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RMEF Addresses Yellowstone Grizzly Ruling

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains its stance in opposition to a ruling by a judge to remove grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area from state management and place them back on the endangered species list. RMEF Chief Conservation Officer Blake Henning recently addressed the situation with Northwestern Outdoors Radio. “The organization is very disappointed in the judge’s ruling. We certainly believe that group of bears in Yellowstone has been recovered. There are well …

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Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Approves Bill To Reauthorize LWCF

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Today was a remarkable day in the Senate. The Energy & Natural Resources Committee approved Sen. Daines’ bill establishing a limited pilot arbitration program for collaborative forest projects in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming that would help protect the efforts of stakeholders against frivolous litigation. The Committee also passed important legislation from Senator Cantwell (D-WA) permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund as republican Senators Daines, Gardner, Alexander, Portman and Capito reached across the aisle to …

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Study: Fires Benefit Elk Forage

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Scientific research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management and funded, in part, by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation indicates fire triggers new growth that produces quality forage “ approximately equivalent to that of irrigated agriculture” for elk and other animals. “Fire is the big disturbance factor that a lot of the Western ecosystems evolved with,” Tom Toman, RMEF director of private lands stewardship, told the Billings Gazette. Toman also explained that fire removes pine …

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Oregon Officials End Mountain Lion Capture Operations

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is ending cougar capture operations in Zigzag because all available evidence shows the cougar killed last Friday, Sept. 14 is the one responsible for the state’s first fatal cougar attack. “It is highly probable that the cougar that killed Diana is the one that we killed last week,” said Derek Broman, ODFW carnivore coordinator. The cougar killed was detected on a trail camera set right at the …

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Minnesota Wolf Population Remains Stable

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Minnesota’s wolf population estimate was 2,655 wolves and 465 wolf packs during the winter of 2017-2018 within Minnesota’s wolf range, an estimate that is statistically unchanged from the previous winter, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Subtle changes in wolf population numbers year to year indicate that Minnesota supports a healthy wolf population and the long-term trends demonstrate that the wolf population is fully recovered,” said Dan Stark, large carnivore specialist for the …

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Wyoming Responds to Yellowstone Grizzly Ruling

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A federal judge ruled against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and overturned the Service’s action to remove grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the endangered species list. This means grizzly bears in Wyoming are now under federal management. Questions related to the review of the judge’s decision will be handled by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Governor Matt Mead issued this response, “I am disappointed with today’s decision. Grizzly bear recovery should …

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Yellowstone-Area Grizzlies Killed 7 People Since 2010

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According to an Associated Press report, grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park are responsible for the deaths of seven people since 2010. Forensic testing confirmed a sow grizzly and her cub as responsible for the attack and death of a hunting guide in Wyoming as well as injuring the guide’s client. Other victims in other grizzly attacks were hiking, camping or conducting research. Go here for a summary of the seven incidents. The Rocky …

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Wyoming Joins Other States to Research How Much Hunters Help Control CWD

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This year Wyoming and several other states and a Canadian province joined together to start a chronic wasting disease research project that could show if hunting helps control CWD. This prion disease affects deer, elk and moose. CWD is always fatal and studies have shown that it can contribute to population declines among deer in Wyoming. “The analysis will look at aspects like intensity — the proportions of the buck and doe harvest in a …

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RMEF to Congress: Reauthorize, Fund LWCF

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation calls on Congress to renew and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with full, dedicated, annual funding. “For 52 years now, LWCF has provided critical funding for landscapes, wildlife and riparian habitat, wildlife refuges and national parks, and even community recreation facilities and neighborhood parks,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “These LWCF-funded projects provide long-lasting benefits for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and all sorts …

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Important Conservation Bill Moves Forward

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Chalk it up as a good step for conservation, hunting and sportsmen and women. The U.S. House passed a bill that increases flexibility for state wildlife agencies to use a greater percentage of Pittman-Robertson funds for recruiting hunters and recreational shooters. This added flexibility is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of revenue sources that fund state-based fish and wildlife conservation across the country. To date, the Pittman-Robertson Fund generated nearly $11 billion to wildlife …

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LWCF Legislation Moves Forward

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A bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) just took a step forward. Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob Bishop (R-UT) and ranking member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) came to terms on an amendment to H.R. 502.  In essence, the bill would permanently reauthorize LWCF. It would also require that 40 percent of all funds be allocated to federal purposes and 40 percent allocated to state programs. Currently, most …

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Grizzly Bear Sighting Confirmed in Cody

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For the first time on record, the Wyoming Game and Fish (WGF) Department confirmed the sighting of a grizzly bear in the city limits of Cody, Wyoming. Biologists set a trap in hopes of catching it. “We have not made a decision on the disposition of that bear. Every bear we capture, we do on a case by case basis,” Dan Smith, WGF regional supervisor, told KULR-TV. Authorities are also looking for a bear that …

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WDFW Calls for Lethal Action against Wolf Pack

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The director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized staff to lethally remove wolves from a new pack that continues to prey on cattle on federal grazing lands in the Kettle River Range of Ferry County. WDFW staff confirmed that on six separate occasions since Sept. 4, one or more members of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack killed one calf and injured five others on a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) grazing …

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Wisconsin Congressman: Delist Gray Wolves

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A congressman from Wisconsin introduced legislation to return management of the gray wolf to state control. “Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to use science-based wildlife management for our own gray wolf population, because we know what’s better for our state’s ecosystem better than activist judges in Washington,” said Congressman Sean Duffy. Management of gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin was transferred from the state to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions, …