Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mitchell Republic too far away from West River bison issue

Update from Native Sun News linked here.

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The reintroduction of American Bison to historic ranges is raising the specter of racism in Montana and South Dakota.
Some of the Yellowstone herd is infected with brucellosis, a disease that can spread to cattle and cause abortions and sterility. With careful execution, hopefully the plan to bring more bison to South Dakota can happen without also bringing an outbreak of brucellosis. [editorial, Mitchell Daily Republic]

The reality:
Brucellosis transmission risk is limited due to the combined effects of management to maintain separation between cattle and bison, the synchrony of most bison parturition events into a short period and in areas separate from cattle summer ranges, the cleaning of birth sites by female bison and the relatively quick environmental degradation of Brucella in late spring weather, and scavenger removal of potentially infectious birth tissues that makes it unlikely that viable Brucella abortus bacteria would remain for cattle to encounter. [US Park Service]
Creeks that haven’t flowed in the Black Hills for decades are running because 400 square miles of ponderosa pine have been turned by the bark beetle from transpiring millions of acre/feet of water into standing methane generators. Looks like natural selection from this 40-year observer of the Anthropocene; the Arkansas and Platte are at bank full in mid-July for the same reason.

The Helena National Forest piece and this post at A New Century of Forest Planning are inextricably linked in that the sheer number of trees have sucked so much water from recharges that they leave the most contaminated water for the humans and other species to sustain ourselves.

In the Black Hills, Weyerhaeuser analogue, Neiman Enterprises is taking the last of the old growth ponderosa pine in the name of insect control and taking federal dollars to do it while the small diameter trees are left standing. Massive piles of slash littering the forest preside over skidder trails that slice up hillsides.

Multiple mycology surveys reveal disrupted, cattle-infested tree farms where humanity has destroyed whatever remains of the preceding 11,000 years of indigenous and ungulate management. Multiply that by the countless watersheds that European immigration destroyed in the United States and Canada by the number of those exploited in the name of disaster capitalism.

The Mitchell Republic editors could be saying get cattle the hell out of bison habitat and that it's time for President Obama to rewild the West.

Is that right, Seth?

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