Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wolves chase down an elk in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Responding to lawsuits, USFWS acknowledges that state protections are inadequate
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Wild wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes once again are protected under the Endangered Species Act, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register notice explaining that Wyoming’s management plan is not adequate to protect the predators.
Of course the agency needed a push from the federal courts to acknowledge the reality of the Wyoming’s anti-wolf policies. Similarly, a federal court also said the agency can’t delist wolves in the western Great Lakes because protections can’t be removed in part of a species’ range when it has not recovered overall. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Western Great Lakes, wildlife, wolf conservation, wolves, Wyoming | 5 Comments »
Posted on September 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A federal judge has blocked Wyoming’s unsustainable wolf management plan. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Federal judge invalidates state hunting plan
FRISCO — Wyoming wolves will get at least a temporary reprieve from the state’s shoot-on-sight management plan, as a federal judge this week set aside a 2012 decision that turned wolf management over to the state.
The state plan, approved by the Wyoming legislature, would allow hunters and trappers to kill most wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park, leaving only a token population in the park — hardly in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, wolf conservation, wolves, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Drill rig in a natural gas field in Wyoming. Credit: SkyTruth, flickr
Ruling narrows trade secret loophole
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Fossil fuel companies in Wyoming may soon have to disclose more the chemicals they use for fracking, as the Wyoming Supreme Court decided this week that the state’s oil and gas commission has the burden of justifying the use of a trade secrets exemption that has enabled companies to keep their toxic recipes secret.
“The Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed that the public’s right to know is paramount under state law. If fracking operators don’t want to reveal what chemicals they use, they will have to prove that the chemicals are trade secrets, which means they shouldn’t be able to capriciously keep secrets from the public about dangerous chemicals,” said Katherine O’Brien, an attorney with Earthjustice, which represents the plaintiffs. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, Wyoming | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Map courtesy USGS.
FRISCO — Some Wyoming watersheds may be showing signs of wear and tear due to coalbed methane development, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study done on the Powder and Tongue river basins in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana.
According to the USGS, three sites on the Powder River show a difference in water quality between the time before coalbed methane development and during the production period. But thirteen other sites, including mainstem and tributaries to the Tongue and Powder Rivers in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, showed few substantial differences in water quality between the two time periods. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: coalbed methane, fracking, Powder River, water quality, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Gray wolves are facing state-sanctioned slaughter in Wyoming. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Lawsuit says state management plan is inadequate
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Wildlife advocates say that, without federal protection, wolves in Wyoming could soon be back on the ropes because of anti-wolf state policy that does little to protect the predators.
Based on those concerns, conservation groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The court heard arguments in the case on Dec. 17, with Earthjustice attorney Tom Preso asking the judge to restore Endangered Species Act protections to gray wolves in Wyoming until state officials develop a stronger wolf conservation plan. Continue reading
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Posted on June 30, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Grizzlies may still be facing some challenges despite making a good recovery in the northern Rockies. Photo courtesy Dr. Christopher Servheen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Feds taking comment on plan to hand over management to states
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Conservation groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity say a federal plan for Yellowstone grizzly bears puts their fate in the hands of states that are “culturally hostile” to large carnivores. The recovery plan could put grizzlies back on the road toward extinction, the group warned in their comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wildlife conservation advocates are also worried that the plan doesn’t do enough to safeguard connectivity between populations. They want the federal wildlife agency to maintain Endangered Species Act protections for the bears until these issues can be resolved. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: endangered species act, grizzlies, grizzly bears, Idaho, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone | 3 Comments »
Posted on June 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hunting wolves may have less of an impact on elk herds than previously believed. Photo via USFWS.
Three-year tracking project helps show that wolves alone aren’t necessarily responsible for declining elk populations
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — For quite some time, conventional wisdom has held that the presence of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone area has had beneficial impacts on the overall ecosystem by keeping elk on the move.
But a new study, led by recent University of Wyoming Ph.D. graduate Arthur Middleton, casts some doubt on that theory. For three years, the researchers closely followed the Clarks Fork elk herd west of Cody, along with the wolf packs that prey on it. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: elk, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, University of Wyoming, wildlife, wolves, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park | Leave a comment »