Wolverines in the Upper Midwest

Repost site.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Rediscovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the Upper Midwest. Until recently, wolverines had been extinct in the Upper Midwest for 85-200 years.

However, one was photographed recently in Michigan. Furthermore, there have been some tantalizing sightings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and even a few in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri in recent years. It is distinctly possible the wolverines may be reclaiming some of their historical territory in the Upper Midwest. If so, this is fascinating indeed.

Wolverines in Michigan

In 2004, a wolverine was photographed in Ubly, Michigan, 90 miles north of Detroit. They were extirpated from Michigan almost 200 years ago. DNA testing of this wolverine showed that it was from Alaska. How it got from Alaska to Michigan is anyone’s guess. On March 14, 2010, this wolverine was found dead in Sanilac County, Michigan, south of where it was originally sighted in Ubly.

There have been other sightings in Lower Michigan. In November 1958, a wolverine was seen near Cadillac, Michigan by a boy who was deer hunting.

A wolverine was sighted around 1998-2000 in Tawas, Michigan.

In August 2009, a wolverine was spotted by motorists twice in short period of time just outside of Alpena, Michigan which is on the shore of Lake Huron in the far north of the Thumb near the Upper Peninsula.

In November 2009, four people spotted a wolverine outside of West Brach, Michigan in the north of the Thumb south of Huron National Forest.

These wolverines could have come down from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because there are wolverine sightings there. Or possibly they could have come from Southern Ontario near Port Huron, though that area is densely populated. There is known to be a population in Ontario, albeit in the northern part.

The sightings on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have been in Delta County, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula. I assume that the Upper Peninsula population came from Ontario, possibly across the St. Mary’s River, if it freezes over in wintertime.

There was also an unverified wolverine sighting in the UP on November 21, 2001 at 3 PM, crossing Highway M-64 1 mile south of Silver City in Ontonagon County, Michigan. In August 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the UP in the garden of the Big Bay Lighthouse on Lake Superior.

A forest road in Delta County, Michigan. This road is in Escanaba State Forest. A wolverine was sighted here in an unverified sighting sometime between 1999-2004. During this period, there was about one wolverine sighting a year in Michigan, all from the Upper Peninsula.
The forests here have been changed massively from 100 years ago, when most of the White Pine was logged off. I assume what we have here is Eastern second-growth forest coming back in after the old growth was logged off. This second-growth explosion is fueling an increase in wildlife numbers, especially deer, all over the East Coast.
Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This area is located at the far east end of the UP near Ontario. The town of Paradise is nearby, as is Whitefish Bay. If the St. Mary’s River is frozen over, wolverines may well come down from Ontario to the UP. The part of Ontario near Sault Saint Marie is pretty sparsely populated. An unverified sighting of a wolverine was reported here in 2002.

Wolverines in Minnesota

In the late 2000’s, there was rash of wolverine sightings around Babbitt, Minnesota, which is near Ely in the far northeastern part of the state near Canada. A tiny lynx population has recently also been confirmed there. The sightings around Babbitt appear to be genuine. Babbitt is surrounded by the Superior National Forest, and there are frequent sightings of bears and even wolves in the area, even inside city limits.

In addition, there was one documented sighting in Northeastern Minnesota in 1965, but details are lacking. In 1974 there was a report of a wolverine in a hay field in North-Central Minnesota, near the North Woods. There was also a sighting on Koochiching County on the Minnesota border with Canada in 1982. That sighting was deemed credible.

In early 2008, there have been reports of dog and horse kills in and around Rollag, Minnesota lately. Certain things about the killings indicate that a wolverine may be doing this. Rollag is far to the north, getting up near the North Woods. It is east of and not far from Fargo, North Dakota.

There is also a report of a wolverine captured on a security camera in 2005-2006 at a Ford dealership in the town of Zumbrota in Southeast Minnesota. This land is very much prairie.

In 1991, a baby wolverine was seen dying by the side of the road on Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota. The motorists did not know how rare it was or else they would have kept the carcass. In 1999, a wolverine was spotted by a canoeist in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota on the border of Ontario, Canada.

In November 2004, a wolverine was seen eating a gut pile from a dead deer near Askov, Minnesota.

In 2005, a wolverine was spotted in the Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

In Summer 2006, a fisherman fishing in the Narrows between Big and Little Cut Foot Sioux Lakes in Northern Minnesota saw a wolverine. He was able to watch it for 15 minutes until it caught his scent and left.

In Summer 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the forest of Eagles Nest, Minnesota, south of Ely and north of Tower. In Fall 2008, a hunter spotted a wolverine in the Black Brook Swamp east of Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

In 2010, a deer hunter saw a wolverine in Douglas County, Minnesota. Another wolverine was photographed near there five years later. In July 2010, a wolverine was seen by a motorist at night on US 53 ten miles south of International Falls, Minnesota. In Summer 2010, a wolverine was seen outside of Chisholm, Minnesota near Superior State Park.

In July 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota.

On January 12, 2012, a wolverine was spotted somewhere in Southern Minnesota. Someone went out to their car late at night, and a wolverine was by the garage. Tracks were found the very next day.

On July 12, 2012, two hunters saw a wolverine while driving on the Dick’s Parkway road 13 miles south of Warroad, Minnesota. The GPS location was given as 48 42.131, -95 20.566.

On October 20, 2012 at midnight, a wolverine was seen on someone’s driveway in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

At 6 PM on On October 13, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Superior National Forest crossing Pike Lake Road on the east side of Pike Lake between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minnesota. This is seven miles from Lake Superior.

On June 6, 2014, a wolverine was spotted in Jordan, Minnesota in a corn and alfalfa field. It was running away from a neighbor’s elk ranch. Two men observed it for a full two minutes. The areas consists of open farm country with some random tree lines.

On June 13, 2014 at 2:30 in the afternoon, a wolverine was seen crossing Road 327 in Watowan County, Minnesota. It was seen two miles east and six miles north of Saint James, Minnesota on the Watowan River.

On April 30, 2015, two wolverines were seen running, one behind the other, just east of Rush City, Minnesota in the Saint Croix River Valley.

In May 2015, a wolverine was photographed by a trail cam in Douglas County, Minnesota. I have seen the photo and felt that it was interesting but inconclusive. I showed the photo to a wolverine expert, and he also said it could be a wolverine, but it was unclear enough so it was inconclusive.

 

Old State Route 52 north of Zumbrota, Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that wolverines inhabit such terrain. Wolverines are recolonizing their old habitat on the US prairie. Why?

Many have questioned whether wolverines were actually common in prairies or if prairies merely served as population sinks. It is looking more and more like prairies are a natural home for wolverines, strange as it may seem. If these reports are accurate, it means that wolverines are re-colonizing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly also Iowa, which is fantastic news!

Prairie Island (Sioux) Indian Reservation near Zumbrota, Minnesota. Is it possible that wolverines in the past preyed on the vast buffalo herds of prairie, perhaps especially on dead buffaloes?

Wolverines in Wisconsin

The occurrence of the wolverine in Wisconsin is rare but documented.

On an unknown date, a wolverine was spotted on Peshtigo Brook Fire Road where it joins Kitzinger Road near Gillett, Wisconsin.

In May 1978, a wolverine was spotted by a boy and his father while walking along the Oconto River in Oconto County eight miles west of Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. The boy was able to observe it for one minute.

A man grew up in Land O’ Lakes in far Northern Wisconsin on the border with Michigan in an area known as the North Woods. This is an area of very thick, wild forest and swamps. There are many wolves, bears, and possibly wolverines in this part of Wisconsin.

In 1982, the man saw three wolves in his front yard. In 1990, he and his friends treed 22 different bears in a single day while training bear dogs. They also had a frightening standoff with a wolverine on that day. From about 1983-1995, when he engaged in frequent deer hunting, the man saw one or more wolverines every year.

In September 1990, a wolverine was seen several times over two weeks. The last time the man saw one was in 2006 near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. All sightings took place between 1983-2006 in the North Woods approximately between Rhinelander and Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The bear density in this region is said to be incredible, or at least it was 10 years ago (Bangs 2009).

In the early 1990’s, a wolverine ran in front of a man’s car in Marinette County, Wisconsin.

In 1998, Jeffrey Wiitala saw a wolverine in Taylor County, Wisconsin while trout fishing on the Big Rib River at a distance of about 25 feet. It paid no attention to him and leisurely lumbered off into the brush.

A wolverine was photographed on top of a woodpile in Green Lake County, Wisconsin in recent years. The disposition of the photo is unknown.

There are also recent sightings in the Black River Falls area and to the north in Wisconsin from 2000-2007.

A 2003 sighting in Lafayette County in the far south of the state was regarded as credible by the the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

In 2004-2005, a wolverine was spotted in Niagara, Wisconsin in the fall on opening day of deer hunting season.

In Winter 2006, Mary Ann Ludwikowski of Weyerhauser, Wisconsin. In addition, Mary Ann found a dead wolverine roadkilled in her driveway. She gave it away to a man.

In October 2007, Ludwikowski and Sheri Bodecker of Weyerhauser, Wisconsin about 2 miles west of Weyerhauser. It crossed Hwy 8 and proceeded to run northeast through a large field. The wolverine that crossed the road in front of us was on a full run, but it frequently turned to look at us. We watched it run through a 40 acre field for about two minutes.

In 2010, a roadkilled wolverine was found by the side of the road in Green Lake County, Wisconsin.

In November 2010, a father and son saw a wolverine while sitting in a deer stand north of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

In March 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 53 between New Auburn and Bloomer, Wisconsin.

On July 29, 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing the highway on US 20 east of Sac City, Wisconsin.

On November 25, 2011, a deer hunter saw a wolverine run by his blind south of Gillette, Wisconsin.

In Fall 2011, a wolverine was seen twice in a one week period by two hunters in northern Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, one mile south of Brown County. Over the next year, a wolverine, suspected to be the same one as before, was seen in area.

On November 6, 2012, a wolverine was spotted by a man and his girlfriend hunting deer on their farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. They observed it for half a minute. A wolverine had been seen in the area 20 years before in the early 1990’s.

In July 2013, a wolverine killed a woman’s two cats at a home at in Wisconsin at Highway 53 and I-94 Highway 9 miles form Eau Claire and 6 miles form Osseo. A few days later, a neighbor came within three feet of a wolverine. Three weeks before, a nearby tavern owner said he had seen a wolverine on a county road. Around the time the woman’s cats vanished, neighbors in the vicinity started seeing their pets disappearing. Before the cats were killed, it had been eating the woman’s cat food for some time.

On August 28, 2013, a man saw a wolverine running away from a trash bin at a gas station in Elk Mound, Wisconsin.

On June 13, 2014, a wolverine was seen in a field only two miles north of Independence, Wisconsin.

North Dakota

There have been a few unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota recently.

In 1988, two wolverines were seen along the Little Missouri River in the Badlands of far Western North Dakota by a very experienced fur trapper.

In 1992, a man saw a wolverine in Central North Dakota while hunting sharp-tailed grouse. It was about 50 yards away.

In 2004, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine near Minot. The observer watched it for a good five minutes.

On June 23, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Turtle Mountains in far Northern North Dakota on the Manitoba border.

In February 2015, mailmen spotted a wolverine on their route near Rugby, North Dakota. That is 50 miles east of Minot and 60 miles south of the Manitoba border with Canada.

South Dakota

There have also been wolverine sightings in South Dakota in the past 60 years. There was a verifiable wolverine sighting in the south-central portion of the state in 1961 (Aubry et al 1967). From 1998-2016, an 18 year period, three wolverines were seen in Lake County, South Dakota. One was an adult and two were juveniles. The adult was severely mauled by people’s dogs.

On July 12, 2012, someone saw a wolverine near Nisland, South Dakota on the Belle Fourche River in Western South Dakota 25 miles from the Wyoming border. Their neighbor had seen a wolverine shortly before the sighting. People 10 miles northwest of Nisland said that they had seen a wolverine earlier.

Wolverines in Iowa

A female wolverine was shot dead by a farmer on May 21, 1960 in a cornfield in central Iowa (Haugen 1961). No one quite knew how she ended up in Central Iowa. She was infected with Trichinella spiralis, a parasite. (Zimmerman et al 1962). However, one report said that this wolverine had been transported into the state in 1960. There were reports around 1995-2000 of a “black animal” going from north to south through eastern Iowa killing dogs. It may have been a wolverine.

Five different people spotted a wolverine in Southwestern Iowa in 2008.

A wolverine was seen in Mid June 2010 near Canton, Iowa near the Maquoketa Caves.

In 2011, a bowhunter spotted a wolverine in Southeastern Iowa.

In July 2011, three people spotted a wolverine walking across County Road V68 1/4 to 1/2 mile north of Highway 3 in Fayette County, Iowa. It was headed in the direction of the Wapsipinicon River. This is 10 miles north of Fairbank, Iowa.

On July 31, 2011, a wolverine cub was seen on the deck of a house in the hills north of Sioux City, Iowa.

In mid-July 2102, a wolverine was photographed in Fonanelle in Adair Country in Southwestern Iowa; however, it is not known what happened to the photograph.

Wolverines in Nebraska

Incredibly enough, there have been a number of wolverine sightings in Nebraska in recent years.

It makes sense because wolverines are native to Nebraska, at least in the more mountainous parts to the north. In the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife in the University of Nebraska Natural History Museum, there is a mounted specimen of a wolverine that was shot on Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska in the 1880’s. That area is in far Western Nebraska on the North Platte River only 20 miles from the Wyoming border. This part of Nebraska borders on Southeastern Wyoming, which is known to have wolverine populations.

In particular, wolverines have been repeatedly sighted in and around Antelope and Knox Counties in far Northeastern Nebraska near the Missouri River and the South Dakota border. This area is near Louis and Clark Lake and the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation.

In this area, there have been many sightings along the Verdigre and Niobrara Rivers. For instance, in Summer 1998, a number of people spotted a wolverine near Verdigre, Nebraska. One was seen chasing a deer out of a draw in the middle of a hay meadow.

In April 2012, a fire and range ecologist spotted a wolverine running away after a cedar burn operation in a steep area near Scotia on the North Loup River. This is about in the dead center of Nebraska.

On October 29, 2014, a wet wolverine that seemed to have been swimming somewhere was seen in a pasture in Central Nebraska near Doniphan between Hastings and Grand Island. This is quite close to the Platte River where it may have been swimming. The area is between Lincoln and Platte, Nebraska.

There has also been one sighting north of Gordon in Northwestern Nebraska on the headwaters of Wounded Knee Creek near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This area is east of the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, now the scene of a famous fight over selling booze to Pine Ridge Indians.

Wolverines in Missouri

Incredibly enough, there have even been wolverine sightings very close to Missouri.

On October 28, 2011, a man spotted a wolverine emerging from a cornfield and crossing State Highway E just south of Highway 13. This is hilly farm country. This area is in Eastern Nebraska not far from the Missouri River and is close to the place where the borders of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri all meet. There are a number of good sightings in both Nebraska and Iowa, so it is possible, though bizarre, that wolverines may exist in Western Missouri.

Grey Wolves in Massachusetts and Michigan!

The first grey wolf in 94 years was seen recently in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It was a lone male. The UP, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have healthy populations. The Black Bear and wolf populations in Minnesota have shown dramatic increases in recent years, and there is now a healthy population of over 25 lynx in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for the first time in 30 years.

In other great news along similar lines, an Eastern grey wolf, the first in 160 years, was detected in Massachusetts. It killed over a dozen lambs before the farmer shot it to death. The killing was probably justified, but it is unfortunate that the first wolf in the state in over 150 years got shot to death. There will probably be more wolves coming to the state after this one, though.

References

Aubry, K. B., McKelvey, K. S., and Copeland, J. P. 2007. “Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States.” Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 7: 148-158.
Bangs, Ray. 2009. Personal communication.
Haugen, A. O. 1961. “Wolverine in Iowa.” Journal of Mammalogy 42: 546-547.
Zimmermann, W. J.; Biester, H. E.; Schwarte, L. H.; and Hubbard, E. D. 1962. “Trichinella spiralis in Iowa Wildlife during the Years 1953 to 1961.” The Journal of Parasitology, 48:3:1, pp. 429-432.

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Wolverines Extinct in Sequoia – Kings Canyon?

A new study using baited trap stations, done during winter, failed to find any California wolverines in either Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks in the southern Sierra Nevada.

The survey utilized many trap stations set in winter for a couple of months. It was designed to test for wolverines persisting at very low densities.

It failed to find any wolverines, and the researchers concluded that the California wolverine is likely extirpated from the Southern Sierra Nevada. Many other recent studies have also failed to find any wolverines.

The researchers advocate that wolverines be reintroduced to the Sierras, since they seem to be absent from most of the range.

