Jezebel joins the New York Times in mourning the untimely death, this Wyoming hunting season, of fashionista Wolf 832F, widely admired for her successful career as wildlife runway model, her spectacular fur coat, her $4000 tracking collar, and her world-wide fan club.
[T]he New York Times reports that 832F, the very photogenic alpha female of the park’s semi-famous Lamar Canyon, was shot and killed on Thursday beyond the park’s boundaries thanks to state-sanctioned wolf hunts in Wyoming.
The wolf had been fitted with a $4,000 GPS collar as part of the park’s wolf-tracking program. Based on data gathered from the collar, researchers knew that the pack rarely ventured outside the park boundaries, and when they did leave Yellowstone, it was only for very short periods of time. 832F was considered among scientists and photographers to be something akin to a “rock star” in the lupine world (a photo of 832F snapped by wildlife photog Jimmy Jones appears in the current issue of American Scientist), and her sudden death has further stoked a debate about the wisdom of state- and federally-sanctioned wolf hunts in the northern Rockies.
Jezebel aptly proposes commemorating her death by watching CJ on West Wing discuss a similar case (3:10 video). Apparently it was just not possible in time to arrange for Elton John to sing Goodbye, Yellowstone Rose!
It is always a good day for NYM when we are able to add one more dire effect to the Warmlist catalogue.
Julie Cart, at the LA Times, consults the environmental seers who explain that grizzly bear predation on humans in Wyoming and Montana results from Global Warming.
A number of complex factors are believed to be working against grizzlies, including climate change. Milder winters have allowed bark beetles to decimate the white-bark pine, whose nuts are a critical food source for grizzlies. Meanwhile, there has been a slight seasonal shift for plants that grizzlies rely on when they prepare to hibernate and when they emerge in the spring, changing the creatures’ denning habits.
The result, some biologists say, is that bears accustomed to feasting on berries and nuts in remote alpine areas are being pushed into a more meat-dependent diet that puts them on a collision course with the other dominant regional omnivore: humans.
You won’t need to worry about Global Warming if the Yellowstone Caldera decides to erupt.
Hundreds of earthquakes have hit Yellowstone National Park, raising fears of a more powerful volcanic eruption.
The earthquake swarm, the biggest in more than 20 years, is being closely monitored by scientists and emergency authorities.
The series of small quakes included three last Friday which measured stronger than magnitude 3.0. The strongest since this latest swarm of quakes began on December 27 was 3.9.
No damage has yet been reported but scientists say this level of activity – there have been more than 500 tremors in the last week – is highly unusual.
“The earthquake sequence is the most intense in this area for some years,” said the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Some of the larger earthquakes have been felt by park employees and guests, according to the observatory.
The swarm is occurring beneath the northern part of Yellowstone Lake in the park. Yellowstone sits on the caldera of an ancient supervolcano and continuing geothermal activity can be seen in the picturesque geysers and steam holes, such as Old Faithful.
About 1,000 to 2,000 tremors a year have been recorded since 2004. ...
Professor Robert B. Smith, a geophysicist at the University of Utah and one of the leading experts on earthquake and volcanic activity at Yellowstone, said that the swarm was significant.
“It’s not business as usual,” he said. “This is a large earthquake swarm, and we’ve recorded several hundred. We are paying careful attention. This is an important sequence.”
The last full-scale explosion of the Yellowstone Supervolcano, the Lava Creek eruption which happened approximately 640,000 years ago, ejected about 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the sky.
Geologists have been closely monitoring the rise and fall of the Yellowstone Plateau as an indication of changes in magma chamber pressure.
The Yellowstone caldera floor has risen recently – almost 3in per year for the past three years – a rate more than three times greater than ever observed since such measurements began in 1923.
From mid-summer 2004 through to mid-summer 2008, the land surface within the caldera moved upwards as much as 8in at the White Lake GPS station. The last major earthquake swarm was in 1985 and lasted three months.
USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory site
Map of recent earthquakes
Boy Scouts of America, Official Idiocy and Incompetence, Order of the Arrow, Rainbow Family, US Forest Service, Wyoming
a previous Rainbow Family Gathering
The US Forest Service unexpectedly canceled a week-long Boy Scout honor society service project planned since 2004 in favor of a suddenly “spontaneously announced” Rainbow Family “Gathering of the Tribes” at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Western Wyoming.
