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The next bison slaughter


Rockies Today

December 4 · Issue #46 · View online
The big stories up and down the Rocky Mountains, curated by Mountain West News

The next bison slaughter
Between 600 and 900 Yellowstone bison to be culled this winter Between 600 and 900 Yellowstone bison to be culled this winter
Most of those animals will likely end up dead, either taken by hunters or shipped to slaughter. Some will stay alive, sitting in corrals and being enrolled in the park’s brucellosis quarantine program.
The range of between 600 and 900 bison is the same goal managers set in three of the past four winters. It has come with varying results.
More than 1,100 were removed in winter 2018, while fewer than 500 were removed this past winter.
This winter’s plan includes putting as many as 110 bison into brucellosis quarantine, a process of isolation and repeated testing for the disease. The program is meant to produce disease-free bison that can be sent to the Fort Peck [Reservation]. Certifying the animals as free of brucellosis — a disease feared by the cattle industry — clears barriers to transferring live bison from Yellowstone to other places.
Fort Peck received two shipments of bison from the Yellowstone region this year and more may soon be on their way there. Ryan Clarke, of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said there are 14 cow-calf pairs at APHIS corrals near Corwin Springs that will be tested again this month and could be sent north soon after.
Wait, why do we slaughter bison again?
Silencing the Thunder on Vimeo
Yellowstone neighbors fighting bison hunt lose injunction bid
More wildlife news:
Grizzly mortalities high again as agencies consider management tools
CWD plan targets mule deer bucks, eyes sharpshooters
Conservation group prepares to launch massive Endangered Species Act lawsuit
Utah Lake’s endangered June suckers are bouncing back
Wyoming’s coal-fired economy is coming to an end Wyoming’s coal-fired economy is coming to an end
Wyoming’s leaders now have no choice but to quit their coal habit. But replacing the industry will not be easy. They will need to figure out how to capture more revenue from other sources, such as tourism, as well as how to use the cash from oil and gas to diversify the economy. Wind power production in the state — which, like coal, is taxed — has the potential to provide the same stabilizing financial influence, but it will need to grow tremendously to do so. Officials may need to institute an income tax that will require the billionaires of Jackson to pay their fair share. And, in the end, the state simply might have to learn to do with less.
Still, the state remains committed to leveraging its robust coal assets:
University of Wyoming to launch carbon capture collaboration with Department of Energy
More energy news:
Bankruptcy judge slams coal miner Blackjewel over expenses accumulated by company attorneys
Laramie County, Wyoming, residents take oil company to federal court
Clean B.C. is quietly using coal and gas power from out of province. Here’s why.
Moody’s downgrades Alberta’s credit rating over weak economy reliant on oil
Trans Mountain CEO still promising pipe in the ground before Christmas
A flood of climate science
Prospects look bleak for Canadian mountains, Arctic and coasts, says IPCC Prospects look bleak for Canadian mountains, Arctic and coasts, says IPCC
The effects of human-caused climate change will be dramatic and severe in mountain and Arctic regions of Canada, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is predicting in a special report.
The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere says climate change will cause up to 80 per cent loss of glaciers, disruptions of recreational and cultural activities in mountain regions and heightened risk of landslides and other hazards, water shortages and unprecedented sea-level rise.
The cryosphere encompasses all the Earth’s water in solid form, including sea ice, lakes and rivers, snowpack, glaciers and permafrost.
Released in September with little fanfare, the report is now being discussed more widely at the COP25 climate change conference underway in Madrid, Spain.
Meanwhile, a new study suggests the West can expect more extreme flooding events:
Atmospheric rivers fuel most flooding in the West. Climate change will make them worse.
Why did the turtle cross the road?
BLM to study hotly contested corridor in Utah conservation area BLM to study hotly contested corridor in Utah conservation area
Proponents of the 4-mile-long highway corridor that would cross the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in southwest Utah’s Washington County say it is badly needed to ease traffic congestion in the city of St. George, which is one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas.
But congressional Democrats and environmental groups have strongly resisted the proposal to cross the Red Cliffs NCA, as well as a 62,000-acre desert reserve that includes habitat for the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise.
The Bureau of Land Management, however, will conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) evaluating the corridor proposal in response to a highway right of way application submitted by the Utah Department of Transportation.
The county has proposed adding about 6,800 acres to the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve to offset the loss of Mojave Desert tortoise habitat, according to an advance notice in today’s Federal Register.
BLM, which is partnering with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the EIS, will evaluate whether to allow a 1.75-mile section to cross portions of the Red Cliffs NCA and desert reserve, according to the notice.
FWS will take the lead on evaluating whether to issue an “incidental take permit” that would exempt the killing, harming or harassing of a certain number of desert tortoises “for specific land use and land development activities in Washington County,” according to the notice.
More public lands news:
BLM looks to give lands to Colorado for old debt
Trump administration draws charges of ignoring public input through its revamp of lands councils
Yellowstone, PEER tussle over Wi-Fi in historic buildings
What else we're reading today
Denver to change curriculum that educators said ‘eliminates the Native American perspective’
Supreme Court considers fight over Superfund site in Montana
Agriculture is part of the climate change problem. Colorado wants farmers’ soil to be part of the solution.
Undocumented farmworkers could get citizenship from a new bill in Congress
Rockies Today is edited by Matthew Frank, Fellow in Regional Journalism at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana.
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O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 59812