Counties seek predator bounties as Wildlife Services funding drops

http://www.montanaotg.com/blog-native/2016/9/26/counties-seek-predator-bounties

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Wildlife Services helps Montana livestock producers kill thousands of wild predators every year. But as its funding decreases, the agency may have to leave producers to their own devices, which may include bounties.

On Friday, John Steuber, Montana State Director of Wildlife Services, told the Montana Board of Livestock that Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, couldn’t continue killing predators without the money it gets from the state, especially from cattle producers who pitch in 50 cents to a dollar per head.

“Where we stand right now, with the decrease in federal appropriations and the decrease in per capita funds, we don’t have enough money to cover our federal salaries. So we rely extremely heavily on cattle petitions. Without cattle petitions, we would be furloughing employees,” Steuber said. “This right here is the only thing keeping the program going.”

Steuber told the board members that Wildlife Services hasn’t been able to kill as many predators in recent years because his annual budget is shrinking with continuing federal and state budget cuts and the decline in Montana sheep herds.

Out of Steuber’s $2.9 million budget for Montana predator control, the federal government still pays the most: more than $1.6 million. But that’s less than the more than $2 million that he got before 2011. In 2011, Congress got rid of earmarked money, which dropped the federal contribution to $1.77 million. In 2013, Steuber’s funding took another hit when Congress couldn’t pass a budget, so the government had to shut down for a few weeks, and then the sequester was put in place.

So Steuber increasingly depends on state contributions, which includes almost $300,000 from Board of Livestock appropriations.

Contributions from woolgrowers no longer help much because the number of sheep in Montana has dropped by half since 1997. Back then, producers paid more than $154,000 to protect almost 270,000 sheep. Now, they contribute about $86,000.

Cattle have managed to offset that loss. The number of cattle in cooperating counties has doubled since 2005 to more than a million, so cattle petitions collected by the Montana Stockgrowers Association amounted to more than $529,000 in 2016.

The problem for Wildlife Services is that not every county cooperates in cattle petitions. Because petition funds can amount to between $15,000 and $30,000 annually, depending on the number of cows, some counties decide to put the money elsewhere. Only 28 counties contribute money. The rest either don’t have a petition program or won’t cooperate, like Carter and Powder River counties. Granite Country recently voted to pull out of the cooperative program.

Steuber said he won’t spend money to fill the Wildlife Services hunter/trapper positions in counties that won’t cooperate.

“It’s not fair to those counties supporting Wildlife Services,” Steuber said.

Petroleum County has withheld some of its cattle petition money for a number of years to pay bounty hunters to get rid of coyotes. But recently country commissioners learned that wasn’t legal, said WS District Supervisor Kraig Glazier. So the Montana Association of Counties is considering sponsoring a bill to allow counties to pay bounty hunters with petition money. Livestock Loss supervisor George Edwards said they also wanted to update the law regarding bounties on wolves.

Steubers said bounties are preferred when people want to exterminate predators whether livestock are a concern or not.

“There’s two different thoughts. Wildlife Services believes in reducing damage. We don’t go out there just to count how many coyotes we can kill,” Steubers said. “Most counties have gone away from bounties, and most states have gone away from bounties.”

Board member John Sculley pointed out that allowing counties to siphon off cattle-petition money could further reduce Wildlife Services’ funding and statewide predator control efforts. It could set a precedent not only for predators but other livestock issues, Sculley said.

“I can’t help but think about brucellosis. If I fast forward five to six years, I’ll bet brucellosisis still out there. and I’ll bet it’s removed from the USDA (list), and I’ll bet the money is removed at that level. And I’ll bet cattle petitions are going to have to deal with funding brucellosis recovery programs at the local level and we’ll be right back in this swamp,” Sculley said

Board member Brett DeBruycker objected the bill’s broad wording related to all counties when only Petroleum County is pushing for bounties.

“Do we really believe that would pass a legislative vote? If it did or didn’t, just to have this come up the way it’s worded, do you really think this helps your cause? Because I don’t,” DeBruycker said.

Steuber might be pinching pennies, but Wildlife Services is still killing plenty of animals.

Steuber said coyotes cause the most livestock damage of any predator, by far. His agency claims that in 2015, coyotes killed almost 1,500 lambs, 212 calves and 240 chickens in Montana. So in 2015, Wildlife Services employees killed 6,600 coyotes, shooting about half of those using helicopters. They also shot black bears and mountain lions believed to have been involved in livestock damage.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks pays Wildlife Services $110,000 a year to deal with problem wolves. In 2015, WS killed 31 wolves, but that was fewer than in previous years, Steuber said.

