Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Wildlife Community: ND Species Could See Big Benefits from Federal Bill

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Tuesday, April 5, 2022   

North Dakota is a haven for wildlife, but climate change and development threaten certain species and their habitat. Supporters of a bill in Congress say states would see much-needed investment to protect them from extinction.

North Dakota leads all other states in the number of wildlife refuges, but some species are in trouble. The northern pintail duck has declined by roughly 70% in recent decades.

Mike Leahy, director of wildlife, hunting and fishing policy for the National Wildlife Federation, said states often lean on hunters to fund wildlife preservation through fees. But he contended a federal proposal would keep funding consistent.

"The Recovering America's Wildlife Act finally gets the states, the territory and the tribes the money to do proactive, collaborative wildlife conservation to keep species off of the Endangered Species List," Leahy asserted.

Under the plan, North Dakota would see $15 million annually. Backers argued it would allow the state to work with private landowners to restore wetlands and protect grasslands. The Senate version, co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-S.D., could get a committee vote Thursday. While the plan has bipartisan support, how the federal government should pay for it has led to divisions.

Losing more species also creates concerns for states where hunting is popular, and in North Dakota, waterfowl hunting creates about $30 million in economic activity.

John Bradley, executive director of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation, said it goes beyond protecting the interests of sportsmen and women.

"Both the hunter and folks that just like to hike or bird watch just like knowing that there's healthy wildlife populations out there," Bradley explained. "This bill does exactly that. It's actually focused mainly on nongame species."

According to North Dakota's Wildlife Action Plan, 115 species are in need of protections through conservation efforts.

Meanwhile, the bill would commit nearly $100 million to Tribal nations and their programs to protect endangered species. Indigenous conservation leaders stressed their work is often slowed by competitive grants and the uncertainty in securing annual funding.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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