However, in 2009, a wolverine was photographed north of Lake Tahoe by researchers studying pine martens. DNA analysis has subsequently shown that this animal is from the Rocky Mountains and is not a California wolverine. It is not known how this male wolverine got to the northern Sierra Nevada, since the nearest population is in the Snake River Valley in Idaho far to the north.

 

A map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks showing the locations of the bait stations used in this survey. It also includes sightings since 1980. In the past 28 years, there have been nine wolverine sightings. That is about one sighting every three years, not a very good record.

I believe that California wolverines may continue to persist at very low levels in the Sierras.

Historical wolverine sightings in Yosemite National Park. Once again, sightings were much more common from 1920-1955 or so. But there were still quite a few sightings in the 1990’s. However, I am aware of some recent sightings in Yosemite in the 2000’s that were not included in this map. I believe that the wolverine may continue to persist at low levels in Yosemite. Click to view.

Wolverine sightings in California in the past tended to be concentrated in Kings Canyon and Sequoia Parks. This area was long held to be the last stronghold of the wolverine in California. Many detailed sightings were made from 1900-1930 in Sequoia National Park. In one, a wolverine chased two adult bears away from a horse carcass.

A map of historical wolverine sightings in Kings Canyon – Sequoia Parks. As you can see, sightings were much more common from 1920-1955 or so and have dropped off quite a bit ever since. Click to view.

Wolverines have been sighted as far south as Monache Meadows in the Dome Land Wilderness on the Sequoia NF, but the last sighting was in the 1950’s.

In 1980, definite wolverine tracks were seen at two locales in Kings Canyon National Park by trained wildlife biologists. However, tracks always count as “unverified”. But not to me. I say that at least 28 years ago, wolverines were present in Kings Canyon National Park.

I am also aware of another sighting out of Bishop, California on the Sierra crest in 1980. This sighting was by a wildlife biologist. The location of this sighting was just off this map to the north of the station labeled EV, north of Kings Canyon National Park. So from 18-28 years ago, wolverines were present in and around Kings Canyon. Whether they have been extirpated since 1990 is yet an open question in my mind.

There have also been sightings on the Sequoia National Forest adjacent to these two national parks and the Sequoia National Monument. According to the study, the last sighting was in 1988.

I am also aware of tracks spotted at Courtright Reservoir in 1990. Courtright is located at the far west end of of rectangle 5a on the map, outside far northern Kings Canyon in the Sierra National Forest. These tracks were verified by Sierra National Forest wildlife biologists. I conclude therefore that wolverines were present near northern Kings Canyon at least 18 years ago.

There are other sightings in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks since 1995. A possible wolverine was heard near the Lodgepole area in Sequoia in 1995. It growled a frightening growl at a passerby from a small hole in some rocks that seemed too small to hold a bear.

A backcountry ranger for Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park said that he was 99% sure that there had been good wolverine sightings in Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP’s as recently as 2003, despite these negative findings.

In August 2006, there was an unverified sighting of a California wolverine in the Soda Creek drainage northeast of Rainbow Mountain in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park.

The Soda Creek Drainage in Mineral King, where there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine on the northeast slope of Rainbow Mountain in August 2006. This is at the confluence of Soda Creek, Lost Canyon Creek and Big Arroyo Creek in the Kern River Watershed. I have been to Mineral King once backpacking in 1973. It’s a pretty amazing place. If you can handle difficult hiking, it is worth the trip.
This part of the Sierra Nevada is a lot drier than the northern part of the Sierra where the wolverine photo was taken recently. According to a topo map I just found, the part of the Soda Creek drainage on the northeast slope of Mt. Rainbow would be very high, at about 10,826 feet. This shows that wolverines may well range above 10,000 feet in the Southern Sierras.
Fishing is banned here to preserve a population of endangered Little Kern Golden Trout. There are also endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the area. I have seen these sheep in the mountains just outside Los Angeles. A once in a lifetime experience!

 

I recently received a report of a wolverine sighting on the South Sierra Wilderness in Cow Canyon at the 8,511 foot level. The sighting occurred in the summer of 2008 on July 19 at 2 PM. The wolverine was sighted on the east side of Cow Canyon about 20 feet from the canyon bottom. This is only 1 1/2 miles east of Monache Meadows at the far southern end of their traditional range. The sighting was by an older man who grew up in national parks and knows wildlife very well. A spreadsheet of the sighting location is here.

A webpage states that wolverines continue to exist in Mineral King.

On April 19, 2010, a woman reported to park authorities that she saw a wolverine crossing a road in Kings Canyon National Park. She picked a wolverine out of a sequence that also included photos of bear, fox, weasel and beaver as the animal that she saw.

The suggestion to reintroduce wolverines to the Sierra is probably the correct one.

The California wolverine as a proven subspecies is still controversial, and it seems to persist at either very low numbers in California or is extinct.

References

Graber D.M. 1996. “Status of Terrestrial Vertebrates.”. SNEP Science Team and Special Consultants. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project Report 25: 709-734.
Graber, D.M. 2006. “Disturbing Yosemite.” California 117:4.
Hudgens, Brian R., Garcelon, David K. 2008. “Winter Carnivore Survey Finds That Wolverines (Gulo gulo) Are Likely Extirpated from Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks.” Arcata: Institute for Wildlife Studies.
Sequoia National Forest. 2003. “Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement.” United States Forest Service, USDA.
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California Wolverine Re-discovered After 86 Years

Note: Repost.

In stunning news, researchers at Oregon State University snapped a photo of a possible California Wolverine (Gulo gulo luteus) north of Lake Tahoe between Truckee and Sierraville in the Tahoe National Forest. This is the first proven detection of a wolverine in California in 86 years – the last one was shot dead in 1922.

According to new data, the wolverine in the photo at the top of the page is from the Rocky Mountains and is not a California wolverine. Reginald Barrett, dean of furbearer studies in the West, told me in an in a recent interview that he felt that this wolverine had come down from Idaho through the Great Basin into California.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, California wolverines never left this state.

The actual location was on Sagehen Road in the Sagehen Creek area at the Sagehen Creek Field Station. This station is in the Sagehen Creek Experimental Forest. The field station itself, where the photo was taken, is at 6,375 feet.

California wolverines seem to exist more at lower elevations as one travels north in California. Towards the south in the Sierra Nevada, they are found more at 8,000-9,000 feet if sightings are any guide. It is 8.4 miles north of Truckee and 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe. Sagehen Basin itself ranges from 5,900 to 8,700 feet.

Despite much theory stating that wolverines hate any human presence, the area where the photo was taken is only 1.5 miles away from a major highway, Highway 89.

An excellent brochure about the Sagehen Creek area, listing hydrology, geology, geography, botany and biology, including insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, is here. Katie Moriarty, the graduate student who took the photos, was probably staying at the field station, which has excellent lodging facilities for researchers and has served as the study area for more than 80 theses and dissertations.

A photo of the first California Wolverine documented since 1922. This wild region where they were found in being proposed as a wilderness area by Senator Barbara Boxer. The probable proposed area is the proposed Castle Creek Wilderness Area . The photo shows the wolverine from the rear view.
It is probably next to a Red Fir.
In the background is what appears to be a White Fir and the tree in the foreground looks like some kind of pine. In this part of the Sierras, the Red Fir Zone (where this photo was probably taken) starts around 7,000 feet elevation.A much larger version of this pic, too large to put on this blog, is available here on the researchers’ website.

The area is in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California.

What they mean by confirmed sighting is that it has to be backed up by a photo or a specimen. They say fur or scat also counts, but apparently that is not true, as California wolverines were confirmed via fur samples from Del Norte Siskiyou and Shasta Counties by the California Department of Fish and Game in the late 1980’s.

I know that a wildlife biologist saw one above Bishop, California in 1980, and I understand that there have been a number of other sightings by biologists. There have been quite regular sightings of these very elusive animals in California down through the years.

Live wolverines have also been trapped in far Northern Washington state in the Cascades near the Canadian border in the past couple of years.

The natural range of the California wolverine extends in California only and has been separated from wolverines in the Washington Cascades for at least 2,000 years, according to genetic studies. As a subspecies, it is controversial and is not yet accepted across the board by the scientific community.

The first description of a California wolverine was published in the Field Colombian Museum of Zoology Zoological Series in 1903 (rare online copy here). You can see in the description of the type specimen from Mount Whitney that the California wolverine was much paler than the wolverine normally found in the rest of North America.

The California wolverine is a subspecies of wolverine that split off from other branches about 2,000-11,000 years ago. The California wolverine formerly ranged into the Cascades of California and even over towards the Coast in the Northern Coast Range all the way down to San Fransisco.

It then ranged down the Sierra Nevada Mountains all the way down to the southern end of the range at the Southern Sierra Wilderness, where they were last sighted in the 1950’s. Monache Meadows is usually given as the southern end of the range, but the Southern Sierra Wilderness is south of there.

Based on sightings, it was felt that the California wolverine had declined to a very low level near extinction in the early 1930’s and then the population had been increasing slowly ever since. William Zielinski is an expert on wolverines who participated in this study.

Thomas Kucera, a researcher at San Fransisco State University, undertook a wolverine survey in the state in the early 1990’s with bait stations and cameras.

They saw quite a few animals, including many martens, a few fishers, coyotes, bears, bobcats, and mountain lions, but they found no wolverines in the exhaustive survey. The guarded conclusion then was that California wolverines were extinct in the state. I did a web search on the California Wolverine recently and most experts were saying that the the general conclusion was that they were gone from the state.

Wolverines in the Sierra Nevada

I never thought this animal went extinct in the state because I was aware of regular sightings, mostly around the Sierra National Forest, which is near where I lived for 16 years.

There has been an undated sighting of a wolverine four miles west of the Snow Canyon Research Natural Area on the Amador Ranger District of the El Dorado National Forest. This area is near Highway 88 about three miles south of Carson Pass, and part of it is in the Mokelumne Wilderness.

There have also been undated wolverine sightings in the Pacific Valley area north of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, an area that connects the Carson-Iceberg with the Mokelumne Wilderness on the El Dorado National Forest. Pacific Valley (map) is being considered as an addition to the Carson-Iceberg. The date of these sightings is not known.

There have been sightings at Green Island Lakes, a National Forest Service Research Station at 6,100 feet in the Lassen National Forest in Plumas County.

Wolverines have also been sighted around Eagle Lake on the Lassen National Forest.

There have been two sightings on the Collins-Almanor Forest, a large commercial forest northwest of Lake Almanor. This area is where the Northern Sierra Nevada meets the Southern Cascades.

There was also an unverified sighting of a California wolverine four miles west of Truckee on Highway 80. It had scavenged road kill from this busy interstate highway and was dragging it down into the rocks to eat it. I traveled over Donner Pass in Summer 1979. It’s quite a beautiful area.

 


Approaching Donner Pass from the east. Highway 80 does not actually cross Donner Pass itself anymore but actually goes two miles to the north at Euer Saddle. Donner Pass gets 415 inches of snow a year, making it one of the snowiest places in the US. Wind gusts of over 100 miles an hour are common during winter storms.

North and east of Yosemite, in the Hoover Wilderness Area, wolverines are said to persist. One was spotted there near the Virginia Lakes in the 1970’s.

In 1978, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine near Disaster Peak (10,047 feet) in the Sonora Pass area in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. I went through the Sonora Pass area in 1987.

In 1979, a wolverine was spotted at Hilton Creek Lakes near Mt. Stanford (map). This area is east of Lake Edison and west of Tom’s Place in the John Muir Wilderness on the Sierra National Forest.

Hilton Creek Lakes in the John Muir Wilderness, elevation 10,705 feet. This area is near Stanford Peak. Access is out of the Rock Creek Trailhead on the East Side of the Sierras. A wolverine was seen here in 1979.

In 1980, a wildlife biologist saw a wolverine in the Robinson Flat area of the Foresthill Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest.

In 1984, the district ranger of the Sierraville Ranger District, near where this photo was taken, saw a California wolverine running down a road in the middle of the day.

 

California wolverine tracks were seen here, at Courtright Reservoir, in 1990. The tracks were verified by a Forest Service biologist, but this counts as an unverified sighting, since tracks don’t count (Go figure!)
On the Downieville Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest, a wolverine was sighted in 1989 in the Haskell Peak area.
Also on the Downieville District, another wolverine was seen in 1990 in the Upper Sardine Lake area.

Around 1990, tracks were sighted near Courtright Reservoir at 8,200 feet near Kings Canyon National Park in the southern Sierra National Forest. A local Forest Service biologist had seen the tracks.

Around 1990, a wolverine was spotted on the back side of Lembert Dome in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park the middle of winter.

North of Yosemite on the Stanislaus National Forest, there was a wolverine sighting in the Emigrant Wilderness in 1990.

There are wolverine sightings near South Lake Tahoe. In 1990, a wolverine was sighted two miles from where Highways 50 and 89 meet in South Lake Tahoe and the southern end of the lake (map). This area is close to Emerald Bay, DL Bliss, and Sugar Pine Point State Parks. I have been to all of these parks on the shore of Lake Tahoe, but that was 45 years ago. It’s a beautiful place.

A wolverine was sighted in 1991 in the Euer Valley on the Truckee Ranger District in Tahoe National Forest.

A wolverine was seen in 1992 in the Harding Point area on the Tahoe National Forest northeast of Sierraville, and this sighting was confirmed by tracks.

In 1992, as wildlife biologist saw a wolverine in the Granite Chief Wilderness Area on the Tahoe National Forest.

In 1992 and 1993, a Biology teacher at the local high school in Oakhurst, Gary Spence, saw them two years in a row at Spotted Lakes (9,100 feet) in the far southeast corner of Yosemite National Park near the National Forest border. Spence is a good biologist and he used to go out on field surveys with the local Forest Service biologist.

Also on the Downieville District of the Tahoe National Forest, a wolverine was seen in 1993 in the Gold Lake Road and Salmon Lakes Road area.

In 1993, a wildlife biologist on the Lassen National Forest sighted a wolverine in a den near the headwaters of Deer Creek at 5,000 feet (note that even sightings by wildlife biologists are said to be unconfirmed). This area is near Child’s Meadow and is next to the southern border of Lassen National Park.

Lassen National Park’s draft management plan proposes to reintroduce wolverines to the park.

 

Child’s Meadow at the headwaters of Deer Creek near the southern boundary of Lassen National Forest. A wildlife biologist spotted a wolverine in a den here in 1993.

Those who keep saying that California wolverines no longer exist ought to note that all sightings are regarded as unconfirmed, even those by wildlife biologists.

Tracks are also regarded as unconfirmed sightings. This area was in private hands and was recently purchased by the Nature Conservancy. Incredibly, the private landowner wanted to put a golf course in here!

There was also a sighting in 1994 in Kaiser Pass near Huntington Lake at about 9,200 feet in the Sierra National Forest. The local Forest Service biologist said she believed the man who saw it.

 

Kaiser Pass east of Huntington Lake in the High Sierras. I was here in the summer of 1991 when I drove a relative and a friend to a drop-off at Florence Lake further on down the road. The road across Kaiser Pass was truly horrid and terrifying at the time, and I doubt if it has been improved. It’s beautiful up there though, and if you get the chance, check it out. A unverified sighting of a California wolverine was reported here in 1994.

 

The area to the west of Lake Tahoe continues to get sightings. A sighting was reported from Island Lake in the Desolation Wilderness Area just southwest of Lake Tahoe in 1994.

Another sighting was from the north shore of Loon Lake Reservoir near Lake Tahoe on the El Dorado National Forest on July 7, 1994. This is a few miles to the west of the Desolation Wilderness.

 

A Panorama of Loon Lake Reservoir west of the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe. A wolverine was seen here in 1994.

Another was seen in Lyell Canyon at 8,900 feet in eastern Yosemite in 1997.

 

Lyell Canyon in Yosemite National Park, where there was an unverified California wolverine sighting in 1997. This area is east of the Tuolumne River and southeast of Tuolumne Meadows. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through here, and Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep are known to exist in this area. Bighorns have been being devastated lately by mountain lions. This is poorly understood.
It appears that Bighorns are staying up high to avoid the mountain lions instead of migrating downslope as they normally do. Hence, they are being killed by avalanches when they stay in the high elevations for the winter. Bighorns and mountain lions evolved together, and it is not known why this dynamic is occurring. Domestic sheep grazing in this area is totally pointless and is ongoing.

Also in 1997, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine off Highway 120 just after it passes Tioga Pass to the east, looking down into Lee Vining Canyon. The wolverine was sighted running away about 1,000 feet down below.

 

Lee Vining Canyon just east of Tioga Pass. I was near Tioga Pass in August 2003, but I did not continue down the road a ways to the pass itself. In 1997, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine running away over a snowy ridge about 1,000 feet below near where this photo was taken. Tioga Pass is at 9,943 feet, so the wolverine was at about 9,000 feet.

In 1998, a wolverine was seen once again on the Downieville District on the Tahoe National Forest near Bassett’s Station.

