Sunday, September 17, 2017

Take your book club "Deep into Yellowstone"

Book clubs are great fun. But members sometimes struggle to choose a book, buy copies easily, or create stimulating discussion. Here’s a way around those challenges.

  • Order copies of my new book at a discount and with FREE shipping. 
  • Receive a list of questions designed to stimulate interesting discussion. 
  • Enjoy personalized inscriptions for your club's books.  

Deep into Yellowstone: A Year's Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy 

The year of immersion begins when my wife Mary and I trust the pull of Yellowstone; leave family, friends, and security after thirty-five years in Oregon; and relocate to Gardiner, Montana, at Yellowstone’s north gate. 

As you read Deep into Yellowstone, you are right there with Mary and me as we cross-country ski, hike, bicycle, and backpack into Yellowstone’s wild grandeur. Along the way, you learn about important controversies that stimulate discussion: the dispute over hunting park wolves along Yellowstone’s border, the debate about whether wolves help or harm the ecosystem and the local economy, the outrage over the removal of grizzlies from ESA protection, the fight to stop the slaughter of park bison, the reality of overuse of the park, and the effort to stop a gold mine right on the park’s border. 

I’ve heard from readers that Deep into Yellowstone leaves them feeling a deeper love for Yellowstone and a stronger commitment to protect the park's wildlife and wildlands from threats from many directions and factions.

What others say about Deep into Yellowstone:

"Eminent naturalist and wildlife advocate Rick Lamplugh draws from a deep personal wellspring of experience and knowledge to take readers into Yellowstone’s wild heart." Cristina Eisenberg, PhD, Chief Scientist, Earthwatch Institute

“Lamplugh is a word artist; Yellowstone is his palette." Julianne Baker, Yellowstone Instructor

“This book stands as a loving tribute to Yellowstone and all it's complexities." Jenny Golding, Editor,

"A touch of Bill Bryson’s whimsy, a dose of Edward Abbey’s insight, and the story-telling charm of John McPhee." John Gillespie, Geologist

Rick Lamplugh
Ordering is easy and economical:

With a 15% discount on your order of four or more books, you save $2.35 per book.

Shipping to your address is FREE, another savings.

Send me an email at Tell me how many books your club needs. 

I'll send to your email a PayPal invoice that includes the 15% discount and FREE shipping. 

After payment of the invoice, I'll email the discussion questions and work closely with you to personalize the books. 

No PayPal account? No problem. You don't need one. You can use your credit or debit card to check out.

Let’s create an inspiring book club session. Email

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Managing Wolves Requires Managing Cattle

Photo by Rick Lamplugh
The recent slaughter of wolves by state officials in Washington and Oregon highlights a sad fact: cattle grazing on public lands is lethal for wolves. Washington has 1.1 million cattle, Oregon 1.3 million. About a third of each state is public land that many cattle run roughshod over. Those public lands are by necessity the home of each state’s minuscule wolf population. With so many cattle invading wolf territory, conflict happens.

Each state has a Wolf Management Plan. Each plan’s basic premise: wolves are the problem and must pay the price for cattle-wolf conflict. 

Each state needs a Cattle Management Plan. The premise of the plan I propose: Killing wolves on public land is not acceptable; wolves have no where else to live. Instead, the livestock owner bears the burden for reducing conflict his animals cause while grazing on public land in wolf territory. 

Just as wolves have several chances under current Wolf Management Plans, the owner would have several chances under the proposed Cattle Management Plan.

With the first cattle-wolf conflict on public land, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife would determine steps the owner must take to keep livestock separate from wolves. This analysis and compliance would happen quickly, let’s say within fourteen days.

With the second conflict, the owner’s herd would have to be moved away from the wolves they infringed upon. Let’s say a move of thirty miles within seven days.

With the third conflict, the owner’s privilege of grazing livestock on public land would be suspended for perhaps two years.

A Cattle Management Plan such as this should be operating in Washington, Oregon, and every other state with cattle causing conflict on public land. This plan puts the responsibility for reducing cattle-wolf conflict on the shoulders of the owner that benefits from the cost savings of grazing in wolf territory. And it saves the lives of many cattle and wolves.

I will send letters about this plan to elected officials in wolf states with lots of cattle and lots of public land. Perhaps some will find it of interest. If you know of a possibly receptive official in your wolf state, please send me the name via comment or private message.

Indie author Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick, or unsigned on Amazon.  His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed, or unsigned on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Yellowstone's Grizzlies

Photo of grizzly from USFWS
WildEarth Guardians and Western Environmental Law Center have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's flawed decision to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone’s grizzlies. Grizzlies are threatened by dwindling food sources, isolation, habitat loss, poaching, human-caused mortality, and the worsening impacts of climate change. Fewer than 1,800 grizzlies survive in the lower 48; about 700 roam the Greater Yellowstone area. The premature removal of ESA safeguards not only undermines the recovery of the species, it puts grizzlies that step beyond the safety of our national parks in the crosshairs of trophy hunters.

The lawsuit contends that the Service illegally designated grizzlies in Greater Yellowstone as a “distinct population segment” and removed ESA protection without considering the impact that removal will have on other struggling grizzly populations in the lower 48. The Service also failed to use the best available science to determine that grizzlies in the Yellowstone region have recovered.

Yellowstone’s isolated grizzly bears have not connected to bears elsewhere in the U.S., including those in and around Glacier National Park. Grizzlies also have not reclaimed historic habitats such as the Bitterroot Range along the Montana-Idaho border. The sad fact is that grizzlies are no longer in nearly 98 percent of their historic range.

Hunted, trapped, and poisoned, grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 plummeted from 50,000 bears to only a few hundred by the 1930s. In response, the Service designated the species as threatened under the ESA in 1975. This probably saved grizzlies from extinction.

The lawsuit says that at last count, around 690 grizzly bears resided in the Greater Yellowstone region in 2016. That declined from 717 bears in 2015 due to near record-breaking grizzly mortality. At least 139 bears have been killed since 2015 (20 documented deaths in 2017, 58 in 2016, and 61 in 2015). At least 98 bears have died due to human-causes. Thirty deaths remain undetermined or under investigation.

A grizzly-sized Thank You to WildEarth Guardians and Western Environmental Law Center for fighting for Endangered Species Act protection for Yellowstone’s grizzlies! This legal battle is essential. But it’s also expensive, and these are non-profit organizations. Mary and I will donate to help both organizations. I hope you can too. Whatever you can afford will be well used and tax-deductible.

Indie author Rick Lamplugh lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick, or unsigned on Amazon.  His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed, or unsigned on Amazon.