Wildlife

Understanding that the future of the American West means little without its iconic wildlife, WELC is dedicated to protecting native animals while preserving and restoring the healthy, functioning natural ecosystems they call home.

Idaho Settlement Ensures Notification for Wildlife Killing Contests on BLM Lands (News Release 2/23/17)

2/23/2017
Cruel, Unethical Competitions Stopped for Last Two Years

Yesterday, the Federal District Court of Idaho approved a settlement agreement between six conservation groups and the Bureau of Land Management ensuring public notice of a wildlife killing contest on BLM-managed public lands near Salmon, Idaho.

Lawsuit Spurs Forest Service to Ensure Safe Passage for Bull Trout (News Release 2/10/17)

2/10/2017
Payette National Forest will assess how to protect bull trout critical habitat from motorized use

In response to a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, the Payette National Forest in west central Idaho is reconsidering how it manages roads and motorized trails to better protect bull trout. The complaint, filed September 21, 2016, challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to ensure protection for bull trout critical habitat from roads and motorized trails.

Decision on grizzlies delayed; 100 killed over 2 years

1/11/2017

BILLINGS — A deluge of opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes, conservation groups and some scientists is tying up a decision on lifting protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National park.

Officials had planned to finalize by the end of 2016 a proposal to turn management of grizzlies over to state officials and allow limited hunting.

Lawsuit against Santa Fe National Forest travel management plan thrown out

1/04/2017

SANTA FE N.M. (KRQE) – The U.S. District Court has thrown out a lawsuit from an off-roading organization against the Santa Fe National Forest.

The ATV group was fighting the forest’s Travel Management Plan that would close parts of the forest to motorized use.

It’s been a battle for years now — a lawsuit between the Santa Fe National Forest and the New Mexico off-roading group.

The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance has been fighting to keep more of the forest open for ATVs.

Ecology's CAFO Water Quality Permit Sacrifices Public Health, Drinking Water, Shellfish Beds (News Release 1/19/17)

1/19/2017

Today, a coalition environmental, public health, social justice and public interest advocates and organizations representing tens of thousands of Washingtonians responded to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s issuance of a revised concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) general discharge permit, five years after the former permit expired.

Advocacy in action: Decades-long effort earns 20-year mining ban in Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers (News Release 1/13/17)

1/13/2017
Administration acts to protect steelhead, wild salmon for decades

This week, the Obama Administration took strong administrative action to protect an area in southwest Oregon's Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest with the highest concentration of designated Wild Rivers in the contiguous U.S. The action safeguards the area's wild salmon and steelhead habitat, and preserves a mecca for aquatic recreationalists such as paddlers, boaters, and fishermen, for 20 years.

Court tosses suit challenging Santa Fe National Forest travel management plan (News Release 1/4/17)

1/04/2017
400,000 acres of SFNF will remain protected from ATVs

Late last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico dismissed a case against the Santa Fe National Forest brought by an off-road vehicle advocacy organization. The case challenged the U.S.

USFS Amendment Recalled After Lawsuit

12/09/2016

A recent Forest Service decision in Helena put to end a controversial forest plan amendment that could have set a precedent for other neighboring national forests, including the Kootenai, according to a press release issued by the Western Environmental Law Center on Dec. 6.

Helena – A coalition of Montana sportsmen’s groups commended the Helena-Lewis Clark National Forest’s recent decision to withdraw a forest plan amendment that could have negatively impacted big game habitat, potentially greatly reducing public hunting opportunity.

Washington state lists Canada lynx as endangered Rare Cats (News Release 12/14/16)

12/14/2016

Late last week, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to list Canada lynx as “endangered” under the state equivalent of the Endangered Species Act. This move comes as estimates for the state population of lynx fall to an estimated 54 individuals. The Canada lynx was previously listed as “threatened,” however population declines and habitat degradation have led the species to the brink of extirpation in Washington.

WA industrial dairy installs court-ordered manure lagoon liners to protect groundwater (News Release 12/12/16)

12/12/2016
Department of Ecology poised to allow continued industrial ag pollution throughout state with new permit

Last week, Cow Palace Dairy, a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Zillah, Wash., began installation of state-of-the-art synthetic liners for the facility’s earthen manure storage lagoons to prevent ongoing leakage of contaminants to groundwater. This comes as the Washington State Department of Ecology is set to finalize a CAFO General Permit that forgoes this proven, cost-effective protective measure in favor of knowingly contaminating drinking water for thousands of Washingtonians.

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