The maintenance backlog at the National Park System is nearly $12 billion, and a hot button issue for various constituencies. But don't look for spending to clear it up any time soon, with major budget cuts proposed. This week's TipSheet outlines the issues, and provides resources and perspectives to cover the story.
"Amid renewed concern about whether chronic wasting disease can jump from deer to people, a fatal human brain condition in the same family is showing up more often in Wisconsin and nationally."
"Everybody knows about Lyme disease. But experts say the Northern United States may be in for a bad tick season this summer, raising concerns about Lyme and other scary tick-borne diseases, including the Powassan virus, which causes encephalitis and can leave people with permanent neurological damage."
"Mark D. Zabel wants to set some fires. Dr. Zabel and his colleagues are developing plans to burn plots of National Park Service land in Arkansas and Colorado. If the experiments turn out as the researchers hope, they will spare some elk and deer a gruesome death."
"Fishing and environmental groups sued the Trump administration [June 29] for concluding that Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) plan to replumb California's water system would not jeopardize key threatened species.
Brown wants to build two 40-foot-diameter tunnels buried 150 feet below ground to shuttle water around the ecologically sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, where the state's two main rivers meet before flowing to the ocean through San Francisco Bay.
"SALMON, Idaho -- Conservationists threatened to sue on Friday in order to block a plan by U.S. wildlife managers that strips grizzly bears of federal protection, opening them to hunting around Yellowstone National Park."
"The world’s largest ever field trial demonstrates widely used insecticides harm both honeybees and wild bees, increasing calls for a ban".
"Leaders worry delisting could invite energy exploration in historic areas."
"Steve Perlman doesn’t take Prozac, like some of the other rare-plant botanists he knows. Instead, he writes poetry. Either way, you have to do something when a plant you’ve long known goes extinct."
"Prominent greater sage grouse conservationists say Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan to consider captive breeding of the bird would meet a dead end."