Frustrated by official process, conservationists release plan for wolves in Colorado

In November 2020, Colorado voters approved a measure to reintroduce gray wolves to the state, 76 years after the last wolf was killed there. Now Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing a plan to reintroduce wolves. But conservation groups say the process to date hasn’t included enough public input and has instead been dominated by the very groups responsible for the eradication of wolves in the first place — hunters and ranchers. (No paywall)

Interior’s sage grouse plan may affect western ranchers

In a move that unnerved many environmentalists, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke  announced last summer that the agency would be reviewing the federal conservation plan for sage grouse — a bird that matters at least as much to ranchers as it does to conservationists. In the West, sage grouse has become the symbol of an urgent effort to save the larger sagebrush ecosystem from disappearing to cropland, wildfires and invasive species.  

Amazon confabs with ranchers over distribution deal

After buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon will meet this week with organic ranchers to discuss how the company might distribute their meat, says Reuters. One of the ranches, White Oak Pastures from Blufton, Georgia, sells $2 million annually online of frozen beef, duck and lamb, but is hopeful that teaming up with Amazon will improve its reach.

Why you don’t see American pine nuts in stores

Faced with climate change and cheap competition from countries like China, the American pine nut trade shows no signs of recovery. Long a staple food for Native American tribes in the Southwest, including the Navajo and Apache, 8 million pounds of pine nuts were wild-harvested in 1942, from New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona.

Greens try to detonate practice of cyanide bombs

Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the use of cyanide bombs to kill predators, including grizzly bears and coyotes, on livestock ranches. “One kind of device, called an M-44, is embedded into in the ground and looks like a lawn sprinkler but sprays cyanide when …

Press China to import U.S. beef, senators ask Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump are to meet face to face for the first time today in Florida, with analysts saying trade issues offer the most likely area for agreement. Three dozen senators wrote to Trump ahead of the two-day bilateral meeting to call on the Chinese to admit shipments of U.S. beef.

Ranchers hit by wildfire say federal aid doesn’t cut it

After wildfires killed seven people and ravaged more than a million acres of rangeland in Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle, ranchers say they aren’t getting the relief they need from the federal government, reports The New York Times.

Gray wolves no longer protected as endangered species in Wyoming

A U.S. appeals court in the District of Columbia has ruled that gray wolves will no longer be considered endangered species in Wyoming, years after protections for the animals were lifted in other states, says The Billings Gazette.

Malheur verdict: Fire bell or false alarm?

The acquittal of by federal jurors of seven leaders of the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is hailed, alternately, as a verdict for liberty or an invitation to anarchy. "Most onlookers blamed prosecutorial over-reach — that the government stretched its case too far to fit the events at the refuge — or to stumbles in the presentation of evidence," said the New York Times.

Lawsuit seeks end to ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore

Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against 20 private dairy and beef farms in Northern California’s Point Reyes National Seashore, claiming they are destroying wildflowers, "eroding coastal bluffs and polluting creeks while the park stands littered with muddy feedlots, waste pits and trailers for ranch hands,” reports The San Francisco Chronicle.