Corruption, collusion, or legal thievery

By Henry Lamb, Canada Free press, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 [here]

In 2008, the Forest Service issued a land use plan that environmental organizations didn’t like. The Earthjustice Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of four environmental groups. The suit took 15 months. The bill to the federal government from Earthjustice was $279,711.40. The Western Environmental Law Center filed another lawsuit challenging the same land use plan. They represented 15 environmental groups and sent the government a bill for $199,830.65. These two outfits claim that seven attorneys spent more than 930 hours (working full time, that’s 116 days), at rates between $300 and $650 per hour.

That’s good work if you can get it.

Think that’s bad? Read on.

In September of last year, the Wildearth Guardians sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency, asking the court to prohibit FEMA from issuing flood insurance to private citizens on 52,535 structures that may lie within the range of an endangered species. The group could not sue individual land owners unless they could prove that the structure caused the death or “harm” to any endangered species. This suit is designed to block the use of privately owned land, and to collect a handsome fee from the government for doing it.

The government keeps no record of these “environmental” lawsuits. Payments, however, are made from a single budget line item called the “Judgment Fund.” The Budd-Falen Law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming has done a yeoman’s job in researching payments made from this fund to environmental organizations. They include:

2003 10,595 payments made Total paid: $1, 081,328,420
2004 8,161 payments made Total paid: $800,450,029
2005 7,794 payments made Total paid: $1,074,131,007
2006 8.736 Payments made Total Paid: $697,968,132
2007 6,595 Payments made Total paid: 1,062,387,142

During these five years, tax dollars have funded environmental groups to the tune of $4.7 billion dollars in attorney fees alone. Another $1.6 million was paid between 2003 and 2005 from the Equal Access to Justice Act. These funds come directly from the agency that loses the suit. This doesn’t begin to include all the direct grants and contracts that are awarded to dozens of environmental groups.

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Molehills: Visible symptoms of trap ban’s flaws

THE NEWS TRIBUNE Editorial, 02/04/10 [here]

Olympia’s moles are breathing a bit easier today. The state has stopped using illegal traps to kill them on grounds around the Capitol and the governor’s mansion.

The use of “body-gripping” traps for any animal were outlawed 10 years ago by voter-approved Initiative 713. But somehow – even after emotional campaigns for and against the measure – the state didn’t get the memo that it should discontinue using the traps.

The Department of General Administration is the agency that’s been using up to 10 spring-loaded traps in late winter to reduce the Capitol grounds’ destructive mole population before the critters start breeding. Ironically, the GA is located right across the street from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is charged with enforcing the trap ban.

Although Fish & Wildlife says no private citizens have been fined for using the same kind of illegal traps, some commercial exterminators have been cited – usually after a competitor has complained. The GA will be treated like any other first-time offender – with a warning.

The fact that even an agency of state government sees a need for the traps to effectively control moles shows how absurd it is to use a voter initiative to make wildlife policy. … [more]

4 Feb 2010, 12:36pm
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Utah Legislature: Senate passes wolf control bill

by Josh Smith, Deseret News, Feb. 2, 2010 [here]

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah senators passed a bill Tuesday making wolves an enemy of the state.

The proposed legislation would make it state policy to “manage” wolves to prevent any packs from forming in areas where wolves are no longer listed as an endangered species.

In areas where wolves are still protected, the bill would require state officials to request that federal agencies remove wolves from the state.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said the legislation allows the state to look ahead.

Senate Democrats rose to debate the bill on Monday but remained largely silent during Tuesday’s final Senate passage.

Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, spoke against the bill and distributed a fact sheet with statistics about wolf impact in the West.

The bill passed along party lines, 21-8. It will now be considered in the House.

3 Feb 2010, 5:03pm
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Defenders Of Wildlife Are Pond Scum

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, February 3, 2010 [here]

Does that sound like too harsh a comment to make about a radical animal rights/environmental group that does anything to steal your money? Would you tolerate it if you gave money to the Red Cross thinking it was going to go to help the needy in Haiti and you found out the Red Cross was just using Haiti to play on your emotions to get your money? Of course you wouldn’t. Would you stand for it if you found out some other group that depends on your donations to exist deliberately lied to you just to play on your emotions to get your money? Of course not!

