Rep. Rob Bishop, a fierce opponent of the Endangered Species Act, recently steered five bills meant to ultimately dismantle the law through the House Natural Resources Committee, which he chairs, says The Washington Post.
The Trump administration is considering a different way to manage endangered species. The new approach is based on an algorithm that would channel funds toward plants and animals that have the greatest chance of survival—and away from others.
Under an order signed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the government will review 2015 sage grouse conservation plans, seeking closer coordination with state governments in conserving the greater sage-grouse and its habitat while allowing for economic growth through activities such as energy development. The Fish and Wildlife Service cited the conservation plans in deciding in 2015 not to list the grouse as a threatened or endangered species.
The Obama administration has granted endangered-species protection to the rusty-patched bumblebee — the first bumblebee in the United States, and the first bee of any kind in the lower 48 states to get the designation, says The New York Times. Seven other bees are listed, but they are all from Hawaii.
Months after removing the lesser prairie chicken from its list of threatened species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will "reconsider the status of a grouse found in pockets across the Great Plains," said the Associated Press. The agency agreed to conduct the review after environmentalists filed a petition that argued that emergency protection is needed for the lesser prairie chicken.
Government agencies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico can't say for sure whether the herbicides they spray on pubic lands to control invasive species are doing more harm than good, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montana and their Canadian colleagues. The huge amount of herbicides applied by land managers every year—largely glyphosate (the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup)—may in fact prevent native species from germinating.