December 15, 2019

Oregon Elk Habitat to Get Upgrade Thanks To RMEF Grants

MISSOULA, Mont.—Grants totaling $265,000 provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will fund 20 different habitat enhancement projects in 14 different counties in the state of Oregon.

The 2014 grants will positively affect a combined 11,020 acres in Benton, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Morrow, Union and Wallowa Counties.

“These grants will fund noxious weed treatments, prescribed burning, seeding and planting, meadow restoration, forest thinning and other projects designed to improve forage for elk, deer and a wide variety of other wildlife species,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

Allen thanked RMEF volunteers in Oregon for their efforts to raise the grant money through banquets, membership drives and other fundraising activities. He also thanked volunteers and members across the nation for their dedication to conservation.

“We cannot come close to carrying out our mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage without our volunteers. Their hard work makes all the difference for elk and elk country,” added Allen.

RMEF grants will fund the following Oregon projects, listed by county:

Benton County—Co-sponsor 12th annual Youth Outdoor Day at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, an outdoor education and recreation event for kids ages 5 to 14 that teaches them about habitat conservation, hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.

Crook County—Thin small conifers within and adjacent to aspen stands on 450 acres across the Marks Creek, Ochoco Creek and Canyon Creek watersheds on the Ochoco National Forest; burn previously cut juniper on 425 acres on the east side of the Maury Mountains northeast of Antelope Reservoir as a continuation of a wildlife habitat improvement project to enhance upland shrub habitat, improve water availability, and release aspen clones on winter range; and conduct juniper thin, hardwood release and fuels treatment on 859 acres to promote native grasses, bitterbrush and sagebrush steppe habitat in the Upper Beaver watershed on the Ochoco National Forest (also affects Grant County).

Curry County—Apply weed treatment, prescribed burning and seeding on 391 total acres of the Siskiyou National Forest to maintain and enhance meadow habitat for Roosevelt elk.

Douglas County—Expand a two-year effort by federal, state, private and tribal scientists who developed and validated new elk nutrition and habitat use models for management in northwest Oregon and western Washington to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in southwest Oregon while also providing hands-on career technical training and educational opportunities for youth (also affects Josephine County); and create forest openings on 18 acres and apply fertilization and shrub planting on 20 additional acres on the Diamond Lake Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest as a part of a multi-year, collaborative effort to reverse declining Roosevelt elk population trends in the Western Cascades by improving forage condition and restoring early seral habitat.

Grant County—Apply prescribed burning to 1,600 acres of winter range on the North Fork John Day Ranger District in the Umatilla National Forest to improve forage quality and quantity for approximately 150 to 200 elk that use the area during the critical late winter and early spring; treat 1,350 acres of juniper encroaching on winter range on the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area to improve habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorns, quail and turkeys while also reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire; and thin 300 acres of overstocked lodgepole pine stands to improve forage in an area with high summer elk use within the Pine Creek Wildlife Management Unit on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Harney County—Thin 176 acres of conifers to increase vegetation diversity and improve the health and vigor of aspen, mountain mahogany, choke cherry and other important big game browse species on BLM lands approximately 16 miles northwest of Burns.

Jackson County—Conduct prescribed burning of 101 acres on Huckleberry Mountain on the Rogue River National Forest to increase productivity of late summer forage for elk, black-tailed deer, great gray and flammulated owls, wild turkeys, bluebirds and other wildlife.

Lake County—Thin conifer encroachment within 322 acres of aspen stands to improve habitat on elk summer range and calving areas on the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

Lane County—Treat noxious weeds, plant native grasses and browse species, and place mineral blocks on 155 acres of a 1,422 acre elk emphasis area on the Willamette National Forest to lure elk and deer off of nearby private land; apply mowing and noxious weed treatment to Buckhead and West Fir seed orchards and a power line right-of-way to improve forage plus reinforce standing fences with metal posts to prevent vehicle access and a wildlife watering pond built by RMEF volunteers will receive bentonite treatment; apply herbicide, seeding, conifer encroachment control and browse cutback on 271 acres of Foley Ridge in the Willamette National Forest to improve forage for an elk herd previously numbered at 120 but more recently at 40; apply mowing on 300 acres of meadow and noxious weed treatment on 125 additional acres on the Siuslaw National Forest to improve declining grass, forb and brush habitats (also affects Lincoln, Douglas and Benton Counties); and treat 167 acres in overstocked plantations within the Indigo Wildlife Management Unit with prescribed burning, noxious weed treatments and other activities to increase forage quality for Roosevelt elk and deer as part of a larger project to ultimately enhance 1,650 acres on the Willamette National Forest.

