U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Agencies Release 2013 Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Population Numbers
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other federal, state and tribal agencies, is announcing the 2013 Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Population numbers.
This annual report is conducted as part of the Service's work to monitor the wolf population to ensure that it continues to exceed recovery goals under professional state management, and no longer requires federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Service Provides More Than $47 Million in Grants to States, Territories for Sensitive, Imperiled Species
Sensitive and imperiled species across the nation will benefit from $47,877,598 in grants through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The funds are apportioned annually to all states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Apportionments are determined by a formula based on land area and population. States and their partners provide a non-federal funds match for projects that help species of greatest conservation need and their habitats.
Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Winners of the 2014 Colorado Junior Duck Stamp Contest
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced Nadezhda Lyapunova, an 18-year-old student from Erie, took top honors again by winning the "Best of Show" in Colorado at the 2014 Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Nadezhda's artwork was selected from hundreds of amazing entries from across Colorado. Her colored pencil and acrylic paint rendition of Buffleheads, titled "Buffleheads on Calm Waters," will represent Colorado and be entered at the National Junior Duck Stamp Competition in Washington, D.C. at the end of April.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Lesser Prairie-Chicken as Threatened Species and Finalizes Special Rule Endorsing Landmark State Conservation Plan
In response to the rapid and severe decline of the lesser prairie-chicken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the final listing of the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as a final special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that will limit regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing.
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves $61 Million to Conserve 205,000 Acres of North American Wetlands
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $61.3 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance more than 205,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Conservation Organizations Join Forces to Support Conservation in the Prairies
A coalition of conservation organizations announced today the launch of a coordinated, partner-driven "Prairies Conservation Campaign" to bring public attention to the dramatic conversion of grasslands and wetlands to cropland in one of Americaâ€™s last intact grassland ecosystems â€“ the prairie pothole region.
White House Honors "Champions of Change" for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders
On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the White House will honor fourteen local heroes who are "Champions of Change" for their efforts to engage communities and youth in environmental stewardship and conservation. Through innovative approaches, they are creating opportunities for the next generation of Americans to take part in outdoor recreation and physical activity.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental Assessment for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the availability of a Draft Economic Analysis and draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed redesignation of critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Availability of the Final Revised Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon
The Service announced availability of the Pallid Sturgeon Revised Recovery Plan. The endangered Pallid sturgeon is a bottom-feeding fish, which is considered a relic of the dinosaur era.
Eagle Take Permits Related to Construction Projects in Colorado
Recent media reports have suggested that a bald eagle nest along Weld County Road 1 and East County Line Road is delaying reconstruction of a bridge damaged by last year's flooding during September 11-18, 2013.
Colorado Flood Recovery Efforts Not Delayed by Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse
Recent news accounts suggesting the Endangered Species Act and the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse are delaying flood recovery projects in Colorado are inaccurate.
Service Extends Final Decisions on Listing Gunnison Sage-Grouse & Critical Habitat
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today a six-week extension of its final decisions on proposals to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) under the Endangered Species Act, and to designate critical habitat for the species. A final determination on both proposals was due March 31, 2014.
Service Reopens Comment Period on Wolf Proposal
Following receipt of an independent scientific peer review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period on its proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex
The Service announced publication of the final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Benton Lake National Wildlife Complex January 21.
Interior Secretary Honors Four Fish and Wildlife Conservation Partnerships with Major Award
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today presented the Department's 2013 "Partners in Conservation" awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The Secretary honored 20 partnership projects that have demonstrated exemplary natural resource conservation efforts through public-private cooperation. Four partnerships nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service involving nearly sixty individuals and organizations located in California, Oregon, Kansas and Texas received awards.
A Look Back at the U.S. Ivory Crush
On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed some six tons of elephant ivory seized over the years by its special agents and wildlife inspectors in connection with violations of U.S. wildlife laws and treaties.
More than 30,000 elephants are killed each year for the illegal ivory trade. Elephant poaching is at its highest level in decades and it continues to rise.
Patch Work: Endangered Species Get a Boost from Boy Scouts of America
Last summer, the Boy Scouts of America helped raise awareness for America's endangered species. The Mid-America Council of the Scouts created a patch to identify Scout Troops that participated in the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. By creating and wearing the patches, the Scouts helped raise awareness about some of the species the Service works to conserve.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Proposals from States For FY 2014 Endangered Species Grants
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories for federal financial assistance for conservation activities that benefit endangered species.
Conservation Through the Arts
The Junior Duck Stamp Program (JDS) is in full flight in 2014, and all Colorado students (K-12) are welcome to participate. This free art and science program is designed to teach wetlands habitat and waterfowl conservation to Americaâ€™s youth. JDS participants employ scientific and wildlife observation principles to learn about the subject matter, and then communicate that knowledge visually by creating an entry to the JDS art contest.
Kids, Get Your Paintbrushes, Pens and Pencils Out for the Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest!
Parents, teachers and youth group leaders across America are invited to engage children in putting their creative skills to work in the 2014 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the ninth annual national Endangered Species Day celebration.
Endangered Species Act Turns 40 on December 28
The Endangered Species Act, the bipartisan legislation that is credited with saving hundreds of species from extinction, was signed into law by President Nixon 40 years ago on December 28, 1973.
News Release (PDF Version) | USFWS ESA 40th Anniversary Webpage | State-by-state guide of Endangered Species | ESA Bulletin Newsletter | Media Kit/Educational Resources | NOAA ESA 40th Anniversary Webpage | ESA Overview | Detailed species information | Quote Sheet
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Deadline for Final Listing Decision for the North American Wolverine Under Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it will extend the deadline for our final decision on whether to list the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act. The Act allows for such an extension when there is substantial scientific disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the decision at issue.
Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Comment on Draft Range-Wide Lesser Prairie-Chicken Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances
Following months of cooperation between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the five range states of the lesser prairie-chicken, the agency today continued its support of state efforts to conserve the species and its habitat. The Service is soliciting public comment on a draft lesser prairie-chicken range-wide candidate conservation agreement with assurances for oil and gas activities (LPC CCAA) and draft environmental assessment (EA) that will help implement the Service-endorsed range states' lesser prairie-chicken conservation plan, a conservation strategy for the species that is compatible with the economic well-being of private landowners.
New Report Reveals Continuing Coastal Wetlands Losses in U.S.
The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These wetlands are vital to the survival of diverse fish and wildlife species. Wetlands also help sustain the country's multi-billion-dollar coastal fisheries and outdoor recreation industries, improve water quality and protect coastal communities from the effects of severe storms.
