Archives of Conservation News Stories in Western Wolf Country

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

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 keep them, they charge for them.

Articles from Oct. through Dec. 2004-

12-31-2004. Yellowstone Park lacks snow for snowmobiles. Billings Gazette.

12-30-2004. Researchers ponder the positives of wolf recovery ... In some locations, the benefits of wolves are clear. By Michelle Dunlop. Twin Falls writer. Yet one more in the wolf series.

12-30-2004. Wolves' future in Idaho: a question of management ... Idaho agency ready to take control. By Michelle Dunlop. Twin Falls Times-News writer. Another article in the series.

12-30-2004. Tracking Idaho wolves ... Monitoring wolves plays an essential role in management. By Michelle Dunlop. Another article in the series.

12-29-2004. Idaho Wolf biologists: each day is a constant battle against misinformation. By Michelle Dunlop. Twin Falls Times-News writer.
Another article in the series.  One of the reasons I created this web site was to counter the misinformation about wolves that seems to grow in direct proportion to the amount of beer served.

12-29-2004. Wolf livestock predation and numbers are higher than originally predicted. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This is NOT part of the series. Despite the slant of the article, this is mostly good news -- the wolf population, now stabilizing, is almost three times the original prediction. Wolf-killed-livestock IS LESS per wolf than originally predicted. Livestock kills did increase substantially, however, in 2003 and 2004, but reporter McMillion fails to point out the drop in 2002 compared to 2001. Losses to wolves are a small percentage of total livestock losses to predation. When it comes to dead sheep, no predator can compare to coyotes.

12-29-2004. Wolves affect other Idaho wildlife ... Hunters claim wolves harm elk population. By Michelle Dunlop. Twin Falls Times News. Another article in the series. Of course wolves affect other wildlife. That was one of the main reasons for their restoration -- to restore environmental integrity of ecosystems with a keystone predator. The environmental impact statement on wolf reintroduction back 1994 predicted wolves would cause a small decrease in elk and deer numbers and a big change in their behavior.

12-29-2004. Original Idaho wolves gained following ... Wolf enthusiasts now track packs. By Michelle Dunlop. Twin Falls Times-News writer. Another article in the series. With 44 packs in Idaho, I find it hard to deliver news about them. Yellowstone, on the other hand, and the small Wyoming population is easier to do.

12-28-2004. Wolf advocates offer to pick up the tab ... Programs to compensate ranchers' losses get mixed reviews. Twin Falls Times News. By Michelle Dunlop.
The Times-News is doing a series on Idaho wolves after 10 years. Please take note that Idaho ranchers got a special appropriation to pay for with possible losses that Defenders of Wildlife doesn't pay. That is a major difference from Montana and Wyoming livestock owners.

12-27-2004. Living with wolves in Idaho ... Ten years after reintroduction, wolf opponents and advocates remain polarized. By Michelle Dunlop. Times-News writer. The Times-News is doing a series on Idaho wolves after 10 years. This is an overview of ten years of Idaho wolf recovery. Idaho has been the most successful of the 3 Northern Rockies States in terms of wolf population growth. Opinion on wolves in Idaho is split as in Montana and Wyoming, but in recent years most Idaho political leaders have not followed divisive path taken by Wyoming's elected officials. As a result Idaho is close to gaining from the federal government most of the management authority over wolves.

12-26-2004. Big sub-division in North Fork of the Shoshone approved by Park County, WY P & Z. By Carole Cloudwalker. Cody Enterprise. Despite overwhelming local sentiment against the massive project that would mar the way the Yellowstone and harm wildlife, the local planning and zoning did what they generally do all over America, ignore the people and give in to developers. Now it's up to the County Commission.

12-23-2004. Administration Overhauls Rules for U.S. Forests. By Felicity Barringer. New York Times. It's hard to say what the effects of the new regulations to administration the National Forest Planning Act will do, or even if they are legal. No doubt during this Administration they will increase logging and require little meaningful public input about it. However, when this awful Administration is over, perhaps they can be used to shut out and shut up the despoilers. I wouldn't pay any attention how these new rules allow for better science to be used. Forest Service scientists today know if they advocate anything that gets in the way of commercial development, it is by definition "bad science" and they will probably be fired.
These massive changes were announced 2 days before Christmas, a typical Administration tactic to avoid the news cycle. Nothing on TV about it. . . as suspected nothing but Holiday fluff.
12-23-2004. New Rules Issued for National Forests. Some Environmental Protections Eased. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post Staff Writer.
12-23-2004. Federal forests get wider rein. New rules on environmental studies and other changes give the Forest Service a freer hand to decide on specific projects. By Michelle Cole. Oregonian.
12-22-2004. Selling the forest for the trees. By Rebecca Clarren. (subscription).
What really happens with science and scientists in today's Forest Service.

12-21-2004. Parks open with little snow. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune staff writer. And so, George Bush to the contrary, notwithstanding, snowmobiling in the Parks is dead, at least for a while.

12-20-2004. Opinion: Safe passage for gray wolves on Colorado's roads. By Susan Tweit. Denver Post.

