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 January - February 2004-

- 2-29-2004. Guest Opinion: "No such thing as a 'Canadian gray wolf.'" Idaho State Journal. By Ralph Maughan. Not that my article will make any difference to the militant anti-wolf folks, but it might matter to those who have simply heard the word used.
An odd fact about rhetoric over Western wildlife and public land issues, I have noticed over the 30 years I have been following them is this: anti-conservation, and "traditional" rural interests don't argue or discuss, they assert. Evidence that there is no Canadian gray wolf, that nature protection doesn't hurt the economy, or that opinion about these issues is divided among Westerners, results not in counter facts or arguments, but simply in more intense repetition of the original statement. 

- 2-29-2004. "Wolf-management" bill finally dies in the Wyoming state senate. Associated Press.
- 2-26-2004. Wyoming House reverses itself and passes a new wolf management bill. AP.
Now it goes to the state senate.

- 2-29-2004. Snowmobiling in down in general around West Yellowstone, but use of cross-country ski trails up. Bozeman Chronicle. A personal note: 20 years ago we used to cross country ski at West Yellowstone, inside and outside the Park, but quit when all the snowmobiles came. Now we snowshoe in the mountains near our home or go to the snowmobile-free northern range of the Park and spend our money in Gardiner.

- 2-29-2004. Hook and bullet politics: Many sportsmen fed up with GOP. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

- 2-28-2004. Researchers still searching for cause of dying elk, now over 275. Associated Press.
- 2-24-2004. Mystery paralysis kills close to 200 Wyoming elk. Casper Star Tribune
. The paralyzed, dying elk are about 30 miles south of Rawlins in southern Wyoming.

-2-27-2004. Whence the Beef? The gruesome trip from pasture to platter (and how to ensure that it's not so bad). Slate Magazine. By Laurie Snyder. The livestock industry is oh so upset about viciousness of the wolves that occasionally kill and eat a cow or calf. Read this and decide who is wicked. I should add that I think most ranchers ignore, or try not to think about the destiny of cattle they raise and take to auction.

- 2-27-2004. Idaho F&G officials urge caution in area after dog poisoned. AP.
Note: this story says the poison has not yet been determined to be Temik (aldecarb)
- 2-26-2004. Poisoned meatballs injure dog near Carmen, Idaho. KPVI televsion. The meatballs were poisoned with Temik, probably meant to kill wolves. Interestingly, an anti-wolf web page describes "How to Successfully Poison Wolves."  Temik is the proposed poison. You'll never guess where the webmaster lives <g>.  See

- 2-25-2004. Report from Jackson Hole: Teton County, Wyoming eyes new rules for fireplaces, saying air pollution will worsen as population grows. By Samantha Worthington. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

- 2-25-2004. Two auto drivers ignore 'road closed' signs in Yellowstone. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle.

- 2-25-2004.  Feedback is sought on wolves in Utah. By Ray Grass. Deseret Morning News. There will be 10 statewide public forums in early March.

- 2-24-2004. Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war. Yahoo News. The Bush Administration has banned the words "global warming" and use what they think is the happier phrase (at least to their oil and coal company friends), "climate change." The pentagon's report on climate change is a bit unsettling.

- 2-24-2004. Part of the declining Jackson Hole moose population moves into town and nearby subdivisions. Casper Star Tribune.

- 2-24-2004. Still no sign of wolf that escaped from Battle Creek [Michigan] zoo in January.  Associated Press. I didn't cover this initially because a zoo escape is not all that uncommon, but this was a rare Mexican wolf and it has been free for 7 weeks now.

- 2-23-2004. Stalking the Elusive Cougar...if There Is One to Stalk. New York Times. By Lisa W. Foderaro. "Officially, the eastern cougar has not prowled the great piney woods of the Adirondacks for more than a hundred years . . . Trouble is, people keep seeing them."

- 2-20-2004. Wyoming lawmakers reject compromise plan on wolves. Associated Press. This is no great loss. HB 111 and HB 155 were sneaky language bills that might have been as bad as the original wolf plan. Wyoming political elites seems more interested in grandstanding and litigating the serious wildlife management.

- 2-20-2004. Endangered Wolves Make a Comeback. Yellowstone Restoration Project Success Could Lead to Delisting. National Public Radio. Text plus audio.

