Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather

By Joe Sutton, Michael Guy and Hollie Silverman, CNN

Updated 3:30 PM ET, Tue July 20, 2021

(CNN)As hot, dry weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires across much of the United States, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon has become so intense that it’s creating its own weather.The fire has scorched more than 606 square miles — an area larger than Los Angeles and about half the size of Rhode Island. It grew to more than 388,350 acres overnight from Monday to Tuesday and is 30% contained, according to data from InciWeb.It’s one of at least eight large fires burning in Oregon and one of at least 83 burning across 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The climate crisis has made deadlier and more destructive wildfires the new normal.

A pyrocumulus cloud from the Bootleg Fire drifts into the air Friday near Bly, Oregon.A pyrocumulus cloud from the Bootleg Fire drifts into the air Friday near Bly, Oregon.Much of the West remains under the threat of fire conditions Tuesday, with nearly 3.5 million people under red flag warnings, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center. A red flag warning means “critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” the prediction center said.

Excessive heat warnings will continue for more than 337,000 people, and nearly 650,000 more are under a heat advisory.

Temperatures in the region will remain up to 10 degrees above normal over the next 48 hours, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. There’s also a chance of dry storms, which lack the precipitation that is desperately needed to help calm the flames.While some sporadic rain is possible across the Intermountain West, “this is not really going to do much in the way of fighting any of the wildfires out West,” Guy said.

“Some rain may fall from afternoon storms, but it not be enough to stop or put out the fires that are ongoing,” he said.

The Bootleg Fire is changing the weather

Satellite images posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have showed smoke from the fires in western Canada and the Intermountain West billowing over the region.In Oregon, fire officials noted the Bootleg Fire is showing “aggressive surface spread with pyrocumulus development.”Pyrocumulus clouds form when extreme heat from the flames of a wildfire force the air to rapidly rise, condensing and cooling any moisture on smoke particles produced by the fire. These clouds essentially become their own thunderstorms and can contain lightning and strong winds.

How wildfires create towering pyrocumulus clouds

How wildfires create towering pyrocumulus cloudsThe fire is “so large and generating so much energy and extreme heat that it’s changing the weather,” Kauffman explained. “Normally, the weather predicts what the fire will do. In this case, the fire is predicting what the weather will do.”The prolonged drought is also fueling the fire conditions, and Kauffman anticipated the massive blaze will continue to grow.”The fire is burning is dense fuels that are extremely dry from a prolonged drought. Up until today, the weather has been consistently hot, dry with near single digit humidity,” he said.

Third-largest fire in state history

The Bootleg Fire began on July 6 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near the California border and has spared little in its path. More than 2,000 people are currently evacuated from their homes, according to Fire Public Information Officer Sarah Gracey.

80 large fires have consumed more than 1 million acres across western parts of the US

80 large fires have consumed more than 1 million acres across western parts of the USSixty-seven homes have been destroyed, along with 117 minor structures, such as sheds or detached garages, Gracey said.The fire has averaged a rate of spread nearly 1,100 acres per hour for more than 13 consecutive days — a rate that would burn through New York’s Central Park in only 45 minutes.And there appears to be little hope for progress against the flames as wind gusts up to 25 mph are expected over the next couple of days, Guy said.

“Fighting this fire is a marathon, not a sprint,” Rob Allen, incident commander for PNW Incident Management Team 2, said in an update Tuesday. “We’re in this for as long as it takes to safely confine this monster.”The Bootleg Fire is the third-largest wildfire in the state’s history, Kauffman said. The Long Draw Fire in 2012 burned 557,028 acres and is the largest wildfire in Oregon since 1900, Kauffman said. The Biscuit Fire in 2002 became the state’s second-largest fire, burning nearly 500,000 acres.

CNN’s Jenn Selva, Brandon Miller, Claire Colbert and Chris Boyette contributed to this report.

Wildfires in Southern Idaho Affect Hunting Opportunities

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced closures south of Twin Falls

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Wildlife officials in Idaho have closed some forest areas statewide, affecting hunters and other recreationists during record-breaking fires across the West.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced closures south of Twin Falls in the Sawtooth National Forest, affecting big game hunts for hundreds with tags for deer, elk and pronghorn, the Boise State Public Radio reported.

More than 139 square miles (360 square kilometers) have burned in the region.

“I think that’s one of the great things about public lands, in particular, is that you can pick up camp and go someplace else.”

Fires can improve landscapes and wildlife habitats but poor forest management and climate change have made fire behaviors unpredictable, Tawney said, adding that it could affect hunters even after the fire is out because of unstable trees.

“You have to worry about widowmakers from all the trees that are left,” he said, “so sometimes those have been shut down even after the fire is out.”

The U.S. Forest Service has also implemented closures this year in the Payette National Forest and the Boise National Forest because of nearby fires.

[Sorry hunters:] California’s National Forests Temporarily Close Due to Wildfires; Hunters and Recreational Users are Urged to Stay Away

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the U.S. Forest Service announced the temporary closure of all national forests in California due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions. These properties are closed to the public, effective immediately, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is urging hunters to follow the order and keep away.

“We know that hunting opportunities will be impacted throughout the state, but no hunting opportunity is worth a human life,” said Chief David Bess, Deputy Director and CDFW Law Enforcement Division Chief.

California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 708(2)(b) prohibits CDFW from refunding deer tag application fees, but refunds may be issued for select elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep tags. Additionally, some premium deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep tags may be returned to CDFW with a request to have preference points reinstated and one preference point awarded for the species for the current hunt year. Tag return and preference point eligibility requirements and additional information may be found on CDFW’s website.