12-20-2004. Last summer's mudslide might add a year to East Entrance YNP road reconstruction. AP. Helena Independent Record.

12-18-2004. Compensation For Wolf-Caused Damage in Montana to Be Discussed. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dept. Defenders of Wildlife, a private group, has been compensating for wolf damage in Montana since the 1980s (recall that part of the state was recolonized by wolves from Canada). What about the future?

12-17-2004. Yellowstone late elk hunt to be cut. Most folks know the wolves were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996, and that the winter of 1996-97 was one of the most severe on record, taking the northern herd down remarkably. Unfortunately, counts were not possible in 1995-1996 or 1996-1997.  P.J. White of Yellowstone Park writes in the Midwinter 2003 "Buffalo Chip" that the "2002-2003 count of 9,215 elk was relatively low compared to the 11,969 elk counted during December 2001.  Despite poor counting conditions this year, the long-term trend in counts of northern Yellowstone elk suggests that the population has decreased at a rate of approximately three percent per year since 1988."  He goes on, "In reality, elk counts have not consistently decreased at approximately 3 percent per year during this time period.  Rather, there has been substantial variability in elk counts from year to year owing to apparent changes in elk abundance (both increases and decreases) and variations in delectability of elk...among counts."  Later, he writes, "Factors that contributed to the overall decreasing trend in counts of northern Yellowstone elk during 1988-2003 likely include predation, drought-related effects on pregnancy and calf survival, periodic substantial winter-kill owing to severe snow pack (e.g., winters of 1988-89, a 38% decline in that year, and 1996-97), and human harvest during the Gardiner late hunt, which was designed to reduce elk abundance outside YNP so that elk numbers do not cause long-term changes in plant communities or decrease the quality of the winter range." The Chronicle story never mentions variability.  Just decline.

P.J. White, Tom Lemke, Dan Tyers, and Peter Gogan wrote up the 2003-2004 winter elk count in Yellowstone Science.  "This year's count of 8,335 elk was fewer than the 9,215 elk counted during December 2002.  The long-term trend in counts of northern Yellowstone elk suggests that their abundance has decreased at an annual rate of approximately 6% per year since 1994."

12-17-2004. Mountain Lions Move East, Breeding Fear on the Prairie. By Blaine Harden. Washington Post Staff Writer. A very interesting story. . . probably more cougars in the Western U.S. now than before European settlement. This is quite a guess, but possible. But what's this about fear? It seems like every day there are dozens of articles about fear in America. Have Americans always been so afraid, or is this the result of manipulation by the media and opinion leaders? Or perhaps it is not true at all.
Track the migration of the cougars eastward on the Cougar Network.

12-16-2004. The Ecology Of Fear: Wolves Gone, Western Ecosystems Suffer. Science News Daily. This article has appeared now in many newspapers. It's an important research finding, but hardly an unexpected one.

12-16-2004. When more wolves draw near, how will we react? By Eric Sharp. Knight Ridder Newspapers. This relates to the news that wolves have entered the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan.

12-15-2004. Snow woes in Yellowstone. Snowmobilers left dry as park opens for winter. By Kathleen O'Neil. Idaho Falls Post Register. You can check winter conditions every day during snowmobile season at Yellowstone Winter Daily Reports.

12-15-2005. Sneak fees stalk our public lands. By Jeff Milchen. Writers on the Range. Essay against the permanent recreation fees for federal lands added as a midnight amendment to the massive appropriations bill recently passed by Congress.
Related 12-15-2004. Pay them now and pay them later. Editorial by the Post Register on the new federal recreation fee.

12-14-2004. Commentary: Deal for ranchers - and land. Let's go beyond the ideas mentioned in The Tribune's series 'Change on the Range.' Let's pay to stop grazing. By Billy Stern. The Albuquerque Tribune. Increasingly the proposal to make a voluntary buyout of public land grazing permits is gaining advocates, both among ranchers and conservationists. The economics of much public land ranching is bad, and even worse when compared to alternative uses such as wildlife, fishing, scenery and recreation.

12-12-2004. How canine feet (usually) beat the cold. By Anne Margolis. Times Argus.

12-12-2004. The Nature Conservancy buys central Idaho, Moen Ranch. By Anna Means. Challis Messenger. It is sort of nice when the Nature Conservancy buys up an Idaho ranch that otherwise might be subdivided. Unfortunately, in order to keep the political waters calm they continue livestock grazing, which in this semi-arid country is often the most damaging on-going impact on the land.

12-10-2004. Ranchers take aim at Oregon's wolf reintroduction plan. By Brad Cain. The Associated Press. Just 40 people testified. Many favored restoration of wolves. The reports I received of the meeting are that those present were generally more supportive of wolves than the article indicates.

12-10-2004. Eastern Idaho hunters went crazy with big herd, slaughtered elk wantonly. By Associated Press.
A longer version of this was in the Idaho Falls Post Register (headline story). But that paper is by paid subscription only.