The very wild area north of Lake Tahoe, especially the Granite Chief Wilderness, was considered to be one of the most likely places for the California Wolverine to be found due to the very high number of sightings in the area. In 2000, there was an excellent sighting of tracks in this area.

In 2001, a biologist spotted a wolverine somewhere on the Stanislaus National Forest, but the location was not given.

Donner Pass is where the famous Donner Party tried to cross into California in the winter of 1846-47, became trapped, turned cannibal, and ate half of their own party due to starvation. There was an unverified sighting of a California wolverine here in 2004 dragging roadkill off the highway to eat it. There have also been sightings north of Tahoe National Forest.

In 2004, there was a reported sighting north of Polly Dome Lakes at 8,500 feet near Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

 

The Polly Dome Lakes near Lake Tenaya, where there is an unverified California wolverine sighting from 2004. I was here in the Summer of 2003. I stayed at White Wolf campground and paid money for a cabin. Any lazy, old or out of shape person can do this, even you!
You drive your car into the campground and stay in a cabin! All you need is money. I even, at age 46, hiked up the murderous trail to Lukens Lake. You can do this too! All you need to do is get off your butt. Along the way, I saw a shrew running along the forest floor. Come on, when do you ever see such a thing?
I took a drive one day down the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows and went by Lake Tenaya, where the scenery looks about like this. This part of Yosemite is beautiful! If you are in the area, take a drive up there in the summertime. There’s a nice highway, you don’t have to worry about a thing, and you are in the most beautiful scenery on Earth.

In 2004, apparent wolverine tracks were photographed on the trail up to Gabbot Pass west of Bishop by a group of hikers from Australia.

 

Possible wolverine tracks photographed in July 2004 at Gabbot Pass on the Sierra Crest west of Bishop by Australians David Noble and Lizzy Went. There have been consistent sightings in the area west of Bishop and east of Courtright Reservoir and just north of Kings Canyon National Park over a 28-year period now.
The view from Gabbot Pass is at 12,240 feet, where an unverified sighting of wolverine tracks was made in July 2004.

In 2005, a wolverine was spotted in Tuolumne Meadows, again in winter. The observer had taken zoology courses at UCLA for seven years.

Forest Service employees have made quite a few wolverine sightings in both the northern Tahoe National Forest and in the southern Plumas National Forest in recent years.

In addition, in the Duncan Canyon Proposed Wilderness Area on the Plumas National Forest, there have been two wolverine sightings in recent years. This area is near French Meadows Reservoir.

Also on the Tahoe, in 2006, a wildlife biologist saw a California wolverine at the San Fransisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus near Bassetts, 32 miles northwest of where the photo below was taken. That is also on the Tahoe National Forest.

 

San Fransisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Station, 32 miles northwest of the Sagehen Creek photo site. There was an unverified sighting of a California wolverine here by a wildlife biologist in 2006.

In September 2010, a wolverine was seen on the Pacific Crest Trail near Red Cones, which is near Devil’s Postpile and Mammoth Mountain.

Wolverines on the North Coast and in the California Cascades

On the North Coast and in the California Cascades, there have been wolverine sightings in Del Norte and Trinity Counties east through Siskiyou and Shasta Counties.

There have been sightings in the lower Pit River watershed near Carberry Flat and on the Lassen National Forest at Bald Mountain and Kosk Creek Basin.

There were a number of sightings in this area from 1960 to 1974. For instance, there was a sighting six miles north of Hyampom Road near Hyampom in 1974. Sightings are ongoing.

 

The very deep forest on the road between Hyampom and Hayfork in Trinity County. A wolverine was spotted here in 1974.

In 1980, Forest Service personnel on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest observed a wolverine on the Lower McCloud River at Chatterdown Creek several miles downstream from the Nature Conservancy McCloud River Reserve. This sighting was in Shasta County.

 

The Lower McCloud River at Ah-Di-Nah near the Nature Conservancy Reserve. Note the very deep forest here. A wolverine was sighted near here by Forest Service workers in 1980. Photo by Lily G. Stephen.

 

Dillon Creek on the Klamath National Forest is a Class V+ rapids stream. This area is extremely rugged, and it is almost impossible to hike out of this canyon. A wolverine was sighted in this area fairly recently.

There were numerous wolverine sightings in the Klamath Mountains of California in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

A wolverine was seen in Corral Bottom, 10 miles north of Hyampom, in the winter of 1989. It ran along the road in the snow for a hundred yards or so, then disappeared into a water cave in the three-foot deep snow.

Wolverine tracks were seen two times in Hyampom in the winter of 2010. Hyampom is located east of Eureka in the Trinity Alps.

The most recent sighting of a wolverine on the Klamath River was at Dillon Creek on the Klamath National Forest, 20 miles below Happy Camp (map) in 2000. This sighting occurred in Siskiyou County. The elevation here appears to be only 500 feet. Wolverines occur in deep forest at much lower elevations on the North Coast.

In Shasta County, recent sightings around 2009 are known from the Big Bend area north of Montgomery Creek near Burney Falls.

Wolverines in this part of California tend to use lower elevations and are not so restricted to the subalpine zone.

Wolverines are known to exist in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Michigan. Wolverines are thought to be secure and not endangered in the Idaho Sawtooths at the moment.

They were formerly present in many other states in the US, including Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, Nebraska (!), Iowa (!), Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland (!), New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. A good historical and present range map is here (Figure 2).

There are 14 different subspecies of the wolverine. The species is more or less circumpolar, ranging from northern Canada to Alaska across Siberia to Finland, Sweden and Norway. There are 500 wolverines in Scandinavia and 1,500 in Russia. They formerly occurred all through Norway and into Southern Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Northeastern Poland.

Wolverines in Europe

The southern populations have been extirpated except for a wolverine recorded in Estonia in 1986, which means they may be reclaiming former habitat there.

In Sweden they are limited to the far northwest where their numbers are growing but their distribution is irregular. There are 265 wolverines in Sweden. The population declined from 1870 to 1970 when they received protection. Since 1970, the population has been growing.

There are 150 wolverines in Norway. 100 years ago, they ranged through the whole country, but since then, they have been aggressively hunted to where they were limited to the north. Since 1970, they have recolonized the south-central area and remain in the north. Protections are in place.

In Finland it is an endangered species with a population of about 115. At the turn of the century, 50 wolverines a year were killed there. They then declined until they were protected in 1982. A good report on wolverines in Scandinavia is here.

Wolverines in Eurasia

They are still common, though declining, in Russia, where they are common in the far east. The are most common in the Komi region (population 880). With the return to capitalism, they have undergone radical declines in the Kola (population 160) and Karelia (population 80) regions. The chaos and insanity of the return to capitalism have probably resulted in unrestricted hunting in Russia.

Wolverines in East Asia

There is estimated to be a population of 200 wolverines in the Greater Khingan Range of Inner Mongolia in Northeast China. It is thought to be declining. There formerly was a population to the west in the Altai Mountains in Sinkiang Province, but they have not been seen there since the 1990’s. Poaching is thought to be the major threat in China.

Wolverines in Canada

They were formerly found through much Canada but are now uncommon in Ontario (though increasing), extremely rare in Quebec, and extirpated from Labrador. An excellent report on wolverines in Ontario can be found on the Internet on the Wolverine Foundation’s site here.

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they are declining and are now found only in the northern parts of the provinces. They used to be found all through the forested areas of Alberta but are now limited to the Rockies and remote areas in the north.

They are common all through British Colombia except for the agricultural areas of the south. A subspecies on Vancouver Island is thought to be extirpated. It has not been seen since 1992. There is a horrible amount of logging occurring on that island.

Populations in the north in Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The population is estimated at 4,200 south of the 66th parallel. They may be more common in the Yukon than anywhere else on Earth other than the North Slope of Alaska. A great report on wolverines in Canada is here.

Wolverines in Alaska

They are common in Alaska but sporadic on the islands of the southeast.

Some Interesting Facts about Wolverines

Wolverines have a reputation for being solitary and antisocial creatures. It is said that they are barely social enough to reproduce. Nevertheless, there is a good bond between mothers and kits. Kits are known to stay with the mother for up to 14-15 months. That is a very long time for a mammal.

The notion that wolverines are like orangutans in being antisocial loners is being challenged. Findings out of research in Idaho’s Sawtooths have shown a three-year old male traveling with a male juvenile, showing him the ropes and how to avoid predators and find food. They also saw a grown male playing with a juvenile female in a meadow.

Previously it was thought that females alone raised kits, and males had nothing to do with their offspring like mountain lions and so many other mammals. Females reportedly remember their natal dens and recover them when their mother dies. Males may assume the role of patriarch by fathering kits with multiple females and may visit the females periodically. The legend of wolverine unsociability may have to be rewritten.

In the West, dens are made very high in the mountains near treeline. Denning is probably the major risk to wolverines in the US, as mothers readily abandon dens at the slightest disturbance. Hence, we may need to limit snowmobiling and cross-country skiing to help preserve American wolverines.

I do not think logging has much of an effect on wolverines since they live at such high elevations. It may even be beneficial if it increases the numbers of rodents, which they prey heavily on.

Wolverines are said to be scavengers, and there is something to this, but they are also omnivores who eat just about anything. They cover amazing distances in their never-ending search for feed. They are so ferocious that they have very few enemies.

There is a recorded instance of a wolverine stealing a mountain lion’s kill and then chasing the puma away. However, a black bear was recently recorded killing a wolverine in Yellowstone National Park. The intrepid and ferocious wolverine had tried to steal the bear’s elk kill right out from under the bear’s paws.

The wolverine is member of the weasel family, and it is best described as a weasel on steroids blown up to King Kong size. They have a reputation for ferocity and viciousness. This reputation is derived in part from the tales of fur trappers.

Wolverines were notorious for following fur trappers along their lines and destroying and eating any animals caught in traps. To trappers it often seemed that the wolverine was doing this out of pure spite. Wolverines also had a reputation for entering trapper’s cabins when trappers were away and destroying everything inside. To top it off, they would spray their foul scent from their glands all over the cabin.

A wolverine is hardly man’s best friend. Here a sweet, cuddly wolverine purrs and spreads the love around. Old-timers in the Truckee area, near where the photo was shot above, say it takes only two swoops of those claws to kill a dog. The old-timers said that wolverines in that area “lived in holes.” I have seen the claws on a road-killed badger, though, and those were just amazing.

It is often said that wolverines love wilderness and refuse to have anything to do with humans. This is not necessarily true.

In Northern Ontario, many sightings were made by trappers within 1/2 mile of Amerindian settlements.

In the Yukon, wolverines frequently raid garbage dumps on the outskirts of towns.

In Scandinavia, they prey quite heavily on sheep and reindeer such that they are becoming a major predator problem. Further, they are recolonizing former territory that is now inhabited by humans, with homes, towns, roads, etc.

Wolverine fur is very valuable. It is the only fur that has the ability to withstand frost without freezing over. Hence it is often used to line the areas of parkas right around the mouth where the breath comes out. Otherwise, moist breath tends to cause frost buildup around the parka wearer’s mouth.

The low elevation record for a wolverine in California is an unbelievable 1,300 feet in Tulare County.

Conservation organizations have repeatedly petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service over the past decade to list the wolverine in the lower 48 as an endangered species. The petitions are constantly returned on a Catch-22 basis – the wolverine has to be studied, especially population dynamics, to determine if it qualifies as an endangered species, and it is so rare that it is almost impossible to study it.

Earlier, a wolverine petition was returned by the Bush Administration as invalid. After that, on March 11, 2008, the Bush Administration denied listing the wolverine in the Lower 48 on the basis that healthy populations in Canada and Alaska should be able to keep the wolverine from going extinct even if the wolverine is extirpated from the Lower 48.

In this, the Bush Administration took a new tack. Under Clinton and probably under all previous Presidents, a number of species were listed even though they had healthy populations in Alaska and Canada. After all, most of us live in the Lower 48, not Alaska, Canada or Mexico. And it seems odd to depend on the kindness of nations to the north and south of us to keep species from going extinct.

One problem of the lack of listing of wolverines is that wolverines can still be trapped. 8-18 are trapped every year in Montana, and biologists feel that none should be trapped anymore in the state. It appears that trapping in Montana is untenable based on new evidence.

A great wolverine article is here. It’s written by Physical Geography Professor Randall J. Schaetzl of Michigan State University. Among many other fascinating observations, he notes that the last Michigan wolverine was killed in 1860, not the early 1800’s. So the Ubly sighting was the first in about 150 years, not 200 years as most references state.

References

Armentrout, S. et al. (Watershed Analysis Team). 1998. “Watershed Analysis For Mill, Deer, and Antelope Creeks.” USDA: National Forest Service, Lassen National Forest, Almanor Ranger District.
Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. 2000. “Petition for a Rule to List the Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the Contiguous United States.” Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
California Department of Transportation. 2007. “ED-89 PM 8.6-13.8 Water Quality Improvements U.S. Highway 50/State Route 89 “Y” to Cascade Road. El Dorado County, CA. Initial Study with Proposed Negative Declaration.” Marysville, CA: Caltrans Office of Environmental Management.
Devine Tarbell & Associates, Inc. Sacramento Municipal Utility District. 2004. “Upper American River Project (FERC No. 2101). Mesocarnivore Technical Report.” Sacramento, CA: Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
Elliot, Daniel Giraud. 1903. “Descriptions Of Twenty-Seven Apparently New Species And Subspecies Of Mammals. All But Six Collected By Edmund Heller.” Publication No. 87. Volume Fieldiana Zoology 3:14. Chicago: Field Colombian Museum.
Groves, Craig R. 1988. “Distribution of the Wolverine in Idaho as Determined by Mail Questionnaire.” Northwest Science 62, 4:181-5.
Hesseldenz, Thomas F. 1981. “Developing a Long-Term Protection Plan for the McCloud River, California.” Paper presented at the California Riparian Systems Conference, University of California, Davis, September 17-19, 1981.
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. 2005. “Heavenly Mountain Resort Master Plan Amendment 2005.”. USDA: USFS.
Lassen County Planning Department. 1981. “The Eagle Lake Area Plan, A Part of the Lassen County General Plan 1990.” Lassen County, CA.
Moyle, P.B., P.L. Randall, and R.M. Yoshiyama. 1996. “Potential Aquatic Diversity Management Areas in the Sierra Nevada.” In Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final Report to Congress, Vol III, Chap. 9, p. 15. Davis: University of California, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources.
Nachlinger, Janet and Miller, Connie, eds. 2002. “An Ecological Survey Of The Snow Canyon Research Natural Area, Eldorado National Forest, California.” Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experimental Station.
Pace, Felice. 2008. “Protecting Far Northern California’s
Unprotected Wilderness – Time to Rethink California Wilderness Strategy?”
Sierra Club California/Nevada Regional Wilderness Committee. Words of the Wild XI: 1. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club.
Predator Conservation Alliance. 2001. Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo) .
Randla, T. 1986. “On a New Occurrence of Wolverine in Estonia.” Eesti Ulukik 4: 77-78.
Schempf, P. F. and M. White. 1977. “Status of Six Furbearer Populations in the Mountains of Northern California.” USDA: Forest Service, California Region, San Francisco.
Shasta County Board of Supervisors. 1993. Shasta County General Plan. Redding, CA: Shasta County Department of Resource Management, Planning Division.
Stanislaus National Forest. 2001. California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, 2001/2002 OHV Grant and Cooperative Agreement Application, Wildlife Habitat Protection Plan. USDA: USFS.
Southern California Edison Company. 2001. Final Technical Study Plan Package (FTSPP) for the Big Creek Hydroelectric Projects (FERC Project Nos. 67, 120, 2085, and 2175). Terrestrial Resources – Chapter 13 – Mesocarnivores. Rosemead, CA.
Tahoe National Forest. 2002. Final Environmental Impact Statement. Red Star Restoration Project. USDA: USFS, Pacific Southwest Region, Forestville, CA.
TC Dot and Hughes Environmental Consultants. 2003. Trinity County Hyampom Road Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Report. Trinity County, CA: Trinity County Planning Department,
Zhang, M-H.; Liu, Q-X.; Piao, R-Z.; & Jiang, G-H. 2007. “The Wolverine Gulo Gulo Population and its Distribution in the Great Khingan Mountains, Northeastern China.” Wildlife Biology 13, 2: 83-88.
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Wolverines in Colorado and Utah

Repost.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the states of Utah and Colorado.

Wolverines in Utah

The Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah in Sanpete County. This county in central Utah is believed to harbor a wolverine population. This area is northeast of Fillmore, Utah, which is the sighting nearest to Nevada.

Also in March 1979, a man shot a wolverine on Highway 40 in Utah, 1½ miles west of the Colorado border near Dinosaur, Colorado.

