Cowboy Common Sense Last Article With JHNG

by Maury JonesMauryJones3

Final column in the weekly Jackson Hole News and Guide, published Sept 21, 2016, entitled, “Common Sense rides away into the sunset”

This is my final column. The newspaper Editorial Board has decided to go a different direction with page A7 therefore opinion columns have been discontinued there. This cowboy is riding off into the sunset hoping that common sense will eventually prevail. read more

A Wolf is a Wolf is a Wolf

by Maury JonesMauryJones3

Thank you for comments on my last column regarding the wolf, which I compared to a disease infecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It hit a nerve. Expressing an alternate point of view in an opinion column should set the stage for thoughtful public discussion and debate. Since this is obviously a very divisive issue, let’s apply common sense to what some of you labeled as nonsense.

First, search the web for wolf subspecies. Some sites claim that subspecies doesn’t matter while other sites claim there are as many as 14 subspecies in North America. Taxonomic listing, photos, description, habits and home range give credence to a subspecies’ uniqueness. Yes, a few wander outside their core area but that is the exception. If all of them ranged freely they would interbreed with other wolves until their subspecie disappeared. No, there is not a wall or ocean prohibiting them from mixing with other subspecies, but their DNA keeps them generally in their home range and separate enough to classify. Even though there are no barriers to prevent it, Canadian wolves did not migrate to Yellowstone in the 80 years after local wolves disappeared. These wolves were brought here by government. Taxonomists say the original Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf was smaller than this introduced wolf and didn’t run in large packs. read more

A Disease Stalks the Yellowstone Ecosystem

by Maury JonesMauryJones3

A column in last week’s paper advocated killing Mountain Goats because they are expanding into the Teton Range and might spread disease which may infect our native bighorn sheep population. These goats may also compete for available habitat. According to the author, the threat appears to be serious enough that a whole specie which is not native to the region should be eradicated.

Disease always endangers life forms on planet earth. Whole populations of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans have been targeted by various diseases since the dawn of time. Government agencies are constantly working to control such threats. read more

The Rule of Law’s Glue is Losing its Stickiness

by Maury JonesMauryJones3

We are a nation of law. Obeying the rule of law is what gives stability to a society. It is the glue that holds civilization together.

When I lived in Korea no one obeyed the traffic laws. The cab drivers drove with their horns and gas pedals. When pulled over the cabbie would apologize to the cop and hand him a matchbox. Inside was money. A bribe. If the cop started to write a ticket the cabbie would hand him another matchbox. Then the cop would wave him on his way. That corruption is the direction this nation is headed. read more

Jackson Hole is Fencing Out All Our Open Spaces

by Maury JonesMauryJones3

Jackson resident Floyd Johnson and I often try to one-up each other with a fish story. The other day he said, “Jonesy, I was fishing Stump Lake and I caught a cutthroat trout 24 inches long.” My kids and I have fished Stump Lake for decades and I know trout can’t possibly grow that large in that one-acre pond near Greys River. But, rather than argue with him, I changed the subject and said, “You remember when we fished Jenny Lake at night last summer and we accidently knocked that Coleman lantern overboard?” “Yes.” “Well, I was fishing Jenny the other day and I hooked that lantern— and the light was still lit.” Floyd pondered a moment and then said, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll knock ten inches off my fish if you’ll blow the light out of that lantern.” read more

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