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Rural

Judge: US must reconsider Yellowstone bison protections

A federal judge has ordered U.S. wildlife officials to reconsider a 2015 decision that blocked special protections for the iconic bison herds that roam Yellowstone National Park and are routinely subjected to hunting and slaughter. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said in a ruling late Wednesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could not "simply pick and choose" between conflicting science, after the agency rejected a study suggesting the park's bison population might be too small to sustain its two herds.

Lands stripped from Utah monuments open to claims, leases by oil, gas, coal and uranium companies

The window opened Friday for oil, gas, uranium and coal companies to make requests or stake claims to lands that were cut from two sprawling Utah national monuments by President Trump in December — but there doesn’t appear to be a rush to seize the opportunities.For anyone interested in the uranium on the lands stripped from the Bears Ears National Monument, all they need to do is stake a few corner posts in the ground, pay a $212 initial fee and send paperwork to the federal government under a law first created in 1872 that harkens back to the days of the Wild West.They can then keep right

Western states lead the fight to maintain net neutrality

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to disband protections for net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers cannot choose which websites to favor or block. The change gives internet service providers more opportunity to make money, but may hurt smaller businesses and internet users along the way. Even though the West is home to some of the most important players in the tech industry, its rural areas often suffer from lack of internet access — a problem some argue could be solved by loosening net neutrality regulations.

Iowa wildlife groups banned from rescuing deer

Iowa groups that rescue and rehabilitate wildlife must turn away whitetail deer to avoid inadvertently spreading a deadly animal disease, state officials say. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources notified 90 volunteers and groups in December that the state would no longer give permits to groups that rehabilitate whitetail deer, most often fawns. The state wants to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, which has been found in wild deer herds in Allamakee and Clayton counties in northeast Iowa.

West Virginia bill would limit opioid prescribing, could penalize doctors

State lawmakers got their first glimpse at Gov. Jim Justice’s legislation to combat the opioid epidemic in West Virginia Tuesday, giving the bill high marks but cautioning that it could penalize honest doctors. The bill, which aims to reduce the number of pain pills prescribed, would allow medical licensing boards to more quickly suspend doctors if their prescriptions appear “abnormal or unusual.” The state Board of Pharmacy would flag the suspect prescriptions.

Why is pay lagging? Maybe too many mergers in the heartland

A recent working paper by the economists José Azar, Ioana Marinescu and Marshall I. Steinbaum examined job listings on CareerBuilder.com from 2010 through 2013 and found that tens of millions of Americans lived in areas where a relatively small number of employers posted most of the listings. They showed that wages fell when fewer employers in a geographic area listed most of the jobs in an occupation. The phenomenon appears to hit workers hardest outside major cities — areas where voters’ economic frustrations helped carry Donald J. Trump to the White House in 2016. Mr. Trump won Mr.

Suit tries to block roundup of nearly 10,000 Nevada mustangs

Animal rights activists are suing to block what they say is an unprecedented federal plan to capture thousands of wild horses over 10 years in Nevada. Friends of Animals accuse the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of violating the National Environmental Policy Act by approving the removal of nearly 10,000 mustangs across an area near the Nevada-Utah line almost twice as big as Delaware.The suit filed Thursday in federal court in Reno says the roundup decision is unprecedented in both size and scope.

Turning to beet juice and beer to address road salt danger

Looking to strike a balance between ice-free roads and clean waterways, public works departments around the country are working to cut their salt use in winter by slathering the roadways with beet juice, molasses, and even beer waste to make them safer. Rock salt for decades has provided the cheapest and most effective way to cut down on traffic accidents and pedestrian falls during winter storms.

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