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.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
USDA continues to expand its Biomass Crop Assistance Program that provides financial incentives for producers of various biomass products with the latest selected project areas for growing camelina in CA, OR, WA, and MT, poplar trees in OR, and switchgrass in KS and OK.
Hunting, under certain conditions, is already allowed at more than 300 of the 553 sites in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Contact local environmental, animal rights, and hunting groups for opinions for or against these proposals that would allow additional species to be killed at 10 refuges in 8 states.
"Wichita actually has thousands of jobs tied to improving the environment — in businesses such as organic farming, insulated building materials and wind turbine parts. But what makes the green economy different today is that it also attracts people who simply want to do well — as in, make money — rather than people who want to do good."
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was warned from multiple sources early in the year that major flooding was likely on the Missouri River. But by the time officials moved to 'evacuate' upstream reservoirs in anticipation of snowmelt, they were hampered by downstream flooding that prevented them from releasing more water, internal emails show."
The US Dept. of Agriculture is providing financial support for farmers to grow the grass in four project areas in four states. The goal is to substantially increase production of the crop, and USDA estimates about 4,000 jobs will be created.
"Sunflower Electric has a calendar problem. The company has only a year left to begin construction of its controversial coal-fired plant in western Kansas, but a legal challenge to the plant’s air-quality permit is blocking progress."
"MINOT, ND -- Minot city officials, residents and the North Dakota National Guard today worked together to ensure a safe evacuation of some 12,000 people and 4,200 homes in Minot, as the Souris River overtopped its levees, flooding streets and washing away some homes."
Just in time for summer, 41 new segments of the US National Recreation Trails system in AL, AR, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, OK, PA, TN, and WV, covering about 650 land and water miles in 17 states, are open for business. These are part of a much larger system of about 1,100 trails spanning 13,000 miles.
"With the rising Missouri River threatening to encroach a South Omaha sewage treatment plant, the City of Omaha will dump 6 million gallons of raw sewage a day into the river as it takes part of the plant off-line."