Morrow County—Apply prescribed burning to 2,300 acres in the Heppner Ranger District within the Monument Winter Range, the largest winter range on the Umatilla National Forest (also affects Grant County).

Union County—Reduce young conifer density on 400 acres of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to increase elk summer range forage.

Wallowa County—Apply low intensity prescribed burning on 350 acres within the Chesnimnus Wildlife Management Unit on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as part of a 10-year project to improve critical elk transition and summer range in an area where calf recruitment is poor; and apply 800 acres of noxious weed management across federal, state and private lands in the canyons and grasslands of the Grande Ronde and Imnaha River watersheds to improve critical winter and summer range as well as migration corridors and calving grounds for elk where several units are below management objectives (also affects Union County).

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to receive funding.

Partners for the Oregon projects include the Fremont-Winema, Ochoco, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Siuslaw, Umatilla, Umpqua, Wallowa-Whitman and Willamette National Forests; Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; and various sportsmen, wildlife, civic and government organizations.

Since 1986, RMEF and its partners completed 756 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $44.7 million that also opened or secured public access to 27,213 acres.


Leftist Oregon Can’t Seem to Get Obamacare to Work

This video may contain language that would be offensive to some.


Ranchers in Oregon Kill 500-Pound Bear

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Ranchers in south-central Oregon have legally killed a nearly 500-pound black bear after one of their heifers was killed by a bear and the giant animal was found in the family’s cattle herd.<<<Read More>>>


Oregon: A Lot More Bears Than There Used to Be

A nearly 500-pound male black bear was legally killed by north Lake County ranchers earlier this month after it killed a large heifer and was found in the family’s herd of cattle.

“It’s a whopper,” said Craig Foster, district wildlife biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It was shot legally,” Foster said, emphasizing Marie Leehmann, a third generation owner of the 24 Ranch in Summer Lake had actually gone beyond legal requirements by obtaining a kill permit. “Marie and the Leehmanns went the extra mile above and beyond what they had to do by statute.”<<<Read More>>>



RMEF, Partners Expand Public Access to Oregon Elk Habitat

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation took part in a successful collaboration to acquire and open 560 acres of key elk habitat in the South Fork of the John Day River in east-central Oregon. The purchase also opens access beyond the property to thousands of acres of land managed by Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.

“This transaction is vital because it not only protects crucial winter range, aspen stands and scarce water resources for elk and other wildlife, but it increases the availability of public access for hunting and other types of recreation,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “It also fends off the possibility of development which could have led to new construction, creating habitat loss, fragmentation and the permanent loss of access.”

The property hosts up to 400 head of elk in the winter and is also home to mule deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, bear, mountain lion, raptors and other birds. It supports the Columbian spotted frog, a species of concern under the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Oregon Conservation Strategy. In addition to aspen stands, abundant native bunchgrass exists along with sage-steppe, juniper and ponderosa pine.

The South Basin Springs project is located south of Dayville in the ODFW’s Ochoco Game Management Unit. The property is an inholding on the ODFW Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area where RMEF previously contributed 2,479 acres in 1997.

“We are grateful for conservation-minded landowners like longtime RMEF members Don Moss, Mike Brown and our partners at ODFW. Their vision helps ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Oregon’s Blue Mountains,” added Henning.

Since 1997, RMEF worked to protect more than 31,000 acres of habitat in the Dayville area. Looking at the bigger picture, RMEF enhanced more than 325,000 acres of prime elk country in the Blue Mountains stretching from Oregon into southern Washington since 1987.


RMEF to Fund Conservation Projects in 12 Oregon Counties

MISSOULA, Mont.–Improving forage quality and quantity for elk and other wildlife is the focus of 2013 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for the state of Oregon. The grants total $215,790 and directly affect Benton, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Yamhill Counties. RMEF is also funding a hunting heritage project of statewide interest.

“These projects cover a wide spectrum of actions that will enhance habitat across Oregon’s elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Forest thinning, prescribe burns, seeding and planting native grasses, noxious weed treatments, and restoring aspens will positively affect nearly 4,200 acres.”

