Recent comments

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/grazing-cattle-the-new-invasive-species/

    Is the Government Destroying the Ecosystem of the American West by Favoring Cattle Over Wild Horses? http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/cattle-versus-wild- horses-in-the-american-west/ Western US Governors have been seeking to remove the wild horses in preference to cattle ranchers’ livestock for years now. These ranchers often are wealthy and can wield great political influence both at the local and national level with their campaign contributions. Management of the land to offset the impact of damage by cattle and other livestock should be given greater consideration. Not to say that ranchers do nothing – but too often greed replaces wisdom. Our short sighted policies will only do harm to both the current wild horse populations that remain and future generations of Americans who will still want beef at their dinner tables. ~ HfH http://www.habitatforhorses.org/is-the-us-government-destroying-the-ecosystem-of-the-american-west-by-favoring-cattle/
  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Just a request here. Can we get some agreement that boldfacing the occasional word or two for emphasis works, but when pages of cut-and-paste are boldfaced all emphasis is lost and it just comes across as shouting?

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I would think the arrogant are those who feel they can declare which species "deserve extinction".

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you Michael Kellett, with less than expert knowledge on the issue, I must agree. An issue here in the western states, particularly in the rural areas, is a culture of the west, cowboys, cattle, well it is a unique lifestyle and I must admit I have many friends who are a part of it. They are very good people to be around, have spent their lives around livestock, work hard, view issues like grazing on public lands almost as a birthright. It is not only live stock grazing, but recreational use of horses and mules on public lands that they feel is under attack. In my own experience, I have seen the effects of overgrazing, not so much in parks, but on USFS and BLM lands. On the other hand there is support for some grazing of animals on FWS lands and some grazing has proven beneficial on other public lands as well, at least that has been my experience. This is a tough issue, the competition for open space and habitat is keen, both for domesticated stock and wildlife, the people pressure to use the same is intense.

    For example, in Yosemite Wilderness the Park did a three 3 year study on the effects of the current allowable commercial pack station stock permits and the impact of their activities on backcountry meadows. The park found no overgrazing effects based on biomass reproduction. Species composition is another issue, that is a concern. Other factors are entering into the debate, horse droppings on the trail, endangered species concerns, water quality, etc. The public land managers have a full platte here, not everyone is going to be happy with whatever decision is made. I may not be a doctor, but I know it pays to listen to them. I guess the same applies here, I am not a resource scientist, but I want to know their best information before taking a position. The science does appear to be on their side, the changes required are going to be difficult and contentious.

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    “Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    “The ninety-nine cent price of a fast-food hamburger simply doesn't take account of that meal's true cost--to soil, oil, public health, the public purse, etc., costs which are never charged directly to the consumer but, indirectly and invisibly, to the taxpayer (in the form of subsidies), the health care system (in the form of food-borne illnesses and obesity), and the environment (in the form of pollution), not to mention the welfare of the workers in the feedlot and the slaughterhouse and the welfare of the animals themselves.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals “You are what you eat is a truism hard to argue with, and yet it is, as a visit to a feedlot suggests, incomplete, for you are what what you eat eats, too. And what we are, or have become, is not just meat but number 2 corn and oil.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals “I asked the feedlot manager why they didn't just spray the liquefied manure on neighboring farms. The farmers don't want it, he explained. The nitrogen and phosphorus levels are so high that spraying the crops would kill them. He didn't say that feedlot wastes also contain heavy metals and hormone residues, persistent chemicals that end up in waterways downstream, where scientists have found fish and amphibians exhibiting abnormal sex characteristics.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals “Escherichia colia O157:H7 is a relatively new strain of the common intestinal bacteria (no one had seen it before 1980) that thrives in feedlot cattle, 40 percent of which carry it in their gut. Ingesting as few as ten of these microbes can cause a fatal infection; they produce a toxin that destroys human kidneys.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals “...whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it's actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that with our food all the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illness, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water -- of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don't care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.” Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Remember, EC, the BLM lands are the leftovers, and are not primary grazing lands. Most barely support one animal per 40 acres, as the entirety of Nevada, for example.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 1 day ago

    The Earth has experienced global cooling so many times and the resulting extinction of many species like the dinosaurs. The Earth has experienced global warming so many times which causing many great changes, some species adapt and thrive and others go away. So, the Earth's climate is always changing. If the grizzlies or other species can't adapt then they aren't the fittest and deserve extinction. (see Darwin) Many humans think they can control evoltuionary processes like global warming and extinction and create a static Earth. Those humans are arrogant as well as ignorant.

