Off the wire

Justice Dept. defends Bush rule on guns
The Obama administration is legally defending a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush that allows concealed firearms in national parks, even as it is internally reviewing whether the measure meets environmental muster.
Read complete story from the Washington Post

An expo where hunters gather
'I think people are stressed out about the economy and just want to go out and shoot something."

So said Lee Lightsey of Outwest Farms in Okeechobee, Fla., who pretty much summed up the sentiments at this year's Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, one of the biggest — and best — hunting and fishing expos in the U.S.
Read complete story from The Wall Street Journal

Mountain lion cub shot and killed in Santa Paula
Police officers shot and killed a mountain lion cub today after it charged officers who surrounded the cat in Santa Paula.

Santa Paula Police Chief Steve MacKinnon said his department began receiving reports of mountain lions in hillside neighborhoods Friday and the reports continued over the weekend. On Sunday, police made two reverse 911 calls to residents in those neighborhoods.
Read complete story from the Los Angeles Times

Gillibrand removes guns from under bed
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has moved the two rifles that she kept under the bed to protect her upstate New York home, her spokesman said Monday.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Hoeven denies Ducks Unlimited land buy
BISMARCK — Gov. John Hoeven has denied a proposed 598-acre Ducks Unlimited land buy in Kidder County, a decision the conservation group said does not respect private property rights.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Call for end to USDA's wildlife killing agency
RENO, Nev. — Conservationists argue in a new report that U.S. taxpayers should stop subsidizing a $100 million program that kills more than 1 million wild animals annually, a program ranchers and farmers have defended for nearly a century as critical to protecting their livestock from predators.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Oklahoma House loaded for bear hunting
Southeastern Oklahoma no longer will be a sanctuary for black bears if a bill that won unanimous approval Monday in the House becomes law.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Huge chimp shot dead after mauling woman in Conn.
HARTFORD, Conn. — A 200-pound domesticated chimpanzee who once starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola was shot dead by police after a violent rampage that left a friend of its owner badly mauled.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Bowhunters shoot down NRA
FLATWOODS, W.V. — Bowhunters from Southern West Virginia stiffly rebuked a National Rifle Association attempt to open the state's four bow-only counties to deer hunting with firearms.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Leave it to beaver to prove river cleaner
In a stunning sign of ecological recovery, beavers have returned to Detroit for the first time in perhaps a century.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Kansas astronaut Engle well-known for hunting, too
Engle, who was still recovering from hip-replacement surgery, should have been at home in an easy chair. But he had drawn a tag to hunt elk in the late season — a 1-in-400 shot, he said.

So, he decided it was time to push himself, much the same as he had when he was an astronaut.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Study: 'Astonishing richness' in polar sea species
BANGKOK, Thailand — The polar oceans are not biological deserts after all. A marine census released Monday documented 7,500 species in the Antarctic and 5,500 in the Arctic, including several hundred that researchers believe could be new to science.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Nev. plans more lion hunts in effort to save deer
RENO, Nev. — State wildlife officials have announced a plan to kill more mountain lions to help increase the deer population, a move criticized by animal advocates who say drought and development are more important factors in the decrease of deer numbers.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Good news on the ocean front for a change
CHICAGO — Some Pacific island countries are successfully protecting their reefs, haddock and scallops are recovering in New England waters and a few types of whales are even making a comeback.
Read complete story from the Associated Press