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 it is 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, or if they do, they charge for them.

Articles from August - October 2003

10-31-2003. Senate Votes for a Measure to Thin Trees. By Sheryl Gay Stolberg. New York Times. The CA fires pushed  this through. The Senate bill is much better than the earlier House version. However, even in the new Senate version only half the money will go to protection of the urban/wildland interface, and the conference committee in the present Congress always produces a weaker bill. This could yet become a logging bill with a little window dressing so that homeowners think it is meant to protect them.
10-31-2003. Administration rejected Gov. Davis' request for removing dead trees just hours before massive CA fires began. By Gregg Jones and Dan Morain. LA Times.

10-31-2003. Senate turns down global warming curbs. AP. "The Senate rejected a plan Thursday to curb global warming, but both supporters and opponents of the measure said they were happy about the results of the chamber's first vote on the issue in more than six years."

10-31-2003. BLM will sell oil and gas leases in scenic parts of Utah. By Robert Gehrke. Associated Press.
10-31-2003. Oil, gas leases up for bid in wilds. By Brent Israelsen. The Salt Lake Tribune. "
Environmentalists on Thursday decried the leasing as another in a series of attacks by the Bush administration on the West's most pristine lands and the first direct casualty of a deal Utah's governor struck with the president's top land manager that released millions of acres from wilderness consideration."

10-31-2003. Wolves' effect on Yellowstone Park elk to receive more study. By Becky Bohrer. AP

10-30-2003. Administration Approves Power Plant that Threatens Visibility in Yellowstone. Experts Warn Plant Will Violate Clean Air Act. EarthJustice.
More 10-31. Lawsuit filed over permitting Roundup plant. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
"Environmental groups sued the Bush administration on Thursday over its surprise decision earlier this year to withdraw its concerns that a coal-fired power plant near Roundup would adversely affect air quality at Yellowstone National Park."

10-28-2003. Once again: Let this energy bill die. Editorial. Great Falls Tribune.
The energy bill may be the sleaziest, most undemocratically conceived, anti-environment legislation in the last century. That's my opinion. The Great Falls Tribune too hopes it will die.
Updated 10-30-2003. Rural roads compromise killed. By Christopher Smith. The Salt Lake Tribune. "Now, by stripping this language, they've made Swiss cheese out of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument," said Kristen Brengel of the Wilderness Society."

10-29-2003. Is Yellowstone set to blow? Online observers and scientists see same clues, different future for park. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

10-29-2003. In Montana, the next Arctic Refuge debate. By Hal Herring. Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor.

10-29-2003. Man charged for driving around Lone Star Geyser. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.
Followup with photo of damage. YNP news release.

10-29-2003. Editorial. Washington Post. Fire Damage.

10-29-2003. Interior Appropriations Bill finally passes, and it is a disaster for our public lands, especially wilderness and national parks and monuments. U.S Newsire.

10-29-2003. Make Way for Buffalo. By Nicholas D. Kristof. New York Times. Opinion.

10-28-2003. Scientists: Wolves Helping Rebalance Yellowstone Ecosystem. Science Daily.

10-28-2003. West Yellowstone has record tourist tax summer. By Nick Gevock, Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. West Yellowstone will hardly suffer at all from the slightly reduced number of snowmobiles allowed into the Park due to bulging summer revenues.

10-28-2008. Final version of Interior appropriations bill may facilitate the building of roads by countries across our national monuments and public roadless areas. Salt Lake Tribune. By Christopher Smith.

10-28-2003. Montana voter initiative banning cyanide mining goes before Montana supreme court. Missoulian. More than any other issue the outcome of this case will determine if Montana will slip back to being a state owned by the resource industries as it was in the period from 1900 - 1930.

10-28-2003. Leavitt set to become new EPA administrator. ENN. There weren't enough votes to filibuster.

10-27-2003. Healthy forests? Yes. But let's focus on 'red zone' and tinder-box land. Editorial. Boulder Daily Camera. The editorial correctly points out that the "Healthy forests" bill, not good to start with, has been hijacked to promote logging rather than protect people who live on the forest interface. Those whose houses are presently burning in Los Angeles should be outraged.

10-27-2003. Another Bush court nominee draws fire. By Faith Bremner. Great Falls Tribune Washington Bureau. William G. Myers III has always been a lap dog for ranching and mining interests. Hopefully Democrats are firing up for another filibuster against Bush extremist court nominations.

10-26-2003. Far more creeks than creek names in Montana. Column. Ed Kemmick. Billings Gazette.

10-25-2003. Gigantic Steamboat Geyser erupts for the 4th time in 18 months. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

10-24-2003. Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 26-287 controversial. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Wyoming Department of Transportation must be stupid as mud. This highway has more large wild animals crossing it than any outside Yellowstone Park -- elk, deer, moose, pronghorn, grizzly and black bear. WY DOT admits the reconstruction they envision will kill more wildlife (and hence also more people). It will also be a multi-year economic bottleneck, yet they persist with their excessively engineered project. Only minor reconstruction is needed. People don't have to drive 15 mph faster getting to Jackson Hole (which they will do despite the plan to lower the current speed limit). After all, the getting there is half the fun. Folks can still comment on this project until Oct. 29

10-22-2003. Coal, mining and grazing groups plan organization to counter environmentalists in the West. Billings Gazette. It sure sounds like an "astroturf" organization, a term given to groups that claim to be grassroots but are really funded and run by big interests.

10-22-2003. Scientists find major mercury emissions in Yellowstone. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

10-22-2003. The Yellowstone [River] deserves to be treated right. Billings Gazette. Guest Opinion.

10-22-2003. to highlight wolf issues across Canada. ENN. From Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS),

10-20-2003. 'Mother Wilderness' dies at Wyoming ranch at 101. By Sarah Cooke. Associated Press Writer. ''Mardy'' Murie has died. She inspired thousands personally. I am so grateful I got to spend an evening with her and stay at her place in Jackson Hole 20 years ago.

