MUIRNet-News Bytes

Reform of Antiquities Act Urged

Reform Needed, Group Says: No President Should Be Able to Create a 5,000-Square-Mile National Monument Without Consulting Congress and Affected States

National Center for Public Policy Research Calls on Congress to Repeal 1906 Law that Allows Presidents of Both Parties to Bypass States and Localities When Creating National Monuments

Says States Lose Opportunities for Environmental Management of Lands After Monument Designations Are Made

Hiking, Fishing, Swimming, Hunting and Other Uses Also Often Are Restricted, which In Turn Kills Local Jobs and Reduces Local Tax Revenues

Washington, D.C. - R.J. Smith and Bonner Cohen, senior fellows for environmental policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research, are responding to the White House's announcement that President Obama is today unilaterally creating a new 5,000-square-mile national monument off the coast of New England.

Read more: Reform of Antiquities Act Urged

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WSGS Publishes Comprehensive Report on Rare Earth Elements in Wyoming

Rare Earth Elements (REE) are a vital resource to industrialized societies and necessary for energy generation, transportation, data transmission and national defense. They are encompassed in everyday life whether in cell phones or energy provided by wind turbines. A report recently published by the Wyoming Sate Geological Survey (WSGS) examined REE occurrences within Wyoming.
 
“This report provides key information for individuals and companies interested in locating, evaluating and pursuing the potential commercial development of mineral resources that are critical to the progression of current and future high-tech industries,” says Tom Drean, director of the WSGS. “There is little doubt that REE will play a key role as new innovations and associated products are developed.”
 
The REE group is composed of 17 metallic elements. REE occurrences have been documented across Wyoming since the 1930s, but early exploration primarily focused on uranium and thorium, and REE were only an interesting association. Early investigations identified many sites that either hosted REE or were later interpreted to be potential REE occurrences. The studies, however, lacked complete elemental analyses.

Wyoming, rare earth, Geological Survey

Read more: WSGS Publishes Comprehensive Report on Rare Earth Elements in Wyoming

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Flake, McCain Call for Revised Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan

MUIRNet NewsWashington, DC– U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) today introduced the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act to direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to publish the first revised recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf in Arizona and New Mexico in 34 years. As a result of the 1982 Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan, an experimental population of wolves were placed in Arizona and New Mexico and since that time, land owners and public officials have voiced concern about the program.

This legislation would require that the USFWS work with state and local entities to ensure they have input in the drafting of a new recovery plan. In addition, if the USFWS does not comply with the plan, then Arizona and New Mexico are able to supplement or assume management of the recovery process. This bill also includes a provision that would require automatic delisting of the Mexican gray wolf as an endangered species once conservation goals have been reached.

USFWS, Mexican Wolf

Read more: Flake, McCain Call for Revised Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan

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Game and Fish Commission passes resolutions on burro management, land use

Burros

(January 21, 2016) PHOENIX - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved two resolutions, including one to address an "extreme overpopulation of burros" impacting the state's wildlife, habitat and public safety, and another that bolsters the department's efforts to ensure public access to public lands. The Commission passed the resolutions at its January meeting.

The resolution on burro management states that "the Arizona Game and Fish Commission recognizes there is an extreme overpopulation of burros in Arizona that negatively impacts wildlife, wildlife habitat and public safety."

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act of 1971, there should be no more than 1,676 burros within the state. The current population is estimated at 4,860, according to the Bureau of Land Management, which is legally required to maintain burros at established "appropriate management levels." The BLM is hampered by a lack of funding and support from the agency's administration at the national level.

BLM, Arizona, burros

Read more: Game and Fish Commission passes resolutions on burro management, land use

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Game and Fish finds CWD in new Deer Hunt Area near Sheridan

SHERIDAN - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently euthanized a white-tailed deer exhibiting signs of chronic wasting disease (CWD). The deer tested positive for CWD, which is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. The white-tailed deer was found in deer hunt area 24 - an area flanked on three sides by deer hunt areas where CWD was previously documented.

The buck was euthanized by Game and Fish personnel on November 16, 2016 about 2.5 miles southwest of the town of Big Horn.

Read more: Game and Fish finds CWD in new Deer Hunt Area near Sheridan

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