U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Lesser Prairie-Chicken from List of Threatened and Endangered Species in Accordance with Court Order; Agency will continue working with stakeholders on conservation efforts benefitting lesser prairie-chicken, landowners and local economies
July 19, 2016 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today fulfilled a court ruling that had vacated its Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decision, by officially removing the lesser prairie-chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
This administrative action and the decision not to appeal the court’s ruling do not constitute a biological determination on whether or not the lesser prairie-chicken warrants federal protection. The Service is undertaking a thorough re-evaluation of the bird’s status and the threats it faces using the best available scientific information to determine anew whether listing under the ESA is warranted.
Interior, Agriculture & Defense Team Up To Conserve Landscapes and Wildlife, Bolster Rural Economies, and Ensure Military Readiness
WASHINGTON – The Departments of Interior, Agriculture and Defense joined with state and federal partners today to announce the designation of three new Sentinel Landscapes to benefit working lands, wildlife conservation and military readiness. Through the Sentinel Landscapes partnership, the DOI, USDA and DoD have committed to working together in overlapping priority areas near military installations to help farmers and ranchers make improvements to the land that benefit their operation, enhance wildlife habitat, and enable DoD's training missions to continue. This year’s Sentinel Landscapes were chosen for Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida, Camp Ripley in Minnesota and military bases in Eastern North Carolina.
BLM's Planning 2.0 Rule Crowds Out Local, State Voices in Favor of Special Interests
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing to hear from state and local representatives on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft Planning 2.0 Rule. This draft rule would dramatically shift resource management planning away from local communities to bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
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.
VALLEJO, CALIF., JUNE 22, 2016 AT 2:30 PM EDT -The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.
The Bureau of Land Management released today the final strategy for monitoring the impacts of solar energy development in eastern Riverside County. Public comments from the October draft strategy were considered into this final strategy which is part of the implementation of the Western Solar Plan.
The Riverside East Long Term Monitoring Strategy will help the BLM understand solar energy development's broad-scale effects on resources such as vegetation, hydrology, and air quality. The information generated through the strategy will help the BLM permit future solar energy projects.