10-20-2003. Game farm 'nature' photos misleading. By Todd Wilkinson columnist. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Praise to real nature photographers like Tom Mangelsen.

10-19-2003. Bridger-Teton National Forest officials are proposing to open three areas in the Wyoming range to domestic sheep grazing. By Jeff Gerino. Casper Star Tribune. This is an outrage!! It is a threat not just to the wolves in the area, but to the much more endangered bighorn sheep south of Jackson Hole. Domestic sheep quickly pass numerous diseases to they wild relatives, the bighorn. Domestic sheep were by far the major cause of the demise of bighorn in the West in the late 19th century. Bighorn have struggled back a little with a lot of help and money. The hunting tag value of just five full curl bighorn rams would be worth all the sheep in these bands that will put into this area. This is a flat out replacement of wildife and a redistribution of income. You can comment on the draft environmental impact statement by sending your comments to the Big Piney Ranger District, Box 218, Big Piney, WY 83113.

10-19-2003. Endangered Nevada Trout get "Brotheled" Water. Las Vegas Sun. Las Vegas Sun. Water rights from Mustang Ranch (a now closed, famous brothel east of Reno) will go to save the endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake.

10-19-2003. Leavitt fits Bush's EPA. By columnist Ellen Goodman.
10-16-2003. Panel OKs Leavitt, but floor vote still in question. By Christopher Smith. The Salt Lake Tribune.
Glad the Democrats are asking him the hard questions: why doesn't U.S. Magnesium on the Great Salt Lake have to clean up, what about wetlands destruction by the so-called "Legacy Highway," why are Utah waters so dirty, etc.?
10-13-2003. Leavitt is a useful pawn for the minority party in a political year. By Christopher Smith. The Salt Lake Tribune.
Of course the Utah newspapers will support their governor, but this country doesn't need the kind of environmental devastation he unleashed on southern Utah backcountry writ large over the whole country. Head administrator or not, the EPA will stand for the Environmental Polluter's Agency until Bush is gone.

10-18-2003. Whirling disease destroys most of the trout in Pelican Creek, YNP. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. This is terrible news for the osprey, eagles and grizzly bears of this beautiful Yellowstone Park backcountry valley.

10-17-2003. Generous Hunters. Yellowstone Study Shows Wolves Benefit Other Species With Their Leftovers. Special to ABC News. By Lee Dye. The wolves are not actually generous, but they are much more likely to share their kill than cougar, which bury theirs and grizzlies which really don't like to share. Larger packs make more thorough use of their kills than smaller packs. The former can't eat an entire elk in one meal, so they lose a lot of it to other animals and birds while they are sleeping their meal off.

10-17-2003. Letter angers Idaho water users. 118 in House call on Bush to save salmon. Idaho Statesman. One shouldn't confuse the Idaho Water Users Association with those in Idaho who use water. The users association consists of big agriculture, which puts an incredible amount of subsidized water on arid Idaho fields while the water for the rest of us gets dirtier and dirtier and less and less.
An often repeated quote about water in the West is that it "flows uphill, towards money." This is one of the most stupid observations ever made. In fact, in the West water flows toward political power, especially if it is reactionary, and economically inefficient.

Related Idaho Statesman editorial 10-16-2003. Our View: Politicians can talk, but [dam] breaching won’t go away.

10-16-2003. Bird watching popularity soars in Wyoming. By Jeff Gerino. Casper Star Tribune. Among the demons of the anti-environmentalists, there is nothing worse than a bird watcher or a tree hugger. There a similar article about Montana bird watching in another newspaper today.
10-17-2003. Wildlife watchers spend in Wyoming. AP. Billings Gazette.

10-16-2003. Wyoming says it has no plans to amend its wolf management plan until USFWS strikes it down. Casper Star Tribune. By Brodie Fahrquar.

10-15-2003. Western Watersheds Project has opened two new offices. Public land grazing abusers take note.

10-13-2003. U.S. Seeks Looser Rules on Wild Animal Imports. LA Times.

10-13-2003. Damage to National Forest trees near Boulder may be result of dispute. By Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News.

10-13-2003. The Snowmobile Quagmire. Opinion of the New York Times.

10-12-2003. West Nile strikes down raptors. Billings Gazette.  By Becky Bohrer. AP. This article about the toll of West Nile on birds of prey. My comments: the West Nile season is about over now. This year it took a large human and much larger toll in newly infected states of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Next year epidemiologists worry about Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Idaho.

10-13-2003 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn't believe Great Lakes gray wolves are moving south. Ely Echo.
10-11-2003. Wisconsin DNR revisits timber wolf status. Could become protected, not threatened. By Anita Weier. The Capital Times.
As an aside, while I was living in Madison, going to grad school. I could hardly image a wolf would ever show up at Spring Green Wisconsin. It's a happy thought that even southern Wisconsin has a few wolves.

10-11-2003. Oops: FWP Mistake in elk licenses forces tough decisions just north of YNP. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

10-10-2003. Robert who? Investigators track responsibility for Robert fire. By David Madison. Missoula Independent.

10-9-2003. Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival recognizes world's foremost field biologist. By Rebbeca Huntington. George Schaller says wildlife problems are worldwide, but goes out of his way to rip Bush.

10-9-2003. Foes get together to try to protect antelope migration bottleneck from being closed entirely. Jackson Holes News and Guide. By Rebecca Huntington. The entire future of antelope in Jackson Hole depends whether a  half mile to mile wide corridor far to the south at near Pinedale stays open or get developed by the gas industry and/or subdividers.

10-9-2003. Ground temperatures decline at Norris. Trails reopened. AP

10-9-2003. Yellowstone wolf biologist honored. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Dr. Doug Smith, head of the Yellowstone wolf project, has received high honor from the Park Service.

