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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
1 Comments
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
5 Comments
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
15 Comments
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.
Endangered species act

Great News for Montana's Wolverines

by: Matthew Koehler

Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 16:28:36 PM MST

For Release: January 7, 2013

(Helena) Montana District Court Judge Sherlock signed an order today granting a joint motion from the State of Montana and the conservation groups to cancel a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for January 10th to see if the injunction stopping wolverine trapping should remain in place. Today's order effectively ends the 2012-2013 wolverine trapping season in Montana.

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) filed a lawsuit on behalf of several conservation groups in October 2012 in state district court against the State of Montana to end the trapping of wolverines, a candidate species awaiting federal Endangered Species Act ("ESA") protections. Helena Hunters and Anglers, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and 6 other conservation groups' request for a temporary restraining order to suspend wolverine trapping in Montana was granted on November 30, 2012.

"Common sense prevailed" said Matthew Bishop, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center who is representing the plaintiffs.  "With the 2012-2013 wolverine trapping season effectively over, new leadership at the State, and the likely federal listing of wolverines as a threatened species in the coming months, Montana is well positioned to take a leading role in wolverine conservation in the lower 48.  I hope the State takes advantage of this opportunity" added Bishop.

"This is great news that this year's wolverine trapping season is over," said Swan View Coalition Chair Keith Hammer. "Hopefully, wolverine will soon gain the threatened species protections they need so desperately, including a permanent ban on the intentional killing of wolverines."  

Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies said, "We're happy to see the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks make the right decision and agree to keep the restraining order in place. The Bullock administration is getting off to a good start."

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is likely to issue a proposed rule to list wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA") in the coming weeks. A proposed rule is expected to be sent to the Federal Register by January 18, 2013. Wolverines will likely be listed under the Endangered Species Act and federally protected before the next wolverine trapping season starts.

Arlene Montgomery,Program Director for Friends of the Wild Swan said, "Wolverine are the real winners with this agreement.  With the threat of trapping off the table for this season, the agency can now focus on recovering wolverines."

Once prolific across the West, the entire population of wolverine in the Lower 48 states is now down to no more than 250-300 individuals. Population estimates for Montana range from approximately 100 - 175 individuals. A substantial number of the remaining wolverines in Montana are likely unsuccessful breeders or non- breeding sub-adults. The best available science estimates that Montana's "effective population" of wolverines is less than 35. Montana is the only place in the contiguous states that still allows trapping these rare animals.  

Much like polar bears, global climate change is imperiling wolverines due to habitat destruction. Wolverines require deep, late-spring snowpack for denning and raising young and cold year- round temperatures.    As suitable habitat is fragmented or vanishes, populations become ever more isolated and reproduction becomes much more difficult.

WELC, on behalf of eight conservation groups and an individual, petitioned Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to halt trapping in August, well before the season was slated to start on December 1, 2012. But the State refused to consider the best available science or arguments made in support of the petition. Nor did the State provide any response to public comments asking for the end of wolverine trapping. Consequently, the conservation groups filed suit in state district court in October, challenging continued trapping as a violation of state laws requiring maintenance or restoration of rare animals.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the wolverine as a species that "warrants protection under the federal Endangered Species Act" in 2010 after determining that the already small and vulnerable population will continue to decline. Trapping represents and additional threat to wolverine mortality in Montana. In one study, of the 14 wolverines tracked in the Pioneer Mountains during a three-year period, 6 were killed in traps, including 4 adult males and two pregnant females. As a result of trapping, the wolverine population in the Pioneers was reduced by an estimated 50% Source: http://ncfp.files.wordpress.co...

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Wolf management decision in MT often based on opinion & politics

by: Matthew Koehler

Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 06:22:39 AM MST

That's one of the central points in a new paper titled "Hunting Wolves In Montana - Where Is The Data?" released by Montana indy wolf biologist Jay S. Mallonee.   Mallonee's review paper was published on September 3, 2011, in Nature and Science, a peer reviewed scientific journal, and can be downloaded over at Clean | Green | Sustainable.  
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Good News: US House Rejects "Extinction Rider"

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 13:21:44 PM MST

Yesterday, on a vote of 224-202 the U.S House of Representatives rejected the "extinction rider," which would have prohibited species listings and habitat conservation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Thirty-seven House Republicans broke rank and rejected the "extinction rider," while two Democrats supported it.

