The US NWR system was officially established in 1903 by president Teddy Roosevelt, although the history of "official" wildlife habitat restoration goes back further, finding its genesis perhaps in the 1864 act of Congress that transferred Yosemite Valley to the state of California with the stipulation that its wildlife and flora must be protected.
The NWR System has more than 560 refuges, 38 wetland management districts, and other protected areas that protect 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the far reaches of the Pacific. Habitat is protected for over 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 1,000 species of fish. More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges. Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as as resting and recharging "fueling stations" while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes. There is at least one NWR in every state and territory and within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.
Author Rachel Carson, who worked as the chief editor for the USFWS from 1939 to 1952, wrote about the refuge system:
Wild creatures, like men, must have a place to live. As civilization creates cities, builds highways, and drains marshes, it takes away, little by little, the land that is suitable for wildlife. And as their space for living dwindles, the wildlife populations themselves decline. Refuges resist this trend by saving some areas from encroachment, and by preserving in them, or restoring where necessary, the conditions that wild things need in order to live.
From the RGJ:
Sandoval speaking on Gold Butte:
"It is an incredibly beautiful place with an amazing desert landscape." There are still some adjustments that need to be made, and I intend to have a conversation with Secretary Zinke in the very near future."
Sandoval speaking on Basin and Range:
"I do know that it is a beautiful place and I think it is important it be protected; I just think it is the scope that is the issue."
Full story here;
NEW 30 second video featuring Jim Boone on Basin and Range -- PLEASE Share
"There are endless things to discover.” RT to defend #BasinAndRange @SenDeanHeller @GovSandoval pic.twitter.com/YBWDEf30Ep
RT to tell @SecretaryZinke & @WhiteHouse to preserve one of the few unblemished basins in the world! #BasinAndRange pic.twitter.com/YBWDEf30Ep
Hear why #BasinAndRange is so important for scientific discovery. Then RT to protect it! @SecretaryZinke pic.twitter.com/YBWDEf30Ep
Archaeologist Rayette - Twitter
"We can learn more about what past people were doing.” RT to defend #BasinAndRange @SenDeanHeller @GovSandoval pic.twitter.com/31KXDT7O1r
RT to tell @SecretaryZinke & @WhiteHouse to preserve an archaeological wonder! #BasinAndRange pic.twitter.com/31KXDT7O1r
Hear why #BasinAndRange is so important for scientific discovery. Then RT to protect it! @SecretaryZinke pic.twitter.com/31KXDT7O1r
Full length - Basin and Range
Stories. Communities. #MadeInAmerica. RT to tell @SecretaryZinke to keep #BasinAndRange protected! #MonumentsForAll https://twitter.com/MonumentsForUSA/status/898612309412597760
Why are you defending our #MonumentsForAll? Hear why Nevadans want to keep #BasinAndRange protected. @WhiteHouse https://twitter.com/BasinRangers/status/898583777449885696
Defend NV’s – & America’s – treasures. RT to support #BasinAndRange & #MonumentsForAll! @SenDeanHeller @GovSandoval https://twitter.com/BasinRangers/status/898583777449885696
Hear why Nevadans are speaking up for #BasinAndRange & then RT to defend #MonumentsForAll! @SecretaryZinke https://twitter.com/MonumentsForUSA/status/898612309412597760
The U.S. Department of the Interior is conducting a review of certain National Monuments designated or expanded since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906 in order to implement Executive Order 13792 of April 26, 2017. The Secretary of the Interior will use the review to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy stated in the Executive Order and to formulate recommendations for Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other appropriate actions to carry out that policy. This Notice identifies twenty-seven National Monuments under review and invites comments to inform the review.
To ensure consideration, written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted before May 26, 2017. Written comments relating to all other National Monuments must be submitted before July 10, 2017.
You may submit written comments online at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.
Unfortunately the U.S. Senate voted today to repeal the Bureau of Land Management's Planning 2.0, taking away the public's, opportunity to have input and a voice on how our public lands are managed.
Mind you, this was not done by the BLM, but by our elected officials.
We, the public land owners, should be furious that our representatives are silencing our voices on the management of our lands. If you call your representatives, especially ones that voted to repeal BLM Planning 2.0, please tell them how disappointed you are that they stole your voice in land management.
BLM Planning 2.0 is an initiative that aims to increase public involvement and incorporate the most current data and technology into public land use planning. Final revisions to the planning regulations has been released along with several supporting documents, including a response to public comments, an economic analysis, and a categorical exclusion. With this initiative, the BLM hopes to enhance the way it involves the public in its planning efforts, making it easier for people to participate earlier in the process and in a more meaningful way.