Anybody that would do this is the lowest form of life on this planet. Any organization that utilizes such tactics should not only be put out of business, but should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Such actions make honest people nauseous.

Well, I’m more than nauseous over Defenders of Wildlife’s latest pack of lies to get your money. Defenders wants to stop a bill in Utah that would not tolerate wolves in that state. Defenders has every legal right to pursue that. This is a free country and the First Amendment gives them the right to fight such a law.

But Defenders goes beyond that. They lie. On their website, where they are attempting to steal your money, they say:

This anti-wolf bill could pass as soon as this week and is backed by the misleadingly named Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife — the very same group whose Idaho chapter has been holding wolf-killing derbies to raise funds for anti-wolf litigation.

This is a fabricated lie and for Defenders to do this makes them probably lower than pond scum. The only place wolves can be legally killed by anyone other than government agents, is in Idaho and Montana, during their sanctioned legal wolf hunting seasons. These hunts are controlled by permits. To state that anyone is holding wolf-killing derbies is suggesting that Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife sanctions poaching and doesn’t adhere to federal laws protecting gray wolves. It’s absurd and Defenders should immediately issue a public apology and a retraction of this insane accusation. … [more]

1 Feb 2010, 12:02pm
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Wolves Taking Only Sick And Weakly Not Historical Fact

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, February 1, 2010 [here]

It is repeated like an incessant drum beat. Wolves and other large predators keep our ecosystems healthy because they cull out the old, sick and weakly of the prey species they kill. And nearly as often as the myth is perpetrated one asks, how that is substantiated? Certainly not by facts.

Clinging to the false indoctrination that wolves have an “eye” for which prey to destroy, is another allegorical fabrication that before man arrived our wilderness and all the species that dwelt within it was “balanced”, to represent or simulate some fanciful garden of Eden. Historical documents show a completely different picture.

Most who perpetuate these myths, point all blame for anything bad that happens to our environment, whether real or fabricated, on man. The truth is, much of the wildlife that Americans love to see and claim as theirs, was very scarce until man arrived and brought with him agriculture and soon followed by an understanding of the need to control predators, particularly those that where destroying the game herds man needed for survival.

We can look through many historical documents to learn that what is being indoctrinated into our children as fact concerning wildlife and the impact predators have on it, just does not agree with history. If we take, for example, many accounts published in Alaska Wildlife Digest in 1975, there’s no denying that wolves kill for food, for sport and from lust and more times than not the methods they employ in bringing down their prey is brutally cruel. … [more]

New book features Montana timber leaders Hurst, Petersen, Vincent

The Clark Fork Chronicle, January 31 2010 [here]

A new hardbound book featuring Montana timber leaders Jim Hurst, Jim Petersen, and Steve Vincent chronicles what was, and is, happening on the frontlines of the battle between the West and Washington, D.C.

The book, titled GRIT: Fighting for Western Land, Life, and Liberty [available here] showcases articles written by renowned experts, scholars, environmentalists, legislators, government officials and award-winning journalists from the past 20 years. What emerges is an astounding indictment of a never-ending onslaught of regulations and intimidation, and the struggle endured by ranchers and farmers to produce food and also survive.

Individually, the “GRIT” stories on conservation, water, wildlife, forestry, land grabs and enviros are compelling. Collectively, they are a chilling picture of fumbling federal bureaucrats, self-serving nonprofits, and Americans who seem to have forgotten the importance of self-sufficiency, while paying tribute to the courageous people who work the land.

“We have covered awful tales—of takings, overregulation, outrageous behavior and corruption,” said publisher Caroline Joy “CJ” Hadley. “Bloodsucking nonprofits and some environmental litigators have destroyed rural lives based on flimsy and peculiar rationales, lost their cases in court, and then been paid huge fees for losing—using Americans’ tax dollars.”

The book features writings by three leaders well-known to Montanans:

* Jim Hurst, former president of Owens & Hurst, a Montana lumber mill. The mill closed, leaving 200 workers without jobs, when applications to harvest salvage timber were delayed or litigated. The mill was within sight of the Kootenay National Forest, where more timber dies annually than grows or is harvested.

* Jim Petersen, co-founder of Evergreen Foundation, whose family has roots in logging, sawmilling, cattle ranching, and mining.