10-8-2003. Gas drillers poised along Rocky Mountain Front in Montana. By Joel Connelly. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As far as its negative impact on Americans who love the outdoors, the Bush push to drill the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana and other areas in the Rockies will have a far worse impact than drilling in Alaska, in my opinion. Of course, given the advance of the energy bill through the secretive conference committee, drilling in the both the most scenic areas of the Rockies and in ANWR is likely.

10-8-2003. Gallatin National Forest officials forging ahead with marginal timber sale. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

10-8-2003. Plan to log old growth on Idaho state lands stuns environmentalists. Idaho Statesman. Under state law, Idaho state-owned lands are supposed to make a maximum return to the state school endowment fund and no other forest values are supposed to be considered. Even so, cutting the forest faster than it grows back and also cutting at a time when timber supply is high worldwide (and hence price of lumber has been down) doesn't make sense.

10-7-2003. National Wildlife Federation attorney backtracks on wolf remarks. By Sherry Devlin. The Missoulian.
Here's the earlier story. 10-03-2003. Wolf lawsuit hurts conservation cause, says National Wildlife Federation Attorney. By Sherry Devlin of the Missoulian.

10-7-2003. In Yellowstone, a Subterranean Volcano Exerts Its Influence. By Jim Robbins. New York Time. This is another, and a good article, about what might be the growing volcanic or hydrothermal unrest under the giant volcano fills most of Yellowstone National Park.
10-7-2003. A similar story. Yellowstone will blow again - no telling when. Kansas City Star.

10-7-2003. Utah wilderness group looks for common ground over monument. By Donna Kemp Spangler. Deseret Morning News.

10-7-2003. Monuments weather attack. Court rejects plea to delist 6 parklands set aside by Clinton. Rocky Mountain News. By News Staff And Wire Reports. As with cases against Presidents creating national monuments before him, Clinton's national monument declarations have survived legal attack.

10-6-2003. 2003 fires worst ever for Glacier. Park already rebounding. By Eric Newhouse. Great Falls Tribune Projects Editor.

10-5-2003. EDITORIAL OBSERVER. Stumbling Upon Wolf Tracks in the Northern Reaches of Yellowstone. By Verlyn Klinkenbord. New York Times op-ed. This essay is one those of us who need the wilderness will relate to.

10-5-2003. Greens' strategy: Link Bush, Leavitt. By Judy Fahys. The Salt Lake Tribune.

10-4-2003. 4th endangered Mexican wolf found dead in 2 weeks in New Mexico. AP

10-3-2003. Chronic Wasting Disease spreads to the Black Hills. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune. They were looking for deadly blue tongue disease, which also has killed about a thousand deer in northern Idaho this year, but found something much worse.

10-3-2003. Carnivores' need for wild walk. BBC. "The bigger the distance a carnivore covers in the wild, the more likely it is to suffer stress symptoms in a zoo, say Oxford University scientists."

10-3-2003. Editorial. New rules needed to stem ATVs. Denver Post. I agree, but the whole thrust of the Bush Administration is to give free reign to ATVs to tear up the land and generally annoy folks. Bush's EPA nominee Mike Leavitt's legacy besides letting his family fish hatchery spread whirling disease around the state of Utah, was to open up millions of acres of fragile red rock canyon country to ATVs.

10-2-2003. Environmental groups pick Oregon for wolf lawsuit. By Jeff Barnard. AP Writer. Helena Independent Record, "Grants Pass, Ore. — Seeing Oregon as the next battleground over the spread of the gray wolf, environmental groups chose Portland for filing a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the federal government's decision to downgrade Endangered Species Act protection for the predator."
10-2-2003. News Release by the plaintiffs. "wolf Backers Go to Court to Keep wolf Recovery on Track. Suit Challenges Plan to Strip Wolves of All Federal Legal Protection in U.S."

10-2-2001. EPA vote blocked by Democrats. Move aimed at highlighting dissatisfaction with White House environmental policies. By Eric Pianin, Washington Post.

10-1-2003. Senator Baucus of Montana pans Rocky Mountain Front oil and gas lease buyout plan. By Faith Bremner. Great Falls Tribune Washington Bureau; Gannett News Service. This is part of the accelerating effort to pass the energy bill, probably the worst piece of special interest legislation in decades. It is moving closer to passage and very likely with a drill the Arctic Refuge provision and virtually without any offsetting measure anywhere to promote energy efficiency or clean energy.

10-1-2003. Take closer look to see Madison grazing damage. Opinion in the Bozeman Chronicle. By Glenn Hockett. President, Gallatin Wildlife Association. I know these mountain ranges well, and Hockett is right. These beautiful but not nationally known, mountain ranges (if you don't look closely at the ground) could have many times the elk, moose, antelope if there was less livestock.

10-1-2003. Big Sky developer gives big to Schwarzenegger. By Tom Chorneau. Associated Press Writer. "A Montana-based development firm with a history of environmental violations near Big Sky has donated $100,000 to the campaign of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has touted his support of environmental causes as he runs to replace Gov. Gray Davis."

9-30-2003. Boise, Idaho's air quality keeps getting worse despite clean up of some pollution sources. Idaho Statesman. By Joe Kolman.

9-30-2003. Not just a predator. Wolves bring a surprising ecological recovery to Yellowstone.  By Nicholas Thompson, Boston Globe Correspondent.

9-30-2003. Reckless rancher cuts sweet deal in D.C. by Brodie Farquhar. High Country News. "Bush administration orders local BLM office to back off."
Related.9-30-2003. BLM sued over Robbins deal. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer. "
Western Watersheds Project of Hailey, Idaho and American Lands Alliance of Washington, D.C are suing high BLM officials". This an another reason folks should give to the Western Watersheds Project -- the bigger and more arrogant the politicians, the more likely WWP is to sue them when they think the law doesn't apply to them. It should be noted that while WWP was began in Hailey, Idaho, they now have offices in Wyoming and Utah.