“Wolf depredations are down. We removed 151 wolves in 2010, and the total ahs dropped since then. It might have something to do with the effective hunting and trapping season,” Steuber said.

As the Montana wolf population has stabilized, grizzly bears are increasingly moving out of the mountains and parks onto the central and eastern plains. In 2011, Wildlife Services employees investigated 28 possible bear kills. Four years later, that had climbed to 88 investigations, and Wildlife Services claims that grizzly bears killed 25 adult cattle, 53 calves, 33 sheep and 32 lambs. Since the number of grizzly bear reports has increased, the Livestock Loss Board just signed an agreement to pay $82,000 for Wildlife Services to investigate possible grizzly bear kills in 2017. For now, Wildlife Services can’t kill grizzly bears because they still have endangered species protection, so problem bears are transferred to a different location.

How Safari Club Int’l Works To Weaken ESA Protections

A View To A Kill

By Michael Satchell
The Humane Society of the United States
11-25-3

What weighs 21 pounds, contains 2,560 pages, and lists thousands of names and numbers? It’s not the New York City telephone directory, but here’s a hint: Its listings run from Addax to Zebra.
The answer is Safari Club International’s three-volume compendium of trophy hunters who are immortalized in this record book for doing nothing more than killing animalsóan entire alphabet of animalsóto win SCI awards competitions. The catalog is a macabre scorecard detailing who shot what animal, where and when. Thousands and thousands of animals, covering more than 1,100 species, are figuratively buried between the covers here.
You can learn, for example, that in 1910 in the Sudan, Theodore Roosevelt killed a rhino whose horns measured 24 4/8 inches and 7 4/8 inches, scoring 67 1/8 points to make the former U.S. president the No.1 hunter of Northern white rhino. Or that one Marc Pechenart shot an elephant in the Central African Republic in June 1970, earning a score of 302 points for the biggest pachyderm. The animal’s left tusk weighed 154 pounds and the right 148 pounds.
With its photographs of grinning hunters posing with lifeless animals and its meticulous rankings for the biggest tusks, horns, antlers, skulls and bodies, the SCI record book perfectly encapsulates what trophy hunting is all about: killing for killing’s sake. The book lays bare the hunters’ obsessions: a craving to shoot the largest animal, a desire to kill the most animals and rack up SCI awards, or a fetish to bring home the animal’s head and hang it on the wall.
The mother of all these obsessions, though, is the awards competition. SCI members shoot prescribed lists of animals to win so-called Grand Slam and Inner Circle titles. Thereís the Africa Big Five, (leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo); the North American Twenty Nine (all species of bear, bison, sheep, moose, caribou, and deer); and the Antlered Game of the Americas, among many other contests.
To complete all 29 award categories, a hunter must kill a minimum of 322 separate species and sub-speciesóenough to populate an entire zoo. This is an extremely expensive and lengthy task, and many SCI members take the quick and easy route. They shoot captive animals in canned hunts, both in the United States and overseas, and some engage in other unethical conduct like shooting animals over bait, from vehicles, with spotlights, or on the periphery of national parks.
Wayne Pacelle, HSUS senior vice president for communications and government affairs, captures the essence of SCI members and their motivation:
“It’s a perverse and destructive subculture,” he says. “Thousands of animals suffer and die for the amusement of wealthy elites who have the means to pursue any form of recreation, but choose to shoot the world’s rarest and most beautiful animals. There’s no societal value to the exercise, just a selfish all-consuming mentality of killing, collecting, and showing off trophies. They know the price of every animal, but the value of none.”
High-Powered Rifles
It’s easy to parody and criticize Safari Club International, but it’s a mistake to underestimate the club’s power and influence on shaping policies that are detrimental to wildlifeóand beneficial to those members who stand tall over freshly killed animals in the SCI record books.
Since it was founded in 1971, the Tucson-based non-profit has grown to some 40,000 trophy collectors. More than half boast an annual income of more than $100,000 (compared to 6% of hunters nationwide). The average member owns 11 rifles, six shotguns, five handguns and a bow. Two-thirds spend about one month hunting each year, and a quarter of the members more than 50 days.
The club contributes large sums to mostly Republican candidates and, not surprisingly, has been able to ingratiate itself with various administrations, most notably the Bush Administration, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). With the help of friendly members of Congress and officials in USFWS, SCI has consistently attempted to navigate around the intent of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and import once-banned trophies of endangered and threatened wildlife. Sometimes, the club has succeeded, sometimes not.