12-9-2004. Interior Department's No. 2 Resigns After Controversial Tenure. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post.

12-9-2004. Pahaska Tepee pulls out of snowmobile business on East Entrance. Casper Star Tribune.
Probably for the best that this resort packs it in for the winter. The East Entrance of the Park is kept open all winter at a cost of about $300,000 to accommodate just a handful of snowmobiles each day. $300,000 is more than the Park gets to manage wolves each year.

12-8-2004. Living with wolves. North Devon Gazette (U.K.). Wolf researcher Shaun Ellis is going to live with a pack of wolves in a large enclosure, literally-- sleep and eat with them. . . amazing!

12-7-2004. Where do we go from here? Taking the West Forward. High Country News Feature article via Headwaters News. This is a good (and long) overview of the problems and opportunities facing the West. To sum it, what stands in the way of progress is the Bush Administration, and the only solution for the next four years is to figure ways to get around man this man of firm ideas backed by almost no knowledge of the Western U.S. (Texas isn't a Western State!!).

12-6-2004. New state wildlife manager in Kalispell to watch the wolves. By Jim Mann. The Daily Inter Lake. Managing wolves for Montana in the state's NW will be Kent Laudon who get started working for the Nez Perce Tribal Wolf Team in Idaho.

12-5-2004. Western governors, and Bush appointees get together will allies in Congress to plot how to gut the Endangered Species Act. By Julie Cart and Kenneth R. Weiss. Los Angeles Times. The major points of contention are "critical habitat" and protecting "a small distinct part of a population if there is a larger population somewhere judged to be healthy." The latter is aimed squarely at the wolf and grizzly bear. They will argue "there are plenty of bears and wolves in Alaska. If you want to see them, go to Alaska."

12-4-2004. No listing for the sage grouse. AP. Billings Gazette. "Interior Department biologists have recommended against adding the sage grouse to the endangered species list, a determination that could wind up benefiting natural gas and oil producers but add to environmentalists' concerns."  . . . now read this from the New York Times. 12-5. "Opposing Views of Sage Grouse Danger." With political appointees like Julie MacDonald when it comes to delisting the grizzly maybe she can write "well if the trout, and pine nuts, and alpine moths disappear,  they'll find some other stuff to eat."

12-4-2004. Yellowstone wolf population down slightly. Wolves killing more bull elk. By Jason Lehmann. Livingston Enterprise.

12-4-2004. Locals lash Tallgrass park. Federal management of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve has not helped Chase County, most residents contend. By Karen Dillon. Kansas City Star. No wonder few have come. A tall grass prairie with cows will never grow tall grass, and no one will drive to see cows, especially in Kansas. Who's dumb idea was the cows?

12-4-2004. Spreading south: More wild wolves found in downstate Michigan. The Mining Journal. Wolves have crossed out of Michigan's UP, either across frozen Lake Michigan or the bridge.

12-3-2004. Bush Decision rubs local salmon advocates the wrong way. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Stahl.
12-2-2004. Editorial.
Plan to remove salmon critical habitat from protective lists is a bad idea. Idaho State Journal (Pocatello).
12-1-2004. Bush to eliminate protection of 80% of salmon habitat. By Robert McClure. Seattle Post Intelligencer. "
As cynical as I am, I'm actually surprised at how bad this is," said David Hogan of the Center for Biological Diversity."

12-3-2004. Welcome Back. Wild wolves are returning to Oregon. By Jeff Long. Eugene Weekly

12-3-2004. Copperleaf subdivision hearing heated. By Carole Cloudwalker. Cody Enterprise.
12-1-2004. Comments on big subdivision west of Cody heard. By Allison Batdorf. Billings Gazette.
12-1-2004. Editorial by the Cody Enterprise.
"Copperleaf Subdivision is the most unpopular development ever proposed in Park County"

12-2-2004. Kill the RAT. By George Ochenski. Double-taxation on public lands. Missoula Independent.
11-25-2004. Federal spending bill rider makes public-land rec fees permanent. Idaho Mountain Express editorial. "
Without debate on the floor, without hearings in front of any committee, a rider attached to the bill while no one was looking made fees charged for setting foot on public land permanent."

12-2-2004. Yellowstone to Yukon Wildlife Highway begins to emerge in a pattern of donations and purchases of land by private groups. By Kirk Johnson. New York Times. Although the wingnuts have called is a nefarious UN plot to steal private property in fact private landowners and private organizations are leading to the way to creation of a wildlife migration route from Yellowstone to Canada.

12-2-2004. Montana's US Senators outraged at the sneaking in of recreation fees for public lands in mid-night amendment. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

12-2-2004. Wolves and schoolkids, sharing the sagebrush. By "Digger" Jerry George. San Francisco Chronicle. What is it like to attend school at Mammoth Hot Springs?  There is some danger, but this great article puts it in perspective.

12-1-2004. Are wolves good or bad? It doesn't matter. The price of wolves is going to keep rising for the sportsman. By Mark Henkel. ESPN Outdoors. This article appeared sometime ago in the Billings Gazette and was thoroughly critiqued then. However, now it is before a larger audience. So here goes. . .