* Bruce Vincent, third-generation logger, speaker, president of Communities for a Great Northwest, co-owner of Environomics, and executive director of the Preserve America presidential award-winning Provider Pals’ cultural exchange program. His awards include “Timber Industry Activist of the Year,” “Montana Timberman of the Year,” and “The Sylvan Award for Service to the National Timber Industry.”

more »

Roseburg BLM to bring owls, logging to table

by DD Bixby, The News-Review, Jan 24, 2010 [here]

Utter one fowl name and it can draw long sighs from many in Douglas County and around the state.

The northern spotted owl has deeply affected the economic, environment and community landscape in the 20 years since the bird was first listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

With the proposed Western Oregon Plan Revisions to the Northwest Forest Plan rescinded, officials at the Bureau of Land Management’s Roseburg District are hoping to take advantage of the current policy limbo and again affect that landscape with a ground-up approach that can find room for owl habitat, logging and social values to coexist.

Last week at a Douglas Timber Operators meeting, Roseburg BLM District Manager Jay Carlson presented what he is tentatively calling the Roseburg Collaborative Forestry Pilot Project.

The goal of his pilot project is to bring the members of various interest groups and the public together to streamline the process of project planning and develop a more holistic plan of habitat, fuel reduction and timber management.

Local BLM spokesman Bob Hall said an announcement will be publicized in the near future that will invite “anyone and everyone” who’s interested to get involved. No date or location has been set, yet.

more »

23 Jan 2010, 2:08pm
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Biologist predicts grizzly bears’ removal from endangered list

By CHRIS PETERSON Hungry Horse News Wednesday, January 20, 2010 [here]

The lead biologist in the recovery of grizzly bears said he expects the bears in the greater Glacier National Park area will come off the Endangered Species List within five to six years.

The bears were listed as threatened south of Canada in 1975, but over the past 30 years, the bears have slowly, but steadily, expanded their presence in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem — a swath of land that runs along the continental divide from Canada south to Lincoln and includes all of Glacier National Park.

The current estimate is that there are more than 750 bears in the NCDE and Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recover coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said he expects the bears will eventually be de-listed.

But that doesn’t mean grizzly bear managers will turn back the clock, he cautioned. Far from it. Bear managers will begin work on a broad conservation strategy for bears, a document that “institutionalizes the guidelines that got the grizzly bear where it is today,” Servheen said.

That includes everything from managing road densities in national forests to habitat conservation of the Rocky Mountain Front and garbage regulations in campgrounds and towns near prime grizzly habitat. …

More open spaces are also being protected, either through conservation easements or through government programs. Hundreds of thousands of acres of Plum Creek lands in the Swan Valley, for example, were recently protected from subdivision and will eventually be transferred to the Forest Service through a deal with the Nature Conservancy that uses a blend of private money and government funds. … [more]

23 Jan 2010, 2:03pm
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Marbled Murrelet Remains Threatened

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release, January 20, 2010 [here]

Seabird still needs protection, agency says

Citing continued declines in the population of marbled murrelets in Washington, Oregon and California, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today the small seabird continues to need the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will retain its status as a threatened species.

The decision to deny a petition to delist the Washington, Oregon and California population of marbled murrelets is based on strong science and recognition that the tri-state population is distinct from marbled murrelets in Canada and Alaska.

“Overwhelming evidence shows marbled murrelets are in deep trouble in Washington, Oregon and California, and we cannot deny them the protection they need,” said Tom Strickland, the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. “This decision strongly reflects the Obama administration’s deep commitment to basing ESA decisions on the best available science.” …

A petition filed in 2008 by the American Forest Resource Council and others sought to remove the Washington, Oregon and California population of marbled murrelets from the list of federally protected species. The petition cited a 2004 Fish and Wildlife Service review that concluded the tri-state population did not qualify as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the agency’s DPS policy. The 2004 conclusion was based on a Bush administration determination that there were not significant differences between the birds or their protections in Washington, Oregon and California, and those in Canada.

In 2009, the Service conducted another review of the species, concluding the tri-state population is discrete at the international border.

“We believe the DPS analysis in 2004 was fundamentally flawed,” Thorson said. “The petitioners’ arguments for delisting are based on that flawed analysis.”