The latest example of SCI’s growing influence in Washington is the Bush Administration’s initiative to “save” the world’s endangered species by killing or selling them, and then using the revenues as an incentive for poor countries to improve their conservation efforts. This scheme to protect rare wildlife is a formula for disaster. It will reverse 30 years of ESA protections for hundreds of exotic creatures who are heading for, or teetering on, the brink of extinction.
The proposal, which conveniently dovetails with SCI’s agenda, offers several examples of how wildlife can be exploited for profit. It suggests imports, such as wild-caught Asian elephants for circuses and zoos, Morelet’s crocodile skins for luxury leather items like shoes and handbags, and Asian bonytongue tropical fish to supply the aquarium trade. American trophy hunters could shoot and import trophies of straight-horned markhor, a rare goat found in Pakistan, and then head north on a quickie expedition to nail Canadian wood bison.
These are only examples. If approved, the proposal portends open season on many disappearing species, particularly large mammals, the so-called charismatic megafauna. It would also be a huge incentive for poaching and smuggling. Imagine how much rich trophy hunters would offer China to shoot giant pandasóarguably the world’s most beloved animalóif they were allowed to import their stuffed remains. Picture furriers importing the hides of endangered snow leopards to swathe the ethically challenged. And now that pet tigers have earned a bad rap, might cheetahs become the newest rage among exotic pet owners?
For three decades and under strict controls, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has allowed only a few rare animals, such as pandas, to be brought in for scientific research and breeding. Until SCI began to push its agenda in Congress and at the Interior Department, USFWS very rarely approved the importation of endangered-species trophies. Now, the agency is proposing not only to ease those trophy import restrictions but also to allow the import of live animals for entertainment (or the pet trade) and the import of skins and hides for luxury apparel.
Such a plan goes against USFWS’s historic rationale, which quite correctly notes that fostering a commercial market for disappearing wildlife will inevitably hasten its demise.
No Trickle-Down Economics
Encouraging the sale and import of heads, hides, and live animals to enhance survival efforts in the wild may sound logicalóuntil you examine the sorry history of other purported “sustainable” wildlife-use programs. The record shows that few of the dollars trickle down to benefit either wildlife or local people in the impoverished range states because corrupt officials inevitably divert the money.
During the 1990s, in a well-intentioned-but-misguided conservation effort, the U.S. government spent more than $12 million to underwrite sustainable wildlife-use programs in Zimbabwe. The idea was to give local people the opportunity to raise money for community projects by selling hunting permits for African elephants. The program ended up subsidizing trophy hunting, and little of their trophy fees reached the villages.
USFWS’s new endangered species proposal doesn’t offer much hope to alter this historical course. Despite agency assurances, the plan isn’t the product of careful scientific assessment or innovative thinking. It’s driven, in large part, by the working relationship between the Bush Administration and SCI, and by the administration’s apparent hostility toward the Endangered Species Act.
SCI’s membership includes former President George Herbert Walker Bush, who has lobbied the government of Botswana on the group’s behalf to lift the ban on killing the nation’s dwindling lion population. What’s more, President George W. Bush appointed Matthew J. Hogan, SCI’s former Government Affairs Manager, as one of the two current deputy directors of USFWSóa classic example of the fox guarding the hen house. Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, in turn, has worked to weaken the ESA, from abandoning federal efforts to restore grizzlies in Idaho to undermining a key provision that allows citizens to sue the government to speed up protection of imperiled species.
Aiming High…Shooting Low
SCI got off to a shaky start during its early forays into Washington politics. In 1979, when the organization was not even a decade old, it sought government approval to circumvent the spirit of the law and import an astonishing 1,125 trophies of 40 animals on the endangered species list. They included gorillas, cheetahs, tigers, orangutans, and snow leopards.
With a straight face, SCI said its goal was “scientific researchÖincentive for propagationÖsurvival of the species.” There was one small problem. The trophies weren’t dead yet. The prospect of permitting the wholesale slaughter of more than 1,000 rare animals was a bit too much, even for USFWS, and the request was denied.
As its lobbying became more sophisticated, SCI began pouring money into national political campaigns. Since the 1998 election cycle, it has contributed $596,696 to Republican candidates and $92,500 to Democrats. Not coincidentally, Congressional Republicans have made repeated attempts to amend and weaken the ESA, while USFWS, turning its back on decades of precedents, has proposed to allow hunters to import trophies of endangered animals killed in the wild. These import easements are critical to one of SCI’s true aims.
