What’s the state of Wyoming doing for it’s wildlife?
Here’s a few things:
The feedground in the Upper Green River Basin and around Jackson is in full swing. Most experts agree that the operation of feedgrounds will eventually lead to outbreaks of Chronic Wasting Disease.
"This is a very significant concern," said the GYC's Lloyd Dorsey. "The science is clear. CWD affects concentrated populations." Dorsey pointed to reports
by Dr. Markus Peterson of Texas A&M, "There is no question that discontinuing winter feeding now would greatly reduce the risk of CWD transmission among elk" in the Greater Yellowstone Area, Peterson wrote.
Despite strong language and strong evidence, Wyoming Game and Fish's draft CWD Management Plan, approved in February, contains no plan to discontinue the feedgrounds. Instead, it calls for intensive monitoring and culling animals that show symptoms of CWD.
**It takes two years from initial infection of CWD for the symptoms to appear. BLM is planning on waiting until CWD hits the herds, and then just cull, hoping there’s some elk left standing when all is said and done. The same decision has been made for Montana’s elk, as well. When commercial livestock interests are at stake, and clearly, they are behind the BLM’s decision to hang tough on this matter, wildlife and their habitat always seem to get the short end of the stick.
For more on this:
“There are ways to minimize the risk in advance, and stopping the feeding tops the list. In reality, the feedgrounds are no different than game farms, which have been banned in Wyoming since the early 1970s. They concentrate wildlife and create circumstances favorable to spreading the disease. Hoskins, never lost for words or energy to stop the feeding, describes the feedgrounds as ‘petri dishes for spreading disease’.”
These feedgrounds "take the wild out of wildlife, spread disease, and alter their behavior." They will do what they are designed to do: make the herds inherently weak, cull them down, contain them.
In all fairness, this is not just a Wyoming problem. All of the herds west of the Rockies are at risk, and feedgrounds are what, a cattleman's solution? The policies advanced by the BLM are slowly and surely weakening, weakening our wildlife, putting them at needless risk, closing them in.
I'll bet "containment" would be a favorite expression...
Speaking of containment:
"A new way of thinking"
"Wyoming wildlife managers recently restructured and renamed the state-run elk feedground program into a new Wolf Feedground program. By giving the Greater Yellowstone wolf packs access to a guaranteed food supply in the winter, ***statistics have shown a significant decrease in livestock depredations*** at nearby ranches while reinforcing the natural balance predation plays in maintaining elk populations, wildlife managers said".
Really? A new way of thinking? This is starting to all sound like double speak.
Inviting wolves to an elk party. Wow. Maybe they could sell tickets to tourists, bring the whole family. Hell, might as well invite the grizzlies, too. On second thought, they probably won't need an invitation...
But wait, I've saved the most outrageous gambit for last:
In an effort to completely dupe the public, this just in:
Wind River Mountains Bridger Wilderness Wildlife Sanctuary receives new designation
" Bush Administration and State of Wyoming recently announced the creation and designation of a **pilot program** for a new land use designation unit specifically designed to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. The first to be designated is the Wind River Mountains-Bridger Wilderness Wildlife Sanctuary (WRMBWWS). Under the new designation, the Bridger Wilderness area will be entirely surrounded with 12-foot tall wildlife fences."
**just a note about BLM's "Pilot programs" - they could be considered pilot programs in the same way as the EU could be considered a pilot program. Once the camel's nose is under your tent, you're in trouble...**
The announcement goes on...
"These [the fences] are designed to create a pristine habitat zone for grizzly bear, wolves, elk, moose, black bear and many other species. For the pilot test program, the area will be treated as a "no human presence" zone. Wildlife managers will monitor wildlife populations and movements via satellite surveillance.
A 12-foot fence to keep humans out?
Researchers will reenter the area at the end of the 3, 5, 8 and 10-year interval in the 10-year study period to do on-the-ground population counts and determine the effectiveness of the non-human interference wildlife ecosystem program. The new plan is being heralded by wildlife groups and environmental organizations as President Bush's finest program yet for the protection of wildlife. "The President finally gets it!" said Maxine O'Hara, Director of the "Give Wildlife Room To Roam" political activist organization."
Maybe the President gets it, but I don't...
Don't the grizzlies, wolves, elk, moose, black bear, and many other species ALREADY HAVE A PRISTINE HABITAT ZONE?
It's called Wilderness.
A 12-foot fence to keep humans out?
It's all starting to sound like a huge theme-park.
Nah, it's to keep the wild critters
Right, guys? Double-speak. Damn.