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Mojave Trails National Monument
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

A Message of Hope and Gratitude

Over the past week, the Center for Biological Diversity has made a rapid transition to life during COVID-19. We remain intently focused on our work to save wildlife.

At the same time, we're finding peace in the solitude of nature. Last weekend our staff hit the trails in Arizona, California, Colorado, Mexico and beyond. We dusted off our birdwatching binoculars and saw signs of spring in new leaves, blooms and busy insects.

It's extraordinary what can happen when we step outside our noisy, rushed lives and into the wild spaces that have been there for millennia.

These are unsettling, anxious times. It's hard not to dwell on the worry we feel for people everywhere, especially those struggling in the face of financial hardships, inadequate healthcare, and polluted air and water — a wrong the Center remains committed to seeing made right.

But there's also a rare opportunity in this moment: to slow down, take a deep breath, and recommit ourselves to each other and to the natural world.

We've launched a pledge this week to fight for the wild — we invite you to add your name.

The wins and fights described below are all made possible by supporters like you. Thank you for your love of the wild and for your faith in us.

Wolverine

We're Suing to Save Wolverines in the Lower 48

On Wednesday the Center and partners sued Trump's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect American wolverines under the Endangered Species Act.

There are fewer than 300 wolverines left in the contiguous United States. The animals are severely threatened by habitat loss and climate change, which reduces the spring snowpack they need for denning.

This lawsuit is the latest step in a 20-year effort to save the species — and as long as there are wolverines, we'll keep fighting for their survival.

Learn more and consider making a donation in support of our work to save wolverines.

Smokestack

Take Action: Stop Coronavirus Handout to Big Oil

The fossil fuel industry is trying to cash in on the U.S. government's efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic. Its cynical ploy would require the federal government to pay billions to keep oil prices artificially high.

The industry has always put its short-term profits over the health of our climate, environment and wildlife. Now that it's facing a reckoning, it's desperate for Congress — and taxpayers — to keep it afloat.

Giving billions to coal, oil and gas companies while ordinary Americans are suffering would be outrageous.

Tell your senators: Focus legislation on stopping the coronavirus pandemic, helping ordinary people and protecting our environment — not on bailing out Big Oil.

Pangolin

Join Us: Center Conversation on Wildlife and COVID-19

Join the Center next Wednesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. PT for an online conversation featuring our scientists, lawyers and political experts discussing the intersection of the extinction crisis and pandemic.

COVID-19 is exposing the effects of the global wildlife trade, consumption of wildlife and human intrusion into wildlife habitat. The multibillion-dollar wildlife trade is driving species from pangolins to giraffes toward extinction. During our conversation you'll learn more about the work of our International Program to protect wildlife globally, fight extinction and rein in wildlife trade.

We may be isolated in our homes, but that doesn't mean we can't stay connected. We need each other now more than ever. We hope you can join us.

The event is free, but you must sign up to participate.

Tongass National Forest

In Alaska and Ohio, Wins for National Forests

The Center and allies won two victories this week on behalf of forests. In Alaska a federal judge ruled against a Trump plan to open 1.8 million acres of the Tongass National Forest to logging. "The Tongass's magnificent, ancient forests just got a reprieve from the chainsaws," said our public lands director Randi Spivak. Trump's Tongass plan would have been the largest selloff of national forest timber in three decades.

And in Ohio a district court stalled oil and gas leasing in Wayne National Forest, deciding the Trump administration had failed to consider its impacts before opening more than 40,000 acres of the forest up to fracking. "Fracking's a dirty, dangerous business," said Center attorney Wendy Park. "This ruling helps ensure the health of this spectacular forest and its endangered animals. It also protects the water source for millions of people."

San Pedro River

Standing Up for Arizona's Life-giving Rivers

Arizona rivers are biodiversity hotspots, sheltering and feeding hundreds of species of birds, fish and other wildlife. This week we took action to protect two of these rivers from federal mismanagement.

To save the San Pedro River and the creatures that depend on it, we sued the U.S. Army and Fish and Wildlife Service to provide for river-saving mitigation or downsizing of the base at Fort Huachuca. Excessive groundwater pumping by the Fort's contractors and personnel deprives the river of aquifer water needed for healthy stream flow during the dry season.

And we've launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for allowing livestock to inflict severe, widespread damage on the Verde River and its tributaries and streambanks. Illegal grazing is destroying crucial habitat for 14 threatened or endangered species and trashing Arizona's only designated "wild and scenic" river.

Yellow-billed cuckoo

Take Action: Protect the Southwest's Gila National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service is revising its 20-year plan for New Mexico's Gila National Forest, so now's the time to speak up for some of the Southwest's wildest landscapes. This plan will decide how all aspects of the Gila's 3.3 million acres of forests, grasslands and rivers will be managed for decades to come.

Sadly the agency's draft plan sacrifices this treasure to powerful beef-industry interests, which will hurt species like western yellow-billed cuckoos, New Mexico meadow jumping mice and Mexican gray wolves. Logging plans risk silencing the Mexican spotted owl, and pollinators could be exposed to toxic pesticides across nearly the entire forest.

Tell the Forest Service: The Gila is a national treasure that needs protection.

Monarch butterflies

A Heartbreaking Drop in Monarch Butterflies

The yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, released last week, shows a decrease of 53% from last year's numbers. This is well below the threshold at which the migration could collapse.

Habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change pose threats to the butterflies' migration. So in 2014 the Center and allies petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act.

We'll keep fighting for these migratory wonders. You can help by planting milkweed and native plants, eating organic food and avoiding pesticide use.

Get more.

The Revelator: Turning Fear Into Love

Burrowing owl

The fear of nature is emerging as a real threat to conservation. Called "biophobia," it's a growing disconnection from the nonhuman world that's reducing our collective will to preserve species and habitats. But new research points toward some wild solutions. Head to The Revelator to learn more.

And if you haven't already, sign up for The Revelator's newsletter. Every Thursday you'll get a list of new stories and essays, as well as "The Wild 5," a roundup of conservation headlines from around the world — a bonus for subscribing.

A Poem for This Moment: Pablo Neruda on 'Keeping Quiet'

Book

Most of us are oddly motionless right now: self-isolating, quarantined and complying with shutdowns. Our usually busy paths and gathering places stand empty. It's uncomfortable, alarming and strange. And yet, like so many difficult moments, it has something to offer us.

In his poem "Keeping Quiet," Chilean poet Pablo Neruda invokes the life-sustaining gifts to be found in stillness. We want to share it with you.

Log

Wild & Wonderful: Life on a Log

Once upon a time, over a stream in Pennsylvania, there lay a humble log. At one end of the log lay a video camera. And into the frame of that camera, there came a raccoon. And then ducklings. And then a black bear. And then a heron. And then a chipmunk. And then ... well, see for yourself.

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Photo credits: Mojave Trails National Monument by Bob Wick/BLM; wolverine by Mathias Appel/Flickr; smokestack by SenorCodo/Flickr; pangolin by Brett Hartl/Center for Biological Diversity; Tongass National Forest by Alan Wu/Flickr; San Pedro River courtesy BLM; yellow-billed cuckoo by Seabamirum/Flickr; monarch butterflies by Samuel Yu/Flickr; burrowing owl by Andy Moffew; stillness by Steve Wall/Flickr; log by Monty VanderBilt/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
United States