CDFW will continue to monitor and close areas as needed. National forests and evacuation zones will remain closed until authorities allow them to re-open. Because the situation is rapidly changing, CDFW strongly encourages hunters to use the following links to research closures and open areas prior to leaving for any hunt:

UPDATE: Homes, cattle, crops, and more perish in Cold Springs Canyon Fire near Omak

  •  Updated 
200 homes are currently under a level 3 evacuation alert.
Photo: Chad Linklater

OMAK – Okanogan County Sheriff’s officials say the, at least, 140,000-acre Cold Springs Canyon Fire has killed cattle, consumed homes, and has carved through farmland.

The most destructive instance involved an abandoned lumber mill late Tuesday morning in East Omak.

Maurice Goodall of Okanogan County Emergency Management says a fire from July reignited at around 4 a.m. sending airborne embers as far as ¾ mile. Goodall says the embers creates instant spot fires which eventually led to the mill catching fire.

Owned by a local tribe, Goodall says the 76,000-sq. ft. mill caught fire just before 11 a.m. and became fully engulfed resulting in a total loss.

The mill is located off 8th Avenue and Jackson Street just west of Columbia River Road; an area where the fire is most active according to emergency management officials.

Goodall says the north portion of the fire is where the most activity was seen Tuesday, particularly along SR 155 near Omak Lake and St. Mary’s Missionary.

At around 5 p.m., level 1 evacuations were issued to homes along Hailey Creek.

200 homes are currently under a level 3 evacuation alert.

Can the catastrophic fires bring some sanity to Australian climate politics?

A firefighter hoses down trees and flying embers in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.
 Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

“It might be a moment.”

The world is watching our country burn. More than 17.9 million acres have gone up in flames since September, an area 15 times the Amazon fires. At least 27 people have died. A billion animals and 2,000 homes may have been lost. And we are only about halfway through the fire season.

A complex interplay of weather phenomena and systems — including a positive-phase Indian Ocean Dipole, the cycle of the temperature gradient between the eastern and western parts of the Indian Ocean — has created the tinder-dry landscape. But the record temperatures and drought conditions linked to climate change have vastly intensified the fires.

The fires have also brought international scrutiny of our stance on climate change. Why was Australia as the worst-performing country on climate policy in the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index?

While the current fire catastrophe is unprecedented, these are not the first climate-related losses Australia has mourned. Prolonged drought has devastated much of the agricultural sector, forcing many farming families off the land. The jewel in our tourism crown, the Great Barrier Reef, is dying.

So why did we team up with Brazil and Saudi Arabia to nearly derail the UN climate negotiations in Madrid at the COP25 if we have so much to lose? And why does Australia have no national energy policy?

The answers are largely the same: Our politics is tainted by fossil fuel interests, doubt, and fear of change. But the fire provides a unique opportunity to move forward.

Climate action has been brandished as a political weapon

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions account for 1.3 percent of the global total, which doesn’t sound like much until you consider the size of our population. With just 25.5 million people, we’re the second-highest per capita emitter in the world, behind Saudi Arabia. Not included in this figure are emissions generated by burning the resources we sell: We’re the world’s largest exporter of both coal and liquified natural gas (LNG).

But to understand why we have no national energy policy, we have to go back to 2007 when Labor opposition leader Kevin Rudd called climate change as the “greatest moral challenge of our generation.” He went on to win the election, but as prime minister he failed to pass an emissions trading scheme. He was deposed by his deputy, Julia Gillard, who in 2012 introduced a price on carbon.

That was a big step. “We did actually succeed in placing a full market-based mechanism over two years,” says John Connor, CEO of Australia’s Carbon Market Institute, with members ranging from conservation groups to heavy emitters. “The carbon pricing mechanism reduced emissions while the economy grew.”

The carbon tax brought down emissions, but it may have cost the Labor Party control of the government. Labor lost in 2013 after conservative Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Tony Abbott, on record for referring to climate change as “absolute crap,” campaigned on a promise to “axe the tax.”

Abbott successfully established fear of climate action as a political weapon, leading the free-market Liberals away from a market-based mechanism.

Abbot’s short run ended in 2015 when he was rolled by Malcolm Turnbull, a Liberal moderate who once said, “I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.”

It turned out his party agreed, and last year he was dumped after failing to reach party room consensus on national energy policy, due in part to the inclusion of modest emission reduction targets. The man who replaced him as prime minister was Scott Morrison, who refers to himself as ScoMo, back then arguably most famous for brandishing a lump of coal in parliament.

2019: The climate change election

This brings us to the 2019 federal election, which played out amid a severe drought, reports of irreversible damage to the Great Barrier Reef, and a high-profile fight over the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mega-mine in the state of Queensland. National polling put climate change on top of the list of critical threats to Australia’s vital interests over the next 10 years.

The Labor opposition promised ambitious, science-based emission reduction targets. The incumbent government arranged its remaining members (many had quit expecting electoral wipeout) behind Morrison, who warned of economic ruin under the opposition’s climate plan.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends the funeral service for Rural Fire Service volunteer, Andrew O’Dwyer, at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Horsley Park, Sydney on January 7, 2020. 
Christopher Pearce/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images

But polling showed a narrow race close to the election, and the Liberal party was returned to power.

No one was more surprised than Morrison himself. “I’ve always believed in miracles,” he concluded.

Many, un-supernatural factors can explain this result: an unpopular opposition leader with an expansive reform agenda.

Moreover, the election was decided in the coal-rich electorates of regional Queensland and the resources state of Western Australia. Voters in Queensland resented the caravan of climate campaigners from southern cities, who traveled through their towns protesting against the Adani coal mine, which promised thousands of jobs to the region.

The election became a contest between regional and urban, between past and future. And between the status quo and the unknown.

