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Multiple Use Information Resource Network - A link between the outdoor recreation community and federal and state agencies on matters of land use, conservation and administrative action that affect motorized recreation.
Updated: 13 hours 27 sec ago

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan is working on the Landscape

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:10

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has released a new video demonstrating how the mitigation program in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan is successfully conserving habitat for this iconic grassland bird. The video documents work being done on a West Texas ranch that is being funded by industry participation in the plan. The video was produced through a partnership between WAFWA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Pheasants Forever.

The range-wide plan allows industry to continue operations while reducing and mitigating impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. Industry contributions support conservation actions implemented by participating private landowners. Pioneer Natural Resources is one of more than 160 companies that are enrolled in the plan.

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Categories: Legislation

Western Governors’ Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 09:20

Western Governors' on June 27, 2017 released the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative Special Report, highlighting mechanisms to bring states, federal land managers, private landowners and other stakeholders together to discuss issues and opportunities in forest and rangeland management.

In the report, experts and stakeholders from throughout the West share insights on land management practices and identify improvements that will enable western states to develop healthy, resilient landscapes and communities.

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Categories: Legislation

Aerial Surveys Confirm Lesser Prairie-Chicken Population is Holding Steady

Sat, 07/01/2017 - 13:50

The latest lesser prairie-chicken survey shows bird population trends remain stable after six years of aerial survey data collection. The survey indicates an estimated breeding population of 33,269 birds this year, up from 24,648 birds counted last year. Though scientists are encouraged by the numbers, they know that year-to-year fluctuations are the norm with upland birds like the lesser prairie-chicken.

“The survey results indicate a 34% increase in the number of birds, but we don’t read too much into short-term population fluctuations,” explained Roger Wolfe, WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-chicken Program Manager. “The monitoring technique used for this survey is designed to track trends which more accurately reflect the amount of available habitat and population stability. The bottom line is that the population trend over the last five years indicates a stable population, which is good news for all involved in lesser prairie-chicken conservation efforts.”

Lesser-prairie chickens can be found in four ecoregions in five states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  Wildlife biologists note prairie chicken numbers regularly fluctuate up and down from year to year due to changes in habitat conditions mainly influenced by weather patterns. The surveys this year indicated apparent population increases in three of the four ecoregions and range-wide, with an apparent decrease estimated in the fourth ecoregion.

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Categories: Legislation

Plague Confirmed at Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

Sat, 07/01/2017 - 13:35

June 30, 2017 - Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) near Muleshoe, Texas is informing the public that plague has been confirmed on the Refuge and is currently confined to two populations of prairie dogs.  For public safety, Paul’s Lake and the access road to the lake are temporarily closed to all public access.

Plague is widespread across the western United States and outbreaks are fairly common.  Caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, plague can be transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to human by the bites of infective fleas.

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Categories: Legislation

What They're Saying: Wildfire Crisis Edition

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:35

June 30, 2017 | House Committee on Natural Resources  

Thanks to years of neglect, the nation’s once flourishing federal forests have morphed into dense, dead and burned out wastelands. These overgrown, fire-prone thickets are increasingly susceptible to catastrophic wildfire, threatening the lives and livelihoods of countless communities. What’s even more disturbing than the escalating toll placed upon private property, human safety and the environment: it’s all preventable.

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Categories: Legislation

Mexican Wolf Draft Revised Recovery Plan Released for Public Comment

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:25

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft revision to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. The plan guides Mexican wolf recovery efforts by the bureau and its partners, with the ultimate goal of removing this wolf subspecies from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections and returning management to the appropriate states and tribes. The Service is now seeking public input and peer review on the draft revised plan through a public comment period and series of public meetings. The comment period will remain open through August 29, 2017.

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Categories: Legislation

Conaway Praises EPA Repeal of WOTUS

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 14:29
Conaway Praises EPA Repeal of WOTUS, Calls for Continued Work to Protect Farmers and Ranchers “WOTUS has never been about clean water, it was about feeding the Obama EPA’s insatiable appetite for power. Well that ends now.”

Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement today it is repealing the Obama administration’s waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and called on other agencies to revise and re-evaluate their enforcement of this onerous provision. Following the EPA’s announcement, Chairman Conawaymade the below remarks: 

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Categories: Legislation

Committee Passes Bill to Improve the Health and Resiliency of Federal Forests

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:22

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.” Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) introduced the bipartisan bill to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and dramatically improve the health of federal forests and rangelands. 

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Categories: Legislation

Committee Advances Bill to Ease Impediments to Recreation on Public Lands

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:17

Today (Jun 27, 2017), the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 289, the “Guides and Outfitters Act” or “Go Act.” Introduced by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), the bill aims to increase public access to recreation activities on federal lands by streamlining the federal permitting process.

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Categories: Legislation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:40

On June 22, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will delist the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).  According to the Service, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Distinct Population Segment (Yellowstone DPS) of the grizzly bear has recovered to the point that federal protections are no longer necessary and overall management of the species can be returned to the states and tribes.

The Yellowstone DPS consists of grizzlies in portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho.  The Service estimates that the population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to approximately 700 today. The Yellowstone DPS now occupies more than 22,500 square miles, more than double its range from the mid-1970s. 

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Categories: Legislation

Distribution of $1.1 Billion to State Wildlife Agencies Announced

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 13:15

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced $1.1 billion in annual funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. State-by-state listings of the final Fiscal year 2017 apportionments of Wildlife Restoration Program fund can be found here and the Sport Fish Restoration Program fund here.

The announcement was made during day one of a four-day trip across the Northeast where Secretary Zinke met with New Hampshire Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau, whose state will receive $8,146,960 through the acts. The meeting was part of a Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson Grants Roundtable that focused on recreation and partnerships between New Hampshire and the Department.

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Categories: Legislation

Interim Report on Bears Ears Released and Comment Period Extended

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 08:24
Secretary Zinke Submits 45-Day Interim Report on Bears Ears National Monument and Extends Public Comment Period

WASHINGTON June 12, 2017 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke submitted a 45-day interim report on Bears Ears National Monument to President Donald J. Trump on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in accordance with the April 26, 2017, Executive Order (EO). The order directs the Secretary to review monuments designated under the Antiquities Act between January 1, 1996, and the present date that are 100,000 acres or more in size, or any monument the Secretary deems to have been created without appropriate public input. The EO also directs the Secretary to submit an interim report regarding Bears Ears specifically to the President no more than 45 days from the date of the EO.

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Categories: Legislation

When School’s Out, Fishing is In at National Fish Hatcheries and National Wildlife Refuges Across the Country

Sun, 06/04/2017 - 10:37

With school doors closing, kids (and parents) are anxious to find a fun, easy outdoor summer activity. This is the perfect time to get the entire family out to a fishing event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a national fish hatchery or national wildlife refuge. Numerous Service-sponsored fishing events will take place during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 3 – 11).

Everyone can join in this great American family tradition. From fishing clinics to fishing derbies, these events offer first-time-anglers opportunities to learn the art of fishing. All family members get to enjoy a fun and inexpensive outing to connect with each other – and with nature.

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Categories: Legislation

President Trump Proclaims June 2017 Great Outdoors Month

Sat, 06/03/2017 - 09:13
It’s officially Great Outdoors Month®!  President Donald J. Trump has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month® – marking the 15th time a President has recognized the importance of the Great Outdoors with a Presidential proclamation.  He is the third President to celebrate Great Outdoors Month® and the fifth to take action on either the Month or its predecessor, Great Outdoors Week.  The proclamation, which was requested by more than two dozen organizations, encourages all Americans to get outdoors and enjoy healthy, active fun.  Great Outdoors Month® features tens of thousands of diverse events– on land and water  in all 50 states, which will welcome millions to the Great Outdoors during June.

