Here’s a bit of a surprise: In Wyoming, they’re protecting prairie dogs. OK, actually, they’re protecting black-footed ferrets, but black-footed ferrets find prairie dogs delicious, so the p-dogs are part of the bargain.
Two Utahns return home from Washington, D.C., to walk 350 miles in an attempt to raise support for climate legislation.
New Mexico has sort of joined a regional cap and trade agreement. But the people on the board that passed it are appointed by the governor — and the new boss is on record against a cap and trade agreement. Here’s an early LA Times primer on the Western Climate Initiative.
A permit for a coal mine on Navajo land has been revoked after a judge found the impact study to have been insufficient.
And EcoNewMexico.com’s author has just put together what sounds like a real honey of a home water conservation system.
…but prairie dogs did get a little NYT attention this week. As many regions tried to claim Groundhog Day in the name of some other small animals (see also: Armadillo Day in Texas, not to be confused with Dillo Day in Illinois), some environmentalists took the opportunity to ask for prairie dog awareness.
[The black-tailed prairie dog's] population has plummeted from roughly one billion in the 1990s to 24 million today because of poisonings, shootings and loss of habitat.
Nonetheless, federal officials denied the prairie dog protection under the Endangered Species Act in December, saying the population was rebounding.
The federal government is re-evaluating a whole pack of animals and plants that were once rejected for protection under the Endangered Species Act by officials in the Bush administration.
In Colorado that means wolverines (one of which was spotted in Colorado this summer for the first time in 90 years), mountain plovers, white-tailed prairie dogs and two kinds of sage grouse are being re-evaluated. And the feds are also looking into a half-dozen other Colorado species for the first time, including two animals (American pikas and black-tailed prairie dogs), three plants (Parachute penstemons, DeBeque Pachelias and Pagosa skyrockets) and an insect (Susan’s purse-making caddisfly).
From wolverines to black-tailed prairie dogs, dozens of species here and across the nation are being re-evaluated for possible threatened or endangered status.
The Obama administration is taking a fresh look, in many cases under court order, at Bush administration rejections of special status. A move to prevent extinction of more plants and animals could limit housing construction and energy development. Read more