Wolves Out West Get Back Endangered Species Protection

An ID judge relisted the gray wolf as an endangered species, saying the USFWS can’t keep them endangered only in WY just because that state is crazy.

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2,700 Wild Horses Fight Eviction in Federal Court

Ocracoke Pony

Today a federal judge in Washington will hear wild horse advocates argue that 2,700 wild horses in Nevada shouldn’t be rounded up and held indefinitely in holding pens. Seems like an obvious choice, but under the antiquated U.S. wild horse protections, it’s not.

Wild horses in America are like a beleagured employee who has somehow gotten stuck with a totally inappropriate manager who doesn’t understand their charm or why he can’t just get rid of them. Horses somehow fall under the The Bureau of Land Management, despite its mission to provide land for energy producers, cattle ranchers and miners. Since 2000 the BLM has gone on a spree of rounding up wild horses, creating what has become a vast, money-sucking collection of 11,000 in corrals and 22,000 in Midwestern pastures–the same number that run wild. In 2008 the BLM started openly talking about mass euthanasia for mustangs. (To save them, Madeleine Pickens proposed a private sanctuary.)

The BLM announced its final decision Monday to remove 2,700 horses near Reno in what it calls the Calico Complex Round-up, which includes five herd management areas: Black Rock Range East and West, Calico Mountains, Granite Range, and Warm Springs Canyon. The BLM decided the right amount of horses for the area is 600-900 and it counts about 3,000 out there.

If they don’t round up the horses, some might die, the BLM threatens. Well, yeah, they’re wild animals. That’s what they do. It’s not as if this is a magical species that would

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PEER to Sue for More Manatee Sanctuaries after Disturbing Videos of Manatee Harassment

About two years ago some local Florida manatee lovers took some disturbing video of tourists and tour guides pestering manatees. Tracy Colson and Steve Kingry posted shots on YouTube of tour guides holding manatees so that tourists could touch them. Some tourists also kicked them and tried to sit on the sea cows. Finally, about two years later, something might actually be done to protect this endangered species whose population has dwindled to about 3,000 from Florida hooligans.

Spurred on by the videos, this summer the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) officially asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to ban “Swim with Manatee” programs. Tourists aren’t supposed to get within 50 yards of dolphins or 100 yards of whales in NOAA’s (voluntary) guidelines for those tour operators. But at least there is some enforcement for whale boats. NOAA also won’t let tour operators show ads that have people interacting with, chasing, petting or riding whale or dolphins in the Dolphin Sense and Whale Smart programs. So how can tours advertise swimming with the far more endangered manatee?

Before I had heard about any of this going on in Florida, I saw ads online for sleazy outfits around Cancun that advertised Swim With Manatees programs. Yuck, I thought. Don’t people know that manatees (or any animals) don’t want to be forced to swim with them. But I had no idea there were plenty of places in Florida getting away with it, too. Then I read an incredible story travel

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