GOP once again attacking Endangered Species Act

Slew of bills aimed at undermining protection for plants and animals threatened with extinction


A rare lynx kitten in Colorado protected by the Endangered Species Act. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Staff Report

FRISCO — GOP lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are apparently intent on undoing the Endangered Species Act without directly attacking the widely supported law that helps protect plants and animals from extinction.

This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is holding hearings on eight GOP bills, including one that would end federal protection for more than 800 endangered animals and plants around the country, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Continue reading

Morning photo: Mountain mix

Rocky Mountain eyecandy

FRISCO —A quick Saturday set from the vault featuring some Rocky Mountain wildlife, mountain panoramas and forests, including an exceedingly friendly and curious marmot that absolutely wanted to pose for the camera. The first three shots were all taken in Summit County along Ute Pass Road; the bristlecones and the marmot were photographed last summer along Mt. Evans road, just on the other side of the Continental Divide. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Morning photo: Critters!

Spring wildlife in Colorado

FRISCO — A couple of days ago, after dropping my son off at the High School, I noticed what looked like a handful of fluffy white clumps at the Blue River inlet to Dillon Reservoir. As I got closer, I realized that the white clumps were actually pelicans, heads tucked beneath their wings to guard against the chilly morning after an overnight dusting of snow. Seeing these birds seems a bit incongruous, especially in wintry weather, but they are actually common visitors to Colorado.

Just this week, the Boulder Daily Camera reported that white pelicans helped eliminate a pesky population of non-native goldfish in a local lake. I was able to get close enough to snap a few decent images, and decided to post a few other random critter pics I’ve taken during the past few years — a reminder that wildlife is a cherished part of our natural heritage in Colorado and that we need to be mindful of how our plans for water and development affect animals.

For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Scientists say they’ve found ‘most polluted bird’


A Cooper’s Hawk. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Cooper’s hawk in Vancouver area tainted with flame-retardant chemicals

Staff Report

FRISCO — Better living through chemistry may — or may not — be an apt motto for people. But it definitely doesn’t hold true for wild animals, who, to their detriment, ingest the toxic remnants of our industrialized society on a daily basis.

This trickle-down effect was recently illustrated once again as Canadian scientists announced that they found what they called  “the most polluted wild bird that has been found anywhere in the world.” Continue reading

Environment: Bat-killing disease spread into Iowa

Conservation advocates say more protection needed

FRISCO — Bat-killing white-nose syndrome has spread into Iowa, state wildlife officials confirmed this week, announcing that the deadly fungal disease was found on three bats near a cave entrance in Des Moines County (two little brown bats and one northern long-eared) and on four little brown bats collected in Van Buren County this winter.

Biologists first detected the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in an Iowa cave in 2011, but did not find afflicted bats until this winter. The latest report means that the disease is now present in more than half of the 50 states, concentrated in the eastern half of the country, and once again, conservation groups are sounding the alarm, charging that wildlife agencies aren’t doing enough to protect the flying mammals. Continue reading

Government-sanctioned wildlife slaughter continues

Resident bald eagle in Summit County, Colorado guarding the nest.

Resident bald eagle in Summit County, Colorado guarding the nest. @bberwyn photo.

Federally licensed hunters and trappers killed 2.7 million animals in 2014

Staff Report

FRISCO — A lot of things have changed in the U.S. during the past 100 years, but some things have not, including the frontier-era mindset among some people that makes it OK to willfully slaughter wildlife.

Even as some branches of the government expend considerable resources to protect and conserve plants and animals, another secretive agency continues to routinely kill millions of animals, including wolves, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes, eagles and other animals deemed pests by powerful agricultural, livestock and other special interests. Continue reading

Bighorn sheep return to Yosemite high country

 Reintroduction part of overall bighorn sheep recovery effort


Bighorn sheep are released into Yosemite National Park and the Cathedral Range in late March, 2015. Photo courtesy Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.

Staff Report

FRISCO — It took 100 years, but bighorn sheep have returned to high country of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, as federal and state biologists last month transplanted small herds of the mammals to their new homes.

Between March 26 and March 29, 2015, nine ewes  and three rams were moved from the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park. In addition, seven ewes were moved to the Laurel Creek area of Sequoia National Park, with plans to relocated three rams to that area.

The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. The species was listed in 2000 after the population plunged to just 100 individuals. Since then, the population has since increased to more than 600. Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,503 other followers