All those pictures in the SCI record books, and in the club’s glossy magazines like Safari and Hunt Forever, are a form of pornography to the blood sports crowd. Would-be big-game hunters can pore over photos of triumphant and sated trophy collectors holding up the head of a dead ungulate by its horns or standing atop the hulk of a dead elephant or posing with a dead leopard draped around his neck. But like all pornography, the image is never enough. The hunter eventually wants a taste of the real thing. And, of course, he must have a trophy to savor the experience.
As former SCI president John J. Jackson III once wrote: “A trophy of any species attests that its owner has been somewhere and done something, that he has exercised skilled persistence and discrimination in the agile feat of overcoming, outwitting, and reducing game to possession.”
Trophy collectors may rhapsodize about their spiritual love for the quarry, the hunter’s path to self-actualization, the thrill of the chase, the test of manhood, and other such philosophical jabberwocky. But at the end of the day, and after a $65,000 safari, the only thing that matters is hanging that head on the wallóand the rarer the animal, the better it feels.
An example: Kenneth E. Behring, who donated $100 million to have the Smithsonian memorialize him with the Behring Family Hall of Mammals on the Washington D.C. Mall, went to Kazakhstan in 1997 and paid the government enough to allow him to shoot a Kara Tau argali sheep.
The animal, even SCI acknowledges, is critically endangered; the species is listed on CITES Appendix I and can not be imported into the United States as a trophy without the help of a museum. Behring, who like all SCI members, regards himself as a conservationist, killed his Kara Tau argali when only 100 remained and shipped it to a Canadian taxidermist. The Smithsonian then petitioned USFWS for an import permit, but withdrew the request in the storm of negative publicity that followed.
But Behring isn’t the only SCI member with questionable ethics. Back when Teddy Roosevelt was laying waste to Africa’s wildlife, hunting may have embraced those mythic elements that SCI still loves to invoke: a Hemingway-esque mantra of danger, romance, bravery, and the thrill of slaying the beast.
On today’s safari, however, the customer is coddled in luxury tent camps, replete with flush toilets, hot showers and gourmet dining. All he (or she) has to do is shell out tens of thousands of dollars, pull the trigger when instructed, and pose for the money shot. He doesn’t even get blood on his hands. A professional guide stalks the target, lines up the shot, tells the client when to take it, acts as a backup shooter if the animal is wounded, and supervises the gutting, skinning and decapitation.
And that’s in the wild. From South Africa to New Zealand to Texas, many of these trophy collectors shoot captive animals in canned hunts staged in fenced paddocks on game ranches, a practice the Boone and Crockett Club calls “unfair and unsportsmanlike.” The animals are habituated to humans and are shot at feeding stations, salt licks and watering holes. The “spirit of fair chase,” supposedly enshrined in SCI’s code of ethics, is conveniently ignored.
SCI’s highly flexible “fair chase” code also urges members to “comply with all game laws and demonstrate abiding respect for game, habitat and property.” That admonition regularly falls on deaf ears.
In 1998, several top SCI leaders, including Behring and then-president Alfred Donau, reportedly went on a wildlife killing spree in Mozambique. According to a published report, they left animals wounded and dying and shot elephants in alleged violation of national law. Other SCI members have been convicted of killing endangered species and trying to smuggle them into the U.S.
Wealthy hunters, including SCI members, have also been caught in federal tax scams. In one celebrated case, a museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, gave trophy hunters the title of “associate curator,” which helped them persuade foreign officials to grant permits to shoot rare animals. Hunters went on to donate low-value trophies to the museum and receive wildly inflated appraisals, which were then deducted from their federal taxes. In some cases, the mounts were reacquired by the donors. Before authorities busted the ring, the museum took in 1,800 specimens and valued them at a whopping $8.4 million. At SCI’s 1999 annual convention, members were offered a document titled Secrets of Tax Deductible Hunting, advising them to declare their home trophy rooms as museums, call themselves curators, and “donate your record-book animal for the mouthwatering tax deduction.”
Incidents like these fuel the club’s negative image. Most Americans are largely ambivalent about hunting wild animals for food, but polls show strong public opposition to killing exotic animals for fun, competition, and bragging rights. To counter this perception and burnish its reputation, the club donates meat to food banks, stages “sensory safaris” where the vision-impaired can touch and feel stuffed animals, and arranges hunting for the disabled.
To Matthew Scully, author of the highly acclaimed book Dominion, such window dressing is humbug. “They practice a socially conscious sadism here,” Scully writes. “Ethics at the Safari Club is ordered libertinism, like teaching cannibals to use a table napkin and not take the last portion.”
– Michael Satchell is a senior consultant for The HSUS.
Copyright © 2003 The Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.
http://www.hsus.org/ace/20054