Specifically, the "extinction rider" would have defunded the US Fish & Wildlife Service's ESA program, preventing the agency from listing species as threatened or endangered or designating critical habitat under the ESA.  Defeating the "extinction rider" is good news for America's most vulnerable species and their habitat, which otherwise face a tough political climate.  

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Former Interior Sec Babbitt Calls Out Pres Obama on Environment

by: Matthew Koehler

Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 08:31:16 AM MST

A fellow Democrat urges the President to be a better a leader for land and water conservation -- "something he has not yet done" and to fight harder against Congressional riders dismantling environmental law.

Steve Casimiro has the report, and Babbitt's speech,  over at NewWest  http://www.newwest.net/topic/a...

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The Atlantic on Reverberations of the Wolf Rider

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 06:40:53 AM MST

From Skylar Browning, Missoula Independent Blog:

The Atlantic went ahead and declared the key environmental issue for the 2012 elections: endangered species.

Forget climate change, writes Associate Editor Nicole Allan. Democrats have invited a potential political problem ever since Montana's own Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Simpson championed the wolf rider, which delisted the gray wolf in the northern U.S.

Allan points out that the rider has created two major problems. The first is a rush of other proposals to delist species that may hold up development. Here's one example:

Republican Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and James Inhofe (Okla.) have proposed amendments to an economic-development reauthorization bill that would prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from extending ESA protections to two species prevalent in oil and gas country.

The other problem is something that's already riled some of Tester's former supporters.

By courting Western voters, however, the Democratic Party runs the risk of alienating its environmentalist base of donors and activists.
Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Cry, Wolf: How a campaign of fear & intimidation led to the gray wolf's removal from the ESA

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 13:35:48 PM MST

By James William Gibson
Earth Island Journal, Summer 2011

http://www.earthisland.org/jou...

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Action Alert: Senator Tester and his wolf rider

by: Matthew Koehler

Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:22:07 AM MST

Yesterday, Senator Jon Tester's shameful and undemocratic tactic of attaching his wolf rider (anti-Endangered Species Act rider) to the US Senate's must-pass budget bill succeeded.

As the New York Times reported, "Congress for the first time is directly intervening in the Endangered Species List and removing an animal from it, establishing a precedent for political influence over the list....The rider is the first known instance of Congress' directly intervening in the list....The rider also precluded judicial review of this provision."

Senator Tester has now opened up the floodgates for more politicians just simply (and quietly) attaching riders to must pass bills to remove other endangered animal and plant species from ESA protections.  Are salmon next? Desert tortoise? Leatherback turtles? Puma? Black-footed ferret?

Senator Tester's actions are a great gift to developers, the resource extraction industry, other special interests and politicians that don't like the ESA and could really give a toot about protecting native wildlife and plants.  The message is clear: just pass a rider and close the court house door like Montana's Senator Tester!

Senator Tester also forever closed the court-house doors and removed the possibility of any judicial review of his wolf rider, meaning wolves are delisted forever, no matter how low their populations may plummet.  Until Senator Tester, this was never done in the 38 year history of the ESA.

Please make sure to contact Senator Tester directly and let him know how you feel about his wolf/ESA rider.  Thank you.

Click here to send an email: http://tester.senate.gov/Contact/

Senator Tester's D.C. Office phone number is:   (202) 224-2644

To speak with someone at Senator Tester's Missoula office, call or visit:
130 W Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003

The Endangered Species Coalition has put together a simple-to-use action alert right here:
http://org2.democracyinaction....