“As one of the world’s top fossil fuel exporters, we are straddling the barbed wire fence. On one side climate risks and opportunities in cleaner technologies, but on the other side deeply entrenched interests, attitudes, and simple human inertia,” Connor says.

Less easy to understand is why Australia’s identity as a major coal exporter is so inextricably linked to its inability to undergo an energy transition at home. The vast majority of emissions from Australian coal are counted overseas. Hypothetically, Australia could decouple its own economy from fossil fuels without impacting exports.

But neither side of politics will quickly forget that Morrison managed to make fear of the costs of climate action more terrifying than the reality of climate change itself.

There has always been a tussle in the LNP between moderates and a small band of climate deniers. But the moderates have a problem: weaponizing climate change keeps winning elections.

Will the fires be a catalyst for change?

Australia’s fires have reignited the debate over this deadlock.

“You can no longer argue that it’s just inner city ‘woke’ people who care about climate change,” says Will Grant, a senior lecturer in science communication at the Australian National Center for the Public Awareness of Science.

But he says the complexity of the catastrophe makes it possible for people to pick the information — some of which is deliberate misinformation from climate deniers — which fits their belief system.

A protester chants slogans on a megaphone during the Uni Students For Climate Justice rally in Brisbane, Australia, on January 10, 2020.
 Joshua Prieto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“An event like this may be catalyzing, but a lot of people will interpret these bushfires through their existing biases and beliefs about whether climate change is happening or not.”

Still, he says, “It might be a moment. Maybe this is the thing where the moderates in the Liberal party start saying, ‘shut up’ to the far-right anti-climate groups.”

Connor agrees.

“I do hope we can use what we’ve seen,” he says, “and that we hear more conservative voices drawing a direct link between emissions and this crisis.”

One of those voices is a woman who served as deputy to both Turnbull and Abbott, before quitting politics at the last election. Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was blunt when interviewed about the fires on breakfast television this week, saying, “Australia is a highly developed country. … If a country like Australia fails to show leadership (on climate change), we can hardly blame other nations for likewise not showing leadership in this area.”

Polls show overwhelming support for decisive climate action

Australia’s “leadership” in the most recent COP25 in Madrid involved creative carbon accounting, raising a contentious argument that it should be able to use carryover credits from the Kyoto agreement, to meet its Paris targets.

“Morrison deliberately misquoted data at the UN, to say we are reducing emissions when the data says that we are not … that we are going to achieve our Paris commitments ‘in a canter’ when you can only do that if carry over all your Kyoto credits,” says John Hewson, who led the federal Liberal party from 1990 to 1994 and now works with the Crawford School of Public Policy in Canberra. “That’s like some kid trying to count the six gold stars they got at the end of Primary School for their university admission. It’s nonsense.”

Hewson believes more transparency from elected representatives on the issue of climate action is key. “Government is responding to a handful of people within the coalition, with the support of the Murdoch press, to defend the indefensible.

“I’d like to see every individual member of parliament declare their position and be responsible to their constituents. Whatever poll you want to look at, you get overwhelming support for decisive action and it’s getting stronger.”

State governments are acutely aware of this, and have almost uniform net-zero 2050 targets, including the conservative-ruled states of South Australia and New South Wales.

In the absence of a government agenda, the private sector is moving toward lowering emissions

Blessed with boundless renewable resources and sitting on the doorstep of Asia, Australia is poised to benefit from an energy transition. And in the absence of a government agenda, the market is evolving quickly.

Large-scale private investment in renewables is underway, with Australia’s per capita renewable energy growing at a rate 10 times the world average. In the north, a number of mega-projects are in development, including one to export solar energy via subsea cable to Asia. A race is underway to establish “green hydrogen” — an alternative fuel produced using only renewable energy — as a viable export commodity.

Industry is also agitating for policy certainty. Heavy emitters including Rio Tinto, BHP, and Australia’s largest oil and gas companies Santos and Woodside have called for a price on carbonBHP has set a net-zero target for 2050.

“There is a sense of [industry] getting on with it and not being reliant on government,” said Connor. “We’re not just talking about policy, we’re talking about pressure from investors, prudential regulators, shareholders and consumers, so those forces are very actively at play whilst public policy is moving slowly. I hope that at least one positive that will come out of this horror is that we can move to embrace the opportunities, as well as better managing the risk of the future that is facing us.”

So, when the smoke clears, will the Australian government end its climate inertia?

“I do think 2020 is a year of opportunity,” Connor says. “Government has said it’s committed to completing a long-term strategy this year. We are encouraged under the Paris agreement to have a mid-century emissions reduction strategy, and there will be incredible scrutiny on that.”

Perhaps we should all believe in miracles.

Michelle Crowther is an Australian journalist based in Perth. She has worked in emissions reduction with the resources sector and holds a master’s degree in strategic communication focusing on climate change.

Human Lives Are Not More Important Than Animal Lives.

Sunday Sermon

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Almost a half a billion non-human animals have perished in the Australian fires in the past month. A few dozen humans have also died. All of these deaths are a tragedy of epic proportions.

Imagine if that were half a billion humans. Hard to comprehend but such a horrific tragedy is on the horizon before the end of this century.

Some 8,000 Koalas have been reported as having perished in the fires. The numbers are most likely much higher.

The world is beginning to burn and the reality of the catastrophic consequences are beginning to pry open the closed minds of many deniers, especially when it it is their home and their lives are are being directly affected.

Most of the media coverage is focused on the human tragedies but by comparison, humans fared relatively well, at least so far.

My thoughts and tears are for the unimaginable numbers of everything non-human, whose lives were recently destroyed.

Their lives were every bit as important as human lives.

Is a human life worth more than a koala, a kangaroo, a cockatoo or a crocodile.

