Gray wolves set to lose protections
The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to lift Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes, drawing the line on the predators' rapid expansion over the last two decades. Public hunts already are planned this fall in Idaho and Montana. Conservationists had hailed the animal's recovery from near extinction last century as a landmark achievement. Protections for 1,300 Rocky Mountain wolves are to be lifted effective with a notice today in the Federal Register, and about 4,200 wolves listed as threatened in the western Great Lakes could lose protections by the end of this year.
'Oversized purse' gets new meaning
The idea of the oversized purse has grown to new proportions at Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash. Industrial artist Ries Niemi installed his 14-foot-tall World's Largest Walk Thru Handbag sculpture in the Lightcatcher building courtyard. The open metalwork of the stainless steel handbag is decorated with images of consumerism and wealth: metal dollar signs, diamonds and $100 bills. It includes openings on each side to walk through and is accessible to the public without paying for entry to the museum. The sculpture and some of Niemi's embroidered art will remain on view through Sept. 11. Part of the inspiration came from the gigantic drive-through tree trunks of the Northwest, as well as the ever-expanding size of women's purses.