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Beetles, Bears, and Climate Change

Disappearing forests in the Northern Rockies. Climate Change.  An explosion of beetles. Confused grizzly bears. We ask what’s going on.

Rocky Mountain Research Station - USFS

Rocky Mountain Research Station - USFS

News out of the high mountain West: The great white bark pine forests of Greater Yellowstone are dying. The majestic stands the stud the Rockies high peaks, with trees a thousand years old, are turning gray. Mile after mile of what they’re calling “ghost forest”. Half dead.

It’s messing with the region’s critical water flow. It’s driving grizzly bears onto human terrain.

It goes back to an exploding mountain pine beetle population no longer controlled by cold winters. It goes back to climate change.

This hour On Point: we’ll look at big trouble in the pine forests of the high mountain West.

Guests:

Jesse Logan, former forest entomologist for the U.S. Forest Service and longtime leader of the Bark Beetle Project for the Forest Service. He just completed a major survey on mountain pine beetles in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Mark McCarty, rancher and manager of the Two Dot Ranch in Cody, Wyoming.

Chuck Schwartz, wildlife biologist and leader of the Grizzly Bear Study Team at the U.S. Geological Survey.  He manages the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area in Wyoming and Montana.

Angus Thuermer, Jr.,  co-editor of the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

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  • JP

    Front page right now on MS-NBC:

    Report: Decade warmest on record, indicators gloomy

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38454658/ns/us_news-environment/

    On the comments forum for today’s show, we’ll get plenty of conservative high school graduates and some college business majors who maybe took one or two science classes denying that there is such a thing as man-made climate change.

    … let these few wallow in their ignorance.

    The rest of us should do what we can to set a good example and to also push hard for change… NOW!

  • informed American

    Since “climate change” has been proven to be scientifically false, how about focusing on how much money Al Gore and Goldman Sachs are going to make if Cap and Trade legislation is passed since Gore and Goldman have secured the rights to buy and sell carbon emission quotas in this country.

  • Tom

    Since “informed American” has been proven to be uninformed about science, how about focusing on how climate change affects the spread of invasive species? The emerald ash borer, for example, poses a real problem for native ashes throughout the eastern US.

  • Jay

    What is going on? Answer is obvious, too many people. Whether we like it or not, the Chinese at least confronting the issue.

  • Gary

    I’m certain there will be plenty of denial of empirical evidence of a warming trend. When I was growing up in VT the winters were cold…so cold there were no such things as ticks, they simply could not survive. None of our pets livestock or anyone ever had a tick!

    You may not like the healing and protective nature of a cold winter, but it is necessary ( a sustained -30 for 3 weeks or more). We don’t have this anymore.

    With the new warmth, New England has many harmful insects advancing rapidly. I myself have seen the Asian long-horned beetle (It is likely it won’t be stopped), and over the past 4 years the forest is infested with bark beetles (normally killed off by a normal winter), ticks are everywhere and their season seems to have been extended, and there is something attacking and killing most of the hickory trees, and on and on… Eventually New England forests will undergo huge changes from endemic hardwood tree species, to resinous scrub land.

    …and lets not forget all of the harmful plant species imported into the unregulated nursery business. The Purple Loosestrife, Asiatic bittersweet, etc.

  • William

    I don’t trust the media in a lot of issues and especially the climate change issue. We need a law that required all new “alternative energy” sources have to be brought to market at a cheaper price than existing energy sources. Additionally, I’m not buying into some “carbon trading desk” run by Goldman Sachs. They have run their last scam on the U.S. taxpayer with that AIG bailout.

  • informed American

    Tom, Climate Change / Global Warming has been scientifically discredited. Don’t blame me because you have decided to ignore all the scientific data. Enjoy your ignorance.

  • JP

    Tom above,

    just about science?

  • Liz

    Informed American: There is nothing wrong with investing in what you believe in. And if you think there’s so much money to be made, go out and buy some of these carbon credits yourself.

  • Larry

    I was driving across the Kenai peninsula of Alaska and for mile after mile after mile it looked like stumps as far as the eye could see. I came across an old town (which are few in Alaska) and wondered why they had established a town there rather than in the beautiful forests I had seen.

    I asked one of the locals and he said the bark beetle had destroyed the forest.

    Even though I had read about it beforehand, and knew about it, I was completely unprepared for the complete destruction of the forest it could cause. The forest was gone. Endless miles of destruction.