Henkel asks a lot of rhetorical questions such as how many packs? that's anyone's guess; how far will the wolves spread, that's anyone's guess? etc. NO IT'S NOT.
Montana's wolf population has almost stopped growing. That's not anyone's guess. Henkel says its only been a decade since wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and now there are 19 packs, that's not such an impressive increase had he pointed out that there already were 8 wolf packs in Montana in 1994 before the reintroduction.

He thinks dollar strapped counties won't be able to pay for rancher's loses to wolves. First of all, why should they? Do they pay for losses to coyotes, weather, eagles, all of which kill more livestock than wolves? Secondly, how is it that Defenders of Wildlife, a medium sized organization can easily pay for all Montana's losses, but the counties which would suffer far fewer loses, couldn't pay?

Henkel says wolves are neither good or bad, but they are costly. THEY ARE NOT COSTLY. Wolves are not an economic issue. They are a cultural one.

12-1-2004. Slow elk: Southwest Montana hunting success and number of hunters way down. By Nick Gevock, Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. The number of elk and deer are high in SW Montana, and I thought hunting conditions were good with snow to help track and move game down, even though it warmed up near the end of the period. The article doesn't mention it, but I think the problem is ATV hunters. Sadly, I think a majority of  hunters have now given in to the temptation of ease -- the ATV. While many just use them for access, plenty of game can hear them on the way to the hunters' access point. Other ATV hunters just cruise up and down roads and trails hoping that an elk or deer will suddenly appear. I think most of the deaf deer have now been shot out. If you want to shoot big game, you generally have to surprise them. It seems like a new generation of hunters might not have learned such a basic lesson.

11-30-2004. Is Montana on the brink of auctioning off its state lands? Kalispell Daily InterLake. Too few people realize how many millions of acres there are of state "school" lands in the West, including Montana. Often they are the only barrier to rampant subdivision sprawl. Montana might be on the brink of selling the lands to sub-dividers. Open space is something treasured by almost everyone. To most folks more Montana sub-divisions are not.

11-30-2004. Congress takes aim at Endangered Species Act. Casper Star Tribune. There is little doubt the ESA could be improved -- made more friendly to private landowners and more effective at recovering species, but to do this will take appropriations at the time when the federal government is running record deficits. Moreover, those who will deal with the Act in the next Congress have a record of not just hostility to act, but to the very species on the act, such as wolves. Wildlife supporters should prepare themselves for what amounts to gutting of the act. It won't be repealed. It will just be made not to work at all, in my opinion.

11-29-2004. Bullets number one killer of Mexican wolves. ABQ Journal. AP. This population of wolves will never more than marginal until they rescind the rule of the 9000 square mile box they keep them in. The Northern Rockies gray wolf reintroduction would not be secure if the wolves had been limited to an area 1/10 the size of Idaho or Wyoming. Instead they get 3 or more states to roam.

11-29-2004. Many year drought finally easing in western and southern Wyoming. By Cara Eastwoor. AP. Casper Star Tribune.

11-29-2004. Scientists watch man-made flood of Grand Canyon. By Patrick O'Driscoll, USA Today.

11-28-2004. Yellowstone roadkill said to mount.  By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. However the statistics don't seem to bear this out. Nevertheless, every year about 100 large animals are killed by vehicles on YNP roads.

11-27-2004. Blue Ribbon Coalition threatens Idaho folks submitting public comments to Forest Service. In a little noticed story, the Blue Ribbon Coalition, a group of about 10 to 12,000 off road vehicle advocates recently threatened those who helped prepare and sign a detailed alternative to the Caribou National Forest's travel plan. SIRA, the Southeast Idaho Recreation Alliance, is a group of traditional hunters, equestrians, mountain bikers, hikers, skiers, etc. who still believe there should be room for non-motorized recreation on our public lands.
After a series of meetings, people from these interests came together and prepared the detailed SIRA alternative to the Caribou NF's off-road-vehicle heavy proposed travel plan. SIRA folks submitted comments during the legal public comment period just as the Forest Service asked all interested parties to do and every American citizen has a right to do.
To the surprise of many of those who helped prepare the SIRA document, they soon got this letter from the BRC's executive director, Clark Collins. I didn't get one myself as I had been singled out as an especially bad person in the letter along with a number of other people who had nothing to do with the SIRA proposal.
Here is the SIRA proposal. You decide if it is a radical document whose signatures deserve to be threatened.


Greg Stahl of the Idaho Mountain Express (Ketchum) recently did a story on the BRC's tactics. Folks in the area of the Mountain Express will soon be commenting on a travel plan revision, and should be prepared to resist threats by groups like BRC that apparently reject the right of free speech for those with whom they disagree.

"This [off road vehicles] is part of the U.S. culture," he said. "If you want peace and quiet go to the Holiday Inn." Randy Mott, owner of Nightwing Motorcycle Works in Pocatello.  Idaho State Journal. Nov. 21
Getting pretty aggressive and arrogant aren't they?