Discuss :: (20 Comments)

Tester attaches wolf rider to $1 trillion Continuing Resolution

by: Matthew Koehler

Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 06:38:22 AM MST

According to the Missoulian:
"U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has inserted language into the Senate's Continuing Resolution - the bill that funds the entire national budget - declaring the gray wolf a recovered species in Montana and Idaho.  The $1.077 trillion, seven-month spending bill is expected to reach a full Senate vote on Tuesday, and then return to the House of Representatives."

In response, Defenders of Wildlife issued the following press release:

Senate includes wolf delisting bill in must-pass funding pack age:
Provision would strip ESA protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2011) - In the latest effort to strip federal endangered species protections from gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, a Continuing Budget Resolution to fund federal government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year was unveiled in the Senate today. The provision directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue the 2009 delisting rule, which was struck down in 2010 by a federal district court, and would insulate the reissued rule from further judicial review. If enacted, wolf management authority would be returned to all states in the region other than Wyoming. Idaho and Montana have made clear that wolf numbers will be drastically reduced in those states, and Wyoming has thus far refused to produce a wolf management plan that passes muster under the Endangered Species Act.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

"What do wolves have to do with critical funding for our federal government? Absolutely nothing. Congress should be focused on keeping our nation's essential services up and running, not going back on America's commitment to restore wolves to Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

"This provision would hand over responsibility for wolves to the states when their approach of late has been anything but responsible. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has repeatedly stated his intent to kill as many wolves as possible in Idaho, and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer recently encouraged ranchers to take the law into their own hands and kill wolves on sight. We should not be rewarding these states for thumbing their noses at the conservation of wolves, wildlife that belongs to all Americans.

"This provision sets a dangerous precedent for legislating on Endangered Species Act protections that could leave countless other species vulnerable to attack. And, by blocking any further judicial review of wolf delisting, this provision sends the message that complying with the law doesn't matter. If Congress adopts this measure, it will be a tragedy not just for wolves and other endangered species, but for the rule of law in America.

"Congress's last-ditch attempt to force wolf delisting through on a budget bill only opens the door to other riders that eat away at the foundation of our nation's environmental safeguards."

Discuss :: (15 Comments)

Please Speak Up For Wolves in Helena

by: Matthew Koehler

Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 06:54:53 AM MST

(From the Western Wolf Coalition - mk)

On Thursday, March 3, the Montana Senate Fish and Game Committee will hear testimony on HB 471, a bill that sets a maximum wolf population in the state at 15 breeding pairs. This bill would significantly reduce wolf populations in Montana.  We believe wolves should be managed like other native wildlife, as a valuable part of Montana 's wildlife heritage, not as pests to be destroyed.  Please email the Senate Fish and Game committee in Helena and urge them to VOTE NO on HB 471.

Background on HB 471 (Sponsored by Rep. Dan Kennedy).

• HB 471 sets and artificial cap on the number of wolves in Montana by capping the number of breeding pairs at 15.

• HB 471 will override Montana's wolf management plan - a plan that was derived after an extensive and open public process that included Montana sportsmen, conservation groups, ranchers and many others.

• Overriding Montana 's federally-approved Wolf Management Plan will only delay the day Montana gets to manage wolves.

Nearly a dozen other wolf-related bills have already been drafted in Helena.  Besides increasing the killing of wolves in Montana, these bill hearings provide a forum for anti-wolf types to vilify wolves, carnivores and endangered species generally.  That is why your legislators in Helena need to hear from you!

A handful of special interests are falsely blaming wolves for killing too many elk and livestock. In fact, elk populations have increased 60% statewide in Montana since wolves were reintroduced and 18% in the region (see:  http://www.westernwolves.org/u... ). Furthermore, livestock lost to wolves represent less than 1% of livestock losses in the Northern Rockies.  It's time to put the scare tactics aside, and manage wolves based upon reality, reason, and science.  Thank you for speaking up for wolves and Montana 's wildlife heritage!

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

EarthJustice's letter to Gov Schweitzer on wolves

by: Matthew Koehler

Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 13:27:49 PM MST

On February 25, 2011 lawyers from EarthJustice wrote Governor Schweitzer a letter on behalf of twelve organizations involved with litigation involving wolves and the Endangered Species Act "to express our deep concern over your recent statements regarding Montana's wolves....Unless and until wolves are lawfully delisted, Montana's wolves are protected under federal law."