  • Larry

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-dead-sea-global-warming-blamed-for-40-per-cent-decline-in-the-oceans-phytoplankton-2038074.html

    Scientists have discovered that the phytoplankton of the oceans has declined by about 40 per cent over the past century, with much of the loss occurring since the 1950s. They believe the change is linked with rising sea temperatures and global warming.

    Good luck uninformed America if you breath oxygen.
    Phytoplankton take carbon dioxide out the air via photosynthesis and produce glucose and oxygen.

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/ NeilBlanchard

    A parallel situation is that plankton is dieing off at a scary rate:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128823662

    This is science, and if you choose not to believe that Global Climate Change is not real, or that it is not caused by us humans — then you need to know that you are in the same boat as flat-earthers, anti-evolutionists, and the moon landing deniers. Science and the process it goes through are the same across the board.

    Is the Theory of Gravity correct? How about the Theory of Relativity?

    Of course there is doubt — there always is! That is what science is all about — the process of answering questions about the unknown, is precisely what motivates scientists to do the work they do. The process of peer review is fraught with doubt. But as time goes on, and more data is gathered, then theories begin to emerge, and they continue to be tested.

    We do not know everything about Global Climate Change — but what we do know is that it is *very* serious, and it is largely caused by what we humans are doing: consuming “old” carbon fuels way too quickly for the atmosphere to absorb.

    We need to change our ways, right now, and we need to do everything we can to reduce our use of “old” carbon fuels.

    Sincerely, Neil

  • Jim

    this is really disturbing. trees are one of the biggest defence against global warming. without a strong and florish forest, this planet will see further climate change that disrupts food supply the worldover.

  • AJ

    And, in the Northeast (at least), the Japanese Black Pines, formerly so beautiful and iconic at the edge of our ocean and bays, have been killed by something, possibly a beetle, in the past few (2-4?) years. Is there a connection??? I believe these trees may have been an introduced species, but they’ve been around long enough (and I’m old!) that I totally associate them with the romance of the New England coast.

    Thanks.

  • Larry

    The Canadian Rockies are under attack too.

  • Larry

    I was Glacier National Park several years ago and saw many of the trees were red and dying. When I said something to some of the rangers they seemed to be uneducated about it or not wanting to acknowledge it because without exception they said to me what are you talking about we haven’t noticed that?

  • Philip

    I live in Southeast Idaho. This is no joke. I’ve driven over Galena summit coming from Ketchum, up into the Sawtooth National Forest towards Smiley Creek on the way to Stanley. Coming down into the valley on the other side, you can see entire mountainsides spreading out before you, covered in rusty red. Every last tree is dying. It’s incredibly disheartening. That was 5 years ago. I haven’t been back that way, partly because I can’t bear to see it.

    And you know what? Dead pine needles are tinder. They’re full of oil. One dry summer and a bad lightning storm and the whole thing is going up.

  • Diogenes6

    Tom Ashbrook seems to think that “talk show” means he should do as much talking as possible.

    The result is that he so often cuts off guests. Worse, so many of the folks who get on air are semi-articulate, and usually, poorly informed.

    It sure looks to me like Ashbrook thinks the point of the show is to get as many callers on the air as possible, rather than actually be informed by guests!!!

    I wish someone would to a tally of the amount of time Ashcroft talks, the amount of time guests talk, and the amount of time callers talk. That might be very revealing.

  • Philip

    I found an interesting piece here. It looks like the pine beetle infestation is slowing in the Stanley area because most of the trees are dead now.
    http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005115670

  • Sally Lichtenstein

    It’s science, Tom. You have to be quiet and let the man talk.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJQ5xStFPAo Kash Hoffa

    Good idea to knock down trees and put up a wicked new cinema

  • JP

    Tom,

    sometimes scientists don’t know how to concisely communicate pertinent information on a talk show like yours…

    … sometimes they are articulate and no exactly how to relate pertinent facts to their audience in a concise manner.

    Yours is a hard job, Tom, but you lost an opportunity today to let your articulate guest tell the story he knows people need to hear.

