28 Nov 2010, 2:12pm
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Abandoned in a Dead Land

By Monique Polak, The Montreal Gazette, November 27, 2010 [here]

Note: Monique Polak is a teacher, journalist, and author of a dozen books including What World Is Left (2008) and The Middle of Everywhere (2009) [here].

Inukjuak, Nunavik, Canada — The rumble of a snowmobile, children shouting in the schoolyard, dogs barking, the gusting wind. These are the sounds of Nunavik, the northernmost part of Quebec and homeland of the province’s Inuit.

But on the western edge of Nunavik, on the shores of Hudson Bay, the town of Inukjuak seems even quieter than the rest. That’s not only because it is, like all of Nunavik, inaccessible by road, but also because some of its inhabitants have been keeping their harrowing stories of survival secret for more than half a century.

“I don’t talk much about it to my kids. It happened a long, long time ago. Less talk is better,” said Markoosie Patsauq, 69.

In the 1950s, Patsauq’s family, along with 18 other families from the Inukjuak area, then known as Port Harrison, were plucked from their hunting camps and relocated to the High Arctic — some 1,200 kilometres farther north in what was then the Northwest Territories, now Nunavut. Some were dropped off at Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island, others at Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island, the most northerly island in Canada.

Lonely and lost, the newcomers were overwhelmed by conditions that were even harsher than the ones they had known.

Patsauq was 12 when, in 1953, he and his family made the long journey by boat from Port Harrison to Resolute Bay. They went because they were promised a better life by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

Only instead of discovering paradise, they found a kind of hell on Earth. Cornwallis Island was barren. From November through January, there was total darkness, something the newcomers had never experienced. Unaccustomed to hunting in the dark, it was weeks before they could feed themselves. “It was like being a blind person,” recalled Patsauq.

What they didn’t know — and wouldn’t learn for some 20 years — was that they were being used as human flagpoles. Their relocation was part of a Cold War plan to establish a Canadian presence in the High Arctic and to assert sovereignty.

It was not until last August that the Canadian government officially apologized for what happened. … [more]

Thanks for the news tip to Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here, here]

25 Nov 2010, 10:22am
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Norm Winningstad, high-tech pioneer and philanthropist in Oregon, dies at 85

The Oregonian , November 24, 2010 [here]

C. Norman “Norm” Winningstad, a technology pioneer and philanthropist in Oregon’s Silicon Forest, died today at his Newport home. He was 85.

“Norm was always working on the next new technology venture, but also always made time to give back to education, science and the arts through his volunteer and philanthropic efforts,” Gov. Ted Kulongoski said in a written statement.

Winningstad was among the leading minds at Tektronix, a venerable Washington County electronics company, and later became one of the state’s chief tech entrepreneurs.

“Norm will be forever remembered as the grandfather of technology here in Oregon, and his contributions and legacy will be realized for generations,” the governor wrote. … [more]

Note: Norm Winngstad was a friend and correspondent who will be sadly missed. He was an engaged and humorous critic of global warming alarmism, and brought tremendous insight and study to the issue. — Mike D.

24 Nov 2010, 5:59pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Wildlife agents encourage wolf precautions

by A1C Jack Sanders, JBER PAO, The Official Web Site of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, 11/18/2010 [here]

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Members of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wildlife Conservation team are asking base residents to increase their personal safety measures and responsibilities regarding safety from wolves.

According to wildlife agents, due to past incidents with local wolf packs there is a need for those venturing outdoors to take safety precautions.

“If you’re going to go walk your dog, minimize your time in remote areas,” said Herman Griese, Wildlife biologist with the 673d Civil Engineer Group. “Those trails through the woods are appealing and have great scenery that runners like, but you might want to stay to a well-used road.”

Griese reminds everyone that when walking pets like dogs, which in the past have been the focus of wolf attacks, to keep them on a leash.

“We just had an incident involving wolves recently over by Fish Lake, but thankfully that individual was able to avoid harm and I think that’s partially because he had control of his dog,” Griese said.

