18 Mar 2010, 10:22pm
by admin
leave a comment

USDA Announces $2 Million Initiative To Help Drought-Stricken Klamath Farmers

NRCS News Release, March 18, 2023 [here]

Klamath Falls, Oregon - USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) California State Conservationist Ed Burton and Oregon State Conservationist Ron Alvarado today announced $2 million is available from for a special drought initiative for the Klamath Basin.

“Ron and I encourage all eligible producers in the Klamath Basin to apply for this additional funding to assist them in establishing necessary cover crops because of decreasing soil moisture and the risk of productive topsoil loss due to wind erosion,” said Burton.

The sign up continues through April 9, 2010. Applications will be ranked and selected for funding every Thursday throughout the sign-up until available funds are depleted.

“We are encouraging folks with bare fields to come in as soon as possible to utilize this assistance prior to the depletion of adequate soil moisture,” said Alvarado.

This Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiative will provide farmers in the reclamation project area with technical and financial assistance to address the most immediate and critical drought-related soil erosion concerns. Producers will be eligible to receive EQIP payments up to 75 percent of the average estimated cost for implementation of approved conservation practices.

In addition, historically underserved producers may be able to receive payments up to 90 percent of practice implementation costs.

Available practices under the EQIP Klamath Drought Initiative will establish conservation cover that minimizes the effects of wind erosion on bare fields. Producers irrigating from the reclamation project area with highly erodible soils will receive the highest priority.

This initiative includes farmers in parts of Klamath County in Oregon and Modoc and Siskiyou counties in California.

Producers can apply for assistance through NRCS at their local USDA Service Center. NRCS field office phone numbers for counties within the EQIP Klamath Drought Initiative are: Klamath Falls Service Center, Oregon: 541-883-6924, Ext. 118 and Tulelake Service Center, California: 530-667-4247, Ext. 102

18 Mar 2010, 10:17pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Coordinated Federal Effort Allows for Klamath Project Water Deliveries in Drought-Stricken Basin

DOI News, March 18, 2023 [here]

Washington, D.C. - A coordinated Obama Administration effort will allow for meaningful water deliveries to Klamath Project water users, despite ongoing drought conditions that have severely impacted all Klamath Basin parties.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced expected Klamath Project allocations of 30 to 40 percent of average annual releases — approximately 150,000 acre feet — to be made available to Upper Klamath Lake irrigators.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also announced that drought-impacted farmers in the Klamath Project will be eligible to apply for $2 million in special drought-related funding under its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), $1 million for Oregon farmers and $1 million for California farmers. …

An additional 50,000 acre feet or more could be added through a water bank funded by the Bureau of Reclamation, boosting overall deliveries to approximately 50 percent of average annual deliveries. …

Reclamation and NMFS executed a new biological opinion that protects downstream fisheries, and based on its consultation with FWS and current modeling forecasts, Reclamation estimates that irrigation deliveries could begin as soon as May 15, depending upon additional precipitation in the Klamath Basin and Upper Klamath Lake levels. … [more]

Weyerhauser Joins Enviro-Industry Climate Coalition

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN of Greenwire, NY Times, March 18, 2023 [here]

Global timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. said today it has joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership group that is lobbying for comprehensive climate and energy legislation on Capitol Hill.

The Federal Way, Wash.-based company becomes the 29th member of the business-NGO lobbying coalition, alongside General Electric Co., General Motors Co. and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The forest products industry will play a leading role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide using biomass from forests, a sustainable resource and one of the best at sequestering carbon,” Weyerhaeuser CEO Dan Fulton said in a press release. “The role of forest fiber in a low carbon economy will depend on the public policy concepts under debate in Washington, D.C.”

“USCAP,” Fulton added, “has successfully integrated the expertise of numerous stakeholders, and we believe our membership will help positively position sustainable forestry, biomass and forest products in these important policy discussions.”

Membership in U.S. CAP has more than doubled since its inception just prior to then-President George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech in January 2008. The group played a critical role in pushing the House toward passage of climate legislation last June.

But the group has also seen some of its power dwindle after recent defections. Two big oil companies, BP America and ConocoPhillips, and Caterpillar Inc., withdrew last month from the $100,000-a-year membership club. And Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) recently questioned GM and Chrysler LLC’s participation after they received $17 billion in federal bailout funds. Barton also helped drive insurance giant AIG Inc. out of the group after it got $85 billion from the Treasury.

