skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 20, 2024

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

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Public comment period closing on sage grouse protections

play audio
Play

Wednesday, June 5, 2024   

The public comment period closes next week on the Biden administration's plan to protect the sage grouse, a bird whose health is linked to the larger ecosystem called the Sagebrush Sea.

The species' U.S. range runs through 10 states from northeast California and Nevada eastward to the Dakotas and Colorado.

Vera Smith, senior federal lands policy analyst for Defenders of Wildlife, said there is concern it may be on a trajectory toward extinction.

"Its range is about 50% of what it used to be," Smith pointed out. "Its populations have declined about 80% over the last 60 years, and about 40% in the last 20 years."

The sage grouse is considered a focal species, meaning as it declines, so likely do other species in its range, such as the pygmy rabbit, mule deer and pronghorn. The Obama administration released the Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy in 2015, but the Trump administration weakened it four years later.

Smith argued the latest plans do not go far enough to shield the birds from disturbance. Instead, she advocated for limits on mining and at least a 4-mile buffer zone of protection in areas where sage grouse breed.

"That draft proposal makes some changes but in many ways sort of sets into concrete the amendments that the Trump administration put into place," Smith noted. "The current proposal that is by the BLM is weaker than what was put forth in 2015."

Public comment is open until June 13. The agency will release its final Environmental Impact Statement in the fall.

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


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

"Arizonans understand that it is insane to risk Phoenix or Tempe for Odesa or some corn field in Ukraine. It is not in our national interest to get involved," said U.S. Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Ariz. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

 

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