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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

NM wildlife advocates work to accelerate human, wildlife coexistence

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024   

Wildlife advocates say there's been a shift in public opinion about the value of wildlife over the past few decades, with people supporting protections over exploitation, and they want to make 2024 another turning point.

Lindsay Larris, climate and energy director for New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians, said historically, wildlife management was rooted in permitting wildlife to exist as long as it did not interfere with human interests. In New Mexico it is even more complicated, she explained, when the needs of wildlife are pitted against the state's billion-dollar fossil-fuel industry. But she believes attitudes are changing.

"Toward 'wildlife that should be valued for its inherent purpose and its inherent value' and away from 'wildlife should only exist to fulfill a human end,'" Larris outlined. "What we need to do is to have a system or systems of wildlife management that really represent that shift in public values."

An annual bipartisan survey on conservation in Western states released last week found an increase in voter concerns over climate issues from land and water use to wildlife populations and wildfires.

The Land of Enchantment is the nation's second-largest oil producer and a top-10 natural gas producer. WildEarth Guardians has repeatedly tried to hold their feet to the fire and comply with state regulations as well as the Clean Air Act.

Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, legal director for WildEarth Guardians, said front-line communities have a right to a healthy environment.

"We're approaching that through the lens of the state's lack of strict regulation of oil and gas development, trying to shine a light on the true cost of oil and gas development to people, to communities, to the ecosystem," Ruscavage-Barz stressed.

WildEarth Guardians noted fewer than 200,000 people are employed by the oil, gas and coal industry, while 335 million people in the U.S. expect to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in a habitable climate.


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