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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

I am sure noted environmental writer and longtime Yaak, Montana resident Rick Bass is cheering on the WESTERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER in the suit they have filed against the US Forest Service.............The USFS. plans to extensively clear cut large sections of the Kootenai National Forest,,,,,,,a critical cross-border(Canada) biome that is still home to a handful of Grizzly Bears and Lynx...............Our own Federal biologists have acknowledged that clearcutting of the kind planned here will displace and harm Grizzlies over the decade ahead.......................We hope that Mr. Bass will put his gifted "pen to work in helping the Law Center defeat this ill-advised logging plan

Conservationists File Lawsuit to Protect Rare Species from Going Extinct in Kootenai National Forest

Missoula, MT  Located in the far Northwest corner of Montana, the Cabinet-Yaak region of the Kootenai National Forest provides essential habitat for imperiled grizzly bears and critical habitat for Canada lynx, two species protected under the Endangered Species Act as threatened with extinction.
On Tuesday, the Western Environmental Law Center, representing the Alliance for Wild Rockies, filed suit in Federal District Court (Missoula, Montana) to protect these species from the U.S. Forest Service's unlawful plan for massive clearcutting and roadwork in this biologically rich area.

"Young Dodge" logging project includes: (1) 2,492 acres of logging (including clearcuts that are nearly 400 acres in size); (2) 3,986 acres of prescribed burning; (3) 97.3 miles of new road maintenance and improvement and the addition of 8.85 miles of roads added to the transportation system; (4) three forest plan amendments to allow for large clearcuts; and (5) logging in old growth stands over a 10-year period.
  1.  Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem, home to the most endangered population of grizzly bears in the contiguous U.S. Only 45 bears remain of this distinct population, which is currently being considered for a separate listing as an endangered species.
According to the government's own biologists, the massive clearcuts and roadwork planned for the project would likely displace and harm grizzlies for nearly 10 years.
"Grizzly numbers in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem continue to decline every year," said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  "In spite of these falling grizzly bear numbers the Forest Service plans to commercially log thousands of acres, open up roads, and use low-level helicopter flights in occupied grizzly habitat.  It's well-known science that low-level overflights by helicopters 'harm and harass' grizzly bears in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Even though we cited the law, judicial opinions, and the agency's own policies that ban such activities, the Forest Service refused to listen. So now we're compelled to go to court."
"We haven't seen an industrial logging project like this in years and never one in occupied, critical habitat for lynx," said Matthew Bishop, attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center. "It's important that we hold the Forest Service accountable. Our environmental laws embody our values and priorities as a Nation and ensure important habitat for imperiled species like grizzlies and lynx is protected. Unless these laws are enforced, they're meaningless," added Bishop.

Rick Bass, a Texas native, lived in Arkansas and Mississippi before moving to northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley, where he lives with his wife and daughters.
 A former petroleum geologist and wildlife biologist, he is the author of seventeen books, including a short story collection, The Hermit’s Story; a memoir, Why I Came West; and the novel All the Land to Hold Us (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).
 An active environmentalist, Bass is a member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council, working to protect as wilderness the last roadless lands in the Yaak Valley. 

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