12 Mar 2008, 12:55pm
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Idaho wolf management plan approved

If wolves are delisted as expected on March 28, F&G would set hunting seasons in May.

BY ROGER PHILLIPS, Idaho Statesman

Idaho Fish and Game commissioners unanimously approved a five-year management plan for wolves that calls for fall hunts and maintaining anywhere from 512 to 732 wolves throughout the state, but they will wait until May to approve hunting season details.

The commissioners came to those numbers because they want to maintain between the number of wolves counted in 2005 (512) and 2007 (732).

The wolf management plan provides an overview of population goals and outlines ways to meet population objectives but does not set specific seasons or hunting rules.

The plan is the first for the agency, which will assume control of wolves March 28 unless lawsuits stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from removing wolves from Endangered Species Act protection.

F&G Chairman Cam Wheeler of Ririe said he is confident wolves will be delisted and added that developing the management plan was “probably the most emotional and controversial issue to ever face the department.”

Aside from population goals, the plan calls for a long-term viable wolf population with crossover between neighboring states, and at least 15 to 20 breeding pairs.

The plan also calls for a balance between wolf populations and prey populations, mainly elk and deer. This means more wolves could be killed in areas where elk and deer populations aren’t meeting F&G goals. … [more]

11 Mar 2008, 10:45pm
Latest Climate News
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Expert on grazing land offers predictions, perspectives on cattle

By Mike Surbrugg, CNHI News Service, Midwest City Sun [here]

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Jim Gerrish, a grazing land consultant, recently spoke at a forage conference in Springfield and offered several perspectives for cattle producers and farmers.

Cattle operations in countries that make more use of forages have positive returns despite low prices and they are not hurt by the rising corn prices linked to ethanol production, he said. Gerrish also predicted that in three years ethanol production will collapse.

A former University of Missouri forage scientist, Gerrish said ethanol requires more energy to produce than it provides, is less efficient than unleaded gasoline, hurts the environment by using more land to grow corn and hurts the agricultural economy.

Cattle producers also can buy expensive equipment to make labor more efficient and still lose money making hay, he said. His challenge is not to work hard, but to work smart. Doing this enables some successful ranches in the West to use one employee to care for up to 800 cows by letting cattle eat grass.

“We need cows that work for us, not us for them. Too many cows have an addiction to corn,” Gerrish said.

Functional livestock on any size farm or ranch harvest the grass, spread manure on the land and have calves without help, he said.

“They are your employees. Leave them alone to do their jobs. Let them eat grass. They’re ruminants,” he said.

Maximum use of grass helps the environment, provides a healthier food for consumers and can improve farm income.

“Market your product, your story about your farm and your sincerity. Be honest and believable and look your customers in the eye and tell them how you raise animals and how they are processed,” he said.

11 Mar 2008, 4:27pm
Latest Fire News
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Blunt: Time for Action on Border Security

Republican Whip Press Office, Mar 11, 2008 [here]

WASHINGTON – House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) announced today that Rep. Thelma Drake (Va.), with the backing of Republican leadership, will introduce a discharge petition on bipartisan border enforcement legislation called the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act:

“Our national and economic security is threatened by our outdated immigration enforcement laws and our porous borders. For far too long, the House Democratic Leadership has actively blocked sound bipartisan legislation addressing something that should be uncontroversial, like border security, from coming to a vote.

“We learned early on this year that the best way to pass legislation for the good of the American people is by forming a bipartisan consensus. The SAVE Act – with more than 140 cosponsors – is the type of bill that not only a broad swath of Members can support, but more importantly the type of legislation our constituents want enacted. … [more]

11 Mar 2008, 11:31am
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Hunters team up for bear control

One goal is to increase the moose numbers across Cook Inlet

By JAMES HALPIN, The Anchorage Daily News [here]

Apparently for the first time in Alaska, a private hunting group plans to give a state predator control program a big shot in the arm with a concerted effort to help hundreds of hunters indiscriminately, and legally, kill as many black bears as possible in a game unit west of Anchorage.

The Alaska chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a nonprofit founded here last year, hopes to rotate hunters through about a dozen camps and baiting stations in Game Management Unit 16B, where state biologists estimate there are only about two moose to every black bear.

Ralph Seekins, a founding SFW board member and former state senator, said the group’s mission is “management-for-abundance oriented” rather than pro-predator control. However, predator control often fits within the mission of the group, which is entirely funded by donations and has chapters in about a half-dozen Western states, he said.