9-30-2003. Cougars are common in Boise, Idaho. Idaho Statesman. Pete Zimowsky.

9-30-2003. Plans in the works to help wildlife cross busy I-90 east of Bozeman safely. By Joan Haines Bozeman Chronicle.
Interstate 90 from Bozeman east is probably the single biggest hazard to wildlife migration in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. It gets worse each year as traffic on it grows.

9-29-2003. Kane County, Utah residents split on BLM. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune. It seems some newcomers are getting tired of anti-conservation views of the inbred old timers, their hostility and lousy economy.

9-29-2003. Dead wolf Indiana suggests there are more wolves there. By George McLaren. There have been many reports of "wolves" in the Hoosier states since the recent shooting of a wolf that migrated in from Wisconsin. Of course, many such sightings have been typical in every state after atypical wolves have showed up. Most will end up as sightings of coyotes, "coydogs" or escaped wolf hybrids but, nevertheless, lone wolves have now appeared in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, migrants from the Great Lakes States.

9-28-2003. West Nile virus takes toll on Wyoming eagles. Billings Gazette.

9-27-2003. Western wildfires way down in 2003, despite increase in Wyoming. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune. Most of the West's wildfires last summer were in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Adding to the story above, it should be told that total acreage burned in the West in 2003 was much less than in 2002. This is important because most people would not suspect the truth given the disinformation from the Bush Administration, the news coverage, and the blather from the timber industry lobbyists and their pet members of Congress.

9-27-2003. Wyoming public lands rancher gets booted off his grazing allotment by the Forest Service. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune. This is news because severe penalties for public lands grazing permit violations are very rare despite the violations everyday occurrence.

9-25-2003. Mountain lions have probably reinhabited Missouri. By Mike Penprase News-Leader Staff.

9-25-2003. Montana hunters asked to help find chronic wasting disease in elk and deer. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. So far none has been reported in Montana, which has been one of the few states to crack down on "game farms," thought by many to breeding grounds of the nightmare disease. Montana voters cracked down by voter initiative, not by any leadership from the politicians of the dominant party.

9-24-2003. Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Illegal Cattle Grazing in and near New Mexico Wilderness Areas. News Release. I thought this issue was settled by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999. How they get away stealing our grass and trammeling our national wilderness areas I don't know. If the Forest Service is afraid to enforce the law, the rule of law will quickly break down. Perhaps Governor Richardson should step in with state law enforcement and the national guard if there is local resistance to the rule of law.

9-24-2003. In de-fence of wildlife. Volunteers spool barbed wire damaged by Blacktail Fire, clear migration corridor. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Holes News and Guide.

9-24-2003. Park County, WY Commissioners reiterate objections to wolves. By Carole Cloudwaker. Cody Enterprise. I'm not sure what brought on their latest tantrum since the number of wolves in Park Country, WY has been nearly stable for 3 years now. Livestock depredations are few and well compensated. Not many wolves have been shot illegally outside YNP in Wyoming; the great majority are "control" by federal government agents. It's cultural politics I speculate since their position makes no economic sense. Visitors to Park County can help by letting business know why they visit.

9-23-2003. Forest Service buys land on Yellowstone river from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. It's a small, but important, parcel in Yankee Jim Canyon north of YNP.

9-22-2003. EPA nominee Leavitt in crossfire of attack on Bush. By Christopher Smith. Salt Lake Tribune. The confirmation hearing for Utah's governor may be more about the President's pathetic record on protecting our environment, although as Utah conservationists say "nature: love it or Leavitt."

9-22-2003. Editorial: Montana governor should be wary of senator's energy amendment. Billings Gazette Opinion. Governor Judy Martz, hardly the brightest star in the political firmament, gets all confused about supply, demand, prices, private property and states rights when she starts to think about energy and what the utilities want.

9-21-2003. ATV detectives: Education called key to off-road vehicles use. AP. A story, set in Montana, about trying to control and to educate ATV users  to the damage they are doing to our scenic public resources.

9-18-2003. Departing Wyoming G&F director's story unravels. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau And Associated Press. My guess the full story is still not in. Manning, who has been on the job only since last winter, probably didn't' recognize how politicized Wyoming's game and fish management is and the state of denial they are in about elk feedlots and chronic wasting disease.

9-18-2003. Wyoming governor Freudenthal fears wolf plan will fail. AP. He should have known it would fail from the day it was proposed. It doesn't really protect any wolves except those inside the boundaries of YNP and GTNP.

9-17-2003. Study Shows Prions Stick Around In Certain Soils. Science Daily (from a Univ. of Wisconsin news release). Though frightening, it shows how chronic wasting disease keeps reinfecting deer and elk even after infected herds have been killed off. This out to scare the ____ out of Wyoming elk feed lot proponents as well as those with elk or deer game farms anywhere.

9-16-2003. Wolves kill elk in Wisconsin for the first time in a century. Buckmasters (from Wisconsin DNR). "A predator-prey relationship absent from Wisconsin for more than a century played out last week when a wolf pack attacked, killed and consumed a young adult elk near Clam Lake."

9-16-2003. Purple invader infests Idaho wetlands. Idaho Statesman. Purple loosestrife is a pretty alien plant that crowds out cattails and rushes, destroying the wildlife value of marshes. By Ken Dey.

9-15-2003. Scientists study amount of mercury emitted by Yellowstone geysers and hot springs. AP

9-15-2003. Western Governors' Conference opens with energy talk. By Allison Farrell Missoulian State Bureau. Read also "Corporations pick up tab for the Western governors." By Allison Farrell. Missoulian State Bureau. Nah! There's nothing to worry about. The governors and the 4 leaders of Canadian provinces will represent their constituents (all contributing corporations will get something).

