Saturday, January 28, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Feds Lay Out Recovery Plan for Endangered Bumble Bee


Monday, January 27, 2020   

MADISON, Wis. -- A certain kind of bumble bee that once thrived in the Midwest and along the East Coast is now endangered, and federal officials are moving forward with plans to reverse the population decline of the insect.

The rusty patched bumble bee was added to the federal Endangered Species List in 2017. Experts say the bee's population has been wiped out by nearly 90% and it's only present in about a dozen states, including Wisconsin.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a plan to help this pollinator stage a comeback. Agency spokeswoman Georgia Parham says the plan centers around habitat fixes.

"Creating and restoring habitat in areas where the bee now exists, and creating habitat in other parts of its historic range," she explains.

The agency says exposure to pesticides and a disease-causing pathogen also contributed to the population decline.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on the recovery plan, which will be used as a guide for conservationists to try to get the rusty patched bumble bee off the endangered list.

The agency was sued by the Natural Resources Defense Council for not moving fast enough, but that case was settled.

Parham says the bee has been able to hang on in Midwestern states because there's still a lot of prairie lands it can use as habitat.

In addition to federal action, she says backyard planters in these areas can also help the bee recover.

"People that like to attract pollinators and butterflies," she points out. "If you're doing that, you're going to create habitat for species like the rusty patched bumble bee."

The chubby looking bee got its name because of the distinct black and yellow rusted patch that runs along its back.

The public comment period for the recovery plan runs through Feb. 24.

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Last April the California Fish and Game Commission rejected a petition from the Humane Society to eliminate the state's bear hunt altogether. (California Department of Fish and Wildlife)


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