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No. 1217, November 2, 2023
Expand This National Monument for Wildlife
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Northern California encompasses more than 300,000 acres of coastal ranges, protecting both regional wildlife and Indigenous history. But in the face of the climate and extinction crises, it needs to include additional important habitat.
The Center for Biological Diversity supports expanding the monument to incorporate Molok Luyuk, a beautiful area that’s home to tule elk, mountain lions, threatened foothill yellow-legged frogs, and hundreds of other species.
Molok Luyuk’s biodiversity bounty includes insects — like imperiled serpentine cypress wood-boring beetles — and about 40 species of rare plants. It features an astonishing array of habitat types: ancient blue oak woodlands, rugged rock outcrops, wildflower meadows, and the world’s largest area of McNab cypress habitat.
Tell President Biden to expand the monument to include this vital part of the landscape.
Republicans Target the Center
The Center is no stranger to fighting congressional Republicans’ efforts to gut protections for wolves, grizzly bears, sage grouse and other wildlife with poison-pill riders snuck into funding bills.
But for the first time ever, they’re coming after us directly. Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) is trying to attack us by attaching a provision to a spending bill that would block any federal funding from going to the Center. No other environmental organization has been specifically targeted like that, and we should know — we’ve been tracking congressional shenanigans for decades.
Don’t worry. We know how to fight back. This attack simply shows that Republicans know the Center is one of the most effective organizations out there. We stand up against special interests, we win, and we’ll keep winning on behalf of all species great and small.
Help us keep up the fight by donating today.
Rare Alabama Snail Proposed for Protection
After seven years of Center advocacy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just proposed protecting oblong rocksnails under the Endangered Species Act. The snails were considered extinct until they were rediscovered in 2011. Today only one small population remains, in Alabama’s Cahaba River.
Oblong rocksnails are nickel-sized freshwater snails with brown-striped shells and bright yellow bodies. Their home is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama — also one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the United States. These snails help keep the river clean by grazing on algae. Hopefully, now protection will help them recover.
Working for Hunting Reforms in Washington
The Center and allies just petitioned the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to better align state hunting rules with the agency’s own science by restricting killings of cougars and bears.
In 2019 and 2020, the commission expanded cougar and bear hunting — leading to a 50% increase in bears killed each year and keeping cougar mortality above levels recommended by agency scientists. That risks population declines for these ecologically important carnivores and could increase conflicts with people. Among other things, our petition asks state wildlife managers to immediately close cougar hunting upon reaching area-specific quotas and limit bears killed to one per hunter.
Meanwhile in the same state, two federal agencies are analyzing options for reintroducing grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Help us push for the plan that strictly limits bear-killing.
Court Upholds Protection for Rare Steelhead
Last Tuesday a judge rejected a water agency’s challenge seeking to strip state protection from Southern California steelhead, one of the most imperiled U.S. fish populations.
A unique form of rainbow trout found in Southern California, these fish live in the ocean as adults but are born and spawn — that is, reproduce — in freshwater rivers and streams. Tens of thousands of these iridescent sport fish once returned to streams to spawn every year, but today only a few hundred make that journey.
The new ruling lets state steelhead protection continue until California decides on permanent protection. Thanks partly to Center work, the fish and their habitat are fully protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Join the Movement to #EndFossilFuels
Fossil fuel pollution is the leading threat to life on Earth, devastating communities with more and more climate disasters like flooding, fires and storms — and driving species extinct.
That's why in September, the Center helped mobilize 75,000 people to come together in New York City for the March to End Fossil Fuels.
Our demands are clear. As the leader of the world’s biggest oil and gas producing country, President Biden has the greatest power — and obligation — to start phasing out fossil fuels once and for all.
Watch our new video and take action to help make him do it.
Revelator: Meet the Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo
When did kangaroos take to the trees? Nobody knows, but Matschie’s tree kangaroos are clearly well adapted to life high in the canopies of towering trees. These elusive, arboreal marsupials are native to Papua New Guinea and endemic to the Huon Peninsula, where locals call them “ghosts of the forest” because they move so quickly and are hard to spot.
Learn more about this special species in The Revelator.
That’s Wild: Javelina vs. Golf Course
Collared peccaries, better known as javelinas, have taken center stage on social media after a female and her family tore up a golf course that invaded their home in the high desert of Arizona.
As Salon put it: "She’s an eco-vengeance iconoclast who loves coyote pee and running at manic speeds. She’s an unstoppable chaos queen with a stink-nipple on her butt, who turns luxury Arizona golf courses into free range charcuterie boards for her grub-worm girl dinner. She’s a guerilla class-warfare legend whose mating call sounds like the hissing warb-garble of a cappuccino machine milk-steamer. She’s the internet’s most beloved trash-eating ungulate — the uncompromising, the indefatigable, the lovely javelina."
We’re #TeamJavelina. Are you?
Catch a glimpse of javelinas in action at the golf course and educate your friends about their importance by checking out — and sharing — our “unscience” X post.
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Photo credits: Foothill yellow-legged frog by Don Henise/Flickr; wolves by Holly Kuchera, manatees courtesy NOAA, polar bear courtesy Depositphotos; oblong rocksnail courtesy Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center; black bear courtesy USFWS; Southern California steelhead by Alex Vijar/CDFG; screenshot of Jean Su from video by Center for Biological Diversity; Matschie’s tree kangaroo courtesy San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; javelina by JimJohnsen via Canva.
Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702