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U.S. Senate Overwhelmingly Approves LWCF Reauthorization – Moves to House

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“The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved comprehensive legislation this afternoon, permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and a host of other measures to enhance public access to public lands for hunting and other recreation and to conserve special landscapes, rivers and habitats. S. 47 was approved on a 92-8 vote and will now be sent to the House of Representatives. RMEF recognizes the leadership of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to guide this critical legislation …

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Oregon to Present Updated Wolf Plan

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will present its revised Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to the Commission on March 15, 2019, in Salem. While stakeholders representing ranching, hunting and wolf conservation came to agreement on some topics, there was no consensus on several of the most controversial issues including the number of livestock depredations that leads to consideration of lethal removal of wolves when nonlethal deterrents have not worked. Environmental groups recently …

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Federal Government Appeals Yellowstone Grizzly Ruling

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The U.S. government is appealing a federal judge’s decision that removed the Yellowstone area grizzly population from state management and returned it to federal protections. Federal and state officials maintain the population, which stands at more than 700 in the region, is recovered and should be managed by state agencies which manage all other wildlife. The state of Wyoming already filed an appeal.  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed a …

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RMEF, SAF May Appeal Yellowstone Grizzly Ruling

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation along with the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed a joint notice to appeal a federal judge’s decision that removed Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from state management and restored federal protections. The notice allows the two groups to decide at a later date whether to formally appeal the decision. The state of Wyoming already filed a formal appeal. RMEF agrees with professional wildlife managers that the grizzly population met recovery goals, adapted to …

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Judge Overturns Plans to Expand Idaho Predator Management

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A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of several environmental groups seeking to overturn plans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand predator management in Idaho. The judge stated a 2016 environmental assessment by the USDA’s Wildlife Services was insufficient. According to a Capital Press report, predator management will revert to assessments conducted in 2002 and 1996 which environmental groups can address in a different lawsuit. The majority of requests for predator …

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Wyoming Appeals Yellowstone Grizzly Decision

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The state of Wyoming filed an appeal of a federal judge’s decision removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from state management and restoring federal protections. “Grizzly bear recovery should be viewed as a conservation success story,” Matt Mead, Wyoming governor stated immediately after the ruling two months ago. “Due to Wyoming’s investment of approximately $50 million for recovery and management, grizzly bears have exceeded every scientifically established recovery criteria in the GYE since 2003. Numbers have risen …

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Montana Approves Grizzly Management Plan

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The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a grizzly bear management plan for if and when the animals in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem are removed from the endangered species list. More specifically, the commission set a population goal of approximately 800 grizzlies. “The overwhelming majority of the comments didn’t really address the rule,” Ken McDonald, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife bureau chief, told the Missoulian. “There was a lot of ‘don’t hunt, don’t …

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RMEF, BLM Project Benefits Montana Wildlife, Sportsmen and Women

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Below is a 12/11/2018 news release from the U.S. Department of Interior regarding a RMEF project that permanently protected and opened access to nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat in southwest Montana. Another Conservation Win: Secretary Zinke adds 960 acres of Prime Wildlife Habitat to Montana BLM lands WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Bureau of Land Management has acquired lands from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for $1,025,000 …

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Ask Congress to Pass Sportsmen’s Package

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Senate and House leaders are considering recommending end-of-the-year approval of a “Sportsmen’s Package” bill that includes several provisions RMEF strongly supports. These include modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Act to allow additional funds be used for recreational shooting facilities and hunter recruitment; providing additional hunting opportunities for veterans; implementing an “open until closed” federal lands management policy to prevent public lands from being closed to hunting and fishing; allowing bows to be transported through National Parks; allowing qualified volunteers to help with wildlife management in National Parks; requiring information be published about which groups sue the federal government and collect attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act; establishing a reasonable, cross-boundary, cross-jurisdictional permit for small public lands filming operations; and preventing the Army Corps of Engineers from prohibiting possession of a firearm at certain federal water resource developments.

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Hunters Help Fight CWD in Minnesota

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Hunters can participate in two special deer hunts to help limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer in southeastern Minnesota. Residents and nonresidents can participate in the hunts from Friday, Dec. 21 to Sunday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 28 to Sunday, Dec. 30 in deer permit areas 603, 347 and 348, and portions of deer permit areas 343 and 345 that are south of Interstate 90. The hunts are one step …

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Newspaper Calls Out Lawmaker over Wolf Comments

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A newspaper based in Salem, Oregon, and founded in 1928, called out Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) for comments he made regarding those who favor the state management of gray wolves. You can read the editorial below: Editorial: DeFazio’s Wolf Comments Out of Line  The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would remove the grey wolf from the federal Endangered Species list. The bill passed on a 196-180 vote.  The measure would strip wolves …

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CWD Detected in Grand Teton National Park

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory confirmed that an adult buck mule deer from Grand Teton National Park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The deer had been struck by a vehicle and tissue samples were collected by National Park Service personnel and submitted for testing. Wildlife managers say that while this raises concern, the positive test result does not come as a surprise based on recent positive results for …

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Elk Population Ailing in Southwest Colorado

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Colorado has the largest elk population in North America but numbers are suffering in the southwest part of the state. According to the Durango Herald, wildlife officials whittled down ballooning elk numbers in the 1990s and they’ve yet to bounce back. “In the last six to eight years, we’ve tried to go back into the population growth phase,” Scott Wait, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist, told the Durango Herald. “But we are struggling getting the …

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House Votes to Delist Gray Wolves

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The House of Representatives voted 196-180 on Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48. The legislation will next head to the Senate. Nine Democrats joined Republicans in voting to advance the legislation, which was originally cosponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Twelve members of the GOP voted against the bill. Dozens of lawmakers didn’t cast a vote in what has now become a lame duck session of Congress. That included …

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Environmental Group Files Suit, Wants More Wolves Nationwide

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The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) wants more wolves all across the United States so it followed through on a threat to file suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation adamantly opposes such litigation and believes wolves need to be delisted nationwide and managed by state wildlife agencies just as they manage elk, mountain lions, deer, bears and other predator and prey species. According to a Los Angeles Times …