Landmark Study Reveals Low National Rate of Frog Abnormalities on Wildlife Refuges
An unprecedented 10-year-study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows encouraging results for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges. The study, published today in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, finds that on average, less than 2 percent of frogs and toads sampled on 152 refuges had physical abnormalities involving the skeleton and eyes – a lower rate than many experts feared based on earlier reports.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces No Fish Hatchery Closures This Year, Issues Report Highlighting Ongoing Budget Challenges
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it does not intend to close any of the nation's national fish hatcheries in the current fiscal year, but warned that closures may be necessary in FY 2015 given fiscal uncertainty and growing operations costs.
U.S. Destroys Confiscated Ivory Stockpile, Sends Message that Wildlife Trafficking, Elephant Poaching Must be Crushed
The United States today destroyed its six-ton stock of confiscated elephant ivory, sending a clear message that the nation will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and a host of other species around the globe. The destruction of this ivory, which took place at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Property Repository on Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado, was witnessed by representatives of African nations and other countries, dozens of leading conservationists and international media representatives.
National Wildlife Refuges Support Over 35,000 Jobs, Pump $2.4 Billion into Local Communities
America's national wildlife refuges continue to be strong economic engines for local communities across the country, pumping $2.4 billion into the economy and supporting more than 35,000 jobs, according to a new national report released today by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The report, released during a visit to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, comes on the heels of last week's major speech outlining her conservation vision for the country and unveiling an ambitious youth initiative.
Service Announces Public Hearings for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the scheduling of three public information sessions and public hearings on proposals to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) under the Endangered Species Act and to designate 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the species in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The Service is reopening until December 2, 2013, the public comment period on these proposals, in order to provide the public an additional opportunity to provide feedback.
Service Completes and Initiates Use of Black-footed Ferret Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a Black-footed Ferret Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement in cooperation with State, Tribal, Federal, and local partners in 12 states after more than two years of collaborative effort.
Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed for Protection Under the Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to protect the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal includes a special rule that would provide increased flexibility for land management practices that are intended to benefit the sage-grouse.
Service Extends Comment Periods for Gray and Mexican Wolf Proposals, Reschedules Public Hearings, Adds Hearing in Arizona
As a result of delays caused by the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on two proposed rulesâ€”one to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other to improve recovery efforts for the Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Comment period deadlines also are extended until December 17 to allow these hearings to take place within the public comment periods on the proposed rules.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection for Two Butterflies
Two butterflies, the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling, have been proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to steep population declines, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
News Release | Dakota Skipper Info | Dakota Skipper Fact Sheet | Poweshiek Skipperling Species Info | Poweshiek Skipperling Fact Sheet | Listing Fact Sheet | Critical Habitats - What are they? | Butterflies Q & A
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endorses Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-Wide Conservation Plan
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorsed the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-Wide Conservation Plan, a landmark, collaborative planning effort to conserve a species proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
The range-wide plan represents a dedicated effort by the five range states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken.
Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Proposed for Federal Protections
On October 3, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the western distinct population segment of the yellow-billed cuckoo as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the U.S., the western yellow-billed cuckoo is known to occur in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Rare Utah Beetle No Longer Warrants Protection Under the Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is withdrawing a proposal to list the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle under the Endangered Species Act. The decision was reached after the Service worked with county, state and federal partners to expand an existing conservation agreement that will better protect the rare invertebrate's habitat in Kanab, Utah.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Postpones Denver Public Hearing on Gray Wolf Proposed Rule
Due to the current lapse in appropriations necessary to support event and logistical preparations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing the October 17 public hearing at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado. This public hearing was scheduled to take comments on the Service's recent Endangered Species Act proposed rule to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies in the Southwest and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Following Government Shutdown
With the President's signature of a continuing resolution that funds the government and ends the shutdown, employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") returned to work today and began the process of re-opening agency facilities following a sixteen day government shutdown.
"I am happy to welcome back the more than 7,500 furloughed Service professionals," said Dan Ashe, the Service's Director. "I know my hard-working, dedicated colleagues are eager to address their public service mission of conserving and protecting the nation's fish and wildlife resources for all Americans."
Revised Critical Habitat Designation for Canada Lynx Proposed under the Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to revise the critical habitat designation for the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in the contiguous United States, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal would designate approximately 41,547 square miles as critical habitat within the boundaries of five critical habitat units in the states of Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.
Weathering the Perfect Storm in the Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains
A perfect storm is hitting the Dakota Grasslands as record crop prices, advances in technology and equipment, and federal farm subsidies are creating incentives to plow up grasslands and drain wetlands for cropland. This is nothing new but the pace has grown rapidly, and the loss of this habitat has had devastating effects on many migratory birds and other fish and wildlife.
Service Announces Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental Assessment for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the availability of a draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment on a proposal to designate 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The Service is reopening until October 19, 2013, the public comment period on the proposal to list the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and designate critical habitat.
Get Your Goose On! (at a National Wildlife Refuge)
Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched an educational and outreach photo campaign called "Get Your Goose On! (at a National Wildlife Refuge)." The campaign, which supports the Obama administration's America's Great Outdoors initiative, encourages the public to learn more about the National Wildlife Refuge System and the myriad outdoor recreational opportunities it provides.
New Project Leader Announced for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Complex National Wildlife Refuge
David Lucas has been selected to be the new Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Complex includes the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Rocky Flats, and Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuges. Lucas has been at the RMA since January 2013 as the acting project leader and has been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for thirteen years. He has served in Anchorage, Atlanta, Denver, and Washington. He began his career with the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources before moving to the Service.
Explore Your National Wildlife Refuges: October 13-19, 2013
Explore your world. Visit a national wildlife refuge during National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 13-19). See what refuges are doing to conserve your wildlife heritage.
Even if you've never been to a refuge before, refuges enrich your life. These precious places help protect wildlife, generate jobs, clean our air and water, reduce flooding, teach children about nature and offer protected places to fish and hike and be outdoors.
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Advance sage-grouse conservation through funding for science projects
The Western Association of Wildlife Agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have collaborated to fund four projects to address threats and improve the scientific basis for Greater sage-grouse management. These projects also seek to improve coordination between western states and the Service in relation to sage-grouse management. Although states are responsible for managing the species the birdâ€™s habitat is largely on federal lands.
