Finding critters near 7N Ranch

Racers cue up at the starting line of the first Moose on the Loose Winter Triathlon held at Harriman State Park on Saturday. The event consisted of a snowshoe leg, fat bike leg and ski leg. (Photo courtesy of Trever Turpin)

The first thing I noticed during Saturday’s cross-country ski at 7N Ranch were deer tracks. The tracks and trails went everywhere.

More Yellowstone bison means more winterkill, benefitting wolves

More bison in Yellowstone National Park means more dead and dying bison to feed wolves and other predators and scavengers. In this 2005 photo the Mollie’s wolf pack surrounds a weak bison in the Pelican Valley. Doug Smith / Yellowstone National Park

When Yellowstone National Park’s aching cold and deep snow claims the lives of winter-weakened bison, predators like wolves are one of the beneficiaries.

Winter recreation pays off for Harriman State Park

A fat bike rider leaves the warming hut yurt at Harriman State Park on Jan. 7. Nearby, the Idaho Falls Nordic Ski Patrol set up a table with hot cocoa and chili. Jerry Painter / jpainter@postregister.com

Long a popular summer destination, Harriman State Park officials in recent years have turned their focus to the winter. They opened the park to the surging sport of fat biking — the first state park to do so — and began plowing the main road for easier access to cabin and yurt rentals. New events have been added on weekends, including Harriman’s first winter triathlon, “Moose on the Loose,” scheduled for Saturday.

GOP targets Endangered Species Act for big changes

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of female southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. Republicans in Congress are readying plans to roll back the reach of the Endangered Species Act after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities on public lands. Over the past eight years, GOP lawmakers sponsored dozens of measures aimed at curtailing the landmark law or putting species such as gray wolves and sage grouse out of its reach. Almost all were blocked by Democrats and the White House or lawsuits from environmentalists. (Jerret Raffety/Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. — In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

Thirty antelope die crossing frozen Snake River

Twenty antelope had to be euthanized after being injured trying to cross the Snake River at Lake Wolcott on Monday. Courtesy Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game staff on Monday euthanized 20 pronghorn antelope that were injured and stranded on the ice while attempting to cross the Snake River at Lake Walcott. Fish and Game staff also rescued six pronghorns, and another 10 were killed and partially consumed by coyotes.

National park visits hits record high again

FILE - In this Aug 26, 2016 file photo, a man takes a picture as the morning light illuminates the Grand Tetons, in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. Visitation to America's national parks has set new records for three consecutive years. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

SALT LAKE CITY — Visits to U.S. national parks set a record in 2016 for the third consecutive year as landmarks such Zion, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain experienced historic levels of popularity that brought collateral headaches stemming from overcrowded roads and trails and increasing visitor misbehavior.

Decision on grizzlies delayed

BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials are delaying their decision on whether to lift protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park and allow hunting, amid opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes and conservation groups.

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