Judge issues temporary restraining order against helicopter hazing of bison in and near Yellowstone National Park. Livestock interests forced to argue against private property rights. BLM Report: Public lands ranching fails rangeland health standards on a third of rangelands assessed, 33 million acres
Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? May 15, 2012
By Ken Cole On May 15, 2012 · 250 Comments · In Wildlife News
Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.
250 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? May 15, 2012
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Hey Salle, I know it was almost 2 weeks ago but did you read about the drama at another eagle nest in Minnesota? It was the Minnesota Bound eagle cam. If you’re interested, I can give you some links. There were 2 little ones, one fell out of the nest and the other appeared to have gotten caught up somehow in the nest. Because of all the people watching the cam and trying to contact the people who were in charge of the cam, they decided to actually go up, try to free the little guy and then decided his condition warranted them taking him from the nest for 48 hours. Very very interesting story that unfolded!
I’ve decided it’s safer for me to watch eagles than to get too embroiled in some of the stuff that goes on here and in the other blogs. It’s been a lot of fun watching the eaglets get so big! I saw the link that JeffE put up on the ospreys, I’m with you, I’ve been spoiled by the close up of the Decorah camera and how clear it is.
Anyway, it’s old news but it sure was fascinating, I should have put a link up when it was happening but between watching the drama unfold online and the drama in real life, I just didn’t have the time!
My goodness. That’s really interesting and I wonder how that turned out.
Oddly, I was watching the Decorah nest earlier this week (the weather has been nice so I’ve been out in the hills a lot so to speak) and thinking about what the eagles and the humans watching would do if one of the young ones fell or was blown out of the nest before being able to actually fly well enough to make its way back into the nest. Maybe I was zoning in on that scene in Minnesota. I know there have been some really strong winds in the plains this past few months and watching how close the Decorah eaglets are getting to the edge of the nest lately, I’ve been wondering about that. They appear to be learning to hop with their wings extended a bit and acting like they might catch the breeze at some point, perhaps unintentionally. They sure are getting large and looking a little less like “fatties”. I thought about that term a lot when they were lolling about with one leg outstretched and one wing unfolded.
Anyway, That is an interesting story, hadn’t heard about it til now…
This is a link to the blog site for the Minnesota Bound blog. You can access their eagle cam on top of the page. They don’t keep it on 24 hours like Decorah and the video quality isn’t as good as the one in Iowa but LOTS of people were glued to the computers a couple of weeks ago, watching the drama unfold.
It was tough, having the many thoughts bounce around in my head about should the people in charge interfere, let nature take it’s course. I mean, how many nests that don’t have cameras trained on them go through similar scenarios? I guess that’s a tough call when you have thousands of people watching the event happen right before their eyes.
And yeah, I love when the Decorah eaglets jump around in the nest with wings a flappin’! It will be interesting to see their first flight. Kinda like when my kids started to drive, no wonder bald eagles have white feathers on their heads, I can relate!
I can relate to the white head thing. Thanks for the link, I have tried to look at that one but it’s not on when I have time to watch.
I have had the same thought process about watching when things go bad for those being watched. It kind of reminds me of the question often asked in ethnographic anthropology; is it appropriate for the researcher to interfere in customs, practices, or rites practiced by the subject population when there is a conflict of those very practices and beliefs held by the researcher? In other words, if you are watching some cultural activity that would be deemed criminal or harmful in your culture, is it right or wrong for you to intervene? Would it alter the basic concepts of that culture and change it forever after and ultimately become a detriment to that population? (Comparison to wildlife in this sort of venue is very much the same given this set of events.)
Hard to say but then, who are we to interfere with natural events, like an eaglet falling out of the nest and another in danger? Is it because we don’t like unpleasantness in our lives so we feel compelled to intervene even if the ultimate result doesn’t reap the anticipated benefit?-(that being that we can feel better afterward thinking we did something good for the subjects). An age old question, don’t know if there’s a generic answer, perhaps it’s only answerable on a case by case basis. There certainly are more nests without cameras out there than with them.
Yeah, I hear ya. I think that’s where they are struggling with the whole Isle Royale deal. It’s going to be interesting to see what is decided as things unfold. Should they interfere, should they just leave well enough alone. Kinda glad I’m not the one making those decisions, my hat is off to they guys in charge of that.
In retrospect though, I am learning so much about raptors and eagles specifically since I got involved with these cams. Eagles are cool but they have really worked their way up on my ‘favorites’ list. I never knew just how attentive both eagle parents are to their offspring, very cool! And when the eagle parents of that Minnesota eaglet finally did return, there was no doubt of how much more attentive they were to the little guy. It was comical how much food they were trying to stuff down his throat, making up for lost time maybe? The little guy looked like a full tic about to burst!
Did the one that fell out of the nest make it back or did it become a casualty? I wonder how the parents deal/dealt with that, and did humans intervene in the end?
It’s really hard to make such decisions but there are also guidelines in ethical and moral teachings that help a person to make them with regard to the best outcome for those involved… but it takes study, personal fortitude and understanding rather than knee-jerk, reactionary mentality.
To quote a book on philosophies outside the mainstream western Judeo-Christian realm ~ though this premise could likely be found in those philosophies as well ~ “…this portends a time to recognize the sacredness of every walk of life different from one’s own. To honor another’s path, even if it brings you sadness, is part of the lesson life brings.”
It does point out one of the processes of determination to act or not and how to come to that decision. Personally, I would love to be involved with making some of the decisions regarding things like Isle Royale wolves and many other wildlife and ecosystem issues and concerns… It’s one of the many things I was trained to do, wish I had a seat at that table. But then, given the current political atmosphere of divide and conquer, backstabbing, vitriol and rebuke… don’t know that I have the stomach for it anymore.
The little one that fell became a casualty. Observers notice that that parents seemed to go through some sort of grieving process. It was observed that the parents attempted to make a small bowl in the nest for the remaining eaglet which is what eventually got him caught.
There are videos on youtube showing when the parents returned eventually after the eaglet was put back into the nest.
So, if you were involved with the Isle Royale wolves, which way would you go? Introduce new blood or not?
How would I decide on the Isle Royale wolves? I think I don’t have an answer off the top of my head. I would have to confer with all the latest relative data and those who have a stake in the game before making a call on what would be the most reasonable and appropriate path to take on that.
Why? Because the wolves migrated there on their own and were merely a topic of study. It may be that other wolves could do the same. The consequence of importing more genetic diversity via human interaction is controversial on a number of levels. Should nature take its course or should we consider mitigating the probable impact that anthropogenic activity has had on the population (likely environmental changes and disease that might not have taken place had we not encroached on surrounding habitat, etc.)? Something that requires neutral investigation without corporate coercion and local lack of knowledge about the impacts of humans in that habitat range.
I’m not currently privy to all that info but would base my decisions on those criteria rather than the monetary cost/benefit analyses that usually usurp the rationale of such matters. It’s the idea that the health of the biosphere, not the power of the almighty dollar, should prevail in such decisions… even though that’s what it comes down to these days and in the recent past. (One reason why I think capitalism sucks.)
I’ve been hearing rumbles from lots of different places about efforts to systematically correlate the cataclymic range fires that have been occuring in recent years with the drastic reductions and zeroing out of mustangs from so many of the herd management areas.
I don’t know who’s doing the work, but really looking forward to seeing what they come up….seems like a no-brainer to me that removal of the herds would have a huge impact on the proliferation of the cheat grass out there, which everyone knows is the *real* invasive species on the range
Wolf(ves) near Umatilla, OR on private property get(s) 4 more sheep on May 12 (3 dead, one injured). This follows on a May 2 incident,again on private property, that resulted in 4 dead sheep, and one lamb missing and presumed dead.
ODFW official report:
Is it just the skeptical me or do others see the veiled attempt of Exxon Mobil to win public opinion by touting their contributions to education, particularly science. What is deafening is their silence about life science education. The TV advertisement delivers an eye catching dialogue and action about students using science skills to make robots and such in the lab, all ’cause of money they give to educating youth about math. Why don’t they show youth studying the life history of pikas or polar bears and using math to show biometry of wild populations? Ans. Because life sciences run contrary to the bottom line of Exxon Mobil. Life sciences do not support fracking or removing the skin of the planet to squeeze out oil. I just think we need to point out to our kids/grandkids the self elevating nature of such advertisements.
“Is it just the skeptical me or do others see the veiled attempt of Exxon Mobil to win public opinion by touting their contributions to education, particularly science”
Not just you Larry. BP is also doing one hell of a job promoting their ads on TV about the Gulf being back to normal after the “spill” even though I keep running across articles which are in contrast (regarding wildlife & water quality) to the “come on down, everything’s fine” pitch.
Reminds me of that scene in Jaws where the mayor of the town is trying to coax the tourists back to the beach 🙂
would you rather them just pull there funding all together,, just pull out all education from exxon, shell mobil, i would suspect lots of education sources would be screaming if major corps pulled there funding
The Sellout of the Ivory Tower, and the Crash of 2008 (Excerpt)
Reviving Arctic oil rush, Ottawa to auction rights in massive area
What lead bullets do to bald eagles:
Yes, as I have said. The tapeworm problem (which is still very rare among humans) is spread mostly by small predatory animals, especially dogs and cats that roam freely and then come home and sleep with you in your bed.
