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Multiple Use Information Resource Network - A link between the outdoor recreation community and federal and state agencies on matters of land use, conservation and administrative action that affect motorized recreation.
Updated: 11 hours 51 min ago

Endangered Mexican gray wolves could be introduced to Utah

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:16
A Mexican gray wolf leaves cover at the Sevilleta
National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro County, NM.
Suspicion over federal plans to restore Mexican
gray wolves has spread to Colorado and Utah.
(Associated Press)

The Federal government proposed to release a subspecies of wolf in southern Utah and Colorado. This has raised concerns among local ranchers and the Utah Farm Bureau.

Conversely, wildlife advocates are fighting to introduce the Mexican gray wolf into Utah. The Mexican wolf is a threatened species found in the Southwest region of the United States. There are only 110 species left in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has surveyed the region along southern Utah and believes the habitat is suitable for the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves.

Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, expressed his concerns about the Mexican wolf not being discussed during the legislative season.

"Nobody is talking about reintroducing the Mexican wolf," Robinson said. "Our government officials are really upset about this. They don't want Mexican wolves or any other wolves for that matter. That is why there is such a big conflict."

Robinson shed some light as to why southern Utah needs a wolf population.

Categories: Legislation

Supreme Court's Stay of EPA Carbon Rules Gives Time to Get the Climate Science Right

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:50

JACKSON, Wyo., Feb. 11, 2016 -- The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to temporarily block implementation of the EPA's Clean Power Plan while lawsuits from 29 states and many power companies proceed. It also provides a chance to be sure the science behind this plan is correct.

"New data and understanding now show that the science underlying the global 'consensus' on climate change is flawed," says Dr. Peter Langdon Ward, a geophysicist who worked 27 years with the US Geological Survey. Ward spent the last ten years reexamining the many assumptions underlying greenhouse warming theory.

"Current climate models calculate energy incorrectly," Ward explains, "based on a fundamental misunderstanding in physics going back 150 years."

Categories: Legislation

USFS Releases Effects of Drought for Forests and Rangelands

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:59
New Resource to Aid Land Managers in Adapting to Climate Change

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2016 — The U.S. Forest Service today released a new report, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, that provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. forests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.

"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."

Categories: Legislation

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

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 13:32

(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.

Categories: Legislation

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 15:36

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).

Categories: Legislation

FWS Announces Draft Methodology for ESA Status Reviews

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 16:15

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. 

Categories: Legislation

Geologic map of Alaska Released

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 16:07

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."

Categories: Legislation

Significant Progress Made in Landscape-Scale Management Efforts in 2015

Sat, 01/02/2016 - 11:23
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.
Categories: Legislation

Modernized Regulations and Promoted Clean, Renewable Energy

Sat, 01/02/2016 - 11:08
BLM Marks Major Gains in 2015 Ensuring Safe and Responsible Energy Development on Public Lands WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made major progress in 2015 promoting responsible energy development on public lands while also managing for a wide range of uses on the agency's 245 million acres.  While BLM advanced modern safety and production-measurement regulations, the agency also made progress on the development of master leasing plans for oil and gas areas as well as new landscape-scale planning efforts to achieve both conservation and energy development goals.      "Each accomplishment is significant on its own, but together, they're a big stride forward in our management of the nation's energy resources" said BLM Director Neil Kornze.   Facilitating Renewable Energy Development 
Categories: Legislation

Game and Fish helps pronghorn cross boundaries

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 11:22
GPS collars provide data to improve connectivity  

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2015) Like some giant bird of prey, the helicopter appeared from seemingly out of nowhere and swooped down on the unsuspecting herd of pronghorn feeding on the open grassland below.

The chase was on.

In the end, despite being able to reach speeds up to 60 mph, the fastest animal in North America was no match. The net-gunner’s aim was true, the handler or “mugger” placed a GPS collar around the pronghorn’s neck, and within moments the animal was safely removed from the net and turned loose to rejoin its herd.

Categories: Legislation

GAO Study on Recreational Fisheries Management Released

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 10:26
The National Marine Fisheries Service Should Develop a Comprehensive Strategy to Guide Its Data Collection Efforts

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) within the Department of Commerce faces several challenges related to fisheries data collection, according to reports GAO reviewed and NMFS officials and stakeholders GAO interviewed. These challenges include collecting quality recreational fishing data that are timely for managing marine recreational fisheries and communicating with stakeholders.

