Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Idaho Set to Kill 220 Wolves

Once again the war on wolves is back. This time in Idaho. Idaho's Fish and Game Commission voted 4-3 on the hunt. (No, the 3 who voted against were not helping the wolves. They voted against it because they wanted 49% of the wolf population hunted. Not the mere 25% as was passed.) One of the dissenters, Chairman Wayne Wright declared, "Now’s the time to do the right thing. … Neither our state’s economy, our ranchers, our sportsmen or our elk herds can wait any longer.” (quote from Spokesman Review) This is a good example of how concerned with wildlife restoration Fish & Game Commissions are in the Rocky Mountain States.

I have more information about the IDFG's mismanagement of wolves on a previous post.

The wolves will be hunted in the 12 wolf "management zones. For the exact numbers to be killed in each zone, IDFG has a ittle brochure on this with hunting rules.

In 1995, 35 gray wolves were brought in from Canada in effort to restore them. The "recovery" numbers for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming combined was 300!! Idaho wants to bring the numbers down to 520.

As always 12 environmental groups including Defenders of Wildlife are considering an injunction against the hunt, which begins in September.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Future of Forests: Vilsack's Speech

Today Tom Vilsack the secretary for the US Department of Agriculture presented his vision for America's forests. Here are excerpts with my comments.

"Climate change, catastrophic fires, disease and pests [the invasive cows] have all led to declining forest health in recent decades. The resulting impact on watersheds, the climate, local economies, wildlife, and recreation, has led the USDA to offer a new vision for our nation's forests. [probably start by eliminating all native species and turn parks into pastureland. let's see people pay to see this :P] By taking forest management in a new direction, the Department will emphasize the role our national forestlands play in contributing to the health and prosperity of the country and reverse the trend of declining forest health. "[They can start by getting rid of their cows]

"The Administration's plan calls for the U.S. Forest Service to play a leading role in the development of new markets to sustain the economic viability of forest stewardship and provide landowners with economic incentives to maintain and restore forests. National forestlands produce economic benefits from a diverse range of sources including recreation [of course we won't forget about the snowmobilers] and more than 200 hydroelectric plants operated in national forest watersheds.[these are really restorative] With more than 192 million visitors to National Forests in 2008, local communities throughout the country benefit economically from those who recreate on and near forestlands and high-quality water bodies protected by forested watersheds. "

Here's my favorite quote by Vilsack. "Forests help generate rural wealth through recreation and tourism, through the creation of green jobs, and through the production of wood products and energy. And they are a national treasure – requiring all of us to protect and preserve them for future generations. " [oxymoron. just like a politician's speech]

"The Forest Service must not be viewed as an agency concerned only with the fate of our National Forests, but must instead be acknowledged for its work in protecting and maintaining all American forests, including state and private lands. [MTDOL is doing a fine job with this :P] Our shared vision adopts an 'all-lands approach,' requiring close collaboration with the NRCS and its work on America's private working lands. "

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Idaho to Kill 50% Wolf Population

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) wants to kill 518 gray wolves in the state out of the 1,000 that live there. This is 8 times the recovery goal and the wolves are increasing in population by 20% annually (too bad we don't have the same rules about invasive species). Hunters will be used to "manage" wolves (just like the buffalo). The focus areas for hunting will be where invasive livestock have taken over and in the Lolo Elk Zone where the number of elk is decreasing by 13% each year. IDFG puts a good portion of the blame on the wolves (what a surprise), saying that other predators such as, black bears and mountain lions kill elk too, but when the wolves are "managed" the elk numbers will increase. This decrease in elk has caused a decrease in hunting ($$$)

So, the mindset of the European settlers lives on in Idaho.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gray Wolves are Back to Judge Molloy

On June 2, 2009, Earthjustice filed suit on behalf of conservation groups challenging the decision to delist the wolves. But, once again the arrogant MT FWP, who are kneeling to ranchers, is out to stop them. The case is once again in the hands of Judge Donald Molloy.

FWP news release, "FWP will also oppose any preliminary injunction requests that seek to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies."

"Montana’s wolf population is growing and is well protected by Montana law and well-managed under the state’s federally approved wolf conservation and management plan, [b.s.]" said Joe Maurier, director FWP in Helena. "Montanans have worked hard for more than a decade to recover wolves and FWP will work equally hard to ensure that wolves in Montana are managed under a highly regarded and science-based state plan." (livestock interests are the basis of the plan.)