11-27-2004. Oregon wolf plan closer to approval. The committee's final meetings will be next week. Statesman Journal.
11-20-2004. Comment period extended on Oregon wolf plan. Statesman-Journal (Salem,OR).
Your written comments AND your presence and testimony at the public hearings are needed to show the strong support that exists for wolves in Oregon and the strong support for maintaining protections for wolves in the Plan.

11-27-2004. Retired park service employees want federal income tax checkoff to fund maintenance. By  Associated Press. They believe Americans so love their national parks that many would like to be able to direct some of their tax money to support of the Parks. I think that this is in general a good idea now that the Presidency and Congress has fallen into the hands of the far right. As of now most people don't know what is in the federal budget or how much. I think citizens would reorder national spending priorities quickly.

11-27-2004. American companies will have to abide by Kyoto treaty despite Bush hostility. USA Today. Although President Bush has refused to help in the fight to curb global warming, the treaty is now ratified with the addition of Russia. American companies who do business overseas will not have Bush's option of telling the world they don't care.

11-26-2004. Wolves' genetic diversity worryingly low. New Scientist. This is a another nail in the coffin of those who said the wolves from Canada released in Yellowstone and central Idaho were genetically distinct than the wolves of 80-100 years ago. Wolves all over Canada and the U.S. are not different enough.

11-23-2004. New study explores Wyoming elk feedgrounds. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune Southwest Wyoming bureau. Three years ago we conservationists were the only ones pointing to the danger of disease from Wyoming's elk feedgrounds, but the spread of brucellosis from the elk to Wyoming cattle herds is causing the state to "get religion" on the matter.

11-22-2004. Upper Blackfoot River of Montana area gets millions of dollars for protection from development in Congress' last minute appropriations bills. By Sherry Devlin. Missoulian. Good news!

11-22-2004. Calif. to Sue Over Sierra Nevada Logging Expansion. Reuters. Yahoo.

11-22-2004. Grand Canyon gets artificial flood in second attempt to restore pre-dam beaches, life. Salt Lake Tribune. By Mark Havnes. The method being using is slightly different than the 18-day flood of 1996 which was but a limited success.

11-21-2004. Greater Yellowstone Coalition pulls stuff from Bozeman and up personnel to the field offices. Bozeman Chronicle. When I was on their Board I always thought they need an office in West Yellowstone. Hope that will happen.

11-20-2004. Wyoming anti-wolf lawsuits are consolidated. Casper Star Tribune. This is good news. It's not what anti-wolf Governor Freudenthal wanted since Wyoming's. The state's case has been lumped into the case filed by a bunch of wingnuts.
Earlier 11-17-2004. Wyoming Gov. wants separate wolf lawsuits. Jackson Hole Zone. The fortunate thing about wolf recovery in Wyoming is that the anti-wolf groups and county commissioners are stupid. The downside is that anti-wolf Governor Freudenthal is smart.

11-19-2004. Defenders of Wildlife builds fences to protect sheep from wolves in Paradise Valley. Casper Star Tribune. This has to do with the 2 brothers that have lost sheep to the Lone Bear Pack. Defenders asked us to contribute in this, but we didn't like the attitude of these brothers (see article for an example).

11-18-2004. Colorado Wildlife Commission makes is easier for ranchers to shoot wolves. CBS 4 Denver. Actually what is happening is making the rules the same as in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Over the last 9 years ranchers have only occasionally shot wolves attacking their livestock. By far the most wolves killed have been killed by federal government agents and illegal shooters.

11-18-2004. Minnesota wolf population, territory holding steady, officials say. By Dennis Lien. Pioneer Press. Despite scare tactics that Minnesota's wolf population would keep growing and growing, it has stabilized, and may have done so 5 years ago. I think the 2004 data will show the same with the wolf population in Montana and Wyoming and perhaps Michigan and Wisconsin.

11-17-2004. Panel mulls conflicts between sheep guard dogs and recreationists. Idaho Mountain Express. By Greg Stahl Express Staff Writer. If sheep guard dogs are known to be in an area you recreate, you should carry pepper spray. While you are not in any great danger, an attack by a sheep dog is far more likely than an attack by a wolf.

11-14-2004. Hunting guide on slow road to recovery following shooting. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.
10-30-2004. Man thinks his Montana hunting guide and horses are wolves; shoots guide! By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. What a strange story! What to emphasize? -- the groundless fear? actually mistaking your outfitter and his horses for wolves? the small penalty? the fact that they guy was plenty willing to illegally shoot wolves (and shooting your guide isn't legal either)? This took place in the range of the Sheep Mountain wolf pack about 20 miles north of Yellowstone.

-Some further thoughts on this story-
by Ralph Maughan. Oct. 30

11-14-2004. Surprise Valley woman says she saw 3 wolves eating deer in her yard. Chereen Langrill. The Idaho Statesman. This is a Boise suburb. Boise sits at the base of the central Idaho mountains that stretch northward, essentially unbroken all the way to Canada. Update: turns out they were big dogs that killed the deer after it was hit by an auto.