U.S. CAP officials insist they are still playing a big role in the climate debate on Capitol Hill that has been largely in standby mode in the Senate. The coalition’s CEOs are expected to participate today in a conference call with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a lead author of the Senate proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions. … [more]

18 Mar 2010, 10:14pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Almost 40 wolves live in Fremont County

Area wolves killed 107 domestic animals last year

By ELIZABETH LADEN, Island Park News, March 18, 2023 [here]

ISLAND PARK — Five wolf packs were documented in Fremont County in 2009, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report released Thursday, March 11. These are the Henry’s Lake, Bishop Mountain, Fogg Butte, Biscuit Basin, and Bitch Creek packs. The total number of wolves counted in these packs was 29 adults, eight pups. They are in the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) Upper Snake wolf management unit.

The Bitch Creek and Fogg Butte packs contained a confirmed breeding pair in 2009, according to the report. The Henry’s Lake pack had at least six wolves. The Bishop Mountain pack had at least five adults and at least one pup. The Fogg Butte pack count was at least seven adults and three pups; Biscuit Basin had at least four adults and two pups, and Bitch Creek had at least seven adults and two pups.

The report lists the management unit’s confirmed wolfcaused livestock losses as four cattle, 97 sheep, one goat, and five dogs. IDFG took out six wolves in control actions, hunters killed five, and three others are listed as “human-related deaths,” which includes road kills.

The report states that the Northern Rockies wolf population rose last year, but at the slowest rate in nearly 15 years. At least 1,706 wolves were living in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Oregon and Washington in 2009, compared to at least 1,650 wolves the year before. The number of breeding packs increased from 95 to 115.

The population estimates are included in the 2009 Interagency Annual Wolf Report, compiled by state and federal governments and Native American tribes.

The report attributed agency control, new hunting seasons in Idaho and Montana, and the wolves’ territorial behavior in slowing the population growth to less than 4 percent last year, the lowest growth rate since 1995.

Until 2009, the wolf population had been on an upward trend, at times increasing 30 percent in a single year. … [more]

17 Mar 2010, 11:10pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Stupak urges delisting Michigan gray wolf population

SooToday.com, March 16, 2023 [here]

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) has urged the U.S. Department of the Interior to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and complete the transition back to state management.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Stupak noted that estimates from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) place the gray wolf population in Michigan at approximately 580 wolves in 2009, demonstrating a sustained recovery of the gray wolf, which in 1960 had been virtually eliminated from northern Michigan.

“The Endangered Species Act has accomplished its purpose, bringing Michigan’s gray wolf population back from near-extinction to sustainable population levels,” Stupak said. “Given this recovery, it is time to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act and allow the State of Michigan to implement a plan to better meet the needs of northern Michigan.”

There were approximately 20 gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula in 1992, but by 2009 the population had reached as many as 580 wolves.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gray wolves in northern Michigan and across the Western Great Lakes region have met legal requirements necessary for delisting.

The gray wolf was originally delisted from the Western Great Lakes region in March 2007.

Since that time the gray wolf delisting has been challenged by several lawsuits, most recently in September 2009.

Following that ruling, protections for the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes were reinstated for a third time.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have supported decisions to delist the Western Great Lakes gray wolves. … [more]

17 Mar 2010, 11:10pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Minn. petitions to take wolves off endangered list

By STEVE KARNOWSKI AP, March 17, 2023 [here]

Minnesota petitioned the federal government on Wednesday to take the gray wolf off the endangered and threatened species list in the state and give it back the responsibility of managing the animals.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asked the Department of the Interior to decide on its petition within 90 days.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tried before to remove federal protections for the gray wolf in Minnesota and the western Great Lakes region. Each time the decision was blocked by court action.

In a statement Wednesday, DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten said federal officials agree that Minnesota’s wolf population is not threatened or endangered and that the state’s management plan would ensure the species’ long-term survival in the state.

“We filed the petition because it is time to have the federal classification match the Minnesota reality,” Holsten said. He also said Minnesota should not have to wait for a resolution of national wolf conservation issues because its population is “fully recovered” already.

The Fish and Wildlife Service returned the wolf in the western Great Lakes region to the endangered list in September to settle a lawsuit by environmental and animal protection groups, including the Humane Society of the United States. The agency acknowledged it failed to hold a legally required public comment period before it took the animals off the list for the region. … [more]

17 Mar 2010, 6:23pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Anti-Wolf Rally Saturday

Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, March 17, 2023 [here]

If you haven’t heard already, there is going to be a WOLF RALLY in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on March 20th on the Jackson Town Square, 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

We are going to show everyone out there just how much we believe that it is past time for the State of Wyoming to take over management of the wolves that have been brought down upon us and our wildlife. We need to come together as one to show everyone out there that we mean business and we are not going to give up.

