Cultivating small family farms at harvest time

Harvest time is as important culturally as it is economically. It is the time of the year when farm families measure up the fruits of a season’s labor, not necessarily in money.

The money’s important, don’t get me wrong. But harvest time is when farmers find out how they did on all of the goals set in the winter.

They may have been goals on crop production, the results from a shift in land strategy or a project completed. Or they were goals that they could finance a child's education, marry off a daughter or convince a son to follow in their footsteps.

Palin's view on climate change far different than skeptics

One of the issues Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin differs with John McCain on is global warming. But the differences now are not as large as her critics suggest.

Midwest wolf decision leaves Yellowstone grizzly delisting in doubt

The path to delisting the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf just got steeper with a decision by a Washington D.C. federal judge this week. The delisting of Yellowstone grizzly bears may also be in doubt.

Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Bush administration Monday to take back protection for gray wolves in the Great Lakes area under the Endangered Species Act. His decision, while technical cuts to the heart of managing endangered species, especially large predators that have so many conflicts with people.

Dam breaching an issue in Oregon Senate race

Salmon and dams could play a role in who wins the U.S. Senate race in Oregon.

Incumbent Republican Gordon Smith has made protecting the four lower Snake dams on the Snake River in Washington a foundation of his own energy policy, following the roadmap of President George Bush in 2004 and Democrat Maria Cantwell in 2006.

His Democratic challenger, Oregon Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley, has not endorsed dam breaching. But he has said the magic words that please salmon advocates, he's keeping his options open.

McCain's opposition to subsidies won't lose him Idaho farm votes

The vote today on the bipartisan financial bailouts has shaken many conservatives to the bone, especially in the House. The massive federal intrusion into the market goes against their core values.

No one looking to "drill baby, drill in Idaho

With calls for “drill baby, drill” ringing through the Republican convention why is it that there isn’t a big run on Idaho?

Look at all the natural gas development going on in Wyoming. The Wyoming range is the latest place the oil and gas industry want to explore and it is not far from the Idaho border.

Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming weigh wolf options

So what happens next with wolves in the Northern Rockies?

If U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy remands the case back the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as expected the federal agencies has several options. Wyoming is also weighing its options including suing the federal government for not delisting wolves.

The environmental groups who are the victors are waiting for the agency to make the next move and waiting for a new administration that might be supportive of their goals of placing a higher floor on the number of wolves that must be protected in the region.

Dad kills grizzly with a bow as it attacks son

Hunting season in Wyoming always brings people and grizzly bears together in a manner that is not especially good for either.

Bears know the hunters have meat. After more than 200 years of killing since Lewis and Clark the grizzly bears that have survived are generally less aggressive than the ones the two explorers encountered.

It is simple genetics. The aggressive bears were killed off. The ones more wary of humans survived.

Fire experts share lessons from 1988 fires

In the movie, "Firestorm: Last Stand in Yellowstone" Scott Foley, playing fire ecologist Clay Harding, says the line I thought was so over the top it was a punch line: "If we don't stop this fire now it could burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean."

Since Yellowstone is more than 800 miles from the Pacific its a line that only a Hollywood disaster screenwriter could come up with. Right?

No long suffering Cub fan here

I can’t accept the standard label of long-suffering Cub fan. It certainly fits my fellow newsroom Cub fan Tim Woodward. But as long-time Idaho Statesman readers of Tim’s columns on his vacations and his home improvement projects know, “long suffering” are adjectives that go beyond Tim’s forlorn love for the Cubs.

Sure, I’ve watched my Cubbies blow their seasons in 1969, 1984 and 2004 in epic fashion. I’ve never seen them in the World Series. But my grandfather did and his ties to them are among the family jewels I hand down to my children and grandchildren.

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