Monday, December 21, 2009

Sen. Feinstein seeks additional protections for land in California desert

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has announced that she will introduce legislation aimed at expanding protections of public land in the Mojave Desert.

The bill, which will be called the California Desert Protection Act of 2010, would create two new national monuments, expand Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, and designate 250,000 acres of wilderness near Fort Irwin.

Feinstein, who sponsored another landmark measure aimed at preserving land in the Mojave Desert in 1994, told the Los Angeles Times that she thought the bill could become law in 2010.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are the Yellowstone wolves in trouble?

The number of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park is declining.

That's the gist of a report in today's USA Today, which says that the population of the animals in the nation's oldest national park is down by a third from its high in 2003.

The species, which was re-introduced to Yellowstone in 1995, is stressed because hunting in areas around the park is now permitted. The U.S. government removed the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species in 2008.

Management plans for the species proposed or adopted by Wyoming, Idaho and Montana would allow the number of individuals to fall from about 1,650 to 450.

In addition, the number of elk in and around Yellowstone National Park has significantly dropped since wolves were re-introduced.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NYT: More protection for wolves needed

The New York Times published today an editorial arguing that too much hunting of wolves is being allowed in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

The piece is worth a read.