I’m going to tread on some very sensitive toes with this commentary but I think it needs to be said.

My perspective is biocentric, whereas most of humanity looks on reality from an anthropocentric point of view.

I do not expect the anthropocentric mind to understand my position.

My position is that a human life is not more important than the life of a koala or a whale.

This is is going to make some people angry as hell but that does not concern me. What concerns me is the reality of our relationship with the natural world.

Columnist Dave Bry wrote in The Guardian a couple of years ago:

“As much as I love animals – and I love them very much – the idea that the life of a cat or a dog or a lion or a gorilla is as important as the life of a human is a terrible one, a wrong one, an insulting one.

[There] are powerful, important things about being a human being … Yes, I would save the life of Ted Kaczynski, Idi Amin or Donald Trump over any animal you could name. (Yes, even my beloved childhood pets: the cats Love and Honey, the dog, Yvette. Sorry, guys, RIP.)”

Personally I think this statement by Bry is asinine, insensitive and absurd. Idi Amin was a mass murderer. His life was not worth the life of a mosquito and if someone had shot the bastard, thousands of people’s lives would have been spared not to mention the slaughter of African wildlife under his authority. Would Bry say the same about Hitler, and if not, why not? So I think Brys’ position has not been thought out, and if it has, it is he who holds a terrible idea with a wrong position and insulting to every person who was slaughtered in WWII because of Hitler or in Africa under Amin. Bry is saying his cats and his dog are expendable but a vicious dictator is not, simply on the basis of being a member of the human species.

The reality is that some human lives are simply not worth more than other humans and also not more important than many animals.

A few years ago when I was teaching at UCLA I asked my students this question?

If you had to choose between a human life and the survival of an unknown species, what choice would you make?

And to make the question a little easier for them, I said the human life is a cute little baby and the species is a type of bacteria.

“So,” I said, “Does the baby live in exchange for the eradication of the species or do we save the species and allow the baby to die?”

They answered without hesitation and chose the life of the baby.

“What if I ask you to save 200 species of unknown bacteria in exchange for the baby?”

Again they chose the baby.

“Can anyone tell me why you made that choice? I inquired.

“Because human lives are more important.” One student answered. Another said, “The life of a baby is more important than some germs, how could you even ask such a thing?” she said with a look of disgust.

“Congratulations everyone,” I said. “Your choice just caused the extinction of the human race.”

This is because there are anywhere from 700 to 1,000 different species of bacteria residing in the human gut and without them we could not digest our food or manufacture vitamins for our bodies.

This was part of a lesson I was trying to teach on the law of interdependence, that all species need each other and without some species we cannot survive.

Are phytoplankton and zooplankton less important than human lives? If it was a choice between diminishing human numbers and diminishing worldwide populations of phytoplankton what choice would we make?

Again I put the question forth, this time to some die-hard anti-abortionists. If the choice is between forcefully preventing abortions and allowing the births of millions of unwanted babies or watching the disappearance of phytoplankton, what choice would you make?

They said that the lives of the babies were more important even if it meant the babies would not be properly cared for, nurtured, educated and loved.

One person asked me what a phytoplankton was?

“It’s a tiny marine plant,” I answered.

“You mean like seaweed?”

“Yes but much smaller.”

“So you’re saying that seaweed is more important than babies?” The man asked with a look of disgust on his face.

“Yes that’s what I am saying.” I answered.

“You’re a sick man,” he literally shouted at me.

And of course he was not interested in my explanation.

And the truth is that we have already made that choice to eradicate phytoplankton in exchange for increasing human populations.

Since 1950, the Ocean has suffered a 40% decline in phytoplankton populations and phytoplankton produces over 50% of the oxygen for the planet.

This is a serious problem but one which most people remain blissfully ignorant of.

Phytoplankton has been diminished because of pollution, climate change, acidification and the slaughter of the whales.

Why the whales?

Because whales provide the nutrients essential for the growth of phytoplankton, especially iron and nitrogen. These nutrients are spread to the phytoplankton in the form of whale feces similar to a farmer spreading manure on his crops. A single Blue whale defecates three tons a day of nutrient rich fecal material which makes the whales the farmers of the sea and a key species for the survival of phytoplankton.

Diminishment of whales means diminishment of phytoplankton means diminishment of oxygen.

There are many species much more important that we are. Bees and worms, trees and plankton, fish, ants and spiders, bacteria, whales and elephants amongst many others.

They are more important for a very simple reason. Most of them can live quite happily without humans but humans cannot live without them. A world without bees and worms would be a world where we could not feed ourselves. A world without phytoplankton and trees would be a world where we could not breathe. A world without yeast (an animal) would be a world without beer and wine which I mention only because this is a loss that may get some people’s attention.

Nature has three very basic ecological laws. 1. Diversity, meaning that the strength of an eco-system is determined by the diversity within it. 2. Interdependence, meaning that the species within an eco-system are dependent upon each other and 3. Finite resources, meaning that there is a limit to growth, a limit to carrying capacity.

As human populations grow larger they literally steal carrying capacity from other species, leading to diminishment of other species which leads to diminishment of diversity and diminishment of interdependence.

In other words, no species is an island entire unto itself and that includes our own human species.

Humans have created a fantasy world called anthropocentrism, the idea that all of reality, all of nature exists only for humanity, that we are the only species that matters and human rights take priority over the rights of all other species.

In other words we look upon ourselves as divinely created superior beings when in reality we are simply overly conceited arrogant, ecologically ignorant, naked apes who have become divine legends in our own limited minds.