9-15-2003. Expect Wasatch Front to shake, rattle any time now. By Paul Foy. Salt Lake Tribune.

9-15-2003. There's nothing healthy about [Bush's] healthy forest initiative.  By Dick Dolan. guest editorial. Bozeman Chronicle. Dolan of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition points out that while all this talk about thinning pine in Arizona and the east slope of the Cascades might make sense, it doesn't in the much more common lodgepole pine forests of the northern Rockies where thinning may increase the fire danger, and even if not, will cost more and yield fewer benefits.

9-14-2003. Colo. will forge plan on managing wolves. By Theo Stein. Denver Post Environment Writer. Sightings of wolves near the Colorado border has prompted the Colorado Division of Wildlife to begin working on a management plan for wolves in Colorado.

9-14-2003. Anglers encouraged to go after Yellowstone Lake, lake trout. AP

9-12-303. 2 plead guilty to illegally making forest trail. By Brent Israelsen. The Salt Lake Tribune. They will pay $35,286 to repair the damage.

9-12-2003. Wolf suspected in Utah sheep deaths. By Brett Prettyman. The Salt Lake Tribune. On the other hand, Ed Bangs thinks the sheep were killed by a dog or a wolf/hybrid. There were no tracks or fur to give an indication of the animal.

9-11-2003. Ex-NPS heads say new snowmobiles worse. By Mike Stark. Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

9-11-2003. SW Montana Deer died from bubonic plague. By Jennifer McKee. Billings. Gazette State Bureau.

9-10-2003. Discussion of the Yellowstone Lake bulge draws a crowd in Cody,WY. Cody Enterprise. By Carole Cloudwalker.

9-10-2003. National Public Lands Grazing Campaign, a way of helping the rancher and removing livestock from public lands that have higher values for fish, wildlife and scenery? Read "Land for peace: An end of 'grazing war'?" By Brent Israelsen The Salt Lake Tribune.

9-10-2003. Gallatin National Forest would expand Taylor Fork of Gallatin grazing allotment.

9-10-2003. Leavitt to get Cabinet status? By Lee Davidson. Deseret Morning News. "Elevation" of a agency to cabinet status is an old political trick to make it appear a President is now giving more attention to some policy area. Absent any substantive changes in authority or appropriations, all cabinet status means is the agency buys news stationery . . . "Dept. of Environmental Protection" rather than "Environmental Protection Agency." EPA nominee Leavitt would be "Mr. Secretary" rather than "the Administrator." President Clinton tried to change the EPA to a department such as President Bush proposes. It got caught up in partisan wrangling and died, and it didn't matter anyway. This is just an effort of lift the Leavitt nomination.

9-9-2003. Gloves off in southern Utah national monument battle. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune. County leaders from Kane and Garfield counties in Utah have asked the federal government to downsize the staff and demote the manager of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Many people, including the BLM director under Clinton think if anything is done, it's the local ranchers who should go to jail. Ranchers ran their cattle illegally inside the national monument. When the cattle were rounded up by the government, by many accounts the ranchers stole the cattle back without consequence.

9-9-2003 Rain cools Montana fires. By Jim Mann. Kalispell Daily Interlake.

9-9-2003 Kelowna B.C. faces fires once again. Vancouver Sun. By Amy O'Brian. Update: Rainfall lifts firefighters' spirits: It was only four to five millimetres but it enabled 4,250 evacuees to go back home. Vancouver Sun.
Two weeks ago. 8-24-2003. Giant forest fire in B.C. Okanagan Valley causes 30,000 to flee. By Hanson Hosein. MSNBC.

9-8-2003. Climate Change Is Really Bugging Our Forests. Oregon Public Broadcasting/Washington Post. According to the Bush Administration we need a "healthy forests initiative" to log the dying drought and insect ridden forests, not a climate policy that will offend the oil, gas and coal companies.

9-7-2003. Rocky Mountain Front drilling battleground. Choteau, Montana feels heat of national debate. By Sonja Lee Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer.

9-7-2003. Predators hated, admired in Casper panel discussion. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer.

9-6-2003. Central Oregon is buzzing with rumors that forest fires were set as photo op for Bush's Oregon news conference. I have no idea if these are true, but the state's major paper has had to take notice of them. "Forest fires' timing sets tongues wagging." Michael Milstein. Oregonian.

9-6-2003. Chronic wasting disease research focuses on saliva and feces. AP. Finally some progress how the nightmare disease is spread.

9-5-2003. New snowmobile emissions in doubt. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.
9-5-2003. New, 'cleaner' snowmobiles pollute more than others EPA contends. By Julie Cart. Los Angeles Times.

9-4-2003. High in the Hills, biologist keeps tabs on wolves. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. This spring we (the Wolf Recovery Foundation) gave the subject of this story, Mike Jimenez, our annual "alpha award." The article's subtitle: "High in the hills, Jimenez tracks a pack notorious for killing cattle," is pretty funny. The Green River Pack killed 2 cow calves in July. They also bit off the tail off another. Notoriety comes a bit easy, I guess. Note that newspaper article authors don't write the headlines to their stories.

9-4-2003. Montanan's West Nile Cases surge. BY Richard Ecke. Great Falls Tribune. Nevertheless, Montana is well behind Wyoming and Colorado, which is the state with the most cases this year.

9-3-2003. Crews gain on Western Montana blazes despite wind. Missoulian. By Betsy Cohen.

9-3-2003. Official: State wolf plans headed for scientific review. By Becky Bohrer. AP. The 3 state's wolf management plans now undergo "peer" review, meaning that those with experience managing wolves and wildlife are supposed to judge whether the plans will conserve the wolf and not allow it to slip back onto the path toward extinction in the Rocky Mountains. If the conservation plans are rejected, most people think it will because of Wyoming's wolf plan which limits wolves to a small part of the state, failing to protect even where most of the non-Park packs now live.

