Scientists have tried to tag grizzlies or don them with radio collars or collect their hair at traps baited with rotten fish, all to track the creatures as they roam about the Mountain West. None of the techniques were very happy, either for the bears or the people assigned to track them. Now Juliet Eilperin reports that scientists are simply taking bear hair from trees where the grizzlies have scratched their backs (photo above). By taking samples from bear rubs, scientist have found that grizzlies are better than researchers had originally estimated.
Meanwhile, back east, Massey Energy, owner of the Upper Big Branch coal mine, is saying the federal mine safety agency required the company to change ventilation patterns in the mine against the advice of Massey engineers. The mine exploded when accumulations of coal dust or methane ignited and killed 29 men. Ken Ward Jr. explains that Massey isn’t suggesting the mine safety agency is at fault. The company did point out that no methane was found when the mine was fire bossed just before the explosion.
Former University of Texas dean Bobby Ray Inman continued to defend Massey, where he has served as a director for more than two decades. Inman continues to say a “big lie” about Massey began with union officials and has been picked up by President Obama — the lie being that Massey puts production ahead of safety. Read Ward to see how Inman responds under pressure. Read the Texas Tribune’s interview with Inman to see how the Austin resident talks when he isn’t being pressed by reporters at all. Inman said he didn’t expect his teaching at the University of Texas to be affected by Massey’s disaster. “I find it hard to believe that’s a valid outcome anywhere along the way,” Inman said. “Let’s just say, all false modesty aside, I have a long waiting list for my classes.”