  • Rodney Teague

    Tom, please do not cut off your guest’s careful description of an experience of walking through the landscapes that are the topic of this segment. We tend too quickly to dismiss as “simply aesthetic” stories and descriptions of natural beings and forms in favor of bottom-line statements of ecological and economic impacts. We think we can get a better grip on numeric data and impact statements. But we lose the feel of interaction among human and more-than-human worlds. That’s where the impact will ultimately be felt–when there are no more descriptions to give or stories to tell…

  • http://www.treefight.org David

    Want to see what the people of western Wyoming are doing about the devastation to whitebark pine? Check out http://www.treefight.org. Dr. Jesse Logan is a friend, scientific advisor, and inspiration to TreeFight. We’re trying to use his science to look forward and take positive action. Please check it out.

  • JP

    Mr. Logan,

    Do you expect quick reforestation by new, beetle resistant species, and what would that mean for the insect and animal populations that would have to adapt to the overwhelming change in their environment?

  • mag104

    Why do people perseverate about whether global warming is man-made or not? The point is…it’s happening, obviously. Surely the one point we can all agree on is that we have to do something about it…if we can.

  • ruth clements

    Pepeating what a good friend Dr Harold Kornilak said long time ago:
    It is a self correcting problem…….

    ruthy

  • sue B

    I can’t wait for the dieoff of the human species, now that will be a day the universe will celebrate.

  • Tim

    With all this die off, Is there a increase in a large scale fire in the future?

  • JP

    Its easy for Wyoming’s Republican senator to pooh-pooh climate change, despite the evdence staring him in the face, when he’s receiving plenty of money from corporate energy interests.

    … typical.

  • Bill

    (1) Climate change is an intimate part of the global history. If not for climate change, the dinosaur might still rule. The wooly mamouth might still roam North America. It WILL happen, regardless of human action or inaction.
    (2) One of the basic tenents of biology is that change favors diversity and evolution. The richest ecosystem is usually the one most in chaos/stress. More organisms are able to find niches in a changing environment.
    (3) The die-off of the White Bark Pine could be alternatively viewed as a release of valuable biological capital that will enrich many adjacent ecosystems. Increased erosion will transport newly minted soils down the mountain. New habitats will be created as the trees die, fall, and rot. More fresh water will be available downslope to irrigate newly created farmlands.
    (4) An interesting topic for Mr. Ashbrooks to explore would be “Expected Benefits of Climate Change”.

    Have a nice day!!!

  • BHA

    The rancher who is not sure global warming exists because they had several days of -20F last winter does not understand the concept.

    Global warming doesn’t mean every location will be warmer on a given date than the same date the prior year or that every year will be warmer than the prior year. You need to look at the long term trends.

    For example, Lake Champlain (between Vermont and New York) used to freeze over almost every year. No more. It is clear that the last 6 decades have been warmer than the prior 13:

    1820-1829 – Froze 9 years
    1830-1839 – Froze 10 years
    1840-1849 – Froze 9 years
    1850-1859 – Froze 9 years
    1860-1869 – Froze 10 years
    1870-1879 – Froze 10 years
    1880-1889 – Froze 10 years
    1890-1899 – Froze 10 years
    1900-1909 – Froze 10 years
    1910-1919 – Froze 9 years
    1920-1929 – Froze 10 years
    1930-1939 – Froze 8 years
    1940-1949 – Froze 9 years
    1950-1959 – Froze 5 years
    1960-1969 – Froze 7 years
    1970-1979 – Froze 7 years
    1980-1989 – Froze 5 years
    1990-1999 – Froze 3 years
    2000-2007 – Froze 5 of 8 years

  • JP

    Postulating that man-made climate change might have ecological bebefits is about as ignorant as you can get.

    This is not 26 million years ago, when a mass extinction due to an asteroid impact can be followed by natural re-stabilization.

    Man is already responsible for a drastic decline in the biodiversity of the planet because he has severely strangled all natural ecological processes.

    Flora and fauna can no longer migrate and evolve according to natural processes, as man has carved all natural areas into relatively small, artificial parcels, isolated from each other in terms of natural migration.

    Any abrupt decline in biodiversity today is likely irreversible unless man disappears from the scene altogether, and because of man’s technological ability to adapt, we’ll be the LAST to go, after everything but some insects and some micro-organisms are obliterated.

    We are completely dependent on the natural world for everything that allows us to survive on this planet… from the air we breathe to the food we grow and eat.

    We eliminate the bio-diversity of our planet at our own peril, and every change (like the loss of our pine forests and all the bio-diversity that depends on those forests) results in more loss of bio-diversity.

    Don’t listen to idiots who get their “science” from FOX news and Rush Limbaugh… nothing we change in the natural world is for the better!