- 2-20-2004.Yellowstone Lake dome unlikely to explode: Internet chatter about coming cataclysm unsupported. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. In a way the rumors that Yellowstone was closed, fish dying, catastrophe on the way despite abundant evidence on the web to the contrary is a lot like the local wolf hysteria -- Yellowstone is now a biological desert due to wolves, hundreds and hundreds of wolves are lurking unidentified in the area, decimating livestock, keeping frightening families inside, ruining the economy.

- 2-19-2004. West's energy, public lands management can't be decided in a duck blind. Column by Todd Wilkinson. There is increasing outrage that Supreme Court Justice Scalia has found judicial ethics does not require him to recuse himself from a case involving his good hunting buddy, VP Dick Cheney, and Cheney's "Energy Task Force" where oil, coal, gas, and various polluters were given a free hand to formulate the Bush energy policy. Scalia says "quack, "quack" about his questionable ethics. Maybe some lawmakers can do better and write "articles of impeachment" on a congressional joint resolution.

- 2-19-2004. Auction for bighorn sheep tag in Idaho brings $46,000 !! Idaho Statesman. My comments.

- 2-19-2004. Dean Ruth, allegedly one of Montana's most prolific poachers, will do time in federal prison. Missoulian.

-2-18-2004. Mismatch in the wild. In battle to survive, elk rule over deer [in Colorado at least]. By Charlie Meyers. Denver Post Outdoor Editor.

- 2-18-2004. Park Service torn between two judges on Yellowstone snowmobiles. By Mike Stark Billings Gazette. This is a most puzzling situation. I don't know how two federal judges can issue contradictory orders on the same thing, and, moreover, the Administration's Justice Department seems unconcerned. To me this goes beyond snowmobiles to what the rule of law means.

- 2-17-2004. Sportsmen should support wolf management plans. By Norm Bishop. "Sportsmen who aren't environmentalists are fools." Opinion in the Bozeman Chronicle.

- 2-16-2004.
Conflicting data on CWD in Colorado. Scientists aren't sure of success in fighting disease in deer, elk. By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News.

- 2-14-2003. Peace of the Park: Visitors in winter can find quiet in Yellowstone. Story and Photos by Mike Stark.  Billings Gazette.
  There is a place in Yellowstone where you can find peace and quiet in the winter, no snowmobiles, and easy access. It's the northern range. I've spent the last 2 Christmases there.

- 2-14-2004. An Enemy of the Environment. Editorial by the New York Times. " His extreme views on the environment, his hard-edged ideological approach to the law and his close ties to industries whose cases he would be deciding make Mr. Myers unqualified to be an appeals court judge."
Bush has nominated Myers to the Ninth Circuit Court.

More on sleazy Meyers-

2-12-2004. Special: Court and Spark. Bush nominates eco-hostile lobbyist to federal appeals court. By Amanda Griscom. Grist Magazine. An expose on Bush 9th circuit nominee William Meyers.
2-7-2004. Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry calls on President Bush to withdraw William Myers' nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals at Senate hearing. By Ted Monoson. Casper Star-Tribune.
2-6-2004. 9th Circuit Court nominee draws fire for his green record. Idaho Statesman. Given Myer's past statements, it appears he might be a right-wing activist judge, judicial activism allegedly being something conservatives say they hate.
2-5-2004. Groups Fight Nominee for 9th Circuit. By Henry Weinstein, LA Times Staff Writer (free subscription required).
2-5-2004. Myers's Anti-Environmental Record and Lack of Experience Make Him Unfit. Sierra Club.
2-5-2005. Environmental, civil rights groups oppose Bush judicial nominee. By Terence Chea. AP. Las Vegas Sun.

- 2-14-2004. Buffet of prey attracts lions to Flathead Valley neighborhoods. By Michael Jamison.Missoulian.

- 2-13-2004. Proponents of the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program celebrate what they believe is the beginning of the end of recreation fees on national forests and other public lands. By Greg Stahl. Idaho Mountain Express.
Earlier. 2-9-2004. Battle lines drawn over making user fees on public lands permanent. The Vail Trail.
How would you like to pay a $5000 fine for failing to have a $100 federal pass when you use a Forest Service restroom? The vote in committee in the U.S. Senate committee is Feb. 11.

- 2-13-2004. New Colorado drilling plan gets thousands of opposing comments even before public comment period is opened. Denver Post. By Steve Lipsher. Denver Post Mountain Bureau. It is clear, there is only one way to stop this increasing kind of raid on our public resources . . . we need a President of the United States in Washington, not 2 oil company CEOs running things there.

