Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Play

Bill to expand tax credits draws on children's health data, Alaskans file petition opposing giant grocery merger, and a revised Colorado water plan prioritizes conservation.

Play

President Biden is set to give the State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls the national debt limit the United States' greatest threat, and Kamala Harris announces new pledges to offer more economic stability in Central America.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Farm Bill Benefits for WY Cattle Industry Could Threaten Wildlife

Play

Thursday, June 14, 2018   

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Conservationists are warning that riders attached to the Farm Bill making its way through Congress could damage the nation's public lands and wildlife.

After a House version of the Farm Bill stalled last month, the Senate has proposed a bill that would exempt the livestock industry from a series of environmental reviews and public input. Erik Molvar, executive director of the Western Watersheds Project, said giving the green light to just any targeted grazing project, for example, could put rangelands at risk for wildfire.

"You could end up with some very harmful targeted grazing projects that could actually increase the amount of cheatgrass infestation,” Molvar said; “without even consulting the public about what's going on, on the lands that the public essentially owns."

Molvar noted that federal law requires agencies thoroughly research land-management issues and involve the public in decisions that affect public lands. But some members of Congress and the White House argue that cutting regulations that burden industry will lead to economic growth and job creation.

Molvar said if passed, the bill would sweep aside what he believes are common sense habitat protections. He added while the livestock industry might see increased profit margins if environmental rules are thrown out, exempting new infrastructure projects could end up blocking migration corridors for elk, mule deer and pronghorn.

Molvar said fencing in particular can be lethal to sage grouse, whose populations have declined by as much as 95 percent from historic levels.

"Barbed wire fences are guillotines for sage grouse, which are low-flying birds,” he explained. “And there's one study in western Wyoming that found that a single five-mile stretch of fence killed more than 100 sage grouse in the space of a year."

The House is expected to hold a re-vote on its version of the Farm Bill before June 22. This version includes a rider by Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney that would reopen vacant grazing lands to cattle, even in endangered species habitat.

The Senate's version could reach the full floor as early as next week.


get more stories like this via email

As many as 11% of eligible voters do not have the kind of identification that is required by states with strict ID requirements, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said a bill to require Maine voters to present photo identification in order to cast ballots is unnecessary and coul…


Social Issues

A bill to increase tax credits in the Commonwealth is backed up by research showing the credits lead to better nutrition for working families and bett…

Environment

Part of the deal Wyoming struck for sending its water down the Colorado River was that state residents would be able to tap electricity generated at G…


Advocates and activists from both the liberal and conservative sides are trying to encourage voter turnout for the upcoming state Supreme Court race, given the impact the outcome will have on the court's ideological balance. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Wisconsin's primary election is two weeks away, and a high-profile state Supreme Court race is on the ballot. Several advocacy groups are behind a …

Environment

A coalition of conservation groups is giving Colorado's revised state water plan a thumbs-up for its increased focus on protecting Colorado's rivers…

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported a 70% increase in reported fraud losses from consumers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Victims of investment-related fraud in North Dakota could soon recoup some of their losses through a proposed restitution fund. A bill to establish …

Social Issues

West Virginia is among a handful of states with the highest increases in educational attainment between 2019 and 2021, according to a new report from …

Social Issues

The state's "divisive concepts" law is preventing educators from holding rational discussions about race relations in America, New Hampshire civil …

 

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