    It’s all to our own detriment, not to mention the detriment of this very unique planet which is likely the only home we will ever have.

  • http://www.lowenfoundation.com/ Flowen

    This discussion took a real interesting turn at the end.

    What is it that prevents us from seeing the obvious?…the cause and effect of environmental breakdown is obviously due to the use, abuse, and misuse of energy in the US; it is a clear and present danger.

    Despite the obvious fact that Wyoming’s political orientation is affected by the benefits derived from the energy industry, it does not explain the denial of the reality of our situation.

    The denial is rooted in the narcissism in our culture. Individually and collectively we need power, status, wealth to support a self image that is increasingly at odds with the reality of increasing stress and breakdown at every level: environmental, social, institutional, personal.

    The degree we have become dis-associated from the reality of our environment is reflective and parallels our disassociation from the nature of our own bodies, and our selves. Taking pills, drugs, and health insurance is notably ineffective.

    We give this part of ourselves up in exchange for materialism, consumption, and the search for guarantees and security in an increasingly insecure world. And the purveyors of materialism, the large corporations working in conjunction with their government partners, are all too happy to oblige 300+ million Americans.

    In short, our problem is psychological. Our culture is sick, and it is increasingly making individuals sick; we all participate, and we all contribute; but there are very few who benefit obscenely, and IMHO, these are the sickest individuals of all.

    The only solution is to allow energy prices to rise, by removing the financial, social, and environmental subsidies to the large corporations that preserve the Status Quo. But we have to see the reality of our situation to recognize and act on the obvious. Continued breakdown will eventually sharpen our focus. Until then, nothing will improve significantly.

    People get the best government they deserve, and the worst government they will tolerate.

  • JP

    Ooops!

    The K-T extinction was 65 million years ago, not 26 million years ago.

    I was thinking of the fact that mass extinctions tend to be divisible by periods of approximately 26 million years.

  • Larry

    (4) An interesting topic for Mr. Ashbrooks to explore would be “Expected Benefits of Climate Change”.

    Have a nice day!!!
    Posted by Bill

    Problem is Bill, it is happening in a nano second of time in earth terms. No living species can adapt fast enough. Especially once the tundra starts melting en mass and releasing the potent green house gas methane. Then we will have runaway global warming on this planet and you won’t survive and neither will your kids.

  • Lynne

    As a true Wyoming native I always have to cringe when anyone from Jackson deigns to speak for the rest of us. Jackson’s Hole is a beautiful area and we all love it, but the folks that can afford to live there are mostly from the east and have no clue of the history and environmental progression of the area. (bear with me, ha) For example, Wapiti (or American elk) were originally a plains animal – driven to relocate in the higher mountains due to the influx of ranching, farming, cities and towns, mining etc. That once noble beast is now fed through the winter like cattle in a feed lot to accommodate those “Jackson-types” who think they are protecting the species. If they really want to protect the elk – wolves should not have been reintroduced. Elk populations are plummeting throughout Wyoming, Montana and Idaho due to the exponential increase of wolves. You cannot have it both ways – the Alston Chase book “Playing God in Yellowstone” is still relevant – just plug in “white bark pine” or “Wolf”, where it says Ursus horribilis – I would think we should have learned that it’s futile to try and turn back the clock – rather, accept that Yellowstone is really just the world’s largest zoo and cherish it as such (like cut out the dead and infested white bark pine, yes – log it”.

  • Monica

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/07/28/bear_rampage_kills_1_injures_2_at_mt_campground/?camp=misc:on:share:article

    I wonder if this could be related? I know it’s just coincidence that this show was aired right after the attack in the article above, but still – certainly sounds like a case of a confused bear in that area.

  • jeffe

    OK Lynne lets cut down all the dead or dieing white bark pine, after that then what? Will you have massive mudslides and erosion? Will this set off a huge environmental problem? It was stated that the white bark pine play a huge part in feeding the water flow and feeding rivers. Your idea is not only short sighted it does nothing to deal with the problem.

    Back here in the east we now have deer ticks in Vermont.
    I can’t remember this being an issue until the last 5 to 6 years. It was always a problem that was confined to the lower New England states.

    You might not believe in global warming but something is happening and this is not good for all of us. By the way you too! Wake up!

    I agree with criticism about how Tom conducted this interview, did not give this man enough time to develop some of his ideas.

