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Wildlife

To Be or Not to Be a Wolf

sci fact checkDuring a House hearing on wolf conservation, Rep. Debbie Dingell claimed “the science is clear” that red wolves are not “hybrids” between coyotes and gray wolves. But the science is not clear — and the latest research has tipped the balance of evidence in favor of the hybrid hypothesis.

If recognized as a hybrid, the red wolf could risk losing protection under the Endangered Species Act — an outcome hunters, landowners and ranchers advocate, in part, because red wolves and other wolf species prey on livestock and deer. The new research may also influence the status of other wolf species under the act, such as the gray wolf and the eastern wolf.

In order to be eligible for federal protection under the act, a plant or animal must be classified as a distinct species, including “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” However, the act lacks specific provisions for hybrids between endangered and unlisted species — making it unclear if the red wolf should continue to be protected.

Read more: To Be or Not to Be a Wolf

New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA

sage grouse aThe greater sage grouse is an iconic bird that lives in the American West’s sagebrush landscape. It’s also a species at the center of a nationwide debate focused on how best to manage its habitat to balance multiple uses and ensure the bird’s long-term survival.

And the dialogue has just been informed by new information from a genetics study that has validated the primary target locations of current conservation efforts.

Though sage grouse were once numerous, their populations have dwindled drastically from historic numbers. Their range is still impressively large, though. Sage grouse are spread across a staggering 258,000 square miles.

Read more: New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA

Western Wildfire Update: See region’s latest burn damage

IMG 3942Wildfire season is raging across the West. Check here for the latest updates from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) on the total burn damage across the West and the major fires in the region.

NIFC's roots trace to 1965, when the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Weather Service agreed to collaborate on national fire planning and operations. The National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have since joined.

Read more: Western Wildfire Update: See region’s latest burn damage

Destructive Forest Fires Are Due to – WHAT?

United States -(AmmoLand.com)- First the Obama EPA came for coal mines, coal-fired power plants, miners, workers, investors, and all who depend on reliable, affordable electricity.

Then the EPA, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and other agencies came after oil and gas drilling and fracking, and the workers, industries and families that need petroleum. They’re also targeting farming, ranching, airlines and manufacturing.

It’s all to stop “dangerous manmade climate change,” rising seas, warmer and colder weather, wetter and drier seasons, and other “unprecedented” calamities. Now the Feds want us to believe worsening forest fires threaten communities, wildlife and wildlife habitats because we burn fossil-fuels.

Thousands of fires have already torched millions of acres, amid yet another dangerous and costly fire season. It happens every year, and has for centuries. But now, the Department of the Interior misinforms us, “climate change is making it worse. Wildfire seasons are now hotter, drier and longer than in the past.” Sure they are. Wanna buy a bridge?

Read more: Destructive Forest Fires Are Due to – WHAT?

Endangered Mexican gray wolves could be introduced to Utah

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Mexican gray wolf leaves cover at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro County, N.M. Suspicion over federal plans to restore Mexican gray wolves has spread to Colorado and Utah, where ranchers and elected officials are fiercely resisting any attempt to import the predators. (Jim Clark/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)
A Mexican gray wolf leaves cover at the Sevilleta
National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro County, NM.
Suspicion over federal plans to restore Mexican
gray wolves has spread to Colorado and Utah.
(Associated Press)

The Federal government proposed to release a subspecies of wolf in southern Utah and Colorado. This has raised concerns among local ranchers and the Utah Farm Bureau.

Conversely, wildlife advocates are fighting to introduce the Mexican gray wolf into Utah. The Mexican wolf is a threatened species found in the Southwest region of the United States. There are only 110 species left in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has surveyed the region along southern Utah and believes the habitat is suitable for the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves.

Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, expressed his concerns about the Mexican wolf not being discussed during the legislative season.

"Nobody is talking about reintroducing the Mexican wolf," Robinson said. "Our government officials are really upset about this. They don't want Mexican wolves or any other wolves for that matter. That is why there is such a big conflict."

Robinson shed some light as to why southern Utah needs a wolf population.

Read more: Endangered Mexican gray wolves could be introduced to Utah

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