wildlife

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Grand Teton National Park has paused its efforts to eliminate the nonnative mountain goat herd in the area. This comes after state and federal agencies told the park to call it off. Gov. Mark Gordon, the Wyoming Game and Fish director and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior asked the national park to halt its plans to kill the nonnative population through aerial gunning.

New research suggests hunting cougars does not achieve state management goals of reducing conflicts between the large cats, humans and livestock.


The Bureau of Land Management is now taking public comments on newly-published information about its sage grouse management plans. The agency posted these draft supplemental environmental impact statements to the Federal Register on Friday, Feb. 21.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

There are an estimated 6,000 big game animals killed by vehicle collisions each year in the state. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other agencies have been trying to find ways to reduce that number for years. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Game and Fish's Deputy Director Angi Bruce to talk about the department's new initiative and what it means for animals and drivers in the state.

Kamila Kudelska

At the end of 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased out more than 37,000 acres of land in northern Park County for potential oil and gas drilling. That spike in land available for oil and gas alarmed some people in the area who wondered what it could mean for wildlife—including Ken and Kathy Lichtendahl.

A Utah Republican state lawmaker is pushing a resolution condemning its neighbor, Colorado, if voters there decide to pass a November ballot initiative to reintroduce gray wolves into the southern Rockies.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

In the past, natural history museums sent staff and researchers on expeditions to collect specimens in the field. But when the Draper Natural History Museum officially opened its doors in the early 2000s, it wanted to try to avoid that practice.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon praised a number of groups for working together as he officially signed his migration corridor executive order.

Ameen Al-Ghetta/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its final version of a five-year step-down plan in December that aims to reduce elks' dependency on supplemental feed. 

NPS Photo / Stacey Skirvanek

A planned natural gas pipeline is being challenged by opponents who say its approval might violate the Endangered Species Act.

Savannah Maher

Karen Zoller's two rescue dogs, Macy and Izza, love to run and explore. So, she takes them to public trails around Fremont County where she can let them off leash.

Public Domain

Several conservation groups filed an intent to sue over a move that could result in up to 72 grizzly bears being killed in the next ten years.

NPS Photo / Stacey Skirvanek

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a pending lawsuit from conservation groups who argue the agency has taken too long to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act.

Diane Renkin / NPS

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is calling on the National Park Service to cancel its plans to use aerial gunning to remove invasive mountain goats from Grand Teton National Park.

On Wednesday, the commission passed a resolution condemning the plan, writing, "Having government personnel kill mountain goats from helicopters and leaving them to rot and be wasted is unacceptable."

By USFWS Mountain-Prairie (Mule Deer on Winter Range in SW Wyoming) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Reducing speed limits might sound like a cheap, easy way to keep both human and wildlife safe on Wyoming roads.

Kamila Kudelska

On Friday, Jan. 17, 40 horses from the Fifteenmile Herd Management Area will be up for adoption in the state's first wild horse adoption of the year in Rock Springs.

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

Jeff Victor

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone 25 years ago, after intense debate and under serious scrutiny. Park rangers exterminated the last wolves in Yellowstone nearly a century ago, and their return has restored the park's ecosystem to a state not seen in a long time.

JIM PEACO (CC-BY-2.0)

On January 12th, 1995, the first truck loaded with grey wolves from Canada arrived in Yellowstone National Park. Livestock producers, outfitters and other people who live near the park waited to see what would happen. But one of those groups that hasn't been too happy about the reintroduction: livestock producers.

©TEAM Network Yasuni

Around the world camera traps snapping images of wildlife generate enormous amounts of data, and thousands of those images go unused. A new online service called Wildlife Insights is working to encourage collaboration among researchers and put that data to use in the name of conservation.

As the Mountain West grows and hunter numbers decline, states are finding ways to bring in more revenue to fund conservation.

Diane Renkin / NPS

Herds of mountain goats occupy mountain ranges all around the Mountain West. Not all are native, though, and some of those transplants are causing problems. That's the case in Wyoming's Teton Range.

Jingerwas/Flickr Creative Commons

This is the last week the public can comment on four options in an amended plan for how prairie dogs are managed on the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. Some wildlife groups hope to build their population in hopes of eventually re-introducing the endangered black footed ferret there since the prairie dogs are their main food source.

Ameen Al-Ghetta/USFWS

The National Elk Refuge in Jackson will begin shortening elk feeding seasons this spring.

In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final version of a plan that aims to reduce elks' dependency on supplemental feed over the next five years. National Elk Refuge acting supervisor Eric Cole said the refuge wants to do this without causing problems for surrounding private lands.

Feral pigs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage each year, especially to crops. Now concern is mounting they could be at the doorstep in parts of the Mountain West.

The pigs — which an expert at the USDA has called "one of the most destructive and formidable invasive species in the United States" — could come across the Canadian border into Montana, or traipse into Colorado from the feral pig stronghold of Texas.

The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

Greater sage-grouse
Public Domain via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Preliminary numbers from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department show sage grouse reproduction is slightly up compared to last year.

Colorado's poised to put the question of wolf reintroduction on the November ballot. One unanswered question is how the predators might affect the spread of chronic wasting disease, if at all.

CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that currently infects deer, elk, moose and reindeer. Critics of wolf reintroduction argue that more predators on the landscape could further spread CWD.

Public Domain

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its lower 48 grizzly bear status review by March 31, 2021.

In June, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on two claims. The first was to update the 1993 grizzly bear recovery plan and the second was to review the bears status in the lower 48. The last status report was completed in 2011 and the feds previously said they would update it every five years.

BLM

The Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a multi-year wild horse gather in Southwest Wyoming. The herds in these areas have exceeded their appropriate management levels (AML), which could be detrimental to the health of the rangeland they live on, according to the BLM. 

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