Proponents of BLM 2.0 feel the BLM’s new planning rule creates a more dynamic and durable planning process that is more responsive to change, making it more efficient to keep plans current. This saves the BLM time and saves taxpayers money
The House repealed BLM 2.0 a few weeks ago with H. J. res 44. Opponents of "Planning 2.0" argue that increasing public participation creates red tape and takes power away from local and state governments in favor of conservation groups. However, the final rule retains the special role of state, local and tribal cooperating agencies, as specifically required by the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.
We feel it's important not to tie the hands of the newly appointed Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, before he even sits down at his desk. The CRA (Congressional Review Act)* is not the best way to deal with any concerns about Planning 2.0 - let our new secretary handle this.
If you want to have a voice in public land management and a planning process that is more collaborative and transparent; and strengthens opportunities for other Federal agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes, and the public to be involved in the development of RMPs earlier and more frequently; please contact your Senators and ask them to maintain BLM Planning 2.0.
If you don't know your Senate office numbers, call (202)-224-3121 to be connected to your Senate offices (just tell them what state you're calling from). When you speak to your Senators, please tell them to protect BLM Planning 2.0 by asking them not to support H. J. Res. 44.
Yesterday (2/10/17), at the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting, a huge crowd of hunters, conservationists, and concerned citizens gathered as the commission reviewed and discussed the Nevada Land Management Task Force Report to transfer public lands to the State of Nevada, the Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR 1) of the 2015 Nevada Legislature and subsequent federal legislation, namely HR 1484 which died when in the 114th.closed, but will be reintroduced in the 115th.. The commission reviewed the history of SJR 1 and HR 1484, then the Nevada Lands Council presented its efforts to support the proposed legislation and answered questions that the commission had.
The commission had a lot of questions and concerns about the Task Force Report and the upcoming proposed legislation, none of the 9 members supported them initially. and after the question and answer portion of the meeting, they didn't seem to change their minds. The commission then opened the floor up to comments from the public, not one commenter supported the legislation and all urged the commission not support it as well.
In the end, the commission voted unanimously to summarize their and the public's concerns in a letter to Amodei, who introduced the past legislation and is planning on introducing a new version of HR 1484 soon.
It was very cool to see public land users of differing and often conflicting uses come together to support our common cause. Hopefully this camaraderie continues and will help us work on tough issues facing land management and use in the future.
Using social media, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced his withdrawal of the proposed bill H.R. 621 which would sell off 3.3 million acres of federal land. Sportsmen and women, outdoor recreationalists, and conservationists across the country came together to oppose this bill and in Chaffetz's words "I am withdrawing HR 621...I hear you and HR 621 dies..."
Thank you for listening to the people! And thank you to all who voiced their opinions!
A bill (HR 621) has been introduced in the House by Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz that would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell off public lands across western states much of which make up the Basin and Range Region we love so much!
It doesn't matter how you enjoy and use your public lands, be it hiking, bicycling, motorcycling, OHV driving, hunting, rock hounding, geocaching, horseback riding, flora and fauna spotting, ranching, guiding, etc....the selling off of public lands will have a huge impact. If you use and enjoy public lands please tell Rep. Chaffetz, along with the Representatives from your state, to keep public lands in public hands. Ask your Representatives to vote no on this misguided attempt to sell off what makes the west great!
Call (202)-224-3121, connect to your House Representative, not your Senator.
Thank you so much!
Below is a quick slideshow of a tiny fraction of your public lands!
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has taken necessary actions in the Montana Mountains in Northern Nevada in an effort to save healthy bighorns in the adjacent Nevada and Oregon mountain ranges. The decision was made to depopulate a herd of California bighorn sheep due to an ongoing and aggressive outbreak of polymicrobial pneumonia that has caused an all age die-off in a once healthy herd in the Montana Mountains of Humboldt County.
"We had to make the difficult but necessary decision to completely depopulate the Montana Mountains of the remaining small number of bighorn sheep to prevent the spread of pneumonia to sheep in other Nevada mountain ranges and to prevent the possibility of sick sheep dispersing into the neighboring state of Oregon," said Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley. "This is truly an unfortunate measure, but as the extent of this disease event has become clearer to us, we have determined that it is the proper and responsible course of action. " An important factor in the Department’s decision is that currently, there is no known cure or treatment for the illness.
Indications of disease in this herd were first revealed in early December 2015 during routine capture and radio-marking efforts. Subsequent close monitoring and disease testing of additional bighorn sheep from this area indicated a high occurrence of pneumonia.
Learn more here: http://www.ndow.org/Bighorn-Sheep-Disease-Event-Montana-Mountains/_
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The Basin and Range Project
We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
We currently focus primarily on issues in the Nevada region of the Basin and Range, but are looking to expand soon.
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