The Wyoming Outfitters Assn. Is taking the lead on this and we need to be there to back them up

Mission Statement of the ANTI-WOLF RALLY:

Our mission is to draw attention to the crisis at hand caused by the lack of state management of wolf populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Wildlife in this region have suffered drastic declines over the past 10 years.  Some species have seen as much as a 90% decline.  Safety of pets and livestock is also a concern to anyone living or recreating in the area.  Wolves have and will kill and/or maim both.  The heritage and economy of wildlife-oriented industries is in jeopardy of collapse if delisting doesn’t happen immediately.

16 Mar 2010, 9:57pm
Latest Forest News
by admin
leave a comment

Forest travel plan appeals nixed by feds

By Walt Cook, The Union Democrat, March 16, 2023 [here]

The U.S. Forest Service has shot down all appeals to its off-road-vehicle management plan for the Stanislaus National Forest, to the chagrin of several local critics.

The plan is designed to govern motorized travel patterns in the forest for years to come. It could be implemented this spring, according to the Forest Service.

The plan — needed to implement a 2005 federal travel rule — has been in the works for several years.

Among other things, it prohibits travel on hundreds of miles of unauthorized off-road routes within the forest. But it also enters 137 miles of such routes into the official Forest Service route system.

This has resulted in critics from all sides attacking the plan.

The Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Regional office in Vallejo announced last week that all 27 administrative appeals to the plan — specifically, its environmental impact statement — were rejected.

more »

16 Mar 2010, 9:56pm
Latest Fire News
by admin
leave a comment

Legislation aims to cut national wildfire costs by reducing reliance on other agencies

By BEN GOAD and DUG BEGLEY, The Press-Enterprise, March 13, 2023 [here]

Better pay and benefits and increased legal protection for the nation’s federal firefighters are needed to help reign in the increasing costs of battling wildfires across the country, say proponents of a bill making its way through Congress.

Compensating firefighters for all the time they spend at fire scenes and extending year-round health benefits to part-timers would help curb defections from the agency, they say. By strengthening its own ranks, the bill’s supporters say, the Forest Service would have to rely less on costly assistance from local and state fire departments.

Additionally, the legislation seeks to recognize the dangerous nature of firefighters’ work by changing their titles from “forestry technician” or “range technician” to “wildland firefighter.” It also would raise the mandatory retirement age from 57 to 65 in an effort to keep more veterans within the agency.

“If we can retain some of the younger folks that have been hopping ship, and we can keep some of that brain trust around for a few more years, we have a better opportunity to fill in the missing gaps of those federal resources,” said Casey Judd, business manager for the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association, which represents federal firefighters nationwide. … [more]

15 Mar 2010, 9:29am
Latest Forest News
by admin
1 comment

850,000 Acres and 34 Wilderness Area Designations

No Access, No Jobs, No Recreation for Coloradans

House Natural Resources Committee Republican Press Office, March 11, 2023 [here]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests & Public Lands will hold a hearing on H.R. 4289, the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2009.  The bill will lock up 850,000 acres of land in Colorado from future recreation, public access and energy job development by designating 34 separate locations as Wilderness Area.

Get the Facts

* Under H.R. 4289, 850,000 acres of land would instantly become off limits. Conveniently, none of this land is located in the district of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Diane DeGette (CO-01).

* Rep. DeGette’s chief of staff recently admitted, “Many of the lands are endangered by drilling” — recognition that these are energy rich lands that could be used to create more jobs for Coloradans and help reduce our dependency on foreign energy.

* Currently the oil and natural gas industry supports 190,408 jobs in Colorado, adding $24.1 billion to the state’s economy.  Some of these jobs and future high paying jobs in the oil and gas industry will be in jeopardy with nearly a million acres of new Colorado Wilderness Area designations.

* The DOI and Forest Service has not done extensive analysis of all the areas that are proposed to be designated as Wilderness but it’s possible that less than 10% of it meets Wilderness criteria outlined in the Wilderness Act of 1964.

* The bill would have massive ramifications on water rights in the state of Colorado, which in turn would have a devastating impact on agriculture and ranching in the state.

* Roads, trails and other access points for mountain biking, off highway vehicles and other recreational opportunities will be severely affected if not eliminated all together.

* Nearly 108 million acres of federal land in the United States is already designated as Wilderness Area that the government can’t properly maintain.  Yet the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress continue to look for new opportunities to acquire even more government land.

* Recently obtained internal Department of Interior documents show Secretary Salazar already has plans to lock up 13 million acres of western land by means of the Antiquities Act, which only requires an executive order by the president.

* Congressional Democrats also have intention to usurp even more land for Wilderness designation:  H.R. 980, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, would add 24 million acres as Wilderness and H.R. 1925, the Red Rock Wilderness Act, would force one-fifth of the entire State of Utah into Wilderness Area.  Ironically the sponsors of both pieces of legislation live thousands of miles away from the western lands and economies that the bills will ultimately harm.

14 Mar 2010, 8:40pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Cold kills record number of manatees

Florida winter stresses manatees

BY TIMOTHY O’HARA, Key West Citizen, March 13, 2023 [here]

The largest die-off of manatees in recorded history has taken place in Florida as a result of the state’s prolonged, record-low temperatures this winter.

A total of 368 manatees have died in Florida waters so far this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The unprecedented number of deaths in less than three months is just 61 shy of the number of manatees that died in all of 2009, 429, which itself was a record, said Katie Tripp, Save the Manatee Club’s director of science and conservation.

FWC records show that 193 manatees died from cold stress from Jan. 1 through March 5. Another 151 deaths have been classified as undetermined, but the majority of these likely were caused by cold stress, officials said. The total manatee population in the state is about 3,800.

“Although air temperatures are starting to increase, it will take some time for water temperatures to rise,” Tripp said. “A number of manatees are still in need of rescue for cold stress, but all three critical care facilities are at or near capacity.”

Many manatees succumbed quickly to cold water temperatures, but several dozen were rescued and taken to three facilities in Florida that are authorized to provide critical care for sick and injured manatees. … [more]

14 Mar 2010, 8:39pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

NatGeo’s “Wolf Wars” Flacks for Radical Greens

by William F. Jasper, New American, 11 March 2023 [here]

“Wolf Wars,” the cover story for the March 2010 issue of National Geographic, may seem, at first read, to be a “balanced” report on the ongoing battle pitting ranchers, hunters, recreationists, and conservationists of the Rocky Mountain states against Big Green environmentalists and Big Government (federal and state) bureaucrats. Author Douglas Chadwick does, after all, seem to report sympathetically on the plight of ranchers like John and Rae Herman of Montana’s Hot Springs area, whose 800-head Angus cattle operation has been hard-hit by wolf predation. However, like most media reporting on wolves, his article hymns the supposed overall benefits of the reintroduction of Canis lupus to the ecosystem.

Chadwick’s National Geographic piece also follows the typical media route of uncritically accepting the numbers provided by government agencies that have a history of fudging the facts and a concentrated interest in continuing to cook the books. “During 2008, wildlife agents confirmed 569 cattle and sheep deaths from wolves throughout the West,” he reports. “That amounted to less than one percent of livestock deaths in the region.” However, there is abundant anecdotal evidence that the aforementioned “wildlife agents” often go to great lengths to minimize and drastically undercount the predation by wolves. This writer has interviewed ranchers in Idaho and Washington over the years who have recounted many instances in which state and federal wildlife personnel have disputed and dismissed livestock losses that were indisputably due to wolves.

A rancher who comes upon the half-eaten carcass of what was shortly before a prize Angus knows that he is not automatically going to be compensated by the state/federal wolf compensation fund, even if the carcass is surrounded by wolf tracks and wolf scat, and even if he or another person earlier witnessed a wolf or wolves attacking or harassing cattle in the area. The wildlife agents are likely to claim that the evidence points to wild dogs, a bear, or a cougar as the culprits, rather than wolves.

Chadwick halfway acknowledges this problem, noting: “Many say in some areas the actual kills by wolves may average as high as seven for every one that can be proved, but no confirmation, no compensation.” Of course, if the totals were seven times the reported number, we’d be talking about 4,000 cattle, not 569, and considerably more than one percent of cattle deaths. The same goes for sheep, as well as the wild ungulates — deer, elk, moose, sheep, caribou — whose populations are being devastated by the wolf packs that are rapidly multiplying throughout the West.