- 2-13-2004. Geysers' fluoride shortens elk life span; naturally occurring element weakens animals' teeth. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Elk in the biggest geyser basin area of YNP just don't live very long. The high fluoride or the area ruins their teeth and they die much longer than elk elsewhere in the Park.

- 2-13-2004. Park seeks Illegal snowmobilers. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. "Five snowmobilers illegally rode 48 miles into Yellowstone National Park's backcountry last week in what may be the biggest case of its kind investigated by park rangers"

- 2-12-2004. Wyoming Senate refuses to introduce bill that would change the state's wolf law. By Bill Luckett. Casper Star Tribune. The Wyoming House might yet introduce the bill, however.
- 2-11-2004. A leading Wyoming lawmaker proposes yielding to fed’s wolf demands. AP. Billings Gazette.

- 2-12-2004. As 'Mad' Deer Roam Freely, Scientists Worry. Similarities Between Chronic Wasting Disease and Mad Cow Boost Funding to Discover How the Former Spreads. By Marc Kaufman. Washington Post Staff Writer.
Here is an interesting, related story from last year. "Study: CWD survives in soil." By Jason Stitt. The Daily Cardinal. 9-15-03.

- 2-11-2004. Ban on Yellowstone snowmobiles imposed by judge, set aside for the rest of the winter by a temporary restraining order. Billings Gazette. AP.

- 2-11-2004. Bush BLM promotes new grazing regulations that greatly reduce public participation and make it harder to rein in blatant overgrazers. Ranchers applaud grazing proposal. By Theo Stein. Denver Post.

- 2-10-2004. Wolf impasse remains as Freudenthal meets with USFWS chief. Casper Star Tribune. By Tom Morton.
- 2-10-2004. Lawmakers to meet U.S. Fish & Wildlife chief. Associated Press. We'll see if Director Williams stands firms against Wyoming's defective wolf management plan.
- 2-10-2004. Denning up. Casper Star Tribune. About Director Williams closed door meeting with Gov. Dave Freudenthal and Wyoming's legislative leaders.

-2-9-2004. Bush budget proposes elimination of funding for Northern Rockies wolf recovery and other endangered species programs. By Theo Stein. Denver Post Environment Writer. Yes, Bush, actually the folks who his budget, want to zero out money for wolf recovery.

2-8-2004. Sage grouse vanishing as tide ebbs on ‘sagebrush sea.’ By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. Just a generation or so ago there seemed no end to the sea of sagebrush that dominated the mountain valleys and lower mountain slopes of the Rocky Mountain West. Now it, like the sage grouse, are in trouble. So are many other animals and birds that depend on the formerly ubiquitous grayish green shrub.

2-6-2004. How Did Dogs Become Adept at Playing to Humans? By Brian Handwerk for National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.

2-6-2004. WY Gov. Freudenthal snivels at Secretary Norton. AP. You've got to know if Norton's Interior Dept. turned down Wyoming's wolf plan, the plan had to be pretty awful.

2-6-2004. Bush proposes 14 percent cut for endangered species. By Robert Gehrke. Associated Press Writer. Disgusting!
2-6-2004. Bush budget cuts environmental funding by 7 percent. By Chris Baltimore, Reuters.

2-5-2004. Snowmobiling suffers another judicial blow as Forest Service must pay part of snowmobiler's $11 million award. By Sonda Lee. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer.

2-4-2004. RangeNet says two Wyoming grazing ranges among worst. By Jeff Gearino. Southwest Wyoming bureau. Casper Star Tribune. For more information see: "The American West's Most Overgrazed Public Lands 2003: A 'top ten' List."

2-4-2004. Man fined, jailed for illegal 4 x 4 use at Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone. Associated Press. This damage was a story several months ago, and now the sentence which some think was too lenient.

2-4-2004. Alaska tourism industry begins to feel boycott hurt over backlash on state's wolf killing. Fairbanks News Miner.

2-4-2004. Anti wolf, anti-Native American sentiment pops up in Idaho legislature. Idaho Statesman. By Gregory Hahn. The Idaho Statesman

2-4-2004. Wyoming politicians may sue federal government over wolves rather than write an acceptable wolf plan. By Bill Luckett. Casper Star-Tribune capital bureau.

