Defenders In the News
Defenders of Wildlife and other groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Forest Service's assistance to a hunter-trapper hired to exterminate two wolf packs in the Frank Church River-of-No-Return Wilderness. Tim Preso, an attorney with Earthjustice in Bozeman, Mont., filed the lawsuit after the Idaho Department of Fish and Game hired a hunter-trapper and put him up in a Cabin Creek cabin owned by the Forest Service. The lawsuit, filed with U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, says the Forest Service allowed the Fish and Game to carry out the wolf killing without meeting the requirements of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Conservation groups are criticizing a proposal to reduce the amount of land protected for prairie dogs in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. The U.S. Forest Service is considering shrinking the acreage of protected land, largely because ranchers have concerns about livestock being injured in prairie dog holes and acquiring diseases.
Much is in play as deadlines loom and discussions continue over how to protect a chicken-sized bird found across much of the Nevada, with possible steps to protect the land upon which it depends coming with potentially huge economic consequences.
Wolves have a terrible public relations problem that dates back many centuries. In old fables, they’re constantly up to no good, stalking Little Red Riding Hood and blowing down the houses of the Three Little Pigs. Their storied reputation might explain why people are quick to put a price on their heads for killing livestock or simply showing their faces.
In a move to protect wildlife and human health, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) late last week signed legislation banning lead ammunition. The move, cheered by wildlife groups and public health advocates, makes the Golden State the first to enact a statewide ban on the ammunition, which is blamed for the deaths of endangered California condors, golden eagles and more than 100 other bird species.
Ten years ago, the idea of gray wolves in California was a faraway dream. At the time, there were fewer than 1,000 wolves across the entire Western United States – most of them safely tucked away in the forests of central Idaho, northwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Since then we’ve seen wolves reclaim more of their former habitat. At the end of last year, there were nearly 2,000 wolves in the West, including almost 100 wolves in the eastern portions of Washington and Oregon. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/29/5768664/viewpoints-why-are-the-feds-giving.html#storylink=cpy
Often at odds, the federal government and Texas came together last year to rescue the dunes sagebrush lizard from the brink of extinction. But the deal, held up as a model of cooperation, may do more to shield energy companies from scrutiny than to protect the imperiled reptile dwelling in the West Texas oil patch.
Texas has failed to report impacts from oil and gas development on the dunes sagebrush lizard, a violation of the habitat conservation plan the state signed with the Interior Department to keep the reptile off the endangered species list, according to a new report from Defenders of Wildlife.
Ecologists on Catalina Island are putting down their birth control guns for the first time in two years and letting the non-native bison replenish their herd. The massive mammals living out-of-place on the island off Southern California are the only wild herd being managed with contraception and the decision to stop the injections is as much an experiment as the animal's living there in the first place. This year, 10 females are forgoing their doses so ecologists can test the injection’s reversibility, and welcome baby bison to the island.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday took the unusual step of suspending the scientific peer review of its proposal to remove wolves from the endangered species list, saying the process did not meet the agency’s standards.