You asked elsewhere how things were going in Ely. After a non-Winter, a fairly wet April followed, but recent warmth and dryness have contributed to a tinder box situation, that was a bit too close to home. Rain/precipitation are essential up here.
I’ll be up in Ely this year for a couple days. Very nice part of the country.
Although I will say nothing can tear me away form my current infatuation with Glacier NP, the Gallatin NF, and Northern California.
Oh My Gosh! Yes, much too close. You are safe, yes? And how did things fare at the International Wolf Center? I’ve been keeping a sketchy update on the new pups.
I’m hoping someday I’ll be able to go visit there. For the next few months, probably til December, my jobs will be keeping me pretty busy. I plan on taking off only when my son comes home to visit but maybe next year, next summer or even for Spring break I might be able to get up that way.
All is OK as the wind favored me. One of my friends not quite so lucky. He is just a bit down the road from the photo of the cell tower. Lots of smoke.
In terms of your robins, could be cats, but don’t rule out crows or blue jays.
Good to know you didn’t get smoked out so to speak. It seems odd to have fire problems with so much water so close by but I know it happens. When the land is dry, it doesn’t take much.
Hmm, jays. Yeah, I’ve been seeing a few more than usual. That would probably make more sense. Still sucks though! Finally, I get a nest close enough I can observe and it’s just not meant to be. I guess I’ll have to be content to spy on the eagle cams, which I am finding so fascinating! Specially with how big the eaglets have gotten and now they look like they want to just take off and fly already!
It’s all rock and gravel, superior drainage. When it gets dry, it really gets try. Large pine and spruce can handle a bit of fire, but once the balsam gets going, it’s like solid gasoline, and wuuuummmmph, up it goes.
Rain = more bugs, but the alternative is severe fire conditions.
I understand that this fire-problem was Aldo Leopold’s undoing.
There’s a pic online, of his
did i read somewhere that USFW was allowing more lenient policies with regard to wind farms, as they related to bald eagles, whereby it was basically ok for these govt funded windfarms to set up and if bald eagles were killed it was ok.. i don’t know the specifics, but haven’t seen anything else on it.
“Proposed Federal Rule Change Will Lead to More Dead Eagles at Wind Energy Projects”:
The announcement in the Federal Register, comments are due by July 12:
“Whooping Crane Killing—One Investigation Completed—More to Go”:
A related post:
“The Idiots Are Winning”:
“The Idiots Are Winning”
This quote seems to apply to more than just the illegal killing of whooping cranes.
Interesting piece comparing anti-wolf hyperbole with outfitter advertisements: With elk and wolves, someone is fibbing http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/article_dc2057ce-a135-11e1-9499-001a4bcf887a.html
Five things that make you NOT a hunter:
1. Baiting (especially bear baiting)
2. Using electronic calls
3. Hunting predators with dogs
4. Killing animals and not using the remains (prairie dog shooting)
5. Going after the biggest trophy animals year in and year out and genetically depleting the population as indicated in this article:
Big HUGE bummer this morning. After discovering a robin’s next in our lilac bush (much to my delight! I was planning on getting my mom out of the house so she could see the three little ones) this morning I found the nest empty and one dead bird on the ground and parts of another nearby. Not sure what could have gotten to them, the branches didn’t seem to be strong enough to support the weight of a cat, but I could have been wrong. And it was about eye level for me so about 5 feet off the ground. *sigh* I know it’s nature but… yeah, it was still a bummer.
That is a bummer. It’s early, maybe the pair will have more near by.
Photos: BP oil spill residue found on pelicans in Minn.
Researchers are trying to determine whether pelicans carry residue from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Worse than Keystone
Environmentalists are focused oil and gas, but a bigger carbon disaster may be brewing in the Pacific Northwest
The Big Fix: Documentary Exposes BP, US Government on Gulf Disaster
MN to lay out details of its first wolf hunt later today (Monday):
Anyone wanting to make a comment can use this site to access the DNR site. The Idaho online survey was terrible this is even worse. As the article in the start points out there is a great deal of opposition to the hunt. This survey asks one question only about whether the responder agrees with the hunt. The rest of the survey provides no alternatives to oppose hunting. Its very biased, flawed and pro hunt. Please take a moment to speak out for wolves. There is no reason to hunt them, this site clearly articulates the reasons that wolves should not be hunted in MN, or elsewhere for that matter.
sorry the last post was in regards to DNR online survey for hunting wolves in MN. Comments, due by June 20th
Salazar and cronies to permit killing of endangered bighorn peninsula sheep
for windfarm project
think it could get any worse under this bast*8sd
I am not a fan of wind farms, and would be happy if this one were not built. If I read the Biological Opinion correctly, and I think I do, the killing to which you refer, Louise, would be incidental to the activites related to project construction and operation (nothwithstanding fairly rigorous mitigation requirements), and not generally perceived as intentional acts of targeting specific indivicuals. It is more related to modification of habitat and activity levels which could displace animals from birthing areas or other habitat. Also from the Opinion, something to think about regarding past and present risks to these bighorns:
++The proposed project is less than 8 mi from the Mexican border. Because the Border Patrol is increasing its enforcement activity along the border and in the southern Peninsular Ranges, the overall level of human activity in the area has increased. Some immigrants travel through the Peninsular Ranges and camp at water sources where they may displace or occasionally kill and consume bighorn sheep. This scenario may cause bighorn sheep to avoid areas they once used and may compromise bighorn sheep population connectivity between the U.S. and Mexico [pdf. 24/65].++
Yet one more wildlife impact of our failure to deal with illegal immigration.
oh yes it can,, they will also be allowing permits for the unintended killing of the Bald Eagle,,, so there you go ,, mr green economy at his best
Guest column: With elk and wolves, someone is fibbing
By Todd Wilkinson, guest columnist | May 19, 2012
Evidence Continues to Mount for Ticking ‘Methane Time Bomb’
The livestock industry fought like hell to keep this bird from being recovered.
If they’re doing it like they did with the wolf then they only need fifty more. Maybe Mike Simpson and Jon Tester will step in to make sure.
Hunters blocking California condors from becoming self-sustaining population.
RE California Condors, Hmm now lets see why did we need that lead ammunition banned and why did that initiative get trashed? But wait the National Sportsman Heritage Act that was passed in the house is now going to the Senate. This will prevent the EPA from ever acting against lead ammunition, that is killing so much wildlife.
Trapper lures wolves from Denali, kills 2; pack’s future in doubt
“The two primary breeding females from the best-known wolf pack at Denali National Park — a pack viewed by tens of thousands of visitors each year — have been killed, one of them by a trapper operating just outside the boundary of Alaska’s premier national park.”
This is the work of a scumbag. And don’t bother with the no laws broken shit.
scumbag is a good word.
As I recall, the buffer boundaries were argued over and shifted here and there for many years, but the general concept and reality of a buffer aimed at protecting particular Denali Park packs for viewing remained. Until a couple of years ago when NPS weighed in for the first time in favor of the buffer, and the new Board of Game (including short-time member Al Barrette) couldn’t resist the opportunity to A) kick the Feds in the teeth, and B) demonstrate that the political power of consumptive use has arrived at the point where wildlife viewing gets zero direct allocation consideration. I’m not sure when the decision could be revisited (assuming there are proposals about it from the public) but suspect it will be pretty soon.
Thanks, Seak. It’s good to have an insider’s perspective on how the buffer disappeared.
(Tiger)Poaching, the India way. (Beware, the photo is a bit graphic!)
Kathleen Clarke surfaces in Utah.
This needs to be made a banner post IMO.
want to bet me a dollar that livestock drone Simpson is fully on board?
Yikes! Last year, my wife and I stayed at a wonderful little backwoods bed and breakfast in Queensland that was mostly open without walls (although you could close off your sleeping area at night). There were large golden orb spiders like that one on their webs stretched between posts along the kitchen/dining area. It was run by a wonderful older couple from Tasmania who are true lovers of all nature and enjoyed talking with the few guests in the evenings. Ernie would stroke one of the spiders and talk to it. He said there had been occasional causalties with bats blasting through the webs to grab the spiders, so occupany was down at the moment with several vacant spaces between posts — but nothing was mentioned about the spiders taking larger prey like birds. The real treat was watching cassawaries walk by on the edge of the jungle in the morning. The name of the place is Epiphyte Bed & Breakfast, tucked back on a rough one-lane dirt road in the Daintree Forest — highly recommended.
Generally, Australians seem to be unbelievably comfortable with spiders of all types, except the deadly poisonous. A friend from the US was giving slide show in a home when out of the corner of her eye she noticed one of the hairy but harmless monsters that starred in the movie Arachnophobia step onto the projector table. Everybody else in the room had a great laugh at her reaction, although it was finally taken outside and released at her insistence.
Otero Mesa: Search for Rare Earth Threatens a Desert Bio-Gem
Pollutants found in remote lakes, rivers
Its very sad Salle but shouldn’t come as a surprise when a good majority of mankind has cared little about nature and the enviornment for the past half century, as we sow (destroy) reap and populate the planet at alarming rates.
