Arch Canyon: A Secret Highway?

During our hike in Arch Canyon, we saw a ton of trash throughout an otherwise isolated and pristine area. Most of the trash happened to be ready to eat food with Spanish language labels and black jugs. It was an eye opening experience to be so aware of a very different way from yourself to experience a place.

America’s Public Lands: Under Attack

Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. -Teddy Roosevelt

America has a lot of public land—in fact, more than 30% of our land area is public. In August of 2010, I heard Tim Egan speak in Wallace. He spoke about Teddy Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, the Fire of 1910, and his book The Big Burn. The thing I remember most, and that I scribbled in my notes from the evening, was his comments on the importance of America’s public lands, “‘We didn’t have a home on Hayden Lake like the swells,’ Mother said, ‘We’re richer than the bastards! We have the national forests!'” In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, he elaborated: “Not long after I was old enough to cast my first vote, I realized that with American citizenship came a birthright to my summer home.”

The land area of the United States is about 2.26 billion acres. Of that, the Federal Government owns 605 million acres that are administered by the public lands agencies: the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Parks Service, and the National Wildlife Refuge system. In addition, state governments own 197.5 million acres. The lands are administered in a variety of ways, they include recreation areas, forest land sold for timber purposes, and the lands in the National Wilderness Preservation System (cited data). Whether it is Tim Egan acknowledging the wealth the lands grant to all Americans (and millions of foreign visitors) or Teddy Roosevelt designating 230 million acres of public lands America’s public lands have been repeated acknowledged as an asset to our country.

Public Lands: BLM

Continue reading “America’s Public Lands: Under Attack”

The Call of The Wild

Friday the front page news here in the Valley was that wolves had attacked and killed a dog in Burke.

WALLACE — Domestic dogs were attacked by four wolves around 6 p.m. Wednesday night on the 600 block of Burke Road, just outside of Wallace.

One dog died and another sustained a facial bite, said Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander, and there were many wolf tracks in the area.

Idaho Fish and Game notified residents in the area and informed them that it is legal to shoot the wolf pack.

Mullan resident Barry Sadler didn’t just have his dogs attacked by wolves a few years ago — they chased his daughter into the front door and came right up on his porch.

“They just can’t coexist with people,” he said. “It’s impossible … as long as they run wild, they’ll continue to kill everything until there’s nothing left.”

Sadler shot and killed one of the offending wolves. His wife, who was inside at the time watching out the window, said that while he was lying on his stomach shooting, one was watching him from about 25 feet away.

He said wolves just chew animals up a lot of the time without eating them, and called them “treacherous and filthy.” The percentage of what they kill versus what they eat is less than 10 percent, Sadler said.

Regarding Wednesday’s attack, he said people don’t realize that wolves would rather eat dogs than any other animal.

“They hate each other,” he said. “They’ll kill dogs any chance they get.”

And his dogs have killed wolves themselves — they’ll come up to the porch covered in blood, he said.

Sadler said he’s not a hunter, and at first, the thought of hunting wolves made him sad because they reminded him of dogs. But then he saw what they’re capable of.

“I know God doesn’t make mistakes,” he said, “but I tell you what — the fly, the mosquito and the wolf … I don’t know what He was thinking when He made those three.”

Calls made to Idaho Fish and Game official Josh Stanley about the attack weren’t immediately returned.

Kelsey Saintz, Shoshone News Press, January 13, 2012

At 4:28pm last night Spokane news station KHQ posted news was that there was another wolf attack on a chained dog in the same area. By 5:20pm they had revised the report to state it was “wild dogs.” Apparently Idaho Fish and Game had showed up and said there were lots of tracks in the area but no wolf tracks.

Saturday morning the front page had a correction: no wolves were involved in either attack. Continue reading “The Call of The Wild”