endangered species

Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly bears of the Yellowstone ecosystem are once more protected by the Endangered Species Act. That means Wyoming Game and Fish manages the bears as normal but the final decision has be ok'ed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fall is usually the time of the year the most human-bear conflicts occurs because recreationists are out and bears are getting ready to hibernate. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with Dan Thompson, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's large carnivore supervisor, about how grizzly management is changing as the grizzly population footprint is expanding.

A study published this week in the journal Science found that the bird population in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by nearly 30%, or 3 billion birds, over the past 48 years.

 


Federal officials have announced changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could have big impacts on wildlife and habitat throughout our region.

Tom Koerner/USFWS via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

The Trump administration has made several rule changes to the Endangered Species Act that they say will provide transparency while protecting species.

Kimberly Fraser / USFWS via Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Black-footed ferrets were once thought to be extinct, but that all changed when one was found on the Lazy BV Ranch outside of Meeteetse in the 1980s. What followed was a multi-decade effort to find, breed, and release a new population of North America's most endangered mammal back onto the land where it had been rediscovered.

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.

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