The age of extreme oil: ‘This used to be a forest?’
Keystone XL Would Raise Gas Prices, Report Finds
I am subscribed to the WA F&G wolf-feed, and just received an email notice that the northern Cascades Lookout pack appears to have taken a calf.
I don’t see this item on the WA wolf page; will copy & post here if desired.
Ted, Please post it. Thanks.
If true, that would be the first confirmed depredation from that pack.
There has been speculation that there may be a female tagging along with the remaining two males.
More senseless poaching in Idaho
I would hazard a guess that someone else knows, but likely a friend. As many here have posted, this would be a prime time/example for the practice of the correct ethic.
Hunters no doubt, who else is in the woods with guns large enough to shot grizzly’s
It always is.
WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
May 23, 2012
Contact: Steve Pozzanghera, (509) 892-7852
Wildlife managers treat dead calf
as ‘probable’ case of wolf predation
OLYMPIA – State and federal wildlife managers have determined that wolves likely caused injuries that resulted in the death of a calf on a Methow Valley ranch May 18 and that the landowner would qualify for compensation.
The landowner would be the first in the state to qualify for compensation under criteria established by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan adopted late last year.
Steve Pozzanghera, a regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was not possible to say for certain that wolves caused the injuries that resulted in the death of the calf, although evidence at the scene supports that conclusion.
“The calf was mostly consumed by the time the department was called in,” Pozzanghera said. “But photos of the carcass taken earlier by the rancher as well as tracks located in the area were definitely consistent with wolves.”
Pozzanghera also noted that the 3,000-acre ranch near Carlton is in an area traditionally used by the Lookout wolf pack, and that remote, motion-triggered cameras had photographed two wolves on nearby National Forest land in recent weeks.
The Lookout pack is one of five wolf packs confirmed by WDFW in the state. The department is currently working to confirm other wolf packs.
Officials from WDFW met May 22 with those from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA’s Wildlife Services Program to examine the evidence and develop a response to the loss of the calf. All three agencies are involved, because wolves in the western two-thirds of the state are protected as an endangered species under both state and federal law.
The primary goal of the state’s new wolf management plan is to protect gray wolves as they reestablish themselves in Washington, but it also includes provisions to compensate ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation, Pozzanghera said.
Under the new management plan, ranchers can be compensated up to $1,500 per cow for wolf predation classified as “probable.” The plan also allows ranchers to be paid up to twice that amount for lost livestock that are “confirmed” to have been killed by wolves on ranches over 100 acres.
In all cases, Pozzanghera urges ranchers who believe they have lost livestock to predation to contact WDFW immediately at 1-877- 933-9847.
“The sooner we can investigate the situation, the better our chances are of determining whether the incident is a wolf kill and whether compensation is warranted,” he said. “We also ask that landowners protect the site from disturbances and keep scavengers away by covering the carcass with a tarp.”
WDFW currently has $80,000 available to help livestock operators prevent conflicts with wolves and compensate ranchers who lose livestock to predation by wolves. Of that funding, $50,000 was provided by the state Legislature, $15,000 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and $15,000 from the non-profit organization Defenders of Wildlife.
This message has been sent to the Gray Wolf Pack Updates and Information mailing list.
Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/
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Notice of Interest: 11th Annual Sacred Salmon Ceremony upstream 12 miles of Riggins, Idaho near spring bar. Starts at 2pm mtn time, this Saturday May 26th.
It’s me (doryfun) again. Sorry, this time of year keeps me from much inside stuff, so my participation in the Wildline News is a bit marginal now.
About the event:
It is a bi-cultural event for the two major cultures (Nez Perce) and (Euro-Melting Pot) to help welcome the salmon and their gifting to our local waters for all the people who benefit from such.
In the case of our Salmon Ceremony and Dance to help bring more salmon back to their spawning grounds, we hope that collectively, all cultures of people can come together and become much more focused on that very intent. Ritual can help spread a ripple affect across the universe. It may mean that more people will return home, and in some small way, sometime in the near future, align their own behavior more akin to that with the salmon. It may lead to changing a vote for a certain politician, with enough like-minded support, that is more fish friendly when it comes to policy changes that effect biology and ecology of the natural world.
Like it or not, politics is the bottom line to all human events, from ancient times to now, and most likely forever into the future. So what we do today, will have impact for tomorrow. Dance the salmon dance. It is good practice to keep from stepping on nature’s toes. The better you dance and sing, the more likely it will make good music of the world come to be. You can be religious, or not, atheist or theist, or appreciate science, mythology, or any other form of spiritualism to particiapte or spectatorate. The beauty of the Great Mystery, is an appreciation for the unkwown future of wonders ever yet to unfold.
See my blog for more specific information and contact numbers:
Thanks, Doryfun. I was just thinking about that earlier today.
Conserving public lands helps rural counties thrive, study finds
Area deer survival best in six years
“Spring big-game surveys in Northwest Montana indicate a promising upward trend, with the highest ratios of deer and elk offspring in years.
Elk surveys also have shown stronger recruitment trends.
Out of 3,500 elk that were observed, the average across the region was 28 calves per 100 adults.
“The elk herds are stable to increasing in terms of recruitment,” Williams said.”
Salle and all,
These things are reported in the media very frequently, but with very few mainstream reporters putting it together (or maybe fearing to put it together) to say that this information contradicts the “elk and deer are mostly dead” scenario concocted by the anti-wolf contingent. I would predict that we will not hear much more in the media about this plenitude in the area, but we will continue to hear Ad nauseam about the places where elk or deer continue not to recover or which decline. It is like one half of the story gets 90 per cent of the attention, IMO.
Alaska mine will harm salmon:
“7. Positive population growth means economic growth and a boost in property value. Since 2000, Boise has grown almost 70 percent in the last 20 years, as compared to the United States average at only 20 percent”
So now that you’ve gotten some info about Boise Harley and why wildlife might be confused and displaced, here’s a site that addresses the issue of wildlife and, their disappearing lands:
And yeah, I think this cat should of been relocated and it might of been alittle tough for her if she had been relocated in areas already occupied by other cats but then again she might of made it – being a young, healthy female, with a lot of years ahead of her.
I had a mixed review for this one Nancy. I wasn’t so worried about her competition with other lions if relocated. I was worried that she would go looking for the easy life again. And really, you don’t need to educate me on once wide open spaces being built up. I’m living in an area that is like that and seeing a lot more wildlife than we did 15 years ago. Again, it’s a mixed feeling. On the one hand, people need places to live and this is a desirable area. Desirable because of the wide open spaces. That are disappearing. Also, a part of me just shakes my head as I look at the houses around me. They are HUGE! One family homes. I suppose, if you have the money, you can do whatever you want with it and that includes buying a huge home but the practical side of me is like, good grief!
Here’s a happier version of the same kind of story, with good pictures of the scene & “fiesty” lioness. Seattle vicinity.
Cougar Reluctant to Leave Trap
“The goal Wednesday was to try to make the cat never want to get near mankind again”
And that of course, is getting harder and harder for wildlife anymore wouldn’t you say Ted, given mankind’s ever increasing demands on the landscape?
“[H]arder for wildlife … given mankind’s ever increasing demands on the landscape?”
Although the total population has grown, in recent generations many left the countryside for the city. The ratio of rural to urban dwellers has swung very dramatically to big cities and metropolitan regions.
Many rural districts have languished. Actual depopulation is not unusual, and not just on the prairies.
Human pressures, and domination of resources, certainly is part of the picture. Boise has been an ambitious business-oriented ‘project’, since before I first saw all the 60 foot wide paved streets & cement sidewalks & stoplights … laid out through the empty sagebrush flats … in the early 1970s.
But a lot of the rest of Idaho is hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth; has definitely seen better days, and has even partly returned to Nature.
Even poor Idahoans once owned sizable acreages, and eked out a bare existence on them. Small rural populations ‘filled’ the landscapes this way, in times past. Land was cheap. “Worthless”. The recourse of ne’er do-wells. Now, if your grandparents held onto one of those crappy spreads – your family is fortunate. Young rural folks often cannot even dream of buying, in many Rocky Mountain regions … further driving the flight to the cities.
Population growth is scary. Taking the long view is not politician’s forte. Next to eg high-fatality bird-flu, it is our big threat. And it affects wildlife, too.
But the move to cities helped wildlife, in our part of the world; the reduction of hunting, and increase of prey populations, particularly in low-density (‘nicer’) developed areas, are now rich hunting-grounds for predators, and relatively few folks bother them.
It can actually be better for cougar in these ‘lite’ developments, than in the surrounding sagebrush of the Snake River Plain, or the forested foothills of the western Cascades. They are drawn, as well as pushed into them.
Stories like these problem-cougars point to booming lion populations, and low hunting-trapping pressures.
Trumpeter swans provide education, inspiration in Blackfoot
Proposals wanted for fish, wildlife habitat
Due date for proposals is 6/1. Not much public notice, eh? Must already have the $$ spent.
Chamber to city: Stay out of coal fray
Sludge cleanup set for summer in Montana
Migrating or reintroduced wolves in Colorado? CO has 300,000 elk, the largest population of any state; they also have the largest migratory mule deer herd in the world.
