Associated Press

Alaska nixes lynx trapping on Kenai Peninsula

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)KENAI, Alaska — Lynx trapping will not open up on the Kenai Peninsula this year as populations of the wildcat and its prey move through a low cycle. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced last week that the trapping season will stay closed for the peninsula and the region east of the Turnagain and…

Minnesota officials seek cropland for conservation project

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota officials are working to sign up more landowners under a new program that pays farmers to permanently set aside farmland for conservation to improve water quality. The federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which launched last year in Minnesota, enrolls farm owners for 15 years, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. Farmers in the program are also…

Relocated bear travels 70 miles, likely in search of cubs

HANOVER, N.H. — A bear that was relocated to northern New Hampshire a week ago after she and her cubs were raiding trash bins and bird feeders near Dartmouth College in Hanover is on the move, traveling nearly 70 miles in seven days as she likely tries to find her way back home and to her cubs. The bear was…

Officials seeing more Michigan bats infected with rabies

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan officials say they’re seeing higher numbers of bats with rabies. The Department of Health and Human Services says its labs had diagnosed 22 bats with the fatal illness as of June 28. A year ago, the total was nine. Two rabid skunks also have turned up. Rabies is a viral disease transmitted through the bite or…

New Hampshire committee: Give loon chicks some space

MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. — The Loon Preservation Committee in New Hampshire says humans should keep their distance as loon chicks begin hatching on lakes throughout the state. The committee says many loon chicks are hatching in time for the holiday week and they are asking the public to stay at least 150 feet away. Signs of distress for loons include craning…

Study: Warming winters could lead to another bark beetle spread in Santa Fe area

(U.S. Forest Service)SANTA FE, N.M. — A bark beetle epidemic wiped out swaths of pinon trees around Santa Fe more than a decade ago, and now new research predicts that warming winters could spell more trouble. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have done a large-scale analysis to demonstrate that higher temperatures allow the destructive beetle to multiply rapidly and…

Officials: Fish from several western Michigan ponds not safe to eat

BELMONT, Mich. — State and Kent County health officials are asking people not to eat fish from some western Michigan ponds due to elevated levels of industrial chemical contaminants. The advisory was issued late last week after elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate were found in surface water from ponds near the Boulder Creek development in Belmont, northeast of Grand Rapids….

Minnesota DNR blames illegal goldfish release for dead carp

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota conservation officials are blaming the illegal introduction of nonnative ornamental goldfish for large numbers of dead carp washing up on a lakeshore south of the Minneapolis area. The Minnesota DNR says a virus from the koi goldfish also has been found in at least eight other southern Minnesota lakes in the past year. The investigation began after…

University of Minnesota officials turn to bison herd to help ecosystem

(recreation.gov)MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota officials hope a herd of bison will help restore a threatened ecosystem in a nature reserve. More than 30 bulls immediately began to graze on grass when they were released into the 200-acre Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in East Bethel on June 13, the Minnesota Daily reported. “To see animals be released like that…

Two more lawsuits challenge proposed mine near Boundary Waters

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management reinstated the leases last month, reversing a decision against renewing them by the Obama administration, which cited the potential harm to the Boundary Waters from acid mine drainage. (Photo by Brian Peterson)MINNEAPOLIS — Environmental groups filed two more lawsuits Monday challenging the Interior Department’s decision to reinstate the federal mineral rights leases for…