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Oil and gas leasing delayed in sage grouse habitat

Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles:
Federal court rejects Interior’s ‘intentional decision’ to limit public comment. Carl Segerstrom NEWSOct. 31, 2018 Throughout his tenure as Interior Department secretary, Ryan Zinke has tried to prime the pump for oil and gas leasing on public lands. Under his leadership, and in pursuit of the Trump administration’s “American Energy Dominance” directive, the Bureau of Land Management has increased the area offered for oil and gas leases and relaxed regulations for natural gas producers on public lands. But the BLM recently hit a snag in its push to lease more land for oil and gas production. In late September, a federal district court in Idaho issued a preliminary injunction stating that the Interior Department must hold off on energy leasing in sage grouse habitat to allow for more public participation. Because of the decision, oil and gas lease sales totaling more than 1 million acres and spanning six states have been delayed. A wild horse drinks from a puddle near a pumpjack on BLM land in Wyoming. Debra Schultz/BLM Wyoming The decision stems from a lawsuit brought by two conservation groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project, arguing that policies the BLM put in place in January unlawfully restrict public comment on oil and gas leases. The old guidelines called for 30-day comment and protest periods; under the new rules, individual BLM offices could do away with the initial public comment period entirely and limit the protest…

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Court Victory: Wild Red Wolves Get a Chance at Survival

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game: CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina today issued an order declaring that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act in its rollback of protections for the world’s only wild population of red wolves living in eastern North Carolina.  On behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Red Wolf Coalition, the Southern Environmental Law Center initiated the lawsuit in 2015. Examining the agency’s decisions to allow private landowners to shoot and kill non-problem red wolves, to end releases of red wolves, and to end active management of coyotes, the court found that “taken together, these actions go beyond the agency’s discretion and operate to violate [the Service’s] mandate to recover this species in the wild.”  The court also made permanent its September 29, 2016, order stopping the service from capturing and killing, and authorizing private landowners to capture and kill wild red wolves. “For four years now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been dismantling one of the most successful predator reintroductions in U.S. history,” said Sierra Weaver, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The service knows how to protect and recover the red wolf in the wild, but it stopped listening to its scientists and started listening to bureaucrats instead.  The law doesn’t allow the agency to just…

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Making a new nature reserve in England

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog: This 29 October 2018 video from England says about itself: Creating Wallasea Island nature reserve Wallasea Island nature reserve is the UK’s newest coastal wetland. With tidal saltmarsh and mudflats, brackish lagoons, grazing marsh and freshwater grassland, as well as arable bird cover, Wallasea is a wildlife haven more than double the size of the City of London. Created using 3 million tonnes of material from London’s Crossrail Project. Helping people connect with nature and coastal heritage, and providing natural coastal adaptation to climate change.

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