A good essay on why reproducing wolves won’t likely make it there in reproductive mode for some time.
The same logic could be applied to Utah. Idaho’s zero tolerance policy for wolves in the southern third of the state discourages dispersal and pack formation in Utah. Of course, Utah’s political elite aren’t complaining.
10k reward offered for hunter who poached grizz mom and cub:
There’s a hunter out there with a $10,000 bull’s-eye on his back. That’s the reward being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of whoever shot dead a grizzly bear and her cub in northern Idaho.
“Senate committee to take testimony on wolf-related legislation via videoconference”
Cash-strapped MI wants to ensure the welfare pools are full for livestock owners when livestock predation rates are vary low. Seems to be the Senator crying “wolf” for his cronies.
Considering the totalitarian legislature that has gained control in that state, what could anyone reasonably expect? This may be the “model” for the nation should the outcome of the next election become a wash in those not so interested in the democratic process…
A link from a friend back east:
What can one say? Idiots with guns.
At that web site I was looking at the headlines in the sidebar and found this troubling article, though not wildlife related per se, it might be of interest to those who enjoy bluegrass and folk music…
NC master flatpicker Doc Watson listed as critical
Saw that Salle. A tiny taste of Doc’s incredible flatpicking talent for those not familiar with the name:
At age 89, every day is a special gift. Doc Watson – always a favorite at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I love “Deep River Blues.”
I will be busy this weekend and I just want to wish everyone a safe one,but most of all,I want to express my deepest gratitude for those who are serving our country,and for those who have served our country,and,for those who gave the ultimate price. Thank you,for my freedom.
Nicely put, Rita. We should all be thankful for all of the above, and we should always remember.
Looks like one of the eaglets in the Decorah nest is fixin’ to take a flying leap over the edge in the next day or so. It keeps taking practice hops, wings extended, across the nest and getting very close to the edge as though it’s getting ready to go over then stops short. They sure got large in just eight+ weeks.
Our neighbors to the north- those polite folk who say ” Eh ? ” a lot – seem to be trying to supersede the old Soviet Union in environmental travesty among developed nations.
Canada just totally axed its entire Marine Pollution program .
One more case history alongside the Alberta tar sands, vast logging clearcuts, rampant mining , and other largescale resource abominations that cast a huge shadow over the supposedly progressive nation.
Its astounding that governments of supposedly progressive and civilized countries can be so short-sighted. Not good news for the Gulf of Maine and the continental shelf.
Florida man pleads guilty to killing a Florida panther:
Panthers vs. panthers as habitat dwindles:
Dam limits loosed to feed Grand Canyon:
Just spent 2 weeks in Newfoundland and Labrador and saw dozens of moose, four caribou, and one small black bear in Labrador. The highway signs are nothing but wildlife warnings.
But driving home to Mason City Iowa this evening, low and behold, a large black bear ran across the highway a few miles east of the city–while black bears aren’t unknown in north Iowa prairie country, they are rare.
I’m envious. Labrador and Newfoundland have recently moved up on my list of places to visit. I just spent 10 days on the east coast from DC up to Maine and can also report that signs from New England didn’t look all that gloomy for wildlife in North America either. The friends we stayed with in Boston complained that wild turkeys, which have recovered there quite recently, were actually getting aggressive as well as abundant in their neighborhood. The friends we stayed with in Maine went out on the tide flat in front of their house and dug a “peck” of steamer clams for our dinner, and from the porch we watched wild turkeys, ducks, vultures and the bizarre dusk mating ritual of woodcocks. There was a massive run of alewives in one of the rivers with ospreys diving, and they said last season the Penobscot got over 3,000 salmon, the 3rd best escapement in 30 years.
Atlantic salmon, herring and alewife stocks and not in good shape, here or in Canada. We used to see rivers crammed with them. The run just down from my home this year, Cape Cod, was a slight, sparsely populated shadow of its former self. The runs are dwindling rapidly, a combination of dams, offshore fisheries and loss of spawning habitat.
Our perspectives are no doubt very different, since you live in the region. Mine is from somebody who has very seldom been on the east coast and had more of a continuous “concrete jungle” image that was certainly challenged, mostly further north in Maine. I am aware of some of the environmental challenges and devastating effects of liaise faire east coast fishery management. The Penobscot certainly should have more than 3,000 salmon, still has environmental problems and likely struggles from having had the native stock go extinct (reintroduced with non-native broodstock).
As far as bottom fish, the coup de grace in Maine seemed to be in the 1980s, but that followed more than a century of loss. In the Monhegan Island museum, I noticed all the old photos of the early community were of groundfish, cod and haddock (not lobster) and asked the old curator if you could sport fish for them now. He said you could still catch something up until about 40 years ago, but there was nothing much out there now. I think the Atlantic halibut fishery (portrayed in old classic Captains Courageous) peaked in the 1880s and has been in economic extinction since beyond anyone’s memory. Atlantic halibut stocks were and still should be like we have here, where you can go out and readily catch them, including some big barn doors, on a single sport hook and line — however, some things in the Wild, Wild East have been missing so long nobody remembers them enough to worry. Eastern fishermen seem to have long preferred it just that way, and Teddy Kennedy, other local politicians and the New England Fishery Management Council have insured it stayed thus. Tradition!
But even the commercial fisheries did not seem to be entirely gloom and doom. Lobster, that amazing cockroach of the sea, has withstood half a million traps fished for much of the year in Maine alone, including those added in the past 25 years or so by additional fishermen exiting the dying groundfish fisheries. And I’ve heard that scallops on Georges Bank are currently sustaining catches worth 100s of $millions. There have apparently finally been substantial long-overdue groundfish restrictions, and hopefully some of the wealth will return.
Not to say we haven’t lost some major pieces in Alaska. It was very painful to stand in the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian and look up at the skeleton of the Steller Sea Cow, over 20 feet long, dwarfing those of its cousins the manatee and dugong. Until that moment, I had not actually fully believed that such an improbable animal ever existed – having only read Steller’s brief account from 1741 with Bering on the Commander Islands, I held out the idea that he had mistaken something else. Once distributed over a broad area of the Pacific Rim, it had disappeared everywhere humans (Asian, North American or European) had settled and was left only in a small uninhabited area of the Commander and Aleutian Islands. The Russians killed and ate those to extinction in 27 years (1768) but there were still enough bones left on Bering Island in 1883 to put together a pretty complete skeleton for the museum. It is possible they were already doomed when discovered by science, and even in the nearly impossible event that the Russians had decided to protect them, they may still have been done in by loss of the kelp beds they foraged on when the Russians hunted out the sea otters that ate the sea urchins that ate the kelp.
Mountian lions killing wolves in the Bitterroot:
“Four of the five wolves that Bradley knows were probably killed by mountain lions were fitted with a radio collar.
“It’s too bad because we don’t have those now,” she said”
4 out of 5 radio collared? Hmmm, interesting – suicide by mountain lion?
These wolves probably haven’t figured out how to chew the damn things off yet so the collared “one” was sacrificed in order to keep the rest of the pack’s location safe…..
Yeah, I know, What? Is she NUTS??
No, no, no… its just been a long, cold, nasty weekend here, 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground this morning and I’d much rather have been outside doing “spring” stuff around the cabin, instead of hanging inside, with too much mind on my hands 🙂
Snow, eh? I might go for a trade. It’s 93 and sunny here in Columbus. We’ve got July weather and it isn’t even June yet.
Yep…. snow JB.
Elk, SB, Salle and few others, probably faced the same kind of morning. Its called “Springtime in the Rockies” Little after 2 pm here and those 4 inches have melted off, its 44 degrees and raining now.
I was going to Red Lodge last night and my best friend said do not come, there is TWO FEET of snow on the ground and more coming. His girl friend called from Cooke City and said there was THREE FEET of new snow and more coming.
Yes, please send some snow this way! 97 today in Chi Town. Thankfully after tomorrow, weather goes back to normal. Not sure if I buy into the whole Global Warming ideology but I’m thinking there may be something to climate change. Man made? Natural? I’m thinking with all the contradictions I’ve read, it’s a little of both. But… that’s just my opinion.
A recommendation: http://www.skepticalscience.com/
Thanks for the link! But JB, for every link there is supporting one side, there is another supporting the opposite…
Do I think there is too much pollution? Yes. Do I try to minimize my impact? Yes. Do I feel it is my duty to force you to do the same as I am doing because I think it’s the right way, the only way? No.
I guess my philosophy is that I will give you my reasons for doing what I do and it’s up to you to do what you think you need to do and I am not going to condemn you for the decision you make if it’s not in line with what I believe.
Good. I hope the fire season is minimal.
I’m looking forward to The Gallatin NF, YNP, GTNP, Glacier, Lolo NF, Bitterroot NF, Flathead NF, and the Lewis and Clark NF. And I’m stoked to be hiking the Crazy Mountains for the first time since 2006. I love that range.
Elk – when I first moved to Montana years ago, I spent some time in Billings and decided to take a little road trip over to Red Lodge (I think it was in May)
Got to the town and it was pretty much closed off to thru traffic because of the snow. An amazing amount of snow!! The likes of which I’d never seen before, felt like I was driving thru a tunnel for awhile. Had to either turn around or take a detour, ended up in Columbus.