The 2009 analysis found that the Washington, California and Oregon population of marbled murrelets is discrete at the international border due to the following reasons: 1) the coterminous United States has a substantially smaller population of murrelets (approximately 18,000) than does Canada (about 66,000); 2) breeding success of the murrelet in Washington, Oregon and California is considerably lower than in British Columbia; and 3) there are differences in the amount of habitat, the rate of habitat loss and regulations between the two countries. … [more]

11 Jan 2010, 11:49pm
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The Wolf War Begins!

By Toby Bridges,, Jan 6, 2010 [here]

Back during the mid 1990s (basically 1995-1996), Yellowstone National Parks’ elk herd peaked at around 19,000 animals. The herd was a healthy mix of all ages. And so were the elk herds just to the north and west in Montana. In fact, the state’s elk herd had reached record levels - and for sportsmen, the hunting had never been better. Life was great if you were an elk hunter.

Sound, and still growing, populations of elk could be found throughout most of the state. Likewise, the deer herds across Montana were also thriving, thanks to the same hundred years of dedicated conservation work and the billions of sportsmen provided dollars that funded all of that work. Additionally, ever expanding populations of pronghorn, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat also offered greater and greater hunting opportunities.

Unfortunately, the mid 1990s stand to be remembered as the “Good Ol’ Days” unless an all out effort is made to get a handle on the wildlife equivalent of a deadly virus or cancer which has been unleashed upon all big game found along the Northern Rockies. Reintroduced gray wolves are now making a very serious negative impact on our big game resources in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the first 14 Canadian wolves in Yellowstone, getting the “Wolf Reintroduction Project” kicked off. The following year, they released 17 more wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Area. And from that core of 31 wolves, the number of wolves in and adjacent to the park had increased to 273 by 2002…and Yellowstone’s wondrous elk herd had dropped to less than 12,000.

What particularly worried area hunters, who valued the Yellowstone elk herds that wintered outside of the park, offering tremendous hunting opportunities, was how wolf packs were destroying the next generations of elk during the spring calving period. To sustain a huntable elk herd requires a calf survival rate of about 30-percent. By 2002, the calf to cow ratio of the Northern Yellowstone herd had dropped to only 14-percent. This was due to not only wolf depredation of newborn calves, but also the stress on pregnant cows from being constantly pursued by wolves, which very often resulted in fetuses being aborted. Likewise, elk that are constantly on the move do not have the luxury of fattening up for the winter, and many now go into the harshest weather of the year undernourished.

This past spring, Yellowstone’s elk herd numbered only about 6,000 - about a third of what it was 14 years ago. The average age of the elk back when they were first thrown to the wolves was 4 years of age, today’s average Yellowstone elk is now 8 years old. Without adequate calf recruitment in the spring, this population of geriatric elk is headed for precipitous crash. Unless some very drastic measures are taken to eliminate half or more of the 450 wolves that now share the same range, this herd could be totally lost within the next five years. And as elk numbers continue to drop, the wolves have added most all other wildlife to their menus, now negatively impacting deer, moose, and other big game numbers.

The problem is not limited to just the Greater Yellowstone Area. Despite claims by MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks that elk and deer numbers remain “well above objective”, sportsmen here sure don’t agree. In most of western Montana, where wolves are most prominent, hunter success this past season took a big nose dive. In FWP’s Region 2 (west central), the elk harvest was down 45%…the whitetail harvest was down 50%…and the mule deer harvest was down 45% FROM THE PAST FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE! Likewise, hunters here and many other areas west of the Continental Divide reported seeing the fewest number of elk and deer in nearly 20 years.

Montana sportsmen are losing faith and trust in their wildlife agency, with many now claiming that MT FWP outright lies to them. This is especially true when it comes to the number of wolves that agency claims to be in Montana. For much of the past two years, MT FWP has sounded like a broken record, repeatedly claiming that the state’s wolf population is about 500. Hunters feel that far too much damage has already been done to the state’s elk and deer herds for the number to be that low. … [more]

11 Jan 2010, 11:31pm
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U of I reinstates Marie Bulgin and finds no evidence of ’scientific misconduct’ in wild sheep controversy

Idaho Statesman 01/04/10 [here]

The University of Idaho reinstated a professor of veterinary medicine that had raised criticism for her comments to a legislative committee about whether disease could be transmitted between wild sheep and domestic sheep.

