Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Its all because of The Wolves

There is a big movement to blame the decline of Moose in Montana on Wolves. I think the cause is traffic , Poaching  and building massive houses in their habitat. Can't wait for them do blame the decline of Golden Eagles on Wolves.

3 golden eagles caught in snare traps in Montana; 2 die

2013-01-29T13:58:00Z3 golden eagles caught in snare traps in Montana; 2 dieMartin Kidston Missoulian (Mont.)Rapid City Journal
MISSOULA, Mont. | Three golden eagles caught in separate snare traps over the past few days have raised concerns among biologists who are racing to understand what’s causing the raptor’s migratory population to dwindle across the region.
The Montana Raptor Conservation Center in Bozeman, Mont., posted an image of one injured eagle on its Facebook page. The bird arrived at the center tangled in what remained of a wire snare.
Of the three trapped eagles, it was the only one to survive. Whoever found the raptor cut the snare, but left the bird to wander with the cable embedded in its wing and shoulder.
“It started pretty much last Thursday when we received the first eagle dead on arrival,” said Becky Kean of the Bozeman center. “We got the second one in Friday and it’s still with us. The third one had to be euthanized at the trap.”
Kean said one of the birds was caught in a snare trap near Ringling. The other two traps were set near Big Timber. The surviving eagle is scheduled for surgery Tuesday to mend wounds left by the snare.
“That cable dug in pretty deep,” Kean said. “We usually see four trapped eagles a year, but they’re usually leg-hold traps. This is the first we’ve seen of snares, and there have been three of them now.”
Biologist Rob Domenech, founder and president of the Raptor View Research Center in Missoula, said it wasn’t the first time golden eagles have been caught in traps.
Yet losing three birds to snare traps in such short order has raised concerns among biologists, who are working across the region to understand why migratory golden eagles are declining in number.
“One of the trapped birds was a bird we put a satellite transmitter on in October 2010 at Nora Ridge off Flesher Pass,” Domenech said. “We were tracking her, and it was the third year of us following her.”
By tracking the bird, Domenech and his team learned that the eagle summered in the Brooks Range of Alaska before heading south for Montana each winter.
It traveled to the Paradise Valley and the Gardiner area, and was fond of the Bridger and Big Belt mountains. Losing the bird to a snare was a setback for the study, both scientifically and emotionally.
“We’ve become attached to these birds on some level, and this one had given us a ton of information in terms of migration routes and the size of wintering grounds,” said Domenech. “Now she’s given us information on a cause of mortality. It’s not a happy ending, but it is data for our research.”
Tom Barnes, president of the Montana Trappers Association, declined to comment Monday on the separate incidents until he learned how the eagles were snared and where the traps were placed.
Barnes did say that Montana has rules in place to minimize the accidental trapping of non-target animals. The rules cover where snare traps are placed and how much bait can be used.
“There are restrictions on how they (traps) can be set for exposed bait,” Barnes said. “I have no idea how these (traps) were set. Without finding out what happened, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on it.”
Biologists have been working to understand more about golden eagles and what’s killing them. When transmitters stop working, Domenech said, scientists typically find the birds dead.
He said the causes nearly always stem from human factors, including electrocution, poisoning, car collisions and accidental trapping.
“In all the years we’ve been doing this, I don’t recall any time where we’ve had three incidences with eagles in snares in as many days,” he said. “That throws up a red flag that there’s something else going on out there.”
Golden eagles may be facing a new threat in the West, where energy development is advancing at a rapid pace. While the birds have adapted to coexist in a human-dominated environment, there are limits to their ability to change.
Steve Hoffman, executive director of the Montana Audubon Society in Helena, started the Bridger Raptor Migration Project in 1991 with a focus on golden eagles. The group’s 21 years of data has shown a marked decline in the population.
“We’ve seen a 40 to 50 percent decline since 1999,” said Hoffman. “That’s across all the life stages of the eagle. It’s a great concern for all of us.”
Like others in the field, Hoffman attributes the decline to a number of factors. Among them, he’s focused on the loss of quality habitat and the abundance of prey – primarily the availability of jackrabbits on the sagebrush steppes of Montana and Wyoming.
“That’s where we’re seeing a huge expansion of energy development,” Hoffman said. “Golden eagles are one of the most adaptable, widespread raptors on the North American continent. The environment has to change very rapidly for them to have problems.”
To ramp up their study of golden eagles and understand their declining numbers, biologists have issued a call for information – a challenge to the scientific community to study the birds and do it fast.
Domenech and his team are now tagging more golden eagles in a cooperative study taking place on a Bitterroot Valley ranch. Many of the birds that migrate south for winter won’t make it home, and biologists want to know what’s killing them during their southern forrays.
“The transmitters are part of greater mortality study,” Domenech said. “We’re trying to get as much information on golden eagles and causes of mortality. It’ll give us a better idea of what’s taking these birds out.”
Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/golden-eagles-caught-in-snare-traps-in-montana-die/article_93f36a79-6d9d-5898-9472-de42fafcfb53.html#ixzz2JNqrjd9F