“Thanks for the link! But JB, for every link there is supporting one side, there is another supporting the opposite…”
Harley: No offense, but it is a mistake to assume that all information is created equal. Climate change denial has become a well-funded mis-information machine. The tobacco industry manufactured “science” to support their product, now big oil and their allies are following suite.
In reality, much (most?) of the scientific community has moved on from trying to describe the effects and mechanisms of climate change, to trying to figure out what to do about it (i.e., mitigation, adaptation).
It’s good to be a skeptic, but in my experience, it is rare to see the scientific community so homogeneously aligned behind an idea–that alone should be cause to question the origins of your skepticism.
You might also note that the denial of climate change among the general public has so befuddled scientists that there are now several psychological studies on the phenomenon. Here is a good summary of those studies, that (I believe) is available to the general public:
We had just a small bit of snow/rain mix this morning, but for the most part, it has just been very wet, no snow on the ground. But it has been damn cold, had to start a fire this afternoon.
Yesterday I woke to the sound of eight inches sliding off the roof and thudding on the ground at about 5:30am. Today it was only two inches of new stuff. And tonight, as has been true for over a month, it gets dark way late for May. In fact, I have been finding July wildflowers in full swing, in May. The songbirds’ arrival was quite early, the bison babies seem to all be born and the elk are looking ready to start bearing their young early.
It’s well after 10:30pm and there’s still some daylight off to the northwest of here, usually that goes for about a week or two in late June, early July. And the later orchids have been sighted over a week ago, haven’t seen any early ones yet, too much snow…? Maybe?
Has anyone noticed which way the big dipper is pointing this week? Will it be due south on 6/21?
I think that Harley has a good point, it’s probably some man-made and some natural processes that we didn’t think would happen in our lifetime. I know that I was told, back in gradeschool, that I would not live long enough to see a volcano erupt, or a major earthquake on this continent. Things we considered constants don’t seem to be so anymore.
The thing I’ve found out about science is that it is ever changing. Dinosaurs looked like one thing with one theory when I was a kid and it changed to something else by the time I had kids. New things are discovered, theories are tested, adjusted, changed or even thrown out entirely. Nothing is really absolute. I guess there is truth to the saying that the only things you can really count on are death and taxes!
++The thing I’ve found out about science is that it is ever changing. Dinosaurs looked like one thing with one theory when I was a kid and it changed to something else by the time I had kids. ++
Science: what changes is how it’s done with the evolution of new tools. Science is one of the few disciplines that is, for the most part, unabashedly self correcting.
In defense of Harley and her dinosaur statement. During the 50’s general theory was that dinosaurs were slow moving, slow witted, tail-dragging, ectothermic reptiles. Current knowledge all but trash cans that prior knowledge.
Current evidence leans toward fast moving, some with remarkable intelligence, tail as a counterbalance, perhaps feather covered endotherms, that might in fact still be with us in their present form as birds.
Also I grew up with the knowledge, from science, that dinosaurs were like big reptiles and now it is acceptable knowledge that they are more closely related to birds.
So yes, Mike, really.
Thanks Immer, that was where I was going with that.
Enjoy your Memorial Day! Go kiss a Veteran!!
++New things are discovered, theories are tested, adjusted, changed or even thrown out entirely. Nothing is really absolute. I guess there is truth to the saying that the only things you can really count on are death and taxes!++
Not really. Science has had a pretty good grasp on dinosaurs and many other things for a long time.
What you’re doing here is creating a generic false equivalency because you simply don’t understand the science. That’s okay, but I wouldn’t get on a bullhorn anytime soon.
How old are you Mike that you have come to such a pinnacle of wisdom that so far surpasses everyone here? I of course should bow down to your greater ‘knowledge’ of all things science.
Nope, not gonna happen.
You’re doing it again. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Knowledge about dinosaurs has changed enormously from the early discoveries through the 1950’s, 60’s and the present. The works and ideas of individuals like Roy Chapman Andrews and early 20th century paleontologists have given way to the likes of Robert Bakker, John Horner, and Phil Currie, and more lately the works of Paul Sereno, and countless Chinese paleontologists, to name just a few… Add in electron microscopes, CT and MRI scans,molecular biology, the knowledge of how DNA functions, and the physics of dinosaur anatomy; and more has been formulated about dinosaurs in the past 30-40 years than all prior time put together.
Museum displays have reflected the change from the old ideas to the new ideas.
Ski resort development vs. conservation in Utah:
a call to action against the national sportsmen heritage act.
Thank you Patricia and Paul
I’m surprised the mods haven’t made this a feature article. This is an all-out attack on the wilderness act by hunters.
Without understanding all the details, this seems pretty extreme. I do have to say I find application of wilderness area rules highly variable (which is not bad, if for good reason) and arbitrary (which generally is). The USFS can be extremely picky here on the Tongass National Forest about conduct of fisheries and wildlife research projects in places and at times of year when no public is ever around to see or hear activities. On the other hand, while on a wilderness backcountry hike far from the road in NW Yellowstone a year and a half ago, we passed a park trail crew who were ripping away with a chainsaw that could be heard for miles in a place and time where public was likely within earshot who may have been there specifically for wilderness solitude. It didn’t bother me personally, and I understand the need to accomplish work efficiently with today’s limited NPS budgets, but it certainly could have put a damper on a trip for somebody from Chicago hoping to get away from it all during a 2 week vacation.
Actually I put in about sixty tent nights on federal land a year. A combo of work and pleasure.
But you stumbled onto a point with the chainsaws. They are incredibly annoying regardless of how much time you have and where you are.
A chainsaw is best kept quiet unless it’s your property or you’re clearing a road.
Actually, I may have subconsciously picked out Chicago as the city in my reply — wasn’t trying to specifically characterize your trips west. I’m not pure idealist enough to insist on the use of hand saws (and against all motors) for extensive trail work like the NPS/Americorps crew was doing in the Yellowstone backcountry — in late September, probably thinking they were avoiding the hiking season. However, I would definitely look at quieter, creative options than a full-on 2 cycle chainsaw engine. As just one option, Honda makes a 2000 watt generator using an inverter that is very light and portable (one hand carry), clean, uses little gas and is so quiet you can hardly hear the hum from a few yards away. Perhaps use that to power an electric chainsaw. At one camp (not one that I was involved in) on a remote river through designated wilderness, the permitting agency forbade use of such a generator to charge batteries for the camp and research activities. So the crew routinely loaded the batteries in a river boat powered by a big, loud 2-cycle gas-hog engine with a jet drive and drove 2-miles downstream on a state controlled navigable waterway to a small private inholding where they could be legally charged with a generator. I suggested they put the quiet generator in the boat parked in state waters and just run a cord to shore, but they were concerned that would just antagonize the federal land administrator/permitor (who had commented “Just be glad we’re letting you keep your laptops and wrist watches!”. Sometimes common sense goes a long way.
I agree. It’s all in the timing and technology
I was in Lassen National Park in 2010 (incredible place, BTW, and on par in terms of scenics with the Rockies) and staying at Summit Lake Campground.
Well, a “clean up crew” was working in the middle of August, chainsawing the hell out of the campground and periphery. It was literally non-stop chainsawing for two days. Many of the campers simply left and moved to other campgrounds. Poorly managed to say the least.
Think chain saws are annoying? Check this out…
U.S. Forest Service considers using explosives to bring down trees
According to my smoke-jumping pals, this technique is used in fire fighting. But what about doing this for large tracts of forest???? What about impacts to sensitive species that are not the targets of this activity?
A little more detail, and a video of a blast… Wonder how many of these will end in the creation of fires that get out of control.
U.S. Forest Service workers fell day’s worth of trees in a second with blasts
Munitions manufacturers’ dream… and usurpation of our right to untainted natural “resources”.
Salle, I haven’t been there when they’re using explosives to fall trees, but I can’t imagine it’s really all that loud. Plus, a technician could link several charges in series and take down multiple trees in one drum roll, so the noise would be somewhat limited.
The big advantage is safety – everyone can be well outside the collapse zone instead of very much in harm’s way at the base of the tree. I’ve added a lot of gray hairs trying to get trees on the ground in places with a lot of insect-kill — wedges, come-a-longs, axes . . . fun with physics in the woods!
Anyway – the explosives are probably no louder than chainsaws and all the swearing.
My smoke-jumper pals make the same argument and I believe that, in some cases, as in during the process of fighting fires this may be a better safety option for the humans immediately involved. (Might want to watch that short video in the second link.) I know from my time in the woods that a gunshot can be pretty loud in a quiet forest as well as ATVs.
What I have issues with are:
the noise factor
the idea that just blowing things up is usually the way to go for the sake of expediency if nothing else
the concept that you have to prevent/abate/subdue all forest fires (a natural process that is more efficient at maintaining a healthy forest than human intervention ever could – even in one’s imagination)
lack of consideration for the rest of the species inhabiting that area
that man is to be coddled for the sake of convenience, profit and maintaining a sense of superiority at the expense of all other species…
Just to list a few issues of concern. In my thinking, whether others like it or not, humans are the species in need of control, not the other way around.