$5.1 Million in Service Grants to Help Species of Greatest Conservation Need in 11 States
Imperiled species will benefit from a total of $5.1 million in grants to 11 states through the Service’s competitive State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The grants, which focus on large-scale conservation projects yielding measurable results, will be matched by more than $3.1 million in non-federal funds from states and their partners for projects that work to conserve and recover Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their habitats.
Using Fire to Save a Toad
August 6, 2013 - As part of the Service's commemoration of the Endangered Species Act's 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week we learn about the efforts to restore one of North America's most endangered amphibians, the Wyoming toad.
Service Proposes to List Two Rare Western Plants as Threatened Species, Extend Critical Habitat Protections
August 5, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking input on a proposal to protect the Graham's beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii) and White River beardtongue (Penstemon scariosus var. albifluvis) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We also propose to designate critical habitat for these two species. Both species are endemic to oil shale soils, which are at high risk of loss due to energy development.
Veazie Dam Removal Highlights Importance of Fish Passage Projects
July 22, 2013 - More than 200 blockages in the nationâ€™s major natural resource "arteries" were removed last year thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceâ€™s National Fish Passage Program. Working with numerous partners, the program improves fish passage, local economies and public safety by ridding the nationâ€™s rivers of derelict dams that no longer serve a purpose.
Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Receives "Partner of the Year" Award from Colorado Ducks Unlimited
July 19, 2013 - The Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife program recently received the "Partner of the Year" award from Colorado Ducks Unlimited at an event held in downtown Denver. Along with recognizing the cumulative accomplishments of the program, Bill Noonan, Colorado PFW State Coordinator was acknowledged for his significant role in supporting on-the-ground delivery of habitat and administering critical financial resources.
Service Announces 6 Month Extension for Endangered Species Listing Determination and Designation of Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage-Grouse
July 15, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a six-month extension for a final decision on a proposed rule to provide Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), and a proposed rule that would designate areas of southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah as critical habitat for the bird under the ESA.
Cooperative Agreement Preserves Habitat in Nebraska
July 12, 2013 - In a cooperative agreement between the Nebraska Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Nebraska Public Power District, 262 acres of the Schramm Bluffs, inclusive of Platte River frontage, floodplain, and forested bluffs have been placed in a perpetual conservation easement.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boosts State Endangered Species Conservation Efforts with $32 Million in Grants
July 9, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced nearly $32 million in grants to 20 states to help advance their collaborative efforts to conserve Americaâ€™s rarest species. The cooperative grants will provide vital support to efforts by partnering state wildlife agencies and conservation organizations to improve the health of the land and water that supports these species and scores of communities across the nation.
Service, Partners to Provide $12 Million to Undertake Fish Habitat Conservation Projects in 27 States
July 3, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are providing $12 million during the next three years to support 75 fish habitat conservation projects in 27 states, ranging from restoring submerged aquatic vegetation and oyster beds in Florida and New York to restoring degraded stream and estuary habitat for native fish in Hawaii.
DOI and USDA Highlight Successes of Protecting Bird Habitat on Private Lands
July 2, 2013 - U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the release of the 2013 State of the Birds Report on Private Lands. A collaborative effort as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative, involving federal and state wildlife agencies and scientific and conservation organizations, the report shows how private land conservation incentives positively impact bird habitat.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Grants to 28 States for Work on Deadly Bat Disease
June 27, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced grant awards totaling $950,694 to twenty-eight states for white-nose syndrome projects. State natural resource agencies will use the funds to support research, monitor bat populations and detect and respond to white-nose syndrome, a disease that afflicts bats.
Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection with Critical Habitat for the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse
June 19, 2013 - In order to conserve the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) and protect its habitat the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the jumping mouse as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and proposing to designate critical habitat. A 60-day public comment period will begin on each of these two proposals when they are published in the Federal register. Comments should be received by COB August 19, 2013.
Tiny Catfish Hangs On
June 18, 2013 - At just 3 inches long, the Neosho madtom (Noturus placidus) is hard to find. Today, these small catfish are extremely scarce — just four populations remain in the wild. Now living primarily in southeastern Kansas in the Neosho River, the species continues to face many of the same challenges today as it did over 20 years ago, when it was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Successful Recovery Efforts Prompt Service Proposal to Delist Gray Wolf
June 7, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the list of threatened and endangered species. The proposal comes after a comprehensive review confirmed its successful recovery following management actions undertaken by federal, state and local partners following the wolfâ€™s listing under the Endangered Species Act over three decades ago.Â
The Service is also proposing to maintain protection and expand recovery efforts for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in the Southwest, where it remains endangered.
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves Acquisition of 9,000 Acres of Wetlands for National Wildlife Refuge System
June 5, 2013 - The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $28 million in funding to conserve, restore and enhance vital wetlands, including acquisition of more than 9,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
"Conserving wetlands is one of most important things we can do to ensure our land and wildlife remain healthy," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who attended her first meeting in her role as chair of the commission.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Revise Critical Habitat For the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
June 4, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana), listed as endangered in 2005 under the Endangered Species Act. While only a few hundred beetles remain in three small populations in Nebraska on less than 35 acres, this revision will guide conservation efforts for the species, which includes proposed critical habitat for 1,110 acres of saline wetlands.
Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse Retains Protections Under Endangered Species Act
May 23, 2013 - Current scientific evidence indicates that removing the Preble's meadow jumping mouse from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife is not warranted. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the completion of a 12-month status review in response to two petitions to delist the Preble's.
Habitat loss continues to threaten the existence of the mouse throughout its range in Colorado and Wyoming. As a result, the Preble's retains its protections as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Partners Celebrate Endangered Species Day
May 17, 2013 - The 8th annual national Endangered Species Day will be celebrated on May 17, 2013, with special events and other programs throughout the country to recognize conservation efforts underway across the nation aimed at helping America's imperiled species. This year also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.
Bob Danley Selected as USFWS Nominee for American Recreation Coalition's Beacon Award
May 14, 2013 - Bob Danley, Outdoor Recreation Planner at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, is one of two individuals nominated by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the American Recreation Coalition's Beacon Award.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day
May 6, 2013 - The Service is once again a proud sponsor of International Migratory Bird Day and invites people to celebrate and support migratory bird conservation in their local communities and beyond.
Service Reopens Comment Period on Lesser Prairie-Chicken Listing Proposal
May 6, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the reopening of the public comment period on its 2012 proposal to add the lesser prairie-chicken to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The public comment period will be reopened for 45 days to allow an opportunity for the public, the scientific community and other interested parties to provide input on the original listing proposal in light of a newly-released range-wide conservation plan for the species.
