two tags in 2012). A resident wolf tag costs $11.75. The hunt goes from August 30 to March 31.

    – Trappers can buy up to SIX trapping/snaring tags (three per calendar year) plus the FOUR regular tags for the 2011-2012 hunt = TEN Tags.

  109. william huard says:

    What a pleasant video to watch. How many tigers will be left before the politicians in Indonesia stop taking bribes and protect this animal?

    • Elk275 says:

      In Thailand fathers have been known to sell their 12 to 16 old daughters into the sex trade for a TV. The father gets a TV, and the daughter gets HIV. Eventually the TV dies and needs replacing, then the daughter dies and can not be replaced. If a man’s daughter doesn’t have a chance, what chance to Sumatran Tigers have, none.

      • william huard says:

        I don’t agree Elk. These companies like APP are money grubbers, and if you put pressure on App’s customers, you can hit them where it hurts….. Luckily I have the time to circulate this video to companies like DISNEY that still do business with APP and shame them into changing suppliers……

  110. CodyCoyote says:

    A different breed of ” Megaload” trucking issue on the scenic US 12 Lochsa-Clearwater highway. A Texas driver crashed his semi and dumped mega-rolls of unprocessed toilet paper into the pristine waters The rolls weigh 8,000 pounds each , dry , but swell to 30,000 lbs. when soaked. The inattentive driver was trying to sneak his loaded truck up and over the Lochsa highway at 4 AM without an oversize permit , but his truck took a big dump on a tight curve.

    If it isn’t one thing, it’s another….

    ( Sorry…I couldn’t resist )

  111. CodyCoyote says:

    OMG! —a Cougar born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota made it all the way to CONNECTICUT! –before it was struck and killed on a highway near Milford CT , sadly so. It was the first Cougar seen in Connecticut in over a century , and had previously been tracked thru Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    • PointsWest says:

      That’s amazing. I would never have guessed a mountain lion would “disperse” that far. It makes you wonder how subspecies ever develop. It would need good habitat all along the way. I wonder if it went north or south of the Great Lakes.

    • Kropotkin Man says:

      Just finished reading this article, wow! Sad that it was killed. What a story it could have told.

    • PointsWest says:

      If it went north of the Great Lakes, then how did it get to Connecticut? Did it swim the St. Larence Seaway?

  112. jon says:

    Suckling responds: Cashing in? Nope, just saving species every day

  113. John Glowa says:

    As I predicted, the mountain lion killed on a Connecticut highway in June was a wild animal. A mountain lion was seen some 30-40 miles away in Greenwich, CT a day or two before. The DNA testing has not confirmed that it was the same animal. Based on photos, the Greenwich animal was larger, heavier and darker than the animal killed in Milford.

  114. John Glowa says:

    Sorry. I didn’t see the previous posting about this animal. The link I posted apparently doesn’t work so I encourage folks to go directly to the Connecticut DEEP website for the unfiltered press release. Connecticut DEEP maintains that there are no more mountain lions in CT, even though the DNA test results on another lion seen a day or two before in Greenwich do not definitively match this animal.

    • jon says:

      That’s a very sad story and I feel very vad for the dog. Goldens are AWESOME ANIMALS. Why didn’t the owner who they say was a hunter of the golden know the difference between a grizzly and black bear?

      • Evan says:

        Based on the article, it seems that he assumed it was a grizzly due to size and color.

      • Elk275 says:


        Can you tell the difference between a golden colored black bear or a grizzly. I doubt it. If you have never seen a wolf in the wild, then I doubt that you have ever seen a grizzly. More than once, it has taken me several minutes to distinguish between the two bears. I have seen hundreds of grizzlies and black bears in my life, Years ago, I saw a large bear just south of Haines Junction, YK that I was never able to determine whether it was a grizzly or black bear, in those days my optics were minimal. I still wonder today.

        You should go the Montana Fish Wildlife and Park’s web site and take the bear identification test, I doubt that you could pass it on the first try. All black bear hunters must pass that test before purchasing a black bear license. It can be difficult to quickly identify a black bear or grizzly bear.