Agreed on most counts. However, in the case of the Pioneer Scenic By-way, they’re removing bug-killed hazard trees that pose a risk to the roadway, pullouts, and campgrounds. To me, this limited case looks like a good application.
I think it perpetuates the un-natural longevity of a species in need of culling. My mom used to tell my brother and me, “If you’re going to play in the woods, you have to expect that it’s dangerous and to pay attention.” As in “pass at your own risk.” I have issues with the sanitization of the natural environment to accommodate the species-centric humans at the expense of other species. If you go out to camp, figure out that there are dangers there, this pampering for profit has gone way too far for what it begets compared to the benefit of letting natural processes, including the demise of some (perhaps many) humans via nature’s broom.
As for my longevity, most of what keeps me going on a daily basis is now gone, so when I get to make the transition, I’ll be just fine with it… which is what now keeps me going on a daily basis… with a DNR order attached to my driver’s license. (For those who would start with the complaints that I would be willing to see other humans leave but not feel so about my own existence.)
I think some sunnier weather is on its way!
In the case of places like the scenic byway and campgrounds, if we don’t take out hazard trees, we’ll either have a lot of injuries and deaths
people will exercise common sense and self-reliance by making their own new campsites. I’d rather keep those impacts concentrated in a safe, designated place.
I do agree with the idea of preventing individual campground formations… but that’s doesn’t stop that from happening as a survey of the Gallatin NF will show. No matter how near or far from the nearest town you go in the region, evidence of personal campsites is quite noticeable and widespread.
Not that you don’t have some good points, I just see that there is increasing futility in all of the management actions in play. I get the feeling that it really isn’t going to matter much by the end of the year, or maybe next summer.
“but that’s doesn’t stop that from happening”
I meant: …all those attempts to deter individual campsite making are not really working all that well… May take several years to see any noticeable results from taking such actions… and maybe too late to tell by then anyway.
Salle, Sap – I wasn’t able to attend the meeting regarding blowing up tress (vs cutting them down) but I understand the blowing up part, isn’t going to be a part of the future when it comes to the culling of beetle dead trees along the Byway.
A nice editorial in today’s Idaho Mistakesman.
Good article, more factual than most I have seen in some time. I don’t think it will have much effect in abating the criticisms of the conservation movement, thanks to idiot loudmouths filling our airwaves with misinformation of the sort mentioned in the article. The stupid will stay stupid because it makes them feel safer for some stupid reason. Ignorance is bliss… for the ignorant.
Great op-ed. Too many rural residents believe that if it weren’t for environmentalists, there would be a thriving timber industry keeping them all gainfully employed with long-term, high-paying jobs.
The statistics from the 1980’s provides indisputable proof that employment in the timber industry was on the downslope well before the spotted owl.
The boom days of the timber industry are never coming back, with or without environmental laws.
Indian state makes it legal for guards to shoot and kill poachers:
As the U.S. population climbs, this is the kind of thing that will start happening.
Given how poachers are stealing the diversity of the biosphere, endangering every living thing in it, I don’t have a problem with the tactic. Perhaps the thrill of defying death via high powered weaponry with a just purpose will lose its appeal after a few idiots are removed from the gene pool. I have no sympathy for my own species when it comes to their misplaced sense of ultimate entitlement.
They don’t like the word “entitlement” used in connection with them. They would prefer that you use “exceptionalism” (sic) instead and they don’t think it’s misplaced at all, just ask ’em.
Yeah, I know. It’s blatantly obvious among the Romney/Limbaugh backers in the area where I am.
The three criteria for successful living in this area:
Mormon, male and pale.
I hear you; try growing up as a “mud person.”
The Clean Water Act Turns 40: Is the Law Still Protecting Our Waters?
The Clean Water Act of 1972, one of the boldest environmental laws ever enacted, officially enters its midlife crisis years.
Idaho forest sites face cuts
Japan’s Toxic Tsunami Debris Heads Towards North America
Chris Pallister of the Gulf of Alaska Keeper Organization: “This is more hazardous than oil”
Perhaps it’s all over but the crying…
Growing Fear Over Fukushima Fuel Pool 4 as Wall Bulge Detected
TEPCO admits a bulge detected in the walls of Unit 4, stoking fears over the building’s stability
The sun came out for a while this morning and created a couple of thermals here at the north end of Cascade Lake.
The first one attracted nineteen white pelicans who rode it until they disappeared from sight. A short time later I saw three bald eagle soaring on a second thermal. All of the birds seemed to be just having fun. They were able to climb to great heights without a wing flap.
anyone who has spent any time in a sailplane, has high regard for thermals. Several years ago I had the great pleasure of soaring over the Grand after starting from Driggs airport and a little lift from a Cessna. One of the greatest moments in my life.
About thirty years ago I climbed to the top of table mountain and was admiring the view toward the Grand when I heard a strange noise above and behind me. I turned and looked to see two sail planes approaching. They both passsed over me and circled the grand. Looked like fun.
“EPA seeks to ease rules on muddy runoff from logging roads”
“Washington state hopes to buy historic ranch for conservation”
I hope the state buys the property, it will be interesting how access/land use plays out?
I hope the state buys it as well. From what I read, the property owners want to keep all options open, which one could assume means they will most likely sell to the highest bidder.
“Jeff Tayer, regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “As rare as this is now and as precious as it is now, it’s nothing compared to how rare it will be 20 years from now.”
Every property that comes available should be a priority for state and federal purchases. Its the 5, 10, 20 year perspective that needs to be factored.
Sequoia National Park: California Smog Threatens Ancient Trees
An astonishing park. I’m not surprised though. some of the worst air quality I’ve seen/breathed in any park or national forest.
The Baldy White Water complex fire in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico is inching closer to becoming the largest fire in New Mexico History. Currently at 133,000 acres and 0% containment the fire has been fueled by high winds and low humidity.
The following two links will take you to composite stitched photos of the fire I took yesterday to get an idea of just how massive the smoke plumes appear as you drive along the western flank of the fire on US highway 180
Nathan, thanks for posting these amazing photos. We have been catching smoke in the morning all the way down here in Las Cruces yesterday and today. Last evening we could see a huge plume of smoke, looking much like a dense cloud bank, on our northern horizon.I noticed that this morning’s fire report from the Gila National Forest shows the current acreage burned at over 152,000 acres.
The Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire has now achieved the dubious distinction of being the largest in New Mexico history, with a total acreage burned of 170,272 acres. The Gila National Forest Photostream is frequently updated with new photos and maps. Here’s the link:
Assembly considers ban on using dogs to tree prey
Please sign up and say no to the susitna dam project.. Its not a good thing.
help create some buzz about this book
Doc Watson passed away today.
Oh that is sad. I loved his music
Two quite different current perpectives on the controversy about the former Denali buffer zone. It looks like I was wrong in another post about the possibility it will be revisited soon under the normal cycle. When it was eliminated, a 6-year moratorium was apparently also established on reconsideration:
Bluefin tuna that are known to spawn near Japan and migrate to waters off California have been found with Fukashima radiation. The good news so far is that it does not appear to have been carried across to fish by currents, and is not found in tuna local to the eastern North Pacific, but was brought across by fish directly from local waters near Japan.
Here verbatim is a press release from Wyomong Governor Matt Mead today , who apparently is perturbed that the Grizzly Bear is still listed in Wyoming.
Governor Expresses Wyoming’s Frustration with Grizzly Remaining on Endangered Species List
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead is asking Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, to work with Wyoming to remove the grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List sooner than currently anticipated. Delisting by the federal government appears to be at least two years away because an evaluation of data related to white bark pine is starting and is slated to take two years.
“The situation is severe and costly,” Governor Mead wrote in a recent letter to Secretary Salazar. Governor Mead noted grizzly bears caused four human deaths over the past two years.
Wyoming does not have jurisdiction over the grizzly bears yet the state pays for the management of the bears. “Wyoming’s investment in recovery over the past 28 years exceeds $35 million. The average annual cost to Wyoming for grizzly management approaches $2 million.”
Governor Mead thanked the Secretary for his work on wolves and sage-grouse and said he hoped the two could continue their cooperative relationship. Governor Mead is specifically asking that they work together now to expedite the analysis related to white bark pine and how it may relate to grizzly bear populations. “Two years is too long and the cost is too great,” Governor Mead wrote.
### endquote ###
Comment: Maybe Matt is thinking he can just take the text of Wyoming Wolf Plan, change every instance of ” Wolf ” to ” Grizzly ” , and shove it down Interior’s throat or up another orifice.
Wyo Griz Plan : 15 breeding females and no more than 150 bears inside a protected trophy zone surrounding Yellowstone . Start blasting away at them outside the Trophy Zone. Any bear mixing it up with people or livestock inside the Trophy Zone will be eradicated forthwith . A possible ” Flex Zone” will be allowed during early Spring to allow emerging bears to visit Grand Teton National Park for Spring Break . Is that the jist of your percieved Grizzly Plan , Matt ?
