skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

A New Mexico endangered species outside the cultural norm

play audio
Play

Friday, November 17, 2023   

It might not make hearts skip a beat like the sight of a Monarch butterfly or gray wolf, but biologists say a rare flowering New Mexico plant nonetheless deserves endangered species protection.

Inclusion of the swale paintbrush is under consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Michael Robinson, senior conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the plant historically grew at several Southwestern sites but climate change and excessive grazing have taken their toll.

"We're talking about an extraordinarily arid area in the Bootheel of New Mexico -- it's Chihuahuan Desert -- it's got its own stark beauty," Robinson observed. "But when you see a relatively tall, graceful plant it provides a whole new perspective on the landscape."

He noted the swale paintbrush is one of the rarest plant species in North America. After accepting public comments over the summer about adding the plant to the endangered list, it is now under consideration for inclusion. Should it move forward, the Fish and Wildlife Service will have to develop a recovery plan.

Robinson pointed out the swale paintbrush, also known as the glowing Indian paintbrush, has bright yellowish flowers which produce nectar and support pollinators. Its rarity means not much is known about habitat requirements, but it's generally found in seasonally wet grasslands.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service has had its eye for decades on the need to protect the swale paintbrush, but just always found some reason not to do it," Robinson stressed. "Which is the sad reality for so many imperiled plants and animals that need protection sooner rather than later."

A 2022 study found protections offered by the Endangered Species Act often kick in too late to fully recover declining species. Published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers found over the past three decades, species remained on waiting lists for protection far longer than the Endangered Species Act intends.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

play sound

It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


Many transmission projects already follow highway corridors, but depending on the state, policy experts say laws can make it harder to add new power lines along federal interstates. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…

Environment

play sound

By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

From book bans to teacher qualifications, a new national report from the Network of Public Education examines the laws and policies that support or undermine each state's public schools and the students who attend them. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …

Social Issues

play sound

As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…

 

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