Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yellowstone "Nature's Amusement Park"

That is the title to an article in the Montana 2009-2010 Vacation Planner. I can't believe the stupidity! The article is only 2 paragraphs long of descriptions, such as, "Yellowstone National Park-full of surprises, big and small, thunderous and calm." Montana advertising Yellowstone as an "amusement park?" No wonder tourists act sooo stupid.

The park was established in 1872 "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people." I was looking on under History and Culture in Yellowstone. They have a BRIEF mention of Native Americans.

"From about 11,000 years ago to the very recent past, many groups of Native Americans used the park [Correction-the park wasn't in existence yet. There they go again. The narrow-minded, arrogant Europeans are beating in their dominance over everything.] as their homes, hunting grounds, and transportation routes. These traditional uses of Yellowstone lands continued until a little over 200 years ago when the first people of European descent found their way into the park."

Kind of abrupt. No mention as to what happened to the Native Americans. (Oh well, it's a park now-made for EVERYONE to enjoy. So, come out and enjoy the zoo without walls-Yellowstone:P )

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stupid Tourist in Yellowstone

Tourists always amaze me by their stupidity.

Yesterday, a Californian was taking pictures of the bull buffalo (who are in rut) in his campground. Since the buffalo were so close he decided to get a close up shot (2ft). (This is just another zoo. Right?) Lo and behold the buffalo charged him. The guy got a puncture wound in his upper left thigh and was taken via ambulance to a hospital in Jackson Hole. I wonder if he got his picture..
The park service tells people to stay 25 yards away from buffalo.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tester's Forest Removal Act

After being shrouded in secrecy, Senator Tester finally released his "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act." Secret, because no one, not even the press were told what the bill was about, except the select few who collaborated on it; conservationists, the timber industry and stakeholders.

Regarding this secrecy in drafting the bill Tester was quoted at a press conference, “There’s really very little to talk about until the bill is written.”(WOW! Talk about arrogance and being controlling.) Yet on his website he says he “values integrity, common sense, (and) transparency in government” ( )

The goal of the act is just as it says jobs and recreation. It has nothing to do with protecting wilderness. It's about logging (as the picture above shows).

Here are some highlights, or rather downfalls of the act.

Restoration Activity includes: precommercial thinning and commercial timber harvesting.

Stewardship Areas (here are a couple)

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest -- "a parcel of land that is designated as 'Suitable for Timber Production and Timber Harvest Is Allowed' as labled on the new map entitled, "Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Revised Forest Plan, Modeled Timber Harvest Classification." This means 7,000 acres a year will be harvested.

Seeley Lake Ranger District--a parcel of land that is "suitable for timber production; or eligible for timber harvest activities."

Stewardship Contract means "a contract that is carried out by 2 or more parties to carry out vegetation treatment, including mechanical treatment using commercial timber harvest of vegetation."

Another thing the bill doesn't do is limit cattle grazing on public lands. Cattle still own the land in Montana.

In his video he repeatedly says mills will put people back to work in the woods. He even says that if we lose timber mills, "we will suffer an even bigger loss. We will lose the folks who know how to work in the woods."

So, this act is as it says "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act." It's not about protecting forests.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How Much Land is Used for Livestock?

I've said before cattle is a billion $ industry here. In 2006 the state made $1.1 billion. Many of the sales were to: Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. According to MT DEQ. (photo by Jason Stajich)
This billion $ industry is destroying the native landscape. The home of wildlife. Here's a run down of how much land is being destroyed for this non-native invasive species. Montana itself is comprised of 93 million acres.

  • 38 million acres is pasture and range land. That's more than a third of the state!
  • 18 million is used for crops. (What a waste when it could be used for livestock :P)
  • Up to 13,000 acres a year are becoming ranch land for livestock.

Cattle is a huge issue across the entire U.S. I was reading an article in the IR that the US exports of milk is down from 11% to 5%, which means there is too much milk b/c there are too many cows. So, the solution? Kill over 100,000 cows across the country! Surprisingly or not, Montana isn't slaughtering any.

The cattle industry is all about greed. Cattle are not a native species and shouldn't be here. Nature agrees. In March and April Montana was hit by blizzards causing 4,000 livestock in Powder River and Carter counties to die. More died in Glacier, Teton, and Lewis and Clark counties.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

History of Trout Relocation

All over the news you hear about climate change and how destroyed the planet is. In this country this destruction began a few hundred years ago with the narrow mindedness of European settlers.
Just one of the many idiotic things they did I saw on a PBS show about trout.

