Here we are a month into twenty
eleven already, and it seems I'm a little short on Gossip,
News, and Hot Tips. In fact, "Hot Tips"...?
Be serious! Other than staying by the fire, none come to mind
at the moment. <read on, I may have been mistaken yet
again...> Although true to form, we're in the Banana
Belt, a whopping 7 above right now, a bit after sunset. Although
a few miles away, at the airport it's only 2. Still almost balmy
in comparison to eastern
But then a few days ago it was almost balmy, pushing
50 in places.
That was then, and this is now, though.
It's going to be brutal in lots of places, and
we're already seeing articles about animal
die-offs in eastern Montana.
So in comparison ours have it easy.
Those photos were taken today, incidentally, as
was this one...
Even the elk are doing OK in the neighborhood
this year. In fact the bulls have been hanging right above us
here a fair bit. Not that we're talking big numbers; used to
be about 300, until the "management" hunt cut that
in half. Not quite like over in the Madison, where we used to
be talking between six and ten thousand (depending where you
draw lines), but now are down there somewhere closer to maybe
two thousand or a bit more. And yes, a "consensus"
of the Madison Elk Working Group still agreed to a management
hunt (going on for a few weeks yet), although quite a few of
us are starting to go wait
And it's not even February yet!! Not quite,
So things could get ugly. Especially when bison
start leaving Yellowstone Park en masse.
But luckily, there's been some significant
developments on those fronts lately. Even though they're
only taking place in cyberspace, so far, it's quite striking
to have significant private
landowners who are extremely familiar with the landscapes
involved, speaking up and pointing out common-sense (not to
mention all but free!) solutions.
The good (and sometimes bad...) thing about the
internet is that anyone can speak up. But then that's
what we've insisted on with the upcoming citizen working group
for the bison situation also. And at the moment...
I'm pretty optimistic. The timing might be right.
Give it a month or so, and the bison are coming
out of Yellowstone en masse. We can capture, &
send them to slaughter, or we can allow them to utilize 15,000
year old migration trails, that not only lead to the winter
range, there's next to no conflict. The only two landowners
with year-round cattle in the area have basically said "bring
it on!". That is priceless...
So let's say you wanted to reverse a "national
disgrace", and hit one out of the park in the
You "save" this priceless asset (not
only from listing as an endangered species) simply by allowing
access to conflict free winter range. Where someday we can have
a bona-fide buffalo hunt as well!
And then you facilitate single-payer public health
insurance in Montana!
Do that, and you've hit the big time...