    • Reading this story made me think there was more to the story than the news reported. The fact that this was not the first encounter with this bear was interesting as well as the man’s attitude that the bear was coming to attack them, doing what bears do. . if he were wise to the nature of bears he would know that bears do not target humans as prey, except for the occasional male black bear, and those rare bears are most often ones that have not had much experience with humans.
      Listen to the latest from Stephan Herrero on this subject:

      • SEAK Mossback says:


        Some male brown bears are not completely above it either. There was a Juneau deer hunter taken as prey by one on south Baranof. Granted, he was making like prey — sitting blowing his deer call on the margin of a muskeg late in the evening, but the bear didn’t seem to mind that he wasn’t a deer and hauled him off hundreds of feet up the mountainside and made a meal of him.

        There was another case in Glacier Bay where a male brown bear killed and ate a guy after another group in the area earlier narrowly escaped by taking high rocky ground and keeping up a steady barrage of rocks and coordinated defiance, until they were nearly worn out.

        Not to mention Treadwell.

        A couple of guys I work with had a close call with one a few years ago when they were on a stream with no salmon, tracking down a few old radio tags (with fish long gone) from the fall before. A very large, skinny, scarred fellow with a huge head and porcupine quills in one foot blasted unannounced out of the foliage only 65 feet away and came on the run, not full-out or with ears back, but with head up and very interested and excited. He zeroed on the shorter guy — we later referred to jokingly as the “Calf”, who failed to effectively deploy his issued safety equipment and was mentally beginning to accept his fate when the other guy managed to shed the radio antenna into the creek and intervened at the last second, tipping the old guy over at about 8 feet away. I helped skin him and his skull, the largest recorded on the Southeast Alaska mainland in records back to the mid-1970s, ended up in a display case. That was in June and we assumed the remains would be flushed out by freshets, but were surprised in late October to discover all the cleaned bones together about 100 feet back in the alders. Looking them over, it was clear he had somehow survived an unspeakable back injury sometime in his past. Three or four vertebrate were fused in a huge calcified mass and the rib insertions in that area were detached — broken away from the spine. So yes, he had “issues” but from the circumstances we were pretty sure he was seeing food, not defending himself or territory.

        Granted attacks by male brown bears are rare compared with sows, either with or without cubs, but those that happen seem more often predatory like male black bears. Black bears are an awful lot more abundant and in contact with more people in North America, but I’m not sure the odds of any one male brown bear having predatory leanings toward humans would be any lower.

        • Elk275 says:

          I have mentioned before on this forum of meeting and having a beer with Jay Reeves in the Cold Bay, AK bar in 1974. Several days later his partially eaten remains were in a plastice bag laying on the Cold Bay Runway.

          Jay was not the smartest person and certainly did several things wrong when camping and photographing bears. Never the less he was partially eaten by a brown bear.

          • SEAK Mossback says:

            Elk –
            I thought of the incident in Cold Bay, but was just listing ones I knew were male brown bears and wasn’t sure on that one. I remember you mentioning meeting him in the bar at Cold Bay. Did you fly out there on Reeve Aleutians Airlines? Flying in and out of Cold Bay on “Reeve’s Illusions” to Dutch Harbor in a virtual typhoon in September 1979 (for a 3 month stint with the Soviet fishing fleet in the Bering Sea) was the probably the wildest aviation experience I’ve ever had — and on a commercial airlines no less. The return flight over the Aleutians on a stormy December night was reasonably epic as well.

            Linda –
            I haven’t read that book yet, but our local “Perseverance Theater” put on great production last winter of “The Blue Bear” based on Lynn’s story of his friendship with Michio Hoshino, a Japanese photographer. Lynn was at every production and it was very well done and received. Makes me want to read his books and I might start with that one, thanks! Speaking of that, if you’ve read “The Blue Bear” you know Michio sadly was killed by a brown bear while sleeping outside the cabin at Ozero Kurilskoye. I shared a dining table with him a time or two in the UAF commons, but didn’t really get to know him — he was terrific with a camera.