September 3, 2009 |
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan rejected a request to halt the roundup of about 190 wild horses in the Pryor Mountains along the Montana-Wyoming border. Two Colorado-based advocacy groups had sought an injunction. The Bureau of Land Management, which operates the 38,000-acre Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, said the roundup would begin today. The agency intends to capture the range's entire population, with 70 adult horses and their foals to be kept for adoption. The rest will be freed after some of the mares are given a contraceptive vaccine, the BLM said.
July 27, 2009
What could be more authentically Western than a herd of mustangs thundering across the range as windblown tumbleweeds roll across their path? A lot of things, actually. Both horses and tumbleweeds, or Russian thistle, were introduced from overseas, and both wreak environmental havoc. The thistle was imported accidentally on ships carrying grain; the horse's history goes back hundreds of years to the first Spanish explorers.
April 2, 2009 |
On Monday, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, placing more than 2 million acres of public land in nine states under Wilderness Act protection. The new legislation preserves remote glacial valleys in Wyoming, fragile deserts in California and dense forests in northern Michigan, making these and other tracts of pristine land permanently off-limits to road building, oil and gas drilling and commercial timber harvesting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2009 |
The San Diego Zoo is joining the federal effort to save the threatened desert tortoise, officials announced Saturday. Zoo specialists will aid the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in operating the 250-acre tortoise conservation center near Las Vegas, home to about 1,000 desert tortoises. The center is run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Biologists from the zoo will monitor the health of the tortoises and help those that are ailing. Bob Williams, Nevada field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service, called the agreement "a great step forward" in saving the desert tortoise from extinction.
November 26, 2008 |
The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday backed off from plans to auction more than a dozen leases to explore for oil and gas on the doorstep of several national parks, deflecting accusations by environmental groups that it was handing a "parting gift" to the energy industry before the Obama administration takes over. The agency still will proceed with more than 100 lease sales at a Dec. 19 auction.
November 11, 2008 |
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management needs to consider euthanizing wild horses or selling many of them to reduce spiraling costs of keeping them in long-term holding pens, the Government Accountability Office reported. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said costs of caring for the horses likely will account for 74% of the program's overall budget this year. There are about 33,000 wild horses on the range and another 30,000 in holding facilities.
October 12, 2008 |
As more and more Americans set out for backcountry trails, officials are seeing a parallel rise in episodes of "off-road rage": unpleasant, even violent, encounters between drivers of all-terrain vehicles and hikers, mountain bikers and others. "Move your bike or I'll run over it," the driver of a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle warned Bill Connelly, who had laid his mountain bike across a trail in the Glade Run Recreation Area, just outside Farmington. Signs were posted banning motorized vehicles from the stony track, and in the summer of 2006 Connelly was tired of ATVs going wherever they wanted.
September 30, 2008 |
Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit against U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for authorizing uranium exploration on 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Western Mining Action Project filed the suit in U.S. District Court. Also named as defendants are the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The environmental groups say Kempthorne defied a House committee resolution protecting the land near the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2008 |
Two months after major wildfires blackened nearly a quarter of a million acres of its forest land, Big Sur has returned to a normal tourist hum, and a mild Indian summer has set in. But longtime residents worry about the badly scorched land and the flooding and mudslides that could come with winter rains. Although government agencies say help is on the way, disaster-weary residents worry that it won't be enough and may come too late to stave off the potentially catastrophic effects -- not just on tourist spots but on the crucial artery of Highway 1. Other fire-ravaged communities across California are faring better.