Tuesday, November 8, 2016

USFWS inching closer to Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge


One image shows why President Thomas Jefferson used an executive order to defy the US Constitution, began the Native American Genocide and purchased the Louisiana Territory from a country that didn't even own it.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife is proposing a dramatic reorganization of its National Wildlife Refuge system in Montana and seven other states that would result in significant staff and program cuts. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials said the “Realignment Strategy Staffing Framework” was a draft document that had been in the works for three years. “Status quo is not an option,” said the report. “We cannot operate with high numbers of vacant positions on organizational charts while we try to continue to do the work of those vacant positions – it is simply not sustainable.” Instead of assigning staff members to specific refuges, the positions for each district are pooled, without an indication of where people will be headquartered. [Missoulian]
Included in the plan is the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge on the Missouri River in Montana and the Prairie Pothole Region.

Rewilding is happening!
Sportsmen for Bison’s initial focus is the tremendous opportunity to restore bison at Montana’s million-acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR). The refuge – which, yes, hunters helped pay for – is ideal, prairie bison habitat adjacent to several million additional acres of public lands. And, in case you’re wondering, the CMR welcomes hunting and is regarded as one of North America’s premier big-game hunting areas. The area could easily accommodate thousands of wild, wide-ranging bison. [National Wildlife Federation]
And:
On the cold and stormy evening of Oct. 20, 2005, 16 American bison were released on the grasslands of northeast Montana. The bison, from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, roamed out into a prairie landscape the species had not inhabited for 120 years. In the midst of the herd a calf bolts, its rust-colored coat standing out from the nearby adults. The calf finds its mother and begins to nurse. The herd moves quietly beneath an impossible sky.
Read the rest here.

Invasive species are plaguing the main stem dams on the Missouri River. Accumulated mercury in large fish causes spontaneous abortions yet record non-native salmon in Lake Oahe go untested.

Christopher Guy, assistant unit leader with the US Geological Survey Montana Cooperative Fishery Unit and professor at Montana State University, joined Dakota Midday host Karl Gerhke on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio to talk about the importance of recent findings on the endangered pallid sturgeon in the upper Missouri River basin.
According to American Rivers, an advocacy group that tracks U.S. dam removals, 72 dams in 19 states were torn down in 2014, a record. That is roughly double the annual number from 10 years ago. Some 1,185 dams have been removed since 1912, according to the group. The fleet of U.S. dams, however, is still enormous. The Army Corps of Engineers counts at least 87,000 dams in its database. Removing dams produces its own benefits. Public safety is enhanced by reducing the risk of a dam failure, and moribund freshwater fisheries are rejuvenated when a segmented river is reconnected. [Circle of Blue]
Below the Missouri River dams pallid sturgeon are showing signs of recovery but above?

Surprise!
Pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line that has lived on this planet for tens of millions of years; yet it has been decades since anyone has documented any of the enormous fish successfully producing young that survive to adulthood in the upper Missouri River basin. Now, fisheries scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Montana State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have shown why, detailing for the first time the biological mechanism that has caused the long decline of pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River and led to its being placed on the endangered species list 25 years ago.
In a paper published this week in the journal Fisheries, the scientists show that oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River are directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon hatched embryos to survive to adulthood. Given what the new research shows about how no oxygen is available to hatched pallid sturgeon embryos, the authors of the paper propose that officials will need to consider innovative approaches to managing Missouri River reservoirs for pallid sturgeon conservation to have a chance. [press release, US Geological Survey]
The extirpation of bison, cougars and wolves has created explosive wildfire conditions in the Greater Missouri Basin. Wildlife Services, part of the US Department of Agriculture, wants to exterminate a wolf pack that killed nineteen elk in a Wyoming refuge that feeds and over-winters the ungulates. Elk in the region are dying en masse from Chronic Wasting Disease that researchers say results from the federal government feeding of elk in close proximity. Feral horses and burros are destroying vast swaths of public land.

We all know this: unless the West embraces rewilding on portions of the Missouri River basin west of a north/south line from Oacoma, South Dakota through the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge to Yellowstone National Park then to the Yukon water wars will clog the courts leaving violent armed vigilantism to settle disputes.

The feds should buy out landowners unwilling to lease for wildlife corridors.

President Obama: decertify the dinosaurs that are the main stem dams, tear the earth fuckers down and rewild the West.

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