I recently received a report of a good, but unconfirmed, wolverine sighting in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah. The sighting occurred on August 20, 1989 in the Upper Escalante River Canyon at the junction with Coyote Gulch (map here). The wolverine was in the canyon chasing a beaver near its beaver dam. It also swam across the river.

The sighting was by a man with a Master’s Degree in Ecology from UC Davis. The elevation for the sighting was 4,100 feet, but wolverines are not always found at high elevations.

This is an extremely unusual place to see a wolverine, but they probably used to live here. There are place names such as “Wolverine Bench” on the map in the Escalante Canyon area, and wolverines used be found into Northern Arizona. If wolverines existed in Northern Arizona, clearly they existed in the Glen Canyon area. Wolverines live in very similar habitat in the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

The Upper Escalante River Canyon is in the Aquarius Plateau, which has 50,000 acres of land above 11,000 feet. That’s clearly wolverine habitat. The junction of Coyote Gulch and the Upper Escalante is a ways away from the plateau, but it’s likely a dispersing juvenile could be found in the area. A photo of the terrain is here.

In recent years there have been documented sightings of wolverines around Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake. One was photographed running through a suburban development!

Wolverines in Colorado

There was an unconfirmed and undated sighting of a wolverine chasing a boy on a motorcycle down a road in the Routt National Forest in far Northern Colorado some years ago. The Routt is near Steamboat Springs up by the Wyoming border.

There have also been quite a few sightings in the San Juan Mountains north of Durango, Colorado and southeast of Wolf Creek Pass.

Wolverines have also been spotted, incredibly, near Sterling on the Great Plains in Northeastern Colorado, which seems very odd, but looking through all of these reports, it becomes apparent that wolverines in Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota may indeed use prairie habitat.

An incredible photo of a tornado over Sterling, Colorado from a storm-chaser page. Storm-chasers chase tornadoes so they can get pictures of them, or just to watch them. Pretty dangerous sport. Click to enlarge. I think it is quite clear by now that wolverines do use prairie habitat.
Even aboriginally, prairie was thought to be marginal for wolverines, but perhaps that was wrong. Pre-contact, vast herds of buffalo roamed the prairie, and there would be plenty of dead buffalo for the scavenging wolverine to eat.

Recently, there was an unconfirmed wolverine sighting 4-5 miles up Red Sandstone Road in Vail, Colorado on the White River National Forest.

A photo of Vail ski resort and the town of Vail, Colorado as seen from Red Sandstone Road, which goes north of town. A wolverine was seen on this road recently. Click to enlarge.
The famous Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest in Western Colorado. Aspen and Vail are also located in this forest. I spent a week skiing in Aspen in 1978. Great place! The White National Forest is believed to harbor a wolverine population. Along with Pike NF, these may be the only populations in the state.

Wolverines are present in Colorado on the Pike and White River National Forests and in Utah in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains and in Sanpete County in Central Utah.

 

The Pike National Forest in Colorado.

A Colorado Department of Wildlife biologist spotted one south of Trapper Lake in Flat Tops Wilderness in the mid-1960’s. The Flat Tops is partly in the White River National Forest and partly in the Routt NF in Colorado.

 

Trapper Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness. Canyon walls tower up to 1,000 feet at this late at the 9,500 foot elevation level. Fishing is very popular in this lake and it is said to be very good.

In July 1977, a man found a wolverine skull in the East Fork of the Cinnamon River Drainage in Gunnison County, Colorado. The skull was less than 10 years old.

In June 1978, a couple photographed an adult wolverine with three cubs in the Uncompagre.

In June 1978, a man took three photos of a wolverine crossing a snow field on Trinchera Peak (13,513 feet) in the Sangre de Christo Mountains in Southern Colorado.

 

The spectacular Trinchera Peak in the Sangre de Cristos in  Southern California. Bighorns roam on the top slopes of the mountain.

In March 1979, three biologists with the Colorado Department of Wildlife saw a wolverine near the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery near Rifle, Colorado in Garfield County in Western Colorado.

 

Rifle Mountain Park, 13 miles north and just beyond the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, the largest fish hatchery in Colorado. There is great ice climbing here during the winter and mountain climbing the rest of the year. You don’t even have to worry about rain much because the cliffs catch so much of it and you can always take shelter under one. A wolverine was seen near here in 1979.

In June 1979, a man watched a wolverine for four minutes as it approached a bear bait he had set near Parshall in Grant County, Colorado. That area is southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park.

A photo of the Aspen Canyon Ranch in Parshall, Colorado. A wolverine was seen here in 1979. Parshall is not much of a town. It is really just an unincorporated collection of small homes and trailers. There are dude ranches all around here. That may be the Colorado River in the photo, as it runs through town here near its headwaters. Fishing is supposed to be great in the river here.

In the late 1980’s, there was an unconfirmed sighting of a wolverine in the Uncompagre Wilderness on the Uncompagre National Forest. The Uncompagre is in Southern Colorado and is located about 20 miles northwest of Telluride.

There was another unconfirmed sighting of tracks from the Flat Tops Wilderness in 2003.

There have been multiple unconfirmed wolverine sightings in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado since 2000.

References

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. 2000. Petition for a Rule to List the Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the Contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Nead, D. M.; Halfpenny, J. C.; and Bissell, S. 1984. “The Status of Wolverines in Colorado.Northwest Sci. 58: 286-289.
Predator Conservation Alliance. 2001. Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

Additions to the Wolverine’s Range in Idaho

Repost.

The wolverine in Idaho is generally considered inhabit three main areas:

The first and southernmost population is in the Sawtooth National Forest (northern part), Challis National Forest, Payette National Forest and Sawtooth National Recreation Area in central Idaho.

Yet another population is the central population in the Lochsa River Drainage in the Clearwater and Bitterroot Mountains in Clearwater National Forest.

A third population is the northern population to the north in the Selkirks along the Canadian border.

The three populations are considered to be separated from each other, although at least the first population is thought to be healthy.

Nevertheless, we continue to get reports of wolverines in other parts of Idaho. A previous post noted a wolverine on a telephone pole along the Snake River Valley in King Hill, Idaho, earlier this year.

A radio-collared wolverine recently traveled from the Grand Tetons in Wyoming across the Blackfoot and Caribou Mountains in the Targhee and Caribou National Forests in Southeastern Idaho, across private lands to the Portneuf Range west of the Portneuf River. This range is about 20 miles east of Pocatello, Idaho, and encompasses part of the Caribou National Forest and the Fort Hall Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation.

 

The breathtaking Portneuf Range east of Pocatello, Idaho, where the radio-collared wolverine ended up. It promptly turned right around and went back to the Tetons. In the Basin and Range Region.
A grazing allotment on the Blackfoot Mountains in southeastern Idaho. Lance Armstrong, the peripatetic wolverine, crossed this range on his way from the Grand Tetons to the Portneuf Range opposite Pocatello, Idaho. Grazing is thoroughly devastating BLM and Forest Service land in this region.
The problem is particularly acute in Southern Idaho, as it is more arid.
All livestock grazing pretty much needs to be banned in at least these areas.Incredibly, livestock grazing is allowed in National Forest wilderness areas. This was one of the only ways that the 1964 Wilderness Act could get passed was to grandfather in these grazing allotments. It’s insane that grazing is allowed in wilderness areas.
Grazing is particularly devastating in high-elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada and anywhere in the arid West.
The cow evolved in England and prefers a cool climate with lots of water. In the arid West, cows congregate during the summer in the riparian areas, which they completely devastate. A grand total of 2% of all US beef comes from public lands in the West – most beef comes from feedlots in the Midwest.
Public lands grazing is welfare – the allotments are rented out to the ranchers at far below market value, so the taxpayer gets totally screwed.
Not only do we get ripped off on the rental of our lands, but we also get our lands devastated in the process. The whole thing is completely insane. If ranchers can’t make it ranching on private land, they need to get out of the business.
Furthermore, increasingly, public lands ranchers, like everything else in US capitalism, is going corporate. Mom and Pop ranchers are going out and ranching corporations are in. A large number of public lands grazing allotments are now being run by corporations as investment vehicles.

The long-ranging wolverine above was finally killed by a trapper just over the Montana border in the Centennial Range. Since the Centennials range into Idaho, we ought to add the Centennial Range in the Targhee National Forest to the wolverine’s range in Idaho.

 

The spectacular Centennial Range on the border between Idaho and Montana. This is where the long-ranging wolverine named Lance Armstrong was finally killed by a trapper over the border into Montana.

Montana still allows trapping of wolverines, which takes about a dozen a year. Studies are showing that even that small take may be too much for wolverines to sustain. However, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission recently voted to set limits on wolverine trapping for the very first time.

Additional searching around the net noted that a wolverine had been shot dead by some boys in the Snake River Canyon in Idaho a few years back. They were worried and they brought it in to the Department of Fish and Game office, but the wardens let them go because they were kids and did not know what they were doing, although the wolverine is protected in Idaho.

 

The Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho. Some teenage boys shot dead a wolverine here about three years ago, but were not charged. Clearly, wolverines do exist in this part of the Colombian Plateau. This is where Evil Knievel tried his ill-fated motorcycle jump across this canyon decades ago.

There are various definitions about what constitutes the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The most parsimonious definition says that it starts at the spectacular Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho. It seems to continue west about 30 miles to 1000 Springs (great pics on that page) at Hagerman, where Wikipedia implies that it ends.

So this wolverine was apparently killed in the canyon between Twin Falls and Hagerman. That’s only about 47 miles north of the Nevada border.

Way further afield, in the Seven Devils Mountains of far western Idaho in the Hell’s River Canyon of the Snake River, wolverines exist. As you can see in various places in this large document (page 6 for instance) they are actually doing surveys for their dens.

Included in the appendices is a report called Survey of Wolverine Dens in the Seven Devils Mountains of Hells Canyon.

 

The gorgeous Seven Devils Range in the Payette National Forest in Idaho. This range borders on Hell’s Canyon and may serve as a steppingstone for wolverines to travel from Idaho across the Snake River to the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon.

There are also reports of wolverines in the Wood River Valley area. Part of the Wood River runs about 30 miles north of Twin Falls, but the Wood River Valley refers to private land about 60-70 miles north of Twin Falls. It includes the towns of Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue. We should extend wolverine habitat down from the Sawtooths into the Wood River Valley.

There have been recent sightings in the Sun Valley area.

On the webpage for Power County, a county in southeastern Idaho west and southwest of Pocatello, the county claims that wolverines occur there. There are various ranges there, including the Bannock Range, the Sublette Range and the Deep Creek Range.

 

The spectacular Deep Creek Range in southeastern Idaho. It is about 40 miles long, and is bounded by Arbon Valley on the East and Rockland Valley on the West as it ranges through Power County. Wolverines may well exist here. Another Basin and Range mountain range.
The Bannock Range in southeastern Idaho. Both the Bannock and the Deep Creek Ranges are southwest of Pocatello. The Bannocks extend from Pocatello 85 miles south into northern Utah through the Caribou National Forest. Wolverines may well exist in this range. Also located in the Basin and Range region.

Photos of all of these beautiful ranges can be seen on Ralph Maughan’s excellent blog. Maughan is a professor of political science at Idaho State University in Pocatello. He’s also really big on wolves.

Incredibly, the Bush Administration removed all protections for all wolves in the United States! The Rocky Mountains population is doing fairly well, but they completely removed the wolves from the endangered species list and handed management of them over to the states, who proceeded to slaughter them as fast as they can!

Web page on myths about wolves. Wolves are hardly dangerous at all to humans. Predators killed 12,100 sheep in Idaho last year. Of those, a little more than 2% were killed by wolves. Domestic dogs killed for more and coyotes killed the most of all. There is nothing to do with coyotes and no way to get rid of them. The more you do predator control against them, the more sheep they kill.

Ranchers claim that wolves are devastating Idaho’s cattle industry. Wolves killed 24 cows in Idaho last year, .03 of all losses. All predators accounted for only 3% of all losses and wolves accounted for less than 1% of all predator losses. Ranchers are reimbursed for all of their losses to wolves anyway.

This is a clear consequence of White Rule in America. White Rule has meant a total corporate takeover of every nook and cranny in this nation, along with utter devastation of our environment and every non-utilitarian form of non-human life in it.

What’s odd is that surveys of Americans, including most Whites, show that they are strong environmentalists. But environmentalism is way down on the list. What’s high on the list? Although most US Whites will tell you that they are not racist, the movement of US Whites towards the Republican Party from 1980-present has been pretty much predicated on race.

It’s coincided with a dramatic decrease in the White % in this country. You tell me that is a coincidence? Forget it! When I was coming of age in the late 1970’s, this was probably an 82% White country. The vast majority of people that I grew up with, went to high school, junior college and even college with, were White. The people I met at my jobs and on college trips were almost all White. It was just a White World.

Since 1980, our White World has gotten darker and darker. Whites have dropped from 82% of the US to about 64% and it’s dropping all the time. This has amazingly coincided with Whites leaving liberalism en masse and voting hard rightwing Republican. The White Republican politics has gotten harder and harder rightwing with time.

During the 1990’s and into the Bush Administration, we are now dealing with quite possibly the most rightwing President this country has ever seen – and it’s all the fault of White people. Why are Whites voting more and more reactionary with time? Because their rule is coming to an end.

This is a predictable political trend for any ruling group which is desperately trying to hold onto power in the face of rising opposition. In truth, ruling groups often opt for dictatorship and often fascism as they desperately try to cling to power.

In summary, occupied wolverine habitat in Idaho should be extended beyond the description at the beginning to the post to Power County, Elmore County, the Snake River Valley, the Blackfoot Mountains, the Centennial Range, the Caribou Range, the Snake River Range, the Big Hole Mountains, the Targhee and Caribou National Forests, the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, the Portneuf Range, the Seven Devils Mountains , the Snake River Canyon and possibly the Bannock and Deep Creek Ranges.

References

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. 2000. Petition for a Rule to List the Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the Contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Edelman, Frank and Copeland, Jeff. 1999. “Wolverine Distribution in the Northwestern United States and a Survey in the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho.” Northwest Science 62:181-185.
Groves, Craig R. 1988. “Distribution of the Wolverine in Idaho as Determined by Mail Questionnaire.” Northwest Science 62, 4:181-5.
Predator Conservation Alliance. 2001. Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).
Wildlife Conservation Society. 2004. “Wolverine Takes A Road Trip: Scientists Track Male Animal over a Three-state, 550-mile Walk-about.” Science Daily.
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Wolverines In Wyoming

Note: Repost.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 86 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the state of Wyoming. Wolverines in Wyoming do not seem to be in very good shape, but there are increasing sightings in recent years, and a few have been trapped and road-killed. Further, they seem to be expanding their range.

In Wyoming, wolverines are mostly found in the northwest near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, where the population at least appears sustainable, particularly in and around Yellowstone.

However, there was a sighting in the Medicine Bow Mountains in Southeastern Wyoming in 1991.

The Medicine Bow Mountains in Southeast Wyoming. A wolverine was sighted here in 1991.

In 1996, a wolverine was accidentally trapped near the town of Horse Creek, east of the Laramie Mountains and northwest of Cheyenne.

The scene near Horse Creek, Wyoming, where a wolverine was accidentally trapped in 1996. Actually, most of this area is drier Basin and Range or almost prairie type habitat, complete with buffalo, “hogback” mountains, and real, live cowboys.

I spoke with a man recently here in California who saw and heard a wolverine underneath a cabin where he was staying with his sons at 10,000 feet on Cloud Peak in the Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan, Wyoming. The wolverine was rummaging around under the cabin for hours and later was gnawing up a nearby woodpile. The sighting occurred in 1996.

There was a 1997 sighting from the Bighorn Mountains, a range in North-central Wyoming on the Montana border that extends south to near the town of Sheridan.

In March 1998, a wolverine killed several sheep east of Buffalo, which is east of the Bighorn Mountains.

Interstate 90 drops down into the Crazy Woman Basin east of Buffalo, Wyoming. A wolverine killed several sheep here in March 1998 and was spotted by a rancher. This area, the Powder River Basin, is undergoing a huge amount of methane natural gas extraction which is sucking a huge amount of water out of the ground and spraying it on the surface.
This is causing homeowners’ wells to go dry. They lose all the value of the home, and the natural gas companies refuse to reimburse them because the homeowners do not own the mineral rights under their land. That’s the way capitalism works in America – the score is Capital-100 Humans-0, and masochistic Americans just can’t get enough abuse.There is also a fear that many area watercourses, such as the Powder River and Crazy Woman Creek, are going to dry up part of the year, endangering many fish endemic to the area.

A young wolverine was captured only two miles north of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the state capital, in 1998. Cheyenne is a city of 53,000 people.

Cattle grazing in Veeda Vou Park north of Cheyenne. A subadult wolverine was captured just two miles north of Cheyenne in 1998.

A wolverine was killed by a car along Highway 30 in 2004 near Fossil Butte National Monument near where Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho all come together.

The view down into Chicken Creek that runs through the heart of the Fossil Buttes National Monument in Southwest Wyoming. Fossil Buttes is on the left. A wolverine was roadkilled here in 2004. Some think that wolverines have their winter range in the lower Basin and Range sagebrush zones. Here the terrain is mostly sagebrush, but aspens grow at higher elevations. Very large numbers of fossilized fish have been found in this area.

There are also sightings from the Wyoming Range in Far Western Wyoming south of Jackson Hole.

In 2005, a female wolverine was being monitored in the Salt River Range along the Idaho border. She was also using the Wyoming Mountains. The Salt River Range is next to the Wyoming Mountains.

Wolverines also are thought to live in the Tetons and the Gros Ventre Range south of Yellowstone and in the Absaroka Range east of Yellowstone near Cody. Jackson Hole is located in the Gros Ventres.

A couple of wolverines were documented on the Wind River Range about 75 miles southeast of Jackson Hole near Lander in recent surveys.

In general, wolverines in Wyoming are thought to be in poor shape. They seem to be slowly recovering territory and spreading out into new areas. One reason for this may be that the large wolf population in Yellowstone is providing a good source of carrion for wolverines with all of the ungulates that they are killing. Another reason may be much less broad-spectrum predator poisoning in the state in the past few decades.

References

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. 2000. Petition for a rule to list the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the contiguous United States. Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Predator Conservation Alliance. 2001. Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

Wolverines in New Mexico

Repost.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in New Mexico.

Wolverines may yet exist in New Mexico. Interviews with hunters in northern New Mexico conducted in 1864 indicated that the wolverine occurred in New Mexico at that time. An Acoma Indian interviewed in 1931 said that wolverines formerly occurred in all of the mountains of northern New Mexico.

In 1985, there was a published report of a wolverine sighting in tundra habitat on Latir Peak in the Sangre De Cristos in New Mexico.

Latir Peak in the Latir Peak Wilderness Area in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos, New Mexico. A wolverine was sighted in tundra here in 1985.

There have been several other probable wolverine sightings recently in the New Mexico Sangre De Cristos.

Lake Fork Peak in the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. The red line indicates the route taken by mountain climbers who bagged this peak. There have been several sightings of wolverines in this rugged range in recent years, and northern New Mexico was formerly wolverine habitat.

References

Frey, J.K. 2006. Inferring species distributions in the absence of occurrence records: an example considering wolverine (Gulo gulo) and Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in New Mexico. Biological Conservation 130:16-24.

Wolverine Sighted in Shasta County, California

There was an unconfirmed sighting of a wolverine in Shasta County, California a year ago, on Friday, September 26, 2008. The sighting occurred at 1 PM on a sunny day. The wolverine was crossing Highway 89 from north to south. It was walking fast more than running.

It was described as paler than most photos the observer had seen – more of a dark tan. This color is actually common for wolverines, and if this was an actual California wolverine, this subspecies was known to have a much lighter coloration. He observed it crossing the road at about 50 feet away until it vanished into the forest.

The observer assumed it was a pretty common animal until he went on the Net and did some research and found out how rare it was. He reported the sighting to this blog, and I believe him. Anyone who wants to talk to the observer about this sighting can try to contact him via me at my email

This area of California has actually had a number of wolverine sightings in recent years, including some by wildlife biologists. In addition, loggers, utility workers and Forest Service workers have been reporting sightings in the Lassen/Almanor area for years now. Bizarrely, even sightings by wildlife biologists are said to be “unconfirmed”.

The sighting was around Dead Horse Summit, about 20-30 miles west of McCloud, between the small towns of Bartle and Pondosa. This area is near MacArthur-Burney Falls State Park. That’s a really beautiful area. This part of California is very White, deeply conservative and very sparsely settled. I have been near this part of California, but it was so long ago, I don’t even remember it.

Dead Horse Summit. This is where the far southern end of the Cascades Range of Washington, Oregon and northern California meets the far northern end of the Sierra Nevada. This is an area where the California spotted owl probably intergrades with the Northern spotted owl. Wolverines are already known to exist at decent populations in southern Oregon.
These are definitely California wolverines. If the California wolverine subspecies is to repopulate California and the Sierra Nevada, it will be through this corridor linking the two ranges.
There is a fascinating old railroad track that runs through this area. You can take these little several man-railroad cars that cruise along the tracks and check out this train track. It’s really popular with model railroad fans for some weird reason. I’m not even sure if this track is even used by real trains anymore. As far as I can tell, it’s a tourist trap for model railroad dudes. Funny.
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Wolverine Spotted in Snake River Valley

Repost.

This is actually a pretty interesting sighting. We have always known that there are wolverines in the national forests of mountainous central and northern Idaho and there are some sightings in the Hell’s Canyon area of the Snake River along the Oregon/Idaho border, but I was not aware of any recent sightings in the Colombian Plateau of Idaho until I read this article.

The terrain in King Hill, Idaho. Not exactly prime wolverine habitat, but wolverines have been road-killed and trapped in similar locales recently in Wyoming, Oregon and Utah.

However, recent sightings and roadkilled wolverines in similar habitat in the West in Utah, Oregon,and Wyoming indicate that wolverines do use such habitats, possibly especially when dispersing.

This wolverine was actually sitting on a telephone pole in the middle of the day near a small town!

A wolverine got stranded on a telephone pole in King Hill, Idaho on March 25 of this year. That photo actually looks kind of ridiculous. Tell me again how these animals hate people so much that they can’t stand to go anywhere near us. Right.

It was spotted along Montgomery Road near King Hill, Idaho. King Hill is located about 57 miles northwest of Twin Falls, Idaho. Wildlife officials were called in and decided to just wait around until the wolverine climbed down off the pole.

The initial caller had reported a badger on a telephone pole, but badgers don’t climb. They can dig a hole faster than any animal alive, but they can’t climb a thing. Badgers and wolverines appear to be relatives – they are both very large weasel-type animals.

There have been two other sightings of wolverines in “the valley” (apparently the Snake River Valley, whatever that encompasses) in the past two years. I don’t know much about the economic base of this county, but at least wine grapes are grown here.

Sagebrush terrain in the Eastern Snake River Valley of Idaho. King Hill is at the western end of the Eastern Snake River Valley. Pretty odd to find wolverines here, but they have been spotted at least 3 times in 2 years in this region.

The fact that wolverines are dispersing out in the Great Basin may mean that some day in the not too distant future they may return to Nevada. King Hill is a mere 63 miles north of the Nevada border.

References

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. (2000). Petition for a rule to list the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Groves, Craig R. 1988. Distribution of the Wolverine in Idaho as Determined by Mail Questionnaire. Northwest Science 62, 4:181-5.
Predator Conservation Alliance. (2001) Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

Wolverines in Nevada

Repost.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 86 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the state of Nevada. The standard line is that wolverines do not exist in Nevada and have not been reported there since the late 1800’s, when they were reported from the ranges in the northeastern part of the state.

However, it was recently discovered that there was a verifiable wolverine sighting in far east-central Nevada close to the Utah border, near Great Basin National Park, in 1972.

But given that wolverines seem to be in the process of recovering their range in the Western US, it seems plausible that wolverines may reappear in Nevada at some date. They have been seen on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon near the Nevada border. It is also possible that they may drift down from southern Oregon into northern Nevada.

At any rate, this post will examine historical locations for wolverines in Nevada, and include photos of the ranges where they may have been spotted.

John Muir reported wolverine tracks from Wheeler Mountain (map here) in what is now Great Basin National Park in 1878, but there were no sightings. Since then, a wolverine skull was found in Snake Creek Burial Cave near Great Basin National Park 11.3 miles south of Baker, Nevada, and only 2 1/4 miles west of the Utah border.

That skull was found amidst bones from over 10,000 years ago and has not yet been dated, so it may not be a recent find. On the other hand, the Pleistocene assemblage at that elevation continues to occur nearby in Great Basin National Park, albeit at higher elevations. The nearest known occurrence of a wolverine to the Sand Creek skull is in Utah, 93 miles to the east near Fillmore in Millard County.

Fillmore, Utah, the nearest wolverine sighting to the skull found at Sand Creek Cave, Nevada. It’s amazing that wolverines can live in this kind of high Basin and Range territory. There is very similar terrain on Highway 395 north of the California border on the way to Carson City, which I visited 21 years ago. Pinyon-juniper is common in this terrain.

In addition to Muir’s report, there are reports from pre-1900 of wolverines in the northeastern part of Nevada.

Snowside Gulch in the Jarbridge Wilderness in northeastern Nevada. The Jarbridge Mountains are to the north of both the East Humboldt and Ruby Mountains and rest on the border with Idaho. Wolverines may have occurred in this range before 1900.
The Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada. This may have been one of the ranges where wolverines occurred in Nevada pre-1900.
Chimney Rock in the East Humboldt Range to the north of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada. Wolverines may have occurred here before 1900.

References

Aubry, KB, McKelvey, KS, Copeland, JP. 2007. Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 7: 148-158.
Barker, M. S., Jr., and Best, T. L. (1976). The Wolverine (Gulo Luscus) in Nevada. The Southwestern Naturalist 21: 133.
Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. (2000). Petition for a Rule to List the Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the Contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Predator Conservation Alliance. (2001) Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

The Secret to China’s Success – The Capitalists Are Kept out of Politics

China isn’t really a capitalist country. Why not? Because the capitalists are not in politics. They don’t run the country. The market or the capitalists are a tool to develop the forces of production instead of a form of Politics as they are most everywhere else, where they manage to conveniently screw up most everything for the masses.

The Communist Party rules China and the Hell if they are going to let the capitalists take over their country and run it into the ground like they do everywhere else. Instead the market is simply a tool, and the capitalists are barred from politics as they ought to be.

Capitalists should just make stuff. They’re pretty good at that. Once they gain political power, they seem to blow up everything and turn it all to Hell. Want some evidence? Open your eyes and look around at the capitalist world. See?

In China the capitalists have to go along with the Communist Party’s plans. New labor laws? Suck it up, capitalists. New pollution controls? Better fix those smokestacks, capitalists. The capitalists don’t have any say in this because if you let them take over, they always vote to ruin labor and destroy all the environmental laws because that’s what the profit motive demands.

Capitalists in China have to follow the Party’s five year plans. They have to do what the government says, or orders, for that matter. If the capitalists defy the party and don’t do as they’re told, the Party will just go in and confiscate all their property.  They’ll steal all your stuff. So that’s good motivation to get along and go along. Then they will either nationalize it or turn it over to one of their friends who is a bit more obedient.

There is a Party committee that sits on the board of directors of all large corporations. Large corporations are frequently bought out and nationalized. The state must own a proportion of all foreign corporations that set up shop in China. Apple wants to set up a factory? Fine, but the government gets a piece of that.

The banking is almost all controlled by the state. This is how China among a few other countries weathered the bankster economic crash of 2008. The state owned the banks so China was not plugged into world capitalist finance.

Japan is similar. There are a few very large banks at the top of the economic pyramid, and they are owned by the state.

Like in Korea, economic decisions about the development of the country are made by teams made up of the government and corporations. Korea’s giant conglomerates are nearly state-owned in part.

The Russian government is similar. It either owns outright or owns 50% of almost every large corporation in Russia.

A number of China’s state corporations are among the largest companies on Earth. They are right there in the Forbes 100 or even in the Forbes 50. They are immensely profitable and they generate a tremendous amount of money for the state, which is then used to develop the country or distributed to the people in one way or another. What’s wrong with that?

The Chinese state spends a staggering amount of money developing their country.  They do things quite easily, quickly, and even cheaply there – such as developing deep water ports or high speed rail systems – that either take forever and cost a fortune in the US or are simply not done, as they are economically unfeasible.

For instance, the US has decided that high-speed rail is not economically feasible in the US. How is it economically feasible in China, Japan, and Europe then? That argument is senseless.

China is presently pouring vast amounts of money into the rural areas, as they have been neglected. A lot of rural people move to the cities to seek their fortune. A lot of them don’t make it. China allows them to keep their farms as insurance when they do this, so rural folks who don’t make it in the cities always have the fallback of moving back to their farms. Hey, at least they can eat and survive.

This is where having the state own all the land in China comes in. Since the state owns all the land, the rural farms can remain as a backup insurance policy for rural workers who migrate to the cities and don’t make it.

If land in China was privately owned, that backup would not be available, and Chinese cities would be teeming with awful slums made up of rural dwellers migrated to the city. This sad scene is typical all over the capitalist world. But maybe it’s not necessary.

As noted, all land in China is owned by the state. Every inch of it. This is important as the private ownership of land is one of the main reasons that the India – Pakistan – Nepal – Bangladesh South Asian region is such a shithole. The best single thing India could do would be to abolish the private ownership of land.

In China, you get to own your house but not the land it’s built on. Sure you can lease out state land, even for a long time, but you can’t own it. In Netherlands, similarly all land is owned by the state. It’s not a bad idea.

A vast amount of the Chinese economy – 45% and growing – is publicly owned at some level or other, often at the municipal or even village level.

The state owns the vast irrigation system that underpins the entire rural economy. If that were privatized, all Hell would break loose. Think about it. You can’t have private corporations running the irrigation networks. Hell, we don’t even have that in the US.

The state used to run small schools and even medical centers in most rural villages, although they are getting away from that. Education is free through the graduate level. This also helps free graduates from being mired in poverty in debt for years or decades after they graduate. They keep their money to spend in the economy instead having most of their money go via debt bondage to parasitical bankers who don’t create anything of real value anyway.

Most capitalist banks in the West are giant loan-sharking institutions or casinos in the sky. Speculation isn’t real investment. It’s like going to the casino. If everyone just goes to the casino, this is good for the economy how? This is what happens when all that’s left of your economy is the economic mirage called “finance.”

Similarly, China now covers almost all typical medical care that people need. The state pays 85% and people pick up the rest. It’s easily affordable for most anything other than a very serious injury or illness such as cancer, which, unfortunately, the state won’t pay for.

This is a black mark to me, but it’s still better than our for-profit medicine system that wastes incredible amounts of the productive forces on overhead and executive payouts.

Medicare’s overhead is 2%. All the rest goes to medical treatment of patients, as it ought to. The overhead and profit of private insurance companies comes to 20%. So with Medicare, 98 cents of every dollar goes to actual health care, and with private insurance, only 80 cents of every dollar goes towards patient care. That’s obviously a grossly inefficient waste of economic resources. What’s this about the state being inefficient and the private sector being so efficient?

Once again, when the state covers your medical care, workers can not only relax, but they also don’t have to go into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty to  pay their medical bills. All of which helps whom? The vultures called for profit hospitals and insurance companies?

Why should sick people be financially ruined and living on the streets because they were so sick that they had to give every time they owned to some human shark in a corporate suit? In what possible world is this a just or even acceptable outcome?

Instead of being ruined, losing everything they own, and going homeless due to medical bills, with state health care, workers can keep working at their jobs and keep their money and their wealth as the state foots the doctor bills. So these workers remain productive and continue to spend money in the real economy. Win-win.

Peak Oil and Peak Coal

Looks like we just hit Peak Coal in 2012 and Peak Oil in Summer 2018. That means that the world’s coal and oil production hit its ultimate peak in those years, and every year after that, production is going to drop. Production could peak for a lot of reasons.

One reason would be that the resource is becoming exhausted. However, in the case of coal, it is possibly just that coal has hit peak demand and the world is weaning itself off the stuff.

Although we did hit peak oil, I suppose it’s possible to hit it again as many producers have reduced their output to drive up prices. Venezuela and Iran have seen output plunge due to crippling sanctions the US put on both of them. Many oil fields are not even fully exploited and there is always the argument that you can find new fields.

More importantly, no more than 10% of the oil can be extracted from any underground oil basin. The rest is simply not reachable for some reason.  However, new technology is enabling us to get up to 25% of the oil from a basin. This could also ramp up production.

The fact that we are resorting to the awful, and deadly polluting process of fracking of oil shale seems to show that humanity is nearing  the limits of the oil it can scrape out of the ground. Shale oil fracking looks like a desperate attempt to grab even the haziest and most dubious extractable oil in a desperate attempt to head off Peak Oil. And even that’s not working.

After Peak Oil, oil production is supposed to decline every year after that. Quite a few folks think this will be a catastrophe but that may not be so. One thing is that oil demand will drop for a lot of uses in the coming decades. A lot of enterprises that burn fossil fuel and move off it onto renewables, with the generation of electricity leading the way so far.

Cars are another matter. Demand for oil for cars rose every year in the last decade. That is because the world continues to add more and more cars, especially in emerging markets like China.  And 97% of cars run on oil. Ethanol never panned out and it has to be mixed with oil to work anyway.

