Latest Agriculture and the environment News

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in 11 states' scattered longleaf pine forests, has recovered enough to relax its federal protection, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. “The red-cockaded woodpecker has flourished to the point that...

Groups decry proposal to roll back Alaska forest protections

Sep. 24, 2020 8:51 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to exempt the country’s largest national forest from a ban on timber harvests and road building in roadless areas, a move conservation groups denounced Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which the Forest Service falls,...

In this image made from video, an alligator is seen on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Moss Point, Miss.. As Hurricane Sally's outer bands reached the U.S. Gulf Coast and landfall was imminent, the manager of Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours was hoping he wouldn't have to live a repeat of what happened at the gator farm during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance)

'Sigh of relief': Sally spares a Mississippi gator ranch

Sep. 16, 2020 6:43 PM EDT

MOSS POINT, Miss. (AP) — As rain and wind from Sally started reaching the Gulf Coast, the manager of a Mississippi alligator ranch was just hoping he wouldn’t have to deal with a repeat of what happened during Hurricane Katrina. That’s when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures as...

EPA sides with farmers on ethanol, rejects refinery waivers

Sep. 14, 2020 5:46 PM EDT

Federal regulators on Monday handed a victory to corn farmers and the renewable fuels industry by refusing to allow a group of petroleum refiners in 14 states to forego requirements to blend ethanol into the gasoline they make. Members of Congress from farm states have heavily lobbied President Donald Trump to...

A wild elephant is prepared to be transported as part of operations carried out by authorities to catch and relocate wild elephants who have upset farming communities, in Guitry, Ivory Coast Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. An elephant who was named Hamed by the residents in the southern region of Ivory Coast has been captured and moved to the zoo in Abidjan as he awaits a transfer to an appropriate park, in an effort to save the dwindling population. (AP Photo)

Ivory Coast relocates elephants to save dwindling population

Sep. 11, 2020 10:29 AM EDT

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — An elephant named Hamed by residents in a southern region of Ivory Coast has been captured and relocated to the zoo in Abidjan as he awaits transfer to a park where authorities hope he will have non-human company instead. Authorities are catching and relocating wild elephants...

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2019 file photo, watermen dredge for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland near Ridge, Md.  A lawsuit filed Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, by the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation and others, is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to ensure that Pennsylvania and New York are doing enough to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Attorneys general from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia say they’ve filed a similar lawsuit. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

Lawsuit: EPA fails to enforce Chesapeake Bay pollution caps

Sep. 10, 2020 4:35 PM EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to ensure that Pennsylvania and New York are doing enough to reduce pollution that flows from farms and cities into the Chesapeake Bay, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday. The federal suit was brought by the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay...

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2019 file photo, a wild boar runs through a forest in the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Germany. Following a suspected case of African swine fever in Brandenburg, the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Kloeckner informed about the results of the analysis after examining a sample of the carcass. The animal disease has been detected for the first time in Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Germany confirms 1st case of swine fever on its territory

Sep. 10, 2020 7:27 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has confirmed the first case of African swine fever on its territory, after a wild boar cadaver found in the eastern state of Brandenburg tested positive, the country’s agriculture minister said Thursday. African swine fever is usually deadly for pigs but doesn't affect humans....

FILE - This June 29, 2017, file remote camera image provided by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and two of the three pups born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. The Trump administration plans to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the nation by the end of 2020, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)

Environmentalists say Washington's wolf program is broken

Sep. 7, 2020 2:11 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules governing the killing of wolves involved in conflicts with livestock, a move winning praise from conservation groups. The Democrat on Friday reversed the commission’s denial of a...

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2008 file photo, an Atlantic salmon leaps out of the water at a Cooke Aquaculture farm pen near Eastport, Maine. President Donald Trump is hoping to dramatically upscale aquaculture in the U.S., including expanding the long controversial sector of offshore aquaculture. In May 2020, the president issued an executive order that promised broad changes in how the U.S. regulates fish farming. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Trump eyes aquaculture boom, but environmentalists dig in

Aug. 31, 2020 11:21 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Donald Trump wants to dramatically expand aquaculture production in the United States, but a coalition of environmentalists believes his plan would be bad for the oceans, unnecessary for food security and difficult to implement. Trump's bid to grow fish farming is designed...

In this March 2020 photo provided by the Southern Youth Development Organization, community members check information contained in a poster they produced which documents local fish, before publication, in the Lenya area of the Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar. After learning about the UN’s “Ridge to Reef” conservation project, indigenous land rights activists spent nearly a year consulting with local communities to develop an alternative proposal for a landscape conserved by indigenous people, outlining techniques used for generations, including land and forest administration as well as traditional customs and practices that safeguard biodiversity. (Southern Youth Development Organization via AP)

Indigenous activists clash with UN over proposed park

Aug. 19, 2020 12:37 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — When farmer May Cho Win learned that a conservation project proposed by the U.N. Development Program in Myanmar would include the land she’s worked for over a decade, the 28-year-old wondered how she and her husband would be able to support their three children....