Associated Press

Idaho racing to combat deadly bat fungus

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Officials are scrambling to slow a deadly fungal disease that has killed millions of bats before it eventually spreads to Idaho. The Times-News reports the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is partnering with National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Power Co. and Idaho National Laboratory to monitor for the fungus….

Illinois sees fewer West Nile cases, still advises caution

(Wisconsin Department of Health Services)SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois public health experts say they’re seeing fewer human cases of the West Nile virus this summer but still asking residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites, which cause the infection. Fewer pools of mosquitoes and fewer dead birds across Illinois are testing positive for the virus this year compared to last year,…

Wisconsin enterprise combines indoor fish farm, greenhouse

The one-acre fish farm can produce up to 120,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon – as well as 40,000 pounds of rainbow trout – each year.NORTHFIELD, Wis. — A new fish farm and greenhouse operation in western Wisconsin is trying to change the seafood industry with its indoor aqua-hydroponics system. Fish farm-greenhouse enterprise Superior Fresh in Northfield opened its indoor Atlantic salmon farm Thursday, The Leader-Telegram…

More rare ferrets released on Wyoming ranch

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)MEETEETSE, Wyo. — Biologists have released 13 more black-footed ferrets on a ranch where scientists more than 30 years ago rediscovered the slinky predators after they were thought to have gone extinct. One young ferret raised in captivity in Colorado didn’t take kindly to roaming free Monday. She growled and refused to leave her cage, then…

Scientists: Drones may help to spot harmful algae blooms

GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. — Scientists in Virginia say that drones may help them spot algae blooms that are harmful to the environment and to human health. The Daily Press reported that biologists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point have traditionally used boats and special sunglasses. They have already been working with NASA on ways to identify…

Buffalo could roam on Denver airport property

DENVER — A plan is in the works to allow bison from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to roam on 200 acres belonging to the Denver International Airport, airport officials said. The deal, if it goes through, would bring the bison right up to Pena Boulevard, the road that travelers take to the airport’s white-tented terminal, the Denver…

National parks in Michigan see increase in tourism

Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior saw almost 16,000 visitors as of July, a nearly 20-percent increase when compared to the same time last year. (National Park Service)DETROIT — Federal data show that tourism to Michigan’s national parks has increased. Figures from the National Park Service show that tourism is up more than 5 percent at the state’s national…

Emerald ash borer beetle epidemic could spell end of ash trees in Decatur

(U.S. Forest Service photo)DECATUR, Ill. — The emerald ash borer epidemic that hit central Illinois five years ago is still going strong and could spell the end of ash trees in the community of Decatur. Decatur Park District Horticulture Supervisor Josh McGrath told the Herald & Review that the community will be “pretty much cleaned out of ash trees” in…

Judge rules against state in White Bear Lake case; broader implications likely for future suburban development

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — The state of Minnesota violated environmental law as well as the public trust in failing to protect White Bear Lake and its aquifer, a district judge ruled in a case with broader implications for future suburban development. Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan wrote that the state should have done a better job managing area wells to…

Grand Teton National Park working to understand crafty foxes

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)JACKSON, Wyo. — John Stephenson stood atop a boulder in a steep talus field high above Jenny Lake, turning a VHF tracking antenna from side to side. To a layman the fuzzy beeps that bounced back sounded like a whole lot of nothing. To the Grand Teton National Park wildlife biologist, they told the tale…

Vermont group testing weed harvesters in battle against invasive milfoil

CASTLETON, Vt. — A Vermont neighborhood association is testing two new weed harvesters that help remove an invasive species from Lake Bomoseen. Officials with the Lake Bomoseen Association tell the Rutland Herald they are spending $29,500 on a 10-week pilot program to pull up Eurasian milfoil from the lake. Association member Bill Wood says they tried to use a harvester…

Oregon lowers bag limit for summer steelhead

Oregon officials expect the reduced bag limit for hatchery steelhead will be temporary, but it marks a conservative beginning to a season that’s expected to be hampered by low returns. As of Monday, only 70,000 hatchery and 25,000 wild steelhead have passed Bonneville Dam – 30 percent of the most recent 10-year average.

3 indicted on big-game hunting charges in Alaska national park

Dall sheep. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal grand jury has indicted three men on charges connected to illegal hunting in an Alaska national park. The indictment names 44-year-old Jeffrey Harris of Poulsbo (PAWLS-boh), Washington, 72-year-old Dale Lackner, of Haines, Alaska, and 47-year-old Casey Richardson of Huson (HEW-son), Montana. Federal prosecutors say the hunts occurred at a…

Tribe: Anglers have caught about 20,000 escaped salmon

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Native American tribe says its anglers have caught about 20,000 fish following the collapse of a commercial net pen rearing farmed Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound. The Lummi Nation said its fishermen have brought in about 200,000 pounds of the non-native species since the tribe declared a state of emergency Thursday. Cooke Aquaculture’s marine salmon farm…