Service Announces Availability of Amendment to Conservation Agreement for Utah Invertebrate
May 3, 2013 - Service announces the availability of an amendment to the conservation agreement for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle.
Service Opens Comment Period on Draft Conservation Strategy for NCDE Grizzly Bear Population
May 2, 2013 - The Service is seeking the public's input on a draft conservation strategy for the Northern Continental Divide grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population.
National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen
April 22, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Child Art Foundation proudly announce the winners of the 2013 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.
More than 2,000 young artists from throughout the country entered the annual contest, which is an ideal opportunity to learn about and promote the conservation of threatened and endangered species through art.
Service & State Agencies Release 2012 Annual Report for Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf
April 12, 2013 - The Service in collaboration with other federal, state and tribal agencies, released the 2012 Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Population.
Finding of No Significant Impact for the Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Richardson Flat Tailings Site, Park City, Utah
April 11, 2013 - The Service prepared a Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Richardson Flat Tailings Site, Park City, Utah.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service Make Progress on Proposed Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas
April 3, 2013 - The Services worked collaboratively to develop a draft environmental impact statement and land protection plan for two large conservation areas along the Missouri River in Nebraska and South Dakota.
USFWS And 4H Award 2013 Youth Conservation Award to Environmental Day Camp in Colorado
March 28, 2013 - The 4-H National Headquarters and the Service have awarded the 2013 Connecting Youth with Nature through Natural Resources Conservation Education Award to the Eagle's Nest/Owl's Roost Environmental Day Camp Project. ENOR is an Environmental Day Camp for students entering the 4th and 5th grades and has been a part of Jefferson County 4-H since 1974 educating nearly 15,000 youth. Eagle's Nest/Owl's Roost embodies many of the holistic and comprehensive developmental ideals that 4-H programs represent.
Rising to the Challenge of Climate Change
March 26, 2013 - In partnership with State and Tribal agencies, the Obama Administration today released the first nationwide strategy to help public and private decision makers address the impacts that climate change is having on natural resources and the people and economies that depend on them.
The National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy provides a unified approach - reflecting shared principles and science-based practice - for reducing the negative impacts of climate change on the environement.
USFWS Releases Report to Help Guide Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Objectives
March 25, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making available a final report that is designed to help guide the efforts of the States and other partners to conserve the Greater sage-grouse with a landscape level strategy that will benefit the species while maintaining a robust economy in the West. The report, prepared by state and federal scientists and sage-grouse experts, identifies the conservation status of the Greater sage-grouse, the nature of the threats facing the species, and objectives to ensure its long-term conservation.
State Wildlife Agencies to Receive $882 Million for Critical Conservation Projects
March 21, 2013 - More than $882.4 million in excise tax revenues generated in 2012 by sportsmen and sportswomen will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. These funds are made available to all 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration.
Arrests Made in Multi-State Paddlefish "Caviar" Trafficking Operation
March 15, 2013 -Seven men involved in the black market purchase and sale of American paddlefish roe have been arrested in a multi-state undercover investigation conducted by the Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation. More than 100 additional suspects were interviewed and cited or arrested on state charges by law enforcement officers from these agencies and eight other states.
USFWS Opens Comment Period on Draft Recovery Plan for Endangered Pallid Sturgeon
March 15, 2013 - A draft recovery plan aimed at recovering the federally endangered pallid sturgeon, a bottom-feeding fish considered to be a relic of the dinosaur era, is available for public review and comment.
Pallid Sturgeon are an important indicator of the health of several of America's largest rivers, and represent a unique piece of America's natural history, with fossil ancestors dating back over 70 million years. The draft revised plan summarizes and updates the available information on the species life history needs, reevaluates the threats to the species, and identifies recovery efforts.
Operation Rolling Thunder Rolls up 11 Convictions for Eagle Take/Trafficking
March 13, 2013 - Unlawful killing and commercialization of eagles and hawks has resulted in the successful Federal prosecution of 11 individuals in South Dakota and Montana. Special agents documented black market trafficking involving the carcasses and parts of at least 80 eagles and 30 hawks. Sentences include prison terms up to two years.
Salazar, Lahood, Hickenlooper Announce $1.7 Million Grant for Rocky Mountain Greenway
February 18, 2013 - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood joined Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today to announce more than $1.7 million in new funding for the Rocky Mountain Greenway. The funding, part of the Federal Transit Administrationâ€™s Transit in Parks program, will help establish an uninterrupted trail and open space network in the Denver metropolitan area.
Colorado Outfitter Sentenced to Prison for Six Lacey Act Violations
February 14, 2013 - Big game hunting outfitter Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 72, of Meeker, Colo., was sentenced in Denver February 13 to 41 months in prison to be followed by three years supervised release for six felony counts of violating the Lacey Act. District Judge Christine M. Arguello also sentenced Rodebaugh, to pay a $7,500 fine to the Lacey Act reward fund and $37,390 in restitution to the state of Colorado for the value of illegally taken elk and deer.
USFWS Agents Secure $85,000 in Restitution for Endangered Whooping Crane Killing
February 14, 2013 - A man who admitted shooting an adult male whooping crane near Miller, South Dakota, last April pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act and was ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and spend two years on probation. He must also forfeit the rifle used to kill the crane and will be barred from hunting, fishing or trapping anywhere in the United States for two years.
Operation Rolling Thunder Rolls Up 11 Convictions for Eagle Take/Trafficking
February 13, 2013 - A two-year undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigation of the unlawful killing and commercialization of eagles and hawks has resulted in the successful Federal prosecution of 11 individuals in South Dakota and Montana. Special agents documented black market trafficking involving the carcasses and parts of at least 80 eagles and 30 hawks. Sentences include prison terms up to two years.
Service Announces Annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest!
February 12, 2013 - Parents, teachers, and scout leaders tell your kids to start the drawing engines and participate in the annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest! Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2013. The Youth Art Contest provides students from kindergarten to high school with an opportunity to learn about threatened and endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the International Child Art Foundation, the art contest is an integral part of the eighth annual national Endangered Species Day on May 17, 2013.
