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Crucial programs that protect wildlife and habitat were slashed today in a bill approved by the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee. While the bill’s overall funding is reduced by 4 percent, certain programs were singled out for the worst cuts in the bill. The subcommittee bill cuts the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by more than 20 percent and the land acquisition program under the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 80 percent below the FY 2012 enacted levels.
Yesterday the House passed a bill that strips environmental protections for hundreds of thousands of square miles of public lands along the U.S. border, including National Parks and wildlife refuges. It also lifts key protections for several other national wilderness and forest areas and blocks wildlife conservation measures for sea turtles and migratory birds along the North Carolina coast.
Conservation groups today filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., that challenges the Obama administration’s plans to increase offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico without fully addressing the risks to wildlife and the environment. According to the suit, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management dismissed the lessons learned during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and failed to obtain essential information about the status of species and resources still suffering from the 2010 oil spill.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment today to the Farm Bill that would eliminate federal protections for imperiled species that exist entirely within the borders of a single state.
Conservation groups and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to have an independent science panel evaluate the service’s selection of plant and animal species as indicators of the overall health of the Sierra Nevada forests.
Preserving and rebuilding natural defenses is one of the most cost-effective, practical and sustainable ways to protect American communities and natural resources from natural disasters, according to a report released today by Defenders of Wildlife. The new report demonstrates that by strengthening natural defenses like floodplains, wetlands, and forests — which help with erosion protection, flood control and water filtration, we can “harness nature” to help protect us from extreme events.
A broad coalition of local and national conservation groups delivered comments from more than 50,000 Alaskan residents and people around the country this week to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, opposing a proposed land swap that would clear the way for an expensive, destructive road to be built through sensitive wetlands and a protected Wilderness area in the heart of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
The California State Legislature passed a highly controversial bill (AB 1073) today allowing a single massive solar-energy project to bypass mandatory environmental reviews by state and local regulatory agencies.
The National Marine Fisheries Service today proposed new protections for sea turtles that would require escape hatches in shrimp nets used by boats that operate in the shallow, inshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic Ocean. The proposal is the result of an agreement conservation groups reached with the Fisheries Service to advance protections for imperiled sea turtles.
On May 5, 2011, Congress used a budget rider to remove the Northern Rockies wolf from the list of endangered species. For the past year, Idaho and Montana have been in charge of managing wolves in their states. Idaho in particular has pursued very aggressive strategies, including allowing very liberal hunting and trapping seasons during which more than 375 wolves have been killed so far. Dozens more wolves have been killed in Idaho as a result of targeted removals in response to livestock losses and to artificially boost elk herds in select areas.