©1999 Wolff Den Design - Lady Wolf - Ralph Maughans Wildlife Reports

Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country

January - February 2000

Please be aware that not all articles and links will be working as some of the sources do not keep archives.  

2-29-2000 Environmental Group Says Gallatin Snowmobile Trespass Shows Pattern of Abuse. News Release. Unfortunately, snowmobile use in areas supposedly closed to them has become very common because enforcement is rare.  Because many of these closures were long debated and hard fought, this is one reason why conservationists have little sympathy for retaining their use in Yellowstone. We are probably going to have to have continual air and snowmobile patrols to catch outlaw snowmobilers.
2-29-2000 Story: First "state of the national park" report issued for Yellowstone. Billings Gazette by Michael Milstein.  The actual report.
2-28-2000 A prof takes on the sacred cow.  Wyoming's Cowboy Joes jump on a grazing critic. By Katharine Collins. High Country News. It used to be they'd go after a prof if he or she was accused of being a Communist, but this prof is much worse -- she criticized Wyoming ranchers!
2-28-2000 Wyoming Rancher gets $78,000 out of claimed $908,000 grizzly bear depredation claim. Billings Gazette.  The rancher got less than a tenth of what he sought, and he was also chastised.
2-26-2000 Babbitt Pushes Land Protection Initiative. CNN.
2-25-2000 Roadless Rhetoric: Debunking the myths behind a Forest Service “land grab” by Ken Picard. Missoula Independent
2-24-2000 EPA rejects Yellowstone Winter Use Plans. by Michel Milstein. Billings Gazette.  I'm not surprised this happened. I couldn't figure out how the Park could propose any alternatives that allowed snowmobile pollution to continue because the existing level of winter pollution grossly exceeds the EPA standard for national parks and even for polluted cities.

EPA gives cold shoulder to all options but snowmobile ban. by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