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 724 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $43.6 million.

“The funds for these projects are a testament to the passion and dedication of our RMEF volunteers in Oregon. They raise money through their membership drives and banquet fundraising, which stays on the ground in their home state. To them we say, ‘Thank you!'” said Allen.

Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers around the nation for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.

RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county:

Douglas County–Burn 200 acres to reduce understory tree density in the Coffin Butte area on the Umpqua National Forest and create 12 new acres of forage openings in the Diamond Lake Ranger District to address declining Roosevelt elk populations.

Klamath County–Thin 205 acres and burn 1,100 acres of previously thinned acreage as part of a five-year project to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Fremont-Winema National Forest (FWNF); remove lodgepole pine on 90 acres and plant 5 acres of hardwoods to restore meadows on the Deschutes National Forest; remove small trees and burn 79 acres to promote native grass and forbs in a Roosevelt elk calving area south of Crater Lake National Park.

Lake County–Thin conifers and junipers from 158 acres in the Drews Creek watershed on the FWNF as part of a five-year plan to restore aspen stands and improve elk forage and calving habitat; and thin 198 acres of aspen stands and meadow habitat in the Upper Scyan Watershed on the FWNF (also affects Klamath County).

Lane County–Carry out prescribe burning, noxious weed treatments and other efforts on 230 acres of the Willamette National Forest (WNF) to increase forage quality for Roosevelt elk and deer; enhance 199 acres via seeding, planting browse shrubs, herbicide treatments, and installing holding tanks and plumbing at two ponds to enhance water availability during the dry season on Foley Ridge in the WNF; burn, cut, seed and prevent weed growth to benefit summer range and calving areas on 85 acres of habitat on Upper and Lower Murphy Meadow on the WNF; remove noxious weeds and seed native grasses on 79 acres along a power transmission line corridor on the WNF; and improve quality of grass, forb and brush habitat on 505 acres by removing blackberry vegetation and small trees plus treatment of noxious weeds on the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).

Linn County–Implement a combination of thinning, burning, browse cutback and seeding and planting of native vegetation to enhance 64 acres of summer meadow habitat for Roosevelt elk in the west Cascade Mountains. The work also includes adding slash to log jams to improve water availability for elk in the WNF.

Statewide–Host 4-H camp at Lake Creek Youth Camp to introduce youth to careers in natural resources by interacting with professionals in hydrology, forestry, range, wildlife, fisheries, fire science, shooting sports and other fields.

Tillamook County–Noxious weed treatment applied to 156 acres of meadows in the Siuslaw National Forest. The work also includes mowing, weedeating and mulching to benefit Roosevelt elk herds (also affects Lincoln and Yamhill counties).

Union County–Thin 300 acres to decrease conifer cover and increase forage on elk summer range on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Wallowa County–Thin conifers from 330 acres of historic meadows to improve forage quality and quantity for 400 elk on crucial winter range near Troy.

Wasco County–Burning of underbrush on 80 acres on the Seven Mile/Rowena Plateau in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with noxious weed treatment on 45 acres to follow to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies. RMEF staff and volunteers select education projects to receive grants. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.

Partners for 2013 Oregon projects include the Deschutes, Freemont-Winema, Siuslaw, Wallowa-Whitman and Willamette national forests, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other government, state, wildlife and volunteer organizations.


Insane Schools Doing Insane Things to Teachers

IF you can believe this. Think about it from all angles and then ask yourself a few questions. Here’s what went down from what I can gather from this news article.

A day in an Oregon charter school, when kids were at home because of teacher workshops, two masked men entered a classroom full of 15 teachers, shooting blanks in their weapons at the teachers. This was labeled as some kind of drill so teachers could better prepare. Are you kidding me? The teachers knew nothing about this was going to happen.

I am a law abiding American subject. However, under the circumstances of events that have taken place of recent and being a day when no kids were in school, gun free zone be damned, I may have at least considered having a gun on me. What if that had been the case here? What if one of these teachers or perhaps there was a janitor on duty, and one of them had said to hell with the insane laws that put my life at risk? To hell with gun free zones that only rob me of my rights to self protection? What if.

What if.

And, blanks or no blanks, who authorized a violation of the gun free zone for this?


Oregon Senate Hearing on Wolf Management


The Oregon Senate should have invited the wolves and sheep both to testify. Same outcome.