“In a lot of situations, when you have a declining or depleted prey population, oftentimes the quickest turnaround is to apply some targeted predator management,” said Corey Rossi, a board member of sister organization Sportsmen for Habitat, which works with SFW. “That doesn’t mean a war on bears any more than it would mean a war on wolves or any other predator.” … [more]

10 Mar 2008, 10:25am
Latest Climate News
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Record Snow Fall In Ohio

by Julie Kay Smithson

We are noticing a decided absence of “global warming”. In fact, we’ve just had the most snow ever recorded in a 24-hour period in this part of Ohio, 15.4 inches, PLUS the most snow ever recorded here in one snowstorm, 21.4 inches.

There are some amazing drifts, some of them four to five feet high, and many of them on the local roads. Fifteen counties, including my own, Madison County, are under Level 3, which means the roads are closed to all but emergency personnel. Another 18 counties are Level 2, for a total of 33 counties, in the middle of Ohio that got slam-dunked by Ole Man Winter!
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10 Mar 2008, 10:07am
Latest Climate News
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NY Climate Conference: Journey to the Center of Warming Sanity

By Marc Sheppard, The American Thinker [here]

If you rely solely on the mainstream media to keep informed, you may not have heard that the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change concluded in New York City on Tuesday. And if you have heard anything — this being primarily a forum of skeptics — it was likely of a last gasp effort by “flat-Earthers” sponsored by right-wingers in the pockets of big-oil to breathe life into their dying warming denial agenda. Well, having just returned from the 3 day event, I’m happy to report that the struggle against the ravages of warming alarmism is not only alive, but healthier than ever.

Granting a long overdue forum to noted dissenting scientists, economists and policy experts from around the world, the Heartland Institute-sponsored symposium at the Marriott Marquis offered welcomed reasoned analysis as alternative to last December’s hysterical circus which was Bali. It also served as the perfect launch point for a long-awaited un-IPCC report — Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change [here].

Compiling the work of over 20 prominent fellow researchers, editor Fred Singer’s NIPCC report distinguishes itself from the recent IPCC Fourth Assessment (AR4) and its predecessors in that it was not pre-programmed to “support the hypotheses of anthropogenic warming (AGW) and the control of greenhouse gases.” Instead, the nearly 50 page document is a non-political authoritative rebuttal to the multi-government controlled IPCC’s “errors and outright falsehoods” regarding warming’s measurement, likely drivers, and overall impact.

And its ultimate conclusion of “natural causes and a moderate warming trend with beneficial effects for humanity and wildlife” set the perfect framework for speakers and panelists - many of whom contributed to the NIPCC — to elaborate on the summit’s “Global warming is not a crisis” theme. … [more]

9 Mar 2008, 5:18pm
Latest Climate News
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Proposed Climate Tampering Could Kill Millions

John Herron, Global Warming Hoax, 05 March 2008 [here]

Some scientists are so convinced that man-made global warming is now unstoppable and harmful that they are proposing to artificially tamper with the atmosphere to “fix it”. If we truly are heading in to a period of low solar activity (cooling), as NASA and many others have predicted, this god like action to slow “global warming” could kill millions from cold and starvation.

We try to avoid fear mongering here and base our arguments on science. Historically science has generally been used to counter ignorance and prejudice, today science is often used to justify political correctness, to gain social acceptance or as a means to gaining power and wealth. When used incorrectly science can cause ignorance and prejudice. When science losses its built in skepticism it can be nearly impossible for the average person to know what to trust. We can find no better reason to fear the current politically tainted scientific community then the current push towards “geoengineering” to “fix” our climate.

As has been reported here in previous articles there have been several studies that say even if we cut CO2 emissions to zero the planet will continue to warm. The latest study claims we’ll continue to warm for the next 500 years. No one believes we can cut our CO2 emissions to zero anytime soon and with reports like this one “China’s 2030 CO2 Emissions Could Equal the Entire World’s Today” it would hardly be worth other developed countries even trying. Not that we believe any of the malarkey about a planet doomed by CO2 but there are many on the left and some vocal scientists that do. This unfounded fear and the media’s mass-hysteria is very dangerous. Cooling the planet at a time that we’re heading in to a Dalton or Maunder Minimum level of solar activity could be disastrous! … [more]

9 Mar 2008, 5:09pm
Latest Climate News
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Basic Greenhouse Equations Totally Wrong

Miklós Zágoni isn’t just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary’s most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was.