In 1805 when people migrated West, they over fished cutthroat. Then, in 1870 congress set up an organization to repopulate rivers and streams with non-native fish (just like the settlers coming to this continent) To repopulate the waters they filled rail cars with containers of rainbow trout and brown trout. Then dumped them in the areas the settlers over fished.

One of the effects of this irresponsible relocation is in the Columbia Basin. Here the settlers dumped the rainbow trout in with the remaining cutthroat. These 2 species are almost genetically identical. So now the Basin is full of hybridized trout.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Elk to Blame for Past Decade of Brucellosis Infection

I was reading an article in the HelenaIR (Irresponsible Record), the most HIGHLY censored newspaper in MT. Once again the ranchers blame wildlife, namely elk, for all infections of brucellosis over the past decade. MT seems to conveniently & arrogantly forget that this disease originated in European cattle that were imported into the U.S. and then the disease was transmitted to the wildlife in Yellowstone. Today there are an estimated 2.6 MILLION cattle in MT. This is 2.5 times the state population!! Whereas there are close to 3,000 buffalo, 95,000 elk and 34 breeding pairs of wolves. These numbers are waaay too high for the ranchers who'd like to see them down to 0.

In 2007 there were 2 herds that became infected. This was NOT caused by wildlife as the HelenaIR wants you to believe. Both these herds were made up of Corriente cattle. This is a Mexican breed that is popular for rodeo roping events and are often imported from Texas.
According to Robert Hoskins, an independent Wyoming conservationist. "There is no scientific proof that elk were the cause of last year's brucellosis outbreak and good circumstantial evidence that the cause was imported Corriente cattle. A year after that incident, we still have no published epidemiological report from APHIS. Is that not suspicious?" (quote from a BFC press release, 2008)

Now that MT is brucellosis free again it can export its cattle. Blood testing will continue in the 7 Yellowstone area counties for 6 months.

The billion $ industry continues. All the while wildlife suffer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

U.S. Wolf History & Present Day

In Europe wolves were almost extinct by the time settlers arrived on this continent. At this time there were an estimated 250,000 wolves in the now lower 48 states alone. The settlers brought the same mindset as they had in Europe, wolves are evil. Manifest destiny led the way and the rest is history and present.

Just 10 years after the Mayflower landed the Massachusetts Bay Colony began offering rewards for killing wolves. The wolf was the enemy just like all Native peoples and wildlife. The wolf was made into a scape goat for the uncontrolled, power hungry settlers. (sounds like today) The settlers over-hunted deer. So, they blamed the wolf for low deer populations. (just like today)

In the 19th century the good ol' ranchers came to the west for cheap, abundant land they could destroy with their invasive cows (again with the cattle) Things didn't go so well. This non-native species (the cows. not ranchers. too bad it wasn't both.) began dying of diseases. Again the wolf was falsely blamed. Now for killing livestock. It wasn't long before livestock began replacing the wildlife wolves eat; buffalo and deer. So, fearing wolves would kill the livestock a campaign went out to exterminate the wolf. Professionals working for the livestock industry (no not FWP this time) would use various methods to kill wolves including laying strychnine-poisoned meat in up to 150 mile lines!! When wolves began to be hard to find, they were searched out and killed in various ways: set on fire, shot, poisoned, clubbed, trapped, and inoculated with mange! Good ol' Montana takes credit for killing over 80,000 wolves in 25 years.

In the 1970's less than 1,000 wolves remained in the lower 48. Today there are only 50 Mexican wolves, 100 Red wolves in the wild and between 7,000-11,000 gray wolves in Alaska as well as more than 5,000 in the lower 48 (no where near 250,000) with about 15,000 of these in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Now once again history repeats itself with a rancher, the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar removing the gray wolves from the endangered species list. So, the killing of wolves continues for the same reason as the past--power hungry, immature, people.

Contact Obama and tell him to put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list.

More wolf history

Friday, July 10, 2009

Montana is Brucellosis Free, So What Happens to Buffalo?

Now that MT is "class free" there should be no reason to have a buffalo hunt. Right? Not so. FWP is still going ahead with the hunt. Why? Brucellosis. So the claim remains.

