Wednesday, June 29, 2022


The Supreme Court weakens Miranda rights protections, a campaign gathers signatures to start a consumer-owned utility in Maine, and the Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.


Immigration advocates criticize border policies after migrants die in a tractor-trailer, the U.S. opens a permanent headquarters for U.S. forces in Poland, and a House committee hears about growing housing inequity.


From flying saucers to bologna America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, countering voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Group Seeks to Halt Rattlesnake Slaughter at Roundups


Friday, March 11, 2016   

SWEETWATER, Texas - A group of conservation biologists is working to stop the wholesale killing of rattlesnakes each spring at numerous roundup festivals across the South and Southwest.

The nonprofit Advocates for Snake Preservation has argued that there is no science to support the belief that roundups prevent overpopulation and that, in some areas, the species is becoming endangered. Melissa Amarello, the group's co-founder and director of education, said that reviled though they may be, rattlesnakes are important to the balance of nature.

"Rattlesnakes are a very important predator," she said. "Now, they're not what we would call the top of the food chain, because they do have a host of predators themselves - a lot of animals that depend on them for food - and there are a lot of species that they help to maintain the balance of, as well."

Early spring is prime time for most roundups, Amarello said, and her group is focusing on this weekend's Sweetwater Jaycees Rattlesnake Roundup in West Texas, which bills itself as the world's largest. Her group documented last year's event in Sweetwater, where professional hunters gather thousands of snakes, put them on display and then slaughter them for their skin, meat and rattles.

She said her Arizona-based group does not want to end the roundup festivals but to stop the unnecessary killing of huge numbers of snakes, mostly for entertainment. Amarello said several festivals have become even more successful by not killing snakes but celebrating their area's local wildlife.

"We recognize that these festivals happen in small towns. It's a really important source of revenue for the local economy. It's part of their culture and their tradition, and we don't want to take all that away from them," she said. "We just want them to stop killing snakes at the roundup."

The Sweetwater Jaycees have reported that their annual spring festival brings more than 25,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $8 million to the farming and ranching community of more than 10,000 people.

The group's report is online at Information on the Sweetwater Roundup is at

get more stories like this via email

The United States generates more plastic waste than any other country, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. (EAD72/Adobe Stock)


California lawmakers are considering a bill today to cut down on single-use plastics that are choking the nation's landfills and oceans. Senate Bill …


Members of Nevada's African American community say they're channeling the spirit of Juneteenth to fight for environmental justice. Church-affiliated …

Health and Wellness

Wisconsin's 173-year-old abortion ban faces a legal test, as the state's Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they are suing to overturn it. The …

Some older adults in Connecticut may be eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can help decrease energy-related costs and fuel usage at home through retrofits and other improvements. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Starting Friday, Connecticut residents may start to see a sharp increase in energy costs just as summer gets into gear and inflation hits people hard…

Social Issues

A new study found an association between what researchers are calling the biological age of sperm and reproductive success. While age is considered …

Advocates for older Iowans say elder abuse can happen in many forms, including physical assaults, financial exploitation and neglect. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This Friday, Iowa's new elder abuse law goes into effect. Those who pushed for its passage hope victims are aware of the added protections and will …


Mapping migration routes is important for conserving species such as pronghorn, so supporters hope Congress will fund mapping efforts. The United …

Social Issues

Workers at a hospital on the Oregon coast are citing a victory in contract negotiations with their employer. More than 100 members of SEIU Local 49 …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021