That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA’s Langley Research Center.

After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well. “I fell in love,” he stated at the International Climate Change Conference this week.

“Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations,” Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.

How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.

Miskolczi’s story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution — originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today — ignored boundary conditions by assuming an “infinitely thick” atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always. … [more]

8 Mar 2008, 8:14am
Latest Fire News
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House Dems want firefighting fund

WASHINGTON — The federal government would revamp how it pays for firefighting and take some of the burden off the U.S. Forest Service by creating a permanent fund for devastating blazes, under legislation introduced Thursday by key House Democrats.

As wildfire seasons have grown increasingly expensive over the last decade, the cost of fighting fires has eaten an ever larger portion of the Forest Service budget — now about 48 percent of it. That has left the agency with less money for other programs and priorities.

The new fund would be used only for catastrophic, emergency wildland fire suppression. It would be separate from the money budgeted each year by Congress for anticipated and predicted fire suppression activities for the Forest Service and Interior Department; that allocation would continue.

The amount of money in the new fund would be appropriated annually and based on the average amounts spent by the Forest Service and Interior to suppress catastrophic fires over the preceding five fiscal years.

Last year, the Forest Service spent $741 million more than budgeted and Interior spent $249 million more than budgeted for emergency wildfire suppression, or a total of nearly $1 billion. … [more]

7 Mar 2008, 1:14am
Latest Climate News
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Report #3 from the Global Warming Conference in New York City

By Joseph Bast, President, The Heartland Institute [here]
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 (6:00 p.m. EST)

The final day of the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by The Heartland Institute and more than 50 cosponsors, began with a keynote presentation by the Hon. Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, who received a thunderous standing ovation from an international audience of some 500 scientists, economists, and other experts on global warming. It ended with withering criticism of the mainstream media’s biased and alarmist coverage of the global warming issue by ABC News correspondent John Stossel.

President Klaus-who won reelection just two weeks ago-explained his strong opposition to claims that global warming is a “crisis” that requires rapid reductions in human greenhouse gas emissions. An economist by training and author of a new book on environmentalism, Dr. Klaus pointed out the impossibility of meeting the ambitious emission reduction goals being endorsed by European countries, saying they would require lowering populations or widespread poverty.

Dr. Klaus was followed by Dr. William Gray, one of the country’s preeminent hurricane forecasters and a pioneer in tropical meteorological research. Gray described what he called the huge errors in the treatment of water vapor by computer models used to forecast future weather conditions and pointed to evidence showing the warming predicted by the models was not occurring at the altitudes and latitudes predicted by the models.

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7 Mar 2008, 1:11am
Latest Climate News
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Research of Hundreds More Scientists Shows the Natural 1,500-Year Climate Cycle

Written By: Dennis Avery
Published In: News Releases [here]
Publication Date: March 3, 2008
Publisher: Hudson Institute

(New York City - March 3, 2008)-The co-authors of the best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years today released a second list of more than 400 peer-reviewed scientists who’ve recently found physical evidence of the long, natural climate cycle-bringing the total of such authors to more than 700.

Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute and S. Fred Singer of the Science and Environmental Policy Project presented the new list of scientists at The Heartland Institute-sponsored conference of man-made warming skeptics in New York City.

The Singer-Avery book assembled the historic and physical evidence of the long, moderate climate cycle-including the Medieval Warming, the Roman Warming, and six previous global warmings since the last Ice Age. For example, Suzanne Carbotte of New York’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory used side-scanning sonar to locate long-dead fossil oyster beds-which were active in a warmer Hudson River 1,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago, and 6,000 years ago. (Carbotte, S., 2004, Geo-Marine Letters, Vol. 24.)

“Most of our modern warming occurred before 1940,” said Avery, “before much human-emitted CO2. The net warming since 1940 is a minuscule 0.2 degree C-with no warming at all in the last nine years. The Greenhouse Theory can’t explain these realities, but the 1,500-year cycle does.”

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7 Mar 2008, 12:45am
Latest Climate News
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Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

“Global warming” is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change,

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognising that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed ‘consensus’ among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity’s real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend -

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as “An Inconvenient Truth.”

