Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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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.

Bureau of Land Management Prioritizes Wildlife Connectivity

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022   

The Bureau of Land Management, which controls 67% of public lands in Nevada, said it is now going to make it a priority to protect wildlife corridors, which are the routes animals like mule deer take between their winter and summer ranges.

The agency issued a Memorandum of Instruction Tuesday, officially telling their state offices to consider the impact on wildlife migration when making decisions going forward.

Russell Kuhlman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, said the BLM has the power to approve or deny permits on a wide range of projects.

"They oversee cattle permit grazing, renewable energy projects, the oil and gas leasing, and they also approve building permits," Kuhlman outlined.

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey found the American West is losing 1.3 million acres a year of sagebrush habitat, mainly to wildfire but also to development, which has pushed the sage grouse population closer to extinction.

Kuhlman pointed out the BLM posted a notice online last week, stating it will offer new oil-and-gas leases in Nevada soon, but then, the agency pulled the web page.

"So, I'd be very interested to see if they lease areas of low-to-no potential land for oil and gas, having just sent out this instructional memorandum calling for the protection of wildlife connectivity," Kuhlman remarked. "I'm going to keep my eye on that."

Experts warned animal populations become more vulnerable to disease when they are cut off from parts of their range, in part due to increased inbreeding.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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