Conservation News Story Archive March-April 2001
Note that some of the links below will be dead
|4-29-2001||'Wolf Hysteria' a Concern For Utah Wildlife Experts. By Glen Warchol. The Salt Lake Tribune. There is wolf habitat in northeastern Utah, but the best is in central Utah in the Book Cliffs, quite a distance from the Yellowstone area source of wolves.|
|4-28-2001||Unite And Conserve. Opinion by Mike Dombeck (former Forest Service Chief). Washington Post. Dombeck suggests that conservation could be a way of uniting Americans in this time of closely divided political loyalties. . . a good idea, but the Bush Administration would rather use it to divide Americans and try to impose their will by a 51:50 or 5:4 vote.|
Dillon, Montana area wolves elude government captors. Dead sheep count now up to 30. By Perry Backus. Montana Standard. This wolf pack (no radio collars until recently) may have been the never surveyed Wall Creek Pack of last year. They are likely, but not necessarily, a Yellowstone reintroduction derived pack. Earlier Info from USFWS.
Politics of wolves discussed at Challis meeting by Anna Means. Challis Messinger.
Bush bombs in CBS environment poll. Reuters.
|4-26-2001||Bush's Proposed Dept. of Interior Budget under fire from both Republicans and Democrats. Casper Star Tribune. By Jason Mardsten.|
Nevada Governor predicts disasters wildfire this summer. Las Vegas Sun. The same is true for Idaho, Montana, western Wyoming, and much of Oregon and Washington. Here in SE Idaho the snow has been gone a month and the ground is already hardpacked and dry down 3-4 inches. New growth of grass is already stunted. The Snake River watermaster has predicted to lowest flow in 100 years.
Bush rejects "trendy" environmentalism. AP. Apparently the President believes protecting our environmental for future generations is a passing fad.
The Nature Conservancy announces $20 million Idaho campaign By Greg Stahl Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer
|4-24-2001||Bush allows Yellowstone snowmobile ban regulation to go into effect. It may be just a ploy. Denver Post.|
|4-23-2001||Change on the Plains. People Move Away, Wildlife Returns on its own and with help from folks like Ted Turner. By Glen Martin. San Francisco Chronicle. Side note: eventually wolves will show up too.
The President's Statement on Earth Day. AP.
Montana Wilderness gems in peril? Badger Two-Medicine, Breaks make group's endangered list By Faith Bremner. Great Falls Tribune Washington Bureau
5.3-magnitude quake rattles Southeast Idaho. No damages, injuries reported in remote area near Wyoming. AP. I didn't feel it in Pocatello, ID.
|4-21-2001||Gov. Martz signs bills easing MEPA By Erin P. Billings. Billings Gazette State Bureau. Governor Martz has now signed the centerpiece of her and the legislature's effort to restore the Montana economy of the 1950s.|
A splendid choice for chief. Dale Bosworth may be the proverbial right man at the right time to lead the U.S. Forest Service. Opinion of the Missoulian.
Planning to Fail: Why sprawl in the Bitterroot is out of control, and why it will never be fixed. by Carlotta Grandstaff. Missoula Independent. My side note: I see the Bitterroot Valley as the shame of Montana, the ultimate triumph of conservative individualism -- the prettiest valley in Montana utterly destroyed by just 36,000 people and their sprawl. I hope to never go there again.
Snowmobile Industry's Pledge for "Clean" Machine is a Snow Job: Documents Reveal that Snowmobile Manufacturers are Fighting New Pollution Standards, in Contrast to Their Public Statements. News Release.
4-20. Here is how the news release was turned into a story by the Billings Gazette. Snowmobile makers deny all problems By Jeff Tollefson Gazette Wyoming Bureau. My sidenote: I have long suspected all the talk about the "green" snowmachine was tokenism. I am even more convinced now.
Gearing up For Drought in Montana. By Michel Babcock. Great Falls Tribune Outdoors Editor. My note: decimation of ungulate herds by drought, following a wet, cold winter in 2001-2, could easily derail predictions of wolf recovery (see article below).
Bangs again predicts wolf delisting. By Sonja Lee. Great Falls Tribune. Illegal killings were the factor that kept wolves below 30 pairs in 2000.
Status Quo Sought by Many regarding Jackson Hole Elk Herd. Billings Gazette. Be sure to read my wolf article today. Wolves are obviously not going to control its population.