2-3-2004. Feral dog packs threaten life and safety of people and wildlife on urban fringe. LA Times. By Ann Japenga. Given all the hyped-up fear of wolves, it's amazing this obvious phenomenon is hardly discussed.

2-3-2004. Bush Budget Cuts Environmental Funding by 7 Pct. Reuters/Yahoo. By Chris Baltimore.

2-3-2004. $1 million added to Yellowstone's budget: money to be used for deteriorating roads
By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

2-3-2004. Moose population increasing in the Moscow, Idaho / Pullman,Washington area. The Daily Evergreen. By Paul Warner.

2-2-2004. Mountain caribou not thriving in Lower 48. Herd under 50 due to habitat encroachment and cougar predation. AP ESPN Outdoors. Don't confuse mountain caribou with the abundant barren ground caribou of Alaska. Mountain caribou are on the decline through B.C. too due to logging of old growth forests.

2-2-2004. An unusually harsh winter has begun to take a toll on Eastern Oregon´s deer and elk. Idaho Statesman.

2-2-2004. 102 mph winds whip Glacier park. AP. Billings Gazette.

2-1-2004. 2 wolves struck on Wisconsin highways. Proximity to developed areas surprises experts. By Kelly Wells.

2-1-2004. Lawsuit from man who jumped into a Yellowstone thermal pool dismissed by court. AP

2-1-2004. Mad cow disease bodes well for bison biz. Denver Business Journal. Org. pub. Jan. 23.

1-31-2004. Former Yellowstone Park wolf biologist running for House seat. By Walt Williams. Bozeman  Chronicle Staff Writer.

1-31-2004. Study of CWD resistant elk genes could fight disease. Some elk resist mad elk disease. By Electa Draper. Denver Post Four Corners Bureau.

1-30-2004. Stand up for Yellowstone rally set in West Yellowstone for Valentine's Day. Winter Wildlands Alliance.

1-29-2004. Conservative sportsmen turn against Bush. By Nick Jans. Opinion. USA Today.

1-29-2004. Bridger-Teton forest to hold lynx meetings in early Feb. ESPN Outdoors. Folks in western Wyoming might want to attend.

1-28-2004. Wyoming elk feeding eyed as source of brucellosis. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. The loss of its brucellosis free status actually seems to have Wyoming officials coming out of their dreamworld about feeding wintering elk like cattle on state feedlots.

1-28-2004. Rule may ban off-trail ATV riding. Officials want to protect Boise National Forest. By Roger Phillips. It's about time. People are sick of seeing the thousands of miles of unsightly eroding hills climbs and tracks through meadows. Please support this. Even the Blue Ribbon Coalition does.

1-28-2004. Three packs of wolves frequent the Foothills. Predators follow deer and elk heading to Boise. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. For those not familiar with Idaho this might sound highly impressive-- 3 wolf packs in the foothills of Boise. Boise, however, sits on the high desert at the base of the central Idaho mountains. The "foothills" rise thousands of feet above Boise and continue in an unbroken mountain area hundreds of miles north to Canada.

1-28-2004. Diamond Bar Cattle to Be Moved [finally] to Protect Federal Lands. By Richard Benke. AP. After having these cattle removed once before, having defied the federal district and U.S. Court of Appeals, it's about time, and I can't figure why they aren't all in jail. The take on Diamond Bar from RangeNet.

1-27-2004. Wolves are spreading, state official says ... Idaho pushes feds to put state management plan into effect. By Julie Pence. Twin Falls Times-News writer. Idaho government is frustrated by Wyoming's intransigence. Idaho wants Secretary Norton to implement the standards of Idaho plan using the existing federal agents. I don't know if this would be legal. Some parts of the Idaho wolf plan are improvements, but basically the Idaho thrust is to allow wolves to be killed for more reasons.

1-27-2004. Cougars in Boise, Idaho. By Pete Zimowsky. The Idaho Statesman. Actually this is not as unusual as it seems. There are cougars on the outskirts or inside most Rocky Mountain western cities, e.g., Salt Lake City, Logan, Utah; Pocatello, Idaho; Missoula, Montana.

1-27-2004. Rexburg, Idaho Rancher Locks Horns with State over inspection of his elk farm.
By Megan O'Rourke. News 3. Pocatello. "Rammell says the threat of CWD is minimal. "All of the game farms in North America, that's including Canada, there's not one elk farm that has chronic wasting disease to this day. They did find some, but they have eradicated it." And former legislators agree, inspecting the elk may not be necessary."