According to the '2009 Bison Hunting Information Summary'

"Brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park bison is one of the primary reasons that attempts are being made to control bison in Montana."

"The disease causing bacteria can be transmitted from bison to cattle. If domestic cattle are infected, there are negative effects to individual cattle producers in the form of a loss of production, loss of markets, and costly preventative measures, including vaccination. "

What? They have to vaccinate! The poor cattle industry :P
It must be tough having to take responsibility. After all they've been on that land for 100 years. They basically own it, as their mind set is. Rather they stole it and destroyed it. Forget the native people who were there before them or the wildlife. Who both still try to survive an oppressive government.

Send FWP a comment

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Montana Sets Wolf Quota

The number is set at 75.

“Today, we can celebrate the fact that Montana manages elk, deer, bears, mountain lions, ducks, bighorn sheep, and wolves in balance with their habitats, other species, and in balance with the people who live here,”said FWP Director Joe Maurier. What a bunch of BS! Send him an email and let him know it is.

What Montanans think about this.
Most of the 180 public comments submitted to the commission said the proposed range for the wolf quota of 26-165 was too low. (what a surprise)

For more info. Check out the HelenaIR

Montana is Brucellosis Free

Today, APHIS changed MT's status to "Class Free". There hasn't been a single case of brucellosis in cattle in the state since May 2008. Now, in order for MT to keep its status is for cattle to remain brucellosis free for 12 months. Why then have the buffalo continued to be hazed and slaughtered?

Call with your comments to the director of APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) John Steuber 406-657-6464.

Currently MT has devoted 60 million acres for ranch and farms, yet there are less than 1 million people in the state!!

Some interesting facts I found on Montana WS State Report from 2008:

"All Montana livestock producers contribute funding to support WS’ livestock protection efforts through a State per capita tax."

"The MDL has given WS full authority to administer the Department’s aerial operations [now MT is copying Alaska] as a tool to protect livestock from predators such as coyotes and red foxes. In addition, the MTFWP has authorized WS to conduct wildlife damage management activities to protect agricultural resources in the state from big game species such as black bears
and mountain lions."

One thing interesting in this report there is NO mention of buffalo.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Domestic Sheep Vs. Wild Bighorns

Another incidence of invasive species killing native wildlife. Sheep are allowed to graze on public lands. (what a surprise) They're also full of disease (yet another surprise). When bighorns come and graze on the same land as the sheep, the bighorns contract Pasturella a bacteria which causes the bighorns to die of pneumonia. This can cause 75% of bighorn herds to die!

Not surprisingly, Idaho denies this. In fact, Dr. Marie Bulgin a University of Idaho professor and former president of the Idaho Sheep Growers Association testified in federal court that there's no scientific evidence of domestic sheep transmitting pneumonia to wild bighorns.

An article in Science Daily talks about the research done proving pneumonia is transmitted.

The strength of this disease deters states from reintroducing bighorns. Here in Montana for example.
January 2008, a number of bighorn sheep in the Elkhorn Mountains died from pneumonia thought to have been contracted from domestic animals. Other major die-offs in Montana have been in the East Pioneers, Tendoy Mountains, Highland Mountains, Sleeping Giant Area, and Madison Range, as well as elsewhere.

So, what is being done.

In Idaho the policy is to shoot any bighorns that have come in contact with sheep and bighorns that have come into contact with that bighorn.

Here in Montana it's no different.

"Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MDFWP) has adopted a similar policy. For instance, prior to a reintroduction of bighorn sheep to the Gravelly Range on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest near Dillon, MDFWP signed an agreement stipulating that if wild sheep had any interaction with domestic sheep, the wild sheep would be shot—and potentially even entire bighorn herds eliminated." quoted from Wild Bighorns Threatened by Domestic Sheep

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bison Hunt Quota Set

FWP has once again determined there are tooo many buffalo in Montana,or rather, there ARE buffalo in Montana. So once again there will be a "hunt" just outside the border of Yellowstone Park. The quota is the same as last year, 144. FWP is claiming there are 3,000 buffalo in Yellowstone, which is probably an inflated number. So as the buffalo migrate out of Yellowstone this winter, they'll be subject to a "hunt" which is nothing more than some hunter standing and waiting on the outside of the park boundary line.

Send FWP your comment and tell them why this "hunt" is ridiculous. Click here.