U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish.

Vince Patton / OPB

Conservation groups are accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of withholding research showing a federal plan to kill seabirds on the Columbia River would not actually benefit salmon and steelhead.

Triple Osprey Rescue And Rehab Ends Well

Aug 14, 2014
Andrea Berglin

Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.

Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely. Protected status was put on the table in anticipation of harm due to global warming. At present, the fierce and rare carnivore is making a slow comeback in the Northwest and Northern Rockies. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Kim Flotlin

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing a controversial decision on whether to list the Mazama pocket gopher as a threatened species in the South Puget Sound area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to allow Coos County to apply pesticides within the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

Terren / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says today it will test removing barred owls to help the threatened spotted owl. The agency has proposed shooting barred owls in four study areas.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The White Bluffs bladderpod is a small flower facing some big issues.  It’s a short plant with bright yellow flowers and small inflated pods – hence its name.  At first glance, there’s nothing special about it.  It isn’t edible and doesn’t have any herbal use that we know of.   But the bladderpod is rare.  It appears to grow only in a 17 mile long strip of federal lands in the Columbia Basin.  Right now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife lists the bladderpod as “threatened.”  They would like to list it as “endangered.” 

The federal government has pushed back the possible threatened listing of two rare plants that could affect farmers in southeast Washington. Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod have become very controversial, because part of the plants’ habitat spans valuable crop ground.

It’s a big topic of conversation at the Country Mercantile restaurant where many Franklin County farmers lunch. Ami MacHugh is an area cherry and horse farmer whose land could be affected by the possible federal protections.

Farmers in southeast Washington packed a County Commission hearing Tuesday morning in Pasco. They’re angry because a flowering desert plant called the White Bluffs bladderpod may be designated as a federally threatened species by next week.

It likes to live on high desert bluffs near the Columbia River. Since farming and development have taken over much of its desert habitat – the plant has become more rare.

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