Thursday, May 19, 2022

Play

U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.

Play

The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

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

The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve along with the Big Bend Seagrasses, St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserves and the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve together protect the largest contiguous seagrass meadow in the Gulf of Mexico and the largest spring-fed seagrass habitat in the world. (Charlie Shoemaker for The Pew Charitable Trusts)

Environment

This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years…


Social Issues

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …

Environment

After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …


As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …

Social Issues

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

Social Issues

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

Social Issues

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…

 

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