This anthropocentric view of the world has made us selfish, self-centred and extremely destructive to all other forms of life on the planet including our own. Our anthropocentric fantasies have allowed us to destroy the very life support systems that sustain us, to poison the waters we drink and the food we eat, to amuse ourselves with blood sports and to eradicate anything and everything we do not like, be it animal, plant or other human beings. We demonize each other and we demonize the entire living world.

This fantasy world we have invented has witnessed our creation of thousands of Gods out of whose invisible mouths we can give voice to our fantasies with the moral authority to justify our destructive behaviour.

Over the years I have risked my life and my crews have risked their lives to protect whales and seals, sharks, turtles and fish. I am often asked how can I ask people to risk their lives for a whale?

Very easy, is my answer because fighting for the survival of whales or fish means fighting for our own future.

The mystery however to me is how people can question risking our lives for a whale yet accept that young people are routinely asked to risk their lives for real estate, oil wells, religion and for a coloured piece a cloth they call a flag.

Apparently risking their lives to protect property is acceptable whereas taking risks to defend non-human lives is not.

This was very neatly summed up once by a ranger in Zimbabwe who was attacked by human rights groups after killing a poacher who was about to kill an endangered Black rhino.

The accusation was, how could you take the life of a human being to protect an animal?

His answer revealed the hypocrisy of human values. He said, “If I was a policeman in Harare and a man ran out of a bank with a bag of money and I shot him dead on the street, I would be called a hero and given a medal. My job is to protect the future heritage of Zimbabwe and how is it that an endangered species has less value than a bag of paper?”

Humanity slaughters some 65 billion animals every year for meat and takes even greater numbers of lives from the sea, much of which is discarded callously as by-catch. We kill animals for fun or because we consider them to be pests. There has never been a species as mercilessly destructive as the human primate. We kill willfully, viciously and relentlessly and we do so because we feel entitled to do so.

Anthropocentrism is an incredibly delusional conceit by a single species to lift ourselves above in value and importance over all other living things.

Humanity is so entrenched in this view of the world that we have stifled all empathy to the feelings and interests of all other species. We view them as expendable, as property, as nuisances, as sources of amusement, as slaves.

In an anthropocentric world only humans matter and this has absurdly led to beliefs that this entire planet was created just for us, that we are the pinnacle of evolution and the masters of the universe.

Every single anthropocentric religion places human beings at the centre of everything and above all other species. We have fashioned God in our image in order to justify our superiority and woe be it to any one of that questions this fantasy.

Anthropocentrism is a form of ecological insanity and is leading us towards self destruction, because only so many species can be removed before the laws of diversity, interdependence and finite growth lead to our own extinction.

Are humans the most intelligent species on the planet? Yes. because we define what intelligence is and therefore declare ourselves to be the most intelligent species. We define ourselves as moral, ethical, benevolent and wise despite the fact that our actions reveal that we are anything but moral, ethical, benevolent and wise.

I would define intelligence as the ability to live in harmony with nature and within the boundaries of ecological laws. We willfully ignore that dolphins and whales have larger more complex brains and we dismiss any speculation that animals think, make choices, dream and have emotions. We also dismiss the reality that trees communicate through chemicals and fungal networks. We pride ourselves on our art, our science, our religions, our politics, our cultures and totally reject that other species have their own cultures, their own realities completely independent of our hominid vanities.

There are 7.5 billion of us and every year there are fewer and fewer of everything else except for the slaves we breed for food and amusement.

Koalas do not contribute to climate change, to pollution of the ocean, to deforestation, to war or habitat destruction. They are gentle, vegetarian, shy, and intelligent self-aware sentient beings whose existence benefits the planet and gives hope for the future.

What human being can equal a koala for the virtues of harmlessness, sustainable living, peacefulness and ecological intelligence?

Not one of us. So in my opinion the life of a koala is not only of more value than the life of a human being, it is a hundred times more valuable, as are whales, gorillas, elephants, worms, snails, bees and trees.

Why? Because we cannot live on this planet without them.

They on the other hand would do exceedingly well without us.

My hear is pained when I think of how each and every koala, kangaroo and every other individual of every species that died or were maimed horribly in these fires suffered.

And let’s not forget, their suffering and their deaths happened because of us – all of us! It is our greed and willful ecological ignorance and our perverse and unnatural anthropocentric delusions that has brought about this tragedy and will bring about many more, even more devastating than this.

The Climate Change apocalypse has begun and still world leaders deny this reality and still they do nothing for fear of losing profits and materialistic comforts.

Oh and before I get hit by a deluge of hate comments for holding a koala, I need to point out that this little guy was recovering from a vicious attack by dogs and was being rehabilitated at the Wildlife hospital at the Australian Zoo which by the way, despite being overwhelmed, are tirelessly saving the lives of thousands of victims of these fires.

Image may contain: 1 person

Cinder the bear cub survived a wildfire and inspired a region. Then a hunter killed her.

When Cinder the bear was found beneath a horse trailer in Washington state, paws injured by third-degree burns, pulling herself along on her elbows, no one had any idea that the cub would become a limping symbol of a region’s recovery.

The July 2014 fire that injured Cinder also destroyed 300 homes and burned 400 square miles — a charred section of north-central Washington almost as big as the city of Los Angeles.

No one could find Cinder’s mother or siblings. All rescuers knew was that the 37-pound brown bear cub wouldn’t survive in the wild for much longer.

She recovered at several rehabilitation centers, doubling her weight within months and becoming an international celebrity for what she symbolized, the Associated Press reported. If a tiny burned bear could beat the odds, so could this section of Washington devastated by the most destructive wildfire in state history.

Months later, CBS News cameras captured a no-longer-limping Cinder sprinting into the forest of the Cascade Mountains.

But that happy ending was short-lived.