That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008

3 Mar 2008, 9:37pm
Latest Forest News
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No New Wildernesses This Year

Joel Connelly, Seattle P.I. [here]

The Wild Sky Wilderness Area was supposed to be a slam dunk in the new Democratic-controlled Congress: But a conservative Oklahoma senator has succeeded in blocking its enactment at least until early next year.

The proposed 106,000-acre wilderness area, in the Cascades of eastern Snohomish County, sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives on a voice vote earlier this year. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported it for action on the Senate floor.

At that point, however, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., put a “hold” on Wild Sky, along with a bevy of other proposals. … [more]

Oklahoma senator blocks Wyden, Smith wilderness bill again

Posted by Charles Pope, The Oregonian February 28, 2008 [here]

WASHINGTON - In a move that amounted to a desperate long shot, Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith tried Thursday night to slide through the Senate a popular but tortured bill that would expand wilderness areas surrounding Mount Hood.

It didn’t work.

Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma who has been Wyden and Smith’s relentless opponent for eight months, objected to their request that the wilderness proposal be approved unanimously.

With that roadblock firmly in place, Wyden and Smith backed down. They did not offer the bill for a vote that would have been doomed.

The 15-minute exercise did nothing to minimize the frustration.

“I don’t expect the citizens of Oregon to understand the arcane rules of the Senate,” Smith said. “This is nothing extreme. This is something that is unique to Oregon.” … [more]

3 Mar 2008, 2:18pm
Latest Fire News
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ELF sign left at show-home blaze

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — The radical environmental group responsible for the 1998 fires at Vail’s Two Elks Lodge apparently has struck again — in the form of fires that gutted three multimillion-dollar show homes north of Seattle.

Crews battled fires early today at the homes in a suburb north of Seattle. A sign connected to the environmental group Earth Liberation Front was found at the scene, officials said.

The sign — with initials E.L.F. — mocked claims the luxury homes on the “Street of Dreams” were environmentally friendly, according to video images of the sign aired by KING-TV.

“Built Green? Nope black!” the sign said.

No injuries were reported in the fires, which began before dawn in the wooded subdivision and were still smoldering by midmorning. The Snohomish County sheriff’s office estimated damage at $7 million. In addition to the three homes destroyed, two sustained smoke damage. It was previously believed that four homes were destroyed. … [more]

3 Mar 2008, 11:18am
Latest Forest News
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Judge Angrily Scolds 9th Circuit Court

by Michael Milstein, The Oregonian, March 03, 2008

It was unusual enough when a high-level federal judge — who is the brother of Sen. Gordon Smith — blasted his own court for decimating the Northwest logging industry with “blunderbuss” rulings that went way too far.

But the extraordinary scolding by Milan D. Smith Jr. last year apparently got the attention of his fellow judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the top federal court in the West.

They recently took the unusual step of voting to have a full panel of judges reconsider the case that set Smith off. That could rein in the federal courts that Smith — along with timber industry leaders — blame for needlessly idling sawmills while they meddle in logging decisions beyond their expertise.

Just as the Supreme Court considers only a few important cases each year, the 9th Circuit — the largest appeals court in the country — picks only a handful for full reviews. So the decision to do so on an otherwise routine timber sale case suggests that Smith’s wrath hit a nerve with his colleagues.

“It’s very rare and unusual,” said Scott Horngren, a Portland attorney involved in the case. “It’s basically unheard of that they take a timber sale case.”

It offers a rare glimpse at the inside politics of the court that has issued momentous decisions, involving protection of species from spotted owls and salmon, with cascading effects on the Northwest economy.

Smith, like his brother the Republican senator, is from Pendleton. He founded a law firm in Torrance, Calif., and President Bush appointed him to the appeals court in 2006, adding a new, conservative voice to the court known for its liberal bent.

“Judges are troubled when they’re accused of going beyond their proper role by anybody,” said Dan Rohlf, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School and director of the school’s environmental law clinic. “When the person accusing the court of that is one of its own members, they tend to be even more troubled.”

The case that led to Smith’s outburst is fairly routine: an attempt by environmental groups to block a U.S. Forest Service logging project known as Mission Brush in northern Idaho.

But the point Smith raised is much larger: How far should judges pry into the Forest Service’s rationale for the logging? Should judges evaluate the science the Forest Service uses to back its case, or defer to the agency’s expertise? … [more]

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