Saturday, January 26, 2013

see it before its gone

Pictographs tumble from cave wall at state park

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Three images at Pictograph Cave State Park near Billings broke off and fell to the ground.
"Last week there were 36 pictographs," said Jennifer Lawson of Montana State Parks. "This week there are 33 pictographs."
Officials said the rock fall happened sometime between closing time at 5 p.m. Jan. 18 and 9 a.m. Jan. 19 when a ranger arrived. One of the images found on the ground is the black outline of a turtle.
"It represents the earliest known painted image on the Northern Plains," said Lawson. Turtles are one of the more common images found in regional rock art, she noted, with 31 found in Montana.
Other images that broke off include an abstract image in charcoal, and two pieces of a light red ochre image that experts surmise is likely the headdress and legs of a once larger image.
"We were devastated," Jarret Kostrba, the park's manager, told the Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/VCs3Tk).
However, the turtle survived almost intact and will become part of a display in the visitor venter.
"Fortunately it did not shatter," Kostrba said.
Workers have been checking on the cave art because of freezing and thawing cycles that expand and contract fissures holding water in the rock. The water, experts say, likely is left over from big snows in the winter of 2010-2011 that saturated the land above the cave and worked its way into the porous sandstone.
"This has been going on for eons," said Kostrba. "I can't imagine what we could have done to prevent it."
Experts say generations of prehistoric hunters, going back 6,000 years, used Pictograph, Middle and Ghost caves because the complex is ideally situated near a fertile river valley. Park staff and volunteers have been recording conditions in the cave that last few years.
"We're going to work with experts to see what can be done," said Chas Van Genderen, administrator of the state parks department. "We'll do anything we can within our budget and our capacity. But it's a very complicated problem. It's hard to beat Mother Nature."
Time has already removed many of the images.
"This really used to be like the Sistine Chapel," Kostrba said. "There were pictographs on the ceiling, on the wall panels and on the boulders in front."
The images were first catalogued in 1937. But even then archaeologists who turned over rocks that had fallen from the ceiling found traces of artwork.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lighting up the Baxter Hotel

They flipped the switch last month lighting up the Baxter sign after 40 yrs.  Of course now people are going to court over light pollution.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Run to The Pub#2 half Marathon in Country

 Considering I barely got through 2 1/2 miles on the tread mill this morning I will wait till next year for this. But chance to win a trip to Dublin, sounds exciting


Bozeman’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Run to the Pub has been named the No. 2 “must-run” half marathon in the nation by Runner’s World magazine.
The February issue ranks the 27 best races based on the results of an online survey of more than 1,000 readers.

“There are now more than 1,500 half marathons in the country, which begs the question, which are the must-runs?” the magazine article states.
Started six years ago by Pub 317, the Run to the Pub gets runners to embrace their Irish spirit, dressing up in costumes in all different shades of green. Ice-cold beers await racers at the finish line.
It’s “the fun factor” that makes the race so awesome, said Tyler Wilkinson, race organizer and manager of Bozeman Running Co.
“It’s pretty much the kick-off to the running season for most people,” he said.
Runners have dressed up as beer bottles, rainbows with pots of gold and donned green mustaches, Wilkinson said.
Runner’s World ranked the Run to the Pub just behind the No. 1 race, the Naples Daily News half marathon, where warm weather is all but guaranteed in January. The New York City half marathon took third place.
The idea for the Run to the Pub was hatched by Pub 317 owner John Amsden after he went out for a run with a couple of buddies one St. Patrick’s Day, according to the magazine article.
One runner asked, “Where should we go?” Amsden replied, “Why not run to the pub?”
The event has become a 2,000-runner, rollicking St. Paddy’s fest from Amsden’s driveway to Pub 317’s door, the article says.
“Bagpipes send the costumed field (if no tutu, most at least wear a green shirt) onto a net downhill course, and a live band, corned beef, and Guinness greet runners at the finish,” the story continues.
Each year, finishers are entered into a drawing to win a trip to Ireland to compete in the Dublin Marathon. The trip includes a tour of the Guinness factory.
This year, four finishers will win a trip, and organizers are planning to close Main Street for the first time for the crowded event, Wilkinson said.
The race is scheduled for March 16. More information is available at racemontana.com.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stupid people in A can

Jan 11th
Lunatics driving 90 Mph,
a two ton SUV
In white out conditions.
Stupid people in a can.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

blizzard warning for the day

  by: Alcaeus (7th-6th century B.C.)

    translated by John Hermann Merivale


Jove descends in sleet and snow,
Howls the vexed and angry deep;
Every storm forgets to flow,
Bound in winter's icy sleep,
Ocean wave and forest hoar
To the blast responsive roar.


Drive the tempest from your door,
Blaze on blaze your hearthstone piling,
And unmeasured goblets pour
Brimful, high with nectar smiling.
Then, beneath your poet's head
Be a downy pillow spread.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rough Stock Whiskey

So for New Years Mother Goat Presented me with A bottle of Rough Stock Whiskey, Made and Aged here in Bozeangeles. I'm afraid to crack the seal but am looking forward to someday. Maybe after out first half marathon in June ?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

run to the Mountains

Even at their feet
the mountains are too far away
The city drowns out
the song of the trail