Sage Grouse Initiative Releases Groundbreaking New Report
February 5, 2013 - Sage Grouse Initiative: Tracking Success, a highly visual 44-page report, for the first time reveals the "six secret ingredients" to a paradigm for bringing back wildlife in trouble, without a need for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The first ingredient has everything to do with the hundreds of Sage Grouse Initiative partners - shared vision. They agree that what's good for rangelands is good for grouse, and that's why an unprecedented alliance of nonprofits, for profits, and conservation groups are teaming up with western ranchers.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Wolverine as Threatened Under ESA
February 1, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today, in response to a court-ordered deadline, that it is seeking information from the scientific community and the public on a proposal to protect the North American wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Service is also seeking comment on two proposed special rules designed to facilitate management and recovery of the species should it receive protection.
Canada Lynx: A Rocky Mountain Success Story
January 29, 2013 - Thirteen years ago, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) returned to its native range within the state of Colorado. Through a committed state-led initiative, this elusive cat has made a remarkable resurgence within a part of its southern-most range, from which it had been absent for more than 25 years.
Historically, the lynx ranged across the vast northern boreal forests from Alaska to eastern Canada, including the northernmost U.S., and extending in an increasingly patchy distribution along the coniferous forests of the Rocky Mountains as far south as Colorado.
Matt Hogan Named Deputy Regional Director for Mountain-Prairie Region of USFWS
January 24, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the selection of Matt Hogan as the new Deputy Regional Director for the Mountain-Prairie Region, which is headquartered in Denver. The Mountain-Prairie Region includes Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
“Matt has brought substantial executive level leadership and project management to the Mountain-Prairie Region,” said Noreen Walsh, Regional Director of the Mountain-Prairie Region. “Over the past three years, we’ve been fortunate to have Matt as part of the Region's senior leadership team. During that time, Matt has led two programs and helped us advance our landscape approach to cooperative conservation.”
New Publication Marks 75th Anniversary of Conservation Effort
January 17, 2013 - The Fish and Wildlife Service today released a landmark publication celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, the cornerstone of fish and wildlife conservation in North America. Each year this unique program provides more than $700 million to support habitat conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation through the sale of outdoor equipment.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Endangered Species Act
January 14, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act with a year-long commemoration of the Act that has been so successful in stabilizing populations of species at risk, preventing the extinction of many others and conserving the habitats upon which they depend. A new dedicated web site spotlights the history and accomplishments of efforts to protect and recover Americaâ€™s threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Listing Gunnison Sage-Grouse Under Endangered Species Act
January 10, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it is taking the next steps in a process to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. After an extensive review conducted in compliance with a court approved settlement agreement, the agency found that current scientific evidence suggests that the Gunnison sage-grouse is in danger of extinction.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Identifies Important Habitat for Recovery of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher
January 4, 2013 - As part of its ongoing efforts to conserve our nation's most imperiled species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has identified riparian lands that are important for the recovery of the southwestern willow flycatcher. This small songbird, which nests in vegetation along rivers and streams or other wetlands, is known to occur only in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, and has been listed as endangered since 1995 under the Endangered Species Act.
America's Great Outdoors: Salazar, USFWS Announce Expanded Conservation at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Colorado and local municipalities today closed on a land exchange that will add approximately 1,200 acres of important wildlife habitat to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, increasing the refuge's size by nearly one-third and connecting it with the region's open space and trail system.
New Multi-Agency Partnership Expands Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Efforts
A new agreement between federal and state agencies has set the stage for an innovative effort to recover the black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered mammals in North America. The agreement seeks to engage more private landowners, including tribes, in recovery efforts for this species.
USFWS Announces Availability of Final Recovery Plan for the Mexican Spotted Owl
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the availability of the final Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan, first revision.
The Mexican spotted owl was listed as threatened on March 16, 1993 under the Endangered Species Act. This species occurs in the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and south through the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico.
Secretary Salazar and Louis Bacon Finalize Historic Agreement to Protect 170,000 Acres as part of new Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Blanca Ranch Holdings, LLC today entered into a historic agreement to place 90,000 acres of land in Colorado's San Luis Valley into a perpetual conservation easement. Louis Bacon, noted conservation and principal owner of Blanca Ranch, made today's announcement in partnership with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the Service.
Noreen Walsh Named Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mountain-Prairie Region
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Noreen Walsh as the new Regional Director for the Service's Mountain-Prairie Region. Walsh, a 22-year veteran of the Service, has served as Deputy Regional Director for the Region since December 2008.
USFWS Initiates Process to Consider Lesser Prairie-Chicken as Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act
Based on scientific evidence that the lesser prairie-chicken and its habitat are in decline, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it is initiating a process to consider whether the species should be recognized as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
Professional Hunter Pleads Guilty to Lacey Act Violation in Kansas
A professional hunter from Tennessee has pleaded guilty to a Lacey Act violation in Kansas, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. William “Spook” Spann, 50, Dickson, Tenn., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of transporting across state lines wildlife that was taken unlawfully in Kansas
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced its Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the current status of plants and animals considered candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are now 192 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection, the lowest number in more than 12 years.
A Win For Both People and Birds in Southern Colorado's San Luis Valley
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Rio Grande Water Conservation District are pleased to announce that the Final San Luis Valley Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (HCP/EA) are completed and available for viewing. The plan allows for routine activities to continue while also conserving two bird species native to the San Luis Valley.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Conduct Public Meetings for Proposed Conservation Easement Program in Bear River Watershed
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a series of open houses to provide information and receive public comment on the Service's draft land protection plan and environmental assessment for the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area project.
Reward for Information on Golden Eagle Shooting
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the shooting of a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) near Tipton, KS. The eagle was found on Monday, October 29, 2012 in a pasture located on the east side of highway 181, approximately 5 miles south of Tipton.
Golden eagles are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The shooting of any eagle is considered a violation of those acts.
USFWS Provides Notice of Availability for Richardson Flat Tailings Site Restoration Plan & Environmental Assessment
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has prepared a Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (RP/EA) for the Richardson Flat Tailings Site, Park City, Utah.Â The RP/EA was prepared as part of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement between United Park City Mines, as the Responsible Party, and the Service, on behalf of the Department of the Interior, as the applicable Natural Resource Trustee.
Local Biologist Recipient of International Lifetime Achievement Award
Former U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) scientist, Lewis M. Cowardin, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Wetland Scientists for his pioneering work with waterfowl ecology, wetland classification, remote sensing, and model-assisted decision making. Dr. Cowardin was presented this award on Aug. 22 at Ducks Unlimited in Bismarck, N.D., during the 25th anniversary of the Four Square Mile Waterfowl Survey.
