Archives of Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country

The stories below are roughly arranged in chronological order. Be sure to scroll down so you don't miss updated stories. Unless in quotes, the commentary is mine.

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

Stories from November and December 2002

12-31-2002. Oregon Brings Public Into Wolf Debate. By Brent Israelsen. This is an overview of wolf restoration in Oregon from a Utah reporter. For all of you who attended one of the Oregon public wolf meetings in response to alerts on this web site, thanks!

12-31-2002. Will Utah Find Room for Wolves? Salt Lake Tribune.
12-31-1001. Wolf Howls Salt Lake Tribune

12-30-2002. Wolves At The Door: Ranchers Uneasy. Salt Lake Tribune. This is an interesting article about livestock owners and Idaho wolves. However, much of the interest is about the reporting of the story itself. . . One of the nice things for a reporter is that so few ranchers have lost livestock that they can take a trip to central Idaho and talk to all of them, and then recycle the same stories reported in the past, again and again . . . Aldous' missing calves, the Bakers on the East Fork, how Defenders didn't pay them enough, and how local folks are afraid of the wolves, but, oddly enough, reporters haven't noticed that the tourists in Yellowstone are not afraid. As the article implies, this is really a cultural conflict, and opinions don't change whether livestock owners lost 2 calves or 200.

12-30-2002. There is a big fight inside the GOP as to who will chair the House Resources Committee. It looks like it might be an
Easterner, a hateful idea to many rural Westerns who think they are they only Americans with federal lands nearby. However, the dyed-in-the-wool environment hater from Tennessee might be acceptable to them. 2 stories.

12-30-2002. Arch anti-environmentalist to chair Senate Environment Committee. Washington Post.

12-29-2002. Return of the wolf. By Brent Israelsen and Skip Knowles. Salt Lake Tribune. This is the first in a 4 part series prompted by the recent return of a wolf to Utah (253M, who was accidentally trapped and then returned to the GYE).
12-29-2002. Wolves Run Wild in Human Imagination. By Judy Fahys. Salt Lake Tribune.
12.29-2002. Trapper who captured first wolf in Utah tells his story. By Brett Prettyman. Salt Lake Tribune.

12-28-2002. Wolf recovery now a success, at least biologically, feds say. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

12-28-2002. Chronic Wasting Disease gaining in Wyoming. AP

12-28-2002. Administration still slumbers as West Nile Spreads. West Nile's Widening Toll Impact on North American Wildlife Far Worse Than on Humans. Rich Weiss. Washington Post. I wrote a web story about this in October. Asleep on the job. The Spread of West Nile Virus. Many of my questions have been answered. 1. West Nile can spread from bird to bird without a mosquito bite. 2. Asymptomatic blood donors have polluted the blood supply. 3. People who are infected and recover do become immune. 4. Plagues of rodents and other animals immune to the disease are likely.

I don't have any special insight, but have been telling my classes how it is going to spread and spread since last spring.

12-27-2002. Appeals court upholds Montana's public access to streams law against lawsuit by right-wing law firm. AP. Right wing groups talk a lot about "access," but fortunately the federal courts have defeated their real agenda to lock it up in private property.

12-22-2002. Two Views on wolves in Utah.

12-21-2002. Madison Valley ranch owners protect chunk of critical wildlife habitat. By Nick Gevock. Bozeman  Chronicle Staff Writer.  The Langs have made a great contribution to conserving the base of the Madison Range from unsightly development and protecting wildlife habitat, including large carnivores such as found in the resident Taylor Peaks wolf pack.

12-20-2002. Weird Science. The Interior Department's Manipulation of Science for Political Purposes. Pdf. Prepared by the Democratic Staff. Committee on Resources. U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, Ranking Member. Although prepared by the opposition party, few folks I know will disagree with this. This report is a fountain of information on the Administration's subordination of science to politics.

12-20-2002. Federal farm subsidies keep Montana farmers in business. Billings Gazette. AP

12-20-2002. No swan song for trumpeters - Mild winter, relocation effort help birds. By Rob Thornberry. Post Register. The rare trumpeter swan is doing well so far this winter in Idaho's Harriman State Park, not far from Yellowstone. A spell of sub-zero weather, however, could greatly harm them. Fortunately, efforts to relocate the swans from this sometimes rich and sometimes deadly area are meeting with some success.

12-20-2002. Wolf sightings in Utah taper off. Associated Press. When wolves are first seen in an area, sightings typically increase then fall off unless there is a real rapid increase in wolves. In other words, reports of wolves is a sociological event more than a biological event.

