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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

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The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

New Endangered Species Act rules consider climate impact on ME wildlife

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Monday, April 15, 2024   

Conservationists in Maine said reinstated protections of the Endangered Species Act could help wildlife already struggling to adapt to climate change.

Economic impacts will no longer be considered when listing certain species as threatened or endangered but the threat of climate change will be a factor.

Anya Fetcher, federal policy advocate for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said so-called "blanket rule" protections will also be revived.

"This is basically, while they are considering whether they should become endangered, they're going to continue to protect those species as if they were," Fetcher explained.

The Trump administration removed protections for threatened species along with other key aspects of the law. Fetcher acknowledged the new rules are likely to be challenged by Congress similar to other climate and environmental regulations.

Conservation powers will also be extended to federally recognized tribes, allowing them the same opportunities to protect wildlife, including some of Maine's most iconic species such as the piping plover and Canada lynx, which are losing critical habitat to development and a changing climate.

Fetcher pointed out one-third of Maine's species are vulnerable to climate change, including more than half the state's birds.

"Our wildlife is part of what makes Maine so special," Fetcher asserted. "Protecting critical habitat and the incredible wildlife that we have here is vital to our economy as well."

Fetcher added the Endangered Species Act has been helpful in protecting species such as the bald eagle, once on the brink of extinction but now a common sight in Maine. Nearly 500,000 public comments were considered in the new rule-making process.


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