Oil is used for other things. 10% of oil is used to produce plastics. I don’t understand why we should not continue to pump oil to make plastic. I mean oil and coal are only problems when you burn them to create energy. Oil is simply transformed as a raw material in the production of plastic so this use of oil does affect Global Warming at all. Actually even coal has other uses besides burning. It is also used in the production of various manufactured products.

The nonsense about “clean coal” has been a mantra for over a decade now. Obama was fond of that one. Apparently it’s a big fat lie. My research has found that there is no such thing as clean coal. So-called clean coal is dirty as Hell. If anyone has any contrary information about clean coal, I’d like to hear it.

The thing is is that demand for oil, as for coal, may decline in coming years at least for certain uses such as electricity. And if the price does go up, oil producers usually respond to increased demand by increasing supply. When the price drops or demand falls, producers simply reduce production.

All of these factors make it so that skyrocketing oil prices are not necessarily going to happen with Peak Oil, or at least not for some years if ever. There’s a lot more to prices, supply, and demand of products than production of the commodity peaking out.

Alt Left: Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

An absolutely essential piece by Ernest Everhard from the Alternative Left website sums up perfectly an Alt Left position on SJWism, Intersectionality or Intersectional Feminism. It’s a bit hard to read, but I understood 90%+ of it, so maybe you can understand a lot of it too. This is us. This is really us. This is an immaculate summary of exactly what the Alternative Left is all about. Please feel free to comment on this: this is a very important topic in this great movement we are trying to build here.

Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

Intersectionality is itself a system of power. It upholds the status quo and protects the powerful and privileged.
Recognizing this is the key difference between the alternative left and other current forms of political thought.
A fan of the Alternative Left Facebook page recently posed this question to me:

Have you considered that you might be postmodernist? The actual meaning of the term, not Peterson’s ridiculous conflation and confusion of it. It seems as if a lot of your philosophy relies on the rejections of meta-narratives.

At a glance, this seems an absurd question. Isn’t rejection of postmodernism integral to the alt-left? Doesn’t all that deconstruction and bafflegab distract from the hard and real work of class struggle? Isn’t a return to some semblance of economic realism, if not historical materialism, what we’re all about at the end of the day?
Not so fast. While I don’t think postmodernism is a tenable philosophy long term, it does make some good points. It’s like nihilism and other forms of radical skepticism. They’re nice places to visit, and doing so is a sign of intellectual growth, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
My quarrel with postmodernism is how it tends to be cherry picked by the intersectional left, the feminist theorists in particular. They’re quite good at using deconstruction to pick apart the texts of their opponents, and will exploit other postmodernist concepts such as “the death of the author” – the idea that textual interpretation by authorial intent is flawed – to license their tendency to simply read their own narrative into ideas that threaten them.
They use such notions as science being a western, patriarchal “way of knowing” as a legitimizing excuse to handwave otherwise proven claims of some biological basis in gender differences, for example.
Deconstruction, cognitive framing and other advanced linguistic concepts are devastating ideological weapons against those who are not aware of them. Intersectional theorists get a unique education in these concepts in the academic institutions wherein their views dominate. Institutions that are not cheap to attend and require significant baseline intelligence to be successful in. They’re therefore able to win debates against their less privileged opponents simply through framing and linguistic and cognitive gimmicks of this nature.
Ultimately, however, feminist theory’s apparent embrace of postmodernism is self serving pretense. Notice how their own theories are presented as if they were eternal truths, universally binding on all people under all circumstances. Cultural relativism is fine when it’s used to impose multiculturalism and diversity upon western cultural spaces, but has a funny way of disappearing when similar demands of tolerance are made of feminist theorists in turn.
Fixed and objective meaning of text based on authorial intent is not authoritative, since the author no doubt lives in a network of socially constructed systems of which he is barely aware. But not so the feminist critic.
Her views, and her views alone apparently, somehow transcend the context of the society that gave rise to them, and so are above questions of this nature and constitute an ultimate authority on par with divine revelation. No one is faster to declare epistemic superiority for their own points of view – standpoint theories so called – than college feminists who’ve studied the poststructuralists closer than anyone. If feminist theory is not a metanarrative, you tell me what is.
Who deconstructs feminist theory, one must ask?
Yeah, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
Herein lies a very central tenet of alternative leftism: that the brands of postmodern critical theory so prevalent on college campuses and that are the underlying ideologies of the SJW’s are actually conservative, not radical. They are in fact themselves systems of power, like the very notions of patriarchy and colonialism they so love to deconstruct.
This is quite naturally a counter intuitive concept when first exposed to it. Feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and so on – Intersectionality serving as a kind of one ring to rule them all and thus a useful term for referring to them collectively – is interpreted either as official party line and not to be questioned, in the case of the mainstream left.
Or else condemned as “Cultural Marxism” and taken at face value as advocacy for an artificial egalitarianism, in the case of the right. Neoreaction comes quite strangely closest to the truth in its denouncing of progressive ideology as “the Cathedral” – a vast Matrix like social construct comparable to the Christian church in the middle ages – the state religion to which everyone must pay homage, hence the term.

The Cathedral: It doesn’t challenge the aristocracy.
It is the aristocracy.

Neoreaction’s flaw, however, lies in the irony of its denunciation of progressivism in those terms. Isn’t a medieval form of social organization exactly what they want? The Church of the middle ages, far from being an institution for egalitarian social leveling, had a long history of supporting the aristocracy and running interference on behalf of the status quo, despite a good portion of what Christ actually taught, which may be where the confusion arises.
So it is with intersectionality. Despite its pretenses, and despite what were likely genuinely radical critiques at one time, current year intersectionality does not challenge privilege. It upholds privilege.
Do not misunderstand me, dear reader. I do not condone racism towards minorities, misogyny and homophobia. The left spearheaded the fight against those things for all the right reasons. And not merely because prejudice undermines working class solidarity, thought that is reason enough. To be left is to value equality, to some degree or another, and fair treatment regardless of what one is by accident of birth. Intersectionality itself was intended to be a manner of looking at how various different forms of oppression reinforce one another. This is not in itself a bad idea.
The problem is that intersectionality has evolved into something does not actually promote real social justice. Its lack of tolerance for dissent made it vulnerable to abuse on part of the unscrupulous, who were thereby attracted to intersectional feminist spaces.
They’ve co-opted social justice movements, and used them as tools to oppress people. It’s like Marxist Leninism 2.0 – a popular movement is appropriated and exploited by an elite vanguard professing to represent the interests of marginalized people, and using that to consolidate their own power. Cultural rather than political power this time, but the underlying mechanisms are quite a bit alike.
It’s also quite different from Marxism in one key aspect, and this is often overlooked by those on the right who equate intersectional ideas with Marxian leftism: intersectionality’s lack of emphasis on political economy. It is not merely that they simply don’t care about or are ignorant of the internal workings of the international economy or the political machines of the G7 nations.
Intersectionalists are rewarded by capital for framing privilege in terms of racial and sexual identity rather than in terms of wealth and political power. These rewards include expansion in academia, access to agenda setting mass media and favorable policy service. Ideological systems that truly threaten the status quo do not enjoy universally favorable media bias, moderator bias on major corporate social media platforms and an exalted status in academic institutions.
The state religion does not advocate for the truly marginalized within the polity.
It’s important that you divest yourself of the notion that intersectionalists truly represent the underclasses, including most women and people of color. They occupy a very different world than that of working single mothers or unemployed minority youths in the ghetto, or on their way to prison.
They occasionally will use real oppressions suffered by women and minorities while making the case for an increase in their own influence, but that is the only reason for which they ever seem to do so. If one takes their standpoint theories at all seriously, the plush halls of the academy and major media outlets are not the places we should be seeing credible voices of the oppressed and marginalized. Those voices are kept quite intentionally silent, because their demands will be for redressment of their economic hardships and lack of political representation.
Women who are turned off of men and family as a result of feminism, and men who are turned off of religion, community and nationalism as a result of anti western critical theory find themselves completely atomized and without an identity. This is central to the alt-right’s critique of modern liberalism and the abolition of borders.
But the real question is: who is the real beneficiary of all this? The far right will tell you that this is “cultural Marxism” and is necessary in order to groom the populace for the embrace of socialism.
That’s not what happened. If you do not believe that, observe how neoliberalism increased apace just as this so called cultural Marxism did. The emergence of political correctness coincided with Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. If the idea was for feminism and multiculturalism to precede socialism, they could not have failed more miserably.
Atomized individuals turn to careerism and consumerism to fill the void, and they’re more easily replaced when cheaper cogs for the machine are found. So they’re more obedient and easily used in the workforce and more responsive to consumer trends. When other vectors of identity are removed, do the brands we work for and consume become the way we identify ourselves?
This seems to me to be the triumph of capitalism, and quite in line with the manner in which Marx believed capitalism would progress, abolishing relations based on kinship and reducing all human interaction to commodity exchange, rather than the triumph of Marxism itself that it’s so often described as by reactionaries.
Hard Fact: Social liberalism is the handmaiden of capital, not of revolution. And so capital became socially liberal when national economies became fully saturated and capital had to go global in order to keep up its expansion. The alt-right is hated in the capitalist press because capital must always seek new markets, and it was therefore in capital’s interest to globalize and promote diversity.
Observe one of the methods whereby Intersectionality preserves its hegemony: by seeking to get people who disagree with them fired from their jobs. Often with no recourse or due process whatsoever. In what world does leveraging the power of capital over labor so flagrantly and directly constitute anything that could be at all called left wing?
This is what was done to socialists and trade unionists back in the bad old days of blacklisting. This isn’t to say that removal of an offensive or hateful person from a workplace isn’t sometimes appropriate or necessary, but to use the threat of employment loss as a means of enforcing ideological conformity more broadly is something the left should not be supporting. We can question the rationality of workers supporting conservatism all we want. It won’t seem quite so irrational now that this ugly tactic has been normalized.
Another hard fact: Intersectionality relies on the absolute power that capital has over labor and consumers in order to successfully impose its will on the population, as it’s doing in geek culture, for instance. The capacity for populations to resist cultural and moral relativism imposed from above would be greatly increased if cultural and economic as well as political institutions were democratized and under some or another kind of social ownership.
Intersectionalists are a safe and nerfed form of “leftism.” One that attacks white male “neckbeards” and “dudebros” in places like 4chan while leaving the State Department, the military industrial complex and Wall Street lobbyists unscrutinized.
Activists and even radicals who truly want to challenge the status quo find their anger and vigor channeled into safe outlets that do not truly threaten the powers that be. Offensive statements by white male celebrities are made front page news by an intersectionalist movement that’s presented in the headlines as being radical and subversive – the resistance, so called. Offensives launched by the US military on the other side of the world in defense of petrodollar interests are kept more safely out of the public eye.
Intersectionality is a tool used by an educated elite to police the culture of the underclass, and to undermine the solidarity of that underclass by dividing it along racial and gender lines. We’ve seen this done time and again now: with Occupy Wall Street, with Bernie Sander’s campaign for the White House, now with the Democratic Socialists of America. Most leftist spaces on social media are completely overrun by intersectional dominance, even ones that profess to be Marxist or anarchist.
Intersectional activists have a curious way of coming to dominate leftist spaces, and maintain their power through dividing the left against itself and redirecting popular anger towards other segments of the left. Sometimes the target is white male leftists – brocialists, so called. Sometimes it’s white feminism, or TERF’s or straight feminism. Sometimes straight black males are called the white people of black people.
Sometimes cisgender gay males are driven out of LGBT spaces. Some or another activist has run afoul of the intersectionalist overlords and is publicly shamed, like in a Maoist struggle session or the young kids being banished from polygamous fundamentalist communities for the most trivial reasons.
But the real reasons aren’t so trivial: to maintain the power of the leadership over the flock. Ceaseless purity spiraling destroys the cohesiveness of the left. J. Edgar Hoover and his COINTELPRO could not have done a better job if they tried. Perhaps the FBI still is, and that’s what all this really is.
Like a puritanical religion, intersectionality promotes a guilt based morality that ceaselessly berates its followers for their ideological and lifestyle shortcomings. Theories of inherited privilege based on what people are by accident of birth become a moral burden comparable to original sin. People with a lot of internalized guilt do not take action to challenge their leaders. They punch down, not up.
Nearly any action a person may commit or even a thought they might think can be construed as oppressive in some way or anther. That combined with intersectionality’s taboo on questioning claims of oppression made by its activist leadership – who are above any kind of ethical or moral standards due to their supposed “marginalization” – results in a near cult like atmosphere in intersectional spaces. Not surprisingly, most people want nothing to do with this and thus nothing to do with the left overall. Who does that benefit, in the long run?
As mentioned previously, considerable education is needed to really understand their theories, and the intersectionalists themselves conveniently have a near hegemony within the academy itself. Hence, the relative absence of working class people in these self styled radical movements.
Which in turn makes the whole of the left easy for the right to denounce as “limousine liberals”, “champagne socialists” or the like. No more effective means of turning the working class off of the political left could be contrived. This makes McCarthyism look clumsy and amateurish. People who are rightly put off by intersectionality then defect quite willingly to conservatism as a protest against it. One almost wonders if this wasn’t the intent all along.
The problem is not with education itself, which is perfectly fine and good. But rather with the co-optation of education to serve elite interests. Something that the left was much more willing and able to call out prior to the capture of the humanities and social sciences by intersectionalists.
The ideology of intersectionality itself is constructed to be a closed system of thought, wherein disagreement with it is likened to actual oppressive behavior against a marginalized person. Allegations of racism or sexism – made with the backing of powerful media outlets – against lone individuals without recourse and no due process are effective and currently socially legitimate ways of marginalizing people. It’s a good way of removing someone who’s bringing up facts and ideas that the truly powerful don’t want publicly legitimized.
Far from emboldening the resistance, intersectionality keeps protest culture in line and ensures its continuity as a controlled opposition. One that allows the powers that be to claim that they allow and legitimize dissent – so long as it doesn’t really threaten them. One oligarch or another might get thrown under the bus due to his alleged racism or sexism here and there.
The oligarchy itself is thus made safer, for it submits itself to the appearance that it really is held to scrutiny and made accountable for its abuses. Surely the absurdity of a racist or sexist comment ruining a CEO while his abuse of his workers, defrauding of his shareholders and pollution of the environment as a matter of course going completely unnoticed highlights the absurd nature of intersectionality as a form of radicalism.
With leftism like intersectionality, who needs conservatism? It’s the ultimate metanarrative, and if the postmodernist techniques of deconstruction can be turned against it, that can only be a good thing. An essential thing, as a matter of fact.

Why Trump Is a Disaster: The Environment, Consumer and Investor Protection, and Financial Regulation

Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.
Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)

The environment? I am an environmentalist. Trump hates mass transit. Trump’s rolled back fuel standards. Trump doesn’t believe in global warming. Trump’s promoted the fossil fuel industry which is frankly destroying the whole planet and causing global warming which may the death of us all. Trump is dismantling clean energy, solar, etc. Trump’s disastrous on everything environmental like all Republicans.
Trump’s been catastrophic for consumers. Trump has pushed policies that have jacked up prices on a lot of things for us by dismantling consumer protections and regulations and giving corporations and businesses the right to purse maximum profits at our expense. Trump has even dismantled consumer protections for investors so now corporations can screw them over too, which they do, just as they do to workers and consumers, every time they get a chance.
The Finance Regulatory Bureau has been dismantled. Those regulations were set up to prevent another economic crash. With the regulations gone, there will probably be another terrible crash. Trump loosed regulations on banks so they can rip us off a lot more than they already do.

Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

A great environmentalist song from long ago, in 1970! That’s almost 50 years ago! This was off of her third album, Ladies of the Canyon, a reference to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles where many hippies took up residence back then. There’s no way they could afford to live there now – it’s far too expensive. I have been through Laurel Canyon before, and it’s a beautiful drive. This was Joni’s third album and it is widely praised. Joni is originally Canadian, believe it or not. But by age 22, she was living in the US in Detroit, and by age 25, she was in Los Angeles. This song was covered by several other groups, most famously by Counting Crows, but I have heard that their version is not as good as this one.
I love Joni Mitchell, one of the great hippie folk-rock singers from the 1970’s. She was a genuine hippie. She lived in a large house on substantial acreage where she liked to wander about naked, smoke pot, and entertain various boyfriends.
And I would like to wish Joni Mitchell a happy 74th birthday. Yes, she is still with us. One more thing – she was always so beautiful. I have seen a photo of her at age 55, and she still looks fantastic. She was one of the greatest songwriters of our modern era.
Great epitaph for our planet with Donald Trump in the White House and Scott Pruitt as EPA head. Why do people who call themselves environmentalists vote Republican? How could they? Are there actually people who refer to themselves as environmentalists who nevertheless vote Republican? How can they justify it? Survey after survey shows majority support for all of our environmental laws, including the much-maligned Endangered Species Act. Yes, even the ESA has strong majority support. So majorities support environmentalism across the board, but a lot of them march off and vote Republican every year anyway. Go figure.

