August 17, 2011–Greater sage-grouse are at just 3% of their historical numbers, and warrant protection, according to the Bureau of Land Management. But since other species are in even more dire straits, the birds haven't been declared a threatened or endangered species. The US Dept. of Agriculture money is a work-around aimed at saving the birds and their habitat.
June 22, 2011–There is local news in these USDA and USFWS grants. These on-the-ground projects involve specific groups and individuals, offering prime examples of programs you can investigate to see whether federal tax dollars are being effectively and efficiently spent.
May 25, 2011–While it's not a done deal, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and WildEarth Guardians have agreed on a list of 251 species that warrant the most immediate attention. Not all environmental groups support the choices, though.
May 25, 2011–Prepared by a large coalition of government agencies and NGOs, the report generally focuses on the condition of bird species in each of the broad habitat types, as well as the roles of various federal and state agencies and the relationships of species survival on public vs. private lands.
March 2, 2011–States and territories have just been allocated about three-quarters of a billion dollars for their use in building facilities, providing services, and conducting planning and research related to fishing, hunting, wildlife conservation, and recreational opportunities. This is a gold mine for local environmental stories.
February 16, 2011–2011 is the "Year of the Turtle," orchestrated by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. A USA Turtle Mapping Project and other resources offer opportunities to cover turtle declines and related issues.
February 16, 2011–Down about 85% from their levels around 130 years ago, according to researchers from the US, China, Italy, Uruguay, and Australia, the decimation of native oysters — a contributor to healthy ecosystems and an indicator of ecosystem health — has largely been caused by overharvesting, disease, and introduction of exotic species.