"Our forests and rangelands are national treasures, and because they are threatened, we are threatened," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This report confirms what we are seeing, that every region of the country is impacted by the direct and indirect effects of drought conditions and volatile weather patterns. Sixty million Americans rely on drinking water that originates on our 193 million acres of national forest and grasslands. They support 200,000 jobs and contribute over $13 billion to local economies every year."
(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.
December 1-31, 2015 - The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).
Process will ensure species in greatest need are addressed first, provide predictability and transparency and foster stakeholder engagement
January 14, 2016 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a draft methodology to better identify and prioritize pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) “status reviews,” the process by which the Service determines whether a species that has been petitioned for listing warrants ESA protection. The methodology will assist the Service and its partners in addressing America’s most imperiled wildlife and plant species first, while reinforcing collaboration between the Service and its partners and maximizing transparency throughout the decision-making process.
A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.
The map gives visual context to the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state in a beautifully detailed and accessible format.
"I am pleased that Alaska now has a state-wide digital map detailing surface geologic features of this vast region of the United States that is difficult to access," said Suzette Kimball, USGS newly-confirmed director. "This geologic map provides important information for the mineral and energy industries for exploration and remediation strategies. It will enable resource managers and land management agencies to evaluate resources and land use, and to prepare for natural hazards, such as earthquakes."
Progress on Greater Sage-Grouse, Wildfire Prevention, and Responsible Energy Development
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2015 made major strides toward addressing challenges that require action, analysis and planning across broad landscapes. The Bureau’s accomplishments over the past year include unprecedented efforts to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse; to devise new approaches to prevent and respond to wildfire; to make land- use planning efforts more timely, science-driven and adaptable; and to protect sensitive resources while enabling responsible energy development. These actions exemplify how the BLM is addressing broad challenges to more effectively meet national, state, and local needs on the national public lands.