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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Once Threatened, Wild Turkeys Now Thrive in New Hampshire

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022   

Turkey may be the star of Thanksgiving meals throughout the Granite State, but the wild turkey has become a focal point of new conservation efforts in Congress.

Wild turkeys disappeared from New Hampshire 150 years ago due to habitat loss and overhunting, but the birds were transplanted back in the mid-1970s, and now their population is more than 25,000.

John Kanter, senior biologist for the National Wildlife Federation, said Congress could provide similar protections to other species, by passing the "Recovering America's Wildlife Act."

"What we're doing here is using this tremendous conservation success story as a springboard to talk about the next generation of conservation success stories," Kanter explained.

Kanter noted the bill would provide states and tribes with $1.4 billion annually to help save about 12,000 animal and plant species now at risk, and offer protections like those which saved the wild turkey from extinction.

Wild turkeys can now be found in every county in New Hampshire, although severe winters and lack of suitable habitat have limited their population in the northernmost part of the state. Restored habitats have allowed the wild turkey to thrive.

Kanter pointed out the legislation would re-create the model which protected turkeys, and apply it to other species, from monarchs to meadowlarks.

"A third of species -- known plants and animals in the U.S. -- are at increased risk of extinction," Kanter emphasized. "It's time for us to address this biodiversity crisis, and let's get ahead of it."

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act passed the U.S. House in June, but awaits Senate approval. More than 40 senators are on board, including Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheem, D-N.H. Kanter hopes lawmakers act quickly to pass what he said would be the "biggest win for wildlife in half a century."

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


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