A radio tracking collar officials put on Cinder stopped transmitting in October 2017, the AP reported. Officials hoped it was because she was in her den, hunkered down for the winter, possibly with cubs.

But when a crew ventured into the mountains, they found the skeletal remains of what used to be Cinder, the collar sliced off and lying nearby. They believe a hunter shot the bear and cut off the collar, which rendered it inoperable.

In the past week, experts conceded that setting Cinder free wasn’t the end of the story, but a beginning. Once the bear bolted into the trees, she would again have to face all the dangers of the wild on her own.

“We realize that once the animals are set free, they’re open to what’s out there, whether it’s humans or other animals,” Tom Millham, the founder of the California center where she recovered, told the Methow Valley News. “All we’re giving them is a second chance at life.”

Animal lovers closely followed the fight for Cinder’s life. Those earliest photos showed a pitiable sight: an emaciated cub lying on her side, fur missing or singed, all four paws wrapped in bandages. But despite all she had endured, she was still breathing.

Sad to learn Cinder the bear died. She was burned in a wildfire and became a symbol of hope and survival. After wound…

Posted by Molly Shen KOMO on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Posted by Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Inc. on Sunday, August 10, 2014

“It was the worst burns I’ve ever seen,” veterinarian Randy Hein told “CBS This Morning.” “My gut feeling was that the bear would live, but I didn’t know if she’d ever be able to be released into the wild because of how badly damaged and burned her paws were.”

Still, she was on the mend, and so was the region of Washington where she came from.

“She inspired them to rebuild and move on from the devastating Carlton Complex Fire,” Rich Beausoleil, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife specialist who helped nurse the bear back to health, told CBS News. “I’ll always remember someone saying, ‘If Cinder can do it, then we can do it.’ That inspired me, too.”

She also inspired a children’s book, “Cinder the Bear,” an interactive “true story of how people came together to save a little bear cub that was badly burned in the devastating 2014 wildfires in Washington State.” Benefits from the book went to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation, the two facilities that nursed Cinder back to health.

One character in the book was another cub injured by fire, a male named Kaulana. They met in Idaho and for years they wouldn’t leave each other’s side.

In fact, the only thing that separated them was their recovery.

Kaulana was released in 2015; Cinder went into the wild two years later.

In the end, they met the same fate. Kaulana was also killed by a hunter.


Read more:

Pedals the bear walked like a person. A hunter apparently killed him.

Two bears were badly burned in wildfires, and fish skin helped heal them

A Paradise fire cleanup crew joked about ruins and a charred cat. Then the town found out.

“Each bear has its own personality,” [yet] none are protected: Cinder the bear, fire survivor and worldwide inspiration, is dead

Photo by Ann McCreary

Cinder dashes for freedom after being released into a forest north of


Famous bear’s remains found near where she was released after recovery

By Ann McCreary

Shortly after discovering Cinder, Steve Love shot this photo of her holding her injured paws up near his French Creek home before being airlifted to California for treatment. Photo courtesy of Steve Love

Cinder, the young black bear that was badly burned in the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire and underwent almost a year of treatment and rehabilitation before being released into the wild in 2015, is dead.

Cinder was saved through the concern and compassion of many people, and her story of recovery and release gained international attention through news reports and social media. She became a source of inspiration to Methow Valley residents as a symbol of survival and resilience after the devastating Carlton Complex wildfire.

Her remains were discovered in September, not far from where she was set free in mountains near Leavenworth. It appeared she had been shot in October of the previous year, said Rich Beausoleil, cougar and bear specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Cinder wore a GPS radio collar so that WDFW researchers could follow her progress. “Cinder’s collar stopped transmitting in October 2017, and we figured that she was in a den,” Beausoleil said last week, when he was contacted for an update on the bear.

Last December, Beausoleil hiked to the area where he thought the bear might be denning, and placed cameras “in hopes to get picture of her — and possibly cubs,” he said. Cinder would have been about five years old and mature enough to have her first cubs last winter.

Due to heavy snow in the spring and the Cougar Creek wildfire and smoke during the summer, Beausoleil was unable to return to retrieve the cameras until September of this year.

“Unfortunately, instead of finding a den, we found Cinder’s skeletal remains. It appears that she was killed in October 2017 by a hunter, who cut the collar, rendering it inoperable, and left it at the site,” Beausoleil said.

Her burned paws bandaged, Cinder thrived during her time recovering at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care facility. Photo courtesy of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care

Cinder was released into the wild in June 2015 and never roamed very far from her release site, a heavily forested area about 30 miles north of Leavenworth. Beausoleil and wildlife researchers checked on her in February of 2017 while she was in her den, a hollowed-out silver fir tree at 5,000 feet elevation. The bear was normal weight and healthy. The researchers replaced her first collar, which she wore when she was released.

When her collar stopped transmitting in October of 2017, Beausoleil hoped she was denning again. “It would’ve been neat to document her first reproduction — but it’s not all about our research,” he said. “All bears live with the risk of being killed in a hunt.”

Sally Maughan of Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation, where Cinder spent the winter before her release, said she was sad to learn of Cinder’s death, but was grateful that Cinder had the chance to live again as a wild bear for at least a couple of years.

“She went through so much to get her freedom. Whether she had it for a day, or one year or five years, that’s what we work for,” Maughan said. “With Cinder or any other bear, once we release there’s no guarantee.”

Long recovery

On the evening of July 31, 2014, two weeks after the Carlton Complex wildfire swept through the Methow Valley, an emaciated young bear limped into the yard of Steve Love’s home on French Creek. The bear’s feet were so badly burned that she was crawling on her elbows and knees. She lay down in a shady, grassy area near the house, holding her burned paws in the air.

