May 5, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, Southwestern Region is enacting a recreational Shooting restriction of the Coronado, Prescott, Tonto National Forests to reduce wildfires and to protect the health and safety of employees and communities.
The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge has prepared an updated Hunt Plan, Compatibility Determination, and Environmental Assessment which proposes opening additional predator and fur-bearer species to hunting to better align with Arizona Game and Fish regulations.
PHOENIX —The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to “clean, drain and dry” – and especially decontaminate — their watercraft and equipment before exiting listed waters containing aquatic invasive species (AIS).
This reminder is particularly important for out-of-town visitors who moor their boats at AIS-affected waters and are preparing to head out of state.
PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds constituents that a new rule prohibiting organized hunting contests for predatory and fur-bearing animals became effective Nov. 3. The rule does not apply to lawful hunting of predatory and fur-bearing animals (which is a valuable wildlife management tool) outside of contests as defined by the rule, nor does it apply to events such as fishing tournaments.
An Oregon Case Study
Broad social and demographic changes are affecting many aspects of American society, and fish and wildlife management is no exception. Changing wildlife values among Americans, increased technology use, decreased connection to nature, trends of declining hunting participation overall, and declining fishing participation in numerous states are some of the more immediate changes impacting state fish and wildlife agencies. These challenges have inspired agencies to broaden their programs and to seek alternative sources of funding. While hunting and fishing license dollars, in conjunction with excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, have historically made up the primary means of financial support for most agencies, the conservation and management efforts of agencies benefit all citizens, not just hunters and anglers. Agencies are not only looking to emphasize how their efforts are relevant to the public at-large, but also how they can expand their programs to connect all citizens to wildlife and conservation. As a result, there is a growing interest in measuring the attitudes of the general population, including non-hunters and non-anglers, with regard to their awareness and understanding of the work of their state fish and wildlife agency and its value to their daily lives.
Hunters asked to continue voluntary lead-reduction efforts this fall
PHOENIX — Arizona hunters have proven their long-held commitment to wildlife conservation by voluntarily working to reduce the amount of lead exposure to endangered California condors, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is encouraging all hunters to join the effort this fall.
Hunters drawn for hunts in Game Management Units 12 and 13 (north Kaibab National Forest and Arizona Strip) are eligible to participate in the department’s non-lead ammunition program and are encouraged to pick up their free ammunition early, while supplies last. Information about the program was mailed to those who drew hunt tags for the selected units.
Since 2008, 88 percent of hunters in Arizona’s condor range have voluntarily used non-lead ammunition during their hunts or, if they used lead ammunition, removed the gut piles from the field. AZGFD reminds hunters that if they have trouble finding non-lead ammunition, they can still support condor recovery by removing gut piles from the field that were shot with lead ammunition.
Scott Streater, E&E News
EUREKA COUNTY, Nev. — Ambling across a desert valley, 100 or so wild horses congregate in and around muddy pools of water in a flat, arid section of the Bureau of Land Management's Pancake Herd Management Area.
Ordinarily, this water — remnants of spring melt from mountains in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest — wouldn't be here in late July, but northeastern Nevada experienced its second unusually wet year in a row, and so the herd stays near the dirty water in the southern Newark Valley.
From a mile away, the valley looks like a kind of oasis, vast and green, containing not only the snowmelt water but also what appears to be ample forage inside the vast expanse of desert scrubland.
But it's a mirage.
The vegetation that rims the valley is little more than shrubs and brushes, mostly black sage, and rabbitbrush — nothing much the horses care to eat — in between dry-as-a-bone sand and dirt.
The wild horses have long ago consumed most all of the grasses, and most all of the winterfat shrub near the standing water; the group of 100 or so wild horses will later travel as far as 20 miles up into Humboldt-Toiyabe to find what little forage remains and to escape the stifling summer heat.
"This is just not sustainable," says Ruth Thompson, BLM Nevada's Wild Horse and Burro Program manager, looking down into the valley below during a recent tour.
Healthy snowpacks can't be counted on in this arid region to provide water; underground springs are the only reliable source of water here, and they are few and far between, she says. What's more, the large number of wild horses are eating the winterfat and Indian ricegrass literally down to the root, allowing invasive species to spread.
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