2-23-2000 President Clinton may declare a 400,000 acre Sequoia National Monument. MSNBC News. On-line vote.
2-23-2000 Motorized group says ATVs kinder to grizzlies than hikers by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This is a new argument ATVers are trying out -- ATVs don't harm grizzlies because grizzlies never attack ATVs.  By that logic bulldozers ought to be even better for grizzlies than ATVs.
2-22-2000 Chief Joseph Pup killed by bus, its body stolen. Lawmen Investigate Body Theft. Billings Gazette. This is an unusual story, but the toll killer US 191 takes on wolves, and other wildlife is not.
2-20-2000 Wolves are a Red Herring for Farmers. Op-ed by Suzanne Laverty. Southern Rockies Representative. Defenders of Wildlife
2-18-2000 U.S. Land Protection Plans are Monumental: If Congress doesn't Act to Preserve Millions of Acres, the Administration Will Likely Designate up to a dozen protected areas of a new type by Judith Graham. Chicago Tribune.
2-18-2000 Off the Marc: Why Montana Governor Racicot is not qualified to be Secretary of Interior by Steve Thompson. The Missoula Independent.
2-17-2000 Big Game, Big Business by Hal Herring. The Missoula Independent. Elk farming in Montana and elsewhere spreads controversy and maybe disease. It shooting an elk in an enclosure hunting?
2-16-2000 Controversial oil and gas leases issued in prime grizzly bear area. Billings Gazette. The location of these leases (Brent Creek) is about 3 miles SE of the Diamond G Ranch in the Dunoir.  It has as many grizzlies bear per square mile as perhaps anywhere in the Yellowstone country.  In 1997 I walked into Brent Creek to look at the lease location. I ran into a grizzly bear in just ten minutes.
2-15-2000 One-third of budget - Winter use of Yellowstone is an expensive operation. Post Register. Next time you fork over $20 from your auto in enter Yellowstone, consider the high subsidy you are paying to promote polluting winter snowmobile use.
2-15-2000 Taypayers Continue to subsidize public land ranching. Spokane Spokesman-Review.  The federal government collects about 20 cents for every dollar spent on grazing.
2-14-2000 Biologist: Jackson Hole wolf impact still unclear. Billings Gazette. My feeling is the summer and winter of 2000-2001 is when the wolves will start to have real impact on the elk, deer, and moose in and near Jackson Hole.
2-12-2000 Elk Foundation buys land near Anaconda: Purchase preserves wildlife habitat, watershed. By SHERRY DEVLIN of the Missoulian. By SHERRY DEVLIN of the Missoulian. This is a really big purchase of private land for wildlife. Everyone seems to approve of it, even Montana's "zero rating" Senator Burns.
2-11-2000 Montana US Senator Burns gets a "zero" rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Billings Gazette. Burns has turned in has usual stellar performance on behalf of polluters. In Idaho the entire congressional delegation got a zero except Helen Chenoweth-Hage who somehow managed to score "6" out of a possible "100."
2-10-2000 "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Op-ed from the Missoulian by Mike Bader. These are conservation leader Bader's comments on the anti-fed "Shovel Brigade"
2-9-2000 Idaho Watersheds Project Wins Large Idaho State Land Lease. The IWP is  finally making progress after years of total resistance by all but the judicial branch of Idaho's state government.
3-9-2000 Elko County District Attorney Urged Merchants not to let Forest Service Employees Buy Things. Las Vegas Review Journal. 3-10-2000. Former Supervisor Flora not Surprised by the Letter. Elko Daily Free Press.
1-26-2000 Former Nevada Forest Supervisor Felt Threatened. by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
1-27-2000 Forest Service inquiry reveals Nevada employees are harassed by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
1-28-2000 We must all condemn harassing of fed workers. Opinion of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
1-28-2000 'Shovels of Solidarity' pass through Missoula. Peaceful protest heads for Elko. By SHERRY DEVLIN of the Missoulian.
1-29-2000 Nevada's Governor Backs Shovel Protest. Las Vegas Sun. The protest is peaceful, and hopefully stay that way. Ironically Nevada is just about the most urban state in the United States.90% of the population lives in Las Vegas or the Reno area.
2-1-2000 Controversial former Forest Service official gets national award by Scott Sonner. AP
2-1-2000 Elko's giant shovel gets vandal's spray paint. Elko Daily Free Press. Although I think this protest is silly, vandalization only makes matters worse.
2-8-2000 Probe shows harassment of federal employees mostly limited to the Elko, Nevada area. Las Vegas Sun
2-11-2000 Environmentalists charge Nevada's U.S. attorney with unwillingness to prosecute Forest Service complaints. Las Vegas Review Journal
2-22-2000 Rural Nevada shows its ugly underbelly again in Elko. Las Vegas Sun
2-7-2000 Grizzly Bear managers deserve credit for offer of detente. Opinion by Todd Wilkinson.
2-5-2000 Going Non-Native: New report tracks Montana’s anti-Indian movement by Ron Selden. Missoula Independent. Wouldn't be surprised if these racists are not also part of the anti-wolf; anti-bison, anti-protect-our- public-lands crowd.
2-5-2000 It's hard not to become emotionally attached to No. 9. Billings Gazette by Michael Milstein.
2-3-2000 Yellowstone biologists hope for funding go ahead on elk/wolf study. Bozeman Daily Chronicle by Scott McMillion.
2-2-2000 Clinton Legacy may be in Public Lands. ENN. Some say he is doing it to burnish his legacy, some say he believes in it, some say it is penitence for the scandal. Whatever . . he's the first bold President on this since Jimmy Carter, and he still has time for more national monuments (Idaho could use one, preferably in Congressman Chenoweth-Hage's district).
