Posted on May 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A rare variety of tiger beetle is threatened by a proposed development at the Grand Canyon. @bberwyn photo.
Emergency petition filed to prevent extinction
FRISCO — A looming resort development near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has prompted conservation advocates to seek protection for a pair of rare species that could be pushed toward extinction if the project proceeds.
Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity filed an emergency petition asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to consider endangered species status for the Arizona wetsalts tiger beetle and Macdougal’s yellowtops. Both species rely on groundwater that could disappear if the resort developers are permitted to pump groundwater in the area. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: endangered species, Environment, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon development, Tusayan | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Formal protest says BLM violated planning regulations
Thousands of new fossil fuel wells could take a toll on wildlife in northwest Colorado.
FRISCO — Conservation and wildlife advocacy groups are protesting a new federal plan that covers oil and gas drilling and fracking in the northwestern Corner of Colorado.
The recently published resource management plan amendment for Bureau of Land Management’s White River Field Office failed to meet legal requirements because it didn’t consider special areas of environmental concern, the groups wrote in their formal April 27 protest letter. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: BLM, BLM White River field office, Colorado, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Piceance Basin, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Proposed logging on thousands of acres of national forest lands near Leadville, Colorado could threaten important denning and feeding areas used by threatened lynx.
Conservation advocates go to court to block Tennessee Pas project
FRISCO — The threat of widespread logging in an area where lynx are slowly reestablishing a Colorado presence has spurred a new lawsuit by forest conservation advocates.
The recently approved 10-year project is in the Tennessee Pass area, mostly on lands managed by the Leadville Ranger District of the San Isabel National Forest.
The Forest Service green light potentially permits logging across more 12,000 acres, including 2,370 acres of clear cutting and 6,765 acres of commercial thinning and construction of 20 miles of temporary roads.
The scenery, historic status and wildlife of the Tennessee Pass area are all at risk, said Kevin Mueller, WildEarth Guardians Utah-Southern Rockies Conservation Manager.
“If this forest service logging proposal is approved, a patchwork of clear cuts could be visible on all sides of the Turquoise Lake Basin,” Mueller said. “This litigation centers on USFS refusal to protect forested slopes known to represent critical den habitat for threatened lynx,” said attorney John Mellgren of the Western Environmental Law Center. “Our goal is ecologically resilient forests that support healthy wildlife and lynx populations. Clear-cutting would further undermine lynx and other vulnerable species,” Mellgren said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, biodiversity, endangered species, Colorado | Tagged: logging, Colorado, lynx, endangered species, forests, environement | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse face new political threat. Photo via USGS.
Senate measure would let miners, ranchers and drillers devastate sagebrush ecosystems
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The battle lines over the fate of greater sage-grouse are being clearly drawn in the U.S. Senate this week, where freshman Republican Senator Cory Gardner is proudly touting the support of extractive industries for his misnamed Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act (S 1036).
Gardner’s measure is the latest in a series of political maneuverings to subvert and circumvent the Endangered Species Act. In the past few years, lawmakers have flouted science to try and remove protection for other species, including northern gray wolves. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Cory Gardner, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, senate bill 1036 | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Feds won’t protect Mono Basin sage-grouse under Endangered Species Act
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Efforts to preserve biologically important remnants of the vast western sagebrush sea were dealt another blow today, as as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it won’t protect greater sage-grouse in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision is another step in piece-mealing greater sage-grouse toward extinction, according to conservation advocates and biologists. The voluntary conservation measures touted by the federal agency won’t do much to protect the so-called bi-state greater sage-grouse population from threats like hardrock mining, exurban development and livestock grazing. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, Mono Basin sage-grouse, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation efforts seen as successful
Some humpback whale populations are no longer endangered. Map courtesy NOAA.
A humpback whale in the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — With humpback whales rebounding after 40 years of conservation efforts, federal biologists this week said they want to revise the marine mammals’ endangered species status, taking some of the geographically separate populations off the endangered species list.
Reclassifying humpbacks into 14 distinct population segments would enable tailored conservation approach for U.S. fisheries managers. Currently, humpback whales are listed as endangered throughout their range, but 10 of the 14 populations don’t need the highest level of protection anymore, according to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, humpback whales, marine mammals, NOAA, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A Missouri bat that died after being infected with white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy USGS.
UC Santa Cruz research suggests preventive treatment may be possible
FRISCO — While most of the news about bats and white-nose syndrome is not good, there’s a glimmer of hope for a preventive treatment, according to scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
In recent lab experiments, researchers at the university identified bacteria found naturally on some bats that “strongly inhibited” the he growth of the white-nose syndrome fungus.
“We are analyzing data from tests on live bats now, and if the results are positive, the next step would be a small field trial,” said Joseph Hoyt, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student who led the study. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Tagged: endangered species, UC Santa Cruz, white-nose syndrome, white-nose syndrome treatment | Leave a comment »