A school review cleared Bulgin of misconduct and officials said she will resume her teaching and research position under a “conflict management plan.” Here is the full statement released by the university:

In June 2009, news media reported concerns raised by several groups and individuals, including Western Watersheds Project and representatives of the Nez Perce Tribe, about comments Marie Bulgin made in her testimony before the Idaho legislature during the 2009 session and in her written statements in federal litigation relating to transmission of disease between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep.

The university took these reports and concerns seriously and launched a thorough assessment of the facts surrounding her comments. At the outset, the university and Bulgin mutually agreed that she would take leave from her administrative duties at the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center and refrain from conducting research regarding or disseminating research information on sheep diseases during the course of the inquiry.

The university’s assessment was conducted according to its scientific misconduct policy by Vice President for Research Jack McIver, who serves as the institution’s research integrity officer. The university’s policy defines scientific misconduct as “fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It also means any material failure to comply with federal requirements that uniquely relate to the conduct of research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data” (Faculty-Staff Handbook, Section 3230, B-14).

McIver did not find evidence of scientific misconduct in her testimony or written statements.

Bulgin will resume her former role in teaching, research and coordinating the veterinary medicine education program at the Caine Center and the university will begin restructuring overall administration of the Caine Center. Under university policy, Bulgin will operate under an approved conflict management plan that will address, among other things, her private activities as an advocate for the sheep industry. Conflict management plans are part of the university’s Faculty and Staff Handbook (FSH 6240, D-1). Details about an individual’s specific conflict management plan are part of the personnel record and, under Idaho law, are confidential.

11 Jan 2010, 11:16pm
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Sweden resumes wolf hunting after 45 years to keep population down

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS January 02, 2010 [here]

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sweden is licensing the hunting of wolves for the first time in nearly 45 years to keep the population at a controllable level.

The near monthlong hunt began Saturday and allows the killing of a total of 27 wolves.

Susanna Lovgren of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says the hunt follows a parliamentary decision to keep Sweden’s wolf population below 210 animals.

Sweden stopped issuing hunting licenses in the 1965-1966 season when the predator was near extinction in the country. Since then, the population has recovered however, and there are now believed to be between 182 and 217 wolves in Sweden.

Sweden wolf hunt completed in four days

by MARC PREEL, The Age, January 6, 2010 [here]

Sweden’s first wolf hunt in 45 years came to an end on Tuesday after hunters met their quota of 27 kills in just four days, as ecologists blasted the hunt. [Correction: the people who complained were not ecologists]

The final two wolves of the quota were killed in central Sweden on Tuesday, bringing to an end the first wolf hunt since 1964 as a number of hunters reported receiving anonymous death threats. [Unless ecologists make death threats]

Parliament decided in October to limit the country’s wolf population to 210 animals for the next five years.

The cull was meant to run between January 2 and February 15, but hunters killed 20 wolves on the first day, sparking the ire of animal rights activists and local officials. [Whoops -- it turns out that the death threateners were "animal rights activists", not ecologists] …

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Federal agencies may have to consider climate before they act

The Obama administration may issue an order that would expand the National Environmental Policy Act’s scope to prevent global warming. The move could open up new avenues to challenge projects.

By Jim Tankersley, LA Times, January 1, 2010 [here]

Washington - The White House is poised to order all federal agencies to evaluate any major actions they take, such as building highways or logging national forests, to determine how they would contribute to and be affected by climate change, a step long sought by environmentalists.

Environmentalists say the move would provide new incentives for the government to minimize the heat-trapping gas emissions scientists blame for global warming. Republicans have opposed it as potentially inhibiting economic growth.

The new order would expand the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, a landmark statute that turns 40 today. The act already requires federal agencies to consider environmental impacts such as land use, species health and air and water quality when approving projects.

By formalizing a requirement to consider effects on climate — a step some agencies already take — the administration would introduce a broad new spectrum of issues to be considered. It could also open up new avenues for environmentalists to attack, delay or halt proposed government actions. The environmental impact statements originally required by the act have become routine battlegrounds for environmentalists, developers and others.

Under the order, agencies would need to account for whether such factors as predicted rises in sea levels would affect proposed new roads along shorelines; or whether, because of temperature changes and species migration, clear-cutting a patch of forest would result in new types of trees replacing the originals.

