Posted on September 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Southern California sea otters get some love from a federal court. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Federal judge backs USFWS decision to end a ‘no otter’ zone in Southern California
California sea otters may have a better chance of expanding south along the coast after a federal judge last week backed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to end a program that removed otters from areas south of Point Conception.
The “no-otter zone” was established by Congress in 1986 during the early days of political meddling with the Endangered Species Act, in response to complaints from fishermen that moving otters to a new location could interfere with their fishing activities. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment | Tagged: California sea otters, conservation, endangered species, marine mammals, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
TroutBlitz helps conservation and restoration efforts
Fishing for cutthroat trout at Clinton Gulch Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.
FRISCO — It’s not always easy to gather good scientific data, especially in an era when political ideology drives policy, resulting in budget cuts that hamper government agencies.
That’s where citizen science can help, and Trout Unlimited wants anglers around the country to help record evidence of their trout catches both photographically and via mapping coordinates with the relaunch of TroutBlitz.
TU’s science team uses the data collected from anglers to learn more about native trout water, non-native trout proliferation and the health of entire watersheds. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, fishing, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Citizen science, conservation, Environment, trout fishing, Trout Unlimited, TroutBlitz, water quality | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Smart water management and conservation can help reduce drought pressure in the West
Frost-tinged trees gleam in the morning light along the Blue River, a key Colorado River tributary north of Silverthorne, Colorado.
FRISCO — Efforts to conserve water in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin and across the West got a major boost from the Obama administration this week. Federal resource managers this week announced a $50 million investment to improve water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other western states. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado River, Environment | Tagged: California drought, climate, Colorado, Colorado River, conservation, drought, water conservation | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Adaptive management and good mitigation can help greater sage-grouse survive the fracking tsunami. Photo via USGS.
Scientists tout adaptive management approach to sage-grouse conservation
FRISCO — When it comes to greater sage-grouse nesting areas, no disturbance is best, but carefully planned mitigation measures can help boost nest survival.
Minimizing disturbance to sagebrush is important, and the single biggest factor found to boost nest survival is locating wastewater treatment facilities away from drilling sites, scientists said last week, releasing results of a multi-year study in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Wyoming | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
It’s tough to save endangered species without any money.
Funding for entire endangered species program is less than the cost of a single F-35 fighter jet
FRISCO — The Obama administration talks a good green game, but when it comes to putting money toward endangered species protection, it’s business as usual. In fact, according to environmental watchdogs, the total amount of money allocated to endangered species is less than in 2016 when measured on a per-species basis.
That’s partly because 140 plants and animals have been added to the endangered species list in the past four years without an increase in spending, which means many conservation programs will underfunded once again this year. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, Environment, Obama budget | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Deal with feds brings funds for conservation, education
FRISCO — Long before Denver sprawled into being, migratory birds passed through the area on their from breeding grounds in Canada to winter habitat along the Gulf Coast, Mexico and Central America. The eastern base of the Rocky Mountains is part of one the great North American flyways, and last month, Denver Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the city has signed on to an urban bird treaty that will help preserve havens for migratory birds. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment | Tagged: conservation, Denver, Environment, migratory birds, North American flyways, Rocky Mountain flyway, urban bird treaty, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Report shows that even many common species are dwindling
Global warming threatens ptarmigan habitat in the mountains of the West.
FRISCO — Bird populations are dwindling all over North America, especially in the Southwest, where some species have declined by as much as 48 percent since the late 1960s, according to the 2014 State of the Birds report released last week.
In Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, habitat loss and fragmentation due to development are the largest threats. These are also significant threats in the nation’s grasslands, where breeding birds like the eastern meadowlark and the bobolink have declined by 40 percent since 1968, with the steepest declines coming before 1990, when stakeholders started investing in grassland bird conservation.
And experts say it’s not just rare birds that are vanishing. The report includes a list of 33 common species in steep decline, losing ore than half their global populations over the past four decades — a clear warning sign that birds can undergo a massive population collapse with surprising rapidity. For example, passenger pigeon populations crashed from 2 to 3 billion birds to none in the wild in just 40 years. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: 2014 state of the birds, biodiversity, Birds, conservation, Environment | Leave a comment »