Latest Habitat conservation and restoration News

Utah approved to build highway through conservation area

Jan. 16, 2021 11:14 AM EST

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The Utah Division of Transportation and Washington County received approval to build a four-lane highway that would pass through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, a protected Mojave desert tortoise habitat in southern Utah. President Donald Trump's administration granted...

Plan to curb track deaths lets BNSF kill up to 18 bears

Jan. 12, 2021 6:55 PM EST

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — BNSF Railway has proposed a plan to curb the train-related deaths of grizzly bears that allows trains to kill up to 18 grizzly bears over seven years on the tracks it operates in Montana. In return, the railway will execute a habitat conservation plan to reduce such deaths, BNSF...

Swath of forest land near Quabbin permanently protected

Jan. 10, 2021 12:57 PM EST

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — More than 2,000 acres of forest land near the Quabbin Reservoir is being permanently protected. State officials recently announced the creation of the Walter Cowls Jones Working Forest, which supplements the 3,486-acre Paul C. Jones Working Forest and will serve to protect water...

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2013, file photo, a wild Idaho Salmon River steelhead is netted and quickly released in the Salmon River north of Riggins, Idaho. A working group of diverse interests convened by Idaho Gov. Brad Little to find consensus ways to bolster faltering salmon and steelhead populations has released a report encouraging habitat restoration and collaboration but steering clear of dam breaching. The report by the Republican governor's Salmon Workgroup released over the weekend flatly states it's not a recovery plan. Rather, it's a list of recommendations approved by the group that includes conservationists, power companies, farmers, tribes, irrigators and ranchers. (Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman via AP, File)

Idaho group recommends ways to bolster salmon, steelhead

Jan. 5, 2021 2:10 PM EST

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A group brought together by Idaho Gov. Brad Little to find ways to bolster faltering salmon and steelhead populations has agreed to encourage habitat restoration but avoided making a decision about breaching dams. The report released over the weekend by the Republican governor's...

Kentucky adds its 1st new nature preserve in a decade.

Jan. 3, 2021 12:53 PM EST

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The state’s newest nature preserve is a hilly 338-acre refuge a few miles from the Kentucky River, much of it wooded, with a beautiful creek running through it and the potential to restore endangered plants and rare mussels. The Drennon Creek State Nature Preserve in Henry...

Researchers learn new tricks to save endangered crayfish

Jan. 2, 2021 2:49 PM EST

MATEWAN, W.Va. (AP) — Researchers trying to save endangered crayfish during bridge construction in southern West Virginia ended up discovering new tricks to increase the population, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. In order to build a new bridge to carry a Norfolk Southern mainline over the Tug Fork...

Indiana Dunes National Park removing unwanted structures

Jan. 1, 2021 11:06 AM EST

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Crews at the Indiana Dunes National Park have made considerable progress removing unwanted houses and structures acquired in the 1990s for habitat restoration efforts, a park official says. A contractor has been working to remove 17 houses, a barn, an in-ground pool and six roads since...

This photo provided by The Nature Conservancy shows a prescribed fire sweeping through longleaf pines in 2019 at The Nature Conservancy's Calloway Preserve near Fort Bragg, N.C.  An intensive effort in nine coastal states from Virginia to Texas is bringing back longleaf pines -- armor-plated trees that bear footlong needles and need regular fires to spark their seedlings’ growth and to support wildly diverse grasslands that include carnivorous plants and harbor burrowing tortoises.  (Margaret Fields/The Nature Conservancy via AP)

Restoring longleaf pines, keystone of once vast ecosystems

Dec. 30, 2020 10:36 AM EST

DESOTO NATIONAL FOREST, Miss. (AP) — When European settlers came to North America, fire-dependent savannas anchored by lofty pines with footlong needles covered much of what became the southern United States. Yet by the 1990s, logging and clear-cutting for farms and development had all but eliminated...

Personal watercrafts OK'd in some Alaska critical habitats

Dec. 18, 2020 10:00 AM EST

HOMER, Alaska (AP) — Personal watercrafts will be allowed on some Alaska waters that are considered critical wildlife habitats for the first time in 20 years after lobbying by recreational groups and a request by the governor for departments to streamline regulations. The Department of Fish and Game...

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2011, file photo is a gopher frog at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Federal officials are proposing on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, changes to how the endangered species act is used following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on habitat for the frog. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

US wildlife agency gives more deference to economic benefits

Dec. 17, 2020 2:24 PM EST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration finalized a proposal Thursday that will allow the government to deny habitat protections for endangered animals and plants in areas that would see greater economic benefits from being developed. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said the rule gives...