On the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, Jason and Patti Baldes envision the restoration of a “wildlife economy,” in which wild bison become an act of reconciliation between the United States and the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, a central part of Native food sovereignty, and a step towards ecological recovery for Wind River. “We are decolonizing our land here,” says Jason.
“We see ourselves. They’re a resilient animal, just as we are resilient people,” said Troy Heinert, a Rosebud Sioux member and director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council. “We’ve still been able to maintain our identity, and that is extremely important to us. When you’re handling those animals, they recognize that.”
For the first time in more than 15 years, Montana bison will roam new grazing grounds on public land. After 4 years of review, the Bureau of Land Management on 28 July granted a request by the nonprofit American Prairie to release its bison herd onto more than 24,000 hectares in central Montana. This is the largest land approval BLM has given American Prairie. Many ecologists are celebrating the expansion, part of American Prairie’s effort to restore Montana’s prairie ecosystems and return the U.S. national mammal to its former glory.
An investigation by Oregon Public Broadcasting and ProPublica has found that the Bonneville Power Administration has, time and again, prioritized its business interests over salmon recovery and actively pushed back on changes that tribes, environmental advocates and scientists say would offer the best chance to help salmon populations recover without dismantling the entire dam system.
RAWA would be the biggest piece of legislation for wildlife since the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which is credited with saving grizzly bears, gray wolves, and dozens of other beloved American animals from extinction, said Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico.
Wildlife advocates sued federal officials Tuesday after the government missed a deadline to decide if protections for gray wolves should be restored across the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains, where Republican-led states have made it easier to kill the predators.
Several conservation groups on Thursday filed a petition seeking to disqualify Montana and Idaho from receiving millions of dollars in federal funding because of legislation that expanded wolf hunting and trapping opportunities in both states.
A key timing restriction protecting some wintering greater sage grouse from oil and gas development doesn’t align with the imperiled birds’ use of the critical habitat, a University of Wyoming study shows.
Climate change could make it more challenging to conserve and manage the state’s most at-risk fish, wildlife and plants, Idaho officials said. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game last week released its draft Idaho State Wildlife Action Plan that will guide its management actions for the next decade.
“In terms of oil, our view is that virtually all of the highly prospective [onshore] acreage is already leased and held,” said Raoul LeBlanc, a vice president for energy at the financial analytics firm S&P Global. “In that sense, opening up a lot of auctions for more development is unlikely at this point to yield a lot of actual activity.”
“We find that the oil and gas leasing provisions have a negligible impact on emissions and are far outweighed by the emissions reductions in clean energy, clean vehicle, and energy efficiency deployment,” Ben King, Rhodium Group’s associate director, said in a statement.
The climate change and health care bill nearing final approval in Congress includes $4 billion to rent, buy or save water that could go a long way to help restore the beleaguered Colorado River Basin amid a historic megadrought, Senate supporters and water advocates say.
It includes funding to hire more park rangers, deter more invasive species and finally finish some long-delayed maintenance work. That’s not all. Far from it. Packed into the bill’s 755 pages are provisions, tweaks, dictates and dollars for a wide array of Interior Department, EPA and Agriculture Department programs, among others.
The legislation directly earmarks about $40 billion for USDA conservation programs—many of which incentivize climate-friendly practices such as reducing tillage and the planting of cover crops—renewable energy infrastructure on farms and in rural communities, and climate-smart forestry.
In less than 60 days, the San Juan Generating Station is scheduled to produce its final kilowatt-hour of power and release its last pound of CO2 into the atmosphere. Proponents of a $1.4 billion-plus carbon capture project at the New Mexico coal-fired plant hope the facility will be transferred to new owners and keep operating past its Sept. 30 retirement date. But it looks unlikely a deal will be struck in time.
After an attempt last year to secure funding for a green hydrogen pilot in the Yampa River Valley failed, state officials and Tri-State Generation and Transmission, among others, are taking another run at the idea, using a new program launched earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Nuclear replacing coal in places like Craig makes sense in several ways. It would use existing transmission and preserve jobs and tax base. But can the new generation of nuclear reactors prove themselves as a cost-effective technology?
“Their goal as an investor-owned utility is to make profits, and they see residential distributed generation as a threat to their profits. I think that comes out pretty clearly in the way this study was conducted.”
Congress is spending billions to save communities from Western megafires by thinning large swaths of forests even as scientists say climate change-driven drought and heat are too extreme for it to work. The money would be better spent thinning woods closest to homes and shoring up houses against embers raining down from firestorms, according to academics, former agency officials, and others who study wildfires.
Time and again, mining company Homestake and government agencies promised to clean up waste from decades of uranium processing. It didn’t happen. Now they’re trying a new tactic: buying out homeowners to avoid finishing the job.
Shipments of nuclear waste to the nation’s only deep geological repository for the hazardous material show no signs of slowing in the coming years, despite the current permit calling for the plant to begin closing in 2024.
With their profit margins exploding, the handful of corporations that control the vast majority of Colorado’s oil and gas production continued in the first half of 2022 to funnel cash to shareholders and restrict investments in new drilling, earnings reports show.
Lawmakers, federal regulators and courts have been grappling with challenges to the proposed Resolution Copper Mine in Oak Flat for years, and while the two sides agree on little, most agree that the debate is likely to continue for years to come.
Across mountainous western Colorado, cars as cocoons for sleep and sanity serve as last-resort shelters helping hundreds who provide services stay around. Yet “parking is at a premium,” said Margaret Bowes, director of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, welcoming the creation of new designated overnight lots.
Jordan Peele’s latest film explores how Hollywood has tokenized non-white people and commodified landscapes and wildlife, nowhere more than in Westerns. Can the genre reclaim those marginalized stories and all their complexity?