At least 20 wolves from packs in Yellowstone National Park have been killed in outside states this fall and winter, including at least 15 in Montana. Meanwhile, pressure to end Montana’s wolf hunting and trapping season early in an area just north of the park and to restore gray wolf protections is growing. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition sent a letter to Gov. Greg Gianforte on Thursday calling for an end to wolf hunting and trapping in management units just north of the park. And a group of business owners is urging the federal government to return Endangered Species Act protections to the wolves. This all comes after Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent urged Gianforte to suspend wolf hunting in management units 313 and 316 for the season in a Dec. 16 letter obtained by the Chronicle through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“This doesn’t just make Montana look bad to the rest of the nation; it is threatening the viability of the species within the park and could prompt federal wildlife officials to reimpose endangered species protections.”
Thomas McNamee, the author of nearly a dozen books, including two about wolves in the greater Yellowstone region, calls for emergency action to save wolves from the slaughter underway in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Backcountry skiers’ unwillingness to give up even a sliver of Teton Range terrain to help a nearly extinct herd of bighorn sheep reeks of the access-greed that puts the “wreck” in wreckreation. It’s also a prime example of what you might call the public land paradox: The growing belief that because all Americans are part-owners of the public lands, we all are entitled to do as we please on those lands, regardless of impacts.
U.S. District Court judge sided with bison advocates this week by ordering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revisit its decision regarding a denial of evidence submitted in an attempt to have Yellowstone National Park’s bison protected under the Endangered Species Act.
“We are awakening to the fact that justice matters and is present in a lot of domains, including conservation projects,” said lead author Alex McInturff, an assistant professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. “We’re hoping this paper is a really timely intervention that gives those involved in these reintroduction projects a framework to say, "We care about justice. We didn’t really know we were overlooking it in past efforts, and now we have something that can help inform us going forward.‘”
A North Dakota coal-fired power plant was slated to close last year, to the delight of environmentalists. But local officials rallied to block renewable projects in the area, and a buyer stepped in to preserve the life of the power plant, promising to pump its emissions into underground cavities. Charles Stroup, a local banker and land agent who supports wind power in North Dakota’s Mercer County, compared the coal industry here to a dying relative that the community is desperate to save, no matter how grim the prognosis “Mother doesn’t die in 10 minutes,” Stroup said. “She takes a while.”
Wyoming Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis has stalled confirmation of President Biden’s pick for EPA enforcement chief over concerns about the agency’s handling of coal power plants in her state. Lummis also has placed holds on Biden’s remaining EPA picks, her office confirmed to E&E News.
In this sleepy Wyoming town that has relied on coal for over a century, a company founded by the man who revolutionized personal computing is launching an ambitious project to counter climate change: A nationwide reboot of nuclear energy technology.
The Biden administration plans to significantly expand efforts to stave off catastrophic wildfires that have torched areas of the U.S. West by more aggressively thinning forests around areas called “hotspots” where nature and neighborhoods collide. As climate change heats up and dries out the West, administration officials said they have crafted a $50 billion plan to more than double the use of controlled fires and logging to reduce trees and other vegetation that serves as tinder in the most at-risk areas.
Too many houses built too close together on the tinder-dry high plains between Denver and Boulder led to the record Marshall firestorm losses topping $1 billion, insurance industry researchers found this week as they sifted through ashes and charred ruins.
The decision to rebuild or move on depends on a multitude of factors that vary with every person impacted—the level of insurance coverage in force, the cost to rebuild, proximity to retirement age and the sense of belonging within a community.
To better protect communities, some lawmakers and fire experts say it’s time for Colorado to require homes to be built to better survive flames. Some counties and municipalities have adopted their own rules, but there’s currently no statewide wildfire building code in Colorado like in some fire-prone western states like California and Utah.
Butte, for nearly a century the heart of economic and political power in Montana, sits quietly in the geographic middle of the state’s new upheaval: gentrification spreading like an unchecked prairie fire through Montana and the wider West.
Income for Idaho workers has grown between 25% and 32% since 2015, but housing prices have soared more than 150% in the same time period, the Idaho Department of Labor recently reported to state lawmakers.
“We are sick of being treated like we aren’t people,” said Virginia Stewart, who’s been living on the street since March. “We are allowed to be in public spaces just like everyone else and the public thinks we’re bad people but we’re just going through a bad time. The police just belittle me and refer me to shelters, which are mostly overcrowded anyway. The police are supposed to protect and serve. The only thing they serve me with is citations I can’t afford. How is it a crime that I don’t have a place to live?”
Faced with affordable housing issues, cities in Idaho—from Boise to Ketchum—are considering ordinances they hope will help them get a handle on a growing number of short-term rentals, without veering into a legal gray area under Idaho law.
State-wide statistics about job loss, inflation and rising house prices are enough to raise anxieties about how renters are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.But Wyoming doesn’t keep consistent or detailed data on the heartbeat of housing instability: evictions.
The King Soopers strike is emblematic of a broader labor movement sweeping the country, and parts of the Mountain West, as workers walk out for better pay and benefits or unionize to harness their collective power.
For the first time in 32 years, organizers of the Rendezvous Cross Country Ski Festival in West Yellowstone, Montana, had to cancel November’s traditional start-of-the-ski-season event due to a lack of snow.
In New Mexico, new state rules sparked a dramatic increase in reported incidents of vented and flared natural gas in 2021—and reveal that the oil and gas industry has been losing vastly more of the climate-change-driving fossil fuel than previously reported.
Over his 79 years, Rick Reese, built a conservation legacy that celebrated a larger view of what environmental protection means and led to the establishment of Utah’s beloved Bonneville Shoreline Trail.