Billings Gazette has it today: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/wyoming-governor-asks-feds-to-delist-grizzlies/article_dc3bc502-1514-5211-bc4d-1c53f15450e3.html
Now, what else did we expect when the first voices gnawing on the protection of the bears came up and grew louder last year? Those bears urgently need some “management”, don’t they?
LOL….I don’t know how he can utter that word with a straight face. I want to believe that even the hypocrisy of politicians only goes so far.
It’s all about control for dudes with little wee-wees.
“The situation is severe and costly” (Emphasis added.)
That’s the same argument against EPA rulings, the Clean Air Act mandates, the Clean Water Act mandates, and any other regulation that requires evidence gained through empirical inquiry rather than knee-jerk excuses in order to avoid compliance. Usually used by large corporations, and often attended by threats of job losses.
Free and open elections cost a lot too. Maybe that’s why the GOP is trying so hard to purge the voter rolls.
Yeah, imagine that. I’m beginning to suspect that all these seemingly small scale state level offenses against “we the little people” (the unmonied) will ultimately prove to be harbingers of much uglier things yet to come. Serfdom is alive and well in the US of A already, full-fledged feudalism here come.
For most of you, this won’t sound like much of a big deal, but a couple of days ago, I saw a black bear run across highway 18 just east of Mason City in north central Iowa. This is in the heart of prairie cornfield country, although the bear was heading up a small wooded creek drainage.
The last bear in these parts was about 10 yrs. ago, and it was chased and shot by farm kids on ATVs. Bears here have no protection whatsoever and may be shot on sight, since Iowa DNR claims bears don’t exist in Iowa and are not recognized as a game animal.
It was even more surprising since I was driving home from several weeks in Newfoundland and Labrador where the only bear I saw was a frightened yearling by the roadside in Labrador. Did see tons of moose and caribou though, but missed a polar bear by about a week.
It’s always a big deal to me when a wild critter shows up in an unexpected place. I hope you were wise enough to keep it to yourself.
That was a gift……. ^..^
Skyrim – speaking of….last night I had an interesting encounter with a mouse in the house. From the sound, I’m pretty sure it fell thru the crack where the water heater vents up to the roof. When I got up to investigate I discovered a tiny mouse by the closet door. Not your average mouse though – it was pure white with pink ears. Not at all afraid of me or the dog.
I’ve seen a lot of mice over the years but never a white one (unless it was at a pet store) Put out some dog food and water and will have to decide what to do with it 🙂
Years ago my Dad had some mice in the house, actually an annual event, but no one could stand to hurt them so we put blocked the entrance to where they came in, and made a “mouse house” that we put in the woods so they had some shelter and could build their nest there. The field mice here are quite lovely. Despite their destructive chewing I don’t have the heart to hurt them
“Despite their destructive chewing I don’t have the heart to hurt them”
I don’t either Louise – I was already working on a name for this little mouse when I finally nodded off last night 🙂
The cards are stacked against it though, if it should decide to hang out – two cats and a mixed breed, pound dog (who lived the life of a stray for awhile and has no problem gobbling down mice when she runs across them) -could make short work of it, at any given time.
The only ones who seem to be on the side of this very unusual little mouse, in the house 🙂 besides myself, is my other dog, also a mixed breed and small, who found this mouse absolutely fascinating to watch, as it scampered around the bedroom last night.
strange that its all white…I hope he/she escapes and finds it way to a safe place. Try the mouse house if you can catch him in a have a heart trap
No, I told no one about the bear sighting. Iowa DNR would have notified the local sheriff who would have put out an APB and advised women and children to stay indoors til the critter was brought to justice.
I’ve encountered black bears in the woods many times, and have been bluff charged by them more than once. But, it was amazing how vulnerable and frightened a bear looks running across a four lane highway. Very sad too, that it will most likely be shot by some yokel.
Nevada rancher upset with Utah coyote bounty hunters
Years ago, when I first became interested in Yellowstone wolf recovery, I would frequently visit Ralph Maughan’s website. My only comment is that I just stumbled upon this page and I’m bookmarking it. What a tremendous resource for wildlife news. I used to live in Chicago. Now I’m in Arizona and becoming interested in the reintroduction of Mexican wolves. Thanks for a great resource.
“Utility looks to dam Skykomish for power”
“Lonesome Larry’s legacy lives on in salmon’s rebound”
Story about Snake River Sockeye.
Baucus, Tester want brucellosis off security list
“The Montana Democrats said Tuesday that the restrictions are making research into a possible vaccine for the disease brucellosis more difficult and expensive”
Gotta wonder whats going on here when you hear words like “more difficult and expensive” coming out of the mouths of politicians.
Salle, found this even more interesting…and disturbing (on the same page)
when you realize the HUGE amounts in subsidies (as in $$ millions & millions) spent on these hard working “colonies” which are all over the west, especially Montana, and yet at the same time, are tax exempt?
You know, that brings up something I have been thinking about for a couple years, at least, regarding separation of church and state issues and this christian version of sharia laws being put in place all over the country at the state level, especially in the past year. (As in the war on women we’ve been hearing and seeing so much of lately.) It appears that someone at NG is playing into that scheme by floating the idea of religious colonies as perhaps a model for the rest of us? (Honestly, look at these folks, women can only participate in accepted roles and they have to keep their hair covered… Brings to mind another article that I’ll not post a link to here but it was about why women in muslim dominated societies are brutally abused for not making themselves unattractive ~ wearing hijabs etc. ~ because the men can’t control themselves so women have to become some kind of pariah that endangers the males in the society because the males can’t control their sex drive and are allowed to act like unruly twelve-year-olds. So women pay the price for everything and according to the philosophy, it’s all the women’s fault that they are attacked and treated like bad dogs.)
I think that none of these groups should be tax exempt specifically because they certainly put a lot of effort, money and time into claiming that our laws offend their religious freedom while insisting that our laws reflect their beliefs by imposing them, by force if need be, upon everyone else whether they are subscribers to that religion or not. I live in a religion dominated area and they dominate a good part of the west, especially in the Rocky Mountains. I don’t plan on joining their ranks anytime in the foreseeable future but they certainly make my life and survival in a bad economy more difficult than it should be because I’m not male and have no male counterpart to control my behavior and thoughts and am not a subscriber. But that’s the way of dominating religions, they have their hands in our politics even though our laws, you know like that pesky separation of church and state thing alluded to in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the US and all, prohibit them from participating. They should not only not have special considerations for subsidies they should not hold tax exempt status given the recent notable activities of several religions that inhabit the nation.
Just one recent topic of note that should send bright red flags of alarm to all citizens: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/30/492188/churches-preach-anti-gay-violence/
As much as with the article you posted. Once again I will say what I think is the truth about religions… they are population control mechanisms designed to manipulate a population through fear and guilt and by promising that some unseen force will favor them in this life and afterward for acting in accordance with their leaders… and then there’s that “chosen ones” thing. There’s no opportunity for equality in a religion, period. There is always an “other” who must be vilified and whom you can be better than as long as you follow your selected leader and women are an unfortunate consequence of the human condition which means they are to be exploited rather than respected. Religions wield too much influence via fear and guilt, as many instances in history have shown. If they want to participate in our elections and any related activities, as they have been, they need to be paying taxes too, especially when they function like a corporation. I have a big problem with religions having any special status and deference. I think that if you have strong spiritual beliefs, that’s fine… just keep it to yourself thank you very much and don’t be asking for taxpayer $$ when you pass the collection plate around every chance you get and then tell many of the subscribers that they are unworthy trash because of their biological body-type. Grrrrr!!
The good part, for me at least, is that I don’t have a TeeVee and probably will never see this atrocity.
A little more on that…
Tax Exempt Cheats: The Mormon Church Egregiously Breaks the Law to Fund Mitt Romney
Once in a great while there comes a “good news” wildlife story from Idaho…
Idaho 21 wildlife underpass apparently works
Salle, I drive that road daily and it has really made a huge difference. One would see
a dead deer along there almost everyday. We hit two ourselves in a year, however they both got up and ran off. This winter I saw only one deer and no elk.
From my long past conversations with Dr. Lance Craighead, I learned that these underpasses and overpasses are quite a plus in conserving wildlife by providing them with safe passage across roadways. He has been an advocate for such considerations for quite some time and prompted my interest in them… I first heard of them back in college in a class on wildlife management policies. I’m glad to see that they are being considered and employed in many more places now. And somewhat surprised that Idaho even gave them a first thought to begin with and amazed that there actually is at least one in the state.
They got it built with a federal handout that their politicians love to whine about so much.
Temper tantrum or what…?
Developer closes Quigley trail access
Mayor describes action as ‘sad’
Illegal trail use threatens elk calving on Burnt Mountain
Five trails closed through June 20, but officials say there are numerous violations
Appeals Decision Paves Way for Shell’s Arctic Drilling
Court ruling issued Friday before holiday weekend sides with federal gov’t to green light exploration plans
Eating Monsanto GMO Corn Can “Turn Your Gut into a Living Pesticide Factory,” Article Contends
Republicans targeting the Lacey Act:
Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s already “all over except the crying”.
Public tells FWP to increase mountain-lion harvests
But, is it really the general public or just the usual suspects?
