Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yellowstone Briefs

Shameless Plug
Alcohol Involved
Bears On Rampage
Wolves In The News
Domestic Elk Threaten Park
Other Stuff

-- Our neighbors at Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters are enjoying a good year of packing and riding. To get the feel and flavor of Yellowstone National Park you might want to get the #1 selling CD in Yellowstone, "Yellowstone For Violin And Orchestra."
-- Not sure? Click HERE to download an MP3 sample from the CD.

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-- As noted in the NPS September, 7 news release, a fatal car crash occurred in the Gardner River last Wednesday.
-- The road between Mammoth and the north entrance to the park was closed on a couple of occasions for rescue, investigation, and debris removal.
-- Now we learn in SECOND NPS PRESS RELEASE that alcohol was involved, and that the driver is in federal custody. Details on the variety of charges he faces will be available once he makes his initial appearance next week before Federal Magistrate Stephen Cole in Mammoth Hot Springs.
-- This is the third alcohol related automobile accident in Yellowstone in a week, and the third death this year.

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-- At one time Yellowstone Park fed the bears as a matter of course. It was an easy way to get rid of the garbage that the visitors generated, (at hotel dinning rooms, on picnics, or leftovers.) By 1902 it was the "official policy" to not feed the bears - but it was not until the 1960's that the policy was taken seriously.

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-- A mother Grizzly Bear and her cub are now becoming show-stoppers along the east entrance road. They eat on picnic tables at Elanor Lake picnic area, and entertain visitors. They are under close watch by NPS staff and may need to be removed or killed. Read the NPS news release Here. Read the Helena Independent Record account Here.

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-- Wolves are in the news again as they continue to expand their territory.
-- At one time it was official policy to eliminate wolves, now they are protected.
-- With the introduction of wolves, Americans have voted to have them present as neighbors once again. The Oregonian reports that the wolves may have established breeding packs in or near the Wallowa Mountains east of La Grande - LINK.
-- the Ashland Daily Tidings just ran a story about the monitoring efforts of biologists to establish the proof of the pack's existence and their territory - LINK.

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-- The WESTERN LIVESTOCK JOURNAL is keeping close tabs on the growth and expansion of wolf packs. They note that:
"According to Defenders of Wildlife (DOW), a group which supports the reintroduction and spread of wolves in the U.S., wolf numbers are growing, as are reports of livestock depredation and claims for damages. DOW reimburses ranchers whose livestock is killed or injured by wolves. So far this year, DOW has paid more than $90,000 to ranchers who have lost livestock to wolf depredation in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. According to the group, between 1995 and 2004, they paid a total of $400,000 in direct compensation for losses suffered by ranchers and another $200,000 for preventative measures aimed at preventing losses before they occur." (LINK)


-- A group of domestic elk have busted out of an elk farm in eastern Idaho, and may threaten the 'genetic purity' of the elk in Yellowstone National Park, according to an Associated Press news story - LINK.
-- The elk farm has been controversial in Rexberg, Idaho and the surround region for some time. The controversy and the problems associated with it are detailed in a news article by

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-- Perhaps a few wild genes would do the cantankerous tame elk of Yellowstone National Park some good.
-- It's interesting that wild elk run from cars and humans, while tame elk attack them.


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-- The San Francisco Chronicle lets us know that a new giant has been found. The new "Tallest Living Thing" was discovered by a group of folks that search for tall trees. They have found three that break the old record.
-- They are almost sure that they know which of three new discoveries dethroned the previous tallest tree - LINK.
-- The photo, by Thomas Dunklin at left, shows the new king.
-- Read about how trees get water to the tops of these giants in Humboldt County, California - HERE. Another copy of the photo in this article shows some interesting features of the research effort.