The letter was written on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for  Biological Diversity, The Human Society of the United States, Jackson  Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the  Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Network and Hells Canyon Preservation Council.  Click here for PDF copy of the actual letter.

Below are some additional snips from the actual letter. Also today, the Missoulian had this article.

"In your February 16, 2011 letter to the Secretary of the Interior, and in numerous follow-up interviews with local and national media outlets, you suggested that Montana did not intend to follow federal law, nor honor its commitments under either Montana's wolf management plan or its memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to wolf management.  Your statements could jeopardize Montana's continued authority to manage wolves under its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

More troubling, your statements may incite Montanans to violate the Endangered Species Act.  Wolves are still protected under that act. In Northwest Montana, it is illegal for anyone other than authorized wildlife agents to harm, harass, or kills wolves. In other parts of the state, individuals may only kill wolves that are in the act of attacking their livestock or pets. Nowhere is it permissible for individuals to kill wolves in a response to an alleged threat to elk herds.

We urge you to correct the misimpression left by your statements that it is no longer a crime to kill wolves. If you do not, Montanas following your lead may be punished under federal law by substantial civil and criminal penalties.... Wolves in Montana should be managed as an essential part of the ecosystem, not in opposition to it."

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Montana's GOP is a Natural Disaster

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:29:06 AM MST

Today, the Missoula Independent's Matthew Frank has an excellent, in-depth article looking at the sorry state of affairs within the 2011 Montana legislature concerning a little something called "the environment."   If you enjoy breathing air, drinking water, eating food and viewing wildlife in a non-Chernobyl, non-Bhopal sort of way, make sure to give this article a read...and take the appropriate actions.

Natural Disaster: Republican legislators wage war on Montana's environmental laws.

UPDATE:  HB 549 will receive hearing tomorrow in the House Natural Resources Committee.  This is the bill that would establish state supremicy over science by proclaiming:

global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

and

global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.
 ~ Rob Kailey
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Arizona Republic: Montana pols could imperil wolves

by: Matthew Koehler

Mon Feb 14, 2011 at 12:01:54 PM MST

Today the very mainstream Arizona Republic editorial board took Senator Tester and Congressman Rehberg to task for "trying to look more appealing to anti-wolf factions" in Montana.  The entire editorial is below.  It's well worth a read to see how other parts of the country view Montana politics, and also to see how either Rehberg's Idaho and Montana Wolf Management Act of 2011 or Tester and Baucus'  Delisting Gray Wolves to Restore State Management Act of 2011 would negatively impact endangered species recovery in other parts of the country, and for far more than just wolves.

In response to the introduction of Rehberg's bill, Defenders of Wildlife - a very respected, mainstream voice for wildlife and habitat conservation - issued this press release "Rehberg sets the stage for nationwide wolf eradication".

Meanwhile, when the Tester/Baucus bill was introduced last fall, Defenders had this to say, "Senate bill would short-circuit Endangered Species Act protection for wolves: New legislation could set back wolf recovery, undermine federal protections for wildlife."

Montana pols could imperil wolves
Arizona Republic - Editorial, Feb. 14, 2011

Montana's 2012 Senate race could doom wolves in Arizona. It's politics. And it stinks.

The long-fought effort to restore endangered Mexican gray wolves to the wilds of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico is threatened by posturing between two politicians. Montana's Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who intends to run for Senate, are each trying to look more appealing to anti-wolf factions in that state. Wolves are pawns.

Let's be clear: The situation for the Mexican gray wolves is very different from that of wolves in the northern Rockies. Wolves in the northern Rockies are in far better shape than the 50 Mexican gray wolves who stand between the species' survival and its elimination in the wilds of the Southwest. These wolves need more protection, not less.

Wolves in the northern Rockies are much more plentiful, yet efforts to remove them from the endangered-species list were overturned by court decision last August. Since then, Tester has been trying to satisfy the concerns of those who are not happy about the increasing numbers of wolves in Montana and its neighboring states.