Food for thought for all who comment or write anything online:
List of Keywords and Phrases DHS Uses to Monitor Social Networking Sites and Online Media
This morning I was watcching Fox News, and I was shocked at their stupidity, lack of knowledge, spewing poison out of their pie holes against the wolf. I have contacted Predator Defense. Hopefully they will contact Fox News and correct their inaccurate reporting: Below is what I sent to Predators:
Good morning and a big HELP (in the name of the wolf),
This morning I was watching Fox News, and much to my dismay, they did a short piece on the wolf, having the facts wrong. They even referred to the movie, “Old Yeller” as possibly being bitten by a wolf and dying from rabies. I sat there stunned. The only statement they had correct is that animal activists are threatening to sue for the wolves being slaughtered. According to Fox News, there is an over abundance of wolves. Surely not in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Then they were saying how it’s right to shoot a wolf before it attacks you. Oh, my God! My hair stood on end. The only thing they said right was that wolves take down deer, but they left it at that, not mentioning the good that does. They never mentioned about the wolves controlling large herds of animals so there is no over grazing. They never mentioned that the wolf usually only takes down the sick or the elderly making the herd stronger. If it weren’t for the wolf helping to manage the Eco system, there would be no grass, the trees would die, therefore, no place for birds to nest and raise their families. They didn’t mention any of this. Fox News area covers everyone, and people listen to what they have to say. They are usually right, but this time they hit the bottom of the ladder of evolution in my book. Could somebody from Predator Defense contact them and explain what is really going on. They didn’t even mention how Defenders of Wildlife held meetings for the farmers, showing them first hand how to keep their livestock safe from predators. They also did not mention that the wolf is not the main predator. There are other animals out there that are killing the livestock, even packs of wild dogs. Why don’t the farmers complain when their herds get sick and they loose many of them to illnesses or broken bones from holes on their land?
Please, if you can, it is so important that Fox News corrects it’s inaccurate information on the wolf. Their information was wrong. (And if I remember correctly, it was wild boars that killed Old Yeller.)
Please, contact them. It was the morning show. (Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:30 AM, EST..Steve Ducey, Brian Kilmey, and the woman. Not sure of her name or the spellings, but that is were this poison was spewed from.)
Sorry Anne, it was a wolf. Check about the 2:50 mark.
I think your outrage is warranted whether or not Old Yeller died from rabies contracted by a wolf or other animal. The media far too often is undereducated about wildlife and other issues related to maintaing healthy ecosystems. There used to be a widely used term called yellow journalism when journalists tainted/distorted stories to increase the sensationalist factor. Mainstream media seem to have adopted this style of reporting as the norm. Its always intriguing and maddening to me. I really don’t know if people want the type of trash that is fed to them, as media outlets claim or its the other way around and the public’s tastes have evolved to accept shallow and intellectually deadened reporting. A good friend of mine who does regular work for Discovery rejected several storylines I developed with the intent for Animal Planet and National Geographic because the new format relies heavily on using reconstituted material and hype. We both lamented but it’s the way of media. In any event, glad to hear your outrage. Wolves are much maligned and they don’t need any more undeserved bad press.
Fox News viewers less informed than those who don’t watch news at all: study
Merely for those who might be interested.
That’s not news. I’ve known that almost from the first word out of Brit Hume’s mouth. (When I quickly turned the channel.) ;-))
Perhaps not news to you but may be to the commenter above who wrote the letter to an org in horror of what they saw on the least informative fake news program on the T and V. I think this study’s results can’t be broadcast widely or often enough.
somewhat of an odd story
A tight article in the Toronto Globe and Mail about national environmental policy in Canada being subjugated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s pro-industry steamroller politics . Harper’s admin makes Bush-Cheney look like moderates…
Good to see the First Nations are consolidating to go to COurt opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway dual pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the West Coast.
“Endangered Species Act Works”:
The actual report:
Idaho elk hunters on this forum might want to fill out this survey that Jeff E put a link to.
Four hypotheses were evaluated for the long-term decline in productivity of Fraser River sockeye salmon. Although competition with pink salmon has the most support, “salmon farming along migration routes for juvenile Fraser River sockeye and warming sea temperatures could also play a role.”
I don’t know if this has been posted or not, but the White’s who killed the Methow Valley Wolves received hefty fines, but no jail time.
If they truly pay the fines, its a big hit, but I wonder if clandestine donations might trickle their way.
This has been a topic of discussion on a thread of its own here. Yes, there is a good chance that deep pockets will help bail them out; but, even if that doesn’t happen, their “old lady” will pick up the tab. Out of a “family” that includes several fully grown, big and tough, very fully armed male rednecks, their mama is the only one who has a real job and brings in a real paycheck, which is pretty common among the hard core backwoods NRA crowd up in that country.
“Yes, there is a good chance that deep pockets will help bail them out;”
Care to elaborate on that?
See the last line of Immer Treue’s posting above mine.
Anti-wolf sentiment runs deep and sometimes the aid that runs to poachers is not so clandestine… one example from someone who got nailed in Michigan for poaching, and what happens.
reality22 said: Monday, February 28, 2011
As far as I am concerned, William Hayward is a civlian wolf population control manager. Let me know where I can send my support dollars! Poacher is a term to be used for people taking game against the will of the majority of the local people!
I don’t believe they’ll get much help.
$20 bucks from a carp like “reality 22” won’t make a difference. There was a thread started on a Washington hunting blog on the topic of support for the White’s an it received almost zero responses.
If you add the White’s sketchy reputation locally, on top of the fact that there were crimes involving other animals than wolves, their support has been luke-warm at best.
+++If you add the White’s sketchy reputation locally, on top of the fact that there were crimes involving other animals than wolves, their support has been luke-warm at best.+++
Massachusetts Woman, Finds Baby Bird With 2 Heads, 3 Beaks
A potential legal challenge to the proposed Wisconsin wolf hunt –
Not to get into the should wolves be hunted or not hunted argument… I believe the extent that Wisconsin proposed to go after wolves has opened the door(s) to a myriad of law suits.
Conservative, fair chase hunting, in particular in areas of conflict with wolves would have made much more sense, and most likely considerably less opposition. But the pendulum seems to swing farther in irrationality with each continuing period.
I regard to the mild midwest Winter, as per the Mech, and I believe Fitch study, has there been any increase in livestock depredation thus far through Wisconsin?
Too early to tell, Immer – right now fawns are the main course. There have only been three confirmed livestock depredations in May, although there were a significant number of confirmed cases in April.
Once the fawns get more mobile and less vulnerable we’ll see the first peak of summer depredation, followed by another peak in August/ September when the pups’ protein requirements seem highest.
Is it just me, or is it as obvious as the nose on your face, that “the war on predators” ends up costing, shamefully more, in so many ways, because livestock owners (and lets not forget, whin’y hunters) can’t grasp the bigger picture:
I’ve used this argument the past couple years for Wisconsin in particular. Ma’iingan and I can agree to disagree, but there appears to be a trend where counties that have wolves, almost across the board, deer/auto collisions have decreased.
As much is said about the damage wolves cause to livestock/pets… I am pretty sure the data will show that deer cause more damage in dollars to agriculture than wolves for all causes.
That said, deer are hunted for food, but I doubt many will eat those mangy, internal parasite carrying, flea bag, decimatin out deer, bus stop raiding, good for nothing vermin.
“As much is said about the damage wolves cause to livestock/pets… I am pretty sure the data will show that deer cause more damage in dollars to agriculture than wolves for all causes. but there appears to be a trend where counties that have wolves, almost across the board, deer/auto collisions have decreased”
Too bad those statistics are gonna take awhile to digest (at the cost of a lot of wildlfe) in the simple minds out there appointed to make the rules and reguations, county wise, regarding wildlife’s right to exist.
I hope this challenge works. What is it with people who want to kill more and more? From the article Ma’ posted “Ralph Fritsch, of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, supported the season framework for the most part, but pleaded with the board to restore coyote hunting during the nine-day gun deer season in northern Wisconsin.” Someone explain to me why a sane person needs to “plead” to kill more of any animal. Is this what hunters are now? Kill Kill Kill. This makes me feel disgusted.
“There is no longer a biological reason to restrict this coyote hunting,” said Fritsch. There is no longer a logical argument to allow hunters to destroy and fragment wildlife populations as a blood thirst sport. Its sickening.
Ralph, Ken, George and all readers, take a moment to read this.
As an addendum
Part of the written piece discussed radio collars and their impacts on wolves which was debated here some short time ago. Also there is an indictment of bow hunting which seems to be generally argued as being an art. I have always thought bow hunting was especially cruel… these writers argue the same.
My extended family is full of hard core stone cold avid hunters, not what you would recognize as an animal rights advocate anywhere in the group. This is not a sensitive group. Most of them tried bow hunting at one time or another. They’re all good hunters and all had good success; hunting, including bow hunting, is a heritage for us. Yet, every single one of those who tried it quit after the first or second hunt. After growing used to fast one shot rifle kills; they just didn’t have the stomach for animals slowly bleeding to death. No kosher slaughter for us.
My friend JImmy Jones wildlife images after his yearly trip to Yellowstone.
learning to coexist with wildlife