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Last week the Senate passed a California drought bill that could have devastating impacts on the state’s already-stressed endangered salmon and steelhead, migratory birds and wetlands. The bill overrides critical federal endangered species requirements and legal rulings to allow greater water exports from the Sacramento Delta to benefit powerful industrial agricultural interests.
This week members of the Montana Board of Livestock (BOL) met to determine the fate of Yellowstone’s wild bison. Today, the BOL voted unanimously to reject a joint proposal put forth by Montana’s Department of Livestock and Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to expand the tolerance zone for bison outside of Yellowstone National Park, which would enable bison to roam on as much as 421,000 acres federal, state and private lands west and north of the park.
This Saturday, Governor John Hickenlooper will sign legislation enabling the reintroduction of endangered black-footed ferrets to lands in Colorado.
A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction against coyote hunting in eastern North Carolina, an area inhabited by endangered red wolves.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has just announced that it believes “OR-7,” the state’s closely tracked and much-loved “wandering wolf” may have found a mate, and that the pair could be caring for pups. OR-7 has wandered back and forth from California to Oregon several times over the past few years.
The third National Climate Assessment (NCA) was released yesterday, and reports that climate change is taking a serious toll on ecosystems and biodiversity.
Today the House Natural Resources Committee passed four bills that will undermine essential protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), our nation’s premier safety net for plants, fish and wildlife on the brink of extinction. Democratic members of the Committee proposed amendments to blunt the impact of these harmful bills, but the legislation was passed along party lines without their amendments being adopted.
Today the California Fish and Game Commission voted to delay a decision on establishing state protections for gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. If the commission votes against a state listing after the 90-day deferral, the decision could undermine recovery of the imperiled wolves in California.
Three conservation groups today announced a legal challenge to force full protection of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. The move comes in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision last week to protect the highly imperiled bird only as “threatened” while providing special exemptions that would allow ongoing destruction of the birds and their dwindling grassland habitat.
Efforts to conserve and restore wild bison won a victory Monday when a Montana judge rejected an effort by opponents of bison restoration to classify the iconic animals as livestock instead of wildlife under state law.