How Do Wolves Affect You?

upsidebackwardsFor me a key statement made in this movie pretty much tells the story. A man says, and I’m paraphrasing, that our laws in this country provide for a person to use whatever means they think necessary to protect themselves, their family and their property from human predators but they are left helpless through Government protection of an animal.

How and why did we ever get to this point?

Wallowa County Wolves from OregonWolfEducation.Org on Vimeo.


DNA Studies – Smaller Native Wolves Existed in Northern Rockies before Canadian Wolf Transplant

By George Dovel (Republished with Permission)

In the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 26, the lead articled titled, “What They Didn’t Tell You about Wolf Recovery,” described the ongoing deception by federal and state biologists in their scheme to fill rural areas in the lower 48 states with wolves.

The article referred to 20 years of Dept. of Interior Solicitors (lawyers) changing the number of N. American wolf subspecies covered in the Endangered Species Act from 24, finally to two and back to four – and then to any or all wolves called “gray wolves” or “Canis lupus”. Then it told how FWS reclassified ESA-listed wolves as members of two “Distinct Population Segments”, which it later changed to three until a federal judge denounced the obvious attempt to circumvent the ESA.

The ongoing debate between wildlife scientists who classify species, concerns whether subspecies of elk (red deer), North American bison, grey wolves, etc., exist. Bona fide expert taxonomists include Dr. Valerius Geist who points out that changes in location, habitat, size and appearance alone do not necessarily change the genetic make-up to qualify an animal as a separate sub-specie.

However the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf subspecies – C. l. Irremotus – was documented by physical comparisons of skulls, etc., from larger wolves in 1959:

Page 2 of the 146-page FWS Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan dated August 3, 1987, contains the map showing the historical distribution of Canis lupus Irremotus in the lower 48 states, plus the 1987 distribution in black. It depicts immigration of Irremotus from southern British Columbia into Idaho and from B.C. or southern Alberta into the northwest corner of Montana.

It also shows the two 1987 Irremotus population areas in central Idaho, one of which included the three wolf pack territories mapped by Tim Kimmery between 1988 and 1991 (see Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 35).

Historical Impact on Wolf Subspecies

During the most recent (Pleistocene) ice age, water evaporating from the oceans became part of the glacial ice covering the land. Ocean levels dropped 300 feet or more and the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska dried up.
The exposed land bridge with little snow, later named Beringia, became a refuge for hardy Siberian animals and plants for several thousand years (see below).

Many scientists believe Beringia included a small human population from Siberia that was prevented from continuing into North America for 5,000 years by the North American ice sheets. Geologists report these continental ice sheets were 5,000-10,000 feet in depth and extended south in some places to the 40th Parallel below what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

The artists’ three views of Beringia published by “Wikipedia” illustrate the changes that have occurred in the “Bering Land Bridge” during the last 18,000 years. But there is still disagreement among biologists about when, where and how several current mammal species first arrived on the North American Continent.

Subspecies Had Limited Opportunity to Crossbreed

Since 1995 a number of wildlife biologists have accepted the determination by Nowak that five subspecies of gray wolf (Canus lupus) inhabited North America during the early 20th Century. There is also agreement that Canis lupus occidentalis (the large gray wolf transplanted to Yellowstone and Central Idaho by FWS in 1995) had virtually no opportunity to influence the genetic make-up of coastal wolves in SE Alaska and Yukon and portions of five other Canadian Provinces where it existed.

For thousands of years the ice between interior Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia and the coastal area prevented the occidentalis wolves from mixing with the smaller wolves defined as C. lupis ligoni by Goldman in 1944. And the intensive efforts to kill all wolves in the early 1900s also left few of the large wolves alive in most areas where they might have mixed with the native wolves.

The map below in the study titled, “Legacy Lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated U.S. gray wolves (Canis lupis),” published by Leonard et al in the 2005 Vol. 14 issue of Molecular Ecology, shows the five primary subspecies that existed in the early 1900s. The bold black line indicates the northern limit of gray wolf eradication that occurred in the 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

In 1995, C.l. nubilus, the primary subspecies common in the U.S. and Canada mainland included ligoni from the west coast of Canada, irremotus from the Northern Rocky Mountains and labradorius from Labrador. The “a” to “z” letters scattered on the map represent original locations of the various museum specimens whose DNA were recorded in the study.