Love gave her fruit and water, and when she whimpered in pain during the night, he sat nearby and spoke softly to her, telling her she was going to be OK.

The next morning a WDFW wildlife officer, Jason Day, arrived and was able to capture the bear with a catchpole. Although the bear tried to escape, she couldn’t move fast enough. The malnourished cub, about 1 ½ years old, weighed only about 34 pounds — half what a bear that age should weigh.

Cinder begins to wake up after having her bandages changed. Grapes are the bear’s favorite snack after she has been immobilized so her bandages can be attended to. Photo courtesy Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care

Day took the bear to Beausoleil, WDFW’s bear specialist, in Wenatchee. In addition to her injured paws, the bear’s muzzle, chest and ears were also burned. After providing initial treatment for her wounds, Beausoleil arranged for Cinder — the name given to the bear by her rescuers — to be transferred to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC), a wildlife treatment and rehabilitation center in California.

LTWC contacted an organization called “Pilots N Paws,” which provides transportation for rescued animals.  Bill Inman, a Seattle pilot, flew Cinder in his two-seater airplane to Lake Tahoe, where she began her long, painful recovery.

Despite her injuries and weakened condition, Cinder immediately established herself as a spunky and uncooperative patient.

“I remember our first encounter with her,” recalled Tom Millham, founder of LTWC. “She was in a very small pet carrier, really small for a bear.” The plan was to take the top off the carrier and immediately give Cinder an injection to immobilize her, Millham said. He was wearing gloves designed for handling raptors, reinforced with Kevlar for protection, and working with a couple of other staff members.

“We lifted the top off just enough to grab hold of her … and she turned into a Tasmanian devil,” Millham said. “I was saying hurry up, hurry up, she’s biting me!”

Cinder remained at LTWC for more than three months, spending many weeks with her paws in bandages while they slowly healed. She never stopped fighting against her human caretakers, and when it would be time to change her bandages, “we had to devise different method of occupying her attention” to sneak up on her with a jabstick to immobilize her, Millham said.

With plenty of food — she especially loved grapes — and medical attention, Cinder gained weight and her wounds healed. “It was a pleasure for us to work on her. We were happy that she recovered so well,” Millham said.

Photo courtesy IBBR’s Facebook page

This photo of Cinder in her enclosure was taken at Idaho Black Bear Rehab.

Cinder was taken to Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation (IBBR) near Boise in the fall of 2014, after veterinarians at the Lake Tahoe facility determined she was adequately healed. At IBBR, Sally Maughan and her staff made sure that Cinder gained weight and continued to toughen up her paws and regrow claws that were lost, so that she would be ready for release the next summer.

Cinder was kept in a large enclosure with other bears, and developed an affinity for a young bear called Kaulana. She hibernated during the winter and in June of 2015 she was deemed strong enough for release back into the wild.

“Each bear has its own personality,” said Maughan, who has cared for more than 200 bears during the past 29 years. “She was a mellow, calm bear,” she said.

Cinder, who was 2 ½ years old, and Kaulana, who was about 1 ½ years old, were released together on June 3, 2015. The release site was selected for its good bear habitat, with plenty of food and water available, Beausoleil said.

Because Cinder’s story had generated such widespread interest, news media from around the region and as far away as Los Angeles covered the event.

Beausoleil and a team of wildlife officials used Karelian bear dogs, specially trained to help capture and release bears and cougars. After the bears were released from a large culvert-style cage, the dogs were allowed to briefly chase them into the forest, to reinforce a fear of people in the bears. Kaulana was shot by a hunter in October of 2015.

Sadness and acceptance

Photo by Ann McCreary

WDFW wildlife biologist Ben Maletzke, left, worked on Kaulana while Rich Beausoleil, WDFW bear and cougar specialist, held Cinder while the bears were immobilized to be examined and collared before their release.

When Beausoleil and another WDFW biologist hiked in September to the area where they hoped Cinder had denned the previous winter, they found a skull, a spine and Cinder’s radio collar. “It appears to me that all the meat and hide were taken,” Beausoleil said. “I take solace in the fact that she provided food for someone’s family.”

It is legal to kill a collared animal, Beausoleil said. Among the many bears that WDFW has collared as part of ongoing research, none are protected. “We even use black collars to truly monitor their survival. We don’t want to skew survival in any way because it helps us to understand harvest rates,” he said.

“I bet the hunter didn’t even know she was collared until afterwards, as I’ve heard that many times from other hunters that killed collared bears. Since 2013, we’ve captured and collared 250 individual bears in two study areas on both slopes of the Cascade Mountains,” he said.

Washington does not have mandatory “sealing” requirement — which means hunters must bring the carcass to WDFW officials for inspection — but does have a mandatory online reporting. “But the hunter only has to tell us the sex and the game management unit it was killed in. All my contact information is on the collar, but the hunter chose not to call. I don’t know why,” Beausoleil said.

New of Cinder’s death was received with some sadness, but acceptance born out of experience, by those involved her care and recovery.

Being in the business of rehabilitating injured animals requires acknowledging that their survival is far from certain, said Millham. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has treated about 100 bear cubs since 2000, and it’s unusual to know the fate of the cubs once they are back in the wild, he said.

“We realize that once the animals are set free, they’re open to what’s out there, whether it’s humans or other animals. Once they’re released on their own, it’s just like they were raised by mom.  All we’re giving them is a second chance at life,” Millham said.

“It’s painful. It’s very painful,” said Maughan, after learning of Cinder’s death. “When I cross over, she’ll be one of the first ones I look for,” she said.

“Cinder will always be an inspiration to me. I’m amazed any animal could go through what she went through and recover so completely.” Maughan said many supporters of IBBR have followed Cinder’s story and some make donations in her name.