11-13-2004. Brucellosis case hits Teton County cattle herd. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. I don't know how many articles we have run warning of the dangerous policy of running cattle inside Grand Teton NP amidst the Teton Wolf Pack, plus elk and bison infected with brucellosis. The inevitable has happened and several members of the cattle herd are now found infected, meaning the herd will likely slaughtered (and being pure bred can't be replaced), livestock grazing will end in the Park, and Wyoming loses another battle to prevent the spread of brucellosis.

11-13-2004. Ten Years of Wolves in Yellowstone & Idaho. Defenders of Wildlife Releases State of the Wolf Report; Details Status of Wolves in Yellowstone and Beyond. A detailed overview of the last decade of wolves plus future possibilities. This is a document worth keeping.

11-13-2004. Wolves captivate Yellowstone tourists; Wolf populations appear to have plateaued. By John O'Connell. Idaho State Journal. Good to see some papers getting the word that the wolf population growth phase is ending.

11-11-2004. Suit: BLM fired man for exposing the hazards of a mine near Yearington, Nevada. By Scott Sonner The Associated Press. In today's political climate, try and protect the public from environmental hazards and you're going lose your job.

11-11-2004. Greens see hopeful signs in West. By Robert Gehrke. The Salt Lake Tribune. I think there is room for optimism in the West. There will be a sea change against the generation of anti-environmentalism in Montana, and Colorado is looking up. Just need to get rid of Governor Owens. Yes, George Bush won, that's the big downside, but I don't think that shows people rejected protecting our environment. John Kerry hardly mentioned the issue, so how could those not well informed vote confidently against Bush when Kerry's views on the environment (which were very good) were largely not known. In many ways Kerry ran a bad campaign.
Here is an article that addresses that very question" Presidential politics ignored environment, Colorado voters say." Grand Junction Sentinel. By Sally Spaulding.

11-11-2004. Wolf-recovery panel takes hands-off stance for now. Colorado may be first to freely accept predator's return. By Theo Stein. Denver Post Staff Writer. Actually Oregon appears to be accepting wolves more freely than Colorado.

11-10-2004. Retired Park Service high officials go after Yellowstone snowmobiling again. Jackson Hole News and Guide. By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

11-10-2004. Yellowstone Park under siege from invasive non-native plants. Billings Gazette. By Allison Batdorff.

11-10-2004. Opposing sides greet wolf management plan. Diverse mix of people attend ODFW meeting to talk about expected migration of wolves. By Paul Fattig. Mail Tribune. The deadline for your commenting on the Oregon draft plan is Jan. 6, 2005.
11-9-2004. Plan welcomes gray wolves to Oregon. But the endangered critters, which arenít here yet but are expected to migrate from Idaho, arenít loved by all. By Mark Freeman. Mail Tribune (Oregon). I
n fact I think it is highly likely that a few Idaho wolves are already in Oregon. One wolf was radio tracked about a month ago standing right on the rim of Hells Canyon at Satan Lake. Hells Canyon is the state boundary. Most Idaho wolves don't wear radio collars.

11-9-2004. Wolves thriving in Croatia. By Zoran Radosavljevic. Reuters AlertNet. Hurray for the Balkans!

11-9-2004. Oceans to Rise One Meter by 2100-Arctic Expert. Yahoo! Science - Reuters. By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent.
11-8-2004. Many Species Scramble to Adjust to Warming. Science - Reuters.
11-8-2004. Study: Arctic warming threatens people, wildlife. Eight-nation report faults fossil fuels; U.S. in wait-and-see mode. MSNBC.
Actually the Bush Administration is not in a "wait-and-see-mode."  Because the melting is progressing so fast, they seem to be in a wait-and-ignore-it-mode."

11-9-2004. Wyoming Governor Freudenthal pitches wildlife fund. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune
Southwest Wyoming bureau.
Habitat in Wyoming is being hammered by natural gas drilling and production, but it is producing a lot of money and Wyoming has the funds to undo some of the damage. Governor Freudenthal wants to do that.

11-9-2004. Environmentalists seek to intervene in Wyoming anti-wolf lawsuit. AP
11-8-2004. News release from the conservation groups' intervention.
- Factsheet on lawsuit.

11-8-2004. G.O.P. Plans to Give Environment Rules a Free-Market Tilt. By Felicity Barringer and Michael Janofsky. New York Times. While the government can effectively use the market to implement government environmental standards such as a reduction of pollution, the market alone (free market) rewards polluters because pollution lets them pass some of their costs of production onto bystanders, allowing them to produce their product for sale in the market for less, even though the total cost to the system is more. Economists consider pollution as a classic example of what they call "market failure." In a free market, for any business to voluntarily abate their pollution is not rational, and so few if any polluters will. The Administration doesn't seem to understand this most fundamental economic fact.

11-3-2004. Election results spell 4 more years of an expanded assault on our public lands, wildlife, and natural environment. Ed opinion.

