Interior Dept. moves to allow Alaska bear hunting with doughnuts, bacon

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens.

The National Park Service issued a notice Monday of its intent to amend regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves to bring the federal rules in line with Alaska state law.

Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.

These and other hunting methods — condemned as cruel by wildlife protection advocates — were outlawed on federal lands in 2015. Members of the public have 60 days to provide comment on the proposed new rules.

“The conservation of wildlife and habitat for future generations is a goal we share with Alaska,” said Bert Frost, the park service’s regional director. “This proposed rule will reconsider NPS efforts in Alaska for improved alignment of hunting regulations on national preserves with State of Alaska regulations, and to enhance consistency with harvest regulations on surrounding non-federal lands and waters.”

Alaska has 10 national preserves covering nearly 37,000 square miles (95,830 square kilometers).

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game was “pleased to see the National Park Service working to better align federal regulations with State of Alaska hunting and trapping regulations,” Maria Gladziszewski, the state agency’s deputy director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation, said in an email to The Associated Press.

She said the proposal is “progress in that direction, and we appreciate those efforts. Alaskans benefit when state and federal regulations are consistent.”

Gladziszewski said the state doesn’t conduct predator control in national preserves. “Predator control could be allowed in preserves only with federal authorization because such actions are subject to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review,” she said.

Expanding hunting rights on federal lands has been a priority for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana congressman who displays a taxidermied bear in his Washington office along with mounted heads from a bison and an elk.

The Obama-era restrictions on hunting on federal lands in Alaska were challenged by Safari Club International, a group that promotes big-game hunting. The Associated Press reported in March that Zinke had appointed a board loaded with trophy hunters to advise him on conserving threatened and endangered wildlife, including members of the Safari Club.

President Donald Trump’s sons are also avid trophy hunters who have made past excursions to Africa and Alaska.

Collette Adkins, a lawyer and biologist with the advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity, expressed outrage at the rollback.

“Cruel and harmful hunting methods like killing bear cubs and their mothers near dens have no place on our national preserves,” she said.

The Humane Society of the United States said it would oppose the new rules.

“These federal lands are havens for wildlife and the National Park Service is mandated to manage these ecosystems in a manner that promotes conservation,” said Anna Frostic, a lawyer for the animal rights group. “This proposed rule, which would allow inhumane killing of our native carnivores in a misguided attempt to increase trophy hunting opportunities, is unlawful and must not be finalized.”

Interior Department to allow imports of elephant and lion trophies from Africa, reversing Obama policies · A Humane Nation

Interior Department to allow imports of elephant and lion trophies from Africa, reversing Obama policies

Elephants are on the list of threatened species and the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them. Photo by iStockphoto

Interior Department to allow imports of elephant and lion trophies from Africa, reversing Obama policies

By Wayne Pacelle

With barely contained enthusiasm, Safari Club International (SCI) announced on its own initiative today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has reversed critical elephant protections established during the Obama administration, allowing imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. For decades, Zimbabwe has been run by a dictator who has targeted and killed his political opponents, and operated the country’s wildlife management program as something of a live auction. Remember, it was Zimbabwe where Walter Palmer shot Cecil, one of the most beloved and well-studied African lions, who was lured out of a national park for the killing. Palmer paid a big fee even though it did irreparable damage to the nation’s reputation.

The United States has listed African elephants under the federal Endangered Species Act, and hunting trophies can only be imported if the federal government finds that killing them positively enhances the survival of the species. Under the prior administration, FWS made the eminently reasonable decision that Zimbabwe – one of the most corrupt countries on earth – was not managing its elephant population in a sustainable manner. Government officials allegedly have been involved in both poaching of elephants and illegal export of ivory tusks. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe even celebrated his birthday last year by feasting on an elephant.

Zimbabwe’s elephant population has declined six percent since 2001 and evidence shows that poaching has increased in areas where trophy hunting is permitted (such as in the Chirisa and Chete safari areas). A number of problems with Zimbabwe’s elephant management remain unresolved to date: the lack of an elephant management plan; lack of sufficient data on population numbers and trends; anemic enforcement of wildlife laws; lack of information about how money derived from trophy hunting by U.S. hunters is distributed within Zimbabwe; and lack of a national mechanism, such as government support, to sustain elephant conservation efforts in the country.

This jarring announcement comes on the same day that global news sources report that Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s aging dictator, is under house arrest following a military coup. This fact in and of itself highlights the absurdity and illegal nature of the FWS decision to find that Zimbabwe is capable of ensuring that elephant conservation and trophy hunting are properly managed. During the last two years, poachers in the country have poisoned several dozen elephants, including young calves. Government officials cash in by capturing elephant calves who are still dependent on their mothers and exporting them to China for use in zoos. Perhaps not surprisingly, a hunting outfitter advertised elephant hunts in Zimbabwe as soon as the SCI announcement was made public. It’s a venal and nefarious, pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry.

Notably, an FWS decision to allow imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe is legally required to be published in the Federal Register, and no such formal decision has yet appeared. That SCI, the largest pro-trophy-hunting lobby group, announced this decision suggests an uncomfortably cozy and even improper relationship between trophy hunting interests and the Department of the Interior.

SCI’s announcement indicates that elephant trophies will also be allowed to be imported from Zambia. The elephant population in Zambia has suffered a dramatic decrease over the last few decades, from more than 200,000 elephants in 1972 to just a little over 21,000 according to the Great Elephant Census in 2016. Ivory trafficking remains a threat to the country’s elephant population.

Even more ominous, the FWS has just erected a new website that provides a guide to trophy hunters seeking to import lion trophies. Just last year the FWS listed the lion as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act, set up criteria that must be met before the FWS would allow the import of lion trophies, and prohibited imports of trophies from captive lion populations hunted in fenced enclosures– commonly referred to as canned lion hunting – in South Africa.

Unbelievably the news gets even worse, as the Department of the Interior has also just announced that it is forming a euphemistically named advisory group, the International Wildlife Conservation Council, that would allow trophy hunters an even more prominent seat at the table of government decision-making, ignoring the copious science that trophy hunting undermines the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.

What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot kill elephants in order to use or sell their parts to make a living, but that it’s just fine for rich Americans to slay the beasts for their tusks to keep as trophies?

The anti-colonial revolution that Mugabe helped lead in 1980 is a distant memory, and a new form of colonialism has taken effect in the bowels of the Zimbabwean government – with rich, white trophy hunters allowed, for a fee, to plunder wildlife for personal benefit. It’s time for the era of the trophy killing of Africa’s most majestic and endangered animals to come to a final close, and the United States should not be retreating from that commitment.

Categories

Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

Kate Spade, fashion designer, found dead in apparent suicide

Over time, she distanced herself from her business.

In 1999, she and her husband, Andy Spade, sold 56% of the brand to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million. Liz Claiborne acquired the company in 2007, and Spade left her namesake brand. The luxury fashion company Coach announced plans in May 2017 to buy Kate Spade for $2.4 billion.

Kate Spade New York issued a statement confirming the “incredibly sad news” of their eponymous founder’s death.

“Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand,” the statement said. “Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”

“We honor all the beauty she brought into this world,” the company said in a tweet.

— kate spade new york (@katespadeny) June 5, 2018

Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.

My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018

Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help. https://t.co/eruSexNoGj

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2018

“Everyone remembers their first Kate Spade,” CNN White House reporter and former fashion editor Kate Bennett said. “(The brand) became one of those accessible but quirky fun, timeless labels that everyone had to have, and her rise was synonymous with her name.”

For many women, a Kate Spade handbag functioned as a symbol of professional achievement.

A year into being an attorney, my first splurge on myself was my (still) perfect #KateSpade black purse. Functional, crisp, professional, gorgeous. It takes a beautiful mind to design beautiful things. #RIPpic.twitter.com/NieF3sS7uI

— ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕪𝕒 (@ChayaBaliga) June 5, 2018

I was 22 when I moved to NYC and got my first real job and it even paid overtime. My first check that had OT hours in it, I set aside that money and bought myself a @katespadeny bag. It was 1998 and I felt so proud and successful. #RIPKateSpade ♥️

— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) June 5, 2018

“She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories,” the statement said.

Cindi Leive, a former editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine, said that part of Spade’s legacy is that she put her entire personality into her work.

“She understood that women are going to respond to things that feel like they’re made by a human, that they are expressing someone’s personality,” Leive said.

“If you put a pulse into it and every fiber of your being, people are going to respond. Now, that’s kind of a given. Everybody wants to create their own personal lifestyle brand,” she added. “But that was new at the time, and in a lot of ways, the contemporary version of it really came from her.”

2002: Kate Spade on her fashion inspiration

2002: Kate Spade on her fashion inspiration

Conversation at restaurant inspired Spade

“So, Andy and I were out, honestly, at a Mexican restaurant,” Kate Spade said, “and he just said, what about handbags? And I said, honey, you just don’t start a handbag company. And he said, why not? How hard can it be? (Laughter) I thought, OK, really? He regrets those words.”

The suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years. It’s now the 10th leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

The lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, the 24-hour accessibility, a caller’s ability to hang up at any time and the person-centered care have helped its success, advocates say.

Joe Zee, a fashion journalist who had worked with Spade, recalled her telling him of the vision to start the handbag line.

“This wasn’t something women did or just anyone really did back then in the early ’90s,” he told CNN. “And to quit a coveted magazine editor’s job to really be able to do that … it was so visionary and so ahead of its time.”

“She always had such a great ray of light about her. She was so jovial,” Zee said.

Spade’s apparent suicide comes as suicide rates in the United States increased from 1999 to 2014 for everyone between the ages of 10 and 74, according to a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For white women, the suicide rate increased by 60% during that period, the study found.

Police responded at 10:10 a.m. after Spade was found by her housekeeper, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. A suicide note was found at the scene, he said. Spade addressed her daughter in the note, according to two NYPD sources. Spade’s husband also is referenced in the note, according to one of the sources.

The designer, 55, started Kate Spade New York in 1993 and opened her first shop in the city three years later, the company’s website states.

“Debuting with just six silhouettes, she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way,” the site says.

Best known for its colorful handbags, Kate Spade New York has more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States and more than 175 stores internationally, the site states.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung, David William, Aaron Cooper, Elizabeth Joseph and Darran Simon contributed to this report.

Designer Creates Brilliantly Useless Product Designs

#1 Engagement Mugs

#2 Hourglass Salt & Pepper Shakers

#3 The Uncomfortable Mug

#4 Long Mug

#5 Thick Fork

#6 The Uncomfortable Teapot

#7 Triple Door

#8 The Uncomfortable Fork

#9 Concrete Umbrella

#10 The Uncomfortable Champagne Glasses

“The Uncomfortable” is a collection of deliberately inconvenient everyday objects by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani. 

While most of product designers are often trying to make objects as useful as possible, Kamprani here does the exact opposite trying to discover the best way to annoy everyone with her creations.

Add New Image

Add your photo to this list

Please use high-res photos without watermarks

Upload Photo

Publish

Interior Designers Call These the Best Neutral Paint Colors

Best Neutral Paint Colors

Choosing the perfect neutral paint color is an overwhelming process. How can you tell the difference between one beige and the next? How do you know if your favorite gray paint color will have cool or warm undertones? Realistically, the best way to know is to try the color on your walls—something that’s not always the easiest thing to reverse. So to help inform your next neutral paint color decisions, we asked three interior designers to share their favorite white paint colors, as well as their favorite warm neutrals and cool neutrals. Overwhelmingly, they all picked the same white paint color: Benjamin Moore’s Super White.

Unless you elect for a true white paint color, most other neutrals will have some undertones of red, yellow, green, or blue that creates either a sense of warmness or coolness. Warm colors—hues from red to yellow (browns and tans included)—advance toward the eye and appear more active. By contrast, cool colors—hues from blue-green to blue-violet (most grays included)—appear to recede. As a result, warm colors have a stimulating effect, while cool colors tend to be calming and relaxing. Paints with warm pigments are ideal for communal spaces, workspaces, or entertaining spaces where you and your guests want to remain alert and keep the conversation lively. If you’re looking for a shade that’s light but still bright, versatile, and engaging, a warm neutral is your ticket. Put down those swatch books, and coat your walls with one of these beauties—they’ll complement colorful artwork, accessories, and fabrics.

Which neutral paint colors have you used in your home? What do you love about them? Share the names of your favorite swatches with us!

A devastating report details a ‘monumental’ assault on science at the Department of the Interior – Los Angeles Times

Among the up-is-down, night-is-day practices of the Trump administration, one of the most dangerous and disturbing is its habit of turning America’s leading science agencies into hives of anti-science policymaking.