I guess these folks don't read the news. See the story about Colorado below and other stories from the past year. More on this guy's record. "Elk rancher refuses to permit state inspection." AP

1-27-2004. New Colorado CWD reported in single bull elk at W. Slope ranch. Site had earlier brush with malady. By Theo Stein. Denver Post Environment Writer.

1-26-2004. Disease Outbreak Intensifies Debate on Feeding of Elk. By Jim Robbins. New York Times. This is about elk feeding and the long-predicted brucellosis outbreak (by conservationists) in Wyoming cattle. Yes, eliminating the elk feedgrounds immediately would greatly reduce the NW Wyoming elk population, but the state should be proactive, protect and expand winter range, and re-establish ancient elk migration corridors to the south. The elk never wintered much in Jackson Hole. They migrated out to the upper Green River where Gale Norton and crew are currently busy permitting thousands of natural gas wells on wildlife range. No Wyoming politician has the foresight or the guts to stand up to these Bush land rapers or the cattle industry. They are paying the price all over the state.

1-26-2004. Disease from illegal domestic goats may kill entire Arizona bighorn sheep herd. Arizona Republic. By Mary Jo Pitzl.

1-26-2004. Wisconsin DNR targeting game farm where 6 chronic wasting cases reported
By Lee Bergquist. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

1-25-2004. Vanishing breed. It is estimated just 25 wolves now roam Banff National Park
By Bill Kaufmann, Calgary Sun.

1-25-2004. Some researchers think prions may not be the real cause of mad cow, chronic wasting disease, scrapie, etc. By Jennifer McKee. Billings Gazette.

1-25-2004. Two Livingston, Montana charged with Yellowstone Park elk poaching. Yellowstone Park news release.

1-23-2004. Economists out to save the West from short-sighted Bush outdoor policies. By Joanne Ditmer. Columnist in the Denver Post.

1-23-2004. Idaho activists say Forest Service charges are retaliation for their criticism. Idaho Statesman.

1-23-2004. Retired National Park Service Leaders Denied White House Visit, Urge President to "Halt" Anti-conservation Moves at Interior. News Release. Campaign to Protect America's Public Lands. Did you notice President Bush didn't say a word about protecting the environment or our national natural heritage in his State of the Union address?

1-22-2004. Cameron Wheeler says he will work for hunters, anglers. Idaho F&G appointee from Ririe up for confirmation. Idaho Statesman. While backward, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission is less regressive than Wyoming's. Roy Moulton of Driggs, Idaho was regarded by  conservationists and many hunters as one of the worst commissioners in history.

1-21-2004. Conservationists file suit to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

1-21-2004. Get yer elk yet? Montana FWP holds hearing on elk B tags. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. The number of elk are down on Yellowstone's northern range where there are wolves, but the elk numbers are deemed excessive by Montana FWP in areas nearby where there are wolves (such as the east side of the Gallatin Range). How is it that only the northern range herd gets attention from the anti-wolf folks . . . probably because they know most Americans are not familiar with Montana geography, and so they think folks can be fooled.

1-21-2004. Controversy over public land recreation fees heats ups. Is this a backdoor attempt to privatize our public lands? By Puanani Mench. High Country News.

1-21-2004. Cleveland ready for challenges as Wyoming G&F director. By Ty Stockton. Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Wyoming Game and Fish has a new director. The last one left for Illinois after just 6 months on the job, but this guy sounds like he is fully in tune with the Wyoming political establishment's 1930's style thinking about wildlife. One of the more interesting things in the article is near the end where I think Cleveland suggests Wyoming may just leave managing wolves the grizzly bears to the feds, which would be great news all wildlife, given the backward views of the political elite.

1-21-2004. Bill in the Wyoming Legislature to address feds' wolf concerns. By Robert W. Black. Associated Press Writer. Casper Star Tribune. Of course, this doesn't mean it will pass because I have long thought that many Cowboy State legislators are motivated more by cultural expression than by gaining management control of wolves.

1-20-2004. Study Targets Cleaner Air in Yellowstone. Newswise. Central Michigan University research supports the federal government's mandate to use newer snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park. Snowmobile pollutants end up even in remote parts of Yellowstone.