Patrolling the National Elk Refuge from Antler Hunters. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole Guide. My note: Use of horns as an aphrodisiac by Asians threatens wildlife around the word. Perhaps our wildlife could be saved by heavier promotion of Viagra in this part of the world. A question: how is sale of antlers by Boy Scouts any less worse than sale by commercial horn hunters?
Greater Yellowstone Coalition Names New Executive Director: Michael Scott to Lead GYC in "Critical Era for Greater Yellowstone." News Release.
Jetskis Face Total Ban in National Parks: Judge Upholds Deal That U.S. Must Prove Boats Don't Harm Environment. By John Heilprin. Washington Post. Great News!!
Secretary Norton Refuses to Protect Florida Coast from oil rigs for President's Kid Brother. Yahoo.
E.P.A. Backs Wetlands Rule Set by Clinton. By Douglas Jehl. New York Times.
EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman made the announcement upholding a Clinton-era rule on lead reporting. EPA OKs Clinton rule on lead releases Action follows similar move on nation’s wetlands. MSNBC.
Lessons from Idaho's Environmental History: Man and Nature Shaped today's Landscape. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
Montana finally gets some precipitation. Great Falls Tribune. Situation is still dire.
Bush's foolish flip-flop. By Denver Post Editorial Board. "President Bush gravely erred by retreating from efforts to curtail global warming. His turnabout could damage America's long-term economic interests, while exacerbating the very problem, an energy crisis, that he cited as reason for abandoning promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
Low water levels decrease spills, harm salmon. Bonneville Power Administration may be forced to bar releases for salmon to keep the lights on. Spokane Spokesman Review.
Greens see red over Bush Budget. UPI
Idaho Congressman must pay $50,000 fine to EPA for destroying wetlands. Spokane Spokesman-Review. Rep. Otter replaced the retiring Helen Chenoweth.
Intermountain Regional Forester Appointed New Chief of the Forest Service. New York Times.
Outside Magazine looks at outdoors policies for the coming year. . .
Endangered species: Bush wants control: Budget would cut money, end citizen right to sue and give all authority to the Interior secretary. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I wondered how long it would be before Bush went after the ESA. Any bets how long before he goes after wolves?
Democrats Threaten Filibuster to save key part of ESA from Bush effort to gut. Yahoo.
In Fires' Afterglow, Nature Runs Its Course By Jim Robbins. New York Times. A retrospective on the Yellowstone fires of '88.
West takes steps to prevent repeat of last year's fires. Responding to a dry spring and armed with a hefty budget, teams are already starting controlled burns. By Todd Wilkinson Special to The Christian Science Monitor. Preventative spring burns would be nice here in Idaho, but with the continuing drought, spring burns may be risky, and no one wants to chance a repeat of the controlled burn last year that got away and burned part of Los Alamos, NM.
Time to get tough with off road vehicle abusers says Denver Post.
Republicans for Environmental Protection. Many Republicans read this page. I'm not out to promote the Democrats or the Republicans, but this is an organization Republicans might want to join given the President's horrible direction on the issue.
Bush Budget Cuts Solar, Renewable Energy Programs. Reuters. By Tom Doggett. President Bush has sent his budget to Congress, and it shows how backward and close-minded he is on energy -- actually wants to cut money for new less polluting sources of energy and energy efficiency. The man is a technological illiterate.
Impending drought worries farmers. Things look bad with low snowpack, reservoir levels. Idaho Statesman. Many farmers will run out of irrigation water this summer, although many may not plan, having been offered generous payments by Idaho Power not to use electricity. Those who do use electricity may pay 40 to 50% more than usual.
Irrigation will be cut to save endangered fish. ENN. This is a great victory for wildlife in the long run, not just fish. Irrigators will try to overturn the decision. The area is on the Oregon-California border.
Cheney Defends Bush Environmental Policies. Reuters. By Andrew Clark.
Wyoming Snowpack remains below average; dry year shaping up. Associated Press
4-5-2001. Montana snow pack remains at record low levels. Associated Press.
Idaho Conservation League Pans Bush on Environment. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Stahl.
Parks Association Names Yellowstone one of the Top Ten Endangered National Parks. NPCA news release.
Fewer elk wintering north of park By Mark Henckel Of The Billings Gazette Staff. Another nail in the coffin of the arguments of the Friends of the Yellowstone Elk.
