Center for Biological Diversity

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Victories in 2011, Campaigns for 2012

With your help and your support, the Center for Biological Diversity achieved major successes in 2011 despite a hostile Congress, a bad economy and, frankly, lackluster White House leadership on wildlife protection, climate change and other crucial environmental issues. Our victories included a massive settlement to push 757 species closer to Endangered Species Act protection, a 20-year ban on new uranium mining around the Grand Canyon and the protection of 6 million acres of federally protected habitat for species around the country. Without you behind us, we truly couldn't have done any of that -- so many, many thanks.

And here's to making 2012 yet another high-impact year. Together, we can save hundreds of species and their habitats and push the planet toward rapid, rational action on global warming. Below is a brief list of the Center's 2012 priorities.

Save the Endangered Species Act

San Joaquin kit fox

Right-wingers in Congress have put the Endangered Species Act in their crosshairs, reviving the kind of ugly rhetoric used in years past by radical anti-environment politicians like Richard Pombo. They're plotting new ways to undercut the nation's most important law for saving species from extinction. We won't let that happen.

The Center for Biological Diversity will fight every gambit to weaken the Act and strip it of the funding endangered species need for survival. We're testifying before Congress, dramatically ramping up our organizing work, mobilizing tens of thousands of people in defense of the Act and the animals and plants it saves, and adding important new data to the debate that show the vast majority of species protected by the Act -- from the bowhead whale to Florida's wood stork  -- are on the road to recovery and shouldn't be abandoned now.

Learn more about the Endangered Species Act and how it works.

Push More Species Toward Protection

scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper

The Center for Biological Diversity's epic 2011 settlement agreement will push 757 of the country's most imperiled, least protected species toward Endangered Species Act protection, including the wolverine, sage grouse and scarlet honeycreeper. Already 500 species have received positive decisions, including the Ozark hellbender and the Miami blue butterfly. We look forward to more good news from the agreement in 2012.

Read all about our path-breaking 757 species agreement.

Save Wolves

gray wolf

Our decades-long program to protect and recover wolves all over the country will continue in 2012, including pursuit of a national recovery plan for these incredible animals and a safe haven in places where they're expanding, including California. We'll also work on a case-by-case basis to protect America's most imperiled wolves, including Mexican wolves in the Southwest, threatened by hostile politicians and trapping; Alaska's Alexander Archipelago wolves, whose habitat in the Tongass National Forest could be destroyed by logging; and the wolves of the northern Rockies, where hundreds of wolves have been killed in the past few months by bloodthirsty states after having their Endangered Species Act protections removed.

Learn about our campaign to restore wolves across the country.

Stop Arctic Drilling

Pacific walrus

Pristine wildlife habitat in the Arctic is being targeted by oil and gas companies and their cronies in Congress. Despite claims by industry, offshore drilling in the Arctic and elsewhere is still as dangerous as it ever was.

The Center for Biological Diversity will continue to defend the Arctic and species like the Pacific walrus from offshore oil and gas drilling by again stopping Shell's plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea and opposing President Obama's plans to open up vast areas to new drilling. Meanwhile, we'll keep pushing for reforms on offshore drilling in places like the Gulf of Mexico, which has yet to recover from BP's massive 2010 spill.

Learn more about our fight against drilling in sensitive Arctic waters.

Expand Awareness of Overpopulation

Florida panther

The Center's groundbreaking work to educate the American people on the connection between human overpopulation and the extinction of plants and animals around the globe -- including the loggerhead sea turtle and San Joaquin kit fox -- will be expanded over the coming year with new creative strategies for capturing public attention and imagination.

The campaign, featuring our extremely popular Endangered Species Condoms and brand-new "Hump Smarter Hotline," will give away tens of thousands more of the condoms, expand our role as a national leader on overpopulation and mobilize armies of volunteers to call on world leaders to address the human population explosion.

Check out our 7 Billion and Counting Web page.