California lawmakers mandated in 2007 that state-level environmental assessments take climate change into account.

“People will think longer and harder and smarter about what they build when they understand that the environment around them is changing,” said David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club. Bookbinder was one of several environmental lawyers who petitioned the White House in 2008 to formally recognize climate considerations under the act.

The head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, said in an interview this week that federal agencies “should think about both the effect of greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of climate change, on decisions they make.” … [more]

Note: from the Wikipedia [here]:

Nancy Helen Sutley leads the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Prior to being confirmed by the Senate to lead the CEQ, she served as the Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the city of Los Angeles, California, and as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s appointment to the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Sutley received a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.[3] She was an EPA official during the Clinton administration, and served as special assistant to the EPA administrator in Washington, D.C. Sutley is the first prominent gay person to earn a senior role in Obama’s new administration. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate through unanimous consent on January 22, 2009.

2 Jan 2010, 2:15pm
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Suit Seeks Kangaroo Rat Delisting - PLF and Riverside County Farm Bureau sue to force action on kangaroo rat

California Farmer, December 30, 2009 [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must stop dragging its feet and issue a delisting decision in response to petitions from the Riverside County Farm Bureau to remove the Stephens kangaroo rat (SKR) from listing under the Endangered Species Act.

So argues a lawsuit filed in federal court by attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), representing the Riverside County Farm Bureau. PLF is the nation’s leading legal watchdog for property rights and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.

“For 14 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been disobeying the legal deadline for properly responding to the Riverside County Farm Bureau’s petition to delist the SKR,” says PLF attorney Damien Schiff. “Now we are asking a federal court to order the agency to get off the dime, obey the law, and issue a decision on SKR delisting.”

The Stephens kangaroo rat was added to the Endangered Species Act list in 1988.

The Farm Bureau argues that the information gathered by the FWS to place the SKR on the endangered list significantly overestimated the threats to the SKR’s survival and significantly underestimated habitat available for the SKR.

The Farm Bureau’s first petition to delist the SKR was submitted on May 1, 1995. Under the ESA, the agency had 90 days to determine whether the petition had merit, but the FWS never responded to the Farm Bureau’s petition.

The historic range of the Stephens kangaroo rat includes western Riverside County, southwestern San Bernardino County, and parts of northern and central San Diego County.

The listing has led to significant restrictions on private property. For instance, to protect the SKR, government officials began restricting brush-clearing by farmers and ranchers. In 1993, after these prohibitions were implemented, intense brush fires destroyed several homes.

The complaint and the 1995 delisting petition are available [here]

31 Dec 2009, 12:29pm
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Moose find a new home in Wallowa County

Wallowa County Chieftain, Dec 28, 2009 [here]

ENTERPRISE - Wildlife biologists collared four moose in the northern Blue Mountains of Wallowa County in January 2008, marking the first collaring of the animals in Oregon and an increased effort to trace moose activity in the state.

The radio and GPS collars will help biologists better understand seasonal movements, habitat use, and reproductive rates of the state’s small but growing moose population, which is conservatively estimated to number 35.

The four moose collared were cows; high winds prevented biologists from also collaring an adult male. The team will try again later in the winter, in time to track a bull’s movement during the September breeding season, when they tend to move great distances. …

While moose may have occurred in Oregon in the past, there are no references to them being found here in modern times. The moose established in northeastern Oregon today are naturally dispersing into the state from adjacent Washington and Idaho. In 1922, five moose were brought to western Oregon from Alaska. These animals were hand-raised and soon became a problem to towns and farms, so the transplant failed.

“The first sighting of a moose that we know about was in the 1960s along the Snake River,” noted Vic Coggins, ODFW district wildlife biologist. “Individual moose have been observed sporadically in northeastern Oregon over the past 40 years.”

As North America’s largest ungulates, the moose’s size and the male’s uniquely-shaped antlers give it much of its mystique. Moose prefer the habitat of burned and logged areas with an abundance of willow and other deciduous growth. Temperature is probably the limiting factor in their expansion. … [more]

Note: if temperature is the limiting factor, and we are experiencing global warming, then why are moose being found farther south????? Answer: armchair ecology has about as much validity as armchair climatology, i.e. zip.

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