Associated Press

Big Island forest, wildlife heavily impacted by volcano

Volcanic eruptions are impacting Malama Ki Forest Reserve, located east of the volcano, home to a young ohia-dominated forest and sub-populations of forest birds. (Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)HILO, Hawaii — Hawaii island forestry managers say one-third to one-half of a Big Island forest has been impacted by the erupting Kilauea volcano. The 2-square-mile Malama Ki Forest Reserve,…

Two elk attacks in three days near same Yellowstone hotel

A female elk like this one, also with a calf, recently attacked a woman in Yellowstone National Park, the second such attack in a span of a few days. Officials are unsure if it was the same elk, but say elk often aggressively defend their young.CHEYENNE, Wyo. — For the second time in three days, an elk has attacked a…

Yellowstone boss to retire rather than face possible reassignment, dismisses ‘politics’ speculation

Dan Wenk’s seven years leading one of the premier national parks have been marked by an explosion in visitor numbers; tension with neighboring states over wild bison slaughters, wolf hunting and grizzly bears; and a sexual harassment scandal involving Yellowstone’s maintenance division that echoed allegations at other national parks. (Yellowstone National Park)BILLINGS, Mont. — Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent said that…

Looking at the life cycle of its fish says a lot about what this Alaska hatchery does

The Deer Mountain Hatchery is the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association’s only hatchery dedicated solely to king salmon. (SSRAA)KETCHIKAN, Alaska — Nestled along the Ketchikan Creek next to City Park is a small building that produces more than 500,000 king salmon per year. Run by a two-person team, Deer Mountain Hatchery is the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association’s only hatchery…

3D archery brings real hunting scenarios

RICE, Minn. — The now-consistent summer weather has people of Stearns County breaking out their outdoor sports gear and readying themselves for days of sun. People from this area and even as far as Hutchinson, Minn., last month came to Mississippi River County Park in Rice to shoot in a 3D archery event. The 30-target range was set up throughout…

Officials: Efforts failing to save sagebrush land in West

BOISE, Idaho — Public lands managers are losing a battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird, officials said. The Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in a 58-page report released this month says…

Food shortage for brown pelicans: ‘That’s a major concern and threat for this species’

Brown pelicans, which migrate north in the spring from nesting colonies off Southern California and Mexico, spent several decades on the federal endangered species list. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)ASTORIA, Ore. — The Wildlife Center of the North Coast has already cared for several starving young California brown pelicans this spring. Brown pelicans, which migrate north in the spring from…

Endangered bee sighting in Illinois inspires Loyola survey

A rusty patched bumblebee. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)WOODSTOCK, Ill. — The sighting of an endangered bee at a college campus in northeastern Illinois has inspired a survey of the flora and fauna in the area. Loyola University Chicago student Kevin White spotted the rusty patched bumblebee last year at the ecology campus in Woodstock, the Chicago Tribune reported….

Lawmakers fail to resolve dispute over muskie stocking

NISSWA, Minn. — Lawmakers left St. Paul without resolving a long-running dispute over the stocking of Minnesota lakes with muskies. Opponents of introducing the ferocious predator fish to more lakes weren’t able to pass legislation this session to limit the practice. So anti-stocking legislation is expected to return next year. Muskies, or muskellunge, are native to 44 Minnesota lakes and…

Tribal officials investigate gillnet abandoned on Mille Lacs

ONAMIA, Minn. — Tribal authorities are investigating an abandoned gillnet found on Lake Mille Lacs that contained 67 dead walleyes. Last week’s find has revived the controversy over tribal fishing on Mille Lacs, where the walleye population has been on a long-term decline. Mille Lacs is co-managed between the state and eight Ojibwe bands that have court-affirmed treaty rights to…

Dayton vetoes revised bill on wild rice water standards, announces task force to make recommendations on protection, restoration

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill Wednesday that he said would have unlawfully undermined Minnesota’s ability to enforce its water quality standard for protecting wild rice. Dayton, who vetoed a similar bill earlier, said in a letter to House Speaker Kurt Daudt that the revised version represented “some progress,” but not enough. The bills stemmed from…

Injured birds get new chance at Michigan sanctuary

All of the birds at the Michigan Avian Experience were injured and cannot be returned to the wild. One of them, the bald eagle, is even somewhat of a celebrity. It’s the bald eagle that free flies before the Eastern Michigan University Eagles’ home football games at Rynearson Stadium. (www.miavianexperience.org)COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Francie Krawcke tosses a dead mouse into the…

Interior moves to lift restrictions on controversial hunting methods in Alaska

Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs.WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens. The National Park Service issued…

Study: Apostle Islands water has highest concentration of plastic pollution among national parks studied

Samples collected from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore had an average of 170 to 225 pieces of microplastic per kilogram of sand, according to the study. (National Park Service)BAYFIELD, Wis. — A recent study of 35 national parks found the waters off an island in northwestern Wisconsin had the highest concentration of plastic pollution. The National Park Service, South Carolina’s…

Researchers: Missouri’s black bear population growing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An ongoing research project by the Missouri Department of Conservation has found that the state’s black bear population is growing. Researcher Laura Conlee told the Springfield News-Leader that Missouri has seen high survival rates for female bears, which leads to population growth. She says reported bear sightings are also increasing. Most black bears are spotted south of…

Scientists in Wyoming launch study on wind farms’ effects on antelope

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Scientists in Wyoming have launched a six-year study of the effect of wind-energy development on pronghorn antelopes. Officials from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit fitted 80 pronghorn does with GPS collars in the Shirley Basin between Laramie and Casper. North of nearby Medicine Bow, the 500-megawatt TB…