Big Wild Bi-Weekly November 18, 2011

Dear Wildlanders,

With the Bighorn rut under way, and the snow falling out our window, it’s an exciting time of the year. In this issue you will hear about the recent introduction of NREPA, get an opportunity to comments on the just-released supplemental DEIS for the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange, receive information on the wolf slaughter taking place in Montana and Idaho, learn about another tanker spill on US12, and get a link to a brand new Wild Idaho Rising Tide video in the fight against the mega-loads.

We are very excited to announce that HR 33334, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), has been introduced into the 112th Congress. Known as the wildest bill on the hill, NREPA would designate the remaining 20-plus million acres of roadless lands in the Northern Rockies as Wilderness, and provide crucial habitat for imperiled species like grizzly bears, wolverines, lynx, bull trout and steelhead. Learn more:

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/.

The boondoggle known as the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange continues to unfold. The Forest Service decided to waste money on a new supplemental draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), despite opposition from the public. This one proposes an acre for acre exchange on public lands within the Nez Perce National Forest. We’d like to point out that it is illegal for an exchange to be acre for acre; instead it must be based on the monetary value of the land being exchanged. Read the draft:

http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/51998_FSPLT2_062462.pdf.

Electronic comments can be sent to: comments-northern-clearwater@fs.fed.us. Put land exchange in the subject line. Written comments can be mailed to:

Teresa Trulock

Project Manager Upper Lochsa Land Exchange

Kamiah Ranger Station

903 3rd Street

Kamiah, Idaho 83536

There will be two public meetings that you can attend. The first one is November 28th from 2-7pm at the Best Western in Riggins, Idaho. The second one is November 29th from 2-7pm at the National Guard Armory in Grangeville, Idaho.

A five-month wolf-trapping season is under way in Idaho. This is on top of a hunting season in Montana and Idaho that has already killed close to two hundred wolves. While the trapping season is limited geographically, the season extends until March 31st. The use of traps and snares on public lands are incredibly controversial, since both methods are indiscriminate killers that other species can walk into, including your dog. Here’s a link to Idaho Fish & Game:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=266.

Oral arguments have begun in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to get Northern Rocky grey wolves placed back on the Endangered Species List. A favorable decision for the plaintiffs would bring an end to the hunting and trapping seasons. We do not have a timeline for a decision.

Until the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming implement management plans that allow species to fulfill their ecological role on the landscape, they should not have jurisdiction over them. Here’s an intriguing article from the Earth Island Journal:

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/cry-wolf-by-bill-gibson-earth-island-journal/.

Another fuel tanker spill occurred last week on US 12. It’s been reported that the truck was carrying 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and 1,700 gallons of gasoline. While officials claim that none of the diesel spill escaped, they have stated that half of the gasoline was spilled. This marks the fifth time in eight or nine years there has been a tanker spill on the edge of the Wild & Scenic Lochsa or Middle Fork Clearwater rivers.

Lida Saskova and members of Wild Idaho Rising Tide has just released a brand new video of community footage depicting the struggles to keep Exxon’s mega-loads off of Idaho’s two-lane highways. Watch the 13-minute video here:

http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1112.

On Sunday November 20th, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse Environmental Sustainability Task Force is meeting at 1:30pm in the Art Room of the 1912 Center to discuss the latest developments concerning the Alberta Tar Sands, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the recently approved hydraulic fracturing rules in Idaho.

Lastly we would like to thank Bert Bowler, Sam Mace, Dustin Aherin, and James Holt for serving on a Salmon recovery panel discussion at the Lewis-Clark State College. Learn more about recovery of salmon and steelhead in the lower Snake River basin:

http://snakeriversalmonsolutions.org/.

 

Stay warm and wild,

Brett

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