Biologist Says Caribou Herd May be Extinct

 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ A biologist says the south Selkirk mountain caribou herd may be extinct after aerial surveys found only three remaining animals.

Bart George, wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, says two aerial surveys in March found only three female caribou. Last year there were about a dozen of the endangered animals.

The Spokesman-Review says that less than 10 years ago there were about 50 animals in the herd.

The south Selkirk caribou herd was the only herd living in both the United States and Canada. It ranges along the crest of the Selkirks near the international border, north of Spokane. The remaining 14 or so herds are all in Canada. It's estimated that less than 1,400 mountain caribou are left in North America.

Efforts to save the animals began decades ago.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

 

Kansas governor signs bill protecting tribal regalia rights

Editors Note APNewsNow.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed a bill protecting the right of native Americans to wear tribal regalia and other cultural objects at public events.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the bill was sponsored by Rep. Ponka-We Victors. The Wichita Democrat is a member of both the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona.

She contends some states have enacted similar laws in response to policies enforced at events like high school graduations where officials sometimes insist on strict dress codes.

The new law bars any state agency, school district or local government from prohibiting any individual from wearing tribal regalia at events or meetings.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

 

Lawsuit seeks protected areas for West Coast humpbacks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A new lawsuit accuses the Trump administration of failing to follow the law on protecting humpback whales.

Two environmental groups and a nonprofit that represents Native American tribes filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

There have been increasing reports of humpback whales tangled in fishing gear that cause some to die. Federal authorities have designated three groups of West Coast humpbacks as endangered or threatened.

The lawsuit says that obligates federal officials to designate special areas of the ocean as critical to protecting the humpback whales. It says authorities missed the legal deadline for doing so by 2017.

Spokeswoman Jennie Lyons of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the agency does not comment on litigation.

 

EPA settles with company to assess uranium sites on Navajo

CAMERON, Ariz. (AP) _ Federal officials have reached a settlement to have eight abandoned uranium mines assessed on the Navajo Nation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says EnPro Holdings Inc. will install fencing and signs warning residents and visitors of potential radiation exposure at sites in northeastern Arizona near Cameron and Tuba City. The company also will assess for radiation and conduct biological and cultural surveys ea.

The work is expected to cost $500,000 and be complete by the end of the year.

EnPro is the successor to the A&B Mining Corp, which operated on the reservation in the 1950s.

Uranium was mined extensively from the Navajo Nation for use in Cold War weapons production. Hundreds of mines were abandoned without being cleaned up.

The tribe has banned uranium mining and processing since 2005.

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