Service Seeks Proposals from States for Annual Endangered Species Grants
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories interested in obtaining federal financial assistance to acquire land or conduct planning efforts for endangered species conservation under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These grants support participation in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, as well as for candidate species. Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate Service regional offices by January 14, 2013.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Receives Exemplary Act Award
In recognition of his decisive and selfless actions that saved the lives of two motor vehicle accident victims, USFWS Refuge Law Enforcement Officer, Tighe Teets, was awarded the Department of Interior's Exemplary Act Award. The award was presented to him on October 17, 2012 by Mountain-Prairie Region Assistant Regional Director, Noreen Walsh.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acknowledges Western CO Water Organizations for Help with Endangered Fish Recovery
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently acknowledged water organizations in western Colorado that voluntarily worked with the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program throughout this extremely dry summer to balance human water demand with the needs of endangered fish in the Colorado and Gunnison rivers.
Reward for Information Leading to the Identification of Bald Eagle Shooter in ND
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the shooting of an immature bald eagle which was shot near the city of Crosby, ND on October 11, 2012. A reward of up to $2,500.00 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. Witnesses reported the person(s) responsible for the shooting were driving a white Dodge dually pickup truck that had no additional markings. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for assistance from the public to help identify this vehicle and the people who were traveling in the vehicle during the incident.
USFWS and Montana FWP Develop Approach for Water Management at Benton Lake NWR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in collaboration with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks announced the outcomes of the structured-decision making (SDM) process to provide recommendations for a management alternative that addresses key management issues at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Justice Department Announces Policy on Tribal Member Use of Eagle Feathers
The Department of Justice announced today a policy addressing the ability of members of federally recognized Indian tribes to possess or use eagle feathers, an issue of great cultural significance to many tribes and their members. Attorney General Eric Holder signed the new policy after extensive department consultation with tribal leaders and tribal groups. The policy covers all federally protected birds, bird feathers, and bird parts.
Salazar Approves Landmark Wyoming Wind Project, Reaches President's Goal of Authorizing 10,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy
Advancing President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy for expanding domestic energy resources, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Department has reached the President's goal of authorizing 10,000 megawatts of renewable power on public lands with the approval of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project site as suitable for wind energy development.
California Artist Robert Steiner Wins 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Contest
Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, Calif., is the winner of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The announcement was made today by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Steiner's acrylic painting of a common goldeneye will be made into the 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2013.
Colorado Big Game Outfitter Convicted on Six Felony Charges
A Federal jury in Denver found a long-time big game outfitter guilty of six felony Lacey Act violations in connection with unlawful elk and deer hunts sold to non-resident hunters for between $1,200 and $1,600. The defendant, who faces fines of up to $250,000 and 5-year prison terms on each count, will also forfeit two ATVs and a utility trailer used in committing the crimes.
This investigation, which was conducted by the Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, documented the recurring use of hundreds of pounds of salt to bait elk and deer.
National Fish Passage Program Helps Restore Streams, Benefits People and Local Economies
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and community partners across the nation worked together to remove or bypass 158 dams, culverts and other structures in 2011, opening more than 2,180 miles of streams to native fish populations. These efforts, coordinated through the National Fish Passage Program, have also contributed to improved water quality, provided additional recreational and economic opportunities, and even addressed serious threats to human health and safety.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Resumes Public Visitation
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge has reopened for public visitation ahead of schedule following a brief closure to allow the U.S. Army to drill eight additional monitoring wells around a former remedy project.
The Refuge's entrance gate is now open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, allowing public use activities to resume including catch-and-release fishing and hiking. The Visitor Center is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, September 22nd at 9:00 am.
Creston National Fish Hatchery Receives National Designation for Outdoor Classroom
The Creston National Fish Hatchery, located in Kalispell, MT, earned the national designation of a certified Nature Explore Classroom from the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. Creston, a unit of the Fisheries Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region, is the first facility to receive the celebrated certification in the state of Montana.
The historic hatchery serves as a national outdoor classroom model for others throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Salazar Establishes 558th National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar today announced the formal establishment of the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area as the nation's 558th unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, thanks to the donation of a nearly 77,000-acre conservation easement in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains bordering the San Luis Valley by noted conservationist Louis Bacon.
“Following in the footsteps of our greatest conservationists, Louis Bacon’s generosity and passion for the great outdoors is helping us to establish an extraordinary conservation area in one of our nation’s most beautiful places,” Secretary Salazar said.
Visit Your National Wildlife Refuges: October 14-20, 2012
Treat yourself with a visit to a national wildlife refuge during National Wildlife Refuge Week, from October 14-20. Celebrate America's wildlife heritage, and see what wildlife refuges are doing to conserve it.
Visitors to refuges like what they find there, according to a study this year by the U.S. Geological Survey. About 90 percent of the survey’s 10,000 adult participants reported satisfaction with refuge recreation, information and education, public service and conservation. “Nowhere else do I feel such a deep sense of connection with the land, the plants, and the wildlife,” offered one respondent. “Visiting a refuge is truly a spiritual experience.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Invites the Public to "Follow the Ferret"
The National Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, a multi-partner project lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invites the public to follow the life-cycle of one of North America's most endangered mammals, the black-footed ferret.
Starting this week, the public can follow a number of black-footed ferrets on the Recovery Program's Facebook page as biologists work to prepare them to survive on the American prairie.
Service Declares Wyoming Gray Wolf Recovered and Returns Management Authority to State
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Wyoming population of gray wolves is recovered and no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.Â Beginning September 30th, wolves in Wyoming will be managed by the state under an approved management plan, as they are in the states of Idaho and Montana.
"The return of the wolf to the Northern Rocky Mountains is a major success story, and reflects the remarkable work of States, Tribes, and our many partners to bring this iconic species back from the brink of extinction," said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
Platte River Caddisfly Not Warranted for Endangered Species Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Platte River caddisfly, a small, moth-like insect found in backwaters along rivers in Nebraska, is not warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act. We have completed a comprehensive status review, known as a 12-month finding, and determined that there is sufficient scientific and commercial data to demonstrate that the Platte River caddisfly is secure throughout its range. If information becomes available in the future to indicate that the species is in decline and threatened with extinction, we will conduct an assessment on the status of the caddisfly at that time.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Status of Rocky Mountain Monkeyflower
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service evaluated a petition requesting the listing of the Rocky Mountain monkeyflower (Mimulus gemmiparus) under the Endangered Species Act. We determined that a more in-depth examination of the status of the species is justified. The agency will conduct a full status review of the species, and once the review is complete, determine whether to propose adding the species to the Federal lists of endangered or threatened wildlife and plants.
