Greater sage-grouse are at just 3% of their historical numbers, and warrant protection, according to the Bureau of Land Management. But since other species are in even more dire straits, the birds haven't been declared a threatened or endangered species. The US Dept. of Agriculture money is a work-around aimed at saving the birds and their habitat.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
USDA continues to expand its Biomass Crop Assistance Program that provides financial incentives for producers of various biomass products with the latest selected project areas for growing camelina in CA, OR, WA, and MT, poplar trees in OR, and switchgrass in KS and OK.
"Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Interior have reached an agreement that would end federal protection for wolves in the state and allow hunters to kill more than 50% of those living outside Yellowstone National Park."
"Wild horses on the vast rangelands of Wyoming can continue to roam free, for now, after the U.S. government's Bureau of Land Management postponed a planned roundup, horse advocates said on Tuesday."
Hunting, under certain conditions, is already allowed at more than 300 of the 553 sites in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Contact local environmental, animal rights, and hunting groups for opinions for or against these proposals that would allow additional species to be killed at 10 refuges in 8 states.
The former Rocky Flats federal nuclear plant was supposedly cleaned up before it was repurposed as a National Wildlife Refuge. But lack of money and invasive plants may keep plutonium worries alive.
"Federal regulators knew potentially contaminated bark and wood chips were being sold from a Superfund site in the asbestos-tainted town of Libby, Mont., for three years before they stopped the practice, according to a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus."
"The Fish and Wildlife Service has been flooded with public comments over a proposed management plan for the second-largest national wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states, including an 8,000-acre net decrease in potential wilderness area and significant changes in how livestock are managed."
"For a decade, the people of Libby have longed for the day when they will be rid of the asbestos that turned their town into the deadliest Superfund site in America. Now they are being forced to live through the agony all over again."