11-3-2004. Arctic Melt Accelerates, Governments Split. Reuters.

11-2-2004. Enviros take heart as drought eats away at Lake Powell. By Sandra Blakeslee. New York Times (reprinted in AZ Star). Mother Nature is draining "Lake Foul." What a shame.

11-1-2004. EPA director (former Utah governor) Leavitt to ease rules that protect national parks' air
By Christopher Smith. The Salt Lake Tribune.

11-1-2004. Government's pre-eminent climatologist risks being fired by Bush because he warns of carbon dioxide emissions. Editorial "Subverting Science." New York Times.

11-1-2004. Candidates differ sharply on uses for public land. Bush has pushed hard for more oil and gas drilling, while Kerry is considered more pro-conservation. By Theo Stein and Mike Soraghan. Denver Post Staff Writers.

11-1-2004. Small, large ranchers on opposite sides of fence for Bush and Kerry. By Anne C. Mulkern. Denver Post Staff Writer.

10-29-2004. When wolves arrive [to Colorado]. Management team ponders plan for established packs. The Craig Daily Press. By Rob Gebhart.

10-28-2004. [Beartooth Front] ranchers tell officials of wolf frustrations. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. This article was in the Gazette yesterday. In the meantime, I talked with quite a few people and my tentative conclusion is this much ado about nothing, or at least not much. What has happened is some politicians and some close friends of politicians (such as their neighbors) lost some livestock. Now it is one thing for a wolf to kill some average guy's livestock, but when it is the Congressman's goats (if in fact he is telling the truth) it's an atrocity, but as one person told me his story smells more like sh.....!

10-28-2004. Proposal Restricts Appeals on Dams. Administration Plan Could Help Hydropower Firms Avoid Costs. By Blaine Harden. Washington Post Staff Writer. This is an enormously wide ranging attempt to keep recreational interests, fishing interests, land owners, Native Americans and the public in general from appealing the relicensing of dams, right at the time when the 50 year period of a dam license is up for many hydropower projects. A second Bush Administration will probably a total disaster for our rivers.

10-28-2004. Politics of natural gas and a beautiful forest area in New Mexico. Reuters. By Zelie Pollon. "A Texas energy company may get rights to drill in a pristine swathe of a New Mexico national forest after a White House task force intervened on its behalf, a move that has become a hot issue in the battleground state before next week's presidential election."

On the controversial Bush "wolves" ad-

-10-23-2004. Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Reacts to Bush-Cheney Political Campaign Ad 'Wolves'. "The interesting thing is that wolves have suffered from kind of myth perpetuation for a century, but the real wolf at their door right now is the Bush presidential campaign, which threatens four more years of its anti-wildlife policies." from Katharine Mieszkowski. "A funny way to celebrate National Wolf Awareness Week."
-Your chance to strike back. Donate to "Defenders of Wildlife Political Action Fund."
**More on this ad**
-Slate Magazine. "When Is a Cut Not a Cut? When it's a con. Bush's deceptive new ad." By Fred Kaplan "We were tricked by George W. Bush."
-The Australian. Eagle or wolves: candidates use fables to convey terror 'truths.' Roy Eccleston, Washington correspondent.
-Headwaters News guest column. Wolves are not Terrorists. By Gary Wockner, member Colorado Wolf Working Group. This also appeared in the Denver Post on Oct. 28.

10-27-2004. Growing Pains: Wapiti, Wyoming residents wary of proposed subdivision. By Allison Batdorff. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau. This subdivision will put a big dent in wildlife and the scenery on the way to the East Entrance of Yellowstone.

10-26-2004. Wolves have crossed into lower Michigan. Dead wolf evidence they've migrated below bridge. Detroit Free Press.

10-25-2004. Bush backs off on plans to drill Rocky Mountain Front due to election concerns. Editorial by the New York Times. If he is reelected, I wonder how many weeks it will until the plan not to drill is reconsidered?

10-25-2004. Park Service looks to aid struggling cutthroat. Disease, predation lead Yellowstone levels to plummet. By Associated Press. Rocky Mountain News.

10-22-2004. French government launches "wolf cull." Expatica. Wolf supporters are planning a demonstration in Paris Nov. 6 to "protest against the Government's totally unacceptable wolf politics. [To] show that not only French citizens are fed up, but also that foreign countries condemn the French government's inconsistent behaviour (poor data, no research, zero strategic vision and planning, no political will, an urgent need to review the French agriculture politics)."

10-21-2004. Unruly Yellowstone elk is no longer king of the hill. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

10-20-2004. DNR: Wolves likely to move downstate into Lower Michigan. Once extinct, species now on the upswing. By Marc R. Rehmann. Capital News Service

10-19-2004. Some wild jaguars are roaming the Arizona desert near Tucson. By Mitch Tobin. Arizona Daily Star.
10-21-2004. Emil's Shots Capture Jaguar Spots. Humboldt State News. More complete story on jaguar and great photos.

10-18-2004. Grand Teton NP hunting season nears. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter.