12-19-2002. Park County, WY does not welcome wolves outside Yellowstone. Rocky Mountain News. Here are the wolf packs in Park County (county seat is Cody). Absaroka, Beartooth, Greybull, Sunlight Basin, Washakie.

12-18-2002.  Protesters to greet first day of YNP snowmobile season. AP

12-18-2002. Former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner plans fenced "play-to-shoot" hunting preserve. Post Register. By Rob Thornberry. "Terreton [Idaho] sheep rancher Jeff Siddoway said Monday he is considering enclosing 5,000 acres of his private property, despite the protests of Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists who believe the fence could devastate the region's deer herd."
Related 12-18-2002. FWP opposed to landowners' wildlife partnership plan. By Ron Tshchida, Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Seems like ranchers all over are either harming wildlife by overgrazing or trying to steal the public's wildlife.

12-18-2002. Report undercuts salvage logging. Removing downed trees can damage forests, study says. By Colleen Long, Associated Press. Glad to see this article. For years, I have puzzled how after a forest fire or blowdown economic and ecological common sense flew out the window. "We have to salvage those trees no matter how much it costs us." Not so.

12-17-2002. The view from ground zero at Oregon's biggest fire in 100 years. By William L. Sullivan. Writers on the Range. Most people who follow forest fires will not be surprised by Sullivan's optimistic observations.

12-17-2002. Due to lack of snow, snowmobiles will be allowed only through Park's south entrance for time being. Billings Gazette.

12-17-2002. More Wolves, and New Questions, in Rockies. By Jim Robbins. New York Times. The article is kind of interesting, but it is partly inaccurate and mostly a rehash. I couldn't figure out what "new questions" are being asked. The article is inaccurate when it says "By spring, the service will remove all federal protection from wolves in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, meaning that they can be hunted or trapped. The new status will also mean that a rancher can kill a wolf that attacks livestock" First of all, federal protection won't be removed unless Wyoming comes up with an acceptable plan, and secondly, ranchers can now kill a wolf that is attacking their livestock. A number have been legally shot while doing that.

12-16-2002. Canada enacts "Species at Risk" legislation. News Release. It took nine years.

12-16-2002. Chainsaw Politics. Seattle Weekly. By Andy Ryan. "High Priest of Stump Worship" calls shots nowadays for Forest Service.

12-16-2002. Viagra saves wildlife. By Margaret Talbot. New York Times Magazine.

12-15-2002. Comparison of the Clinton and Bush  plans for snowmobiles in the parks. By Mike Stark. Billings. Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

12-14-2002. Wyoming official admits faulty wolf plan needs changes. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

12-13-2002. Potential introduction of wolves into Oregon a prickly issue. By Mike Stahlberg Columnist, The Eugene Register-Guard. Wolves were supported at the Eugene meeting and a poll shows a big majority of Oregonians favor wolves in Oregon. The Eugene meeting was one of a series being held in Oregon.

12-13-2002. Wolf 253M doesn't go back to Utah, but travels toward the Lamar. By Brent Israelson. Salt Lake Tribune.

12-12-2002. Administration trots out rule to make FS logging easier under the guise of fire protection. By Mike Sorgahan. Denver Post. Bush Administration is going to keep riding this lame pony and use it to log under the name of fire protection while failing to really protect fire vulnerable communities (burned communities can then be use to justify more "fire protection" logging). Since most FS timber sales today don't make money, I wonder how they are going to pay for this without a congressional appropriation for a subsidy?

12-10-2002. Mad Deer Disease? Researchers puzzle over brain illness in North American wildlife. By Susan Milius. Science News on-line. The is a very good overview of chronic wasting disease of deer and elk.

12-9-2002. Rocky Mountain Front travel plan comment period winds down. By Sonja Lee Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer. Note: the comments are due Dec. 13. Lewis and Clark National Forest web page for the travel plan. Montana Wilderness Association Alert on the travel plan.

12-9-2002. Roundup, Montana folks speak up. Say they don't care if massive coal plant pollutes Yellowstone N. P. and nearby scenic areas. Montana Forum. By Clair Johnson.

12-8-2002. Utah State University issue important report on wolves in Utah. Deseret News. By Jerry Spangler. The report says Utah could support up to 700 wolves. Here is the USU report on wolves (pdf file)

12-8-2002. Nature of the  Yellowstone hot spot challenged by new data. By. Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

12-7-2002. Interesting conference on media and coverage of Western issues held in Boise. Gregory Hahn. The Idaho Statesman. My view is that media coverage of Western issues has improved in the last 20 years. Twenty years ago there was little media coverage of the West, except by the Western media. They almost always covered things from the viewpoint of the local dominant "powers-that-be" who took the side of cattle, mining, logging. There almost no coverage of those who thought these "old west" interests should share the land or of how Westerners really made their livings (it was not mining, logging, and grazing). The national and Eastern media were not beholden to the entrenched Western elites. They often presented inaccurate stories, but they did not have the status quo bias of the local Western media. They opened up news coverage. Now many Western media cover often cover all sides of a question. In the future, the national media might become the problem because most have now been gobbled up by massive  corporations whose interests like more with the energy companies and the Bush dynasty than with their readers/audience.