2-1-2000 Idaho State Senate Resources Committee won't make call on Clower; Moulton passes test. Post Register. So there is still a chance a person from an Idaho city will be allowed to serve on the Fish and Game Commission. Illegal snowmobile rider, Moulton sailed through.
2-1-2000 Whirling Disease found to infect many Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat Trout. by Michael Milstein. Billings Gazette. This is certainly bad news for much of Yellowstone's wildlife that feeds on the abundant cutthroat and human angles too. It had been hoped the disease, though present, would infect only a few trout as is the case with quite a few whirling disease infestations.
1-30-2000 Pack no longer has a place for aging matriarch. By MICHAEL MILSTEIN. Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Although the fact that no. 9 is not with the Rose Creek Pack anymore is not new news, Milstein does a very nice retrospective.
1-26-2000 Former Nevada Forest Supervisor Felt Threatened. by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
1-24-2000 Montana to kill wild deer and elk to see if chronic wasting disease has spread from infected game farm. Billings Gazette.
1-24-2000 Emerging Infectious Diseases Of Wild Animals Are A Threat To Biodiversity And Human Health, According To New Report. Science Daily Magazine.
1-27-2000 Search for CWD from Montana extends to Missouri, Oklahoma. Billings Gazette.
1-28-2000 Deer-kill at game farm completed and carcasses on way to lab. By Mark Henckel. Gazette Outdoor Editor
1-25-2000 (PDF file - Acrobat Reader Needed)   Running the Gauntlet: the Four-year saga of wolf 24. by David Cowen. Greater Yellowstone Coalition. This article appeared in hard copy last fall, but it's now on-line. Since it was written, wolf 24F and her five pups have prospered, one of the few Yellowstone area packs that did not lose pups in 1999. Presently they are keeping to the winter country of the Gros Ventre River, upstream and east of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
1-24-2000 Republican national poll shows Americans, including Westerners and Republicans, back the President's plan to protect the national forests. This could be a sleeper issue in the 2000 Campaign. Western Republican elected officials are as fond of Clinton's Plan as Governor Racicot is of Yellowstone bison. Perhaps they will make some well published and imprudent moves. A number of Democrat officials don't want to protect our heritage either, as this article shows.  If there was a sudden lack of enthusiasm for their efforts to take back the Congress, they might get the message. More: Heritage Forests Campaign: National Survey Demonstrates Overwhelming Support for Protection of National Forests. Yahoo News.
1-24-2000 Montana to kill wild deer and elk to see if chronic wasting disease has spread from infected game farm. Billings Gazette. Emerging Infectious Diseases Of Wild Animals Are A Threat To Biodiversity And Human Health, According To New Report. Science Daily Magazine. 1-24-2000
1-24-2000 Less Money for Wolf Recovery. Billings Gazette. The wolf program is being starved by Congress, most specifically by Montana's wolf-hating U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. My hypothesis is this: the congressional wolf haters will starve the program so there is not a good count of the number of wolves or their locations, and so that when a wolf does cause a problem there are not the resources for proactive measures or a quick or effective response. Then Burns, etc. will complain loudly about the failure of the wolf recovery program, about the federal bureaucrats, and about the need for more budget cuts and an end to the wolf program. It's hard ball politics, folks.
1-23-2000 Secrets of the deep: Yellowstone Lake spires fascinate, baffle scientists. Stories By MICHAEL MILSTEIN. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. Yellowstone Lake has hidden for years, thousands of strange hydro-thermal pinnacles.
1-22-2000 Forest woes become real: Politicians' promises couldn't sustain logging realities, says consultant. By MICHAEL JAMISON of the Missoulian. More: Jan 20 Conservationists have been telling the timber industry for over 15 years now that the "allowable harvest" on the national forests was not sustainable. Western politicians pressured the Forest Service to set timber harvest targets far beyond the rate at which the forest could regrow and pretend it was a sustainable harvest, or "sustained yield" as the law that requires it, calls it. Now the chickens have come home to roost. This article explains the situation in NW Montana in great detail. Interestingly, the decline in timber cut from your public lands, may not hurt the Montana economy. 1-23-00. GUEST OPINION. Timber cuts and mill closures may not be related By THOMAS MICHAEL POWER. UM economics professor
1-22-2000 Grace to pick up medical bills in tainted [Montana] town: Hundreds poisoned by asbestos may receive help. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Past stories on the tragedy.
1-21-2000 Elko, Nevada "Sagebrush Rebels" erect a unique monument to their mighty dirt road battle. Las Vegas Sun Shovels are pouring in from others in similar aggrieved situations.
1-21-2000 Conservationists intervene in Idaho Roadless lawsuit. News Release.
1-19-2000 Idaho Game and Game Commission nominee said to be a violator of environmental laws. Post Register.
1-17-2000 Researcher: Mountain lions adjusting to human civilization. Billings Gazette.
1-17-2000 Yellowstone Wolves Boost Area's Economy. Billings Gazette.
1-16-2000 Crying wolf: Five years later, fears over reintroducing wolves have proved largely unfounded by SHERRY DEVLIN of the Missoulian.
1-16-2000 Experiment of putting bison on the public range rather than cattle appears successful. Billings Gazette. And why not? The grasses of the West did not evolve with cattle grazing them, but bison did.