Defend Polar Bears

polar bear

The Center for Biological Diversity won protection for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act and fought for 187 million protected acres of their habitat. Last year we also won a court ruling that opened the door for the Obama administration to choose to give bears the full protection they need -- by listing them as "endangered" instead of "threatened" -- and to reject Bush-era policies that blocked efforts to address the gravest threat they face: global warming. We'll work this year to pressure the White House to do just that; we'll fight tooth and nail to save these magnificent bears of the north from climate change, intrusive oil drilling and other threats, whether the battle takes us to Congress, the courts or the streets.

Learn about our decade-long fight to save polar bears.

Fight Climate Change

American pika

The Obama administration and international leaders still haven't taken the steps needed to address the global climate crisis: making major, immediate cuts in greenhouse gas pollution. The Center for Biological Diversity will make sure the best laws available, especially the Clean Air Act, are harnessed to cut that pollution from factories, cars, power plants and other sources.

We're also organizing communities around the country to speak out urgently for a livable climate. In 2012, we aim to sign up cities and towns in all 50 states for our Clean Air Cities campaign, inspiring volunteers to rally their cities to tell national leaders it's time to break the climate-change gridlock. We'll also achieve new federal protections for species that are already acutely affected by the changing climate.

Check out the work we do to fight global warming in our Climate Law Institute.

Stem the Tide of Ocean Acidification

vote sign

The world's oceans are in imminent peril from acidification and warming waters, yet these twin carbon threats, which stand to transform the planet, have barely begun to be tackled. This year the Center for Biological Diversity will mount a vigorous, newly ramped-up campaign to publicize and fight ocean acidification and its disastrous effects on coral reefs and hundreds of other marine creatures.

We'll pursue Endangered Species Act protection for 80 corals suffering from acidification and push the EPA to develop a national plan to address the ocean crisis.

Learn more about ocean acidification.

Safeguard Wildlife, People From Pesticides

Pesticides pose a danger to species great and small around the country, from the Florida panther to the California condor. That why the Center for Biological Diversity filed a historic lawsuit -- the largest ever filed to defend wildlife from pesticides -- in 2011 challenging the EPA's approval of scores of chemicals that hurt hundreds of species already at risk of extinction.

We'll continue to push that case as well as petition to save hundreds of frogs, turtles and other herpetofauna threatened by toxics, pesticides (such as atrazine) and habitat loss. We'll go toe-to-toe against the pesticide industry and its politician allies, who are trying weaken Clean Water Act rules to let more pesticides into our rivers, streams and other waterways.

Check out our anti-pesticides campaign.

Protect Public Lands From Dirty Energy Projects

Keystone XL protestThe past year's victories on clean energy included helping halt the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, stretching from Canada to Texas and threatening whooping cranes, interior least tern, pallid sturgeon and American burying beetles, and pushing the Obama administration to establish a 20-year ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon. In 2012, the Center for Biological Diversity will be working to stop egregious mountaintop-removal coal mining projects in Appalachia and keep the disastrous Keystone XL, now only on hold, off the table for good. We'll continue to oppose all major new U.S. infrastructure for the large-scale production and transportation of dirty fossil fuels as we advocate for safer, saner alternatives.

Learn more about Keystone XL and all our other public lands work.

Thank you for making all these successes in 2011. We'll continue fighting hard in 2012 and keep you updated every step of the way.

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director

Photo credits: Coquí llanero (c) Neftali Rios; San Joaquin kit fox courtesy Wikimedia Commonsi; scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/USFWS; gray wolf courtesy Northern Rockies NPS; Pacific walrus (c) Captain Budd Christman NOAA; Florida panther (c) Connie Bransilver USFWS; polar bear (c) Brendan Cummings; American pika (c) John Mosesso; pygmy seahorse courtesy Wikimedia Commons; California red-legged frog courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/GregTheBusker; Keystone XL courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/tarsandaction.

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