Sheep-bighorn battle dike breaks

The current bighorn sheep controversy is the latest example of how much of a limit there is to the ability of politicians to hold back the dikes from change.

Dave Hunter, the former Idaho Department of Fish and Game veterinarian who was the lead author of the still unpublished paper that documented the transmission of a deadly bacteria from domestic sheep to bighorns on the range, gave me a good history lesson.

Elmore postpones decision on nuclear plant

The Elmore County Commission postponed a decision Monday on rezoning farm land for a proposed nuclear power plant.

The commission discussed the Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. proposal to locate a 1,600 megawatt nuclear power plant near Mountain Home Monday. Its planning and zoning committee voted against the rezone in November, 4-2 after four hours of testimony.

Industries lobby to get their piece of climate bill

Environmentalists are content to allow industry to lobby to its heart's content about the cap and trade bill aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.

What matters to them is that it has hard and fast caps on greenhouse gas emissions and those caps drop progressively over time, reports the Washington Post.

Will demise of salmon deal force end to salmon fishing?

Lieutenant Gov. Brad Little told Obama Administration officials that if it doesn’t back the Bush Administration's current biological opinion, the deal that was cut with Northwest tribes would fall a part. He suggested Idaho would return to its long, and I might add lonely, role of challenging what it considered overharvest of several Idaho stocks of salmon, including fall chinook by ocean fishermen and the large “B” run steelhead.

Commenters take blogs in different directions

I touched several nerves in the last week with blog entries and I want to share a few of the ideas my commenters have made about the state of the range and climate science.

Now many readers have said to me they don’t like the level of discussion in the comments on my page and others. But I think its like a train wreck, we can’t avert our eyes. This entire process of newspaper blogging is new and I am experimenting as I go along to try to offer readers something informative and interesting.

One bighorn's story

The drama of Bighorn Sheep R14 has focused the challenge the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has in protecting bighorn sheep in Idaho where ranchers are grazing domestic sheep.

Mercury spewing Nevada gold mine gets shut down again

With gold hovering near $1,000 you would think gold miners would do what ever it takes to stay in production at this profitable moment.

But Jerritt Canyon in northern Nevada just got shut down again by Nevada environmental officials. The company had committed to having its new, state of the art mercury control system up and running my May 30.

It didn’t, AP’s Scott Sonner reports in BusinessWeek, and the state of Nevada is holding the company to its words.

Urban myth: Hansen's 1988 global warming prediction was wrong

One of the great myths of climate science is that James Hansen, the NASA climatologist who has been one of the main voices warning of global warming, made a prediction before Congress in 1988 and it was 300 percent off. The late novelist Michael Crichton even used it in his book State of Fear.

Rey, Risch and Obama administration show savvy politics in roadless rule

Mark Rey won’t likely be remembered for his political skills as the Bush Administration’s architect of its forest policy.

And neither his friends in the timber industry nor his opponents in the environmental world were happy with the results of his tenure. He didn't get much timber cut but he remained a foil to environmentalists' goals.

But Idaho’s GOP and the supporters of collaboration as a way to resolve western resource issues owe him a debt of thanks today.

Can we turn cowboys into rangers for our public lands?

The fight this year in the Idaho Legislature over bighorn sheep demonstrated to me that Idaho and the West need a new vision for the future of public lands ranching in the state.

This session returned ranchers and lawmakers to “ghost-dancing,” a term I first heard from Luther Probst, of the Sonoran Institute in the early 1990s. It’s a play on the ghost dancing society among Indians in the late 1900s, which said that ghost dancing would make Indians invincible and drive the white men away.

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