Thursday, November 29, 2012

And there it is: Gregoire DOES have a cowboy hat!

(FYI: WCA is the Washington Cattlegrowers Asshats Association.)

We won't reinvent the wheel here; see this post from December 2008. 

Deja vu, all over again.

Photo thanks to our dear friend who deeply understands why this matters.

Go on now, Go! Walk out the door!

Just turn around now, 'cause you're not welcome anymore.... Really, Kenny, it's clear. You should leave. We all agree. It's for the best. Because no one could be any worse.

Or could they?

Rumor has it that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has been campaigning pretty hard for the job.  So far, we haven't been able to find any photos of her wearing cowboy hats. Still, she didn't stop the killing of the Wedge Pack. Which means she's about as good as Salazar on understanding the importance of large predators and ecosystem integrity.

And that ain't sayin' much.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mt. Graham Red Squirrel Numbers "Stable" at Their Depressingly Low Level

Arizona Game and Fish Department had this to say about the Mt. Graham red squirrel today:
As part of a conservation program for the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted an annual squirrel survey and estimated approximately 214 animals in the PinaleƱo Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

The latest survey count is in line with the population numbers found in 2010, but represents a decrease of 26 squirrels from the 2011 estimate.

Small mammal species like the Mount Graham red squirrel typically have cyclical populations that depend on the conifer cone crop, their primary food resource. Biologists continue to explore new ways to conserve the species, including habitat improvements, squirrel research and consideration of a pilot captive breeding program.
The Mount Graham red squirrel population spiked to around 550 animals in the late 1990s, but typically ranges between 200 and 300 individuals. Habitat losses caused by fire and insect infestations and poor cone crops caused by drought are considered primary factors in the species’ recent trends.
So you know, don't worry. Yet. 
P.S.: You too can own an Angry Red Squirrel shirt, by shopping at Peace Supplies. Tell 'em we sent you. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cowboy Ken Feels the Heat!

(Image borrowed from The Wildlife News. Too funny not to share again!)

In an election day event in Colorado, Cowboy Ken, a.k.a. Secretary of the Interior, got a little hot under the collar when asked about his shipping off wild horses to a slaughtering plant in Mexico. In a rather un-Secretarial fashion, he volunteered to "punch out" the reporter if he was ever asked hard questions on personal time again. Wow.

As our (~four) loyal readers know, we'd really like for Cowboy Ken to resign or be fired from the DOI. He's an abject disaster. And word is, he might. Maybe a few more turns of the screw?  We're sure there's a golden parachute in the form of a energy job out there for him somewhere.

As for who might replace him, we've resigned ourselves to the fact that it probably won't be (but definitely should be) Congressman Raul Grijalva. As the greenest member of Congress, he'd be a dreamboat at the helm of the Interior, and we'd even forgive him his horses, but we'd bet against it with all the uranium in the Grand Canyon region. The enviros can throw their ticker tape parade of endorsements, but apparently, that doesn't mean much to Obama. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Honey-Do List for the Next Four Years

In 2008, when Barack Obama became the President elect of the United States, we were speechless. This time around, we're like, "Meh." This morning, we compared him to a cheating lover who you reunite with. You're happy to have him back, but you kinda know you deserve a lot better.

Don't get us wrong. Mitt Romney would have been an unmitigated disaster, selling out our natural heritage faster than you can say "Deseret." But President Obama has been selling it out, too. (e.g.). And his debate bullshit about who was a bigger friend to oil and gas was downright appalling.

So, while the enviros outline their vague wishlists for Term 2, we'll throw out our environmental To-Do list too (just in case one of you USDA readers happens to have your top boss' ear):
  1. Fire the fuck out of Cowboy Ken. No more hats.
  2. Put solar and wind in disturbed/developed areas. Period.
  3. Give the National Landscape Conservation Lands to the National Park Service. 
  4. Make all the BLM lands NLCS lands. See Number 3.  
  5. Reinstate the 1982 Forest Planning Rule.
  6. Strengthen the Endangered Species Act and relist wolves. And let them eat schoolkids if they want to. (They don't.) Seriously. We've got enough schoolkids.
  7. Impose a meat tax. Forget soda; those folks are hurting themselves. Meat is hurting the planet, our bodies, and causing the suffering of sentient beings. Also: Gross. 
  8. Skip all the MPG requirements. Give tax credits to bicyclists. We need real change in transportation, not token reductions in emissions.
and, 9. Don't wait.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

An Open Letter to USDA Wildlife Services

To Whom It May Concern,

We notice that our last post got your attention. It got a lot of attention, more than this site has had in years. Like, thousands of visitors from all over the world, thanks to this particular fire hose. The universal response (minus one) to your employee's action is disgust. Because torturing wildlife- any life- for shits and giggles? Not cool. Whether he was on the clock or not (and we've got money on the former), you've hired someone whose hobbies include cruelty to animals. We're sure there is a limited pool of applicants willing to kill wildlife, period, but you really picked yourself a gem with this guy.

You see, we find your mission anathema to our land ethic, and we very much hope your whole agency gets defunded one of these years. The culling and killing and poisoning and trapping and slaughter of wildlife at the behest of private industry needs to stop. Your work regularly breaks our hearts and turns our stomachs.

Still, our usual revulsion notwithstanding, you've got a problem on your hands in the form of one Wyoming employee. So, we ask, what are you going to do about it?

If you'd like to respond and share your plans for addressing this bad behavior, we'd be happy to post a unedited letter here. We're sure many of our readers would like to know how you intend to handle this "rogue" employee and whether he'll get getting a promotion for this innovative approach to addressing sheep predation, or whether you'll put dog biscuits on his per diem.

We're awfully cynical, given the secrecy of your agency, that you'll come clean with us, but you can't say we didn't give you a chance. A better chance that that coyote had to defend herself with her foot in that trap.


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