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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Victory: California Is First State to Ban Fur Trapping

In a major milestone for wildlife, California has become the nation's first state to outlaw fur trapping.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, backed by the Center for Biological Diversity and our friends at Social Compassion in Legislation, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. It prohibits trapping native animals — including bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, beavers, badgers and mink — plus selling their pelts.

"The overwhelming majority of Californians value our wildlife alive, not trapped and cruelly slaughtered for foreign fur markets," said our Conservation Director Brendan Cummings. "We thank Governor Newsom for relegating this cruel and antiquated practice to the dustbin of history in California."

Get more from the Los Angeles Times.

Bald eagle

Take Action: Speak Up for the Endangered Species Act

Last month, in an unprecedented attack on imperiled wildlife, the Trump administration finalized sweeping changes to how the Endangered Species Act is implemented. They'll make it easy for industry to plunder our lands and waters for private profit — endangered species be damned.

The changes are illegal, and the Center and allies promptly sued. We promise to pursue this court case with everything we've got.

In the meantime, we need to keep the pressure on our elected officials. Take a minute to urge your member of Congress to do everything in their power to uphold the Act. If you've already done that, forward this email to a friend who loves the wild and invite them to speak up too. And consider supporting our work with a donation to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund.

The Revelator: People v. Pirates in the Water Wars


Maude Barlow is a passionate activist for clean water as a basic human right around the globe. This week The Revelator interviews her about the dangers of corporate water grabs and other insights of her new book Whose Water Is It, Anyway?

Saving our collectively owned water from private profiteers has, Barlow says, been the fight of her life.

Read the Q&A and sign up for The Revelator's e-newsletter.

Scene from "Anthropocene: The Human Epoch"

The new documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a powerful, moving cinematic meditation on humanity's massive re-engineering of the planet. The film took four years to make and follows a group of scientists who say the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene in the mid-20th century because of profound and lasting changes we've made to the Earth. The film, by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, is powerful and moving. Screenings across the country will begin Sept. 25. Find one near you.


Good News for a Vanishing Bee, Rare Squirrel

Responding to a 2018 Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will consider protecting Mojave poppy bees under the Endangered Species Act.

These bees once thrived across much of the Mojave but are now only found at seven sites in Nevada's Clark County. Their pollinating skills are tightly linked to the survival of two rare desert poppy plants, whose decline has caused the bees to disappear as well.

Meanwhile, responding to a lawsuit by the Center and allies, the Service agreed it may need to protect more critical habitat for Mount Graham red squirrels, which live on an isolated mountain range in southeastern Arizona. Only about 75 remain.

Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station

North Carolina Governor Urged to End Duke Monopoly

On Monday the Energy Justice NC Coalition called on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to end Duke Energy's monopoly and transform the state's electricity system to 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible.

In an official comment on the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan, the coalition also urged the governor to fight the climate crisis and ensure economic and environmental justice for all North Carolinians.

Hundreds of state residents submitted comments urging the governor to strengthen the plan. More than 300 comments came from Center supporters — thank you.

We'll keep the pressure on.

Center Op-ed: Oregon Gives Wolf-killer a Slap on the Wrist


The poacher who shot a mother wolf in an Oregon national forest — not out of self-defense but just because he felt like it — received a lamentably light sentence and small fine, writes the Center's Amaroq Weiss.

Official leniency toward those who kill beloved, endangered wildlife is typical of inhumane state attitudes toward wolves. Right now the federal attitude is callous, too, as Trump's stripping-away of wolves' federal protection nationwide looms — despite a record 1.8 million public comments opposing that move. Read Amaroq's column at OregonLive.


Ocean plastic pollution

California: We Can Stop the Tsunami of Plastic

What if California — the world's fifth-largest economy — eliminated single-use plastic packaging from its waste stream?

The impact would be huge. We'd see cleaner beaches, oceans and landscapes. Fewer wild animals would die from eating plastic or getting entangled in it. And fewer communities would be poisoned by toxic pollution from plastic manufacturing.

We can and must fight for this future. And as Center oceans campaigner Delia Ridge Creamer explains in a new op-ed, bills now up for a vote in the California State Legislature can pave the way.

Get more from Medium, and then take action to support the bills.

Arizona Bans Bloodthirsty Wildlife-killing Contests

Gray fox

The Grand Canyon State just became the fourth in the nation to ban wildlife-killing contests when a governor's council approved a new rule by the Arizona Fish and Game Commission.

About 23 of these massive animal-slaughter contests have typically been held in Arizona yearly, with names like "Santa Slay" and "Coyote Carnage." They rewarded participants for killing the most, biggest or smallest animals, including coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, fox and other furbearing creatures that live on our public land. Read more.

Ask Dr. Donley: Is 'Crumb Rubber' Crummy for Kids?

Recycled rubber playground surface

In the latest installment of his #EcoAdvice column, the Center's Dr. Nathan Donley takes on the crumb rubber that's now used often to line playgrounds instead of wood chips. He makes it clear that crumb rubber ... well ... rubbers him the wrong way.

These chunks of rubber may expose your kid to carcinogens, he says. There are smarter ways to recycle old tires than putting them into the hands of small children.

Get more at Medium.

Tardigrade on the moon

Wild & Weird: Water Bears on the Moon

Tardigrades — affectionately called "water bears" or "moss piglets" for their tubby eight-legged bodies — are micro-animals believed to be almost indestructible. They've been found just about everywhere on Earth: in parking-lot puddles, at the bottom of lakes, in deserts and even in frozen Arctic water. Researchers have tested their limits by boiling them, crushing them, and shooting them into outer space. Tardigrades handily survived it all.

In April an Israeli lunar lander, the Beresheet (whose name is Hebrew for "in the beginning," the opening of the Book of Genesis), suffered a computer error and crashed onto the moon. But Beresheet was carrying a load of tardigrades. Did they survive?

Find out.

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Bobcat by Kevin H/Flickr; bald eagle by George Gentry/USFWS; fountain via Pixabay; video still from Anthropocene: The Human Epoch; squirrel courtesy Arizona Fish and Game Department; Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station by Cdtew/Wikimedia; wolf by bkoger/Flickr; ocean plastic pollution courtesy NOAA; gray fox by Lon&Queta/Flickr; recycled rubber playground surface by Arria Belli/Wikimedia; graphic based on photo of Earthrise courtesy NASA and tardigrade scanning electron micrograph by Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill.

Center for Biological Diversity
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