“We are Suffocating from Smoke” — For Russia, Climate Change is Already Producing Fires that are Too Big to Fight

robertscribbler

“For one month we are suffocating from the smoke. The weather is hot, and there is a strong smell of burning…” — Residents of Bratsk, northwest of Lake Baikal, in a petition to Vladimir Putin pleading him to fight the fires now raging there.

*****

Let’s take a snapshot of the current moment from the climate change perspective: This year, global temperatures will probably hit between 1.2 and 1.25 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages. This new heat, in a range likely not seen for 115,000 years, is catapulting us into dangerous new climate states. We’re starting to see the hard changes happen. Weather is growing more extreme, wildfires are worsening, the seas are rising, the glaciers are melting, and ocean health is declining. Threats of destabilization and disruption are ramping up. But compared to what we will see in the future if the world continues to warm, if we…

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Pacific Anomalies Workshop II Report Is Published and Available to the Public

Alaska “Blob” Tracker

The Pacific Anomalies Workshop II, which was held in Seattle, Washington in January 2016 has a published report summarizing the current understanding of the “Blob” and its impact on the marine ecosystem along the US Pacific coastline, from Alaska to the Baja Peninsula.

This report is available for download or viewing online to the public.

PAWS II Workshop Report from January 2016

 

Presentations and video potcasts from the two workshops can be found at the following links:

PAWS I Workshop San Diego, CA, May 2015

PAWS II Workshop Seattle, WA, January 2016

 

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Too many grizzly bears seeking berries dying in British Columbia: study

 http://www.chroniclejournal.com/news/national/too-many-grizzly-bears-seeking-berries-dying-in-british-columbia/article_3d4a7f91-3fe0-50cf-8c6d-22116a752d8c.html

Fruit, too many people bad pairing for grizzlies

  •  Wed Sep 28, 2016.

EDMONTON – A study suggests hungry grizzly bears drawn to bountiful berry crops in southeastern British Columbia are dying in disturbing numbers.

The fruit the grizzlies want to eat is in the same Elk Valley area where lots of people live and work, so bears end up being hit by vehicles and trains or being killed by hunters and poachers.

Clayton Lamb, a University of Alberta researcher, said the combination of great habitat and human activity has captured the grizzlies in what amounts to an ecological trap.

“In the last eight years, we’ve lost 40 per cent of our grizzly bears in that area — that’s not normal,” said Lamb, whose findings are being published Tuesday in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

Years of data shows more bears keep moving from the rugged backcountry to the Elk Valley area to find a rich supply of huckleberries and buffalo berries.

A high death rate in turn prompts more migration because the reduced population makes the area more appealing to other bears, since there is less competition for berries and space.

Once tempted to the region, bears tend to stick around. They prey on livestock, eat apples from orchards or nose through garbage.

That in turn can lead to conflicts with people, including bear attacks.

“We have a number of attacks in this region annually,” Lamb said from Fernie, B.C. “We had more than one last year within the span of a couple of weeks.”

He estimates that over an eight-year period the population of grizzlies in the larger South Rockies research region declined to 163 from 271 — a loss of 108 bears.

The survival rate in the “ecological trap” is even lower.

The study notes that about 12,000 people live in the Elk Valley region year-round, but each summer there is a major influx of tourists. Four highways and one major rail line either run through or near the area.

Just over half the grizzly deaths are caused by collisions. About one-third are from hunting, which is legal in B.C., and the remainder are due to poaching and other causes.

Lamb said the provincial government can control how many bears are killed by hunters, but more research is needed on how to reduce collisions with vehicles and trains, and how to decrease conflicts with people.

