Outdoor Articles

Around the Outdoors – April 3, 2008

by Jim Shepherd on April 3rd, 2008 in Conservation and Restoration, Wildlife, Wolf

Shortly after wolves were taken from the federal endangered species list, at least three were taken this weekend by Wyoming residents. According to Wyoming officials, all three of the confirmed kills came in the newly designated predator zone for wolves. Inside that zone, the animals can be shot on sight without limits, as long as the time, location and sex of the kill is reported to the Game and Fish Department within ten days.

On Friday, after the wolves were removed from the endangered species list, they fell under the control of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Under their guidelines, wolves in the state’s extreme northwest corner fall in the state’s trophy game zone and are afforded some protection. Outside that area, however, wolves are considered predators similar to coyotes.

A number of wildlife groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, have notified the federal government of their intent to sue over the wolf delisting, once a requisite sixty-day waiting period is up at the end of April. The groups have not ruled out seeking an emergency injunction under the Endangered Species Act to have the declaration voided.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing hunting of deer over grain or other baits. Critics say it takes the sport out of hunting; others say it simply provides an additional way to help control the state’s growing deer population. While critics say it’s unethical, Mississippi House Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Chairman Bo Taylor offered this solution: “It’s all about ethics. If you feel it’s unethical, then don’t do it.”

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Under the bill, food must be placed in feeders or spin feeders.

The Idaho Game and Fish Department is offering a simple explanation for the deaths of 200,000 Chinook salmon smolts scheduled for release into the Lochsa River last Friday. The explanation? Cold weather and human error. Water flows to an acclimation pond were interrupted when a valve on an intake pipe froze. Hatchery attendants didn’t notice the valve.

In New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed budget cuts are going to be closing nine state parks and cut services at three others. Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, representing Sussex, Morris and Hunterdon, noted – correctly – that the majority of the parks set for closure are in Republican areas of the state. Corzine, as you know if you’ve read much about the continued battles between Corzine, the Department of Environmental Protection and conservationists, is a Democrat.

“It couldn’t be more clearer,” McHose says,“First he said he plans on eliminating the state’s Agriculture Department, which is one of the most efficiently run departments we have, and now he intends on closing down our state parks. How interesting that most of them are located in primarily Republican territory.

“New Jersey parks are not the cause of our state budget problems,” McHose, a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, continued, “a self-serving governor who is clearly out of touch with our residents is.”

She also called the governor a hypocrite for going after an entity that actually benefits the state’s economy. “These parks attract millions of recreational visitors and tourists each year that are a much needed boost to the state’s economy and the economies of the regions surrounding these parks,” she explained. “Mr. Corzine should spend his time battling the real problem – excessive government spending, waste and abuse – and not targeting our resources that actually benefit the state. He should take a long, hard look at the waste in so many of our school districts and the abuse in the state’s New Jersey Family Care program.”

Maybe so, but if history is any guide, Corzine will pretty much do what he wants as the director of the Environmental Protection agency has proven to be more interested in protecting her job than the environment.

So what’s new, right?

It may not be good news, but…we’ll keep you posted.

One Response to “Around the Outdoors – April 3, 2008”

  1. Chuck Says:

    I sure hope this judge rules in favor of the state.

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