While encounters with wolves are rare for most base patrons, the chances of a wolf encounter dramatically increases when taking those remote scenic trails. … [more]

24 Nov 2010, 5:54pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Wildlife agents to kill wolves near Anchorage

AP, JuneauEmpire.com, November 09, 2010 [here]

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing to cull wolves from packs that are becoming more aggressive and worrying residents near east Anchorage and Eagle River.

The wolves are showing they are losing their fear of humans, regional supervisor Mark Burch told the Anchorage Daily News.

On Halloween, a pet beagle was dragged off at an Eagle River home and the next day the owner found a bloody spot in the snow with wolf prints. A few days later a neighbor found a wolf on her deck.

“When a pack of wolves is literally scouting a neighborhood and has dragged off a family’s pet from their backyard, I think it is fair to expect something to be done about it, in a swift, effective manner,” Eagle River resident Candis Olmstead wrote in a letter to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“I really hope that an action plan to eliminate this problem will be acted upon before another pet- or God forbid, a child - is killed.” …

“These particular wolves are showing a pattern where they’re losing a fear of humans. We’re getting more reports of problems with pets. They’re showing aggression,” Burch said. “We’re definitely not taking a wait-and-see attitude.” … [more]

24 Nov 2010, 5:50pm
Latest Wildlife News
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MT FWP approves Bitterroot wolf hunt

by Marnee Banks (Helena), KXLH.com, Nov 18, 2010 [here]

It is illegal for most Montanans to kill wolves, but if the MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission gets its way, some people in the Bitterroot will be able to have a special hunt. The News Station’s Marnee Banks was at the Commission meeting on Thursday and has details about the decision to allow the special wolf hunt.

Michael Thompson, FWP Region 2 Manager, explained, “We have a long body of data and experience with this population and other populations leading up to this point in time. What we are seeing is something that is off the chart.”

FWP staff reports that the wolf population is adversely affecting elk cow calf ratios in the Bitterroot Valley. They are seeing 9 calves per 100 cows, when the management objective is 25 calves per 100 cows.

So they are asking US Fish & Wildlife Service for a special permit to kill wolves in hunting district 250. … [more]

24 Nov 2010, 5:49pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Feds kill six wolves in west-central Wisconsin

Federal wildlife authorities have killed a half-dozen wolves in west-central Wisconsin, after it appeared that the animals were losing their fear of humans.

Pierce County Herald, November 18 2010 [here]

TOMAH - Federal wildlife authorities have killed a half-dozen wolves in west-central Wisconsin, after it appeared that the animals were losing their fear of humans.

The U.S. Fish-and-Wildlife Service killed six wolves that claimed a territory in Jackson, Juneau, and Monroe counties. Biologist Adrian Wydeven of the state DNR said they’re still looking for one-or-two more wolves from that pack. He said they killed three dogs and injured four others so far this year. No humans have been attacked. But Wydeven said the wolves were starting to show a lack of fear toward humans. And once that happens, he said it’s very hard to change that. … [more]

CLIMATE: South Sound was warmer 5,000 years ago

by Ken A. Schlichte, Letter to the Editor, Tacoma News Tribune, November 22, 2010 [here]

Re: “As world warms, delegates again try talking” (TNT, 11-21).

The last time the world warmed was 120,000 years ago and that warming was 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the article about the United Nations climate conference in Cancun. The author has apparently not read about the Holocene Maximum, the global climatic period from about 10,000 to 5,000 years ago that was 2 degrees Fahrenheit or more warmer than present-day temperatures.

The warmer temperatures of the Holocene Maximum were responsible for replacing forests with prairies on many gravelly and droughty glacial outwash deposits in the South Sound Region. These prairies, including the large prairies on and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, were then maintained against naturally advancing forests through the thousands of years of cooler temperatures that followed the Holocene Maximum by the Native American prairie- burning activities that ended late in the 1800s.

Prairie vegetation is now gradually being replaced by naturally advancing forest vegetation throughout the South Sound region because of the cooler temperatures since the Holocene Maximum and the lack of Native American prairie-burning activities.


See also: Glacier melt adds ancient edibles to marine buffet [here]

“Forests that lived along the Gulf of Alaska between 2,500 to 7,000 years ago were subsequently covered by glaciers. The crushed organic matter is being expelled by the glaciers there today.”