1-20-2004. Chronic Wasting Disease continues to expand in Wyoming, but apparently not in Colorado. AP. Mad cows' relative disease is slowly expanding west and north in Wyoming.

1-19-2004. Rich Americans discovering Montana's many 'gated' communities. By Allison Farrell. Billings Gazette State Bureau. 1-20-2004. Wealthy newcomers offer huge donations. By Allison Farrell. Billings Gazette State Bureau.

1-19-2004. BYU-Idaho faculty members convicted of Yellowstone Park theft. Great Falls Tribune.

1-19-2004. YNP chief doesn't foresee summer restrictions on travel. By Carole Cloudwalker. Cody Enterprise. The notion that because Park snowmobiles are being phased out, summertime autos are next is an example of pure invention by snowmobile interests in an effort to scare up some allies.

1-18-2004. Editorial by the Missoulian. Montana hasn't run out of elk yet. Summary: NRA's hunting magazine paints a grim - and wrong - picture of the devastation wrought by wolves.

1-18-2004. Pete Zimowsky: ‘Elk shouldn’t die like that’ Drownings at Lucky Peak Reservoir create a dilemma for Idaho Fish and Game. Idaho Statesman.
1-13-2004. A similar tragedy happened in Montana. Antelope die as Fort Peck ice breaks: Wardens clear 85 bodies from water. By Marj Henckel. Billings Gazette Outdoor Editor.
1-13-2004. 22 more Idaho elk and deer die after trying to cross ice. F&G still trying to steer animals to safer route. Roger Phillips. Idaho Statesman
1-12-2004. Biologists, volunteers try to keep animals off ice. Over 85 deer, elk have died so far at Lucky Peak Reservoir. By Emily Simnitt. Idaho Statesman.
1-10-2004. Elk, deer die in frigid water at Lucky Peak. Biologist tried to keep them off of thin ice. Idaho Statesman.
Lucky Peak Reservoir occupies the bottom of the steep sided lower canyon of the Boise River just upstream from Boise, Idaho.

1-17-2004. Filthy air plagues Utah's Wasatch Front this winter. By Judy Fahys. Salt Lake Tribune. Logan, Utah, dirtiest air in United States. I grew up in Logan. Wintertime inversions are frequent with high pressure, but growth has turned these mountain valleys into wintertime cesspools.
1-17-2004. Smog level 'shocking'. EPA weighs sanctions as Cache Valley, Utah breaks U.S. record. By Darrell Edward Ehrlick. Logan Herald Journal.

1-17-2004. The nation´s forest chief warns of four threats to our national forests. Timber cutting, road building no longer agency’s primary mission. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. I tend to agree that the invasion of non-native alien weeds, tree pathogens and uncontrolled off road vehicle hill climbing at least have replaced excessive logging as the number one threats to forest. The role of weeds in particular is underappreciated, and I think that's the area where environmental groups have been the slowest to react. However, Chief Bosworth failed to appreciate the massive continuing degradation caused by  public lands ranching in spreading these weeds.

1-16-2004. Wyoming should rethink wolf plan. Editorial: Great Falls News. "It's like a slow-motion dream: A wolf lopes into view, the Wyoming rancher raises his gun, and he shoots himself in the foot. Dreamlike, there was nothing to be done about it; we knew more than a year ago that it was going to happen, and it happened: Wyoming officials concocted an unacceptable wolf-management plan."

It seems everyone outside Wyoming knew their plan was defective, and expressed concern, a long time ago, including anti-wolf politicians. What were Wyoming legislators and their governor thinking of? Yet  the denial goes on. See: [Governor] Freudenthal blasts U.S. wolf decision. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

1-14-2004. Brucellosis may be a problem for NW Wyoming bighorn sheep. AP Casper Star Tribune.

1-14-2004. Yellowstone again listed as the "most endangered national park." AP.

1-13-2004. Deficiencies in Wyoming state wolf plan causes USFWS to delay wolf delisting! AP
1-14-2003. Wolf delisting stuck while feds wait for acceptable Wyoming plan. By Scott McMillion.Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Folks may recall that we said Wyoming's plan flat out would not work back in late 2002 when its general outline was first released to the public.
1-14-2004. Wyoming lawmakers back to square one on wolf plan. By Sarch Cooke. Associated Press Writer. Casper (WY) Star Tribune.