Alt Left: Robert Stark Interviews Ashley Messinger about Retro-Futurism

Good stuff. Ashley Messinger is a new thinker from the UK who identifies with the Alt Left, in particular Brandon Adamnson’s Left of the Alt Right wing. It used to be called Left Wing of the Alt Right, but Brandon recently changed it to the Left of the Alt Right as he says he has abandoned the Alt Right for good and his Alt Left tendency is now completely outside of the Alt Right and more a part of the Alt Left proper.
Messinger is quite an intellectual and he can be dry and ponderous as such folks often are. But he is very smart and he has a lot of very interesting ideas. Messinger seems to be some sort of White Nationalist Lite along the lines of Adamson. Messinger even takes Adamson’s mild views further as he proposes a mostly White state that could be as low as 70% White but would include high IQ folks of certain other select races. Still not what I want, but it’s getting closer to a multicultural society or at least a White society with prominent minorities. There is a lot of talk below about all sorts of forms of Futurism, which I find fascinating but I know little about. I admit I am not a Futurist as I am a stick in the mud fogey. They discuss new genres of literature, films, architectural styles, musical genres. Fascinating stuff. Check out this interesting new Alt Left thinker.
Download here.

Robert Stark talks to Ashley Messinger about Retro Futurism

Robert Stark and co-host Brandon Adamson talk to returning guest ASHLEY MESSINGER. Ashley is based in the UK and writes for Brandon’s AltLeft.com. You can also find Ashley on Twitter.
Topics:
A continuation on the topic of a “redpilled” SWPL culture and it’s viability.
The implicit Whiteness of progressive causes such as Environmentalism, Effective Altruism, and Transhumanism.
The importance of being technologically advanced in contrast to gun culture and “Becoming a Barbarian”..
Creating city-states based on shared interest.
BiopunkBiomorphism, and vertical gardens.
Brandon’s interest in 70’s Retro Futurism (ex. Logan’s Run).
Steampunk, Urban Fantasy literature, and the technology of Victorian England.
Decopunk; the film Dark City.
The lack of vision in new architecture and urbanism.
Roman Archeo-Futurism.
80’s Retro-Futurism, Cyberpunk, and Fashwave.
The Bearer of “Trad” News.
Hip to the Moon: Brandon Adamson Drops Out to Conquer the Stars.
Robert’s Journey to Vapor Island; Roger Blackstone’s “Neon Nationalism.”
The Man in the High Castle series; the alternative society portrayed and the Retro-Futuristic architecture.
Whether fascism was anti-modern or about creating an alternative modernity.
Ashley’s review of the film Call Me by Your Name.
Age of consent laws.
The film The Crush starring Alicia Silverstone.

Glaciers Are Sexist

Glaciers, Gender, and Science

A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change Research

  1. Mark Carey
  2. M Jackson
  3. Alessandro Antonello
  4. Jaclyn Rushing

Mark Carey, Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA. Email: carey{at}uoregon.edu

Abstract

Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers.

feminist glaciology, feminist political ecology, feminist postcolonial science studies, folk glaciology, glacier impacts, glaciers and society

No, seriously, this is not a joke. See here.
Apparently, according to science, glaciers are sexist. Who knew?
I would say they are also racist. I mean come on, they are lily White! Ever seen a Black glacier? Ever seen a MexicanT glacier? Me either. So glaciers exist in a de facto Jim Crow/apartheid segregated environment in which Black and Mexicant glaciers are excluded from existing via pure glacier racism.
Future strategies to combat this injustice may include busing (busing glaciers from one place to the other via glacier buses to relive glacier-caused inequity, forced integration by the creation of alternate forms of glaciers such as Black glaciers and Mexicant glaciers in order to increase much needed glacier diversity, and affirmative action by promoting more diverse glaciers in the literature which is dominated by boring and oppressive descriptions of “dead White glaciers.”
The Cultural Left has been bordering on self parody for some time now but recently they have gone so full retard that you literally cannot tell the difference between actual Cultural Left stuff and their enemies sarcastic attempts to make fun of them.

Night of the Living Anthrax Zombies

Here.
After a 75 year hiatus, anthrax zombies rise from their permafrost graves to kill again! They have killed a boy and a grandma so far and hospitalized 72 other humans. In the meantime as far as non-humans go, they have killed over 2,300 reindeer. This variety doesn’t like to eat brains*, but they can kill you dead just the same.
Whew! It’s a good thing there’s no such thing as global warming! They really had me worried there for a second!
*One of my favorite movie lines of all time comes from that great movie. It’s near the end when the huge police forces have been killed out to kill the zombies, who can only be killed with a bullet to the head. A nervous civilian asks a ranking cop if the zombies can move fast on the ground.
“Are they fast?” he asks anxiously.
The captain looks disgusted and turns away like he wants to spit on the ground. “Nah,” he says. They’re slow. They’re dead. They’re all fucked up.
God smiles down on you, George Romero.

Democratic Platform Is Still a Landmark Document

Despite its problems, this is the most progressive, leftwing platform that the party has ever produced. The Left is winning! Slowly but surely, we are advancing in America. Perhaps Marx was right that the march of history towards progressive is nearly a law rather than a theory. Anyway, I guess history isn’t over yet, despite proclamations by Fukuyama etc. that clocks now run backwards or freeze and the minute hand and the hour hand no longer move forwards as they always have. I believe the moral here is that as humans, and as individuals in our own lives, we always need to be moving forwards, not backwards into regression and barbarism and not freezing in what we think is equilibrium but is really stasis.
As humans, onward and upward.
As individuals, forward, march!

Letter from Chile

Chile is supposed to be the dream state of the radical rightwing economic types that shows how neoliberalism and radical free market capitalism is the best system ever. They point to Chile and cheer about what a supposed success story it is. But I have always felt that Chile blows under this new model. If Chile is a the rightwing free marketeers’ showcase, then what can I say? They can have it. It ain’t no showcase to me. A showcase for what? What the Hell kind of a model is that?

I really enjoyed this letter from a commenter which sums up all of my feelings about Chile and also adds some new problems that I was not aware of. I also liked her writing style!

Isabel writes:

I lived in the States many years before relocating to Santiago in the early 80’s. I’ve lived here 30 years, so I know what it’s like. There is good and bad as everywhere else, and you just have to come to terms. A taxi driver once told me, “La tierra es buena pero la raza es mala”. I love living near the Andes, but Chilean society is screwed up.

For instance, everybody lies because they can’t be authentic — it’s taboo to be authentic here. Chileans are artists at making nice but once they (esp. males) are behind the wheel of a car, they become total A-holes. The driver with a bigger vehicle who is going a lot faster than you are has right of way.

Abusive practices are the norm. If you show assertiveness, watch out – you will have hidden enemies who will be sharpening their knives then gloating over your downfall.

In my opinion Pinochet was Darth Vader all right. The dictatorship ushered in the reign of evil, the untrammeled power of money.

They trumpet about how Chile is less corrupt than any other Latin American country, but this is just because they hide it better, and  the recent scandals are starting to uncover the dirt.

Appearances are everything here: modernity, progress are a smokescreen — look behind or underneath and you’ll find the cowering underclasses and a middle class under siege.

The powerless fight back with ingenious scams and byzantine violent tactics against the wealthy when they are weakest, like attacking women returning from the mall in their Mercedeses and Porsches at their electric gates.

I do fault the elites here for their selfishness, and yes, their stupidity. They refuse to understand that by holding back the progress of the underclasses and refusing to change their 19th century habits and attitudes, they are destroying the future of a beautiful country that could be a genuine beacon… they’re too addicted to the Just-Us mentality of the ex-colonized and white immigrants who’ve turned into internal colonizers, moneyed groups inside their exclusivist enclaves.

The Mapuche Nation is continually at war with the political and economic elites because these have pillaged and landgrabbed the south far worse than the Spaniards ever did. It really is shameful, the lack of conscience and egoism of the supposedly breast-beating devout Catholic wealthy of this country and the hypocrisy and brazen greed of the corporate classes.

The youth are fighting for free quality education, for dignity and respect — they had it under Allende. It’s shocking to see how the militarized police shoot teargas at schoolchildren and their parents, how they beat peacefully marching high school kids with their truncheons, and how the media blame the students for the violence when witnesses see the police themselves go out disguised as rioters.

Pinochet and the oligarchy have not ceased to hate Allende. They got their way, but they’ve been a total failure notwithstanding all the gleaming high-rises (and no thought for the resulting worsened traffic congestion and no provision of sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely) and the faux macroeconomic growth and lowered poverty rates (while executives earn 500 times more than ordinary workers).

Foreigners agree that Santiago is a hostile city, nothing is done about air pollution, there are growing numbers of homeless, prices vary 50% or 100% depending on whether you live in a poor, unsafe municipality or in a tony one, builders destroy residential neighborhoods with malls and substandard high-rise apartment buildings that fewer and fewer can afford to rent in. Ritzy clinics provide lousy medical care when you do have an emergency.

Many dream of leaving Santiago, but most jobs are here, and services in other regions are under-financed or nonexistent.

I’m not even going to discuss the sorry state of women’s rights and the violence against women.

Something’s gotta give. We need a sea change in mentality. We need to put paid to savage capitalism, i.e., neoliberalism. The foundations of Chilean society laid down by elites with a social conscience and the ethos of service between the 1920’s and the 1960’s have been well-nigh demolished. The military coup was the start of the darkest period ever seen in this country, and we have yet to see how the light will return.

San Bernardino and the Inland Empire

The latest mass shooting shooting occurred in San Bernardino, which is part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. This is a part of Southern California called the Inland Empire. It has long been known as a hot, dry area quite a ways inland from LA.

Out there in Inland Empire cities like Redlands, Riverside and San Berdoo as it is known locally one encounters some of the worst smog in the LA Basin. A lot of the smog produced in the area is apparently funneled back into the Inland Empire with onshore winds back into what amounts to basins surrounded by mountains.

The smog is so bad out there that you can actually see the smog particles floating in the air, you can taste the smog, feel it stinging your eyes and even feel it in your stomach where it gives you a stomachache after you swallow it. I know that all sounds nuts, but you can go out there yourselves and experience it if you do not believe me.

Supposedly LA’s smog has cleaned up quite a bit since I left in 1990. I am uncertain how much it has really cleaned up, and I would have to see it to believe it.

The area is very hot in the summer and pretty hot year-round for that matter. It was traditionally the home of very rightwing, redneck, working class Whites who often wore leather and rode motorcycles. There is also a fairly large White Trash element. Why these Whites are so rightwing is a mystery.

In the last 20 years, San Berdoo has gone from 20% to 70% Hispanic, so it is now one more of the many Hispanic cities in California. The Inland Empire is not a very attractive place, but there are some nice homes out by Redlands. It’s too hot to grow much of anything out there, but the region is a traditional citrus growing region for a long time now. Much of the citrus has been displaced by housing following a traditional pattern in Southern California for 50 years now.

The city of San Berdoo itself is a bit different from the other cities in the Empire, as it is at the far eastern edge of the inland valleys, and high mountains called the San Bernardino Mountains loom up all around the town.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

I plan on posting a number of articles abut this catastrophic TPP agreement that sadly looks like it is going to become law. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrific this trade agreement is. In a nutshell, it does away with all governments and makes it so corporations rule the world. Any government that passes any law that limits current or future profits of a corporation could be sued on the grounds that that law was a “trade barrier.” The corporation can sue in a kangaroo court made up of corporate types for damages,and the corporation will always win and the governments will always lose.

Government have had to pay out many millions of dollars to corporations for passing laws that limited their profits under NAFTA. And yes, all laws dealing global warming can also be challenged by this Frankenstein of a bill.

As you can see, it encourages the murder of labor leaders, union members and organizers because killing union members would not be a violation of the Labor Section of the agreement. The parts of the TPP dealing with labor and the environment are written in boilerplate and are entirely voluntary, while the sections that allow corporations to rule our lives in written in very strict legalese.

It’s worse than a catastrophe. It’s an out and out nightmare, and it’s the end of representative government as we know it. All governments will become irrelevant, and in their places, we will all be ruled by corporations. In other words, multinational corporations will become our de facto governments. It is stunning how crazy that is.

All the Republicans are for it.

Of course the Democratic Party is down with this agreement all the way. Obama is pushing it like crazy. There was a brief uprising a few months ago when it looked like the bill might not get through the Congress because so many Democrats were against it. This was followed by maniacal lobbying on the part of corporate lobbyists and an all-out propaganda blitz by the US media, 100% of which (note that we have a “free” press) supported the bill.

The “liberal” New York Times came out very strongly in favor of it and said that Obama’s legacy would ride on whether he could get this bill through or not. In other words, according to the “liberal” New York Times, if Obama could not get the bill through, then that would mean that his Presidency was a failure. So the Times threatened Obama with complete humiliation and damage to his mark in history if he could not get the TPP through.

Note that the entire “liberal” media came out in favor of this monstrosity. Note that “liberal” Obama came out in favor of it. I know some Democratic Party stalwarts who seem to support this nightmare bill. They think that people who oppose it are “extremist nuts.”

These people support anything that Obama does. If Obama is for it, then they support it. He can push the most reactionary stuff you could imagine, and these stalwarts will never oppose Obama or any other Democrat for one second. We really need to get away from this insane partisanship, as it is irrational.

To these folks, everything Republicans do its bad and everything Democrats do is good. Unfortunately, once you take that POV, Democrats are free to act as rightwing as they want to, and their moronic stalwarts will support everything they do because it’s treason to oppose a Democrat.

I will be posting more abuo9t this awful and insane trade agreement in the coming days, but this will be good for a starter.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

by Eric Zeusse, from Global Research

U.S. President Barack Obama’s capstone to his Presidency, his proposed megalithic international ‘trade’ treaties, are finally coming into their home-stretch, with the Pacific deal finally being made public on Thursday November 5th.

The final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed treaty would leave each signatory nation liable to be sued by any international corporation that objects to any new regulation, or increase in regulation, regarding climate change, otherwise known as global warming. In no terminology is that phenomenon even so much as just mentioned in the “Environment” chapter.

Regarding labor issues, including slavery, the “Labour” chapter of the TPP contains merely platitudes. (Obama allowed Malaysia into the compact despite its notoriously poor record of non-enforcement of its ban on slavery, because he wants the U.S. to control the Strait of Malacca in order to impede China’s economic and military expansion; it’s part of Obama’s anti-China policy. Almost everything that he does has different motives than the ones his rhetoric claims.)

Throughout, the treaty would place international corporations in ever-increasing control over all regulations regarding workers’ rights, the environment, product safety, and consumer protection. But the environmental and labor sections are particularly blatant insults to the public — a craven homage to the top stockholders in international corporations. The World’s Richest 80 people own the same amount of wealth as the world’s bottom 50%; and Obama represents those and other super-rich and their friends and servants in the lobbying and other associated industries. But he also represents the even richer people who aren’t even on that list, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the world’s richest person. It’s people such as that who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama’s ‘trade’ treaties. The public will be harmed, enormously, wherever these treaties become law.

The full meaning of the terms that are set forth in the TPP agreement won’t be publicly known for at least four years, but the explicit terms that were made public on November 5th, and that will be presented to the 12 participating nations for signing, are entirely consistent with what had been expected on the basis of Wikileaks and other earlier published information.

The 12 participating nations are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Three countries were excluded by U.S. President Obama, because the U.S. doesn’t yet control them and they are instead viewed as being not allied with the main axis of U.S. international power: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. Those three outright-excluded countries are Russia, China, and India. (India, of course, has hostile relations with Pakistan, which is Sunni and therefore part of the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey portion of the U.S. international core, basically the Sunni portion of the core. By contrast, Russia and China have been determinedly independent of the U.S., and are therefore treated by President Obama as being hostile nations: he wants instead to isolate them, to choke off their access to markets, as much as possible. This same motivation also factored largely in his coup to take control of Ukraine, through which Russia’s gas passes on its way into the EU, the world’s largest gas-market.)

6 nations that Obama had invited into the TPP were ultimately unwilling to accept Obama’s terms and so were excluded when the final text was published: Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” don’t appear anywhere in the entire TPP document, nor does “climate” nor “warming” — it’s an area that’s entirely left to international corporations in each one of the separate participating nations to assault as much as they wish in order to gain competitive advantage against all of the other corporations that operate in the given nation: i.e., something for each corporation to sacrifice in order to be able to lower the given company’s costs. That raises its profit-margin. This also means that if any international corporation claims to be subjected in any participating nation, to global-warming regulation or enforcement which poses a barrier or impediment to that corporation’s profits, then that corporation may sue that given nation, and fines might be assessed against that nation (i.e., against its taxpayers) for such regulation or enforcement. National publics are no longer sovereign.