The days of "liberal bias" in the media are long gone. Corporate conservatism represents the future. Peter Jennings' recent biased show in the Idaho wolves by be just the beginning. "The Rightward Press."  Opinion  by E. G. Dionne, Jr. The after effects of Jennings' biased program still linger.

12-5-2002. Problem or welcome home? Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife hears comments on both extremes about wolves that are expected to migrate into Oregon. By Paul Fattig. Mail Tribune (Medford, OR).

12-5-2002. Technology turned Yellowstone around on snowmobile issue. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
12-5-2002.Government employees and animal rights groups sue again on Park snowmobile issue. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

12-5-2002. Dead Wood. The lousy economics of Bush's new forest policy. By Douglas Gantenbein. Slate. And it is the economics that will do the Bush plan in. Reagan tried the same thing in the early 1980s. Rather than a renaissance for the extractive industries, they fell into a deep depression. The problem they faced was not lack of supply (supposedly "locked up" by environmentalists), it was lack of demand. The same is true today.

12-3-2002. Can Global Warming Be Studied Too Much? By Andrew C. Revkin. New York Times. Well, of course! The point of the studies is precisely to delay doing anything.

12-3-2002. Industry Seeking Rewards From G.O.P.-Led Congress. By Katharine Q. Seelye. New York Times. Has there every been a time in American history where democracy has been so blatantly sold out?

12-1-2002. Development alters alpine mystique around Bozeman. By Brett French. Billings Gazette Outdoor Writer.

11-27-2002. Bush Seeks Clear Path For Loggers. CBS News. We have been dreading this -- the new rules for Forest Service management . . . more logging, complete abolition of guidelines for wildlife, and barriers to public comment and the public's right to know. Wildlife standards and guidelines will be replaced by broad goals. Anyone who has working with the Forest Service knows that you have to be very specific. Board goals are not worth the paper they are written on. No doubt there will be lawsuits, but you need top contact your U.S. senators and Representatives to block this total assault on wildlife.
11-27-2002. New logging plan raises concern. Bush rules could speed up commercial forest projects. Zachary Coile. San Francisco Chronicle Washington Bureau.
11-27-2002. Logging rules may be eased. Plan calls for less scientific study before cutting in national forests. By Robert McClure. Seattle Post-intelligencer.

11-27-2002. Proposed new coal plant in Montana may pollute Yellowstone Park air. By Clair Johnson. Billings Gazette. Under the federal Clean Air Act, Yellowstone and adjacent wilderness areas such as the North Absaroka and Beartooth Wilderness are mandatory class I air areas and degradation from new known sources is not allowed. Of course, under Bush the EPA is going to do little in the way of pollution enforcement.
11-27-2002. Easier Bush pollution rules may increase demand for Wyoming coal. Billings Gazette. AP
11-27-2002. Park Service fears pollution at Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower, appeals study for coal plant. AP.
11-27-2002. What the Bush weakening of air pollution rules means. By Paul Krugman. New York Times.

11-27-2002. Opinion. Rob Morse  EPA air pollution standards go up in smog under Bush. San Francisco Chronicle. "So much for states' rights. The Environmental Protection Agency, so- called, is loosening industrial air pollution standards and forcing California to lower its standards."

11-26-2002. Environmental coalition gives Montana ski resorts low grades. Associated Press. Here is web site.

11-26-2002. El Nino keeps Montana in drought conditions. By Lorna Thackeray. Billings Gazette. Looks like Montana may go on to a third year of drought with more forest fires to blame on lack of logging and on environmentalists.

11-26-2002. Wyoming may put wolves under ag department. Associated Press. The latest wrinkle in Wyoming's wolf plan and the strange mental landscape those who are crafting it live in, is to give management of wolves to the state ag deparment. "They're not wildlife. They're predators," State Agriculture Department Director Ron Micheli said.

11-25-2002. Change in grazing policy imminent. By Carol Ryan Dumas. Ag Weekly editor. The Idaho Cattle Association is ecstatic about the change in Congress The endangered species act is going to take it on the chin, as well as the public's right to comment and to know though agency regulations and the National Environmental Policy Act.