  • David

    an analogy I like to use to explain the disadvantages of messing with climate change to my students and those who don’t think it’s a big deal, is Niagara Falls. People like the falls exactly where it is now. We have a nice little/couple of nice little towns right there. If we were to let the entire flow over, pretty soon erosion would have the falls a mile or so upstream from our lovely little town and our viewing platforms etc. So we don’t let that happen. We lower the flow to keep it right there where we want it.
    Same with the climate. It’s pretty nice here (wherever you live). The summers are just nice, the winters cold, but, hey, it kills the bugs. It might be nicer up in labrador or newfoundland if the climate heats up, but, shucks, I don’t live in Labrador. There might be lots of fertile land in Siberia that can come into production with a little more heat, but hey, I don’t stand to gain too much from the increase in Russian wheat harvest. Etc.
    We all live where we do (and I include wildlife in that we) cause things are (were?) just right there. Why would we make ourselves have to up and move? That’s just dumb. Especially when most of us (the wildlife) can’t just up and move.

  • Drew Leemon

    I just listened to a recording of the show on mtn pine beetle; it doesn’t air until 7pm here in Wyoming. I highly respect Jesse and his life’s work. He came to our little town here in the southern end of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Lander, Wyoming. about 4 or 5 years ago to speak about the mtn pine beetle. I’ve watched in awe and disappointment as the ghost forests have advanced.

    The premise of the show irked me. There is no question that the loss of white bark pine will have an effect on grizzlies, but I have to strongly state that attempting to associate the recent deaths that occurred in Wyoming from grizzlies is misleading and likely completely unrelated. The biologist that was killed wandered into an area where bear biologists had recently tranquilized a bear for study, they took their warning signs down too early and when the bear awoke he was angry. It was a situation of the guy being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This incident has nothing to do with white bark pine death. The second incident that occurred the other day was likely due to a food habituated bear rampaging through a campsite – not normal grizzly behavior. Grizzlies don’t feed on white bark pine nuts at this time of year. Now they can be found above treeline feeding on Miller moths. The bear biologist you had on the air at least provided some rational context for the discussion.

    Whether the epidemic of mtn pine beetle is associated with climate change can’t really be determined. I would have like to learn more about the natural history of mtn pine beetle and if there is dendrochronologic data that indicates other warm periods – in other words what is the cyclical nature of these epidemics? When I moved to Wyoming in the late 70′s pine beetle was wreaking havoc on lodgepoles, now 30 years later we recreate and enjoy the new trees that have grown back. The ghost forests haven’t arrive here…yet. Likely its a matter of time as I see more and more red and dead trees each year.

    Anyway thanks for the show, I think you should seek to stand on the merit’s of the topic and not seek to sensationalize the issues.

  • David Thorne

    I’ve been backpacking and living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for more then 25 years. This has been and is now more then ever grizzly country. (to the dislike of some people) Learn to be “bear aware.” Walk softly and carry a big stick if it makes you feel better. Most important, keep a clean camp/property and have a constant awareness of your surroundings. You are not at the top of the food chain in the forest/wilderness around here. Few things are “bear proof.”

    As for the pine beetles… They have killed a lot of trees. I could write pages and include hundreds of photos showing the progression of the beetle’s effect on the forests I have frequented. I’ll just say one thing. All the really big, OLD, trees that used to be grand markers in the forest, along the trails I’ve hiked, are dead. Beetles got them. People whom are wiser then me about these trees said these different trees where 350-700 years old.

    Great topic. Very complex and sure to get a group fired up.

  • John Snitzer

    Dear Mr. Ashbrook,

    Thanks for your mountain pine beetle program. Perhaps if people are made more aware of the large-scale, long-term changes we are making to the earth via climate change there would be more support for the behavioral changes needed to reduce our ecological footprint.

    I was frustrated by the structure of the show. Much as I like your mellifluous voice, you do not have the depth of knowledge of your guest. We would have gotten more information if you had interrupted less. Some of the important aspects of the problem were brushed over to trumpet grizzly bears, repeatedly. The sensational details are not always the most important ones.

    The callers also seemed intrusive. Some made good points and added to the discussion, but introducing callers well before the guest has had a chance to run through the topic interrupts the narrative.

    These are my concerns about the way the information was presented, but I still really appreciate the discussion. Thanks for a great show.

