Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Fight Is On: Center Sues Trump Twice in Two Days

Just hours ago the Center for Biological Diversity filed its second lawsuit in two days against President Trump.

Our suit this morning targets his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 35 million gallons of oil every day from Canada''s tar sands -- one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive energy sources in the world -- to refineries in Texas. Along the way it would cross rivers, streams and wetlands that are a source of drinking water for millions of people and provide habitat for at least 20 rare and endangered species, including whooping cranes.

On Wednesday, as soon as the Trump administration announced its plans to scrap Obama's moratorium on coal leasing across tens of thousands of acres, we joined allies in filing a lawsuit to stop Trump's plans.

The resistance is moving into high gear, rapidly expanding from the streets to the courts. These back-to-back lawsuits are critical to halting Trump, and your help is critical to seeing this work through. Please donate today to our Trump Resistance Fund.


Immediate Ban Sought on M-44 'Cyanide Bombs' in Idaho

The Center and allies this week petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to immediately ban the use of M-44 devices in Idaho. The devices, which release a deadly dose of cyanide typically intended for coyotes or other wildlife, poisoned a family dog near Pocatello earlier this month and hospitalized the dog's 14-year-old owner.

Our petition also asks for the immediate removal of all existing devices from Idaho. M-44s lead to the agonizing deaths of thousands of animals every year, many of them nontarget animals.

"Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that must be banned," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere. "Any animal that might pull on the baited trigger is at risk, including endangered wildlife like Canada lynx and grizzlies -- and even people and pets. Enough is enough."

Get more from KSL News.

Big Win: Court Overturns Feds' Refusal to Protect Marten

American pine marten

Following a lawsuit by the Center and allies, a judge this week overturned a 2014 federal decision denying protection to coastal martens. These shy, plush-furred relatives of minks and otters were once nearly obliterated by trapping and loss of their old-growth forest habitat. Only about 100 survive in California, with an unknown -- but small -- number in Oregon. Coastal martens were believed extinct until 1996.

"We're thrilled that these fascinating and beautiful animals are back on track to getting the endangered species protection they so badly need," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. Read more.

Embattled Borderlands website

Suit Seeks Wildlife Protections From Pesticides on Refuges

Every year thousands of pounds of harmful pesticides are used on national wildlife refuges by private agriculture -- so last week the Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end the use of agricultural pesticides on the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath national wildlife refuges in Northern California and southern Oregon.

In adopting a new plan for the refuges, the Service failed to consider alternatives that would reduce or eliminate use of toxic pesticides -- prioritizing Big Ag over wildlife, including secretive yellow rails and tundra swans that rely on the refuges for survival.

Read more in our press release.

Wolf From California Confirmed in Nevada

Wolf tracks

In November 2016 a wolf was spotted in northwestern Nevada, near Fox Mountain -- and last week confirmation came in via genetic scat testing that the wolf was a male from Northern California's Shasta pack.

"Having one of California's first wolf pups grow up and disperse to Nevada is evidence that the thrilling saga of wolf recovery is possible when wolves have the protections they need to survive and return to places this species once called home," said the Center's Amaroq Weiss.

Read more.

Map of global sea surface temperatures

Effort Launched to Protect Data Sets From Trump

The Center, along with noted conservation biologist Stuart Pimm and the Center for Media and Democracy, have launched a sweeping effort to prevent thousands of environmental data sets on government websites from being removed by the Trump administration.

The requests, filed through the Freedom of Information Act, target eight federal agencies. Among the data sets being sought are those on energy usage, renewables, oil and gas projections, coal reserves, climate data, sea-level rise, human population, endangered species, and environmental justice.

"By removing or hiding hundreds of data sets containing critical information about the climate, wildlife and the health of our oceans, Trump and his cronies are blatantly trying to conceal the truth from the American people," said Amy Atwood, a senior attorney at the Center.

Read more in our press release.

After Center Complaint, Bar Association Opens Probe on Pruitt

Scott Pruitt

In response to a formal ethics complaint filed nine days ago by the Center and University of Oklahoma law professor Kristen van de Biezenbos, the Oklahoma Bar Association has opened an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lied to Congress while under oath.

The investigation will look into possible ethical violations stemming from Pruitt's misrepresentation to senators about his use of a personal email address during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general for official business and speeches he gave to right-wing organizations against environmental protection. Read more.

Coleman's coralroot video

The Coleman's coralroot is a beautiful, mysterious and imperiled desert orchid -- only 200 may exist in the world. And this may be the only video footage of the flower. Watch it and share it from Facebook or YouTube.

Painted turtles

Iowa Limits Harmful Turtle Trapping

After years of advocacy by the Center and allies, Iowa just implemented new regulations restricting the collection and killing of four species of wild turtles.

The rules prohibit collection, during peak mating season, of painted turtles, spiny softshells and smooth softshells; they also limit possession and daily catch of those species, plus common snapping turtles.

"This is a welcome step," said Center attorney Collette Adkins. "But Iowa's vulnerable turtles still need a complete ban on commercial trapping, which we first sought in 2009 -- and our work isn't over."

Read more in The Des Moines Register.


Wild & Weird: How Long Would It Take Spiders to Eat Us?

A recent entomological survey seeking to better understand human-arthropod relationships in urban and suburban homes turned up this stunning conclusion: Spiders live in 100 percent of the homes surveyed. That means chances are fairly high that a spider is watching you read this -- with all eight to 12 eyes -- right now.

Another recent study, published in the journal The Science of Nature, found that the world's spiders consume between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey each year. The total tonnage of the planet's 7 billion humans is roughly 350 million. So, theoretically, spiders could eat all of us in less than a year.

Now stop thinking about it. Spiders rarely eat humans. Lucky for us, they eat tons and tons of mosquitoes and flies -- and sometimes lizards, birds and small mammals. Let's hope it stays that way.

Read more about spider consumption in The Washington Post.

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Photo credits: Smokestack by Señor Codo/Flickr; coyote by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; American pine marten by Tatiana Gettelman/Flickr; Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge by Terrie Schweitzer/Flickr; wolf tracks courtesy ODFW; map of global sea surface temperatures courtesy NASA; Scott Pruitt by Gage Skidmore/Flickr; Coleman's coralroot video still courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; painted turtles by JukeboxJedi/Flickr; spider by GrahamAndDairne/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702