Research shows the need to provide the grizzlies with a refuge from human development by maintaining critical habitat.

11 Times Trump Said ‘Climate Change Is a Hoax’

Though moderator Lester Holt did not ask a specific question on climate change during the first presidential debate last night, Rolling Stone said, “Trump’s big debate lie on global warming” became the “most important exchange of the night.”

After just 18 minutes of the debate, conversation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trumpquickly transitioned to renewable energy jobs as they discussed the economy. During that exchange, Clinton slipped in the well-known fact that Trump believes climate change is “a hoaxperpetrated by the Chinese.” Though he has called climate change a hoax numerous times since 2012, he still interrupted Clinton to reject that claim.

Here are 11 times Donald Trump called climate change a hoax—compiled by the Sierra Club Political Committee—despite him telling 100 million people last night that he never said it:

1. Donald Trump on climate change policy on Fox News:

More: http://www.ecowatch.com/trump-climate-change-hoax-2018812943.html

Advocates say hunts, slaughter threaten Yellowstone bison

  • MATT VOLZ Associated Press
  • Updated 19 hrs ago
  • 2

HELENA – Wildlife advocacy groups are suing to force the U.S. government to look again at whether the hunting and slaughter of bison that wander outside of Yellowstone National Park threaten the survival of one of the last genetically pure populations of the national mammal.

Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of Animals filed the lawsuit against the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. They are asking a judge to order federal wildlife officials to re-examine whether the Yellowstone bison should be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

Bison, which Congress designated as the national mammal earlier this year, were hunted to near extinction in the late 19th century. The estimated 4,900 Yellowstone bison are one of the last remaining populations in the U.S. that don’t have cattle genes in their DNA.

The Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year rejected two petitions seeking federal protections for Yellowstone bison that would prevent them from being hunted, rounded up for slaughter or hazed back into the park when they leave in search of food.

More: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/advocates-say-hunts-slaughter-threaten-yellowstone-bison/article_92389e52-0d9d-536a-8d2b-90262a693d9b.html

The Most Important Issue Facing this Generation is Climate Change. But Will it Come Up at Tonight’s Presidential Debate?

robertscribbler

Climate change is threatening cities and island nations with sea-level rise, spurring mass die-offs of sea life, generating extreme weather events with amazing frequency, and posing a rising threat to global food and water supplies. It is no longer just an issue for future generations. It’s a global crisis now, and it’s getting worse. But will the 2016 presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, even be afforded the opportunity to mention it in tonight’s debate?

5-year-temperature-average-ipcc

(IPCC’s global warming index just recently hit 1 C above 1861-1880 temperatures in the five-year average. These temperatures are in the range of the Eemian interglacial period when global ocean levels were 15-25 feet higher than they are today. Furthermore, the current rate of warming at 0.18 C every ten years is about 30-40 times faster than at the end of the last ice age. We’re now in the process of…

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From Maryland to the Caribbean to Asia, Record-Hot Ocean Waters Give Extreme Weather Potentials a Big Boost

robertscribbler

The forecasts began coming in this morning: Heavy rainfall expected over the next two days. Possible flash flooding. Turn around, don’t drown.

These advisories buzzed up from local news media for the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia metro areas as a crazy, wavy Jet Stream spawned an upper-level low that’s predicted to gorge on an insane amount of moisture spewing up off the record-hot Atlantic Ocean.

Forecast GFS model guidance shows an upper-level low-pressure system situated over the Great Lakes region in association with a big trough dipping down from the Arctic. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, the low is expected to shift south and east. Becoming cut off from the upper-level flow, the low is then predicted to set up a persistent rainfall pattern over DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

noaa-extreme-rainfall-dc-metro-area

(NOAA’s precipitation forecast model shows extreme rainfall predicted for the DC area over the next seven days. Note…

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CAT RESCUED FROM HUNTING TRAP

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Jessamine County Animal Care and Control say a cat has been released from a hunting trap after the animal was found on Williamsburg Drive dragging the trap behind it.

Officers were able to catch the cat and bring it to a local veterinarian who removed the trap.  The cat then underwent surgery, losing two toes because of the damage the trap had caused.

The veterinarian says the trap was probably on the cat for somewhere between 24 and 48 hours.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is stressing that using a trap life the one that the cat was caught in is not a legal method to capture free roaming or feral cats.