The decision to pull the plug on the Boy Scouts in favor of the counterculturalists was made by Mark E. Rey, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the Department of Agriculture.
The Boy Scouts’ event was part of a program of 5,000 elite boy scouts donating 250,000 hours of time for construction, repair, and reclamation work in five National Forests. The scout volunteers intended to camp out in Bridger-Teton, build a trail at Teton Pass and remove a quarter of a mile of obsolete sheep fencing as well as three miles of fenced enclosure at an altitude of 8000 feet.
WorldNetDaily reports that the Forest Service booted the scouts in favor of the hippies, rather than go to the trouble and expense of law enforcement.
The conflict arose with the Wyoming location and dates, because Rainbow Family participants announced they would meet in the same general location as the Scouting work was to take place. The Rainbow Family events are not organized, there is no official website, and the makeup of the assemblage varies. Their activities grow to a peak over the July 4th weekend and then taper off, but the cleanup from the estimated 25,000 people expected to invade Wyoming’s Sublette County, population 6,000, is expected to take the time the Scouts otherwise would have been doing repairs.
Mary Cernicek, a spokeswoman for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, told the Casper Star-Tribune federal officials will look for other work in another location to substitute for the Scouts.
“We’re heartbroken, but we’re committed to giving the Boy Scouts a good experience and providing them with the education and leadership skills they’re seeking,” she told the newspaper.
Bousman said it’s fairly simple: The Scouts applied for permission for their project, filled out forms, went through red tape, and got permission. Then came the announcement from Rainbow members they’ve chosen the same location.
Mark Rey, the federal undersecretary supervising the U.S. Forest Service, met with Rainbow Family members recently in Pinedale, and urged them to move their gathering, the Star-Tribune said. They refused.
Rey told WND he thought the decision to move the Scouts to somewhere else and leave the Rainbow Family alone was the best under the circumstances. He said the government allows the Rainbow Family to bypass its regular permit requirements in favor of an “operating plan” but the bottom line was that the government didn’t want to be arresting hundreds or thousands of people.
“They couldn’t be expelled without a fairly significant amount of law enforcement activity.”
But law enforcement activity took place anyway.
The Forest Service, for reasons it won’t divulge so far (probably drugs), made an arrest, a second individual was then arrested as well for interfering with the first arrest, and as the fedral officers led the suspects away, they were attacked with sticks and stones by a crowd of 400. Eventually more than 60 police were required to control the mob, and rubber skugs and “pepper balls,” i.e. paint balls containing pepper spray, were fired at the crowd. Ultimately five people were arrested, and the ACLU is threatening retaliation.
The Casper Star-Tribune blames the police.
Ian Frazier, in the New Yorker, satirizes conspicuous real estate consumption.
Typically, this New Yorker essay ridiculing the super-rich manages to combine with its satire a very characteristic note of complacent self-identification with the supposed target.
I feel sorry for people who still think of their places in terms of square feet. My partner, Scott, and I recently purchased Wyoming, which we are in the process of having renovated, and, yes, I do know the square footage (something like two trillion seven hundred and thirty billion square feet, give or take). But that’s just not a very practical type of measurement when we’re dealing with all the plumbers and contractors and security staff and reporters and other non-wealthy service personnel we have to give instructions to. ...
Basically, we are looking at this purchase as a tear-down. There’s really not a lot here you’d want to keep, except one or two of the Wind River Mountains and some old nineteen-twenties Park Service structures in Yellowstone. Scott and I bought for the location—it’s convenient to anywhere, really, if you think about it—and for the simplicity of line. We wanted someplace rectangular, a much easier configuration from a design point of view, and we won’t have to fuss with panhandles and changeable riverine property lines where we’re going to get into disputes with the landowner next door. Spare us the headaches, please! We’ve had plenty already, with the former occupants (thank heavens they’re gone) and all the junk they left behind—the old broken-down pickup trucks, houses, eyesore water towers, uranium mines, the University of Wyoming, Yellowtail Dam, Casper. I’m a thrower-outer. I believe we must first clear everything away, then see what we’ve got. Scott is more sentimental. He thinks we should leave the North Platte River, for example, and work around it. I haven’t said yes or no. I’m secretly hoping he changes his mind.
Read the whole thing.