As a sidelight, they claim to hate the Wood River Valley and everyone who lives there, but they had their convention in Sun Valley.

11-25-2002. Idaho’s welfare ranchers need to stop the lies. By John Schmidt, Guest Opinion Idaho State Journal.

11-25-2002. Excessive elk cause refuge managers to consider birth control. By Theo Stein. Denver Post. There are so many elk in Rocky Mountain National Park and at the National Elk Refuge at Jackson, Wyoming that birth control is being considered. Of course at the same time, Wyoming Game and Fish is plotting to wipe out the wolves, yelling that wolves kill excessive elk, and threatening to charge the federal government for every elk wolves eat on federal public lands. It looks like Colorado could use some wolves.

11-25-2002. Montana updating its elk plan. Some points to consider. by Mark Henckel  Billings Gazette.

11-24-2002. Glacier N. P. Glaciers melting at a shocking rate. LA Times. By Usha Lee McFarling. Los Angeles Times

11-23-2002. Environmentalists blast Bush's Yellowstone snowmobile plan. AP
11-24-2002. Unknowns in snowmobile plan worry Yellowstone businesses. The Olympian.

11-23-2002. E.P.A. Says It Will Change Rules Governing Industrial Pollution. By Matthew L. Wald. New York Times.
11-22-2002. Bush Administration loosens clean air rules for utilities, oil refineries, and manufacturers. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. By John Heilprin.

11-22-2002. Dirt Bike Magazine says it's war with environmentalists.
11-22-2002. Police investigate burning of environmental lawyer's car. By Dennis Lien. St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The incident was probably related to the lawyer's advocacy of tighter restrictions on off-road vehicles.

11-22-2002. Idaho Statesman. A rancher’s advocate, or the people’s attorney?

11-22-2002. Dog origins discovered. By Nicholas Wade. New York Times. As most thought, dogs descended from wolves, but not North American wolves. . . East Asian wolves.

11-21-2002. Environmentalists hopeful about Arizona's new governor. Arizona Daily Sun. By Gary Ghioto.

11-20-2002. Bush and the greens have a torrid hate affair. John Balzark. LA Times. Sadly, Balzark is correct. The Bush Administration and some Republicans go far beyond favoring business over protecting the environment. They hate environmentalists and their policies are not just inadvertently anti-environment, they are deliberately so. Sporadic efforts to define environmentalists as terrorists will probably continue. No doubt some would jail wolf supporters if they could. As I have said many times, anti-wolf sentiment is less about the wolf than about clash of cultural values.

11-20-2002. Blaine County, Idaho battles weeds of mass destruction. Invasion threatens wildlife habitat, rangeland. By Greg Moore. Idaho Mountain Express. Blaine County is not alone, alien noxious weeds have taken over millions of acres in most western states. One of the reasons I dislike salvage of burned timber so much has nothing to do with cutting the dead trees, it is because the logging machinery brings in these weeds which are far worse than any forest fire.

11-19-2002. A Wyoming wildlife program considered for a national award. Billings Gazette.

11-18-2002. Oil, Air, Energy Laws In Play. Environmentalists Fear New Senate. By Eric Pianin and Helen Dewar. Washington Post Staff Writers. This is a curious headline typical of our corporate media. "Environmentalists Fear New Senate." . . . as though environmentalists are the only ones who need a healthy environment. On my front page, I rewrote the headline the way I thought it should read.

11-18-2002. Minnesota deer population at record. KSTP. St. Paul. Minnesota has far more wolves than any other state. Related 11-19-2002. Minnesota budget crisis may keep state from managing wolves. TimberJay

11-17-2002. Interior Department's top lawyer takes aim at environmental laws. By Scott Sonner. Associated Press Writer. "It has gotten to the point where you can hardly dig a post hole without having to do an environmental analysis," Myers said in a speech Thursday to about 100 members of the Nevada Cattlemen's Association, who welcomed his criticism of what they regard as onerous conservation measures.
What he really means is that fish and wildlife and 99.9% per cent of Westerners who don't run cows on public land won't count.
Related 11-17-2002. Grazing permit ruling: Solicitor says Interior can't retire allotments. By Adella Harding, Elko Daily Free Press Staff Writer. So their it is, the "conservative" Bush administration will continue the system of Western public lands cow socialism.

11-16-2002. 3 Greybull, Wyoming men charged with poaching elk in Yellowstone Park. AP

11-16-2002. Timber company, environmental group reach pact on Idaho land. Deal bans development, allows logging on 600,000 acres. CNN

11-15-2002. The return of Oregon's wolves. By Sam Boush. Barometer Staff Writer.

