Defenders In the News
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) today finalized a state plan to protect the greater sage grouse that seeks to balance ranching and oil and gas development in the state with conservation strategies, a move he says should help to keep the bird from being listed for federal protection.
How can we visualize the number 5 billion, especially when it comes to thinking about a wildlife species? Worldwide, it’s hard to find a species, outside the insect world, with a population equivalent to 5 billion. But during the Civil War, there were that many passenger pigeons in the skies, making it the most abundant bird in North America. And yet, by 1914, the bird was gone forever.
FORT BELKNAP AGENCY, Mont. — In the employee directory of the Fort Belknap Reservation, Bronc Speak Thunder’s title is buffalo wrangler. In 2012, Mr. Speak Thunder drove a livestock trailer in a convoy from Yellowstone National Park that returned genetically pure bison to tribal land in northeastern Montana for the first time in 140 years. Mr. Speak Thunder, 32, is one of a growing number of younger Native Americans who are helping to restore native animals to tribal lands across the Northern Great Plains, in the Dakotas, Montana and parts of Nebraska.
The Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation will soon distribute up to $50,000 in federal funds to reimburse livestock producers for money spent on nonlethal predator deterrents. Office Administrator Dustin Miller said application criteria will be announced in a few weeks.
A coalition of conservation groups claims recently weakened federal water quality standards pose a threat to wildlife in Kentucky - both from coal mining and agricultural pollution.
Wildlife advocates ended up on opposite sides in a debate over a Yellowstone National Park proposal to reinitiate a quarantine program for park bison. On Tuesday night, Yellowstone National Park hosted a public meeting in Bozeman to scope out options and details to include in an environmental assessment on restarting a quarantine program for Yellowstone bison.
Mere minutes after the ink was dry on a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw a proposal to protect the wolverine under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, environmentalists announced they'd be hauling the agency into court over the decision.
Climate change may be impacting wolverines in North America, but federal officials have decided that’s not enough to warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision today to abandon proposed protections for the wolverine ignores the best available science, including advice from the Service’s own wildlife experts, conservation groups stated.
If state land-management programs and partnerships are as successful in protecting the greater sage grouse as Western leaders argue they are, the Fish and Wildlife Service wants to see the proof. Fish and Wildlife has alerted state governors, local leaders and private groups, as well as the Bureau of Land Management and American Indian tribes, that it wants information on these efforts as part of its ongoing review of the sage grouse and whether the bird should be proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act by a September 2015 deadline.