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Categories: Legislation

Grants to Wood Energy and Wood Products Markets

Sun, 05/28/2017 - 08:18
U.S. Forest Service Awards Grants to Expand and Accelerate Wood Energy and Wood Products Markets in 19 States

MAY 24, 2017 AT 3:15 PM EDT - U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced over $8.3 million to substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets. Federal funds will leverage almost $37 million in matching funds from 36 business, university, nonprofit, and tribal partners in 19 states for a total investment of over $45 million. The public-private partnerships leveraged with these grants will lead to the removal of hazardous fuels from forests while spurring the economic development of rural communities.

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Categories: Legislation

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report summary for May 25, 2017

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 07:43
Cooler than normal temperatures slow spring progression; river systems running high across state.

Cooler than normal temperatures, clouds and rain dominated the last week and slowed down the spring progression, including bird migrations and fish spawning. However, a warm-up in the next couple of weeks could change that quickly.

River systems across the entire state are running very high, and while the Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been a popular paddling weekend, recreational safety specialists are cautioning that only experienced and properly outfitted paddlers should be on rivers when they are running this high. The Lower Wisconsin River set a flow rate record this week of 42,000 cubic feet per second at Muscoda and there are no sandbars available for camping. The river is running fast and deep, with some boat launches under water.

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Categories: Legislation

Live-streaming camera offers a glimpse into the lives of desert pupfish

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 07:27

PHOENIX — Those curious about the underwater lives of Arizona’s desert pupfish can tune in to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s newest wildlife live-streaming camera.

The desert pupfish camera is located in the cienega habitat at the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College, which has partnered to conserve this endangered fish and other wildlife species. The cienega pond houses a variety of native wildlife, including Gila topminnows (another endangered fish), long-finned dace, lowland leopard frogs and Sonoran mud turtles.

“Desert pupfish are among our most beautiful native fishes,” said Randy Babb, AZGFD Watchable Wildlife Program manager. “They are well adapted to harsh environments – they can tolerate water with low oxygen levels and salinity three times that of sea water in addition to temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Part of this project is being done to establish literal gene pools for conservation efforts to ensure these important fishes are not lost to future generations.”

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Categories: Legislation

Perfect Pairs

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:58
Complement your national park trip with a stop at a nearby wildlife refuge

Visiting a national park this summer? Pair it with a side trip to a less discovered cousin – a national wildlife refuge.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protects natural habitat for America’s treasured wildlife species, helps clean our air and water and offers access to world-class recreation, such as fishing, hunting and nature watching.

Refuges are surprisingly close to some of the country’s most celebrated canyons, mountains and springs. And often, they are way less crowded. Consider these perfect pairs.

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Categories: Legislation

Western Native Trout Initiative Offers Funding Opportunities for Conservation Projects

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:26

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) and its partners are once again offering opportunities for community organizations to tap into dollars to restore or recover western native trout in the rivers, lakes and watersheds where they are found. The 2017 Small Grants Program Request for Proposals will be accepting applications until June 16, 2017.

The program specifically funds innovative projects that jump-start or complete smaller, high-impact efforts. Projects considered for funding under the Small Grants Program may include riparian or instream habitat restoration, barrier removal or construction, population or watershed assessments needed for prioritization and planning, water leases or acquisitions to improve instream flows, and native trout-focused community outreach and education.  Individual projects can be funded at a maximum of $3,000.

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Categories: Legislation

Migrating, Nesting Shorebirds Need Help From Pet Owners

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 13:18

PORTLAND, Ore. — Beach visitors have been flocking to Pacific Northwest beaches as the sun begins to return after a long, wet winter. While long walks on the beach with your dog may be relaxing for the two of you, it's very stressful (and possibly deadly) for the thousands of shorebirds trying to nest or rest in the midst of a long migration.

“The western snowy plover and other migratory birds really need to be left alone, particularly during nesting season and migrations,” said Laura Todd, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Newport field office. “Some of these birds are in the middle of a thousand-mile journey that starts in South America and doesn’t finish until they reach the Arctic. The beaches here in Oregon and Washington offer a much-needed spot to feed, rest and nest, and shorebirds rely on humans to let them be to complete their journey or nest successfully.”

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Categories: Legislation

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