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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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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.

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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.

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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.

Park visitors cautioned to respect wildlife

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Monday, July 1, 2024   

July is one of the busiest months for national parks and wildlife advocates have tips for reducing conflicts with animals.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks combined had nearly 8 million visitors last year, according to National Park Service data. A few tourists approached wildlife in viral close encounters. Some instances led to fines for the people involved and euthanasia for the animals.

Chamois Andersen, Rockies and Plains Program senior field representative for Defenders of Wildlife, said visitors should consider wildlife with respect, but some are thinking otherwise.

"They approach these animals as if they're at a zoo but these are not zoos," Andersen pointed out. "These animals are very wild and we need to keep them wild. And part of that is having that respect, recognizing that we're there in their habitat, in their homes."

Efforts around education, food and trash storage, and fencing and wildlife crossings are reducing rates of conflict. According to the National Park Service, the average number of bears euthanized or removed from Yellowstone each year in the 1960s was nearly 40. In the 2000s, the number had dropped to almost zero.

The safest place to view wildlife is from a vehicle. Andersen suggested bringing along binoculars, spotting scopes and other tools to help with wildlife observation across a distance.

"If you're taking pictures, go ahead and buy that lens," Andersen recommended. "That's why you see these photographers have such large lenses, because they understand we don't want to get too close to these animals."

Yellowstone National Park prohibits feeding wildlife, as well as approaching or remaining near animals at a distance that could disturb or displace them. Park staffers recommend staying at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from all other wildlife.

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.


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