9-2-2003. Interior scrutinizes arrangement with rancher. AP. Whether Wyoming rancher Harvey Frank Robbins, Jr. got favorable political treatment from DOI politicos, overruling local BLM managers, has the makings of becoming a big issue. Western Watersheds Project is looking into this deal.

9-2-2003. Winds kick up spot fires, but US 191 in Yellowstone stays open. Bozeman Chronicle. Meanwhile the East Entrance road has been reopened without restrictions, although a run by the East or Grizzly fires could close it again.

9-1-2003. Scientists Study Yellowstone Geysers. By Becky Bohrer. AP. Washington Post. More on the increased activity at Norris Geyser Basin.

8-31-2003. Rejuvenation of Yellowstone [after fires of '88]  defies predictions of 'blighted wasteland for generations to come.' By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

8-30-2003. The Ungreening of America. Special report from No President has ever been as indifferent to our natural  environment as the administration of George W. Bush.

8-30-2003. Dunraven Pass Closes Sept. 8. Yellowstone Park news release. Due to long overdue reconstruction to this part of the Grand Loop road, Dunraven Pass will close Sept. 8 and stay closed through 2004. That portion of the road between Tower Jct. and the Chittenden Road will stay open during reconstruction.

8-30-2003. Dropping temps chill Western wildfires. AP.

8-30-2003. Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev narrate wolf-friendly 'Peter and the Wolf."

8-29-2003. Rathbone fire in YNP grows to over 4000 acres. East Entrance now open on limited hours. Bozeman Chronicle. By Scott McMillion.

8-28-2003. B.C. fire crews fight to save town of Cranbrook, British Columbia. News Staff. While over 280 homes were destroyed in Kelowna, the focus has now shifted several hundred miles to the northeast to Cranbrook, a major town in southern B.C.

8-28-2003. Park, Forest ranger jobs now more dangerous. AP. "Patrolling federal lands is becoming more and more dangerous, a group tracking attacks on the officers said Wednesday, citing two park rangers killed in the line of duty in 2002 and an overall increase in threats and violence."

8-28-2003.  A new federal study says the Teton Fault could produce ground shaking under the Jackson Lake Dam equivalent to a magnitude 9 earthquake lasting three minutes! Jackson Hole News and Guide. Don't be confused by the paper's own headline. It's a typo.

8-28-2003. "Soft-shelled" ticks spread relapsing fever in Montana. Billings Gazette. By Jennifer McKee. Fortunately this tick is confined to a small part of the state.

8-28-2003. Rains thwart wildfire's advance. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. US 191 is back open for the time being.
8-27-2003. U.S. 191 closed from Big Sky south to near West Yellowstone due to fire. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle.
The East entrance is also sill closed. This new fire is burning next to the highway (US 191) in the Park. I understand the Black Butte Ranch is threatened near Daly Creek.

8-27-2003. Citizen Flora. The rise, fall, and resurrection of a Forest Service whistleblower. By Todd Wilkinson. Orion Magazine. Gloria Flora would not be cowed by the rural reactionaries or the Bush Administration.

8-27-2003. Madison and Gibbon Rivers reopened to fishing as their temperatures have dropped. AP. The Firehole is still too warm and closed to fishing.

8-27-2003. TR's kin addresses Yellowstone Arch centennial fest. Story by Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. It was a festive occasion, but not all sweetness and light.

8-26-2003. West Nile Virus cases near 700 in Colorado. Skipping repellent helps mosquitoes breed, experts say. By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News. Colorado is the West Nile virus capital of America this summer. It is interesting to see that a wolf and a bighorn sheep also died of West Nile at the Denver zoo. There have been about 100 human cases in Wyoming and 35 in Montana. It appears only Idaho and Nevada are states that are still West Nile free.

8-26-2003. Cooler, calmer weather helps contain B.C. wildfire. By the Associated Press.

8-26-2003. Our View [Idaho Statesman]:  Bush places heavy stock in short-term salmon gain. Bush's northwest tour shows he doesn't understand the region. It ain't Texas.
8-25-2003. Ex-Park Service Workers Say Bush Reneges on Promises. By Christopher Lee. Washington Post.
President Bush is touring around trying to establish some environmental credentials, but those who have been on the front lines know.
More on the President's swing through the northwest. "Bush touts salmon plan. President supports dams, raises $1.4 million for campaign." By Robert McClure and Lisa Stiffler. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

8-25-2003. Yellowstone east gate reopens briefly, but will close again. Billings Gazette. AP

8-24-2003. More rains helps fire fights. Yellowstone east entrance slated to reopen on Monday. Billing Gazette. AP

8-23-2003. Great article about Gale Norton and her cronies in Vanity Fair. Sept. 2003. Vanity Fair always has some of the best writing about important people of any magazine, but it's 10 cuts above People Magazine. "Sale of the Wild" by Michael Shnayerson is excellent and will scare you sleepless. Pick up a hard copy and read about the installation of the new system of crony capitalism on your public lands.

8-23-2003. New Mexico Game Commission Ends Questionable Predator Program. By Wes Smalling. The New Mexican. The commission ended an expensive program killing coyotes to increase the mule deer population after "no appreciable change in the number of deer or in fawn survival" was detected.

8-23-2003. Widespread drenching storms keep fires from growing. Friday provided higher humidity and significant rain in a number of Northern Rockies areas where there are fires. Glacier National Park was an exception where wind and lightning far outweighed any rain. Wind, lightning send Glacier crews a wake-up call. By Michael Jamison of the Missoulian.