Categories: Legislation

Sage grouse chick production at its highest in 10 years

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 14:28

CHEYENNE – New data on the Wyoming sage grouse population reveals bird numbers should continue to grow in the coming year based on an analysis of sage grouse wings provided by hunters. There were 1.7 chicks per hen in 2015, the same as 2014. This ratio is the highest documented since 2005, and more than double the recent low of 0.8 chicks per hen noted in 2012. The 10-year average, from 2005-2014, was 1.3 chicks per hen. Grouse numbers declined in most of those years.

Categories: Legislation

Northern Spotted Owl Decline Continues

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 13:12
Continued Decline of the Northern Spotted Owl Associated with the Invasive Barred Owl, Habitat Loss, and Climate Variation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northern spotted owl populations are declining in all parts of their range in the Pacific Northwest, according to research published in The Condor. Based on data from 11 study areas across Washington, Oregon and northern California, a rangewide decline of nearly 4 percent per year was estimated from 1985 to 2013.

Researchers found evidence that the invasive barred owl is playing a pivotal role in the continued decline of spotted owls, although habitat loss and climate variation were also important in some parts of the species range. Barred owls compete with spotted owls for space, food and habitat.

Categories: Legislation

Greater concern for the sage-grouse

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 11:43
Obama environmentalists favor birds over business

By William Perry Pendley - - Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Westerners cheered the Obama administration’s September decision not to designate the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act; listing would have meant more federal land lockups, additional red tape, and further litigation by environmental groups that use the act to make people do what they want. The sigh of relief had barely left western lips before federal officials declared — purportedly to protect the sage-grouse — closure of tens of millions of acres of western land to mining and imposition of a Draconian and illegal rule that kills current and future economic activity. Westerners are fighting back in court, but relief is years away.

Categories: Legislation

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

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 12:56

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.

Categories: Legislation

Latest round of testing finds CWD in new hunt areas

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 13:28

CHEYENNE - The latest round of tests from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance program has found the disease in three new hunt areas. CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. The National Park Service also recently found CWD at Devils Tower National Monument.

Staff at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s wildlife disease laboratory in Laramie confirmed the presence of CWD in a bull elk from elk hunt area 12 northeast of Saratoga, in a white-tailed buck from deer hunt area 112 southwest of Cody and a white-tailed doe in deer hunt area 171 north of Lander. Consistent with previous CWD findings for the season, these hunt areas are all near or overlap areas where CWD has been detected before. As is the case with Park Service’s finding, which corresponds with deer hunt area 1.

Categories: Legislation

Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment

Sun, 11/15/2015 - 11:19

Editor's Note: I have reviewed the below Presidential Memorandum and left scratching my head.  On one level it appears worthless; but, left to a bureaucract with idle time, I believe will create opportunities for obstructionists inside the agencies to further stall projects.  Structurally, this seems to create another level of review within, or independent of, NEPA, that requires screening AND substantive direction to "avoid and then minimize harmful effects…and to ensure that any remaining harmful effects are effectively addressed…."
 
Derivations of the word “minimize” are littered throughout, starting with the second paragraph. Minimize is a very subjective term....

Presidential Memorandum of November 3, 2015
 
Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment
 
    Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense[,] the Secretary of the Interior[,] the Secretary of Agriculture[,] the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency[, and] the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
 
    We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them. It is this same obligation that contributes to the strength of our economy and quality of life today. American ingenuity has provided the tools that we need to avoid damage to the most special places in our Nation and to find new ways to restore areas that have been degraded.

Categories: Legislation

Greens Demand Scenic Rivers be Protected

Sun, 11/15/2015 - 10:28

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The U.S. Forest Service is six years overdue on creating boundaries and management plans for two wild and scenic rivers in Northern California and the threatened wildlife that live there, fishermen and environmentalists claim in court.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and North Coast Rivers Alliance sued the Forest Service, the Department of Agriculture and Mendocino National Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson in Federal Court on Thursday.

They claim the Forest Service violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by failing to create boundaries and management plans for the Black Butte River and its tributary, Cold Creek, by the 2009 deadline imposed by Congress.

Congress adopted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, requiring that lands and waters in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System be managed to preserve their free-flowing condition, water quality and environments "for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations."

Categories: Legislation