Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

National Refuges Hailed as 'Sanctuary to Wildlife'

Play

Monday, October 17, 2022   

National Wildlife Refuge Week may be over, but public lands are important to animals and plants year-round. There are about 600 wildlife refuges across the country, including nearly two dozen in Montana. The refuge system is the only public-lands system managed first and foremost for wildlife.

Christian Hunt, senior federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife, said most major cities are within an hour's drive of one.

"These places provide sanctuary to wildlife -- and really, human access to nature -- in a world where both are becoming increasingly rare," said Hunt.

Hunt said the refuge system supports about 1/3 of all species listed as endangered, which he said is critical, especially in light of a recent study that showed wildlife populations have declined nearly 70% since 1970.

Hunt said one of the biggest threats to refuges is the lack of funds. Defenders of Wildlife argued that the system needs $1 billion, but currently is allotted only about half that.

"Dollars are needed to provide all these services that people and wildlife both depend on in the larger refuge system," Hunt said.

Between 2010 and 2022, the refuge system has lost 25% of its staff. But Hunt notes that visitation has skyrocketed to these lands by 38% over that period.

"That's a shame," Hunt said. "Because refuges provide immense economic benefits to local communities. Billions of dollars. They support thousands of jobs, and they generate a lot of economic output for the communities that surround these places."

In Montana, some of the refuges include the Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the National Bison Range.

Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …


According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

 

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