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New Plan Aims to Reduce Mexican Gray Wolf Killings
Responding to a legal win by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft revision today of its 2017 Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, intended to provide new measures to reduce wolf deaths caused by people.
From 1998 — when Mexican gray wolves were first reintroduced to the wild after years of Center advocacy to make that happen — through 2020, 119 wolves were confirmed killed illegally. Dozens more radio-collared wolves disappeared suspiciously. Last year 25 wolves died, and in most cases the causes of their deaths were not disclosed.
“We’ll be pushing for improvements in the final plan,” said Center wolf expert Michael Robinson. “We’re pleased by added measures to help wolves cross roads but more efforts are needed to stop poaching by wolf-hating ranchers.”
Help our fight for wolves and other species with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund. All gifts are matched till May 31.
Stop New Oil Trains From Barreling Through Colorado
Oil trains more than a mile long could soon send millions of barrels of climate-destroying oil from Utah's Uinta Basin through Colorado.
The trains would create new wildfire hazards — and meanwhile Tennessee Pass could be reopened, threatening Browns Canyon National Monument and the Arkansas River.
The U.S. Forest Service can stop this misguided plan by denying a right-of-way through the Ashley National Forest. And it must. Coloradans can't afford either the local dangers of oil trains or the global climate damage.
Tell Sens. Bennet and Hickenlooper — and your representative — to demand the Forest Service deny the right-of-way permit.
Join Us: Learn About Birds This Earth Week
What can people learn from birds? Only one of the most important facts of life — that humans and nature are intimately linked.
Learn what that means from renowned birders and authors J. Drew Lanham and David Lindo in a special Earth Week webinar cohosted by the Center for Biological Diversity, Thoreau Society, and College of Idaho. These world-famous birders will share what birds can teach us about interconnectivity, following up with a Q & A session for participants.
Register to join us on Wednesday, April 20, at 2 p.m. PST/5 p.m. EST.
To participate in the webinar, sign up and then check your email for a link. (If you don’t see the email, check your Junk folder.)
Suit Aims to Protect Redwoods From Logging
The Center and allies have filed suit to stop the Mendocino Redwood Company from logging nearly 1,000 acres of beautiful redwood forest in a California watershed that’s home to threatened northern spotted owls. Besides ignoring state protections for the owls, the logging project could violate a voter-approved ordinance meant to reduce fire danger.
“The last thing we should be doing in the midst of a climate emergency and an extinction crisis is whacking down magnificent old redwoods, killing tanoak evergreen trees, and jeopardizing the coastal redwood ecosystem,” said Justin Augustine, a Center attorney.
Win for Arizona’s San Francisco River
In a lifesaving victory for imperiled Mexican garter snakes, southwestern willow flycatchers, loach minnows and other rare wildlife, a plan to build a 200-foot-tall dam along a remote stretch of river at the Arizona-New Mexico border has just been deep-sixed.
“It’s a good day for the spectacular cradle of biodiversity that is the San Francisco River,” said the Center’s Taylor McKinnon. “This project faced a hellish legal fight and never should’ve seen the light of day. The San Francisco needs permanent federal protection.”
Along with destroying vital habitat, the dam project would have industrialized national forest roadless areas, wilderness study areas, and precious river reaches.
Protection Sought for Railroad Valley Toads
Entirely dependent on rare desert springs for their survival, little amphibians called Railroad Valley toads are now threatened by a lithium project that could suck up billions of gallons of groundwater every year.
These warty, white-bellied toads live in only one tiny, isolated area in Nevada — less than 450 acres. So on Tuesday the Center petitioned to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.
“Amphibians are more imperiled than any other group of vertebrates,” said Krista Kemppinen, a senior Center scientist. “Lithium’s an important part of the transition to renewable energy, but it can’t come with a price tag of extinction.”
Suit Pushes for Better Air Pollution Rules
The Center and allies just sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its ancient, inadequate rules limiting soot, sulfur and nitrogen air pollution. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to update the standards every five years — but the agency hasn’t touched them for a decade.
Besides hurting people who breathe these pollutants, they also harm crops, soils, vegetation, the climate, and wildlife like endangered whooping cranes.
“Since the EPA’s last review, the science behind these pollutants’ harm has become more certain,” said Center attorney Robert Ukeiley. “But the new science can’t help protect people and the planet until the EPA follows the law.”
UN Climate Report: We Have the Tools; Use Them
The United Nations’ latest climate report says we already have the technological tools to avoid total catastrophe. All we have to do is use them — now.
“We urgently need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, advance renewable energy, and invest in nature-based carbon dioxide removal through forest and ecosystem protection,” said the Center’s Maya Golden-Krasner. “We have the solutions. The only question is whether our leaders have the courage.”
This Los Angeles Times editorial discusses actions — championed by the Center — that the U.S. president and Congress can take immediately, including using the Defense Production Act to speed up the production and deployment of clean-energy technology.
Revelator: The Best Pandemic-Prevention Tactics
If we want to stop pandemics at the source, the international community must agree to end deforestation, close live-wildlife markets, and embrace a treaty to prevent future outbreaks.
Learn more in The Revelator, and don’t miss out on the e-newsletter bringing you each week’s best environmental articles and essays.
That’s Wild: Javelina Chasing Cheetos Gets Trapped in Car
Meanwhile, in Arizona … last week a javelina made a late-night snack run into a Subaru hatchback someone had left open. Inside the car the wild peccary — a New World ungulate that looks a bit like a wild boar — tore into a bag of Cheetos as the hatch closed behind him.
According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the javelina licked "the Cheeto bag crumb-less" and somehow knocked the car into neutral, causing it to roll down the owner’s driveway and across the street. Luckily no one was injured, and the javelina was released without further incident.
Read more at NBC News.
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Photo credits: Mexican gray wolf by Mark Dumont/Flickr; potential Uinta Basin Railway route by Ryan Beam/Center for Biological Diversity; birder by CSUF Photos/Flickr; northern spotted owl by Frank D. Lospalluto; southwestern willow flycatcher by USFWS; Railroad Valley toad © Gary Nafis; whooping crane by Brian Ralphs/Flickr; factory pollution by Jimmy Nuetron/Wikimedia; wildlife market by Andrea Kirby; javelina by Tom Talbott/Flickr.
Center for Biological Diversity
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