1-16-2000 More Lynx to be released in Colorado. Denver Post. Despite protests from a wide assortment of groups, the Colorado lynx reintroduction has been pretty sucessful, and now 52 more will be released.
1-15-2000 Montana Gubernatorial Hopeful Calls for No New Game Farms. Billings Gazette. "Because we know so little about this disease [CWD] and whether it can be transmitted to livestock and humans, we can't be too careful about how we handle this issue," Democrat Joe Mazurek said. More: 1-17-00. O'Keefe, the other Democrat, joins Mazurek's call
1-14-2000 Appeals court rules in favor of wolves by Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. More: 1-15-00 Appeals Court reverses 1997 wolf ruling by Wyoming federal judge Billings Gazette. Farm Bureau unhappy. Billings Gazette.
1-13-2000 U.S. Court Says Yellowstone Wolves Can Stay. Yahoo News. Victory for wolves and wildlife. News release from Defenders of Wildlife
1-13-2000 Budget cut restricts wolf-watchers: Aerial monitoring and trapping-collaring efforts are cut back. Billings Gazette. It's not clear to me why the budget was cut. Folks may notice that the Nez Perce Tribal Wolf Team has produced essentially no public information about Idaho wolves for about three months.
1-12-2000 After 6 1/2 years trying, Idaho Land Board allows Idaho Watersheds Project to win two grazings leases. Idaho Statesman. As a sidelight, at the end of the article notice the statement by Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa. Cenarrusa is a sheep grower.
1-12-2000 Clinton frees 2 areas in state from threat of development, sprawl. By Jerry Kammer of The Arizona Republic. Remarks by the President (text). Map of Grand Canyon/Parashant National Monument.
1-11-2000 CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE: 3 of 80 elk on game farm carried lesions. By ERIN P. BILLINGS. Billings Gazette State Bureau. I think we owe the Montana Wildlife Federation a debt of gratitude for keeping the heat on the Montana DOL. Hopeful this devasting disease has not escaped to Montana's wild deer and elk or livestock.
1-10-2000 Creation of monument imminent: Clinton expected to designate preserve Tuesday in Arizona. By Jerry D. Spangler and Donna M. Kemp. Deseret News. More: 1-11-00 Arizona awaits monument. Clinton has state's attention. By Jerry Kammer the Arizona Republic. My earlier story. President Clinton Set to Declare New National Monuments by Ralph Maughan.
1-7-2000 Idaho wolf that wandered into Oregon finds true love in the wilds back home: Recovery experts say other lone wolves may have migrated to Oregon already. Oregonian by Courtenay Thompson
1-6-2000 Yellowstone northern range elk numbers grow in 1999. News Release Yellowstone NP. Despite all the noise and fuss from the "Friends of the Northern Range Elk Herd" about how the wolves had decimated the elk, the count for this winter shows the elk population grew.
1-5-2000 Yellowstone wolf numbers appear to be stabilizing. Bozeman Daily Chronicle by Scott McMillion. This certainly comes as a big surprise. A very high pup mortality rate has left the greater Yellowstone wolf population about the same at the end of the 1999 as it was at the end of 1998 -- 115-120 wolves and with only 8 packs (2 packs below the goal of the ten packs needed for delisting).
1-5-2000 Chronic Wasting Disease. . "mad elk" disease. Is it mad cow disease?  Is it a threat to wildlife? Does it come from the growing number of "game" farms? Can it be transmitted to humans? Were Montana DOL and Governor Racicot asleep? Here are a number of articles from recent days.
1-5-2000 Game Farms threaten wildlife. Editorial Post Register.
1-4-2000 Game Farm Elk to be Incinerated this week. Billings Gazette.
12-24-99 Disease raises questions about importance of game farming. Opinion - by Tom Nordrum. Bozeman Daily Chronicle<
12-18-99 Montana DOL to burn and bury the elk at Philipsburg. Billings Gazette
12-13-99 State uncertain how to dispose of game farm elk carcasses. Montana Standard.
12-13-99 State Must be Cautious with Game Farms. Editorial by the Billings Gazette.
12-13-99 State Wasn't Prepared for CWD Outbreak. Editorial by the Missoulian.
12-12-99 Ranches face fire: Disease is just one reason people are upset with 'alternative livestock.' by ERIN P. BILLINGS Missoulian State Bureau.
12-12-99 Rare, animal-borne disease a medical mystery: officials examine Maine deer in hunt for clues. Boston Globe.
12-12-99 Game Farm Rules Heatedly Debated. Missoulian.
12-11-99 State Ponders What to do with the Caracasses of the Destrroyed Elk. Missoulian.
12-8-99 State Starts Destroying Elk in Infected Garm Farm Herd. Missoulian.
11-12-99 Yeas and Nays. Missoulian. Here they start to tie the controversy to that wonderful, bright, Montana governor, who has presided over the killing of thousands of Yellowstone elk. Governor Racicot is slated to be a big star in the George W. Administration. 11-17-99. More Yeas and Nays as elk escape from elk farm.
11-7-99 Chronic Wasting Disease: New Rules Studied for Game Farms. Missoulian.
11-5-99 Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in Montana. Missoulian.
1-4-2000 10,000 shovels to help citizens in Nevada's bull trout rebellion. Las Vegas Sun. These malcontents are spoiling for a fight over the closure of this obscure road. It was closed after it washed out to protect the bull trout. It sure smacks of government tyranny to close a washed out road to protect fish in a state with tens of thousands of miles of open dirt roads and 90% public land. . . and of course Nevada has such a great abundance of trout  ;-)
1-3-2000 Geologists wary of earthquakes, volcanic activity in eastern Idaho, Yellowstone. AP


The comments about each story are mine -- RM

Ralph Maughan's Wildlife Reports

Site and Photos owned by Copyright 1995-2000 © .
Site Design and Graphics by ©1997-2000 " All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site or any material within this site may be
used without the expressed written permission from the author.