FWS Releases Draft Report to Help Guide Sage-Grouse Conservation Objectives
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making available a draft report that is designed to help guide the efforts of the States and other partners to conserve the greater sage-grouse with a landscape level strategy that will benefit the species while maintaining a robust economy in the West. The report, prepared by state and federal scientists and sage-grouse experts, identifies the conservation status of the sage-grouse, the nature of the threats facing the species, and objectives to ensure its long-term conservation.
Service Awards $5.7 Million to State Fish and Wildlife Agencies to Conserve Imperiled Species
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $5.7 million in grants to seven state fish and wildlife agencies to conserve and recover imperiled species and their habitats through the State Wildlife Grants Competitive Program. States and their partners will match federal funding with more than $4.6 million in non-federal funds.
Secretary Salazar, Governor Hickenlooper Applaud Rocky Mountain Greenway Efforts
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado today commended the members of the newly-established Rocky Mountain Greenway Steering Committee for their early leadership in moving forward President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative in the Front Range and metropolitan Denver region. The vision for the Rocky Mountain Greenway project is to create uninterrupted trails and transportation linkages connecting the Denver metro area's trail systems, the three Denver-area units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the community trails systems in between.
Poacher Sentenced for Illegal Killing of Eagle in Kansas
The poacher of a golden eagle in Trego County, Kansas, was sentenced August 22 after pleading guilty to killing the immature raptor in 2011. Chad Irvin, of Lacrosse, Kan., pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act; was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and restitution of $3,000; placed on supervised probation for a period of three years during which time he may not hunt, fish or trap; required to complete 50 hours of community service; and ordered to forfeit the shotgun used to kill the eagle.
Construction Complete on Endangered Fish Grow-out Ponds
The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that construction is complete on grow-out ponds at the Horsethief Canyon Native Fish Facility located just outside of Fruita, Colo. The facilities are part of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program.
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Celebrates its 25th Anniversary
For the past 25 years, the Fish and Wildlife Services' Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has been working with private landowners and organizations to restore, protect and enhance important wildlife habitats on private lands. The Mountain-Prairie Region's Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) program began in 1987 and includes Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. It was born in the prairie pothole region of the Midwest and is closely linked to the National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) system.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Scuba Dive Team Trains for Invasive Mussel Searches
Four members of the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Dive Team recently completed training in the Columbia River at a U.S Geological Survey course, Procedures for Conducting Underwater Searches for Invasive Mussels.The course was sponsored under the 100th Meridian Initiative which funds activities to prevent the spread of invasive mussels. Members of the Dive Team are highly trained volunteer scuba divers from the Service's Refuges, Fisheries, and Ecological Services programs.
Greg Neudecker Receives the Ira Gabrielson Conservation Leadership Award
Graduates of Cohort X of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Advanced Leadership Development Program selected Greg Neudecker to receive the Ira Gabrielson Conservation Leadership Award for 2012. The award, established in 2002 by the first ALDP graduating class, is to recognize an outstanding Service employee making a significant contribution to conservation and reflects the powerful commitment and leadership qualities of Dr. Gabrielson who served as the first Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Recreation.gov Redesign: Engaging Visitors with the Great Outdoors
With a few weeks of summer weather left, there is still plenty of time to explore the great outdoors. There are few better places to do that than in Americaâ€™s national parks, wildlife refuges, waterways, and forests. A new and improved Recreation.gov website is the perfect tool to plan your familyâ€™s next adventure.
With improved navigation tools and more in-depth content, Recreation.gov showcases 90,000 federal sites and healthy outdoor spaces to consider.
Service Announces $33 Million in Grants to Support Endangered Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced nearly $33 million in grants to 21 states to support conservation planning and acquisition of vital habitat for threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants. The grants, awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, will benefit numerous species, ranging from the Peninsular bighorn sheep to Kirtland's warbler.
National Elk Refuge Celebrates 100 Years of Conservation Success
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce an exciting line-up of programs scheduled for Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12 to celebrate and honor the National Elk Refuge’s 100-year history. The weekend centennial celebration dates were selected to coincide with the historic date of August 10, 1912 when an Act of Congress set aside lands “for the establishment of a winter game (elk) reserve..."
Service Recognizes Voluntary Conservation Efforts in Designation of Critical Habitat for Three Rare Colorado Plants
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that based on feedback and input from the State of Colorado, the oil and gas industry, and the public, it has refined and narrowed the final rule to designate critical habitat for three rare western Colorado plants: the Pagosa skyrocket (Ipomopsis polyantha), Parachute beardtongue (Penstemon debilis), and DeBeque phacelia (Phacelia submutica).
Service Finalizes New Rules Regarding Take Allowances for the Utah Prairie Dog
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notified the public of our final changes to a special rule for the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) governing take for the species. Our amendment to the existing special rule establishes clarifications for direct take of prairie dogs including: where permitted take can occur; the amount of take that can be permitted; and methods of take that can be permitted.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to Temporarily Close for Public Visitation
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center will be closed to all public activities and visitation beginning Monday, August 20 through Friday, September 21, 2012 to support the expansion of a monitoring project on U.S. Army-owned land located in the central portion of the site.
Draft San Luis Valley HCP and Environmental Assessment to be Released July 2012
The Rio Grande Water Conservation District (District) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are notifying the public that the Draft San Luis Valley Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (Draft HCP/EA) will be released in July 2012 for a 60-day public review period.Â The availability of documents, public review period, and contact information will be announced in the Federal Register on July 25, 2012.Â
Comments Sought for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Critical Habitat
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened of the public comment period for its August 2011 proposal to revise critical habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.Â We're also announcing the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat, a public hearing, additional areas that we are considering to exclude from the designation and two newly proposed areas (Cienega Creek area of southern Arizona).
USFWS Awards Grants to 30 States for White-Nose Syndrome Work
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced grant awards totaling $962,981 to thirty states for white-nose syndrome (WNS) projects. State natural resource agencies will use the funds for surveillance and monitoring of caves and mines where bats hibernate, preparing state response plans and other related projects. The Service is leading a cooperative effort with federal and state agencies, tribes, researchers, universities and other non-government organizations to research and manage the spread of WNS.
Amphitheater Construction Project at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complete
Thanks to the work of a Mountain-Prairie Region Refuge Maintenance Action Team, a new amphitheater was recently erected adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge's visitor center in Commerce City, Colo.