1-14-2004. Snowmobile phaseout to continue. By Ted Monoson. Billings Gazette Washington Bureau.

1-13-2004. New nonprofit has business and environment in mind. By Kayley Menderhall. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. "Yellowstone Business Partnership, is a new nonprofit in Bozeman dedicated to promoting a prosperous economy, community vitality and a sustainable environment in the Yellowstone-Teton region." Web page for Yellowstone Business Partnership.

1-12-2004. Worst case of illegal snowmobiling ever recorded along West Entrance road of Yellowstone. Yellowstone Park news release.

1-12-2004. ESA turns 30. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

1-11-2004. Kooskia, Idaho crowd favors getting rid of wolves. Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition says support growing. James Hagengruber. Spokane Spokesman-Review.  If anyone needs more evidence why Idaho won't be able to manage wolves, they should read this article. Notice how the crowd was already blaming the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, who is not even the wolf manager? Any Idaho enforcement will be toothless, and a conservation officer who tries to uphold the law will probably lose their job.

Note: the Kooskia area is a lightly populated, depressed part of Idaho, where elk populations have declined dramatically beginning about 1990 (5 years before wolves were reintroduced) due to habitat changes. It is an area where scapegoating has always been popular.  A plague of blue tongue hit the area last August. It probably killed thousands of deer.

Related 1-8-2004.  Challis Messenger reader suggests anti-wolf coalition may not be a non-profit organization.

1-11-2004. Eastern cougars: from myth to reality. ESPN Outdoors. By Craig Springer. You can read reports and stories about eastern cougars at

1-11-2004. Buffalo business brisk. By Daryl Gadbow. Missoulian.
1-11-2004. Organic beef producers see a spike in sales. By Ken Dey. Idaho Statesman.
1-11-2004. Mad cow worries Idaho growers. Beef industry, economy could suffer setback By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
1-11-2004. Blood-based calf formula gets scrutiny. Idaho Statesman.
Even were it perfectly safe, this just seems disgusting!
1-11-2004. Air quality fight shaping up in Jerome, Idaho. Group pushes dairy to get permit before adding 7,000 cows. Idaho Statesman.
Because of the giant dairies that have sprung up in southern Idaho, it is already an increasingly malodorous experience to drive I-80 for about a hundred mile stretch of southern Idaho. Note that a few years ago, Idaho was diversifying into a prosperous high tech economy. Now factory farming is taking over, and it is a narrow and very shaky base for the state's economy. What will happen if a few more cases of BSE show up? The Idaho economy is stagnant and the incomes of all but the few are falling. Idaho's economic adversity, and the lack of hope for improvement, is why some resort to extremisms of various sorts (attacks on environmentalists being one example).

1-10-2004. Tracking the wolverine in Montana. By Thomas Mendyke. Helena Independent Record. Assistant Outdoors Editor

1-9-2004. Bison shot in Capitol Reef National Park results in jail for guide. Salt Lake Tribune. Nice to see some justice meted out.

1-9-2004. Farmed salmon loaded with chemicals, study confirms. By Maggie Fox, Reuters. Just as with mad cows, the culprit is what the salmon are fed (although, of course, salmon don't pass on prion diseases).

1-9-2004.Mountain Lion Attacks Cyclist in Calif. By Greg Risling. AP. The 110 pound lion might have killed another man.

1-9-2004. Officials investigate the deaths of 6 wolves in Michigan U.P. Michigan Outdoor News.

1-8-2004. Opinion: Idaho, Montana wolf plans don’t reflect all parties’ concerns. Idaho Statesman. The Statesman run this as the opinion as that of Suzanne Stone, but in fact it was submitted by her on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife; Brett Brownscomb, Hell’s Canyon Preservation Council; Ralph Maughan (myself), The Wolf Recovery Foundation; and Roger Singer, Sierra Club. The title as submitted was not what they ran. We entitled it: "Idaho and Wyoming Fail to Guarantee Responsible Wolf Management."

1-8-2004. 208 cases of CWD found last season.By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News.
That's an infection rate of 1.3% of heads submitted for testing.

1-7-2004. Energy firms paying tab for GOP trip to balmy Phoenix. USA Today.1-8-2004.
1-8-2004.  For a Price, Writing Congress's 'To-Do' List. By Brian Faler. Washington Post. Your government for sale.
Where's the outrage!?