Pacific Gas and Electric Gave out Bonuses just prior to Filing Bankruptcy. LA Times. By Tim Reiterman.
|4-5-2001||Support for Bush's Plan to Drill Arctic Refuge Dwindling in US Senate. Roll Call by Susan Crabtree.
Will Bush Drop Yellowstone Snowmobile Ban? By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette.
Bush may roll back enery efficiency standards. Yahoo News. Now this makes sense. ;- ) We have an energy crises and planned efficiencies are the cheapest and least polluting source of new energy. Bush's stance makes me think maybe we don't really have a crisis, except a concocted one designed to lighten our pocketbooks.
|4-2-2001||Lawsuit will prompts Federal land managers to ranchers will establish new grazing rules for central Oregon Area. Oregonian. Yet another successful lawsuit by the Idaho (now Western) Watersheds Project).|
Democrats Take Bush to Task Over Environment By JoAnne Allen. Reuters.
Bill to "Revise" Montana Policy Act Sails through Montana House. MEPA-revision bill sails through House By Erin P.Billings. Billings Gazette State Bureau
Clinton climate change czar slams Bush. By Patrick Connole. Reuters.
World Alarmed at Bush's Kyoto Climate Views. Reuters. By Robin Pomeroy. President Bush's primitive views on global warming threaten not only the climate but America's standing in the world.
Bush Suffers Initial Defeat on Alaska Drilling. Reuters. By Randall Mikkelsen. Lacking the votes, Republicans did not put anticipated revenues from Arctic national wildlife refuge leasing in their initial budget resolution.
3-28-2001. Bridger-Teton Forest supervisor faces down oil drilling by Rachel Odell. High Country News. Many recently responded with written or email support to a plea to support her decision not to lease this scenic forest right next to Yellowstone and the Tetons. So far the Bridger-Teton forest supervisor has held firm, but with our new government run by the energy companies and for the energy companies, will she be cleaning campground privies next year this time?
Related 3-29-2001. News Release: [Wyoming] Governor Geringer Out of Touch with Wyoming Citizens on Greater Yellowstone Management: Governor pitted against Senator Thomas
Census shows modest population growth and an aging population in Wyoming. By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette. Wyoming is the least populated. states. Related: Wyoming 2000 census figures released By ROBERT W. BLACK. Associated Press. Big population increase in Teton County, Wyoming.
Norton Invites Changes in the new national monuments. Associated Press.
U.S. Going Empty-Handed to Meeting on Global Warming. By Douglas Jehl. New York Times. Related: U.S. Angers Allies Over Climate Pact. Europeans Will Ask Bush to Reconsider. Washington Post.
Urging Bush to Resist Pressure, Forest Chief Dombeck Resigns. By Douglas Jehl. New York Times
Lawsuit won't settle roadless issue. Bush faces difficult choices in battling Clinton's policy. By Rocky Barker The Idaho Statesman.
Bush is no moderate on environment. SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD. "The Bush administration is wasting no time in confirming the fears of those who believe George W. Bush is anti-environment. Bush has been at pains to paint himself as a moderate, but the paint's washing off. If this man is a friend of the environment, he is his own worst enemy."
Montana protesters express ire at Bush environmental policies during his visit. Billings Gazette. By John Fitzgerald. The President was visiting Montana to sell his tax cut scheme.
Bush has private meeting with Montana Farmers and Ranchers. Billings Gazette. The President urged them to pray far rain and promised he wouldn't let labor or environmental matters harmful to farmers into international trade treaties. The President reportedly said keeping mad cow and foot and mouth disease at bay was “a national security item,”
U.S. mills fall under Canadian ax. Flood of Canadian timber hurts U.S. markets and the earth. by Matt Jenkins. High Country News.
Federal Worker Is Fired in Wildlife Refuge Map Flap By Lisa Getter, LA Times Staff Writer. This article is 11 days old, but very relevant to the current political situation.
Yellowstone workers say they get sick from snowmobile exhaust. Associated Press.
Copter tour rules over national parks delayed by Bush. By The Associated Press. It has become a daily anti-environment initiative by the Administration. The latest is a delay in the rules governing perhaps the most disruptive way of seeing the Parks -- low flying air tours.
Western enviros face bleak political future. By David Hosansky. Denver Post. The headline is wrong. It's not the enviros that face a bleak future, it is the scenic Western environment that does.