Chadwick also accepts without question the official wolf count for the Idaho-Washington-Montana region, even though some game biologists assert that the actual wolf population is double the official census. According to Chadwick, the wolf population has “now grown to around 1,600, roaming the region in more than 200 packs.” However, as we pointed out last November in an extensive article on wolves (”Wolves Will Thrive Despite Recent Hunts”), there is reason to believe the real number is 3,000 — or more. We reported on the work of Professor Charles Kay, a renowned wildlife biologist, and linked to several of his articles exposing the fraudulent data and manipulative methods used by government bureaucrats and enviro-extremists posing as scientists to justify increasing restriction on human access to, and use of, both public and private lands. … [more]

14 Mar 2010, 8:20am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

USFWS Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Bull Trout Critical Habitat Revision

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News Release, March 12, 2023 [here]

New comment period closes April 5, 2023

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced its intent to reopen the comment period for the proposed critical habitat revision for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The original closing date for comments on the proposed critical habitat designation and the draft economic analysis was March 15, 2010. Due to Federal Register publication processes, the comment period could not be extended and therefore the Service will pursue a new comment period. The notice has not yet published in the Federal Register but the Service is announcing that the new comment period will close April 5, 2010.

more »

14 Mar 2010, 8:19am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin
leave a comment

Sage grouse not listed under ESA; WWP sues

BY TODD ADAMS, Challis Messenger, March 11, 2023 [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday announced that the greater sage grouse warrants the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but that listing the species now is precluded by the need to address higher-priority species first.
Western Watersheds Project (WWP) in turn announced Monday that it is suing the agency for not actually listing sage grouse.

Sage grouse will be placed on the FWS candidate list, meaning the species will not receive protection under the act for now. State fish and wildlife agencies will continue to be responsible for managing the birds.

The WWP lawsuit charges that the federal government violated the ESA and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The Obama administration rightfully concluded that the greater sage-grouse fully qualify for the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” said Jon Marvel, WWP executive director in a news release. “Unfortunately, the administration has violated the law in not listing the sage-grouse at the same time.” … [more]

11 Mar 2010, 11:24pm
Latest Forest News
by admin
leave a comment

Montana Wood Products Association backs effort to stop using EAJA funds for litigation

Clark Fork Chronicle, March 09 2010 [here]

Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg is a cosponsor of the Open Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) of 2010, with bipartisan supporters from other Western states. The legislation reinstates oversight and transparency measures for taxpayer payments made to organizations through the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).

“I think Montanans would be outraged to learn that huge national special interest groups with multi-million dollar endowments are bankrolling thousands of lawsuits with tax dollars meant for small businesses, individuals and non-profits,” said Rehberg a member of the House Western Caucus. “It’s one thing to have access to the courts, but it’s another to force taxpayers to pay for it. Since 1995, the federal government has inexplicably stopped tracking how it spends these funds, and it’s time to restore the transparency and accountability.”

Originally passed in 1980, EAJA was meant to help provide fair access to legal remedies for individuals, small businesses and non-profits with limited means. It does this by reimbursing attorney’s fees for plaintiffs who sue the federal government if they win the case or settle out of court. The original legislation required annual reports to Congress on the amount and nature of EAJA payments, but those reports ended in 1995.

Two private studies, one by a Wyoming law firm and another by Virginia Tech University, have shown that despite congressional intent to assist small organizations, some large environmental obstructionist groups appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of EAJA payments. The Wyoming study, for example, found that more than 1,200 federal cases were filed in 19 states and the District of Columbia by just 14 environmental groups. The cost to the taxpayer was $37 million.

The Open EAJA Act reinstates and consolidates tracking and reporting requirements under the Department of Justice (DOJ), and requires the DOJ to publish a public online, searchable database of EAJA payments. It would also authorize an audit of the last 15 years, during which the fund has operated with absolutely no oversight.

“The hard working folks of the Montana Wood Products Association appreciate Rep. Rehberg signing on to the Open EAJA Act of 2010,” said Ellen Simpson, the Executive Vice President of the Montana Wood Products Association. “Changes in EAJA are sorely needed to shine a bright light on obstructionists who have made a cottage industry out of suing the Forest Service to stop active management on Montana’s national forests. The taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent and who benefits while the forests die. The Open EAJA Act of 2010 will provide that information.”

  • For the benefit of the interested general public, W.I.S.E. herein presents news clippings from other media outlets. Please be advised: a posting here does not necessarily constitute or imply W.I.S.E. agreement with or endorsement of any of the content or sources.
  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent News Clippings

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta