(The Bee Report) The Trump administration weakened the Endangered Species Act. Franklin’s bumble bee is being considered for the Endangered Species List – but under the newly-weakened law. And the yellow-banded bumble bee won’t be considered for protection as an endangered or threatened species (despite the fact that it’s now found in only 14 of the 25 states it used to inhabit).
(New York Times) The Endangered Species Act has been the most essential piece of United States legislation for protecting fish, plants and wildlife, and has acted as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction – including the rusty patched bumble bee. The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. The new rules would also, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.
(The Herald-News) Olivet Nazarene University monitors have been active for three seasons. They spotted two rusty patched bumble bees last year, and their studies year-over-year have provided information about a variety of other species of bumble bees and their life habits. Their data helps measure how the restoration work of Midewin volunteers, partners and staff is helping to bring back habitat for native Illinois prairie species. The ONU report that specifically focuses on the rusty patched bumble bee can be found here.
(CBS19) The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday tossed out a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that deals with the project’s effects on threatened or endangered species – including the rusty patched bumble bee. The court wrote that, in fast-tracking the Biological Opinion in connection to the proposed pipeline, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “appears to have lost sight of its mandate under the [Endangered Species Act]: ‘to protect and conserve endangered and threatened species and their habitats.'” The full decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can be found here.
(CBS 4 WCCO) The rusty patched bumble bee nests, feeds and winters along part of the transit line’s proposed route between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. Critics of the project say the ongoing construction is a threat to the bumble bee.