Staff shortages hamper US wildlife refuges

In this July 23, 2003, file photo, a pronghorn antelope doe keeps watch as two fawns peer out from tall grass in the heart of southeastern Oregon's Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge near Adel, Ore. A new report from a nonprofit alliance of public employees, law enforcement and land managers says rampant staff shortages at the nation's system of federal wildlife refuges are harming public access and preventing them from doing their mission to preserve wildlife. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of national wildlife refuges that provide critical habitat for migratory birds and other species are crippled by a staffing shortage that has curtailed educational programs, hampered the fight against invasive species and weakened security at facilities that attract nearly 50 million visitors annually, a group of public employees and law enforcement said Wednesday.

Wildlife managers prepare to fight cheatgrass in wake of fire

Bear and Deer canyons in the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area were burned by the Henry Creek Fire. The vegetation that was burned in this area would normally be a source of food and habitat for the deer and elk that migrate here in the winter, and there are concerns that the elk will turn to winter wheat this year because of the lack of vegetation. And many mule deer are expected to die. Taylor Carpenter / tcarpenter@postregister.com

RIRIE — Local wildlife managers are preparing for war. It’s going to last a long time. The outcome is uncertain.

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