April showers bring May flowers, or in this case flooding on the Palouse. In this issue we will talk about the wolf trapping incident, the proposal to expand the Port of Lewiston, partial funding for the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange, a lawsuit filed to protect wild bighorn sheep, the deadline for comments on the Idaho Panhandle Forest Plan, and an invitation to a wildland event on Tuesday April 17.
The picture of the trapped, bloodied, and tortured wolf that the trapper posted on the web went “viral” and we responded by writing letters to the Idaho Fish & Game Department and the US Forest Service asking for an investigation. We are concerned with reports that the reason for the pool of blood was because people were shooting at the wolf while it was trapped. It is illegal to shoot across a road, and it is illegal to interfere with trapping in Idaho. With the whole world watching right now, it would be a shame to see the state agency apply a double-standard and not enforce the law.
If you were unable to submit a public comment concerning the proposal to expand the Port of Lewiston, you can still write a letter to the editor. On top of being a financial boondoggle, and potentially having a negative effect on water quality and threatened fish populations, the expansion of the Port’s dock would also make it easier to accommodate megaload barges. Please consider sending a letter to the Lewiston Tribune: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News: email@example.com.
The Forest Service has reported that they have received $1 million dollars from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to purchase a portion of the Upper Lochsa checkerboard landscape owned by Western Pacific Timber. The Forest Service has taken a small step to secure funding. We greatly encourage the agency to seek more money so that the private land can be purchased outright. Check out Stop the Swap.
In an effort to protect wild bighorn sheep, three conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to continue to implement grazing restrictions on the Payette National Forest. In an all too familiar scenario, a budget rider passed by Idaho Senator Mike Simpson ordered the Forest Service to stop implementing their 2010 management plan that called for a 70% reduction of domestic sheep grazing on the national forest. Learn more:
The Idaho Panhandle National Forest is taking public comments for their recently released Forest Plan. This is an excellent opportunity to call for wilderness designation for irreplaceable landscapes like the Mallard-Larkins and Grandmother Mountain roadless areas. Deadline for comments is Friday May 4th. Use the below link for talking points and where to send comments.
Last but not least, ecologist, author and wildland photographer George Wuerthner will be giving a presentation in Moscow on Tuesday April 17th titled: Predator Ecology, the Ecological Niche of Wolves on the Landscape. Come learn why wolves are considered crucial to ecosystem resiliency, and why some scientists believe that trapping and hunting species like wolves could cause greater conflicts between wolves and humans.
Howling for the Wild,