2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamps Now On Sale, Offer Easy Way to Protect Wetland Habitat
The 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp went on sale today across the United States, giving hunters, stamp collectors and anyone who cares about migratory birds and other wildlife an easy way to help conserve their habitat. Ninety-eight percent of proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to acquire and protect vital wetlands supports hundreds of species of migratory birds, wildlife and plants.Â
USFWS Internship Leads to Impactful Summer for Tribal College Student
Valentina Vavages, a student at Tohono O'odham Community College in Arizona, spent 13 weeks participating in a Tribal Intern Program at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge in Randlett, Utah. The SCA internship with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides students with hands-on experience through a variety of conservation projects. In the process, she developed critical skills and learned about “the importance of the preservation and conservation of wildlife.” Her favorite part: becoming certified to drive and maintain her own ATV!
America's Great Outdoors: Salazar, Ashe Announce Historic Conservation Easement in Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced that noted conservationist Louis Bacon intends to donate a conservation easement totaling approximately 90,000 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains bordering the San Luis Valley. This easement will provide the foundation for the proposed new Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, which the Service is in the process of establishing.
Operation of Endangered Fish Passages Reduced During Low River Flows
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program (Recovery Program) announced today that because of extremely low flows in the Colorado River this year, operation of fish passages Â on the Colorado River may not be possible throughout the summer and early fall. Although biologists believe that suspending operation of the fish passages this summer will have a short-term impact on the endangered fish, there is a real concern for long-term impacts if the drought lasts more than one year.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Initiate Status Reviews of Southern, Mt. Rainier White-tailed Ptarmigan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that we have completed our evaluation of a petition to list the southern and Mt. Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We determined that substantial biological information exists to warrant a more in-depth examination of the status of the southern and Mt. Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan.
Expansion of Denver Trails System Planned
On National Trails Day, USFWS Mountain-Prairie Regional Director, Steve Guertin, spoke with 9 News Denver about President Obama's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative and plans to extend Denver's trails system.
"Under the AGO Initiative, we're reconnecting metro Denver with an existing trail system," said Guertin. "We're going to connect the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Rocky Flats Arsenal so folks can take advantage of 500 miles of trails here in the urban area."
2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition to be held in Ogden, Utah
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service selected Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, to host the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition on September 28 and 29, 2012.
Fish and Wildlife Service Releases the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
The Fish and Wildlife Service has published the final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge. This conservation plan will guide the long-term management for what is considered one of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Takes Initial Steps Forward in Conserving Working Landscapes in the San Luis Valley
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released a draft Land Protection Plan and Environmental Assessment (LPP/EA) for the new proposed San Luis Valley Conservation Area (SLVCA) May 9, 2012 for a 30-day public comment period. The SLVCA seeks to create a new unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System that will protect approximately one half million acres of habitat for migratory birds and threatened and endangered species, primarily through the acquisition of conservation easements from willing landowners. The LPP/EA details the Service's authority for establishing the SLVCA, the resources the project is intended to protect, and the priority lands to be conserved for those resources.
Arapahoe Snowfly to Be Designated as a Candidate for Endangered Species Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that the Arapahoe snowfly, an insect found in two tributaries of the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado, warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act, but that proposing the species for protection is precluded by the need to address other higher priority species. The species will be added to the list of candidate species and its status will be reviewed annually.
Service Extends Comment Period to Revise Eagle Permit Regulations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the comment period on the proposed rule, published on April 13, 2012, to revise the regulations governing the issuance of permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Service is also inviting ideas from the public on how the permit program can be improved. The comment period will now close on July 12, 2012.
Secretary Salazar, Governor Hickenlooper Sign Agreement to Establish Next Great Urban Park
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today formalized an agreement to implement conservation and recreation projects throughout the Denver and Front Range metropolitan area. Today's action builds on President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to support locally-driven projects and strengthen economies and communities with greater access to open spaces and outdoor recreation.
Lessons Learned from Previous Droughts Shape Endangered Fish Recovery Actions
As 2012 shapes up to be a near record-setting drought throughout Upper Colorado River Basin rivers, the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program will use lessons learned from previous droughts to direct this year's endangered fish recovery actions. Accumulated knowledge of fish spawning patterns, movements, and habitat preferences during periods of low river flows will enable biologists to focus their time and efforts to best assist in the recovery of endangered Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, bonytail and humpback chub.
Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Plan Update
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a final revised Recovery Plan for the threatened Utah prairie dog, and proposed to revise a special rule governing management of the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The new recovery plan and proposed amendments to the special management rule reflect the latest scientific information and would provide additional flexibility to address local concerns about impacts from Utah prairie dogs to human safety and property, as well as agricultural operations. Public comments or data on the proposed rule will be accepted until May 29, 2012.
Reward Offered for Whooping Crane Shooting
A reward has been offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting of a whooping crane located along 354th Avenue, approximately 17 miles southwest of Miller, South Dakota.Law enforcement officers from the Service and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks are investigating the shooting which took place Friday afternoon on April 20, 2012. The migrating adult whooping crane was traveling with two additional whooping cranes before being shot with a high-power rifle as it was standing in a corn field.
National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen
The grand prize winner of the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest is 11-year old Sky Waters from Minnesota. His painting of a woodland caribou was selected from more than 2,100 submissions. Five winners were also selected based on grade categories. This art contest is a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans, and is an integral part of the seventh annual national Endangered Species Day on May 18, 2012.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Initiate Status Review of Eastern Population of Boreal Toad
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has completed its evaluation of a petition requesting the agency list either the Eastern population or Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad as a threatened or endangered distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act.
Kal Athannassov, a 17 year old student from Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs, took top honors by winning the “Best of Show” in Colorado at the 2012 Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Kal’s artwork was selected from hundreds of amazing entries from across Colorado. His acrylic paint rendition of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck, entitled "Serenity,” will represent Colorado and be entered at the National Junior Duck Stamp Competition in Washington, D.C. at the end of April.
Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex Available for Public Review
The public is invited to provide comments on the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex located on the western edge of the northern Great Plains and 12 miles north of Great Falls, Montana. The Fish and Wildlife Service will also hold a series of public meetings from April 17-19, 2012 at various locations in Montana. Written comments should be submitted by May 18, 2012.
U.S. Air Force Academy Receives 2012 Conservation Partner Award From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceâ€™s (Service) 2012 Military Conservation Partner Award in recognition of the Academyâ€™s significant contribution to natural resource conservation. Between 2006 and 2011, the Academy was consistently ranked within the top five qualifying Military Installations Partner Award nominations by the Service Partner Award Review Committee.