1-8-2004. Feds ponder how to curb rogue OHVs. By Brent Israelsen. The Salt Lake Tribune.

1-8-2004. Bighorn sheep pneumonia lingers. Wyoming Game and Fish swabs animals' tonsils to test for deadly disease. By Rebecca Huntington. The source of the pneumonia is domestic sheep despite Game and Fish's reluctance to say so. Bighorn sheep suffered the same fate in Idaho when domestic sheep would brought into their range.
It is uneconomic, redistributive, and flat out appalling that the Bridger-Teton National Forest is increasing the number of domestic sheep in the bighorn range SE of Jackson. The two animals do not mix. One full curl bighorn ram can be worth as much as entire band of sheep. Sheep, not hunters, were the reason for the great decline of bighorn when Euro-American settlers brought their livestock to the West.

1-8-2004. Jackson Hole gets 1 big shake, 3 jiggles. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. Unlike the first report, the quakes were east of Jackson Hole in the Gros Ventre River drainage near the slide lakes (the result of past earthquakes).
1-8-2004. Earthquakes rattle Jackson. By Nadia White. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer.

1-8-2004. Regional office nixes Gallatin National Forest Windmill timber sale. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Good news! This was to be a taxpayer subsidized, money losing timber sale, deep in Absaroka Mountains east of Paradise Valley.

1-8-2004. Elk numbers plummet; wildlife managers respond by regulating hunters. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
1-7-2004. Elk numbers drop on Yellowstone's northern range. AP.
Years of drought, a severe winter, bear and wolf predation, and the late elk hunt north of the Park have reduced to northern range elk population to 8335 in the latest count. For a historical look at these elk numbers go to Yellowstone elk counts. Ironically some Yellowstone Park critics still claim there are too many elk on the northern range as they have claimed for almost 100 years.

1-7-2004. Dearborn whirling disease severe. Test results show trout ailment much more prevalent than originally expected. By Michael Babcock. Great Falls Tribune.
This famed trout stream in on Montana's famed Rocky Mountain Front in the northern part of the state.

1-6-2004. Arctic Blast. AP in the Missoulian. -34 F at Grant Village in YNP on 1-5, colder than that in Montana . . . -43 F at West Yellowstone.

1-6-2004. Done deal: Public ownership of wildlife-rich Taylor Fork complete. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. This is good news. It will prevent the scenic Taylor Fork from being torn up for trophy homes like the drainages to the north, but I am less enthusiastic than 5 years ago. The Forest Service used the acquisition to increase the number of cattle grazed. Crews almost killed off the Chief Joseph wolf pack last summer for killing a few of these cow calves and the cattle prevent the area from becoming a logical extension area for Yellowstone bison. Now we need to cleanse the area of cattle.

1-6-2004. Deep snow brings wildlife out of mountains on Utah's Wasatch Front. KSL TV.

1-5-2004. Cross country skis and snowshoes open exciting doors on western Montana's backcountry for outdoor enthusiasts. By Michael J. Jamison. Missoulian. Snowshoeing in particular is much safer and a healthy sport compared to snowmobiling, and much better for older people who are developing arthritis. It is much less jarring than snowmobiling.

1-5-2004. California condor release runs into a torrent of bad luck. The Mercury News. By Paul Rogers.

1-4-2004. Calves born in Wisconsin's maturing Clam Lake elk herd appear less vulnerable to predation from black bears and timber wolves than initially suspected. Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. Elk were recently (1995) restored to Wisconsin.

1-3-2004. Developers fight over who owns the top of Lone Mountain at Big Sky. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Somehow I lack sympathy for any of these mountaintop trammelers. Too bad they can't all lose.

1-2-2004. Shock collars, etc. may keep wolves away from livestock. By Dan Gallagher. Salt Lake Tribune. These things do work, especially the RAG boxes, although on a limited and temporary basis. Often that is all that is needed. The article didn't discuss fladry, which also works for a while.

1-2-2004. Jackson man charged with poaching eleven elk in the Gros Ventre. Casper Star Tribune. When the Teton wolf pack allegedly killed 12 elk in the Gros Ventre without eating them,[note]we heard no end of the complaining.

1-2-2004. Unkindest Cuts Scar Indonesia. As illegal logging eats away at the archipelago's land, the animals whose habitat is sacrificed bite back at the hand that wields the chainsaw. LA Times. By Richard C. Paddock, Times Staff Writer.

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