Photo courtesy of Rich Beausoleil

Biologists immobilized Cinder and removed her from her den in early 2017 to examine her and replace the radio collar.

Maughan said people sometimes ask her whether the bears that are rehabilitated at IBBR would be better off in a wildlife sanctuary, where they would be protected. “I’m telling you, in my 29 years of bear rehabilitation, there’s never been a bear that would be happy in a sanctuary. We see that in their behavior and restlessness. They will take freedom every time,” Maughan said.

Beausoleil, who has captured and released hundreds of bears, said his experience with Cinder was different. “Cinder did a lot for the residents of the Methow — she inspired them to rebuild and move on from the devastating Carlton Complex Fire. I’ll always remember someone saying, ‘If Cinder can do it, then we can do it.’ That inspired me too.”


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Wildfires may impact bow hunting plans

RALPH BARTHOLDT/Press Smoke from several Montana and local wildfires, including the 40-plus acre Snow Peak Fire, drifts into a drainage of the upper St. Joe River near Red Ives.


Staff Writer

As the Sept. 6 general archery season rolls around, paying attention to fire closures will help hunters who are planning trips into the Panhandle’s backcountry.

Fires in north and central Idaho, including the Panhandle and Clearwater regions have created large closure areas that will for the time being curb hunters’ access in some places.

North Idaho’s large fires can be viewed online by clicking on and zeroing in on Idaho. Fire boundaries and closures could change as the fire season progresses.

“Fire closures often extend far beyond the boundaries of the active fires,” said Roger Phillips of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Even if weather cools and areas are hit with rain or snow showers, closures could continue into October and some closures may continue even when the fires are out, Phillips said.

“However, officials typically try to reopen areas when they are safe,” he said.

Hunters can view places where smaller fires are burning in the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene districts by clicking on

Hunters are being urged to stay away from areas of several big Panhandle fires north of Lake Pend Oreille including the 870-acre Smith Creek fire in the northern Panhandle, which is 5 percent contained, and the 6,600-acre Cougar Fire north of Hope, which is about 26 percent contained.

Fires in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest include the 2,600-acre Surprise Creek Fire, 8 miles east of Lakeview and the 2,200-acre Rampike Fire burning approximately 1 1/2 miles east of Shoshone Creek on a ridge between Clinton Creek and Rampike Creek to the Montana border. Roads and trails within the fire areas of borth burns have been closed.

Hunters should also be aware of safety restrictions on campfires, gas engines, and other potential fire sources such as cigarettes, Phillips said. Backcountry hunters can check with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or other land managers to find out if fire restrictions exist in their hunting areas.

“These restrictions typically limit campfires and other open flames to designated areas, such as campgrounds,” he said.

Hunters have options if their hunt area is affected by fire, although it’s rare that a hunting area is completely blocked for the duration of the hunt, Phillips said. Hunters with controlled hunt tags may exchange them for general season tags before the controlled hunt begins, but controlled hunt fees will not be refunded.

Hunters may also exchange general tags, such as elk tags, to hunt in a different area, but tags must be exchanged before the season begins, and there is a fee to exchange tags, Phillips said.

“Fish and Game will consider requests for rain checks for controlled hunts if access to a hunting unit is completely blocked by fire,” he said.

If rain checks are approved, they would be valid the following year, he said.

Fires prompt sage grouse hunting ban in large part of Nevada

    Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018 3:08 pm | Updated: 3:31 pm, Mon Aug 20, 2018.

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Destruction of sage grouse habitat by a series of large wildfires has prompted a ban on hunting for the game bird this fall across a stretch of Nevada that is nearly twice as big as the state of Delaware.

    The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners approved the emergency closure Friday of two hunting units in Humboldt and Elko counties.

    The closure covers more than 3,500 square miles (9,000 square kilometers) between the Idaho line and U.S. Interstate 80, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of Reno.

    The Nevada Department of Wildlife says at least 39 known breeding sites supporting about 750 male sage grouse were destroyed in July by the Martin Fire.

    The agency says the fire that started in Paradise Valley north of Winnemucca burned 689 square miles (1,785 square kilometers) of mostly rangeland — the largest fire in Nevada history. Visible from a NASA satellite, it came on the heels of another wildfire last year that burned 267 square miles (690 square kilometers) north of Battle Mountain.

    “This fire negatively affected one of the few remaining stronghold habitats for greater sage-grouse and a myriad of other sagebrush obligate species in Nevada,” said Shawn Espinosa, an upland game staff specialist for the state agency.

    “Although we have hopes that restoration efforts can be successful, there will be some areas that will likely convert to cheatgrass which will further reduce available habitat for sage-grouse into the future.”

    Hunting units 051 and 066 will remain closed for sage grouse until further notice along the Idaho line from McDermitt in the west to Owyhee in the east and as far south as just west of Battle Mountain.

    Another fire currently burning about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Battle Mountain has charred more than 60 square miles (155 square kilometers).

    Greater sage grouse — a ground-dwelling bird about the size of a chicken — once numbered in the millions across much of the West, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now estimates the population at 200,000 to 500,000. Experts blame energy development, along with wildfires, disease, livestock grazing and other causes.

    Their range covers parts of 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces. The largest concentrations are in Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and Idaho.

    State wildlife officials say the two big Nevada fires not only burned grouse breeding sites but also destroyed priority winter habitat which will likely affect he bird’s annual production and survival rates.

    So far, no other states have implemented grouse hunting restrictions as a result of fires. Wildlife biologists have said in the past that hunting doesn’t generally threaten the survival of sage grouse populations.

    Espinosa said the state is working with federal land management agencies, private landowners and non-governmental organizations on restoration plans for the Martin Fire, and procurement of seed from several sources.