8-22-2003. Montana releases its final state wolf plan. Kalispell Daily Inter Lake. This is likely to be a much less controversial plan than Wyoming's. Montana, like Idaho, plans to judge wolves by their behavior, not by holing them up in a restricted location.
8-22-2003. Blaze grows huge in Shoshone forest. Yellowstone Park fires increase too. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

8-22-2003. Cheney faces second restricted-area flap. Secret Service agents seen stopping in closed eagle area in Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole News and Guide. By Rebecca Huntington. Earlier story. 8-9-2003. Cheney's helicopters touch down on protected private property. Landings on protected land irk neighbors as Cheney begins a month of vacation in Jackson Hole. By Bill Curran. Jackson Hole News and Guide. I have also heard reports that Cheney's fishing trips down local rivers (South Fork of the Snake and Green River) are causing resentment because of the huge armada of support and security it takes, and the removal of other anglers from the river it requires. Others complain that he consumes these beautiful western resources while he supports their destruction by oil companies.

8-21-2003. Thousands on Edge as British Columbia Fire Grows. Yahoo News. By Allan Dowd. Southern B.C. and Alberta, like Idaho, Montana, and western Wyoming has been suffering from severe drought.
8-21-2003. Almost all the big forest fires this year are in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the 3 states suffering the most from the drought. See. U.S. Drought Severity Index (map).
8-21-2003. High winds kick up Yellowstone fires. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
8-21-2003. Salmon, Idaho subdivision narrowly saved from forest fire, and more Idaho fire news. Idaho Statesman.

8-20-2003. Removal of signs in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument reignites road war. By Brent Israelsen. The Salt Lake Tribune. This is worrisome since local law enforcement was apparently involved. Visitors to these remote southern Utah counties should be prepared to protect themselves. We have frequently been treated badly in Escalante (beginning way back in 1974 when we faced off some local cowboys who didn't like the common hair length of that period).
Salt Lake Tribune editorial on these illegal actions. "On Safari."

8-20-2003. Energy bill finally passes the Senate. Rocky Mountains expected to bear to brunt of environmental damage. By Laura Paskus. High Country News. Related. 8-20-2003. "Where the Antelope (and the Oil Companies) Play." By Brian Maffly. High Country News.

8-20-2003. Crews save Fishing Bridge. By Carole Cloudwalker. Cody Enterprise.
8-20-2003. Numerous Montana fires raise questions about upcoming Montana hunting season. Bozeman Chronicle.
8-20-2003. Complete wrapup on Montana and Wyoming fires. Billings Gazette.

8-19-2003. Guest ranches see business fall from Yellowstone fire. AP.
8-19-2003. Yellowstone east entrance still closed, but Monday did not see much fire expansion in the Greater Yellowstone. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Scott McMillion.

8-18-2003. Mexican group buys ranch for jaguar preserve near southern Arizona. Arizona Daily Star.

8-18-2003. Rare sage grouse in Wyoming felled by West Nile virus. Boulder Daily Camera. Stagnant water from coal bed methane production in Wyoming, Montana thought to be breeding ground for West Nile infected mosquitoes.

8-18-2003. Rain cools Yellowstone Park fires. Bozeman Chronicle. By Hailey Haffey.
8-18-2003. Forest fires cause evacuation of part of Salmon, Idaho. U.S. 93 and U.S. 12 (near Missoula) closed off and on. Idaho Statesman. The northern part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho is also closed due to the Canyon Creek fire. In many places high winds caused large increases in fire size.

8-17-2003. Sage grouse and pronghorn antelope populations boom in two Oregon national wildlife refuges after cattle and fences removed, and prescribed fire may have reduced coyote populations.

8-17-2003. Yellowstone's gurgles nothing to fear. By Nick Gevock Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

8-16-2003. Firefighters battle various blazes throughout Gallatin and Park counties, Montana. Bozeman Chronicle. I just got back from Yellowstone Park. The Park is full of smoke from the many fires . . . Ralph Maughan
8-16-2003. "East fire" closes YNP east gate, spreads in all directions. AP. All campfires have been banned in Park. We were camped at Madison this morning. A ranger came by and said no more fires even in developed campgrounds.
8-16-2003. Backcountry Idaho residents slow to learn about forest fires. "Atlanta fire teaches lesson. Towns in areas of wilderness need to be more prepared, fire officials say." By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. Given the expense of fighting these fires to the federal taxpayer, the small size of the community, and the number of fires it took to educate these folks, Barker (author of the article) is very charitable in his assessment. 

8-16-2003. Wyoming antelope flourish despite drought. Billings Gazette. Good news! Sadly the same can't be said for the antelope in Idaho.

8-13-2003. Idaho State ORV trail proposal includes expansion options. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express. "It’s a nightmare. I don’t know how anyone could look at it and say it’s a positive thing." — Lahsha Johnston, The Wilderness Society Regional Conservation Associate. When the State Parks and Recreation Dept. brought their dog and pony show to Pocatello, they  downplayed the magnitude of their plans, and I didn't testify against it. Now the truth comes out.
8-6-2003. Idaho Parks and Rec moves ahead with ATV trail. Local [Blaine County] representative votes against funding. Idaho Mountain Express. Although I stayed open-minded on this for about 6 months, my experience with the similar Piute Trail in central Utah tells me this will be a disaster to the scenic mountains of east central Idaho and greatly harm not just non-motorized recreation, but those who love to drive the backcountry roads in pickup trucks and SUVs too. The ATVs destroy the roads and replace them with a maze of tracks unless the project is very well funded. This won't be well funded.

8-13-2003. Wolves staking claims in White Clouds: New packs prompt old questions about land use. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Foley. An article about one of the happiest events in Idaho this year -- at least 2 wolf packs in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and several more near by. Events like this make living in Idaho's lousy economy worthwhile.
8-13-2003. Mountain goats on decline in White Cloud and Boulder Mountains. By Greg Foley. Idaho Mountain Express. In my view, the cause is obvious -- high powered snowmachines that invade the goats' formerly secure winter territory.

8-13-2003. New Idaho fires disrupt travel, power don’t hurt business. Visitors manage to cope with inconveniences. Idaho Statesman.

