The U.S. attorney for Idaho and the state attorney general announced they will not pursue charges against the two Adams County deputies who fatally shot rancher Jack Yantis. Following an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. attorney determined “there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Adams County deputy sheriffs Cody Rowland and Brian Wood for the death of Jack Yantis.” After reviewing the results of an Idaho State Police investigation, the state attorney general’s office reached the same conclusion. Yantis, 62, was shot and killed by the deputies Nov. 1 after he arrived at the scene where one of his bulls had been hit and injured by a car. He was asked by police dispatchers to go there.
A new study by university scientists seeks to foster rural acceptance of large carnivores by showing that cougars save lives by reducing the number of deadly collisions between vehicles and deer. Researchers affiliated with colleges in Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Alberta, Canada, compared data from 19 states in the East, South and Midwest. The scientists concluded that recolonizing cougars in those states would thin deer populations and prevent five traffic fatalities and more than 700 injuries a year.
Indiana's well-known exotic animal refuge Wildlife in Need claimed another victory this month when a federal administrative law judge upheld a previous decision saying the federal government did not have grounds to terminate owner Tim Stark's exhibitor's license. Wildlife in Need posted the decision on Facebook Monday, saying the group "will not bow to the terrorism" and called the decision a win.
Just in time for football season, Tin Roof Brewery plans to roll out its long-awaited Bayou Bengal beer: the first officially licensed beer of LSU. This may be the first official beer of the Fighting Tigers, but it’s not the first attempt to get there. The anticipation for such a partnership has been simmering since 2011, when the fledgling microbrewery first announced it was unveiling “Bandit Blonde” with LSU. Bandit Blonde, named for the famed backup defenders on the 1958 Tigers national championship team, was quickly rebranded to a more generic Tin Roof Blonde ale as disagreements arose among LSU leaders about whether to move forward with a licensed beer. All of this happened against the backdrop of some negative publicity about whether it was appropriate messaging to link the school’s name with an alcoholic beverage. Before the deal was stalled, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about the partnership titled “You can’t spell ‘Lush’ without L-S-U.”
William McGehee, co-founder of Tin Roof, recalled some tension surrounding the previous deal. “Unfortunately, I guess there was a lot of disagreement happening on a level above my pay grade,” McGehee said of the initial deal-killer. “They couldn’t really agree whether it was a good idea or not. It stalled out, and they finally decided it wasn’t right at that time.” Martin maintained that the contract was interpreted differently by the College Licensing Co., which he said would have permitted the arrangement.
Scientists following up on a rare wolverine sighting in the Sierra Nevada set up cameras and captured video of the animal scurrying in the snow, scaling a tree and chewing on bait. They believe the wolverine is the same one that eight years ago became the first documented in the area since the 1920s. Chris Stermer, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, set up the remote cameras in the Tahoe National Forest after officials at a field station sent him photos in January of unusual tracks in the snow near Truckee. Talk of reintroducing wolverines in California has been put on hold while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers its response to a federal court order in Montana that overturned its decision denying protection of the animal under the Endangered Species Act, Stermer said. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ordered wildlife officials to act as quickly as possible to protect the species as it becomes vulnerable to a warming planet.
New Zealand is a nation that takes its birds seriously, and it’s got very special ones. The country’s currency is adorned with images of winged species found nowhere else, including the yellow-eyed penguin and the black-masked kokako. The logo of the national air force is stamped with the famed kiwi — a chicken-sized puff of feathers that cannot fly. But many of those birds and other native wildlife are under assault from species that showed up with settlers to the island nation 200 years ago. And on Monday, Prime Minister John Key announced that, generations after they came, the invaders would have to go. New Zealand, he said, has adopted the “ambitious goal” of eradicating its soil of rats, possums, stoats and all other invasive mammals by 2050. The name of the plan: Predator Free New Zealand.
A team of engineers has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, and it could be a global game-changer. Graphene oxide has been hailed as a veritable wonder material; when incorporated into nanocellulose foam, the lab-created substance is light, strong and flexible, conducting heat and electricity quickly and efficiently. The new approach combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam. "The process is extremely simple," Singamaneni said. "The beauty is that the nanoscale cellulose fiber network produced by bacteria has excellent ability move the water from the bulk to the evaporative surface while minimizing the heat coming down, and the entire thing is produced in one shot.
Over 450 cyclists set out on a farm-to-table bicycle ride through Central Vermont, stopping at nine local farms to refuel with chef-prepared food made with ingredients from the farms. The event, Farm to Fork Fondo – Vermont, is a recreational ride that draws athletes of all abilities.
Rancher Jim Cenarrusa says he sold 9,000 acres of his central Idaho ranch to the Nature Conservancy because he knows the conservation group will take care of it. The land is at the base of the Pioneer Mountains, and is home to sage grouse and pronghorn. The family will keep a small parcel for their next generation to farm, but Cenarussa says his kids aren’t interested in carrying on the family ranch.
One hundred eighty-three miles. That’s how far Stephanie Rickels will travel one way from her rural Cascade, Iowa, home to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Des Moines, Iowa, where she is applying for U.S. citizenship. In the course of the three trips required to complete the naturalization process, she will travel more than 1,000 miles. For rural residents eligible for citizenship, Rickels’ situation is far from unusual. There is only one immigration office in Iowa, as there is in many states. If you lived in Sidney, Montana, your nearest application support center would be 300 miles away, in Rapid City, South Dakota, meaning that you might be traveling 1,800 miles for the perks of citizenship. Rickels is French by birth. She is married to an American and has been eligible for citizenship for decades, but she never thought naturalization was worth the trouble until she felt compelled to vote as an American by the current political climate, including the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. In 2014, 6,125—less than 1 percent—of newly-naturalized citizens lived in “micropolitan” or noncore counties. These are the nation’s most rural. The don’t have a city of 10,000 residents or more, and they aren’t part of the commuting zone for a county that does.