Not all businesses oppose Yellowstone snowmobile ban. By The Associated Press
Census underscores demise of rural Idaho. Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Coyote Population falls in Yellowstone. By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette.
Oil and Websites Don't Mix by Jeffrey Benner. Wired News.
EU Tells Bush Climate Is Key to Europe/U.S. Ties By Robin Pomeroy. Reuters.
Enviro Groups Dreading More Bush Clean Air Rollbacks. By Patrick Connole. Reuters.
Secretary Norton suspends news mining rules. Denver Post. "Interior Secretary Gale Norton is launching her first direct attack on Clinton administration environmental rules, suspending hard-rock mining rules that allowed regulators to veto environmentally damaging mines on public lands."
He's the accidental environmentalist. Missoulian Editorial. "President Bush is bucking to be the best thing for environmental protection and advocacy groups since James Watt."
Democrats See More Environmental Rules at Risk. By Christopher Doering. Reuters. "Since George W. Bush became president, his administration has proposed rolling back rules to limit mining waste, arsenic in drinking water and carbon dioxide emissions. A forest conservation plan to ban road construction for logging has also been put on hold."
Experts put no stock in claims of the Friends of the Yellowstone Elk Herd. By Jeff Tofflefson. Gazette Wyoming Bureau. I thought this bunch of fools had packed their bags after the good elk hunting season last fall. Here is an article I wrote at the end of 1999 rebutting these "friends of the elk."
Montana expects another summer of fire and drought. Missoulian.
Last summer's forest fires a boon to NW Wyoming big horn sheep. By Jeff Tofflefson. Gazette Wyoming Bureau
Population balloons in Western Montana, withers in the east. By The Associated Press
From research to ecology to emotion, wolves are stirring up Yellowstone By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette. This is a feature story about winter research on wolves and their impacts on the Park's northern range.
Park wolf territories shift as packs grow By Jeff Tollefson. Billings Gazette. The Druids are slowly displacing some of the Rose Creek Territory. I have reported this in the past. This effect will probably grow as the 20 pups mature into yearlings.
|3-17-2001||Snowmobile industry cries foul against enviros By Becky Bohrer. Helena Independent Record. The snowmobile industry seems irritated that enviros didn't fall for the old trick of a few token low polluting snomobiles getting them off the hook.|
Bush says he wants to drill the national monuments and "look at all the public lands." Associated Press. Apparently the national monuments, national parks or even designated wilderness areas will not be safe from Bush and his oil cronies.
Idaho/Oregon conservation groups sue to prevent killing of predators in effort to boost sage grouse populations. Idaho Statesman. Sage grouse are in decline because of habitat destruction, but predators are an easy answer. Let's hope this lawsuit is successful.
Drought to persist in Pacific Northwest. Renewal of massive fires now almost inevitable. MSNBC. Given the unusual amount of reliance on dams in the northwest, fire and energy blackouts will probably be the story of the summer.
Back to the Land: Can forest restoration become Montana’s newest industry? by Carlotta Grandstaff. Missoula Independent. “With restorative work, we have an opportunity for timber and mining industry workers to continue to work in their field of expertise, and at the same time provide for a healthier environment,”says Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ Ryan Shaffer. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Official [Bangs] asks state [Idaho] to manage wolves Recovery expert says delisting is around the corner By Ken Miller The Idaho Statesman. Kind of a misleading headline. Bangs said maybe in three years.
Rancher, not Jon Marvel, wins lease. Conservationist calls Land Board 'kangaroo court'. By Dan Gallagher The Associated Press. The Idaho Land Board continues their proud tradition of awarding the lease to the lowest bidder, at least when he wears a big hat.
Bush Defends Emissions Stance. By Douglas Jehl. New York Times.
First, Direct Observational Evidence Of A Change In The Earth's Greenhouse Effect Between 1970 And 1997. Science Daily
Washington Gov. Locke declares drought emergency. Serious water shortages are seen for fish, orchards and others. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Bridger-Teton drilling ban generates 7,000 comments. Casper Star Tribune. Thanks to the readers of this page for your on-line help. I understand 90% were in favor of the proposed ban on drilling in this core area of the Greater Yellowstone.
Bush, in Reversal, Won't Seek Cut in Emissions of Carbon Dioxide By Douglas Jehl and Andrew C. Revkin. New York Times.