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    First, public land grazing provides only about 4 percent of U.S. livestock production.

    According to this source - http://westernwatersheds.org/watmess/watmess_2002/2002html_summer/articl... - there are 788 million acres of US land that have livestock grazing. 449 million of those are federal lands. It is tough to believe that 57% of the grazed land mass is contributing only 4% of the beef.

    Second, taxpayers are heavily subsidizing public lands grazing.

    And who is benefiting from that subsidy? Consumers.

    The cost to taxpayers to fund these programs has been estimated at roughly $500 annually.

    I assume you mean $500 million. Which would be less than $2 a person. Not to mention those costs would also be incurred if the grazing were on private land.

    I think that if most consumers knew what a high price — both ecologically and financially — they are paying for the minescule benefits of public land livestock grazing, they would say, "no thanks."

    I doubt it. Most consumers prefer their hamburgers over badgers.

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Who benefits from cattle/sheep grazing on leased public lands? The consumer.

    Livestock grazed on public lands provides little benefit to consumers, at a very high ecological and financial cost.

    First, public land grazing provides only about 4 percent of U.S. livestock production. Completely phasing out public land livestock grazing would have a minimal impact on food production.

    Second, taxpayers are heavily subsidizing public lands grazing. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the federal government spends at least $144 million each year in direct costs, managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands. However, this returns only $21 million in grazing fees collected — for a net loss of at least $123 million per year.

    Third, BLM and Forest Service grazing programs incur huge indirect costs to promote grazing or to mitigate the massive damage done to watersheds, ecosystems, and wildlife by grazing. The cost to taxpayers to fund these programs has been estimated at roughly $500 annually.

    Finally, of the millions of dollars each year in taxpayer subsidies, approximately $8 million is dedicated to killing native predators that inconvenience public land ranchers. Native predators on public lands that are regularly killed for the benefit of the livestock industry include wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, bears, foxes, bobcats, and badgers.

    I think that if most consumers knew what a high price — both ecologically and financially — they are paying for the minescule benefits of public land livestock grazing, they would say, "no thanks."

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago
    How many readers remember Selling off the Promised Land ? The church bought the Royal Teton Ranch in 1981 from publishing tycoon Malcolm Forbes for $7 million, intending to use it as a religious retreat. Francis estimates the ranch`s current value, with improvements, at $20 million. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1988-06-10/news/8801060526_1_yellowstone-national-park-church-universal-environmentalists GOOD FOR BISON: Royal Teton Ranch ...Church members and locals in Park and Gallatin counties shop in each others' stores, play sports together, serve on the same committees...The church says it wants to remove cattle from its ranch and welcome some of Yellowstone's wandering bison...That would reverse its decade-long policy of no tolerance for bison, one that meant hundreds of the shaggy giants were slaughtered by the state when the animals sought their natural winter range. http://www.hcn.org/issues/150/4851 http://www.culteducation.com/group/882-church-universal-and-triumphant/5493-church-universal-and-triumphant-to-sell-ranch.html http://animaltourism.com/news/2011/01/11/why-are-the-feds-paying-3-3-million-to-graze-for-30-years-on-land-worth-only-about-4-million
  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I would imagine most would rather have bison and wolves roaming on it rather than cattle?

    Not if their ground beef is going to be $20 a pound. Who benefits from cattle/sheep grazing on leased public lands? The consumer.

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    What is especially galling is that the cattle ranchers using our public land for personal use are able to influence laws deciding what happens to our bison and to the use of the land. Personal use of public lands in this way should be stopped. That land belongs to the American public and I would imagine most would rather have bison and wolves roaming on it rather than cattle?

  • Essential Park Guide, Winter '14: Your Guide To Exploring The Parks This Winter   2 weeks 1 day ago

    The snow is flying in Acadia National Park today already, so perfect timing to read the article about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Acadia, in the Essential Park Guide, Winter '14.

    It's on the bucket list, and we'll be sure to blog about cross-country skiing along the groomed carriage roads of Acadia at www.acadiaonmymind.com.