Lame Duck Dems Screw Small Farmers, Ban Farmers Markets

Before they are kicked to the curb next January, radical anti-American Dems plan to impose fees and regulations on small farms and market gardens, effectively eliminating small farms, local commercial food production, and farmers markets. The Bill is S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act [here].

On Nov. 18th the US Senate voted to halt all debate and consider the Bill as is. The Motion to Proceed passed with 51 Dem aye votes but only 4 GOP aye votes. Six Dems and 27 GOPs voted no [here].

Q&A on S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act [here]

Q: I am hearing this bill could threaten the existence of farmers markets as we know them, and furthermore threaten pure organic foods. Thoughts?

A: Of course this is a threat to small farmers - a fee or costly series of procedures that are pocket change for a multi-million-dollar industrial food company could break the budget of a small farmer. It will not end industrial “organics”, but don’t kid yourself and think that the genuine family farmers are going to keep growing food for you if it squeezes them beyond the breaking point.

A: As the co-founder of a farmers market and co-coordinator for 14 years through 2008, I know for certain that farmers markets are endangered. The new section 418 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls applies a HACCP-like plan requirement to all businesses required to register under the 2002 Bioterrorism Act.

A: Yes it will negatively impact our farm. Especially when you consider that I am being treated no differently that a larger processor (where most the problems lie) and that foreign food sources are not impacted by this legislation in the same manner.

Q: I have a small green house and about an acre of ground. I grow most all plants from seed. I sell the plants for customers to transplant to their own gardens. I also plant my own acre of ground and sell tomatos,peppers, and other produce to friends family and customers. And quite often bring produce to a farmers market. Will this bill affect me?

A: If the secretary so deems you to be defined as a small business affected by certain sections, yes. The wording is not specific but is general so that the person who occupies the post at the time the law is enacted will have the legal authority to make a definitive determination.

Q: Please clarify: will this bill prevent small farmers from selling produce without govenment regulation?

A: Yes.

Q: What is the constitutional basis for the federal government to monitor and control small farms that are not shipping product across state lines?

A: There is no constitutional provision that allows the federal government to monitor and control small farms that are engaged in local, intrastate commerce.

18 Nov 2010, 9:57pm
Latest Forest News
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Appeals court upholds Moonlight decision

[New] efforts [by the enviros who lost the Moonlight case] to protect [non-endangered un-threatened] woodpeckers could affect [post-fire] salvage logging [on private lands as well]

by Delaine Fragnoli, Managing Editor, Plumas News, 11/17/2010 [here]

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court decision denying an injunction for the Moonlight-Wheeler Fire Recovery and Restoration Project.

The appeals court found “the record shows that the district court correctly applied” legal precedent “in its analysis throughout its thoroughly reasoned opinion.”

Environmental group Earth Island Institute (EII) had filed suit in July 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to stop the Moonlight project proposed by the Plumas National Forest. The group asked the court to enjoin the Forest Service from awarding, beginning or continuing the operation of any timber sales related to the project. [For more on the Moonlight Fire, see here]

United States District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. issued his opinion in August 2009 denying the injunction.

Damrell’s opinion relied heavily on a 2008 Supreme Court decision, Winter v. NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). Damrell ruled that EII had not met the legal standard for a preliminary injunction. [For more on Winter see here]

more »

18 Nov 2010, 4:53pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Federal judge rules for Wyoming in wolf lawsuit

By Ben Neary, S.L. Tribune, Nov 18, 2010 [here]

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to refuse to turn management of gray wolves over to the state of Wyoming.

Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne on Thursday ordered the federal agency to consider again whether Wyoming’s wolf management plan would be adequate to meet federal recovery goals for wolves.

Environmental groups and others have criticized the Wyoming plan for specifying that wolves would be classified as predators that could be shot on sight in most areas. The Wyoming plan would protect wolves only in the northwestern part of the state.

Concerns over Wyoming’s plan recently prompted a federal judge in Montana to strip Idaho and Montana of their authority to manage their own wolf populations.

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