  • Lynn

    In response to Jeffe:

    Usually when trees are removed – another is planted in it’s place – this has been standard practice for the last 30 years. A tree more resistent to the beetle – yet also native to the particular area would mostly likely be used. The result is a healthier forest – the bears would have to find another protein source (miller moths – or the fish that the park service is already feeding them – oh, they didn’t mention that did they? oops.)

  • Warren

    I live in the Wind River Mts. of Wyoming. I have sprayed my pine trees for the last 5 years and have been able to more or less save many of my pines. Fortunately I have a lot of Aspen that are not affected (for now). However, there are too many trees for the Forest Service to spray or put pheromones on them.

    The end result is that trees die which dries out the soil which prevents pines from putting out sap to kill bugs (a positive feedback mechanism). The drying soil also means wet species such as Aspen will die or be curtailed, and short intense periods of runoff will result.

    When lightning puts the forest on fire, humans will not be able to stop the fire. After Florida, Colorado has the highest incidence of lightning and the state will surely be a living hell. After the fires, cheat grass will come in and the whole underbrush will not have any native species left. Cheat grass is a C4 species, meaning that it uses carbon dioxide six times more efficiently than most C3 plants (>95% of all plants) and will grow much faster in an elevated CO2 atmosphere.

    I am not painting a pretty picture as the only area in the West not impacted by beetles or cheat grass will probably be at the alpine zone and above (> 11,000 ft.).

  • jeffe

    Lynn I guess you’re not a biologist and neither am I.
    However I did hear that the great white bark pine is one of the few species to grow at this altitude. Mature trees are about a thousand years old. They are an essential part of the Eco system of the region. You mention planting a more resistant tree species, I have to ask, don’t you think these people have thought of that already? I hate to use the old cliché “seeing the forest through the trees” but it fits the mind set you represent. You’re not seeing the big picture here.

    As to the bears, well if you live near their habitat I hope you get use to them coming over for dinner.

  • Yahara Katzeff

    This was a great show albeit on a very very sad topic. Could OnPoint make the pictures bigger to see? I’ve got over 40 eyes and the views are very disappointingly distant and vague. Thanks.

  • willie

    … it matters not is you are from the east, west, north or south. the problem remains the same. and that problem is a changing climate. we developed our lives based on a set of conditions, in time and place. and more than we have seen in recorded history these conditions are changing (and thats not up for discussion). and as far as the mountain pine beetle in whitebark pine is concerned climate change is the most major driver. end of story.

    as for logging it! thats absurd. there are natural processes much more efficient than us that will surely adapt more quickly and effectively to the problem. ultimately its the “log it” mentality that reflects not only another attempt at using archaic solutions to new problems (like ignoring them), but moreover, that thinking represents a very serious departure from what it is that makes humans so unique.

    as for replacement species, other trees will inevitably colonize the dying whitebarks range, but nothing can take on all of the roles whitebark pine plays in the ecosystem. … if you are afraid of bears then there are several other scientifically credible effects on other plants and animals, including ourselves and the water we drink that are also worth considering.

    regarding water and fish populations mentioned. the only trajectory we are on has crippling effects on the limited native fish that are only a small part of what bears eat, and are in places we don’t want bears. when considering whitebark pine, do not lose sight of where these forests are. bears once roamed huge areas across north america and we have relegated them to little islands of mountainous terrian.
    and now a food source well away from people is seriously compromised. the moth is not enough on its own and the yellowstone grizzly population is, whether you like it or not, very closely linked to these trees. more than any other bear population is linked to any other food source.

    concerning elk populations for the easterners of jackson hole, … they are fed for hunters and ranchers for different reasons, first and foremost. and as for current population conditions, elk numbers and health have grown in time with the reintroduction of wolves. fact. along with several other unforeseen benefits.
    and really this has nothing to do wolves. but their inclusion speaks volumes to other more deep seated issues.

    so lets not fool ourselves. and lets take a big step away from this game. there are some things on the table that are up for debate. and others that only tie up precious time and demonstrate an unfortunate ignorance to and of the facts.

    what is playing out on the landscape is fact, as is the causality. this is not one-sided opinion like so much of what we are presented today as “news”.

    think deeply and ask yourself, whos best interest could this serve? certainly not the bear. and sadly ignoring a situation right in front our faces takes away our opportunity to look for solutions or adaptations to try to make the best of a bad situation. more importantly it refutes our best efforts and best thinking. now wouldn’t that be dumb!

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Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

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