New battle over Bush retreat on CO2. Moderate Republicans and Democrats still plan bill to cap emissions of gas tied to global warming. MSNBC
Press Dissects Bush's Environmental Flip-Flop. By Howard Kurtz Washington Post Staff Writer
U.S. Forest Service log $126 million in timber program losses. By Margot Higgins. ENN.
Redd Counts: Good News, Bad News for Wild Salmon by Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Minerals industry wins its agenda in this year's Wyoming Legislature. Billlings Gazette.
Fish conservationists bash Forest Service on Nevada deal. By Scott Sonner. Las Vegas Sun. I covered this story a lot last year. In the meantime, the Forest Service has largely caved to the shovel brigade, and they are going to rebuild the road to Jarbidge, NV, which serves no apparent purpose, but which does harm the bull trout.
From 3-9. Senators try to block Canadian lumber imports. Idaho Statesman. What the article doesn't say, however, is that Canada holds the aces -- if the U.S. wants to keep importing energy from Canada, it has to go along with Canadian timber practices. Senators Craig and Crapo acknowledge what was not acknowledged when the last remaining Idaho Boise-Cascade mills closed down two weeks ago and environmentalists were blamed, namely that lumber prices have fallen by a third.
Dams can't soften rate hikes Energy woes spell end of low-cost power for Idaho. By Rocky Barker The Idaho Statesman. Idaho has long had about the cheapest electrical power in the United States due to a system dependent on hydropower from paid off dams.
Yellowstone's Visitors Send Late Season Message. Opinion by Michael Scott. Program director Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Land protections face rollback. By Mike Soraghan Denver Post Washington Bureau. "Interior Secretary Gale Norton said she will roll back some of the land protections at Western monuments created by President Clinton if the sites' neighbors want changes."
Due to public opposition, Idaho Fish and Game Commissions Drops plan to have U. S. Wildlife Services kill bears and cougars. Idaho Statesman. The plan to kill large predators will continue by means hunting rules changes.
Idaho Conservation League Lobbyist responds to attacks on the environment by the Idaho Legislature. Idaho Statesman. By Dallas Gudgel.
Bighorn National Forest 4 x 4 "mud boggers" get hefty fine. Billings Gazette. Finally!
The Trouble Behind Milltown Dam by Carlotta Grandstaff. Missoula Independent. Last month there was a story that Milltown Dam above Missoula, Montana, was leaking. . . pretty obscure stuff if you are not familiar with this dam. Here is the whole story.
Air may pay price for energy shortages. Industries and utilities are turning to dirtier-burning fuels to create extra power and to avoid soaring electricity prices. Oregonian. There are not many things more polluting for the amount of power it produces than a large diesel electric generator.
Montana Snowpack report even more dreary than last year's. By Karen Ivanova. Great Falls Tribune Regional Editor.
Our View: House must remember rural Idaho's importance. Idaho Statesman. Idaho's governor Dirk Kempthorne has presented a modestly funded plan to help Idaho's depressed rural areas with infrastructure upgrade and economic diversification. His plan is meeting resistance, especially from rural legislative leaders who fear it is a threat to "the rural life-style." The Statesman rightfully criticizes this backward thinking. At the risk of being accused of "blaming the victim," I think it can be argued rural Idaho and rural Montana are to blame for their poverty because leaders from these argues refuse to believe they can't go back to the economy of the 1950s. Their notion of economic development is to pass resolutions against the wolves. Here is the text of Idaho House Joint Memorial 5 to remove wolves from Idaho. Memorials from state legislatures are sent to D.C. where Congress and the President routinely ignore them unless the memorial serves interests in the nation's capital.
In essence I am arguing the wolf memorial is rural Idaho's economic revitalization plan, and that's why the economic condition of these areas will continue to go downhill. Although they are not livestock, wolves are great scapegoats for failed economic ideas.
|3-5-2001||Idaho readies for fire season Federal money allows for hiring of more workers By Melanie Carroll The Idaho Statesman. Given the continuation of the now 3-year drought, this summer could be as bad as last unless spring rains are much heavier than normal. Last summer many Idaho and Montana politicians blamed the fires on Clinton for cutting the fire fighting budget. Now President Bush has submitted a budget that cuts the fire budget. Of course in reality neither President is responsible for the fires. Its that when things get really dry, they tend to burn.|
|3-4-2001||Billings, Montana Conoco gets record penalty for air-quality violations. Missoulian.|