A new report lays out how this has produced a “monumental disaster” for science at the Department of the Interior. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists details how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his minions have in the space of two years turned Interior from a steward of public lands and natural resources into a front for the mining and oil and gas industries.

“The intent in rolling back the consideration of science in decision-making is always to progress the development of fossil fuel interests,” Jacob Carter of the union’s center for science and democracy and lead author of the report told me.

This results in cascading negative effects on the agency’s mission. “Under Zinke’s watch, we see a lot of federal lands being opened for sale, which means a lot of endangered species will no longer be protected, and which has damaging consequences for climate,” Carter says.

Just last week, Zinke appeared before the National Petroleum Council, a government advisory panel plump with fossil fuel executives. There he crowed about how President Trump had made the U.S. “the No. 1 producer of oil and gas in the world.” That should show where his heart is.

Interior has taken a multifaceted approach to wiping science out of its policymaking. Zinke and his political appointees have terminated research projects or canceled them before they start. Among the affected studies was one to evaluate the health effects of coal strip mining in Appalachia. Interior shut down a study into how to improve inspections of offshore oil and gas development, which had been requested by Interior itself after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Another case cited by the report concerns an environmental impact assessment of sulfide ore mining near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, a hugely popular recreational area. The Obama administration put a two-year hold on the mining pending the study; the Trump administration shut down the study after only 15 months. By then, Interior already had renewed the mining leases that the Obama administration had put on hold.

Interior has been “freezing out advice from science advisory committees; restricting DOI scientists from communicating about their work; removing, reassigning, or intimidating scientists; and creating a climate of fear and intimidation.”

Zinke reassigned dozens of top scientists to make-work jobs out of their fields in an overt effort to goad them into resigning. One was Joel Clement, a forest ecologist who had been a climate science advisor at Interior for seven years, until he was abruptly reassigned to an accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

An Interior Department spokeswoman told me by email, “The truth is, scientific integrity has been restored at the Department under President Trump and Secretary Zinke. Under the Obama administration, it was proven that officials had engaged in scientific misconduct and intentionally manipulated data, impugning the scientific integrity of the Department.”

When I asked for details, the spokeswoman referred me to a single investigation launched by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.), a climate change denier, in 2016. Gohmert’s probe involved two incidents of alleged data inaccuracies at a single Interior lab in Lakewood, Col., tied to mass spectroscopy equipment. The first occurred in 2008 (that is, before the Obama administration) and the second resulted in the closing of the lab in 2016 (that is, before the Trump administration).

I asked Interior what specific actions Zinke had taken to address these incidents, but haven’t heard back. An internal departmental report found that the people most affected by the problems were 33 researchers who submitted samples to the lab and got back invalid results.

She also said that the UCS report overlooked one aspect of Interior’s mission, which includes “fostering and managing federal energy, minerals and grazing.” Whether that requires pursuing fossil fuel development ahead of conservation and trying to rewrite endangered species policy is, one supposes, subject to debate.

Bernhardt’s fingerprints are on some of the more disturbing assaults on science at Interior, according to the UCS report. These include a December 2017 order revoking and rescinding a sheaf of Obama-era directives and reports on how the department should integrate climate science into its work. The order effectively deleted Interior’s climate change policy.

This scam is especially insidious because it creeps around in sheep’s clothing. Generally, it’s promoted as an effort to base policy decisions on “the best available science,” as Bernhardt’s order stated; the idea is to frown on “data, information, or methods that are not publicly available” or that don’t meet “the standard for reproducability.”

This might seem innocuous, even laudable. But the promoters of rules requiring disclosure of raw data and analytical methodologies well know that much of this sort of documentation can’t be made public. Some is proprietary information belonging to scientists who developed it as part of their research. Some is personal information about human participants in studies underlying science-based rule-making.

Scientists researching the shrinking habitats of endangered species might not want to reveal publicly the habitat locations for fear of encouraging people to tramp all over the place to catch a last look at a species facing extinction, or luring poachers.

Zinke’s hostility to scientific knowledge has been on vivid display in recent weeks, via a string of ignorant observations about the California wildfires in which he’s been outdone only by his boss, Trump. The UCS report shows that his ignorance isn’t limited to this one topic, nor is it accidental. His goal is to turn Interior from a steward of America’s natural patrimony into an agent of plunder, and he’s well on his way to victory.