8-12-2003. New Idaho fires send crews scrambling. Herbert Atienza. The Idaho Statesman.
8-12-2003. Forest fire smoke pollution increasing in Montana. Billings Gazette. By Allison Farrell.
8-12-2003. Glacier National Park fires rebound. 12,000 more acres burned by Robert Fire. The Kalispell Daily InterLake.

8-12-2003. Environmentalists decry Bush's pick to head EPA. By Katharine Q. Seelye. New York Times. Utah's Leavitt was no friend to clean air, public lands, or open space. His family fish hatchery was even responsible for spreading dread whirling disease around the trout streams of the state.
8-12-2003.  Utah Gov. Named As Chief Of EPA. Nominee Wants Power Moved Out Of Washington. Washington Post. The reason whey want to put almost all power to protect the environment in the states is they know that state governments are political and economically weaker than the polluters they are supposed to regulate. State regulation will result in a race to the bottom among the states as they compete for business in the depressed American economy.
8-12-2003. Leavitt takes heat over recent deals. But Bush's EPA nominee praised for nuclear stance, veto. CNN. Leavitt says he is in the middle, but that is an overdone political trick Americans are getting wise to -- kind of the like "compassionate conservative" for the most heartless régime in the last 75 years.

8-11-2003. A Dream Of a Mountain, A Nightmare Of a Volcano. Mount Rainier Called 'Monumental Threat'. By Blaine Harden. Washington Post Staff Writer.

8-11-2003. Idaho anti-wolf group prepares legal attack. Billings Gazette. AP. I suspect this is more of a fundraiser than a legal strategy. For a photographic look at the elk in Gillette's back yard. As for their statement that there are 700-1000 wolves in Idaho instead of about 280, where is the evidence? Do they have their own wolf tracking crews? Where are these packs? Could they provide a map like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does?

8-11-2003. Multiple fires started by lightning in Grand Teton NP. Grand Teton National Park News Release.

8-10-2003. Bulge hints of build-up of huge blast near Fishing Bridge under Yellowstone Lake. Denver Post. By Diedtra Henderson, Denver Post Science Writer.

8-10-2003. Overcrowding, negligence plague Shelby, Montana horse feedlot. By Carol Bradley Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

8-8-2003. Rockies targeted for oil drilling. Environmentalists decry BLM move to redo rules. Denver Post. By Mike Soraghan, Denver Post Washington Bureau. This article has a nice map of the areas targeted. In the past, apologists for the Administration have said they only want to drill 5 "basins," realizing the public doesn't know that "a basin" in terms of oil geology can be as large as the average American state.

8-8-2003. Sudden disease killing north Idaho whitetail deer. Idaho Statesman. Fortunately this disease in the Clearwater country is not chronic wasting disease. It may be Epizootic hemorrhage disease which is related to heat.

8-8-2003. Norris Geyser Basin activity continues to increase as scientists ready instruments. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
8-8-2003. Scientists to monitor increasingly active Yellowstone. AP

8-7-2003. Over 4000 lightning strikes spark 41 new Montana fires. By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian. They are small so far.
8-8-2003. Storm ignites, but extinguishes fires. Billings Gazette.

8-7-2003. As most Idaho fires cool, big new fire explodes on the Idaho-Montana border. AP.

8-7-2003. The triumph of fringe science. By Katharine Mieszkowski. "Global warming naysayers argue that we don't need to do anything to stop rising temperatures. Mainstream scientists used to be able to ignore them, but now they make White House policy."

8-6-2003. Yellowstone Wildlife Safety videos. I wasn't sure where to put this, but these videos will make you think twice bout approaching bison or elk.

8-6-2003. Western Fires too hot for politics. By Pat Williams. Senior fellow and regional policy associate O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Headwaters News. "What's this? We are now in our third summer since Bill Clinton left the White House and yet our Western forests continue to burn."

8-6-2003. Oregon man flying classic Hughes H-1B racer crashes at Midway Geyser Basin, dies. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. By Kellyn Brown.
8-6-2003. Park news release on the crash.

8-6-2003. Sudden bulge under Yellowstone Lake doesn't look good. AP. A danger assessment will be prepared this fall.

8-4-2003. Stephens Creek, Yellowstone Park's junk yard. What to do? Casper Star Tribune.

8-2-2003. Conservation coalition buys out key grazing allotment to the immediate NE of Grand Teton National Park. National Wildlife Federation story. This is the second major grazing allotment buy-out in the Greater Yellowstone area this year. Earlier France and Fischer helped engineer the buyout of the Horse Butte Allotment, NW of West Yellowstone so as to eliminate the existence of summertime cattle that Montana DOL uses every winter as an excuse for killing Yellowstone bison that leave Yellowstone Park. The Walton allotment in Wyoming just NE of the Grand Teton National Park hasn't been grazed for four year now, so the buyout reinforces the new status quo rather than actually removing cattle now present. The results of 4 years of non-grazing has been a beautiful regeneration of part of the Mt. Leidy Highlands and the meadows along U.S. Highway 26/287 from Blackrock to Togwotee Pass and a profound reduction of grizzly bear conflicts.

8-2-2003. Norris Basin research heats up. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer.
7-28-2003. Increased thermal activity at Norris Geyser Basin requires partial closure to public! Yellowstone Park News Release.
7-28-2003. Norris Geyser Basin closed due to geothermal activity. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

8-1-2003. Muscle vs. Motor. Gallatin National Forest Travel Plan Moves Forward. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. This plan determines the fate of thousands of miles of roads and trails, including illegal ATV trails, on the Gallatin NF just north of Yellowstone National Park. Count me on the side of good health, quiet and muscle, even though I'm not as strong as I was 20 years ago. There is nothing like hike compared to a dangerous bone-jarring, visitor-irritating ride on an ATV .

8-1-03. Girl burned at Norris Geyser Basin. AP

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