endangered species

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

The U.S. Interior Department may have complied with requests from an oil industry trade association to remove some environmental species act protections for a beetle, according to agency records. 

There’s evidence that bee and butterfly populations are in decline, a phenomenon that some have dubbed the “insect apocalypse.” In response, the Colorado Department of Transportation has brought in a bug expert.

For thousands of years, the Whitebark Pine has provided a valuable food source for birds and bears throughout the Mountain West. But dwindling numbers are forcing forest managers to act.

The tree spans from Alberta and British Columbia in Canada to the Mountain West states of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and parts of Nevada. But, the number of these trees throughout the region is declining, as much as 90 percent in some areas.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

A new United Nation's report compiled from scientific data across the globe predicts that if unchecked, manmade climate change could cost around one million species their very existences. That caught the attention of Democrats and Republicans, but that doesn't mean Wyoming lawmakers are changing their tunes.

Flickr Creative Commons/Jeff Kubina

The U.S. Forest Service released a proposed plan to amend the Thunder Basin National Grasslands management of prairie dogs, but some wildlife groups are unhappy with the result, even after years of stakeholder collaborations.

Russ Bacon is the Forest Supervisor for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. He said the species’ population exploded a couple years back, making it impossible to keep them on the 18,000 acres.

Flickr Creative Commons/US Dept. of Interior

The U.S. has long solved environmental issues through conflict and regulation, but a former federal agriculture official said it's time for a paradigm shift that solves them through consensus. Former U.S. Agriculture Department Under Secretary Robert Bonnie will address that issue at the University of Wyoming on Thursday.

Greater sage-grouse
Wikipedia

The Interior Department has issued its final amendments to how sage grouse habitat will be managed across the west. The record of decision (ROD) changes the 2015 land use plans that helped the iconic western bird avoid an endangered species listing.

Wyoming toad
Sara Armstrong / USFWS Mountain-Prairie

A private property owner has donated 41 acres of land to the city of Laramie where about 200 endangered Wyoming toads were recently released. The landowner originally agreed to a safe harbor agreement with the Laramie Rivers Conservation District, meaning the owner can release an endangered species on their land without worrying about accidentally killing some. 

Brian Waitkus

A California condor recently flew from Arizona to Wyoming but died shortly after arriving. California condors are an endangered species, and the bird, which was being tracked, was taken in for a necropsy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kamila Kudelska

This past year has been turbulent for the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear. It was returned to the threatened species list last fall shortly after the state made plans to begin a grizzly hunt. Now, because of their uncertain status, people who live in grizzly habitat are frustrated, and some grizzly experts are fearful that the bear is losing support from its human neighbors, and experts say that local support is vital.

Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt said Wednesday that his agency wants to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. 

National Parks and public lands in the West are having trouble with cactus poachers. But some park rangers are fighting back by micro-chipping their cacti.

MILFORD, Utah — The San Francisco Mountains in southwestern Utah were once home to one of the richest silver mines in the world. When it comes to mining today, they stand mostly quiet — for now — with only a handful of rock mines operating in the area.

The Trump Administration has declined to extend federal protections for two plants native to the Mountain West.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a list of 13 species from around the country it recently considered - but decided to not include - on its endangered and threatened species lists. The list includes the Utah's Frisco Buckwheat and Wyoming's Fremont County Rockcress.

A week after the state of Wyoming filed a notice of appeal a judge's decision to put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back on Endangered Species Act protections, other defendants have followed.

Dwayne Reilander via CC BY-SA 4.0

Wyoming plans to appeal a U.S. District Court Judge's decision from September to put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back on endangered species act protections.

By Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

The conflict over whether Yellowstone grizzly bears should be off or on Endangered Species Act protections has been an ongoing controversy for years. Even after a judge put grizzlies back under federal protections this Fall, the debate continues. Those in favor of the judge's decision and those against are suspicious of each other's motives.

Public Domain

Wyoming officials have long been trying to reform the Endangered Species Act. Just last week, Wyoming Game and Fish Deputy Director testified to a Senate committee why more funding is needed.  A new online application tool hopes to aid wildlife managers with budget needs for individual species. 

CC0 Public Domain

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to move forward with a bill that would remove federal protections from gray wolves and limit judicial review of listing decisions.

LUKE RUNYON / KUNC

The temperature is hovering right around 90 degrees the day Dale Ryden and I float down the Colorado River near Grand Junction, Colorado. The water looks so inviting, a cool reprieve from the heat, but if either of us jumped in we'd be electrocuted.

Yellowstone National Park

After a controversial year, the Yellowstone grizzlies are back on the Threatened Species List. The issue is frustrating to state officials because the state has to fund the majority of grizzly management.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a staff directive making it more difficult for the public to obtain important documents - particularly ones related to the Endangered Species Act and decisions surrounding new listings. Noah Greenwald, Endangered Species Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the controversy all started with a leaked memo.

Piikani National Administration

Native American tribes are celebrating the decision by a U.S. district court judge to re-list the Yellowstone grizzly bear as threatened. Numerous tribes sued the federal government to stop the de-listing and over 200 U.S. and Canadian tribes signed a grizzly bear treaty to protect the species. Blackfeet member Tom Rodgers is an advisor for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders. He said efforts to protect the grizzly galvanized tribes around the world.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This comes right after a court ruling on Monday that returned federal protections back to the Yellowstone grizzly bear. Republicans have long been pushing for the modernization of the ESA, including Wyoming's U.S. Senator John Barrasso.

A federal judge has restored Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears living around Yellowstone National Park.

In his ruling, U.S. district court judge Dana Christensen said the federal government didn’t use the best available science when it removed the bears from the threatened species list last year.

CC0 Public Domain

Monday afternoon a federal district court judge placed the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear back under federal protection. This means Wyoming’s planned grizzly hunt will not happen and management will be returned to the federal government.  

A judge has decided that a grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming and Idaho must be delayed for another two weeks. Thursday, September 13 was the last day of a temporary restraining order filed by a conservation group two weeks ago. The grizzly bear hunt that was supposed to start on September 1 was stalled in hopes a federal district court judge would make a decision whether to restore federal protections to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear.

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen granted conservation groups and tribal representatives request for a temporary registration order Thursday evening. This stops Wyoming and Idaho’s planned grizzly hunt for 14 days that was set to start this Saturday. But Judge Christensen still hasn’t made a decision on whether the Yellowstone grizzly bears will be put back on the Threatened Species List.

Bob Wick, BLM

Some western lawmakers are up in arms over a Trump administration announcement that eases the requirements for drilling near sage grouse. For now, Wyoming isn't impacted by the announcement, though that could change.

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