The “Labour” chapter is a string of platitudes, such as, “Article 19.7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Each Party shall endeavor to encourage enterprises to voluntarily adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives on labor issues that have been endorsed or supported by that Party.”

President Obama’s Trade Representative, his longtime personal friend Michael Froman, organized and largely wrote Obama’s proposed trade treaties: TPP for the Pacific, and TTIP and TISA for the Atlantic. Froman told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that’s of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or the enforcement of them. On 22 April 2015, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t a Violation, and Michael McAuliff reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that [Obama] administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

In other words: This is, and will be, the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP etc., just as it is already, in the far-smaller existing NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton had helped to pass in Congress during the early 1990s). (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all campaigned for the Presidency by attacking Republicans for pushing such ‘trade’ deals. Their actions when they gain power, contradict their words. America and virtually the entire world has become rule of a suckered public, by perhaps as many as a thousand psychopathic aristocrats who own the international corporations and ‘news’ media, and who regularly do business with each other though they wall themselves off from the public.

Typically, at their level, it makes no real difference which country their passport is from.) “Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself had managed to get nominally implemented on paper. “Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.”

Furthermore: “’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’”

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both Obama’s TPP, and his TTIP & TISA.

The most important chapter in the TPP treaty is “Dispute Settlement,” which sets forth the means by which corporations will sue countries for alleged violations of their stockholders ‘rights’ to extract profits from operations of those corporations in the signatory countries. The underlying assumption here is that the rights of international stockholders take precedence over the rights (even over the sovereignty rights) of the citizens of any participating country.

Instead of these suits being judged according to any nation’s laws, they are allowed to be addressed only by means of private arbitration “Panels.” The Dispute Settlement chapter contains “Article 28.9: Composition of Panels.” Section #1 there is simply: “The panel shall comprise three members.” Each of the two Parties will appoint a member; one for the suing corporation, and the other for the sued nation; and both of those members will then jointly select a third member “from the roster established pursuant to Article 28.10.3”; and this third member will automatically “serve as chair.”

Article 28.10.3 says that anyone who possesses “expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements” may be selected for the roster, so long as the individual meets vague criteria such as that they “be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party.” No penalty is laid out for anyone on the roster who lies about any of that. Basically, anyone may become a person on the roster, even non-lawyers may, and even corrupt individuals may, especially because there are no penalties for anyone on the roster, none at all is stated.

Then, “Article 28.19,” section 8: “If a monetary assessment is to be paid to the complaining Party, then it shall be paid in U.S. currency, or in an equivalent amount of the currency of the responding Party or in another currency agreed to by the disputing Parties.”

There is no appeals-process. If a nation gets fined and yet believes that something was wrong with the panel’s decision, there is no recourse. No matter how much a particular decision might happen to have been arrived at in contradiction of that nation’s laws and courts and legal precedents, the panels’ decisions aren’t appealable in any national legal system. Whatever precedents might become established from these panels’ subsequent record of decisions will constitute no part of any nation’s legal system, but instead create an entirely new forming body of case-law in an evolving international government which consists of international corporations and their panelists, and of whatever other panelists are acceptable to those corporate panelists. Voters have no representation, they’re merely sued. Stockholders have representation, they do the suing, of the various nations’ taxpayers, for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders.

The roster of authorized panelists available to be chosen by any corporation’s panelists in conjunction with by any nation’s panelists, is customarily composed of individuals who move back and forth between government and private-sector roles, through a “revolving door,” so that on both ends of that, the ultimate control is with the owners of the controlling blocs of stock in various international corporations. This is the newly evolving world government. It will not block any nation from legislating protections of workers, or of consumers, or of the environment; it will simply hold a power to extract from any participating nation’s taxpayers fines for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders in international corporations. Citizens will increasingly be held under the axe, and the top stockholders in international corporations will be holding it. This isn’t the type of world government that was anticipated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, the founders of the U.N., and by the other early (pre-1954) proponents of world government. But, since 1954, the plans for this anti-democratic form of emerging world government were laid; and, now, those plans are the ones that are being placed into effect.

Thus, on 26 October 2015, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, the international legal expert Alfred de Zayas, headlined, UN Expert Calls for Abolition of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Arbitrations. That’s the system, otherwise called “ISDS,” which already exists in a few much smaller international-trade treaties, and which is now being introduced on the largest scale ever in TPP and in Obama’s other proposed treaties. The U.N. press release, calling for its “abolition” or explicit outlawing, said:

In his fourth report to the UN General Assembly, Mr. de Zayas focuses on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements and calls for the abolition of Investor-State dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that accompanies most of these agreements.

“Over the past twenty-five years bilateral international treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state-dispute-settlement have adversely impacted the international order and undermined fundamental principles of the UN, State sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. It prompts moral vertigo in the unbiased observer,” he noted.

Far from contributing to human rights and development, ISDS has compromised the State’s regulatory functions and resulted in growing inequality among States and within them,” the expert stated.

Earlier, on 5 May 2015, I headlined, “UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘A Dystopian future in Which Corporations and not Democratically Elected Governments Call the Shots’.” I close now by repeating the opening of that report:

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,”because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

The Last of the Kawahiva, An Uncontacted Tribe in Brazil

Here.

Amazing video of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon.

I must say that Brazil is an awful country. They have been cutting down the rainforest and killing the Indians in their way for a long time now. They did so even under the Left government. They have another Left government now, and they won’t do anything to stop it either. I have heard that the government is too afraid to go after these wealthy loggers and ranchers because they are so powerful, and they tend to kill anyone who gets in their way.

However, the mere fact that there are so many of these blatantly illegal loggers who run private armies and murder their opponents with complete impunity implies that the Brazilian state, like Colombia, is broken at its very core. Further, it implies that there is nothing progressive about the Brazilian state no matter how many PT former guerrilla presidents they elect.

Obviously the rich and the oligarchs run the place, apparently with the gun. Even the government is afraid to get in their way for fear that that armies of the rich (death squads) will kill them.

So at the end of day, Brazil is just another banana republic, and worse than that, it’s a failed state like so many Latin American nations. When the rich own and run the country by the gun no matter who is in power, you have a failed state de facto.

I suppose some Marxists would argue that it’s always this way under this bullshit joke called “capitalist democracy,” but that’s not really true. The Swedish rich don’t run death squads who murder the state for going after their privileges.

Even worse, a cancer called Brazilian nationalism has arisen. Yes, former colonies can breed ugly nationalisms. This nationalism, reactionary like all nationalisms, argues that attempts by the world to keep Brazil from chopping down its rainforest are a plot by internationalists from other nations to keep the Brazilian nation down. It’s all down to a foreign plot by those pesky outsiders. Incredibly, a lot of Brazilians have fallen for this.

That’s pitiful right there.

I have long supported Survival International. I used to subscribe to their magazine in the 1980’s. It’s a pretty cool organization; you might want to check them out.

Although SI is certainly not sympathetic to the White nationalist position of Whites as an endangered indigenous people, I would think that White nationalist types might want to support groups like SI merely out of solidarity with the concept that indigenous peoples of any type have a right to survive as they see fit.

Robert Stark Interviews Bay Area Guy about the Bay Area and the Pitfalls of American Exceptionalism

Here.

Robert Stark talks to Bay Area-based blogger  Bay Area Guy of Occident Invicta.

Topics include:

Robert Stark’s recent trip to San Francisco where he met up with Bay Area Guy at Union Square.
The Bay Area as a microcosm of American Society and how it combines both the best and worst of what America has to offer.
How the Bay Area represents American capitalism at its fullest.
How SF Is the second most unequal major city in America.
How despite it’s wealth and gentrification, SF has preserved much of the historic character of the City.
How the Bay Area has done a better job at wilderness conservation than Southern California.
The Racial Dynamics of the Bay Area..
San Francisco and The Bay Area’s Progressive Paradox.
How Diversity Destroys Economic Justice.
How the elites are Social Darwinists who pose as progressive humanitarians.
Andy Nowicki’s article The Patrick Bateman Right.
His thoughts on Donald Trump and why he’s supporting Bernie Sanders for President.
How the political ideal would be to combine the best aspects of Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader.
His article The Pitfalls of American Exceptionalism.
How the Left uses the language of American Exceptionalism to justify open borders and Cultural Leftism.
How America is exceptional at obesity, anti-intellectualism, and income income inequality.
How The U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration rate.
Mark Ames’ Going Postal.

New Interview with Me Up

Warning! This interview is definitely NSFW! A lot of discussion of explicit sex acts in this interview, so be warned!

Here.

Robert Stark Interviews Robert Lindsay About the Alternative Left, Immigration & Cultural Leftist Insanity

Topics include:

Topics include:
Proposal for an Alternative Left
Robert Lindsay as the Left Wing of the Alternative Right
Why it’s hard to be politically homeless in American politics
How the Establishment Left is a fusion of neoliberal capitalism and cultural leftism
Why Robert Lindsay rejects the term “Cultural Marxism”
The Alternative Left’s stance on immigration, trade, the environment, and social issues.
The corporate push for open borders and the Mainstream Left’s collusion
The Progressive Case for Reducing Immigration
Progressive UC Davis Prof Endorses Trump Immigration Plan
Donald Trump’s stances on immigration and trade
When It Comes To Sex, Nothing Is Too Perverted for the Cultural Left
How society has become more degenerate in general while at the same time becoming puritanical about certain issues

Why Capitalists Are Always Suicidal

Dear Robert

The right is almost certainly wrong in their denial of the causal connection between CO2 emissions and global warming. However, they are right about one thing: decarbonization is going to be expensive. There is a reason why fossils fuels became the chief source of energy for mankind. They are very energy-dense, not very expensive to produce and can easily be stored. The enormous rise of prosperity among most humans since 1750 would not have been possible without fossil fuels.

The left often talks about other sources of energy as if they are an economic boon. They are nothing of the sort. If you have to replace your furnace for a green source of heating, then that is a cost, not a benefit to you. It may be a necessary cost, but let’s not pretend that it will make you richer. Similarly, if mankind has to abandon fossil fuels, this will be very costly.

The argument that green energy creates jobs is pathetic, not because there won’t be new jobs in that sector, but because we can’t only look at jobs that are being created but also have to look at jobs that are being destroyed. If coal mines, oil refineries, gas stations, etc all have to close, then that means job losses. This green argument is on the same level of stupidity as the argument that increased military expenditure is good for the economy because it creates jobs in the arms industry and the armed forces. Yes, and it destroys in the civilian sector.

Sooner or later, mankind will have to be weaned off fossil fuels, but let’s not pretend that it will be cheap and easy. regards. James

 

We have to go off fossil fuels no matter the economic costs. This is the insanity of capitalism. Capitalists that we have to blow up the whole damn planet in order to save the economy. In other words, if it’s a choice between a hit to the economy and destroying the planet, the capitalists say, fine, let’s destroy the planet.

Are you starting to see why we socialists hate capitalism so much?

Republicans Pivot on Climate Change

Here.

Acknowledge the science, but say fixing Climate change will be too expensive all renewables are bad for the environment.

This is so not going to work.

The Republitards are venturing into an area that they know nothing about (in fact they don’t even believe in it): science. So of course Carly Fiorina does nothing but step on rakes for all four minutes of her intardview.

Face it morans. Science is bad for capitalism. The truth is bad for capitalism.

Republicans are almost like SJW PCtards.

The Cultural Left hates science too. They call the science they hate “pseudoscience” while the Republicans call the science they hate “junk science,”but the mentality is the same.

Face it. The truth is bad for the PC Dream World, so they simply deny science and say the truth is evil, or racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or whatever. Most people who figure out that the truth is evil simply can’t cope with that fact because it interferes with the Fantasyland they call Reality, so they simply say that the truth is false, the false is true, Reality is a lie, and Fantasyland is true. That’s the Cultural Left in a nutshell right there.

Republicans don’t say the truth is evil. They just say the truth is bad for capitalism, so therefore it isn’t true.

It’s truly pitiful that the Cultural Left has so much in common with the Teabagger Party. But as a friend of mine noted recently when I told him that I hated PC Commissars far more than Republicans, “Well, the PC people are similar to the Republicans. They both have contempt for the truth.”

The New South Africa Is Incapable of Protecting Its Wildlife

Here.
Absolutely disgusting what this stupid post-apartheid government is doing with its rhinos. There is nothing environmentalist about this move. 500 of South Africa’s rhinos will be sold to private buyers!? Well, obviously those are trophy hunters who will kill them. What’s the point of that. How is that an environmental move that will protect the rhinos?
No poacher ever goes to jail or prison in the new South Africa. They pay a fine (bribe) to the judge and get out and then go back to the part of Kruger National Park that is in Mozambique where they camp out and go back to poaching. The South African government allows them to stay there and does nothing about it.
The new South African government is amazingly corrupt.
Apartheid was terrible, but at least the Whites ran a functioning country. These Blacks don’t seem to be able to run a modern country.

"Fracked Gas Exports," by Juliette Zephyr

Our excellent young female guest writer Juliette Zephyr shows up for another guest post about a subject that has unfortunately been neglected on this blog.

Fracked Gas Exports

by Juliette Zephyr

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you have heard of the disturbing prevalence of a natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” all across the country. It’s been happening in rural areas, where residents have to cope with the effects it has on their groundwater as well as the air quality. In Pennsylvania, the problem got so out of hand that it inspired a groundbreaking documentary, Gasland (2010), which highlights the grim consequences of this dirty method of extracting fuels.
The percentage of fracked gas actually kept and sold in the U.S. is marginal – after the fuel is fracked, it is then typically sent for export to countries in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Anywhere corporations have undertaken fracking projects, the result has been very real and large-scale contamination of surrounding water and air. Yet corporate powers lobby for more projects in states that can ill afford the environmental upheaval, the destruction of plant and animal habitats, and the pollution of the area that would ensue.
Shale basins in this country which contain natural gas are especially vulnerable to opportunistic corporations which will try to convince a local jurisdiction that taking advantage of these natural resources would lead to more jobs for Americans and less reliance on foreign oil.
Anyone who tries to come forward with an alternate view is silenced, with groups such as Marcellus Shale Earth First being targeted by the government as a “terrorist group,” and victims of water and air contamination being labeled and dismissed as delusional nutcases. Since it doesn’t appear that such projects are creating new jobs for Americans or helping us to rely less on foreign oil, it seems that the only authentic benefit of exporting these fuels is the profit reaped by oil companies.
In layman’s terms, the process of fracking involves these three steps:
1. Drilling a fracking well. A well of sorts must be drilled into a geological formation, such as shale. A pipe is inserted in preparation for the Step 2.
2. Fracturing the rock/sediment/tight sands. Let us continue to use shale as an example. In order to fracture the shale rock, “fracking fluid” is pumped into the well. In addition to water and sand, this fracking fluid can contain up to 600 chemical additives. The high pressure injection of these chemicals eventually causes the rock to fracture.
3. Natural gas from the rock then flows back up the well.
This is what fracking is, in a nutshell. Studies show that more than 90% of fracking fluid remains underground, posing a threat to both the environment and drinking water used by locals. In rural communities such as Dimock, PA, footage online shows residents holding a lighter to a faucet of running water. The water stream then catches fire. There are unexplained ailments and health concerns cropping up in these places, symptoms which had not been seen in the community prior to the introduction of fracking wells.
Any fracking fluid that returns to the surface is called “flowback,” and can pollute the surrounding areas and threaten indigenous species and their habitats. Research has also determined that methane is a significant byproduct of fracking. In most cases, and certainly in Pennsylvania, methane leak rates into the atmosphere are occurring at 100-1,000 times what the EPA initially estimated.
Now, solely for the purposes of full disclosure, I, as a Maryland resident who resides where the Susquehanna River meets the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, have a personal bias when it comes to my desire to see all fracking projects, both in my home state as well as the entire country, fail.
I live in a natural scenic area, marred only by a nearly nuclear power plant, that attracts tourists year-round. The Chesapeake Bay is already extremely polluted, and any export facilities on the bay would be a catastrophe. I lament that our own governor, Martin O’Malley, is planning to approve an export terminal in Cove Point (southern Maryland), which would be situated right on the bay. It would be the first of its kind here on the East Coast.
As bay ecologists are observing, any fracking chemicals present in one part of the bay are going to turn up in other parts of the bay too. It is a perilous scenario. Even more ghastly, experts have issued warnings that the proposed facility could be at risk for serious fires and explosions because of the explosive chemicals required to liquefy the gas.
This area has residential neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has rubber-stamped the project, which is being managed by a Virginia-based company called Dominion Resources. Fracked gas from Appalachia is going to be liquefied and then sent for export right here on the water. It will apparently end up in Asia when all is said and done. For people in our area, this has turned into a battle that no one wanted to fight, but FERC and these Dominion scumbags have forced our hand.

Juliette Zephyr, guest author.
Juliette Zephyr, guest author.

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