    We've cross-country skiied Yosemite before, and it was nice to be reminded of that trip with the article about Yosemite in winter.

    Let the snow fly!

    UPDATE 1/16/15: Winter conditions are excellent right now with freshly groomed cross-country ski trails. Bookmark this for your trip to Acadia in winter, with links to activities, year-round lodging, outfitters and live Webcams to check snow conditions: www.acadiaonmymind.com/2015/01/winter-secret-wonderland-acadia-national-...

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    hikertom,

    You are absolutely right. We need to expand Yellowstone, not only to include bison wintering range, but also to encompass critical wolf and grizzly habitats adjacent to the park. Most of these lands are already public, and could be augmented by public acquisition of key private lands. An expanded national park would phase out livestock grazing, the biggest threat to all of these species, and halt the cruel and destructive hunting and trapping of wolves.

  • Bison Removal In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protests   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Why not expand Yellowstone National Park to include all the bison wintering range north of the current park boundary?

  • 132-Year-Old Winchester Rifle Found At Great Basin National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I really doubt that anyone back in those days would have accidentally left their rifle behind. There has to be more to this story than just forgetfulness. Maybe someone needs to look for traces of skeletal remains nearby. If this goes back to when the gun was new, guns were still a matter of survival.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Trail, data on effect of sedimentation on sea level is included in those calculations. It's available online, but I don't have time right now to find it again. I did post links on Traveler some time ago in this endless debate.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 1 day ago

    No Gary, you are the expert. I was pulling your leg, but your so smart that you didn't get it.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Wow, the ignorance starting to emerge in this thread can make ones head spin. Beach, I thought you were an expert! You must already know that there are bear closures in the park each year. Especially when they emerge from their dens in certain regions of the park. They also close off summiting many of the major peaks in the Gallitans during summer to protect them from having human/bear conflicts while they gorge on cutworm moths in the higher elevations of those peaks. Either way... carry on. You are nothing more than a good chuckle, but not very effective in your display of arrogance masquerading as "knowledge".

  • 132-Year-Old Winchester Rifle Found At Great Basin National Park   2 weeks 2 days ago

    That's awesome that something was left there for so long and wasn't knocked over by wind or an animal through all those years there. That rifle is definately museum quality. Too bad there is not a way to find out who the original owner was since hundreds of people probably left their guns behind on accident and no one would probably bother to report it and sound like they don't know what they are doing in the west.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Wow.

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 2 days ago

    On the question of rising sea levels I have to think the massive increase of ships on the seas, boat people immigrating to our shores, surfers on their boards, kayakers on their kayaks, hunters in their scull boats and massive amounts of erodable silt from Arizona flash floods (not Monsoons but Native American Summer Rains) be investigated as possible causes if in fact the sea levels are indeed rising. Just the Grand Canyon alone contributed one billion plus tons of displacement. We need to know for a fact that these are not the causes and not what is so greatly assumed are Right Wing Republican conspiracies. Until these questions are resolved I suggest that you all just bugger off:).

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Ed Abbey had it right when he wrote, "If humans insist on moving into grizzly bear habitat, they shouldn't become upset if a bear occasionally harvests one of the trespassers."

  • Groups File Intent To Sue Over Grizzly Bear Deaths In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem   2 weeks 2 days ago

    We need to protect the grizzly bear, they should have at least 2000 meter resource closure buffers. They should close the Greater Yellowstone to all human access.

  • Board Finds Canaveral National Seashore Managers Wrongly Punished Biologist For Whistleblowing   2 weeks 2 days ago

    m13cli, you do have a point, there does appear to be a double standard, human nature maybe, but part of it is a management mindset that has bought into a business as usual, to get along is go along. A former top official in the current administration, Mr. Larry Summers, informed the incoming chair of the congressionally appointed TARP nonpartisan committee to oversee the bailout funds (to the financial sector during 2008), now Senator Elizabeth Warren, you must understand there is the inside crowd and then the outside crowd. If you want to be a part of the inside crowd, you need to go along. It is troubling to read of incidents like this, they are frequent and probably all of us have been given the same advice at one time or another. Somehow the insane amounts of money involved in our political system needs to be curtailed. Resurrecting the Tillman Act would help. Going to be hard to do with now with the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision. As former Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney pointed out in 2012, "corporations are persons" .