PNS Daily Newscast - June 17, 2019 

Trump once again floats the idea of being president beyond two terms. Also on the Monday rundown: A new national report ranks children's well-being, from coast to coast; and a Family Care Act gains support.

Daily Newscasts

Report: One-Third of Species in U.S. Under Threat of Extinction

Arctic graylings are among Montana's conservation success stories. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)
Arctic graylings are among Montana's conservation success stories. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)
March 30, 2018

HELENA Mont. – As many as a third of species in the United States are on the decline and face possible extinction, according to a new report. But conservation groups say there are paths to recovery.

The report "Reversing America's Wildlife Crisis" contains troubling news for species of all kinds. It says more than 150 species have already gone extinct and another 500 haven't been seen in recent decades.

However, Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, says there's a road forward. He says the state's recovery of game species are good examples of Montana's ability to save wildlife.

"In a lot of ways, wildlife management isn't rocket science, right? Like, we know that we can conserve habitat and scientifically recover and manage fish and wildlife populations. All we need to do is be willing to devote the resources to it," he says.

Chadwick says states can be leaders on conservation. He points to Montana's recent success recovering Arctic graylings, which kept them off the Endangered Species list.

The report was released jointly by the American Fisheries Society, National Wildlife Federation and The Wildlife Society.

The groups behind the report cite bipartisan legislation in Congress that could help. The "Recovering America's Wildlife Act" would fund current, state Wildlife Action Plans, which help manage species before they're on the brink of extinction.

The bill would dedicate $1.3 billion a year for wildlife conservation. At National Wildlife Federation, chief scientist associate vice-president Bruce Stein says it would allow the country to increase the scale of its conservation investments to match the scope of the problem.

"It would allow us to reverse the wildlife crisis and fully implement these state Wildlife Action Plans,” says Stein. “It's an opportunity to make sure that we safeguard not just our conservation legacy, but this amazing diversity of wildlife species that we steward here."

Funding would come from an existing tax paid by energy and resource industries for the right to develop on federal lands, which generates between $6 and $20 billion annually. It would boost Montana conservation funding from $830,000 to nearly $30 million.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' current Wildlife Action Plan identifies 128 species of greatest conservation need, 47 of which it says are top priority.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT