Posts tagged: Cabinet Mountains
THREATENED SPECIES — A “hair of the bear” study has accounted for at least 42 grizzly bears in the Cabinet Mountains and Yaak River drainage regions of northwestern Montana, according to the Associated Press.
Research leader Kate Kendall reported her findings to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Tuesday, the Missoulian reported.
Researchers used about 800 scent-baited “hair corrals” where rings of barbed wire snagged hair as the animals stepped over or under it to investigate the scent. They also collected samples in about 1,200 places where bears naturally stop to scratch their backs, such as trees, posts and poles in a 3,750-square-mile area in the mountains above Eureka, Libby, Trout Creek, Yaak and Troy.
The samples, collected in 2012 and analyzed this year, identified 38 grizzlies by their DNA. Researchers also knew about four collared bears whose DNA didn’t appear in the samples.
“That’s the rock-solid minimum count we detected,” research leader Kate Kendall told the committee at its meeting in Missoula. Including visiting bears and bears that died during the study, the figure could be as high as 54, she said.
The number is important because the health of the grizzly population influences how much logging and mining can take place in the area.
Read on for more details from the AP.
HIKING — I'm not the only one who's noticed that October often is a premium month for backpacking.
The weather is clear and crisp and the autumn colors are brilliant.
Check out this photo by Ken Vanden Heuvel from his recent trek into Little Ibex Lake in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness of Western Montana. There's no official trail to the little lake, which is snug in a notch of broken granite.
So many places to find your autumn niche.
MOUNTAINS — The Cabinet Mountains near Libby, Mont., were beaming in all their glory Tuesday.
“This is the Bull River, near the giant cedars, with Ibex and Little Ibex peaks in the background,” said Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson.
He was out for a little fresh air, and it looks as though he found it — along with some clouds rather than plumes from fires.
“I’m hoping the smoke is on the way out,” he said. “I’m tired of the smoke.”
WILDLIFE RESEARCH — Although they're trying to document the presence of wolverines, getting good snapshots of a Canada lynx still made the day for volunteers monitoring bait stations for the wolverine research project trail cams in North Idaho last week.
The photo comes from a bait station set up by Idaho Fish and Game, which is partnering on the research with Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.
Note the black tufts on the tips of the ears, and the huge furry feet that give it snowshoe-like buoyancy on the snow. The winter track of a lynx looks as though a powder puff has been dabbed in the snow.
See more bait station photos of the lynx as well as of the volunteers and other critters visiting the bait stations — on the Wolverine Study Facebook Page.
See martens, bobcats, volunteer helpers — and even a wolverine — in the group's wolverine research Facebook photo album.
The hare in the photo above normally wouldn't be able to go eyeball to eyeball with the camera mounted up on the trunk of a tree, but winter winds drifted snow into a viewing platform.
Some readers viewed the mystery close-up photo (left) and guessed “rabbit.” Close, but not correct.
Read on for the differences between “hares” and “rabbits.”
The moderately difficult hike is just the first of 15 hikes the group is offering this summer along with three cooperative trail work projects coordinated with the Forest Service.
In addition, the friends group is offering two hiking workshops with author, naturalist and historian Jack Nisbet.
The group hikes are geared to exposing the public to the rugged and scenic 88,000-acre roadless area the group is proposing for wilderness designation. The area straddles the Idaho-Montana border northeast of Clark Fork, Idaho, and ranges into Montana.
“We have some great hikes, as usual, but we are expanding our focus to include more stewardship and education,” said FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton.