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Court Boots Enviro Appeal, Oregon Wolves Remain Delisted

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The wolf population in Oregon will remain delisted after the Oregon Court of Appeals tossed a lawsuit filed by three environmental groups. The Oregon legislature passed a bill into law in 2016 ratifying action by the Oregon Department of Fish (ODFW) and Wildlife to remove wolves from the state endangered species list in late 2015. The appeals court stated that legislative action made the subsequent environmental suit moot. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation filed an …

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Montana Records First Suspected Case of CWD in Wild Elk

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Below is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.   Montana recorded its first suspected case of chronic wasting disease in wild elk on Nov. 25, 2019. The cow elk was harvested by a landowner on private land northeast of Red Lodge earlier this month and samples were extracted from the carcass in Billings Nov. 6. Tests results confirming the suspected presence of the disease were returned to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks …

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Another Colorado County Says “No” to Forced Wolf Introduction

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Another county in Colorado is on the record opposing a possible ballot initiative that seeks to forcibly introduce wolves onto the landscape. Commissioners in Garfield County unanimously approved such a resolution. In doing so, they join commissioners in nearby Mesa and Moffat Counties. “I’m amazed that people would want to do something like this because I don’t think it would be good for anyone in any way,” said Mike Samson, Garfield County commissioner, as reported …

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Fire is Good for Forest Health

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Researchers say it’s more important than ever to get more controlled fire on the landscape. “Science tells us these are fire-adapted ecosystems and we have to get fire back on the ground, and that’s a key strategy for mitigating future fire and also for the long-term resilience of those ecosystems,” Courtney Schultz, Colorado State University professor of natural resource policy and governance, told KUNC radio. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supports prescribed fire as a …

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Montana Again Calls for Delisting Grizzlies

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently received final arguments from the state of Montana, which is calling on the court to delist grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted grizzlies in 2007 and again in 2017, but grizzlies were returned to the Endangered Species List each time after litigation filed by environmentalists. “The ESA isn’t supposed to be a permanent parking lot,” Bill Schenk, Montana Fish, Wildlife and …

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Bill Introduced to Delist Great Lakes Wolves

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Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) and Pete Stauber (R-MN) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would return management of the Western Great Lakes gray wolves to state control in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation fully supports the efforts of Congressman Peterson to delist fully recovered wolf populations in the Great Lakes states. Wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have far exceeded recovery goals for more than eight …

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DC Trip a Productive One for RMEF

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Core to the mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is advocating for issues that benefit elk country. With that in mind, a RMEF delegation recently took a productive trip to Washington DC. RMEF President & CEO Kyle Weaver, Board Member Nancy Hadley, Government Affairs Director Mark Lambrecht, Lands Director Jennifer Doherty and Federal Affairs Representative Mike Williams traveled to Washington, D.C. the week of September 9-13, 2019, to visit agency and administration officials, members …

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Minnesota Hosts Wolf Delisting Hearing

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services recently hosted a public hearing in Minnesota to gather public opinion on its intention to delist wolves in the continental United States. “The reason we keep species listed is because we want to protect species from going extinct. Wolves are not even close to that,” Lori Nordstrom, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assistant regional director, told Minnesota Public Radio. “They’re doing very well in the Great Lakes region, and …

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[Update] Enviro Group Intends to Sue, Wants Grizzlies in 12 Lower 48 States

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UPDATE (6/28/2019): An environmental group bent on placing grizzly bears across the country followed through on its threat and filed a lawsuit to try to make that happen. An environmental group that previously filed litigation to remove grizzly bears from state management and return them to federal protection, now intends to sue the federal government with a goal of vastly expanding grizzly bear recovery. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a formal notice of …

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Fire Scientist: Fight Fire with Fire or Else

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Forests are suffering because of decades of fire suppression. Aggressive efforts over the years to keep fire, any fire, off the landscape led to huge amounts of fuels on the forest floor which spawns large and often catastrophic wildfires. One forest expert says that means there are two options when dealing wildfire. “The first one is how much fire do we want on the landscape? The second one is, what kind of fire do we …

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RMEF Supports Returning Gray Wolf Management to State Wildlife Agencies

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation fully supports removing the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife as proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). “Gray wolves have exceeded recovery goals in many states, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the western Great Lakes region,” Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer, wrote in a public comment submitted to the USFWS. “RMEF maintains that where wolves exist, they should be managed by …

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RMEF Testifies on Capitol Hill

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently (5/15/2019) accepted an invitation to testify before lawmakers in Washington DC about the impacts of climate change on western forests and what that means for elk. “On many western forests, a mixed-conifer habitat with openings for forage and adjacent cover has the optimum biological diversity to support elk and other wildlife species,” said Mark Lambrecht, RMEF director of government affairs. “Instead, long-term fire suppression, lack of active forest management …

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WDFW Director Favors Delisting Wolves

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The Department of Interior recently announced intentions to delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species List in the continental United States. Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), agrees with that action. According to the latest WDFW report, there are a minimum of 126 wolves, 27 packs and 15 successful breeding pairs in Washington which is above objective. “The Department finds the USFWS proposal to remove gray wolves from the …

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RMEF Lauds Congressional Reps for Rectifying Google Snafu

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) would like to thank Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) for taking swift action to rectify an issue with Google Ads. “We greatly appreciate the immediate actions of Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “As Montanans and sportsmen, they understand, value and cherish our hunting heritage as well as RMEF’s conservation mission. Without their quick and effective response, our …