The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation has received a $187,000 federal grant to continue wolf research on the reservation and develop a wolf management plan.
The grant is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Earlier this winter, the tribe’s wildlife biologists were able to put GPS collars on an adult female wolf from the Strawberry Pack and an adult female from the Nc’icn Pack.
The grant will pay for additional wolf monitoring efforts, including DNA sampling and more collaring of animals.
DNA extracted from scat samples identifies individual wolves and also provides a record of what the wolves are eating at various times of the year, tribal officials said.
Wildlife biologists will use that information to estimate annual consumption of elk, deer, moose and other prey species.
Resolution sought in water rights case
BOISE – North Idaho lawmakers are pushing a House resolution calling for negotiations – rather than court action – to settle water rights claims between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the state of Idaho.
Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, said negotiation is “a lot less costly than litigation, and more inclusive.”
The question of the tribe’s federal reserved water rights claims is a major factor in the state’s adjudication of all the water rights in the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin, which is now underway; Idaho also is concerned about downstream claims from the state of Washington.
“All parties want to protect Idaho’s interests,” Malek said.
Activists rally for immigration reform
Immigration reform activists staged a Spokane rally Thursday in an attempt to pressure U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to let the immigration reform onto the House floor for a vote.
“We know that if the vote were held right now it would pass,” said Rudy Lopez, one of a group of activists who fasted for 22 days outside the U.S. Capitol last year. The Senate already has approved the comprehensive reform plan, but the House companion bill is stuck.
McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican and member of the GOP leadership team, opposes the Senate plan, which includes citizenship opportunities for those who are here illegally. Her office says she supports modernizing the nation’s immigration system but believes a workable guest-worker program is needed along with ways to deal with those who are here unlawfully, though she didn’t specify what steps she favors.
Tesla expansion bill sent to Gov. Inslee
OLYMPIA – A bill that would allow electric car manufacturer Tesla to open additional stores in Washington state is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.
Senate Bill 6272 passed through the House on Thursday by a 94-2 vote and passed the Senate in February. Under the measure, Tesla would be able to expand in Washington beyond its two stores in Seattle and Bellevue.
Initially the bill, which also clarifies existing laws between car manufacturers and dealers, had language that would have prohibited Tesla from expanding because of its status as a manufacturer and not as a dealer. The company sells cars directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.
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