11-14-2002. Marty Jones: Opponents of wolf restoration efforts still trying scare tactics in the West. Writers on the Range. What a refreshing opinion!
My opinion is I'm tired of those people predicting a wolf will eat you. There should be a statute of limitations on predictions a wolf will nap a child. For example, Montana U.S. Senator Conrad Burns said in 1995 that wolves will kill a little girl before the year is over.

11-14-2002. Report finds Glacier National Park underfunded. Kalispell Daily InterLake. By Jim Mann.

11-14-2002. Belgrade, Montana lumber mill starts four-week shutdown. By Kayley Mendenhall  Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Here is another mill closing for lack of demand for timber (recall the similar recent closure of the Libby, Montana mill). When will the politicians figure out the problem for timber is weak demand compared to supply, not environmentalists "locking up" the timber?

11-14-2002. Sportsmen critical of Montana Stockgrowers plan for wildlife. By Ron Tschiada. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

11-14-2002. Montana doesn't like Wyoming Game and Fish Commission's move on wolves because now neither Montana nor Idaho will get to manage wolves. By Jennifer McKee. Billings Gazette.

11-12-2002. Wolves are near the U.S. border and poised to move south into Vermont. Hunters asked to look out for tracks. By Wilson Ring. Concord Monitor.

11-13-2002. Snowmobile decision irks operators, conservationists. By Bill McAllister. Denver Post Washington Bureau.
11-12-2002. Bush Reverses Snowmobile Rule. Parks to Limit Number on Peak Days. By John Heilprin. Associated Press.
11-12-2002. No Peace for Yellowstone. Opinion of the Oregonian.
11-12-2002. Park Service puts faith in clean technology. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

11-11-2002. A clear-cut drought solution? Logging urged to boost runoff, but eco-groups object. By Theo Stein. Denver Post. It has been known since the 1920s or 30s that deforestation increases run-off, at least for a while. However, the water comes all at once rather than slowly, and it brings low quality water, full of sediment. After a while, erosion lower the water table and the streams dry up. With the extremist segment of the Republican Party in power, more logging is the solution to all things --  forest fire, lack of water, lack of jobs. No doubt a tax cut for timber companies is in the mix somewhere.
Related 11-5-2002. One reason why the Bush Administration is so full of crackpot science ideas. Critics claim federal panels tilting to right. Industry apologists replace doctors on lead poisoning panels.. By Carl Weiser. Cincinnati Inquirer Washington Bureau. For most, an M.D. or Ph D is license to practice medicine or to do scientific research, but for some it is a license to be an intellectual whore.

11-11-2002. Colorado visibility improves, although some serious air pollutants have increased. By Joey Bunch. Denver Post Environment Writer.

11-10-2002. Studying Yellowstone Park's hostile environment. By Scott McMillion.  Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.
11-10-2002. Tiny Yellowstone microbe may help dispose of farm manure. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

11-8-2002. Opinion: the state of Washington needs wolves. Wolves important to ecosystem. The Bellingham Herald.

11-6-2002. Republicans Win, Environment Loses in 2002. By Cat Lazaroff. ENS. Little doubt the next few years will bring more assaults on our national natural heritage than any time in the last several generations.

11-5-2002. Big Alaska quake sets of many small quakes in Yellowstone. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

11-4-2002. Wyoming anti-wolf leader is white supremacist. Opinion by Todd Wilkinson. Bozeman Chronicle.  There was a much more detailed article in the Riverton (WY) Ranger (not on line). Stanko claims wolves and grizzlies have killed many of his cattle and that 200 are missing. It was probably just sloppy herding as evidenced by the fact that one of his cows showed up the other day 50 miles to the north inside Yellowstone Park.

11-3-2002. Chronic Wasting Disease now has spread to Illinois deer. CNN.
11-3-2002. Science of chronic wasting disease cloaked in mystery: Researchers unsure of how prions work. By Peter Rebhahn. Green Bay Press Gazette.

11-3-2002. Emergency order issued to protect Denali wolves. By Mary Pemberton. The Kenai Peninsula Clarion

11-2-2002. Judge bars plan to kill cougars. By Michael Milstein. Oregonian. On the surface this plan might seem to make research sense, but so many other states are proposing similar plans -- killing predators for "research" that the true intent is clear.

Other Conservation News Story Archives

Jan-Apr. 2003
Sept-Oct. 2003
May-August 2002
March-April 2002

Jan. - Feb. 2002
Oct-December 2001

August-Sept 2001

May-July 2001

March-Apr 2001

Jan-February 2001
  Nov-December 2000
Sept - October 2000
July- August 2000
May- June 2000

March - April 2000

Jan - February 2000

July - December 1999
January - June 1999
1997 - 1998


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