A similar study titled, “Phylogeography of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Pacific Northwest”, by Weckworth et al (published in the 2010 (2) issue of the Journal of Mammology) used basically the same map, along with an expanded inset to illustrate locations of testing for the genetic difference between the smaller coastal wolves and the 30% larger occidentalis wolves from the Alaska and Yukon interiors.

Both of these DNA studies emphasize that the nubilus wolves migrated northward to populate Canada as the ice sheets and glaciers melted. They point out that the smaller wolves existed in the south before the larger wolves migrated into northern Canada, and the Weckworth study suggests the coastal wolves should be listed as a separate individual subspecies.

Court Allows Transplants – Then Orders Removal

Readers who actively opposed the FWS option to import Canadian wolves may recall the following events:
In 1994 the Farm Bureau, Audubon Society and other plaintiffs asked the Wyoming Federal District Court to halt wolf introduction because it could not legally occur where naturally occurring wolves already existed per the 10J Rule. But instead of issuing an injunction to halt the process while the arguments were presented, Judge Downes allowed FWS to go ahead and transplant Canadian wolves into Central Idaho and Yellowstone Park for three years until he issued his ruling in December of 1997.

Then after setting aside the final wolf introduction rules as unlawful, Judge Downes ordered FWS to remove all Canadian wolves and their progeny from both experimental population areas. This ruling was met with loud criticism by the wolf activists, including the state and federal wildlife agencies who apparently believed they could get by with ignoring both state and federal laws when it suited their agenda.

Judge “Passes the Buck” to Appeals Court

They quickly pointed out that it would not be possible to even locate most of the wolves – much less capture them. But even if that were possible, both Canadian Provinces refused to allow the wolves to return and there were not enough zoos willing to accept several hundred wild wolves so killing most was the only option.

Judge Downes could have prevented this disaster from occurring by simply putting wolf introduction on hold three years earlier until his decision was reached. But the second time he did essentially the same thing by later staying execution of his removal order pending an appeals decision by the 10th Circuit Court.

On January 13, 2000, five years after the first large Canadian wolves were introduced, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the December 1998 Wyoming District Court ruling that the reintroduction program was unlawful and should be revoked. The appeals court admitted that the evidence showed native irremotus wolves already existed when the larger Canadian wolves were introduced, but said FWS had the authority to determine what constituted a population.
The fact that the resident wolves coexisted with abundant big game populations and with negligible impact on livestock and human activity was already a matter of record in 1994. But on August 12, 1994, FWS Wolf Leader Ed Bangs sent a letter to Charles Lobdell telling him to stop issuing statements to the public advising that the number of reported resident wolves was increasing.

Bangs’ letter advised that FWS planned to introduce wolves from Canada and said: “From this day forward…confirmed wolf activity (will only include) individual wolves or members of packs that have been examined, radio-collared and monitored in the wild.” He also said he had transferred $9,000 to the FWS Boise Field Office to search for wolves and organize flights to locate any radio-collared wolves that might be in Idaho or the Yellowstone area during the summer and fall.

Bangs also included key issues to be presented to the public consistently by FWS:
“1. (I)t is likely that wolf populations would ultimately recover without reintroduction and breeding pairs of wolves would likely occur in Idaho before they would occur (in) Yellowstone.

4. Experimental populations will not knowingly contain a significant portion of the territory of any naturally occurring breeding pair that has successfully raised young. However once wolves are released all wolves in the area will be treated as experimental animals.”

Despite reported wolf sightings by more then 120 outfitters, trappers and others in less than two months, most in the same location where Kemery mapped three wolf pack areas from 1988-1991, and despite the USFS road closure to protect existing wolves (see Bulletin 35), Bangs dumped Canadian wolves halfway between the two known native wolf locations guaranteeing their extermination.

In February of 2012, I forwarded the Weckworth DNA study, without comment, to Dr. Valerius Geist. The following was his reply:

“Thank you, George, I have seen this study. To me it suggests that there was indeed a remnant of native wolves in Idaho that were finally done away with by introduced wolves from Canada. The native wolves would have been of the same clad as the coastal wolves. Anyway, that’s testable since some museum specimens of native Idaho wolves are still available for genetic analysis. However, somebody competent and trustworthy needs to do it. Cheers, Val Geist.”