PNS Daily Newscast - April 18, 2019 

The DOJ and Bill Barr said to plan on Mueller time – without Mueller. Also on the Thursday rundown: The Keystone State considers cap and trade. Plus, the RECLAIM Act aims to invest in coal communities.

Daily Newscasts

Nearly One in Three U.S. Wildlife Species at Risk of Extinction

By the late 1970s, not a single Canada lynx was found in Colorado. Today, after two decades of work, more than 200 live in the state. (Pixabay)
By the late 1970s, not a single Canada lynx was found in Colorado. Today, after two decades of work, more than 200 live in the state. (Pixabay)
April 2, 2018

DENVER – Up to a third of the nation's wildlife species are at increased risk of extinction, according to a new report, "Reversing America's Wildlife Crisis."

The National Wildlife Federation research says more than 150 species are already extinct, and 500 more haven't been sighted in decades. But David Ellenberger, Rocky Mountain regional outreach coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation's Colorado office, says there are paths to recovery.

"Because we really do have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save hundreds and thousands of species, actually, across this country that future generations will inherit," he says.

Ellenberger notes the conservation work could be paid for through royalties from resource extraction on public lands, if Congress passes the Recovering America's Wildlife Act. The measure would send $1.3 billion dollars to states to fund state Wildlife Action Plans already in place.

State agencies have identified some 8,000 species in need of help, and the number of species petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act has increased by 1000 percent in less than a decade. Bruce Stein, the National Wildlife Federation's chief scientist, says the legislation would provide the kind of investment needed to address 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."

Ellenberger points to success stories including the reintroduction of the Canada lynx as proof that concerted efforts can make a difference. Two decades ago, after discovering that the lynx had vanished in the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife went to work.

"And now, there's over 250 lynx in the high mountains of Colorado,” says Ellenberger. “We know how to do this, it's not rocket science. We just need more funding and resources to really save a broader spectrum and diversity of wildlife in the state."

Ellenberger adds the issue is also important for states that depend on wildlife tourism and outdoor recreation. He says the industry contributes more than $880 billion a year to the national economy, and creates 7.6 million jobs.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO