"Running from the Wolves," Adolf Baumgartner-Stoiloff, 1890(?)

Wolves


WC’s first encounter with a wild wolf came in Denali National Park – then called Mt. McKinley National Park – in the upper Sanctuary River Valley. WC had led a small group of young Boy Scouts up there on a camping trip. Refuge Valley, the West Fork of the Sanctuary River, is beautiful, an easy…

Greater Sage Grouse on a lek, southcentral Idaho

A Modest Win for the Greater Sage Grouse


The Greater Sage Grouse is in big trouble. AS WC has written here before, populations of the iconic bird have plummeted from an estimated 16 million to less than half a million. The primary cause of the population crash has been habitat loss. Back in 2015, a painfully negotiated settlement among the stakeholders would have…

Wisdom and her chick on Midway Atoll NWR. Photo credit: Ann Bell/USFWS

Introducing Wisdom


Among birders, at least, one of the most famous individual birds in the world is Wisdom. Wisdom is a female Laysan Albatross, a species that spends almost all of its life at sea. Wisdom comes to shore on Midway Island, near the center of the Pacific Ocean, only to breed. Wisdom is the oldest banded…

Jabiru, Pantanal. Brazil

The Ethical Dilemma of Birding Brazil


But at the same time, you have to wonder if visiting Brazil is the right thing to do. Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro is a far-right politician whose campaign promises included destroying the Amazon, repealing environmental protections and removing protections for Brazil’s indigenous peoples. He spews misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ, and racist statements. To the extent that taking a…

Environmental Protection

Good News You Might Have Missed


In the holiday frenzy and year end wrap up, there was some good news on the conservation front. At least in the legal arena. Here’s a quick recap. Western Watersheds v. BLM. Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond were convicted of committing arson on their grazing allotments back in 2012. Donald Trump subsequently pardoned them and then-Interior…

BLM's Tri-State Fuel Break Proposed Project Area

Dealing with Climate Change: Wildfire Fuel Breaks


It seems increasingly likely that humanity’s inaction in the face of the existential threat of anthropogenic climate change means we are going to have more than than the 2° Celsius of global temperature increase that climatologists regarded as manageable. So, without in any way diminishing the urgency that humanity’s CO2 emissions be reduced, it’s time…