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Past Month's Moccasin Telegraph

January 2011


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 Montana.

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 a minute...

And it's not even February yet!! Not quite, anyway...

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 process.

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...




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