Legitimate concerns about wolves need to be addressed. But Tester's efforts late last year included a move to simply exclude those wolves from the Endangered Species Act - not through a bill that could have been debated, but as part of a larger omnibus bill.

Rehberg is upping the ante. As a newly announced candidate for Tester's Senate seat, Rehberg says the federal government should have no say in state wildlife issues. This is nonsense.

The Endangered Species Act is a recognition of the value of species diversity as part of every American's national heritage. States don't trump that national interest. Yet Rehberg wants Congress to exclude all wolves - including those in Arizona and New Mexico - from protection under the Endangered Species Act. Environmental groups say this effort could also be tacked onto a larger bill without debate.

Both these efforts circumvent the role of Congress as a place to openly debate matters that affect the nation. They also run around a careful process for species delisting that is built into the existing law of the land.

This approach could create a precedent of excluding animals based on politics instead of biology. It would neuter the Endangered Species Act, which is recognized as one of the world's premier environmental laws. Rehberg's scheme would doom the Mexican gray wolves.

Democrats - including the Obama administration - have been allowing Tester to build his states' rights bona fides as he seeks re-election. The president and Democrats in Congress should show some spine and serve a higher interest than Tester's political future.

The American people benefit from a healthy Endangered Species Act and a healthy population of wolves - including Mexican gray wolves.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Speak up for Endangered Species in Montana

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 08:47:00 AM MST

(Action alert from the Endangered Species Coalition)

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for wildlife, plants and fish that are on the brink of extinction. In Montana, it has successfully prevented the extinction of our bald eagles, bull trout, lynx and grizzly bears. The Endangered Species Act also protects the habitat that these and other Montana critters need to survive-our rivers, mountains and plains.  

Background on House Bill 321

House Bill 321 seeks to nullify the Endangered Species Act in Montana.
• HB 321 would prevent Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks scientists from managing and conserving threatened and endangered wildlife within Montana.

Take action now! Click here to email the House Judiciary Committee in Helena and as them to oppose HB 321!

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Wolverine ruling puts politics ahead of science

by: Matthew Koehler

Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:59:16 AM MST

Today's Missoula Indepedent includes this column from George Ochenski (who I've always thought was built a little bit like a wolverine himself). Below are some highlights from the article.

This week President Obama's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decided the wolverine warranted listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). That action, in response to a lawsuit by conservation organizations, marks a dramatic turnaround from the agency's decision a mere two years ago that denied protection for these exceedingly rare animals. Unfortunately, wolverines will not be placed on the endangered species list and receive the protection they deserve. Instead, they will join hundreds of other species and continue their one-way march to extinction because the agency claims it doesn't have enough funding....

[T]hanks to both political expediency and the budgetary black hole into which ongoing wars have plunged the nation, even though the numbers of species deserving protection continues to grow every year, fewer and fewer plants and animals are actually being listed. Instead, as with the wolverine, the agency and the U.S. Congress that funds it, says protection is warranted, but their continued existence on the planet is a cost we just can't afford.

Even worse, we now have politicians like Montana's own Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, who believe it's time to simply remove animals from the Endangered Species List through congressional mandate. I'm talking about the gray wolf, of course, a topic that never fails to spark heated debate these days over their numbers, livestock and wildlife predation, and the subsequent cost to sheep and cattle producers.

What Tester and Baucus fail to consider, however, is the consequences of their actions. If they succeed in pulling wolves from the endangered species list through a simple bill—or more likely, given Tester's recent proclivities, a rider on unassociated, "must pass" legislation—they will set a precedent that will literally gut the ESA....

The choice is clear. Congress can and should act. At the current level of more than $2 billion a day, only two or three days of military spending would fund the endangered species program into the foreseeable future. The excuse of "budgetary concerns" is simply a sad hoax perpetrated by politicians kow-towing to corporate interests. Unfortunately, between that and legislative manipulation of the endangered species list, this generation is stealing the future from those yet to come.
Discuss :: (16 Comments)
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