10-17-2004. In Southeast Alaska, salmon play major role in wolves' diet. Gone Fishing. Fish are likely reason pups have high survival rate. By Riley Woodford. Anchorage Daily News correspondent.

10-16-2004. Bondurant, Wyoming rancher says wolves attacked horse. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. The article says Jimenez didn't return calls about the horse, which makes him perhaps look like he doesn't want to be interviewed. It turns out, however, that both of his cell phones are broken right now and so you have get him in his office, which is not often given the long hours he spends in the field.

10-16-2004. B.C. backs ski resort in paradise. By Mark Hume. The Globe and Mail. The approval of the ski resort on Jumbo Mountain in the Purcells just makes me sick. I'm never going to B.C. again while this rotten Liberal Party government is in power.

10-16-2004, Yellowstone Park antelope poacher gets 4 years in prison. Casper Star Tribune. Finally, a poacher gets the kind of justice they deserve.

10-16-2004. Michigan DNR probes slayings of wolves in western Upper Peninsula. Detroit Free Press.

10-15-2004. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled statewide meetings on state wolf plan. Oregonian. This article has a list of date and meetings. Please attend. Added 10-17. Wolf page of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

10-14-2004. Big, bad reputation for Wisconsin wolves. By Chuck Haga, Star Tribune. via MSNBC. A bit overstated headline, but it is true that wolves don't like hunting hounds that invade a pack's territory.

10-14-2004. Oregon's wolf plan to open for public comment. A 14-member panel created the proposal for management. Statesman Journal. Your chance to have a say on what looks like the first Western state to voluntarily undertake wolf recovery.

10-13-2004. Bush damns salmon recovery in Pacific Northwest by sticking with dams. High Country News. by Rebecca Clarren.

10-12-2004. Decline in Yellowstone cutthroat trout studied. By Mike Stark. Of The Billings Gazette Staff.

10-11-2004. Plans for open pit gold mine near Atlanta, Idaho plan raises eyebrows. Mine using toxic process would be at headwaters of the Boise River. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. I can't think of any open pit mineral mine in Idaho that lived up to the claims of its promoters that it would not be a noxious danger. The Canadian mining companies have been among the worst.
More. Proposed Atlanta Gold Mining Project Drawing Environmentalists Ire. KBCI News 2.
Related. Sign up for alerts on this dangerous mine proposal.

10-10-2004. Idaho Federal Judge Winmill rules in favor of Western Watersheds Project over Burnt Creek grazing allotment in the Lost River Range. By Anna Means. Challis Messenger. This is a potentially very scenic area and could have high wildlife values, but abusive grazing has not been controlled by the Lost River Range District and now a federal judge has stepped in to a least require the Forest Service to do a fair environmental analysis.

10-9-2004. Yellowstone Park Visitor hiking off-trail at Artesia Geyser breaks through crust; burned. Yellowstone Park News Release.

10-9-2004. Oct. 17 through 23 is "Wolf Awareness Week." Billings Gazette.

10-9-2004. 2004 was wettest in 5 years for SW Montana, but not enough to end drought. Billings Gazette. The same was true in southern Idaho and Wyoming. The vegetation was much greener and produced good plant growth for wildlife. However, the accumulated drought has keep steams flows very low. As a result, in southern Idaho irrigation farmers are waging a legal and legislative battle over their water rights.

10-8-2004. Man gored by bison, another mauled by grizzly in Yellowstone Park. Bozeman Chronicle. By Scott McMillion.

-10-6-2004. Canada's Rain Forest Wolves are a Link to Past. Stefan Lovgren for National Geographic News

- 10-5-2004. Montana too may manage its wolves next year. Wyoming is out --"The next best delisting." Bozeman Chronicle. By Scott McMillion.
- 10-3-2004. Idaho will oversee wolves before packs are delisted. By Dan Gallagher. AP.
Idaho has about six times as many wolves as Wyoming does (discounting YNP), yet Idaho is getting the go ahead for much of the management while Wyoming throws away money and its good name yelling about 70 or so wolves. The big danger with any state management is that someone who knows a prominent state politicians will ask for and get "special consideration" in regard to wolves.

- 10-4-2004. Court halts Gallatin timber sale near Yellowstone Park yet again. Associated Press. Billings Gazette.

- 10-3-2004. Mutant fish in Colorado streams send chills up the spines of scientists. By Theo Stein. Denver Post.

- 10-3-2004. Drilling plans for Montana's Rocky Mountain Front stopped! Congressional buyout needed. By Sonja Lee. Great Falls Tribune. This is great news, but these leases need to be bought out because they are property rights. This situation shows why it was so critical that down in Jackson, WY leasing of the Wyoming Range was stopped. No property rights were created.

- 10-1-2004. Falling trees from '88 fires are a big hazard now on the Shoshone NF. AP. Most of the dead lodgepole pine from the fires have fallen, but now the deeper rooted conifers are coming down. When we were working of the Hikers Guide to the Teton and Washakie Wilderness areas in the late 90s, falling trees where much a hazard than grizzly bears, for example.


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